Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 17-18

"March is also 'vasectomy madness' for urologists"

--Headline in the newspaper USA Today, referring to American males hypnotized by a nation-wide college basketball tournament on TV ("March Madness")


(a) The Road We've Traveled: "brilliant propaganda"

(b) Kony 2012 Video Maker Loses Underwear, Marbles in San Diego


Understanding Muslim Anger at America - Steven Kull, posted by Gena Chung, The Faculty Voice: "From 2006 through 2010 the Program on International Policy Attitudes undertook a major study of Muslim anger at America that focused on attitudes toward the United States in the general Muslim population. Working in conjunction with the University of Maryland’s Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism and also PIPA’s research partners in various countries that are part of the project, PIPA conducted focus groups in six majority-Muslim countries and a series of surveys in eleven including Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, the Palestinian Territories, Bangladesh, Turkey and Azerbaijan. All of the surveys were conducted with representative samples in face-to-face to interviews. In addition, PIPA researchers closely analyzed all available survey data from other organizations. The analysis and findings were released in a series of reports

(available at, as well as briefings for the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and the Department of Defense. These were then more fully integrated into a book titled Feeling Betrayed: The Roots of Muslim Anger at America, published by Brookings Institution Press. ... In the conclusion of Feeling Betrayed I point to a variety of steps that America can take ... [t]o counter the perception of US dominatiton [sic] ... . I suggest that the US should look for opportunities to lighten it military footprint and always recognize the public diplomacy costs of expanding it; minimize the use of actual and implied threats of using military force; state clearly that the US does not believe that it has a claim on Middle East oil; and make more efforts to counter the perception that the US is isomorphic with Israel." Image from

the CIA, 9/11, Afghanistan, and Central Asia… - "On the surface level of public diplomacy we see a commitment to international law and the peaceful resolution of differences.

On a deeper level, represented by a long-time Saudi connection and covert arrangements to control international oil, we see the toleration and indeed protection of terrorists in fulfillment of both Saudi and American secret goals." Image from article

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts - "Mark L. Asquino, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Department of State Mark L. Asquino, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, currently serves as the Executive Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights at the U.S. Department of State. From 2010 to 2011, he served as a Senior Public Diplomacy Fellow at George Washington University. Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Sudan and at the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan. Mr. Asquino has also served overseas in Caracas, Panama City, Madrid, Bucharest, Santiago, and Tashkent. In Washington, he has served as the Principal Deputy Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization at the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Asquino received his A.B. and Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University."

Somaliland: Turkey Interested in Development Efforts for Somaliland - "The Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) was established on January 24, 1992 in order to '[provide] development assistance foremost to developing countries where Turkish is spoken and countries that border Turkey as well as [improve] cooperation through projects and programs in economic, commercial, technical, social, cultural and educational arenas'. TIKA currently maintains 21 coordination offices in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, and Europe. These strategic locations and the diversity of TIKA's projects have allowed the agency to not only serve as an effective manager of Turkey's development aid but to also become an important tool of Turkish public diplomacy. Capitalizing on the potential of humanitarian assistance, reconstruction aid, and technical support to further the goals of public diplomacy has become common practice world-wide. In addition to running exchange programs and

cultural activities, many countries have realized that highly visible humanitarian and development aid can bolster significantly a country's international standing. The work of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the EU's DG Development and DG ECHO are examples of how humanitarian assistance can help build the international prestige of a country or organization. Although, the term 'public diplomacy' is never used to describe the activities of TIKA, the agency's website defines development assistance as 'a significant instrument that allows new avenues for classical diplomacy in economic, social, cultural and humanitarian fields'. In many ways, the agency has assumed the role of a coordinator in reaching out to diverse geographic areas to pursue the interests of Turkey. In this sense, TIKA has a strategic mission to promote a positive image of Turkey and to establish durable relationships with foreign publics by demonstrating that 'Turkey and Turkish citizens are standing by their countries'." Image from

Promoting Azerbaijan’s Polished Face - "In his article featured in Jamestown Foundation and titled 'Azerbaijan boosts its public diplomacy efforts' Ismailzade [Fariz Ismailzade from the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy] writes of the overall growth in the pubic [sic]

diplomacy efforts 'to promote its [Azerbaijan’s] culture and history abroad'. He also notes an additional boost to Azerbaijan’s confidence that came after winning last year’s Eurovision song contest. The duo Ell and Nikki earned the first place prize for Azerbaijan, winning their country the right to host next contest, which is scheduled for May 2012." Image from

Young African MPs tap India's democratic experience - "India Sunday called for a new people-focused phase in the bilateral partnership with resource-rich Africa as legislators from African countries looked for closer collaboration in the area of democracy and institution building. 'We are entering a new phase in ties with Africa. It's a relationship based in a new globalized world,'

Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, special secretary (public diplomacy) in the external affairs ministry, told a group of young African members of parliament who are currently on a week-long visit to India." Chakravarty image from

Ethiopia Denies Report That It Made More Attacks Inside Eritrea - "Ethiopia’s government denied a Reuters report that it made further attacks inside Eritrea. 'That’s not correct,' Getachew Reda, the Foreign Ministry’s public diplomacy and communications director, said by phone from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, today. 'There’s been no further attacks” after a raid two days ago inside Eritrea’s territory,' he said."

Unwelcome - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Bad tourism policies are bad public diplomacy...."

Alexandria – a seminar entitled “The role of public relations and public diplomacy in the construction of the modern state” - "The period of March 17, 2012 To March 17, 2012 Venue: Theatre – Center for Freedom of the road – Alexandria Seminar in cooperation with the Arab Organization for public relations and public diplomacy entitled 'The role of public relations and public diplomacy in the construction of the modern state” guests a seminar / Amr El-Deeb Regional Director of the Organization And d / Walid Khalaf Allah Chairman of the Board of Directors And His Excellency Ambassador / Ahmed Ghamrawy ambassador to Iraq, Arab Republic of Egypt and Algeria and the former head of the Egyptian Cultural Center."

The Chinese Trailer Broadcast In New York - "China[']s national a Chinese national image publicity in Manhattan s times square outdoor large screen constantly broadcast. China reported, this is in Chinese red promotional mass tone, in just 60 seconds, shows including tai lihua, John woo, song zuying, liu joyfully, lang ping, yao Ming, DingJunHui, yuan longping, WuJingLian, Yang liwei, covers, literature and art, physical, business, think tank, models, aerospace and other industries of dozens of outstanding Chinese. China national image series promo filming in 2010 July start, the big screen in this broadcast for which the people the article.

Over the next four weeks, daily from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m., then that propaganda mass in times square on a big screen appeared 15 times per hour, is expected to total broadcast nearly four weeks million times. Meanwhile, in Washington, d.c. gallery plaza outdoor large screen, is also synchronization is broadcast the commercial. In addition, enrichment for 30 seconds of the Chinese national image publicity the characters in the article 17 date by CNN television (CNN) of each channel to cover the global broadcast. Expect in the next four weeks, then that promo on CNN each channel will broadcast hundreds of times. Such a large scale, high frequency on China [']s national image publicity, seen as China[']s official high key launched the key public relations, but also to the foreign people act as the object of Chinese public diplomacy specific actions. Meanwhile, promotional premiere time choosing of President hu jintao s visit to America before today, it is a build up of idea." Image from

Yao Ming to attend political consultative conferences sun: he certainly can do better than I - Sports and leisure brands: "Yesterday, the 11th 5 times the conference committee held plenary meeting, after voting, add choose yao for political consultative conference committee of Shanghai 11 th standing committee and yao’s team news spokesman in accept our reporter interviews that, 'yao Ming speak, is in the CPPCC, want to learn new modestly.' Since last August, official announced his retirement after, yao has not idle, besides elaborations Shanghai men’s basketball team (the Po), in addition, he also become a Shanghai jiaotong university student. At the same time, yao also have their own brand wine, in Shanghai public diplomacy as vice chairman of the association after a job, and become the Chinese people’s political consultative conference in Shanghai. And some of the sports world before the Chinese people’s political consultative conference is different, ACTS as a is serious, in previous training class, yao has never absence."

Public Diplomacy, Branding, and the Image of Nations, Part I: What’s in a Brand? - Daryl Copeland, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "In large part, when it comes to nation brands, it is clearly what you do, rather than what you say that counts. ... A nation’s brand, then, can be a mixed blessing, and is sometimes fickle. That may help explain why branding - the deliberate attempt to project an image and manage a reputation - is notoriously difficult."

Purim, Haifa, Israel Diplomacy, and the First Week of Spring - A Grad Student in the Promised Land: "Simon, Anna, Shoshana, and I went to our Israel Public Diplomacy course at Tel Aviv University. It was the second meeting of the class since a two month break.

This meeting, about Occupation, was not as interesting as the one the previous week, about refugees." Image of blogger from his entry, with caption: My Purim costume: a golfer

Public Diplomacy - Bia, Public and Cultural Diplomacy 6: A group blog by students at London Metropolitan University: "The traditional school of diplomacy focuses on foreign policy, peace keeping and international negotiation while public diplomacy can be very diverse and could never replace the traditional methods of international relations.

Riordan S., The New Diplomacy, Polity Press, 2003, Chapter 8." Image from entry

Metzgar review on public diplomacy website - SoJ Web Report: "Assistant professor Emily Metzgar’s book review of The Rhetoric of Soft Power: Public diplomacy in global contexts, by Craig Hayden, appears online at the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy website."

College Notes – Daily Herald - Career Trends Romania: Just another Romanian Trends Sites site: "Miculescu was appointed ambassador of Romania to the UN in June 2008. She served prior as director of Romania's department for communication and public diplomacy within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

Back to Brussels! - Matthew Crandall, The marvelous adventures of Matthew and Maris Crandall: "I recently got back from a short trip to Brussels. I got invited to go to a meeting for Baltic academics. I'm not sure how I ended up with the invitation, but I am glad I got it. The NATO meeting was pretty cool, we had speakers talk to us on many different topics like smart defense, missile defense, and their political agenda. The NATO public diplomacy paid for everything which was pretty nice. The first thing I did when I got there was go get some fries!

They were pretty good, I loved the sauce. Right after I finished up with the fries I went and got a Belgium waffle, it was good (and expensive)[.] ... NATO wasn't too concerned about budgets. They also gave us some free stuff like a 4 GB flash drive." Image from article


Jazz quartet connects with China youth - Kelly Chung Dawson, "Music exchange tours through seven Chinese cities [:] As part of the US State Department's ongoing push to promote American 'soft power' abroad, an American musical quartet traveled to China recently through the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program. Partnering with New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center, the cultural diplomacy program has sent hundreds of jazz musicians to more than 50 countries since 2005. The Kate McGarry Quartet was selected from hundreds of applicants to bring a small sampling of American music to Chinese audiences. The band includes Grammy-nominated vocalist Kate McGarry, guitarist Keith Ganz, percussionist Jordan Perlson and organist Gary Versace.

The quartet traveled in December to seven Chinese cities, playing for audiences at universities, children's centers and community organizations." Image from article, with caption: Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz perform at Guizhou Normal University in Guiyang, Guizhou province.

Puremovement stops in Egypt for a week of hip hop mania‎ - Daily News Egypt, Maha ElNabawi, "The worlds of hip hop music and dance merged into a melody of artistic expression last week when the internationally acclaimed Rennie Harris Puremovement Dance Company (RHPM) visited Egypt in a cross-cultural exchange program aimed at preserving and disseminating the hip hop culture globally. The program is a collaborative effort between the US embassy in Cairo, the US State Department, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Through the month of April, the Rennie Harris Puremovement group will visit several locations in the Middle East in hopes of building cultural diplomacy within the region. 'We chose RHPM because they have the credibility of being a great hip hop company, while also being socially responsible,' Michael Hankey, the US embassy’s assistant cultural officer in Cairo, told Daily News Egypt. 'They are known in the US for their work in educating people on hip hop dance, the history, and the culture. They use hip hop to help people. They bring a lot of potentially troubled youth into their programs and give them guidance through the form of hip hop dance.'” Image from article, with caption: Swagger

American Voices on Cityscape - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "St. Louis Public Radio KWMU's program Cityscape interviewed American Voices Director of Education Marc Thayer on our cultural and public diplomacy work and the American Music Abroad program. Also interviewed were AV scholarship students Tony Moussa (Lebanon) and Rebin Ali (Kurdistan), who discussed their cultural exchange experiences in St. Louis."

"People on the move": Who got a promotion in South Florida? Who changed jobs and who got hired? - Cindy Kent, Sun Sentinel: "Cultural ... The Broward Cultural Council announced new officers and committee leaders. Deborah Kerr was named council chairperson. Diane Weinbrum was named first vice chairperson. Tracy Nichols Roloff was named second vice chairperson. Karen Beard is cultural executive committee chairperson; and at-large members are Linda Houston-Jones and Amy Ostrau.

Estelle Loewenstein will lead the Advocacy committee. Amy Ostrau will head Arts Education. William Stanton will oversee Cultural Tourism; Diane Weinbrum, Planning. Bonnie Barnett will lead Public Art and Design. Darran Blake will lead Public Relations. Benjamin Williams will head the Creative Economy committee; and Dr. Margaret Armand will head Cultural Diplomacy." Image from

Sierra Leone: Nation Is a Paradise for Potential Tourists - Umaru S. Jah, "Sierra Leone has continued to receive serious attention from international partners regarding its socio-economic potentials, good governance and infrastructural development. Concerted efforts are being made not only by political leaders to rebrand the country's image after a horrible past, but also by well-meaning Sierra Leoneans including government functionaries working in respective missions abroad. Among them is Sierra Leone's Head of Chancery to the Federal Republic of Germany, Al-Hassan K. Kondeh. He has engaged academics and business experts in Germany to discuss investment potentials and good governance in post-conflict Sierra Leone. The discussion, which was organized by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD), was aimed at exploring new strategies for the strengthening of inter-cultural relations and rebranding of nations to attract investment across Africa. In his exposé, the Head of Chancery presented Sierra Leone as an ideal place for investment, pointing out that the country offers abundant raw materials, (including high quality minerals, agricultural products); great natural beauty, and a very warm people. According to him '...Sierra Leone is a country that is full of investment opportunities to genuine investors and also a paradise on earth for potential tourist to Africa'."

Making Sense of Cultural Diplomacy - Philip Seib, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "'Cultural diplomacy' has a nice ring to it; it brings to mind folk singing, dances around the Maypole, children’s finger-painting exhibitions, and other such feel-good

exports that can make even global adversaries think kindly of each other, at least momentarily. But cultural diplomacy can be much more than artsy fluff. It is a potent form of public diplomacy that reaches people in ways that overtly political efforts often cannot. Its exercise, however, raises questions about whether artistic integrity can be maintained while being used for the subtle furtherance of national interest." Image from


U.S. Propaganda Machine Overheating In Afghanistan - Judging from its latest information counteroffensive, the Obama administration's PR machine is wearing down after three weeks of rapid fire. Seemingly expecting bad news every day before they have a chance to sell the war in Afghanistan, the White House and Pentagon are relying on a heavily scripted formula to avoid a break in their ranks. Yesterday U.S. officials readily copied the "progress" reports that followed a Quran bonfire and mass murder to block a tandem assault from Hamid Karzai and the Taliban.

"9/11 was an attack against all of us," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Thursday. "It was an attack against all who believe in freedom and in democracy, and the reality is that all of us stepped forward to try to ensure that what happened on 9/11 does not happen again and to try to build an Afghanistan that ultimately can secure and govern itself." Yet instead of clarifying America's message, repetition is dulling the administration's rhetoric and ultimately casting new doubts on the war's trajectory. Image from article

Afghan war is hell; let's get the hell out - Al Neuharth, USA Today

Why Karzai is fed up with the U.S. mission in Afghanistan - Joshua Partlow, Washington Post: Karzai is a president whose personality and political convictions have become fundamentally opposed to the American approach. His rhetoric is not simply a stunt for Afghan domestic consumption, or to show that he is no puppet president, as U.S. officials sometimes suggest.

It is a product of a deep-seated aversion to violence and an unshakable suspicion about U.S. motives in Afghanistan. Karzai does not appear to want a total U.S. military withdrawal, but his staunch opposition to the current strategy could end up hastening that departure. Image from article

Afghanistan's propaganda war: After the recent series of 'PR disasters', are the Americans losing their battle for hearts and minds in Afghanistan? - For years the US army has been talking about winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan but it appears to be fighting a losing battle. On March 11, one US soldier went on a shooting rampage claiming the lives of 16 Afghan civilians – nine of them children. It was just the latest in a series of PR disasters for the coalition. Last month a group of US soldiers caused outrage in the country when they accidentally – or so they say - burnt the Holy Quran. Before that, video surfaced of coalition snipers urinating on the dead bodies of alleged Taliban fighters. While the Obama administration shifted back into damage control mode, the story was also picked up by the now vibrant Afghani media landscape whose various media outlets, including the Taliban's media machine, all had a different tale to tell. Our News Divide this week looks at the propaganda war in Afghanistan and how the big threat the coalition forces face in the battle for hearts and minds could come from within.

Declinism in Decline - Dan Whitman, In his incisive book, “The World America Made,” Robert Kagan says, “…Are Americans in danger of committing preemptive superpower suicide out of a misplaced fear of declining power?” Kagan says that any notion of past American omnipotence is chimerical, and that we never really had our way after all. Hence, no decline.

This is powerful logic. Much silliness is heard in the land about the irrelevance of the minds, hearts, and opinions of seven billion people. Kaiser Wilhelm, too, mistook arms and economy as the sole source of national strength. Such solipsisms have led mainly to war and defeat, and the belief that they could yield different results. They never do. This was not part of Kagan’s arguments, however. His hold up. Kagan image from article

Al Jazeera English launches Uganda Speaks to involve "Ugandans themselves" in debate about Kony 2012 - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting.

Image from entry

'Kony 2012' backlash: Don't squelch young activists [Blowback] - Mary Strickler,  A few days ago the 29-minute video “Kony 2012” went viral with more than 80 million views. Since then members of the free press and bloggers have done their best to blacken the name of three filmmakers and I want to brood about the affair. As a teacher, I thought it was refreshing to view student activism at the grass roots level this week. In history class, teens were brought to tears after viewing the “Kony” documentary. All week long, young people flooded my room to discuss their reaction to the film. They ordered $30 Kony kits, planned to plaster the city with Kony posters on April 20, the designated day slated in the film, and filled up Facebook sites with poignant discussions of child abuse in Third World countries. The power of the film moved kids to put down their cellphones or video controllers and take up collections to help others in need. \It was gratifying to see young people excited and motivated to get involved. Then, along came the naysayers as cited in the March 10 article by James Rainey. Prominent journalists criticized the Kony movement, especially a photograph of the filmmakers holding guns with the LRA and questioned the amount of donations that actually went toward the cause, ultimately dissuading people from contributing.

‘Kony 2012’ co-creator found intoxicated, masturbating, police say - The Invisible Children's website describes Russell as a "grand storyteller and dreamer."

He graduated from USC's film school with a degree in cinema production. Image from

Confronting Anti-Israel Propaganda on a University Campus - "Talking with Palestinian and Muslim students after my lecture at the University of South Florida in Tampa on March 8th, I was pained (but not surprised)

to hear their version of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.For them, history had no bearing on the present, Muslim terrorism was not a serious culprit, and it was Israel that was the evil force in the region." Image (an ad?) from article

'Jewish Only' - Slander and Racism in Huffington Post: Political Perspective - Tim King, It may not be 'mainstream' in nature, but the Huff Post is absolutely an idling hot rod for the Zionist hasbara propaganda machine. I marvel at the title of a recent commentary by Lilac Sigan: Apartheid Is Awful, But Who Is the Real Racist? It is an oxymoronic title if one ever existed, and this cocky little racist looks like she would have assimilated into the Hitler Youth without any trouble at all if she had been born a few years earlier. She callously calls Israeli Apartheid Week, "A slander festival," leaving the average apologist in the dust. Real Jewish people hate such talk.

This woman is a propagandist only and we don't allow her type of philosophy to be published here, never will. It bugs this HP writer that Israeli Apartheid Week is observed on 109 university campuses in cities all around the world, for eight years running, calling for boycott and sanctions on the Israeli racist regime over its endless list of human rights violations against the Palestinians. Image from article, with caption: A Palestinian woman under arrest by Israeli forces for driving on a Jewish-only road. Huffington Post and its writers are allowed to deny this stark reality because truth is very inconvenient for those who stand up for war crimes.

"Sometimes humor matters more than the straight news" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Zombify to Unify [video]: ‘Euro schools pour propaganda brainwash’
- Greece is teetering on the edge of bankrupcy, the future of bailed-out Portugal is uncertain and the single currency itself could be in trouble. The ranks of people writing off the Eurozone and even the European project itself are only swelling in number. So, perhaps that’s why the message for a United Europe is being pushed on an all new platform – the classroom.

Are video games just propaganda and training tools for the military?It's a shadowy and lucrative relationship. But just how close are video-game developers with various military outfits? And how does it affect the games we play? - Alex Rayner, The Kuma Games site describes an online entertainment developer which, according to reports on Iranian television, an international distributor of military propaganda. Kuma produces a range of games, from second world war air-battle shoot-'em-ups for the History Channel, through to the carnivore-themed I Predator, a tie-in for the cable station Animal Planet. Yet it's the company's Kuma\War series of topical military games, as well as a more discreet line of Arabic-language first-person shooter games, that have piqued media attention.

During a televised confession on Iranian TV, alleged US agent and former marine Amir Mirzai Hekmati said he had worked for Kuma, and it was a CIA front company. Though his words cannot be regarded as the unvarnished truth, publicly available government documents indicate that Hekmati had been a Kuma employee, while Kuma's CEO, Keith Halper, admits to taking on military work. If his words are true, Kuma\War are only one of a number of bloody titles produced under varying degrees of military aegis. Image from article, with caption: A screenshot from a Kuma\War game

'US media manipulate Syria unrest' - Lizzie Phelan: "Yes, I mean this is absolutely a media war that is taking place against Syria and I've said before that

if it wasn't for the media's role in manipulating events, fabricating events and just turning out pure war propaganda then this crisis would have been over effectively before it would have started and you're absolutely right." Phelan image from article

Fear Factor [Review of The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs By David C. Unger] - Jonathan Tepperman, New York Times: In this angry new book, Unger deplores what he sees as Washington’s obsession with security and overreliance on military and intelligence capabilities, arguing that they are dangerous perversions of the country’s Jeffersonian traditions. Presidents since Franklin Roosevelt, in Unger’s view, have inflated external threats in order to build up a vast and unaccountable national security machine that runs roughshod over the framers’ design for a modest government with plenty of internal checks and few international obligations. This emergency state, as Unger calls it, not only expands presidential powers, wastes money and tramples the rights of Americans and foreigners, but it also fails to guard the country from today’s real dangers. But “The Emergency State” is unlikely to win new converts. For one thing, Unger never really explains how he thinks the presidents he looks at should have dealt with the enormous international challenges of the past 70 years, from the Nazi and Soviet threats to global jihad.

Shanghai Propaganda Poster Centre - Finding the Propaganda Poster Centre, which is situated in the French Concession, is quite a challenge if you don`t know where to look! This is the very anonymous entrance of the museum, in an even more anonymous apartment building-area. The museum contains hundreds of  Chinese propaganda posters from the 1950s-70s, and you can see how history evolves through changing themes of propaganda.

The museum is evidently not very famous among the Shanghainese, but you can find it in your western-bought guide book. Image from entry, with caption: Inspired by the only ballet performance allowed by the CCP during the Cultural Revolution. Most of the posters had some kind of gun portrayed in them, - both interesting and disturbing. Image from entry

China’s ‘Flawless’ Female Astronauts Grace Ng - Straits Times:  China has picked two “divine” women to go on a space mission later this year. Said to sport a flawless physique right down to pristine teeth and absolutely no body odor, the two female astronauts are part of a crew of seven shortlisted for the space mission. But Beijing intends to keep their identities a secret until just before the Shenzhou IX spacecraft blasts off sometime between June and August. Shenzhou means “divine vessel.” Still, media excitement about the women, who were picked from 15 candidates after years of gruelling training, has already begun to build up. “How are these women picked? Comparatively, it’s like trying to find a bone in a chicken egg,” the official Xinhua news agency said last week in a report which shed light on the highly secretive mission and its mystery crew. “Even scars on the skin, smell in the mouth, tooth decay and calluses on the feet are not allowed,” it said. After all, even the tiniest imperfection could lead to inconvenience, if not disaster, in space, where harsh conditions may cause scars to bleed and the confined cabin may intensify unpleasant body smells, it explained. The same demanding standards for tip-top physical and mental attributes apply both to the 15 women currently under training as well as their 30 male counterparts. All Chinese astronauts must have a problem-free medical history and no allergies. “There must be no history of serious illness in the past three generations of their families,” an unnamed staff member at Nanjing Airforce 454 Hospital, who was not identified due to the sensitivity of the topic, was reported by Chinese media as saying. The 45 men and women undergo the same basic training, from studying more than 50 academic subjects such as advanced mathematics, electrical and systems engineering, psychology and English, to strenuous drills. They are said to train six days a week to build up their endurance and toughness. Some of their instructors have undergone courses at a Russian space training organization. Observers say that it would not be surprising if China uses a few tips passed down from the former Soviet Union, which was the first to send a woman into space almost 50 years ago. Former Chinese astronaut Li Qinglong has spoken publicly about his survival skills training in the wilderness in Russia. Wearing only a thin layer of clothes, he had to stay outdoors for 48 hours in minus 50 deg C cold. Each meal consisted of only one compressed biscuit. He lost 2.5kg, Xinhua reported. While it is unknown whether female astronauts are put through similarly harsh training, all of them will definitely have experienced the pain of childbirth. All aspirants must be married, have children and be over 25 years old. This is to ensure that they are more mature physically and emotionally, Professor Xu Xianrong, a director at the People’s Liberation Army Air Force General Hospital, told an aviation seminar in Beijing in 2009. "There is currently

no information on the biological effects of space life on women, so we should be more cautious as this is the first time for China,” Xu was quoted by Beijing media as saying. The age rule was why China’s first batch of female fighter jet pilots was not eligible for the selection process for spacewomen. Even though they likely met the criterion that each female astronaut should have at least 600 hours of flying experience, their average age was 23. The two women and five men shortlisted will be trained in executing a spacecraft docking mission and conducting space experiments while in orbit. Three will eventually be picked, the mission’s deputy commander-in-chief Niu Hongguang told reporters in Beijing last week. It seems almost certain that at least one woman will be among the final three. After all, there is already widespread praise in China for some strengths female astronauts have over their male counterparts. As Pang Zhihao, deputy editor of Chinese magazine International Space put it: “Female astronauts have keener senses, a more meticulous heart and stronger communication and verbal skills than male astronauts.” They are also better at “handling interpersonal relations” — a particularly important trait if Chinese astronauts are to travel to Mars one day, the Beijing Youth Daily said in a report. This is because the journey to the red planet would be extremely long and tedious, so having both sexes on board could help smooth out any tension, it added. Comment by Roland 4:50pm Mar 17, 2012: Ha, the perfect Chinese female! It's a bit over the top and does smell (not like these ladies of course!) like genetic superiority propaganda! In my humble opinion at least (though I really don't want to hurt any feeling of readers of Chinese descent). Image from

WW1 Propaganda - The idea of this poster seems to be if you make a person feel brave or honorable for enlisting, they will do so. This poster shows no image of the war like most of the others but instead shows a single soldier ready for battle, looking fairly strict and dignified. He seems to be looking down on someone or something as if he is better. This man probably represents Germany itself and how they as a country see themselves, ideally as stronger and more powerful than the rest of the world.

This poster shows no image of the war like most of the others but instead shows a single soldier ready for battle, looking fairly strict and dignified. He seems to be looking down on someone or something as if he is better. This man probably represents Germany itself and how they as a country see themselves, ideally as stronger and more powerful than the rest of the world. As I look at this poster I see a very different image then what the soldiers themselves probably saw in the war.

This poster “glamorized” the war and made it look like the best thing to ever happen. The woman on the horse seems to be a divine figure, or maybe a visual representation of the country itself, that is leading the soldiers towards victory. Images from article

What we know, and what we think we know: Poking around the propaganda factory - Frank Miele, Daily Inter Lake: Edward Bernays is the father of modern propaganda techniques. Bernays worked for Woodrow Wilson, the president who was re-elected because he “kept us out of war” and then promptly took us into World War I, where 117,000 American soldiers were killed in action. It was Bernays who helped come up with the justification of “bringing democracy to all of Europe,” and was delighted to find out that the American public could be easily manipulated with slogans and blatant falsehoods. Although rarely acknowledged today, he laid the groundwork for modern political propaganda and in particular is the godfather of progressive techniques for pushing public opinions such as those used by and Media Matters. Here in a nutshell is the Bernays philosophy as outlined in his seminal 1928 book titled “Propaganda”: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country... We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of... In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons... who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

Propaganda Playing Cards - Theory11:

Image from


"Ну приехала я с деревни сегодня в москву..молодой человек проходит, а вы- нет- сказали непоткупные фейсконтрольщикимклуба Арма...

Well I came to the village in Moscow ...the young man is, as you said-no-nepotkupnye fejskontrol′ŝikimkluba Arma ... (Translated by Bing)"

--From an OS Facebook entry


"Mother Night (1963) was Vonnegut's first attempt to brush up against the war  [WWII], and it remains his funniest novel. The hero is Howard W. Campblell, Jr.  -- 'an American by birth, a Nazi by reputation, and a nation-less person by inclination ' -- who awaits trial in Tel Aviv for war crimes, which include serving as a Gestapo speechwriter. At one point, Campbell brings the Gettysburg address to the attention of Goebbels:'You know,' he said to me, 'this is a very fine piece of propaganda. We are as far never ahead of the past as we think we are."

--Thomas Meaney, The Times Literary Supplement  (March 2, 2012), pp. 3-4


From; see also

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