Tuesday, October 25, 2022

The Intercept:

"A People-Powered Insurgency Threatened to Reshape the Democratic Party. Then Came AIPAC and Its Allied Super PAC, Democratic Majority for Israel. ...

Two groups — Democratic Majority For Israel, or DMFI, and Mainstream Democrats PAC — began spending millions pummeling [progressive candidates] on the airwaves. The two were effectively the same organization, operating out of the same office and employing the same consultants, though Mainstream Democrats claims a broader mission. ...

While DMFI is ostensibly organized around the politics of Israel, in practice, it has become a weapon wielded by the party’s centrist faction against its progressive wing. In fact, DMFI, Mainstream Democrats PAC, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have spent so much money that the question of Israel-Palestine now dominates Democratic primaries."


--> Yes, the Israel Lobby is busy destroying the chances of progressive Democrats, in primaries and in general elections. The lobby will pour cash into any campaign, as long as it is pro Israel. Why is such a foreign lobby group allowed to bribe and threaten US candidates? Why isn't it registered as a Foreign Agent? And why doesn't the NYT cover this story at all?


The Intercept:

"IF THE U.S. moves forward with a U.N.-proposed plan to send armed forces into Haiti, the Biden administration’s former envoy to Haiti warned, the result will be a predictable catastrophe. ...

[Former Ambassador Ron Foote] said Biden’s increasingly interventionist posture toward Haiti, which was evident even last year, was behind his decision to resign. 'The deportations were the straw that broke the camel’s back,' Foote said. 'But the major reason I resigned is because I saw U.S policy moving in exactly this direction, toward intervention, which is, as Einstein said — and I’ll paraphrase — trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity. And in Haiti, each time the international community has intervened without Haitian and popular support, the situation is stabilized temporarily, and then it becomes much worse over time.'

An armed intervention would likely produce a short period of calm, he said, but would fall apart sooner or later. 'It’s almost unfathomable that all Haitians are calling for a different solution, yet the U.S and the U.N and international [institutions] are blindly stumbling through with Ariel Henry,' he said."


-->We don't get to read too much about the US and Haiti, so most people are unaware of the imperialist roles of the French and the Americans. Most of our media just advocates sending in the troops again. The NYT did better this time, with a perceptive opinion piece by Lydia Polgreen.



The Guardian UK:

"Secret files suggest chemical giant feared weedkiller’s link to Parkinson’s disease. For decades, Swiss chemical giant Syngenta has manufactured and marketed a widely used weed-killing chemical called paraquat, and for much of that time the company has been dealing with external concerns that long-term exposure to the chemical may be a cause of the incurable brain ailment known as Parkinson’s disease. ...

But a cache of internal corporate documents dating back to the 1950s reviewed by the Guardian suggests that the public narrative put forward by Syngenta and the corporate entities that preceded it has at times contradicted the company’s own research and knowledge.

And though the documents reviewed do not show that Syngenta’s scientists and executives accepted and believed that paraquat can cause Parkinson’s, they do show a corporate focus on strategies to protect product sales, refute external scientific research and influence regulators."


-->Same old story. The chemical companies hiding evidence and trying to refute scientific research. As long as these companies can make a profit, they will sell anything. Like weed killers and opioids that ruin tens of thousands of lives. The NYT didn't cover the discovery of these secret files. The newspaper almost always puts corporate interests above reporting news. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Common Dreams:

"Protests in 40+ US Cities Demand Deescalation as Poll Shows Surging Fear of Nuclear War. 'Anyone paying attention should be worried about the rising dangers of nuclear war, but what we really need is action,' said one organizer.

As new polling showed this week that Americans' fear of nuclear war has steadily grown since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, anti-nuclear campaigners on Friday called on federal lawmakers to take action to mitigate those fears and ensure the U.S. is doing all it can to deescalate tensions with other nuclear powers.

Anti-war groups including Peace Action and RootsAction organized picket lines at the offices of U.S. senators and representatives in more than 40 cities across 20 states, calling on lawmakers to push for a ceasefire in Ukraine, the revival of anti-nuclear treaties the U.S. has exited in recent years, and other legislative actions to prevent nuclear catastrophe."


-->The US media is full of antiwar protesters, but all stories are about Russia. The NYT has more than a dozen reports about Russian soldiers deserting, protesting and leaving Russia. What about the movement to stop US warmongering? When will that pass the test of stories "fit to print." The US media is waist deep in pro-war propaganda. 


Common Dreams:

"Corporate media outlets are mostly ignoring a Republican ploy to use the debt ceiling fight to gut Social Security and Medicare if the GOP regains control of Congress—a plot that one leading watchdog on Friday called 'perhaps the single most consequential story" of the midterm elections.'

'Social Security and Medicare are on the ballot next month,' said Media Matters for America senior fellow Matt Gertz. 'If the American public doesn't know that, it's in part because the press isn't telling them.'

Common Dreams reported earlier this week that Social Security and Medicare defenders are warning that the popular programs—which each serve tens of millions of older Americans—face 'grave danger' in the event Republicans retake control of Congress in January. The warning came after four House Republicans hoping to chair the lower chamber's budget committee told Bloomberg Government that 'Social Security and Medicare eligibility changes, spending caps, and safety-net work requirements are among the top priorities' if the GOP is back in charge."


-->Our media is corporate owned. Privatizing Social Security and vets benefits have long been on corporate wish lists. So you, the consumer of news stories, never get to hear about it. 


Common Dreams:

"On Sunday, October 9, The New York Times published an article entitled 'An American in Ukraine Finds the War He’s Been Searching For.' It could just as easily be entitled 'The Media Finds the War It’s Been Searching For.' It is, sadly, a story of the corrupting influence war and profits have on everything, including the press, that very institution which is to keep a constant check on our government, particularly in affairs of war.

The article depicts the exploits of a 59-year-old American soldier, retired after 30 years of combat experience, working in the battlegrounds of Ukraine with his own start-up military training company called the Mozart Group, a 'saucy response to a Russian mercenary outfit' called the Wagner Group.

The language throughout the article is fawning, unquestioning, repeatedly glamorizing the soldier and his war. It’s Pentagon propaganda. The only question the journalist really raises is whether the soldier and his company can make a difference in helping the Ukrainians."


-->Do the media outlets in the US know something that we the people do not? Have the Pentagon and their weapons making corporations already decided to go to war? Decided to risk a nuclear conflagration for some New Cold War objectives? What's happened to the Democratic Party, itching to arm Taiwan? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Alliance for Global Justice:

“ 'We Want to Live in Peace!' The Speech of Honduran President Xiomara Castro before the United Nations. In 2009 a US backed military coup in Honduras shocked the region, sparking massive national and international outcry which demanded restoration of the democratic order. Nicaragua’s solidarity with the people of Honduras was clear and decisive. In support of international attempts to reverse the coup, United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto (formerly Nicaraguan Foreign Minister) accompanied President Manuel Zelaya to Honduras days after he was illegally ousted. The Honduran military blocked their plane from landing and fired on the crowds that had gathered at the airport to receive them. Nicaragua’s solidarity continued throughout the 13-year crisis that ensued.

On September 20, 2022, Honduran President Xiomara Castro addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, speaking truth to power and establishing historical memory about the devastating impact of the 2009 US-backed coup, a coup that was finally reversed thanks to the courageous resistance of the Honduran people and international solidarity.

'Not only am I the first woman to have the honor of leading our Central American nation, but I also represent the first democratically elected government after going through 13 years of dictatorship, the 2009 coup d’état, full of cruel assassinations and death squads, two separate electoral frauds, a pandemic and two hurricanes. It is impossible to understand Hondurans and the great caravans of migrants without recognizing this context of cruel suffering that we have had to go through. ...

Thirteen years of a dictatorship, protected by the international community, led the country to multiply by six its public debt and reach a poverty rate of 74 percent, the highest rate in the history of Honduras.'  - Honduran President Xiomara Castro


-->Another shameful US coup against an elected president, this time in Honduras. But our media doesn't have the stomach to remind people of the Democratic Party's  imperialism in Central America, masterminded by that Cold Warrior, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State at the time.



"US officials are talking about responding to any future Russian nuclear attack on Ukraine with a conventional or even nuclear strike on Russia. What would that actually mean?


It would mean the end of civilization. As innumerable studies have shown, it would be exceptionally difficult in those circumstances to avoid escalation to total nuclear war. Even if we managed to avoid that, if the United States fired a nuclear missile into Russia, without any question whatsoever, Russia would send a missile into America. It depends on the scale of the missile and so forth, but even one missile would cause at minimum hundreds of thousands of American dead, more civilian dead than have ever died in the whole of US history. But as I say, it’s more likely at that point there would be full-scale nuclear exchange, and that would be the end of the world. Humanity as such would survive in extremely poor shape. America, Russia, Europe would not.

Incidentally, the argument here that this is necessary because it’s up to the Ukrainians — at this point, what is the first country that would be completely destroyed? Has anyone thought of asking ordinary Ukrainians if that is a price they think worth paying? Not now to defend the existence of Ukraine and Ukrainian independence, because at this point those have been secured, by Ukrainian victories with Western support. What we are talking about now is pretty typical postcolonial battles over limited amounts of territory in eastern and southern Ukraine. Anyone who thinks it’s worth risking potentially billions of lives — and people, by the way, all over the world, have never been asked for their opinion on this — has lost touch with certain elements of basic reality and sanity but also certain aspects of basic morality.


-->Harsh words about the end of the planet, and possibly the end of our species. But the US media is just too preoccupied with the New Cold War to describe what World War III would really be like. In war, our media collapses into conformity with anything the Pentagon writes into the news cycle. 


Common Dreams:

"Several seemingly disparate events in the past week come together to once again demonstrate the use of raw power by Israel and its supporters to force silence about their oppression of Palestinians from the river to the sea. 

The first of these events was the travel website, Booking.com caving in to massive Israeli pressure to rescind a travel warning they were intending to place on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Next, The Hill terminated their association with a presenter, Katie Halper, for attempting to air a monologue which defended Rep. Rashida Tlaib and made the self-evident case that Israel is an apartheid state. Finally, a small group of on-campus clubs at the UC Berkeley School of Law came under intense fire, complete with bogus charges of antisemitism, for their decision to adopt bylaws that support BDS and bar the appearance of 'Zionist speakers' at their clubs' events. 

Looking at each of these incidents and then putting them together, it becomes evident that the growing awareness of the apartheid nature of the Israeli regime is leading the Israeli propaganda machine to double down on draconian tactics that endanger the principle of free speech and even public safety. They're doing it because the facts, which have never been on their side, are becoming more widely understood, so they have no other tactics to turn to."


-->The NYT doesn't talk about Israel's raw power and draconian tactics. Our supposed "newspaper of record" will go down in history as a key supporter of Israeli apartheid. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

The Intercept:

"EXECUTIVES AT A major broadcasting company stepped in this week to block the airing of a segment on Hill TV that defended Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., amid an ongoing controversy inside the Democratic Party. ...

[Katie] Halper’s monologue examined Tlaib’s claim that Israel has the characteristics of an apartheid state by exploring the definition of apartheid and quoting from human rights organizations such as Israel-based B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International. She quoted former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak saying that Israel could become an apartheid state if it didn’t change course, and so on. Halper also made reference to Israeli laws that bar Palestinians from traveling freely or living in Israel proper even if they are married to an Israeli, as well as to laws that grant or exclude entry into the country specifically on the basis of religion or ethnicity. ...

Producers told Halper that perhaps a standard segment would work, but when Halper proposed to a Nexstar executive that she use her next appearance for such a segment, she was told her services would no longer be needed."


-->A major TV broadcaster fired for referring to apartheid Israel. And the rest of the mainstream media is so scared of the Israel Lobby, that it never even reported this incident of censorship. And the NYT didn't report the story at all.


The Intercept:

"LEAKED CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN Brazilian officials reveal the inner workings of a secretive collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice on a sprawling anti-corruption effort known as Operation Car Wash. The chats, analyzed in partnership with the Brazilian investigative news outlet Agência Pública, show that the Brazilians were extremely accommodating to their U.S. partners, going out of their way to facilitate their involvement in ways that may have violated international legal treaties and Brazilian law.

Operation Car Wash, or Lava Jato in Portuguese, rocked Brazil’s political and business establishment, leading to the imprisonment of former president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva — a move that barred him from reelection and paved the way for a win for far-right Jair Bolsonaro. It also led to massive fines and economic and reputational harm for some of Brazil’s most important companies. Yet the investigation itself has been mired in controversy, especially after reporting by The Intercept and partners revealed clear misconduct and political bias by the judge and prosecutors who handled the case against Lula."


-->The US Department of Justice was involved in putting former Brazilian president Lula in jail on false charges. Why wan't this big news? Isn't this the type of interference in foreign affairs that the US always claims to be innocent of?


Common Dreams:

"Titled Billionaire Enabler States: How U.S. States Captured by the Trust Industry Help the World's Wealthy Hide Their Fortunes, the new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) estimates that the United States is host to $5.6 trillion in trust and estate assets belonging to super-wealthy elites, both foreign and domestic.

'The concept of the 'offshore' tax haven has very much washed ashore,' says the report, which exposes how 13 U.S. states 'shield the fortunes of the world's richest people.'

'The clandestine world of financial secrecy stretches around the world, all the way back to the United States,' says the report, which comes one year after the groundbreaking Pandora Papers investigation revealed how the U.S. has become a major player in the international wealth-hiding system.


-->Not one to publish news that makes Billionaires look bad, our own NYT didn't print this story. The newspaper is part of the problem of the exploding wealth of the few.