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 Martin (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

About the Author

  91 Comments

Mr. Fix
Oct 8, 2014 - 8:40am

Some of you will find this entertaining, some will not:

(NaturalNews) If you're a conspiracy theorist, then you're crazy, right? That's been the common belief for years, but recent studies prove that just the opposite is true.

Researchers -- psychologists and social scientists, mostly -- in the U.S. and United Kingdom say data indicate that, contrary to those mainstream media stereotypes, "conspiracy theorists" appear to be more sane than people who accept official versions of controversial and contested events.

The most recent study was published in July 2013 by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent in the UK. Entitled "'What about Building 7?' A Social Psychological Study of Online Discussion of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories," the study compared "conspiracist," or pro-conspiracy theory, and "conventionalist," or anti-conspiracy, comments on news websites.

The researchers noted that they were surprised to find that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventional ones.

"Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist," the researchers wrote.

'The research showed that people who favored the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile'

So, among people who comment on news articles, those who discount official government accounts of events like the 9/11 attacks and the assassination of John F. Kennedy outnumber believers by more than two-to-one. That means the pro-conspiracy commenters are those who are now expressing what is considered conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters represent a small, beleaguered minority that is often scoffed at and shunned.

Perhaps becoming frustrated that their alleged mainstream viewpoints are no longer considered as such by the majority, those who are anti-conspiracy commenters often showed anger and disgust in their posts.

"The research... showed that people who favoured the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile when trying to persuade their rivals," said the study.

Also, it seems that those who do not believe in the conspiracies were not just hostile but fanatically attached to their own conspiracy theories as well. The researchers said that, according to the anti-conspiracy holders, their own theory of 9/11 -- one which says 19 Muslims, none of whom could fly commercial airliners with any proficiency, pulled off an amazing surprise attack under the direction of a man on dialysis (Osama bin Laden) who was living in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan -- is unwaveringly true.

Meanwhile, "conspiracists," on the hand, did not have to pretend to have a theory that completely explained the events of 9/11. "For people who think 9/11 was a government conspiracy, the focus is not on promoting a specific rival theory, but in trying to debunk the official account," the researchers said.

As reported by Veterans Today:

In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist -- a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory -- accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it.


Learn more: https://www.naturalnews.com/047168_conspiracy_theorists_sanity_propaganda.html#ixzz3FYZN9b3D

sierra skier
Oct 8, 2014 - 8:51am

Just a couple of years younger than I

Putin appears to be liked by his countrymen much more so than our beloved Obama. He is a solid leader for his country and so commands great respect.

pm_newbie
Oct 8, 2014 - 8:55am

great post!

Thanks JY896.

Thanks for bringing me out of my cave where I've been immersed in the writings of Harry Dent, thinking about the four Blood Moons, The Mystery of Shemitah, and the ping pong / slam action in gold, so truly....thanks from bringing me out of all that for a moment!!! ;)

The metals threads are awesome here in Turdville, but this is the kind of stuff that makes this place a community and not only an informative place to come, but a fun place to come, and shake off all the seriousness of "everything" from time to time.

Thanks for being one of the "anchors" of this site.

Bollocks
Oct 8, 2014 - 9:24am

'The research showed

'The research showed that people who favored the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile'

That's the anger phase. When the truth about something starts to sink in there's a reaction as long-held beliefs - from which a person finds their identity and security - start to dissolve.

The angry reaction is an attack on the source of the truth, which isn't really outside them - that's just the catalyst - it's their own realisation that they are holding onto something that's falling apart.

This creates fear which turns to anger as the ego tries to keep hold. The ego is fear itself.

Of course it works both ways. Many "conspiracy theorists" have built their ego up around the theories. They can't really see the truth behind the theories, they just want something to believe in and will also defend that with outbursts of anger if they feel threatened.

Interesting research Mr Fix. Makes a lot of sense.

Green Lantern
Oct 8, 2014 - 9:55am

The conspiracy study is just

The conspiracy study is just a conspiracy to make you believe false realities. Anger based study. Hey, I wonder if they were reading DOTS to draw their conclusions?

Ok, only kidding. Good study. (Me making a positive comment is consistent with the behavior of conspiracy theorists. It's how you can detect I'm being authentic) Maybe?

Building 7. The butler did it. With a soup ladle.

Man, I gotta get outside. I'm still howling from that lunar eclipse.

Oct 8, 2014 - 10:02am

Great post JY

Kennedy was probably the last leader who might garner such respect in the US, but I suspect that he was not well loved until after his assassination. Do we have to go back to Roosevelt?

Mr Fix,

I have been pondering conspiracy theories of late. I'd like to see a list of past theories admitted to be true, such as gold suppression by the FED. I suspect there is merely a handful that are still open for true debate. The theorist has the easier burden, "falsify the official story." THAT is what scientists do every day-- they consider a theory, xam all the evidence, gather some mor specific to it, and try to falsify it statistically. If you cannot falsify it, it is accepted as "knowledge."

Conspiracies everywhere--all denied, most probably true. I know there is a danger in claiming there is a demon behind every Bush, but it's true.

Safety Dan
Oct 8, 2014 - 10:25am

Wow, What A Crowd...

.. Hajj 2014 Photos: Muslim Pilgrimage Draws Millions To ...

There have been bigger Hajj crowds as SARs reduced attendance last year.. It was estimated 2 million attended a couple years ago..

ivars
Oct 8, 2014 - 10:37am

@JY896- compliment- people shall know when things get crazy

After Stalin, such incredible adoration expression was - in Soviet Union- called "cult of personality". It was thought to be a negative, to make someone mortal above everything and worship like a god.

Well here comes another "cult of personality" in Russia, this time for Putin the new Tsar. Similar staff is going on in China with Xi Jinping "thoughts". Of course, there is always way to go to reach North Korea levels of theatrical public orgasm when seeing/hearing dear leader, but Kadirov's 100 000 march in Checnya capital comes close.

https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/04/europe_war_in_chechnya/html/1.stm

And with time, soon, Putin , as Hitler and Stalin, would start to believe in own invincibility; propaganda works both ways. And someone intelligent manipulates it in his interests.

Both masses and the Dear Leader are dumbed down by it. QED.

Oct 8, 2014 - 12:26pm

cult of personality

Obama is not doing to badly on this one either. Especially back in 2012 leading up to the election.

(Puke)

DeaconBenjamin Doctor J
Oct 8, 2014 - 1:42pm

Do we have to go back to Roosevelt?

Back when I was in high school, the school library had a condensed version of Time Magazine for various years, including the WWII years. I still remember a story I read there from Guadalcanal. As I remember it:

Just as the Marines were preparing to leave Guadalcanal, an officer found a private, looking very depressed. Then he said, “What’s the matter with you?” And he said, “Oh, I just can’t leave. I haven’t shot a Jap!” So the officer said, “Well, listen! I’ll tell you what to do. You go up to that ridge over there. Jump up, all of a sudden, and say ‘To hell with Hirohito!’ The Japs will jump up, and if you shoot first, you’ll get a Jap!”

So the officer came by a little while later, and the private was still looking very gloomy and he said,”Did you do what I told you?” “Yes, Sir! I ran up there, and I said what you told me to say, and I said, ‘To hell with Hirohito!’ And the Japs jumped up, as you said they would, but they shouted, “To hell with Roosevelt! And I couldn't shoot a Republican.”

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