Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Forward:
"One of the largest Jewish charities in the U.S. has been secretly funding a shadowy online blacklist targeting college students who criticize Israel.

For three years, a website called Canary Mission has spread fear among undergraduate activists, posting more than a thousand political dossiers on student supporters of Palestinian rights. The dossiers are meant to harm students’ job prospects, and have been used in interrogations by Israeli security officials.

At the same time, the website has gone to great lengths to hide the digital and financial trail connecting it to its donors and staff. Registered through a secrecy service, the site is untraceable."

-->One would think that this brazen attack on American college students would be at least covered by the NYT. The one reference to the Canary Mission in the NYT offered was written by a confirmed Zionist whose husband writes propaganda for the state of Israel. 


"Three years ago, as Americans debated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran—popularly known as 'the Iran deal'—I highlighted a troubling media trend on (8/20/15): 'For nearly all commentators, regardless of their position, war is the only alternative to that position.' ...

To experience the full menu of US media’s single-mindedness about Iran, one need only buy a subscription to the New York Times. After Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, the Times’ editorial board (5/8/18) wrote that his move would 'lay conditions for a possible wider war in the Middle East.' Susan Rice (New York Times, 5/8/18), President Barack Obama’s national security advisor, agreed: 'We could face the choice of going to war or acquiescing to a nuclear-armed Iran,' she warned. Cartoonist Patrick Chappatte (New York Times, 5/10/18) was characteristically more direct, penning an image of Trump alongside Bolton, holding a fictitious new agreement featuring the singular, ultimate word: 'WAR.' ”

-->Yes, our national media keeps pushing for war, especially the NYT. No wonder our nation has been at war for 17 years and is fighting in over 7 countries. And assassinating "enemy terrorists" in God knows how many more. 

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Guardian UK:
"Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms severe, says new report. ... Modern antidepressants of the SSRI class, such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Seroxat (paroxetine), were marketed in part on their safety. People were unable to harm themselves by overdosing as they could on benzodiazepines like valium and stopping the drugs was said to be easier.

'This new review of the research reveals what many patients have known for years – that withdrawal from antidepressants often causes severe, debilitating symptoms which can last for weeks, months or longer,' said Dr James Davies.

'Existing Nice guidelines fail to acknowledge how common withdrawal is and wrongly suggest that it usually resolves within one week. This leads many doctors to misdiagnose withdrawal symptoms, often as relapse, resulting in much unnecessary and harmful long-term prescribing.' "

-->The NYT is never quick to point out the evils of the pharmaceutical industry. I wonder how long it will take to print this story?


Common Dreams:
"Imperiling People and Planet, Warnings Mount That Trump's NAFTA 2.0 Just Another 'Corporate Giveaway.' ...

[Food & Water Watch executive director] Wenonah Hauter outlined in a statement how USMCA: features deregulatory provisions that 'would have a dangerously chilling effect on food safety enforcement'; includes 'giant giveaways to the agrochemical industry,' from rolling back Mexico's GMO rules to enabling companies such as Monsanto and Dow to keep pesticide safety data secret for a decade; and bolsters Trump's industry-friendly agenda with measures that would 'encourage more pipelines and exports of natural gas and oil that would further expand fracking in the United States and Mexico.' "

-->That is not the message the public is getting from NPR and the NYT. The latter in particular has barely a bad word to say about the new trade deal, and its coverage is full of politicians' praises. The mainstream media always loves "free trade" even if it trashes the environment and screws workers.


Common Dreams:
'Israel's use of deadly force against unarmed protesters on Friday is characteristic of its actions throughout the Great March of Return, during which more than 150 Palestinians have been killed, including 31 children, three persons with disabilities, three paramedics and two journalists,' Maureen Clare Murphy of Electronic Intifada noted on Saturday.

'More than 10,000 have been injured and required hospitalization, around half of them wounded by live fire,' Murphy added. 'There have been 77 cases of injuries requiring amputation, among them 14 children and one woman. Twelve patients have been paralyzed due to spinal cord injury and two of them have died.' 

-->The "most moral army in the world" shooting children like they were fish in a barrel. The NYT, ever the protector of Israel's good name, didn't print this story. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Common Dreams:
"Ten years after the behavior of over-leveraged and fraudulent banks created a global financial disaster that resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars in losses; a multi-trillion bailout using public money; and millions of people losing their homes to foreclosure, but saw not one high-level financial executive go to jail, a man in Florida has been sentenced to a 20-year prison term for stealing $600 worth of cigarettes from a local convenience store.

According to the Associated Press, 'Robert Spellman, 48, received the lengthy sentence after a jury in Pensacola convicted him of burglary and grand theft last month.' 

As the Pensacola News Journal reports:
'He went into the Circle K in the 200 block of West Cervantes Street and took 10 cartons of cigarettes from a locked manager's office in the stock room. He was found nearby, matched a description of the suspect, was wearing the same clothing and had the cigarettes, according to the State Attorney's Office. ...' "

-->Sometimes the most egregious examples of our dysfunctional criminal justice system comes down to stories like this. Black man gets 20 years; white, rich men rob millions without penalty. The NYT was not interested and didn't cover it. 


Electronic Intifada:
"The Trump administration’s top civil rights enforcer at the US Department of Education wanted students who did nothing but hold a noisy protest in support of Palestinian rights to be criminally prosecuted.

Kenneth Marcus was captured on camera during a September 2016 meeting with an undercover reporter working on Al Jazeera’s explosive documentary about the US Israel lobby ....

The above video obtained by The Electronic Intifada is the latest excerpt to leak from the documentary. It shows Marcus speaking to the undercover reporter.
At the time, Marcus was director of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, an Israel lobby group unaffiliated with Brandeis University. The Brandeis Center specializes in lawfare – the use of legal proceedings to harass and silence Israel’s critics."

-->A truly disturbing story of how the government and a top university work together to deny freedom of expression on campus. The NYT covered part of this story, but omitted Brandeis University or any mention of the Al Jazeera’s censored documentary. 


Common Dreams:
"With wealthy corporations, state legislatures, and the federal government finding new ways to challenge Americans' right to protest, several nonprofit groups have banded together to fight back on behalf of those facing legal jeopardy for peacefully blocking pipelines or using civil disobedience to resist other fossil projects and destructive policies.

The 'Protect the Protest' initiative was established this month by 20 non-profit groups—including the ACLU, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), and Amnesty International—in response to lawsuits commonly filed by large companies against protesters with the goal of taking advantage of the power imbalance and exhausting activists' resources, forcing them to end their actions against the corporations.

In addition to the broader goal of 'defending dissent,' the coalition will put a focus on advising demonstrators and groups on how to avoid and handle that legal tactic known as a 'strategic lawsuit against public participation,' or SLAPP."

-->The US mainstream media doesn't care much about student free speech rights on campuses. In fact, quite the opposite. This story didn't make it into the NYT or any other media outlets.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Common Dreams:
"When Facebook selected the right-wing, Iraq War-boosting magazine The Weekly Standard as an official fact-checking partner last year as part of its effort to combat 'misinformation,' progressives warned that the conservative publication would use its power to suppress accurate articles published by center-left and left-wing outlets. That's precisely what happened.

After ThinkProgress published an article by Ian Millhiser last week arguing that Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh's comments during his Senate confirmation hearings combined with a speech he gave in 2017 eliminates 'any doubt' that the judge opposes the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, the Weekly Standard deemed the article 'false'—a designation that, given Facebook's rules and the platform's enormous power, cuts off 80 percent of the piece's future traffic and penalizes other pages that dare to post the article.

-->Facebook hired a right wing publication to censor progressive pages? Hard to believe unless you depend on the NYT for your news. It didn't cover this story. 


Black Agenda Report:
"Israeli operatives and their US lobbyists sprang into action when the Movement for Black Lives came out in support of the boycott Israel movement.
'Israeli’s boasted that they were taking decisive measures to drive a wedge between established black community leadership and the new generation gravitating towards Black Lives Matter.'

Exclusive footage from the censored Al Jazeera documentary, 'The Lobby – USA,' shows Israeli government officials taking credit for attacks on Black Lives Matter and reveals an Israel lobbyist explaining how his organization shut down a BLM fundraiser. ...

Previously unreleased footage from Al Jazeera’s censored investigative documentary, 'The Lobby -- USA,' shows Israeli diplomats complaining about the Black Lives Matter 'problem' and boasting about their cultivation of established black civil rights activists as pro-Israel proxies."

-->Yes, the Israel Lobby is busy attacking Black Lives Matter, siding with the racist state in America to shut them down. There was no coverage of this story in the NYT, always eager to whitewash the Israeli Lobby's racism. 


"Trump Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh was subject to a wringer of testy Senate confirmation hearings last week. The current DC Circuit Court judge has come under fire from Democrats on the Judiciary Committee for his stances against the landmark pro-abortion decision Roe v. Wade, affirmative action and programs for Native Hawaiians, as well as his support for torture.

But some Democrats have also said that Kavanaugh lied under oath in both current and past hearings, and groups like Free Speech for People, Demand Justice, MoveOn and NARAL Pro-Choice America have all advocated perjury probes against him. However, these serious allegations of perjury have received sparse coverage from establishment media outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and NPR. ...

Whether the perjury allegations against Kavanaugh turn out to have legal basis or not, such accusations against a Supreme Court nominee deserve at least one article with a thorough examination of the issue in establishment media sources like the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and NPR.  This is especially true when the nominee threatens to shift the ideological balance of the court for decades."

-->Maybe the mainstream media is not so interested in stopping a rightward ideological shift in the Supreme Court. What is good for business is good for them.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

"Up till now, the news reporting in the Times on the anti-semitism charges against the British Labour Party had been fair and the opinion pieces noxious, but now the news reporting is lining up with the noxious folk. Yesterday’s article datelined London, says that Jeremy Corbyn’s 'anti-Semitism crisis' is 'largely of his own making' ...

For that is the central issue in the Western debate: The instant Palestinians start getting support from someone who might have real power, the anti-Semite accusation is wheeled out, everyone remembers Who The Real Victims Are, and Palestinians are shoved under the bus.

That is the whole point of these charges. The discourse of anti-semitism is currently the central issue in the Western world for anyone who favors Palestinian rights, and I just wish people would start constantly and consistently pointing to the elephant in the room, which is that these fake anti-Semitism charges are not innocent. They are racist against Palestinians."

-->This refreshing opinion about the use of antisemitism charges to defeat progressive candidates in the US and England can't be read in our mainstream media. Are Zionists simply shills for the corporate elite, who certainly don't want these candidates to win elections?


Asia Times:
"Hanoi is demanding compensation from US manufacturers of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, as a last resort to help families still suffering traumatic birth defects almost 50 years after the end of the Vietnam war. ...

From 1961 to 1971, the US dropped more than 75 million liters of Agent Orange and other herbicides over Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in what was then called Operation Ranch Hand, in a scorched-earth policy to strip the terrain of foliage and food supplies in an effort to defeat the Viet Cong. ...

[N]ew generations of the Vietnamese population continue to suffer from prolonged effects of the poison through the food supply as well as deformed children from genetic mutations passed on by their parents. The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) says more than 4.8 million people were exposed to the herbicide and 3 million of them suffered deadly diseases."

-->The NYT, ever the apologist for the empire's war crimes, didn't print this story.


Common Dreams:
"With the premiere of his latest documentary film, 'Fahrenheit 11/9,' receiving a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, filmmaker and activist Michael Moore issued a plea to audiences to come away from the movie with an understanding that simply removing President Donald Trump from office won't do away with the circumstances which led to him being there.

'Donald J. Trump did not just fall from the sky,' wrote Moore in a statement on his website. 'His rise to the presidency was not an aberration and should not have come as a shock.' ...

The film examines some of the undercurrents of American culture which Moore has explored in his previous films: the unchecked corporate greed which has led to the decimation of whole communities and the 2008 financial meltdown, the subject of his films 'Roger and Me' and 'Capitalism: A Love Story'; the immense power of private interest groups like the NRA and for-profit health insurance companies, as he explored in 'Bowling for Columbine' and 'Sicko.' "

-->Lucky for the corrupt, corporate political system we are all burdened with, our newspaper of record didn't report Moore's new film.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Black Agenda Report:
"From 1992 till weeks before his death John McCain served as chairman of the International Republican Institute, a US government funded organization that interferes in the political processes of scores of other countries, training rebel groups to overthrow inconvenient elected governments, like that of John Bertrand Aristide in Haiti, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and many others. McCain and the IRI were prominent backers of neo-nazi politicians and armed militia groups in Ukraine who are now part of that country’s army and civilian government. ...

During his 32 years in the US Senate, the real John McCain was a consistent warmonger , advocating US military intervention in Africa, South America, Korea, and almost everywhere. He sang 'bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran' before a veterans group, and called demonstrators against Henry Kissinger 'despicable scum.' The record of his public calls for coups, invasions, blockades, bombings and assassinations to advance US military and economic domination of the planet is far too long to list.

All this explains why corporate media are lifting up their whitewashed and manufactured version of John McCain. He’s one of their own, a genuine war criminal and loyal servant of capital. Lifting him up, creating and embellishing his heroic story lifts up and legitimizes the rule of the rich."

-->Finally, an honest assessment of John McCain. The mainstream media just can't resist pleasing the Pentagon and the weapons makers by portraying McCain as an American hero. Disgusting, isn't it?


Common Dreams:
"Progressives Disgusted as Democrats Fold at Brett Kavanaugh Hearing. As more than 30 people were dragged away in handcuffs on Tuesday for protesting during the confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh, critics of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee demanded a comparable show of courage and called on those lawmakers—who failed to win a delay of the proceedings—to simply end their participation and walk out. ...

But those hopes were largely dashed when it became increasingly clear that the Democrats were not prepared for what would happen if Grassley refused to heed their calls, as he predictably did. The acquiescence was led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who ended the series of objections by delivering her prepared opening statement. ...

But critics held that continuing with the hearing at all was a betrayal of constituents who are counting on Democratic senators to serve their interests—as Republicans went to extreme lengths to block President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, from even having a confirmation hearing in 2016 in order to serve their party's interests.

-->More disgust at the Democratic leadership that can't stop selling out to right wing, corporate America. Mainstream media didn't dwell on Feinstein's cowardice. And with a net worth of $94 million, what does she care anyway?


Common Dreams:
"After the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition issued a statement on Saturday calling its deadly bombing of a Yemeni school bus 'unjustified' and claiming it was the result of mere 'mistakes,' human rights groups and progressive lawmakers ramped up calls for the U.S. to immediately halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which has been viciously bombing Yemen for years.

'We must end U.S. support for this disastrous war in Yemen,' Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declared on Twitter Saturday evening. 'It is also long past time that we begin to take a very hard look at our relationship with Saudi Arabia.'

-->The NYT has finally gotten around to condemning the Saudi bombing in an opinion piece by the Editorial Board. But the news it presents to the public still whitewashes Saudi Arabia, with stories entitled "Saudi-Led Coalition Condemns U.N. Rights Report on Yemen." Contrast this to the AP headline: "Rights Group: Strike on Bus in Yemen Is Apparent War Crime."

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Guardian UK:
'Was it coincidence that a mass raid on two Memphis homes occurred on the first day of a trial in which police face claims of illegal surveillance of Black Lives Matter campaigners? ...

Witnesses described more than 50 heavily armed officers: local police, sheriff’s deputies, some from other agencies. Many shielded their identity with black ski masks. The score from this elaborate, multi-agency gang task force effort? A single “roach” from an ashtray, containing a quantity of marijuana too small to trigger an arrest. The homeowner was given a written citation.

Minutes away, at a downtown courthouse, the police department was entering its first day on trial. The case, brought by activists and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), alleges the Memphis police department (MPD) engaged in illegal surveillance of activists involved with Black Lives Matter and Fight for 15, including “catfishing” them with fake social media accounts."

-->Yes, the Memphis police are acting like the KKK in intimidating Black activists seeking justice in the courts. No, the US media including the NYT didn't print the story.


The Guardian UK:
"Since the beginning of 2016 – the year that a peace agreement was signed with Colombia’s largest leftist rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or Farc) – some 311 activists, community leaders, and human rights defenders have been murdered, according to the national human rights office. At least 123 of those killings took place in the first six months of this year, in what the country’s human rights ombudsman described as 'an extermination'.

The 2016 deal was supposed to close a chapter in a civil war that had taken over 220,000 lives and left 7 million displaced, but while military casualties have dropped dramatically, activists and 'social leaders' – those who are trying to implement peace at the grassroots level – are living in constant fear."

-->The NYT and mainstream media won't cover this dirty war in Columbia, promoted by the US government. The same is true for the story of death squads in Honduras, another country dominated by a US after a military coup overthrew its democratically elected president. The NYT spends all its energy printing stores supporting the US backed attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government in Venezuela. Pentagon propaganda always comes before real reporting for our "newspaper of record."


Common Dreams:
"NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner Receives Longest Sentence Ever For Unauthorized Disclosure. Her sentence for violating the Espionage Act is extraordinary, particularly when compared to sentences issued in other leak prosecutions. Yet, it is representative of the extent to which the government will go to make examples out of whistleblowers. ...

A [facility] was setup at the courthouse in Augusta for Winner to meet with her attorneys and work on her defense. Throughout this part of her case, she was routinely dehumanized, as she was shackled 12 hours each day. The shackles were at her waist so she could not drink a water bottle with her own hands.

When she wanted to use the bathroom, according to her mother, Billie Winner-Davis, officers would do a 'complete strip search on her.' Any time she was 'taken from the SCIF to return to jail,' they did a strip search on her. Humiliating and degrading strip searches served the purpose of domination and ensured Winner would recognize who was in control over her."

-->The NYT set the standard for US media reporting on Reality Winner's outrageously long sentence and her mistreatment in prison. For example, the newspaper didn't compare her long prison sentence to former general Petraeus, who gave top secret documents to his mistress and got no prison time at all. Her poor treatment was also completely omitted.