Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history has just been made the US food safety czar. This is no joke...

If GMOs are indeed responsible for massive sickness and death, then the individual who oversaw the FDA policy that facilitated their introduction holds a uniquely infamous role in human history. That person is Michael Taylor. He had been Monsanto's attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA. Soon after, he became Monsanto's vice president and chief lobbyist. This month Michael Taylor became the senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA. He is now America's food safety czar...

While Taylor was at the FDA in the early 90's, he also oversaw the policy regarding Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone -- injected into cows to increase milk supply. The milk from injected cows has more pus, more antibiotics, more bovine growth hormone, and most importantly, more insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a huge risk factor for common cancers and its high levels in this drugged milk is why so many medical organizations and hospitals have taken stands against it."

-->Having Monsanto's chief lobbyist appointed as food safety czar? You won't be so shocked if you read the NY Times, which never reports anything negative about GMO foods. This story about Michael Taylor was not covered.


"Graphic images that reveal the devastating impact of global warming in the Arctic have been released by the US military. The photographs, taken by spy satellites over the past decade, confirm that in recent years vast areas in high latitudes have lost their ice cover in summer months.

Satellite images of polar ice sheets taken in July 2006 and July 2007 showing the retreating ice during the summer. The pictures, kept secret by Washington during the presidency of George W Bush, were declassified by the White House last week. President Barack Obama is currently trying to galvanize Congress and the American public to take action to halt catastrophic climate change caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

One particularly striking set of images - selected from the 1,000 photographs released - includes views of the Alaskan port of Barrow. One, taken in July 2006, shows sea ice still nestling close to the shore. A second image shows that by the following July the coastal waters were entirely ice-free.
The photographs demonstrate starkly how global warming is changing the Arctic. More than a million square kilometers of sea ice - a record loss - were missing in the summer of 2007 compared with the previous year."

-->Was the US government hiding evidence of global warming? Even though it was during the Bush era, the NY Times doesn't like to reveal our government's subversion of science for political ends. It didn't cover the story.


"Leonard Cohen urged to call off Israel concert. Belfast Telegraph reports pro-Palestinian groups will rally outside singer's concert in city and call on him to cancel September show in Tel Aviv

According to the Telegraph, a similar rally took place in New York about three months ago, when Jewish and Muslim protestors gathered outside Radio City Hall during the Canadian singer's show.

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign told the Telegraph pro-Palestinian supporters had pleaded with the musician to cancel the Tel Aviv concert. However, he has refused.

'Palestinian representatives and organizations campaigning throughout the world against the ruthless policies of Israel towards the Palestinian people — and particularly given the recent horrendous military onslaught on Gaza — have pleaded with Cohen to cancel this event in Israel in protest at its policies,' the group said."

-->The NY Times wouldn't report a story like this because it shows Israel in the bad light. The rest of the US media followed suit, although the story was covered in Israel.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"The international group of right-wingers who staged the coup d'état against the democratic government of Honduras on 28 June are watching their plot fast unravel.

For some of the plotters it is their second attempt to overthrow an elected reformist government in Latin America: the group includes prominent figures involved in the 2002 ousting of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who was kidnapped for 48 hours and sent to a Caribbean island before being restored to office after widespread popular protest...

The focus of attention in the campaign against Mr Zelaya is now on the office of Senator John McCain, the defeated US presidential candidate, who is chairman of the IRI, takes an interest in telecoms affairs in the US Congress and has benefited handsomely from campaign contributions from US telecoms companies - which are said to have funded the abortive 2002 coup against Mr Chavez."

-->The US public is being left completely in the dark as far as Honduras. It takes a British newspaper to reveal the inner workings of the US government's support for the military coup there. Clinton and Obama won't even call it a coup, the the NY Times talks about "rivals" for power. Meanwhile, the US continues military aid to the generals, and keeps training the Honduran military in the School of the Americas. To get an accurate view of Honduras, you have to look at media outside this country.


"For the winning punters chancing their luck at Hawaiian Gardens' charity bingo hall in the heart of one of California's poorest towns, the big prize is $500. The losers walk away with little more than an assurance that their dollars are destined for a good cause.

But the real winners and losers live many thousands of miles away, where the profits from the nightly ritual of numbers-calling fund what critics describe as a form of ethnic cleansing by extremist organizations.

Each dollar spent on bingo by the mostly Latino residents of Hawaiian Gardens, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, helps fund Jewish settlements on Palestinian land in some of the most sensitive areas of occupied East Jerusalem, particularly the Muslim quarter of the old city, and West Bank towns such as Hebron where the Israeli military has forced Arabs out of their properties in their thousands.

Over the past 20 years, the bingo hall has funnelled tens of millions of dollars in to what its opponents — including rabbis serving the Hawaiian Gardens area — describe as an ideologically-driven strategy to grab land for Israel, as well as contributing to influential American groups and think tanks backing Israel's more hawkish governments.

-->Again, it takes a foreign paper to reveal the extent of US tax exempt support of the settlements in the West Bank. Muslim charities are shut down while Zionist ones escape any regulation at all. And you certainly won't read about it in the NY Times.


"Joseph Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes: Adding up the true costs of two wars...
U.S. barely has begun to face the enormous financial bill for the war. By our accounting, the U.S. has already spent $1 trillion on operations and related defense spending, with more to come -- and it will cost perhaps $2 trillion more to repay the war debt, replenish military equipment and provide care and treatment for U.S. veterans back home. Many of the wounded will require indefinite care for brain and spinal injuries. Disability payments are ramping up and will grow higher for decades. The stress of extended, multiple tours to Iraq means that a whole generation of U.S. military men and women may now be suffering from long-term mental health issues. The suicide rate in the Army is at its highest level since record-keeping began.

This wartime spending undoubtedly has been a major contributor to our present economic collapse. The U.S. has waged an expensive war as if it required little or no economic sacrifice, funding the conflict by massive borrowing. As we've observed in the past, you can't spend $3 trillion on a reckless foreign war and not feel the pain at home.",0,1621172.story

-->The NY Times rarely covers Joseph Stiglitz because his view often bring up the unpleasantness of empire. Paul Krugman was writing about his own newspaper when he blogged recently: "Joe Stiglitz stands out because in addition to being on the progressive wing, he’s also, as I said, a giant among academic economists. But I think the real story is more about excluded points of view than excluded people."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"The largest ever US humanitarian aid convoy is now gathering in Egypt to head across the border into Gaza on Monday, July 13. Vehicles are coming from Alexandria, the medical supplies from Cairo and the advanced party of nearly 100 US citizens is heading for the staging post of Al Arish, just before the border with Gaza...

The buses, carrying people, medical aid and bearing US, Egyptian and Palestinian flags in a spirit of international cooperation, have been held at a security checkpoint and given various, conflicting reasons for why they cannot proceed to their destination at Al Arish.

New York Councilman Charles Barron is leading the group and is negotiating with security officials to resolve the situation. He has contacted Washington and other elected officials in an effort to clarify the reasons for the delay and address any concerns as efficiently as possible.

Former US Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney will join the convoy on Sunday, July 23, and British Member of Parliament George Galloway will also be heading to meet up with Councilman Barron and the advance group.

He and the rest of the advance group of the convoy, however, are insisting on their right to travel with their supplies to Al Arish, where the rest of the convoy is to rendezvous with them before heading for the border crossing into Gaza.
This medical convoy is on the way to Gaza a month after US President Barack Obama described the situation in Gaza as a 'humanitarian crisis.'

'Our convoy is on an aid mission,' says Galloway, 'We come in peace; but we will not be stopped.'"
(thanks to Felice Gelman for this story)

-->Shame on the NY Times for not covering this story. But service to Israel and the American empire always come first when deciding what news is fit to print.


"Israel soldiers speak out on Gaza. A group of soldiers who took part in Israel's assault in Gaza say widespread abuses were committed against civilians under 'permissive' rules of engagement...

The report says testimonies show 'the massive and unprecedented blow to the infrastructure and civilians' was a result of Israeli military policy, articulated by the rules of engagement, and encouraged by a belief 'the reality of war requires them to shoot and not to ask questions'...

• Civilians were used as human shields, entering buildings ahead of soldiers
• Large swathes of homes and buildings were demolished as a precaution or to secure clear lines of fire for the future.
• Soldiers fired at water tanks because they were bored, at a time of severe water shortages for Gazans
• White phosphorus was used in civilian areas in a way some soldiers saw as gratuitous and reckless"

-->The NY Times must be trying to figure out how to bury this story. It hasn't offered any coverage so far.


"Changing the focus of US international development policy from direct food aid to agricultural investment in the developing world is a laudable goal.

But the Obama administration along with members of the U.S. Congress are using this singular moment to move their own agenda: propping up U.S. biotechnology companies like Monsanto. They hope to accomplish this by promoting genetically modified seeds and chemical inputs as tools to fight hunger through an exclusive focus on increasing crop yields. One powerful Senate committee has already passed a bill, sponsored by Senators Casey (D-PA) and Lugar (R-IN), that requires GMO technology to be part of the U.S. agricultural research agenda abroad...

Declarations by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that biotechnology and GMOs are the answer are misguided and ill-informed. As a recent World Bank/UN report recently concluded, GMOs are unsuited to the developing world. We urge you to oppose Casey-Lugar and any bill that contains earmarks for, investment requirements in or promotion of GMOs abroad."

-->The NY Times treats Monsanto like like the state of Israel. Never a harsh word will be written. Of course, the NY Times didn't cover the Casy-Luger bill. Reporting on Monsanto is limited to press releases from the company like:

"Monsanto, the leader in agricultural biotechnology, pledged Wednesday to develop seeds that would double the yields of corn, soybeans and cotton by 2030 and would require 30 percent less water, land and energy to grow."
(June 5, 2008)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"Israeli forces killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and destroyed thousands of homes in Gaza in attacks which breached the laws of war, Amnesty International concluded in a new report published on Thursday. Operation 'Cast Lead': 22 days of death and destruction, is the first comprehensive report to be published on the conflict, which took place earlier this year.

'Israel's failure to properly investigate its forces' conduct in Gaza, including war crimes, and its continuing refusal to cooperate with the UN international independent fact-finding mission headed by Richard Goldstone, is evidence of its intention to avoid public scrutiny and accountability,' said Donatella Rovera, who headed a field research mission to Gaza and southern Israel during and after the conflict.

'The international community, led by the UN Security Council, must use all its leverage to ensure that Israel cooperates fully with the Goldstone inquiry, which now offers the best means to establish the truth.'"

-->The NY Times reported the story, but some of the facts were changed to protect the guilty, namely Israel. The NY Times story reports that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes, while the Amnesty report was much more critical of Israel. By the third paragraph, we are reading criticisms of the report by the Israeli military.

The last two sentences of the article, interestingly enough, reported the detention of Cynthia McKinney and Irish Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire by the Israeli Navy, something the NY Times had refused to report on previously.


"This is Cynthia McKinney and Iím speaking from an Israeli prison cellblock in Ramle. [I am one of] the Free Gaza 21, human rights activists currently imprisoned for trying to take medical supplies to Gaza, building supplies - and even crayons for children, I had a suitcase full of crayons for children. While we were on our way to Gaza the Israelis threatened to fire on our boat, but we did not turn around. The Israelis high-jacked and arrested us because we wanted to give crayons to the children in Gaza. We have been detained, and we want the people of the world to see how we have been treated just because we wanted to deliver humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza...

During Operation Cast Lead, U.S.-supplied F-16ís rained hellfire on a trapped people. Ethnic cleansing became full scale outright genocide. U.S.-supplied white phosphorus, depleted uranium, robotic technology, DIME weapons, and cluster bombs - new weapons creating injuries never treated before by Jordanian and Norwegian doctors. I was later told by doctors who were there in Gaza during Israelís onslaught that Gaza had become Israelís veritable weapons testing laboratory, people used to test and improve the kill ratio of their weapons."
-letter was originally broadcast on WBAIX

-->The NY Times gave this story two sentences, while it was front page news in many newspapers around the world.


"Three years ago, U.S. Department of Agriculture employees determined that synthetic additives in organic baby formula violated federal standards and should be banned from a product carrying the federal organic label. Today the same additives, purported to boost brainpower and vision, can be found in 90 percent of organic baby formula.

The government's turnaround, from prohibition to permission, came after a USDA program manager was lobbied by the formula makers and overruled her staff. That decision and others by a handful of USDA employees, along with an advisory board's approval of a growing list of non-organic ingredients, have helped numerous companies win a coveted green-and-white 'USDA Organic' seal on an array of products.

Relaxation of the federal standards, and an explosion of consumer demand, have helped push the organics market into a $23 billion-a-year business, the fastest growing segment of the food industry...
But the USDA program's shortcomings mean that consumers, who at times must pay twice as much for organic products, are not always getting what they expect: foods without pesticides and other chemicals, produced in a way that is gentle to the environment."

-->The NY Times is as protective of big agriculture as it is of Israel. There has been little mention of the attempt to water down the meaning of the 'USDA Organic' seal."

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"EMERGENCY: Israelis Attack Humanitarian Aid to Gaza...Last night, Israeli Occupation Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.

The seizure of humanitarian supplies and abduction of human rights workers is an act of piracy, a crime under international law. When the boat was attacked, it was not in Israeli waters and was on a human rights mission to Gaza. Israel's deliberate and premeditated attack on an unarmed boat in international waters is a clear violation of international law."

-->The U.S. government and corporate media has largely ignored or buried this story due to racism against Cynthia McKinney and the people of Palestine. Much like the deadly attack on the US Liberty which killed 34 US sailors. The NY Times didn't cover the attack on the Sprit of Humanity boat at all.


In covering the Israeli "settlements" in the West Bank, Ethan Bronner of the NY Times uses as picture of a small boy outside a shack to represent the close to 500,000 Israelis who are stealing land captured in the 1967 war. Since when do these billion dollar funded settlements look like that? Crude propaganda from the NY Times, always eager to cast Israel in a favorable light.

While praising Israeli concessions, Bronner also fails to mention that 2,000 "buildings" (apartment buildings) will continue to be built according to Israel =150,000 people added to the 300,000+ existing settlers.
(Thanks to Felice Gellman for this story)


Long a supporter of right wing military regimes in Latin America, the NY Times did not report that leaders of the recent military coup in Honduras were graduates of the infamous School of the Americas, located in Ft. Benning, Georgia. The story did admit that the US and Honduras has "long had a close military relationship." Just how close is out of bounds for the NY Times, which often prints propaganda stories thought up in the Pentagon.

The NY Times also failed to report that the US is in violating of its own law to cut off all aid to governments that come to power through a military coup. The US is undermining the demands of the rest of the world that elected President Manuel Zelaya be returned to office without conditions.

Contrast the massive coverage the NY Times gave to the election protests in Iran to its tone when describing the overthrow of an elected president in Honduras.

"Mr. Zelaya, 56, a rancher who often appears in cowboy boots and a western hat, has the support of labor unions and the poor. But the middle class and the wealthy business community fear he wants to introduce Mr. Chávez’s brand of socialist populism into the country, one of Latin America’s poorest."