Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25

"The Central Institute is housed in the Nazi party's former administration building and developed after America chose the site for its art institute and restitution work after the war — so for us, the legacy of national socialism is a common, everyday experience. We would not accept any taboos or restrictions. We saw that the difference between what the literature says about national socialist art and what you see in the photographs was so big that we had to bring this new material into the scholarly discourse, and perhaps change its perceptions."

--Dr. Christian Fuhrmeister, "New Archive of Nazi Exhibitions Complicates Our Understanding of Hitler's Art History,"; image from


Prussia vs. Napoleonic France (Nazi Propaganda) : Scenes of German Nazi propaganda depicting the German defense of the Prussian city of Kolberg against Napoleonic French invasion.


U.S. Department of State Announces Assistant Secretary Ann Stock (R) Travel to India November 26 - December 2 - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State: "The U.S. Department of State announced today that Assistant Secretary of State Ann Stock (R) will travel to India November 26 – December 2, 2011 to follow-up on the

U.S.-India Higher Education Summit, which was held in Washington, D.C. in October. Assistant Secretary Stock will visit New Delhi, Chandigarh, and Chennai, where she will meet with government officials, students, and members of civil society." Image from

U.S. Embassy Launches Brochure about Art in the Ambassador’s Residence - "The U.S. Embassy has launched a brochure describing the American art featured in the residence of U.S. Ambassador Mark Gitenstein. The brochure provides information and illustrations of the 13 paintings by eight American painters, chosen by the Ambassador and his wife, Libby. 'The art we have chosen for the Ambassador’s Residence in Bucharest is from the southern United States. We selected these landscapes for several reasons: first, my wife, Libby, and I wanted to feature American art that reminded us of the terrain and culture of Romania. We wanted to show Romanians visiting our home in Bucharest that the United States, especially the southern United States, looks a lot like Romania,' Ambassador Gitenstein says in the introduction of the brochure for the exhibition. The 'Art in Embassies' program is managed by the U.S. Department of State’s ART in Embassies (AIE) office, established in 1963. The office plays a vital role in U.S. public diplomacy through a culturally expansive mission. In over 200 venues, AIE curates temporary and permanent exhibitions for the representational spaces of all U.S. chanceries, consulates, and embassy residences worldwide, selecting and commissioning contemporary art from the U.S. and the host countries. AIE is present in more countries than any other U.S. foundation or arts organization."

More on US Laos Rapper-Astronomer-Ambassador in Action: She's "on a high" Performing US Public Diplomacy - John Brown, Notes and Essays: “'Jay-Z she is not, but when the U.S. ambassador to Laos [Karen Stewart, a.k.a. MC Karen] took the stage at a music festival in the Laotian capital of Vientiane the other day

she decided to try a medium not usually employed in diplomacy: She rapped. In Lao. ... The festival also included a graffiti art competition on the theme ‘fake drugs.’ ... Stewart described the experience ... [:] 'After my rap, I was kind of on a high.'” -- Kirit Radia, 'US Ambassador, a.k.a. MC Karen, Raps in Lao,' ABC News [includes video on the rap-performing ambassador, who is also an astronomer]." For more on this event, see. Image from, with caption: Here I [MC Karen] am signing a hat for my rap partner-in-crime, MC Loko.

taking them down - Blood and Treasure: all sapphic content entirely fake: "So I have a hectic day and return to find the least worst Republican contender saying something stupid: 'We should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China. They're called the young people. They're called the internet generation. There are 500 million internet users in China. And 80 million bloggers. And they are bringing about change, the likes of which is gonna take China down.' When he was ambassador in China, Huntsman made a point of meeting prominent Chinese bloggers of liberalizing tendencies in informal get togethers. These weren’t confidential meetings like the ones various US diplomats had with Chinese parties whose names they failed to redact and which wikileaks then dumped all over the internet; they were exercises in public diplomacy which those who took part in were encouraged to blog and tweet freely about. And now he’s just identified them as fifth columnists."

Falklands’ success story, centre of 30th anniversary of the conflict - "Chair of the Falkland Islands 2012 Committee Lewis Clifton explained it was likely to be 'the last big anniversary' as military veterans of the war and Islanders involved grow older, and was therefore being given a profile similar to a 50th anniversary.

Around 100 veterans are expected to pilgrimage to the Islands for the Remembrance Day ceremony, others would also visit throughout the year. ... By early January it has been planned that a booklet will be available for issue to 30th anniversary guests, but also for Members of the Legislative Assembly to use during overseas visits, that will highlight some of the Islands’ achievements in the last 30 years. ... He [Clifton] noted that this theme and the booklet also fitted in with the wider Falkland Islands Government public diplomacy initiative that involved attempting to dispel some of the misleading rhetoric on the Falklands, coming out of Argentina." Image from article, with caption: Lewis Clifton: the tremendous changes and opportunities of a vibrant economy

Redfern takes to the stage in Turkey - "The Factory Community Centre’s Yurungai Dance Group returned triumphant from Turkey where they represented Australia at the 2011 Seventh International Ordu (Turkey) Youth and Children’s Theatre Festival in June 2011. Performing two shows to large crowds, Yurungai Dance was rapturously received. The eight member troupe also performed twice to over 1,500 children and the general public in a central park in Ankara, in the presence of the Ambassador to Turkey, Mr Ian Biggs and his wife Christine. The first performance was streamed live to air on National TV. Yurungai Dance is grateful to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program Public Diplomacy Branch of the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through their award of funds towards the travel costs. Other funding support was received by the Redfern – Waterloo Authority, Barnardos Australia, Clubs Limited NSW, Housing NSW and the Factory Community Centre."

The Public Diplomacy Challenge for Rising Powers - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "From a public diplomacy (and a broader diplomatic) perspective rising powers need to understand that negative reactions are not just about misperceptions or a sense of a military threat. These reactions are rooted in objective changes generated by the process of growth which need to be managed regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation."

Public Diplomacy: Learn a Democratic Citizenship - "Thе main goal οf thе public democracy academic discipline іѕ tο demonstrate hοw уουr voice саn change уουr country’s diversity."

Hafed Al Ghwell: Should I Consider Him Friend or Foe?
- "If you are Libyan you probably know Hafed Al Ghwell even though he hasn’t lived there since he was 16 years old. ... Hafed was the son of an attorney that represented the Gaddafi regime and the two accused in the Lockerbie case. ... Hafed has had an impressive career including … Head of the Public Diplomacy Information Centers at

The World Bank Group ... Hafed has high hopes for Libya." Image from


Georgian president unveils monument to Ronald Reagan - Rich Shulman, Image from article, with caption:

A man sits next to a statue of former US President Ronald Reagan in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia, Nov. 23, 2011. The bronze statue, depicting Reagan sitting on a bench, was unveiled by the Georgian president in Rike Park earlier the same day, reports state. Reagan, the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989), is celebrated in former Soviet satellite states for having helped hasten the fall of the Iron Curtain.

U.S. Urging Twitter to Shut Down Taliban Accounts - U.S. lawmakers are putting the pressure on Twitter to cancel accounts used by the Taliban to promote their insurgency in Afghanistan, but the social networking site is so far refusing to do so. Led by Senator Joseph Lieberman, the handful of legislators say that allowing the Taliban to broadcast their message in English, Pashto, and Arabic amounts to supporting terrorism. Twitter representatives shot back, saying that the U.S. government doesn't have the Taliban listed as an official terrorist group, so hosting their tweets does not amount to providing "material support" for the organization. The English account, @alemarahweb, typically broadcasts propagandist micro-messages on the site and links to longer-length "news" stories highlighting battlefield triumphs. It has, at last count, 5,848 followers.

The Wisdom of Retrenchment [subscription]- Joseph M. Parent and Paul K. MacDonald, Foreign Affairs: U.S. power has begun to wane. As other states rise in prominence, the United States' undisciplined spending habits and open-ended foreign policy commitments are catching up with the country. Via LB

Looking Back On the Spy Life: A lone American in a Beatles haircut advising Hmong tribesmen who cut off the ears of their dead enemies. He thought: 'Fantastic! [review of The Craft We Chose By Richard L. Holm] - Charles McCarry, Wall Street Journal: The book is journal of the tedium and essential pointlessness of spying.

Image from article

Arabian Nights to screen stories of music, dance and revolutions - The linkage between pop and propaganda, the true cross-cultural love story of a German peace campaigner and a Lebanese civil war chieftain, the making of the Egyptian revolution and the drama of everyday life in France and Montreal’s Arab communities are among the 20 subjects examined in the 8th Dubai International Film Festival’s Arabian Nights segment. The Arabian Nights films, representing the best of filmmaking about the Arab world by Arab and non-Arab filmmakers from around the world, will screen to audiences in the UAE from Dec.7 to 14. They include examinations of early life and old age, societies scarred by division to attempts at reconciliation, and joyful looks at contemporary Arab music and dance.

Vivienne Westwood accidentally creates 'Communist dress': A dress designed by Vivienne Westwood has provoked mirth in China for accidentally displaying one of the Communist party's favourite propaganda slogans - Malcolm Moore, The floor-length strapless and sequinned gown, worn by Katy Perry, the singer, to the recent American Music Awards, is printed with a floral motif and four prominent Chinese characters. They read: "Lu Se Jing Ji", or "Green Economy", a phrase that China's leaders love to trot out but one which is roundly mocked as hollow jargon by ordinary Chinese, who are all too aware of the choking pollution around them.

Government officials are often pilloried for their taste in old-fashioned, Soviet-style ideological campaigns, making long speeches about the importance of the "harmonious society" or of "scientific development theory." Few, if any Chinese, pay these any heed, but the buzzwords crop up regularly on television, in newspapers, and on billboards and banners. Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, included the "green economy" theme in a speech as recently as last month, when he told other Asian leaders that China was "committed to grow a green economy." Ms Westwood, unlike the legions of people with mistranslated Chinese tattoos, appears to be aware of the meaning of the calligraphy. Image from article

Armenian propaganda aims to weaken Turkey-Azerbaijan unity – expert - Turkey-Armenia relations will not be normalized unless first step made in resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and lands are de-occupied.

The statement came from Head of Atlas Research Center, political expert Elkhan Shahinoglu while commenting on latest remarks by Turkish President Abdullah Gul that “there are still hopes for improving Armenia-Turkey relations.” "Armenian propaganda is aimed at weakening Turkey-Azerbaijan unity,” the expert added. Shahinoglu image from article

'Gay Propaganda' Bill Vote Shelved In Russia - Lawmakers in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, have postponed a debate on a bill that would outlaw “gay propaganda.” The bill, which won overwhelming approval by lawmakers during its first reading last week, would criminalize “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.”

Offenders face a fine of up to $1,600 under the bill proposed by the dominant United Russia party. The bill's author, Vilatly Milonov, said talks broke down after lawmakers failed to agree on the bill's “legal definitions” and fines imposed. Although homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993, anti-gay sentiment in Russia remains high. Banned gay pride parades and marches in Moscow have received the lion's share of media coverage, but officials have also cracked down on other events, including gay film festivals. Image from article

'Red Dawn' Remake Dated for Nov. 2, 2012 - The original Red Dawn was a silly propaganda piece, even by 1980's cold war era standards. So, it seemed like kind of a bizarre move for MGM when they decided to remake the film, this time casting China as the villainous invaders, rather than the Russians. Fears about how this would effect foreign markets, however caused them to shelve it indefinitely. After being given some reshoots that changed the villains to North Korea, however, the film has a planned release date of November 2, 2012. Remaking Red Dawn

is kind of like remaking Reefer Madness. Nobody remembers the original because it was a groundbreaking story with a thoughtful message. They remember it because it started with the hilarious sight of a bunch of gun-toting Russians parachuting into a freaking high school. What recognition the remake gets isn't gonna make people take it seriously. Casting the villains as the North Koreans certainly isn't gonna help, as makes even less sense than either the Chinese or the Russians. North Korea is only a major threat because they have nuclear weapons, not because their ground forces could match ours. Its good to see that MGM is considering how their choice of villains would be perceived in other countries, but couldn't they have thought about that before they blew 75 million dollars filming it? Image from article

Disney World War II propaganda cartoon suggested we’d win the war with giant soft-boiled eggs [includes video] - Given that Thanksgiving has the reputation for being a day of Herculean food consumption, here's a rather strange World War II propaganda cartoon that visualizes such gustatory excess. In the 1942 short "Food Will Win The War," an overexcited narrator begins yelling about how bridges of butter, flour blizzards, and Brogdingnagian obese children will destroy the German army. Wars are won and lost on tubers the size of the Rock of Gibraltar. The statistics get crazy at 1:40.

A piece of history: Nazi propaganda posters in Serbia during World War Two
- One of the issues the Nazi authorities faced with the local population during four years in occupied Belgrade (1941-1945) was how to neutralise the ideological influence of both the Soviet Marxist-Leninism and Anglo-American liberal democracy. Among various other propaganda techniques, a well established means of mass political advertising were posters. Although the Nazis never reached the avant-garde coolness of Soviet design, it is certainly interesting to see how the German propaganda machinery worked in occupied Belgrade during the war.

It’s a simple story: Communists are death squads, Churchill is a drunken bastard and basically, they’re all Jews. Image from entry, with translation of text: “No one to thank but Germany for chasing away this danger out of Serbia and Europe.”

Russian Political Propaganda Poster * Motherland * Complete set of 24 posters

Image from entry

"The Degree To Which You Resist Is The Degree To Which You Are Free" - Phil Rockstroh, The propaganda campaigns of the corporate/national security state have proven effective at promoting and perpetuating the inequitable status quo in place at the present time. Do not underestimate the well-rewarded, professional con men employed in the criminal enterprise known as "public relations."

Remember, these masters of deceit sell wars, which are fought by the poor and in which the underclass kill and die for the profits of a ruthless few. War is a money train for the rich and connected but a death wagon for the rest of humankind. Ready yourself to be buffeted by a barrage of virtual reality blunderbuss -- volley after volley of mainstream media launched Big Lies -- and the ground fire of social media small distortions. Don't walk unarmed into the line of fire. Remember this: Most likely, the corporate state has, to some degree, colonized your mind, as it is well on its way to destroying the ecosystem of the entire planet. Image from article


“'We are the 99 percent'

is a great slogan. ... If anything, however, the 99 percent slogan aims too low. A large fraction of the top 1 percent’s gains have actually gone to an even smaller group, the top 0.1 percent — the richest one-thousandth of the population. ... For who are the 0.1 percent? Very few of them are Steve Jobs-type innovators; most of them are corporate bigwigs and financial wheeler-dealers. One recent analysis found that 43 percent of the super-elite are executives at nonfinancial companies, 18 percent are in finance and another 12 percent are lawyers or in real estate. And these are not, to put it mildly, professions in which there is a clear relationship between someone’s income and his economic contribution."  Image from

--Paul Krugman, "We Are the 99.9%," New York Times

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