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

1156 POSTS

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

Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 17h 23m 50s

Private mercenaries at work

And play ...

Last week, Rep. Ted Poe (REPUBLICAN-TX) said on CNN that he did not believe that gang rape in Iraq of former Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones was “an isolated case of assault.” Poe then encouraged “other victims” to notify his office.

[SOURCE: Think Progress   ]

Some video of the Congressional testimony by one of the women, Jaime Leigh Jones, can be located at the source below.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.

“Don’t plan on working back in Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t be a position in Houston,” Jones says she was told.

[SOURCE: Jesse Lee The Gavel]

--- Ever notice how news and information distribution is being taken over by journalist blogsites. News shows are even now sourcing their own information from various blog journalist sources. People who call themselves journalists that work for traditional media (television, newspapers) are really no different than you or me, except maybe experience and a better ability to write everyday than most people. But you too can use the telephone, do the research, fly to the locations, and cull various connections. Of course it does help when it's your job, and the company backs you up with funds to do the job. Assuming that is what the conglomerated media do.

Nope, it's hyperbole and trivialization with actual depth of information being replaced by quotes from various politico's who caress the truth with ambiguity, brought to you by creamed and pomaded rich people who look at the cameras and read the news like tying a knot in very cold weather.

That's why the blogoshere was able to explode. The number of persons who read and want to know aren't going to participate in mental depravity. The old media is destroying itself. Media ownership needs to be diverse in order to offer variety and obtain a functional competition. The consolidation of media companies into only 10 to 20 across the nation owning 95% necessitates collusion.

I've discussed this before in earlier posts, but I'll re-explain. When large blocks of economic control and wealth consolidate into a small number of equal sized institutions, competition is expensive and unpredictable. Legal and advertizing costs are much higher. Groups of allies form to mutual benefit because it is in the best interest of everyone to just keep prices high and divy up the market. It happens that way historically for a reason. When instead, the number of competitors is in the tens of thousands, or hundreds, the amount of people involved in prohibitive. 20 to 50 CEO's and their assistants is small compared to 600 or 6,000. It is possible to know 50 people. I myself know probably 1000 people and counting this year alone, although the chances are good that I might not remember 20 to 30% by name.

Collusion between a small number of very large firms is so normative that some persons even realize the clothes they wear have corporate logos. The European Medieval aristocracy used to have designs and emblems that represented the line of wealth (the estate) and corporate logos have become and extension of that historical root. Except nowadays the peasants who tote the emblem of their lords don't really know they are doing so, because unlike the actual human form of a Baron or King, there is no human face to a Nike symbol. It manifests its existence in legal forms, with factories in distant lands and servants who distribute and purchase supplies. Those who man the helm of the corporate office are just the current navigators, and those who own the boat they sail are filthy rich.

Check out this site, especially the pie charts. The "investment assets" and "Housing, Liquid Assets, Pension Assets, and Debt" is about 1/5 th of the way down. the top one percent of households have 44.1% of all privately held stock, 58.0% of financial securities, and 57.3% of business equity. The top 10% have 85% to 90% of stock, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and over 75% of non-home real estate.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 16h 31m 39s

A Fire is a Friend Indeed

Dick Cheney's office just got burned. A fire started in the closet of Dick Cheney's office. The DC Fire Chief has just publically stated that he cannot say where the fire started for "security" reasons.

The Agence-France Presse pap story is here

Don't you just love the way the story quickly reassures us in paragraph two that terrorists did not set a fire in Dick Cheney's closet. Now why would a fire start in Dick Cheney's office? Aren't the document shredders working hard enough?

Tuesday, 18 December 2007 at 17h 45m 49s

The moon explains the tectonic plates

The Moon affects the liquid envelope of the Earth, and the oceanic tides in particular. The Moon affects the ocean tides more in some areas than others. For instance, in the channel between the British Isles and the European continent, the tidal range can be 10 meters, compared to what you see in the Pacific, where it is below a meter.

The crust of the Earth is also affected. The Moon’s tidal forcing causes significant heating and dissipation of energy to take place. Part of this energy is heating the Earth, and part of it is dissipated by forcing the Moon to recede from the Earth over time. There are people who propose that the tidal effect of the Moon may have helped trigger the convection on the Earth that led to the multi-plate tectonics. The other planets don’t have the same tectonic cycle. For most of them, the crust is like a lid that doesn’t move much horizontally, and the magma and heat are blocked by this lid on the surface. The Earth instead has rolling convective motion that drags the crust, and then the crust plunges back down into the mantle and gets recycled.

[SOURCE: Bernard Foing Astrobiology Magazine ]

Tuesday, 18 December 2007 at 17h 4m 19s

Yep, that's what I think too

As we have seen in oh so many different contexts, the blind adherence to dogma and ideology, from religious zealots to acolytes of Ayn Rand, seems to only lead to a broad range of problems, ranging from errors in judgment to unnecessary pain. Ultimately, most political and economic extremists collapse under the weight of their own slavish devotion to a universal idea that is inapplicable to a specific situation. Some people call this consistency, but the word "stupidity" means the same thing, and can be typed with less letters

[SOURCE: Barry Ritholtz  The Big Picture blog]

Tuesday, 18 December 2007 at 16h 48m 0s

Humpty Dumpty

Oh my God. Bush is actually really destroying the government, while the media pundits and press corps all act like the emperor actually wears any clothes.

The head of the GAO just released a earth-shattering report yesterday, and in the national media, a pin drops in some distant forest. What is this thing which shatters the Earth?

Yesterday, the Treasury Department released a troubling financial report that revealed the federal government’s “total liabilities and unfunded commitments for future payments” related to Social Security and Medicare are now estimated at $53 trillion, up from $20 trillion in 2000.

In a speech yesterday at the National Press Club, GAO Comptroller General David Walker said:

If the federal government was a private corporation and the same report came out this morning, our stock would be dropping and some people would be talking about whether the company’s management directors needed a major shake-up.

“The federal government’s total liabilities,” Walker explained, “translates into a de facto mortgage of about $455,000 for every American household and there’s no house to back that mortgage. In other words, our government has made a whole lot of promises that, in the long run, it cannot possibly keep without huge tax increases.”

  • [SOURCE: ]
  • [ORIGINAL SOURCE: Mary Mosquera  Federal Computer Week ]
  • [SOURCE: Dan Friedman  Congress Daily]
  • [SOURCE: GAO 2007 Financial Report  US Department of Treasury ]

    David Walker is basically the Government's financial advisor/auditor guy. He is the top officer of the Government Accountability Office, or GAO. A wikipedia history link is here.

    Did you catch that dollar amount? $455,000 for every American household. What Mr. Walker means is that every American is financing that kind of debt per year, which can be determined by taking the entire interest payments of the government (406 billion in 2006) dividing by the number of households, and making the result equal to the interest rate multiplied to the Principle ( interest per person = i*P. When you divide by the interest rate, you get $455,000.

    Look at that military spending

    Now keep that chart in mind, when you consider what the GAO report said in it's official statement:

    three major impediments continue to prevent us from rendering an opinion on the accrual basis consolidated financial statements: (1) serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense, (2) the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and (3) the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements.

    The entire statement is only 4 pages long. If you want a brief read, here is the PDF file link to the statement of the GAO from the Department of the Treasury website.

  • Monday, 17 December 2007 at 8h 14m 43s

    Oh the webs they weave

    I write letters to the editor periodically. I've been doing so since I was in high school. Here is one I wrote in response to a Mr. Harold, whose letter to editor was published in last week's Pacifica Tribune.

    Mr. Harold writes a letter accusing “liberals” of everything that is wrong with the Bush administration, and says that invading Iraq to defeat terrorism was a good idea because Clinton agreed. Oh, and ran a defeatist ad in the New York Times.

    Whatever you think of, they did not lie. The Swift-boat veterans group however (aided by a Bush-Cheney team lawyer) did lie. The Republican organization Choice-point was given the contract by Jeb Bush to purge the Florida voters of felons in 1999-2000, and was 90% inaccurate because they loosely associated a list of names without bothering to verify they were correct – costing 80,000 votes! Republican astro-turf groups (like Sproul and associates) organized fake registration drives that threw away Democratic registrations in Nevada, Arizona, and California during the 2004 campaign. Republican Ohio secretary of State Blackwell manipulated the voting machine distributions so that voters in Democratic districts had to wait in lines for 8 hours to vote. But gets your ire because that’s what the right-wing spin machine tells you, and like a fool you listen.

    And you want “facts, not negative spin” ?

    FACT: The Cheney-Bush team did not convene the terrorism task force once during the entire 9 months of 2001, even though they knew Al Quaida was intending to attack because the Clinton team thoroughly briefed them in February 2001.

    FACT: Cheney meet with oil & energy firms to look at oil maps of Iraq at the secretive Energy Task Force that meet in April of 2001. FACT: The Bush-Cheney team ignored and stymied all of the warning by lower level FBI agents. FACT: Bush signed an executive order halting the investigation into the bin laden charity funding networks, because the Bush family has been friends with the Saudi Arabian monarch family for nearly 40 years. FACT: When planes were grounded on September 12th, the bin ladens in the United States were all picked up by a private chartered plane and allowed to leave the country without being questioned at all.

    FACT: the Bush-Cheney team used forged Niger documents to falsely say that Iraq purchased “yellowcake” uranium. FACT: the Bush-Cheney team created the “Office of Special Plans” within the Defense department to alter and skew intelligence to suit their agenda. FACT: the Bush- Cheney team used fake “dissidents” coached by public relations firms to make untrue statements that were publicized by Judith Miller and other willing journalists.

    The Bush-Cheney team is defunding the veterans administration and treating our troops horrifically. There has been no beefing up of security in the United States at all. The funds for first-responders has been cut by the Bush administration so they can ensure funds for their political appointments and private contractors. The corruption is beyond anything this nation has seen since Ullysses Grant. But somehow our troops are keeping “us out of harms way” by invading nations that did not attack us and were no threat to our nation whatsoever, because of the Bush- Cheney teams’ psychopathic dream of a New American Empire.

    Saturday, 15 December 2007 at 13h 49m 17s

    Negative home equity and dropping home prices

    Click here if you are interested in reading about home equity, negative home equity, and how the drop in home prices in various American markets will push a lot of home owners into negative equity.

    Here's a cool chart

    This is a percentage distribution. The vertical axis represents percentage of mortgaged homeowners. The horizontal axis represents the percent of equity, with positive meaning the value of the house is more than the mortgage debt. Negative equity occurs when the value of the house is less than the mortgage. According to the Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey (see table here) there were 51,234,170 household with mortgage in the U.S. in 2006.

    The dashed line is the boundary between positive and negative equity, the "break-even" point. A very high proportion of foreclosures occur because the occupants can't afford the mortgage and can't sell the house to pay off the mortgage. This is why negative equity is a very big deal, and why declining prices is a very serious economic factor in the next 2 years. If the prices drop by 10% (the first 2 bars to the right of the dashed line) 9% of 51.2 million home mortgages will enter into negative equity. That's close to 5 million homes.

    Saturday, 15 December 2007 at 19h 33m 2s

    Eighty percent of the country is stagnant

    Here’s what the numbers say about percentage gains in after-tax income from 2003 to 2005:
    • Bottom quintile: 2%
    • Next quintile: 2.4%
    • Middle quintile: 3.9%
    • Fourth quintile: 3.7%

    • Top quintile: 16%
    • Top 10%: 20.9%
    • Top 5%: 27.7%
    • Top 1%: 43.5%

    [SOURCE:  Paul Krugman NY TIMES ]

    If you include inflation from energy prices, food prices, and housing (which is easily 50 to 90% of the income of eighty percent of the country) there have been no economic gains in the bottom four quintiles.

    Quintiles are 20% population blocks, ie. 20 percent of the population. What you do is rank everyone based upon total value (income and capital assets) and than divy up the 20% blocks from top to bottom. That's why 80% of the country is represented by the bottom 4 quintiles. Each quintile is a way to group the population based upon rank, except the richest person in the country isn't exactly the valedictorian of some graduating class. He may just be some ruthless lucky dumbass with a ton of money and a bad attitude.

    Saturday, 15 December 2007 at 12h 50m 55s

    Media cheerleading

    This post is an awesome description of why the media is strangling the ability of the citizens to effectively choose their leaders.

    It's a long article, so grab a cup of tea before you start reading.

    Here is a small snapshot : an example of how the media punditry are just showcasing liars and deceitful hacks to make them seem viable and news-worthy.

    One of the more contrived Clinton storylines the media have played up in recent weeks is the idea that if she were elected, there would be some grave crisis provoked by having "two presidents" in the White House. This theme seems to have started with Sally Bedell Smith, who invoked the "extraordinary" complications such a situation would present -- something, Smith gravely noted, "people have not focused on" until she brought it to our attention. Smith brought this up again and again on television, radio, and in print while promoting her recent book about Bill and Hillary Clinton, For Love of Politics.

    Smith and her book were warmly embraced by much of the media. Chris Matthews welcomed her to Hardball with a friendly "Sally, old buddy"; CBS anchor Harry Smith called her book "meticulous"; and the Houston Chronicle declared it "well-written and detail-rich."

    "Meticulous" might not be the best description of Smith's book; as Media Matters detailed this week, For Love Of Politics is filled with errors large and small, from her apparent wholesale fabrication of quotes attributed to John Podesta that appear neither in the source material she cited nor in any source available on Nexis or retrievable via Google, to her repetition of the long- ago-debunked myth that Bill Clinton delayed air traffic at the Los Angeles airport while getting a haircut, to her false claim that Bill Clinton didn't mention the minimum-wage increase during his 1996 Democratic convention speech.

    That last one was so transparently false -- quick, try to think of a Democratic presidential nominee who hasn't talked about the minimum wage -- that it almost wasn't worth checking. But we did; it took about 11 seconds to prove Smith wrong. Go to Google; type "Bill Clinton 1996 Democratic convention speech"; click on the first result -- a transcript available via PBS -- and search for "minimum wage."

    That's what passes for "meticulous" these days -- a book that contains quotes that seem to be made up out of whole cloth and highly implausible claims that can be debunked in less time than it takes to type this sentence.

    But Sally Bedell Smith wasn't just greeted with open arms by her "old buddy" Chris Matthews; her "two presidents" theme was eagerly repeated by other journalists.

    This is why television has become a monster, because when you watch it, these people slip into the small spaces of your reference frame and become a normative reality. The mind is an amalgamation of all experience, and what we call "free will" cannot be separated from this experience. So when you get pieces of trash embedded in your normative reference frame, your mental perspective starts to rot and your mental view gets squeezed into a box.

    Turn off the TV. All you do is lose your self.

    Saturday, 15 December 2007 at 12h 20m 22s

    The American delegation booed into submission by the world

    Click here for the Der Spiegel story on how the Bali conference on global climate change turned out.

    The last-minute deal came on Saturday after the US delegation made a U-turn in a final negotiating session, where Paula Dobriansky, leader of the US delegation, and her colleague James Connaughton were the target of naked animosity. When Dobriansky announced that the US would not sign up for the Bali roadmap, boos echoed through the room. Afterward the Americans were sharply attacked by several delegations. “If you’re not willing to lead, please get out of the way,” said a US environmental activist representing Papua New Guinea.

    The US was opposing a proposal by the G77 bloc, which represents developing countries, for rich nations to do more to help developing countries combat increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

    However opponents of binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions, such as Japan or Russia, did not come to the defense of the US, and the Americans gave in. “We will go forward and join consensus,” said Dobriansky. This time the delegation was rewarded with a standing ovation from some participants.

    Americans need to realize that we are not viewed by the rest of the world the same way we may have been in the 1940's and 50's. We need to stop thinking that we "are the leader of the free world" and stop acting like our nation is the super-hero out to help the world, because not only is this not true, but the world does not see us that way. In the eyes of the world, we are just another body of rich and powerful people out to take advantage when we can, while acting like we are doing you a favor.