Thursday, October 29, 2020

 CEPR Center for Economic and Policy Research:
"Data from Bolivia’s Election Add More Evidence That OAS Fabricated Last Year’s Fraud Claims. 

The OAS’s initial claims of fraud centered around a 'drastic' and 'inexplicable' change in the trend of the vote, which allegedly took place after the preliminary results system, or TREP, was suspended for nearly 24 hours. In the time since, myriad statistical analyses — from CEPR (beginning the day after the OAS allegations), and from academics at MIT, Tulane, University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, have shown the OAS’s statistical analysis to be deeply flawed. In fact, there was no 'inexplicable' change in the trend of the vote."

-->To the NYT, the recent election was all about how "Bolivia Overcame a Crisis and Held a Clean Election." Little mention of the US backed OAS's false accusations. No mention of the US coup that followed. Down the empire's memory hole with our "newspaper of record."



The Guardian UK:

"The Trump administration is reportedly considering labelling a number of leading international humanitarian organisations as antisemitic after they documented Israeli rights abuses against Palestinians, including settlement building in the occupied territories.

The groups include the UK-based Amnesty International and Oxfam as well as the US organisation Human Rights Watch. Amnesty International accused the Trump administration, and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, of attempting 'to silence and intimidate international human rights organisations'.

The plans were detailed in reports in Politico and the Washington Post and based on briefings from unnamed officials and a congressional aide who said that a declaration labelling the groups antisemitic could come as early as this week."

-->The NYT is not covering this story, probably because the US collusion with Israel just looks too bad. In fact, the collusion stinks, with the US government willing to attack human rights organizations for exposing Israeli Apartheid. 


Common Dreams:

"The four first-term progressive congresswomen collectively called the Squad led a letter Friday calling for independent international investigation of 'recent, ongoing, and credible allegations of egregious human rights abuses by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), its components, and its private contractors.'

'From the unwanted and unnecessary hysterectomies of migrant women, to the forced separation of children from their families, to the indefinite detention of immigrants in abhorrent conditions—the cruelty and callousness of the Department of Homeland Security under [President] Donald Trump knows no bounds,' Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) said in a statement Friday.

'This administration has demonstrated time and again its utter disregard for the lives of our immigrant neighbors, while our institutions of government have done little to hold it accountable—that must change. It's time we had a truly independent, external, and impartial investigation into these alleged human rights abuses by DHS, and I am proud to partner with my sisters in service in leading this call,' she added."

-->Always ready to protect the empire's image, the NYT didn't cover this story. Maybe they will eventually. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020


"For 13 years, Sehar Bibi has waited for her son to be released from Guantanamo Bay, where life for one of the last Afghan prisoners has been defined by hunger strikes, force feedings and isolation. Hundreds of detainees including senior Taliban leaders have been released from the notorious detention centre run by the United States military. But Asadullah Haroon, who has never been charged with a crime, remains.

Haroon was working as a honey trader travelling between Peshawar and eastern Afghanistan’s Jalalabad when he was arrested in 2006 in what his family claims was likely a trap to claim a cash reward for fighters. 

Haroon, whose wife had just given birth to a girl when he was detained, is now a so-called 'forever prisoner', part of about half the jail’s remaining 40 inmates stuck in legal limbo."

-->Guantanamo's "forever prisoners" remain one of the empire's most egregious violations of international human rights. At least 780 prisoners were held in detention there, and many were brutally tortured, making their statements and "confessions" unusable in trials. Only 8 prisoners have ever been convicted, and they were found guilty by illegitimate military tribunals. Three of those convictions were eventually overturned. The NYT didn't cover Haroon's story. 


The Guardian UK:

"People in Gaza are searching through rubbish to find food as Palestinians battle unprecedented levels of poverty, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has said.

Across Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and elsewhere, Palestinian refugees are suffering at new depths because of the pandemic, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency chief, Philippe Lazzarini. 'There is despair and hopelessness,' he said in an interview.

'In Gaza, people are going through the garbage,' Lazzarini said, referring to reports from UNRWA staff in the enclave. 'More people are fighting to provide one or two meals a day to their families.' ”

-->The NYT, always alert to stories that make Israeli apartheid look bad, didn't print this story. 



"Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Adelson gave $75 million to a super PAC that flooded battleground states with anti-Joe Biden ads in September, a huge investment from the GOP megadonors as President Donald Trump slipped in the polls.

The Adelsons gave the massive sum to Preserve America PAC, accounting for roughly 90 percent of the group’s fundraising in September, according to a person familiar with the group's finances who shared details with POLITICO ahead of the group's campaign finance filing.

The money for Preserve America brought the Adelsons' giving to Republican candidates and committees to a whopping $176 million for the 2020 election cycle, according to FEC data. The couple had previously given $50 million to Senate Leadership Fund, the GOP super PAC focused on defending the Senate majority. An additional $40 million in donations to the Congressional Leadership Fund, the Republican super PAC focused on the House, was revealed in new filings late Thursday night."

-->Strangely, Politico never mentions why Israeli citizen, Sheldon Adelson, has given a fortune to the Republican Party. It's all about Israel, stupid! Well, the NYT never even covered this story.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

 Physicians for Human Rights:

"For 34 years, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has documented abuse of force by governments and their security and police forces in countries around the world. ... This current report reveals that the violence exerted by law enforcement officers against peaceful demonstrators in Portland constitutes unlawful use of force that could amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.[1] ...

A Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) investigation conducted in Portland from July 24 to July 31, 2020 examined evidence of excessive use of force by Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers and federal agents in July 2020, through a focus on both attacks against volunteer protest medics and the medics’ own experiences treating injured protestors. The team also examined whether there was interference with emergency medical assistance and whether in any cases medics were specifically targeted. ...

This study’s findings provide evidence that PPB officers and federal agents engaged in a consistent pattern of disproportionate and excessive use of force against both protestors and medics over the course of June and July 2020. Medics further reported treating an increasing number of serious injuries among protestors from kinetic impact projectiles following the arrival of federal agents on July 1."

-->What a troubling finding that local and federal agents in Portland engaged in violent tactics designed to injure peaceful protesters. Except for the fact that most of our major media, including the NYT, didn't cover this story.



"Ever since the Great Recession in 2008, and accelerating with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run, there has been a resurgence of popularity and interest in socialism in the US, and an increasing skepticism of capitalism. ... Democrats across the country view socialism more positively than capitalism, with a large majority willing to vote for a socialist as president. ...

Looking at the representation of socialism among the hundreds of pundits in corporate media, one can be forgiven for almost thinking socialist pundits don’t exist. The New York Times opinion writer Elizabeth Bruenig appears to be the only pundit employed by corporate media who both explicitly identifies as a “socialist” and makes arguments for some form of socialism in the US (Washington Post, 3/6/18). ...

Perhaps it’s no surprise that corporate media outlets owned by oligarchs and the investor class are hostile to socialism, but when socialist pundits are virtually nonexistent at these agenda-setting outlets, despite 76% of Democrats being willing to vote for a socialist, it’s clear that these institutions are intended to propagandize the US population into accepting the status quo. Even when politicians and policies often described as “socialist” are presented in a positive light, the fact that these journalists are uncomfortable embracing the label is evidence that McCarthyism still exercises a formidable restraint on the US political imagination and discourse."


Common Dreams:

"Facebook Profited From Climate Misinformation Even After Vowing to Fight It, Report Shows. Inaccurate and misleading ads—which were bought by right-wing lobby and nonprofit groups—were viewed by eight million U.S. users during the first half of 2020. 

Millions of U.S. Facebook users have viewed dozens of climate disinformation ads paid for by shadowy right-wing groups this year, a think tank revealed Monday. A study by InfluenceMap found that during the first half of 2020 at least eight million people in the U.S. saw 51 Facebook ads containing false claims about global heating. The ads were highly targeted, with people in rural states and men—especially over age 55—much more likely to see them than women. ...

In July, Sen. Elizabeth Warren [said] 'We have repeatedly asked Facebook to close the loopholes that allow misinformation to run rampant on its platform, but its leadership would rather make a quick buck while our planet burns, sea levels rise, and communities—disproportionately Black and Brown—suffer,' she added. 

'Facebook must be held accountable for its role in the climate crisis.' "

-->More corruption that our "newspaper of record" covers up. The NYT was missing in action when it comes to printing this story.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Independent UK:
"The silence of journalists in Britain and the US over the extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is making them complicit in the criminalisation of newsgathering by the American government.  

In an Old Bailey courtroom in London over the past four weeks, lawyers for the US government have sought the extradition of Assange to the US to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act of 1917 and one charge of computer misuse. At the heart of their case is the accusation that in leaking a trove of classified US diplomatic and military cables in 2010, Assange and WikiLeaks endanger the lives of US agents and informants.

One of the many peculiarities in this strange case is that the evidence for any such thing is non-existent. The Pentagon has admitted that it failed to find a single person covertly working for the US who had been killed as a result of the WikiLeaks disclosures. This failure was not for lack of trying: The Pentagon had set up a special military task force, deploying 120 counter-intelligence officers, to find at least one death that could be blamed on Assange and his colleagues but had found nothing."

-->The US media is so lockstep in its condemnation of Assange, that we must go to a foreign press to read this opinion. First, Julian Assange revealed the war crimes of the American Empire in the Middle East. Now his trial is revealing the self censorship of the empire's media. 


+972 Magazine:

"The decision of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to withdraw from a memorial honoring Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has rightly been seen by observers as evidence that Palestinian voices and perspectives are finally being taken seriously in progressive Democratic circles. But while some of AOC’s critics in the United States are using the incident to score political points, others seem genuinely confused by her decision.

A key reason for this bafflement is that many Americans’ memories of Rabin have long been colored by a relentless media narrative that deprived them of critical perspectives on his life and legacy. ... As samples, I examined two daily newspapers — The New York Times and The Washington Post — and two weekly news magazines — The New Republic and The Nation — over a 50-year period, from 1970 to 2019. ...

I had expected to find relatively few opinion pieces by Palestinians, and I was correct. But what surprised me was how much Palestinians have been talked about in major U.S. media outlets over the decades. ... This trend was especially striking in the daily press. In the New York Times, less than 2 percent of the nearly 2,500 opinion pieces that discussed Palestinians since 1970 were actually written by Palestinians. In the Washington Post, the average was just 1 percent."

-->The coverage of Palestine is another example of the complete unanimity of the US media. Is this what we are supposed to call a "free press"? 


The Guardian:

"A militia-promoting father and son duo of fake news publishers and a Trump-connected social media consultant are linked to pages which promote the idea of an American civil war with material presented in a way that appears to be an effort to sidestep Facebook’s fact-checking system.

Comments on their Facebook pages and other materials obtained by the Guardian show that some rank and file Donald Trump supporters are enthusiastically receiving the message that they should prepare for violence against their perceived political enemies in November.

Asked to comment on the site’s apparent reach, and the nature of its community, [Becca] Lewis, the extremism researcher [from Stanford University], said: 'This is not some dark corner of the internet, this is not a fringe thing, it’s mainstream Republicans that are stoking this.' ”

-->Our media, including the NYT, always soft pedals the real chance of armed conflict during this upcoming election. Like never talking about fascist movements in America, the mainstream media leaves us unaware and unprepared. 

Thursday, October 01, 2020

 Common Dreams:

"New research published Monday found that the top 1% of U.S. income earners have taken $50 trillion from the bottom 90% over the past several decades, and that the median worker salary would be around twice as high today as it was in 1945 if pay had kept pace with economic output over that period. 

The study's authors, Carter C. Price and Kathryn Edwards of the RAND Corporation, examined income distribution and economic growth in the United States from 1945 to the present. The researchers found stark differences between income distribution from 1945 to 1974 and 1975 to 2018. ...

The researchers' findings, which come amid a deadly coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic, shine light on the injustice of an economy—by far the wealthiest in the history of civilization—in which essential workers struggle mightily, and often in vain, to survive while the richest people grow ever richer at their expense."

-->This report is so condemning of the very richest in America, that the NYT didn't get around to publishing it.



"On September 23, a series of major Silicon Valley corporations – Zoom, Facebook and YouTube (Google) – joined hands with racist, right-wing, Zionist campaigns in an attempt to silence an academic event, “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance: A conversation with Leila Khaled.” ...

Zoom’s cancellation of the event in response to Zionist pressure and dubious legal threats raises very serious concerns about the corporatization of the university, academic freedom and any and all expression, especially as thousands of universities and academic institutions have outsourced remote learning and classrooms to the Silicon Valley corporation.

This effort was led by an array of repressive legal organizations like the “Lawfare Project,” so named for their efforts to engage in “legal warfare” against the Palestinian people and cause. These entities demand corporations like Zoom silenced Palestinians based on scare tactics based on U.S. “anti-terror” laws and unilateral coercive measures (sanctions), themselves an unjust foundation for dubious threats."

-->Free speech, accept for Palestinians. Sort of like PEP, progressive except for Palestine. No American media covered this story. 


Common Dreams:

"Instead of adhering to congressional intent by building up the nation's inadequate supply of N95 masks and other equipment to combat the Covid-19 crisis, the Pentagon has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in appropriated taxpayer funds to private defense contractors for drone technology, jet engine parts, Army uniform material, body armor, and other purposes not directly related to the pandemic.

As the Washington Post reported Tuesday morning, the Department of Defense—headed by former Raytheon lobbyist Mark Esper—'began reshaping how it would award the money' just weeks after Congress in March approved a $1 billion fund under the Defense Production Act to help the nation 'prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.' ...

Mandy Smithberger, a weapons industry analyst at the Project on Government Oversight, told the Post, 'This is part and parcel of whether we have budget priorities that actually serve our public safety or whether we have a government that is captured by special interests.' "

-->We all know the answer to this question. It is less clear why the NYT didn't run this story. In some cases, our "newspaper of record" leaves out stories that are just too damning about our corrupt political system, a system that the NYT has traditionally defended. Doing a quick search of the NYT's use of the word "kleptocracy" over the past year, we find 15 instances. There are several articles about Russia under Putin, a few about Irai, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Kenya, Malaysia, and finally one mention of ancient Athens. No articles about the world's richest and most powerful kleptocracy of all.