Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fantasyland Media:

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 Foreign Minister was met with calls that Norway must recognize a Palestinian state when he visited the Labour Youth League summer camp Thursday.

During the second day of Labour Youth League summer camp at Ut√łya the Labour Party's young hopefuls got a visit by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Sidsel Wold and Norwegian People's Aid Kirsten Belck-Olsen, discussed the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with the Foreign Minister.

'The Palestinians must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now, said the Foreign Minister to cheers from the audience.'

-->What was going on at that Norwegian youth camp before Breivik's murderous attack? Why were its participants chosen for assassination? The US media, including The NY Times doesn't mention a word about the camp's pro Palestinian events that week. In fact, Breivik's numerous pro-Zionist statements are also completely ignored. The NY Times' article about Breivik's influences doesn't mention Zionism, BDS or Israel even once. Yet Breivik's numerous references to Israel tell a different story. "A public statement in support of Israel against Muslim aggression should be issued, and the money that has previously been awarded to Palestinians should be allocated partly to Israel's defense..."


"For much of the day yesterday, the featured headline on The New York Times online front page strongly suggested that Muslims were responsible for the attacks on Oslo; that led to definitive statements on the BBC and elsewhere that Muslims were the culprits. The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin wrote a whole column based on the assertion that Muslims were responsible, one that, as James Fallows notes, remains at the Post with no corrections or updates...

Now that we know the alleged perpetrator is not Muslim, we know, by definition, that Terrorists are not responsible; conversely, when we thought Muslims were responsible, that meant, also by definition, that it was an act of Terrorism. What it says is what we've seen repeatedly: that Terrorism has no objective meaning and, at least in American political discourse, has come functionally to mean: violence committed by Muslims whom the West dislikes, no matter the cause or the target."

-->The NY Times quoted Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism researcher at the New America Foundation. "If it does turn out to be someone with more political motivations, it shows these groups are learning from what they see from al-Qaida." So, if what happened in Norway is not Terrorism, just local "political extremism," it is still the fault of al-Qaida.


Common Dreams:
"Congressman Dennis Kucinich took to the House floor again today to defend seniors from unfair attempts to cut Social Security benefits. Kucinich has previously pointed out that Social Security is financially sound and should not be connected to the federal deficit debate.

'The latest attack on elderly beneficiaries of Social Security is a scheme by which seniors' Cost-of-Living benefits would be cut through something called a Chained Consumer Price Index. The C.P.I., chained, involves a formula which recalculates the Cost-of-Living.

'The theory behind the Chained C.P.I. is that as the Cost-of-Living goes up, consumers, in this case seniors, buy cheaper products. For example, if poor seniors cannot afford to buy and eat steak, but can only afford to buy cheaper cat food, their Cost-of-Living benefit would be chained to the cost of the cat food, because it's cheaper than steak.' "

-->There is no more dishonest media stores than the ones describing the need to cut Social Security to trim the deficit. As if Social Security were draining the governments coffers, rather than supporting the wars in the Middle East and tax cuts for the wealthy. Workers pay in much more Social Security taxes than goes out to retirees, and they have since the middle of the 1980's. Obama is proposing to take even from working people's retirement payments to fund his continuing wars. Of course, Obama's dream is to hand Social Security to Wall Street, what Clinton and Bush tried to do before him.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fantasyland Media:

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.


KGW News Channel 8 in Portland:
"A Seattle nuclear watchdog group is accusing the federal government of failing to keep the public informed of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
In the days following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the U.S. began monitoring radiation from Japan's leaking nuclear power plants.

Most of the public attention went to the air monitoring which showed little or no radiation coming our way. But things were different on the rain water side.
'The level that was detected on March 24 was 41 times the drinking water standard,' said Gerry Pollet from Heart of America Northwest. He reviewed Iodine 131 numbers released by the Environmental Protection Agency last spring.

'Our government said no health levels, no health levels were exceeded.When in fact the rain water in the Northwest is reaching levels 130 times the drinking water standards,' said Pollet."

-->The NY Times didn't bother reporting this story, probably because it involved our government understating the effects of Fukushima on the American public. However, The NY Times has its own bias in favor of Nuclear energy which can be seen in its reporting over the last twenty years. "The New York Times continues to be, as it was a half-century ago when nuclear technology was first advanced, a media leader in pushing the technology, which collapsed in the U.S. with the 1979 Three Mile Island and 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant accidents. The Times has showered readers with a variety of pieces advocating a nuclear revival, all marbled with omissions and untruths."
-Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the SUNY, and media critic on nuclear energy coverage.


Inter Press Service:
"When weeklong negotiations on the control and regulation of the global arms trade were concluded last week, there was one missing link in the proposed treaty: riot control equipment used recently against peaceful demonstrators in the streets of Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen and Jordan.

The Arms Trade Treaty, which is expected to be finalized and signed next year, is either ambiguous or excludes weapons of repression, including rubber bullets, water cannons, tear gas canisters, and high voltage electric-shock stun guns...

The London-based Amnesty International (AI) warned that if certain types of security and police equipment such as non-military firearms, including riot guns, crowd control vehicles, shotgun ammunition and tear gas, are not clearly covered by the ATT, 'many governments will not prevent such arms being supplied and used for serious violations of human rights.'

-->The NY Times did not cover this failure of the Arms Trade Treaty to cover weapons used to suppress peaceful demonstration. Of course, The NY Times covers very few peaceful demonstrations in the world, unless they are endorsed by the Pentagon.


The Hill - Washington, DC:
"One out of more than 800 Palestinian children charged with throwing stones in the West Bank over a six-year period was acquitted, according to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.

Ninety-three percent of the 834 under-18s who were convicted were given prison sentences by the Israeli military courts, including 19 children aged 12 and 13. The sentences ranged from a few days to 20 months. The imprisonment of Israeli children under the age of 14 is not allowed...Most of the minors were aged 16 and 17, but 255 were 14 or 15, with 34 under 14.

Only five cases were brought to a full trial compared to 624 which ended with a plea bargain. 'Judges order the vast majority of minors to be held in custody until the end of the criminal proceedings, forcing plea bargains. This is because even if the minor is eventually acquitted, he will spend a longer period of time in custody during the course of a full trial than the length of punishment if he pleads guilty in a plea bargain,' said B'Tselem.

B'Tselem interviewed 50 Palestinian minors for the report. Many described being arrested in the middle of the night, denied access to their families or lawyers and mistreatment. Only two of the children interviewed for the report, No Minor Matter, had an adult present during questioning."

-->The NY Times didn't report this study by B'Tselem, the Israeli peace group. The abuse of Palestinian children by Israel is not something The NY Times wants its readers to know. All the news that fits the pro Israel slant of our newspaper of record.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fantasyland Media:

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.


Guardian UK:
"The family of Rachel Corrie, the US activist killed in Gaza while protesting against house demolitions in 2003, on Monday claimed the Israeli military authorities withheld video evidence during the Corries' civil lawsuit and misled US officials on crucial details.

Craig Corrie, Rachel's father, told a press conference in Jerusalem that the footage from a surveillance camera near the scene of his daughter's death submitted to the court was "incomplete". Additional video material obtained by the family showed Rachel's body in a different spot to the place identified by some military commanders, he said.

He also alleged that the Israeli military had misled US officials on the position of Rachel's body when she was killed.

Rachel, from Olympia, Washington state, was killed while attempting to protect the home of a Palestinian family in the Rafah area of Gaza from being demolished by Israeli troops in March 2003. Her family and other activists who witnessed the incident say she was crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer."

-->The NY Times didn't report this story. Any other trial of foreign soldiers accused of killing an American citizen would certainly have gotten more notice in our newspaper of record. But Israel is a special case for The NY Times, and both its reporters have special relationships to the apartheid state.


Committee to Stop FBI Repression:
"With a courtroom packed so there were no empty seats, Carlos Montes plead 'Not Guilty' to six felony charges in court on July 6, 2011. Defense attorney Jorge Gonzales said the Los Angeles District Attorney is using 'selective enforcement' to target Carlos. The U.S. government is using a 42-year-old charge from 1969 to prosecute Carlos Montes today for a weapon and an ammunition charge, and four charges of perjury on his weapons permits.

The FBI and LA Sheriff’s SWAT team broke down the door and raided Carlos Montes’ home in May. It is clear from the statements of local police and law enforcement officials on July 6 that the FBI is leading the charge in targeting Carlos. Carlos Montes said outside court, 'This attack on me is a pretext. They are using it to attack me because of my political activity – denouncing U.S. intervention in Colombia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in Palestine.' "“not-guilty”-next-court-date-set-august-12

-->The NY Times has never covered the arrest and prosecution of Carlos Montes, even though the facts of the case point to FBI harassment and selective enforcement of various laws. Our newspaper of record usually waits at least a decade before this type of news becomes fit to print.


The Hill - Washington, DC:
"The Social Security Administration estimates that a proposal floated by the Obama administration would put 245,000 people into poverty, according to an analysis released by liberal senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Saturday.

That level of impact would be felt by 2050 if a proposal to change the way inflation is measured is adopted, Sanders announced. The change to the way SSA would calculate the Consumer Price Index has been floated in debt ceiling talks between Congress and the White House. The White House has suggested revising CPI for both the tax code, in order to generate more revenue, and for benefits.

Social Security Administration’s Office of Retirement Policy estimated that by 2030, according to the report prepared for Sanders, there would be 173,400 more people living in poverty in the United States. Benefits for those who are 80-89 would drop by $960 a year. Benefits for women would fall by 3.5 percent overall while men’s benefits would drop by 2.9 percent. By 2050, seniors in the 80-89 age bracket would see benefits fall by $1,200 a year.

'I am especially disturbed that the president is considering cuts in Social Security after he campaigned against cuts in 2008,' Sanders said. 'The American people expect the president to keep his word.'

-->The NY Times didn't report this study by Burnie Sanders. In general, The NY Times has shied away from explaining how much Obama's Social Security changes would hurt senior citizens. And stating the obvious, that Obama is not keeping his word to the American people, would never sit well with The NY Times corporate board of directors. Wall Street, of course, stands to gain billions by robbing working people of their retirement incomes.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Fantasyland Media:

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.


Inter Press Service:
"WASHINGTON - Data on attacks by armed opposition forces and U.S. combat casualties since the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan was completed last summer provide clear evidence that the surge and the increase in targeted killings by Special Operations Forces have failed to break the momentum of the Taliban.

The Taliban and allied insurgent organisations launched 54 percent more attacks and killed or wounded 56 percent more U.S. troops over the nine months from last October through May than in the comparable period a year earlier, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Defense and by the highly-respected Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO).

The nearly 1,571 attacks in May recorded by ANSO, which exceeded the previous monthly peak total of 1,541 attacks in September 2010, was achieved four months earlier in the fighting season than the previous peak."

-->The NY Times did not cover this discouraging data about the failure of the "surge" in Afghanistan. As a major supporter of US wars in the Middle East, The NY Times just doesn't report much bad news.


Army Times:
"NAIROBI, Kenya — U.S. military forces landed in Somalia to retrieve the bodies of dead or wounded militants after a U.S. drone strike targeted a group of insurgents, Somalia's defense minister said Friday.

The operation is at least the second time U.S. troops have landed in Somalia after a targeted strike, though no forces have been stationed there since shortly after the "Black Hawk Down" battle that left 18 Americans dead in 1993...

U.S. officials have increased their warnings that the threat from Somalia's al-Shabab militant group is growing and that militants are developing stronger ties with the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Incoming Pentagon chief Leon Panetta told lawmakers last month that as the core al-Qaida leadership in Pakistan undergoes leadership changes, with the killing of Osama bin Laden, the U.S. needs to make sure that the group does not relocate to Somalia."

-->The NY Times did not report the landing of US military forces in Somalia. In fact, our newspaper of record has not seemed to notice US forces in Libya, Pakistan, or Yemen either. Let's call this omission Pentagon friendly, since most Americans are against the use of military forces in an ever expanding number of Third World countries.


The NY Times:
Ethan Bronner, that master of pro-Israeli spin, had a recent article in Sunday's edition entitled, fittingly enough, "Setting Sail on Gaza's Sea of Spin." Why is the Freedom Flotilla "transporting basic aid, food and cement, when it is no longer needed?" he asks. Gazans "need many things, (but) basic supplies are not among them" he writes later, only to follow up with, "There is no shortage of food in Gaza."

-->A UNICEF report in April tells a different story. "In 2010, 11 out of 100 under-five children suffered from chronic malnutrition (11.3 per cent in the West Bank and 9.9 per cent in Gaza)."

In January, a similar report stated that: "10.3 percent of children under five are stunted (low height for age), a steadily increasing trend over recent years. Stunting is usually attributed to a chronic lack of protein and micronutrients, including iron and essential vitamins." The report also cites the fact that, "Roughly two-thirds of the population - 50 percent of whom are under 18 - is deemed food insecure, according to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

Yet Mr. Bronner adheres to the Zionist spin that no one goes without food in Gaza because of the Israeli blockade. Why is he still reporting for a newspaper that claims it delivers all the news that's fit to print?