Gates Foundation Funds Message Placement in TV Series

If you’ve found yourself particularly stirred to social action after sitting through the latest episode of your favorite television drama, you may have the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to thank. Having tackled malaria, homelessness and everything in between, the Foundation is hoping that it can use prime time TV staples to raise awareness and move American audiences to help out in its global philanthropic mission.

Taking traditional product placement a step further, the Foundation has been working behind the scenes to influence public attitudes by inserting important themes into the storylines of television shows like “Private Practice” and “Law and Order: SVU.” According to The New York Times, money from the Gates foundation funded script development for an “ER” episode in which George Clooney, reprising his role as Dr. Doug Ross, advocated for organ donation.

Gates, once again the world’s richest man, met last week with representatives from Viacom, the parent company of MTV, VH1 and BET, to discuss the new “message placement” paradigm. A new partnership between the Foundation and the media giant, dubbed “Get Schooled,” will bring philanthropy experts and programming executives together to develop storylines and new shows that center on education. As the relationship develops, the Gates Foundation plans to provide funding for production of shows that support their philanthropic vision.

Take Part: Gates Foundation Funds Message Placement in TV Series

(via Disinfo)

Obscuring the truth for a living

In the wake of the mercury in high fructose corn syrup making rounds this week, Johnny Brainwash has some info about the flacks trying to defend the good name of the corn refinement industry, as well as illuminating information about how they operate.

Full Story: dysnomia.us

Government Using BI Software To Measure Public Diplomacy

A State Department division that runs public diplomacy programs overseas could prove to be a model to its peers with its use of business intelligence software, popular with the private sector, to demonstrate the return on investment of its expenditures. Its latest project is a pilot program to develop algorithms that better show correlations between the department’s goals and its expenditures, using SAP Business Objects Planning XI software.

The State Department last year spent $357 million on diplomacy programs designed to create a positive image of the United States in other parts of the world. These include summer camp programs for kids in the Middle East, the American Corners information libraries at various U.S. embassies, and speaking engagements by American celebrities.

Government Using BI Software To Measure Public Diplomacy — Government Business Intelligence.

US Special Forces counter-insurgency manual leaked on Wikileaks

“US Army Field Manual FM 31-20-3, Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces; 2004 edition. Made US Army doctrine (policy) on 20 September 1994; 219 printed pages. Written at the sensitive but unclassified level.

This sensitive US military counterinsurgency manual could be critically described as “What we learned about running death squads and propping up corrupt government in Latin America and how to apply it to other places”. Its contents are both history defining for Latin America and, given the continued role of US Special Forces in the suppression of insurgencies and guerilla movements world wide, history making.

The document, which is official US Special Forces policy, directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control, restrictions on labor unions & political parties, suspending habeas corpus, warrantless searches, detainment without charge, bribery, employing terrorists, false flag operations, concealing human rights abuses from journalists, and extensive use of “psychological operations” (propaganda) to make these and other “population & resource control” measures palatable.”

(via Wikileaks. h/t: Conspiracy Planet)

The Documentary “Why We Fight”

Why We Fight (2005) is a documentary film directed by Eugene Jarecki about the United States relationship with war. Its title is an allusion to the World War II-era newsreels of the same name, which were commissioned by the United States to justify their decision to go to war against the Axis Powers.

It describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military-industrial complex and its involvement in the wars led by the United States during the last fifty years, and in particular in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. The film alleges that in every decade since World War II, the American public has been told a lie to bring it into war to fuel the military-economic machine, which in turn maintains American dominance in the world.

It includes interviews with John McCain, Chalmers Johnson, Richard Perle, William Kristol, Gore Vidal and Joseph Cirincione. The film also incorporates the stories of a Vietnam War veteran whose son died in the September 11, 2001 attacks and then had his son’s name written on a bomb dropped on Iraq; a 23-year old New York man who enlists in the United States Army citing his financial troubles after his only family member died; and a former Vietnamese refugee who now develops explosives for the American military.”

(via Google Video)

The Summer of Love Breeds a Season of Hate: The Effects of the Manson Murders on Public Perceptions of the Hippie Lifestyle

“At the time of this writing, interesting recent press coverage hearkens back to two of 1969s most notorious events.

The first story concerns the new search for possible Manson family murder victims long rumored to have been buried in the desert near Manson’s old hideout at Barker Ranch in California’s Death Valley. This theory of unknown murder victims stems from a statement attributed to Manson family member Susan Atkins, who allegedly told a fellow inmate she was incarcerated with that there were “three people out in the desert that they done in,” referring to other possible victims during the Manson family’s spree of killings during the summer of 1969. As reported by the press, a team of forensic scientists have traveled recently to Barker Ranch and used cadaver dogs, ground penetrating radar and other equipment in an attempt to locate these possible victims. According to the report, the scientists located “three large areas of interest.”

The story second concerns a BBC News report that details the revelation from the FBI’s own files that the Hell’s Angels may have actually tried to assassinate Mick Jagger at his rented home in Long Island, New York in retaliation for Jagger?s comments following the disastrous concert at Altamont in late 1969. The murder attempt supposedly failed after the boat carrying the would-be assassins foundered during a storm, almost drowning them.

That these two stories continue to resonate in modern times in not such a surprise. The article below discusses the detrimental effects that the Manson murders, the ill-fated concert at Altamont, and numerous other crimes that the press of the day dubbed “hippie murders”, had on the hippie image.”

(via Steamshovel Press)

(For another good read about the dark side of “the Age of Aquarius” check out “Turn Off Your Mind”, by Gary Lachman)

Population to be Sprayed with Unregistered Pesticide

“The people living in the Bay area of California are about to be sprayed with a new pesticide not registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in a pre-emptive strike against a perceived threat from the Light Brown Apple Moth.

In August, the California Department of Food and Agriculture plans to spray pesticides in five Bay Area counties for the invasive species’ (CBS 5, 2008). One of the chemicals being used is Checkmate, manufactured by Suterra, LLC, which is owned by Stewart Resnick, one of the richest men in California, and owner of the largest farming operation of tree crops in the world. Mr. Resnick is also included in California Governor Schwarzenegger’s top 100 donors. (Arnold Watch, 2008)

“Mr. Resnick has developed and owns a number of successful companies including Paramount Agribusiness, the largest farming operation of tree crops in the world, which includes Paramount Citrus, Paramount Farming and Paramount Farms, growers, processors and marketers of citrus, almonds and pistachios; POM Wonderful, grower of pomegranates and maker of the all-natural POM Wonderful pomegranate juice; Teleflora, the largest floral wire service in the world; FIJI Water, the second largest imported bottled water in the United States and the newest member of the Roll family of companies; The Franklin Mint, a leader in high-quality collectibles; and Suterra, the largest biorational pest control company in the United States. (Political Friendster, 2006)”

The pesticide used to spray Santa Cruz last year was the same product, but without a new active ingredient. The new and improved Checkmate contains two active ingredients. It is this version that will be used on Bay Area residents.”

(via Freedom’s Phoenix)

Interview with Kevin Annett

Kevin Annett is a former United Church minister in Vancouver, Canada, who was fired without cause in 1995, and then expelled from the same church without due process, after he had unearthed evidence of the theft of native land by church officers, and of the murder of native children at the United Church residential school in Port Alberni, British Columbia, where Kevin ministered.

Since his firing and blacklisting by the United Church, Reverend Annett has worked as an advocate and counsellor in aboriginal healing circles on the west coast. He organized the first international Tribunal into Canadian residential schools in Vancouver in June, 1998, at which a United Nations affiliate, IHRAAM, presided.

Reverend Annett is working with aboriginal and human rights groups around the world in an effort to bring charges of complicity in Genocide against the government of Canada, the Anglican, United and Roman Catholic churches, and the RCMP. He is serving as the secretary of the recently-established Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada, has authored a book about his experiences, “Love and Death in the Valley”, and co-produced the documentary “Unrepentent” about the church’s coverup in the genocide of 50,000 Native Americans.

“John LeKay: When you first arrived at your new parish and were invited to conduct a wedding ceremony at the native reserve; you asked a native man by the name of Danny Gus – why there were no natives showing up for mass on Sunday. He turned around and said “because they killed my friend, he is buried up in the hills behind the church”. What was your initial reaction when you heard this?

Kevin Annett: Disbelief. I wanted proof but didn’t know where to look for it.”

(via Heyoka Magazine)

(Related: the documentary “Unrepentant” via Google video. Hidden From History website. Hidden From History: The Canadian Holocaust)

Exposed to Military Chemical and Biological Warfare Tests, They Walk Among Us

“Thousands of people who may have been exposed to chemical or biological agents during military tests remain unaccounted for, and the Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs have given up on tracking them down, according to a new report.

Some of the tests were conducted as part of a weapons testing program known as “Project 112,” in others, individuals were intentionally exposed to hazardous substances such as blister, nerve, and biological agents as well as LSD and PCP, according to a Government Accounting Office report (PDF).

Any veteran who believes they sustained a disabilities from exposure during testing may file a claim for compensation with VA. The DOD stopped actively searching for test subjects in 2003 “but did not provide a sound and documented basis for that decision,” the GAO reported. At the time, it had identified 5,842 service members and about 350 civilians as having been potentially exposed during Project 112 alone (PDF). It is estimated that tens of thousands of military and personnel and civilians may have been exposed over the last 60 years.”

(via CNET)

(see also Project SHAD)

Who is Dmitry Medvedev?

It’s no surprise that Medvedev won the Russian “election”.

“Dmitry Medvedev, the next face of Russian power and rebirth, is by no means a carbon copy of his mentor, Vladimir Putin. As he strides into a conference room here in one of Russia’s industrial hubs, his boyish looks and rounded shoulders contrast starkly with the icy persona and judo athlete’s physique of the country’s current president. But Putin’s Russia will stay Putin’s Russia for the foreseeable future, most observers believe, so Medvedev strains to look and sound like his longtime overseer.

At a meeting of Russian sports officials and educators in Kazan, he firmly castigates a deputy minister with sharp words and a steely gaze, much as Putin would. Later at a campaign rally thinly disguised as a celebration of youth and sports, Medvedev strides to the stage wearing a black turtleneck underneath a sports jacket, a trademark combination of Putin’s. Russians want Putin to stay on as their czar. But he cannot constitutionally serve a third consecutive term, so someone who emulates Putin-and exalts him-will have to do.

[..] The election won’t be an exercise in democracy, most observers say; liberal opponents such as former chess champion Garry Kasparov and former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov were forced out of the race. Medvedev’s three remaining opponents have been virtually ignored by state-owned national television networks.”

(via The Chicago Tribune)

(Related: “Russia: An Echo of Moscow” via Global Voices Online)

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