Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.
The NY Times Book Review:
Eric Ormsby reviews a new book about Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, whose king had visions of "spearheading a holy war to topple Islam, recover Jerusalem from the 'the infidels' and establish himself as the 'King of Jerusalem.'"
Ormsby writes that, "Da Gama shared these dreams, but like his hard-bitten crew, rouges, or criminals to a man, he coveted the fabled riches of the East..."
In all, Ormsby describes the Western contact with the Muslim world as a "dismal record of greed, savagery and fanaticism, especially - but not exclusively -on the part of European explorers."
But such admissions of Western greed and savagery are reserved for 1497. He concludes his review with a tribute to enlightened Western morals. "Nevertheless, the real clash today is not between Christianity and Islam, nor between opposing civilizations, but between our own resolutely secular and consumerist culture and a rigid and absolutist mindset outraged by the prosperity Western 'infidels' enjoy."
-->The Muslim world doesn't hate us because we are stealing their oil and making the Middle East a living hell. They hate us because we can go to McDonald's and buy a Big Mac. Even in the Book Review, The NY Times must uphold the ridiculous lies of the American empire.
"The ACLU decided to use the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack to comprehensively survey the severe erosion of civil liberties justified in the name of that event, an erosion that -- as it documents -- continues unabated, indeed often in accelerated form, under the Obama administration. The group today is issuing a report entitled A Call to Courage: Reclaiming Our Liberties Ten Years After 9/11; that title is intended to underscore the irony that political leaders who prance around as courageous warriors against Terrorism in fact rely on one primary weapon -- fear-mongering: the absence of courage -- to vest the government with ever-more power and the citizenry with ever-fewer rights.
Domestically, the 'War on Terror' has been, and continues to be, a war on basic political liberties more than it is anything else. The particulars identified in this new ACLU report will not be even remotely new to any readers here, but given the organization's status among progressives as the preeminent rights-defending group in the country, and given the bird's-eye-view the report takes of these issues, it is well worth highlighting some of its key findings."
-->The NY Times has been uninterested in the looking at America's "War on Terror" in this way. Ever supportive of the empire, our newspaper of record didn't even print the ACLU's ten year report.
"SNS, a prominent business-funded think tank, issued a report last Wednesday that sharply reversed its normal pro-market stance. The entry of private operators into state-funded education, it argued, had increased segregation and may not have improved educational standards at all.
'The empirical evidence showing that competition is good is not really credible, because they can't distinguish between grade inflation and real gains,' Dr Jonas Vlachos, who wrote the report on education, told the Observer.
The report had a huge impact. It was a top story on Swedish television, and was hotly debated the next day in the newspapers. How the debate plays out will be watched carefully by education experts in the UK, where 24 free (private) schools, built on the Swedish model, opened this year."
-->This report on Swedish education was not picked up by The NY Times. Why is the story important? Because the destruction of public education and the handing over of schools to private corporations is worldwide. The NY Times and NPR, ever eager to please their corporate sponsors, have been big supporters of corporate or "charter" schools here in the US. Studies that cast doubt on the wisdom of privatizing public schools is routinely ignored.