Category Archives: Funnies

Earth Embassy Ganymede Administrative Notice #04-010103: Morale, WD-40, Duct Tape

– Domani Spero

Originally posted in Diplopundit on April 18, 2013. Republished today for a very good reason.

Administrative Notice #05-011300: Morale

It has come to management’s attention that there has been a lot of chatter and hyperspace email about morale and safety at this outpost.  This notice serves as a reminder to everyone under Ganymede outpost authority that discussion about morale is an unproductive use of work time. Morale is self-esteem in action; individuals who perceived that morale is lacking may need help in improving their self-esteem. Please make every effort to schedule an appointment to see the quadrant psychiatrist.

Ganymede management fully believes, like the 34th American President Dwight Eisenhower, that the best morale exist when you never hear the word mentioned. In that sprit, management formally informs all departments and employees that morale is not/not an issue and is not/not a subject to be discussed in hypermail, text, video, radio, verbal or any alternate manner of communication within and outside the mission.  Anyone caught peddling these stories will be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to curtailment of current assignment or a lengthy TDY to the outermost prograde moon of Carpo.

In an effort to be responsive to all concerns, below are some FAQs that the section  had the pleasure of addressing the last 12 moons. We hope that the answers are useful to you and your families and help alleviate persistent concerns.

English: WD-40

English: WD-40 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
EaEmbassy Ganymede

Is Ganymede a family-friendly post?

Absolutely. It is the most family-friendly assignment in the quadrant with excellent schools and some of the best apartments available in the sector. Living conditions are approximated to be similar to the home planet and the quality of life is super-excellent.  Consistent demand for assignments to this outpost has repeatedly resulted in a long wait list at every rotation cycle.

I’ve been thinking of asking for a transfer to Ganymede.  But I heard that life there is a big joke … I don’t get what’s the joke.

Life in Ganymede is not/not a big joke. Once you understand that Ganymede is too big to fail, you’ll find your groove. This is the place where you want to be.  No other outpost will afford you the challenges and opportunities to excel and earn a fast-tracked promotion.

How safe is Ganymede given that riots are breaking out in all parts of the hostplanet:

Safe. Very safe, if you’re careful.

Ganymedeans breached the outpost walls, they can do it again, should I worry?

There’s no reason to worry.  Ganymedeans are not/not anti-Earthlings, anti-humans or what have you.  They were blowing off steam. Period. Now that they have, things should return to normal. If you think things have not returned to normal, give it time; things should return to normal. Soon.

There are assaults reported daily, it sounds like traveling around the hostplanet has become extremely dangerous. Is that perception correct?

Ganymede is the largest moon in this sector. Like any large, densely inhabited city on Earth (e.g. New York City, New Delhi, Bogota, Buenos Aires), crime is ever present. This is not/not unique to this outpost.  Travel in pairs if needed, and bring your stun gun, if necessary.

The Manager for Planetary Services reportedly quit over extreme bureaucratic bullying, is this true?

Absolutely not. The manager quit because the official got too old for the job. Other employers in this sector throw old officials out the airlock. Fortunately, EaEmbassy Ganymede has a generous separation package specifically for older workers traveling back to the home planet.

There are rumors and allegations that some of the top Ganymede officials have, on several occasions, pushed and bossed around subordinates and threatened them with penalties. How accurate are these stories?

Have you ever heard of American poet, Robert Frost?  He said that the reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.  Isn’t that an excellent point?  Stop listening to rumors. Stop worrying. All our top Ganymede officials were handpicked and subjected to a battery of reviews and 360 feedbacks from friends, peers, and colleagues. All with spectacular results. They are all as lovable and huggable as Alaskan polar bears.

I used to have an open mind, then I got to Ganymede and my brains kept falling out. What am I doing wrong?

To keep an open mind, a person needs only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn’t, use the tape. This works even in Ganymede.

I am terribly upset that my concerns have not been taken seriously.  How do I set a laser printer to stun?

The management office works hard to address all of your concerns and aims to make every assignment to Ganymede a satisfying one.   Unfortunately, all laser printer at post at this time do not have a stun setting.  However, the procurement section is exploring the possibility of adding a stun setting to all laser printers with end of year funding.

 

Note that this is from a work in progress.  Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Morale is self-esteem in action,  is a quote by Avery Weisman; WD-40 and laser printer quips are found items around the net.

Ugh! Just saw that the Russians are interested on Ganymede, now.  Well, dammit, I am not changing my fictional embassy’s name again, so don’t write to complain about that.

 

* * *

Enhanced by Zemanta
About these ads

1 Comment

Filed under Blognotes, Diplomacy, Diplomatic Life, Foreign Service, Funnies, Org Life

State Dept’s Selfie Diplomacy: #UnitedForUkraine; Now Waiting For Selfie From the Russian Bear …

– Domani Spero

In the last 48 hours, we’ve been seeing a bunch of selfies from the State Department with the hashtag #UnitedForUkraine.  The NYPost writes:

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was mocked Thursday after posting a photo of herself on Twitter holding a sign that read #United­For­Ukraine @State­Dept­Spox.
[...]
Psaki defended her photo.

“The people of Ukraine are fighting to have their voices heard and the benefit of communicating over social media is it sends a direct message to the people that we are with them, we support their fight, their voice and their future,” she said.

Now stop picking on Ms. Psaki, she’s not alone on this and at least she’s no longer using the hashtag #RussiaIsolated. The UK is set to start buying gas directly from Russia this fall despite threats  of  further sanctions against Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

In any case, here is the Selfie Collection, a work in progress:

UnitedforUkraine_Psaki

Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson

unitedofrukraine_stengel

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel, and Ms. Psaki’s boss’s boss

Selfie Missing:  Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Douglas Frantz, Ms. Psaki’s boss.

unitedofrukraine_evanryan

Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan

UFU_maconphillips

Coordinator for International Information Programs Macon Phillips

Selfie Missing: Coordinator for the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications Alberto Fernandez

Unitedofrukraine_michellekwan

Michelle Kwan, State Department Senior Advisor

UFU_embassykyiv

Embassy Selfie:  Ambassador Pyatt with US Embassy Kyiv staff

 

Then our man in London, Ambassador Matthew Barzun ruined the fun and raised the bar with a Winfield House selfie via Vine:

 

Now we just need a selfie from the Russian bear.

Oops, wait … what’s this?  The Russian bear, missing a hashtag…

 

Google'd Putin riding a bear

 

* * *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Comments

Filed under Ambassadors, Digital Diplomacy, Foreign Affairs, Funnies, Public Diplomacy, Social Media, State Department, Trends

One More Expert — Live from Crimea

– Domani Spero

After watching the news for days now, the tween in our house is starting to worry that we are on the verge of World War III.  We are pleased to see TDS’s new Senior Caucasian Correspondent Jordan Klepper deliver this live report from Crimea.

* * *

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a comment

Filed under Foreign Affairs, Video of the Week, Huh? News, Social Media, Funnies, Media

Got Tired of Laughing — SFRC Confirmation Hearings Now on Audio Only?

– Domani Spero

“Is there a rule ambassadors can’t have set foot in the countries they are going to ambassador? Would it ruin the surprise?” Jon Stewart asked with sort of a straight face.  Then he did double jabs on the corrupt practice of awarding ambassadorships to political donors and bundlers.  This was funny sad, really — well, maybe more sad than funny for Mr. Stewart’s subjects. If you missed the laughs, see below:

Yeah, bet you didn’t know that Iceland cost more than Argentina in the ambo sweeps.  Sure, Argentina has horses, wine, and tango, but Iceland has Westeros, folks.

In any case, Congress must have gotten tired of laughing. The last time we checked, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee only had the audio up on its website for the latest confirmation hearings.  We hope this was because of the snow that week or some glitch and nothing like the remove the Marine Corps Times from the newsstands sort of thing.  Because that would not be cool.

Screen Shot 2014-02-22

* * *

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a comment

Filed under Ambassadorships, Congress, Funnies, Hearings, Nominations, Obama, Political Appointees, SFRC, Staffing the FS, State Department, U.S. Missions

OSCE Ambassador Dan Baer on The Colbert Report: “From Russia With Love (But No Gay Stuff)

❊ If you want to help keep us around, see Help Diplopundit Continue the Chase—Crowdfunding for 2014 via RocketHub ❊

– Domani Spero

On The Colbert Report on February 10parody correspondent Buddy Cole met with our Ambassador to the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Daniel Baer for the show’s   “From Russia With Love (But No Gay Stuff)” segment.  “How did they take it when they found that you work for the government?” Are buttons gayer than zippers?” Congratulations to Ambassador Baer for successfully passing the straight face test.

According to Human Rights Watch, LGBT people face stigma, harassment, and violence in their everyday lives in Russia, and LGBT victims of violence and groups told HRW that these problems intensified in 2013.  Earlier this month, HRW released a video of Russian men beaten on camera (be warned, it is horrible and disturbing to watch).

* * *

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a comment

Filed under Ambassadors, Foreign Affairs, Funnies, Media, U.S. Missions

What Does the Spox Say? Go Get a Dictionary — Now in GIF Version

– Domani Spero

At the Daily Press Briefing on December 30, there was this exchange:

QUESTION: So you have no differences between “regret” –

MS. HARF: Us and the White House?

QUESTION: No, I mean the differences between “disappointed, “regret,” or “concern.”

MS. HARF: I’m happy for you to get a dictionary and look up what the difference is. I think it’s pretty clear what I mean when I say “disappointed.”

And here it made the Internets: Abe’s Yasukuni Shrine Visit and the “Disappointed” US: State Dept Spokesperson Tells Chinese Reporter to Go Get a Dictionary

We could not find a GIF for it. So we made one, take a look:

GIF_getadictionary

* * *

Leave a comment

Filed under Functional Bureaus, Funnies, State Department

Gifplomacy Explains the Life of French Diplomats, Looks Familiar?

–⨕⨕ Domani Spero

Gifplomacy on Tumblr explains the life of French diplomats through gifs (graphics interchange format). But it’s easily a life familiar to readers of this blog. The gif collection includes this darling polar bear showing what it feels like when you come back from a mission. Ever had one of those days?

 

Below is another gif from the collection showing exactly what it feels like when the ambassador asks you to fight against rumors in the local media.  Feeling much like Hans Solo?  Blow haaarder!

 

And when an agreement is finally reached on a UN Security Council resolution, here is what French diplomats look like. Did ours do this after the Iran deal? We’d like proof in gif, please.

The folks running Gifplomacy and @francediplo_EN missed  Scotty’s gif with his “The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank” for good reasons.  But here’s Mister Spock (via), and his version of diplomacy of a peculiar kind.  Best not give folks some ideas but if you must, set phasers to “stun.”

Via Giphy

Via Giphy

* * *

Leave a comment

Filed under Diplomatic Life, Foreign Service, Funnies, Social Media

Secretary Kerry Gets a New Dog, Now a State Dept. Dog is Tweeting, Who Needs the NSA?

– Domani Spero

In late November, Bangor Daily News reported that Secretary John Kerry flew into Maine to pick up his new yellow Labrador puppy, Ben from Frances Plessner of Puddleduck Boarding Kennel who raises Labrador retrievers and trains dogs professionally.

According to the Boston Globe, the dog is named Ben in honor of Ben Franklin, who’s known as the “Father of the American Foreign Service” and for whom the State Department’s diplomatic state dining room is named.

The State Department tweeted the photo below:

Back at Main State after another trip – my new sidekick Ben tests the elevator. #woof –JK pic.twitter.com/mREwLP5I7a.

Of course, Purina noticed and tweeted the following. Great timing, you guys!

Screen Shot 2013-12-11

On December 11, Secretary Kerry’s birthday, we got another look at Ben, yearning politely at those cookies!

Celebrating Secretary Kerry's 70th Birthday With Cookies In honor of his 70th birthday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, accompanied by his dog Ben, receives a box of Kilvert and Forbes Bakeshop cookies from his staff at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on December 11, 2013. In 1976, the Secretary, a chocolate lover, and his friend and business partner K. Dunn Gifford founded the Boston bakery and named it after their mothers. Though the Secretary is no longer at Kilvert and Forbes, he still loves chocolate. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Celebrating Secretary Kerry’s 70th Birthday With Cookies
In honor of his 70th birthday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, accompanied by his dog Ben, receives a box of Kilvert and Forbes Bakeshop cookies from his staff at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on December 11, 2013. In 1976, the Secretary, a chocolate lover, and his friend and business partner K. Dunn Gifford founded the Boston bakery and named it after their mothers. Though the Secretary is no longer at Kilvert and Forbes, he still loves chocolate. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Of course, you know what’s going to happen next, right? The State Department forgot to get Ben his own Twitter account. And now a State Dept.Dog @DogDiplomat parody account is up and running.  The Twitter account started tweeting 12 hours ago and already one reporter @JPecquetTheHill  “concludes, “he’s not nearly as well behaved as Bo.” Uh-oh.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11

@DogDiplomat’s first tweet dished WaPo’s In The Loop’s suggestion of “Undersecretary for Biscuits.” Nope, did not like that. And he wasn’t very diplomatic either.  There are early indications that the State Dept Dog has a colorful vocabulary, too.  Hopefully his tweets won’t be all about pee and Castro’s dog’s balls.  For a newcomer on Twitter, he has been busy:

Screen Shot 2013-12-11
According to his tweets, he already ate Jen Psaki’s hand moisturizer, did something bad to Greta Van Susteren’s handbag. And he did this:
Screen Shot 2013-12-11

Too early to tell how long @DogDiplomat can stay entertaining.  We hope he stays nice and funny; sad to say but we need some more nice and funny.

Of course, in the spirit of being nice, when @DogDiplomat tweets, “I’m going over to Bo’s place tomorrow and we’re going to rip the place apart. If I see Keith Alexander I’m going to bite him,” we thought we probably should warn that Keith fellow.  But then we realized who that guy is, and figure, since his NSA shop knows everything already, they’ll know when to expect  @DogDiplomat’s bite.

* * *

1 Comment

Filed under 68, Funnies, John F. Kerry, Secretary of State, Social Media, State Department

Photo of the Day: Ambassador Oreck Poses With Naked Finnish Arms in New Holiday Card

– Domani Spero

You might remember this blog post this spring: US Embassy Helsinki: Ambassador Bruce “Biceps” Oreck Launches Innovation Center.  That post includes a photo of Ambassador Oreck’s holiday card from 2012 showing a naked arm.  Imagine the scandal!

Now he’s baaaack!.  Folks, say hello to the members of the Finnish Sauna Society and Ambassador Oreck.  No foreseeable scandal.  Includes only Finnish naked arms, and proof of lesson learned!

And not/not Photoshopped.

Finland_oreck xmas

Now, go complain why he’s wearing a shirt in the sauna!

* * *

Leave a comment

Filed under Ambassadors, Foreign Service, Funnies, Holidays and Celebrations, Photo of the Day, U.S. Missions

Ex-Diplomat With Zero Acting Experience Wants to Join Cast of The Bold and the Beautiful

– By Domani Spero

His name is James L. Bruno.  His LinkedIn profile says he was a Foreign Service officer for twenty-three years with prior experience in military intelligence and journalism.  He previously served in South East Asia, Australia, Pakistan, Cuba, GTMO and Washington, DC. He is also the author of political thrillers, Chasm, Permanent Interests, Tribe and Havana Queen, all available via amazon.com.  Now he wants to join the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful and try his luck as “a soap opera matinée idol.”  

What the hey?!

Off the bat, we can’t really say what prompted this ex-diplomat to want to join B&B.  But we should note that on November 6, 2013, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Colleen Bradley Bell as the next U.S. Ambassador to Hungary.   Later, we discovered that Mr. Bruno has written an open letter to Bradley Bell, the Executive Producer of the CBS soap opera who is also the husband of the nominee to Hungary. Mr. Bruno published his letter three days after the White House announcement.  Mr. Bruno writes:

“I hereby submit my application to join the cast of your wildly successful soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful. After reading about your wife, Colleen, a producer for B&B, being named by President Obama to be our next ambassador to Hungary, I thought, I too, can realize one of my wildest dreams: become a soap opera matinée idol.

Now, looking at my résumé, you might think, “Hmm. Very thin. No acting experience. No background in showbiz. He’s very good looking though!”

Mr. Bruno who at one point in his diplomatic career was Charge d’Affaires in Vietnam explains the compelling  reason for this desired career change:

“I’ll confess I haven’t watched a soap opera since my mother caught highlights of As the World Turns during breaks from housework when I was a little kid. But, having failed at getting my own presidential appointment to embassy Rome or Paris because political hack fundraisers always ace out career diplomats for these posts, I need to make a career change.”

Well, so there you go, some sort of non-foreign exchange, is it?  Mr. Bruno’s elevator pitch to B&B also includes what he can offer the show:

“…[H]ere’s what I can offer to CBS’s B&B. Hollywood and Foggy Bottom have much in common: plenty of contrived dramas, glitzy superficiality, fragile runaway egos, Machiavellian intrigues and backstabbing. I was immersed in this bizarre culture for two-and-a-half decades. It’s all second nature to me. And here’s how I propose you use it on your show once you’ve hired me on: write me in as J. Huntington Outerbridge III, an effete, conniving, snarky diplomat who sleeps with all the beautiful female characters while engaged in high-stakes diplomacy to foil nefarious plots by al-Qaida and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.”

Ouchy!  He did mention something about ratings “going through the roof” so that’s good, right?

Read his whole letter at Diplo Denizen - The American Diplomatic Spoils System, Part III: My Job Application to the World’s Most Popular Soap Opera. Try not to fall off your chair.

Anyway, apparently, résumés are also on the way to Ambassador James Costos, HBO V-P and current U.S. ambassador to Spain, and Ambassador Charles Rivkin, ex-CEO of The Jim Henson Company, and most recent U.S. ambassador to France.

Mr. Bruno calls it a “spoils system.”

He’s being diplomatic, of course and just want to be a soap opera matinée idol.

😉

Leave a comment

Filed under Ambassadorships, Appointments, Blogs of Note, FSOs, Funnies, Nominations, Obama, Political Appointees, U.S. Missions