Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Guardian:
"Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, together with Everytown for Gun Safety, launched a campaign on Friday which it says will 'empower voters to find out where candidates stand on gun safety'.

'Throw them out' will target members of Congress who are 'beholden to the gun lobby', Moms Demand Action said. They’ve set up five steps people can follow to pressure lawmakers, including how to get politicians on the record as committing to stricter gun control and a tool to encourage friends to vote.

The campaign uses a Washington Post interactive to help people track donations by the National Rifle Association. It means voters can understand which of their representatives have received money from the lobbying organization. Moms Demand Action is aiming to elect politicians who will fight for gun safety and 'throw out' those who oppose stricter gun laws.

-->The NYT ran a story about emotional support, how parents of murdered children seek peace through connection with other grieving parents. Another story points to activism as a way for survivors to cope. But does either story discuss the new activism that is sweeping the country, identifying who gets the money from the NRA? "Throw them out" wasn't mentioned; too close to real political activism that our newspaper of record often keeps from its readers. 


The Guardian:
"As dignitaries and civil society gather in The Hague this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Court stands poised to demonstrate its maturity as it weighs a request to investigate members of the US Central Intelligence Agency and the US armed forces for torture and other serious crimes committed in Afghanistan or in Eastern Europe in the so-called 'war on terror.'

A criminal investigation of US torture – and other serious crimes in Afghanistan – is long overdue.

In November, the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, lodged a request to open a formal investigation following a decade-long preliminary investigation into possible international crimes committed in Afghanistan since it became a member of the court in May 2003, as well as to related crimes in other member states since July 2002."

-->The ICC about to investigate the US for war crimes? A big story, but not covered by the NYT or much of the US media. Sure, the NYT carried an AP - Asia Pacific story on its website. But that is often the way the newspaper buries news critical of the US empire. 


Common Dreams:
"Two and half weeks after President Donald Trump rejected the idea of peace talks with Taliban, the militant group published an open letter to the American people urging them to pressure their government to end the occupation of Afghanistan, now in its 17th year, and engage in peace talks.

The letter, published on the group's website, denounces the Bush administration's justification for launching the invasion, as well as the Trump administration, which 'again ordered the perpetuation of the same illegitimate occupation and war against the Afghan people.'

'No matter what title or justification is presented by your undiscerning authorities for the war in Afghanistan, the reality is that tens of thousands of helpless Afghans including women and children were martyred by your forces, hundreds of thousands were injured and thousands more were incarcerated in Guantanamo, Bagram, and various other secret jails and treated in such a humiliating way that has not only brought shame upon humanity but is also a violation of all claims of American culture and civilization,' the letter states.

-->Ouch! such bitter truths about our invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The NYT times keeps such divisive condemnations out of the public eye by not printing this letter to the American people. The US empire thrives on endless wars, and our media plays its part by hiding peace initiatives like this. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Guardian:
"California police worked with neo-Nazis to pursue 'anti-racist' activists, documents show. Officers expressed sympathy with white supremacists and sought their help to target counter-protesters after a violent 2016 rally, according to court documents.

California police investigating a violent white nationalist event worked with white supremacists in an effort to identify counter-protesters and sought the prosecution of activists with 'anti-racist' beliefs, court documents show.
The records, which also showed officers expressing sympathy with white supremacists and trying to protect a neo-Nazi organizer’s identity, were included in a court briefing from three anti-fascist activists who were charged with felonies after protesting at a Sacramento rally. ...

Defense lawyers said the case at the state capital offers the latest example of US law enforcement appearing to align with neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups while targeting anti-fascist activists and Donald Trump protesters after violent clashes."

-->Police aligned with neo-Nazis? You would think that the NYT would cover this story, but it didn't. Our "newspaper of record" joins the California police force in letting neo-Nazis off the hook, while demonizing ant racist and anti fascist protesters.


Common Dreams:
"Siding With Monsanto, GOP Threatens to Cut Off WHO Funds Over Glyphosate Finding. ...'Fundamentally, this hearing is about the ability of a public health agency to call a carcinogen a carcinogen, even if it makes a huge amount of money for a powerful corporation.'  —Jennifer Sass, Natural Resources Defense Council

During a House Science Committee hearing on Tuesday, Republican lawmakers sided with the chemical industry in questioning the International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) classification of glyphosate—the key ingredient in the Monsanto-produced weedkiller Roundup—as a probable carcinogen and threatened to cut off the agency's funding.

IARC, a branch of the World Health Organization, immediately came under fire from industry groups and right-wing lawmakers after arguing in 2015 that the scientific literature shows glyphosate 'probably' causes cancer in humans."

-->The NYT didn't cover this story of Big Ag trying to cover up the fact that Roundup is a cancer causing product. Much of the mainstream media is similarly in bed with Monsanto. Hardly any media picked up this AP story.


The Intercept:
"Lie after lie: what Colin Powell knew about Iraq 15 years ago and what he told the UN.

As much criticism as Powell received for this — he’s called it 'painful' and something that will 'always be a part of my record' — it hasn’t been close to what’s justified. Powell, who was secretary of state under President George W. Bush, was much more than just horribly mistaken: He fabricated 'evidence' and ignored repeated warnings that what he was saying was false.

Unfortunately, Congress never investigated Powell’s use of the intelligence he was given, so we don’t know many of the specifics. Even so, what did reach the public record in other ways is extremely damning. While the corporate media has never taken a close look at this record, we can go through Powell’s presentation line by line to demonstrate the chasm between what he knew and what he told the world. As you’ll see, there’s quite a lot to say about it."

-->Our mainstream media, on the contrary, has absolutely nothing to say about Powell's fabrication of evidence and outright lies. Examples of US imperialism always goes down the memory hole, leaving most citizens unaware of how our government lies to us when we go to war.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Popular Resistance:
"In 2017, U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, deployed to 149 countries around the world, according to figures provided to TomDispatch by U.S. Special Operations Command.  That’s about 75% of the nations on the planet and represents a jump from the 138 countries that saw such deployments in 2016 under the Obama administration.  It’s also a jump of nearly 150% from the last days of George W. Bush’s White House. ...

'Most Americans would be amazed to learn that U.S. Special Operations Forces have been deployed to three quarters of the nations on the planet,' observes William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. 'There is little or no transparency as to what they are doing in these countries and whether their efforts are promoting security or provoking further tension and conflict.' ...

'Since 9/11, we expanded the size of our force by almost 75% in order to take on mission-sets that are likely to endure,” SOCOM’s Thomas told the Senate Armed Services Committee in May.  Since 2001, from the pace of operations to their geographic sweep, the activities of U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) have, in fact, grown in every conceivable way. On any given day, about 8,000 special operators — from a command numbering roughly 70,000 — are deployed in approximately 80 countries.' "

-->The staggering sweep of US military operations in the rest of the world never makes it into our national media. In fact, this vast empire is beyond the comprehension of most of its citizens. 


Inter Press Service:
"BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. 

'As a member of the Norwegian parliament, I proudly use my authority as an elected official to nominate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nominating the BDS movement for this recognition is perfectly in line with the principles I and my party hold very dear. Like the BDS movement, we are fully committed to stopping an ascendant, racist and right-wing politics sweeping too much of our world, and securing freedom, justice and equality for all people.

Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement and the American Civil Rights movement, the grassroots, Palestinian-led BDS movement is a peaceful, global human rights movement that urges the use of economic and cultural boycotts to end Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.' -Bjørnar Moxnes is a member of the Norwegian Parliament

-->No US coverage of this story at all, although it did appear in the Jerusalem Post. The NYT covers up most stores that make Israel look bad.


The Intercept:
"In a Major Free Speech Victory, a Federal Court Strikes Down a Law that Punishes Supporters of Israel Boycott. 

A federal Judge on Tuesday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S. This judicial decision definitively declares those efforts — when they manifest in the U.S. — to be a direct infringement of basic First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The enjoined law, enacted last year by the Kansas legislature, requires all state contractors — as a prerequisite to receiving any paid work from the state — 'to certify that they are not engaged in a boycott of Israel.' ”

-->Rather than print this major story on free speech rights, our "newspaper of record" put an AP account of the ruling on the NYT website.