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

1565 POSTS

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Saturday, 2 February 2008 at 17h 1m 48s

The enablers

Here's Lincoln Chafee, ex-Republican congressman from Rhode Island who did not support the invasion of Iraq. Mr. Chafee is one of the few Republicans who have a conscience that isn't intimately connected with Karl Rove's asshole. He recently published a book where he decries the inability to form government policy over the last 8 years.

"The top Democrats were at their weakest when trying to show how tough they were," writes Chafee. "They were afraid that Republicans would label them soft in the post-September 11 world, and when they acted in political self-interest, they helped the president send thousands of Americans and uncounted innocent Iraqis to their doom.

"Instead of talking tough or meekly raising one's hand to support the tough talk, it is far more muscular, I think, to find out what is really happening in the world and have a debate about what we really need to accomplish," writes Chafee. "That is the hard work of governing, but it was swept aside once the fear, the war rhetoric and the political conniving took over."

Chafee writes of his surprise at "how quickly key Democrats crumbled." Democratic senators, Chafee writes, "went down to the meetings at the White House and the Pentagon and came back to the chamber ready to salute. With wrinkled brows they gravely intoned that Saddam Hussein must be stopped. Stopped from what? They had no conviction or evidence of their own. They were just parroting the administration's nonsense. They knew it could go terribly wrong; they also knew it could go terribly right. Which did they fear more?"

[SOURCE: Dan Froomkin | Washington Post | 1 February 2008]

Everyone had access to the same information in 2002. We knew that Iraq was not a threat and did not have weapons of mass destruction. But the fear of looking weak in the corporate controlled media dominated the minds of the weak-kneed politico's who voted for this god damn war -- or for the Patriot Act, or the Military Commissions Act of 2006, or the Medicare "Modernization" Act of 2003/4, or the Bankruptcy "Reform" Act of 2005, or ....

They voted for these despicable measures because they were afraid of being called weak by the corporate media. Now all of these measures are going to have to be changed in the next 4 to 8 years. Except now the fight against the false framing of the issues by the corporate media will be that much more difficult.

If I were President, the first act I would make would be to cancel every single piece of legislation passed by the Republicans during the reign of Dubya Bush. I don't care how unprecidented or politically infeasible that would be. The laws are horrible extensions of oligarchical authoritarianism and should be repealed.

Saturday, 2 February 2008 at 3h 46m 31s

Who do I want for President

The more I listen to him, the more I trust that Obama truly has an understanding of the entire problem that is Washington. As much as I love Hillary, the ability of Obama to make his point with clarity and reason puts him one step over.

I admit that I do have reservations about Obama's views on Health Care. I realize that the Health Insurance industry is ruthless, and that it would be unwise to say that you will pursue National Health Care. However an intelligent individual cannot escape the savings of efficiency inherent to a nationalized payment system. The costs would drop 60% because cost would no longer inhibit people to get preventative health care, the overhead of hundreds of insurance bureaucracy would be removed. Hospitals would no longer have to carry the burdens of the malignant health insurance payment system. I believe Obama gets this, and says as much when he talks about cost efficiency. He will also be the unequivocal bring the troops home now candidate, and be smart with how we use our military power, which is exactly what we need to defeat Saint McCain.

God help us if the Republicans appoint another Supreme Court judge. That's how important this election really is.

Saturday, 26 January 2008 at 20h 19m 2s

The banks need for capital to cover losses

Here's what Peter Hahn, renowned economics professor gura in London (Cass Business School) had to say about the current economic conditions in light of the recent French bank Societe Generale which lost 7 billion, and is on the verge of bankrupcy unless they raise 50 billion in new capital.

"Si cela peut arriver à une banque innovatrice et bien gérée comme cette institution, il est clair que les banques sont amenées aujourd'hui à prendre trop de risques. L'augmentation de capital pour se prémunir contre les mauvaises surprises de ce type est plus que jamais à l'ordre du jour."

[SOURCE: Marc Roche | Le Monde | 25 January 2008]

My translation: If this happens to a bank as innovative and well managed as this [the Societe Generale] institution, it is clear that the banks are being lead today to take too much risk. The accumulation of capital to prepare against future bad investments of this type is more than ever the order of the day

Saturday, 26 January 2008 at 19h 53m 43s

The Huckster and false admiration

Last night Republican Presidential candidate, ex-Arkansas Governor, Huckabee said something delirious. He talked about how he initially supported the invasion of Iraq, then stated "so did many of the Democrats" and then mentioned that George Bush had the courage to invade Iraq to make sure that the next 9-11 terrorist attack didn't come from Iraq. He compared the not having Weapons of Mass Destruction to Easter Eggs. "Just because you don't find any Easter eggs, doesn't mean they weren't planted."

This rationale is horseshit. Rogue operators with a private agenda took it upon themselves to engineer a full scale propaganda campaign. False ex-patriots were trained to lie to reporters who printed stories based upon the interviews. The normal intelligence channels were hijacked and turned into an office overseen by the Vice President. Forged documents were used to foment yellowcake sales so that Saddam would appear to have a nuclear operation. All of the neighboring countries -- including Turkey, Eqypt, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia -- were not in agreement with the need for the invasion.

Then when the invasion happens, chaos was permitted to reign. Vast looting destroyed plenty of what was left, including the ancient museum of Baghdad which was utterly destroyed. The only building that was protected by American forces was the Ministry of Oil. The Nuclear Ministry was not protected. The Electric grid and the water pumps were not protected. The Army was disbanded immediately and 40 something billion dollars of Iraqi reserves disappears. Contractors get cost- plus contracts, most without bidding. The general in charge of reconstruction (Jay Garner, who in the Iraq of 1991 did the same thing) was fired, and long-time corporate Lawyer Paul Bremer was brought despite having no experience in the region. Bremer promulgates a new constitution and sells off pieces of Iraq to non-Iraqi corporations. Young idealistic Republicans without experience were recruited to do important reconstruction tasks. The contractors perform badly, waste resources, perform shoddy work, and are not under the military chain of command. Meanwhile, millions of Iraqis are displaced from their homes, hundreds of thousands are killed, orphans and widows abound, and the left-over residue of depleted Uranium is leaving parts of Iraq as a toxic haven.

The invasion of Iraq was not only a complete fraud, it is also a complete disaster. The only effective way to fight terrorism is to coordiate law enforcement activity with regional forces. Our ability to track terrorists cannot be improved by creating enmity and sowing hatred of the United States. Instead we are bankrupting our future and giving the middle east to Russia and China, who stood away from this fiasco. China owns about 40% of the United States debt. And wasn't Russia public enemy number one 50 years ago?

Oh, the precious weapons of mass destruction? They were never there, and the neo-con administration knew they were never there. Most of the rest of world knew they weren't there. They were destroyed after the first Gulf War. They didn't go to Jordan. They were'nt secreted out in the night to the Becca Valley in Syria. They weren't there in 2003. They wern't there in 1995 either. The intelligence services knew this too. The real threat of loose nukes on the open market comes from the leftover piles of Russian nukes, but nothing is being done to safeguard these assets. There are reports that rich Russians can buy their own personal nukes, and of a recent find in Slovakia of a jar of yellowcake said to come from Russian sources.

It wasn't that everyone "got it wrong" or that there was "faulty intelligence". The intelligence was there. The professionals in the CIA and State department were always correct. What the administration did was far from "courageous," because what they did was lie, and orchestrate a vast insidious propaganda campaign to convince American Citizens that falsehoods were true, and that scoundrels were saintly patriots.

The need for the Invasion was to pursue the private policy agendas of the Bush family and it's minions. Meanwhile how many people are dead or suffering from the actions of these perfumed bastards who live in limosines and private palaces?

It disgusts me to hear Huckabee stand there and say he thinks George Bush courageous. The man is nothing but an impish spoiled brat, who has done more harm to this country with his appointments and complete lack of oversight. Bush ignored all the warning in the 9 months prior to 9-11, and the Huckster wants to praise him for having "courage" to invade Iraq? What the fuck !? The man lied. The man knowingly used forged documents. The man handled everything incompetently and has used sinister secretive means to take power for the Presidency, knowing the current Supreme Court is stacked in his favor -- you know, the court that handed Bush the presidency.

Friday, 25 January 2008 at 2h 29m 8s

Detentions of citizens on false charges

FLORENCE, Ariz. — Thomas Warziniack was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, but immigration authorities pronounced him an illegal immigrant from Russia.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has held Warziniack for weeks in an Arizona detention facility with the aim of deporting him to a country he's never seen. His jailers shrugged off Warziniack's claims that he was an American citizen, even though they could have retrieved his Minnesota birth certificate in minutes and even though a Colorado court had concluded that he was a U.S. citizen a year before it shipped him to Arizona

...U.S. citizens who are mistakenly jailed by immigration authorities can get caught up in a nightmarish bureaucratic tangle in which they're simply not believed.

An unpublished study by the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit organization, in 2006 identified 125 people in immigration detention centers across the nation who immigration lawyers believed had valid U.S. citizenship claims.

Vera initially focused on six facilities where most of the cases surfaced. The organization later broadened its analysis to 12 sites and plans to track the outcome of all cases involving citizens.

Nina Siulc, the lead researcher, said she thinks that many more American citizens probably are being erroneously detained or deported every year because her assessment looked at only a small number of those in custody. Each year, about 280,000 people are held on immigration violations at 15 federal detention centers and more than 400 state and local contract facilities nationwide.

[SOURCE: Marisa Taylor | McClatchy News Service | 24 January 2008]

280,000 people a year? That's more than 1 million people every 4 years, or 750 people a day. And if you apply the ratio of 125 per 12 from the 2006 study to the total of 415 sites mentioned in the last sentence, there are potentially 4000 persons being held by mistake (For the record, 415 divided by 12 times 125 = 4322 exactly).

Are we really deporting that many people? Who are those who get deported, where do they go, and how to they get there? There has to be oversight of this entire process. Right?

This is yet another reason why we have habeus corpus. Because "if" the government makes a mistake, you don't have to wait for two years in a detention center before you are released.

Friday, 25 January 2008 at 0h 40m 28s

A toll road through a State Park in Southern California

A toll road will cross through the upper right of the picture and meet the Interstate in the bottom right, piercing the land with automobile noise and smog residues.

The gubernator came out in support of the private toll road project. Here is how he explained his position, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Backing away from his neutral stance, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday urged the California Coastal Commission to approve a controversial tollway in Orange County that would pass through San Onofre State Beach, one of California's most popular parks.

"I have concluded that this project is essential to protect our environment and the quality of life for everyone in California," Schwarzenegger said in a letter to Patrick Kruer, chairman of the Coastal Commission.

"The project can be built in a manner that will enhance and foster use of the coast and protect coastal resources."

...Schwarzenegger noted that the Foothill South project was a public-private partnership that would rely on private capital, not state and federal funds, for construction.

He also mentioned that the TCA had offered $100 million to reduce the effect of the road on the park and provide improvements to San Onofre, San Clemente State Park and Crystal Cove State Park.

"The State Route 241 project gives us a chance to protect our parks and our coastline and reduce one of the most damaging environmental problems that plagues our state: traffic gridlock," Schwarzenegger said in his endorsement letter.

[SOURCE: David Reyes & Dan Weikel | Los Angeles Times | ]

Hmmm, so we protect our parks and coastline by tossing a sacrificial lamb to the slaughter. How do you reduce environmental problems by adding a private toll road through a large state park? Note the tense of that verb in the 5th paragraph. He also mentioned that the TCA HAD offered $100 million . This is not a guarantee, nor is the $100 million offered part of a contractual obligion. What is this man talking about? What a lot of crap this governor is.

Here's what Robin Everett of the the California Coastal Commission thinks.

Last week, Governor Schwarzenegger voiced his approval of plans to destroy a state park for a toll road stating that “this project is essential to protect our environment and the quality of life for everyone in Southern California.” Since when does destroying a state park improve our environment and quality of life?

[SOURCE: Robin Everett | California Coastal Commission | ]

The California State Parks commission hates the idea too. So do a majority of Orange County voters according to a poll (see the link).

“The survey indicated that while a majority of Orange County voters support toll roads in general (53%), a large majority (70%) oppose a toll road through a state park and more than half of all surveyed (52%) strongly oppose toll roads through a state park.

Thursday, 24 January 2008 at 5h 34m 47s

935 false statements

The Center for public integrity has just completed a data base of all the false statements the administration made regarding Iraq or foreign policy between 2001 and 2007. Apparently there are 935 false statements total. Go to the site and have fun !!!!

Here's the instructions:

The 380,000-plus-word database presented here allows, for the first time, the Iraq-related public pronouncements of top Bush administration officials to be tracked on a day-by-day basis against their private assessments and the actual “ground truth” as it is now known.

Throughout the database, passages containing false statements by the top Bush administration officials are highlighted in yellow. The 935 false statements in the database may also be accessed by selecting the “False Statements” option from the “Subject” pull-down menu and may be displayed within selected date ranges using the selection tool below.

Searches may also be limited by person or subject, or both, by using the appropriate selections from the pull-down menus.

Thursday, 24 January 2008 at 1h 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.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008 at 3h 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.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008 at 0h 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.