Archive for the ‘game’ Category

Media Propaganda: Bush Was Despicably Uncaring For Golfing; Obama Merely Blowing Off Steam When He Golfs

April 19, 2010

Just another of a trillion different examples of mainstream media bias:

From the Washington Times:

A massive volcanic plume covering most of Europe forced President Obama to cancel a Sunday trip to Poland to attend the funeral of the nation’s president. But the last-minute change left an opening in his schedule, so the president headed to the links for a round of golf instead.

On a cool but sun-drenched Sunday, the president and three golfing companions went to Andrews Air Force Base to play 18 holes. It is the 32nd time Mr. Obama has played golf since taking office Jan. 20, 2009, according to CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller.

Mr. Obama has played golf far more often than former President George W. Bush. In his eight years in office, Mr. Bush played just 24 times. His last time as president was Oct. 13, 2003.

Well, you know, if I didn’t know what I know, I’d just figure that Obama likes to golf more than Bush did and forget about it.

But I DO know more.  I know how dishonest and biased the mainstream media is:

Media Cheer Obama’s Golf Outings; Criticized Republicans’ Trips to Course
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama has gone to the golf course at least 11 times since he took the oath of office a little more than six months ago–three rounds were played during the late January, 12-day holiday Obama took with his family in Hawaii; one at Andrews Air Force Base; and seven at Ft. Belvoir Golf Course, including a round on Sunday, Father’s Day, with Vice President Joe Biden.

These 11 rounds played by the president are documented through media reports of his golf trips. The White House press office told CNSNews.com that to confirm every round of golf played by the president since he took office would take “hours” because the only records kept are those sent to the media through e-mails that are not posted on the White House Web site because they are for media planning only.

Despite ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ongoing violence in Iran, and an economy that Obama has described as the worst since the Great Depression, the president has golfed multiple times in the past several weeks–on April 26, May 16, May 25, May 31, June 7, June 9, June 14 and June 21.

Obama’s golf outings have generated favorable reports from the media, in contrast to his predecessor, George W. Bush.

On Aug. 5, 2002, The Washington Post wrote about President Bush golfing near his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Under the headline “Before Golf, Bush Decries Latest Deaths in Mideast,” staff writer Mike Allen described Bush as he “sprang from his golf cart at 6:15 a.m. and said he was distressed to hear about the latest suicide bombers in Israel.”

“Bush, wearing khakis and a knit shirt, was holding a driver in his gloved left hand,” Allen wrote.

“However incongruous the setting, the president plunged ahead,” Allen wrote.

“There are a few killers who want to stop the peace process that we have started, and we must not let them,” he [Bush] said. “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers.”

“His business out of the way,” Allen wrote, “Bush barely paused for breath before saying, ‘Thank you. Now watch this drive.’”

A search of news reports on Nexis revealed that photographers, but not reporters have access to Obama when he is on the links. But his outings have been covered, including by The Washington Post on June 9, 2009, in an article with the headline “Just the Sport for A Leader Most Driven.”

“What’s the deal? Why golf?” Post staff writer Richard Leiby wrote. “The attraction seems to be simple. It’s a great escape; the game demands such attention that nothing else matters. It’s time spent with friends, an unhurried afternoon in loose clothing (shorts seem to be Obama’s preference).”

Leiby continued, “To some, Obama’s frequent outings reflect a cool self-confidence.”

Leiby even quoted a sports psychologist who said Obama seemed able to play golf despite the grim reports by the media about the wars and the economy.

In August 2003, Bush said he decided to stop playing golf to show his respect for the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.

“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” Bush said in an interview with Politico and Yahoo News on May 13, 2008. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

Bush said he made the decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official in Iraq and the organization’s high commissioner of human rights. He was golfing when he got the news.

“I was playing golf–I think I was in central Texas–and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, ‘It’s just not worth it anymore to do.’”

Bush was criticized for giving up golf, including by presidential historian Robert Dallek who was quoted in a May 14, 2008 article in The Washington Post.

Dallek said Bush’s remarks about Iraq “speak to his shallowness.” Dallek added: “That’s his idea of sacrifice, to give up golf?”

Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush, also was criticized for golfing in a time of war.

In an Aug. 3, 2006 article in USA Today entitled “No Rest for the President,” it noted that George W. Bush cut his summer vacation to 10 days because of the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, and a sidebar reviewed other presidential vacations.

Among other things, the sidebar said, “George H.W. Bush: In 1990, Bush was criticized for playing golf and fishing at his Kennebunkport, Maine, summer home and seeming indifferent as U.S. troops were being deployed to the Persian Gulf in anticipation of a war with Iraq.”

Obama golfed on May 25 after he spoke and placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day. Presidential aides told the media that Obama observed a moment of silence at 3 p.m. while on the links.

Obama also played golf on June 7, the day he returned from his trip to Egypt and Germany, where he visited Holocaust concentration camps, and Normandy, France, where as many as 6,000 American troops died when Allied Forces invaded the country during World War II.

“With his wife and daughters still in France, the president ducked out of the White House 90 minutes after getting home and headed out to the Andrews Air Force Base course with his clubs to enjoy a round, with skies only partly cloudy and temperatures about 80 degrees,” United Press International reported on June 7.

The following U.S. troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan while Obama was on golf outings, according to records of U.S. troop casualties kept by the Department of Defense:

— Spc. David A. Schaefer Jr., 27, of Belleville, Ill., died May 16 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Schweinfurt, Germany.

–Cmdr. Duane G. Wolfe, 54, of Port Hueneme, Calif., died May 25 from injuries suffered as a result of an improvised explosive device attack on his convoy southeast of Fallujah. Wolfe was assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region Division in Iraq.

— Spc. Eduardo S. Silva, 25, of Greenfield, Calif., died June 9 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, of a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 563rd Aviation Support Battalion, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

As of June of 2009, at least three American servicemen gave their “last full measure of devotion” while Obama was enjoying himself on the golf course.  I wonder how many more of our combat troops have perished while Obama was putting?

The next time you hear grim news, think of a laughing Obama out on the links.

Think about the profound bias: George Bush was criticized for golfing until he gave up golfing.  Then he was criticized for having given up golfing.  Obama is only praised and adored for golfing – even on the day he lays the wreath on the Unknown Soldier’s tomb.

If you can’t trust the media to be fair and objective even in the small things like golf, why on earth would you trust them to be fair and objective in the BIG things?

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Grand Theft Auto IV: the Consequences of Gamer Culture (1)

April 29, 2008

The computer game Grand Theft Auto IV was released today to the standard irrational hype surrounding these game introductions, with buyers lining up around the store for their chance to be the first ones to own the game.  Drive-by-shootings, acts of prostitution, and car thefts make up just some of the activities players participate in during the game.  I have not played the game, but I understand that players receive the sexual services of prostitutes, and then beat them up to get their money back.  Advancing means continually committing criminal acts while trying to stay alive.

One of the issues that constantly arises with the release of one of these violent games is the outcry against the reality that many of these games end up in the hands of children and young adolescents.  So let’s start with that.

What happens physically and emotionally when children and adolescents spend a great deal of time exposed to these activities?

Children are concrete thinkers, and generally aren’t yet capable of understanding the consequences of their actions. In real life, children have shot other children without realizing that the act results in actual death. Games such as Grand Theft Auto IV reinforce this mode of concrete thinking by means of a series of behaviors that have no consequences. It’s the prescription for creating a moral monster.

There is also a very real, and very damaging impact on adolescents. Psychologists use the term “vicarious traumatization” to describe the measurable physical reactions a person can have after simply viewing a traumatic event on television or on a video game. What researches have documented is that habitual exposure to vicarious violent events can cause a person to experience the identical physical effects – such as heightened blood pressure, racing heart beat, etc. – as if that person were actually experiencing the event in real life.

Craig A. Anderson, the author of the book, Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents, detailed in a peer-reviewed article written for the American Psychological Association the effects of violent games on children. He noted that repeated exposure to media violence generates and legitimizes more aggressive behavior even as it “decreases the normal negative emotional reactions to conflict, aggression, and violence.”

The younger one is, the more intense the effect. When children play these games for hour after hour, it seriously distorts their worldviews.

I think that any responsible adult will acknowledge these facts, and act accordingly by limiting children’s exposure to such games. The problem is there are way too many irresponsible adults who either don’t know or simply don’t care about the psychological damage that is being inflicted by children under their care or supervision.

I do not propose a solution for this growing problem. Banning the games is decried as an act of censorship, and regulating or restricting the games is decried in almost the same tones as a form of censorship. Frankly, by the time a culture is determined to bring this kind of junk into their lives, it is probably too late to do anything about it. And at this point in the life of American culture, we are determined to have all kinds of crap in our society and in our homes.

My real objective in writing about games such as Grand Theft Auto IV is to address the effects of these games on adults, because there IS an effect on adults.

The typical response of the above reasoning with an adult “gamer” is, “I’ve played these games for years, and I’ve never killed anybody.”

Most of the time, that’s true, of course. Adults experience many of the same symptoms that children and adolescents experience playing games over time; however, their superior impulse control, sense of identity, and grasp on reality enables them to resist effects that can tear younger minds apart.

while I would argue that playing violent video games is the psychological equivalent to using drugs or alcohol (i.e. it messes up the mind, but most adults can handle the effects unless they really go overboard), I want to focus on a whole other impact of these video games.

I want to address a pattern of thinking that very often comes to characterize the minds of adults who spend a significant period of time “gaming.” It is also increasingly consuming postmodern culture. It boils down to three key characteristics: Cynicism, Skepticism, and a Dislike for reality.

Cynicism is the intelligent but lazy mind’s shortcut to genuine philosophy. When the world seems to make no sense, the simplest thing to do is to say the world makes no sense, and to give up on searching for sense, purpose, or meaning in the world. For an increasing number of people, this cynicism seems superior to the “simple” belief that the world does make sense, when one cannot explain why it does. Frankly, it is easier to stand on the sidelines and ridicule what is going on around you than it is to get in the trenches and work toward a better reality. Cynicism sneers at such hope.

Skepticism is – in modern secular society – a replacement for faith. But skepticism cannot serve for long as a replacement for faith, because if you teach people to believe in a thing, you have to adopt a specific position. And in a secular and pluralistic society, we can’t adopt a position (as that would disfavor other competing positions!). So we present a smorgasborg of worldview positions. This is not a Socratic education, but rather Socrates gone insane. Skepticism is a useful epistemological tool but it cannot be foundational. Why? Because if turned on itself it collapses by its own standards: what if we become skeptical about skepticism? Do we then have to become skeptical about being skeptical about skepticism? Frankly, the world would have been a much better place had Descartes realized this and abandoned his project.

Ultimately skepticism and cynicism are self-consuming. They can’t produce even a vacuous culture; they can simply mock and parody it. So ultimately, culture runs out of ideas, and from that point on, it simply relies on marketing to sell. Take the fact that we are talking about Grand Theft Auto IV as a case in point.

A Dislike of reality, or a rejection of reality for virtual reality. In video games you are a hero, the savior of the world, desired by women and loved or feared by everyone. People are relying on virtual reality to give them a feeling of joy. We are frankly seeing too many young people who are too intelligent to fall for the trap of incoherence, and yet our incredibly incoherent education system has made them immune to normal apologetics against their worldview. Having grown up with no genuine or coherent worldview, there is simply no worldview to attack or correct.

But they also unconsciously recognize the real effects of the fall and sin in the real world. In the real world, people get hurt, people suffer, people have meaningless dead-end lives. And then they die. They recognize instinctively at the very core there is something that should be in the world but is not. And yet the cynicism and skepticism of our age (the one thing that they have picked up) have left them completely unable to embrace the notion that change can matter. And so they replace physical reality with virtual reality. It very quickly becomes a form of addiction.

(Part 2 will address the spiritual components of this worldview, and offer a Christian perspective and response).