Thursday, May 29, 2014

Common Dreams:
“More than 11 years after their 23-year-old daughter was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes, the parents of peace activist Rachel Corrie are still seeking justice.

Their legal battle to get accountability took a significant (jump) on Wednesday when their appeal was heard before the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem.

The move comes 9 years after the Corrie family first filed suit against the state of Israel and its armed forces over their responsibility for Rachel's death. But in 2012, a district court in Haifa rejected the suit — a decision widely condemned as a denial of justice. …

‘During the past nine years, we have sought accountability in the Israeli courts for Rachel’s killing but were handed a verdict that showed blind indifference to the rights of the victim and little interest in seeking truth and justice,’ Craig Corrie, Rachel’s father, said in a statement.”

—>The NYT didn’t cover this story of the Israeli Supreme Court hearing a case about the murdered American peace activist, Rachel Corrie. Few reports about Israel’s human rights abuses ever appear in our newspaper of record, even when they involve the death of American citizens.


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR):
"Another horror story from Israel, where IDF soldiers arrived early in the morning to uproot over 1,500 fruit trees at the longtime Nassar farm just west of Bethlehem in the Occupied West Bank - a farm now surrounded by illegal settlements that the Nassar family has owned since the days of the Ottoman Empire, has fought to keep for decades, and has turned into the Tent of Nations educational farm offering an array of programs to local Palestinian kids aimed at ‘building bridges between people, and between people and the land.’ 

The soldiers arrived as the family's latest legal battle to keep their land was still unfolding in court, and right before international volunteers were scheduled to arrive to harvest the apples, apricots and grapes. 

There was no warning. On May 5, the family lawyer had appealed an Israeli warning declaring the 100-acre farm ‘state land’; when family members had previously produced registration papers for the farm dating back centuries, Israeli authorities responded with the claim they had ‘papers from God.’

—>The NYT doesn’t do stories about ethnic cleansing when it comes to Israel. The newspaper we depend on for freedom of the press in America serves as a propaganda machine for the Zionist right wing. 


Common Dreams:
“Tide is Turning as Oregon Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Ban of GE Crops … In a victory for sustainable food advocates everywhere, two counties in Oregon on Tuesday voted to ban the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

Despite an onslaught of spending by agribusiness giants such as DuPont and Monsanto, voters in Jackson County and Josephine County overwhelming took a stand for measures protecting ‘seed sovereignty and local control’ of food systems. The Jackson Measure 15-119 passed 66-34 percent, while the Josephine County Measure 17-58 passed 58-42 percent.

‘It's a great day for the people of Oregon who care about sustainability and healthy ecosystems!’ GMO Free Oregon wrote on their Facebook page after receiving the final tally. …

Calling the bans a ‘tremendous victory’ for the citizens and farmers of the counties, as well as for the national anti-GMO movement, Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), said the votes are further proof that, when given a voice, citizens will choose a sustainable food system over corporate-dominated agribusiness.”

—>The NYT has long been in the pocket of the agribusiness giants. It didn’t report this story.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

WAMC Fresh Air:
Terry Gross did a creditable job interviewing Glenn Greenwald last week. Greenwald was on “Democracy Now” in the morning, and on Terry Gross’ show in the evening.

But the very next day, it was back to carrying water for the Pentagon. She interviewed Michael McFaul, former US American ambassador to Russia, and started by asking just how the Russian media is lying to its people about Ukraine.

McFaul responded by criticizing the Russian media for calling what happened in Ukraine the “overthrow” of a legitimately elected government. “Somebody had to lead the country after Yanukovych fled,” he states simply. What overthrow?

The same is true of charges of “Russia being surrounded by NATO.” Not true, opines McFaul, although the whole world knows that it is. Next softball question: “What it was like to be the U.S. ambassador in Russia when the new anti-gay laws were passed?”

—>NPR is as subservient to the US war machine as the rest to the country’s media. It is refreshing, if not startling when Terry Gross actually interviews a controversial figure like Greenwald. The next day, it is back to stale air as usual.


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR):
"American democracy is no longer very democratic, according to a new university study (4/9/14; Perspectives on Politics, Fall/14). Instead, it's dominated by moneyed elites in a process where public opinion has little to no impact on policy. Released a month ago by Princeton's Martin Gilens and Northwestern's Benjamin I. Page, the study concludes: ‘Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.’

The political scientists looked at more than 1,700 policies over 20 years to find out how public opinion translates into policy, and concluded that where economic elite views diverged from those of the public, the public had ‘zero estimated impact upon policy change, while economic elites are still estimated to have a very large, positive, independent impact.’
Bracing news? The study went viral in social media, but has hardly shown up in the US corporate press. A month after its release there have been no network news mentions, nor has it appeared in the most influential newspapers–the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times."

-->Readers of The NYT were spared this damaging study of how the elites completely dominate public policy. Of course, our newspaper of record is an important part of the elite propaganda machine.


The NYT:
We did a story last week about a Harvard University scientific report warning that “destructive use of large-scale chemical agriculture must be halted in order to give the global bee population a fighting chance to regain their strength.”

We noted that The NYT did not cover the Harvard study, and suggested the omission proves that our newspaper of record protects global giants like Bayer and Monsanto. 

But it just gets better. This week, The NYT published a story entitled: “Report Says Fewer Bees Perished Over the Winter, but the Reason Is a Mystery.” Towards the end of the article, The NYT printed a sentence about the Harvard study, followed by six paragraphs supporting the Big Ag point of view that the Harvard University report proved nothing. 

—>All the news that Big Ag sees fit to print.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Common Dreams:
“Rumors have begun to circulate that mercenaries contracted by the U.S. firm Academi, formerly Blackwater, have been deployed to Kiev. According to German news source Bild on Friday, and repeated by Der Spiegel, Ukrainian security forces are being supported by over 100 ‘elite soldiers’ involved in a ‘punitive operation mounted by Ukraine’s new government.’ The information was leaked to the media by sources from German foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).

Blackwater mercenaries were made infamous during the invasion of Iraq for their frequent and unprovoked massacre of innocent civilians."

—>The NYT did not report this story of US paramilitary forces in Ukraine. Yet The NYT prints headline stories of supposed Russian mercenaries in the region. The Pentagon is selling one version of this story, and our newspaper of record eagerly goes along.


Common Dreams:
"Two new reports this week provide key evidence that back a growing call that the destructive use of large-scale chemical agriculture must be halted in order to give the global bee population a fighting chance to regain their strength as the world's most prolific and effective pollinating species.

The first, a scientific study (pdf) conducted by researchers at Harvard University, found further proof that the wide-scale agricultural use of neonicotinoids—a volatile class of insecticide (neonics for short)—is a leading contributor to what has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder (or CCD).

The second report (pdf), issued by Greenpeace International, focuses on solutions to the bee crisis by releasing its report that shows how the widespread expansion and re-introduction of ecological farming practices--as opposed to the chemically-intensive agriculture that now dominates—is the most efficient and surefire way to save the world's bee population and the food system they support."

-->Readers of The NYT were spared this disturbing look at how chemical companies are killing off the world's bees. That's because The NYT protects global giants like Monsanto from this type of public exposure. 


Independent UK:
"Anger is at long last rising against the new form of extremist Zionism dubbed 'price tag attacks,' wherein Israeli settlers vandalize and otherwise target Muslim and Christian sites as a way of threatening them with 'paying the price' for curbing Jewish settlements in Palestinian areas. 

The Pope has called such settler provocations acts of 'terror.' The American Jewish Forward just ran a piece on a settlers' Israeli Independence celebration dubbed 'When Israelis Teach Their Kids to Hate,' and Amos Oz, one of Israel's most renowned writers, used the occasion of his 75th birthday to blast terms like 'hilltop youth' and 'price tag' as 'sweet names for a monster that needs to be called what it is - Hebrew neo-Nazis,' adding that perhaps the only difference between hate crimes around the world and in Israel is that 'our neo-Nazi groups enjoy the tailwind of numerous nationalist (or) racist legislators (and) rabbis who give them pseudo-religious justification.' ”

—>The NYT hasn't covered this story yet, but the Christian Science Monitor and the Jerusalem Post have. When will readers of The NYT demand that their newspaper stop censoring stories about Israeli racism? See how the story could have been reported:

Friday, May 09, 2014

“Israel on Tuesday condemned claims in a Newsweek report that it engages in massive and aggressive spying on the U.S. The article quoted confidential briefings by American intelligence officials to Congress, in which they said that Israeli espionage operations in the U.S. have 'gone too far.'

... The Newsweek article explained that intelligence officials cite Israel's massive spying as the reason for the failure to provide visa waivers to Israelis entering U.S. ... Israel spies on the U.S. under the cover of trade missions or as part of joint defense technology agreements between the two countries, the intelligence officials reportedly told Congress. 'Israel has crossed red lines,' Newsweek reported the officials as saying.

American counter-intelligence officials told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees at the end of January that Israel's espionage activities in America are 'unrivaled and unseemly,' going far beyond the activities of other close allies, such as Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan.
'Their briefing was very alarming, even terrifying,' a congressional staffer familiar with the details of the issue told Newsweek."

—>Not alarming enough to be printed in The NYT, Israel's propaganda unit disguised as America's premier newspaper. 


Common Dreams:
"Obama Blasted for Lumping Critics of Trade Deal Secrecy with Conspiracy Theorists. 'If the president is concerned that people don't know what's going on in the negotiations then the president should release the text and remove it from being a state secret.'

Critics of the highly-secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations responded with outrage after U.S. President Barack Obama charged they have a 'lack of knowledge of what is going on in the negotiations' and dismissed their concerns as 'conspiracy theories.'

The president made the comments this week during a press conference in Malaysia—one of the stops on his Asia-Pacific tour, aimed at advancing the TPP and the U.S. military 'pivot' to the region. His tour has been met with region-wide protests against the economic and military agenda of the U.S."

-->Readers of The NYT will never see Obama's statements, nor the criticisms of TPP secret deals. Our newspaper of record promotes Wall Street and corporate America over its readership's right to know.


Independent UK:
"Amid the fast-moving and often confusing daily developments in Ukraine, it has fallen to relatively few journalists and observers to challenge the dominant western media narrative in order to expose that claims made by top policy officials and lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe should not be swallowed whole by those trying to understand the still volatile and unfolding crisis.

According to critics, the tendency of many news outlets, particularly in the U.S., to consistently blame the crisis on Russian interference ignores key historical (facts) and leads to skewed perceptions about the realities taking place on the ground.

Among those critics of the dominant narrative that has been pushed by the U.S. government and given uncritical coverage in many western outlets, Guardian's Seumas Milne pushed back heavily in his column on Thursday. Warning that the 'threat of war is growing' in Ukraine, Milne argues that the western hypocrisy concerning events in the country is made plain when the US and its European allies roundly condemn events now happening in the cities of eastern Ukraine that are 'the mirror image of what took place in Kiev a couple of months ago' which they supported and cheered.”

—>The US media routinely beats the drums of war before any real military conflict. As soon as the Pentagon wants popular support for another risky military adventure, newspapers like The NY Times are there to provide it.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

RT News:
“ ‘The US is to blame for the events in Ukraine as it invested $5 billion in regime change in the country, taking a more radical stance that its EU allies,’ Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN, said.

‘It seems it was the Americans, who tried to push through the most radical scenario,’ Churkin said in an interview with Rossiya 24 channel. ‘They didn’t want any sort of compromise between [ousted President Viktor] Yanukovich and the opposition. And, I think, they came to the conclusion that it was time to cash in those $5 billion and handle the matter towards abrupt regime change, which, eventually, happened.’

This explains why the US, but not the European Union, took center stage when the coup resulted in legal vacuum in Kiev, he added. US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland told CNN on Monday that Washington has invested around $5 billion into supporting democracy in Ukraine since the fall of Soviet Union.“

—>The NYT never mentions Victoria Nuland’s comments about spending $5 billion in the Ukraine. Who authorized it? What was it spent on? We think RT News is censored. What about our own newspaper of record?


Common Dreams:
"Deal Welcoming US Military Into Philippines Slammed As Betrayal. Ten-year military accord announced Sunday spurs mass movements that ousted US military from permanent bases in Philippines in 1992.

The U.S. and Philippine governments have agreed on a 10-year pact to open this southeast Asian country to more U.S. troops, warships, and fighter planes, flouting the people's movements that booted the U.S. military from its permanent Philippine bases over twenty years ago.

‘We have lost too much because of the U.S. military presence in our country,’ Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson of BAYAN-USA—an alliance of Filipino organizations in the U.S, told Common Dreams. ‘The Philippines has long history of protests against militarization. The protests now are only going to grow.’ "

-->The NYT paints a different picture of how the Philippine people are responding to increased US military forces in their country. According to The NYT, there is “increased popular support for allowing the United States military to have more access.” Conveying Pentagon propaganda again.


Independent UK:
"The pictures flash up on a screen on an upper floor of the Fallujah General Hospital. And all at once, Nadhem Shokr al-Hadidi’s administration office becomes a little chamber of horrors. A baby with a hugely deformed mouth. A child with a defect of the spinal cord, material from the spine outside the body. A baby with a terrible, vast Cyclopean eye. Another baby with only half a head, stillborn like the rest, date of birth 17 June, 2009. Yet another picture flicks onto the screen: date of birth 6 July 2009, it shows a tiny child with half a right arm, no left leg, no genitalia. …

Dr Chris Busby, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster who has surveyed almost 5,000 people in Fallujah, agrees it is impossible to be specific about the cause of birth defects as well as cancers. ‘Some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened,’ he wrote two years ago. Dr Busby’s report, compiled with Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi, says that infant mortality in Fallujah was found in 80 out of every 1,000 births, compared to 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and only 9.7 in Kuwait.”

—>Now would you think The NYT would ever be interested in stories that revealed the real crimes the US committed in Iraq? It didn’t print this report from Fallujah.