Tag Archives | Propaganda

NSA’s Big Defenders Cash Big NSA Checks

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

via Lee Fang at The Intercept:

The debate over the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records has reached a critical point after a federal appeals court last week ruled the practice illegal, dramatically raising the stakes for pending Congressional legislation that would fully or partially reinstate the program. An army of pundits promptly took to television screens, with many of them brushing off concerns about the surveillance.

The talking heads have been backstopping the NSA’s mass surveillance more or less continuously since it was revealed. They spoke out to support the agency when NSA contractor Edward Snowden released details of its programs in 2013, and they’ve kept up their advocacy ever since — on television news shows, newspaper op-ed pages, online and at Congressional hearings. But it’s often unclear just how financially cozy these pundits are with the surveillance state they defend, since they’re typically identified with titles that give no clues about their conflicts of interest.

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What if the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster never happened?

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

For people of a certain age, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster is one of those events where one remembers where they were and what they were doing, not unlike JFK’s assassination or the morning of September 11, 2001.

It was the worst space program disaster since Apollo 1, resulting in the deaths of all astronauts aboard the Challenger. Or so we have been led to believe.

The official details of the disaster are fairly straight forward, as the Wikipedia entry attests:

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter Challenger (OV-099) (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members, which included five NASA astronauts and two payload specialists. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida at 11:38 EST (16:38 UTC).

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Swedes Use ‘Gay Propaganda’ to Deter Russian Submarines

A bizarre maneuver to fend off Russian subs using “gay propaganda” is being employed by the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, the world’s oldest peace organization and three-time Nobel Peace Prizewinner, as reported by the Moscow Times:

A Swedish peace group has devised a unique way of fending off unwanted naval intrusions after reports of Russian submarines entering the country’s territorial waters last year — erecting a device that taps out in Morse code: “This way if you are gay.”

The broadcasting device, which has been lowered into the sea near Stockholm, is also covered by a flashing neon sign that shows a sailor gyrating back and forth in nothing but skimpy pants, according to a video published last week by The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, the group behind the move .

“Welcome to Sweden, gay since 1944” reads the neon sign in English. Sweden decriminalized homosexuality 71 years ago, while Russia recently banned the promotion of “gay propaganda” to minors in what critics say represents a crackdown on LGBT rights.

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America’s Propaganda War With Islamic State

ISIS, or Islamic State as it’s variously known, has been hailed for its sophisticated use of social media to recruit fans and followers. The United States Government has been battling them in propaganda stakes reports the Washington Post:

As fighters surged into Syria last summer, a video surfaced online with the grisly imagery and sneering tone of a propaganda release from the Islamic State.


“Run, do not walk, to ISIS Land,” read the opening line of a script that promised new arrivals would learn “useful new skills” such as “crucifying and executing Muslims.” The words were juxtaposed with images of the terrorist group’s atrocities: kneeling prisoners shot point-blank; severed heads positioned next to a propped-up corpse; limp bodies left hanging from crosses in public squares.

The source of the video was revealed only in its closing frame: the U.S. Department of State.

“Welcome to ISIS Land” was in some ways a breakthrough for the U.S.

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Ann Lewis GILF activist artist’s SHATTERING catharsis

They-dont-realize-we-are-seeds1

Ann Lewis (gilf) “They don’t realize we are seeds”, Mixed Media

Joseph Gross Gallery is pleased to present SHATTERING, a solo exhibition of new work by Ann Lewis, also known as gilf!,

Opening Reception:
Thursday, May 7th | 6-9 PM
in Chelsea at 548 W 28th Street, suite 232.

Exhibition Dates: May 7-May 30, 2015 April 16, 2015 (New York, NY)

Based in Brooklyn, Ann Lewis (gilf!) is one of NYC’s most recognized and provocative female street and activist artists. She creates bold public work and gallery work that inspire thoughtfulness, while simultaneously motivating progressive change within communities. Earlier this year, the artist garnered national media attention when she installed a colossal banner resembling police caution tape that read ‘GENTRIFICATION IN PROGRESS’  at the former graffiti mecca 5 Pointz in Queens, New York. Since receiving her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin Madison, her work has been reviewed in Blouin Art Info, New York Magazine, New York Daily News, Brooklyn Street Art, Gothamist, and Wooster Collective.

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The Shiite Rambo Takes on ISIS

Abu Azrael, as he is known, is purported to be a legendary commander of the Imam Ali Brigade, an Iranian proxy group fighting in Iraq. He has become a cult figure with Iraqi social media users creating tribute Facebook pages to him and circulating images of Abu Azrael holding axes, waving swords, and abusing the corpses of ISIS fighters.

More information here.

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LA Times: “If Clinton loses this election, it will not be television’s fault.”

The left oriented press criticized the Republican National Committee in 2013 for accepting a resolution that would ban CNN and MSNBC from covering the republican candidacy debates.

WHEREAS, former Secretary Hillary Clinton is likely to run for President in 2016, and CNN and NBC have both announced programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton; and

WHEREAS, these programming decisions are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election; and

WHEREAS, airing this programming will jeopardize the credibility of CNN and NBC as supposedly unbiased news networks and undermine the perceived objectivity of the coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign by these networks…

RESOLVED, that if CNN and NBC continue to move forward with this and other such programming, the Republican National Committee will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor…

The rhetoric from critics is the same argument we have all heard over the years…”you mean fox news is biased?” “They at least report news, Fox is nothing but bias” and so on.… Read the rest

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Hal Hefner’s “They Live” Inspired “Consume” Series

Artist and storyteller Hal Hefner has created a gorgeous series of poster style art pieces called “Consume” inspired by the 1988 John Carpenter film “They Live,” which, as each commercial break passes, seems to be more of a prescient (and depressingly accurate) warning of the totalitarian conformist consumer dystopia to come, much in the vein of “Network” or “1984,” than some mere sci-fi, space, alien slugfest starring wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper and a host of everyman character actors.

Channeling pop culture icons, ad campaigns that have been scratched into the surface of all of our brains by endless repetition, the aforementioned alien overlords and graffiti artist gone good Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama poster, Hefner has given us each a pair of those special sunglasses that we can’t just take off and ignore anymore.

Static Hopelessness or Hope and Change we can actually Believe in?

BUY MORE STUFF. BE HAPPY.… Read the rest

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Middle schoolers: Uncle Sam wants you

August Say, 12, holds out his arm to determine where he should stand in class in the new Dragon Leadership Corps at his middle school in Bowling Green, Ohio.

August Say, 12, holds out his arm to determine where he should stand in class in the new Dragon Leadership Corps at his middle school in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Seth Kershner via In These Times:

Last year, Henry F. Moss Middle School in Bowling Green, Ohio, offered students a brand new course. And, as a headline in the local newspaper proclaimed, this was “not your traditional class.” For starters, the teacher—an army sergeant—had told the Bowling Green Daily News that one of his goals was to expose these seventh- and eighth-graders to “military values” that they could use as “building blocks” in life. To that end, students in the class earn military style ranks, engage in army-style “PT” (physical training) and each Wednesday, wear camouflage pants and boots.

This is the Moss Middle School Leadership Corps, part of the growing trend of military-style education for pre-adolescents.

Middle school military programs are younger cousins of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), a Pentagon program taught by retired military officers and present in more than 3,500 high schools nationwide.

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