Wednesday, June 28, 2017

PopularResistance.org:
"Our friends at the Washington Post are waging a brave campaign against Medicare for All.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post editorial board took a bold stance: they argued that universal health care with single-payer financing is simply beyond reach.

That the Post felt the need to issue the editorial at this particular moment is a testament to single payer’s rising fortunes. From coast to coast, activists are on the march: against the widely loathed, upward-wealth-redistributing, health-care-stripping abomination known as Trumpcare, for sure — but also for real universal health care.
Yet the Post’s frail arguments should be confronted, because they repeat a number of common talking points that rest on flawed assumptions and that could do real harm."

-->Major media in the US hate the idea of going around the big insurance and pharmaceutical companies to establish healthcare for all Americans. The Washington Post and the NYT are simply in the pocket of the major corporations involved. This article is a must read for those who want to understand how defective our media really is when discussing US healthcare.

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Physicians for Human Rights:
"Based on an analysis of thousands of pages of documents and years of research, Physicians for Human Rights shows that the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program constituted an illegal, unethical regime of experimental research on unwilling human subjects, testing the flawed hypothesis that torture could aid interrogators in breaking the resistance of detainees. 

In “Nuremberg Betrayed: Human Experimentation and the CIA Torture Program,” PHR researchers show that CIA contract psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen created a research program in which health professionals designed and applied torture techniques and collected data on torture’s effects. This constitutes one of the gravest breaches of medical ethics by U.S. health personnel since the Nuremberg Code was developed in the wake of Nazi medical atrocities committed during World War Two.

Delving into the role health professionals played in designing and implementing torture, the report uses newly released documents to show how the results of untested, brutal torture techniques were used to calibrate the machinery of the torture program. The large-scale experiment’s flawed findings were also used by Bush administration lawyers to create spurious legal cover for the entire program."

-->No mention of “Nuremberg Betrayed" in the NYT, which puts a high priority on keeping the brutal behavior the CIA out of its newspaper. 

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Engadget:
"A recent Wikileaks document dump revealed that the CIA has been hacking wireless routers. The documents suggest it has been going on for years and as many as 25 devices from 10 different manufacturers were targeted.

This latest leak included user manuals and installation guides for a number of hacking tools. One of them, dubbed CherryBlossom, let the CIA monitor a target's internet activity, redirect their browser and scan for information.

The list of compromised router brands includes, but is likely not limited to, Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, Dell, Dlink, Linksys, Motorola, Netgear, Senao and US Robotics. Apple is not on the list, but it's unclear how many other devices might have been targeted after these documents were created."

-->To our newspaper of record, the CIA hacking into the nation's routers is not newsworthy. All the news that the CIA thinks is fit to print.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Huffington Post:
"... this month the Public Broadcasting System is broadcasting a 'documentary' that tells a one-sided story, the story that Betsy DeVos herself would tell, based on the work of free-market advocate Andrew Coulson. Author of 'Market Education,' Coulson narrates 'School, Inc.,' a three-hour program, which airs this month nationwide in three weekly broadcasts on PBS. ...

What [viewers] will not see or hear is the other side of the story. ... Advocates of the privatization movement like DeVos claim that nonpublic schools will 'save poor children from failing public schools,' but independent researchers have recently concurred that vouchers actually have had a negative effect on students in the District of Columbia, Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio. Charters, at best, have a mixed record, and many are known for excluding children with disabilities and English language learners and for pushing out students who are troublesome.

I googled the funders and discovered that the lead funder [of the PBS documentary] is the Rose Mary and Jack Anderson Foundation, a very conservative foundation ... which advocates for vouchers. Other contributors to Donors Trust include the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation. In other words, this program is paid propaganda. It does not search for the truth. It does not present opposing points of view. It is an advertisement for the demolition of public education and for an unregulated free market in education.

-->The shame of PBS selling its airtime to the far right and its corporate think tanks that want to destroy public education. Why couldn't PBS have aired a program that really debates the issues? Is their journalism simply for sale to the highest bidder?

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FAIR:
"Action Alert: With Sleazy Innuendo, NYT Lays Virginia Attack at Bernie Sanders’ Feet. New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor (6/14/17) started with a false premise and patched together a dodgy piece of innuendo and guilt-by-association in order to place the blame for a shooting in Virginia on 'the most ardent supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders’ supporters are positioned as crazed religious adherents, with an 'idol' rather than a political leader. ... The sleaziest section, and one that solicited the most online outrage, uncritically echoed the conventional wisdom that Sanders fans were uniquely menacing and aggressive.

Alcindor insists Sanders supporters had 'earned a belligerent reputation' without examining whether or not this claim was supported by any empirical data whatsoever."

-->When it comes to Bernie Sanders and the social justice movement, the NYT is very close to Fox News. Both media conglomerates distort leftist positions, belittle activists seeking social change, and generally espouse the corporate agenda over the will of the people.

ACTION: Please contact the New York Times and ask for more responsible coverage of the Virginia shooting incident. Email:  letters@nytimes.com. You can leave a copy of your message in the comments section of the FAIR website above.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Guardian UK:
"A rightwing protester who was filmed helping law enforcement in Portland arrest an anti-fascist activist has been identified as a member of a 'patriot movement' militia-style group.

Todd Kelsay confirmed he was the man captured in photographs and video assisting three officers from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as they pinned down and apprehended the masked protester.

The footage, which shows Kelsay kneeling alongside the DHS officers, and then removing cuffs from the back of one officer, has fueled debate over the policing of the event last Sunday."

-->Collusion between right wing, racist thugs and the nation's police forces is a major indication of fascism on the rise. The failure of our media, including the NYT to cover this story is an indication that this emerging fascism will remain unchallenged.

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Common Dreams:
"U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has given her first interview since being released from prison last month in which she explains her motivations for making public thousands of military documents. ...

Asked about why she leaked the trove of documents, she says, 'I have a responsibility to the public … we all have a responsibility.'

'We're getting all this information from all these different sources and it's just death, destruction, mayhem. ... We're filtering it all through facts, statistics, reports, dates, times, locations, and eventually, you just stop,' she adds. 'I stopped seeing just statistics and information, and I started seeing people.' "

-->Yes, we all. have a responsibility to the public. Well, all accept the NYT which didn't't think Chelsea Manning's words were fit to print. Our newspaper of record avoided the interview completely, while a Reuters story focused on Chelsea's transgender experience. 

UPDATE: Manning will be featured in the NYT Sunday Magazine.

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The Guardian, UK:
"Progressive politicians in the US have hailed Jeremy Corbyn’s performance in the British general election 'an inspiration' that could shift the Democratic party to the left in the run-up to the 2018 midterms.

Bernie Sanders was among those to praise Labour’s result, saying it showed 'people are rising up against austerity and massive levels of income and wealth inequality,' while left-leaning members of Congress said the victory would have major implications for the future of Democrats. ...

Corbyn’s achievement was part of a 'global trend,' said Pramila Jayapal, a US congresswoman from Washington, 'towards recognising that progressive policies are the answer to a lot of the inequality, and a lot of the issues that young people and working families across the globe are facing.' ”


-->To the NYT, all this shift to the left is more baffling than hopeful. The newspaper doesn't acknowledge a "global trend" at all, but instead quotes disillusioned English voters: “Britain doesn’t feel stable anymore.” Unwilling as ever to see a left movement in either country, the NYT warns that, "Britain is increasingly confusing and unpredictable." Blind to Burnie Sanders, and now blind to the Labour victory in Britain.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Common Dreams:
"The years-long, Indigenous-led fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) briefly captured the nation's attention last fall as images of peaceful resisters being sprayed with water canons and surrounded by police in tanks and other military-grade equipment were spread widely, fueling global outrage and a fierce protest movement against the oil pipeline.

Now that the pipeline is operational and already leaking, internal documents obtained by The Intercept and reported on Saturday reveal the deep collusion between local police forces, the pipeline company, and defense contractors as they executed 'military-style counterterrorism measures' to suppress the water protectors.

TigerSwan, described as a 'shadowy international mercenary and security firm' that 'originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror,' was hired by Energy Transfer Partners to spearhead 'a multifaceted private security operation characterized by sweeping and invasive surveillance of protesters,' The Intercept wrote."

-->This merging of private and public police forces didn't bother the NYT, which failed to print this story. 

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Common Dreams:
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) did not adequately account for safety hazards when approving certain upgrades to nuclear sites around the U.S., meaning the risk of a Fukushima-like disaster caused by a reactor fire is still high, according to an article published in the journal Science on Friday.

Researchers from Princeton University and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) argued that the NRC 'relied on faulty analysis to justify its refusal to adopt a critical measure for protecting Americans from the occurrence of a catastrophic nuclear-waste fire at any one of dozens of reactor sites around the country.'

The risk is especially high in the sites' cooling pools—basins that are used to store and reduce the temperatures of used radioactive fuel rods. Spent-fuel pools came into the international spotlight after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi site in Japan, in which an earthquake-triggered tsunami disabled the electrical systems needed for the cooling process, leading to meltdowns at three of six reactors."

-->Amazingly, the NYT didn't print this story either. The nuclear catastrophe waiting to happen just north of NYC wasn't judged news fit to print, even though the Indian Point power plant uses these risky spent fuel pools.

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Common Dreams:
"Thursday, on what would have been his 24th birthday, an intersection in the Bronx was renamed in honor of Kalief Browder, the 16-year-old African-American boy flung into New York's grisly Rikers Island Prison in 2010 after he was wrongly accused of stealing a backpack and his family couldn't raise bail. 

At Rikers, known as a de-facto 'penal colony' for its brutal conditions, Kalief endured three years of 'documented torture,' including two years in solitary, at the hands of both guards and fellow inmates. He was repeatedly beaten, assaulted, starved; he attempted suicide at least five times, and was punished each time; he faced unending legal delays until he became 'an unheard voice,' as though he "didn't exist." 

Throughout his harrowing ordeal, documented at length by Jennifer Gonnerman in The New Yorker, he maintained his innocence and refused all plea deals. In June 2014, the charges were suddenly dropped and he was freed. After struggling for two years with post-Rikers trauma, depression and paranoia, Kalief hanged himself outside his family's Bronx home in what Gonnerman calls an 'American tragedy almost beyond words.' He was 22."


-->No mention of this story in the NYT, which prefers presenting articles with a positive view of law enforcement.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Guardian UK:
"Had Assange not sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he would have been on his way to the kind of American torture pit Chelsea Manning had to endure. This prospect was obscured by the grim farce played out in Sweden. 'It's a laughing stock,' said James Catlin, one of Assange's Australian lawyers. 'It is as if they make it up as they go along'.

It may have seemed that way, but there was always serious purpose. In 2008, a secret Pentagon document prepared by the 'Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch' foretold a detailed plan to discredit WikiLeaks and smear Assange personally.

The 'mission' was to destroy the 'trust' that was WikiLeaks' 'centre of gravity'. This would be achieved with threats of 'exposure [and] criminal prosecution'. Silencing and criminalising such an unpredictable source of truth-telling was the aim."

-->The NYT coverage of Assange has always been a perfect example of "fake news" orchestrated by the CIA. Read JohnPilger.com if you want the real story about why the Swedish charges against Assange were dropped.

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Common Dreams:
"Americans are dying at a shockingly high rate from preventable causes, found a first-of-its-kind global health study published late Thursday.

The new research demonstrates that despite the fact that the U.S. has the largest economy in the world, healthcare for many of its residents is woefully inadequate. The U.S. was tied with Estonia and Montenegro, far below other wealthy nations such as Norway, Canada, and Australia, in the study's ranking of 195 countries.

'America's ranking is an embarrassment, especially considering the U.S. spends more than $9,000 per person on healthcare annually, more than any other country,' said Dr. Christopher Murray, senior author of the study and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. 'Anyone with a stake in the current healthcare debate, including elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels, should take a look at where the U.S. is falling short.' "

-->The NYT didn't cover this story. Our newspaper of record almost always comes out in favor of the big insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Take a peek at the current NYT Board of Directors to see what conflicts of interest they represent. http://www.nytco.com/board-of-directors/

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The Guardian UK:
"Facebook has censored a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist for publishing a series of posts alleging corruption by the prime minister of Malta and his associates.

Matthew Caruana Galizia, a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ award-winning Panama Papers team, was temporarily locked out of his Facebook account over four posts, which were deleted for violating the social network’s community standards. 'For me, this process was enlightening because I realised how crippling and punitive this block is for a journalist,' Caruana Galizia told the Guardian by email.

The posts, which were written in Maltese, contained allegations of wrongdoing by prime minister Joseph Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri, and minister of energy Konrad Mizzi. Each post included images of documents from the Panama Papers leak."


-->No coverage of this by our NYT. A story about Facebook censoring investigative reporters should be big news. Check out the Board of Directors again to see why this story never made it into print. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Guardian UK:
"Apparent National Security Agency (NSA) malware has been used in a global cyber-attack, including on British hospitals, in what whistleblower Edward Snowden described as the repercussion of the NSA's reckless decision to build the tools. 'Despite warnings, @NSAGov built dangerous attack tools that could target Western software. Today we see the cost,' Snowden tweeted Friday.

At least two hospitals in London were forced to shut down and stop admitting patients after being attacked by the malware, which operates by locking out the user, encrypting data, and demanding a ransom to release it. The attacks hit dozens of other hospitals, ambulance operators, and doctors' offices as well."

-->The NYT covered this story, but left out the most important part. No mention of the NSA's malware role in all this hacking.

UPDATE: The NYT finally reported the NSA's role in an article entitled, "Malware Case Is Major Blow for the NSA." The story asks us to feel sorry for the NSA because of the "trials" the agency has endured.

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Black Alliance for Peace:
"The United States has been conducting a brutal, 20-year-long campaign of destabilization against Venezuela in an attempt to cause 'regime change' in that country.  This has taken the form of economic sabotage and financial manipulation as well as support for the mobilization of right-wing forces in increasingly violent demonstrations.

This is not a recent policy but one that has also been carried out under the Obama and Bush administrations as well as the present Trump administration.  In 2002, right-wing forces inside Venezuela attempted a coup against then-President Hugo Chavez. Many sources have confirmed that the U.S. gave the go-ahead to the opposition to orchestrate the coup and promised support.  Soon after the coup, the people of Venezuela turned out in the streets in massive numbers and restored Chavez to the presidency.

Barack Obama continued the assault on the Venezuelan revolution by imposing crippling sanctions and asserting that Venezuela was a 'security threat' to the United States. These attacks from the U.S. exemplify attempts to realize full-spectrum dominance, the epitome of imperialist intervention which has brought so much suffering to the world."

-->Do you think that US media would ever even whisper these words about the CIA's long term assault on Venezuela? The current media coverage of Venezuela shows the extent to which newspapers like the NYT print propaganda rather than news.  

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The Guardian UK
"Contrary to what nearly every US mediator has asserted, it is not that Israel greatly desires a peace agreement but has a pretty good fallback option. It is that Israel greatly prefers the fallback option to a peace agreement. No tactical brilliance in negotiations, no amount of expert preparation, no perfect alignment of the stars can overcome that obstacle. Only two things can: a more attractive agreement, or a less attractive fallback. The first of these options has been tried extensively, from offering Israel full normalisation with most Arab and Islamic states to promising upgraded relations with Europe, US security guarantees, and increased financial and military assistance. ...

The second option is to make the fallback worse. This is what President Eisenhower did following the 1956 Suez crisis when he threatened economic sanctions to get Israel to withdraw from Sinai and Gaza. This is what President Ford did in 1975 when he reassessed US relations with Israel, refusing to provide it with new arms deals until it agreed to a second Sinai withdrawal. This is what President Carter did when he raised the spectre of terminating US military assistance if Israel did not immediately evacuate Lebanon in September 1977. And this is what Carter did when he made clear to both sides at Camp David that the United States would withhold aid and downgrade relations if they did not sign an agreement. This, likewise, is what the US secretary of state James Baker did in 1991, when he forced a reluctant Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to attend negotiations in Madrid by withholding a $10bn loan guarantee that Israel needed to absorb the immigration of Soviet Jews. That was the last time the United States applied pressure of this sort."

-->Would our US media ever really give the American people this short history lesson about what has worked in the Middle East? All of it goes down the NYT memory hole.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Guardian UK:
"Israeli ministers have approved the wording of a new law that would downgrade Arabic as an official language and which states that the right to self-determination in Israel 'is unique to the Jewish people', despite the country’s sizeable non-Jewish minority.

The go-ahead for the nation state bill by the ministerial committee for legislation means it will now move forward to a vote by the country’s parliament. The bill has to pass several stages in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, for it to become law and could also be challenged in the courts.

Critics say the law is discriminatory and could undermine Israel’s balance of being both a Jewish and democratic state by harming the rights of minorities.
Hebrew and Arabic are both Israel’s national languages, but the bill states that Hebrew would be the lone national language, downgrading Arabic to 'a special status in the state' whose 'speakers have the right to language-accessible state services'."

-->Yes, apartheid gallops ahead in Israel. But the NYT, ever protective of Israel's image in the US, didn't cover the story.

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The Guardian UK:
"More than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstrations since Donald Trump was elected, in a move that UN experts have branded 'incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law'.

The proposed laws would variously increase the penalties for protesting in large groups, ban protesters from wearing masks during demonstrations and, in some states, protect drivers from liability if they strike someone taking part in a protest.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said more than 30 separate anti-protest bills have been introduced since 8 November in 'an unprecedented level of hostility towards protesters in the 21st century'. Their introduction comes amid a huge increase in activism and engagement, much of it inspired by Trump’s election to the presidency."

-->The NYT didn't cover this dangerous turn in US politics, making laws against political demonstrations. Our newspaper of record has always been against political activism in the streets, and this is just another example. This same week, the NYT enthusiastically reported on street demonstrations in Venezuela, Poland, and Russia. CIA run street demonstrations always get prime coverage. 

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Common Dreams:
"The city of Flint, where the pipes have still not been fixed and the water crisis is ongoing, is threatening to place tax liens on people's homes for non-payment of water bills, according to a local news source.

NBC affiliate 25News reported Tuesday that more than 8,000 people have received notice from the city that they are 'at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure if they don't pay up on their water bills' by May 19. ... 

Melissa Mays, a Flint mother and water activist, told the station of the notice: 'I got scared, for probably the first time since this all started this actually scared me.' Mays plans to 'go against what she believes' and pay the $900 she owes in order to ensure she doesn't lose her home ..."

-->Paying for poisoned water in Flint? The NYT wasn't interested in this story.