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

1571 POSTS

January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
May 2022
April 2022
February 2022
January 2022
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
September 2016
August 2016
May 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
September 2014
August 2014
May 2014
March 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
August 2012
July 2012
April 2012
March 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
August 2010
July 2010
March 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
August 2009
July 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
June 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
June 2005
May 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004

Saturday, 9 February 2008 at 16h 41m 45s

Outsourcing torture and detention camps

The CIA's secret interrogation program has made extensive use of outside contractors, whose role likely included the waterboarding of terrorist suspects, according to testimony yesterday from the CIA director and two other people familiar with the program.

Many of the contractors involved aren't large corporate entities but rather individuals who are often former agency or military officers. However, large corporations also are involved, current and former officials said. Their identities couldn't be learned.

According to two current and former intelligence officials, the use of contracting at the CIA's secret sites increased quickly in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, in part because the CIA had little experience in detentions and interrogation. Using nongovernment employees also helped maintain a low profile, they said.

[SOURCE: Digby | digbysblog | 8 February 2008]

How come the "liberal media" isn't all over this revelation that came out of a Congressional hearing this week? "Using nongovernment employees also helped maintain a low profile" ... yea, I bet.

When are American's going to realize that rogue elements are operating independent of the government. Cliques of political elites are enabling decisions with winks and nods that are out of their control. Is this really to help better fight the "terrorists" ? Consider how the contracting process has already corrupted the military operations in Iraq. Consider the history of rogue intelligence operations since the growth of the Intelligence establishment since World War Two. In almost every single case, the secretive actions back-fire and force government policy-makers to deal with the resulting mess.

Here's a brief list:

  • Iran-Contra
  • Bay of Pigs
  • Vietnam
  • Secret missions into Laos and Burma during Vietnam
  • assassination of Panamanian Trujillo leads way to oligarchy and puppet dictator Noriega
  • creation of the Shah of Iran leds to Iranian revolution
  • support of bin Laden in early 80's in Afghanistan

In all of the above cases, secretive actions by rogue elements in the national security/defense establishment created the groundwork for the eventual blowback which occurred. This is why open democratic processes are necessary. Because the short-sighted, group think of insiders will only perceive their own limited self-interests, colored by human biases that can only be exposed when done in the open. The policy of promoting corrupted elements in foreign nations involves unsavory methods like murder and propaganda that do not attract the love and admiration of the very foreigners the policy is supposed to be helping. Were the Iranians supposed to be happy when the United States funded and supported the torture-driven police state of Iran for over 20 years when the Shah was in charge?

Saturday, 9 February 2008 at 16h 11m 14s

So much for funding corporate bailouts

The credit squeeze, which seemed brutally bad only a few months ago, is getting worse.

Consider Solutia, a chemical company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2003, and got bankruptcy court approval for an exit plan just three months ago. That plan was based in part on a financing commitment for $2 billion from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

That commitment was signed in late October, but now the banks say the market has gotten worse and they will not make the loans. Solutia sued the banks this week, trying to force them to fork over the money even if they cannot sell the loan to others, as they had intended to do. Citigroup says the suit is without merit.

Regardless of how that suit turns out, it is an indication of how much harder it has become to get financing for highly leveraged companies. In recent years, companies that ran into problems could almost always get loans to rescue them. Now they can’t. And that is before a recession hits most industries.

The number of corporate bankruptcies filed by leveraged borrowers so far this year is greater than the total filed in all of 2006 and 2007, Standard & Poor’s Leveraged Commentary and Data reports.

[SOURCE: Floyd Norris | New York Times | 8 February 2008]

Tuesday, 5 February 2008 at 0h 36m 42s

The politics of hope

“Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young women and young men to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom's cause. Hope-hope-is what led me here today - with a father from Kenya; a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”

Barack Obama after winning the Iowa caucus in January 2008

Saturday, 2 February 2008 at 17h 10m 45s

Bill Clinton on the NCLB fiasco

"The President made a deal with Senator Kennedy and neither one of them meant to mess it up," Bill Clinton told a crowd of about 400 teachers and students in Texarkana.

"The deal was supposed to be, we will give the schools more money and get rid of two programs that Bill Clinton actually started -- hiring more teachers in the early grades which actually does help performance and help schools with construction needs if they are overcrowded," he said.

"And we will not put anymore money in the after school programs, which does help, and we will raise school performance by telling people their money depends on how their kids do on tests and we are going to give five tests five years in a row, and we will cut the states a check based on how they are doing. And then the law kind of winks at the state of Arkansas and says, 'don't worry about it too much because you get to pick the test and the passing score.' Now think about that you get the worst of all worlds," Clinton said.

[SOURCE:  | ABC News blog | 1 February 2008]

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.