Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27

“Know thyself? If I knew myself, I'd run away.”

--Goethe; image from


Benghazi and the “conditioning of managers to favor restricting the use of resources as a general orientation" - Ambassador Robert Gosende, posted at Notes and Essays:

The Ambassador is a distinguished (retired) member of the United States Foreign Service involved for decades in public diplomacy, who kindly thought this piece would be of interest to this blog's readers. Gosende image from


Kenya Boran (1974) [Includes videos] - Notes on James Blue: Anne Richardson Covers The 2014 James Blue Tribute: "Nearly everything about James Blue’s career is unpredictable. If you had to pick one film to typify the contradictions in his career, Kenya Boran, the hour long ethnographic film he co-directed with David MacDougall might be a leading contender. Commissioned by American Universities Field Staff, Kenya Boran

was funded by the National Science Foundation. For an Oscar nominated filmmaker, this is as far outside Hollywood as you can get and still stay on this planet. ... James Blue is in familiar territory here, as four of his USIA films focused on Third World development. But Kenya Boran was not made by the USIA. It is not an act of public diplomacy. Although similarly preoccupied with asymmetries of ignorance/knowledge, it comes at the question from a slightly different angle. It asks 'whose knowledge? whose ignorance?'" On James Blue, see;  on USIA, see  image from

Radio: A Window to the Freedom -- How Soviet Kitchens Became Hotbeds Of Dissent And Culture - The Kitchen Sisters npr.org: "Most kitchens had a radio that reached beyond the borders and censorship of the Soviet Union. People would crowd around the kitchen listening to broadcasts from the BBC, Voice of America, and Radio Liberte. 'It was part of our life in the kitchen,'

says Vladimir Voinovich, author of The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin. 'It was a window to the freedom.' Voinovich's books were circulated in samizdat and smuggled out of the country. One of his pieces was broadcast by a foreign radio station. 'I heard some BBC voice reading my chapters. After that I was immediately summoned to KGB.' Voinovich was expelled from the Writers Union and later forced to emigrate." Via MC on Facebook; image from, with caption: A typical Russian kitchen inside an apartment built during the early 1960s when Nikita Khrushchev led the Soviet Union — what later became known as Khrushchev apartments.

'Mass Exodus' of Foreign Ministry Officials: Yigal Palmor, veteran MFA spokesman, reportedly considering retirement. Is this the latest in a string of resignations? - israelnationalnews.com: "Veteran Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor will resign in the near future, Maariv/NRG reports Tuesday, sparking concerns over an exodus of senior officials in the office over the past several years.

Sources in the Foreign Ministry said that Palmor felt exhausted after so many years in the role, and the 'consistent weakening' of the Ministry's status, especially in issues pertaining to advocacy and public diplomacy, has pushed him to retire." Image from entry, with caption: Foreign Ministry employees strike in Jerusalem

Israel – Diaspora Affairs C’ttee To Hold Debate On Rise Of Antisemitism Following Brussels Terror Attack - jpupdates.com: "The Israeli Knesset’s Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs is scheduled to hold an urgent debate on Tuesday following the terror attack at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels and amid the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. Saturday`s terror attack left an Israeli couple and a French national dead.

A fourth person, a Belgian citizen and also employee of the museum was listed in critical condition. Addressing the attack, Committee Chairman Yoel Razvozov said 'the Jews of the Diaspora have been in danger for a while now,' adding 'we must do all we can so that incidents such as this one do not repeat themselves. I have convened the committee for an urgent discussion on this issue to make certain that all of the (relevant authorities) are doing their job' with regards to the support and assistance offered to the bereaved families and with regards to Israeli hasbara (public diplomacy) abroad." Image from entry

Educating young people to be a voice for Israel: Israel’s messengers are now confident telling the world not only to donate to Israel’s needs, but to invest in Israel’s market - Yael Eckstein, jpost.com: "Last week, I had the honor of participating in the 2014 Keren Hayesod Forum, which brought dozens of the next generation of Jewish leaders from around the world to Israel. ... Truthfully, I have been to dozens of events, programs and tours with the same objective, and all too often I end up feeling like the hasbara (public diplomacy) education taking place simply isn’t accomplishing what it is supposed to. I have heard all of the arguments presented to the young generation for supporting Israel, and although they are correct and worthwhile, they are also repetitive and overused. My peers were raised on heart-wrenching stories from the Holocaust. We know the miracles surrounding the birth of modern Israel, and that Israel is an embattled nation and the only true democracy in the Middle East. We are well aware of the fact that Israel is falsely accused of being the aggressor in conflicts, of being an 'apartheid' regime, and a host of other imagined sins. Yet we no longer want the world to look at Israel just as an embattled country that must always fight for survival, a country that her supporters must constantly stand up for in the face of adversity. We want the world to learn to see Israel as the strong and righteous country that she is.

During a three-day trip that passed in the blink of an eye, we studied the past while focusing our eyes toward the future, and were exposed to the outstanding and groundbreaking technology coming out of the Holy Land. We traveled the country from north to south and met with numerous spiritual leaders, Knesset ministers, and individuals who defied statistics and beat the odds to achieve success. We even had a private audience with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. ... For the first time in modern history, I felt like we have reached a milestone. Israel’s messengers are now confident telling the world not only to donate to Israel, but to invest in Israel. We are no longer a country that is solely identified by poverty and the constant threat of terrorism, but by success and triumph as well. Just as the statistics regarding the drop of terror attacks in Israel speak for themselves, so too does the rising number of Israeli Nobel Prize recipients and patents on new technology. With the help of our friends around the world, Israel is on the path of ushering in a new reality, and it is even better than Ben-Gurion could have ever imagined! ... The author is senior vice president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews." Image from entry, with caption: Mirrors used by Israeli start-up NewCO2fuel are seen at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovo.

It was not a political avalanche in Europe! In Hungary, the low participation is not new information! [Google "translation"]: felsofokon.hu: "Where next? Whither Europe? Moderate Democrat

political point of view, 'Closer to the citizens' attitude and effort is perhaps the most important, the success depends on other ideas! This means that the independent Public Diplomacy expansion of one hand and transparency, more advocacy needs of Member States, on the other hand." Uncaptioned image from entry

Meridian International in New York Seeking Candidates for Seasonal Positions - 26 May 2014 - pdaa.publicdiplomacy.org: "Meridian International Center is a non-profit organization that promotes international understanding through the exchange of people, ideas, and the arts. The organization works with the State Department’s Office of International Visitors to support the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), and employs seasonal staff members who supplement the full-time staff at the State Department’s New York Program Branch in New York City. Meridian International is recruiting a Seasonal Program Coordinator

who will work in New York City for no more than 9 months per year and assist a Program Officer in New York with the development of Voluntary Visitor projects and activities related to the IVLP. The group is also seeking a Seasonal Program Officer to design the New York portion of the International Visitor Leadership Program. This includes arranging appropriate professional appointments for the International Visitors, as well as producing a detailed itinerary which includes all meeting information, and topics to be discussed. More details about the positions and information on how to apply may be found on the Meridian International Center Web site." Image from entry, with caption: Meridian International Center


Russia's Alleged Propaganda Talking Points Leaked - businessinsider.com: A list of propaganda stories prepared for Russian news stations by the Kremlin have apparently been leaked by a Russian internet group called "Anonymous International," Global Voices reports. The list of prepared topics instructs television journalists to focus on praising the annexation and development of Crimea, while simultaneously portraying the Ukrainian revolution as being run by fascists and extremely damaging to Ukraine as a whole. Kevin Rothrock of Global Voices includes this translation of the first two sections of propaganda instructions: Topic — Crimea Main points 1. It should be clarified that 23 years within an independent Ukraine largely degraded Crimea, and the authorities in Kiev are to blame. The goal of Russian authorities now is ensuring the emergence of a new life on the peninsula, bringing Crimea up to Russia’s national standards of quality of life. Cleaning the Augean stables left by Ukrainian authorities cannot be accomplished overnight, but the work is underway, and Crimeans will be seeing it every day.

By order of Vladimir Putin, a number of key ministers will visit Crimea and Sevastopol. Next week, several other members of the cabinet are expected to make the trip, as well. 2. Please make an active effort in your work to promote the summer vacation season in Crimea: it’s nearby, safe, among our own people. Topic — Ukraine The bottom line for informational work: - there is an atmosphere of lawlessness and growing chaos: Nazis occupy key government posts, the Interior Ministry is paralyzed by fear (all the tough talk after the death of [Right Sector general] Aleksandr Muzychko has remained only words), crime is rampant, stupefied by its own impunity, and rising under the guise of “Maidan” activism; - the economy is spinning out of control: money that was drying up before [Maidan] is still absent; a rise in taxes in the very near future has been announced, along with cuts to welfare benefits and a government budget sequester; - in this context, bickering over power looks especially cynical. Anonymous International says that the guidelines were created by the Putin administration. Russia has not responded to these allegations. Notably, Russia President Vladimir Putin made similar comments in conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama, according to a handout from the Kremlin. Image from

The C.I.A.’s Deadly Ruse in Pakistan - Editorial, New York Times: The use of a sham vaccination program in the government’s hunt for Osama bin Laden has produced a lethal backlash in Pakistan where dozens of public health workers have been murdered and fearful parents are shunning polio vaccine for their children. Leaders of a dozen American schools of public health raised an alarm with the Obama administration 16 months ago and finally got a response this month when the White House promised that the C.I.A. will no longer use phony immunization programs in its spying operations.

Iran’s ayatollah: Jihad will last until America is wiped out - Cheryl K. Chumley, Washington Times: Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the era of negotiation of Tehran’s nuclear program has ended and that those who wanted to deal with America — which he said must be destroyed — are guilty of treason.

“Those [Iranians] who want to promote negotiations and surrender to the oppressors and blame the Islamic Republic as a warmonger in reality commit treason,” he said Sunday during a public address to members of parliament, Fars News Agency reported. Image from entry, with caption: In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014. Iran's top leader backs the continuation of nuclear negotiations with the West but says he doubts they will succeed. (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader). On this article, see.

How to deal with Chinese espionage - Eliot Cohen, Washington Post, posted at: The Justice Department ’s announcement that it was indicting five Chinese military officers on charges of stealing commercial secrets is, in one way, to be welcomed. It shines a light on the vast problem of Chinese espionage directed not only against the U.S. government but also against U.S. corporations. On the other hand, it is bizarre. Unless these five officers inexplicably intend to visit the United States, nothing will ever happen to them as a result of these indictments. The law is not the best instrument here. This is about our coming to terms with the existence of an unscrupulous mercantilist state of unprecedented size, wealth and power. It does not accept our legal norms

The New York Times' Propaganda War on Egypt -  A recent New York Times article exemplifies why the Times simply cannot be trusted.  Written by one David Kirkpatrick and titled “Vow of Freedom of Religion Goes Unkept in Egypt,” the article disingenuously interprets general truths in an effort to validate its thesis. Needless to say, that is not the impression that Kirkpatrick gives, as he quotes an unknown Copt calling the pope’s statements which were supportive of Sisi “stupid and myopic.”

Marco Rubio to U.S. Chamber: Your Cuba trip is 'misguided,' propaganda for Castro regime - miamiherald.typepad.com: "Text of letter from Republican Sen. Marco Rubio to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: ... I understand that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will be leading a business delegation to Cuba next week. As you know, I have a strong interest in the freedom and well-being of the Cuban people. And because I have great respect for much of the U.S. Chamber’s work, I want to share my perspective about why I believe the Chamber’s trip is misguided and fraught with peril of becoming a propaganda coup for the Castro regime – to the detriment of America’s strategic interest in protecting human rights around the world, as well as the Cuban people."

Public pessimism reigns in Brazil as World Cup looms - Taylor Barnes, USA Today: Public opinion polls have shown a steady erosion of enthusiasm for the event among Brazilians. In 2008, the year after Brazil was announced as World Cup host, 79% of respondents to a Datafolha poll supported the event. By April this year, the number was 48%. The same poll this year showed 55% of respondents saying the event will bring more harm than good to Brazilians. The government is spending an estimated $11 billion on stadiums and infrastructure.

When Propaganda Fails, Humanity Awakens ... The Fall of the Mainstream Media - Jeff Berwick, dollarvigilante.com: The New York Times's model is obsolete, but even worse than the model has been the paper's lack of interest in the truth. As the US empire has grown more out of control, more dangerous, and more insane, the NYT has functioned as a fourth branch of government, a gatekeeper for a totalitarian world a la 1984 or Brave New World. But the gig is up. The world knows NYT's complicity in erecting a sick and deranged world, and unless the paper breaks major news stories and outs itself as an undeniable friend of freedom, it will continue to lose revenue.

No more can NYT expect to serve the elite and its bottom line at the same time. Mainstream media is definitely dying, and this is a VERY good thing. The root of the word government combine as "to control minds." The root of the word "govern" is control and the root of "ment" is mind. Without control over minds via the media, the government will lose all control. More young people now get their news from the internet than television. In mere years most everybody will get their news from the internet because nobody will trust the mainstream. In 5-10 years people will look at you funny if you tell them you watch mainstream media. Why? Because there is no real information nor substance on mainstream media.

Propaganda Art In Your Home Decor - John Brown, Notes and Essays: Image from the article mentioned in this item:

Propaganda - relevantmagazine.com: This week we talk to one of our favorite spoken word and hip-hop artists, Propaganda. Prop weaves seamlessly between rap and poetry, challenges thoughts with his social commentary, and serves up some of the best head-nodding hip-hop around.

We also invite a listener to play a game with us, invent an exclusive new underground organization, find out what Jungle Bird has been up to and much more. Image from entry


"Hip hop is America."

--Hillary Clinton; image from


In 2006, while he was backpacking in Australia, the French photographer Antoine Bruy signed up with an international exchange program for volunteers who want to work on organic farms. The experience prompted a fascination with self-sufficient life styles, and, in particular, with people who have adopted them after having spent years in cities. From 2010 to 2013, Bruy travelled across a number of European mountain ranges, including the Carpathians and the Pyrenees, to document people who are trying to gain, in his words, “greater energy, food, economic, or social autonomy.” Next year, Bruy plans to continue his project, which he calls “Scrublands,” in the United States. Photograph by Antoine Bruy. From The New Yorker; Via AS on Facebook

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