frankilin roosevelt

It's not about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.

Check out my old  Voice of the People page.

Gino Napoli
San Francisco, California
High School Math Teacher

Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington

1480 POSTS

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Wednesday, 23 January 2008 at 18h 3m 51s

Court say A-Okay to steal

Yesterday, the supreme court ruled 5-4 that Officers employed by the Federal Government are immune from being sued when property belonging to someone else gets lost or stolen. Here is the first sentence of the New York Times job on the story.

Federal law enforcement officers are immune from lawsuits for mishandling, losing or even stealing personal property that comes under their control in the course of their official duties,

[SOURCE: Linda Greenhouse | New York Times | 23 January 2008]

Justice Kennedy wrote a dissent for the minority, while Ruth Ginsberg turned out to be the swing vote. The New York Times doesn't give you the Dissent. You have to go to the Washington Post for that relevant information.

The confusion in the courts comes because the immunity is mentioned in a section of the law that blocks lawsuits against the government over the "loss of goods, merchandise or other property" detained by customs or excise officers. The law then adds "or any other law enforcement officer."

... Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the dissent for the rest of the court. He said the court was wrong not to look at the context of the statute -- that it related to customs rather than prisons -- and said the implications of the decision were great.

"The seizure of property by an officer raises serious concerns for the liberty of our people and the Act should not be read to permit appropriation of property without a remedy in tort by language so obscure and indirect," Kennedy wrote.

[SOURCE: Robert Barnes | Washington Post | 23 January 2008]

And that's the point. The context of the law is always important. When customs agents seize goods from merchants and/or illegal operations, can they be sued when the stuff they seize disappears or gets stolen? This is a quite different scenario than a prisoner transferring from a Georgia Penitentiary to a Kentucky Prison who has his stuff stolen in the transit. The stuff was not part of a group of illegal items that were seized, the stuff was personal property. Justice Kennedy has makes a very good point.

Here's a link to the supreme court docket where the Ali case PDF of the court opinions exists.

We now have a court which liberally interprets laws out of context to serve the masters who put them on the court.

~ ~ ~

A Note on the difference in the 2 articles. The Washington Post article is much more informative. The New York Times piece (probably given to a rookie reporter, and probably ruthlessly edited) gives you the impression that the decision was just a minor update of interpretation of an ambiguity. The Times article doesn't give the reader the necessary background information of the court case, or the various issues involving the interpretations of the law .

Lesson #23,567 : Never rely on only one source of information.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008 at 20h 51m 47s

21.9% of US children in poverty

[SOURCE:  | Economic Policy Institute | 19 July 2006]

The dark horizontal bars represent after welfare, food stamps, and tax deductions are included. The light bars represent before these various government transfer payments (subsidies from tax revenue) are included.

26.6% of our children live in poverty before government programs are included; 21.9% are still in poverty after such payments are included. Oh my god. That's somewhere between 20% to 25% of the kids. And as a measure of relativity, notice the bar on the bottom. That is the average percent of all the countries except the U.S. Our percentage of child poverty after government assistence is greater than the average of all the other countries combined.

It's pathetic is what it is. We can blow 2 trillion dollars on national disaster in Iraq, but we can't just make a life-long financial investment in every citizen's education from pre_K to Post- Bac. Instead, we prefer to deal with the social consequences as the costs of frustrated young people who manage to scrap by working a service-related job. Some might manage a few years at a community college, only to still find themselves in the service sector 10 years later. It would be a better allocation of resources to fund opportunity for our young people. Some of the investment will get wasted, but then nothing is ever 100%. But unlike the Iraq debacle, all of the money would be invested in the USA, rather than line the pockets of the Defense contractors. And then what? Did the invasion beget a "more stable" middle east? Did it "secure" a stable oil supply?

Ha. We have to pay the Sunni Sheiks each $100 a day to not raise up the fight against the US troops. Do a google yourself, if you don't believe me. That's how despicable this whole thing is to me. The wasted lives and the wasted funds are disgraceful.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008 at 17h 57m 9s

My oil painting

The above is the oil painting I've been working on for 4 years now. Or rather, the place where I stopped and put the painting down is 4 years ago.

I don't know why I just stopped, or why it has been four years, but it has something to do with a certain struggle with the universe that I've been having over the last 4 years. I get disappointed very easily by the actions of others (and myself -- it works both ways) when I feel things don't happen the way I'd like. People will disappoint you in life, and you still have to wake up and be that great pleasant guy everyone loves. So what I did was hibernate. I closed off the world and escaped, or tried to, but since there is no escape, all I really did was vegetate into oblivion. Yet nothing ever really numbs the disappointment, and instead you just dig a deep lonely hole that you don't think you'll ever get out of.

Well, about 3 months ago, I finally got the courage to stop digging. I am currently getting the layers of dirt out of my eyes, and I'm finally starting to deal with a lot of things that I just plain buried. I tried to stop the feelings, but of course, they never go away. Now, I accept the pain, and try to better understand the origins and the most beneficial reactions. I also realized that everyone else is fucked up too, and started channeling my innate curiousity into pondering everyone's unique contribution to fucked-upp-ed-ness.

As you can see, the painting is only 2 to 3 hours away from being complete. All I really need to do is finish the sky, and I couldn't finish the sky in the last four years, because there was no blue sky in my life. My best friend killed himself 3 years ago. My home town was destroyed 2 years ago, and I was going through something close to a mid-life crisis while avoiding a host of related issues. My way to handle these various issues was also unhealthy. I couldn't feel the blue when my horizons were colored with grey.

I just bought a whole new bunch of paint, new paint-brushes, and new jugs of Linseed oil and Mineral spirits. Hope has sprung from the once frozen earth.

Monday, 21 January 2008 at 10h 46m 31s

Why California has a $10 billion budget hole

The short story: it is Governor Schwartzeneger's own damn fault.

There are several areas where the Governor, with his current goals and agenda--on the budget, health care, and other issues--is hamstrung by his previous policy stances.

• Many have made the point that today's budget crisis yielding $10 billion in budget cuts is a direct result of his early actions. He reduced the vehicle license fee, which in the current budget year creates a $6.1 billion hole (booked as state spending because of the county backfill). There's another $3 billion that we are paying to service the debt he create with his bond package--a decision he made rather than to either raise revenues or make additional cuts. So that's over $9 billion right there. If he had made different decisions, he wouldn't be in the whole he is in today.

[SOURCE: Anthony Wright | California Progress Report | 21 January 2008]

Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 9h 18m 23s

Just another day of death and mayhem in Iraq

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Jan 20
20 Jan 2008 14:22:55 GMT
[SOURCE:  | Reuters | 20 January 2008]

Jan 20 (Reuters) - The following are security developments in Iraq at 1400 GMT on Sunday.

  • BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed a civilian and wounded two policemen in Zayouna district in eastern Baghdad, police said.

  • NEAR NAJAF - Iraqi security forces have arrested 45 gunmen from the Shi'ite "Soldiers of Heaven" cult in the last three days in the provinces of Basra, Nassiriya and Najaf, a Najaf provincial spokesman said.

  • BAGHDAD - The U.S. military said the final death toll in multiple truck bombings targeting Iraq's minority Yazidi sect in northern Iraq last August was 796.

  • FALLUJA - A suicide bomber killed six people in a town south of Falluja where people were celebrating the release of a man from U.S. military custody, local officials said. The bomber walked into the man's house and blew himself up.

  • MOSUL - Police said they shot dead the driver of a car rigged with explosives during an attempted attack on a police checkpoint in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad. The car detonated, wounding two people.

  • BAGHDAD - Iraqi soldiers killed eight gunmen and arrested 54 others during the last 24 hours across Iraq, the Defence Ministry said.

  • BALAD - Five people were killed and 20 were wounded when mortar bombs hit Shi'ites observing Ashura rituals in Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, on Saturday, police said.

  • BAGHDAD - U.S. forces detained 16 gunmen on Friday and Saturday during operations targeting al Qaeda in central and northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

  • DIYALA PROVINCE - The U.S. military detained 10 gunmen during a raid in northern Diyala province on Thursday, the U.S. military said.

    Writing by Aws Qusay, editing by Ross Colvin

The surge is working, damn it. Can you believe these ungrateful Iraqis attacking their "liberators" ? Had they risen up against mean old Saddam back in 2003, we wouldn't have had to invade Iraq and post troops all over their country for the next 20 years. Keep in mind that after the end of World War Two when American troops were stationed in Germany and Japan, NOT ONE AMERICAN SOLDIER WAS KILLED IN ACTION.

If the Iraqi's want us to leave, why are we still in the country performing security operations? The nation is no more stable or any less corrupted by our insistence on remaining.

Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 2h 7m 46s

The bloviating press corps

...Andrea Mitchell is still at it. She calls the Nevada outcome, based on their exit polls showing African Americans going for Barack in a big way while women and "Latinos" going for Hillary, as a "historic divide" within the party, and "not something that any Democrat would want to see." That's right - it's nothing but doom and gloom from Mrs. Alan Greenspan at the sight that women and Hispanics go for Hillary while African Americans go for Obama.

Can I just say how much I deeply detest the frauds on TV, the ones like Andrea Mitchell - among many others?

First of all, if Sen. Obama☼ is the great uniter that he claims to be, isn't it more than reasonable to think that he would unite behind the eventual Democratic nominee (if Sen. Clinton☼ wins the nomination) and get his supporters to do the same? Does anyone seriously believe that a charismatic Democrat who says he can unite Republicans and Independents with Democrats cannot unite Democrats with other Democrats?

Secondly, what is more important here is the fact that the "stars" in the media - those who get paid undeservedly princely sums to pontificate ignorantly and spread lies and division - routinely keep people uninformed. I wrote earlier that despite the Rev. Jesse Jackson having gotten historic primary wins in the 1984 and 1988 Presidential campaigns - a generation earlier - many in the media have repeatedly ignored that to create the false impression that Sen. Obama's campaign was uniquely historic.

[SOURCE:  | | 19 January 2008]

Over the last week, the Chronicle has pushed the race theme by offering Carla Marinucci and sidekick piece of shit "political analyst" Joe Garofoli to pathetically assert that Hillary and Obama lost all the progress they made over the weekend because they handled "race" inadequately during the debate.

The front-runners for the Democratic presidential nomination realized something in the past week: Talking clumsily about race in America is the quickest way to turn off new voters and silence the buzz generated in the early weeks of the campaign.

[SOURCE: Carla Marinucci & Joe Garofoli | San Francisco Comical | 17 January 2008]

That was the opening paragraph to the politicalese that passes for journalism these days. And this story was on the front god damn page. There was nothing substantive in the entire article, and plenty of speculation. If you read the entire article, the piece moves to conjecture about what young voters will do to a statement of campaign personality, before highlighting one selected voter experiencing the sub-prime mortgage pain (a daughter's mother died and missed only one payment, the month she died), followed by mentioning a Bill Clinton speech which discusses a policy position on how to address the mortgage crisis, followed of course with the typical Republican excuse to do nothing while destroying the government of the people ....

Clinton told the crowd his wife "believes we should freeze all forecloses for 90 days" and work with lenders on policies that would protect homeowners who are faithfully making payments.

In the meantime, "the most expensive thing we can do is to throw all of you out of your homes," he said. "If we allow this to take its course, it will cost us far more." He said that, according to estimates, "the net cost to society is a quarter million dollars every time you foreclose on a house."

That, he said, is "the dumbest thing we can do."

Republicans are dubious that Sen. Clinton's proposals to solve the mortgage crisis would work.

"The changes Sen. Clinton proposes to deliver would result in massive tax hikes, government-run health care and weakened national defense," said Republican National Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay. "As long as she and her surrogates attempt to mislead voters on these critical issues, Clinton will continue to lack the trust that Americans expect in their commander in chief."

Surrogates. Misleading voters. Lacking the trust of America. All topics the Republicans know very well. Plus the usual boogeyman of "massive tax hikes". Because you see, not only do Republicans make excuses to permit massive corruption and moral depravity, they also refuse to pay for it.

Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 1h 7m 49s

Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson

This is first hand history, from Bill Moyers.

Bill Moyers, who was Lyndon Johnson’s press secretary from 1965-1967, gives his perspective on the “tempest in a teapot” of the Hillary vs. Obama media brawl over LBJ and MLK:

As the pressure intensified on each side, Johnson wanted King to wait a little longer and give him a chance to bring Congress around by hook or crook. But Martin Luther King said his people had already waited too long. He talked about the murders and lynchings, the churches set on fire, children brutalized, the law defied, men and women humiliated, their lives exhausted, their hearts broken. LBJ listened, as intently as I ever saw him listen. He listened, and then he put his hand on Martin Luther King’s shoulder, and said, in effect: “OK. You go out there Dr. King and keep doing what you’re doing, and make it possible for me to do the right thing.” Lyndon Johnson was no racist but he had not been a civil rights hero, either. Now, as president, he came down on the side of civil disobedience, believing it might quicken America’s conscience until the cry for justice became irresistible, enabling him to turn Congress. So King marched and Johnson maneuvered and Congress folded.

[SOURCE: Nicole Belle | | 19 January 2008]
[ORIGINAL SOURCE: Bill Moyers Journal | 18 January 2008]

Saturday, 19 January 2008 at 9h 34m 7s

How bad is the economic situation?

The US stock market is off to one of its worst starts in history, credit is shrinking, and home prices are declining at rates never seen before. The current credit and housing crises have been on the front pages of even non business newspapers since last summer. It’s a mess out there. At the same time, our nation’s leaders in Washington are still assuring Americans that they are monitoring the situation closely and will be ready to act in order to avoid any negative consequences of the current credit crisis. What are they waiting for?

Several months into this episode, the lack of decisive action is unnerving and apparent to even the most casual investor. This is a real crisis of confidence. No matter what your opinion of the proper steps, if any, that are needed, there is no denying the fact that financial markets hate uncertainty. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what they are getting.

[SOURCE:  | Bespoke Investments | 19 January 2008]

Wednesday, 16 January 2008 at 22h 24m 27s


In case you don't know, Turkey has essentially occupied parts of Northern Iran. But fear not, according to Le Monde:


"Nous espérons que ce combat contre le terrorisme s'achèvera bientôt mais nous ne savons pas combien de temps il va encore durer", a déclaré, lundi, le premier ministre turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, depuis Madrid, où il se trouve pour le premier forum de l'Alliance des civilisations. Il a ajouté que le seul objectif de son pays était d'éliminer les 4 000 "terroristes" du Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan.

Depuis décembre, l'armée turque a mené contre le PKK quatre raids aériens avec l'aide des services de renseignement américain et une opération terrestre d'ampleur limitée dans le nord de l'Irak.

[SOURCE:  | Le Monde (Reuters) | 15 January 2008]
Here is my translation."Our sole objective is to eliminate the terrorists. We hope that the fight against terrorism will end soon but we don't know how long we will remain here [in Iraq]," declared the Turkish Prime Minister on Monday from Madrid, where the Prime Minister attended a forum for the Alliance of civilizations. He added that the sole objective of his nation was to eliminate some 4,000 "terroristes" of the Workers Party of Kurdistan.

Since December, the turkish army has made 4 aerial raids against the PKK with the assistance of American reconnaissance, and also pursues an limited operation on land in Northern Iraq.

In other words, as soon as Turkey destroys the unfavorable Political Party and install a friendly (corruptible) government.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008 at 20h 34m 47s

The insane asylum

I was hanging out with a new friend of mine last night. She is pretty kookie, but also genuine and cool. A friend of mine named Liam would say "Krazy Kool". She tends to talk about "Jesus" a little more often than I normally would, so I told her this ex tempore while we sat talking at this restaurant.

"A long time ago God was in a mental asylum, because everyone misunderstood him. Then one day he escaped, and ever since then he only reveals himself in small hints or clues. As soon as you reach for and try to isolate God, he's gone, because if he ever revealed himself, they'd put him in an insane asylum again."

I really am not sure what that means exactly, but seeing as it came out of my mouth, I should know.