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

Friday, 4 January 2008 at 16h 30m 39s

The games played involve real people

Today Robert Pear at the New York Times writes about the Administration's unwillingness to subsidize the health care costs of working families with federal Medicaid funds, by insisting that states cannot fund families who are more than 250% of the poverty line.

The child health program complements Medicaid. Income limits vary from state to state and tend to cluster from 133 percent to 185 percent of the poverty level for Medicaid, with states allowed to go 50 percentage points higher for the child health program....Under the new policy, states must meet certain conditions if they want to cover children with family incomes above 250 percent of the poverty level. For example, a child who had private coverage in the past must be uninsured for at least one year before being enrolled in a state child health program.

Now why is this, you might ask. Here's the administration's reason: "Administration officials say government health programs start to “crowd out” private insurance when they cover families with incomes from 250 percent to 300 percent of the poverty level — about $51,600 to $62,000 for a family of four." This came out in an 17 August letter sent to all of the state Health Care Departments.
“The Aug. 17 letter is a CHIP policy, not a Medicaid policy,” said Mike Fogarty, chief executive of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. “But it’s being applied in a much broader way. We are seeing many more roadblocks.” In addition, federal officials challenged Louisiana to explain why it did not want to enforce the one-year waiting period for children who had lost private health insurance because of a parent’s death or the failure of a business where a parent was employed. In such cases, the state replied, the loss of coverage is involuntary, and the waiting period would “penalize children and families for circumstances beyond their control.”

[SOURCE: Robert Pear | New York Times | 4 January 2007  ]

So the Administration is once again formulating and directing policy by rigidly interpreting the laws and using the power of the purse to enforce it's interpretations that are friendly to the behemoth of the insurance industry. "Crowding out" private insurance means not enabling private insurers to decide how much health-care they will pay for and at what price. Kids with asthma and other medical issues will cost a lot of money, and insurance companies don't want to pay that money. They want to filter their customers into different health-care criteria, and charge different prices, while not necessarily providing quality health-care, because private health insurance is first and foremost about making a huge profit. All else is secondary.

Now Republican wing-nuts would have you believe that competition will eschew the inefficient, bad health insurance companies. But insurance is not a grocery store. Insurance companies have to have a large amount of customers in order to be viable. Small companies cannot compete, and so what you have is a small number of very large companies who are actually competing for the business, and what they all do is "rationalize" the health-care payments they make in addition to deciding who to insure and what to insure.

The point is to make health care affordable and available for all people. The current system is inefficient because the health insurance market is innately inefficient absent government intrusion or regulation. Without Medicaid, Medicare, and the S-CHIP program, a lot of people who not have health insurance or receive health care at all. Hospital and doctor visits get avoided until the emergency health-care situation. The costs of the uninsured drive up the costs to those who can afford to pay for insurance, either with higher premiums or expensive hosptal costs (like, $800 a day beds and various fees). We are paying for this inefficient system of private health insurance.

This is what the Republicans and their Democratic enablers don't want to "crowd out."

Friday, 4 January 2008 at 3h 28m 6s

Oil For What Scandal

Thursday, 3 January 2008 at 4h 12m 44s

What fighting terrorism really means

You have to read the entire article, because there are more examples. But the first one given, is amply sufficient.

[Icelander Erla Ósk Arnardóttir Lilliendahl] flew to New York City with her girlfriends, first class, from her native Iceland, to partake of "the Christmas spirit." She was drinking white wine en route and, as she put it, "look[ing] forward to go shopping, eat good food, and enjoy life." On an earlier vacation trip, back in 1995, she had overstayed her visa by three weeks, a modest enough infraction, and had even returned the following year without incident.

This time -- with the President's Global War on Terror in full swing -- she was pulled aside at passport control at JFK Airport, questioned about those extra three weeks 12 years ago, and soon found herself, as she put it, "handcuffed and chained, denied the chance to sleep… without food and drink and… confined to a place without anyone knowing my whereabouts, imprisoned." It was "the greatest humiliation to which I have ever been subjected."

By her account, she was photographed, fingerprinted, asked rude questions -- "by men anxious to demonstrate their power. Small kings with megalomania" -- confined to a tiny room for hours, then chained, marched through the airport, and driven to a jail in New Jersey where, for another nine hours, she found herself "in a small, dirty cell." On being prepared for the return trip to JFK and deportation, approximately 24 hours after first debarking, she was, despite her pleas, despite her tears, again handcuffed and put in leg chains, all, as she put it, "because I had taken a longer vacation than allowed under the law."

[SOURCE: Tom Engelhardt | | 2 January 2008]

All of this happened on 12 December 2007 - 3 weeks ago. Here is a translated version of her web account.


During the last twenty-four hours I have probably experienced the greatest humiliation to which I have ever been subjected. During these last twenty-four hours I have been handcuffed and chained, denied the chance to sleep, been without food and drink and been confined to a place without anyone knowing my whereabouts, imprisoned. Now I am beginning to try to understand all this, rest and review the events which began as innocently as possible.

Last Sunday I and a few other girls began our trip to New York. We were going to shop and enjoy the Christmas spirit. We made ourselves comfortable on first class, drank white wine and looked forward to go shopping, eat good food and enjoy life. When we landed at JFK airport the traditional clearance process began. We were screened and went on to passport control. As I waited for them to finish examining my passport I heard an official say that there was something which needed to be looked at more closely and I was directed to the work station of Homeland Security. There I was told that according to their records I had overstayed my visa by 3 weeks in 1995 and. For this reason I would not be admitted to the country and would be sent home on the next flight. I looked at the official in disbelief and told him that I had in fact visited New York after the trip in 1995 without encountering any difficulties. A detailed interrogation session ensued. I was photographed and fingerprinted. I was asked questions which I felt had nothing to do with the issue at hand. I was forbidden to contact anyone to advise of my predicament and although I was invited at the outset to contact the Icelandic consul or embassy, that invitation was later withdrawn. I don't know why. I was then made to wait while they sought further information, and sat on a chair before the authority for 5 hours. I saw the officials in this section handle other cases and it was clear that these were men anxious to demonstrate their power. Small kings with megalomania. I was careful to remain completely cooperative, for I did not yet believe that they planned to deport me because of my "crime". When 5 hours had passed and I had been awake for 24 hours, I was told that they were waiting for officials who would take me to a kind of waiting room. There I would be given a bed to rest in, some food and I would be searched. What they thought they might find I cannot possibly imagine. Finally guards appeared who transported me to the new place. I saw the bed as if in a mirage, for I was absolutely exhausted. What turned out was something else. I was taken to another office exactly like the one where I had been before and once again a long wait ensued. In all, it turned out to be 5 hours. At this office all my things were taken from me. I succeeded in sending a single sms to worried relatives and friends when I was granted a bathroom break. After that the cell phone was taken from me. After I had been sitting for 5 hours I was told that they were now waiting for guards who would take me to a place where I could rest and eat. Then I was placed in a cubicle which looked like an operating room. Attached to the walls were 4 steel plates, probably intended to serve as bed and a toilet. I was exhausted, tired and hungry. I didn't understand the officials’ conduct, for they were treating me like a very dangerous criminal. Soon thereafter I was removed from the cubicle and two armed guards placed me up against a wall. A chain was fastened around my waist and I was handcuffed to the chain. Then my legs were placed in chains. I asked for permission to make a telephone call but they refused. So secured, I was taken from the airport terminal in full sight of everybody. I have seldom felt so bad, so humiliated and all because I had taken a longer vacation than allowed under the law.

They would not tell me where they were taking me. The trip took close to one hour and although I couldn’t see clearly outside the vehicle I knew that we had crossed over into New Jersey. We ended up in front of a jail. I could hardly believe that this was happening. Was I really about to be jailed? I was led inside in the chains and there yet another interrogation session ensued. I was fingerprinted once again and photographed. I was made to undergo a medical examnination, I was searched and then I was placed in a jail cell. I was asked absurd questions such as: When did you have your last period? What do you believe in? Have you ever tried to commit suicide?

I was completely exhausted, tired and cold. Fourteen hours after I had landed I had something to eat and drink for the first time. I was given porridge and bread. But it did not help much. I was afraid and the attitude of all who handled me was abysmal to say the least. They did not speak to me as much as snap at me. Once again I asked to make a telephone call and this time the answer was positive. I was relieved but the relief was short-lived. For the telephone was set up for collect calls only and it was not possible to make overseas calls. The jail guard held my cell phone in his hand. I explained to him that I could not make a call from the jail telephone and asked to be allowed to make one call from my own phone. That was out of the question. I spent the next 9 hours in a small, dirty cell. The only thing in there was a narrow steel board which extended out from the wall, a sink and toilet. I wish I never experience again in my life the feeling of confinement and helplessness which I experienced there.

I was hugely relieved when, at last, I was told that I was to be taken to the airport, that is to say until I was again handcuffed and chained. Then I could take no more and broke down and cried. I begged them at least to leave out the leg chains but my request was ignored. When we arrived at the airport, another jail guard took pity on me and removed the leg chains. Even so I was led through a full airport terminal handcuffed and escorted by armed men. I felt terrible. On seeing this, people must think that there goes a very dangerous criminal. In this condition I was led up into the Flugleiðir waiting room, and was kept handcuffed until I entered the embarkation corridor. I was completely run down by all this in both body and spirit. Fortunately I could count on good people and both Einar (the captain) and the crew did all which they could to try to assist me. My friend Auður was in close contact with my sister and the consul and embassy had been contacted. However, all had received misleading information and all had been told that I had been detained at the airport terminal, not that I had been put in jail. Now the Foreign Ministry is looking into the matter and I hope to receive some explanation why I was treated this way.

[SOURCE: Comment 306 | | 12 December 2008

And there is this next little bit too (its a long article). You have to go to the source to get the links which source all of the assertions in the first paragraph. There are nine links.

Think Guantanamo is bad, do ya?

Take, for example, a December 1st Washington Post piece in which reporter Craig Whitlock revealed one more small part of the CIA's global network of secret imprisonment. We already knew, among other things, that the CIA had set up and run its own secret prisons in Eastern Europe and probably in Thailand; that it had a network of secret sites in Afghanistan like "the Salt Pit" near Kabul; that it may have used the "British" island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, as well as American ships, naval and possibly commercial, to hold prisoners beyond the purview of any authority or even the visits of the International Red Cross; that it ran an air fleet of leased executive jets (including some from Jeppesen Dataplan, a subsidiary of Boeing, which made it back into the news in December because of a lawsuit launched by the ACLU); that these were used to transport terror suspects it snatched up off city streets or battlefields anywhere on the planet to its own "black sites" or which it "rendered" in "extraordinary" manner to the jails and torture chambers of Syria, Egypt, Uzbekistan, and other lands whose agents had no qualms about torturing and abusing prisoners.

Whitlock, however, added a new piece to the CIA's incarceration puzzle: an "imposing building" on the outskirts of Amman, Jordan. This turns out to be the headquarters of the General Intelligence Department, Jordan's powerful spy and security agency (and the CIA's closest Arab ally in the Middle East). Known as a place where torture is freely applied, it has been a way-station for "CIA prisoners captured in other countries." The first terror suspects kidnapped by Agency operatives were, it seems, flown to Jordan and housed in that building before Guantanamo was up and running or the Agency had been able to set up its own secret prisons elsewhere. There, the prisoners were hidden, even from the International Red Cross

[SOURCE: Tom Engelhardt | | 2 January 2008]

Thursday, 3 January 2008 at 3h 39m 26s

Bhutto was shot

Meanwhile, the caretaker government is furiously backtracking on its earlier claims that Benazir Bhutto died of a concussion. The retraction comes after videotape surfaced that shows her being shot. The Pakistani public has been enraged by the appearance of a cover-up in official pronouncements on the cause of her death.

[SOURCE:  | Hindustan Times | 2 January 2008 ]

And According to professor Juan Cole

The USG Open Source Center sent out the following note, which points out that in scouring jihadi web sites, the analysts have found none where al-Qaeda has taken credit for assassinating Benazir Bhutto. You think of the announcement by al-Qaeda posted the morning of 7/7/05 when the London Underground was bombed. Yet they are not claiming this one.

" As of 1830 GMT on 31 December, OSC has not observed any official statements from Al-Qa'ida claiming responsibility for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on any of the websites that normally disseminate authenticated statements from the group. OSC will continue to monitor these websites for any such claims. "

[SOURCE: Juan Cole | | 2 January 2008]

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]