Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5

“First of all, ads are propaganda by definition. We are in the persuasion business, the propaganda business…. Ads are agitprop…. Ads are about hyperbole, they are about editing. It’s ludicrous for them to say that an ad is taking something out of context…. All ads do that. They are manipulative pieces of persuasive art."

--a top operative in Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign; image from


Propaganda in the music charts... - "I know propaganda can be very subtle at times and one has to look very deeply to find it but...does this music video by 'Military Wives with Gareth Malone' constitute as such propaganda?'"


Police called to intervene when TV Martí reporter tries to interview Cuban diplomat speaking at Youngstown University - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

10 Things you should know about the US-NATO-Europe and Russia - Constance Anderson-Sweatt, "NATO is

structured into 3 tiers; Civilian, Military and Organizations and agencies that are tasked with overseeing Political Affairs, Security Policy, Operations, Science, Defense, Explosive ordinance disposal, Public Diplomacy, Recruiting, Logistics, Regional Security, Finance, Several Headquarters in member countries, Rapid deployable corps, Joint force and analysis centers, Medical, civil emergency planning, ground surveillance, electronic warfare, research and technology, oceanography and meteorology." Image from

Yao Ming was elected vice president of Shanghai Public Diplomacy Council - "Retired Chinese basketball star and former NBA player Yao Ming has been elected vice-chairman of Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association, adding another crown to his already swelling title list. The association's council held its second session on Monday with the newly-appointed Yao

as its vice-chairman, reported. The council also named Yao as the association's 'Honor Ambassador'. ... The 31-year-old father, who retired from basketball in July 2011, said he was looking forward to making a contribution to public diplomacy and sharing his eight-year experience of living in US. The Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association was formed to help explain Shanghai and China to the outside world." Image from entry, with caption:  Yao Ming receives his letter of appointment as the "Honor Ambassador" of the Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association, Dec 5, 2011.

EF Foundation for Foreign Study, the Nonprofit Leader in High School Exchange, Launches Campaign to Promote Global Awareness Through Hosting Opportunities - "Did you know that American families can play an important role in public diplomacy? Each year, the United States Department of State relies on Americans to serve as host families to international exchange students. As 'citizen ambassadors,' these families help foster positive impressions of the United States, a priority foreign policy goal for our country, and expose our own communities to new customs and cultures.

EF Foundation for Foreign Study, which brings more exchange students to the U.S. than any other organization, is currently accepting host family applications for the 2011-12 school year. Students come from 25 countries around the world, including China, Germany, Italy, Norway and Australia, and all bring a curiosity and enthusiasm for experiencing the 'real' America." Image from

Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu Suspends Ad Campaign - Aron Heller, Huffington Post: "Israel's prime minister suspended a television ad campaign aimed at luring home Israelis living in North America after it sparked an uproar among American Jews, his spokesman said Sunday. The government-sponsored advertisements, which were broadcast on Israeli TV and in large American markets, tried to warn Israelis that their children could lose their Israeli and Jewish identities if they were raised in the United States and not in Israel. That set off virulent opposition among American Jews, who complained that the commercials were demeaning to their Jewish identity. ... [Comment by Taxim:] 327 Fans

4 hours ago( 4:00 AM) 'The Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs'." Taxim image from entry

Australia says ABC to run international TV service - "Australia Monday awarded the permanent contract to run its international TV service broadcasting into Asia to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, snubbing the Rupert Murdoch-linked Sky News. National broadcaster ABC and Sky News had been the only two firms competing for the tender to run the Australia Network before the process was terminated last month after leaks of confidential information to the media. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said it was unfortunate the tender did not reach a 'satisfactory solution' but the leaks had made the fair consideration of bids impossible. 'However, in light of the circumstances it is now in the national interest to make a clear decision about the future of the service rather than allowing uncertainty to continue,' he said. 'Having reflected upon the process to date, and what the service really needs to provide, the government has determined that Australia's international broadcasting service should be delivered by the national broadcaster.' Leaks to the media had suggested that Sky was poised to win the Aus$223 million ($227 million) contract to run the Australia Network which is partly funded by the government and screens in more than 44 countries in Asia and the Pacific.

Conroy said the Australia Network was the nation's equivalent of Britain's BBC World Service and Germany's Deutsche Welle and the service provided a major public diplomacy platform. 'The ABC has been performing well in the role and the government believes that the national broadcaster will maintain and further enhance the Australia Network in the years ahead,' he said." Image from

A retreat from the world stage: Domestic politics and diminished bureaucratic capacity have down-sized Canada's international role, writes Daryl Copeland -
"As Canada's relative power and influence inevitably declined with the recovery of Europe and Asia and the emergence of China, India, Brazil and others, the scale of Canadian activism was downsized. Our enthusiasm for joining others in the pursuit of long-term goals such as eradicating poverty and bringing peace to the world gradually gave way to to smaller, 'niche' projects such as the landmine ban, conflict diamonds and the construction of innovative new doctrines such as the Responsibility to Protect.

The nature of Canadian internationalism changed with the times, and public diplomacy was mobilized to advance the likes of the Human Security Agenda, but a core commitment to internationalism endured. Today, little remains of that tradition, and international policy decision-making seems related mainly to the quest for future electoral advantage." Image from article, with caption: Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to the media outside the United Nations during a 2007 climate conference."

REPOWER GREECE Campaign to Redefine the Image of Greece - " is a groundbreaking social awareness initiative that seeks to redefine the image of Greece and contributes in reclaiming the country’s role and influence on the international chessboard. By underlining and exploring result-oriented perceptions as they are reflected through success stories, thoughts and opinions which stand out and inspire, the initiative endeavors to showcase a side of Greece that will effectively confront misperceptions within the international community while, at the same time, revitalizing and the Greek morale. engages the country’s sectors of strategic interest, such as Education, Culture, Innovation, Agribusiness, Tourism, Energy and Shipping, in an effort to isolate and draw attention to the individuals and businesses that have espoused innovation, entrepreneurship, and a devoted work ethic. While constructing a launch pad for development through a multi-layered program that blends public relations, grass rooting and public diplomacy, the initiative also creates

a forum for ideas and strategies, thereby generating synergies between critically thinking individuals and dynamic institutions. It is supported by esteemed partners from various fields including the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bilateral Chambers of Commerce, Hellenic Post Bank, Attica Bank, Educational Institutions, Media from Greece and abroad as well as innovative businesses around Greece." Image from

Six Degrees of Separation: Now 4.7 Degrees of Proximity - Brian Carlson, Public Diplomacy Council: "The old rule was that there are 'six degrees of separation' between any two people on Earth. Thus, any two people would know each other through no more than six intermediary contacts. On Facebook, however, the average user is only 4.74 degrees away from any other Facebook user, according to a study released by Facebook in collaboration with the Università degli Studi di Milano. Facebook and the scientists call this analysis 'he largest social network study ever released.'

Indeed, the numbers in this research are stunning: they studied an active user network of around 721 million users with 69 billion friendship links. ... It is possible, through new media research, to identify so-called 'clusters' and 'influentials' within a network. Understanding what and how individuals communicate within these clusters allows public diplomacy strategists to identify whom they wish to address and what types of content might meet their interests." Carlson image from article

The glories of Soft Power - Comm Kids: American University Students Discuss International Communication: "To me Joseph Nye’s article on Soft Power and public diplomacy was great. It was clear, and concise and helped to refine how I see public diplomacy. Which is a little disheartening since I did just do a long paper on it. ... Who is it that plans public diplomacy? Do they think about how messages are read in other contexts and cultures? It sometimes seems to me like people who are actually knowledgeable about a foreign place, and culture aren’t ever consulted when making these decisions. If that is the case why aren’t they?"


U.S. ready for eviction of drones in Pakistan - Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, while CIA director in 2009, revealed that the Predator strikes in the tribal areas represented the only way for the United States to kill al Qaeda and Taliban targets because Pakistan would not allow any expanded ground or air assaults by American forces.

The Predator's importance, and shaky relations with Islamabad in recent years, prompted the CIA to ratchet down operations at Shamsi and launch more flights from Afghanistan. Image from

Building a stable Iraq - Nouri al-Maliki, Washington Post: Iraq seeks to build a strong army and security forces that have the capacity to protect our sovereignty and interests. We are able to do this with the help of the United States.

How is Palestine and Arab Jews are presented in Israeli School Books [includes video] - Alternate Focus interviews Nurit Peled-Elhanan, author of the forthcoming book Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Educationn Nurit Peled-Elhanan argues that the textbooks used in the school system are laced with a pro-Israel ideology, and that they play a part in priming Israeli children for military service.

She analyzes the presentation of images, maps, layouts and use of language in History, Geography and Civic Studies textbooks, and reveals how the books might be seen to marginalize Palestinians, legitimize Israeli military action and reinforce Jewish-Israeli territorial identity. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is a Professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an Israeli peace activist, and one of the founders of the Bereaved Families for Peace. After the death of Elhanan's 13 year-old daughter in a 1997 suicide bombing, she became an outspoken critic of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Image from article

Vietnamese Propaganda Art Gallery – Critical Response - "I decided to take some time and go visit the art gallery in the gorgas library called Visualizing War and Change: Untold stories of daily life from Vietnam through visual materials. The gallery was very interesting as it displayed Vietnam propaganda from the war. Propaganda in Vietnam is nothing like the propaganda in the United States or in other Asian countries.

It is less of a harsh and subtle attempt at persuasion and more of a type of inspirational image that supports the government, its policies and the military." Image from article

Eugenic Propaganda, Old And New: Part I of II - Michael Barker, Members of the ruling class are well aware that eugenics is a powerful weapon of social control, and contrary to the widespread misconception that the science of eugenics fell into disrepute after its genocidal application in the Nazi holocaust, it still has a central place in capitalist management strategies. Far from having a marginal impact on politics, over the last century eugenic ideas have permeated all manner of American institutions. However, as a result of the Nazis' association with the techniques of propaganda and eugenics, the continued use of these ideological weapons required a complete overhaul of the language used to describe them. In the case of political propaganda, crude signifiers like propaganda were substituted with public relations, while research into psychological warfare was recast as mass communications research.

PROPAGANDA Soviet Banner Russian Pioneer Horn Flag Old - Item condition: -- Time left: 1 day 5 hours (Dec 06, 201111:36:52 PST)

Bid history: 0 bids [Refresh bidhistory] Starting bid: US $1.00. Image from entry

Video: Priest That Believes Heaven and Hell Is Religious Propaganda - Statement from the video: "God is not a Christian."

Roman Catholic Propaganda on Luther Invoking the Saints - "Here's a clip I found from a Roman Catholic periodical called 'The Manchester Illuminator and General Catholic Record' dating from 1849-1850. I found it while working on this blog entry. There are indeed a handful of quotes from Luther affirming the invocation of the saints. Those quotes typically date pre-1521 or 1522. Typically, after that, Luther did not approve of or teach such a practice. Whoever compiled these quotes (the citations all come from very early editions of Luther's works) does not explain the purpose or intent. I can really only think of one: propaganda.

Swedish House Mafia – Propaganda [Original Mix] [Refune Records] -

Image from entry


1) Piracy legislation pits Hollywood against Silicon Valley: Filmmakers, music companies and other copyright holders are backing tough new bills in Congress that would give the Justice Department broad powers to shut down websites that host pirated material - Richard Verrier and Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times.

Image from article, with caption: Filmmaker Penelope Spheeris was unable to halt the distribution of bootleg copies of her movie “Balls to the Wall” that were popping up on the Internet soon after the comedy premiered in Europe.

2) Sexting numbers among teens lower than thought - Kim Painter, USA Today: Teen sexting is a real problem, but not the pervasive scourge some reports have suggested, says the first detailed national study on youths who share sexual images on phones and the Internet. Just 2.5% of kids ages 10 to 17 admit to creating or appearing in such photos or videos, and even fewer produce images that amount to pornography, says the study, published today in Pediatrics.

3) Image from: Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog, "Another Kennedy Center Honors Night, Another Crazy Callista Gingrich Pic"


“Belgian Education Policy in the Congo 1945-1960”

--Title of Dr. Newt Gingrich's PhD dissertation; image from

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