Voices from Russia

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Why J-Lo Is More Ethical Than Our Greatest Statesmen

01 Mammon

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I’m not sure when I first became aware of the oeuvre of the “singer” Jennifer Lopez… she of the two-note vocal range… but it may well have been when I was living in Kazakhstan in late 1999. As the new millennium approached, her track Waiting for Tonight was in heavy rotation on the German music channel I got with my satellite TV package. It was utterly rotten, but better than the works of Die Fantastischen Vier (click here), so I sometimes let it play out. Anyway, that early association of J-Lo + Central Asian autocracy might explain why I was neither shocked nor all that bothered when word got out that Jenny from the Block performed for Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the dictator of Turkmenistan. I mean… commercial pop star accepts cash for performance… whoa, stop the presses!

Yes, yes, I know, Berdymukhamedov’s a nasty man. That’s true. However, you know what? I recall that when I was in Kazakhstan, Vanessa-Mae (click here)… now largely forgotten, but at that time considered a superhot pop/classical act… played in the capital Astana during the New Year celebrations and nobody cared. Indeed, lots of pop stars have performed for shady types in oppressive post-Soviet régimes for two decades now. Nevertheless, since J-Lo isn’t yet totally washed up, all of a sudden, it’s news. Of course, J-Lo’s entourage claimed that she wouldn’t have performed for Berdymukhamedov had she known who he is… apparently none of them heard of this thing called “Google”. Then, a human rights organisation revealed that she’s raked in as much as 10 million bucks (325 million Roubles. 7.7 million Euros. 6.6 million UK Pounds) over the years performing in Azerbaijan, Belarus, and elsewhere, and has even serenaded the ever-charming Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya, so the professed innocence seems dubious.

Of course, she’s hardly alone in her penchant for entertaining dodgy geezers… Beyonce and Mariah Carey once sang for members of Gaddafi’s family; Sting hung out with Islam Karimov’s daughter for ca$h; and lots of celebrities chilled at Kadyrov’s expense, from Hilary Swank to Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu. It’s the same story every time (unless you’re Depardieu, who doesn’t care)… “Oh, I didn’t know…” even as they’re trousering a wad of dollars, which some later gave away out of sincere regret/for face-saving PR (delete as appropriate). You can believe their claims of ignorance if you like, but, you know, Gaddafi was kind of famous, and, as I said, there’s this thing called Google…

The selectiveness of the outrage bothers me. You see, all of these celebrities are clear about what they do… they perform for money. J-Lo is a businesswoman and she does business in dodgy places, like ExxonMobil or Coke or Apple. However, she’s a trivial person; she doesn’t matter. If we’re going to savage her, then, there are some bigger targets we ought to focus on first. Like Tony Blair, for instance… his consulting agency Tony Blair Associates is currently advising the government of Kazakhstan in exchange for buckets of cash. That’s much dodgier than an aging single mother of two dancing for some khan in the desert; indeed, dancing for the khan is more honourable… it’s an ancient art and comes free of Tony Blair’s self-righteous, self-exculpatory blather.

What about Bill Clinton, everybody’s favourite vegan ex-president? He makes millions each year blathering away to foreigners; a speech from Clinton can cost you half a million bucks (16.25 million Roubles. 400,000 Euros. 325,000 UK Pounds), and he won’t even put on a skin-tight sparkly dress for you. Sometimes, he talks to Canadians and Swedes, but if the payday is good enough, he’ll jet off to Saudi Arabia, a country so oppressive it makes Turkmenistan look like a San Francisco nudist colony circa 1968. The rulers of assorted oppressive oil-rich regimes gain a lot of cachet by hosting Clinton. What prestige did Berdymukhamedov gain by having the fading singer of Love Don’t Cost a Thing mime on stage for him? Zero.

Then, there’s Al Gore, who hates global warming so much that he sold his rubbish TV station to the Emir of Qatar for 500 million USD (16.25 billion Roubles. 380 million Euros. 330 million UK Pounds), and I needn’t add that the champion greenhouse-gas-generating emir isn’t known for his progressive views either. Sure, Gore got a bit of stick for that, but not enough. That’s not fair. Has J-Lo spent her career banging on about human rights in Central Asia only to turn against everything she’d ever said as soon as the payout was awesome enough? No. On the other hand, Al Gore smeared himself with filthy lucre as quick as he could.

Let’s be reasonable here. J-Lo is paid to entertain. Sometimes, she entertains unpleasant people. However, she’s got a toy boy… she has to keep him in bling, you understand, and, at least, she works hard for an hour or so on stage to get her money. Compare that with some of the most respected, allegedly enlightened statesmen of our age who’ll spout platitudes at just about any old thug if the bucks are big enough. I know who I think is more honest.

17 July 2013

Daniel Kalder

RIA-Novosti

http://www.en.rian.ru/columnists/20130717/182283906/Transmissions-from-a-Lone-Star-Why-J-Lo-Is-More-Ethical-Than-Our.html

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As John Robles Sees It… Broadcasting Board of Governors to be US “Ministry of Truth”, Next Step in Information War

00 Right Wing Lies. 18.07.13

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In what looks like a desperate move by the US government to manipulate and misinform the US populace due to the waning popularity of Congress, the Intelligence Community, the “War” Department, and the President, on 2 July the US government quietly lifted a prohibition on allowing government-produced propaganda to be directed at Americans inside the USA. The new “modifications” to the Smith-Mundt Act will allow propaganda produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the propaganda arm of the US government, which broadcasts Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, to be fed to and directed at the American populace. That is, in their words, “they’ll provide access” to their “material” so Americans can see what’s being broadcast abroad.

If you’re reading this, then, you’re one of a growing number of the world’s English-reading population that’s sought news and information from non-US corporate or government-controlled entities. Whether you’re interested in hearing unbiased reporting, seeking the truth, attempting to get the whole story, or trying to get an opposing view, you’ve come to the right place. Thanks to the internet, it’s possible for people, both in the USA as well as the world, to access non-US-based independent and alternative media in order to get a real perspective about events that don’t go through American filters, which may be biased or censored.

An example of such bias might be calling Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi a dictator rather than a leader, calling foreign-import terrorists and cannibals in Syria “rebels”, or calling Edward Snowden a traitor rather than a whistleblower. Examples of censorship and blackouts are even more numerous and insidious, some examples include the complete media blackout that exists in the UK with regard to Julian Paul Assange, the limited reporting in the USA on Snowden, or the complete and almost total blackout and manipulation that exists in Serbia and on any news coming out of that country. A couple years back, US Secretary of State Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton indignantly complained that the USA was losing the global media war. Apparently, the US government thought that the internet would be an American-controlled propaganda distribution and spying tool, but unfortunately for Washington, this hasn’t been the case, as the internet allowed Americans to access alternative media and alternative views.

This latest step in the American media mind-control battle is chilling for many reasons. The extreme and violent reaction by the US government to the recent revelations of it own illegality by WikiLeaks, Bradley Edward Manning, and now Edward Snowden, to name a few, shows just how truly terrified and obsessed the US government is, now that its illegality is revealed. The Obama Administration and the US government’s war on journalists, whistleblowers, and truth-seekers and their continuing attempts to control, muzzle, and censor the internet and the American mass media hasn’t been enough apparently. Now, the USA wants to transmit propaganda to the American populace, in effect, filling the information vacuum they’re creating with their own “manufactured” content, therefore, nullifying the mission and the purpose of the Fourth Estate.

This latest move makes it appear even more as if the US government is using George Orwell’s Oceania as a blueprint for the new “Amerika” and the “Homogenous American World” planned by the Project for a New American Century… a plan that needed an event such as 9/11 to serve as a catalyst. 9/11 allowed for the total global military expansion of the USA and its surrogate NATO, in order to force the world into submission if it decides it doesn’t want to be part of a Homogenous American World. We’ve seen the endless state of war that the citizens of Oceania had to live with brought to reality with the endless “Global War on Terror”, with endless threats and fabricated battles against “evil” leaders such as Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar Hafez al-Assad, and ex-CIA asset Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, with countries destabilised and invaded by the USA as examples of how terrible the world is, and how “honourable and “just” Big Brother is in “protecting American lives” and “spreading democracy”.

We’ve also seen the complete and total surveillance state that the Oceanians had to live under realised though the internet and the NSA’s PRISM and related programmes. With the help of “Internet Giants”, the American populace has become glued to their monitors and their narcissistic social media pages ready to accept that everything they do on-line is recorded and watched by “Big Brother” in order to guarantee their own safety. Microsoft even has a patent, taken out in 2011, for something almost exactly like the Oceanian telescreen surveillance system. Even Oceania’s Ministry of Love and the constant fear of torture or secret indefinite arrest have been realised with the knowledge that the USA tortures and renditions, and maintains “Ministry of Love”-type installations in Guantánamo and Super Max. Moreover, the US government can now drone and indefinitely detain Americans without charge or trial or contact with the outside world. The only thing that was lacking, as if the corporate-controlled American mass media, which almost never goes against the government line, wasn’t enough, was an Orwellian Ministry of Truth. Orwell wrote, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past”. With the allowing of US government manufactured propaganda to be directed at Americans, the USA now has its own internal Ministry of Truth.

The wording of the legislation and the ease by which it will be manipulated will soon make Americans the subject of Ministry of Truth-type propaganda. Not only will your news be filtered, Americans, as it is now, but now it’ll also be cleverly manufactured. At this point, the only hope for Americans is that the US State Department, which controls the BBG, is as inept as “winning the hearts and minds” of Americans as they are at winning the hearts and minds of the rest of the world. There was probably a good reason why it was illegal for the US State Department to broadcast “internally-authored news stories” that are broadcast around the world by US government-controlled and -financed broadcasters. However, in the name of “security” and “terror”, Americans have been conned into letting another right fall to the wayside through the passing of this new law. In an extreme scenario, one could view this as the death of the Fourth Estate.

The bill to change the Smith-Mundt Act was introduced by US Representatives William “Mac” McClellan Thornberry (R-TX), and David Adam Smith (D-WA). They pushed the entire security and terror reasoning to the extreme with Smith saying in 2012, “Effective strategic communication and public diplomacy should be front-and-centre, as we work to roll back al-Qaeda’s and other violent extremists’ influence among disaffected populations. An essential part of our efforts must be a coordinated, comprehensive, adequately-resourced plan to counter their radical messages and undermine their recruitment abilities. To do this, Smith-Mundt must be updated to bolster our strategic communications and public diplomacy capacity on all fronts and mediums, especially online”. We know that the USA already censors, blocks, and shuts down al-Qaeda and extremist sites worldwide and the internal American internet is almost under a complete and total lockdown. So, what’s the real reason for allowing government manufactured propaganda to be directed at the American masses? Big Brother needs a voice to maintain his power and legitimacy, this change to the Smith-Mundt Act gives it that.

Look for the Ministry of Truth, coming soon, in subtle ways, to the American populace.

00 John Robles. VOR 06.1217 July 2013

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_07_17/Broadcasting-Board-of-Governors-to-be-US-Ministry-of-Truth-next-step-in-information-war-2897/

Editor’s Note:

Guess Who works for the BBG? Yep… Victor Potapov. This piece means that the BBG (and RFE/RL and VOA) are on the Centre‘s shit-list. This means that Darling Fr Victor may become persona non grata at the Centre (one can hope). Freddie M-G is part of Uncle Sugar‘s spin-machine, too… she works (or worked) for NPR as a manager. Two propagandists for the price of one! Perhaps, Hilarion Kapral should rethink allowing her to speak at ROCOR parishes, as she’s part of (or was part of) the American dezinformatsiya apparat (of course, it goes twice as much for Potapov). Let’s not forget Fatso… he’s part of the rightwing K Street slimeocracy and the Moonie crowd at the Washington Times. Well, well, well… shitbirds of a feather DO flock together. Do we really want such sorts amongst us in influential places? Interesting question, no?

One last thing… the BBG is a well-known Langley front. Do we really want those mixed up with such questionable sorts as influential clerics/figures in our Church? That’s the $64,000 Question

BMD 

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