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

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Tuesday, 16 October 2007 at 0h 40m 47s

Republican judges are not conservative

Earlier this month an article in the Pacifica Tribune alluded to Justice Clarence Thomas as an exemplary Judge, who represents Conservative values when he asserts legal opinions counter to the First Amendment. In doing so the author said this was akin to getting students to obey their teachers.

Well, number one, the percentage of disobedient students is no different over the last 100 years. A student who unfurls a banner which says "Bong hits for Jesus" is not breaking the law despite the scurrilous nature of the wording.

Clarence Thomas Thurgood Marshall

I think an education is in order. Clarence Thomas was the man Anita Hill accused of wanton sexual harassment when George HW Bush appointed him to replace Thurgood Marshall. Thurgood Marshall spent nearly 20 years as a prominent civil rights attorney and argued many cases before the Supreme Court. Thomas on the other hand, was an assistant to Attorney General Danforth in Missouri for 3 years. He followed Danforth to the Senate until 1981, and was an attorney for the Monsanto company from 1977 to 1979. In the 80's he was routinely appointed as a bureaucratic official to various positions in the Department of Education before he was named to head the office of Equal Employment opportunity for about 8 years during the Reagan and Bush Senior administrations. Despite his brief tenure as a Monsanto lawyer, Thomas had minimal experience as an attorney before he was appointed to the Supreme Court, and yet of all the qualified candidates, Mr. Thomas was chosen to replace Thurgood Marshall. Huhn? Do you replace Alex Rodriguez with Cindy Lauper and call it equal?

Funny how you don't mention the other appointments by beloved Rethuglican Presidents : Antonina Scalia, John Roberts, and Tony Alioto.

The Three Justices of Primordial Sin
Antonin Scalia Tony Alioto John Roberts

Scalia sees no problem going on hunting trips and attending fund-raisers by the very individuals who are being tried in his court as defendants. Scalia wrote the Supreme Court decision which overturned the Florida Courts because counting all the votes was a temporary "threat" to the Democracy.

Alioto is the Federal Circuit Court Judge who saw a case concerning a firm in which he had large financial investments, and then refused to recuse himself from the case, despite his statement before the Senate that he would recuse himself in such a situation. Alioto likes to create legal precidents out of thin air, and is the man who has concocted the "theory of the unitary executive" which President Bush uses to justify his plethora of signing statements which he thinks obliterates his obligation to obey the laws passed by Congress.

And Roberts is the corporatist judge who has spent his entire legal career catering to the Multinational corporate business interests. He presides over legal decisions that overturns local laws that attempt to enforce local regulations, and ignores legal precidents. He advised the Republican legal teams on their belligerent tactics during the Florida fiasco of 2000-2001, which included flying staffers of Tom Delay on Enron jets to scream and shout outside of West Palm Beach while the law was being followed in an open democratic process.

But that's the kind of judges you get when you elect Republican presidents nowadays. Corrupt, biased, hypocritical, and authoritarian.

Monday, 8 October 2007 at 12h 24m 36s

El Dia del Diablo

Nancy Scola is the excellent blogger over at Air America. She is worth a constant read, for those of you who are so inclined.

However, the following is an excerpt that Nancy posted from someone else. It is written by Thom Hartmann.

 "Gold is most excellent; gold constitutes treasure; and he who has it does all he wants in the world, and can even lift souls up to Paradise."
-- Christopher Columbus, 1503 letter to the king and queen of Spain.

"Christopher Columbus not only opened the door to a New World, but also set an example for us all by showing what monumental feats can be accomplished through perseverance and faith."
--George H.W. Bush, 1989 speech


If you fly over the country of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola, the island on which Columbus landed, it looks like somebody took a blowtorch and burned away anything green. Even the ocean around the port capital of Port au Prince is choked for miles with the brown of human sewage and eroded topsoil. From the air, it looks like a lava flow spilling out into the sea.

The history of this small island is, in many ways, a microcosm for what's happening in the whole world.

When Columbus first landed on Hispaniola in 1492, virtually the entire island was covered by lush forest. The Taino "Indians" who loved there had an apparently idyllic life prior to Columbus, from the reports left to us by literate members of Columbus's crew such as Miguel Cuneo.

When Columbus and his crew arrived on their second visit to Hispaniola, however, they took captive about two thousand local villagers who had come out to greet them. Cuneo wrote: "When our caravels… where to leave for Spain, we gathered…one thousand six hundred male and female persons of those Indians, and these we embarked in our caravels on February 17, 1495…For those who remained, we let it be known (to the Spaniards who manned the island's fort) in the vicinity that anyone who wanted to take some of them could do so, to the amount desired, which was done."

Cuneo further notes that he himself took a beautiful teenage Carib girl as his personal slave, a gift from Columbus himself, but that when he attempted to have sex with her, she "resisted with all her strength." So, in his own words, he "thrashed her mercilessly and raped her."

While Columbus once referred to the Taino Indians as cannibals, a story made up by Columbus - which is to this day still taught in some US schools - to help justify his slaughter and enslavement of these people. He wrote to the Spanish monarchs in 1493: "It is possible, with the name of the Holy Trinity, to sell all the slaves which it is possible to sell...Here there are so many of these slaves, and also brazilwood, that although they are living things they are as good as gold..."

Columbus and his men also used the Taino as sex slaves: it was a common reward for Columbus' men for him to present them with local women to rape. As he began exporting Taino as slaves to other parts of the world, the sex-slave trade became an important part of the business, as Columbus wrote to a friend in 1500: "A hundred castellanoes (a Spanish coin) are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten (years old) are now in demand."

However, the Taino turned out not to be particularly good workers in the plantations that the Spaniards and later the French established on Hispaniola: they resented their lands and children being taken, and attempted to fight back against the invaders. Since the Taino where obviously standing in the way of Spain's progress, Columbus sought to impose discipline on them. For even a minor offense, an Indian's nose or ear was cut off, se he could go back to his village to impress the people with the brutality the Spanish were capable of. Columbus attacked them with dogs, skewered them with pikes, and shot them.

Eventually, life for the Taino became so unbearable that, as Pedro de Cordoba wrote to King Ferdinand in a 1517 letter, "As a result of the sufferings and hard labor they endured, the Indians choose and have chosen suicide. Occasionally a hundred have committed mass suicide. The women, exhausted by labor, have shunned conception and childbirth… Many, when pregnant, have taken something to abort and have aborted. Others after delivery have killed their children with their own hands, so as not to leave them in such oppressive slavery."

Eventually, Columbus and later his brother Bartholomew Columbus who he left in charge of the island, simply resorted to wiping out the Taino altogether. Prior to Columbus' arrival, some scholars place the population of Haiti/Hispaniola (now at 16 million) at around 1.5 to 3 million people. By 1496, it was down to 1.1 million, according to a census done by Bartholomew Columbus. By 1516, the indigenous population was 12,000, and according to Las Casas (who were there) by 1542 fewer than 200 natives were alive. By 1555, every single one was dead.

This wasn't just the story of Hispaniola; the same has been done to indigenous peoples worldwide. Slavery, apartheid, and the entire concept of conservative Darwinian Economics, have been used to justify continued suffering by masses of human beings.

Dr. Jack Forbes, Professor of Native American Studies at the University of California at Davis and author of the brilliant book "Columbus and Other Cannibals," uses the Native American word wétiko (pronounced WET-ee-ko) to describe the collection of beliefs that would produce behavior like that of Columbus. Wétiko literally means "cannibal," and Forbes uses it quite intentionally to describe these standards of culture: we "eat" (consume) other humans by destroying them, destroying their lands, taking their natural resources, and consuming their life-force by enslaving them either physically or economically. The story of Columbus and the Taino is just one example.

We live in a culture that includes the principle that if somebody else has something we need, and they won't give it to us, and we have the means to kill them to get it, it's not unreasonable to go get it, using whatever force we need to.

In the United States, the first "Indian war" in New England was the "Pequot War of 1636," in which colonists surrounded the largest of the Pequot villages, set it afire as the sun began to rise, and then performed their duty: they shot everybody-men, women, children, and the elderly-who tried to escape. As Puritan colonist William Bradford described the scene: "It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof; but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they [the colonists] gave praise therof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully..."

The Narragansetts, up to that point "friends" of the colonists, were so shocked by this example of European-style warfare that they refused further alliances with the whites. Captain John Underhill ridiculed the Narragansetts for their unwillingness to engage in genocide, saying Narragansett wars with other tribes were "more for pastime, than to conquer and subdue enemies."

In that, Underhill was correct: the Narragansett form of war, like that of most indigenous Older Culture peoples, and almost all Native American tribes, does not have extermination of the opponent as a goal. After all, neighbors are necessary to trade with, to maintain a strong gene pool through intermarriage, and to insure cultural diversity. Most tribes wouldn't even want the lands of others, because they would have concerns about violating or entering the sacred or spirit-filled areas of the other tribes. Even the killing of "enemies" is not most often the goal of tribal "wars": It's most often to fight to some pre- determined measure of "victory" such as seizing a staff, crossing a particular line, or the first wounding or surrender of the opponent.

This wétiko type of theft and warfare is practiced daily by farmers and ranchers worldwide against wolves, coyotes, insects, animals and trees of the rainforest; and against indigenous tribes living in the jungles and rainforests. It is our way of life. It comes out of our foundational cultural notions.

So it should not surprise us that with the doubling of the world's population over the past 37 years has come an explosion of violence and brutality, and as the United States runs low on oil, we are now fighting wars in oil-rich parts of the world. It shouldn't surprise us that our churches are using violent "kill the infidels" video games to lure in children, while in parts of Africa contaminated by our culture and rich in oil (Congo) rape has become so widespread as to make the front page of yesterday's New York Times.

These are all dimensions, after all, our history, which we celebrate on Columbus Day. But if we wake up, and we help the world wake up, it need not be our future.

Thank you Thom Hartmann. For those interested in Journalism, you have just read a lucrative example of how Journalism explains and makes relevant to the present.

Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 23h 0m 55s

The end of September

Brings the end of the baseball season, the beginning of the October playoffs, and the reminder that Halloween is right around the corner. Along with the invasion (or incident) with Iran. Why else would it be necessary to craft a provision to an spending authorization which made a statement of agressive acts towards Iran seem like an act of diplomacy merely by adding Secretary Gates sentence which states diplomacy is the preferred option. How many more billions and trillions will be wasted as a salve to some mindless ultra patriots ego.

But on a more pleasant note, napsters won in both leagues.



Friday, 28 September 2007 at 0h 7m 10s

Mayor Bloomberg speaks

I Feel like what's going on in Iraq right now is like 1776, except this time ... we're the British.

-- Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City 27 September 2007.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 12h 20m 18s

The 2007 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Championships

And now for the moment you all didn't realize you've been waiting for ....

Yep, that's my team, Nawlins Napsters, somehow brutally hitting the ball everywhere while my pitching staff holds on. I had a better pitching staff last year when I took first place. This year I've been pretty lucky. My friend Chris deserves to be in the finals instead of me, but I lucked out and beat him 5-5 because I had a better ranking all year. I won the WHIP category by 0.12, and suddenly Napsters gets to defend the championship.

It was fate Chris ... and a lights out 8th inning by Gagne.

Saturday, 22 September 2007 at 21h 11m 51s


Today I come home, and right outside my apartment building, in the 12 foot by 9 foot long corridor where the mailboxes are located, there were 4 Korean Jehovah Witnesses. The youngest, a 35-ish gentleman wearing a suit and tie, asked me if I was Korean when I walked by and greeted them. Now I look nothing like Korean, so I joked that he was a "comedian." Everyone laughed.

Now of course, I knew and anticipated that the young man was actually trying to find a way to have a discussion about God or something religious. And sure enough, the Korean man approached me and asked me if "I thought God was responsible for all of the modern ills and crises," holding up an "Awake" magazine with a darkened fireman figure amidst a fiery background, the title "Is God responsible for the crisis of modern times?"

Eerie Halloween music came to my imagination. Quick, the time has come to worship God before Armaggedom brings doom to all mankind.

I smiled though, and shared with the gentlemen my own perspective.

"No, we are responsible. All of us. The Great Spirit runs through things, pervades all things, big and small. We are all connected to, not disjoint from, the Great Spirit. If we perhaps see a reflection of ourselves in the crises of modernity, it is only because we ourselves have disconnected from the Great Spirit."

I continued. "I think you and I see things similarly in a lot of ways, but we are however, not 100% in agreement on everything. But I respect what you do."

I then smiled, and the Korean gentlemen bowed, in that Asian way that conveys respect.

Saturday, 15 September 2007 at 0h 2m 31s

My life's philosophy

The great spirit runs through all things, large and small, pervading everything, surrounding all things, connected to all things like a thread, everyone and everything attached but yet not attached, connected and yet still disjoint. Separation occurs through lack of understanding, from confusion, from the misunderstanding of an original fear, from an insecurity concealed which has transfigured into an alterego. The great spirit -- what some would trivialise as "God" -- is everywhere, connecting everyone,and yet the dissolution of the human race exists and remains ongoing. All of us are equally responsible for the relationship we have with the inate unity, but nevertheless, our awareness may not be coexistent with the fundamental truths of our actual existence. And yet the spirit which runs through all things great and small still exists.

I have a phrase that I repeat to myself everytime I meditate. Here it is.

"Oh great spirit, please come down into me and show me the things about myself that I can not see, and teach me the ways to make the most beneficial influences upon all persons and things."

I've been doing this kind of meditation since I was 22 years old.

Psst. Don't tell anyone. I'm 38 years old.

Thursday, 6 September 2007 at 4h 52m 41s

Nawlins Napsters 2007 edition

Last year, the Nawlins Napsters won the 2006 Yahoo league.

This year ? We'll have to see. My two stud pitchers have hit the injury knockout -- Cole Hamels and Erik Bedard. I made a stupid trade to grab Julio Lugo that cost me Justin Verlander, so I deserve to lose. But baseball is funny. I might get lucky.

Anyway, here are the standings and playoff schedule.

At least I was first place.

By the way, my good friend Chris is Chris Carthage. He's beat my butt bad both times we met all year, and next week we might meet for the final rematch.

Dum da dump dump. Dum da dump dump duhnnnnnnn duhn.

Sound of a cool Pink Panther theme jazz beat ....

Peace out.

That includes you Kristen.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007 at 22h 25m 23s

Responding to idiots

This is a response I made to some commentary by someone who is hopelessly wedded to a defunct societal analysis. His moniker is "Capitalism rules", which for him is just a cheeky campaign button. He's too cool to read the books and get an education. He'll just strip a few slick quotes, and act like he's smart.

You don't know what Capitalism is or even understand the "rules" you think exist.

For you the rules get to change when they enable the creation of the aristocracy of wealth accumulation at the expense of how the system allocates the wealth. This is a fact of life, not some glorified "-ism." I know this is hard for you to understand because you confuse a mantra of economic phrases with an understanding of economic interaction.

In other words you really don't know what you are talking about.

For a perfect example of your retarded analysis, consider your pathetic spin on Thom Hartmann's point that the Minnesota Republican tax cuts are a symptom of the Reagan legacy.

They [the Minnesota Democratic legislators] would want to raise taxes. That is what dems do, tax and spend.

They had plenty of money in their treasury but they did not want to allocate any of it for their infrastructure.

Number One
Repeating the same slogan does not give strength to your argument. Investments are necessary for the health and well-being of our nation so that local and regional business can compete; AND so that our citizens can efficiently (note: economic word) participate in society in a beneficial manner. Simplifying this reality by calling it "tax and spend" indicates the short-term stupidity of how you are a moron.

Here's an analogy. You refuse to spend money on toothpaste so you can have extra cash for mixed drinks on Friday night. Then when your teeth fall out at age 50 you blame everyone but yourself, including your fellow citizens who tried to warn you.

Number Two
You obviously do not understand the definition of "allocate." If you subtract 1 from 3 you get 2. If you do not raise taxes to pay for increased investments, the money you "allocate" has to come from somewhere else. But you can't replace the expensive radiator with the spare tire in the truck. Likewise you can't skim or close other important investments in order to "allocate" funds that should have come from a tax increase. That's why not one Republican administration was ever able to cut "spending." It's more difficult than your one-celled brain can contemplate.

And how much money are we really talking about here? How many people would spend $50 a year for necessary investments? If you make more than $80,000 a year after taxes, would you really see a $500 increase in taxes ($79,500 instead of $80,000) because that is essentially what the vetoed tax increase came to. But instead, it's better to let the teeth rot because you are too cheap to spend $3 a month on the toothpaste.

People like you are not only pugnaciously ignorant, but also short-sighted and selfish. You don't care about this country. All you want to do is rub 2 pennies together and get a dime. The philosophical nonsense you spew is just a justification for the corporate forms of oligarchy and greedy billionaires who really benefit.

Get over yourself CApitalism Rules. All you know is a hand-full of memorized phrases, like frozen sperm cells, completely irrelevant, stale, and out of context.


Tuesday, 21 August 2007 at 4h 20m 45s

Primitive bonds

The purpose of prayer is the leftover remnants of a tribal ritual in which all group members bonded together for purposes of survival or warfare. Dancing around fires, tribal celebrations and rituals are a way for the group members to bond together for the purposes of achieving a plentiful hunt or to prepare for the battle with the invading tribe. This primitive communication system eventually transferred to ritualization of death, either to enhance the road to the afterlife or to symbolize the end.

Prayer has evolved in the modern world from these atavistic routes. However, now that man has become vastly different from the roving bands of early hominids, culture has replaced the primitive supernatural reference frames. Understanding has become scientific and logical. Prayer has now become so far removed from the origins that it can take a vicarious narcissitic turn in the minds of some individuals who consider themselves religious... BECAUSE communing with the great entity via suggestive direct communication to an external other being is absolutely preposterous. Substitute desires and dreams for prayers, then fill in the blank to the sentence "God answers your ______." As if God's purpose is to please and serve your self-serving opinions.

This is a complete misunderstanding of God, in my opinion.