Malignant Narcissism. Guess Who?

Malignant Narcissists will go to great lengths to achieve their aim.  They can be intelligent, high functioning (hold an important job for example) soft-spoken, charming, tearful/seemingly emotional, gracious, well mannered, kind and have the ability to form relationships. They may lie, falsely accuse, dramatize, smear, cheat, steal, manipulate, accuse, blame or twist to get what they want and feel justified in doing so. Because they are entitled, egocentric and desperate, they do not experience it as wrong. They are determined to gratify their wishes and furious if thwarted. Their desire can be so consuming that there is little comprehension of, respect for or ability to empathize with the other.  They lack guilt or remorse and tend to feel or pronounce that it is they who have been mistreated.( a news report of a statement by J. Gartner, psychotherapist, John Hopkins University, USA., republished by Don Miller, Melbourne Centre for Ideas. 

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Torture, Words, Truth

Torture, Words, Truth

The world has quickly learned not to believe one word of whatever President Trump says. He just plays with language – to a degree, I suspect, never before reached by any political leader anywhere, anytime.

The question of torture, and in particular, ‘water-boarding’, has re-emerged in the first weeks of his reign, because the President announced he intends to return to its use. We need to be aware of the language long used, officially in America, about torture and water-boarding.

For decades, a committee of the United Nations has attempted to reach international agreement on torture. America has successfully blocked it on every occasion – by two very simple, but effective moves. Firstly it insists that America emphatically has always condemned torture – it is illegal. However it also insists that it would be wrong to define a clearly worded, but arbitrary definition of the boundary – “we all will know it and agree when we see it” it repeats. Almost end of debate. No other nation agrees with America on the issue.

The definite end of the debate however is in its next move. Water-boarding is not torture, it repeats; it is merely an “interrogation facilitation technique”. The complete end of debate.

Under that wonderful label, Kalid Sheik Mohammed was water-boarded 183 times in the first 2-3 weeks of his capture. He apparently never gave any information the Americans wanted. That non-result is consistent with most judgments of the uselessness of the technique – despite the valiant effort of the torturers. Kalid, it seems is no longer water-boarded – he is, according to rumour (no official statement I believe has been made), a living cabbage; he has lost his mind. One wonders where along the line to 183 episodes did the torturers decide to continue simply as vindictive punishment of the ‘bastard’ for cheating them.

President Obama made the technique illegal. We have no evidence, I believe, whether that judgment had any effect on the practice. It seems safe to say, however, that water-boarding is about to have a fine future. So, watch out for senior Republican leaders  repeating in the near future that they are opposed to all ‘torture’. Stop!  But as usual Trump wont care a fig what word he uses; or whether he says contrary things each day.

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Seven Wonders of the Modern World

Across the globe all major political parties are now identical: no further waste of time  attempting to choose.

We are at last approaching universal equality.  Soon most people will be equally obese.

The human right to sport is now established across the continents: betting machines accessible on every corner.

‘Every day a public holiday’. Just a matter of positive thinking  – and  ‘linguistic flexibility’  by governments.

Dirty coal a thing of the past. All known resources have now been fully consumed.

Religious conflict successfully suppressed. The Christian faith now supreme.

The last refugee displacement camp has closed.  We hear no further call from there. It was just a simple matter of time and wear.

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Brooms I have or have not known

This afternoon I watched a French film ‘Le Havre’. Near the end the main male character is seen sweeping the kitchen floor, before he leaves to collect his wife from the hospital and bring her home.

I suddenly thought – i have never in my life seen a broom in an American film !

When I later told this to my daughter, she said “What’s the point?”

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Peter Greste, Muslims and the West

It was interesting to discover how deeply i obviously felt about the future of Peter Greste (for those who don’t know the name – he is the Australian journalist working for Al Jazeera who has spent over 100 days in a Cairo prison, with two colleagues, found guilty by a scandalous ‘court trial’ and facing a death sentence for heinous dealings to destroy the state. All because Sisi, ex-head of the Egyptian military and now President/dictator is paranoid, utterly ruthless and madly vicious). Well, he is at last free and on his way home. What a relief!

Peter is of course concerned for the fate of his two colleagues left behind. One with a dual passport should be OK very soon now. The third unfortunately is Egyptian only and the likelihood of ever being released is slim. Let us hope the Australian government maintains pressure on Egypt to free him.

But it is just announced that the 183 members of the Muslim Brotherhood who were arrested protesting Sisi’s overthrow of the government won inn free elections by the Brotherhood, collectively found guilty of treason in a court trial lasting as it were a few minutes, will be executed very soon.

Has the Australian government protested at all about this insane act? Has any western government expressed concern at all? Or is it because the Brotherhood is a militant Muslim organisation, the West is turning its back.

I will be disgusted if that is the case. No wonder the Muslim World hates us. If that is so – if they do nothing here , it is a morally corrupt position – and strategically stupid. When will we grow up and think with subtlety, complexity and wisdom.

 

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Excess in sport

The notion of excess is commonly associated with emotions out of control.—-And it can lead to flamboyant triumphs – like Olympic Games opening ceremonies – or to military excesses like American overkill with napalm, cluster bombs, land mines and Agent Orange in Vietnam —-

But a depth of excess can also be seen closely associated with rationality, calculation, meticulousness, care, attention to detail, and perfect self-control. That was the excessive world of Lance Armstrong”. (‘Will to Win’, page 36)

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The abuse in sports training

Sports training, not unlike military training, can become excessive – cruel, punishing – and unreasonable. Here are two little excerpts from Will to Win.

‘ “The amount of times he made himself sick on the rowing machine was pretty impressive”, proudly says the former coach (and Olympic Gold medallist) of a young oarsman who represented Australia five times before he was forced to retire with back injuries at the age of 24′.(p21)

” I don’t care if I never walk again. As long as I get this premiership”  says a hobbled player (SJ) on the morning of the 2011 AFL grand final.’ (p 19)

 

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The Will to Blog

The Will to Blog: The Don at Play announces the return to a regular blogging by Don Miller – having now published Will to Win: The West at Play, by Hybrid Publishers. The book should be in all books shops – but who knows. Alternatively, order a copy from me <info@melbournecentreforideas.com>, and I’ll mail it anywhere in Australia for $AUD.22.00

Some of the blogs will be short quotations from the book. It is impossible to sum it up in a few sentences, but, in a way, it is playing with the paradox with which i end the book – which looks far belong sport to every big and small bit of western culture today. I refer to Jean Cocteau fascinating sentence “to succeed is to fail”.

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The Mandate

In politics anywhere the word ‘mandate’ is powerful. But it shouldn’t be. Today, July 18 2014, Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, announced that the government had successfully fulfilled its mandate – it had abolished the ‘carbon tax’ as it promised in the election which it won last year. Whether people wanted this change or not, they all automatically agreed Abbot had the right, perhaps even the duty to enact this policy.

He did not. Winning an election ‘mandates’ the party with the majority of votes to attempt to form a government. If it can’t get the numbers to do so it loses this right in a matter of weeks. It has no mandate to do anything else – for the simple there is no way of telling that the majority voted specifically for that aspect of the election campaign. Many policies, promises, hints, ideas, red herrings are flung around during an election. In fact, many authorities argue that the opposition never wins an election; rather the (previous) government lost the election. When you think about the chaos in the Labor government in the past two years, that wisdom is spot on. New governments deceive the population when they say they have a mandate. They never do. The opposition never points this out – probably because they want to use the same language when thy next win an election.

All governments thrive on deceptions of one form or other. They love ignorant masses. That’s why all governments love and encourage sport. It keeps the people politically quiet.

The role of the state and the promotion of sporting heroes is one of the many things discussed in my latest book, which is just about to hit the shops.

“Will to Win: The West at Play”, author Don Miller, published by Hybrid Publishers,  $19.99 rrp can be ordered on-line and mailed anywhere in Australia for flat $2 postage.. Details to be announced in the next few days.politis

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War and Peace

“Peace is not the mere absence of war, but a virtue—” (Baruch Spinoza).
How simple it is when someone says it for us, before us. And we could follow with any of those hundred dualities we inherited from classical Greece. As feminists did when confronted with ‘man and woman’. They quickly gave ‘woman’ an independent identity. What a difference it would make to thinking and doing if we all began to break those linguistic bonds. Try it and see.

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