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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

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07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

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07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

Justice Matters

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

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07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  Print view: What We Learn From WikiLeaks
MEDIA ADVISORY:

What We Learn From WikiLeaks

Media paint flattering picture of U.S. diplomacy

SOURCE: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Published orginally on the F.A.I.R. website on Thursday, 16 December 2010
U.S. mainstream media reported only the least controversial of WikiLeaks cables. But the rest of the world got to read/hear of extremely imperialistic and immoral U.S. policymakers.

In U.S. elite media, the main revelation of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables is that the U.S. government conducts its foreign policy in a largely admirable fashion.

Fareed Zakaria, Time (12/2/10):

The WikiLeaks documents, by contrast [to the Pentagon Papers], show Washington pursuing privately pretty much the policies it has articulated publicly. Whether on Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan or North Korea, the cables confirm what we know to be U.S. foreign policy. And often this foreign policy is concerned with broader regional security, not narrow American interests. Ambassadors are not caught pushing other countries in order to make deals secretly to strengthen the U.S., but rather to solve festering problems.

David Sanger, New York Times (12/5/10):

While WikiLeaks made the trove available with the intention of exposing United States duplicity, what struck many readers was that American diplomacy looked rather impressive. The day-by-day record showed diplomats trying their hardest behind closed doors to defuse some of the world's thorniest conflicts, but also assembling a Plan B.

David Brooks, New York Times (11/30/10):

Despite the imaginings of people like Assange, the conversation revealed in the cables is not devious and nefarious. The private conversation is similar to the public conversation, except maybe more admirable.

New York Times editorial (11/30/10):

But what struck us, and reassured us, about the latest trove of classified documents released by WikiLeaks was the absence of any real skullduggery. After years of revelations about the Bush administration's abuses--including the use of torture and kidnappings--much of the Obama administration's diplomatic wheeling and dealing is appropriate and, at times, downright skillful.

Christopher Dickey and Andrew Bast, Newsweek (12/13/10):

One of the great ironies of the latest WikiLeaks dump, in fact, is that the industrial quantities of pilfered State Department documents actually show American diplomats doing their jobs the way diplomats should, and doing them very well indeed. When the cables detail corruption at the top of the Afghan government, the Saudi king's desire to be rid of the Iranian threat, the personality quirks of European leaders or the state of the Russian mafiacracy, the reporting is very much in line with what the press has already told the public. There's no big disconnect about the facts; no evidence--in the recent cables at least--that the United States government is trying to deceive the public or itself.

Bob Garfield, NPR's On the Media (12/3/10):

The stories so far have been revealing but unsurprising, it seems to me, and not especially indicting. It’s made me wonder whether WikiLeaks is a legitimate whistleblower in this case or just a looter. Has Julian Assange shed light here with the release of 253,000 cables or has he just smashed a very big store window?

Anne Applebaum, Washington Post (12/7/10):

By now, I think we have learned that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has vast ambitions. Among them is the end of American government as we know it. On his website he describes the leaked U.S. diplomatic cables in dramatic and sinister terms, evoking the lost ideals of George Washington and claiming that they demonstrate a profound gap between the United States' "public persona and what it says behind closed doors." Alas, the cables don't live up to that promise. On the contrary--as others have noted--they show that U.S. diplomats pursue pretty much the same goals in private as they do in public, albeit using more caustic language.

These conclusions represent an extraordinarily narrow reading of the WikiLeaks cables, of which about 1,000 have been released (contrary to constant media claims that the website has already released 250,000 cables). Some of the more explosive revelations, unflattering to U.S. policymakers, have received less attention in U.S. corporate media. Among the revelations that, by any sensible reading, show U.S. diplomatic efforts of considerable concern:

  • The U.S. attempted to prevent German authorities from acting on arrest warrants against 13 CIA officers who were instrumental in the abduction and subsequent torture of German citizen Khaled El-Masri (Scott Horton, Harpers.org, 11/29/10; New York Times, 12/9/10).
  • The U.S. worked to obstruct Spanish government investigations into the killing of a Spanish journalist in Iraq by U.S. forces, the use of Spanish airfields for the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program and torture of Spanish detainees at Guantánamo (El Pais, 12/2/10; Scott Horton, Harpers.org, 12/1/10).
  • WikiLeaks coverage has often emphasized that Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh reassured U.S. officials that he would claim U.S. military airstrikes in his country were the work of Yemeni forces. But as Justin Elliot pointed out (Salon, 12/7/10), the United States has long denied carrying out airstrikes in the country at all. The secret attacks have killed scores of civilians.
  • According to the cables, U.S. Special Forces are actively conducting operations inside Pakistan, despite repeated government denials (Jeremy Scahill, Nation, 12/1/10).
  • The U.S. ambassador to Honduras concluded that the 2009 removal of president Manuel Zelaya was indeed a coup, and that backers of this action provided no compelling evidence to support their legal claims (Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, 11/29/10). Despite the conclusions reached in the cable, official U.S. statements remained ambiguous. If the Obama administration had reached the same conclusion in public as was made in the cable, the outcome of the coup might have been very different.
  • The U.S. secured a secret agreement with Britain to allow U.S. bases on British soil to stockpile cluster bombs, circumventing a treaty signed by Britain. The U.S. also discouraged other countries from working to ban the weapons, which have devastating effects on civilian populations (Guardian, 12/1/10).
  • The U.S. engaged in an array of tactics to undermine opposition to U.S. climate change policies, including bribes and surveillance (Guardian, 12/3/10).
  • U.S. diplomats in Georgia were uncritical of that country's claims about Russian interference, a dispute that eventually led to a brief war (New York Times, 12/2/10). U.S. officials "appeared to set aside skepticism and embrace Georgian versions of important and disputed events....as the region slipped toward war, sources outside the Georgian government were played down or not included in important cables. Official Georgian versions of events were passed to Washington largely unchallenged."
  • U.S. officials put forward sketchy intelligence as proof that Iran had secured 19 long-range missiles from North Korea--claims that were treated as fact by the New York Times, which subsequently walked back its credulous reporting (FAIR Activism Update, 12/3/10)

All of these examples--an incomplete tally of the important revelations in the cables thus far--would suggest that there is plenty in the WikiLeaks releases that does not reflect particularly well on U.S. policymakers.

In its "Note to Readers" explaining their decision to publish stories about the cables, the New York Times (11/29/10) told readers that "the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy."

The paper went on:

But the more important reason to publish these articles is that the cables tell the unvarnished story of how the government makes its biggest decisions, the decisions that cost the country most heavily in lives and money. They shed light on the motivations--and, in some cases, duplicity--of allies on the receiving end of American courtship and foreign aid. They illuminate the diplomacy surrounding two current wars and several countries, like Pakistan and Yemen, where American military involvement is growing.

The "duplicity" of other countries can be illuminated by the cables, while the U.S.'s secret wars are evidence of "diplomacy." That principle would seem to be guiding the way many U.S. outlets are interpretating the WikiLeaks revelations.


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to fair@fair.org. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.


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This story was published on December 16, 2010.
 

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