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rpannier

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Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 04:44 AM
Number of posts: 19,313

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The Soft Power of the NRA (Rather long)

For all the concern about the NRA and its weird control over political discourse regarding guns, the one thing that people tend to ignore (and IMO is a big mistake) is the NRA''s soft power.
I spent the past few days going through NRA website and its affiliates and sites that support or link to the NRA (and there are a lot). The thing that is most interesting and disturbing (chillingly disturbing) is the amount of soft power they generate.

For clarification, hard power are things like donations from the NRA, lobbyists who visit, cajole, threaten legislators, governors, councilmen, etc and rallies they hold.
Soft Power is in the form of advertising, publications and programming. And lordy, do they have a lot of publications. Starting at their website, I found no less than 7 NRA publications (American Rifleman, American Hunter, America's First Freedom, Shooting Illustrated, Shooting Sports USA, NRA Family, Standing Guard) in addition to the President's Column, Regional Report and Political Report.

The NRA also has it's very own television network and radio network. Dana Loesch, Cam Edwards and Grant Stinchfield headline most of the homepage for the network. The also have four channels: NRANews (sponsored by Ruger), NRAWomen (Smith & Wesson), NRA Country and NRA Hunting. Not surprisingly, all their advertisers (partners) manufacture guns or ammo.

Why is this problematic?
Well, it's not new. Look at the x-tian reich. There are a half dozen x-tian networks on cable, hundreds on youtube and various networks on the internet. For over three decades networks like the 700 Club and Trinity Broadcasting have been piping in daily propaganda on how reich wing x-tians are being persecuted, how liberals are destroying the country, how the media is not presenting the true nature of the despair they are suffering and what the good reich wing x-tian can do about it -- often it involves sending money to the network.
It's effective and we shouldn't be surprised. It's an everyday event, they don't wait for something to happen, they pipe it over the TV every single day. The gloom and doom is mixed with uplifting stories about how prayer cured someone's cancer, made them rich or raised them from the dead (okay. I made the last one up. I've never seen or heard one where they were raised. But, they claim it has happened).
These hucksters become trusted 'friends' to the viewer. What they say resonates, not just because they parrot the viewer or listeners dissatisfaction, but because they provide answers, the provide hope and guidance. It's very comforting.
For people like you and I who find them exasperatingly annoying, it doesn't matter because we are not the target audience, we are not the chosen ones, our views are skewed by the MSM and so on.

The NRA has taken the fundie TV vision and turned it into a pro-gun, arm yourself for the zombie apocalypse and mixed that with the NRA Family: Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister and the AR-15 or Ruger. They show happy families out on a day of shooting. Women who are learning how to properly load, fire and clean their weapons. Yes, there is a show devoted to moms learning how to use a pistol. The women comment about how empowered and how safe their new firearm makes them feel -- Oh, and it's really cool, too. Oh, and they will sprinkle in Persons of Color to show that everyone can love having a gun.

Their opponents, advocates for some form of gun control, do not have that. There is no network devoted to the dangers of a heavily armed populace, anymore than there are numerous television networks devoted to Atheism on television. And this is where the NRA (and the x-tian fundies) win. This is why it's difficult to reach many of them, anymore than you can reach Alex Jones viewers, because they go to these networks everyday. They see shows devoted to 'responsible gun ownership' (the NRAs definition), that ordinary moms, dads and kids use guns safely (which is true) and it throws out enough propaganda in the form of wholesome family friendly talk, "I love my gun. I use it responsibly. I store it safely. We've never had anyone in our family shot be our gun. I feel safer knowing I can protect my children and my property. Etc."
After every major shooting, interest wanes and dies as people move on with their lives or a natural disaster or whatever happens. While the NRA Network continue pouring out publication and show about how swell weapons are, giving their viewers stories about the good guy with a gun (see below, they're promoting the guy in Texas), how you can be just like Bruce Willis in Die Hard and save dozens of people from a terrorist and or movie theater shooting and so on.

Below Are From Some of Their Publications I Rummaged Through on Line. These are not a complete list, nor are they all the stories. But, they're some examples of how they use propaganda.

In the publication America's First Freedom, which interestingly, has nothing to do with Speech, Assembly or Religion, but rather, yes guns we are (ahem) treated to a story on Stephen Willeford, that 'good guy with a gun' with the NRA loves to tout who tried to stop the guy who shot up the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church in Texas.
For the record: The guy killed himself after his car careened off into a ditch while being chased by Willeford and another man
The article in giant letters throws in "But while their anti-gun narratives prevented most mainstream media outlets from acknowledging his actions, Willeford is a prime example of a good guy with a gun stopping a very bad guy with a gun." (Gotta get that talking point in).
The article goes on to castigate anti-gun groups, the media for their bias against guns. Taking great pains to show how Willeford because of his training and competence didn't freeze up. And that he 'may have' prevented this bad guy with a gun from killing others

This article, which is the first in a string of articles is clearly designed to provide talking points to their supporters and make them feel better about owning guns.
The sickly twisted story, which you have to scroll through the banner to find is the one titled, 'Enforce Existing Guns Laws to Reduce Criminal Violence.' I didn't read the article, I didn't see anywhere in the article where the NRA pointed out that it has done everything it can to gut and/or prevent these laws from seeing the light of day.
They also have an unlinked story titled, 'A Sacrifice Must Be Made.' I am uncertain what the story is about, since there doesn't seem to be a story.
America's First also has 'NRA American Warrior', 'Armed Citizen' and 'Legend in Arms.'

American Hunter and American Rifleman seem to be pretty much full of stories that hock weaponry. Though American Rifleman does have several stories on the history of various kinds of rifles used in warfare. Oh... and a picture of actor and water thief Tom Selleck looking at a gun

NRA Family is mildly interesting in that it spotlights a lot of younger women; Katie Harris, Tori Nonaka, Janae Sarabia and Molly Smith are featured in one article, they talk about how they started shooting and their choice of weapon. Courtney Smith headlines the selection of stories and Dania Rizzi, the 'rising shooting star' is in another. And Wendy Lefebvre has an article that encourages everyone to go hunting because it's just so wonderful.

NBC Sports apologizes for insensitive comments during PyeongChang opener

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- U.S. television network NBC Sports has apologized for broadcasting insensitive remarks relating to South Korea during the PyeongChang Winter Games' opening, according to Olympic officials Sunday.

The broadcaster came under fire after Joshua Cooper Ramo, an Asian commentator for NBC, said during the march by Japanese Olympic athletes at the opening ceremony Friday that Japan played an "important" role in South Korea's recent achievements as a nation.

snip

USA Today also reported that NBC apologized through a statement read live on its cable and satellite channel NBCSN on Saturday (local time). "We understand the Korean people were insulted by these comments and we apologize," NBCSN was quoted as saying.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/culturesports/2018/02/11/0702000000AEN20180211002000315.html

This guy is supposed to be knowledgeable about east Asia?
He's an idiot

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of Kim Jong-un to attend the Olympics

According to several South Korean news sources, she will be in the South on Friday, along with other high ranking North Korean officials.
Yo-jong has risen quickly through the ranks of North Korean government and is presently the Deputy Chief of the Propaganda and Agitation Department

from yonhap news:
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2018/02/07/0401000000AEN20180207013500315.html

Kim Jong-un's dear sister, Kim Yo-jong, is set to become the first member of North Korea's ruling dynasty to set foot in the rival South this week.

The Unification Ministry in Seoul announced Wednesday that Kim Yo-jong, presumed to be aged about 30, will be part of a high-ranking government delegation attending the Winter Olympic opening ceremony slated for Friday.

The team will be led by Kim Yong-nam, the nominal head of state. Kim Yo-jong is widely believed to be powerful and close enough to the leader to directly represent his views.

The island that switches countries every six months

Next week, France will hand over 3,000 sq m (32,000 sq ft) of its territory to Spain without a single shot being fired. But in six months' time Spain will voluntarily hand back the land to France. It's been that way for more than 350 years.

snip

The Island of Faisans (Pheasant Island)

snip

But there it is - a peaceful, inaccessible island in the middle of the river, with tree cover and neatly trimmed grass, and an old monument which pays tribute to a remarkable historical event that happened here in 1659.
For three months, the Spanish and French negotiated the end to their long war on the island, as it was considered neutral territory. Wooden bridges were extended from both sides. The armies stood ready as the negotiations began.
A peace agreement was signed - the Treaty of the Pyrenees. Territory was swapped and the border demarcated. And the deal was sealed with a royal wedding, as the French King Louis XIV married the daughter of the Spanish King Philippe IV.

ink
http://www.bbc.com/news/stories-42817859

These are called Condominium Properties or Condominia
The River Moselle and the Sauer and the Orr Tributaries are condominium between Luxembourg and Germany
Gule of Fonseca is a Tridominium between Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua
Parts of the Parana River and the mouth of the Iguassu River are shared between Brazil and Paraguay

Some former condominia include
688 AD Cyprus between the Byzantine Empire (Justinian II) and the Arab Empire ( Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan)
1941-3 Croatia was a condominium between Germany and Italy
1876-82 Egypt was one under Britain and France
1992-94 Walvis Bay Namibia and South Africa
Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg were an Austrian-Prussian condominium
The Oregon Country was an Anglo-American condominium from 1818 until 1846
A small area (Hadf and surroundings) on the Arabian Peninsula, a part of Oman, at one time was jointly ruled with the Emirati member state of Ajman.
New Hebrides formed a French–British condominium in 1906 until independence in 1980 as a republic, now called Vanuatu

Nursing Home Recreates Communist East Germany For Dementia Patients

It's said that time heals all wounds. But not for people afflicted with dementia like Gerda Noack. The 93-year-old German woman's memory is fading, as is her eyesight.

The losses scare her. On a recent morning at the AlexA Residence for Senior Citizens in Dresden, where she lives, Noack sounded anxious as she asked, over and over: "Where am I supposed to go?"

Director Gunter Wolfram gently took her arm and suggested they visit a government-run store from the former communist East Germany called Intershop. The once popular chain no longer exists — but a mockup of the store is only a few steps away.

snip

The sight soothes Noack, and her face lights up each time she recognizes something. Like a shopping bag made out of a polyester fabric called Dederon — a name based on DDR, the German initials for the German Democratic Republic. Or a laundry detergent called Spee.

link
https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/01/22/578664161/nursing-home-recreates-communist-east-germany-for-dementia-patients

The Air Force Academy has cancelled all games

The AFA has announced it is cancelling all men's and women's sports during the gov't shutdown. Unlike Army and Navy, Air Force teams use government funding. Also, AFN, Armed Forces Network, is off the air as well; which means, unless you can find a USO that is open, no NFL conference championships for many expats living in Korea, Japan, Germany, etc

Its so hot in Australia that bats brains are frying

Meanwhile, over in Australia, where it is summer now, it has been especially hot. Sweltering, really.

In Sydney, temperatures hit 117 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, the hottest it has been since 1939. That oppressive heat, a side effect of climate change, has made life hard for the country's humans and infrastructure. Heat waves result in 10 percent more calls for ambulances and 10 percent more deaths, local experts said. Police in Victoria, on Australia's southeastern coast, warned drivers last week that a six-mile stretch of a freeway in the central part of the state had melted. A spokeswoman for VicRoads, which manages Victoria's road systems, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that hot weather caused the asphalt to become “soft and sticky” and the road surface to bleed.

snip

And hundreds of flying fox bats died because they didn't have enough cover to protect themselves from the heat. Animal rescuers in Sydney described “heartbreaking” scenes of dozens of dead baby bats piled on the ground. As the adult bats sought shade near a creek, babies were left dangling from trees with no means to survive the heat, according to a charity organization in the Sydney suburb of Campbelltown, home to colonies of flying foxes. Many were found scattered on the ground. Others died before they made it down.

snip

“Many pups were on their last breaths before getting much needed help . . . There were tears shed and hearts sunken,” the charity said Sunday in a lengthy Facebook post. “It's devastating when a colony like our local one goes down like this due to heat, this colony needs more canopy cover and shaded areas to help with our ever rising hot summers because this episode will surely not be the last.”

link
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/09/its-so-hot-in-australia-that-bats-brains-are-frying/?utm_term=.f7228a71fa59

How an overweight shelter dog saved Eric O'Grey's life

Life as a 340-pound man had become unmanageable for Eric O'Grey. When he wasn't traveling for work as a salesman for GE, the 51-year-old rarely left his San Jose, California, apartment.


snip

The doctor recommended a whole foods, plant-based diet like Clinton's. She told O'Grey to throw out everything in his pantry that wasn't on her list. But she also said something that shocked him. She ordered him to adopt a shelter dog and walk him twice a day for 30 minutes.


snip

And then the adoption coordinator brought in an obese dog with skin problems. "His head was hung low and he wasn't even looking up. He was just obviously depressed," O'Grey said. "The dog looked up at me with a clear sense of disappointment I'd never seen on any person or creature."

snip

As they lost weight and grew healthier together, the pair developed a tight bond. "I decided to become the person who he thought that I was. And over time really every part of my life improved," O'Grey said. "I was so reclusive and removed from society at the time that I needed a relationship in my life.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/26/health/dog-walking-exercise-saves-life/index.html?iid=ob_article_organicsidebar_expansion

Arkansas Mosque Pays Fines For Man Who Helped Vandalize Its Building

An Arkansas mosque has paid off the remaining court fines of a man who helped vandalize their sacred space ― doing its part to make sure he doesn’t have to serve any more jail time for the crime.

Hisham Yasin, social director of the Masjid Al Salam in Fort Smith, told HuffPost on Tuesday that his congregation had forgiven the convicted vandal, Abraham Davis, long ago. Paying the more than $1,700 in fines Davis still owed was a way to put that forgiveness into action.

snip

“He needs to keep going, don’t even look back. The back is gone,” Yasin said. “I look forward to seeing him work and study and become something in the future. And at that time, he’ll talk about what happened with him ... how he flipped his life from bad to good.”

snip

“We need that shock for him, to stop all evil acts in the future,” he told HuffPost. “He’ll say, ‘Look at those people, I hurt them, I hurt their mosque, I hurt their God, and with all those bad things, they still showed me the most love I’ve ever received.’”

link:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/arkansas-mosque-pays-off-fines-for-man-who-helped-vandalize-their-building_us_5a4bddf1e4b06d1621bb4fe6?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Public want religion kept out of politics (UK)

Politics and religion should not mix, according to the British public, who want politicians to keep their personal faith to themselves.

A majority of British people believe that religion should also play a less prominent role in parliament, with bishops losing their automatic seats in the House of Lords, a YouGov survey for The Times found.

In the past year, the prime minister, a vicar’s daughter, said that “faith guides me in everything I do”, while Tim Farron, a committed Christian, faced a barrage of questions over whether he believed gay sex to be sinful, as a result of which he felt he had to resign as Lib Dem leader.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/public-want-religion-kept-out-of-politics-t3rk055cx

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