Thursday, February 25, 2021

 The Guardian UK:

"Almost 56 years since the day Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City, lawyers and family members of the late civil rights and Black nationalist leader released new evidence they claim shows the NYPD and FBI conspired in his murder.

It comes in the form of a deathbed letter attributed to a former undercover NYPD officer who claimed he was pressured by supervisors to lure two of Malcolm X’s security men into committing crimes, a few days before the assassination on 21 February 1965.

The arrests kept the two men from managing door security at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights on the day of the shooting, according to the letter."

-->The NYT will have to print this eventually. It is too big a story. Why is it that readers have to go to a foreign press for this story about FBI's involvement in Malcolm X's murder? 


The Guardian UK:

"A special peace tribunal in Colombia has found that at least 6,402 people were murdered by the country’s army and falsely declared combat kills in order to boost statistics in the civil war with leftist rebel groups. That number is nearly three times higher than the figure previously admitted by the attorney general’s office.

The killings, referred to in Colombia as the 'false positives scandal', took place between 2002 and 2008, when the government was waging war against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or Farc), a leftist guerrilla insurgency, which ultimately made peace with the government in 2016. Soldiers were rewarded for the manipulated kill statistics with perks, including time off and promotions.

Included in the 2016 deal was the creation of a special peace tribunal – known by its Spanish initials, JEP – to investigate and try crimes committed by all sides in the conflict. On Thursday, the JEP made public the preliminary results of its investigation into the 'false positives' scandal, following the exhumation of mass graves across the country over the past two years."

-->Why wouldn't the NYT report this story about state murders in Colombia? Well because Columbia is the closest ally the US has in Latin America. Columbia is like Israel in the New World, ready to do the empire's bidding without too much complaining. Columbia is even a member of NATO, and sends troops on all the empire's military adventures.  


NPR Weekend Edition (Feb 20):

Ron Elving (Senior Editor on the Washington Desk) joined Scott Simon for an analysis of US options for Iran and the Middle East. The NPR experts readily agreed that Biden was going to pursue a different option than Trump's "America First" approach to US foreign relations. To Simon and Elving, America has two options, that of Trump's "isolationism" or a resumption of what they called US "world leadership." 

You would think that two bright and very well paid NPR senior staffers could have thought beyond these two options. Must we go back to Obama's endless wars in the Middle East, his drone assassinations around the world, and his flagrant disregard for human rights when it comes to America's partners in crime: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc.  

No, Elving and Simon couldn't come up with a third option: withdraw US troops from our unwinnable wars in the Middle East, and from the 800 or more American military bases in the rest of the world. The third option might include using the hundreds of billions saved in military expenses and applying these funds to rebuilding the failed state that our empire has become at home. Nope, that option is always off the table in the land of NPT, as well as in the rest of corporate media. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

 Common Dreams:
"Analysis Reveals Trump Operation Paid $3.5 Million to Organizers of Rally That Led to Deadly Capitol Attack. 'Thanks to an opaque payment scheme, we may never know the full extent of the campaign's payments to the event's organizers.

A new political spending analysis released Wednesday shows that former President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign and its joint fundraising committees paid more than $3.5 million to the individuals and firms involved in organizing the January 6 'Stop the Steal' rally that presaged the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Investigators at OpenSecrets, a project of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics that examines how money influences U.S. elections and public policy, analyzed recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings and found 'newly identified payments... [that] show people involved in organizing the protests on January 6 received even larger sums from Trump's 2020 campaign than previously known.' "

-->Why wouldn't this story make it into the NYT? Possibly because the sewer system of dark money, that is pouring into all aspects of our supposedly representable government, is too damning to report to the rest of the world.


The Guardian UK:

"Mars, Nestlé and Hershey to face child slavery lawsuit in US. Chocolate companies are among the defendants named in a lawsuit brought by former child workers in Ivory Coast.

Eight children who claim they were used as slave labour on cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast have launched legal action against the world’s biggest chocolate companies. They accuse the corporations of aiding and abetting the illegal enslavement of 'thousands' of children on cocoa farms in their supply chains.

Nestlé, Cargill, Barry Callebaut, Mars, Olam, Hershey and Mondelēz have been named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in Washington DC by the human rights firm International Rights Advocates (IRA), on behalf of eight former child slaves who say they were forced to work without pay on cocoa plantations in the west African country.

-->The NYT did not find this story newsworthy. Is this another example of how our "newspaper of record" protects the image of the US Empire? 


Popular Resistance:

"As Sara Flounders writes, all one has to do to get a sense of Biden’s foreign policy is to look at his cabinet nominations, many of whom also served in the Obama administration. He has chosen the most diverse group of war mongers and torture supporters the nation has ever had.

In his senate testimony, Antony Blinken, the new Secretary of State, declared his devotion to carry on the war machine with gusto. He plans to escalate US aggression toward Syria, North Korea, China, Iran and Venezuela. He praised Trump’s actions to support the apartheid state of Israel. Blinken, who co-founded a consulting agency for military contractors called WestExec Advisers, will keep the weapons makers well fed. ...

Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland is best known for her work to successfully overthrow the government of Ukraine and bring neo-Nazis into power. She served as the US ambassador to NATO under the Bush administration and as a State Department spokesperson when Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State. Nuland will work dutifully to go after Russia, a prime target for the Democrats.

-->Our national media doesn't like talk of the empire's continuing wars abroad. Pointing out how Biden's cabinet nominations are mostly war hawks didn't make it into the mainstream media. Let's not talk about our empire that has dedicated itself to enslaving most of the Middle East and Africa. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR):

"US Media Require No Evidence for Claims of Electoral Fraud—in Venezuela. The media establishment was horrified when the 'Stop the Steal' mob stormed the US Capitol on January 6, and the sentence was swift: President Donald Trump, with his baseless fraud allegations and refusal to concede defeat, was responsible for the mayhem.

Corporate outlets have summarily denounced Trump’s bogus claims of vote fraud, though for years they have faithfully echoed similarly spurious accusations made about  elections held by official enemies (, 5/23/18, 8/23/18, 2/12/19, 8/5/19, 11/18/19, 10/30/20, 11/20/20). But media make no effort to account for years of hypocrisy and double standards.

Venezuela’s December 6 parliamentary election offers an instructive case study, with corporate journalists unquestioningly repeating Trump officials’ unsubstantiated allegations of 'fraud' there at the same time that they debunked Trump’s virtually identical claims vis-a-vis the US election. And the right-wing violence that was rightly portrayed as a threat to democracy in the US was heartily endorsed as a democratic campaign in Venezuela, where it served Washington’s foreign policy goals."

-->One of the worst examples of the NYT following the Pentagon's lead in foreign policy is the newspaper's coverage of Venezuelan elections. But it isn't just Venezuela. When it comes to elections in "enemies" of the empire, all pretense of truthful election reporting gets thrown out the window. 


Common Dreams:

"Congressional Report Reveals Manufacturers 'Knowingly' Sold Toxin-Tainted Baby Food. 'This is what happens when you let the food and chemical companies, not the FDA, decide whether our food is safe to eat.'

Leading baby food manufacturers are selling—knowingly and without warning—unsafe products contaminated with dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals that can cause serious and often irreversible damage to infant brain development, according to a new congressional investigation that is generating renewed calls for greater regulation of the industry.

'Dangerous levels of toxic metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury exist in baby foods at levels that exceed what experts and governing bodies say are permissible,' Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, which conducted the investigation, told CNN Thursday."

-->I am waiting for this story of corporate and FDA collusion in exposing millions of babies to toxic baby food. Is the story just too shameful for our newspaper of record?


On NPR's Morning Edition (2/3/21), a guest from the Anti Defamation League was introduced to comment on racism in America. The ADF is probably the very last organization that should be given airtime to discuss racial or religious hatreds. 

From its beginning tracking neo-Nazis and other right wing groups, the ADF has devolved into attacking what it calls "Arab propaganda" on university campuses, and branding any criticism of Israel as antisemitic.

And then there is the spying the ADF has done on the ACLU, Greenpeace, NAACP, and United Farm Workers. In addition, the ADL was instrumental in opposing the building of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and the proposed mosque and Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan. 

The ADF used its links to the NYPD to insert its racist views into police training by the showing of "The Third Jihad," a virulently Islamophobic film, to 1,500 of its officers. 

NPR decision to use the ADL to comment on racial extremism in American is typical of what is now referred to as PEP, or "progressive except for Palestine." 

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

 Daily Mail UK

"Drama surrounding the GameStop trading frenzy proves that Wall Street is 'a rigged game,' Elizabeth Warren said on Sunday. The Massachusetts senator, known for her tough take on the financial system, said that the market had been turned into a 'casino'.

She urged the Securities and Exchange Commission - founded following the stock market crash in the 1920s to protect investors and the national banking system - to do their job.

'Let's start with the fact we actually don't know who all the players are in this, whether there is big money on both sides,' she said, alluding to accusations that Robinhood, an app to allow small investors to to trade, prevented purchase of GameStop and other stocks at the behest of large hedge funds."

-->Again we have to go to a foreign newspaper to get this warning about Wall Street and the "casino" nature of its unregulated trading. The NYT wouldn't say such things about its traditional bedtime partner, and it didn't cover this story. 


Common Dreams:

"New Report From Rep. Katie Porter Reveals How Big Pharma Pursues 'Killer Profits' at the Expense of Americans' Health. 'It's time we reevaluate the standards for approving these mergers. It's time we pass legislation to lower drug prices. And it's time we rethink the structure of leadership at big pharmaceutical companies.'

Rep. Katie Porter on Friday published a damning report revealing the devastating effects of Big Pharma mergers and acquisitions on U.S. healthcare, and recommending steps Congress should take to enact 'comprehensive, urgent reform' of an integral part of a broken healthcare system. 

'In 2018, the year that Donald Trump's tax giveaway to the wealthy went into effect, 12 of the biggest pharmaceutical companies spent more money on stock buybacks than on research and development.' The report, entitled Killer Profits: How Big Pharma Takeovers Destroy Innovation and Harm Patients, begins by noting that 'in just 10 years, the number of large, international pharmaceutical companies decreased six-fold, from 60 to only 10.' "

-->Big Pharma is another bed fellow of the "Gray Lady," or the NYT. Our supposed 'newspaper of record' didn't cover this story either.


The Guardian UK:

"Fears grow that efforts to combat US domestic terrorism can hurt minorities. Civil rights advocates worry that moves to fight far-right extremism will be used against communities of color and leftwing activists. ...

Ten progressive members of Congress, led by the Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib have sent a letter to congressional leadership expressing opposition to an expansion of national security powers.

'The Trump mob’s success in breaching the Capitol was not due to a lack of resources at the disposal of federal law enforcement,' the letter reads. 'We firmly believe that the national security and surveillance powers of the US government are already too broad, undefined, and unaccountable to the people.' ”

-->The NYT seems to have no fears about expanding the US security state. Again we have to go to a foreign press to cover these issue that are so central to our democracy.