Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"The New York Times’ decision to run an op-ed by imprisoned Palestinian political leader Marwan Barghouti in its international edition raised many eyebrows and sparked a vigorous reaction. The article, penned to commemorate hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners on Palestinian Prisoners Day, pulls no punches against the regime that has imprisoned Mr. Barghouti. Barghouti assails Israel’s imprisonment of near 40 percent of Palestinian men, its systematic violation of the laws of war, and the lack of basic due process in Israel’s military tribunals.

The backlash that ensued included the former Israeli ambassador accusing the Times of being complicit in terrorism, while the Israeli prison authorities moved Barghouti into solitary confinement. Under intense lobbying pressure, the New York Times updated the article by describing Barghouti’s convictions in the Israeli court system following his abduction by the Israeli military. Now, readers of the article are introduced to Barghouti’s insightful perspective alongside a byline that slanders him as a convicted terrorist and a murderer. There is no mention of the fact that Barghouti’s convictions, although carried out through a civilian rather than military court, similarly lacked basic process-related protections and was widely viewed by observers as a political show trial that violated the guarantees of international law. Further, Barghouti’s defiant refusal to accept the legitimacy of the Israeli court proceedings–an act of civil disobedience–is left unexplained."

-->The NYT gets slammed and changes its story on Barghouti to make him out as a convicted terrorist.


Vanity Fair:
"Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion are a group of pesticides that are a big money-maker for Dow Chemical, with the company selling approximately 5 million pounds of chlorpyrifos in the U.S. each year, according to the Associated Press. ...

Luckily for Dow, the E.P.A. is now run by climate-change skeptic and general enemy of living things Scott Pruitt, who last month said he would reverse 'an Obama-era effort to bar the use of Dow's chlorpyrifos pesticide on food after recent peer-reviewed studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children's brains.' Plus, Dow Chemical C.E.O. Andrew Liveris is good buddies with President Donald Trump. So, you can see how the company, which the AP reports also spent $13.6 million on lobbying last year, might feel like it is in the clear."

-->Dow paying to pollute, even though children's brains will pay the price. Why didn't the NYT do an article on this corporate corruption of our political process?


Common Dreams:
"The Massachusetts Democratic Party has been plunged into turmoil by a proposed resolution stating that Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank are an obstacle to peace between Israel and Palestine, the Boston Globe reported Friday.

Carol Coakley of Millis, Mass., proposed the resolution that reads in part: 'the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee affirm our support for the long-standing U.S. policy of the State Department and every administration from President Lyndon Johnson to President Barack Obama, that Israel's settlements in the occupied West Bank are obstacles to peace.' Coakley has been a member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee for 18 years, the Globe notes.

'This resolution targets a hypocrisy in the position of the national Democratic Party which says it supports a two-state solution, but gives huge aid and backing to Israel and very little to Palestinians,' said Cole Harrison, Massachusetts Peace Action.

-->The NYT does not like to remind readers of how the Democratic Party has been bought off by the Israel Lobby. It didn't carry this story.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"So, many people in the United States don’t realize that the US has maintained the threat of a nuclear attack against North Korea for decades. From 1958 to 1991, the US had hundreds of nuclear weapons in the southern half of the Korean peninsula, in South Korea. So at that time, North Korea’s countermeasure to deter a US nuclear attack was to forward deploy all of its conventional forces near the DMZ.

In 2001, when George W. Bush came to power, many things changed. There were technological advancements, and he also made doctrinal changes, centered around very high-tech, precision-capable weapons that gave the US preemptive strike advantage. He named North Korea part of the 'Axis of Evil.' He also listed North Korea as one of seven countries that were potential targets for a US preemptive strike in the US Nuclear Posture Review. So then, in response to that, North Korea had to develop a new kind of deterrent, and that’s when it seriously turned to developing nuclear weapons, and its first nuclear test was in 2006."  CounterSpin interview of Hyun Lee.

-->With all the heated warmongering in the US media, it is a distinct pleasure to finally read an alternative view of US/Korean history. The mainstream media has become a Pentagon mouthpiece again, a sure sign that the US is considering starting another war.


Common Dreams:
"Trump Administration Considering 'Back-Door Way' to Cut Social Security. President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise not to cut Social Security, is reportedly considering a plan to eliminate much of the payroll tax that funds the critical safety net program.

According to the Associated Press on Monday, the proposal is being floated as the Trump administration goes 'back to the drawing board in a search for Republican consensus behind legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax system.'

The AP reported that one option 'circulating this past week would change the House Republican plan to eliminate much of the payroll tax and cut corporate tax rates. This would require a new dedicated funding source for Social Security.' "

-->Most of US media is behind gutting social security and privatizing the system to benefit Wall Street. Readers of the NYT won't be learning about Trump's back-door way to slash benefits.


Common Dreams:
"Hackers and security experts are raising alarm over a massive cyber weapons dump that they say underscores the danger of government spy agencies developing intrusive surveillance tools. ...

This means that any computer-savvy individual could download the tools and hack into any of the millions of personal Microsoft computers worldwide. ...

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said the release makes clear that the 'lawful access' debate is over, 'and the government's claim that 'nobody but us' has access to these surveillance tools is moot.' "

-->The debate is certainly moot for readers of the NYT, who didn't get to read about their government's spy efforts and the disastrous effect they have had on computer security.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Common Dreams:
"Corporate media and D.C. politicians on both sides of the aisle are falling over themselves to shower praise on President Donald Trump for unilaterally bombing a Syrian air base on Thursday, demonstrating that Washington's hunger for war continues no matter who is at the controls.

Some talking heads' praise for the new war effort has been so over-the-top that it alarmed viewers, as when NBC's Brian Williams called the launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles—which state media now reports have killed civilians, including children—'beautiful' no less than three times in 30 seconds. Williams even misguidedly quoted a Leonard Cohen lyric to gush over the strike. ...

The Washington Post's David Ignatius claimed that it was evidence that 'the moral dimensions of leadership' had penetrated Trump's Oval Office. And in a New York Times op-ed titled 'On Syria Attack, Trump's Heart Came First,' White House correspondent Mark Landler framed the bombing as 'an emotional act by a man suddenly aware that the world's problems were now his—and that turning away, to him, was not an option.' "

-->Oh, what a merry war we will have with both war parties talking tough about Syria. Even the nations most virulent warmonger, defeated lesser of two evils, Hillary Clinton, is calling for an attack on ALL of Syria's air bases, not just one. 


The Guardian UK:
"You can’t buy time – except, it seems, in America. Increasing inequality means wealthy Americans can now expect to live up to 15 years longer than their poor counterparts, reports in the British medical journal the Lancet have found.

Researchers said these disparities appear to be worsened by the American health system itself, which relies on for-profit insurance companies, and is the most expensive in the world. Their conclusion? Treat healthcare as a human right. ...

All of these health outcomes arrive in the context of widening general inequality. The share of total income going to the top 1% of earners has more than doubled since 1970, making the US more unequal than all but three developed countries: Chile, Mexico and Turkey."

-->The NYT doesn't think it newsworthy that the rich live much longer than the poor due to our dysfunctional medical system. All the news that comforts the 1%.


Democracy Now:
"What’s said on all sides, actually—Israel, Palestinians, international commentary—is that there are two options: either a two-state settlement, in accord with the long-standing international consensus, or else one state, which would be an apartheid state, in which Palestinians wouldn’t have rights, and you could have an anti-apartheid struggle, and Israel would face what’s called the demographic problem—too many non-Jews in a Jewish state. But those are not the two options.

There’s a third option, the one that is actually being implemented—namely, construction of a Greater Israel, which will not have a demographic problem, because they’re excluding the areas of dense Palestinian population, and they’re removing Palestinians slowly from the areas they expect to take over. ... The so-called Area C, where Israel has total control, about 60 percent of the West Bank, is slowly being incorporated into Israel with big infrastructure programs and so on. And this program is just taking place right before our eyes. The United States is providing diplomatic, economic and military support for it. It will leave the Palestinians with essentially nothing. There will be a Greater Israel, which will have—which will not face the dread demographic problem." -Noam Chomsky speaking on Democracy Now

-->The NYT would never express this opinion, and very rarely even quotes Chomsky, one our nation's leading intellectuals. If you want to know how Israeli apartheid will work, you will have to read a more reliable source of information on the Middle East. Our newspaper of record spends it's print on selling a new wars to the American public.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Guardian UK:
"America and the UK condemned Russian airstrikes that killed or injured hundreds of civilians during last autumn’s siege of Aleppo, accusing Vladimir Putin of war crimes. The question now is whether the US, backed by British air power, is committing similar atrocities against civilians in Mosul. ...

Fast-forward to Mosul in northern Iraq last week, where misdirected US airstrikes caused a massive explosion that reportedly killed at least 150 civilians sheltering in a basement. The Americans say they were targeting Islamic State fighters. The Russians said much the same about Aleppo – that they were attacking jihadi terrorists. Many people, not least the relatives of the Mosul dead, will struggle to see the difference.

American spokesmen do not deny the US launched airstrikes in the Jadida neighbourhood of Mosul. As to who was responsible for the civilian casualties, 'at the moment the answer is we don’t know', Colonel John Thomas said."

-->Luckily, the NYT does know the answer. Under the headline, "New ISIS Tactic in Iraq Fight: Gather Mosul Civilians, then Lure an Airstrike," we are told that all those civilian deaths are not really the fault of US forces at all. This story, based solely on a US "military spokesman," has all the factual backing of a Trump tweet.


"Black Man Stabbed to Death by White Supremacist–Then Smeared by Media. ...

Reading media reports of the incident, however, one would hardly know which of the two men was the cold-blooded killer and which was the victim. The New York Daily News (3/22/17)—which has a history of smearing black suspects simply on the say-so of the NYPD (, 5/2/16)—felt the need to mention the black victim’s prior, wholly irrelevant police record. ...

What, one might ask, does this have to do with anything? The reader is provided with no indication of Jackson’s criminal record, or whether there was any attempt to find it out, but somehow the rap sheet of the murder victim was primed and ready to go."

-->Yes, much of the mainstream media is still very racist. Even when a Black man is stabbed to death by a white supremacist stalker, the story is all about the Black man's police record.

9to5 Mac:
"Over a year ago, Apple removed an app called Metadata+ from the App Store. The app sent iPhone users alerts when a United States drone strike led to death. Apple’s reasoning at the time was that the app contained 'content that many users would find objectionable.'

Fast forward to this week and Metadata+ is again in the news for being approved and removed, all in the span of less than 12 hours. ... In a post on The Intercept, Metadata+ creator and developer Josh Begley explained the situation, noting that the app has been rejected 12 times since 2014. ...

Begley has a counter argument to that: 'If anything about the app is 'excessively objectionable or crude,' perhaps it’s the airstrikes themselves."

-->Even Apple protects the empire's image as we wage endless war in the Middle East. Drone killings are obscene, but so is Apple's attempt to hide the the truth from iPhone users.