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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Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 1h 24m 45s

Milan's new tax on automobiles travel into downtown

In Milan, the city government has a new "anti-pollution" law beginning with the new year. The law classifies groups of automobiles and assesses a ticket for some of the groups to have access to the center of town. The idea is to give incentives to the use of public transportation and also provide funds so that the available public transportation facilities can be improved.

Certain kinds of vehicles will be exempted: public transportion vehicles, electric cars, and vehicles that transport the handicapped. Furthermore,

The daily tax varies from 2 to 10 euros. The yearly fee is 50 to 250 euros. The tickets are available from kiosks, tobacco shops, transportation information centers, and also the internet. {You affix the ticket stub to your car.] Surveillance cameras are placed at 43 different points of access to the center of town. Fines range from 74 to 285 euros.

Translated from the French by me.
[SOURCE: Rome Correspondent | Le Monde | 2 January 2008  ]

Wednesday, 2 January 2008 at 18h 18m 8s

What economic gifts will 2008 bring

Floyd Norris puts the economic dilemma of 2008 as follows:

In 2008, the biggest issue for Wall Street and the banks will be assessing the damage. Can the securitization market recover, and continue to provide financing for everything from credit cards to corporate loans? Or will its failure in the area of subprime loans spread, leaving it discredited and other parts of the economy desperate for cash?

On the answer to that question may hinge the answer to whether the latest financial crisis will pass with little impact on the real economy, or whether it will pull down all the parts of the economy that enabled most investors to have a good year while their brokers were suffering.

[SOURCE: Floyd Norris | New York Times | 2 January 2007  ]

Sunday, 30 December 2007 at 1h 28m 53s

Navy JAG Andrew Williams Letter to Editor

Here's why Navy JAG Andrew Williams resigned in protest,in his own words.

The final straw for me was listening to General Hartmann, the highest-ranking military lawyer in charge of the military commissions, testify that he refused to say that waterboarding captured U.S. soldiers by Iranian operatives would be torture.

His testimony had just sold all the soldiers and sailors at risk of capture and subsequent torture down the river. Indeed, he would not rule out waterboarding as torture when done by the United States and indeed felt evidence obtained by such methods could be used in future trials.

Thank you, General Hartmann, for finally admitting the United States is now part of a long tradition of torturers going back to the Inquisition.

In the middle ages, the Inquisition called waterboarding “toca” and used it with great success. In colonial times, it was used by the Dutch East India Company during the Amboyna Massacre of 1623.

Waterboarding was used by the Nazi Gestapo and the feared Japanese Kempeitai. In World War II, our grandfathers had the wisdom to convict Japanese Officer Yukio Asano of waterboarding and other torture practices in 1947, giving him 15 years hard labor.

Waterboarding was practiced by the Khmer Rouge at the infamous Tuol Sleng prison. Most recently, the U.S. Army court martialed a soldier for the practice in 1968 during the Vietnam conflict.

General Hartmann, following orders was not an excuse for anyone put on trial in Nuremberg, and it will not be an excuse for you or your superiors, either.

Despite the CIA and the administration attempting to cover up the practice by destroying interrogation tapes, in direct violation of a court order, and congressional requests, the truth about torture, illegal spying on Americans and secret renditions is coming out.

[SOURCE: Think Progress | 29 December 2007]

[SOURCE:  Andrew Williams | Letter to Editor The Peninsula Gateway : Gig Harbor, WA | 
26 December 2007]

Sunday, 30 December 2007 at 16h 17m 2s

Bush signs the CHIP bill

After vetoing the bill twice which included increasing Tobacco taxes so that 4 million more children could be included. But that was too much for the White House and the Republicans.

The Democratic-pushed bills would have expanded the program by $35 billion. Bush said the legislation did not put the neediest children first. He opposed the tax increase and, more broadly, fought against what he saw as a movement toward more government health coverage.

The joint federal-state program currently provides benefits to roughly 6 million people, mostly children. Democratic lawmakers still want to expand enrollment and are negotiating with some Republicans leaders on another try.

[SOURCE: Ben Feller AP Writer 30 December 2007 Boston Globe ]

The Republicans explain the reasons for the 2 veteos:

  1. the program will still serve those that it should: children from families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.

  2. they don't want to increase taxes

  3. they don't want to "inhibit" market forces by creating a government program

All of the above reasons are ludicrous political cover for the slavish devotion to predatory private insurance corporations. When institutions evolve which develop privileged positions within the hierarchy of distribution, a society must reflect on the actual benefits to the larger society. If the institutions in question are providing less than adequate service at increasing costs, it is obvious that the said institutions have become predatory to the socio-economic system at large.

Businesses and individuals would all benefit from nationalized health insurance, because a pool of funds from the entire citizenry enables cost efficiencies that are otherwise impossible when the market is segmented into various types of individuals : young, old, healthy, and persons with terminal illnesses or costly diseases (cancer, heart ailments, asthma, diabetes). Instead the costs of misallocating resources to those who can afford them, and covering those who cannot, are passed on to the consumers -- ie, those who pay insurance premiums.

In other words, the costs of insurance company inefficiency and 30% overhead are bourne by ratepayers. These are the "market forces" the Republicants don't want to "inhibit". The corporatists are really just apologists for predatory institutions that put money in their retirement funds.

Sunday, 30 December 2007 at 15h 53m 26s

Ron Paul rips Fox News

Ron Paul said the decision to exclude him from a debate on Fox News Sunday the weekend before the New Hampshire Primary is proof that the network “is scared” of him.

“They are scared of me and don’t want my message to get out, but it will,” Paul said in an interview at a diner here. “They are propagandists for this war and I challenge them on the notion that they are conservative.”

[SOURCE: James Pindell  30 December 2007  Boston Globe]

Sunday, 30 December 2007 at 5h 15m 14s

Fixed rate mortgage expirations in Britain

The home mortgage crisis is not only in the United States.

Last month, the Financial Services Authority estimated that 1.4 million homeowners faced a potentially devastating hike in repayments when their fixed-rate mortgage terms expired in 2008: the authority said it feared many would "find it difficult, if not impossible, to refinance their mortgages on favourable terms, leaving them facing a significantly higher rate on their borrowings, which will prove too much for them to afford".

[SOURCE: Joanna Moorhead  29 December 2007 The London Guardian]

Sunday, 30 December 2007 at 4h 59m 20s

Let's not forget about Kurdistan

Just in case you forgot about Kurdistan. Turkey has been bombarding Kurdistan, with the implicit permission of the United States. The green area is the area where the Kurds reside. Almost all of Western Turkey is involved, a little bit of Iran, and a small piece of Northern Iraq. In fact, very little of Kurdish land is actually in Iraq. Easily 60% is on Turkish soil.

And now Israel is aiding the Turks in their use of Drones.

[SOURCE: Cecile Hennion  28 December 2007 Le Monde ]

Agents from the firm Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) tasked to make operational some Heron drones (avions sans pilote), participated in operations led by Turkey in the North of Iraq, according to the Turkish Daily News and Haaretz (published 27 December).

Since mid-December, Turkish air forces have multiplied their raids against the Kurdish groups PKK's positions, killing between 150 and 175 of them, according to the Turks. Fighting against the central authority in Ankara since 1984, the PKK has entrenched itself in the mountains of Northern Iraq ...

In May 2005, IAI announced the signing of a contract with Turkey for 190 million dollars in order to buy the Heron drones. The presence of Israeli personnel as late as October 2007 was explained as a "provisional solution." IAI accepted to rent the devices, writes Haaretz, placed in operation by Israeli professionals, over a year for 10 million dollars.

Translated from the French by me.

Saturday, 29 December 2007 at 1h 3m 7s

The Office of Special Counsel

Office of Special Counsel Scott Bloch, who was recessed appointed to investigate Karl Rove, just did a 7-level wipe on his computer and two other lap-tops. This means he deleted and wrote over the disk drive random ones and zeroes 7 times.

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent federal agency tasked with protecting the rights of whistleblowers or other complainants that work for the federal government, investigating whether or not government employees have properly followed restrictions on their political activity, and defending the reemployment rights of returning war veterans.

On April 23, 2007, Scott Bloch, the head of the OSC, launched a wide investigation into the political activities of Karl Rove. Allegedly, Rove, as well as other White House aides, had violated federal law by giving partisan political presentations to government employees that explicitly encouraged them to find ways to support Republican candidates. The investigation is ongoing.

Scott Bloch, however, hasn't risen to his current position without controversies of his own. Although no findings of fact have been released as of this writing, Bloch has been under investigation since 2005 for improperly dismissing issues brought to the OSC's attention by whistleblowers and then failing to protect said employees from retaliation.

Where things get interesting from a technical standpoint is when Bloch contacted an outside company, Geeks on Call, for help with a technical issue nearly a year ago. Bloch claims that he believed his computer was infected with a virus that was corrupting or deleting his files. According to the Geeks on Call receipt, technicians visited Bloch and performed various services— including what the company refers to as a seven-level hard drive wipe.

Read both sources for the full story

[QUOTED SOURCE: Joel Hruska  2 December 2007 Ars Technica]

[SOURCE: Elizabeth Williamson  30 November 2007 Washington Post ]

Friday, 28 December 2007 at 20h 26m 25s

The abyss that is becoming Pakistan

From a Washington Post article 5 months ago, titled America's Bad Deal With Musharraf, Going Down in Flames

[SOURCE: Ahmed Rashid  17 June 2007 Washington Post]

The problem is exacerbated by a dramatic drop-off in U.S. expertise on Pakistan. Retired American officials say that, for the first time in U.S. history, nobody with serious Pakistan experience is working in the South Asia bureau of the State Department, on State's policy planning staff, on the National Security Council staff or even in Vice President Cheney's office.

Current and past U.S. officials tell me that Pakistan policy is essentially being run from Cheney's office. The vice president, they say, is close to Musharraf and refuses to brook any U.S. criticism of him. This all fits; in recent months, I'm told, Pakistani opposition politicians visiting Washington have been ushered in to meet Cheney's aides, rather than taken to the State Department.

No one in Foggy Bottom seems willing to question Cheney's decisions. Boucher, for one, has largely limited his remarks on the crisis to expressions of support for Musharraf. Current and retired U.S. diplomats tell me that throughout the previous year, Boucher refused to let the State Department even consider alternative policies if Musharraf were threatened with being ousted, even though 2007 is an election year in Pakistan. Last winter, Boucher reportedly limited the scope of a U.S. government seminar on Pakistan for fear that it might send a signal that U.S. support for Musharraf was declining. Likewise, I'm told, he has refused to meet with leading opposition figures such as former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, whom Musharraf has exiled. (Boucher says he has met with "people across the full political spectrum of Pakistan" during his nine visits there, from government parties to Islamic radicals to Chaudhry's lawyer.) Meanwhile, Boucher's boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, demands democracy and media freedom in Venezuela but apparently deems such niceties irrelevant to Pakistan.

Thanks to America Blog

This story is also interesting. It links to a November interview on a British show where Benazir Bhutto says very casually that bin Laden was murdered by one of the Pakistani Generals. She also discusses the overall situation in Pakistan just after the first assassination attempt in October 2007 when a bomb exploded and killed 150 people, but she was able to escaped by jumping in an armoured vehicle.

In the video below, she also says she is fighting against those "who want to rule by the bullet." God bless your soul Benazir.

Now if you don't think Musharef would enable the assassination of Bhutto, then you need to consider a few things. Musharef killed Ms. Bhutto's brother in 1996. Her father and her other brother were also killed in incidents involving the Pakistani military going back to 1977 when General Muhammed Zia outsted Ms. Bhutto's father.(Click here) The entire political family was taken out. I wonder if the Bhutto's knew the Kennedy's.

Friday, 28 December 2007 at 9h 8m 50s

The press beats up a political thug

This story is a trip

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A government minister and his bodyguards rampaged through the offices of a state television station Thursday, assaulting its news director before employees fought back and took them hostage, officials and witnesses said.

View A Map of Sri Lanka From Google maps. Sri Lanki, aka Ceylon, is the Island Southeast of India.

I wonder why the American Press has not done the same. Oh, I forgot, Freedom isn't Free.