Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1

"Once a thing is put in writing, it rolls about all over the place, falling into the hands of those who have no concern with it just as easily as under the notice of those who comprehend; it has no notion of whom to address or whom to avoid. And when it is ill-treated or abused as illegitimate, it always needs its father to help it, being quite unable to protect or help itself."

--Socrates; image from


Daily Press Briefing‎ - Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State: US Department of State: "QUESTION: But the U.S. is very much involved in public diplomacy in trying to show why the values that Americans live under are preferable to other sets of values. Certainly, doesn’t this [the killing of Al Quaeda's Anwar al-Awlaki] complicate the work that U.S. diplomats are going to be doing now when it comes to asking other countries to respect the rule of law, to give people a fair chance to defend themselves when they’re accused or suspected of doing something that might be wrong?

MS. NULAND: Ros, I think it is important to remember who Awlaki was. He was the leader of external operations for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, living and working with Yemeni citizenship for many years in Yemen, intent on killing Americans, the mastermind behind the Christmas bombing, and continuing to advocate around the world for the death of Americans." Nuland image from

The Apc and after‎ - The Nation, Pakistan: "The patriotic politicians met at the All Parties Conference (APC), held at the Prime Minister’s residence, to deal with the American challenge

to Pakistan. The proposal for the conference emanated from the GHQ. Kayani and two other key generals attended the meeting. It was preceded by a special consultation of the Corps Commanders, last Sunday. ... It will help if a joint government and opposition high-level group is established, including the PM, Finance and Foreign Ministers, PML-N and ANP senior leaders, Imran Khan and Maulana Fazalur Rehman, which may hold meetings with the top brass and develop a viable brief for discussions with Washington and Kabul. Thereafter, the group members should visit Afghanistan, UK, Turkey, China and USA with a view to holding an extended dialogue with Congressmen and US administration’s senior functionaries. This initiative should be accompanied by ‘public diplomacy' involving the media, intellectuals and civil society luminaries. They should meet the makers and shapers of US policy and, in particular, think-tanks, influential university professors and leading columnists. Funds should also be earmarked for buying time on popular TV channels in USA and UK." Image from

'America the Beautiful' accompanies China rocket launch - BBC News: "China's state TV accompanied coverage of the historic launch of the country's first space laboratory with a patriotic US song, America the Beautiful. The song is regarded by many as an unofficial national anthem for the US, and features the line: 'America! America! God shed his grace on thee.'

Some Chinese people say that CCTV must have made a mistake with the music. The broadcaster has not commented." Via GR on facebook. Image from

Senate Committee to BBG: Hands off China Broadcasting ‎- Helle Dale, "Of the countries that present the greatest foreign policy challenges to the U.S. and will do so in the decades to come, China has to be close to the top of the list, if not number one. Every day brings a new gantlet thrown down by China to American leadership. Thursday, it was of China’s launch of a rocket containing elements of its new space laboratory, images that will be exploited to their full potential in the service of Chinese public diplomacy. This is why the decision of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to shut down Voice of America’s (VOA) shortwave radio and satellite TV broadcasts to China in the BBG’s 2012 budget caused a tremendous stir when it was announced on February 14. It was a valentine the Chinese leadership was only too happy to receive as sign of U.S. retreat and decline. ... Considering that China itself is engaged in an aggressive global media drive,

funded to the tune of almost $7 billion, and considering that China is among the world’s most controlled Internet markets, the decision caused widespread alarm on Capitol Hill and among groups concerned with Chinese democracy and human rights—not to mention U.S. foreign policy and global leadership. This week, the Senate stepped in to put a break on the BBG’s plans. In its markup of the State Department’s 2012 appropriations bill, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to include funds for China broadcasting in the overall $754 million budget of the BBG. ... As an organization detached from State or any other government agency, the BBG has operated with a level of unaccountability that cries out to be addressed. In surveys of job satisfaction among federal employees (including the just-released Office of Personnel Management survey), the BBG ranks 37th out of 37 government agencies, in part because the staff is consistently mystified by management decisions. ... Close congressional oversight would be a good beginning, and the long-term objective should be reintegration of the BBG into the U.S. government’s foreign policy strategy and organization. The firewall of independence from day-to-day political influence that the BBG was designed to represent has too often become a justification for rebuffing legitimate congressional concerns or even State Department priorities. As the BBG moves forward with its strategic review and planning, it is clear now that Congress should be a partner." Image from

Before Al Jazeera, Arabs depended on BBC, Radio Monte Carlo, "or, if they were really desperate," VOA - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

NATO's television service produces a report about Libya Al Hurra TV - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Georgia Council for International Visitors - Atlanta Business Chronicle: "GCIV administers the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in Georgia. Launched in 1940, the IVLP seeks to build mutual understanding between the United States and other nations through carefully designed professional visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders.

U.S. ambassadors consistently rank the IVLP as most effective in a long list of public diplomacy tools. In 2001, the national network (NCIV) was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to foster international understanding. GCIV's non-partisan citizen diplomacy programs provide Georgians with unique opportunities to share best practices, insights and friendship with distinguished visitors to the U.S." Image from

Gambia: New US Consular Speaks‎ - Alhagie Jobe, "The new United States consular officer to The Gambia has denied that many applicants for a US visa in The Gambia are unnecessarily rejected, sometimes without any genuine reason. Andrew Utschig made this revelation Wednesday during an interview with the Daily Observer at his office in the US Embassy. Utschig, who ended his duties in Tokyo Japan and later took up the Banjul assignment, is in his third tour in the Foreign Service. He worked in different departments notably, the public diplomacy, political affairs, economic affairs and consular affairs."

Middfest festivities kick off - Rick McCrabb, Richard Wilson, Middletown Journal: "Middletown [Ohio]. ... Paul Carhuatanta couldn’t be happier for the opportunity to share his Peruvian culture with Ohioans. Carhuatanta - who was born in Lima, Peru but grew up and resides in Cincinnati - got the crowd revved up as the emcee Friday evening and sang the Peruvian national anthem A cappella. Carhuatanta is part of the traditional Peruvian dance group Embajadores Peruanos, which will be performing in traditional costume tonight and Sunday evening. 'Middfest is a beacon of light in Middletown because it promotes diversity and sometimes we’re lacking that,' he said. [']It brings all cultures together.'

Luis Chang Boldrini, head of public diplomacy for the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C., was the keynote speaker Friday afternoon at the Middfest International Foundation Ambassador’s Lunch at Wingate by Wyndham in West Chester Twp. ... He said Peru is home to one of the 'richest seas in the world,' one that produces 900 million tons of fish annually. As he said to the laughing audience: 'That’s lots of fish.'” Image from

News Release: The "India is ……." Global Video Contest - The Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi, is launching a global initiative called the “India is ………. “, aimed at encouraging individuals and countries around the world to think of India in interesting, pervasive and positive ways. For this purpose, a Global Video contest is being organized on the following three themes: ( i ) India is …………….. Colourful ( ii ) India is …………….. Creative ( iii ) India is …………….. Wherever You are [.] 2. Under this programme, a 3 minute video film about India on one of the above mentioned themes is being invited from anyone interested in participating in the programme. Detailed information on the programme, including rules and regulations as also the procedure to participate is available on the website"

Where the Hell is Taiwan? - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Possibly the greatest PD video ever! A Taiwanese fellow did a take-off of Where the Hell if Matt?,

called Where the Hell is Taiwan? The guy is doing the stinky tofu shuffle around the world in traditional Taiwanese garb. F'ing brilliant cultural diplomacy that plays on irreverence, something this Barnumite has long argued is necessary for Taiwan to get attention (see under: my calls for international boba day and a Buñol-esque tomato fight in the streets of Taipei). Nice find by Frank 'Made in Taiwan' Cheng." [Includes video]. Image from

Akash Suri Named Walter Roberts Award for the Study of Public Diplomacy Recipient - Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication: "Akash Suri, a graduating Global Communications M.A. student, has been named the recipient of the inaugural Walter Roberts Award for the Study of Public Diplomacy, an honor co-sponsored by IPDGC and the Walter Roberts Endowment Board. The award carries with it a $1,000 prize, and recognizes a student who has performed at a high level in and out of the classroom, especially in public diplomacy-related work, and who has an interest in pursuing a career in public diplomacy. Among his many accomplishments, Suri has worked at the State Department as an online community specialist and Regional Affairs intern, and has worked in the past at the Broadcasting Board of Governers [sic], the U.S. Embassy to India, and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. He currently has a GPA of 3.94 and 4.0 in Public Diplomacy Concentration courses.

'We had a strong field of applicants for this award, but Akash really stood out even among such a talented group,' said IPDGC Director Sean Aday. 'Akash is a terrific student, very bright and original in his thinking about public diplomacy, and already has an impressive public diplomacy resume.' The Roberts Award is named for Walter Roberts. Among many other accomplishments and activities over the years, Roberts is a foreign policy consultant and a former Foreign Service officer who began his public diplomacy career with the Voice of America and retired as associate director of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), then USIA's top career position. In addition to teaching the first public diplomacy course at an American university (at the Elliott School), Roberts, along with a few others, founded and endowed what has become the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at GW." Image from article

Future life - "Right now I am a Consular Officer doing visa interviews. I like it pretty well, but it’s not why I joined the Foreign Service. I joined to be a Public Diplomacy officer and everyyyy once in awhile I get to do something here that a PD Officer might do. When this happens

I feel happy." Image from

The foreign policy of the GDR working in Sweden. Nordische Geschichte, Band 6 Nordic History, Volume 6 - [Google translation:]"This monograph first analyzes the intensive efforts of the GDR to improve through the use of foreign policy instrument of public diplomacy in nichtpaktgebunde-NEN neighboring Sweden's own image.

Die Untersuchung umfasst den Zeitraum nach der diplomatischen Anerkennung der DDR durch Schweden im Dezember 1972 bis zum Fall der Berliner Mauer im Herbst 1989. The investigation covers the period after the diplomatic recognition of East Germany by Sweden in December 1972 until the fall of the Berlin Wall in autumn 1989. Auf breiter Quellenbasis wird dargestellt, wie der sozialistische deutsche Staat nach dem di- plomatischen Durchbruch versuchte, vor dem Hintergrund des Kalten Krieges und der ständi- gen Konkurrenz mit der Bundesrepublik, durch seine politische Auslandsarbeit Anerkennung und Ansehen in der schwedischen Gesellschaft zu erzielen." Image from article


Anwar al-Awlaki death robs al-Qaeda of powerful propaganda tool - Adrian Blomfield, Although al-Awlaki commanded a huge following among Islamists in the West, he was only ever on the periphery of Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemeni franchise to which he was affiliated. Ironically, his influence within the movement only grew as a result of the Obama administration's decision last year formally to authorise his killing.

Anwar Awlaki: Targeted for death -- Anwar Awlaki was targeted for killing by the U.S. government with no transparent, legal, reviewable process and no opportunity to respond to specific allegations - Editorial, The war on terror is not a free-for-all in which the United States may behave as it wishes without accountability or adherence to principle. We would have been pleased if Awlaki

could have been captured and brought to this country for trial, because the promise of due process is a fundamental, bedrock American value. Awlaki image from article

A Just Act of War - Jack L. Goldsmith, New York Times: The United States did not claim the power to kill Mr. Awlaki because of his political views or because he was a mere member of a Qaeda affiliate against which Congress had authorized the use of force. It claimed the power to kill him, rather, because he was an operational leader of a Qaeda affiliate that had been involved in terrorist plots on American soil and because he was hiding in a country that lacked the capacity to arrest him and bring him to justice. And while no court approved the killing of Mr. Awlaki, it is not accurate to say that he was targeted without due process.

Anwar al-Aulaqi is dead, but the al-Qaeda ideology lives on - Philip Mudd, Washington Post: Al-Qaedism isn’t close to dead yet. Ideas live far longer than people, and this idea has proven roots. The adversary we face benefits from a long view, looking at the world through a lens of decades or centuries.

Ahmadinejad Dismisses Propaganda Campaign against Iran as "Futile"‎ - Fars News Agency: Addressing a gathering of the war disabled in Tehran on Wednesday evening,  Iranian president Ahmadinejad said that today many nations of the world are supporting and standing right beside the just cause of the Iranian nation. He pointed to the enemies' negative and fabricated news on Iran, and noted, "The West's non-stop media campaign and propaganda against the

Iranian nation and revolution will produce no effect." "Iran's enemy was once deployed along the country's borders with all its military, political and propaganda means and power, but now they are not immune from the impacts of the influence and the revolution of the Iranian revolution even at home," Ahmadinejad continued.  Image from, with caption: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and industries Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian goes [sic] sexy in Tehran

Russian region bans 'gay propaganda'‎ - Russia Today: The country’s Arkhangelsk region has adopted a draft law banning all events promoting homosexuality, among them Gay Pride marches. The draft was put forward by local activists, intellectuals and religious groups. They hope the law will protect the moral well-being of Russian children and put an end to what they consider to be the popularizing of homosexuality among the under-aged. Russian authorities have always been strictly against Gay Pride parades. Gay rights activists have been applying for permission to hold a parade in Moscow for several years without success.

The bans are warmly supported by the Russian Orthodox Church. “All priests know that the souls of those who suffered through sinful homosexual experience are empty and desperate,” said Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Russian Orthodox Church PR department. “And it is this insecurity in a minute-long pleasure that forces these spiritually unhealthy people to hold marches and other public demonstrations.” Image from, with [shortened] caption: Russia's only glossy magazine for gays

Azg: Azerbaijani propaganda's new absurdity - Information-Analytic Agency Azerbaijani news agency disseminated a “sensational” news, Azg daily writes. According to the information, the Armenians have floated two mines, along the Khachen River, which were discovered and informed about by residents of Ayaz Garvand village of Aghdam region’s Azerbaijani-controlled area. And the experts concluded these mines were made in Armenia.

"Of course, the Azerbaijani medium writes nothing as to how ‘the Armenians floated mines,’ and this reveals the apparent absurdity of this information, since it is impossible float mines along rivers for the simple reason that mines are not wood. And even if the Armenians had intended to send firewood to the Azerbaijanis, they would have been unsuccessful because the Khachen River’s water is scarce and the ravine’s watercourse is dry. What remains is to assume that the Azerbaijanis themselves had put mines in that area and forgotten about it. Or, perhaps, the authorities had placed mines there so that the inhabitants would not leave the near-front zone and thus remain captives,” Azg writes. Image from article

'Putin-Mona Lisa' portrait sells for some $300,000 - An unusual portrait of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin painted by prominent American artist David Datuna has been auctioned off for 220,000 euros (some $300,000) in Moscow, Russia's

NTV TV-channel reported on Friday. The portrait is from the artist's series "Putin Couture" and is called "Putin-Mona Lisa." It is formed by numerous small images of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Via NI on facebook. Image from article


Toilet paper dispenser prints your Twitter feeds - This dispenser that prints your twitter/RSS feeds on toilet paper WAS made by someone called Mario Lukas from Germany.

The designer probably didn't want to risk bringing his smartphone or tablet when nature calls. The printer was made mostly from wood as well as bits and pieces salvaged from old CD drives. Includes video. Image from article. Via DF on facebook.

Motorized tricycle that runs on human poo - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing: Toto, Japan's foremost toilet manufacturer, has made a motorized tricycle that runs on human crap. The saddle is a functional toilet, and if you can muster up enough colonic motility to keep up a steady stream, you could travel the world.

Toto makes some damned fine toilets, incidentally -- we went to rather a lot of trouble to get one of the Toto toilet-seat/bidet devices imported to the UK and converted to local voltage, and never regretted it. Image from article, with observation: As the person drives, he can poop into the bowl, and that poop will be turned into fuel for the car. It's actually part of a campaign that Toto is running in an effort to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% in the next 6 years. The motorcycle will be making its way from Kyushu to Tokyo over the next month (departing in six days).

1 comment: said...

It can't work in reality, that is exactly what I suppose.