Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The NYT:

"Mr. Ortega’s already authoritarian rule tipped into systematic repression last year when it became clear that he lacked a popular mandate to win another term in the general elections held in November. To retain power, he turned the country into a one-party state, jailing all opposition presidential candidates and then moving to silence all other dissident voices."

-->The NYT coverage of Nicaragua is a textbook example of US propaganda. All through the 1980s, our "newspaper of record" railed against the Sandinista Revolution. It didn't matter what the NYT distorted; the US Pentagon always had their backs. And now that Ortega has been voted in by a huge plurality of 75%, our mainstream media is at it again. Why, it's "socialism" the NYT proclaims! What trash journalism from the empire's most sophisticated publication.

Well, was the election in Nicaragua a fraud? One has look outside the US to find an unbiased analysis. John Perry, writing for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, concluded that "the massive fraud being alleged was very unlikely to have happened." And instead of referring to antidotal stories like the NYT article, Perry proves his point with pictures of the ballot and local polling. For those of us living in the empire, Perry's description of the Nicaraguan election shows a peaceful and functioning democracy, unlike the violent chaos that accompanied our last presidential election. Just whose democracy is really working for its people?


Common Dreams:

"Two Israeli ex-diplomats late this week publicly criticized their government's apartheid policies against Palestinians, with one former negotiator of the Oslo Accords calling the growing use of the word around the world a 'wakeup call' that must not be ignored.

Speaking Thursday at a United Nations Security Council session examining the long-term impacts of maintaining the status quo in illegally occupied Palestine, the former Oslo negotiator, Daniel Levy—who now heads the U.S./Middle East Project—said that denying basic human rights to Palestinians 'will never be a recipe for achieving sustainable security.'

'We know of certain developments that can at the same time be both politically uncomfortable and politically salient,' he added. 'The increasingly weighty body of scholarly, legal, and public opinion that has designated Israel to be perpetrating apartheid in the territories under its control is just such a development.'

'A designation made by Palestinian scholars and institutes, later examined by and endorsed by the Israeli human rights community led by B'Tselem, has now become the legal designation made by Human Rights Watch and this year by Amnesty International,' Levy said

-->Ever careful about Israel's image to the rest of the world, the NYT didn't print this story. Apartheid's days are numbered, and the NYT will be forever remembered for perpetuating this abomination in Palestine.  


NYPAN (New York Progressive Action Network)

"LAST WEEK, the New York Times took the unusual measure, even by its standards, of endorsing a self-funded candidate in New York’s 10th Congressional District. Millionaire Levi Strauss heir Dan Goldman earned the paper’s accolades after spending millions of his own money on the race, while the Times editorial board ignored two experienced, progressive women of color.

On Tuesday night, one of those women, New York State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, was only 2 percent shy of beating Goldman, who received about a quarter of the total vote in the district. The slim difference led many observers to extol the virtues of ranked-choice voting, which likely would have united progressive votes against Goldman. Even though Niou appears poised to lose the count, she still has the opportunity to challenge Goldman in November on the Working Families Party ballot line, though the party has refrained from commenting on the option.

After Goldman declared victory on Tuesday night, the super PAC for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee announced that it had funded a super PAC that ran ads attacking Niou."

-->Yes, the NYT came out once again, for the rich white man running for Congress. The paper avoided the fact that millions had come from the Israel Lobby, and that Goldman had accused Yuh-Line Niou of supporting BDS, (boycott, divestment and sanctions). In truth, she was supporting all of our rights to boycott apartheid Israel.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Common Dreams:

"Hundreds of Google employees have signed a petition sent this week to the CEO of parent company Alphabet asking the tech titan to stop supporting right-wing politicians and groups destroying reproductive freedom, and to protect and expand workers' rights in the post-Roe v. Wade era.

'We, the undersigned, recognize that all Alphabet workers, of all genders, are impacted by the overturning of Roe v. Wade and are disappointed in Alphabet's response and influence on this ruling,' the petition to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai—which is signed by more than 650 Google workers—states.

In order to 'protect our government against corporate influence,' the petition asserts that 'Alphabet must stop lobbying politicians and any political organizations, through NetPAC or any other means, because these politicians were responsible for appointing the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade and continue to infringe on other human rights issues related to voting access and gun control.' "

-->Although several US news sources carried this story, the NYT did not. Perhaps our newspaper of record doesn't want to encourage worker rights, or go against one of the most powerful companies in the US.


Common Dreams:

"Amid heightened scrutiny of the U.S. Secret Service over missing text messages related to the January 6, 2021 attack, an independent watchdog revealed Wednesday that the agency waited until after the insurrection to notify Capitol Police of a threat against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

That revelation comes from a batch of documents obtained by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). At roughly noon on the day of the attack, then-President Donald Trump began a speech in Washington, D.C. that included his 'Big Lie' that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by Democrats, according to an NPR timeline published earlier this year. ...

The CREW documents reveal that the Secret Service—which came across the threat against Pelosi on January 4, 2021—didn't send an email notifying Capitol Police of online threats against Pelosi until two days later, at 5:55 pm, around when police had started to clear rioters from the building."

->Why wouldn't the NYT carry this story? Does it reveal how broken the Secret Service really is? Or is the NYT covering up the extent of the January 6 plot against our democracy? 


The Guardian UK:

"Young children living near fracking wells at birth are up to three times more likely to later develop leukemia, a new peer-reviewed study conducted by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The alarming report, published on Wednesday in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal, looked at over 400 cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia out of a sample of about 2,500 Pennsylvania children ages two to seven. The form of leukemia is the most common type of cancer in children, and though the survival rate is high, it frequently leads to other health problems later in life, like cognitive disabilities and heart disease.

Hydraulic fracking is the process by which oil and gas are extracted from deep beneath the Earth’s surface, and the number of wells proliferated in the 2000s in Pennsylvania and across the country as the industry boomed. More than 10,000 fracking wells were drilled in Pennsylvania between 2002 and 2017, and about one-third are located within 2km (a little over a mile) of a residential groundwater well, the study states."

-->Always a friend of Big Oil and fracking, the NYT lets its readers down with this story. It didn't cover this important study about fracking and childhood leukemia.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Common Dreams:

"Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna reported $4.7 billion in second-quarter sales—a 9% increase over the same period last year—despite taking a nearly half-billion-dollar hit for write-downs on expired or soon-to-expire vaccine doses. Nearly all of the company's revenue came from sales of its Covid-19 vaccine, its only product on the market—and one whose development was funded entirely by U.S. taxpayers and contributions from private donors.

CNBC reports Moderna is also sitting atop an $18 billion cash pile, and intends to buy back $3 billion worth of its own stock. Furthermore, the company last week announced a $1.74 billion agreement with the U.S. government to supply up to 300 million doses of an updated Covid-19 vaccine for use against the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

'Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine was developed totally by public funding. Yet the company has been allowed to make huge profits while doing next to nothing to ensure equitable access for people in lower-income countries,' Mohga Kamal-Yanni, policy co-lead for the People's Vaccine Alliance, said Wednesday. 'For the company's newly created billionaires, this pandemic has been a lucrative smash-and-grab operation.' "

-->Smash and grab is how most giant corporations act in our neoliberal age. But this seems egregious even for this billionaire era. And what about all those who claim that vaccinations are nothing but a hoax? Won't they love this expose? But can't anti-vaxxers hold two concepts in their heads at the same time? The vaccine companies are greedy, and the vaccine works. Not that complicated, really. The NYT was missing in action on this story.


Common Dreams:

"No Excuse for NPR's Distorted History of US Invasion of Afghanistan. NPR should present a clearer picture of historical events to provide proper context for their listeners, and to avoid legitimizing the ongoing, massively destructive policies of the United States by promoting official state mythology.

In the first part of a series of reports on Afghanistan, NPR host Steve Inskeep (Morning Edition, 8/5/22) interviewed current Afghan Defense Minister Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid. In introducing Yaqoob on air, Inskeep referenced Yaqoob's father, the former head of the Taliban, Mullah Muhammad Omar: 'He was the leader who refused to turn over Osama bin Laden in 2001, a refusal that led to the U.S. attack.'

In the online version of the article, NPR wrote: 'Omar also sheltered Osama bin Laden, and refused to turn over the Al Qaeda leader when the United States demanded him after 9/11.'

This line that the Taliban 'refused to turn over Osama bin Laden,' and that this 'led to the US attack,' though part of the commonly accepted chronology of the war, is a gross distortion of history. The truth is almost the exact opposite: The Taliban repeatedly offered to give up Bin Laden, only rejecting George W. Bush's demands for immediate and unconditional acquiescence without discussion."

-->Still lying about Afghanistan after all these years. Shame on NPR for refusing to tell the truth about the US invasion of Afghanistan. The story wasn't a mistake; it was Pentagon misinformation. Perhaps NPR is getting ready for our next war against Russia.


Common Dreams:

"More than 70 economists and other academic experts sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday urging them to allow Afghanistan's central bank to access the foreign exchange reserves frozen by Washington and to persuade other governments to lift the 'coercive economic restrictions' that are exacerbating the suffering of the Afghan people.

'We are deeply concerned by the compounding economic and humanitarian catastrophes unfolding in Afghanistan, and, in particular, by the role of U.S. policy in driving them,' states the letter, which was signed by 71 leading intellectuals including Jayati Ghosh, Heidi Shierholz, Yanis Varoufakis, and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, among others.

The letter implores Biden and Yellen 'to take immediate action to confront this crisis, above all by allowing the central bank of Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), to reclaim its international reserves.'

Just a few months after the U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan last August and the Taliban regained power following two decades of war that killed hundreds of thousands of people and cost trillions of dollars, Biden commandeered $7 billion worth of DAB assets held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, putting millions of people in the poverty-stricken country on the verge of starvation."

-->We destroyed Afghanistan militarily, and now we won't give them their gold when the country is facing a famine. A famine that was the result of our occupation. How is this different from the tens of millions who starved in India under British colonial rule?  The NYT didn't cover this story.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Guardian UK:

"A report by Amnesty International accusing the Ukrainian army of endangering civilians has drawn criticism from western diplomats, including the British and US ambassadors to Ukraine, as the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, attacked its findings. 

The report accused the Ukrainian military of putting civilians at risk by positioning themselves in residential areas, saying that soldiers should not be basing themselves in empty schools or repurposing civilian buildings in urban areas as it meant the Russians would target them and civilians would be caught up in the crossfire.

But critics say the report was poorly researched and put together. They argue that the report ignores Ukraine’s wartime realities and draws moral equivalence between Russia, the aggressor, and Ukraine, the victim."

-->The NYT gets credit for at least printing this news story. But its coverage is almost entirely negative, while hinting that heads could role for Amnesty's analysis. Get in step with the war machine, Amnesty, while you still have a chance.


Venezuelan Analysis:

"Caracas, July 30, 2022 – Venezuelan authorities have blasted the latest court ruling in the struggle for control over 31 tonnes of gold stored in the Bank of England (BoE).

On Friday, the High Court of England and Wales decided in favor of opposition politician Juan Guaidó and dismissed a new effort by the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) to regain control over the reserves worth an estimated US $1.7 billion.

Caracas had brought to court the Venezuelan Supreme Court decrees stating that the parallel BCV board appointed by the US-backed opposition was illegal. However, judge Sara Cockerill decreed that the British Court could not recognize the rulings made by Venezuela’s highest judicial instance.

Since late 2018, the Bank of England has refused BCV requests to repatriate the gold reserves. In January 2019, Guaidó proclaimed himself 'interim president' and garnered immediate support from Washington."

-->If you limited yourself to reading the NYT, you wouldn't even know that the US and Britain are helping themselves to Venezuela's gold reserves. Why let the world know what happens when Third World countries invest their national treasure in Western Banks? Just look at the $9.5 billion the US owes to Afghanistan, money that won't be released despite millions of Afghan children facing starvation.  


The Intercept:

"THE AMERICAN ISRAEL PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE invested heavily in Michigan’s Democratic primaries on Tuesday, dropping over $8 million through its super PAC, United Democracy Project. Almost half of that spending went toward the race to unseat Democratic Rep. Andy Levin, who trailed fellow Rep. Haley Stevens with 40 to her 60 percent of the vote Wednesday morning.

Other conservative pro-Israel groups with deep ties to AIPAC — like Democratic Majority for Israel, Urban Empowerment Action PAC, and Pro-Israel America PAC — also made substantial financial investments in Michigan races. The right-wing Israel lobby spent over $10 million altogether across the state’s 11th, 12th, and 13th congressional districts, far outpacing any other interest group or the fundraising from the candidates themselves.

The campaign to defeat Levin marked a significant escalation in AIPAC’s push to quell criticism of Israel from Jewish members of Congress. 'I’m really Jewish,' Levin told MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan last week, 'but AIPAC can’t stand the idea that I am the clearest, strongest Jewish voice in Congress standing for a simple proposition: that there is no way to have a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people unless we achieve the political and human rights of the Palestinian people.' ”

-->The NYT doesn't like to run stories on just how strong the Israel Lobby really is. It had just this one sentence to offer its readership: "The incumbent-on-incumbent race in a new (and safely blue) district drew heavy spending from pro-Israel groups." 

Thursday, August 04, 2022

The New York Times:

"As Latin America Shifts Left, Leaders Face a Short Honeymoon. All six of the region’s largest economies could soon be run by presidents elected on leftist platforms. Their challenge? Inflation, war in Europe and growing poverty at home."

-->In an extensive article, the NYT has admitted Latin America's shift to the left. But after a whole page of coverage, readers don't really learn too much. The biggest story that gets left out is the role of the United States in overthrowing their governments in the past. In fact, the US is hardly ever mentioned. It's like these governments are operating in a world free from US coups, economic strangulation and outright invasions. What a blind world that must be for the citizens of the US. Voters in all these countries have been keenly aware of the dangers from El Norte, and the need to protect their recent gains in autonomy.

Also left out is neoliberalism, the economic system that the US Banks, mining companies, and manufactures have been using to rob the economic future of so many countries in Latin America. Neoliberalism, forced on these countries by US foreign policy, has meant militarism, worker suppression, and environmental disaster. None of these consequences are referred to in the NYT article, a lobotomized analysis of Latin American history. It's like reviewing recent Ukrainian politics without mentioning the US and Russia. 

The NYT doesn't often lie about Latin America. But our newspaper of record just leaves so much out, that the average reader ends up with a completely whitewashed view of our country's role south of the boarder. And the fact that the US is very actively trying to overthrow three of the most progressive countries in the region, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, why that get flushed down the intellectual memory hole. The NYT is often Pentagon propaganda with Intellectual pretensions.



Committee to Stop FBI Repression:

"On the morning of Friday, July 29th, the FBI conducted raids at multiple locations, including the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida, the private residence of Omali Yeshitela in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as the Uhuru Solidarity Center, also in St. Louis. The FBI employed flashbang grenades and handcuffed Yeshitela and his wife while the house was raided. The FBI says that the raids are connected to the federal indictment of a Russian man, Aleksandr Ionov, alleging that he has been working to spread 'Russian propaganda' in the United States.

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression and the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression unequivocally condemn these raids. We oppose all efforts by the U.S. government to target activists in any progressive movement in this country. We call for an end to investigations, political harassment, and threats against activists and our movements.

The DOJ is alleging that those raided collaborated with a 'Russian asset' to spread 'Russian propaganda.' At a time when the US is engaged in an imperialist proxy war with Russia in the Ukraine, these raids have all the makings of a witch hunt. All progressive people should oppose any attempt by the FBI and police to attack people's movements and organizations. We must always be vigilant about defending our democratic rights to organize and speak out against injustice - including communicating with activists in other countries and building international solidarity. It should also be said this repression comes in the context of [an] upsurge of struggle in the Black community."

-->Yes, the FBI is always there when the Black community is struggling for its freedom from oppression. The FBI is there to raid houses, collect documents and Red Bait ideas about universal resistance to US sponsored militarism and racism. Our major media gives these raids a wide latitude, mostly by not covering them at all. Interestingly enough, Fox2 News did cover these raids.



"After 20 years advocating for Palestinian human rights within our denomination, I am encouraged and happy to see that our General Convention ... [of] the Episcopal Church in the US, passed four resolutions that will empower the church to act on behalf of Palestinians.

In Justice and Peace in the Holy Land – Our Call to Action, Episcopalians 'recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist and condemn the continued occupation, segregation and oppression of the Palestinian people; recognizing that for Israel to be a democracy it must allow equality for all its peoples.' The resolution further urges U.S. leaders 'to take action to oppose Israeli laws and practices that result in unequal rights for two peoples.'

In a resolution titled Freedom of speech and the right to boycott, the church calls on President Biden and members of Congress to 'oppose legislation that punishes supporting nonviolent boycotts and divestments on behalf of Palestinian human rights.' ...


The resolution also calls on the church’s ministries 'to oppose U.S. government military assistance, including the sale or provision of arms and related technologies such as surveillance equipment, to countries that have demonstrated well-documented, persistent, and egregious human rights abuses.' ”

-->No word in the NYT that US churches are growing impatient with apartheid. When will the NYT start becoming impatient with apartheid?