Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Intercept:
"IN A DRAMATIC VICTORY for the beleaguered American labor movement, 1,800 nurses at Asheville, North Carolina-based Mission Hospital will now be represented by a union, National Nurses United, as officials finished counting votes early Thursday morning. The victory is the largest at a nonunion hospital in the South since 1975, and is the first private sector hospital union win ever in North Carolina.

The hospital is owned by the largest hospital corporation in the country, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare. The company was previously run by Republican Rick Scott, whose ill-gotten gains from Medicare fraud helped fund his successful run in Florida for Senate. HCA has received nearly $1.5 billion in coronavirus-related CARES Act grants.

HCA fiercely fought the union effort, as The Intercept reported in May, bringing in a phalanx of union-busting firms to intimidate nurses into voting no. Due to recent changes in election rules made by the Trump-appointed National Labor Relations Board, nurses at Mission had to wait months for an election date that previously would have come in just a few weeks, giving management extra time to work over staff. The final vote count, at 965 to 411, was a landslide in favor of the union.

-->The NYT rarely covers any story favorable to unions or working people. Let's see if the newspaper covers this. It has been five days since the story broke.


The Guardian UK:
"Since George W Bush declared a “global war on terror” following al-Qaida’s September 11 attacks, the wars that US forces have launched and engaged in have displaced an estimated 37 million people, according to a new report I helped produce with teams from American University and Brown University’s Costs of War Project.

The 37 million people displaced include 8 million refugees and asylum seekers and 29 million displaced within Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Displacing 37 million people is equivalent to removing all the residents of Texas and Virginia combined or almost all of Canada.

Given questions about even the best international displacement statistics, our estimate of 37 million displaced is a conservative one. The true total displaced by the US post-9/11 wars could be closer to 48–59 million – more people than in all of England."

-->No word on this research by the Empire's number one propaganda vehicle, our very own NYT, which treats refugees with compassion but never tries to identify the military Goliath responsible for all that suffering and homelessness.  


Common Dreams:
"Daniel Ellsberg Tells UK Court That US Seeks Both 'Revenge' Against Julian Assange and to 'Crush' Future Whistleblowers. The Pentagon Papers leaker previously called Assange's prosecution the most 'significant attack on freedom of the press' since his 1971 case. ...

Ellsberg's eight-page written statement to the London court considering a U.S. request to extradite Assange was an incisive statement of support for the 49-year-old Australian, who has been jailed in the U.K. since 2019 ...

'I have closely observed the actions of the U.S. government, its military, and its intelligence agency the CIA, and that the actions in question were never intended to be revealed, including rendition and torture, the use of 'black sites,' and crimes against humanity,' wrote Ellsberg."

-->The NYT covered this story, but Ellsberg only got one sentence in an article entitled "At Assange’s Extradition Hearing, Troubled Tech Takes Center Stage." Yes, our "newspaper of record" thinks the hearing is all about high tech, rather than freedom of speech or a free press. The truth is, the NYT hasn't said much at all about Assange's rights as a publisher to expose the empire's war crimes. 

Let's hear Daniel Ellsberg in his own words. (8:50) This is an excerpt from the recent Sep 8 (Webinar) Daniel Ellsberg, and Chris Hedges on the Julian Assange. [See program for Sep. 24]

Thursday, September 17, 2020


"Netanyahu Used Doctored Video of Abbas to Influence Trump's Policy, Woodward Reveals. According to excerpts from 'Rage' published by U.S. media, at a time when Trump was wondering if Israel was the obstacle to peace with the Palestinians, Netanyahu showed him a fake video to steer him away from pro-Palestinian sentiments. ...

The incident occurred on May 22, 2017, at a time when Trump was beginning to have doubts about Netanyahu and wondering aloud if the Israeli prime minister might be the real obstacle to peace with the Palestinians, Woodward wrote, according to excerpts from the book published by U.S. media.

A day after watching the 'spliced-together' video intended to 'counter any pro-Palestinian sentiments that were surfacing,' Trump confronted Abbas, calling him a 'murderer' and 'liar,' and shortly after ordered the closure of the Palestinian representative office in Washington and cut nearly all U.S. aid to the West Bank, Gaza and Palestinian refugees."

-->No mention of this extraordinary story in the NYT. All the news that Zionists  deem "fit to print."


Common Dreams:

"As officials marked 9/11 vowing to 'hold terrorists accountable,' new evidence suggests last week's swift and secretive police killing of activist Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, sought in the shooting of a right-wing Patriot Prayer follower, was a summary execution, so we have to wonder - who are the terrorists today? 

After the shooting, a U.S. Marshals Service statement noted, 'Initial reports indicate the suspect produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers.' Now a witness - an ordained minister living in the same apartment building - says an unarmed Reinoehl was walking to his car, holding a cellphone and eating a gummy worm, when officers opened fire with 30 to 40 shots without first announcing themselves or trying to arrest him. ...

Reinoehl was killed in Lacey, WA. by four members of a federal fugitive task force after being identified to police by his sister. Officials said Reinoehl pulled a gun, but acknowledged they 'are not able to confirm at this time if he fired shots.' And two witnesses said they saw Reinoehl fire at police, who were not wearing body cams. But Nate Dinguss, a 39-year-old minister, said he saw two unmarked police cars converge on Reinoehl as he walked to his car; that the cops jumped out and began blasting rapid-fire rounds at Reinoehl, who ducked behind his car but never reached for anything; and that police waited 'multiple minutes' before offering medical aid to Reinoehl, who died at the scene."

-->Not much in the mainstream media about this summery execution by federal authorities. Was he armed? Was he guilty? Why 30 to 40 shots? Trumps tweeted comments were the most instructive: "Do your job, and do it fast! Everybody knows who this thug is." Later on Fox News, he was more explicit: “This guy was a violent criminal, and the US Marshals killed him. ... And I will tell you something, that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution.” Is this still a democracy? Reinoehl's murder was in fact a Presidentially directed execution, without any judge or jury. America has officially begun its fascist period. 



"To understand the depth of criminality involved in the US-NATO war on Libya, we must unravel a complex story involving actors from both the US and Europe who quite literally conspired to bring about this war, while simultaneously exposing the unconstitutional, imperial presidency as embodied by Mr. Hope and Change himself.

In doing so, a picture emerges that is strikingly at odds with the dominant narrative about good intentions and bad dictators. For although Gaddafi was presented as the villain par excellence in this story told by the Empire’s scribes in corporate media, it is in fact Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, French philosopher-cum-neocolonial adventurist Bernard Henri-Levy, and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who are the real malevolent forces. It was they, not Gaddafi, who waged a blatantly illegal war on false pretenses and for their own aggrandizement. It was they, not Gaddafi, who conspired to plunge Libya into chaos and civil war from which it is yet to emerge. It was they who beat the war drums while proclaiming peace on earth and good will to men."

-->The US media always comes up short when US war crimes are proven. Leave it to small publications like CounterPunch to show Americans the truth about their empire of perpetual war.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

 The Forward:

"More than half of all American states have passed laws designed to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. No advocacy group was more important to this push than the Israel Allies Foundation, an American non-profit that supports a network of pro-Israel legislators across the globe. ...

Public records obtained by The Forward show that the Israeli government approved a grant of more than $100,000 to the Israel Allies Foundation in 2019. The IAF has not disclosed this or any previous Israeli grants to the United States government, in possible violation of laws requiring American political advocacy groups to disclose foreign-government contributions. It is one of 11 American groups that received Israeli government funds, according to the documents, which show that the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and a quasi-governmental organization it created has given at least $6.6 million to U.S. organizations since 2018.

According to the Israeli documents, most of the grants to the American organizations were intended to send those groups’ members — and selected guests — on chartered trips to Israel. ... But documents also suggest that some of those trips included instructions for pro-Israel advocacy back home — in statehouses and on college campuses — which legal experts say may expose not just the recipient groups but also anyone who went on their trips to fines and even prosecution for violating disclosure rules."

-->How many reams of pages has the NYT printed on Russia's influence in our government? No word on this story in our supposed "newspaper of record," which eagerly protects Israel's good name.



"After the spectacle of a Democratic National Convention featuring more Republicans than Latinos, Americans got a Republican Convention featuring—to pick just one thing— gleeful violations of the Hatch Act. That’s the law that prohibits federal employees from taking part in partisan political activities. So, things like having the Secretary of State make a campaign speech from Jerusalem, where they’re engaged on state business, or the first lady stumping with the White House Rose Garden as backdrop, or the head of Homeland Security performing a naturalization ceremony, with Trump looking on, as part of the convention—all patently illegal and unethical.

But besides framing it as 'many Democrats were outraged,' as did USA Today (8/26/20), elite media normalized the behavior with passivity, like the New York Times headline (8/26/20), pointed out by Eric Boehlert in his newsletter Press Run (8/27/20), 'At RNC, Trump Uses Tools of Presidency in Aim to Broaden Appeal.' ” 

The same press corps for whom this is just 'oh there he goes, breaking with precedent again,' had a very different response, Boehlert reminds, when Al Gore was accused of violating the Hatch Act for making campaign fundraising phone calls from his White House office as vice president."

-->Major media treats rule breaking in the Trump administration as just anther unconventional use of presidential powers. I wonder if the NYT will have a different opinion when Trump overthrows our government? Another coup, sigh!


Common Dreams:

"Full Frontal Attack on Rule of Law: Trump Sanctions Top ICC Officials Probing US War Crimes in Afghanistan. Human rights advocates blasted the move as 'another brazen attack against international justice' that 'is designed to do what this administration does best—bully and intimidate.'

Human rights advocates the world over condemned the Trump administration on Wednesday for imposing sanctions on two top officials at the International Criminal Court—just the latest act of retaliation for the Hague-based ICC's ongoing investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by U.S. forces and others in Afghanistan during the so-called War on Terror.

'The Trump administration's perverse use of sanctions, devised for alleged terrorists and drug kingpins, against prosecutors seeking justice for grave international crimes, magnifies the failure of the U.S. to prosecute torture,' said Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch."

-->No worries about the US attacking the international rule of law. The NYT didn't think this story worthy of printing. The same goes for most of the empire's war crimes. Check back in 20 years after everyone has forgotten. 

Thursday, September 03, 2020

"Why Cuban Doctors Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. In early 2020, the U.S. government intensified its attempt to delegitimize the Cuban medical mission program. ... U.S. allies in Latin America, such as Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador, expelled the Cuban medical missions. This would become a catastrophic decision for these countries as the COVID-19 pandemic developed across Latin America. ...

Cuban medical workers are risking their health to break the chain of the COVID-19 infection. Cuban scientists developed drugs—such as interferon alpha-2b—to help fight the disease. Now Cuban scientists have announced that their vaccine is in trials; this vaccine will not be treated as private property but will be shared with the peoples of the world. ...

[S]ince the start of Cuban medical internationalism in 1960, over 400,000 medical workers have worked in more than 40 countries. These medical workers believe in the twin missions of medical care and internationalism; it is a lesson that they learned from the teachings of Che Guevara, a doctor and an internationalist. It is a lesson that should be learned in Oslo, Norway, as they adjudicate the Nobel Peace Prize."

-->The NYT covered this story, but it was mostly US propaganda. The newspaper had little to say about how thousands of Cuban doctors have risked their lives to serve Third World countries over the last sixty years. 


The Intercept:
"On June 19, hundreds of thousands of documents hacked from 251 FBI and local police websites were leaked in an unprecedented disclosure known as 'BlueLeaks.' Since the BlueLeaks files were exposed, our reporters have been poring through the documents and uncovering one bombshell after another.

The latest stunning revelations include how police exaggerated the supposed threat of 'antifa' to justify escalating violence against protesters. We also uncovered how the FBI chased nonexistent “eco-terrorists” and how police are using debunked junk science on 'lie detection' in crime investigations.

These leaks are an unprecedented exposure of the internal operations of federal, state, and local law enforcement, revealing jaw-dropping incompetence, racism, and disregard for civil liberties by the heavily armed government agencies policing our lives."

-->Silence from the NYT. How is the Intercept able to find these stories and the NYT can't. It may be because the true picture of US mistreatment and punishment of BLM protesters would make the US look bad. As always pro-US propaganda is more important than really reporting the news. 


The Jimmy Dore Show:
"Code Pink Has More ___ Than MSNBC!

This happened at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. This is one of those think tanks, that all they do is say bad ____. Hey, let's talk about invading Iran. Let's talk about invading Iraq, and Chad. So that's what these people do, they find bull____ reasons to do these things."

-->This delightful and thoroughly obscene report of Media Benjamin at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, protesting all its warmongering talk, is nowhere to be found in the "respectable media." In fact, the obscenity of US wars abroad never seems to interest our mainstream media. Clear your head of MSNBC's war machine propaganda by taking in a little of The Jimmy Dore Show!