Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Guardian UK:
"New evidence has emerged linking an RAF veteran to the death in 1961 of the UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld in a mysterious plane crash in southern Africa.

Jan van Risseghem has been named as a possible attacker before, but has always been described simply as a Belgian pilot. The Observer can now reveal that he had extensive ties to Britain, including a British mother and wife, trained with the RAF and was decorated by Britain for his service in the second world war. ... Van Risseghem was never interviewed by the authorities or journalists directly about the death of Hammarskjöld.

-->This story implicates all the usual villains: the CIA and MI6 doing the dirty work for US and British corporations. This time it was killing the the head of the United Nations, along with 15 members of his staff. JFK, soon to be assassinated himself, had called Hammarskjöld "the greatest statesman of our century." There wasn't much coverage of this story in our mainstream media, including the NYT.

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Mondoweiss:
"A study released last month by 416Labs, a Toronto-based consulting and research firm, supports the view that mainstream U.S. newspapers consistently portray Palestine in a more negative light than Israel, privilege Israeli sources, and omit key facts helpful to understanding the Israeli occupation, including those expressed by Palestinian sources.

The largest of its kind, the study is based on a sentiment and n-gram analysis of nearly a hundred thousand headlines in five mainstream newspapers dating to 1967. ...

Since 1967, use of the word “occupation” has declined by 85% in the Israeli dataset of headlines, and by 65% in the Palestinian dataset; Since 1967, mentions of Palestinian refugees have declined by an overall 93%; Israeli sources are nearly 250% more likely to be quoted as Palestinians; Explicit recognition that Israeli settlements and settlers are illegal rarely appears in both datasets.

-->Yes, our newspapers are hopelessly biased in support of Israel, and only getting worse. The fact that the NYT didn't cover this story is only one example of our media's staggering disregard for the truth about the occupation of Palestine.  

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The Guardian UK:
"In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. ... [But] Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late – on Wall Street. According to CNBC, all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren’t far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives."

-->Yes, corporate backed Democratic candidates posing as left leaning reformers. Why can't the NYT, our newspaper of record, tell us about these things?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Common Dreams:
"Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) unflinching support for taxing the wealthiest Americans at a rate doubling what they currently pay each year made waves among conservatives over the weekend—but at least one likely Democratic presidential candidate's backing of the proposal may indicate that it may soon get broader support from the party. 

On ABC's 'The Week,' former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro unequivocally told George Stephanopoulos that he has 'no problem' forcing Americans who make more than $10 million per year to pay far more than they currently pay in taxes. ...

Republicans attempted to attack Ocasio-Cortez's proposal—but were able to only by entirely misrepresenting what she said on '60 Minutes,' suggesting that she supports taxing all Americans' income at 70 percent.

-->The NYT hasn't covered this movement to make the filthy rich pay their fair share of taxes. Only an opinion piece by Paul Krugman mentions the growing support for tax reform. 

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Common Dreams:
"The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) in Alabama has come under righteous fire after caving to Zionist pressure and rescinding its decision to award the prestigious Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award to  activist, academic, black icon, daughter of Birmingham and supporter of the BDS movement Angela Davis, who's spent decades fighting for the civil rights they supposedly stand for. In October, the Institute said they were 'thrilled to bestow this honor' on Davis, 'one of the most globally recognized champions of human rights, giving voice to those who are powerless to speak.'

Now they've taken back the offer and cancelled the February gala where she would have received it because 'upon closer examination of Davis’ statements and public record, we concluded that she unfortunately does not meet all of the criteria' for the award. Noting Davis' passionate criticism of Israel's ethnic cleansing, activists promptly called bullshit. 'To argue that Angela Davis is unworthy of a civil rights award is beyond shameful,' said Jewish Voice For Peace. 'And to dance around the fact that it’s due to her outspoken support of Palestinian rights makes it outrageous.' "

-->The NYT doesn't do stories like this that makes the Israel Lobby look bad. It didn't cover this controversy, and only included an AP version of the story on the NYT's website. 


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The Guardian UK:
"Meet Dr Miriam Adelson: the record-breaking Republican donor driving Trump's Israel policy. The 73-year-old has played a pivotal role in forming the couple’s interests and alliances in the US, where she is a naturalized citizen, and in her native Israel, according to public records and interviews with people who know her socially and professionally. Evidence suggests that she is the driver in the couple’s political and philanthropic activities, whether pushing for the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv or donating an unprecedented $113m to this year’s midterm elections.

'Everybody says it’s Sheldon, but it’s Miriam,' says Michael Cherry, the associate chief justice of the Nevada supreme court, who sits on the board of the Las Vegas methadone clinic that the Adelsons founded. ...

Miriam turns out to be far wealthier than her husband, who was ranked #21 on the Forbes 2018 billionaire ranking. ... Worth $17.4bn at the current stock price, her holdings make Miriam wealthier than a number of the world’s richest men, including Rupert Murdoch and Charles Schwab."

-->An Israeli citizen and one of the world's richest billionaires is paying for Trump's support of Israeli apartheid. One might think that the NYT would be interested in this story, but it wasn't. How is it that an English newspaper does such a better job tracing Israel's influence in the U.S. than our own media?

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Common Dreams:
"Following presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) official announcement on Friday that Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) will chair the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, progressives accused the Democratic leadership of moving ahead with a 'weak' congressional panel instead of listening to grassroots demands for a more bold and visionary Green New Deal Select Committee.

Justice Democrats—an advocacy group that helped organize recent mobilizations in support of a Green New Deal—declared in a statement that the Democratic leadership appears dead-set on taking the 'path of least resistance' when it comes to tackling the climate crisis."

-->Pelosi selling out the Green New Deal? The NYT was not interested in exposing Pelosi as another corporate shill. It didn't cover this story.

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Guardian UK:
"Palestinians decry rise in attacks by Israeli settlers. ... Settler violence against Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has been rising since the beginning of 2017, according to the UN. This year 60 incidents attributed to settlers have resulted in Palestinian casualties and 157 in damage to Palestinian property. This is a 175% increase since 2016 and the highest number since a peak four years ago. ...

According to the Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din, of 185 investigations opened between 2014 and 2017 that reached a final stage, only 21, or 11.4%, led to the prosecution of offenders, while the other 164 files were closed without indictment.

Key among its concerns is the double legal system. Settlers who commit crimes are under the jurisdiction of Israeli law; Palestinians operate under a separate legal system, run by the military."

-->Yes, further proof of Israeli apartheid treatment of the Palestinians. The NYT wasn't interested in this story.

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The Intercept:
"Major Liberal Groups Sat on Sidelines as Senate Passed historic Resolution on Yemen War. ...

Backers of the effort approached the Center for American Progress, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the American Civil Liberties Union, and all declined to specifically endorse the resolution or become members of the activist coalition. And when a procedural vote on the resolution came to the House floor, it got the same kind of half-hearted support from Democratic leadership, falling just three votes short. ...

The issue is especially sensitive to the Center for American Progress, the most prominent Democratic think tank in Washington, because it has been criticized for accepting significant funding from the embassy of the UAE, one of the Gulf countries leading the war on Yemen. The UAE gave CAP between $500,000 to $999,000 in 2017, according to the organization’s website."

-->So called liberal establishment leans in favor of endless wars in the Middle East. The NYT would never report that to its "Love Me I'm a Liberal" readers.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Center for Constitutional Rights:
"After legal threats and false allegations from Shurat HaDin-The Israel Law Center, the donation platform Donorbox has temporarily suspended the BDS National Committee’s account, disabling its ability to fundraise for its human rights advocacy at the height of the charity season.

Wikileaks revealed in 2013 that Shurat HaDin works in close coordination with the Israeli intelligence agency to pursue legal action against Israel’s critics. The group regularly uses litigation to harass individuals and groups worldwide who challenge Israel’s oppression of Palestinians or endorse boycott and divestment campaigns for Palestinian rights.

-->The NYT leaves it to others to cover stories about Israel's dirty tricks in other countries. The NYT didn't print anything about this campaign. 

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Common Dreams:
"After brushing aside the frenzied 2020 presidential hype and closely scrutinizing the public voting record of outgoing Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), Capital & Main investigative journalist David Sirota published a detailed analysis on Thursday showing that the Texas congressman frequently voted to advance President Donald Trump and the GOP's right-wing agenda during his three terms in the House.

'Amid persistently high economic inequality and a climate change crisis, O'Rourke has voted for GOP bills that his fellow Democratic lawmakers said reinforced Republicans' tax agenda, chipped away at the Affordable Care Act, weakened Wall Street regulations, boosted the fossil fuel industry, and bolstered Trump's immigration policy,' Sirota wrote in his report, which was co-published by the Guardian."

-->Another Democratic presidential contender with a record of sellouts that rivals Barack Obama's. Leave it to the US mainstream media to hype him as the next great candidate. 

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Common Dreams:
"Food safety advocates are expressing sharp disappointment with the final federal GMO labeling rule, released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

While industry-friendly Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asserted in a press statement that the new standard for foods produced using genetic engineering (GE or GMO) would boost 'the transparency of our nation's food system' and ensure 'clear information and labeling consistency for consumers about the ingredients in their food,' groups like the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)—and even food giants like Nestlé—say it does nothing of the sort.

'It is obvious that this rule is intended to hide, not disclose, information about genetically modified foods,' said IATP senior attorney Sharon Treat."

-->GMO labeling fraud? The NYT has always had a soft spot on its pages for GMO products. While touting GMO as the answer to the world's food problems, the NYT routinely refuses to print negative stories about Monsanto.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

NY Books:
"The Pro-Israel Push to Purge US Campus Critics. There are signs that we’ve reached a tipping point in US public recognition of Israel’s suppression of the rights of Palestinians as a legitimate human rights concern. Increasingly, students on campuses across the country are calling on their universities to divest from companies that do business in Israel. Newly elected members of Congress are saying what was once unsayable: that perhaps the US should question its unqualified diplomatic and financial support for Israel ...

At the same time, discussions on college campuses about the complexities of freedom, history, and belonging in Israel and Palestine are under increasing pressure and potential censorship from right-wing entities. In fact, new policies adopted by the US and Israeli governments are intended to eliminate any rigorous discussion of Israeli–Palestinian politics in university settings. Not since the McCarthyite anti-Communist purges have we seen such an aggressive effort to censor teaching and learning on topics the government disfavors. 

Especially chilling, the US Department of Education recently adopted a new definition of anti-Semitism, one that equates any criticism of Israel with a hatred of Jews."

-->When is the pro apartheid NYT going to cover the new McCarthyism on college campuses? There is so much to talk about, yet our "newspaper of record" sticks to the Zionist script.    

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Common Dreams:
"As Grassroots Momentum Surges, Over 300 Local Officials From 40 States Declare Support for Green New Deal. With support for a Green New Deal growing rapidly at the grassroots, in Congress, and among potential 2020 presidential candidates, over 300 local elected officials from 40 states threw their support behind the bold proposal in an open letter released on Friday, declaring that it is 'time to end the era of fossil fuel production and build our clean energy future together.' ...

The decision by dozens of mayors, state legislators, and city council members to back a Green New Deal comes as people in the United States and around the world are pressuring their leaders to abandon incremental approaches to the climate crisis and adopt ambitious policies that are in line with the latest science."

-->To the the NYT, the "Green New Deal" isn't even worthy of one story. It leaves over news sources like AP to cover popular movements to save our planet. The NYT remains part of the problem rather than part of the solution on climate change.

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Common Dreams:
"The United States was a near global outlier Monday at the United Nations General Assembly in rejecting a framework to bolster international cooperation on refugees.

Only Hungary—headed by far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose administration has been accused of carrying out 'a full-frontal assault on migrants and refugees'—joined the U.S. in voting 'no' on the Global Compact on Refugees (pdf). One hundred eighty-one nations voted to approve it, while three—the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, and Libya—abstained. ...

According to U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, the compact 'provides long overdue recognition that countries hosting large numbers of refugees provide a huge service to our shared humanity and sets out ways through which the rest of the world can help share the load.' "

-->The NYT has long considered itself the cheerleader for the image of the US abroad. It didn't cover this story. All the propaganda that is "fit to print"?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Vox:
"French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new gas tax earlier this year that will increase the price of fuel by about 30 cents per gallon and will continue to rise over the next few years. ...

But Macron, a former investment banker, isn’t using the tax to support or expand social welfare benefits — quite the opposite, in fact. It’s part of his broader plan to reform the French economy to make it more pro-business.
He’s been cutting spending to popular, longstanding social welfare programs and has been scaling back labor protections. For instance, he’s made it easier for companies to hire and fire employees and fought unions to end subsidies for certain sectors. ...

So, to recap, the protesters are mostly working-class folks who are angry at what they see as an out-of-touch elitist president whose policies favor the wealthy and corporations at the expense of working-class French people."

-->But a recent front page headline in the NYT tells a different story. "French Protests Reveal Clash: Heathy Climate vs. Lower Tax." Gone are the cuts in social programs and labor rights. Gone is Macron's favoring the rich and corporations over the working class. Our "newspaper of record" is blind to the working class and chooses to reframe issues to protect the corporate elite.   

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Common Dreams:
"One of the best parts of Ocasio-Cortez's arrival in D.C. as a new leader is that she notices, and is revolted by, the corrupt, corporatist rituals that are so embedded in D.C. culture that most politicians and journalists barely notice them. ...

Pulling back the curtain on the ostensibly 'bipartisan' orientation for newly elected members of Congress at Harvard's Kennedy School in Boston, Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) informed the public through live social media updates on Thursday that—contrary to the ideologically neutral advertising—the private conference featured a heavy dose of speeches by corporate CEOs and completely shut out organized labor and members of the progressive community.

'Our 'bipartisan' congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group,' Ocasio-Cortez noted, likely referring to the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute, which is co-sponsoring the event. 'Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn't told to us in advance. Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where's labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?' "

-->Where indeed is the NYT? Corporate influence oozing from the seams of Congress, yet the NYT decided not to carry this story. 

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The Guardian UK:
"She sings. She sparkles. And she’s made by women paid just 1p [about 1.3 cents] for each doll that shimmers off shop shelves. This Christmas, tens of thousands of children the world over will excitedly tear the wrapping paper off an Ariel doll – Disney’s Little Mermaid – secure in the knowledge that it was made for them by Santa’s happy elves at the north pole.

The reality would come as a cruel surprise. For elves, read Chinese factory workers. For the north pole, read the city of Heyuan. And for happy, read miserable – from illegally long working hours and exhaustion to wages too low to support a family.

An investigation published on Thursday by rights groups Solidar Suisse and China Labor Watch, in partnership with the Guardian, found evidence of excessive and illegal overtime, basic pay rates as low as 85p [a little over a dollar] an hour, no holiday or sick pay and high levels of exhaustion among the largely female workforce making Disney toys and products for other international toy companies including Mattel’s Fisher Price brand."

-->The NYT and most of the US media rarely carries stories about Disney and Fisher Price abusing workers in foreign countries. Hey, it's not befitting the holiday spirit of unfettered greed.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Common Dreams:
"'A Staggeringly Bad Idea: Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda. ...

Nearly three-quarters of the American public and a historic number of Democratic lawmakers support Medicare for All, but the House Democratic leadership is considering using its newly won majority to impose a rule that would 'recklessly betray' the grassroots forces that put them in power by making single-payer and other progressive priorities impossible to enact. ...

According to a list of Democratic proposals obtained by the Washington Post, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—who is currently fighting back against efforts to prevent her from becoming House Speaker—is pushing for a rule that would 'require a three-fifths supermajority to raise individual income taxes on the lowest-earning 80 percent of taxpayers.' "

-->A Pelosi knife in the back for Medicare for All. The Insurance industry pays most of Pelosi's bills, and it is payback time. Readers of the NYT were not informed of her backroom betrayal. 

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As the nation's media play its fulsome praises of George H Bush, I thought that Activist Radio should step in with our favorite story of this great patriot. He was a serial fondler of young women, especially at photo ops when he could get in real close. He always told the same joke as he was groping, that his favorite magician was “David Cop-a-Feel.”

The Intercept:
"He ran a racist election campaign. The name of Willie Horton should forever be associated with Bush’s 1988 presidential bid ... He made a dishonest case for war. Thirteen years before George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction to justify his invasion and occupation of Iraq, his father made his own set of false claims to justify the aerial bombardment of that same country ... He committed war crimes. Under Bush Sr., the U.S. dropped a whopping 88,500 tons of bombs on Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, many of which resulted in horrific civilian casualties ... He refused to cooperate with a special counsel. The Iran-Contra affair, in which the United States traded missiles for Americans hostages in Iran, and used the proceeds of those arms sales to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua ... He escalated the racist war on drugs."

-->Why praise a racist, CIA spook who never did anything in office beside bombing helpless countries in the Middle East and Central America? It is the propaganda of empire; all our elected leaders are made into heroes. It goes with the big lie of America's benevolent foreign policy.

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Common Dreams:
"CNN has parted ways with contributor Marc Lamont Hill after a speech the college professor made on Israel and Palestine at the United Nations. A CNN spokesperson confirmed Hill was no longer under contract. The network did not give a reason, but the move came amid objections to Hill’s speech by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and other groups.

Hill, a professor of media studies at Temple University in Philadelphia who had been a recurring political commentator on CNN, defended his speech in social media posts, saying he did not support antisemitism or violence against Jewish people and had fought against this.

Speaking on Wednesday, he called for countries to boycott and divest from Israel in a speech given for the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People."

-->The NYT took the easy way out when it came to this story of censorship at one of our top news media networks. The firing of Hill was carried on the NYT webpage as an AP story, but didn't make it into print.