Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11

“Most people my age loved them from the very beginning and couldn’t wait to get a hold of them. I don’t think we’ve ever changed our minds.”

--74-year-old Ethel Gant, regarding the panty hose; image from Boing Boing


The Obama White House's First Try At Second Life - Charles Cooper, CBS News: "Since entering the White House in January, the Obama administration has made use of a myriad of social networking and Internet communications tools, such as blogs, the YouTube video service and Twitter, to interact with the public. Come Saturday, you can add a virtual world appearance to the list. When President Obama, who is visiting Ghana, speaks to a live audience tomorrow morning, his speech will be streamed on Second Life and Metaplace.These computer-simulated worlds offer 3D avatar-driven environments where participants can use voice or text chat to communicate. In this instance, however, there will be no Obama avatar. But the Obama speech will be accompanied by a virtual event discussion, which will feature musician and activist, D.N.A.,, Ambassador Kenton Keith, and African historian Professor Tim Burke. The guest speakers will be talking about the speech and its broader implications. Although Barack Obama is arguably running the most Web-savvy Presidency since the emergence of the commercial Internet, the use of virtual worlds by the U.S. government predates his arrival in the White House. In fact, the United States State Department has been hosting virtual events for the last three years as part of its own public diplomacy push. People involved in earlier State Department projects with virtual worlds say they were attracted to that kind of online venue because they viewed its attributes as a collaborative medium more favorably than alternatives, such as video conferencing or online chat." See also (1) (2). Image from

Africa UnPlugged for the Future – President Obama in Ghana Alanagh Recreant, Africa in Virtual Worlds: "In Second Life, representatives from Uthango Social Investments were invited to join the University of South California Centre for Public Diplomacy to be part of a conversation during the screening of the President’s talk in Ghana, Africa. We have always had the utmost respect for the efforts of universities inSL to use the virtual worlds platform in innovative ways. We hope, in the future, that we will be in a position to assist African-based universities to use Second Life and participate in these initiatives."

Punctuated Equilibrium & Phased Transitions – John Matel, World-Wide-Matel: "I am feeling like I just missed a train. I liked blogs. I felt reasonably comfortable with Facebook. But I really don’t have much use for SMS or Twitter and I positively don’t like Second Life. I used to be kind of a leader in new tech methods of public diplomacy. I was a pioneer, a mapper of strange new waters - at least that is what it seemed to me. Now colleagues are swimming effortlessly in the new media ocean, while I am looking out after them like a beached whale. The wonder is that this all happened in the course of about a month. The world I have known for some years have shifted, hence my thoughts of punctuated equilibrium and phased transitions." Image from

State Department Briefing by [Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs] Phillip J. Crowley, July 10, 2009, posted at eNews Park Forest - "MR. CROWLEY: As I’m sure you’re aware, the President will be making a speech tomorrow in Ghana, tomorrow morning, and the State Department has been doing a variety of things to help support that speech, a lot of – I think there was an announcement from the White House with details about a variety of things that our embassies in Africa are doing, promoting events, and I would encourage you to see those kinds of significant public diplomacy efforts."

About Me: N. Perkins - Central Exit: Bringing Humanity Beyond a World of Chaos: Smart Power as the Central Exit: "By developing and implementing ideas across borders, we can secure a better future for ourselves and others. Public diplomacy and military precision can be combined; Soft Power and Hard Power in perfect balance become Smart Power. Smart Power is the key to bringing these positive changes; bringing humanity beyond a world of chaos. Smart power is the Central Exit."

Diverse group of nonprofits including Grassroots International seek meeting with Obama administration on new rules for charities - Relief Web: "Barack Obama President of the United States 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President, We are writing as American nonprofit organizations to thank you for the comments in your Cairo speech that recognized the problems current rules for charitable giving create for American Muslims, and for your commitment to correct the situation. We are seeking a meeting with you and the appropriate representatives of your administration to provide background information on how current national security rules create problems for all U.S. charities and to provide recommendations for change. … We are confident that new approaches that reflect the mission and expertise of the U.S. charitable community are not only possible, but essential to the success of your national security and public diplomacy strategies. We formed this network to work toward that goal. Such changes would benefit U.S. organizations, our international NGO partners and the people we serve around the world." Image from

OpenDocument Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy ImplicationsThe CIA Memory Hole: "The United States government has attempted to promote human rights in Chinathrough a multi-faceted approach. U.S. efforts include formal criticism of the PRC government, official bilateral dialogue, public diplomacy, and congressionally-sponsored legislation, hearings, visits, and research. The U.S. government alsoprovides funding for rule of law, civil society development, participatory government, labor rights, preserving Tibetan culture, Internet access, and otherrelated programs in China."

It’s True – Rob, Arabic Radio Shack: "I don’t know enough about Public Diplomacy to agree or disagree with Armstrong’s prescribed solution – repeal_the_Smith_Mundt_Act. I’ve heard compelling arguements [sic] both ways. In any case, I’ve got a post coming soon on a new idea related to strategic communications." Image from

Growth of Research on U.S. Students Abroad - International Higher Education Consulting Blog™A Source for News on International Education and Public Diplomacy by David Comp: "I’m slowly working on … creating new bibliographies including one on international education and public diplomacy/soft power."

From middle to emerging power – Pragmatic, Pragmatic Euphony: "Andrew F. Cooper, writing in the latest issue of the Public Diplomacy magazine, contends that India — along with other BRIC nations — has moved on from being a middle power to an emerging power. … Is India’s case really a success story of rebranding itself through public diplomacy as Andrew would like us to believe? For those who strongly disagree, Andrew hedges his bets in the conclusion. Middle powers can be squeezed hard by the prevailing forces of power in the world. By their very nature, middle power states are sometimes seen as floundering or in decline. Certainly each state can differ on where the middle is as well as their place within it, but all have a high degree of aptitude as well as a sense of safety associated with being in the middle. It is identities such as these that play well for how middle powers project themselves in the world." Image from

Honduras’s Zelaya: Blood on the Runway: Public Diplomacy Goes Awry in HondurasTruth about Honduras: "The events which took place at Toncontin airport in Tegucigalpa on July 5 appeared to have been taken straight out of an action movie. The dashing former Honduran president, always possessing a penchant for the dramatic, swoops out of the sky in a Venezuelan jet. He attempts to land at the airport, which has been blocked by Honduran troops. His followers, emboldened by the sight of their leader, rush the troops and attempt to break through the security cordon. In the melee, shots ring out and a protester falls dead. The event appears to be a classic case of police repression, and Latin American history is hardly short on similar cases. However, a closer look at events raises more questions than it answers."

Photo exhibit offers an intimate look at America's jazz ambassadors: Black jazz legends were sent abroad as part of a State Department diplomatic push even while segregation continued back home - Carla Murphy, Christian Science Monitor: "Three months after Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a Montgomery, Ala., bus and roughly at the same time that black Americans were facing censure and arrest as a matter of law and whim,

the US Department of State entrusted jazz musicians with representing America to the world. 'When the US sends jazz musicians overseas, it's not the same as sending an opera singer,' says Nicholas Cull, professor of public diplomacy at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication, who points out that jazz's interactive and improvisational nature makes fast friends. Professor Cull hopes that President Obama will match rising interest shown by emergent powers China and Russia in sending their artists abroad." Image from article: Benny Goodman performs for a young audience in Red Square, Moscow, Soviet Union, 1962.

First Person: A Graduate Reflects - Jamie Zebrak: "Jamie: Jamie Zebrak was born and raised in Atlanta Georgia. She moved out ... to attend the University of Oregon where she majored in Psychology and International Studies with a focus in the Middle East. During her four years in Eugene, Jamie

was involved with Chabad, Hillel, and the Jewish Student Union. … In 2008 Jamie and her partner Jodi Meyerowitz founded a non profit for Jewish college students in America and in Israel which focused on Jewish identity and social justice. The program, Shomer Achi, is in it's [sic] pilot year and will scale to other campuses in the coming years. Jamie is currently working in Boston at the Consulate General of Israel serving New England as Director of Public Diplomacy." Jamie image from blog.


metameerkat: watching President's Obama speech #inSl at University of California Centre for Public diplomacy #ObamaGhana about 3 hours ago from web

orbitus: The Homegrown Face of Regime Change: Social Media's Influence in Public Diplomacy #iranelection about 10 hours ago from

CoryOndrejka: Obama event in SL and Metaplace with @ashong @robinharper @tor17 go public diplomacy! about 10 hours ago from web

BrightMagnet: Social Media in Public Diplomacy // ... about 12 hours ago from Nambu

Image from

NomiLite: Israel + Latin America = dream public diplomacy job: about 20 hours ago from web

adfero: RT @SecurityDebrief: The homegrown face of regime change: Social media’s influence in public diplomacy about 21 hours ago from web

planetrussell: Social Media as Public Diplomacy: Effective use = geopolitical influence RT @MountainRunner #gov20 #fb about 23 hours ago from HootSuite

fantomplanet: I'd rather be doing public diplomacy right now. about 23 hours ago from TweetDeck

NomiLite: writing the best policy memo ever. trade + public diplomacy = awesome USFP. going to be a policy rockstar. about 23 hours ago from web

SecurityDebrief: Reading: "John Brown's Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review, Version 2.0: July 10" ( ) 1 day ago from twitthat

ems122: RT @securitydebrief The homegrown face of regime change: Social media’s influence in public diplomacy 1 day ago from TwitterGadget

xlifegames: useful #diplomacy synopsis for this week RT @ivante July 10 Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review 1 day ago from web


Colonizing Iraq: The Obama Doctrine?- Michael Schwartz, TomDispatch: Most colonial regimes erect systems in which foreigners involved in occupation duties are served (and disciplined) by an institutional structure separate from the one that governs the indigenous population.

In Iraq, the U.S. has been building such a structure since 2003, and the Obama administration shows every sign of extending it. As in all embassies around the world, U.S. embassy officials are not subject to the laws of the host country. The difference is that, in Iraq, they are not simply stamping visas and the like, but engaged in crucial projects involving them in myriad aspects of daily life and governance, although as an essentially separate caste within Iraqi society. Military personnel are part of this segregated structure: the recently signed SOFA insures that American soldiers will remain virtually untouchable by Iraqi law, even if they kill innocent civilians. Image from

U.S. Drones Have al Qaeda On the Run: Strikes by CIA Drones to al Qaeda Sanctuaries in Pakistan Are Working - David Martin, CBS News: It's not often the enemy tells you something you're doing - strikes by CIA drones against al Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan - is working. But in this document posted on the Web, a top al Qaeda commander writes: "The harm is alarming. The matter is very grave." Both senior government officials and outside experts say it is an extraordinary confession."It exposes for the first time a level of paranoia and a level of self-consciousness and a lack of confidence in al Qaeda's leadership in their propaganda that we just haven't seen up until now," said Nicholas Schmidle, the author of "To Live or to Perish Forever: Two Tumultuous Years in Pakistan."

Imagine Communication Presenta All’ischia Film Festival Nuove Opportunita’ Per Il Cineturismo – Ischia Film Festival, E-Basel: Imagine Communication ha presentato ieri, 10 luglio, all’Ischia Film Festival nell’ambito del convegno “Dal Product Placement al Cineturismo: i contenuti come driver di un’esperienza”, una proposta operativa di intervento per la promozione delle destinazioni protagoniste di set cinematografici, grazie all’expertise nel settore Entertainment di Propaganda G.E.M. e ad una rete di aziende e professionisti della comunicazione con grande esperienza nel settore turistico, in grado di fornire strategie ed interventi operativi in Italia e sui principali mercati.

L’obiettivo delle attività di Entertainment Marketing è quello di creare una piattaforma di comunicazione allineata sui contenuti del film per sfruttare l’onda mediatica creata dallo stesso ed incrementarla” - ha dichiarato Marina Marzotto, A.D. di Propaganda Italia, sede italiana del network internazionale Propaganda GEM - “Il vantaggio va a tutti i giocatori in campo: istituzioni, enti locali, operatori turistici e aziende ne beneficiano così all’ unisono sfruttando il glamour cinematografico e partecipando ad una campagna integrata con un semplice gettone”. Ischia image from

Propaganda Posters USA vs Russia -


"Television, advertisements, the way rock stars dress to look cool -- it's all propaganda."

--Shepard Fairey, the artist best known for his "HOPE" portrait of Barack Obama


--From The Significant Objects project, Boing Boing

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