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

1161 POSTS

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Monday, 14 January 2008 at 19h 10m 3s

There's still a war going on.

Click here for the latest in US deaths and casualties. Almost 4,000 dead, 30,000 wounded. Official statistics. Not including the soldiers who die due to complications off-field. Not including the 300,000 plus iraqi and afghani civilian deaths, nor the millions of refuges and orphans, nor the destruction of crop-land and infrastructure.

And how many dictators and oligarchical dictatorships has the US supported and currently support? Why was this one dictator so damn different? In the words of our fearless Vice President:

In Afghanistan youíve got a nation without significant resources. In Iraq youíve got a nation thatís got the second-largest oil reserves in the world, second only to Saudi Arabia. It will generate billions of dollars a year in cash flow if they get back to their production of roughly three million barrels of oil a day, in the relatively near future.

[SOURCE:†|†Meet The Press†|†16 March 2003]

Here's another lovely quote from the same "interview" (dissemination of propaganda):

MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and weíre not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I donít think itís likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.

Sunday, 13 January 2008 at 20h 18m 48s

The Primary electors

The pink states are the states that will hold their primaries on Super Tuesday, 5 February.

Keep in mind all of the talking heads have been filling the air waves with nonsense over 11 total electors. That is only 20% of California's electors. The corporate media frames the historical events, while screening out all relevant evidence contrary to the theme.

This year's voters are well informed however. A ground-swell of voters under 35 is surging against the juvenile narratives the media liars offer as substantive discourse.

Answer: turn off the media box and listen to your heart.

Sunday, 13 January 2008 at 18h 29m 52s

ex-Attorney General John Ashcroft

Riches are raining down on the former attorney general's consulting firm, the Ashcroft Group, thanks to a former Justice Department associate. The group has been handed an 18-month contract worth between $28-million and $52-million by Christopher Christie, the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey - a man who used to work for Ashcroft. There was no competitive bidding for this well-compensated work and, according to the New York Times, Christie has been using his position to direct similar arrangements to other former department colleagues.

Ashcroft's contract has eye-popping numbers. For the sum of $750,000 per month plus between $150,000 and $250,000 per month in expenses, his consulting group will monitor an out-of-court settlement the Justice Department reached with Zimmer Holdings, a medical supply company in Indiana. That company was accused of paying kickbacks to doctors who used their knee and hip implants.

Zimmer Holdings was directed to contract with Ashcroft's firm by Christie, who defends the action as just finding the best man for the job. It is hard to believe that other firms wouldn't be as equally capable, and they would be without the appearance of cronyism or rewarding friends.

Ashcroft's firm negotiated its fees directly with Zimmer Holdings in a way that raises questions about whether they might be too generous in order to curry favor. The hourly billing rate for Ashcroft and his top staff is between $695 and $895. Nice work if you can get it.

[SOURCE:†|†St. Petersburg Times†|†11 January 2008]

This is why Republicans want to get government off your backs, because they got government in their back pockets.

Sunday, 13 January 2008 at 20h 22m 16s

America Has Spoken

Thanks bartcop

Sunday, 13 January 2008 at 18h 11m 54s

Mindless whores who like their 7 figure salaries

"The media horseshit produced in New Hampshire was worse than useless; not only arrogant, mindless and sheeplike, per usual, but also wrong on the very horse-race measurements upon which these faux smarties pride themselves. How can an entire industry continue to exist when the product it provides is both unwanted and defective, and proven repeatedly to be so?"

[SOURCE:Eric Alterman†|††|†10 January 2008

Exceptionally moronic and insane are Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough. Why are these lying sack of shits getting paid millions of dollars to "pretend' like they don't serve an agenda that is anti-democratic in spirit. Here is a snippet of the two of them from the December 12 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MATTHEWS: I was thinking that -- Giuliani's the other strong favorite. He's once again selected as the best leader, the most experienced, and I think the best chance to win. But the fact that he's still the best leader in the Republican Party is the key thing. Republicans like leaders, and I still think that's why he's the front-runner. If you look down the stretch, he can win the big states with the unit rule. He could do well in Florida; he can do well in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, Washington, Oregon. He could win the coasts big time and win the nomination a little slower and a little dirtier than he'd like, but he'll win it.

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah, but isn't it -- sorry -- isn't it because people just think he simply can win, as opposed to whether or not they agree with what he stands for? Is it -- are we still there?

MATTHEWS: Yeah, that's where they're at. You're right, Mika. They think he can win it. And they think he's a leader, and they think he might be an SOB. And one thing is, he's an authentic SOB.

I mean, he really looks like one, acts like one, talks like one -- he is the real thing. He is not a nice guy; he's a tough guy. And at 3 o'clock in the morning on the subway, do you want a nice guy to get on -- do you want Huckabee joining you on the subway - - or do you want this guy who looks like he might just have brass knuckles on? You don't know.

SCARBOROUGH: I want Giuliani sitting next to me on the subway.

BRZEZINSKI: You don't want Huckabee?

MATTHEWS: I think that's what you want. You want [former New York City police commissioner] Bernie Kerik sitting next to you on the subway is what you really want.

SCARBOROUGH: You're damn straight I want Bernie Kerik. I will not criticize Bernie Kerik --


SCARBOROUGH: -- because I can walk around the streets of New York City at 2 in the morning and not be afraid for my life.


SCARBOROUGH: You're damn --

MATTHEWS: I felt that, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH: You're damn straight.

MATTHEWS: Joe, I'm an out-of-towner, too.

[SOURCE:MSNBC MORNING JOE†|††|†12 December 2008]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Amazing how this is considered insightful and provocative commentary on morning television. Rudy's heavy-handed police tactics shot at, killed, and harassed people of color far out of proportion to the declining crime rate which had nothing to do with Rudy. Money that was available occurred before he became Mayor. They praise for the mob lackey Bernie Kerik without mentioning the adulterous romps in an apartment paid for by the city, along with the complete politicization and corruption of the the police departments. But Christy Matthews praises the man because he can walk the streets at night, and Joey Scarborough wants to sit next to Rudy on the subway. Case closed. The historical record be damned.

What nightmares these two men must have in their subconscious reality.

Sunday, 13 January 2008 at 8h 24m 3s

Wait a minute

In what could be a first in the world of political advertising, a message created by a deeply unhappy Arkansas voter that initially came alive on the web in December is going to air on television tonight in the important primary state of South Carolina, right in the middle of a Fox News debate among the Republican presidential candidates.

The minute-long advertisement attacks Republican Mike Huckabee for the release of convicted serial rapist Wayne Dumond during Huckabee's tenure as Arkansas governor. Dumond went on to kill a woman named Carol Sue Shields in Missouri. The spot features Shields' mother, Lois Davidson, who tells viewers "If not for Mike Huckabee, Wayne Dumond would be in prison and Carol Sue would be with us."

[SOURCE:Sarah Lai Stirland†|†Wired†|†10 January 2008]

But that's not all. Huckabee released Dumond over the advice of the state pardon board because of a political hoopla from some right wing radio talk shows that Clinton was covering up his involvement and scapegoating Dumond. But don't just believe me.

As Clinton rose to national prominence, the case came to the attention of his critics. Journalists and talk show hosts questioned the victimís story and suggested that DuMond had been railroaded by the former governor. Steve Dunleavy, a New York Post columnist, took up the case as a cause, calling DuMondís conviction ďa travesty of justice.Ē [Ö]

When Huckabee became governor in 1996, he expressed doubts about DuMondís guilt and said he was considering commuting his sentence to time served. After the victim and her supporters protested, Huckabee decided against commutation.

[SOURCE:†|†CBS NEWS†|†5 December 2007]

Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 7h 57m 9s

Astronomy and Jesus

Is the birth of Jesus -- as leftover over to us by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John -- really just the leftover co-optation by the Romans of the pagan rituals?

The birth sequence is completely astrological. The star in the east is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, on December 24th, aligns with the 3 brightest stars in Orion's Belt. These 3 bright stars are called today what they were called in ancient times: The Three Kings and the brightest star, Sirius, all point to the place of the sunrise on December 25th. This is why the Three Kings "follow" the star in the east, in order to locate the sunrise -- the birth of the sun. [SOURCE:]

The Romans were losing their grip on their far flung empire even before the bad ole 300s when the "barbarian invasions" began to appear. What were called "Christian" cults were cropping up all over the various districts of the empire. In fact, these early groups were very many different types of groups, many of them non-Christian, pagan groups who actually gathered together to perform their rituals in tribune to the Earth's spirits and such. Holy groups worshipping the baby Jesus? Far from it. But nevertheless, these groups were very numerous and growing in the period from 200 BC and on. Creating a state religion and then requiring all gatherings to be registered with the state was a step towards attempting to control the population. The Roman Church is an outgrowth of the old Roman Empire's bureaucracy of social control.

For all we know, these stories that are revered in the "Holy Bible" could be just ancient myth- makers working in league with the tyranny of their day to keep the people down and in their place.

Mind you, the great spirit is everywhere, pervading all things, but not in any one book. Rather a little piece in every single book that ever existed, even if a mere speck in the books and mouths of liars.

Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 19h 39m 34s

The FBI can't even pay the bills with the people's money

This is just too incredible to be funny, but I had to share this with y'all.

Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.

A Justice Department audit released Thursday[100K PDF file] blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. In one office alone, unpaid costs for wiretaps from one phone company totaled $66,000.

In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation "was halted due to untimely payment," the audit found. FISA wiretaps are used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal and intelligence investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies.

"We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence," according to the audit by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine.

More than half of 990 bills to pay for telecommunication surveillance in five unidentified FBI field offices were not paid on time, the report shows.

..."It seems the telecoms, who are claiming they were just being 'good patriots' when they allowed the government to spy on us without warrants, are more than willing to pull the plug on national security investigations when the government falls behind on its bills," said former FBI agent Michael German, the ACLU's national security policy counsel. "To put it bluntly, it sounds as though the telecoms believe it when the FBI says the warrant is in the mail but not when they say the check is in the mail."

...The faulty bookkeeping was blamed, in large part, for an FBI employee who pleaded guilty in June 2006 to stealing $25,000 for her own use, the audit noted.

"As demonstrated by the FBI employee who stole funds intended to support undercover activities, procedural controls by themselves have not ensured proper tracking and use of confidential case funds," it concluded.

[SOURCE:Lara Jakes Jordan†|†AP News†|†10 January 2008]

Friday, 4 January 2008 at 19h 32m 54s

Father and son

Earl Baron Lacour III Earl Baron Lacour IV

This is my best friend and his first born child, now aged 15. I've known that long-hair freak since he first got into the womb. I won't explain that one, but Barry and Kelly understand what I'm saying.

My other friend Rob's first (and probably only) born Brody is alive and kicking at 18 months, already walking on his own and getting ready to say daddy. I neglected to take those pictures though.

Friday, 4 January 2008 at 20h 4m 18s

A summary of subprime mortgage SIVs and CDOs

In case you haven't been paying attention, or if you don't really understand economics, this is the best quick summary of the big picture over the subprime mortgages.

banks made loans to homeowners who did not have to prove their ability to pay, then quickly sold the loans to other companies. By the time it emerged that a lot of homeowners could not pay, these loans had been pooled with other loans and chopped into strange new paper assets that were sold to unsuspecting buyers around the globe. The subsequent reckoning has forced major banks to write off vast sums of money.

ďHere you had all these people who were supposed to be sophisticated investors, and it turns out they were buying billions of dollars worth of debt where they didnít even understand what they owned,Ē said Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research.

[SOURCE:Peter S Goodman†|†New York Times†|†30 December 2007††]

A "SIV" is the acronym for Structured Investment Vehicle. CDOs are Collateralized Debt Obligations.

Let me explain. Collateral is something of value that backs the loan. Here's an example of what collateral means in the real world. When you take out a 5 year loan on a car (something they call "financing") the value of the car is the collateral of the loan. This means that if you balk on the loan after, say, 14 months, the collateral value of the car plus the payments over the 14 months is the economic accountanting that takes place.

You buy a Toyota that is $20,000 wholesale, but sold for to you $22,000. Toyota "finances" a loan, which means the finance company buys the $20,000 wholesale and keeps the title until the loan is paid. If you make $350 payments for 14 months you have paid $4900. At 10% interest, about half or less would be collected as interest on the loan, but this really depends on the finance charges the company takes after the car is repossessed, since the blue book value is still $20,000 after 14 months. Now after adding the $4900 to the $20,000, the finance company has assets of $24,900 less the $20,000 wholesale price, or $4900 profits over 14 months. Say the finance company sells the car back to the Toyota dealer for $17000. This yields them a total of $21,900 ... which is net gain of $1900 more than the original $20000 wholesale price: a 9.5% gain over 14 months, or 8.1% per year.

Housing and Real Estate work the same way, except that housing generally appreciates over time, unlike automobiles, which depreciate (decrease) in value over a relatively brief span of time. A 20 year old car is generally worthless and unusable, unless it is an antique; but a 20 year old house is usually 10 times more money in value. Plus, if that house is an apartment building or 20 story office tower, the property receives a regular supply of rental income.

However, the value of houses & properties are tied to supply, location, and the average income of those who inhabit the cities, towns, and suburbs where the houses are located. People have to be able to buy the houses, or they will continue to rent apartments. The monthly payments necessary to finance housing purchases cannot be too much larger than the average necessary rental costs, or very few persons will be able to afford the monthly payments. Most lenders and real estate brokers will say no more than a third of one's income. And don't forget property taxes and interest payments.

Housing and real estate in general are not always commodities that attract investors, because houses don't create their own value like a factory or communications corporation does. The value of a piece of property is more directly related to the number of purchasers. In the case of business real estate, it is a function of the ability of businesses to earn revenue over and above their costs plus the cost of leasing the property. The value of the property, the ability to "generate" revenue is contingent upon local economic conditions and location.

Which brings me to the other acronym, the Structured Investment Vehicle, or SIV. This is what the investment gurus call bundling the various financial agreements and mortgage payments into an agglomeration of say 2,000. This is the "vehicle" thru which real estate values became part of the securities market. A "security" is a piece of paper that confers a percentage payment. "Securitizing" means you obtain funds based upon the inherent value of the "security" such as a stock, or a corporate receivable.

Bonds are loans to public institutions. The value of a bond is the amount of repaid funds after a period of time. A value of a bond is based upon how much will be repaid after a period of time. The United States, or Canada, or Germany, are safely assumed to always make the quarterly interest payments for 10 years, so the value of bonds don't change much over time. A bond rate of 4.5% means you purchase the bond for 95.5% (100 minus 4.5%) of the value knowing you are 99.9999% guaranteed to get your 4.5% return per year. A large demand for bonds is indicative of investors who are leery of the alternatives and want a "safer" investment. This however reduces the value because more people wanting a limited quantity causes the price to go up.

When banks and investment firms are holding collateral and securities that drop in value, the equity and assets on their balance sheets reduce their ratios of cash to liabilities. In order to maintain the necessary ratios to stay solvent, banks have to hold on to their cash. The Fed can liquify the system, but the banks are still "borrowing" from the Fed. This is why the Fed interest rate decisions are a very big deal. Lowering the Fed rate costs the banks less money when they borrow from the Fed. Mind you they don't actually "pay" this money. What happens is they buy Treasuries equivalent to the interest on the Fed loans. The money from the Fed are backed by the Federal bonds that are sold.

As you can see, all this is pretty complicated, inter-related stuff. It's taken me 20 plus years to figure this much out, and I'm still not quite able to grasp the entirety of the macroscopically inter-related global details such as international monetary flows and international stock markets. But I'm working on it. It's a life- long learning process. I'll keep you posted.