Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Common Dreams:
"As Yemen Cholera Cases Reach 500,000, US and UK Condemned for Complicity. The epidemic is a 'man-made disaster driven by national and international politics,' said Oxfam's Katy Wright. ...

Wright went on to single out two world superpowers—the United States and the United Kingdom—that have fueled conflict in Yemen by providing weaponry and intelligence to Saudi Arabia, which has for years been waging a relentless bombing campaign against its neighbor. ...

'In backing this war with billions of dollars of arms sales and military support, the U.S. and the U.K. are complicit in the suffering of millions of people in Yemen.' "

-->The NYT doesn't print stories that make the empire look bad. Our newspaper of record omitted Oxfam's condemnation. 

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Common Dreams:
"This Is A Sick Child: Trump Gets A Twice-Daily Folder of Good News About Himself. This Is Not the Onion, Though We Wish It Was.

Thanks to leakers, VICE News reports that twice a day since the start of his unpresidency, Trump has gotten delivery of a folder of admiring tweets, stories, interviews, screenshots and other news about how bigly great he is. According to Politico, we the people pay a flunkie $89,000 a year to dig up the stuff. Sometimes, there are just photos of Trump on TV 'looking powerful.' Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer often did battle to see who got to bring the packet from the 'war room'; in the weeks since their departures, delivery of the 'propaganda document' has been more sporadic.

-->Does our neo-Nazi president have an image problem? More like a whole country with an image problem. The NYT avoided printing this story.

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Global Research:
“ 'New data compiled by the World Socialist Web Site, with the assistance of other Internet-based news outlets and search technology experts, proves that a massive loss of readership observed by socialist, anti-war and progressive web sites over the past three months has been caused by a cumulative 45 percent decrease in traffic from Google searches.'

The drop followed the implementation of changes in Google’s search evaluation protocols. In a statement issued on April 25, Ben Gomes, the company’s vice president for engineering, stated that Google’s update of its search engine would block access to 'offensive' sites, while working to surface more 'authoritative content.' ...

'In late May, changes to Google’s algorithm negatively impacted the volume of traffic to the Common Dreams website from organic Google searches,' said Aaron Kaufman, director of development at progressive news outlet Common Dreams. 'Since May, traffic from Google Search as a percentage of total traffic to the Common Dreams website has decreased nearly 50 percent.' ”

-->Is Google deliberately diverting searches away from leftist webpages? And why wouldn't this brazen attack on political expression be of interest to the NYT? Could be that the NYT cares more about pleasing the giant corporations than informing its readers.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Common Dreams:
"As journalists and free press advocates continued to condemn the Israeli government's move to shutter Al Jazeera's Jerusalem office and revoke its journalists' press credentials, the media network responded early Monday, denouncing 'this decision made by a state that claims to be 'the only democratic state in the Middle East.' ...

Rights groups as well as journalists, from Al Jazeera and other outlets, condemned the Israeli government's decision.

Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, called the decision a 'brazen attack on media freedom,' and said: 'The move sends a chilling message that the Israeli authorities will not tolerate critical coverage.' "

-->Brazen attacks on media freedom mean little to the NYT, which didn't include this story. All that news that Israel deems fit to print.

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The Guardian UK:
"Here’s something you may not have thought likely. A majority of American Muslims now believes that it’s fine to be gay. The latest Pew Research Centre survey, published on 26 July, tells us that most think homosexuality 'should be accepted by society'. The poll further shows how dramatically acceptance has risen, nearly doubling from 27% to 52% since 2007 (among millennial Muslims, it’s 60%). Muslims may lag behind the general public, for whom the corresponding figure on this issue is 63%, but they poll at exactly the same percentage as Protestants and far above white evangelical Christians, a mere 34% of whom believe that homosexuality should be tolerated. ...

You’d never know it if you listened to populist leaders. Whether in the US, the UK, or on the European continent, the idea that Muslims represent a civilisational threat to the west because of an intrinsic ultra-conservatism, which includes a violent hatred of gay people, is so widespread that it is seen as a truism. Not only is this tidy titbit of political wisdom false, it also ends up obscuring the degree of homophobia in other parts of society, and in our politics."

-->You would think that American media would be all over this story because it would reduce the overall level of Islamophobia in the US. What is wrong with the NYT? So pro Israel it can't report this story?

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Truthout:
"Ominous developments in three states this summer -- Oregon, Texas, New Jersey, and one city -- Chicago, provide a glimpse into the Pentagon's new playbook to recruit soldiers from high schools across the country. In brief, the military has been engaged in a robust lobbying campaign to lower academic standards to make it easier to recruit youth. '''

The Oregon Department of Education recently endorsed the Oregon National Guard's Credit Proficiency Program for use in high schools across the state. The program gives juniors and seniors the chance to earn academic credits while training for military service at Oregon National Guard facilities. ...

In New Jersey, where students must pass senior year exit exams to graduate, school officials will allow seniors to earn a diploma if they can manage a score of a 31 on the military's enlistment test, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB.

-->How sweet it is. A little marching and shooting helps you get a high school diploma. So that you can join the Armed Services. The mainstream media has nothing to say about this bastardization of academic standards.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Common Dreams:
"With Fox News suffering several major setbacks in the past year, Sinclair Broadcasting is making moves to become the new giant of right-wing media. Many are now calling Sinclair 'Trump TV.' ...

The Sinclair Broadcasting group has close ties to the Trump administration and is forcing local stations to air pro-Trump news segments. Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai rolled back a key Obama administration regulation that had prevented Sinclair from further expansion. The green light from the Trump administration allowed Sinclair to purchase 42 more local stations from the Tribune Media company, extending its reach to 72 percent of American households. ...

[Pro Trump stories] are called 'must-runs,' and they are sent every day to all the local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting — video reports that are centrally produced by the company. Station managers around the country must work them into the broadcast over a period of 24 or 48 hours." https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/30/classic-propaganda-sinclair-broadcasting-pushes-aside-fox-news-become-trump-tv

-- >Propaganda TV requiring local stations to play far right analysis. Why doesn't the NYT bother covering this media takeover?
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The Intercept:
"The lead author of the controversial Israel Anti-Boycott Act, Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, is open to amending the legislation to address concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union, he told The Intercept Monday evening.

The ACLU warned last week that the measure, which targets the BDS movement, was unconstitutional and would have a chilling effect on free speech. In the wake of that warning, and a subsequent article by The Intercept, co-sponsors of the bill have begun to re-examine their support for it. ...

Co-sponsors of the bill have faced pressure at home to explain support for a bill with such language in it. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., is reviewing the bill in the light of the ACLU’s concerns, as are Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut." https://theintercept.com/2017/07/25/cardin-amend-israel-boycott-bill-bds/

-- >The entire drama of US senators having to rethink their bill outlawing boycotts of Israel has escaped notice at the NYT. The influence of the Israel Lobby and its attack on First Amendment rights has has not made it into print.
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Common Dreams:
"Reproductive rights advocates are condemning the Democratic Party's decision to offer campaign funds to 2018 House of Representatives candidates who oppose abortion rights.

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) confirmed the party's position to The Hill on Monday. He emphasized that the party needs to recruit 'a broad coalition' to pick up 24 seats, which would allow Democrats to regain a majority in the House.

'As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America,' said Rep. Luján, chairman of the party's House campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)." https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/31/reproductive-rights-advocates-condemn-dems-support-anti-choice-candidates

-- >Here comes the abortion sellout by the Democratic Party. Why not? The party has sold out every other progressive cause. Readers of the NYT, however, will remain blissfully unaware, since it didn't print this story. Our newspaper of record likes the corporatized Democratic Party just fine.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The NYT:
In a recent NYT article entitled "These Americans Hated the Health Law. Until the Idea of Repeal Sank In," our newspaper of record portrays a public worried about their healthcare. Will they be able to afford the insurance? Now, the NYT tells us the majority of  even Republicans, are coming to believe that healthcare is a national responsibility. 

The NYT gets credit for showing the shift in public thinking. But notice the omission of "single payer" or "universal healthcare" in the debate. Nowhere in the article does the concept of government actually paying for healthcare come into consideration. It is all about keeping Obama Care, or assisting Americans in buying insurance. 

-->The NYT can't conceive of a world not dominated by the big insurance companies and pharmaceuticals. Our major media has always been in the pocket of corporate interests. It is one of the reasons we can't have what even many Third World Countries have achieved, universal healthcare. 

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Haaretz:
"This week, however, the Netanyahu government made clear that it views family values in a diametrically different direction. Defending the effective ban on gay adoption, government representatives warned the High Court this week of 'the difficulty that is liable to be caused the child as the child of a non-routine family.' They also used the term 'irregular' as a euphemism for LGBTQ people.

It is the kind of statement that cannot be unheard. It is the kind of position which sparks fury and outrage and a profound sense of betrayal, which Netanyahu and his government have sparked among an ever-widening list of communities on an ever-expanding list of issues. The anger is immediate.

The rage and the sense of betrayal were particularly strong among gay Israelis who believed Netanyahu when he would assert, especially on trips abroad, that LGBTQ rights were an important part of the fabric of life in Israel. ... Leftist critics of Israel have long accused it of 'pinkwashing,' disingenuously exploiting the relative freedoms of LGBTQ people in Israel as a means of diverting attention from the abject discrimination and brutal repression of the occupation of the West Bank. This week, the criticism hit home. So did the discrimination."
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.802006 (readers must subscribe to Haartz)

-->The hypocrisy of pinkwashing the occupation comes home. Readers of the NYT and much of the mainstream media never got to read the story. 

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The Intercept:
"THE CRIMINALIZATION OF political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West. In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing T-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel. The U.K. has enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism. In the U.S., governors compete with one another over who can implement the most extreme regulations to bar businesses from participating in any boycotts aimed even at Israeli settlements, which the world regards as illegal. On U.S. campuses, punishment of pro-Palestinian students for expressing criticisms of Israel is so commonplace that the Center for Constitutional Rights refers to it as 'the Palestine Exception' to free speech.

But now, a group of 43 senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. The two primary sponsors of the bill are Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the punishment: Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison."

-->Yes, the Israel Lobby has the power to destroy our First Amendment right of freedom of expression. Yet our major media, including the NYT is silent. Our two NY Senators, among the highest paid by the Israel Lobby, are both cosponsors of this bill. Where in our national media can you read that?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Middle East Monitor:

"Ever wanted to try and shoot a Palestinian? Israel has set up a military simulator which allows tourists to do just that.

Controversial fantasy 'anti-terrorism' camps set up in the occupied West Bank provide visitors with the opportunity to play the role of Israeli forces in a variety of situations, ranging from an explosion at a Jerusalem marketplace, to a stabbing attack and sniper tournament, Haaretz reported.

The industry has seen a boom in recent years, with six such facilities opening across the country, all of which use live ammunition. Former high ranking officers in the army teach tourists combat skills. Caliber 3, a camp set up in an illegal settlement, also includes a live demonstration of an attacker being taken down by police dogs, all for just $115 per person." https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170711-israel-offers-tourists-the-chance-to-be-soldiers/

-- >Do you think the NYT would ever cover a story like this? Our newspaper of record works very hard to present positive images of apartheid Israel. The story wasn't reported.

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Common Dreams:
"As Senate Republicans are reportedly set to introduce yet another version of their overwhelmingly despised and 'deadly' healthcare plan on Thursday, Medicare for All is experiencing an unprecedented surge in support from both the grassroots and elected officials.

Recent polls have indicated that most Americans favor something like the healthcare plan Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed during his 2016 presidential campaign, despite the fact that his ideas were repeatedly denounced as 'unrealistic' and 'pie-in-the-sky' by politicians and major news outlets like the Washington Post. ...

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) noted that he is seeing support for Medicare for All even in the most conservative parts of his state.

'I've been asking each audience, I've been saying, 'How many people here 10 years ago would have supported a single-payer Medicare for All?' And it's a small number,' Merkley said. 'And then I ask, How many now? And the hands just go up throughout the room.' " https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/13/upside-trumpcare-ugliness-medicare-all-goes-pie-sky-inevitable

-- >When will our politicians catch up with what the people want as far as healthcare? Maybe when newspapers like the NYT publish accurate descriptions of what citizens want.

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NLTimes the Netherlands:
"Israel demolished a Dutch development project consisting of 96 solar panels and other equipment for supplying power to Palestinian village Jubbet Adh Dhib on the west bank of the Jordan. The Netherlands spent about half a million euros on the project last year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is furious, AD reports.

'We immediately protested seriously with the Israeli authorities and demanded return of the goods. We're currently investigating the exact damages and what next steps can be taken', Foreign Affairs spokesperson Chris Bakker said to the newspaper.

Israeli soldiers raided the village on Wednesday morning. 'The Israeli soldiers also tried to drag the batteries away, but they were apparently too heavy. They were damaged, however', said Tamar Cohen, organizational development manager at Comet-me, the organization with whom the Netherlands donated the solar panels."
http://nltimes.nl/2017/06/30/israel-destroys-dutch-development-project-netherlands-furious

-- >What country would destroy the solar panels of a territory it occupies? No country, if you read the NYT. It didn't carry this story.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Social Security Works:
"In 1983, Congress passed the Orphan Drug Act with the intent of spurring innovation for drugs that treat rare diseases.

But today, pharmaceutical corporations are exploiting loopholes in the law in order to gain even greater monopoly power and reap ever more massive profits. But apparently that wasn’t enough, because now, prescription drug companies and their Washington lobbyists are pushing a new bill―the Orphan Product Extensions Now (OPEN) Act―which would grant drug manufacturers six additional months of exclusivity.

It’s estimated that this new law would cost patients and taxpayers up to $11.6 billion over 10 years―padding the pockets of the greedy pharmaceutical industry and keeping our drug prices the highest in the world."

-->Why doesn't the NYT cover a story like this? Our newspaper of record is simply in bed with the pharmaceutical companies.

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The Guardian UK:
"The G20 nations provide four times more public financing to fossil fuels than to renewable energy, a report has revealed ahead of their summit in Hamburg, where Angela Merkel has said climate change will be at the heart of the agenda.

The authors of the report accuse the G20 of “talking out of both sides of their mouths” and the summit faces the challenge of a sceptical US administration after Donald Trump pulled out of the global Paris agreement.

The public finance comes in the form of soft loans and guarantees from governments, and, along with huge fossil fuel subsidies, makes coal, oil and gas plants cheaper and locks in carbon emissions for decades to come. But scientists calculate that to keep global warming below 2C, most fossil fuel reserves must be kept in the ground, requiring a major shift of investment to clean energy."

-->Readers of the NYT won't know about how G20 nations give more public financing to fossil fuels than renewables. The NYT is also in bed with the oil industry. 

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Reuters: 
"DUBAI, June 28 (Reuters) - A United Nations expert and a media freedom watchdog on Wednesday criticised four Arab states for seeking to close Al Jazeera television in a rift with Qatar. 

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have sent Doha a list of 13 demands, including closing the state-funded Al Jazeera television and reducing ties to Iran, an official of one of the four countries said. 

The U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye said the move was a blow against media pluralism in the Middle East."

-->Where is the NYT when it comes to attempts atπ shutting down Al Jazeera in the Middle East? The newspaper didn't report on it. The NYT only values free speech when it comes to the Pentagon's enemies list.
Common Dreams.org:
"In a move celebrated by scientists and activists, California on Monday announced it would add glyphosate—the active ingredient in the Monsanto-produced weed killer Roundup—to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer.
'California's decision makes it the national leader in protecting people from cancer-causing pesticides.' 

The decision, made by California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), was reportedly precipitated by the World Health Organization's classification of glyphosate as a 'probable carcinogen' in May of 2015.

'California is required under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known as Proposition 65, to publish a regularly updated list of chemicals thought to cause cancer or birth defects,' Newsweek reported."

-->Leave it to the NYT to leave this story out of its newspaper. Doing favors for Monsanto takes precedent over informing its readership about carcinogens in their environment. 

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Common Dreams:
"As President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos gear up to dump hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into vouchers and other private education initiatives denounced by critics as ineffective and immoral, two new studies released on Monday reveal that, in many cases, voucher programs result in significantly worse academic performance than public schools.

'The studies were conducted in two states—Louisiana and Indiana—that have experimented substantially with vouchers, which are dubbed as financial 'scholarships' ostensibly designed to help low-income and middle class families to send their children to private schools.

Both analyses produced similar findings: Students who participated in voucher programs performed significantly worse in their first two years attending a private school, only to see their results return to baseline by the third and fourth years.

-->Vouchers for private school tuition a total scam perpetrated on the nation's taxpayers by a few, greedy billionaires? Well, the answer is yes, but you won't read about it in the NYT, the billionaire's favorite newspaper of record.

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The Guardian:
"Two weeks ago I found myself in a sweaty room in the Royal Courts of Justice, packed with fellow Palestine activists, listening to detailed and sometimes arcane legal arguments about pension law. The journey that ended in that courtroom began in September last year when the government announced new guidance intended to prohibit local government pension schemes from pursuing 'divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries … other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the government'.

The key target of these new rules was made clear in the government press release about the decision. This was the government acting to place a ban on boycotting Israel. The regulations were introduced in November 2016 despite a public consultation indicating that 98% of respondents thought this was the wrong thing to do, and a wider public outcry.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, of which I’m the director, decided to take the government on. We launched a judicial review supported with witness statements from War on Want, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and the Quakers. Finally, on 22 June, we got the verdict – we won! Judge Sir Ross Cranston ruled the guidance was unlawful and that the government had acted for an improper purpose."

-->The UK government tried to shut down the boycott Israel movement by passing laws against BDS. Same as our government is trying to do here. Why would the NYT avoid this important story about civil liberties and the Israel lobby?