Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11

"[T]he one product that can plausibly be argued to have made a difference in the eventual overthrow of Communism was rock and roll."

--Louis Menand, "Bloc Heads: Life behind the Iron Curtain," New Yorker; thanks GD/MT; image from


Gastrodiplomacy. Via Paul Rockower


Never Underestimate Hillary Clinton - Alex Spillius, The Telegraph, posted at: "Once Mr Obama’s nemesis, Mrs Clinton is now not only a close colleague but, it appears, a friend. ... What a contrast with 2008, when they repeatedly exchanged verbal – if not physical – blows as Mr Obama stunned the Clinton camp with his audacious capture of the Democratic nomination.

To then offer his former rival the job of America’s top diplomat was a masterstroke of conflict resolution. Mrs Clinton responded by carrying out her duties with a degree of commitment, dependability and flair that has earned her near universal admiration at home and abroad. She has shaped and executed policy on the major issues with a mixture of adept public diplomacy and effective private arm-twisting, often drawing on contacts made during her eight years as First Lady." Image from

Obama win prompts guessing on Clinton's State Dept successor - Andrew Quinn, "With President Barack Obama locked in for another four years at the White House, a political guessing game turned on Wednesday to another big Washington question: who will succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state? ... Obama's national security adviser, Tom Donilon, has flown below the radar since taking on the job in 2010 although he has been at the center of White House policy-making. Donilon, whose career has included stints as both a government official and a Washington, D.C., lawyer, is seen as an insider who could align the State Department tightly with White House priorities for a second Obama term. But while Donilon could be an effective manager, some analysts say he may not have the chops for the high-wattage public diplomacy that has marked Clinton's tenure. 'The reality is that very few people outside of Washington know Tom Donilon,' said Damon Wilson, a former official in the National Security Council who is now executive vice president of the Atlantic Council. 'He has the president's ear and the president's confidence, and has a track record of managing crises. But the question remains does he have the gravitas to be America's diplomatic face to the world.'"

Lesson 138 The “Idea” of America - Larry D. Lauer: Pioneer in Strategic Communication and Integrated Marketing: "[S]everal efforts have been made in recent years to explore the feasibility of establishing a non-governmental, or in some cases a quasi-governmental, organization to operate totally independent of government to establish citizen-to-citizen exchanges and programs with the simple purpose of demonstrating how ordinary free and independent Americans look and act. One of these was undertaken by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Known as the

SAGE project, the result was a business plan to establish a non-profit, non-governmental organization to stimulate and finance projects that will bring about a better understanding of Americans of all types. Currently, a former assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy is seeking the funding and other support necessary to bring this organization into existence. My TCU Honors College students are discussing these issues. Last week we imagined what a new or second term president faces on 'day one' trying to communicate administrative policy in light of what was said during the campaign and the realities of the existing friendly and hostile audiences all over the world! This week we will look at the potential of citizen-to-citizen public diplomacy, and the role international higher education and new media might play in it." Image from

Former Radio Liberty broadcaster calls on Secretary Clinton to confront damage to U.S. public diplomacy caused by BBG and RFE/RL officials - BBGWatcher, USG Broadcasts/BBG Watch: "[To:] The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton ... . As the most influential member of Broadcasting Board of Governors, you still have plenty of time in order to curtail by peaceful resolutions shameful for America lawsuits triggered by immoral policies of BBG-RFE/RL. Proper field of activities for RFE/RL — quite expensive tool of American public diplomacy — is not in foreign courts but in foreign public opinion. ... Sincerely, Lev Roitman Prague"

Malaysia awaiting decision on terror suspects - "Lebanese government officials are still gathering evidence on the two Malaysians held in Lebanon on suspicion of having links with al-Qaeda militant group, said Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay. ... 'We are still waiting for a decision. Whatever the outcome, we will respect the decision of the Lebanese government,' Kohilan said at the launch of the ministry's Public Diplomacy and Outreach Programme yesterday. ... On a separate matter,

Kohilan said the Public Diplomacy and Outreach Programme was aimed at promoting the role of Wisma Putra [another name for the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs] and its diplomatic missions to the public." Image from

Riva Ganguly Das, Joint Secretary Public Diplomacy, Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India - "Riva Ganguly Das joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1986. She has served in Spain, Bangladesh and the Netherlands. She was in Headquarters from 1989 to 1998 and later from 2001 to 2004. She has served as US (XP) & (Nepal), DS (PV) and Director (UNES). She has also worked as Passport Officer, Jaipur. She served as the Consul General of India, Shanghai during 2008-12."


My President Is Busy - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: Obama has his marching orders from the American people: Focus on Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, not on Bethlehem, Palestine, and focus on getting us out of quagmires (Afghanistan) not into them (Syria). No, my Israeli friends, it’s much worse than you think: You’re home alone.

New Drone Propaganda Website About Robotic Assets - Sheila Samples,; "Americans don't seem to mind drones in foreign countries, in fact they love the idea, but that love quickly goes south when drones cross into domestic territory. Enter Increasing Human Potential, a website wholly dedicated to taking the edge off domestic drone use, its mission statement -- 'highlight the valuable and endless benefits of all unmanned systems and robotics.' With Obama's full support, it's not a matter of if, but when will U.S. citizens see more drone use over their own heads -- which explains the need for a very sheik [sic] looking website, aimed at influencing the emotions Americans have toward domestic drone use."


Via RB on Facebook


(a) Prescription overdoses kill more people than heroin and cocaine - Legal drugs, deadly outcomes, Scott Glover, Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times

(b) The U.S. ranks 27th in alcohol - According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, in 2009 the United States had an alcohol supply of 6.8 kilograms per person, which was enough to make the United States rank twenty-seventh out of one hundred seventy-four countries ranked in that category.

Estonia ranked first, with an alcohol supply of 19.5 kilograms per person - Image from entry

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