Being Propagandised

Ever feel you’re being propagandised? The Greek crisis may be on hold for the moment, but the Ukraine crisis only seems to be getting worse.

Item One: BBC’s handy guide on  How to spot a Russian bomber:

plane_spotter_guideAre we supposed to keep the guide in our wallets? And what if we spot a a Tu-160 pottering about over Tunbridge Wells? Is there a hot line number to call? The BBC didn’t seem to provide one.

Item Two: CNBC:

Nato forces must prepare for an overwhelming Blitzkrieg-style assault by Russia on an eastern European member state designed to catch the alliance off guard and snatch territory, the deputy supreme commander of the military alliance has warned.

Openly raising the prospect of a conventional armed conflict with Russia on European soil, the remarks by Sir Adrian Bradshaw, second-in-command of Nato’s military forces in Europe, are some of the most strident to date from Nato. They come amid a worsening in relations with the Kremlin just days into a second fragile ceasefire aimed at curbing continued bloodshed in Ukraine’s restive east between Kiev’s forces and Russian-backed separatists.

This is presumably the reason why we should all be on the look-out for Russian bombers.

I remember reading stuff like this back in the 1980s, with maps showing overwhelming Warsaw Pact armies facing pitifully small NATO forces, complete with estimates of how they could reach the Atlantic coast in 3 days.

The origins of this crisis lie in the fact that as the EU has rolled eastwards, NATO has followed in its footsteps, contrary to assurances made to the Russians. If there’s any ‘aggressor’ here, it’s the EU and NATO. And now it’s all come to a head in Ukraine, with Russia belatedly acting to stem the advance.

Item Three: Daily Telegraph:

Vladimir Putin regularly used violence against his divorced wife Lyudmila, a new German documentary about the Russian leader has claimed.

Putin the Man, made by ZDF television and shown for the first time this week, claimed to have been given access to previously unseen files of an unidentified Western intelligence agency.

The files include details of Mr Putin’s time as a young KGB officer stationed in Dresden in the eighties, as well as his later rise to power in Russia.

They contain information from a secretary inside the Dresden KGB office codenamed “Lehnchen”, who befriended Mr Putin’s ex-wife and said he used beat Lyudmila regularly.

Other claims in the documentary include:

Mr Putin went “off the rails” as a KGB spy:

He is depicted as a man who had struggled against the odds from a difficult background to achieve his dream of becoming a KGB spy, only to go off the rails during his time in then-communist East Germany.

Far from his carefully cultivated image as a fitness fanatic today, at the time Mr Putin was overweight and a heavy drinker, according to the documentary.

“He was depressed, fat, lazy and disillusioned,” Mahsa Gessen, an author and activist told the documentary…

Mr Putin had secret cosmetic surgery

By 2010 Mr Putin had become so vain that he secretly had a facelift operation, the documentary claimed.

This explains everything. A wife-beater is just the sort of person who would launch a blitzkrieg-style assault on an eastern European member state. Particularly a vain wife-beater with a history of alcoholism and obesity. They’re the very worst. I wonder if he smoked as well?

Fortunately, Putin got divorced from his wife not long ago. They appeared on TV together to announce it. I didn’t watch it, but I presume she said that she had just got sick of 30 years of wife-beating, particularly now that he was a super-fit, muscular wife-beater.

However, the effect on me of all of these stories appearing within a day of each other was to give me a very strong feeling of being propagandised. I’m glad that UKIP sees things the same way that I do:

A House of Lords committee has claimed Britain and other EU nations “sleepwalked” into the crisis in the Ukraine, accusing leaders of “catastrophic misreading” of the mood in the Kremlin…

UKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP said the report “vindicated” what he and other colleagues had been saying about the EU’s attitude towards Russia. “This situation has been caused by the EU” he told Breitbart London, “and the report shows that UKIP have been categorically on the right track over the prodding of Russia by Brussels.”

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16 Responses to Being Propagandised

  1. jaxthefirst says:

    Propagandised, yes, certainly. Convinced? Certainly not. But I also always have the feeling whenever one of these “big crises” strikes – whether it’s a huge financial one, a possible military one, or some major civil uprising that there’s a lot of wishful thinking amongst our powers-that-be that, by leaping in to “do something” or by issuing lots of OTT warnings like these, they hope to emulate great statesmen of former times, such as Churchill. They all seem to be trying to elbow themselves out of the way to be “the one” to predict dire future events and (of course) tell us all what we/the country must do about it.

    Of course, they just end up making themselves look like a lot of silly, panicking teenagers, getting all histrionic about something that might never happen and over-dramatising everything like it’s “All just soooo awful, y’know?” Power and influence they may (unfortunately) have, but statesmen they most definitely are not – and it’s nothing short of embarrassing to see them trying to pretend that they are.

    And I think I’m right in saying that Putin is an ex-smoker (probably why he lost his temper so badly with Ukraine and the EU – we all know how jumpy ex-smokers get when under any kind of pressure). I suspect that this might be quite a recent phenomenon, which is why the latest Russian smoking ban got passed with extra-strong enforcement, whereas all previous ones had (so I’m told) been pretty much ignored everywhere.

  2. John Watson says:

    As propaganda goes this Russia business is rank amateurism, the Foxhound is a high level interceptor not a bomber, the Bear is a long range recon/elint aircraft, while it has a bomb bay in it is far too slow and vulnerable for use as a bomber. Blackjacks and Backfires are supersonic, you would not hear them until they’d gone never mind see them! Besides the primary weapons systems are long range missiles so they would hardly come within several hundred miles of the UK to deliver their payloads, If the BBC had someone who could actually read they would have seen all that in Janes! Part of the reason the Soviet Union fell apart was that the could not afford the massive military machine required to face off against NATO so unless they’ve won the lottery they most likely still cannot afford to fight NATO without bankrupting themselves.

    Recent comments regarding the state of readiness of our own military by senior military officers suggest that we ourselves are under equipped and certainly not ready for a major conflict with Russia, the Royal Navy with its lack of air defence will be wasted in a futile gesture just as HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales were in 1941! Our Army is small and getting smaller, the RAF will be hard pressed to repeat the miracle of the few, modern fighters are too complex to build quickly and you cannot jump out of a Tiger Moth and into a Eurofighter as you could a Spitfire or Hurricane!

    Sabre rattling has always been useful to Governments in trouble, frighten the sheeple = get a vote, and this garbage from the BBC is sabre rattling of the worst kind!

  3. Lepercolonist says:

    Thank you Harley, for that update from West Virginia yesterday. Good to see that the Republican controlled legislature has some common sense. I like the name of their bill : “Elected Official Accountability Act.” These unelected Health Boards are not accountable to anyone but themselves.

  4. wobbler2012 says:

    It happens all the time. I’m not sure if you have noticed what the BBC do sometimes, say they are reporting on the Syrian army, they will instead say “forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad” rather than “Syrian army.” It was the same when Libyan Civil War was going on back in 2011, it was “forces loyal to Gaddafi” rather than Libyan army. It’s clever, but the BBC are the masters of propaganda whilst still claiming to be impartial.

  5. Rose says:

    “The Tupolev Tu-95 (Russian: Туполев Ту-95; NATO reporting name: “Bear”) is a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95 entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956 and is expected to serve the Russian Air Force until at least 2040.”

    “The aircraft has four Kuznetsov NK-12 engines, each driving contra-rotating propellers. It is the only propeller-powered strategic bomber still in operational use today. The tips of the propeller-blades move faster than the speed of sound, making it one of the noisiest military aircraft.[2] Its distinctive swept-back wings are at a 35° angle.”

    I think that if I saw one flying down the coast at the moment, I’d probably wave. It was a tremendous piece of cheek. Worthy of us in the old days.

    Even more annoying, the people of Crimea were given a referendum, fancy that!
    We don’t get referendums, we are promised them, but no matter how earthshaking the alteration to British culture and history we never get asked what we think.
    All we get is our non-representatives voting amongst themselves, sometimes one of them just sneaks off and signs us up to whatever it is without a word.

    Crimea referendum: Voters ‘back Russia union’
    16 March 2014

    “Some 95.5% of voters in Crimea have supported joining Russia, officials say, after half the votes have been counted in a disputed referendum.

    Crimea’s leader says he will apply to join Russia on Monday. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has said he will respect the Crimean people’s wishes.

    Many Crimeans loyal to Kiev boycotted the referendum, and the EU and US condemned it as illegal.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26606097

    “The EU said in a statement that the vote was “illegal and illegitimate and its outcome will not be recognised”.

    Which is probably what we can expect too.

    “MOSCOW — The Russian military took up residence in Crimea more than 200 years ago, when Catherine the Great built a naval base at Sevastopol. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia and Ukraine tussled repeatedly over dividing up the Black Sea Fleet based there. Today, Russia rents its Sevastopol base from Ukraine..”

    It was never going to fall to the EU, no matter how much they hoped it would.

  6. margo says:

    Hear, hear – it’s all a prime example of what I call ‘men’s games’.

    • Edgar says:

      I suppose I must have too much masculine insensitivity to find that offensive.

      • Rose says:

        And thank heavens for that : )

      • margo says:

        Good! (Not all men play ‘men’s games’, but they are only ever played by men, from the ancient tribes whose men sit around pontificating on who to go and fight and under what pretext (while the women dig the fields with children on their backs and cook the dinner), to our own politicians – who sit around pontificating ….. (ditto).

  7. roobeedoo2 says:

    Seen on Twitter – Illegal Smoking Flies Under the Radar:

    http://www.bentoneveningnews.com/article/20150220/NEWS/sthash.za85j67l.uxfs

    • nisakiman says:

      The article requested cannot be found! Please refresh your browser or go back. (IO,20150221,,-1,AR).

      Refreshing didn’t work, either. :(

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        Sorry Niks, it’s from the Benton Evening News, dated yesterday:

        ‘Smoking in places of employment has been illegal in Illinois since 2008’s Smoke-free Illinois Act, but some Benton business owners say they are losing customers to establishments that allow patrons to smoke indoors.

        One such owner is Donna Montgomery, who owns Kevin and Donna’s Sweetwater Saloon, a restaurant and bar. She reports having lost 40 percent of her customers since her move to her new location in 2011. Some of her customers say the move to about two miles outside of town caused the decrease in business, but Montgomery sees it another way.

        “My regular customers come in for a little while, and then they say they’re going into town so they can smoke,” Montgomery said.

        Montgomery doesn’t allow smoking in her establishment for a few reasons. She serves food, and said most of her customers don’t like the smell of smoke while they eat. It’s also the law.

        “I’ve always been one to go by the books, and the law is the law,” Montgomery said.

        Kelly Mandrell of Sandy’s Bar and Grill in Benton, which also serves food and does not allow smoking, said her rule has also caused her to lose business. Her customers don’t take kindly to being told not to smoke.

        “When I tell them you can’t do that here, they just leave,” said Mandrell, who said it’s hard to compete with businesses that do allow smoking.

        “I just think it should be dealt with where nobody can do it or just allow it,” Mandrell said.

        The problem with making an even playing field is that enforcing the law is difficult, especially when smokers flock to bars that allow smoking in the cold winter months.

        Enforcement relies on citizen complaints, the Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department and the Benton Police Department.

        Citizens can submit complaints to the health department through their hotline or online, but that only stops smoking in bars if the citizens want to enforce it.

        When the health department does receive a complaint, they send staff to investigate the establishment in question. The staff investigates for signs of smoking, and if they determine the establishment is in violation of the law, they issue a citation. Health inspectors can also issue citations if they notice smoking.

        First-time offenders receive a citation of $250, a $500 citation for the second offense, and a $2,500 citation for the third offense and every offense thereafter. The business has 30 days to comply, and after that period the health department conducts another inspection.

        Carrie Eldridge, director of health education at the health department, said most businesses comply after the first fine.

        http://www.bentoneveningnews.com/article/20150220/NEWS/sthash.za85j67l.uxfs

        • nisakiman says:

          Thanks, rbd.

          …said Mandrell, who said it’s hard to compete with businesses that do allow smoking.

          So on the one hand, we have all the anti-smoking organisations telling us how everybody just loves the smoking bans, and on the other hand, we have it from the horse’s mouth.

          So to maintain these universally popular bans, they have to ….send staff to investigate the establishment in question. The staff investigates for signs of smoking, and if they determine the establishment is in violation of the law, they issue a citation. Health inspectors can also issue citations if they notice smoking.

          First-time offenders receive a citation of $250, a $500 citation for the second offense, and a $2,500 citation for the third offense and every offense thereafter. The business has 30 days to comply, and after that period the health department conducts another inspection.

          Carrie Eldridge, director of health education at the health department, said most businesses comply after the first fine.

          Director of ‘health education’. That’s a nice little euphemism for a Gestapo Commander. I’m not surprised they (the businesses) comply after the first lash of the whip.

          It would seem that these ‘universally popular’ smoking bans are not actually very popular at all with the very people who like to use those places that are subject to the bans. How surprising…

          Still, they’re only filthy smokers. Their opinion doesn’t count. And anyway, it’s for their own good. We’re only trying to eradicate help them. Ingrates.

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          Yes, what they’re harking back to with ‘a level playing field’ was exactly what they had before the bans.

        • Smoking Lamp says:

          I suspect it got removed when the Smoking Stasi saw that it exposed the growing lack of compliance with their Prohibition. As Harley says the cracks are being exposed. Meanwhile the Antis are expanding outdoor bans wherever they can…

  8. Smoking Lamp says:

    This article at the Daily Beast starts to expose Big Pharma for its corruption: “Big Pharma Is America’s New Mafia”

    Pharmaceutical companies have more power than ever, and the American people are paying the price—too often with our lives.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/21/big-pharma-is-america-s-new-mafia.html

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