Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 24

"After debating whether Mein Kampf should be on the library shelves for 65 years, the same ideology that brought about the murder of six million Jews is now available for only 99 cents at the Apple store."

--Rachel Hirshfeld, "Hitler? There's an App for That! There are now applications available through the Apple store titled 'iMussolini,' 'iStalin,' and 'Hitler,' espousing fascist ideals,"; image from


American diplomat Peter Van Buren speaks on public diplomacy (Huffington Post)


Swearing-In Ceremony: Remarks Tara Sonenshine Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Washington, DC April 24, 2012 - U.S. Department of State: "Thank you, Madame Secretary. It is an honor to be here with you, today, and I am grateful for the confidence that you and President Obama have placed in me. Let me also echo your appreciation for Ann Stock, and for Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, for stepping forward so readily and effectively as Acting Under Secretaries. And thank you to all my predecessors in this job for laying a strong foundation upon which I can build. I am fortunate to be joining a strong team with Ann, Mike Hammer, Dana Smith, Dawn McCall, Nick Giacobbe, and the entire R family. My mind today is on family. I thank my siblings—Nancy, Marshall, Michael, and their families. Our parents would be proud of all of us and I wish they could see this day. My deepest thanks are reserved for the three men who make my world go round—my husband, Gary Friend, and my sons, Jordan, and Yale. You bring music into my life – literally and figuratively. Together (with Rocky, of course,) our home is a place of joy. That is something to celebrate. There are friends here today who are like family—who go back with me 20 years, some 25 years, and yes a few –and you know who you are--go back to high school—I won’t say how many years ago that was. My friends have been pillars of support during these challenging months as I awaited word on confirmation. Understandably, people kept asking –are you confirmed yet? Have you started? Thanks to Gary we instituted a 'Don’t Ask We’ll Tell You' policy. As I look around the room, I see so many people who have mentored me and inspired me. Regardless of your various religions, you are all my rabbis in addition to the real ones who are here today. But in particular, I single out: David Burke—my first boss at ABC News …. He had faith in a 22-year-old kid fresh out of college. That first year, he let me watch the evening news with him each night to explain the business to me. That’s mentoring. --Ted Koppel …. you were a tough boss and you set a high bar. But you also let me stretch and fly sending me overseas to places like Beijing, Soweto, Tehran, and Chiliabynsk. During the apartheid years, no television program could get South African leader Pik Botha and Desmond Tutu on the same show…you sent me over to negotiate it and we did. And you let me camp out in Lusaka begging for the first interview with Nelson Mandela. Thank you for teaching me excellence in journalism. --Tony Lake and Sandy Berger – my bosses at the White House …. You helped me make the leap from covering the news to being covered by the news. You showed me that my newsgathering skills – asking the tough questions and settling only for direct answers – would serve me well in government. --- Richard Solomon, president of the United States Institute of Peace. You helped me evolve from someone who could produce content to someone who

could lead staff. And you helped me not only work to build the USIP facility from the ground up – but to also build an architecture of conflict management around the world. -- And Madeleine Albright, who couldn’t be here today, but has been an example for women in foreign policy, reminding us that there is, to quote Sec. Albright, 'a cold place in—you know where—for women who don’t help other women.' What connects all these stories today are relationships. Secretary Clinton understands the importance of connecting to people. She has made people-to-people diplomacy central to our foreign policy. And I am reminded of something Ashley Garrigus my Special Assistant told me recently, after she came back from an official trip to Algeria, the Middle East, and Qatar. Ashley’s in her twenties, and when she met young people, they didn’t pepper her with tough questions about foreign policy. What they wanted to know was--What do you Americans do on weekends? Do you have a pet? Where did you get those cool shoes? Which college campuses in the U.S. are the most fun? Policy is about people. Without a deeper understanding of foreign publics, our policies are just flying blind. We can’t depend only on conversations with political leaders. We have to connect with people, and let them know we are listening, we care, and we are working to support them. We have to be texting, blogging, tweeting, and connecting face-to-face--to empower young people, women and girls, and minorities, engaging to change the minds of extremists who spread misinformation and hatred online, reaching out to make sure our narrative is as robust as the character of our nation. If we enlist public diplomacy effectively, we can enlist the problem solvers and leaders of tomorrow. I want to close by thanking the people of the public diplomacy field—those engaged in extending America’s narrative overseas. Some are in embassies, missions, consulates, bases. Others work in the education and exchange field. Wherever you are—virtually, or physically, you are contributing to national security and you have this country’s support and encouragement. Madame Secretary, once again, thank you, for giving me this opportunity – and thank you, everyone, for being here today." Image from

Hillary for President? On the Other Side of the Gauntlet - William Bradley, Huffington Post: "Today, Hillary seems a prohibitive favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. ... As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton is now very popular. And Bill Clinton, who seemed at times to melt down in bitterness during his wife's campaign against Obama, is arguably the most esteemed statesman on the planet. Hillary, a world figure when she ran for president in 2008 as

a New York senator and former first lady, is even more that now after three years as secretary of state. With her husband the former president as her partner, she could offer an historic one-two punch. And when you add Obama, who is himself popular around the world, to that mix, the US would have very powerful and appealing figures to bring to bear in public diplomacy. Of course, the US is in the midst of a series of geopolitical crises which could affect Obama's election and Hillary's reputation." Image from

Why Hillary Clinton Should Join Anonymous: The State Department and the online mob are both destroying “Internet freedom” - Evgeny Morozov, Slate: "While Hillary Clinton likes to give speeches in which she fashions herself the world's greatest defender of 'Internet freedom,' the harsh reality is that her own government is its greatest enemy. Given the never-ending flow of draconian copyright and cybersecurity laws coming from Washington, this fact is getting harder and harder to conceal from the global public, who starts to wonder why American diplomats keep criticizing Russia or China but don't say anything about the impressive online spying operation that the National Security Agency is building in Utah. Nor does the State Department object when America's allies push for harsh surveillance laws; Britain, with its proposed surveillance legislation, is a case in point. America's 'Internet freedom agenda' is at best toothless and at worst counterproductive. While focusing on (and overselling) the liberating promise of social media in authoritarian regimes, it conceals a number of emerging domestic threats that have nothing to do with dictators—and everything to do with aggressive surveillance, disappearing privacy, and the astonishing greed of Silicon Valley. The case of Anonymous is not as straightforward. This movement is so distributed, fluid, and occasionally disorganized that anyone seeking to pigeonhole it into a coherent ideological doctrine would not get too far. Still, most of its recent high-profile attacks—upon the intelligence firm Stratfor, the Central Intelligence Agency, the signatories of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (which, among other things, aims to thwart Internet piracy), and the Chinese government—are motivated by a desire to defend 'Internet freedom.' In this lofty goal, the agendas, if not the approaches, of Anonymous and the State Department overlap.' Via

State Department Congratulates Brand USA on New Campaign - IMG_8325 - 'The State Department supports Brand USA, a public-private partnership with the mission of promoting increased international travel to the United States, and applauds the unveiling of its initial marketing campaign. We welcome its efforts as part of the President’s tourism initiative to support economic growth and job creation. In 2011, international visitors contributed to the employment of more than one million American workers by spending $152 billion on U.S. travel- and tourism-related goods and services. Every additional 65 international visitors to the United States generate enough revenue to support an additional travel- and tourism-related job. While the majority of visitors utilize the Visa Waiver Program to enter the United States, the State Department is committed to facilitating travel for the approximately 35 percent of international travelers who require visas. We are meeting visa demand worldwide. Consular officers at our embassies and consulates are working tirelessly to protect our borders, keep visa wait times short, and streamline the process for visa applicants, particularly in fast-growing markets – like China, Brazil, and Mexico – that offer exceptional growth opportunities. In anticipation of the future growth in these new markets, we’re deploying additional staff, expanding existing operations, and opening new consulates. We’re also looking at other ways we can work with

Brand USA to promote economic growth and job creation. We will leverage our presence overseas and our public diplomacy to welcome more visitors to America’s great destinations. We will work closely with industry, Brand USA, and our colleagues across the U.S. government to send a positive message to foreign visitors that the United States is an attractive travel destination.' The State Department is committed to facilitating travel to the United States as part of broader 'Jobs Diplomacy' goals. Visas for legitimate travelers are an important tool to help accelerate America’s economic revival. Media Note [,] Office of the Spokesperson [,]Washington, DC April 23, 2012[.]" Image from

Positive Perceptions of Germany in the U.S. on the Rise - Petra Schuermann, "More than half of all Americans have a positive view of Germany, citing shared common values as a key plank of German-American relations, according to a survey of US citizens released on April 17, 2012. And the feelings are mutual. Separate surveys show that Germans overwhelmingly approve of both President Barack Obama and his foreign policies. The survey of Americans, conducted on behalf of the
German Embassy in Washington by consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. of New York between December 15 and 29, 2011, consists of responses from 1,517 individuals ages 18 and over. The affirming views of the US role in world affairs from the German side come chiefly from Transatlantic Trends, an annual inquiry conducted by the German Marshall Fund, which measures public opinion through interviews of around 1,000 people in each country surveyed. ... A total of 55 percent of respondents, who were based across the United States, said they had an 'excellent' or 'good' overall impression of Germany, up from 48 percent in 2009, when the previous survey was conducted by Magid. That is higher than at any point in time since 2002, when Magid began conducting the series of surveys on Americans’ perceptions of Germany for the German Information Center USA, the Embassy’s public diplomacy department. Image from

Minding the Gap in Strategic Communication - “It seems that the Obama Administration might be turning a corner in the way it views interagency roles for strategic communication. The president’s updated National Framework for Strategic Communication, which was recently made public by the blog MountainRunner, suggested that the Administration is making a new effort to address the agency gap between authorities and resources: ‘We have taken a more hands-on approach to ensuring coordination of resources across agencies. Even in areas were DOD has more resources, we have worked to integrate the skills and perspectives of civilian officers and our Embassies into the deployment of these resources.’ But the real news comes next: “Similarly, where DOD runs public-facing websites, we have developed closer coordination with State on editorial oversight and content selection.” These websites—which include Infosurhoy, Magharebia, Mawtani, and SETimes—have been at the center of the debate surrounding the military’s encroachment on what have typically been civilian public diplomacy activities as the Pentagon has taken increasing responsibility for delivering the American message abroad in recent years. (DOD’s public-facing websites are also part of the military’s ‘Information Operations,’ which has drawn fire for activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and most recently sparked controversy over the apparent targeting of two reporters who published criticisms of the program.)  Calling for civilian editorial oversight of military messaging for foreign audiences is an important step, but whether the move will be meaningful will depend on whether it bears a commensurate transfer of resources and real authority for State.”

Passive aggressive BBG staff? - BBGWatcher, USG Broadcasts/BBG Watch: "Lynne Weil is a highly respected and experienced public relations specialist who before joining the BBG was the Press Director and Spokeswoman for the U.S. Agency for International Development, a Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, the Press Secretary for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Communications Director for the House Foreign Affairs Committee. ...  [V]ery strange was the way Lynne Weil described BBG Governor Victor Ashe’s efforts to restore the Edward R. Murrow name to the BBG shortwave radio transmitting facility in Greenville, NC. Ashe with the help of North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones saved the station from being closed down by the Broadcasting Board of Governors and International Broadcasting Bureau executive staff. These staffers deeply resent Ashe’s active engagement and second guessing of their decisions.

Most recently, he convinced other BBG members to discard the staff’s earlier recommendation to end Voice of America shortwave radio broadcasts to Tibet and to close down the VOA Cantonese Service. It’s not that Lynne Weil was silent about Ashe’s efforts to save the Greenville station and to restore its name. On the contrary, her presentation was ... full of accolades. ... Lynne Weil also volunteered information that the placing of Edward R. Murrow signs near and on the station and the planned rededication ceremony that is to take place on May 2, will cost $10,000." Image from article

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Mumbo-Jumbo and Psycho-Babble - The Federalist,USG Broadcasts/BBG Watch: "US international broadcasting has

deteriorated to such an extent that the highest levels of US Government must make a decision to rescue the agency’s mission and remove it from the hands of the BBG/IBB – some of whom are now reported to be preparing for overseas junkets." Image from

UK TV presenter and author "found jazz and blues" on VOA during his early teens - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting CBS's 'Strategic Terror Attack' - Nathan Guttman, Jewish Forward: "Michael Oren's controversial report aired by CBS News has pitted Israel’s top envoy to the United States against the network’s flagship news show and now has the Jewish community up in arms. The report by senior '60 Minutes' correspondent Bob Simon, sought to explore the plight of Christian Palestinians, a dwindling population caught between the hardship of Israeli occupation and the pressure from rising Islamic extremism. But even as the story was in the process of being reported, the loaded issue became even more explosive. Israeli officials tried to fight what they viewed as an unbalanced report, and CBS’s reporter fought back against what he viewed as inappropriate intervention by the Israelis." More on this issue in the below "Related Items."

The result on air was a lengthy discussion dedicated not to the issue of Palestinian Christians, but to the conduct of Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington. ‘When we decided to do the story last year, we did not realize it would become so controversial,’ Bob Simon stated at the opening of his report. An account provided to the Forward by an Israeli official involved in the events confirmed that controversy ran throughout the entire year of preparation. Israelis first heard of Simon’s intent to produce a story on Palestinian Christians more than six months ago. For Israel, a damning story about its treatment of Christians in the Holy Land could dampen relations with Christians across the world and complicate Israeli public diplomacy efforts aimed at portraying the Jewish State as the only haven of religious freedom in the Middle East. ...... The Israeli embassy is expected to issue a reaction taking on some of the points raised in the story. Jewish groups have also moved into action, with the Jewish Federations of North American issuing a to its members before airing of the show to get ready for action." Oren image from article. More articles on this topic in below "Related Items."

Let not Barotseland secede - Samuel Ngoma, "A human spark. We have been one nation all along, whose unity has been extraordinarily rewarding. As far as national unity goes, we outpunch our weight even against the world’s most stable democracies. For those of us who were privileged to serve in Foreign Service, Zambia’s national unity, peace and stability, was our Unique Selling Proposition (USP), as far as public diplomacy goes. We are blessed with a burgeoning creative reputation worldwide, which includes professionals from Western Province or what is now being treacherously called Barotseland. We have, among Zambia’s most famous sons and daughters, both the quick and the dead, Lozis who have done the country proud. It is a dazzling list of founding fathers, dignitaries, politicians, diplomats, Academicians, Lawyers, Clerics, celebrities, outstanding civil servants, close friends, brethren and journalists."

Embassy of Peru, Washington, D.C. - "The Embassy of Peru promotes the most significant values and expressions of the Peruvian Culture whose diversity has a very long history. Culture is a factor of comprehensive development that has a multiplying effect on all aspects of the country’s foreign policy such as trade, investment, international cooperation and the reduction of poverty.

It also allows the Embassy to be in close contact with the Peruvian community living in the United States. In addition, our Public Diplomacy Department supports and coordinates cultural activities from Peruvian artists who come to Washington D.C for presentations and exhibitions in all artistic fields. It organizes cultural and artistic performances at the Embassy’s Art Gallery. It also assists and provides American citizens with information about Peru’s culture." Image from article, with caption: Embassy of Peru in Washington DC


 Committing to Afghanistan - Editorial Board, Washington Post: The president has not given a major speech about Afghanistan

in more than a year and has not visited the country in 18 months. His actions will be important to reinforce the message, to both Afghans and Americans, of the bilateral accord: that he is firmly committed to Afghanistan’s future. The U.S. mission in Afghanistan has suffered daunting setbacks in recent months, including attacks by Afghan soldiers on U.S. troops, the massacre of 17 Afghan civilians, allegedly by an Army sergeant, and the mistaken burning of Korans on an American base. So the breakthrough announced on Sunday was particularly significant: U.S. and Afghan officials initialed a strategic partnership agreement that would commit the United States to supporting Afghanistan for a decade beyond the scheduled withdrawal of combat troops at the end of 2014. Image from Afghan insurgents post propaganda videos on latest attacks - Ali Safi and Jonathan S. Landay, Videos and pictures that the Taliban have posted online purportedly show the insurgents who staged this week’s attacks in Kabul and three provinces, with two fighters declaring that the suicide missions were to avenge the inadvertent burning of Qurans and the alleged massacre of villagers by U.S. troops. The material is highly stylized, perhaps indicating that the operations were more for propaganda purposes than military gain.

Another Iraq No. 1! (In Dead Journalists) - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: Iraq racks up another number one finish in a world category, this time in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) 2012 Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and killers go free. Iraq comes out on top, with 93 unsolved journalist murders last year. Freedom of the Press was one of the US’ goals in going to war in Iraq, bringing them democracy and all. Yep, just last month the White House said “Iraq today is less violent, more democratic and more prosperous—and the United States more deeply engaged there—than at any time in recent history.” So for anyone out there a) still thinking the US accomplished something in Iraq (“it’s still better than under Saddam ya’all!”) and b) the deaths of 4484 American soldiers are somehow justified or c) Iraq is on the road to democracy, go ahead and suck on the CPJ statistics instead. Image from article Could overseas events drive the 2012 election? - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: There are many international situations that could have a big impact on the presidential race — beginning, of course, with the war in Afghanistan. Both Obama and Romney lag well behind the public mood, which is for bringing the troops home now. Both may be tempted to catch up.

 The luxury we don’t have in Syria - Richard Cohen, Washington Post: It’s impossible to know what would follow the Assad regime. An Islamic republic? Sectarian mayhem? But one way to avoid a disastrous outcome is for the United States to help organize the opposition and show that America is on the side of the protesters. Washington, though, has been on the sidelines, and the Europeans lack the military to do what needs to be done.

Propaganda Parade: Assad's Propaganda War Moves to Twitter - John Hudson,

Woman's Sunglasses Expose Syrian Regime Propaganda - Arabic Social Media Salon: This one's from over a week ago, but it's good. ASM Salon meant to post it then, but it's been a busy week. Check out this still shot of a woman getting interviewed on Ad-Dunia channel, a pro-regime satellite propaganda channel:

We initially saw this photo on Hanein forums, where a user linked to an Al-Arabiya news story discussing the incident. Al-Arabiya, in turn, was alerted to the find by opposition users who discovered the reflection and posted it on Facebook.  ASM Salon hasn't seen this particular interview, but we've seen many like it on Syria News and on Ad-Dunia channel. In the brief interview, the woman noted that "Yes, the Syrian crisis has ended, the bloody scenes seen from the opposition and on Arab satellite channels are fake, the Syrian people are living in safety." From the reflection on her glasses, you can see the numerous soldiers and armed men surrounding her car, making sure that she had the right answer to the "reporter's" questions.

McGurn: What's U.S. Citizenship Worth?: America is no longer as attractive to highly successful people as we like to think - William McGurn: In short, America is not facing up to the big question: If you are a dynamic individual with a good business, do you want to be an American—and open up all your world-wide activities to the IRS—or might you be happy living and raising your family in a part of the world that welcomes rather than discourages success? The aforementioned IRS report suggests other countries are busy answering that question, citing a World Bank study showing that, unlike ours, "40 economies made it easier to pay taxes last year."

 'Borat' boosted tourism to Kazakhstan, official says - Emily Alpert, Kazakhstan was decidedly not amused when British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen poked fun at the former Soviet nation six years ago in his rollicking, often profane mockumentary "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." Now a Kazakh official says the ribbing has had an upside. Foreign tourism to Kazakhstan has surged since the film was released, with the number of visas to the country growing tenfold, Foreign Minister Erzhan Kazykhanov reportedly said Monday. "For us it is a great victory. I am grateful to Borat, the main character of the movie, for tourists’ keen interest in Kazakhstan,” the Kazakh-based Tengri News quoted Kazykhanov as saying.

One travel company even boasts that a Borat-themed tour to Kazakhstan is "coming soon" on its website. "Who is the real Borat from Kazakhstan? What is Borat Sagdiyev's country really like?? There are different opinions. Join us and we will discover together!!!" the Oriental Express Central Asia company promises. Image from article, with caption: This undated photo shows actor Sacha Baron Cohen in a scene from the film "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." 

Top Ten Reasons Israel tried to Censor Bob Simon’s Report on Palestinian Christians - 1. The report told Americans that there are Palestinian Christians. Right wing Israelis have attempted to displace, expropriate and erase the Palestinian nation, and to convince Americans that Palestinians don’t exist or if they do are enemies of the U.S. When the foe of the US was the Soviet Union, they made the Palestinians Communists. When the foe became al-Qaeda, they made the Palestinians violent fundamentalists.

But if some percentage of Palestinians is Christians, then that fact disrupts the propaganda. In fact, millions of Palestinians are descended from the 700,000 or so Palestinians ethnically cleansed by the Israelis from what is now Israel in 1948, of whom about 10 percent were Christian. 5. The report allowed Palestinians to speak for themselves and to refute Oren’s anti-Palestinian talking points. It is a key principle of right wing Israeli propaganda that Palestinians should never be allowed to challenge the Israeli narrative on American television. 8. The report described the Palestinian Kairos Document, calling for nonviolent, peaceful struggle by Palestinians against Israeli Occupation and land grabs. Likud propaganda insists in racist fashion that all Palestinians are inherently angry and violent and that their protest against being made stateless and homeless by Israel is irrational. 9. The report quotes an Israeli scholar who puts “Political Judaism” on par with “Political Islam.” It is a key principle of Likud propaganda that no movement in Israel may ever be compared to movements in the Muslim world. [Bob Simon’s report on Christians in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank and Jerusalem included in article (video).] Image from article

Video: A Well Crafted Piece of Propaganda Packed with Intentional Lies, Is It Sunday Already? - Yori Yanover, Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon on Sunday presented “Christians of the Holy Land,” a piece of complex, anti-Israeli propaganda that was clearly intended to cause

Israel damage among US Christians. It throws unfair accusations at Israeli Jews—who are essentially blameless in the story of the vanishing Arab Christians—while practically ignoring the active role of Palestinian Muslims in pushing Christians out of Bethlehem, to name but one city. Simon image from article

Arab refugees - Arab Philatelic Propaganda: According to the Arab narrative, during the War of Independence, Israel expelled Arabs from their homes and they now want them back. The refugees' “right of return” has been at the top of the agenda of every generation of so-called "peace talks." Their story began as early as 1947. Whether the Arabs were expelled as their current propaganda claims, or whether they left of their own accord, based on the urging of Arab leaders who expected a swift victory, is not at issue here.

What matters is that the United Nations endorsed a carefully prescribed right, but only for “Palestinian refugees”. Between 1947 and 1949 hundreds of thousands of Arabs, (reliable estimates range from 500,000 to 750,000), left Israel and poured into neighboring Arab countries. No one cares much about the much larger number of Jews expelled from Muslim lands as a result of the war. They are of course Jews. The world is blinded by the excellent Arab propaganda machine and oil. The number of refugees was bloated by Arab propaganda to a million. The Arabs were put into makeshift camps and were not welcomed by their cousins. The Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, visited the camps and saw men, women and children living in tents. They were poor, hungry and living on handouts which were often not forthcoming. No country seemed to want them. Image from entry

North Korea Thanks Its Schoolchildren For Building Such Nice Rocket Tanks - Max Fisher, Everyone in North Korea serves the military -- even, according to boastful state propagandists, kids. North Korea's official propaganda outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, recently declared the state's appreciation for all those young school kids who "helped" manufacture rocket-shooting tanks for the People's Army.

The announcement, which coincided with a military parade in the country's second-largest city to show off the vehicles, also thanked the "Democratic Women's Union." Image from article, with caption: Multiple-launch rocket systems on parade in Pyongyang. Lee Myung-bak as Rat? - Jeffrey, The North Korean propaganda campaign against South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is in high dudgeon with all manner of ugliness.

Particularly unpleasant examples can be seen in a series of cartoons showing Lee as a rat. Lee Myung-bak as rat seems to be a theme, accompanied with a threat in

KCNA to “reduce all the rat-like groups and the bases for provocations to ashes in three or four minutes, in much shorter time, by unprecedented peculiar means and methods of our own style.” Images from article

Azerbaijani propaganda in UNESCO must be stopped – Armenian PM - Armenian PM Tigran Sargsyan received the chairman of the 36th UNESCO conference, the permanent delegate of Hungary to UNESCO Katalin Bogyay and Deputy Director General of the organization Getachew Engida on Monday.

“We give great importance to the cooperation with UNESCO,” Tigran Sargsyan. Touching upon Azerbaijan’s actions in UNESCO the PM mentioned that Azerbaijan uses that platform not for deploying dialogue but for propaganda against Armenia. “UNESCO must be a platform for dialogue. Azerbaijan’s propaganda must be stopped,” the PM said. The sides also discussed joint events to be organized in the framework of ‘Yerevan – World Capital of Books 2012’ celebrations.

Nazi Speaker Information on Fashion and British Plans for for Germany - Randall Bytwerk, German Propaganda Archive: Over time I’ve been adding to the archive material intended for Nazi speakers.  This material was then used by thousands of speakers to discuss the Nazi propaganda line in public meetings throughout Germany.  Today I am adding two editions. The first is from March 1943, and attempts to deal with an unintended consequence of Goebbels’s February 1943 speech on total war.  He had called for the elimination of luxuries, but some over-eager citizens thought they were following his instructions by insulting well-dressed women.  Speakers are to say that it is still good for women to take care in their appearance.  The second edition is from mid-February 1944 and expresses outrage at English Lord Vansittart’s discussion of re-educating the Germans after the war. It also discusses Allied carpet bombing.

Hitler? There's an App for That! There are now applications available through the Apple store titled "iMussolini," "iStalin," and "Hitler," espousing fascist ideals - Rachel Hirshfeld, Tablet Magazine’s Lea Zeltserman examines the fine line between propaganda and history as it relates to the dissemination of knowledge through technology and “the smartphone world.” Now, there are applications available through the Apple Store titled “iMussolini,” “iStalin” and “Hitler,” espousing hate-ridden and fascist ideals. Appealing to potential buyer of the 99 cent “Hitler” app, which did not make it through the Apple approval process and now lacks the illustrious “i,” the developer announces, “[I]nside this Encyclopedia: You can copy full text and full pictures, to paste and send by eMail or to paste to any document inside your device to share or study later. You can zoom (in/out) all text and graphics, using two fingers to enlarge or double TAP to zoom out. This encyclopedia of Adolf Hitler digital studio can be used for university, college, or within the family and extend our knowledge. … This is one of many low price encyclopedic applications on a great repertoire.” After debating whether Mein Kampf should be on the library shelves for 65 years, the same ideology that brought about the murder of six million Jews is now available for only 99 cents at the Apple store. Regarding the iStalin app, Seltserman recalls how she listened to the dictator “expounding against the barbarian German invaders,” on her iPhone, a speech that her four Soviet grandparents likely heard decades earlier. “I was left with chills, as if my phone, normally

so faithful and reassuring, had betrayed Noble cafĂ©, we’d know exactly what to do,” Zeltserman states. “But when it comes to our haloed iPho me,” she says. “If Stalin’s speeches were being piped through the intercom at the local Barnes &nes, we’ve lost our certainty about the line between propaganda and history. After all, isn’t unfettered access to information supposed to be a democratic right?” When “iMussolini” was first released in the Italian iTunes store, it became the country’s second-most popular app, reaching 1,000 daily downloads. While Jewish groups, Holocaust survivors, and the Young Italian Communists were quick to protest, the developer of the app defended it, calling upon ‘freedom of speech.’ While the app was pulled for “copyright violations,” within a few weeks it was re-approved. “It’s a delicate page in our history that should never be forgotten,” asserted Luigi Marino, the developer of “iMussolini.” “The app does not intend to encourage violence in any way.” However, Zeltserman notes, “You can almost hear the shrug. At best, perhaps he’s just too naive to understand why people might take issue; at worst, he seems cavalier about the protests of Holocaust survivors whose objections he doesn’t even acknowledge.” Image from article, with caption, Smartphone

Best Video Game Shop - Propaganda Palace, Wonderland of the Americas, 4522 Fredericksburg, Ste F3 (210) 400-0240, Propaganda refers to itself as a "retro video game heaven" for good reason. If you're a child of the '80s and looking for a video game controller or power glove for your old NES system or a spare part for your Atari 2600, Propaganda Palace is the place to find it. Gamers with a soft spot for nostalgia looking to relive the first time they hopped over a fire-breathing Bowser to save the princess or figured out how to KO King Hippo flock here.

Owner A.J. Martinez (left) says vintage gaming is back at full force. "It's come full circle. People want to have that feeling like they're 12 years old again. Their faces light up when they play these systems. It's like Christmas." While Martinez says he's closing up shop at the Eisenhauer location, there is still a venue at the Wonderland of the Americas Mall and a new one coming to 2100 McCullough. Image from article


Americans give peace a fighting chance: Study cites drop in violent crimes - By Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times: Though Hollywood and the news media often portray the nation as a chaotic crucible of gangsters and crime, the U.S. is more“peaceful”

now than in the past two decades. So says the United States Peace Index, released Tuesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a nonprofit research group that based its conclusions on federal statistics on homicides, crimes, police employees, small arms and the jail populations of all 50 states. Image from


 "According to Alan Michie's authoritative book on the early years of RFE, jazz was used as a weapon by both sides of the Iron Curtain [:]' 'RFE in its early years contributed its quota of forbidden jazz in daily programs beamed to the younger listeners, although some of the exile broadcasters, brought up on mazurkas, polkas and waltzes, were inclined to doubt the assurances of their American advisers that jazz music would prove as infectious behind the Iron Curtain as it had been all around the world. But after Stalin's passing in 1953 the Communist regimes grudgingly lifted their taboo and their radio stations cautiously ventured to play whatever jazz records they had on file, mostly music of the 1920s and 1930s.

By 1956, however, the appetite for jazz was so accepted that the regime radios boldly introduced hit tunes from the West. Radio Warsaw smartly had its records flown in from New York. To counter this competition, RFE sharpened its own programs, and put on recognized Western jazz experts to provide the know-how that the Communists could not match. Simon Copans, an American authority who had lived many years in France and who conducted a jazz program on France's Radio Diffusion Francaise, was borrowed from that network to prepare a weekly record session, which in turn was translated and made available for broadcast by all of RFE's Voices. John Wilson's program, 'The World of Jazz,' broadcast regularly over New York City's WQXR radio station, was made available for rebroadcast over RFE, as were special jazz programs contributed by New York's radio station WNEW.'" --From Richard H. Cummings, "Beating Jamming with Jazz: Beaming Music Over The Iron Curtain," Cold War Radios; image from

No comments: