Category Archives: Privacy

Why don’t politicians know this?

There’s nothing that goes unnoticed in this age.

~ Robin Williams

When you passed the Patriot Act and opened all of our lives up to scrutiny, yours wasn’t exempt.  If you do it in the Internet Age someone is going to see and report it to everyone else.  You opened this can of worms guys, you should know better.  I’m talking to you Weiner.

Texas Secession – An Opportunity Missed

Though the Texas Secession Movement never really seems to gain enough traction to get anything accomplished, I’m here to say…please, LET THESE MORONS GO!!!

I mean, really, these idiots are willing to risk having all passenger air traffic in and out of the Lone Star State stopped by the Feds. And when the Texas legislature quashed the infamous ‘pat-down’ bill, crowds of protestors came to the capital to shout “traitors” at their representatives.

So… Is there any way we could encourage Texas to secede? Imagine the benefits. The average IQ of Americans might ascend a whole point or two against other countries just by excising this pool of retards. The most polluted state in the nation could go and wallow in the cesspool that it’s become. Fresh potable water will no longer be a problem in the ‘Greater 49’ as we cut off, damn up…whatever…the Rio Grande, the Red River, the East Branch of the Colorado, and just about every other fresh water source that Dry Star State depends on. Our Texan friends will be forced to get real friendly-like with their neighbors south of the border since the only way out of Texas will be through Mexico. And maybe our gun happy Texan brethren can apply themselves to Mexico’s violence problem.

In short, Texas needs a hard lesson in just how painful it can be to try and survive on its own, and I think that it’s time for the state of my youth to head to school.

Do nothing Congress does something for me

I read with glee yesterday that the House of Representatives failed to pass an extension of some key components of the Patriot Act.  Woo hoo!  Break out the champagne.  Turns out the Republicans underestimated the number of votes they had in the bag.  They brought the legislation to the floor needing a two-thirds majority, but with a couple of dozen Tea Party defections they failed to get it.  I have to say my jaw dropped on that one.  Tea Partiers voting against the Patriot Act?  Sounds ironic to  me.  That is until I learned that their long term plan is to make these provisions permanent.  Boo.  All I can say to them is think about this people.  You believe in liberty and your constitutional rights.  You came to Washington to protect them.  If you really want to put your money where your mouth is don’t vote for this when it comes to the floor again.  Law enforcement has plenty of tools in their box.  And any way, in my Country you don’t need to spy on your own citizens.

Don’t ask, don’t tell repealed…but

Soldiers won’t be popping out of the proverbial closet any time soon.  You see, the Pentagon doesn’t want them shouting their now legally protected sexual orientation from the rooftops. According to Defense Secretary Gates they need time to create a deliberate process, and they must first conduct a study to determine that repealing the law won’t impair the ability of troops out there fighting.  While I don’t personally see how it could, I understand that at the end of the day the Pentagon is just playing for time.  Maybe they have a lawsuit up their sleeves or maybe the old generals just aren’t ready for the out and proud.  Or maybe, just maybe this is all simply political theater.  Time will tell.

Where’s Dante when you need him?

We need to bring him back to create a special ring in Hell for the Westboro Baptists.  They plan to picket Elizabeth Edwards funeral today. Ostensibly for blasphemy, assaulting God, and I quote:

Elizabeth Edwards & her faithless husband, John, lightly esteemed what they had. They coveted things that were not theirs – and presumptuously thought they could control God.

So you’re going to punish a woman because her husband cheated on her?  Or is it really just that she was a gay rights advocate.  I don’t think this has anything to with religion.  It’s for publicity.  Pure and simple.

Fall into the Gap, get carded

So the Frog and I went to Gap today to purchase some stuff.  It was a mission given that the mall was literally filled with shoppers.  We got in, found what we needed and jumped in the check out line.  I handed the sales guy my handy dandy credit card and thought we’d be out in a flash.  Then the trouble began.  “I need your drivers license.”  Um, what?  I’ve had that card, your card, for a decade and you’ve never once asked me for i.d.  I simply said, nope thinking that would be the end of it.  He’d finish my sale and we’d be off.  But, no…he can’t finish the transaction.  So I politely ask him to call the manager over.  I explain to her that I don’t give out my license because of identity theft, and she tartly informs me that “it’s their policy” and they won’t finish the sale.  Needless to say at that point we just threw up our hands and walked out.  I can’t believe that a store like the Gap has the guts to get into a pissing match with me over my i.d.  I mean they seriously e-mail me daily with discounts and pleas to spend money.  So I’m thinking they could use my business.  Guess not.  I know where we won’t be holiday shopping this year.

National meet the trouser snake day

Several civil rights organizations are putting together an “Opt Out” protest for the day before Thanksgiving this year.  They are encouraging everyone to opt out of the backscatter imaging and take the pat down instead.  This is going to create CHAOS!  Can you just imagine what the lines will be like at the airports?  They’ll go on for miles.  The Frog and I found the perfect solution.  All the men going in for this search should wear kilts.  Yup kilts.  If they go commando, they can just lift it up and flash TSA the goods.

The Weak In Privacy

Two alarming new developments in the privacy arena are exposing the Obama administration as no better than Bu$hCo when it comes to protecting the privacy of Americans.

First, the administration is preparing to argue in a case before the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals that Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures do not apply to telco logs of the locations of cell-phone users. If fact, the FBI and local law enforcement agencies have been abusing such records for years, obtaining them merely by asking providers without a warrant and sometimes without probable cause.

Second, federal law enforcement agencies are are pushing for the creation of private “backdoor” interfaces directly into the internal servers of major Internet service providers (ISPs). The stated reason for this new intrusion into private communications is to speed up the process for legally obtaining data when a warrant is presented to an ISP. However, privacy advocates have noted that 1) Federal agencies already abuse existing interfaces by frequently presenting ISPs with “informal” requests for the same information, and so there should be no expectation that a more functional interface would not also be abused, and 2) That a common, consolidated, legally required, interface—implemented by all major ISPs—would present an obvious target for criminal organizations and thus would constitute a terrible risk to the private communications of ordinary citizens.

Demint has alternative to unionized TSA – Larry Craig may scan male air travelers

Declaring that every alternative security method should be explored before allowing Transportation Security Administration personnel to unionize, Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC) introduced legislation today directing the TSA to use former Sen. Larry Craig to screen air passengers.

The proposal is in response to the Christmas Day incident aboard an Amsterdam-Detroit flight on which a passenger was caught attempting to light an explosive device concealed in his underwear.

Demint’s bill creates a pilot program that would station Craig, the former three term Republican senator from Idaho, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where he would visually assess and hand-search all male air travelers.

“Airline security will also be President Obama’s Waterloo, and Larry Craig is the leading Republican expert on loos in airports,” said Demint.

“Craig has the know-how, the eyes and the hands for the job,” Demint said.

Reached while vacationing on New York’s Fire Island, Craig displayed ‘Official Underwear Inspector’ business cards he had already had printed. “What do you think about that?” he asked reporters.

An amendment to Demint’s bill by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) would require all female passengers passing through McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to be screened by Ensign and professional golfer Tiger Woods.

“Only Tiger and I together have the capacity to screen the estimated 9 million women annually passing through McCarran,” Ensign said.

Pat MacRauch, a TSA screener since 2006, said a proposal like Demint and Ensign’s is the very reason he and fellow screeners should be allowed to join a union. “Friskings require extensive training and are one of the biggest perks of the job. We’re not going to let amateur enthusiasts do them for free,” MacRauch said.