Happy Birthday

91
Wed, Oct 8, 2014 - 6:34am

WARNING: This piece is a shameless attempt to distract you from the world of precious metals, finance, economics and geopolitics to draw attention to a ‘strictly human interest’ story. Please do not make ANY decisions, let alone investment ones, based on the information presented. This is purely for entertainment purposes.

Politicians and governments garner favor, popularity and support from their constituents in different ways.

Some favor populist measures, such as tax breaks or benefit ‘giveaways’ to citizenry, subsidies and social entitlements – be they cash transfers or fuel/food price controls. Thus it has been since at least the days of Rome (and erudite readers can no doubt point to much earlier instances), when panem et circenses (bread and circuses) became a part of everyday parlance.

When such measures prove inadequate to generate sufficient fervor due to, say, overwhelmingly deteriorating economic conditions, or when civil liberties and human rights are being systematically curtailed, or when war is deemed necessary (or all three of the above), the specter of an external, powerful enemy and its act of outrageous aggression and villainy almost magically materialize EVERY SINGLE TIME. Some 'fringe' students of history may even point to incidents where acts of sabotage and violence may have in fact been either carried out or 'gently encouraged to happen' by agents of various government actors. This in turn justifies not only immediate and extensive government (re)action -- but a mechanism by which this can be done to the cheering on by at least a tacit majority of the population.

But in the end, both of the above avenues are rather costly. Social benefits cost taxpayer money, wars cost lots of money AND taxpayer lives (though numerically this latter has gone through a deflationary bias in recent decades, at least on the Western side). Wars mean that energy supplies must be expended, geopolitical power must be put at risk. Even via close central planning and policies of total spectrum of dominance, wars introduce elements of chance and unintended or at least poorly controlled consequences. It is a great and mighty tool in the toolbox of the ruling bodies, but ultimately a resort for special, truly deserving occasions.

The method for influencing popular opinion with the greatest ROI, great scalability (to a limit), lowest cost of entry, fewest distortions of economic systems (unless so desired, of course) and lowest ratio of unintended consequences: pure, uncut and mainlined propaganda. This of course must also be liberally applied as part of BOTH avenues above, and so remains a constant garnish (some might even say determinant) of public discourse about the performance and likeability of governments.

One of the original tomes on the topic is a surprisingly short read, and its opening and closing paragraphs may sound chilling to some:

Page 1: “THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons—a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million—who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”

Last page: “Undoubtedly the public is becoming aware of the methods which are being used to mold its opinions and habits. If the public is better informed about the processes of its own life, it will be so much the more receptive to reasonable appeals to its own interests. No matter how sophisticated, how cynical the public may become about publicity methods, it must respond to the basic appeals, because it will always need food, crave amusement, long for beauty, respond to leadership.

If the public becomes more intelligent in its commercial demands, commercial firms will meet the new standards. If it becomes weary of the old methods used to persuade it to accept a given idea or commodity, its leaders will present their appeals more intelligently.

Propaganda will never die out. Intelligent men must realize that propaganda is the modern instrument by which they can fight for productive ends and help to bring order out of chaos.” Edward Bernays: Propaganda (1928)

So it is with this lengthy preamble that I present to you what it looks like when efforts to sway the populace are executed with the most stringent care taken to safeguard shareholder return on investment in deploying funds. С Днем Рождения , товарищ Путин. Happy Birthday, Comrade.

"С Днем Рождения, Президент России" - поют "ХИТрюшки"

While most of the photos below are from (aka George Malets?) -- (please take a moment to peruse the author's blog, many more can be found there), the story was also covered in Radio Free Europe, ABC News and even the WashPo -- along with any number of media outlets decrying the sheer cult of personality on display. Putinwear and iPutin at the GUM: "GUM always was and remains the greatest country’s store."

The 12 Labors of Putin and other neoclassical pop-art, as envisioned in a collection put on display by (impromptu) curator Mikhail Antonov:

Slaying the Terrrrrist of Nemea, fighting the Hydra of Western Sanctions (note the flag on the head already severed), and vanquishing the Stymphalian Birds of Syria:

Herding the SinoRussian Relations of Geryon

Taming the Cretan Bull of Crimea

But all that is really just a warm-up. Perusing the media, one may notice that lots of great impromptu events seem to have popped up across the nation. While a few folks may have had a chance to visit an art gallery near the Kremlin, presumably many more passed by this bridge in Moscow:

A huge banner depicting U.S. President Barack Obama wearing a T-shirt wishing Russia's President Vladimir Putin a happy birthday, hangs on a bridge in Moscow, October 7, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/NEWS AGENCY RIDUS

Not to mention these fine, spontaneous expressions of civic gratitude in cities across Russia:

Russia: These 7 cities graffitied 'THANKS' to Putin on his 62nd bday

“The graffiti on the facades of apartment buildings spell out the words: Sovereignty, Memory, Arctic, Strength, History, Safety, and Olympics. The first letters of these words (Suveritet, Pamyat', Arktika, Sila, Istoria, Besopasnost, and Olimpiada) also form the word thanks (spasibo) in Russian. Altogether they appeared on walls in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Kaliningrad, and Sevastopol.

The youth educational project, Net, organised the art events. “

A fanshop even opened in New York, apparently -- making the phenomenon truly global:

USA: 'Putin the Peacemaker' t-shirts go on sale in NYC

“Julius Kasinskis, owner of the 'Peacemaker Shop' (English): "It's all about the idea of people portraying Putin as a different person. And my idea of him is totally different of what I hear as common knowledge, especially in the United States. "

But the TRUE Pièce de résistance was (at least to me) truly remarkable. As a matter of fact, it was the primary reason for wasting your time with such a fluff piece of a post in the first place. I am literally left speechless, and would invite readers to propose analogies for similar celebrations that were (or SHOULD HAVE BEEN) held for imperial political leaders who so successfully and humanely pacified earlier 'tensions' in distant provinces, and brought prosperity to the grateful inhabitants of said lands.

(from Instagram account of the former anti-Russian guerilla-leader turned Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov)

100,000 People Attend Putin Birthday Parade in Grozny (more pictures here and here)

В центре Грозного прошло многотысячное шествие в честь дня рождения Владимира Путина

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Birthdays are naturally occurring opportunities to fortify and enhance the popular image of beloved leaders. I, for one, gladly welcome the fact that our wise and benevolent overlords/puppets statesmen have now grown to “present their appeals more intelligently”.

“CBS White House reporter Mark Knoller is the unofficial but widely trusted chronicler of data on presidential travels and other day-to-day White House goings-on, so we turned to his calculations.

On Aug. 8, 2014, Knoller tweeted that Obama had taken 19 vacations totaling 125 days so far while in office. Those numbers have risen a bit due to the Martha’s Vineyard vacation, but that’s still many fewer than George W. Bush’s 65 combined trips to his Texas ranch and his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine, which totaled 407 days at the same point in his presidency.” Tampa Bay Times - PolitiFact

“The visit to the forests of the Siberian taiga will be the first time in more than 15 years that nature-lover Mr. Putin has taken a vacation on his birthday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state news agency TASS.” – WSJ

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Spartacus Rex
Oct 11, 2014 - 12:20am

@ ancientmoney, Seriously?

Here's a serious question for you (Not so) ancientmoney:

Do you really want to follow Steve's example and run your mouth same as last year when you made it perfectly obvious that you were not watching Reagan's speech supporting Goldwater while being stationed @ Camp Hansen on Okinawa, and praying to the Almighty that America would WTFU and listen, ergo assumed that such was broadcast in B&W DECADES later, or did you actually learn from that particular experience, and consider that it may be infinitely wiser to STHU, first ASK 'Ol Rex, why Steve's naïve extrapolations are in error, and actually listen so that you & yours' might benefit?

Although I am just as willing as other Turdites to “give” considerably “more than I take” here at TFMR, and help others overcome and discard their ignorance, I sure as hell am not going to waste any time beating a dead horse in a futile attempt to fix stupid.

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” Benjamin Franklin

Cheers & Semper Fi, S. Rex

question
Oct 10, 2014 - 12:40pm

History Does Repeat

And so does dummy me

question
Oct 10, 2014 - 12:20pm

History Does Repeat

Conspiracies in real life??? Another way to look at things. Maybe it makes too much sense

Dark Age America: The Collapse of Political Complexity

"...it’s far from difficult to see how the same pattern of elite extinction through the collapse of political complexity will likely work out here in North America. The ruling elites of our society, like those of the late Roman Empire, are superbly skilled at manipulating and parasitizing a fantastically elaborate bureaucratic machine which includes governments, business firms, universities, and many other institutions among its components. That’s what they do, that’s what they know how to do, and that’s what all their training and experience has prepared them to do.it’s far from difficult to see how the same pattern of elite extinction through the collapse of political complexity will likely work out here in North America. The ruling elites of our society, like those of the late Roman Empire, are superbly skilled at manipulating and parasitizing a fantastically elaborate bureaucratic machine which includes governments, business firms, universities, and many other institutions among its components. That’s what they do, that’s what they know how to do, and that’s what all their training and experience has prepared them to do."

"...the replacement of a ruling class that specializes in managing abstract power through institutions with a ruling class that specializes in expressing power up close and in person, using the business end of the nearest available weapon. "

From

Dark Age America: The Collapse of Political Complexity

John Michael Greer, Archdruid Report

sierra skierancientmoney
Oct 10, 2014 - 10:06am

acientmoney/rex

I caught that as well. The first week of October a=has shown intense record sales of ASEs. I know I helped that surge with my healthy order at these desired prices.

Safety Dan
Oct 10, 2014 - 9:58am

"Rockefeller Foundation’s

"Rockefeller Foundation’s Futurist Paper Details ‘Ebola Plot’"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEvYdNP2unk#t=69

It’s the stuff of Sci-Fi horror, and it’s no longer confined to Hollywood…


While elite US and European families like the Rockefellers, along with their dynastic underlings like Bill Gates (image, above) continue their obsession with over-population, while investing heavily in vaccines and dispensaries in the Third World, terms continue to become blurred by evermore deceptive labeling of seemingly artificial threats:

“Other lines of current immunological contraceptive research continue to seek what, during the 1930s, Max Mason of the Rockefeller Foundation called “anti-hormones”: vaccines to block hormones needed for very early pregnancy and a vaccine to block the hormone needed for the surface of the egg to function properly.”

Considering current events, this should be a subject of concern to the public at large…

The article below, by author Shepard Ambellas, looks at this influential US foundation/think tank’s idea, or future scenario where a ‘New World’ is be formed following a major biological pandemic. The prestigious Rockefeller Foundation appears to have already mapped out our future for us:

“The pandemic also had a deadly effect on economies: international mobility of both people and goods screeched to a halt, debilitating industries like tourism and breaking global supply chains.”

The present Ebola scare is fast fitting perfectly into Rockefeller’s ‘Flu pandemic’ mind-scaping exercise. As 21WIRE reported last week, the US is setting the pace for hyping the Ebola scare, but at the same time helping to conceal the true nature and the lab-based pedigree of this latest deadly outbreak in West Africa. When you combine this with this with traditional Rockefeller funding and support for global government and the eugenics agenda, it’s not hard to see how a pandemic like Ebola could help to fast-track long-term goals and objectives of the Establishment’s family-owned cartels.

The naysayers might be shocked at the possibility of a Big Pharma Ebola, or other pandemic conspiracy, but it would be naive to think that there’s not a profit motive at work here.

Much more at the link above....

Safety Dan
Oct 10, 2014 - 9:29am

John Oliver covers civil

John Oliver covers civil asset forfeiture.

In jurisdictions across the country, police are allowed to employ a tool called civil asset forfeiture, whereby they can seize money and property based simply on the assumption that it has been used for criminal activity. No conviction is necessary, and often, the police are allowed to keep some, if not all, of the property for themselves. Sounds like the perfect setup for overzealous policing and corruption, right?

In a long segment from This Week Tonight, John Oliver takes on the dubious practice and the behavior it encourages and calls for a reevaluation of the system. He also calls for a reworking of Law & Order and its ilk to “make them a lot more representative of what is actually happening,” drawing on the wonderfully deadpan assistance of Jeff Goldblum.

Civil Forfeiture: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Did you know police can just take your stuff if they suspect it's involved in a crime? They can!
It’s a shady process called “civil asset forfeiture,” and it would make for a weird episode of Law and Order.
See?

Safety Dan
Oct 10, 2014 - 9:20am

Thoughts Of China Slowdown...

We can surmise China is now slowing down. GDP will fall and workers will loose work. Even employers of state run businesses will likely fail & take out bankruptcy in the coming year.

Idea for all.. From Mark Hart..

Purchase 7 Yuan (per dollar) puts one year + out or so...

Current exchange rate is 6.13 Yuan per $1.00

Safety Dan
Oct 10, 2014 - 9:13am

From Pol Pot to ISIS:

From Pol Pot to ISIS: “Anything that flies on everything that moves”

Get short URL

Published time: October 09, 2014 16:03

The 2D Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry, enters Snoul, Cambodia on 4 May 1970 (image from www.history.army.mil)

12159

​In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”.

As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.

As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again.A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.

According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders”. Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu”, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck.

The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told … That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”

A Finnish Government Commission of Enquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”. What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed.Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000

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Safety Dan
Oct 10, 2014 - 9:02am
ancientmoneySpartacus Rex
Oct 10, 2014 - 8:27am

S. Rex, re: facts . . .

You really need to look harder before you "correct" others. The chart you posted to prove you are right and SRSROCCO wrong, only goes through September. He was speaking of sales through October 8th.

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