Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"This week, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church adopted a human rights investment screen related to Israel and Palestine and will sell its holdings in Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar, Inc., and the Israel Discount Bank.

This is the latest step in response to a July 2018 General Convention Resolution (B016) which committed the Episcopal Church to a similar process taken by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America two years earlier. The action also follows steps previously taken by the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ.

The human rights screen would bar Episcopal Church investments in “any corporation that supports or benefits from denial of human rights in or through the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Gaza Strip.”

-->Israel's favorite propaganda publication, the NYT, didn't cover this story. BDS is slowly taking hold, despite the mainstream media's attempts to overlook the movement.


Middle East Eye:
"The senior Twitter executive with editorial responsibility for the Middle East is also a part-time officer in the British Army’s psychological warfare unit, Middle East Eye has established. Gordon MacMillan, who joined the social media company's UK office six years ago, has for several years also served with the 77th Brigade, a unit formed in 2015 in order to develop 'non-lethal' ways of waging war.

The 77th Brigade uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as podcasts, data analysis and audience research to wage what the head of the UK military, General Nick Carter, describes as 'information warfare'.

Carter says the 77th Brigade is giving the British military 'the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level'; to shape perceptions of conflict. Some soldiers who have served with the unit say they have been engaged in operations intended to change the behaviour of target audiences."

-->Has big tech essentially sold out to the dictators and national security states of the world? One indication of this is the fact that the NYT couldn't bring itself to cover this story.


Daily Maverick:
"The Guardian, Britain’s leading liberal newspaper with a global reputation for independent and critical journalism, has been successfully targeted by security agencies to neutralise its adversarial reporting of the ‘security state’, according to newly released documents and evidence from former and current Guardian journalists.

The UK security services targeted The Guardian after the newspaper started publishing the contents of secret US government documents leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013.

Snowden’s bombshell revelations continued for months and were the largest-ever leak of classified material covering the NSA and its UK equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters. They revealed programmes of mass surveillance operated by both agencies."

-->This is an interesting story of Britain targeting its independent media. Our compromised NYT, didn't even report the story. Too close to home.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Popular Resistance:
"The US’ role in Syria and in the greater Middle East has been destructive throughout this century. The invasion and occupation of Iraq have left destruction and chaos. The illegal bombing of Libya and the brutal murder of its prime minister, Muammar al-Gaddafi, have created a failed state. The US’ alliance with Saudi Arabia in the war against Yemen has resulted in mass murder and destruction. 

The ongoing conflicts with Iran through illegal unilateral coercive measures (sanctions), regime change attempts, threats of war and military skirmishes have created more instability in the region. And, the US’ ‘special relationship’ with Israel has allowed continued ethnic cleansing and land theft from the Palestinians and has been a tool for instability in the region. The never-ending war in Afghanistan continues to cause destruction as the US remains even though it has been defeated.

These actions have resulted in more than a million deaths and mass migration, which has not only impacted the region but also Europe, causing political instability and the advance of right-wing, anti-immigrant forces.

-->Would any US media speak the truth like this? Would you ever read it in the NYT? Most of our media spends its energy denying the butchery of empire.


Common Dreams:
"Human rights and free speech advocates responded with alarm Thursday to a Guardian report revealing that pro-Israel and right-wing lobbyists are encouraging Republican state lawmakers to pass legislation that could outlaw discussions about the Israeli government's human rights abuses and occupation of Palestinian territory at all levels of the U.S. public education system under the guise of fighting anti-Semitism.

Concerns about the legislation relate to its wide definition of anti-Semitism that goes beyond protecting Jewish people from hate speech. ... Summarizing The Guardian's report, Palestinian-American journalist Ali Abunimah wrote in a series of tweets that 'fanatical Zionists are pushing U.S. state legislatures to pass sweeping new restrictions on free speech, including a ban on 'demonizing Israel' and investigating Israeli human rights abuses.'

'There is no doubt whatsoever,' Abunimah added, 'that the Israel lobby is the greatest direct threat to free speech in the United States.' "

-->What danger to the nation's free speech? Don't ask the NYT; it didn't print this story.


The Washington Post:
"United States has not been engaged in any declared, sustained military ground campaign for more than a decade. ...

Alliances have been the mainstay of U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II, ensuring more than seven decades of unprecedented peace and prosperity. The alliance structures and partnerships the United States has forged, embodied by institutions such as NATO and bilateral agreements with nations including Australia, Colombia, Japan and India, ensure global order, freedom of commerce, and human rights. Koch also complained about our 'over 800 bases around the world,' as if these were agents of aggression and not projections of stability."

-->This gets the horse manure award for the month. In attacking George Soros and Charles Koch for their advocacy of "diplomatic engagement and military restraint,” the Washington Post proves once again it is the most fulsome Pentagon mouthpiece of them all.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Common Dreams:
"Citing 'Moral Duty to Take Radical Action,' Over 700 Scientists Endorse Mass Civil Disobedience to Fight Climate Crisis. 'We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and nonviolent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law'

Dozens of scientists put words into action by taking part in Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrations in London over the weekend and on Monday.

Emily Grossman, a molecular biologist who joined XR's protests in London's financial district Monday, said 'the urgency of the crisis is now so great that many scientists feel, as humans, that we now have a moral duty to take radical action.' "

-->The NYT feels no such moral duty, especially when civil disobedience might threaten the global elite. It didn't print this story.


"Antifascists organize to try to [white-supremacist] movements as one prong of an effort to build a more equal world. 'Antifa' refers to one set of tactics used to physically confront such groups; Cornel West says that antifa saved his life and those of other nonviolent protestors resisting the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.

Maximillian Alvarez, a writer and PhD candidate who organizes with the Campus Antifascist Network, says that contemporary antifascists 'rely on collective, autonomous, grassroots power to disrupt, expose, block and overwhelm fascist gatherings.' ...

Thus the qualitative differences between antifa and the uber-right could hardly be more stark. The latter preclude debate by dehumanizing the majority of people in America (and on earth) who aren’t white, male, straight and cisgender, and by enacting threatening violence against women and minorities because of who they are."

-->So why does our major media equate the two movements, condemning both of them as “dueling protests,” "hate groups," and "Far-Right, Far-Left" demonstrators?


"The U.S. is propping up a dictatorship in Honduras. Even after corruptions, scandals and political assassinations, the United States has still supported Honduras' government.

[President] Hernández's re-election represents a political and social crisis for the already-fragile nation, and casts new light on the U.S.’s complicated relationship with its most important ally in Central America — namely, its history of supporting Honduras’s armed forces while turning a blind eye to the corruption, power grabs, and violence that critics say have put the country on the path to authoritarianism. ...

Today's crisis has roots going back almost a decade, and has been consistently enabled by the United States. In 2009, President José Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military coup engineered by the National Party, which remains in power today."

-->Another US coup and and human rights mess that the mainstream media can't bring itself to cover. The secrets of empire.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

The NYT:
In a recent article in Sunday's NYT Business Section, David Enrich tells the story of a whistle blower who revealed secrets about Deutsche Bank's illegal activities. It is a good story, all about money laundering and corruption at the very top. 

The focus of the piece is not on Deutsche Bank as much as it is on the twisted needs of the whistle blower, Val Broeksmit: "What makes a person crave the attention of journalists?" asks Enrich. His answers say a good deal about what the NYT wants its readers to think about all whistle blowers.

"Here is the thing about whistle-blowers: They tend to be flawed messengers. Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsie Manning, Edward Snowden -- each of the was dismissed as selfish, damaged, reckless and crazy. Yet all of them, regardless of motivation, used secret documents to change the course of history. ... We might wish our whistle-blowers were stoic, unimpeachable do-gooders. In reality, to let you in on a journalistic secret, they're often more like Val Broeksmit."

-->The "journalist secret" that Enrich reveals is more like the hostility that the NYT and the American media feel for the nation's truth tellers. As part of the corporate state, the NYT wants us to hate whistle-blowers as much as our newspaper of record does. 


Common Dreams:
"New Study Warns India-Pakistan Nuclear War Could Kill 125 Million Immediately. Then Spark Global Mass Starvation. ...

Published in the journal Science Advances, the new research shows that rapidly growing nuclear stockpiles in India and Pakistan, which are currently in conflict over Kashmir, could release 16 million to 35 million tons of soot, or black carbon, into the atmosphere if the two countries escalated their standoff into nuclear strikes by 2025.

'Such a war would threaten not only the locations where bombs might be targeted but the entire world,' said Alan Robock, co-author of the study and a professor of environmental sciences at Rutgers. 'The only way to avoid such an outcome is to eliminate nuclear weapons.' "

-->Disinterested in this global catastrophe, The NYT didn't print this story. Hey, the nation's weapons makers have to make a living, don't they?


Common Dreams:
" 'Money Is Not Speech and Corporations Are Not People': Sanders Unveils Plan to Get Corporate Money Out of Politics. 'You can't take on a corrupt system if you take its money.'

Holding up the small-donor campaign model his campaign has revolutionized as proof alternatives exist, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday unveiled an ambitious new plan to get 'corporate money out of politics.'

The Sanders plan aims to end the corrupting influence of dark money by dramatically curbing the ability of corporations to dominate giving to political parties, replacing the Federal Election Commission with a new enforcement agency, establishing public funding for all federal elections, and pushing for a Constitutional Amendment."

-->It is shameful that the NYT does not cover Bernie, except when he has a heart attack. These are visionary plans that go to the heart of this nation's problems. And our "newspaper of record" can't be bothered.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

"Media Continue to Push Misinformation About Venezuela and Drug Trafficking. In recent years, Western corporate journalists have turned to systematically citing unnamed sources and secret documents from the US national security state. ...

'The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world,' Gore Vidal remarked. 'No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity—much less dissent.'

The goal is never to prove anything or present substantive debate, but to further poison the well of US public opinion against Venezuela, legitimating regime change as US state policy. Rather than victims of murderous US sanctions, Venezuelans are depicted as the purveyors of an anti-American drug war. In fact, the most egregious dealers of death and deceit in the hemisphere are, as always, US policymakers and their stenographers in the corporate media."

-->NYT reporting on Venezuela is on of the best proofs we have when it comes to how the US media has failed to provide the truth to its readers. Countries on the Pentagon hit list just never get a break; it's fake news 24/7 when the empire is on the move. 


The Guardian:
"A federally sponsored anti-terrorism fusion center in Oregon assisted a task force monitoring protest groups organizing against a fossil fuel infrastructure project in the state, according to documents obtained by the Guardian. ...

In the wake of the 2016-17 Dakota Access pipeline movement, the Department of Homeland Security and seven state fusion centers produced a nationally circulated bulletin that had similarly claimed the NoDAPL [Dakota Access Pipeline] movement has been associated with a rise in 'environmental rights extremism'.

Lauren Regan, the executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, said labeling of activists as 'extremists' is part of a strategy for marginalizing them from potential supporters. 'The use of the term ‘extremism’ is a government calling card when it intends to use repressive criminalization against a social movement,' Regan added.

-->Scary Big Brother stuff. But the NYT wasn't interested in printing this story. Our "newspaper of record" has a long history of being on the side of that security state.


Common Dreams:
"Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that the only way to move toward lasting peace in the Middle East is for the United States and other Western powers to immediately leave the Persian Gulf, a call that comes days after the Trump administration announced the deployment of more troops to Saudi Arabia.

'Your presence has always been a calamity for this region, and the farther you go from our region and our nations, the more security would come for our region,' Rouhani said in a speech during a rally on Sunday. ...

'If they are truthful and really seek security in the region, they must not send weapons, fighter jets, bombs, and dangerous arms to the region.'

-->If the US really had freedom of the press, why Rouhani's speech would be in every newspaper. AP carried the story, as did Newsweek. But the NYT is too committed to war in the region to post these words of truth.