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

jonsdarc@mindspring.com




Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington



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Sunday, 31 August 2008 at 10h 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.


Friday, 29 August 2008 at 17h 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.


Thursday, 28 August 2008 at 18h 46m 32s

What the American Media won't publish

One of Americaís 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.

ďIt doesnít appear that any of them knew they were going to Iraq,Ē said Matthew Handley, a lawyer representing the only survivor and the families of those who were killed. ďA few were told they were going to work at an American camp ? They thought they were going to work in America.Ē


[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.


Thursday, 28 August 2008 at 18h 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]


Thursday, 28 August 2008 at 18h 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 bigpicture.com.


Thursday, 21 August 2008 at 18h 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; theyíve 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. Somebodyís been laid off, their plantís closed and gone to Mexico or China, change your mind. Itís 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 Ė this is yesterday, same day Ė where somebody asked John McCain, how many houses do you have? And he said, Iím not sure. Iíll have to check with my staff. True quote. Iím not sure. Iíll 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 youíve got to make $5 million and if you donít know how many houses you have, then itís not surprising that you might think the economy was fundamentally strong. But if youíre like me, and youíve got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they donít lose their home, you might have a different perspective. And by the way, the answer is John McCain has seven homes.

So thereís just a fundamental gap of understanding between John McCainís world and what people are going through every single day here in America. And you donít have to be Ė you donít 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 canít 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?


Thursday, 21 August 2008 at 17h 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 ....


Tuesday, 19 August 2008 at 16h 4m 33s

Jack Cafferty is da man

Jack Cafferty is a real conservative who is also a seasoned news journalist that works at CNN. He speaks with conviction and a slew of quick facts like machine gun bullets. And he detests John McCain. Click here for the CNN transcript.

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.

Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day.

He was asked "if evil exists." His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to "the gates of hell." That was it.

He was asked to define rich. After trying to dodge the question -- his wife is worth a reported $100 million -- he finally said he thought an income of $5 million was rich.

One after another, McCain's answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has -- virtually none.

Where are John McCain's writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our time? Where are his position papers setting forth his careful consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America's moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.?

John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.

He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he's reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner -- short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly.

I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin's eyes and see into his soul.

George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.

He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens' faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.

I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him


I can hear the plethora of lobbyists running McCain's pathetic campaign calling CNN and whining about how unfair Cafferty is to not be worshipping the Straight-talk express maverick.

If you want to read Cafferty's blog archive, Click here.


Tuesday, 29 July 2008 at 17h 46m 40s

RAND study: war on terror ineffective

The RAND Corporation (a think tank that studies government and military policies) released a study in which it concludes that "U.S. efforts to undermine al Qaeda have been, largely, unsuccessful and recommends a new strategy against the group. "

The Rand group studied nearly 650 terrorist organizations that have functioned over the last 40 years. In a little over 40% of the cases, the terrorist groups transitioned to political entities. Another 40% of the terrorist organizations were eliminated by police or intelligence services either apprehending or killing key leaders.

Military force was effective in eliminating the terrorist groups In only 7% of the cases.


[SOURCE:Jay McDonough†|†San Franciso Examiner.com†|†29 July 2008]

So policing and intelligence is more than 5 times effective (40 divided by 7 equals 5.71) than military invasion and occupation?

Ah, but military contractors steal a thousand times more money, don't you know.

The RAND Corporation is a non-profit organization the does objective analysis of government policy decisions and options. To goto the RAND Corporation's own page Click here.

The name RAND is derived from "Research and Devlopment. From the Wikipedia article on RAND:RAND was set up in 1946 by the United States Army Air Forces as Project RAND, under contract to the Douglas Aircraft Company, and in May 1946 they released the Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship. In May 1948, Project RAND was separated from Douglas and became an independent non-profit organization. Initial capital for the split came from the Ford Foundation.

The RAND Corporation is seen as militarist by many organizations that consider themselves peaceful or progressive. The fact that RAND is basically saying the military solution is not going to work is significant.

To read the RAND report yourself Click here.


Monday, 28 July 2008 at 18h 58m 13s

Gold is not the super currency object

... because Gold is real money.

Gold is no longer a luxury, today it's a necessity.

Safety first then profit.

~ ~ ~ a recent advertisement by a gold brokerage firm.


Gold is not real money. Money is whatever currency the social order decides is the medium of payment for good's and services. The production system produces, people are given currency based upon their jobs or their position of profit extraction from the social system.

It does get more complicated when large institutions accumulate the social currency and when land and property (factories and buildings) are value accessed in terms of this social currency; and when nations of millions use different means of social currency -- but the basic function of the social currency is as a medium through which human commerce is organized and produced. One nation's social currency is measured against other nation's social currencies based upon the world demand and organization of resources. The weight of currencies against social distribution is nothing that can be standardized by using a global currency or standard, even if and even when that global currency was metallic pieces of gold.

The purchase of gold is a function of the wealth of a society or nation, so when nation's had to buy gold in order to give value to their social currencies, it was the owners and producers of gold who served is the gate-keepers. Today it is oil and those who control the means of production who have resources that can be valued (and that involve revenues) in social currency. This was the reality when the medium exchange was gold.

When you go to another country, the social currency in your nation is measured against the means of distribution in another country other than your own. If that nation is depended upon external resources, it's own social currency must purchase from exports; whereas, a nation that is self-suffient or has balanced economic relations with other countries has more intrinsic social value for it's currency. So when American's go to Guatemala, they can live like royalty; but when they arive in Tokyo or Paris, they discover their money is half it's value. Two dollars in a poor country gets a hotel room for the night, but won't even by a candy bar in London.

Buying gold is not necessarily any better of an investment than a stock or a bond, or a deposit in a bank, because increase in value is related to human population. Over a period of 50 years, there can be 10 or 20 year periods of depreciation, but everything will be valued in larger units of currency denomination so long as human population increases. However, if the currency inflates by 5%, the distribution of currency can accrue to small numbers of people by 30%, which means that some group has 6 times more value (30 divided by 5).

Let me eulogize further. Say we have a very simple (albeit semi-realistic) society of 100 people, with $200 of total currency in which the top 10 persons have $10 dollars each and the bottom 90 have the remaining 100 divided by 90 -- $1.11 each.

If the currency inflates by 5%, we now have 200 + 10 = 210 dollars. If the $10 of the top 10 increase by 30%, then the top 10 make $13 each now. Subtracting $130 (10 times 13) from $210, the remaining $90 gets divided by the 90 people ... who now make only $1 each per year, which is 11 cents less than before.

An if the population increases during this time period each person who is not in the top 10 of this simple society will earn less than the one dollar.

Say the population increases by 5%, and assume the increase is equally distributed-- which means 5% of the 10 (.5) and 5% of the 90 (4.5). So 10.5 persons now make $13 each, which is $136.5. Subtracting from $210, we have $73.5 left. This $73.5 is divided by the 94.5 people (90+4.5), which is only 77 cents (much less than a dollar).

The above scenario is essentially what happened from 1980 to 2008 in America. The small percentage of very wealthy people (which is 0.5%) got incredibly more rich -- sharing their gains with the upper 15% -- but the remaining 84.5% lost 33 cents on their original $1.11 per person value.

Of course there were a few shooting stars, but a 5% growth doesn't necessarily benefit all of the society the same way, because it depends upon the distribution.

It is the same with Gold as a medium of exchange. The only thing that gives gold any value is demand and the relatively limited amount of supply. Silver is a little more plentiful, the value of Uranium even less so, but each has an intrinsic value related to it's weight within the human social economic system. If Uranium was as plentiful as Crystal, or as useless as Feldspar, it's worth would be zero. Even shale has a value, when you need a lot of it (as for landscaping and architecture) and you have to hire some business to provide you with the resource of shale.




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