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

1666 POSTS

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Sunday, 7 September 2008 at 5h 1m 7s

The real Sarah Palin

“Palin is a conniving, manipulative, a**hole,” someone who thinks these are positive traits in a governor told me, summing up Palin’s tenure in Alaska state and local politics.

“She’s a bigot, a racist, and a liar,” is the more blunt assessment of Arnold Gerstheimer who lived in Alaska until two years ago and is now a businessman in Idaho.


“The GOP is kind of like organized crime up here,” an insurance agent in Anchorage who knows the Palin family, explained. “It’s corrupt and arrogant. They’re all rich because they do private sweetheart deals with the oil companies, and they can destroy anyone. And they will, if they have to.”

“Once Palin became mayor,” he continued, “She became part of that inner circle.”


According to Kilkenny and others in Wasilla as well as Juneau, Palin reduced progressive property taxes for businesses while mayor and increased a regressive sales tax which even hits necessities such as food. The tax cuts she promoted in her St. Paul speech actually benefited large corporate property owners far more than they benefited residents. Indeed, Kilkenny insists that many Wasilla home owners actually saw their tax bill skyrocket to make up for the shortfall. Two other Wasillian’s with whom I spoke said property taxes on their modest, three bedroom homes rose during the Palin regime.

To an outsider, it would seem hard to do, but an oil-rich town with zero debt on the day she was inaugurated mayor was left saddled with $22 million of debt by the time she moved away to become governor – especially since nothing was spent on things such as improving the city’s infrastructure or building a much-needed sewage treatment plant. So what did Mayor Palin spend the taxpayer’s money on, if not fixing streets and scrubbing sewage?

For starters, she remodelled her office. Several times over, as a matter of fact.

Then Palin spent $1 million on an unnecessary, new park that no one other than the contractors and Palin seemed to want. Next, Sarah doled out more than $15 million of taxpayer money for a sports complex that she shoved through even though the city did not own clear title to the land; now, seven years later, the matter is still in litigation and lawyer fees are said to be close to at least half of the original estimated price of the facility.

She also worked hard to get voters approval of a $5.5 million bond proposal for roads that could have been built without borrowing. Anchorage may not be the center of the financial universe but, like good Republicans everywhere, Sarah Palin knows how to please Alaskan bankers and bond dealers.

For good measure, she turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots.

You'll have to read the article yourself. It's from the LA Progressive, by Charley James, and the quotes are from real people who have real stories to tell.

A "reformer" my ass.

Saturday, 6 September 2008 at 16h 11m 32s

Stalling the investigation

Key Alaska allies of John McCain are trying to derail a politically charged investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of her public safety commissioner in order to prevent a so-called "October surprise" that would produce embarrassing information about the vice presidential candidate on the eve of the election.

In a move endorsed by the McCain campaign Friday, John Coghill, the GOP chairman of the state House Rules Committee, wrote a letter seeking a meeting of Alaska's bipartisan Legislative Council in order to remove the Democratic state senator in charge of the so-called "troopergate" investigation.

[SOURCE: Michael Isakoff | Newsweek | 5 September 2008]

Did Palin fire public safety commissioner Walter Monnegan when he refused to fire a state trooper Mike Wooten on the orders of Governor Palin? Mike Wooten was in a bitter divorce with Palin's sister, in which Palin herself stood outside the couple's window to write down what was said during one of the couples raging fights.

Palin was for the "bridge to nowhere" initially, and in fact made public statements about how insulting the phrase "bridge to nowhere" is the local Alaskans. But then when it became seen as an example of pork-barrel politics, she changed her position over-night and came out against the "bridge to nowhere" -- to the point of actually using the phrase herself, the very same phrase that was supposed to be insulting to local Alaskans.

She was on the committee to re-elect Ted Stevens, and was a very vocally active member of the campaign team. But then Senator Ted Stevens became embroiled in a federal corruption sting investigation, and Palin quickly removed herself from the Ted Stevens committee, while still keeping members of the Stevens team on her staff.

Palin is just a female face-lift for the lobbyist driven, moribund John McCain presidential race. The words "middle class" and "health-care" were not said once in the speeches of both Palin and McCain at the Rethuglican public relations convention.

Accordinginly, asPaul Krugman correctly points out

Can the vice-presidential candidate of a party that has controlled the White House, Congress or both for 26 of the past 28 years, a party that, Borg-like, assimilated much of the D.C. lobbying industry into itself — until Congress changed hands, high-paying lobbying jobs were reserved for loyal Republicans — really portray herself as running against the “Washington elite”?

Yes, they can.

... What struck me as I watched the convention speeches, however, is how much of the anger on the right is based not on the claim that Democrats have done bad things, but on the perception — generally based on no evidence whatsoever — that Democrats look down their noses at regular people....

Thus Mr. Giuliani asserted that Wasilla, Alaska, isn’t “flashy enough” for Mr. Obama, who never said any such thing. And Ms. Palin asserted that Democrats “look down” on small-town mayors — again, without any evidence.

What the G.O.P. is selling, in other words, is the pure politics of resentment; you’re supposed to vote Republican to stick it to an elite that thinks it’s better than you.

That's all they have. Depict the opposition as a mirror of themselves.

Monday, 1 September 2008 at 16h 5m 52s

The banned OSHA films

Americans are disabled and killed every year due to on the job conditions. More than are killed and disabled per year in Iraq.

The reason OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) came into being was to minimize these on the job conditions and set standards for Employer Safety Regulations.

The Republicans have fought this institution tooth and nail, undermining laws and even ignoring them. Remember when the Bush administration changed the EPA's analysis of the Air Quality after the September 11th WTC implosions, denying that the air was toxic to breath and even editing the EPA report that said so. In the next few years, tens of thousands of New Yorkers began suffering debilitating respiratory ailments. Because the Federal Government refused to accept responsibility, these people had to pay for their health costs out of their own pockets.

Currently the son of corrupt supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (Eugene Scalia) is busy running OSHA standards into the ground. Read about Eugene Scalia here at Source Watch. Also, consult what repealing the OSHA Ergonomics Standard in March 2001 meant by reading this report and also this report ... both are from the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE).

Barry Ritholz posts a little known history of the Republican war on OSHA today.

In 1980, the last year of Jimmy Carter's administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) commissioned a series of three 30-minute films about worker safety. These were real pro productions, with Studs Terkel as narrator on two of the productions. In 1981, Reagan appointed 36-year old Florida construction executive Thorne G. Auchter, who proceeded to systematically dismantle the agency. Evidently, the 3 films disturbed Thorne greatly, because OSHA issued a recall, threatening to withold OSHA funds from any organization that did not return their copies of the films, which were promptly destroyed.

But, a few union officials defied the ban and "stole" copies so they weren't able to be returned. Over the years, they would occasionally show them to their troops, using the fact they banned as a way to get them to watch the films, which have important messages about worker rights and workplace safety. But, aside from these bootleg showings, the video disappeared.

[SOURCE: Barry Ritholtz | | 1 September 2008]

What is in these films that disturbed the Republicans so much? Answer: Support of Union involvement in worker safety issues, and the truth of employer unwillingness to improve health & safety standards and foist the expenses of unhealthy worker conditions on the rest of society.

See for yourself.





Sunday, 31 August 2008 at 17h 41m 1s

A view from 4 investors

Jeremy Grantham: The chief investment strategist at GMO, the highly regarded Boston-based manager of institutional and high-net-worth accounts, makes buy and sell decisions with a combination of computerized technical analysis and old-fashioned spadework

Global economic growth is slowing under the weight of increasingly illiquid credit markets and inflationary pressures. Weaker growth slashes corporate earnings, and since stock prices are tied to earnings, the outlook for equities worldwide, as Grantham sees it, is poor to middling...

In Grantham's world view, stocks in both developed and emerging markets are "substantially overpriced," with the possible exception of high-quality blue-chip companies that have strong, defensible global franchises.

"I underestimated in almost every way how badly economic and financial fundamentals would turn out," Grantham wrote shareholders in a July letter. "Events must now be disturbing to everyone, and I for one am officially scared!" One of his biggest fears, he added in an interview, is that "the whole global economy will be weaker than the market expects for quite a considerable time." How long? "I would guess at least two years of sustained disappointment."

...Grantham is particularly uneasy about China, a leading engine of world growth that seems to be sputtering. "I worry on behalf of the global economy at the consequences of China stumbling," he said. Without China's robust demand, he added, "the whole level of global imports and exports would start to drop."

...Grantham points out that many of the world's strongest companies are based in the U.S., which could help the U.S. market's relative performance. Moreover, he said, the weaker global picture will benefit the U.S. dollar, so the American market could turn out to be "a safe haven."

Bob RodriguezThe manager of FPA Capital Fund (FPPTX) and bond-focused sibling FPA New Income Fund (FPNIX) has since June 2003 been on a self-proclaimed "buyer's strike" regarding high-quality bonds with maturities greater than two years.

Rodriguez believed then -- and is even more convinced now -- that longer-term Treasury yields aren't substantial enough to compensate investors for inflation's eroding impact on purchasing power. He wants to get 5% on 10-year Treasurys, which recently yielded 3.8%, before venturing back.

Consequently, Rodriguez continues to focus on "caution and capital preservation," as he explained to fund shareholders in a June letter. More than 40% of Capital Fund, for example, is given to short-term government agency and Treasury notes and cash.

"We will not provide long-term capital to borrowers with unsound and unwise business management practices at unattractive real yields," Rodriguez wrote. That includes the U.S. government, he noted. "We require a higher level of compensation -- i.e. more yield, for these potential risks."

John HussmanHussman runs two portfolios: stock-focused Hussman Strategic Growth Fund (HSGFX) and bond- centric Hussman Strategic Total Return Fund (HSTRX) .

"The stock, bond and foreign-exchange markets continue to trade essentially on the theme that the global economy is weakening, but that the U.S. has dodged a recession," Hussman wrote in his weekly market commentary in late August. Investors' consensus is mistaken, Hussman contends. He said the U.S. is mired in recession, and once investors realize that earnings expectations are overblown, stocks will take another major hit.

"The potential downside could be abrupt, leaving little opportunity to make defensive changes after the fact," Hussman wrote.

... Hussman doesn't expect much from stocks. He predicted that U.S. market returns will average 4%-6% annualized over the next decade, primarily due to weaker corporate earnings. Given that slower-growth view, Hussman dumped most of his exposure to the commodity, industrials and precious-metals sectors, which thrive in expansionist periods

Steve LeutholdSteve Leuthold has been called a "superbear" for his extreme pessimism about stocks during the bull run of 1998....Leuthold is a colorful figure, offering targeted portfolios with catchy names like the bear-market Grizzly Short Fund (GRZZX) and the bottom-fishing Undervalued and Unloved Fund (UGLYX) .

Leuthold is convinced that the U.S. economy is in recession. But he points out that the stock market typically bottoms around the midpoint of the downturn. By his reckoning, the economy entered recession toward the end of 2007, and the extensive valuation criteria he uses tell him there's now light at the end of the tunnel.

"The bottom has been made," Leuthold said. "The economy is going to start showing some positive signs sometime in the first half of 2009."

So he's getting in early, loading up on shares of biotechnology and alternative-energy companies in particular, and keeping a modest amount in oil drillers and natural gas producers.

Enthusiastic stock buying sets Leuthold apart, but it's in keeping with his iconoclastic ways.

"I guess I still am a contrarian," he said

[SOURCE: Johnathan Burton | Wall Street Journal MarketWatch | 29 August 2009]

Notice how all these investment managers are Old white guys. What they all do is get their hands on billions of dollars of other peoples money and use to it purchase huge stakes in various companies, trying to profit by buying and selling when the stocks go up or down. They can short stocks to make money, by borrowing a stock and selling it, then buying it back at a cheaper price, making money on the difference in prices (since the SELL price minus the BUY BACK price is a positive number).

They can also "hedge" their investments by purchasing various different funds and stocks that tend to historically offset one another. So for instance, if bonds get more attractive in a skittish market, purchasing bonds can protect against possible losses in other types of market investments. Each investment firm has it's own historical research department devising formulas that correlate market effects among the various types of investments, trying to obtain a very small net percentage gain. When you have 1 billion dollars in investments, a 0.1% difference is still 1 million dollars in profit, especially if you are able to do this 20 times throughout the year.

What all this really is however is wealth redistribution, because non of these investments actually goes into building businesses and adding jobs to the labor pool, accept maybe indirectly when their actions keep the interest rates stable. There is also an inherent inflationary effect, because the more money earned by the wealthy classes pushes up the prices of items that wealthy individuals can afford to purchase. Also, loading up debt and skimming the assets on otherwise viable businesses in order to make money on the sale for investors of the financing arrangements is only putting extra expenses on the balance sheets of the businesses operating budgets; or it causes outsourced functions to negotiate downward the compensation that labor and small businesses can earn for doing the outsourced services. Just like the increased pricing of the housing market became driven by the desire of the financiers to sell the underlying investments into asset packages, to the detriment of the home owners who had to actually pay off the loans.

In this way, the "efficiency" of the market is merely a race to bottom. Some company may be able to make a product or do a service cheaper, but they all pay their workers less, externalize all their pollution costs, and might even make products of inferior quality.

This is why these business, market manager types like to use abstruse, vague language when they discuss their designs and plans. They want to keep secret the stratagems by which they suck blood from the real economy, and glorify their shenanigans underneath a layer of scientific banter.

Saturday, 30 August 2008 at 0h 38m 38s

Who is Governor Palin

McCain has only met her once or twice. Mrs. Palin admits that she's not sure what the Vice President does every day. As Governor, she is not very communicative with the various person's in the bureaucracy, and tends to fire off orders without bothering to discuss solutions with her staff and those in the other branches of government. She is skeptical about Global Climate Change.

And she is also involved in an ongoing ethics scandal ...

JUNEAU -- Alaska legislators on Monday voted to spend up to $100,000 to investigate Gov. Sarah Palin's controversial firing of former state Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

The decision came from the Legislative Council, a bipartisan panel of state senators and representatives.

The committee itself will not conduct the probe. Rather, it will hire an independent investigator to explore whether Palin, her family or members of her administration pressured Monegan to fire an Alaska state trooper involved in a rough divorce from Palin's sister.

Monegan contends he did feel such pressure, and the question for the investigator will be whether Monegan might have lost his job for failing to dismiss trooper Mike Wooten.

Palin has denied applying any pressure or otherwise abusing her power as governor.

Sharon Leighow, the governor's spokeswoman, said Palin "doesn't see a need for a formal investigation," but is willing to answer questions.

"The governor has said all along that she will fully cooperate with an investigation and her staff will cooperate as well," Leighow said.

The governor was not available for comment Monday afternoon, as she was flying from Anchorage to the capital.

Palin abruptly fired Monegan on July 11 and later explained she wanted to take the Department of Public Safety in a different, more energetic direction. She replaced him with Chuck Kopp, the former Kenai police chief. But Kopp resigned Friday over questions about a reprimand he received after a sexual harassment complaint lodged against him in Kenai.

The Legislative Council is a panel of lawmakers who tend to legislative business when lawmakers are not meeting in regular session.

On Monday, the council voted 12-0 to spend up to $100,000 "to investigate the circumstances and events surrounding the termination of former Public Safety Commissioner Monegan, and potential abuses of power and/or improper actions by members of the executive branch."

[SOURCE: Wesley Loy | Anchorage Daily News | 29 July 2008]

So McCain thinks having a double-X chromosome on the ticket will woo a large percentage of female voters in the nation. Although there are plenty of can-do brilliant women worthy of leadership positions, is this the right time in the history of the nation to be picking a woman VP merely because she might woo voters? McCain is 72 years old. If he goes through health issues, Mrs. Palin will the commander in chief.

Remember, Condi Rice was busy buying new shoes in an upscale Manhattan store while New Orleans drowned. There are an equal number of self-serving, short-sighted women as there are men in this world.

Oh, and her position on the war in Iraq : (I'm paraphrasing) "all I know is that America hasn't been attacked again".

It's gonna be a war of simplistic public relations sound bites, and the media talking heads will cluelessly spew them into the minds of thoughtless Americans because that's what they get paid to do.

Friday, 29 August 2008 at 1h 46m 32s

What the American Media won't publish

One of America’s biggest military contractors is being sued by a Nepali labourer and the families of a dozen other employees who say they were taken against their will to work in Iraq. All but one of the Nepalese workers were subsequently kidnapped and murdered.

According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, the Nepalese workers were recruited in 2004 in their home country by KBR and its Jordanian contractors, Daoud & Partners, to work as kitchen staff in a luxury hotel in Amman. Once they reached the Jordanian capital, however, their passports were taken from them and they were sent to Iraq. While travelling in an unprotected convoy, the Nepalis were kidnapped and later executed.

“It doesn’t appear that any of them knew they were going to Iraq,” said Matthew Handley, a lawyer representing the only survivor and the families of those who were killed. “A few were told they were going to work at an American camp ? They thought they were going to work in America.”

[SOURCE: Andrew Buncombe | London Independent | 28 August 2008]

Nothing like a good ole no-bid contractor doing it's patriotic duty, because after-all .... FREEDOM ISN'T FREE.

Friday, 29 August 2008 at 1h 32m 40s

Quick stick your heads in the sand

And glorify the sainthood of a mythological past. Manipulate the data by defining away the negative statistics so you can get a positive 3.3% Gross Domestic Product increase that doesn't include the inflationary effects on food and oil. Bring on the talking heads to repeat the mystic mantra that all is good, and march the lemmings into the lala land of illusion.

We are a nation that is beyond denial -- we are kidding ourselves. If we don't start dealing with reality, it will be our undoing.

-- Barry Ritholtz.

[SOURCE: Barry Ritholtz  | 28 August 2008]
[SOURCE: Barry Ritholtz  | 28 August 2008]

Friday, 29 August 2008 at 1h 19m 45s

How bad has the market been?

"Out of almost 2,100 diversified retail U.S. stock mutual funds that are open to new investors, just 17 have positive returns for both the past 12 months and year-to-date, according to investment researcher Morningstar Inc."

[SOURCE: Jonathan Burton | MarketWatch | 5:22 p.m. EDT Aug. 27, 2008]

hat tip to Barry Ritholtz at

Friday, 22 August 2008 at 1h 33m 4s

The text of what Obama said today

This is an example why you can't rely on Television. CNN only broadcast the bold part of the text below, which is the complete transcript of what Obama said about John McSameMcCain today.

But the fact of the matter is that John McCain is offering more of the same. He said a while back that he thought that we had made great progress economically during the years that George Bush has been in office. Now, that raised some eyebrows. Great progress economically. Who is he talking to? And it turns out that you get a sense of who he's talking to because some of you saw the Saddleback Forum with Rick Warren. He was asked, well, who do you consider rich? And he thought about it for a second, I don't know. Maybe if you make $5 million. $5 million, then you're rich. Which means, I guess, if you're only making $3 million a year then you're middle class. I guess that's what he meant.

His top economic adviser said the other day that Americans should stop complaining; they’ve become a nation of whiners. That all these economic problems everybody is talking about is just a mental recession. And if you would just change your mind, everything would be okay. Somebody’s been laid off, their plant’s closed and gone to Mexico or China, change your mind. It’s all good. Then, yesterday, he was asked again, what do you think about the economy? He says, Well, I think the economy is fundamentally strong; said the economy is fundamentally strong. Now, this puzzled me. I was confused as to what he meant.

But then there was another interview – this is yesterday, same day – where somebody asked John McCain, how many houses do you have? And he said, I’m not sure. I’ll have to check with my staff. True quote. I’m not sure. I’ll have to check with my staff. So they asked his staff, and he said, at least four. At least four. Now, think about that. I guess if you think that being rich means you’ve got to make $5 million and if you don’t know how many houses you have, then it’s not surprising that you might think the economy was fundamentally strong. But if you’re like me, and you’ve got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don’t lose their home, you might have a different perspective. And by the way, the answer is John McCain has seven homes.

So there’s just a fundamental gap of understanding between John McCain’s world and what people are going through every single day here in America. And you don’t have to be – you don’t have to be a Nobel Prize Laureate economist. You just have to have a little bit of a sense of what ordinary people are going through to understand that we can’t afford eight more years or four more years or one more year of the same failed economic policies that George Bush has put in place.

Notice how the news editors cut the quote right before Obama mentions that he has only one house, and also how they left out the linking of Obama owning one house with "millions of Americans" -- and also how McCain owns 7 houses. Was this selection on purpose? Apparently, the news editors at CNN are so pressed for time they can't extend another 15-20 seconds of time to someone who is running for President of the United States.

CNN = Censored National News.

If you rely on Television, your brain is stuffed full of sound-bites and partial facts. You need to read from multiple sources of information all the time, or else you will have a limited perspective, and opinions based upon limited perspectives are incapable of understanding anything but a comfortable self-serving paradigm.

It is the McCain campaign that is out of touch with reality and filled with elites who have run the country into the ground over the last 8 years.

Do you want more of the same?

Friday, 22 August 2008 at 0h 59m 49s

Scott Ritter speaks

This is a 9 minute speech Scott Ritter gave in Missouri. In 9 minutes, Mr. Ritter sums up the crisis of Democracy we have reached, and also provides how we can overcome this crisis. It is an uplifting, patriotic speech.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you Scott Ritter ....