Saturday, May 11, 2013

May 11 Public Diplomacy Review

"Crocker is a distinguished diplomat, but last year he entered a guilty plea to a charge of reckless driving while intoxicated. He he [sic] considered highly qualified for a seat on the BBG board."

--BBGWatcher, "Obama nominates Ryan Crocker [see] to serve on Broadcasting Board of Governors,"; image from


Salvador - Paul Rockower, Levantine: [Latest report on American Voices performers -- Keola Beamer and Jeff Peterson, with Moanalani Beamer -- in Brazil:] "We arrived to Salvador de Bahia, a place I was most interested to visit on the tour. Salvador, nicknamed 'Black Rome,' is the most African of Brazilian cities. The city is the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture. ... We had an afternoon workshop at the famous music and dance school Olodum (made more famous by Michael Jackson's video with the school). Keola, Moana and Jeff led a wonderful workshop on Hawaiian music and hula.

They discussed Hawaiian percussion, and gave demonstrations of Hawaiian dance, which the students loved. The thing I was most impressed with was the questions the students asked. The students were engaged, and had numerous questions about the different rhythms and expressions through dance. ... A few hours back to rest, and then we had a performance at the Association Cultura Brazil Estados Unidos for a crowd excited to hear the sounds of Hawaii and learn about its rich culture." Image from entry

Technology shifts soft power goals from "winning hearts and minds" to forming relationships - Adam Powell,  "Successful deployment of soft power in the 21st century requires rethinking not only methods but also goals. That was the message this week from Nicholas Cull, who spoke at a CCLP forum here this week. Cull, who directs the Masters Program in Public Diplomacy at USC, urged policy makers to shift from 'winning hearts and minds' to a new framing, enabled and driven by social media. 'It is post-statecraft,' said Cull. 'It's not about 'hearts and minds.' It's about relationships.' And building relationships, Cull continued, does not mean winning or losing. People who are focused on winning in a relationship, he said, are usually people to be avoided. Cull was in Washington to discuss his new book, 'The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency: American Public Diplomacy, 1989-2001.' Under USIA, Cull argued, there were extremely creative uses of technology in diplomacy; after USIA was absorbed into the Department of State, he said, that creativity was stifled. One example from the USIA era that he cited involved connecting the warring factions on the island of Cyprus.

Eventually they could communicate using American digital technology, he said, but the communications had to be routed all the way to the U.S. for relay via a computer at the University of Maryland. Once USIA was folded into the State Department - and had to use its computers - there was what Cull described as 'a terrible struggle' to update the computer system. 'Why do we need to send video?' was one of the core questions asked by people in State. The answer, said Cull, was not only that video was crucial to public diplomacy: video also needed to be used every day. Cull's remarks were at the monthly CCLP Washington DC lunch forum, presented in partnership with the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and the Public Diplomacy Council. The next forum, on June 3rd, will be 'All about eDiplomacy: from Tech Camps to the Virtual Foreign Service.'" Cull image from entry

Obama nominates Ryan Crocker to serve on Broadcasting Board of Governors - BBGWatcher, "President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency in charge of U.S. international broadcasting, which includes the Voice of America (VOA) and other U.S. government-funded media outlets providing news for overseas audiences. ... It will be interesting to see, however, especially in light of the politically motivated IRS investigations scandal and the controversy over the alleged Benghazi attack cover up, whether the Obama Administration will ask for Ambassador Crocker to replace one of three Republican vacancies on the bipartisan board or whether it will try to replace Ambassador Victor Ashe who is currently the only Republican BBG member. Ashe has developed a strong reputation for exposing and fighting mismanagement, waste and corruption within the agency. He has also been pushing for greater transparency and is credited with getting BBG meetings streamed live online and for inviting members of the public to make presentations to the board."

Diary - Julie Bishop, "Australia should seize this opportunity to increase trade and investment with Russia, the ninth-largest. ... For several decades, the Australian Embassy has leased the magnificent art nouveau Derozhinskaya Mansion in the picturesque Kropotkinsky District, named after the famous Russian anarcho-communist theorist Prince Peter Kropotkin. The building is undergoing significant restoration to preserve the work of one of Russia’s most accomplished architects, Franz Schechtel, who designed the mansion in 1901. Australia’s public diplomacy will receive a considerable boost in coming weeks as many Muscovites are lining up to see this city treasure in all its former glory."

Foreign Ministry to introduce Iranian novels to the world - "Visiting the 26th Tehran International Book Fair, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said: 'Iranian novels will be introduce to the world through the ministry.' ' IBNA: Visiting the book fair, Mehmanparast said: 'All Iranian novels will soon be supported by Iran's Foreign Ministry’s new department, Center on Public Diplomacy, and introduced to the world.'

The spokesman said: 'The book fair was welcomed warmly. Iran holds a great culture and history which should be preserved.' Tehran International Book Fair is annually held as a social and cultural phenomenon with book displays, panel discussions and publishing deals. The 26th Tehran International Book Fair wrapped up today."  Image from


Japan Protests Chinese Communist Party Propaganda Organ Report Challenging Tokyo’s Claim On Okinawa - Amrutha Gayathri, Japan registered a protest to China on Thursday over the Chinese Communist Party’s main propaganda organ, the People’s Daily newspaper, questioning Tokyo’s historical claim on Okinawa, Japan's southern-most prefecture, which is also considered a key strategic asset for the U.S. in the Asian region.


Are foodies quietly killing rock-and-roll?  - Chris Richards, Washington Post: According to analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent consumer expenditure survey, the amount of annual income that Americans younger than 25 spent dining out increased nearly 26 percent between 2000 and 2011. For ages 25 to 34, the increase was nearly 20 percent. Below image from

Pay People to Cook at Home - Kristin Wartman, New York Times: In 1970, Americans spent 26 percent of their food budget on eating out; by 2010, that number had risen to 41 percent. Over that period, rates of obesity in the United States more than doubled. Diabetes diagnoses have also soared, to 25.8 million in 2011 from roughly three million in 1968.


TSA dog bites woman at Atlanta airport - USA Today


Your Money: Protecting yourself from identity theft - Susan Tompor, USA Today: Florida ranks No. 1 for ID theft among 50 states, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission.


Basic training: Military mothers get room on base to nurse young - Susanne M. Schafer, Associated Press, Washington Times: Army civilian personnel specialist Tracey Leven recalls the time she tried to use a breast pump to express milk in a military office years ago. Instead of “breast pump in use,” she was required to put a sign on the door reading, “occupied.” That didn’t stop two male soldiers from using their keys to open the locked office. “They were surprised. I was covered up, so there wasn’t any kind of issue,” said Leven, a 29-year-old who works at the 3rd Army headquarters here in South Carolina. Now the Luling, Texas, native said she is expecting her second child and looks forward to the privacy the new room will provide. With Mother's Day on Sunday, she and other women civilian employees, women in uniform and mothers visiting this command headquarters here say they’re pleased they won’t have to hide in an office or rest room if they want to nurse or express breast milk to give to an infant later.

The high-tech 3rd Army headquarters at Shaw Air Force  Base is one of the rare U.S. military installations where a decidedly low-tech lactation room has been exclusively set aside for mothers. “I am excited and happy about the idea of this room, because I didn’t have the best-case scenario” last time, said Leven, who also is an Army spouse. The women are celebrating the room as a small victory in an overwhelmingly male-dominated military.  Image from


In the Servants’ Quarters - Juliana Barbassa, New York Times: Domestic workers in Brazil (60 percent black, 90 percent female) not only use separate bathrooms; they eat in the kitchen and ride separate elevators in the back of buildings.

They get very few benefits, work unlimited hours and can be fired on a whim. Image from

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