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January 2012, Week 2

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Tue, 10 Jan 2012 21:56:39 -0500
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Tidbits - January 10, 2012

  * Re: Saving the Post Office: The Models of Kiwibank and
   Japan (James E. Vann) 
  * Mitt Romney Exposes Himself  (Stewart Acuff) 
  * Bet Shemesh Women Dancing Towards Change
  * Re: Media Bits & Bytes (Agnes Johnson) 
  * The New York Times misleading public on Iran 
  	(Robert Naiman)

 ==========

 * Re: Saving the Post Office: The Models of Kiwibank and
 Japan

 Thanks to Ellen Brown for her brilliant analysis and
 sensible proposal to save the US Postal Service.  The
 potential loss of one of the final vestiges of government
 service "for the people" would be a monumental error.
 Conveniently located community post office-banks would fill
 an urgent need for millions of low income workers, farmers,
 and immigrants now frozen out of the commercial banking
 system.  Such public banks could not only save the postal
 service, but would also counter the greed of wall street
 institutions and force them to be more competitive and
 consumer friendly. Unfortunately, the sensible simplicity of
 Ms Brown's plan is the very reason it would likely be doomed
 by our dull US lawmakers.

 James E Vann, Oakland, California

 ==========

 * Mitt Romney Exposes Himself

 We all thought the truth of Mitt Romney and his private
 equity firm, Bain Capital, would come out in the general
 election. Most of us didn't expect Romney to bring his dirty
 little secret out himself.

 Yesterday Romney said he enjoys firing people.

 Yes Mitt Romney said he enjoys firing people.

 The truth of our financial elite and private equity firms is
 coming out. People are routinely fired and-or laid off (is
 there a difference) solely for the sake of the members of
 the financial elite who run those firms.

 The truth is that Romney was born into wealth and greatly
 expanded that wealth by buying companies and firing workers.

 The last thing we need in America today is the unbridled
 greed of Mitt Romney who would further increase our economic
 inequality, further attack the middle class, and drive more
 Americans into poverty.

 Stewart Acuff

 ==========

 * Bet Shemesh Women Dancing Towards Change
http://youtu.be/pZd0kLWP01c

 Uploaded by BeitShemeshWomen on Jan 8, 2012

 On Friday, Jan 6th, 2012, a group of 250 women from Bet
 Shemesh decided to raise their voices against the exclusion
 of women from the public domain by holding a mass public
 dance in the city square. The women, residents of the city
 from all ages and sectors, religious, traditional and
 secular, gathered together in a flashmob dance, in the city
 square and started dancing towards a change.

 [thanks to Nan Rubin for forwarding this]

 ==========

 * Re: Media Bits & Bytes

     The world's most popular websites could impose an
     'internet blackout' to protest a proposed law which
     would extend government censorship in an effort to
     tackle online piracy.

 A "Blackout"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     Racist   Racist Term
 How About A White Out!!!!!

 Agnes Johnson

 ==========

 * The New York Times misleading public on Iran

 Robert Naiman


 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/01/20121872656 281735.html

 Washington, DC, United States - It's deja vu all over again.
 AIPAC is trying to trick the United States into another
 catastrophic war with a Middle Eastern country on behalf of
 the Likud Party's colonial ambitions, and the New York Times
 is misleading the public with allegations that say that the
 country is developing "weapons of mass destruction".

 In an article attributed to Steven Erlanger on January 4
 ("Europe Takes Bold Step Toward a Ban on Iranian Oil"), this
 paragraph appeared:

     'The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at
     Israel, combined with *a recent assessment by the
     International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear
     programme has a military objective, * is becoming an
     important issue in the American presidential campaign
     [emphasis my own].'

 The claim that there is "a recent assessment by the
 International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear
 programme has a military objective" is misguided.

 As Washington Post's Ombudsman Patrick Pexton noted on
 December 9:

     'But the IAEA report does not say Iran has a bomb, nor
     does it say it is building one, only that its multiyear
     effort pursuing nuclear technology is sophisticated and
     broad enough that it could be consistent with building a
     bomb.'

 Indeed, if you try now to find the offending paragraph on
 the New York Times website, you can't. They took it down.
 But there is no note, like there is supposed to be,
 acknowledging that they changed the article, and that there
 was something wrong with it before. Sneaky, huh?

 You can still find the original here.

 Indeed (at least at the time of writing), if you go to the
 New York Times website and search with the phrase "military
 objective", the article pops right up. But if you open the
 article, the text is gone. But again, there is no
 explanatory note saying that they changed the text.

 Note that in other contexts, the New York Times claims to be
 quite punctilious about corrections.

 This is not an isolated example in the Times' reporting. On
 the very same day, January 4, they published another
 article, attributed to Clifford Krauss ("Oil Price Would
 Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz"), that
 contained the following paragraph:

     'Various Iranian officials in recent weeks have said
     they would blockade the strait, which is only 21 miles
     wide at its narrowest point, if the United States and
     Europe imposed a tight oil embargo on their country in
     an effort to thwart *its development of nuclear weapons*
     [emphasis again my own].'

 At time of writing, that text is still on the New York Times
 website.

 Of course, referring to Iran's "development of nuclear
 weapons" without qualification implies that it is a known
 fact that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. But it is not
 a known fact: It is an allegation. Indeed, when US officials
 are speaking publicly for the record, they say the opposite.

 As Washington Post's Ombudsman Patrick Pexton also noted on
 December 9:

     'This is what the US director of national intelligence,
     James R Clapper, told the Senate Armed Services
     Committee in March: "We continue to assess [that] Iran
     is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in
     part by developing various nuclear capabilities that
     better position it to produce such weapons, should it
     choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will
     eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.'

 To demand a correction, you can write to the New York Times
 here <[log in to unmask]>. To write a letter to the editor,
 you can write here <[log in to unmask]>. To complain to the
 New York Times' Public Editor, you write here
 <[log in to unmask]>.

 [Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy.]

 ==========

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