Why do we play the national anthem at sports events?

Sports is entertainment.

Why do we play the national anthem at sports events?

Why do we not play the national anthem at concerts, plays and other entertainment events?

Because professional baseball, about 100 years ago sought to leverage patriotism in their marketing program – playing the national anthem at baseball games used the propaganda method of “transference” – literally transferring a feeling of patriotism to the playing of a pro sports baseball game. This was specifically to market professional baseball games.

Later, other sports adopted this marketing propaganda. Eventually it made its way to middle school and high school athletic events, but primarily football. There is rarely a band available for baseball, soccer, track, tennis, swimming and a host of other sports. Yet this practice of playing the national anthem at sports events has been ingrained in to our thinking – we no longer realize that we have been duped into a marketing charade.

I wrote about this a year an half ago in February 2016 – “How pro sports uses the national anthem for promotional propaganda“. Read it.

Sports businesses have found that linking themselves to patriotism is a successful business strategy. Why do sports teams play the national anthem at the start of each game? This is not something we do at most activities.

The reason is because it is good for business: See “Why do we sing the national anthem at sporting events?” Linking the military with pro sports began during World War I as a way of tying patriotism to sports attendance. By World War II, the playing of a recorded national anthem became common place at professional baseball games. In the 1950s, the playing of the national anthem gradually migrated to other sports.

It seems neither President Trump nor some NFL football players understand they have been duped in to becoming cogs in this propaganda machine.

Read the link and then ask yourself, “Why do we play the national anthem at selected sports events and not others? Why is sports the primary venue at which we play the national anthem?

Understanding this helps you to see the goofiness of NFL players and President Trump.

The real issue is: Why do we even play the national anthem at professional entertainment business activities (aka pro sports)?

Social media and the Paris Climate Agreement

In the past couple of hours, my social media feeds have *exploded* with loudly expressed perspectives on the Paris Climate Agreement.

How many of those expressing a perspective have read the Agreement?

I am guessing that is a number approaching zero.

The agreement is short, as far as government documents go, and you can read it for yourself here.

What does the Paris Climate Agreement actually do?

Read the text for yourself. It is a voluntary set of guidelines, with no enforcement provisions, for self reporting the steps each country will take and what they think they will accomplish. Out of 196 countries, none would ever cheat or bias the information they provide, of course.

If all of the voluntary measures were undertaken, various modeling groups estimate it may reduce global average temperature by between 0 and 0.36 deg C by 2100, if the climate change hypothesis is correct and all other factors remain the same. The Agreement says the goal is to limit temperature rise to 2 deg C over what it was about 150 years ago (or perhaps 1.5 deg C) at a cost of about $10 Trillion in present value terms just for the financial transfer from developed nations to developing nations and not including costs of developing alternatives for developed nations.

Countries choose their own “baseline” for emissions (China chose its model projected emissions in 2030 as its baseline whereas the U.S. chose 2005) and then voluntary measure their progress towards their self selected targets.

Dr. James Hansen, “father of climate change” said

“It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises.

Update: From the science journal Nature (May 22, 2017):

Better out than in


Continued US membership in the Paris Agreement on climate would be symbolic and have no effect on US emissions. Instead, it would reveal the weaknesses of the agreement, prevent new opportunities from emerging, and gift greater leverage to a recalcitrant administration.

A lot of emotion will be vented on social media over an agreement that most have not read, do not understand, and which the “father of climate change” says is a worthless agreement and the science journal Nature says is “symbolic and have no effect on US emissions”.

From the above short summary we can see that there are both pros and cons of the Agreement.

Why such a strong emotional response on social media?

The answer is propaganda. Rather than examining the underlying documents, almost everyone is responding in terms of what they think they know, which they learned from propaganda messaging. Remember, propaganda is messaging targeted at a group for the purpose of getting others to adopt someone’s agenda. A wide variety of methods are used to persuade a group to adopt someone’s agenda (appeal to authority, get on the bandwagon, name calling, are a small sampling of the methods used here).

Many people have been “trained” to what they should “believe” or accept as truth. They now feel it is their responsibility to evangelize their “beliefs” to others, via social media.

But most are virtue signalling that they are “on the bandwagon” and do not realize the Paris Agreement appears to accomplish little positive. The point of the Agreement seems to be to enable a group to say we agree but to not actually agree to anything.

Direct, simple, easy to understand is best

11866398_1672522419647640_5523407606269786145_nTL;DR Summary

  • This poster uses humor and transference to get its point across.
  • The message is simple and direct.
  • If the target is other Democrats , it is good.
  • If the target is Republican primary voters, it is unlikely to be successful since they likely voted for Palin.

The poster was actually aimed at Democrat supporters the poster came from Occupy Democrats) – and successfully transfers their likely negative view of Palin to Scott Walker.

However, only Republican voters can vote out Scott Walker, thus this poster is a misfire. Republican primary voters seemed to have liked Palin so the comparison does not work as well as it does for Democrats; consequently, while the poster is good from a design standpoint, it appeals mostly to Democrats who will have no influence on the primary election (that occurred in 2016). From a propaganda perspective it is unlikely to achieve a useful goal of influencing Republicans who are the only ones who could vote Walker “in” or “out”.

Thus, the main purpose of this poster is to reinforce “tribal membership” among the target (Democrats) rather than have influence on Republican preference (or not) for Scott Walker.

Heidi Cruz scares the Hell out of All Americans … says Trump Supporter


  • The details on the poster are somewhat true.
  • The person who created this is the  unbiased[not] publisher of Trump Magazine.
  • Uses fear, assertions, transference, and a fierce, evil looking photo to make its point.
  • But this propaganda poster has way too much detail. Few people will read all the text. If reading takes more than 5 seconds to rouse your System 1 thinking, the poster’s message is probably dead-on-arrival.

Continue reading

Clinton did not admit to taking a bribe from Bush to fund Iraq War

BushClintonIraqTL;DR Summary

  • Hillary Clinton is accused of admitting to taking a political bribe from President Bush.
  • It’s framed as a question to raise suspicion, without having to be true.
  • Snopes says the claim is FALSE.
  • This was shared into my FB and Twitter feeds today.
  • This works as propaganda merely because it fits the narrative the target wants to believe is true, so it is quickly Liked and Shared. It successfully raises doubts about Clinton and transfers dislike for Bush on to Clinton, even though Snopes shows the claim is not true.

Continue reading

A lie told online travels the world in milliseconds – is Cruz a Koch puppet?

10475506_666670603425997_1065796556594116068_nTL;DR Summary

  • Sen. Ted Cruz was bribed by the Koch brothers and is their puppet in the Senate.
  • Politifact rates this a “pants on fire” lie.
  • Relies on a false assertion to link the target’s presumed dislike of the Koch brothers as a reason to dislike Ted Cruz. In other words, the propaganda method of “transference”.
  • At the time I collected this item, it had been shared over 94,000 times on Facebook.

Continue reading

Rubio outsources campaign ad to Canada

Just as Trump ran an ad featuring Nazi soldiers, Rubio has now run a TV ad shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is, surprisingly to some, outside the United States:

Actually, it’s “morning again” in the Vancouver harbor.

Source: Marco Rubio’s ‘Morning Again in America’ ad opens with a Canadian skyline – The Washington Post

Ted Cruz of course, was until recently, both a Canadian and U.S. citizen. The ad might have been more appropriate for Cruz.

Rubio seems to be linking the “It’s morning in America” ad of Ronald Reagan to himself, probably to transfer Republican approval of Reagan to approval of Rubio. Then again, Rubio is a big advocate of importing foreign labor to the U.S. since Americans won’t do jobs like photography and video production. Or something.

Fake celebrity endorsement and appeal to authority – Dalai Lama did not say this

1656108_10152190715656030_1055730174_nTL;DR Summary

Continue reading

How pro sports uses the national anthem for promotional propaganda

CaptureTL;DR Summary

  • Why do we play the national anthem at sports events?
  • Why do we have the emotional re-uniting of families with a service member returned from overseas at sports events?
  • These seemingly spontaneous events of joy and patriotism are often paid endorsements from the marketing budget of the the US Department of Defense.
  • In the case of the Superbowl, the symbolism is taken to an extreme to link pro sports with patriotism, military and nationalist pride.

Continue reading

Abraham Lincoln’s false quote used to endorse political meme

A common social media propaganda technique uses quotes from well known historical figures or celebrities to strengthen one’s argument. Not surprisingly, many of the quotes are fiction, some are attributed to the wrong person, and many are taken wildly out of context.

11012965_890061614420227_8299142713552254152_nTL;DR Summary

  • This quote suggests  Abraham Lincoln had a prescient warning about corporations in America’s future.
  • But he never said this. This is a made up quote.
  • The goal, as propaganda, is to rely on the “Appeal to Authority”, approach, but also using a Celebrity Endorsement and Transference.

The idea is to “transfer” one’s feelings for something (a person, an event, an experience) on to another function. The item below “transfers” our respect for Lincoln to the alleged quote concerning the evil of corporations and the concentration of wealth.

Continue reading