Thursday, March 31, 2016

Common Dreams:
"Bernie Sanders claimed three resounding victories on Saturday as caucus-goers in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington overwhelmingly backed the Vermont senator, proving that his campaign has the 'momentum' to battle Democratic rival Hillary Clinton all the way to the convention.

While Sanders was predicted to win in Alaska and Washington, as CNN reports, 'the real news is in the sheer size of his victory.'

Indeed, Sanders bested Clinton by more than sixty points in Alaska, where he took 81.6 percent to her 18.4 percent. In Hawaii, he won 70.6 percent to 29.2 percent and in the delegate-heavy Washington, Sanders beat Clinton 72.7 percent to 27.1 percent." 

-->The NYT didn't report these victories at all, preferring to run more stories about Donald Trump. Our newspaper of record just prints what Wall Street wants it to, and Bernie is scaring the billionaires. You can tell that from the NYT's failure to even cover the Sanders campaign. 


Guardian UK:
"CIA photographed detainees naked before sending them to be tortured. Classified pictures showing CIA captives bruised, blindfolded and bound raise new questions about US’s willingness to use ‘sexual humiliation’ on suspects

A former US official who had seen some of the photographs described them as 'very gruesome'. The naked imagery of CIA captives raises new questions about the seeming willingness of the US to use what one medical and human rights expert called 'sexual humiliation' in its post-9/11 captivity of terrorism suspects. Some human rights campaigners described the act of naked photography on unwilling detainees as a potential war crime.

Unlike video evidence of CIA torture at its undocumented 'black site' prisons that were destroyed in 2005 by a senior official, the CIA is said to retain the photographs.
In some of the photos, which remain classified, CIA captives are blindfolded, bound and show visible bruises. Some photographs also show people believed to be CIA officials or contractors alongside the naked detainees."

-->The NYT, to its shame, has not printed this article. Is it just me, or is the NYT becoming a second rate paper, willing to sell out quite easily to the National Security State. Of course, no other major news outlet in the US covered this story either. What a sorry state our corporate media is in.


Common Dreams:
"What is privacy and what is an individual's right to it? 

That is the question that renowned linguist and MIT professor Noam Chomsky, National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Intercept co-founding editor Glenn Greenwald sought to answer on Friday evening as the three (virtually) shared a stage for a panel discussion at the University of Arizona in Tuscon.

Coming amid the FBI's public battle against Apple as well as days after the bombings in Brussels last week, which have spurred another round of calls for heightened security and surveillance, the conversation challenged the rhetoric that national security requires that governments can access individual communications.

'Should our government be omniscient?' asked Snowden, who took part in the discussion via satellite from Russia. 'That has value, of course, in thwarting nefarious and criminal behavior. But the public has a right to know if the government is going to be omniscient. As it stands, this decision has been made by a few people behind closed doors. That is the problem.' "

-->The NYT joined almost all of the mainstream media in avoiding this discussion by some of our nation's most important intellectuals. One has to read alternative media in the US to know what our government is really up to. It takes some intellectual curiosity, of course, but the truth is relatively easy to find on the Internet. If you don't look, however, you are sure to remain ignorant.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Common Dreams:
"With Tax Plan, Sanders Beats Both Clinton and Trump by Double Digits.

Beating out all other contenders from both major parties by double-digit margins, according to a new survey WalletHub/Survey Monkey published Monday, Sanders' plan was supported by 23 percent of respondents. In comparison, only 13 percent liked the plan of Hillary Clinton best, giving her a slight edge over the 12 percent who chose Donald Trump's plan. Taking the fourth and fifth spots respectively, Sen. Ted Cruz nabbed 8 percent support while Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) got 5 percent.

With the most progressive tax policy of any candidate, Sanders would dramatically increase taxes for the very wealthy and high-income earners (as well as moderate increases for the middle- and upper-middle classes) in order to pay for key planks of his social agenda including tuition-free public college, a Medicare for All healthcare program, massive infrastructure spending, and paid family leave for all workers." 

-->The NYT spends its time trying to belittle anything that Sanders has to say about economic fairness. Our newspaper of record is right up there with the monied interests supporting Hillary; it didn't print this survey about what the American people want.


"New York Times busted for anti-Bernie bias: The iconic, Clinton-endorsing newspaper slyly edits article to smear Sanders. As the media is slammed for anti-Sanders bias, the NYT changes a piece on Bernie's impressive legislative record. 

Media critics have for months blown the whistle on bias against Bernie Sanders. Progressive media watchdog FAIR has thoroughly documented how slanted the U.S. corporate media has been in favor of Wall Street-backed, corporate-friendly candidates like Hillary Clinton.

Studies have even shown that Donald Trump gets 23 times as much coverage as Sanders, even though the Vermont senator is more popular among Americans.
A case study in how this media bias works was exposed this week, in none other than the U.S. newspaper of record.

An anonymous user on the blogging website Medium revealed how the New York Times substantially edited an article about Sanders’ long history of legislative victories, excising the more positive facts and comments."

-->The NYT is at it again, secretly changing a news story to make Hillary look better. 


Common Dreams:
"Another member of Berta Cáceres' Indigenous rights group was brutally murdered by unidentified assailants on Tuesday, following a violent eviction of Indigenous people from their land. Nelson Garcia, a father of five and community leader, was shot four times in the face—'gunned down in his home,' the Nation reported. His assassination occurred less than two weeks after Cáceres', and only days following her funeral.

Local reports say that his death occurred shortly after the Honduran government's dispatching of riot police and bulldozers to evict 150 Indigenous people from their homes in Rio Chiquito, where they had occupied ancestral land for two years in protest of the Agua Zarca megadam project. ...

The megadam is to be built on the Gualcarque River, ancestral territory of the Lenca tribe—of which Cáceres was a member—and a critical water source for the Indigenous people. ... Garcia's death 'brings to 14 the number of COPINH members who have been murdered since the group was founded in 1993,' observed fellow activist Beverly Bell."

-->The NYT only carried one very short article about this assassination, written by the Associated Press. Almost all the above information is left out of the AP article: the riot police evicting 150 indigenous people, the megadam project on territory of the Lenca tribe, and the number of rights workers who have been murdered in the recent past. Most importantly The NYT leaves out the role of Hillary Clinton in establishing the bloody Honduran dictatorship.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Common Dreams:
"On the five-year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, the U.S. has failed to learn from that accident and put in place the necessary prevention and evacuation guidelines, nuclear experts warn.

'Not only is there no Plan B for what to do if and when a Fukushima-style disaster happens in the U.S., there is no Plan A to prevent one either,' said Cindy Folkers, radiation and health specialist at the anti-nuke advocacy organization Beyond Nuclear. Public health is woefully under-protected, she added.

In the U.S., there are 30 GE boiling water reactors 'identical in design to those at Fukushima' still in operation, the group said, noting that the GE model is the kind most vulnerable to risk. The reactors are known as Mark I and Mark II. Despite the risk, industry lobbyists have blockaded efforts by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to require installation of radiation filters that would improve public safety in the case of a power plant disaster." 

-->The NYT has always had a soft spot for nuclear energy and the very powerful business interests that have profited from unsafe power plants. The newspaper didn't carry this story of a catastrophe waiting to happen on the Hudson River.


"In a television interview, former CIA Director James Woolsey has said that Apple is 'generally in the right' in its arguments against being compelled to weaken security on the iPhone, as demanded by a magistrate judge and the FBI. While saying that he has 'a great deal of admiration' for the agency, Woolsey acknowledged Apple's contention - which the FBI and Attorney General Loretta Lynch have variously claimed - that the request amounts to forcing Apple to build a 'back door' into its products.

Asked about the case on CNBC's Squawk Box program, Woolsey said that he has looked into the case 'with care,' and felt personally that the FBI was attempting to force Apple to 'restructure' its operating system to weaken the security of it, and that - whether intentional or not - the government was in fact asking Apple to hack into its own operating system, which would invariably lead to smartphone security among all makes and models being compromised for any and all types of investigations, even speculative ones."

-->The NYT didn't print this story. Isn't it news when a former CIA director worries about government intrusion on privacy, and the resultant security risks faced by consumers and businesses? 


Common Dreams:
"A striking new analysis published this weekend found that federal prosecutors failed to pursue civil rights complaints against police officers a full 96 percent of the time.

The investigation, conducted by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporters Brian Bowling and Andrew Conte, examined 3 million federal records regarding criminal complaints against law enforcement from 1995 through 2015. The findings come against a backdrop of increased attention on police misconduct, including evidence of racial discrimination, unlawful shootings, surveillance, imprisonment, and torture. ...
Craig Futterman, a law professor who founded the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project at the University of Chicago, told the Tribune that 'the failure to aggressively bring those cases has allowed too many abusive officers to believe that they can operate without fear of punishment.' "

-->One would think that a national study on the failure of federal prosecutors to pursue civil rights abuses by police officers would make it into The NYT. But the police violence directed at the Occupy encampments was never covered either. All the news that fits the establishment.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Guardian UK:
"Barack Obama has rescheduled a trip to Buenos Aires following criticism over his planned presence in the Argentinian capital on 24 March, the 40th anniversary of the brutal 1976 coup that installed a military dictatorship, which the US initially supported. ... A military junta imposed martial law on 24 March 1976 and began the killing of thousands of mostly young opponents of a regime that continued until democracy was restored in 1983.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, who won the Nobel peace prize for his human rights work during the dictatorship, had warned that Obama’s arrival would coincide with huge marches in commemoration of the victims of the coup, and could even provoke confrontations.

'Obama represents a country that was responsible for various military coups in Latin America, including those in Chile and Argentina,' he told the Guardian." 

-->The NYT didn't carry this story in its print edition, and only had a toned down Associated Press report of it on the NYT website. Our newspaper of record has always sanitized the empire when it comes to overthrowing elected governments in the rest of the world. No wonder most US citizens think that American foreign policy is based on human rights.


"While Europe may think of itself as part of an enlightened West, using aid to defend Palestinians’ rights, the reality is less reassuring. The aid may actually be making things significantly worse. Shir Hever, an Israeli economist who has spent years piecing together the murky economics of the occupation, recently published a report that makes shocking reading.

Like others, he believes international aid has allowed Israel to avoid footing the bill for its decades-old occuption. But he goes further. His astonishing conclusion – one that may surprise Israel’s settlers – is that at least 78 per cent of humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians ends up in Israel’s coffers.

The sums involved are huge. The Palestinians under occupation are among the most aid-dependent in the world, receiving more than $2bn from the international community a year. According to Hever, donors could be directly subsidising up to a third of the occupation’s costs."

-->The NYT didn't print this story. It certainly sheds light on the pervasive corruption of Israel's occupation, but that is news that our newspaper of record goes out of its way to avoid.


Guardian UK:
"Officials in Honduras have refused to allow the only witness to the murder of environmental activist Berta Cáceres to leave the country and return to his native Mexico. Gustavo Castro Soto, coordinator of Friends of the Earth Mexico and director of the NGO Otros Mundos, was shot twice during the attack on Cáceres on Thursday morning, and only survived by playing dead.

Officials are treating him as a protected witness, according to the Associated Press, but activists say that the Honduran attorney general’s office has issued a 30-day immigration alert against him, preventing him from leaving the country. ...

Cáceres’s nephew, Silvio Carrillo, said that Soto was not allowed to sleep or change out of his bloodied clothes after the attack. 'The treatment [Castro] received for three days was tantamount to abuse,' he said. In an open letter published by Honduran newspapers, Castro alleged the crime scene was altered, while he was only offered medical attention three days after the attack."

-->No mention of the witness, Gustavo Soto, by The NYT. And certainly no mention of the support the US gave for overthrowing the elected President of Honduras, leading to yet another bloody dictatorship in Central America. Hillary Clinton was behind the US coup, and that was omitted from the story as well.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

"The New York Times serves as Benjamin Netanyahu’s stenographer in a story this week that reports his latest rant against critics of Israeli policy, repeating his claims at length but making no attempt to verify or even question the distortions in his response.

The Israeli prime minister was reacting to comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who criticized Israel’s settlement construction in and around East Jerusalem during a session in parliament Wednesday, saying that he found the situation 'genuinely shocking.' The Times, which made no mention of Cameron’s remarks at the time, now presents us with an article by Isabel Kershner framed around the official Israeli response.

Her story, 'Benjamin Netanyahu Rebukes David Cameron for Criticizing Israel,' gives much space to the prime minister’s assertions and allows him the final word. It also quotes Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and lets the comments of both men to stand without challenge." 

-->This isn't really news, but The NYT has long employed Israeli propagandists to write news about Israel and Palestine. Read more about Isabel Kershner's distortion of the news on TimesWarp.


Mother Jones:
"Hillary Clinton Oversaw US Arms Deals to Clinton Foundation Donors. An investigation finds that countries that gave to the foundation saw an increase in State Department-approved arms sales.

In 2011, the State Department cleared an enormous arms deal: Led by Boeing, a consortium of American defense contractors would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, despite concerns over the kingdom's troublesome human rights record. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, Saudi Arabia had contributed $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, and just two months before the jet deal was finalized, Boeing donated $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to an International Business Times investigation released Tuesday.

The Saudi transaction is just one example of nations and companies that had donated to the Clinton Foundation seeing an increase in arms deals while Hillary Clinton oversaw the State Department. IBT found that between October 2010 and September 2012, State approved $165 billion in commercial arms sales to 20 nations that had donated to the foundation, plus another $151 billion worth of Pentagon-brokered arms deals to 16 of those countries—a 143 percent increase over the same time frame under the Bush Administration. The sales boosted the military power of authoritarian regimes such as Qatar, Algeria, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, which, like Saudi Arabia, had been criticized by the department for human rights abuses."

-->Our newspaper of record somehow missed this story of the gross corruption that fattened Hillary's war chest. Weapons sales for campaign contributions is a big story, and one we will all hear from Trump during the general election. That is why Hillary's candidacy is taylor made for an outsider willing to expose the Washington's corrupt oligarchy. 


Common Dreams:
"A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Bernie Sanders ahead of Hillary Clinton by six points nationwide, his biggest lead in the presidential race so far. The survey, released Tuesday [Feb 27], shows Sanders polling at 41.7 percent among 998 likely Democratic voters, while Clinton got 35.5 percent.

As Salon points out, Reuters' daily tracking feature 'illustrates that Sanders has led Clinton nationally for a majority of days in February.'

The figures come just ahead of the Democratic primary in South Carolina on February 27, where Sanders is still trailing the former secretary of state. According to Bloomberg, the senator has 200 paid staffers on the ground in South Carolina, making it his biggest state operation thus far."

-->No mention of this poll by The NYT, and the newspaper used its "Opinion Blog" to bury a Fox poll severals days before that showed Sanders ahead of Clinton nationwide. The "liberal" NYT? Not when it comes to endangering Wall Street or US weapons makers, Hillary's major sources of campaign funding.