Thursday, March 19, 2015

Guardian UK:
"The United Nations’ top investigator on the use of torture has accused Washington of dragging its feet over his requested visits to prisons and refusing to give him access to inmates at Guantánamo.

Juan Méndez said he had been waiting for more than two years for the United States to provide him access to a range of state and federal prisons, where he wants to probe the use of solitary confinement. ...

According to Méndez, 'it is not rare' for prisoners in the United States to spend 25-30 years in solitary confinement, locked up in a cell with no human contact for 22-23 hours a day. ... According to the ACLU, more than 80,000 people are held in solitary confinement in the United States on any given day.

Méndez said he was particularly concerned about the use of solitary confinement for underage offenders. Solitary confinement for children 'should never happen, even for a single day', he said, pointing out that the punishment, widely considered cruel even for adults, was 'particularly harmful for children because of their state of development and their special needs'.

-->The NY Times buried this story on-line, and the report from Reuters even left out the part about the solitary confinement of children in the US Gulag. 


"Israeli Politician Changed Her Mind On Palestinian Conflict," an interview of an Israeli politician by By Steve Inskeep March 13.

This Israeli politician did more than change her mind about the Palestinians. She became an overt racist with statements like all Palestinians are terrorists. There are certainly racists in the world. The despicable part of Steve Inskeep's interview is that he politely accepts all the racist stereotypes she has to offer. Would he have been so well behaved if the interviewee were Palestinian and claiming that all Jews were murderers? Or a Nazi skinhead claiming that the Holocaust never happened? Or a KKK member saying that all African Americans were street criminals? 

Steve Inskeep is in touch with what racism is fashionable in American society. The notion that all Muslims are terrorists has become an acceptable point of view on NPR. In that way, our mainstream media feeds racial hatreds. Shame on such journalism. Expressions of racial hatred should never be treated as acceptable opinion.


Common Dreams:
"The yawning racial wealth gap in the United States is no accident, but rather, driven by unjust public policy decisions—from the re-segregation of education to the redlining of home ownership to poverty wages, according to a new analysis by Brandeis University and the public policy organization Demos.

Inequalities are vast, note the researchers. For example, Census data shows that, in 2011, median white households in the U.S. held $111,146 in wealth, compared to a mere $7,113 for Black homes and $8,348 for Latino ones.
These disparities emerge from historical choices on the political and policy levels, the researchers note.

'The racial wealth gap is large because we instituted it in public policy historically and continue to make public policies that exacerbate the problems,' said report coauthor Catherine Ruetschlin, a senior policy analyst at Demos, in a press statement. Therefore, it is vital 'to find new opportunities to address the way that we’re constantly perpetuating this disparity between black, white and Latino families,' Ruetschlin continued.

Researchers offer a series of solutions aimed at reversing these trends, from equalizing home ownership to racially integrating schools at all levels. In addition, the study calls for a significant boost to the minimum wage, as well as 'making it easier for workers to form and join unions.'

-->The NY Times, owned and operated by the rich elite, didn't want to spread these anti-Wall Street solutions around. Our newspaper of record didn't print the story.

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