All posts by Kvatch

Liberal commentator and the most prominent denizen of the 'Frogsphere'.

The People’s Business?

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has asked the DoJ to investigate pitcher Roger Clemens to determine if he committed perjury during his Feb. 13th testimony regarding the use of performance enhancing steroids…

…and the question we should be asking ourselves is: Has Congress taken leave of their senses! Is this their idea of ‘conducting the people’s business’? Roger Clemens has ensured that he’ll end up as a minor-f*cking-footnote in sports history. His career is over. His reputation is shot. His awards are tainted, and his body is probably broken. So now Representative Henry Waxman wants to waste more millions of dollars on a perjury investigation? Who the F*CK cares if Clemens lied or not?!

Mr. Waxman, are you a moron?  Are you senile?  In the near future DHS plans to “harmonize” domestic and international travel rules under the ‘Secure Flight’ proposal so that, like Imperial Russia, we’ll all need permission from our lor–I mean the Feds–before we travel to Disneyworld.

In a few weeks 4000 US serviceman will have died fighting Bush’s War, not to mention the 10’s of thousands of veterans maimed by our enemies as well as by an administration that forgot about them upon their return from the battlefield.

Perhaps the honorable Mr. Waxman might want to take a look at his committee’s stationary. I appears that he has forgotten either his committee’s name, or its charter, or both.

Ralph Nader – The modern Harold Stassen?

You go from Iraq to Palestine/Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bungling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts, getting a decent energy bill through – and you have to ask yourself, as a citizen, should we elaborate the issues that the two (parties) are not talking about?

— Ralph Nader announcing his 5th run for the presidency

Ralph you miserable wretch! You…accusing the Democrats for not stopping the war is like an arsonist accusing the firemen of not doing their jobs because the building he set on fire burned to the ground.

— Kvatch

The following is a reprint from Blognonymous that I wrote when Nader announced that he might run early last year.

Dear Ralph Nader,

Well…there certainly isn’t much left for anyone to say about you and your monumental ego. Though I suppose I should give credit where credit is due: Few people reach the end of their lives with such deep and abiding hatred of their fellow man. I mean how many of us can really say that they have had the opportunity, and in your case the will, to contribute in a substantial way to the utter destruction of their nation? It’s as if 30 years of consumer advocacy have turned you into the ultimate consumer assailant.

Ralph NaderYou see, you whine and cry about how there is no real difference between the parties, but you know that’s not true. If it were true then there would have been no point to your playing the spoiler in 2000, no point to helping George W. Bush into power. The sad fact is that things would have been different with 8 years of a Gore administration. Oh, the excesses of corporate America would have barreled along unchecked, but Gore would have handled 9/11 very differently–no $500B dollars down the tubes. Gore would have used the presidency as a “bully pulpit” to agitate for a proper response to global climate change, and the public might just have gotten on board. But you can’t see that. All you can see is a one way trip to hell for the rest of us so you can sooth your own rage at your monumental impotence.

2008 is coming around Ralph, and you’ve only got one card left to play. Unfortunately, the fact that you’re willing to play it tells us everything we need to know about the pathetic louse you’ve become.

Will Citizens Be Denied Reentry Into The US?

With little fanfare, and as little review, new travel rules went into effect on the 19th of February that may have a profound effect on the ability and willingness of Americans to travel abroad.

The Department of Homeland Security has placed an odious new requirement on international air travel to, from, and over the United States. Where previously passenger lists had to be supplied to DHS within 15 minutes of a US bound flight taking off, now those lists must be made available in advance and every passenger must be given “permission” by DHS to board the flight in question. Think about that for a second. A passport is no longer sufficient to allow you to travel abroad, and DHS have given themselves the ability to deny you reentry to the United States…indefinitely.

Though most people don’t know this the right to travel and, more specifically, the right to return to one’s country of origin is guaranteed by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the United States is a signatory. So these new rules are, in effect, a violation of treaties and by extension, the United States Constitution that requires that treaties be treated as the ‘law of the land’.

Though…the small matter of treaty violations doesn’t seem to bother DHS who’ve taken this nonsense one step further. They’ve added new procedural rules that require Customs and Border Protection officers to reject oral declarations of citizenship from people attempting to cross into the US by land. Now…two forms of identification that can establish citizenship will be required, presumably your passport and one other, such as a birth certificate. I don’t know about you, but I’m not in the habit of carrying my birth certificate with me when I travel abroad.

So in the end the question is: When the Feds start using these rules to deny reentry to “troublemakers” (and they will), what recourse does the newly “stateless” person have?

Fidel Castro – A Cold War Observation

Cuba’s Fidel Castro steps down after half a century

Castro, 81, who has not appeared in public since undergoing stomach surgery almost 19 months ago, said he would not seek a new term as president or leader of Cuba’s armed forces when the National Assembly meets on Sunday.

– Reuters

Fidel CastroSort of reminds me of Cold War era announcements from the former Soviet Union:

“The Chairman is fine…”

“The chairman is fine…”

“The Chairman is dead.”

Just saying…

Dear Senator Clinton

For all the injustices you’ve suffered at the hands of rabid, sub-human conservatives…I wish it were otherwise.

For the admirable way you’ve moved forward following the dark days of an unjust impeachment…I wish it were otherwise.

In recognition of your service to the people of New York and the considerable skill you’ve brought to the job…I wish it were otherwise.

For the fact that, at this time in history—even more than I desire to see a black or Hispanic president—I ache to see a woman finally achieve the White House…I wish it where otherwise.

But it is not otherwise. The Clinton era ended at the moment the US Supreme Court illegally stopped the 2000 Florida recount, and the days of your husband’s presidency will not return. Your presidency would be as divisive as his because the Republicans will not stop until you and your administration are destroyed.

I sincerely wish it where otherwise, but you are the wrong woman at the right time.

This is not to say that this should be the end. Stay in the Senate where your skills and charm can do more good than you would be able to do in the White House. I want to see you as the Majority Leader. I want you to be the bulwark that stands between us and the next “George W Bush”. Or…be a justice on the Supreme Court—be the Chief Justice! I want you as a protector of the Constitution.

In conclusion, the presidency may not be your crowning achievement, but the woman that follows you will acknowledge that it was your campaign that made her presidency possible. I wish it were otherwise…I really, really do, but there are so many ‘firsts’ yet to achieve.

Dear Senator Obama

OK, I’ll admit it: I’m in a quandary here. You see…my man John Edwards is out of the race, and frankly I don’t think you’re qualified to be the president. I’m not old enough to be excited by perceived similarities between your campaign and the 1960 Kennedy campaign. Likewise, I’m not young enough to be filled with optimism merely by listening to your speeches. In fact, you and I are just about the same age, and if I had as little time on the national stage as you, I wouldn’t consider myself qualified to be President either.

True, you were a member of the Illinois State Senate for 6 years, but that run for the House of Representatives didn’t work out so well. And since then, you’ve developed a habit very common in your Gen-Y supporters: You’ve started job jumping. In other words, you get bored with a position and then…well…you move on. Hell, your US Senate seat wasn’t even warm before you decided that your time had come. So what should we expect 14 months into an Obama administration? That you’ve had enough and are going to run for God?

Add to that the fact that, since starting your campaign, you’ve acquired an unfortunate allergy to Senate roll call votes. Since I’m not naive enough to believe what you say on the stump, the most reliable guide to your views is your voting record. It’s the touchstone of the pressures that you might be susceptible too. But you seem to have concluded that if you don’t vote no one will figure you out. Your vote in favor of stripping immunity from the telecom bill? Admirable. Your refusal to vote on final passage? Transparent and cowardly.

In short, I wish you’d go back and prove that you can serve your constituents though till the end of your term. Then…maybe…I’ll consider you qualified to serve the rest of us.

Harry Reid – Biggest Asshole of the Week

Kvatch spoke with Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid from the AT&T Congressional Hospitality Suite at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Senator Reid, on Thursday, after the President criticized Congressional Democrats, you said:

The president could have taken the simple step of requesting new authority from Congress … but whether out of convenience, incompetence, or outright disdain for the rule of law, the administration chose to ignore Congress and ignore the Constitution…

If this is really your position, couldn’t you have tried harder to stop telecom immunity legislation in the Senate. What about a filibuster?

Well Kvatch you know filibusters are hard! They take a lot of time and your throat gets dry doing all that talking. Plus the President promised to ‘make me cry like a little girl’ if I didn’t get the Senate to roll over on this one. Not to mention the fact that AT&T threatened to cut off my DSL connection. You just can’t stand up to the administration when faced with that kind of pressure.

But Senator…now the only mechanism citizens have of discovering the extent of Bush Administration lawbreaking, civil lawsuits against the telecoms, could be taken away.

Come on Kvatch…don’t take it so hard. Lawsuits cost money, lots and lots of money. You don’t really want to squander what little you do have suing big companies like Verizon, now do you?

Well Senator…many of those suits—

I’m sorry Kvatch, but I’m afraid that I’m going have to go. There is a nice young woman here who says that Hamachi tastes ‘so much better’ if I eat it off of her stomach.

Come here sweet thing…

Future Headlines: One Final Surge And Then We’re Done









Crossing the US Border? Secure Your Data!

 …or, “Nothing says ‘f*ck DHS!’ like strong encryption!”

Did you know that at US border points—bridge crossings, airports, ferry terminals—your 4th Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure doesn’t exist. Or perhaps the Department of Homeland Security somehow thinks that border crossings aren’t really part of the United States. Though…I suspect that Canada, Mexico, and the City of San Francisco would probably have something to say about that. Indeed Bu$hCo has found another novel way of violating the rights of US citizens, by seizing and copying all the data on their electronic devices as they pass through border checkpoints.

An engineer returning from business in London was forced by federal agents to log them in to his company laptop and then had to stand by as they copied information on the web-sites he’d visited. Amir Khan, an IT consultant and US citizen from Fremont, California, has been stopped every time he returns to the US. He claims that custom’s agents routinely search his laptop, books, personal notebooks and mobile phone. And it doesn’t end there. The EFF has documented numerous cases of Customs and Border Protection personnel unlawfully seizing and searching equipment without probable cause.

In a climate where the government becomes the violator of one’s rights, there is only one defense: Take data protection into your own hands. Many products exist that allow one to encrypt data with sufficient strength that even the government would have a hard time breaking it. If you use a Mac or PC, your laptop already comes equipped with hard drive encryption software. Just a password…and away you go. Want something stronger? Shareware, open-source products like TrueCrypt encrypt drives, folders, or files with multiple algorithms and passes.

So tell the Feds to go **SCREW THEMSELVES**! And when some hotshot Border Patrol agent announces that he needs access to your laptop, you can respond, “Certainly. Let me just log you in…” safe in the knowledge that they’ll get exactly NOTHING!