Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 23

Pacemakers and Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators: Software Radio Attacks and Zero-Power Defenses

--Title of a new report, via Swedish Meatballs Confidential


F is for Failure: The Bush Doctrine in Ruins - Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: “With the help of its torture policies and its prison camp at Guantanamo for public relations, the Bush administration achieved wonders. Never has global opinion of the U.S. been lower (or anti-Americanism more rampant) than in these years -- and when the administration needed allies, they were hard to find (or expensive to buy). Result: Public diplomacy in the tank. Grade: ‘F.’"

The Future of Arab-American Relations - Tariq, Project on Middle East Democracy: The POMED Wire: “The fall 2008 issue of Arab Insight from the World Security Institute has been released, and at over 130 pages, there is much to cover. … Sadiq el-Faqih seem[s] to be speaking directly to Barack Obama … [He] offers his take on 'Improving U.S. Standing in the Arab World: Can Public Diplomacy Do the Trick?'”

Voice of America Takes A Modest Step to Restore Russian Radio Broadcasts - Ted Lipien, “Responding to criticism from Congress and media freedom organizations, the BBG [Broadcasting Board of Governors] staff has allowed VOA to start producing a 30 min. radio news program in Russian for online placement. The new program, ‘Panorama,’ is described on the VOA Russian website as a daily broadcast but it has not been updated within the last 24 hours and its future remains unclear. … One of the strongest supporters of cutting VOA radio has been the BBG’s most recent chairman, James K. Glassman, who is now the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.”

Examining the Republican Platform Part II: “Securing the Peace” - Morgan Wick, Da Blog: “[REPUBLICAN PLATFORM:] Public Diplomacy: Throughout the Cold War, our international broadcasting of free and impartial information promoted American values to combat tyranny. It still does, through Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio/TV Marti, and it remains an important instrument in promoting a modernizing alternative to the culture of radical terror. [COMMENT:] Wow. A plank of a major party platform outwardly supporting international propaganda."

US unveils Iraq culture aidAFP: “US First Lady Laura Bush visited Baghdad's embassy in Washington on Thursday [last week] to unveil a 14-million-dollar US campaign to rebuild Iraq's cultural heritage and safeguard its treasures. … The US Embassy in Baghdad will provide nearly 13 million dollars to the project, while the US State Department's bureau of educational and cultural affairs will contribute another one million dollars.”

White House to celebrate Diwali on Friday - Lalit K Jha,, India: "Diwali [the festival of light] was celebrated at White House for the third time on November 1, 2005. Karen Hughes, the then Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, inaugurated the function at White House on October 19, 2006."

The Immigration and Public Diplomacy Appointments Project - Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange: “This newly-founded project aims to support the next Administration in identifying top-level candidates for key positions that impact policy on immigration and public diplomacy issues. … The Immigration and Public Diplomacy Appointments Project will do all it can to press for qualified candidates to be considered by the Transition Team of the next Administration." Via Len Baldyga.

Obama the better choice: McCain would continue America's decline; Obama better for both US, Israel - Chaim Landau, ynetnews: “The next president will face a multitude of challenges … These challenges demand a president who not only is willing to try out new approaches, but a president who has a keen understanding of these issues, ranging from the economy and the environment to foreign policy and public diplomacy.”

Journey Through UNIFIL - Mark Leon Goldberg, UN Dispatch: "This video is the first installment of a ten part series that is meant to explain UNIFIL to a Lebanese audience. (The host is Lebanese actor Rafic Ali Ahmad). To an American audience the video looks a little campy, but it is an interesting example of a peacekeeping mission's efforts at 21st century public diplomacy."

All Of This Has (Not) Happened Before… - Daniel Larison, Eunomia, American Conservative: “[T]he reduction in income taxes … was obviously much more dramatic and significant under Reagan. In foreign affairs, it was truly a mixed bag, and this would be true regardless of which side of the debate you were on: nuclear arms reductions went along with needless deployments, questionable backing of guerrilla forces in various flashpoints around the globe and rather dodgy arms deals took place alongside some important public diplomacy and covert support for dissidents.”

Finally – Paul Rockower, Levantine: “My Pub D group finally won our weekly contest. … PS: Speaking of PD makeovers, apparently the McCain campaign has dropped $150K on Guv Sarah's wardrobe. Those are some pretty expensive skates, o' hockey mom. Joe-Dom Perignon approves, but that doesn't sound like frugal republican values to me.” PHOTO: The author of this blog.


Pentagon Flack Leaves as Investigation Continues – PR Watch.Org, Center for Media and Democracy: Allison Barber, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense who launched the America Supports You (ASY) program and was also heavily involved in the Pentagon pundit program, is resigning. Barber leaves as the Pentagon's inspector general continues to investigate ASY's financial practices. PHOTO: Allison Barber

Schools in need employ teachers from overseas - Emily Bazar, USA TODAY: A growing number of school districts are hiring teachers from foreign countries to fill shortages in math, science and special education. The trend is most evident in poor urban and rural districts, according to educators.

Guantánamo's Bleak Farce: After dropping war crimes charges against five prisoners today, the US's use of military commissions is unraveling - Andy Worthington, Guardian/Common Dreams

Confessions of a former Guantánamo prosecutor: The inside story of a military lawyer who discovered stunning injustice at the heart of the Bush administration's military commissions - Stacy Sullivan, Salon

Rebranding the U.S. With Obama - Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times: We’re beginning to get a sense of how Barack Obama’s political success could change global perceptions of the United States, redefining the American “brand” to be less about Guantánamo and more about equality.

If Elected ...Rivals Split on U.S. Power, but Ideas Defy Easy Labels - David E. Sanger, New York Times: Both presidential candidates forged specific positions amid the realities of an election in post-Iraq, post-crash America -- where judgment sometimes collides with political expediency. Mr. McCain emphasizes hard power first. More than any previous presidential candidate, Mr. Obama has emphasized the idea of soft power -- the ability to lead by moral example and nonmilitary action.

Obama's Change Must Start With His Advisers - Edward Lozansky, Moscow Times: As for the present, Obama is clearly surrounded by people who may yet make the Kremlin feel nostalgic for the good old days of the Bush administration.

No carbon copies – Editorial, Baltimore Sun: Merely to blunt the effects of climate change and have some credibility in negotiations with the rest of the world, including critical players such as China and Russia, the U.S. would have to go substantially further than what either candidate has proposed. But of the two, Senator Obama is at least offering the more ambitious proposals.

On Al-Qaeda Web Sites, Joy Over U.S. Crisis, Support for McCain - Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung, Washington Post: "Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election," said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the "failing march of his predecessor," President Bush. See also.

Israel's peace paradox: Olmert says Israeli settlements on the West Bank must go. So why has he allowed them to grow? – Editorial, Los Angeles Times: If the past is prologue, either President McCain or President Obama will plead with Olmert's designated successor, Tzipi Livni, to restrain settlement activity. The really difficult task -- thanks partly to Olmert's government -- will be to evacuate settlements that shouldn't have been built in the first place.

Stopping A Nuclear Tehran - Daniel R. Coats and Charles S. Robb, Washington Post: To increase our leverage over Iran and to prepare for a military strike, if one were required, the next president will need to begin building up military assets in the region from day one. Daniel R. Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana, and Charles S. Robb, a former Democratic senator from Virginia, are co-chairmen of the Bipartisan Policy Center's national security task force on Iran.

Iran Is Job One - Roger Cohen, New York Times: Iran also has some shared interests with America. Don’t lecture to Iran. Don’t moralize. Don’t demand everything -- an end to the nuclear program and terrorism and Lebanese and Gazan interference -- without the means to back such demands. That’s been the Bush failure.

Top Countries in Global Competitiveness: Despite this year's global market turmoil, many of the same countries, including the U.S., remain atop the World Economic Forum ranking - Matt Mabe, Business Week: Of the record 134 countries surveyed this year, the majority at the top of the list remain European, while the U.S. continues to hold on to the No. 1 spot.

Keep the Internet Free: The Net was never neutral. Now's no time to change that - Andrea Renda, Wall Street Journal: Since its birth the Internet has been a vibrant source of innovation precisely because of the absence of prescriptive regulation. Now would be the wrong time to change that.

'Europeana': EU Plans Backup Copy of European Civilization - Michael Scott Moore, Spiegel: A new online encyclopedia of European culture, called "Europeana," is set to debut in November. It's a rival to the Google Library Project, but also something else -- the start of a vast digital backup copy of what's in Europe's libraries, museums and national film collections.

Meanwhile, Condi's Getting a Little Action, Too! - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog I keep track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to: PHOTO: Maria Shriver, right, greets Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as she takes the stage at The Women's Conference,Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008, in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles): COMMENT: "As I write this, the conference is still going on, so who knows what Condi had to say ..."


Oh What the Hell: Uh, Here’s a Video of McCain and Obama Dancing - Wonkette


Vintage Japanese movie-monster anatomical illustrationsBoing Boing

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