Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Times Warp:
"The United States sends at least $3.1 billion in military aid grants to Israel every year, more than the amount given to all the rest of the world combined, and although Americans oppose this excess, their opinion has had no effect: Officials are now in talks to raise the yearly amount by as much as 50 percent.

If you missed that news in The New York Times, there is no reason for surprise. The issue has essentially remained out of sight, glossed over in a smattering of news stories, where readers find murky references to US aid and no enlightening details. ...

Times readers have to look elsewhere for a fuller story. Other sources tell us that Israel has been asking for up to $4.5 billion a year in military aid and that talks have been going on 'away from the spotlight.' Observers expect announcement of an aid agreement in November, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Washington."

-->Yes, The NYT hides military aid to Israel, and in much the same way as it covers up Israeli war crimes. Coverage of Israel, in fact, is about the most egregious example of a national newspaper distorting the news for a particular monied interest, this time for the ultra rich Zionists in the US who are closely allied with extremists in Israel. 


Common Dreams:
"The mammoth Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) under secret negotiation between the United States and European Union is poised to slash the power of local governments to regulate toxins—from pesticides to fracking chemicals—the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) warned in a report released Tuesday.

Preempting the Public Interest: How TTIP Will Limit US States’ Public Health and Environmental Protections (pdf) is based on an analysis of the European Commission's proposed chapter on regulatory cooperation from the April 20 round of negotiations. The report follows other analyses of the text which conclude that the TTIP poses a threat to human rights, environmental protections, and democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Beyond the regulatory cooperation chapter, little else is known about the content of the closed-door negotiations over what is set to be the largest bilateral 'trade' deal in history."

-->Our major media does not want to let this deeply troubling information out to citizens of this country. The NYT did not report this story, and has avoided linking upcoming trade deals with a vast increase in corporate power.    


"FAIR has noted before how America’s well-documented clandestine activities in Syria have been routinely ignored when the corporate media discuss the Obama administration’s 'hands-off' approach to the four-and-a-half-year-long conflict. This past week, two pieces—one in the New York Times detailing the 'finger pointing' over Obama’s 'failed' Syria policy, and a Vox 'explainer' of the Syrian civil war—did one better: They didn’t just omit the fact that the CIA has been arming, training and funding rebels since 2012, they heavily implied they had never done so.

First, let’s establish what we do know. Based on multiple reports over the past three-and-a-half years, we know that the Central Intelligence Agency set up a secret program of arming, funding and training anti-Assad forces. This has been reported by major outlets, including the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and, most recently, the Washington Post, which—partly thanks to the Snowden revelations—detailed a program that trained approximately 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year, or roughly 1/15th of the CIA’s official annual budget. ...

As the US’s strategy in Syria is publicly debated, the CIA’s years-long program has vanished from many popular accounts, giving the average reader the impression the US has sat idly by while foreign actors, Iranian and Russian, have interfered in the internal matters of Syria."

-->Pentagon propaganda pretending to be news again. In many foreign countries, the public has learned to be skeptical of the ties between media and government. The USSR's "Pravda" was read by many citizens as an insight into what lies their own government was telling. But not in the US, where most people consider The NYT as unbiased and free from government distortions. The empire does not foster critical thinking.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Common Dreams:
"A ProPublica analysis of newly available federal data shows that some of the nation’s wealthiest colleges are leaving their poorest students with plenty of debt. More than a quarter of the nation’s 60 wealthiest universities leave their low-income students owing an average of more than $20,000 in federal loans.

New York University is among the country’s wealthiest schools. Backed by its $3.5 billion endowment, the school has built campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, invested billions in SoHo real estate, and given its star faculty loans to buy summer homes. But the university does less than many other schools when it comes to one thing: helping its poor students.

A ProPublica analysis based on new data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that students from low-income families graduate from NYU saddled with huge federal loans. The school’s Pell Grant recipients – students from families that make less than $30,000 a year – owe an average of $23,250 in federal loans after graduation."

-->This report shows how little the wealth, heavily endowed colleges do for their poorer students. It is all part of the gross disparity in income and assets that leaves most of the nation's working people with very little. As the newspaper of the rich elite, The NYT decided not to print the story.


Common Dreams:
"When the U.S. Department of Defense published a new Law of War Manual this past summer, editorialists at the New York Times sat up and took notice. Their concern was that the manual stated that journalists could be deemed 'unprivileged belligerents.' The editorial explained that as a legal term 'that applies to fighters that are afforded fewer protections than the declared combatants in a war.' In fact, it is far more insidious than that innocuous description. ...

The key phrase here is 'being made the object of attack.' For slow-witted New York Times editorialists, that means journalists can be killed as can any enemy soldier in wartime. 'Subject to detention' means a journalist deemed an unprivileged belligerent will be put into military detention if captured. As with any enemy belligerent, however, if 'capture is not feasible,' they would be killed if possible, by drone perhaps if in a foreign country.

Currently, most U.S. captives deemed 'unprivileged belligerents' are imprisoned in Guantanamo although some may be held in Afghanistan. It must be noted that the United States deems as an 'unprivileged belligerent' anyone they target for capture or choose to kill."

-->Well there it is, the US police state where anyone the government chooses to capture or kill is automatically categorized as an 'unprivileged belligerent' and denied all Constitutional rights. We would have to go back to before the Magna Carta (1215) to find a time when a nation's citizens had no rights at all. The NYT skips over this destruction of our Constitutional rights, and refuses to acknowledge the power our government is now claiming.  


"On Sunday, the New York Times maintained a long, proud tradition of uncritically repeating official claims that the US—despite having twice the population, eight times the military budget and a nominal economy almost ten times as large—is 'lagging behind' Russia on a key military strategic objective [the Artic]. ...

The original front-page headline uses the classic New York Times passive voice: 'Seen as.' As does much of the article’s framing: 'In Washington and other NATO capitals, Russia’s military moves are seen as provocative — and potentially destabilizing.'

'Seen' by whom and why? As it turns out, it’s 'seen' this way entirely by the United States military and its partisan think tanks. The story overwhelmingly quotes Western military brass, anonymous White House officials and Western think tanks, namely the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Cold War holdover that published a paper dubiously titled 'The New Ice Curtain' to warn of the pending threat of Russian presence in the Arctic."

-->The NYT distorting news for the Pentagon again. The question is really why the American people keep trusting our newspaper of record.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The NYT:
"Yet given Guatemala’s tragic history, the shifts here were already being seen as a dramatic example of a transformation made against long odds. ... 

For much of its history, Guatemalan society has been divided, its different constituencies fighting their battles alone. The nation’s indigenous population, which suffered the most under the civil war, which killed about 200,000 people, has long struggled for equal rights with little success."

-->The NYT has "little success" in informing its readers about what really happened in Guatemala's tragic past. The US overthrew its elected government in 1954, and supplied its subsequent US trained dictators with weaponry and CIA intelligence during their murderous decades in power. Most of the 200,000 killed were civilians, part of the CIA attempt to wipe out all all resistance to the dictatorships. The NYT carefully leaves this information out, presenting Pentagon propaganda as if it were real news.


Common Dreams:
"As refugees are stranded at train stations, attacked by riot police, and killed during the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, Europe's failure to address the rising humanitarian crisis is being met with global outrage and sorrow.

Now, many are also looking across the Atlantic to the United States, where observers say key responsibility for the crisis lies—not only because the country is lagging in its humanitarian response, but also because its war policies lie at the root of the ongoing displacement.

'Iraqis, Syrians, Palestinians, and Libyans are not running away from their homes because of a natural disaster,' Raed Jarrar, expert on Middle East politics and government relations manager for the American Friends Service Committee, told Common Dreams. 'The U.S. should see this crisis as partially caused by its own actions in the region.' "

-->The US has caused much of the warfare in the Middle East? And is accepting fewer refugees than even Canada? Our mainstream media protects us from such ugly truths.


Common Dreams:
"Citing a series of vicious military attacks in recent years coupled with severe shortages of water, medical supplies, and shelter created by an internationally-backed blockade, a new report issued by the United Nations warns that if current trends continue the Gaza Strip will be virtually 'uninhabitable' within five years.

Home to approximately 1.8 million people, Gaza is often referred to the largest open-air prison in the world and the latest report, published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), is just the latest official assessment (pdf) to paint a devastating picture of life inside the sealed borders of Gaza which has now faced eight years of economic blockade and three large-scale military operations by Israel since 2009.

According to UNCTAD, military aggression and the ongoing blockade have accelerated the 'de-development' of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, a process by which development is not merely hindered but reversed. The combined factors of war and economic suffocation, the report says, has shattered Gaza's ability to export and produce for the domestic market, ravaged its already debilitated infrastructure, left no time for reconstruction and recovery, and accelerated the sharp decline in overall well-being of all who live there."

-->The emerging genocide of 1.8 million people is often kept hidden from the American people. The NYT devoted one paragraph to the story and buried it on on page 16.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Times Warp:
"The United Nations has called for a freeze on Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes, dozens of aid agencies and the European Union have joined in the protest, and even the U.S. State Department has voiced its dismay. Yet, even as the outcry has become an international issue and reached the highest ranks of our own government, we find a resounding silence at The New York Times.

Times readers are unlikely to know that 31 international organizations recently called on Israel to stop the 'wanton destruction of Palestinian property,' including 'basic humanitarian necessities,' such as solar panels, animal pens, latrines and tents supplied by the European Union. The groups asked world leaders to take 'urgent action,' to hold Israel accountable for 'grave breaches' of international law, and to demand reparations for the destruction of their charitable gifts.

The statement came shortly after the United Nations and representatives of the European Union in separate actions called on Israel to freeze demolitions in the West Bank. ..."

-->The NYT can be viewed as Israel's "newspaper of record," much like our NY Senator who brags about being "Israel's Defender." In the end, newspapers as well as sellout Congressional representatives will bear the shame of supporting apartheid Israel. 


Common Dreams:
"It’s New Orleans remembrance time; that time where, for the last ten years at the end of August, public attention returns for a bit to the city that abandoned its poorest. Mostly black, in a majority black city, democracy failed as spectacularly as the public safety system. Not only the levees, but also the social contract was breached. Poor people clinging to rooftops in the richest nation on earth. The pictures shocked the world and broke our hearts. ...

Ten years on, the Census reports that he region’s regained almost 94 of its pre-storm population. New Orleans is almost 80 percent as big as it was. More statistical successes are tallied in graduations rates from new private schools, people housed in new private homes, and patients cured in private hospitals. ...

The poor black residents who were losing homes and loved ones ten years ago are still losing them, now to gentrification. If you are rich, and like your property prices to rise, it’s good news that house prices are up fifty-eight percent since 2000. An employer? Wages are as low as they get and worker bargaining power has sunk lower than that. A whiter, wealthier city?  You’ve got it. Entire neighborhoods have flipped from black to white."

-->Mainstream media just doesn't tell this story of thousands of African American teachers and public workers laid off, an entire Black middle class eliminated. New Orleans got ethnically cleansed of much of its Black population by a particularly vicious form of Neoliberalism.


Common Dreams:
"Pesticides that have been banned in Europe over bee safety concerns may pose an even greater risk to pollinators than previously thought, a new report by the European Union's food safety watchdog reveals.

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, pose high risks to bees when sprayed on plant leaves, according to data by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in its report, published Wednesday—which bolsters previous findings that neonics harm pollinators when used as seed treatments or granules.

The EFSA studied three pesticides in particular—clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam—all of which were banned by the EU in 2013 for a two-year period after scientific reports warned of their dangers. The latest findings, said Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero, 'confirmed what has already been demonstrated by a wealth of scientific evidence: neonicotinoids are a serious threat to bees and to the future of farming.' "

-->Our mainstream media, including The NYT, has never shown much interest in stories like this. Our major media is much more concerned by the financial health of their corporate stockholders.