Blogs

Displaying 25841-25850 of 25949 results.
ID: 153999
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Man Who Created Yankees’ Murderers’ Row
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Edward Grant Barrow, born in a covered wagon, helped invent modern sports by building the Yankee baseball dynasty, making their famed Murderers’ Row truly murderous, and starting every game with the national anthem.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">This Yankee executive who pioneered the modern mix of capitalism and patriotism, of sport and spectacle, had pioneering roots. Born in 1868 as his family moved West to Nebraska, Barrow sported a middle name honoring America’s post-Civil War hero, U.S. Grant. A rare manager who was ready to use his fists and boost his product not just organize efficiently, he had a colorful career pitching for his local team, selling newspapers, promoting boxing, producing theatrical shows, managing hotels, even hawking an electric-car.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">But his defining mission involved feeding America’s need for heroes on the ballfield not the battlefield. The normally prickly sportswriter Joe Williams would write: “The [Babe] Ruths had done the hitting, the [Herb] Pennocks the pitching, the [Bill] Dickeys the catching, and the [Tony] Lazzeris the fielding, but it was Barrow who knitted the organization together, gave it a pattern and a far-seeing program... That’s why” Barrow’s hiring in 1920 “represents the best deal the Yankees ever made"...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-man-who-created-yankees-murderers-row">Read whole article on The Daily Beast.</a></p>
ID: 154000
Uid: 341
Author: 40
Category: 0
Title: What I've Been Reading Lately
Source:
Body: <p><i>Murray Polner is the author of </i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/No-victory-parades-Vietnam-veteran/dp/0030860113"><i>No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran</i></a><i>,</i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Branch-Rickey-Biography-Murray-Polner/dp/0786426438/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8"><i> Branch Rickey: A Biography,</i></a><i>&nbsp;and co-editor of&nbsp;</i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/We-Who-Dared-Say-War/dp/1568583850"><i>We Who Dared Say No To War</i></a><i>.</i></p><p>"<i>All that I ask is that, in the midst of a murderous world, we agree to reflect on murder and to make a choice.'</i>&nbsp;–&nbsp; Albert Camus, 1948</p> <p>Milton Viorst's probing and relevant "Zionism: The Birth and Transformation of an Ideal" (St. Martin's Press) will not be appreciated by our obedient American Israel lobby and the many American governments and politicians whose support for Jewish money and votes have ruined any possibility for a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian bitter dispute. </p> <p>For me, the book recalls my former American Jewish Committee boss, David Gordis, &nbsp;&nbsp;who bravely and publicly called &nbsp;today's Israel "a failure... distorted by a fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist religion which encourages the worst behavior rather than the best"-- as it also tries to silence&nbsp; &nbsp;any and all criticisms of Israeli policies &nbsp;by &nbsp;American Jews and non-Jews.&nbsp; </p> <p>Viorst, a longtime observer of the Middle East, poses a central problem and offers some answers to "How did Zionism, over the course of a century, evolve from the idealism of providing refuge for beleaguered Jews to a rationalization for the army's occupation of powerless Palestinians?" And, too, how and why did "Zionism became increasingly defined by military power?" </p> <p style="text-align: center;">*******</p> <p>The New York Times, which initially approved George the whiz kid Bush's decision to invade Iraq, recently, published an angry editorial, "America's Forever Wars," in which it asked Americans "how many new military adventures, if any, it is prepared to tolerate." The august newspaper, which had initially backed &nbsp;the invasion of Iraq, had the gall to quote Andrew Bacevich, a conservative&nbsp; dove, and &nbsp;retired army colonel and Boston University professor, whose&nbsp; soldier son was killed in Iraq, writing that "a collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America..." </p> <p>True enough, but in his essential and imperative book, "The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, (Metropolitan, Holt)" Bacevich wisely points to the continuing bloody blunders and misinterpretations born of ignorance and set in concrete--or crimes by our leaders if you prefer -- "from the era of Forrestal and Nitze to the present, [they] have repeatedly misconstrued and exaggerated existing targets with perverse effects."If anyone needs yet another example and they haven't already done so, they need to view the latest Ken Burns-Lynn Novick fascinating if quite imperfect documentary about our defeat in Vietnam or if in Manhattan. visit the New York Historical Society's exhibit. "The Vietnam War," 1945-1975." </p> <p>So who's next? Iran? &nbsp;North Korea? Syria? &nbsp;Russia? Maybe we're crazy enough to invade Venezuela?</p> <p style="text-align: center;">*******</p> <p>"The lifeblood of anticommunist propaganda was conspiracy theory," &nbsp;argues Nick Fischer, an Austrian scholar in his compelling&nbsp;&nbsp; "Spider Web: The Birth of American &nbsp;Anticommunism &nbsp;(University of Illinois), dangerous nonsense which soon became the rationale for our &nbsp;worthless wars and &nbsp;baloney like the Cold War's Domino Theory, &nbsp;the widely- accepted notion that the Commies were everywhere and every place ,a &nbsp;potent menace, at home and abroad, &nbsp;an overstatement repeated ad nauseum &nbsp;and which became the unquestioned mantra for why we &nbsp;had to kill so many people.</p> <p>&nbsp;0ur hysterical obsession with -Communism led to ugly and indefensible Red Scares and blacklists. The lack of interest by our courts in our unconstitutional Presidential&nbsp; wars,&nbsp; (see what the Founding Fathers said about the process of&nbsp; going to war) meant that people were deported &nbsp;or&nbsp; went to prison for their political beliefs. Thus, many of our wars could never end without the approval of those who started and defended them.</p> <p>"The intellectual, moral and psychological paralysis of paranoid anti-communist conspiracy theory," wrote Fischer, was fostered and operated by those who benefitted politically and financially from 1917-to the first Cold War era and now threatens to continue as a sequel.&nbsp; And of course "It led to the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers in external wars of choice," about whom few Americans care or remember.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">*******</p> <p>But back to the NY Times and its why Americans haven't protested our nonstop, senseless wars editorial (Have the Times' editors?) &nbsp;The editorial implies that one explanation is the absence of a draft. (As a veteran, I absolutely disagree) &nbsp;With a draft, it means non-military families will then &nbsp;care about our wars and their sons and daughters will once again shutdown their campuses, and march on Washington shouting "Hell No, We Won't Go." To which Bacevich smartly adds that sort of hot air is "akin to the notion that putting Christ back in Christmas will reawaken American spirituality. A pleasant enough fantasy, it overlooks the forces that transformed a religious holiday into an orgy of consumption in the first place." The truth is that all a draft can do is stimulate the appetite of our conservative, neocon and liberal hawks and lead to more wars, more graves and more monuments in Washington. </p> <p style="text-align: center;">*******-</p> <p>Then to&nbsp; Central America, where the underlying principle -- especially since Reagan --- &nbsp;was that the Commies were coming, the weathered theme&nbsp; beloved by&nbsp; our bellicose &nbsp;neoconservatives, few if any had ever worn &nbsp;a military uniform or sent their kids to war &nbsp;Still, Nick Fischer shrewdly understands the propaganda barrage aimed at the US public about &nbsp;the Red Menace and wrote that it also &nbsp;"justified the violent overthrow of &nbsp;democratically elected governments in Latin America&nbsp; (and Iran)."'Secrets of State: Declassified History of the Chilean Dictatorship," recently shown at an exhibition in Santiago, Chile, revealed once more &nbsp;about &nbsp;US-assistance offered by the amoral Nixon regime in &nbsp;overthrowing the democratically-elected Salvador Allende, the Socialist &nbsp;President and &nbsp;which brought Chileans &nbsp;the US puppet Pinochet, &nbsp;a &nbsp;dedicated homicidal fascist. There is now speculation in Chile that the estimable Chilean poet, the Communist Pablo Neruda, did not die of cancer, as claimed by the Pinochet gang, but instead may have been murdered, But at this point in time that's &nbsp;conjecture.</p> <p>But it's hardly&nbsp; speculation &nbsp;when writing about &nbsp;what America's anti-communist &nbsp;serial killer &nbsp;friends did elsewhere, as &nbsp;in Guatemala where they and their Israeli friends tried to evade congressional limitations on &nbsp;arms for the Guatemalan army which the Guatemalan Truth Commission &nbsp;concluded had executed 100,000 of their countrymen and women.&nbsp;&nbsp; Much the same happened in El Salvador, one of the poorest and most repressive nations in the Western Hemisphere. There, its repressive rulers were backed by --who else? -- the US, which believed the Salvadoran rebels were Reds in disguise. Their civil war lasted twelve gory years &nbsp;&nbsp;And at war's end, some 75,000 Salvadorans were dead and its Truth for El Salvador Commission reported in 1993 that "the government forces" --our buddies-&nbsp; :were responsible for eighty-five percent of the atrocities and human rights abuses."</p> <p>Raymond Bonner's brilliant investigative report, "Weakness and Deceit: America and El Salvador's Dirty War" (0R Books) was one of two intrepid reporters (Bonner of the NY Times and Alma Guillermoprieto of the Washington Post and later The New Yorker the other) were the first to tell of the El Mozote mass murders, when some 900 residents of the small village of El Mozote were butchered by our pals in the Salvadoran army in December 1981. &nbsp;</p> <p>Bonner is on the mark when he closes. "Having learned little or nothing from the Vietnam debacle, the US read the coming of the leftwing Sandinistas in Nicaragua as the start of yet another version of the Domino Theory"-- which sees the entire Western Hemisphere as American private property, yet denies Russia and China the right to define it own --equally unjustified-- national interests in their regions of influence. `</p> <p style="text-align: center;">*******</p> <p>And what about future wars involving Russia and NATO --the latter basically a Washington rental?</p> <p>&nbsp;Dave Majumdar,is the defense editor for the centrist&nbsp; "National Interest" and his essay, "This is What a NATO vs. Russia War Over the Baltics Would Look Like" concludes that such a war isn't in the &nbsp;immediate cards, &nbsp;at least for now, &nbsp;but &nbsp;some unexpected mix-up could always &nbsp;lead to big trouble, a la Sarajevo.&nbsp;&nbsp; Majumdar winds up: "If NATO forces cross into Russian territory that might provoke a nuclear response from Moscow." Now here's the good news. "Such a war will almost certainly escalate into a full-up nuclear war between the planet's only two nuclear superpowers--which means everyone loses."</p> <p style="text-align: center;">*******</p> <p>And then there's Iran, where our &nbsp;civilian neoconservatives &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;who brought us the invasion of Iraq-- would love seeing it smashed by Americans storming the beaches of Iran, an imaginary replay of D-Day, and its bombers killing millions of ordinary Iranians.</p> <p>Writing in the paleo-conservative"The American Conservative," Harry J. Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest offers his take. </p> <p>In "I Fought a War Against Iran--and It Ended Badly, he referred to war games he had participated in 2013, which ended with the US and Iran at war but which now has him wondering, "Is war with Iran inevitable?" His answer: "It seems possible. And then he appends his personal feelings:"I'm scared to death" and explains. "It doesn't take a lot of imagination to dream up a situation where Washington and Teheran come close to the brink of war quite quickly. Indeed, it isn't out of the question that America could soon face what could be the ultimate foreign policy nightmare--crises with both Iran and North Korea at the same time."</p> <p style="text-align: center;">*******</p> <p>Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier- son was killed in Iraq and was then mocked by our war lovers for her public mourning when she camped out near George W. Bush's Texas ranch in 2005. Referring to the recent dustup about what to say to a dead soldier's family, Sheehan told "The Daily Beast":</p> <p>"I wish the conversation [with Trump and Bush and the family of dead military men] was about the barbarism of war and, in this instance, why are there special ops forces in Niger. Where is the movement to oppose US wars, instead of liberal handwringing over botched messages of condolences? My grief was exploited by Democrats and Republicans alike to score political points and win elections. And the wars I swore to stop are still going, and have expanded dramatically."</p> <p>Dear Cindy Sheehan: Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom. But the truth is that our historic addiction to war -will go on and on and on. Sadly, Plus ca change.... </p>
ID: 154001
Uid: 78797
Author: 48
Category: 0
Title: Is There Anything We Can Do to Stop Politicians from Lying?
Source:
Body: <a href="http://glebtsipursky.com/about/" style="font-style: italic;">Dr. Gleb Tsipursky</a><i>&nbsp;is the author of the forthcoming&nbsp;</i><a href="http://glebtsipursky.com/the-truth-seekers-handbook-a-science-based-guide/" style="font-style: italic;">The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide</a><i>&nbsp;and is currently writing&nbsp;</i>The Alternative to Alternative Facts: Fighting Post-Truth Politics with Behavioral Science<i>. He is a</i><a href="https://decisionsciences.osu.edu/people/tsipursky.1" style="font-style: italic;">professor</a><i>&nbsp;of history at Ohio State University and President of the nonprofit&nbsp;</i><a href="http://intentionalinsights.org/" style="font-style: italic;">Intentional Insights</a><i>. This article is part of the author’s broader work on promoting rational thinking and wise decision-making. To learn more about&nbsp;The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook&nbsp;book and be notified of its publication, click on&nbsp;</i><a href="http://glebtsipursky.com/the-truth-seekers-handbook-a-science-based-guide/" style="font-style: italic;">this link</a><i>. He blogs here at&nbsp;</i><a href="http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/author/48" style="font-style: italic;">Intentional Insights</a><i>&nbsp;on HNN.&nbsp;</i><div><br></div><div><p style="text-align: center;"><img src=" /sites/default/files/154001-167307-akajnbsv.jpg"></p><p><br></p><p>We are in unprecedented historical territory when a Senator calls the President of his own political party “an utterly untruthful President” as Bob Corker&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/10/corker-trump-feud/543801/">did</a>&nbsp;in regard to Donald Trump, and when another Senator from the same party, Jeff Flake,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-25/donald-trump-trades-insults-with-republican-senator-bob-corker/9082388">describes</a>&nbsp;the President as having a "flagrant disregard of truth.” Consider the recent example of Trump&nbsp;<a href="https://www.snopes.com/myeshia-johnson-facebook-post/">making false statements</a>&nbsp;about his phone conversation with a Gold Star widow, and then&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/10/18/trump-just-said-his-comment-to-war-widow-was-fabricated-in-an-interview-the-witness-pushes-back/?utm_term=.faf1487e93af">doubling</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/10/trump-feud-myeshia-johnson/543684/">tripling</a>&nbsp;down on them. For a more policy-oriented example, recall how Donald Trump’s&nbsp;<a href="https://www.c-span.org/video/?432748-1/president-trump-criticizes-dishonest-media-defends-charlottesville-remarks-rally-phoenix">rally speech</a>&nbsp;in Phoenix on August 22 was full of falsehoods. He gave a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.factcheck.org/2017/08/trumps-phoenix-fiction/">revisionist and false history</a>&nbsp;of his reaction to the Charlottesville violence to make himself look better, made&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/aug/22/fact-checking-president-donald-trumps-campaign-ral/">false statements</a>&nbsp;about media reporting and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/aug/23/donald-trump/donald-trump-wrongly-says-us-net-energy-exporte/">misled the audience</a>&nbsp;over his economic achievements. Trump’s actions point to the normalization of&nbsp;<a href="https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/word-of-the-year/word-of-the-year-2016">post-truth politics</a>, when appeals to personal beliefs and emotion win out over objective facts. To avoid this normalization, we need to borrow the successful tactics of the environmental movement.</p><p><a href="http://glebtsipursky.com/the-truth-seekers-handbook-a-science-based-guide/"><img src=" /sites/default/files/154001-167307-kjsndfvderg.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 15px;"></a>Trump’s behavior – the speech and the attacks on the Gold Star widow – represents part of a broader pattern: Of Trump’s statements fact-checked by&nbsp;<i>Politifact</i>, an astounding&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/">49 percent</a>&nbsp;are false. By comparison, his Democratic opponent in the U.S. presidential election, Hillary Clinton, has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/personalities/hillary-clinton/">12 percent</a>&nbsp;of her fact checked statements rated false;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/personalities/paul-ryan/">14 percent</a>&nbsp;of Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s are.</p><p>Despite Trump’s extremely high rate of deception, many still believe him. As an example,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/march_2017/did_obama_wiretap_trump_voters_react">44 percent</a>&nbsp;of those polled believed his&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/mar/21/timeline-donald-trumps-false-wiretapping-charge/">falsehoods</a>&nbsp;about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 election campaign. Unfortunately, 29 percent of the public, and only 12 percent of Trump supporters,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/september_2016/voters_don_t_trust_media_fact_checking">trust</a>&nbsp;fact checkers.</p><p>Moreover,&nbsp;<a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1075547015613523">research</a>&nbsp;on debunking falsehoods shows such debunking sometimes backfires. Called the&nbsp;<i>backfire effect</i>, scientists&nbsp;<a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/62c0/961bb310e215dfd27c8a0893c31cd60d27e4.pdf">have shown</a>&nbsp;in a number of cases people believe in falsehoods even more strongly after being presented with contradictory evidence. This situation enables Trump to pollute our politics with deception, destroying trust in our democratic political system.</p><p>Political and social science research summarized in the 2003&nbsp;<a href="https://www.russellsage.org/publications/trust-and-governance-1"><i>Trust and Governance</i></a>, edited by Valerie Braithwaite and Margaret Levi, shows trust is vital for healthy democracies. Citizens in a democracy have a basic expectation of their public officials being trustworthy, in their words and actions. In return, citizens comply with laws, pay taxes and cooperate with other government initiatives. By comparison to a democracy, an autocratic state bears a much higher resource burden of policing to make its citizens comply with its laws. In his 2002 work,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.russellsage.org/publications/trust-and-trustworthiness-1"><i>Trust and Trustworthiness</i></a>, political scientist Russell Hardin also shows the vital role of trust in creating and cultivating civil society in a democracy. When political leaders act in ways that destroy trust—as Trump is doing through misleading statements and outright lies—people will increasingly stop complying with laws, paying taxes and engaging in civil society. Trump’s actions are fatally undermining the health of our democracy.</p><p>His behavior falls within the sphere of what behavioral scientists term “tragedy of the commons,” following a&nbsp;<a href="http://science.sciencemag.org/content/162/3859/1243">famous 1968 article</a>&nbsp;in&nbsp;<i>Science</i>&nbsp;by Garret Hardin. Hardin demonstrated that in areas where a group of people share a common resource—the commons—without any controls on the use of this resource, individual self-interest may often lead to disaster for all involved. Because each individual may well have a strong interest in using more of the common resource than is their fair share, all suffer the consequences of the depletion of that resource.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-047198826X.html">Environmental pollution</a>&nbsp;is a clear example where the common resource of clean air and water is abused by polluters who destroy this shared resource.</p><p>Trump is abusing the commons of trust in our political environment, and he is setting a clear example for other politicians to follow through his successful tactics. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin&nbsp;<a href="http://www.100daysinappalachia.com/2017/07/11/mimicking-president-trump-politicians-cry-fake-news-try-discredit-regional-local-media-appalachia/">are adopting</a>&nbsp;the post-truth tactics of condemning media as “fake news” whenever the media report stories unfavorable to them. As an example, Bevin personally attacked a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2017/05/27/bevin-blasts-journalist/351497001/">journalist who reported</a>&nbsp;on Bevin’s purchase of a mansion for about a million dollars under market value from a hedge fund manager, which some suggested might be a bribe in return for under-the-table political favors. Such trickle-down of post-truth politics points to its normalization within our political system, thus enabling corruption and undermining our democracy.</p><p>How do we stop this pollution of truth? The modern environmental movement has been dealing successfully with a tragedy of the commons: industrial pollution. The historical consensus is that&nbsp;<a href="http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1194&amp;context=ealr">the launch</a>&nbsp;of the modern environmental movement came with the publication of Rachel Carson’s&nbsp;<i>Silent Spring</i>&nbsp;in 1962. This and other similar publications brought about an awakening of the public&nbsp;to the dangers posed by environmental pollution to individual and community health, and led to the coordinated movement of activists—<a href="http://www.earthday.org/about/the-history-of-earth-day/">Republican and Democrat</a>—fighting for the environment.</p><p>As a result, environmental problems drew much wider public attention. Consider the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Cuyahoga_River_Fire">1969 fire</a>&nbsp;on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. The river has had a long history of pollution, and in June 1969 oil-covered debris caught fire, causing $100,000 worth of damage to two railroad bridges. This event drew national attention and became a&nbsp;<a href="http://time.com/3921976/cuyahoga-fire/">major story</a>&nbsp;in&nbsp;<i>Time</i>. Cleveland’s mayor testified before Congress to urge greater attention to pollution by the federal government. Notably, the Cuyahoga River had experienced many other fires due to industrial pollution, such as one in 1952 that resulted in over $1.3 million in damage—10 times that which incurred in 1969. This much bigger and more destructive fire, however, inspired little national attention—or efforts to change the situation—as compared with the conflagration of 1969.</p><p>The marked difference in the reaction to the two fires stemmed from the launch of the modern environmental movement, combining the coordinated actions of activists to seek out and highlight these problems with heightened public attention awareness of the danger of environmental pollution. We can do the same for the pollution of truth by launching a nonpartisan pro-truth movement. Such a movement would require a coordinated group of activists holding public figures accountable for deception as well as publicly highlighting the danger that post-truth politics poses to the health of our democracy.</p><p>Whereas the 1960s required the publication of books to raise awareness and launch a movement, our contemporary digital environment gives us easier tools. One example is the Pro-Truth Pledge project at&nbsp;<a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/">ProTruthPledge.org</a>, which allows private citizens and public figures to take a pledge committing them to 12 behaviors that&nbsp;<a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/how-to-address-the-epidemic-of-lies-in-politics/">research suggests</a>&nbsp;are most likely to lead to a truth-oriented society. This site both offers a coordination venue for those determined to roll back the tide of lies and protect our democracy, and raises awareness of the dangers of political deception. Hundreds of private citizens&nbsp;<a href="#ohio">across the U.S</a>.&nbsp;and many dozens of public figures&nbsp;<a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/public-figures-signed-pledge/">have already</a>&nbsp;taken the pledge, including household names such as&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/PeterSinger/status/887423984978939904">Peter Singer</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Haidt">Jonathan Haidt</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/887492602181939202">Steven Pinker</a>&nbsp;as well as over 50 Democratic and Republican politicians.</p><p>By launching a pro-truth movement uniting people across the political divide, we can avoid the normalization of post-truth politics. Doing so will help ensure that the kind of falsehoods uttered by Trump get a response equivalent to the 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga river, rather than the 1952 one. Whether the pro-truth movement takes off depends on how many people choose to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/take-the-pro-truth-pledge/">take the pledge</a>&nbsp;and join the effort to protect the health of our democracy from the pollution of truth.</p></div>
ID: 154002
Uid: 78797
Author: 48
Category: 0
Title: The Behavioral Science of Political Deception in the 2016 Election
Source:
Body: <div style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/154002-brain.png"></div><div><br></div><i><a href="http://glebtsipursky.com/about/">Dr. Gleb Tsipursky</a>&nbsp;is the author of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078429WCF/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B078429WCF&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=intentinsigh-20&amp;linkId=6d0105548fcc9f38a235207516f6ed82">The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide</a>. He is an&nbsp;<a href="https://decisionsciences.osu.edu/people/tsipursky.1">Assistant Professor</a>&nbsp;at The Ohio State University, President of the nonprofit<a href="http://intentionalinsights.org/">&nbsp;Intentional Insights</a>, and co-founder of the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/">Pro-Truth Pledge</a>.Caption:&nbsp;Head with brain and puzzle pieces (<a href="https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/10/16/23/21/puzzle-1746552_960_720.png">Geralt/Pixabay</a>)</i><p><br></p><p>How did Donald Trump win, when he used so many misleading statements and outright deceptions? Couldn’t people see through them? As an expert in brain science, I want to share why his followers fell for his lies and what can be done to address this situation in the future.</p><p>First, let’s get the facts straight. Politifact.com, a well-known non-partisan website,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/">rates only</a>&nbsp;about 4 percent of statements by Trump as fully “True” and over 50 percent as either completely “False” or what they call ridiculously false – “Pants on Fire,” with the rest in the middle. By comparison, Hillary Clinton rated 25 percent as fully “True” and only 12 percent as either “False” or “Pants on Fire.”</p><p><i>The Washington Post</i>, one of the most reputable newspapers in the country,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/03/22/all-of-donald-trumps-four-pinocchio-ratings-in-one-place/">wrote</a>&nbsp;that “There’s never been a presidential candidate like Donald Trump — someone so cavalier about the facts and so unwilling to ever admit error, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.” In their rulings on statements made by Trump, this paper’s editors evaluated 64 percent of them as Four Pinocchios, their worst rating. By contrast, statements by other politicians tend to get the worst rating 10 to 20 percent of the time.</p><p>These sentiments are representative of other prominent news media and fact-check outlets, yet according to an ABC News/Washington post poll, most voters on the eve of the election&nbsp;<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-rated-honest-contest-stays-dead-heat-poll/story?id=43225421">perceived</a>Donald Trump as more trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. This false perception came from the Trump campaign building up on previous Republican criticism of Clinton,&nbsp;<a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=drwDdakx57cC&amp;printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">much of it misleading</a>&nbsp;and some accurate, to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/02/donald-trump-hasnt-told-the-truth-repeatedly-in-this-campaign-voters-still-think-he-is-more-honest-than-hillary-clinton/">manipulate successfully</a>&nbsp;many voters into believing that Clinton is less honest, in spite of the evidence that she is much more honest than Trump. The Trump campaign did so through the&nbsp;<a href="http://psr.sagepub.com/content/early/2009/12/18/1088868309352251.abstract">illusory truth effect</a>, a thinking error in our minds that happens when false statements are repeated many times and we begin to see them as true. In other words, just because something is stated several times, we perceive it as more accurate.</p><p>You may have noticed the last two sentences in the previous paragraph had the same meaning. The second sentence didn’t provide any new information, but it did cause you to believe my claim more than you did when you read the first sentence.</p><p><b>The Biology of Truth Vs. Comfort</b></p><p>Why should the human brain be structured so that mere repetition, without any more evidence, causes us to believe a claim more strongly? The more often we are&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposure_therapy">exposed</a>&nbsp;to a statement, the more comfortable it seems. The fundamental error most people make is mistaking statements that make them feel comfortable for true statements.</p><p>Our brains cause us to&nbsp;<i>believe</i>&nbsp;something is true because we&nbsp;<i>feel</i>&nbsp;it is true, regardless of the evidence – a phenomenon known as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005796712001763">emotional reasoning</a>. This strange phenomenon can be easily explained by understanding some basic biology behind how our brain works.</p><p>When we hear a statement, the first thing that fires in our brain in a few milliseconds is our&nbsp;<a href="http://intentionalinsights.org/autopilot-vs-intentional-system-the-rider-and-the-elephant">autopilot system</a>&nbsp;of thinking, composed of our emotions and intuitions. Also known as System 1, the autopilot system is what the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Daniel Kahneman identified as our&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0374533555/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=intentinsigh-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0374533555&amp;linkId=7d237a42a11f96112077b101ea04f7ae">two systems of thinking</a>&nbsp;in his 2011&nbsp;<i>Thinking</i>,&nbsp;<i>Fast and Slow</i>, and represents the more ancient system of our brain. It protected us in the ancestral environment against dangerous threats such as saber-toothed tigers by making us feel bad about them and drew us toward what we needed to survive such as food and shelter by making us feel good about them. The humans who survived learned well to heed the autopilot system’s guidance, and we are the children of these humans.</p><p>Unfortunately, the autopilot system is not well calibrated for the modern environment. When we hear statements that go against our current beliefs, our autopilot system perceives them as threats and causes us to feel bad about them. By contrast, statements that align with our existing beliefs cause us to feel good and we want to believe them. So if we just go with our gut reactions – our lizard brain – we will always choose statements that align with our current beliefs.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><img src=" /sites/default/files/154002-lizard.png "></div><div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">Meme saying “Lizard brain thinking is killing democracy – Please think rationally”&nbsp;</span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">&nbsp;(Ed Coolidge, made for Intentional Insights)</span></div><p><b>Where Do We Get Our News?</b></p><p>Until recently, people got all their news from mainstream media, which meant they were often exposed to information that they didn’t like because it did not fit their beliefs. The budget cuts and&nbsp;<a href="https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=9RITDAAAQBAJ&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PR9&amp;dq=consolidation+of+media+ownership&amp;ots=A0_U0hMA-B&amp;sig=Bp-HcAW5beH_fRhc9M4edLF-Qow#v=onepage&amp;q=consolidation%20of%20media%20ownership&amp;f=false">consolidation of media ownership</a>&nbsp;in the last decade resulted in mainstream media getting increasingly less diverse, well described in the 2009&nbsp;<i>Media Ownership and Concentration in America</i>&nbsp;by Eli Noam. Moreover, according to a 2016 survey by Pew Research Center,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.journalism.org/2016/05/26/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2016/">many people</a>are increasingly getting their news mainly or only from within their own personalized&nbsp;<a href="http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2441981">social media filter bubble</a>, which tends to exclude information that differs from their own beliefs. So their own beliefs are reinforced and it seems that everyone&nbsp;<a href="http://intentionalinsights.org/how-to-protect-yourself-from-false-beliefs">shares the same beliefs</a>&nbsp;as them.</p><p>This trend is based on a traditional strong&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2015/recommendations-from-friends-remain-most-credible-form-of-advertising.html">trust in friends</a>&nbsp;as sources of reliable recommendations, according to the 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report. Our brains tend to spread the trust that we associate with friends to other sources of information that we see on social media. This thinking error is known as the&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_effect">halo effect</a>&nbsp;when our assessment of one element of a larger whole as positive transfers to other elements. We can see this in research showing that people’s trust in social media influencers&nbsp;<a href="http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/twitter-says-users-now-trust-influencers-nearly-much-their-friends-171367">has grown</a>&nbsp;over time, nearly to the level of trust in their friends, as shown by a 2016 joint study by Twitter and analytics firm Annalect.</p><p>Even more concerning, a 2016&nbsp;<a href="https://sheg.stanford.edu/upload/V3LessonPlans/Executive%20Summary%2011.21.16.pdf">study from Stanford University demonstrated</a>&nbsp;that over 80 percent of students, who are generally experienced social media users, could not distinguish a news story shared by a friend from a sponsored advertisement. In a particularly scary finding, many of the study’s participants thought a news story was true based on irrelevant factors such as the size of the photo, as opposed to rational factors such as the credibility of the news source outlet.</p><p>The Trump team knows that many people have difficulty distinguishing sponsored stories from real news stories and that’s why they were&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-27/inside-the-trump-bunker-with-12-days-to-go">at the forefront</a>&nbsp;of targeting voters with sponsored advertorials on social media. In some cases they used this tactic to motivate their own supporters, and in others they used it as a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/27/donald-trumps-risky-plan-to-use-the-internet-to-suppress-hillary-clintons-turnout/">voter suppression</a>&nbsp;tactic against Clinton supporters. The Trump campaign’s Republican allies&nbsp;<a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/laura-ingraham-lifezette/">created</a>&nbsp;fake news stories that got millions of shares on social media. The Russian propaganda machine has also used social media to&nbsp;<a href="http://warontherocks.com/2016/11/trolling-for-trump-how-russia-is-trying-to-destroy-our-democracy/">manufacture</a>&nbsp;fake news stories favorable to Trump and critical of Clinton.</p><p>Additionally,&nbsp;<a href="http://fortune.com/2016/11/11/trump-vs-media/">Trump’s attacks</a>&nbsp;on mainstream media and fact-checkers before the election, and even&nbsp;<a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/16/media/donald-trump-new-york-times-tweets/">after the election</a>, undercut the credibility of news source outlets. As a result, trust in the media amongst Republicans dropped to an all-time low of 14 percent in a September 2016 Gallup poll, a drop of over 200 percent from 2015. Fact-checking is even less credible among Republicans, with 88 percent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/september_2016/voters_don_t_trust_media_fact_checking">expressing distrust</a>&nbsp;in a September 2016 Rasmussen Reports poll.</p><p>All this combined in the unprecedented reliance on and sharing of fake news by Trump’s supporters on social media. With the rise of the Tea Party, a new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University used Politifact to find that Republicans&nbsp;<a href="http://cmpa.gmu.edu/study-media-fact-checker-says-republicans-lie-more/">have tended</a>&nbsp;to make many more false statements than Democrats. Lacking trust in the mainstream media and relying on social media instead, a large segment of Trump’s base indiscriminately shared whatever made them feel good, regardless of whether it was true. Indeed, one fake news writer,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/11/17/facebook-fake-news-writer-i-think-donald-trump-is-in-the-white-house-because-of-me/">in an interview</a>&nbsp;with&nbsp;<i>The Washington Post</i>, said of Trump supporters: “His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything.” No wonder that Trump’s supporters mostly believe his statements, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2016/08/clinton-leads-in-nc-for-first-time-since-march.html">polling</a>. By contrast, another creator of fake news,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs">in an interview</a>&nbsp;with&nbsp;<i>NPR</i>, described how he “tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait” due to them practicing fact-checking and debunking.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><img src=" /sites/default/files/154002-cartoon.png "></div></div><div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">Meme saying “People are most comfortable dealing with reality in terms of black or white, but reality tends to like shades of grey”</span>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">&nbsp;(Wayne Straight, made for Intentional Insights)</span></div><p>This fact-checking and debunking illustrates that the situation, while dismal, is not hopeless. Such truth-oriented behaviors rely on our other&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307956393/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=intentinsigh-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0307956393&amp;linkId=e497cd88fe660f56cccdbd4097a49c07">thinking system</a>, the intentional system or system 2, as shown by Chip and Dan Heath in their 2013’s&nbsp;<i>Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work</i>. The intentional system is deliberate and reflective. It takes effort to use but it can catch and override the thinking errors committed by system 1 so that we do not adopt the belief that something is true because we feel it is true, regardless of the evidence.</p><p>Many liberals associate positive emotions with empirical facts and reason, which is why their intentional system is triggered into doing fact-checking on news stories. Trump voters&nbsp;<a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/09/26/its-science-stupid-why-do-trump-supporters-believe-so-many-things-that-are-crazy-and-wrong/">mostly do not</a>&nbsp;have such positive emotions around the truth, and believe in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/why-trump-supporters-are-not-bothered-his-many-many-lies">Trump’s authenticity</a>&nbsp;on a gut level regardless of the facts. This difference is not well recognized by the mainstream media, who&nbsp;<a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/minority-president-why-polls-failed-and-what-majority-can-do?akid=14902.1599853.41CK2w&amp;rd=1&amp;src=newsletter1067620&amp;t=13">treat their audience</a>&nbsp;as rational thinkers and present information in a language that communicates well to liberals, but not to Trump voters.</p><p>To get more conservatives to turn on the intentional system when evaluating political discourse we need to speak to emotions and intuitions – the autopilot system, in other words. We have to get folks to associate positive emotions with the truth first and foremost, before anything else.</p><p>To do so, we should understand where these people are coming from and what they care about, validate their emotions and concerns, and only then show, using emotional language, the harm people suffer when they believe in lies. For instance, for those who care about safety and security, we can highlight how it’s important for them to defend themselves against being swindled into taking actions that make the world more dangerous. Those concerned with liberty and independence would be moved by emotional language targeted toward keeping themselves free from being used and manipulated. For those focused on family values, we may speak about trust being abused.</p><p>These are strong terms that have deep emotional resonance. Many may be uncomfortable with using such tactics of emotional appeals. We have to remember the end goal of helping people orient toward the truth. This is a case where ends do justify the means. We need to be emotional to help people grow more rational – to make sure that while truth lost the battle, it will win the war.</p><p><b>P.S. To learn more about truth-seeking strategies in politics and other life areas, check out the article author’s book,&nbsp;<a href="http://glebtsipursky.com/the-truth-seekers-handbook-a-science-based-guide/">The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide</a>.</b></p></div>
ID: 154003
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Confederate General Who Became a ‘Race Traitor’
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">General James Longstreet, was one of the “<a href="https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/an-unlikely-friendship/" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">three persons of the South</a>” whom President Andrew Johnson believed should “never receive amnesty.”</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">President Johnson was half-right. Longstreet had “given the Union cause too much trouble.” Longstreet never apologized for betraying his country. He never regretted crushing Union troops at bloody battles, including Second Manassas, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. He never renounced his region’s reprehensible pro-slavery war aims. He would&nbsp;<a href="https://books.google.co.il/books?id=v1_4DAAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT7&amp;lpg=PT7&amp;dq=That+the+South+had+just+cause+for+war+in+protecting+and+defending+lawful+property+is+proved+by+the+sequel&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=fyArEn7vL8&amp;sig=WyWW98YiWzBjuZx9D7QwXVz6gk4&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwi2xsellffWAhUPY1AKHROyCMUQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">write</a>: “That the South had just cause for war in protecting and defending lawful property is proved by the sequel.” &nbsp;</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Yet he was no General Lee or Jeff Davis. While other Southerners romanticized “the Lost Cause,” he had the guts to tell Confederate comrades their cause was lost...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-confederate-general-who-became-a-race-traitor">Read whole article on The Daily Beast.</a></p>
ID: 154004
Uid: 78568
Author: 36
Category: 0
Title: The Troubled Genius of Robert Lowell: An interview with clinical psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison on her groundbreaking study of art and illness.
Source:
Body: Click <a href="http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/167178">here</a> to read this interview.
ID: 154005
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Builder of World’s ‘Eighth Wonder’ Who Died of Stress
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">The Holland Tunnel, which stresses out many of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/traffic-nightmare-begins-holland-tunnel-construction-commences-article-1.441942" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">35 million drivers</a>&nbsp;who pass through it annually, has nothing to do with the Dutch and everything to do with a health warning: Beware, all that stress might kill you.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">The Tunnel, which opened on Nov. 13, 1927, commemorates the engineer who designed it,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.asce.org/templates/person-bio-detail.aspx?id=11176" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">Clifford Holland</a>. He achieved immortality because he did not live to see his great creation. Only 41, he died on Oct. 27, 1924—crushed by the kind of tension his tunnel now mass-produces.&nbsp;</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">In fairness, his were the grand worries of the Master Builder, trying to engineer a new approach to an ancient problem: How can humans cross the river? Approximately 20,000 commuters ferried between New Jersey and New York daily. The trip was long—and the lines to get onto the ferries, longer. &nbsp;Moving freight was expensive and unreliable. When the river iced over, Manhattan was isolated. After New Yorkers could not&nbsp;<a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=C3AVCgAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PA51&amp;lpg=PA51&amp;dq=manhattan+ice+ferries+holland+tunnel+coal&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=hjndYUjC8I&amp;sig=4xfsJinNatWDinhTaeyKCk2uOCc&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiAxsPmhLDXAhUK04MKHfEQDs4Q6AEILzAB#v=onepage&amp;q=manhattan%2520" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">get coal for heating</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;during the harsh winter of 1917 to 1918, much of the opposition to the proposed tunnel finally melted away...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-builder-of-worlds-eighth-wonder-who-died-of-stress">Read whole article on the Daily Beast.</a>&nbsp;</p>
ID: 154006
Uid: 31615
Author: 19
Category: 0
Title: Election 2017: Repudiation of Republicans
Source:
Body: <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Several million Americans voted last Tuesday in the first nationwide election since Donald Trump became President. In the 4-year cycle, this year has the fewest significant election results: </span><a href="https://www.270towin.com/2017-2018-governor-election/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">two governorships</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt"> (36 next year) and </span><a href="https://ballotpedia.org/State_legislative_elections,_2018"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">three state legislative chambers</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> (87 next year) were decided. The media repeated constantly the idea that this was a referendum on Trump’s performance, which is true, but only part of the story. Every race concerned local issues and local personalities, yet we can learn much about our national mood from these statewide and local elections.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Most results are easily predictable from previous elections, because fundamental voting patterns remain dominant. The only Congressional election, replacing Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz who had resigned to become a FOX commentator, was won by another Republican with </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/utah-house-special-election"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">58% of the vote</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">. In New York, Democrat Bill de Blasio won overwhelming reelection as mayor, but </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/new-york-general-elections"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">lost Staten Island</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt">, typically a Republican stronghold, to his Republican challenger. In elections for NY City Council, 41 of 42 incumbents won and the last incumbent was in a race too close to call. All seven NY big city mayors won re-election, including the Republican mayor of Binghamton.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Only </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/new-jersey-general-elections"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">2 incumbents lost</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt"> in the 40-seat New Jersey Senate. Democrats picked up one seat in the Senate and one in the NJ House.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/local/virginia-politics/governor-exit-polls/?utm_term=.923517585b01"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Exit polls in Virginia</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> show how demographic differences in voter preference stayed relatively stable. Just as in the Clinton-Trump contest, voters over 45, men, and whites were more Republican, and women, under 45, and voters of color were more Democratic. The western mountainous regions went Republican and the Washington DC suburbs went Democratic.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">But </span><a href="https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia_House_of_Delegates_elections,_2017"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">small shifts within these groups</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> had major consequences for the outcome. Democrats slightly increased their percentage of votes in all demographic groups over previous years. For example, Trump won 52% among men and 59% of whites, but the Republican candidate for Governor, Ed Gillespie, won 50% and 57%. Clinton won 56% of women’s votes, but the Democrat Ralph Northam won 61%. The biggest shifts toward Democrats were among young voters 18-29 and middle-class voters with incomes of $50-100,000. The movement toward Democrats repositioned the Virginia House of Delegates, where Republicans held a huge 66-34 seat majority and all 100 seats were in play. Democrats defeated 10 Republican incumbents and picked up at least 15 seats, with 3 Republican seats still too close to call. Control of the Virginia legislature remains in doubt. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The deciding factor in this major legislative shift in Virginia may have been turnout. In the 15 districts that Democrats picked up, </span><a href="https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia_House_of_Delegates_elections,_2017"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">turnout increased by 26%.</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">A different sort of small shift occurred in Washington state, where only 5 state Senate seats were up for election. Two Democratic and two Republican incumbents won </span><a href="https://results.vote.wa.gov/results/current/Legislative-All.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">huge victories in safe districts</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, but one open seat in a formerly Republican district was won by a Democrat, </span><a href="http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/nov/07/democrats-take-control-of-state-senate/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">switching control of the Senate</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> from a one-vote Republican majority to a one-vote Democratic majority. Three other state legislative seats were flipped, </span><a href="https://ballotpedia.org/Washington_state_legislative_special_elections,_2017#Special_elections_throughout_the_country"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">all from Republicans to Democrats</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, in New Hampshire and Georgia.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Dissatisfaction with Trump and Republican politics since his election is certainly one reason for Democratic gains through higher turnout in these local elections. Another change that exhibited renewed liberal energy was the success of new candidates from previously under-represented groups. Trump’s sexism brought out an army of female</span><a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/11/08/women-channel-political-angst-into-election-success/leDe4BTn4m6cMkET8PeJpL/story.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> candidates who won historic victories</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">. In Newton, MA, and Manchester, NH, the first women were elected mayors. Seattle elected its first woman mayor since the 1920s, and the number of </span><a href="http://crosscut.com/2017/11/seattle-election-america-five-takeaways-resistance/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">female mayors</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> in larger Washington cities rose from 11 to 27. Women increased their numbers on city councils in Massachusetts to nearly half in Boston and Newton, and doubled their numbers in Cambridge, including the first Muslim woman. In Atlantic City, NJ, 32-year-old </span><a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/shore/atlantic-city-mayor-election-result-2017-don-guardian-frank-gilliam-20171107.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Ashley Bennett</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, who had never held public office, defeated 58-year-old John L. Carman, well-known in local politics for 20 years, for county commissioner.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Non-whites won election firsts: the first black female mayor in Charlotte, NC, and a majority of people of color on the </span><a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/was-seattles-election-a-repudiation-of-trump/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Seattle city council</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt">. At least 7 cities elected their </span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/11/09/daily-202-fresh-democratic-faces-emerge-from-anti-trump-backlash-here-are-six-stars-who-were-born-with-tuesday-s-elections/5a03ba7d30fb045a2e002eba/?utm_term=.4f190d61ac35"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">first black mayor</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt">, including Wilmot Collins, a refugee from Liberia, who was elected mayor of Helena, Montana. Elizabeth Guzman, an immigrant from Peru, trounced a retired Army colonel who has served in the Virginia legislature for 15 years in a traditionally Republican-leaning DC suburb.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Openly </span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/11/07/winners-and-losers-from-election-day-2017/?utm_term=.1da1e713161c"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">transgender candidates</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> won unprecedented victories: first to win election to a state legislature – Danica Roem in Virginia; first to win election to city council seat in a major city – Andrea Jenkins in Minneapolis; first to win any election in Pennsylvania – Tyler Titus in Erie school board.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The Washington Post wondered whether “the Trump era will one day be remembered as the </span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/11/09/daily-202-fresh-democratic-faces-emerge-from-anti-trump-backlash-here-are-six-stars-who-were-born-with-tuesday-s-elections/5a03ba7d30fb045a2e002eba/?utm_term=.4f190d61ac35"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">last gasp of white male privilege</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">.” That will only happen if Trump continues his descent into national disapproval and the energy of liberal voters can be sustained through more election cycles.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Steve Hochstadt</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Boston MA</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, November 14, 2017</span></p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> 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ID: 154012
Uid: 78797
Author: 48
Category: 0
Title: Roy Moore's Systemic Danger to Our Democracy
Source:
Body: <div style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/154012-moorelarge.png" alt="154012-moorelarge.png"></div><div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">Image of supporting sign for Roy Moore’s senate campaign (<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:I_Stand_with_Judge_Roy_Moore_19575241_646289222235979_3359518744151848572_o.png">Wikimedia commons</a>)&nbsp;</span></div><p><i><a href="http://glebtsipursky.com/about/">Dr. Gleb Tsipursky</a>&nbsp;is the author of the forthcoming&nbsp;<a href="http://glebtsipursky.com/the-truth-seekers-handbook-a-science-based-guide/">The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide</a>. One of the lead creators of the<a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/">&nbsp;Pro-Truth Pledge</a>, he is a&nbsp;<a href="https://decisionsciences.osu.edu/people/tsipursky.1">professor</a>&nbsp;at Ohio State and President of the nonprofit<a href="http://intentionalinsights.org/">&nbsp;Intentional Insights</a>. Connect with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky&nbsp;on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Gleb_Tsipursky">Twitter</a>, on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Gleb-Tsipursky-468695349847623/?ref=br_tf">Facebook</a>, and on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-gleb-tsipursky-89ab4b23">LinkedIn</a>, and follow his&nbsp;<a href="http://intentionalinsights.org/rss/blog">RSS feed</a>&nbsp;and newsletter. &nbsp;</i></p><p>The front-runner candidate for Alabama Senate, Republican Roy Moore,<a href="http://time.com/5020453/roy-moore-washington-post-fake-news/"> called</a> The Washington Post “fake news” after the newspaper published a<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/woman-says-roy-moore-initiated-sexual-encounter-when-she-was-14-he-was-32/2017/11/09/1f495878-c293-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?utm_term=.bfa547a87072"> thorough investigation</a> reporting on sexual encounters between Moore and multiple teenage girls, one as young as 14. Moore’s attacks on this highly-reputable newspaper are part of a recent broader pattern of prominent public figures using the label of “fake news” to denounce quality investigative journalism that reveals corruption and abuse of power. Such attacks pose an urgent and systemic danger to our democracy, as they encourage corruption and abuse of power by undermining credible media reporting on such behavior.</p><p>As a high-quality, well-respected venue, The Washington Post would not publish such a controversial story without a thorough investigation. The article was based on multiple interviews with over 30 people who knew Moore at the time the sexual encounters happened, between 1977 and 1982. The journalists were careful to paint a balanced story, including some negative facts about the women who accused Moore, such as divorces and bankruptcies.</p><p>Perhaps most telling of the high quality of reporting and credibility of the newspaper is the fact that a number of prominent Republican leaders are calling on Moore to withdraw from the race. Immediately after The Post publishes its story, Republican Senator John McCain<a href="http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/nation/2017/11/09/sen-john-mccain-moore-allegations-he-should-immediately-step-aside/851253001/"> called</a> for Moore to step aside immediately, and Montana Senator Steve Daines<a href="https://twitter.com/SteveDaines/status/929122007224127488"> withdrew</a> his endorsement,<a href="https://twitter.com/SenMikeLee/status/929121651828187141"> as did</a> Utah Senator Mike Lee. After a fifth woman<a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/fifth-woman-accuses-roy-moore-of-sexual-misconduct-1095147587917"> stepped forward</a> to accuse Moore independently of The Post’s story, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell<a href="http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-pol-essential-washington-updates-mitch-mcconnell-says-alabama-senate-1510591844-htmlstory.html"> stated</a> that Moore “should step aside,” and<a href="https://www.npr.org/2017/11/14/564071391/ryan-sessions-add-to-gop-voices-saying-moore-accusers-are-credible"> so did</a> Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.</p><p>On the other hand, Republicans well-known for making false accusations of mainstream media outlets being “fake news” defended Moore and supported his attack on The Post. For example, former Donald Trump adviser and head of Breitbart Stephen Bannon<a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/steve-bannon-speaks-in-new-hampshire/"> accused</a> the The Post of being “purely part of the apparatus of the Democratic Party” for conducting its thorough investigation. Prominent Virginia Republican Corey Stewart also refused to criticize Moore and instead<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/outspoken-republican-corey-stewart-defends-senate-candidate-roy-moore/2017/11/12/162e2104-c7bd-11e7-8712-0acf70eda2b5_story.html?utm_term=.1de281e335e4"> attacked the newspaper</a>. A number of Fox News commentators,<a href="http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2017/11/09/hannity-stalled-watered-down-tax-plan-would-be-failure.html"> such as</a> Gregg Jarrett, also attacked The Post.</p><p>Unfortunately, these attacks on quality investigative reporting represent part of a broader trend of conservative politicians across the country<a href="http://www.100daysinappalachia.com/2017/07/11/mimicking-president-trump-politicians-cry-fake-news-try-discredit-regional-local-media-appalachia/"> adopting</a> the tactic of condemning media as “fake news” whenever there are stories unfavorable to them. As an example, Republican Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin<a href="https://twitter.com/GovMattBevin/status/868488469567467520"> tweeted</a> that the reporter Tom Loftus of the largest newspaper in Kentucky, The Courier-Journal, is “a truly sick man” for “sneaking around” Bevin’s manor. Loftus at the time<a href="http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2017/05/27/bevin-blasts-journalist/351497001/"> was working</a> on a story about how Bevin faced an ethics complaint over an accusation of bribery for purchasing this manor for about a million dollars below market price from a local investor, Neil Ramsey. Apparently, shortly before getting a million-dollar discount on this manor, Bevin<a href="http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/editorials/article142953704.html"> appointed</a> Ramsey to the Kentucky Retirement Board, which oversees $16 billion in investments.</p><p>Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie used a similar approach when caught abusing his power. He ordered a number of state-run beaches in New Jersey closed on June 30, yet<a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chris-christie-defends-going-to-beach-during-government-shutdown/"> he used</a> a closed state beach in Island Beach State Park for himself and his family on July 2. Reporters for New Jersey’s largest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, secretly photographed<a href="http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/07/christie_pictured_at_island_beach_state_park_durin.html"> him and his family</a> using the beach. When asked about whether he was on the beach that day, Christie denied it. When confronted with photographic proof, Christie did not acknowledge and apologizing for his lies and his abuse of power in using a closed public beach for the benefit of himself and his family. He instead<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/nj-gov-chris-christie-calls-beach-photos-incredible/story?id=48415715"> attacked The Star-Ledger</a> for its reporting.</p><p>Without the attacks on the media, the investigations of Christie and Bevin would have simply revealed the sordid affairs of corruption and abuse of power. Our democracy would have worked correctly with voters appropriately getting the important information from credible sources, the largest newspapers in Kentucky and New Jersey. With these accusations, Bevin and Christie distract attention from the corruption and abuse of power, and instead present themselves as fighters against supposed media bias.</p><p>In doing so, Moore, Bevin, Christie and many others are tapping the<a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article154106459.html"> anti-media bias</a> of the Republican base inflamed by Trump’s<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-launches-fresh-attack-crooked-media-phoenix-rally/story?id=49370649"> attacks</a> on the media. He has<a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/10/25/full_lou_dobbs_interview_trump_asks_what_could_be_more_fake_than_cbs_nbc_abc_and_cnn.html"> expressed pride</a> over his branding of high-quality venues like “CBS, and NBC, and ABC, and CNN” as “fake news.” We are now reaping the whirlwind of politicians caught engaged in immoral, abusive, and corrupt behavior using Trump’s anti-media rhetoric to protect themselves and continue engaging in such activities.</p><p>Now, it doesn’t mean that Democrats will not try similar tactics. For example, the prominent film director Harvey Weinstein, a well-known and high-profile<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/harvey-weinstein-democratic-politics-sexual-harassment-scandal-2017-10"> fundraiser for and influencer</a> in the Democratic Party,<a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/harvey-weinstein-is-basically-accusing-the-new-york-times-of-publishing-fake-news/article/2636721"> accus</a>ed The New York Times of publishing fake news when they revealed his sexual harassment. However, neither the Democratic base nor prominent Democrats bought this accusation, and Weinstein was<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/18/business/harvey-weinstein.html"> quickly ousted</a> from his leading roles.</p><p>By contrast, Bevin’s popularity in the polls<a href="http://mycn2.com/politics/bevin-hits-50-approval-rating-in-national-poll-of-governors"> was climbing</a> in Kentucky, a conservative state, at the same time that he was making his accusations. Moore has continued to be<a href="https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/12/alabama-slow-to-condemn-roy-moore-senate-215819"> staunchly supported</a> by the Alabama Republican Party and base, despite the accusations and the withdrawal of support from many mainstream Republicans. Only in New Jersey, a liberal-leaning state, did<a href="http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/11/did_christies_noxious_coattails_torch_the_gop_stat.html"> voters express discontent</a> over Christie’s behavior.</p><p>However, all of us – regardless of our party affiliation – will be greatly harmed if politicians are able to get away with corruption, immorality, and abuse of power through labeling of credible media sources as fake news. This tactic is posing an existential and systemic threat to our democracy, and we must do everything possible to<a href="https://cpj.org/">protect</a> quality journalism and overall <a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/">promote truthful behavior</a>.</p><p>P.S. Want to promote truth and fight lies? Take the Pro-Truth Pledge at <a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/">ProTruthPledge.org</a>, get your friends to take it, and call on your elected representatives to do so.</p><p><br></p></div>
ID: 154023
Uid: 341
Author: 40
Category: 0
Title: The Doomsday Clock and the "Nuclear Monarchs"
Source:
Body: <p style="text-align: center;"><img src=" /sites/default/files/154023-cloud.png "></p><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: rgb(84, 89, 93); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; text-align: start; background-color: rgb(248, 249, 250);">Famous color photograph of the "</span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_test" class="extiw" title="w:Trinity test" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(11, 0, 128); background-image: none; font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; text-align: start;">Trinity</a><span style="color: rgb(84, 89, 93); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; text-align: start; background-color: rgb(248, 249, 250);">" shot, the first&nbsp;</span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/nuclear_testing" class="extiw" title="w:nuclear testing" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(11, 0, 128); background-image: none; font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; text-align: start;">nuclear test explosion</a><span style="color: rgb(84, 89, 93); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; text-align: start; background-color: rgb(248, 249, 250);">.</span></p><p>&nbsp;<i>Murray Polner is the author of </i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/No-victory-parades-Vietnam-veteran/dp/0030860113"><i>No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran</i></a><i>,</i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Branch-Rickey-Biography-Murray-Polner/dp/0786426438/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8"><i> Branch Rickey: A Biography,</i></a><i>&nbsp;and co-editor of&nbsp;</i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/We-Who-Dared-Say-War/dp/1568583850"><i>We Who Dared Say No To War</i></a><i>.</i></p> <p>It's 4 am in Washington and our President, whoever he or she may be, is awakened by a call from the Pentagon's watch officer. "Sir," he shrieks hysterically," our computers show nukes heading for us. What'll we do?" </p> <p>Still sleepy, possibly disbelieving the caller but with less than ten minutes to determine if it's yet another nuclear false alarm &nbsp;– &nbsp;in the past, Moscow has had three and we've made the same number of mistakes &nbsp;– the president can pray and kiss his wife goodbye or do nothing and hope that some of his countrymen and women will survive a catastrophic nuclear exchange.</p> <p>Or with unchecked power to do as he wishes, he has the legal authority to order his commanders and nuclear subs to fire away. And if our current president &nbsp;– &nbsp;unrestrained, reckless, emotional, inexperienced &nbsp;– who has had it with, say, North Korea &nbsp;and decides to give his military leaders a green light, thereby sealing the fate of millions in Seoul, Tokyo, Guam, and, after Pyongyang retaliates, even some of our west coast cities. So the real question &nbsp;for amnesiac, distracted Americans, is whether any American President, now or in the future, can be stopped or delayed even though he or she has the sole right to decide when and if to start a nuclear war.</p> <p>I hold no brief for Dick Cheney but in December 2008 he said &nbsp;–&nbsp; correctly, I believe, though some think otherwise &nbsp;– that a president "could launch a kind of devastating attack the world's never seen."</p> <p>"He doesn't have to check with anybody. He doesn't have to call the Congress. He doesn't have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in." &nbsp;Moreover, Bruce Blair, who once worked at the Brookings Institution, served as&nbsp; a nuclear launch officer and is the co-founder of Global Zero, which favors nuclear abolition, &nbsp;says, "there&nbsp; is no way to reverse the president's order. And there would be no recalling missiles once launched." Blair's chilling article appeared in Politico in the summer of 2016 and asked, <a href="https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/2016-donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-missiles-nukes-button-launch-foreign-policy-213955">"What Exactly Would It Mean to Have Trump's Finger on the Nuclear Button?"</a></p> <p>As Trump-hating Democrats and a small but growing number of Republicans have hinted at, his unpredictable mind and finger is on the nuclear button.&nbsp; In one editorial, the <i>NY Times</i> reminded readers, as if they needed reminding, that Trump has only himself to blame with his casual "fire and fury" rhetoric and &nbsp;self-indulgent and juvenile insults aimed at the equally feral Kim Jong-un. In another editorial, the aroused and obviously agitated <i>Times</i> editorial board cited his menacing, seemingly off the cuff if not deranged non-sequitur threat about "the calm before the storm," leaving world capitals and anxious civilians disturbed about what, if anything, he meant, especially since the US has never disavowed the first-strike option when, without any precedent, it struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki. </p> <p>In 1998, newly declassified U.S. documents revealed the Cold War secret that in late 1959 President Eisenhower had allowed certain senior commanders to use nukes in specific demanding situations. These "Predelegations" as they were called, &nbsp;would then allow a rapid response by someone other than the president while the nation faces a much-feared Soviet &nbsp;Cold War nuclear attack. Whether it is still in place remains a deep a secret but more than likely the Soviets also have reciprocal Predelegations, especially since&nbsp; the dawn of Cold War 2 in Eastern Europe.</p> <p>"There is no way to reverse the president's order" to bomb away, says Bruce Blair. And once the order is given, there is "no way of recalling missiles once launched." Nor are there any "restraints than can prevent a willful president from unleashing this hell."</p> <p>Because 15-30 minutes are the difference between life and death for millions, Blair was worried less about a president's rash actions but whether he was able to&nbsp; "really take command of the situation, exercise independent judgment and brake a runaway train" Meanwhile, Gareth Porter, one of our shrewder analysts, wondered &nbsp;in Truthout&nbsp; if Trump is "planning a first strike on North Korea," a move which some believe may well &nbsp;have to involve US&nbsp; ground troops, which would trigger "yet another unnecessary and terrible war."</p> <p>Still, some aspects of presidential nuclear war-making powers remain top secret, hidden from the public, an arrangement designed for rapid decisions, not debate and deliberation. Until some alternative remedy is developed there is "no perfect solution" as a letter writer to the <i>Times</i> wrote, other than nuclear disarmament, which no one expects.</p> <p>So, here are a few words of warning to all of us from an old general named Omar Bradley:</p> <p>"Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living."</p>