2006/11/30

Kvatch Konsiders - Whose Freedom of Speech?

Newt Gingrich says: ...the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.

Kvatch says: The country would be better off if we reexamined Newt Gingrich's freedom of speech.

Thanks to Sewmouse for inspiring me to get this one posted.

That'll Teach Those North Koreans

Kim Jong-il Special Edition iPodCupertino (f-A-ke. P.) -

In an effort to reach out to North Korea, the Bush Administration and Apple Computer announced the immediate availability of the Kim Jong-il Special Edition iPod.

"The administration just wants to show those commies that we're not totally insensitive to their need for quality American products," said Press Secretary, Tony Snow.

The new iPod will come pre-loaded with the North Korean national anthem, The Internationale, and the complete collected speeches of the Dear Leader. Pricing has not been announced but is expected to be set at two head of cattle, four bushels of rice, or your sister.

2006/11/29

10 Years From Now At The Bush Presidential Library

Curator: Welcome to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
Patron: Thanks.
Curator: How can we help you?
Patron: I'm interested in researching the period just before the Iraq War.
Curator: Uh...well...we might have some menus from state dinners in 2003.
Patron: ??? -- State dinners?
Curator: Yeah. Everything else is classified you know.
Patron: Everything?
Curator Everything. Though I think that we may also have a copy of 'My Pet Goat'.

Thanks to Libby for the inspiration and to Romunov for that last bit.

National Meth Awareness Day

President Bush addresses the nation on the evils of methamphetamine.
Do you know where your pastor is?

2006/11/28

Kvatch Kvetches - It's About Your Job Stupid!

The FBI wants to start including "non-serious offenses" on criminal-history reports to employers, a move some say could unduly taint people's job prospects and spread misinformation.

Don't be fooled by employers that say that they just want to protect themselves. Don't be fooled by law enforcement saying that this is about providing more complete information. This is about putting the kabosh on civil disobedience by threatening one's future job prospects. It's about controlling citizens and their actions. It's about creating new underclass--unemployables who'll have no opportunities outside of low-pay, low-prestige jobs where one's past isn't examined.


You can move the candy dish just 6 feet away from you, rather than 3 feet.

So...why did Kvatch leave his last job? Well, having to make up his position and boredom were certainly factors, but the biggest factor? Junk food. In other words, a break room stuffed with snacks not 15 feet from his desk. 15 lbs of weight gain in 9 months on the job. Not being able to concentrate from all the snacking. And yeah you can say it's Kvatch's lack of control, but he's got plenty of control when it comes to his flat. Junk food simply doesn't make it in the door. Nobody needs an employer who thinks that candy is the key to stable, happy employees, and this article in Salon has a lot to say about the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that we're encouraged to overeat.

Big Auto Predicts An End To California's SUVs

And Blognonymous says...GOOD!

From the San Francisco Chronicle -
The auto industry said Monday that lawsuits over vehicles' greenhouse gas emissions could eventually force manufacturers to eliminate big SUVs from the market in California
You know what, a vehicle with a grill so high that you can't spot a pedestrian in front of you is not a good thing! A vehicle that weighs 3 tons but that isn't any safer than your average mini-van is not a good thing. A vehicle that sucks down gasoline like a drunk with a 1/5th of Mad Dog, is not a good thing.

And if Big Auto can't see their way clear to building a more fuel efficient SUV in order to satisfy our regulations, then F*CK 'EM! Let them be consigned to the dustbin of history cause we're talking about our air here, and we've got the worst in the nation. But don't worry Californians. If GM won't build a better SUV, Toyata will. Oh wait...Toyota already does.

2006/11/27

His Holiness Pope Fester I

2006/11/26

McCain-Lieberman - A Democratic Wet Dream

With Joe Lieberman's hiring of Marshall Whitmann as his new communications director, the rumors of a McCain/Lieberman ticket in 2008 are flying once again. Pundits on the right (and even a few on the left) are slyly predicting that this could be a potent ticket for the GOP. But I don't buy it.

Here's the thing...McCain is already pissing off moderate Republicans--the few that still exist--with his recent coddling of the religious right. Add Lieberman to the mix, and you have a recipe for pissing off just about everybody. Rightist zealots will never trust a former Democrat, especially one that ran with Al Gore. Centrist Democrats aren't going to cross party lines for a turncoat and a spoiler who didn't know when to step aside, and leftist kooks would sooner vote for Barry Goldwater's ghost, as long as it ran as a Democrat and promised to raise the minimum wage.

There you have it, a GOP formula for disaster. Uhh...so...can I have McCain/Lieberman? Can I? CAN I? Pleeeeeaaaazzzzzeeee?!

Blognonymous Moves To The Left

Today Kvatch Kopf, famous frog and liberal commentator, announced that in response to the new political climate he will take Blognonymous even further to the left. "I plan to move my politics so far to the left that to move them further would place them off the page," said the amphibian. "My readers want speed. They want my commentary to leap onto the computer screen."

But some in the Frogsphere has suggested that maybe Mr. Kopf has gone too far. "This new emphasis on speed is not without a cost. Kvatch is emphasizing the now and ignoring his history," remarked Bill O'Reilly of Faux News. "If fact, I had a hard time even find his previous material before I discovered it at the end of his posts." For his part, Kvatch has determined that this is a bug...not a feature, and is actively working to correct the issue.

2006/11/24

Now where did I put that $500B?

Of all the scary things I read this past week, the one that really gave me the shivers (figuratively speaking, of course) was James Hansen's comments to Reuters that the world has just a decade to take meaningful action to combat global climate change. After that it'll be too late. Ten years folks. Not 50 or 20, but 10! Before your children reach adulthood. Really 8. Because after all Bush is still President for another two years.

You may recall that Dr. James Hansen, a climatologist, is director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and has the distinction of being the man who blew the whistle on Bu$hCo attempts to silence NOAA and NASA climate scientists. So...is he a man to be trusted? Yeah, probably.

Coincidentally, the New Yorker ran an article in its Nov. 13th issue about a recent report that estimates the total costs of seriously addressing climate change--with a goal of stable emissions by 2050. Sir Nicholas Stern, head the British Government Economic Service, and his team put that figure at 1% of the annual global gross domestic product or about half a trillion dollars.

Expensive? Perhaps. But minor ducats compared to the cost of doing nothing. "Now where did I put that $500 billion. Oh...I know. I spent it on a f*cking war!"

A Turkey Day Post Mortem

Now that Thanksgiving is over, let me just say this and then the recriminations can begin.

I hate turkey!!!

I know it's traditional. I know that turkey is the bird that people love to dump on. They're stupid. They're slow. But you know what else? They-don't--taste--good! I mean, I don't like football either, but that's only because I'm an un-American kook. And so I have to ask: What compels American families rush out to buy a bird that, once cooked, can only be choked down when it's smothered in gravy and stuffing? AAAUUUGGGGHHHH!

For our part, we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends who think about turkey the same way that we do. In other words, they fixed some awesome steaks and we brought pies and non-traditional veggies to go with it. And I really think this gets to the heart of the matter. Why do we have this one meal every year where we eat foods that we wouldn't ordinarily prepare? Cranberry sauce? Never touch the stuff...except at Thanksgiving. And when was the last time you fixed yams?!

So here's a suggestion: Be extra thankful next year by letting the sad, stupid birds live out their lives. Have a steak or a special fish. If you're a Muslim, how about lamb? Jewish? Maybe a nice brisket, but please, please, please don't make me face more dry white meat!

2006/11/23

Carlos the Turkey Pardoned

Washington (f-A-ke. P.) -

Carlos the Turkey With President BushFamed international terrorist Carlos the Turkey, who has been held in US custody at Guantanamo Bay for the last year, was given an official pardon by the Bush Administration today and then left the country on a unregistered CIA flight. Sources close to the President said that recent intelligence indicated that Carlos is a member of the Saudi royal family, necessitating the hastily arranged departure.

House Speaker-elect, Nancy Pelosi, called for an immediate investigation and promised to convene a panel to look into to other 'poultry peccadilloes' in the Bush Administration.

[Happy Thanksgiving everyone!]

2006/11/22

Should sex offenses result in banishment?

I have sympathy for communities that want to keep convicted sex offenders out. I understand the concerns of parents who worry about sexual predators going after their children. But this national obsession with draconian punishments for even the mildest of sex offenses, like statutory rape or public exposure, has got to stop.

Why do we feel the need to treat even the suspicion of a sex offense as an already tried and convicted crime? Think it doesn't happen? You're wrong. In Ohio, a recently enacted law allows a prosecutor, sheriff, or alleged victim to petition a court to place a person in a 'civil-registry' even when no conviction has been secured. And, once you're in that registry...you're screwed! You'll be treated exactly as if you'd committed a crime, unable to live where you choose or to challenge your status for a period of six years.

And while we're on the subject of "living where you choose"... Many states make it practically impossible for registered sex offenders to even find a place to live. Take Georgia for example, where recently enacted legislation prohibits the convicted from living within 1000 feet of a school, church, school bus stop, or playground, effectively placing whole counties out of bounds. In other words, BANISHMENT, a concept that Georgia state officials don't just recognize...but applaud.
My intent personally is to make it so onerous on those that are convicted of these offenses... they will want to move to another state...

Georgia House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R), Sponsor
"These offenses"? Like underage consensual sex? Because that's all it takes to get you in Georgia's sex offender registry, and this law applies to everyone in that registry.

Basically, for the convicted, one's status as a "sex offender" is now a life-long stain allowing for no chance of rehabilitation, no notion of "time-served", and perpetual ostracism. It's crazy, and it has to stop.

2006/11/21

Classification - A get out of jail free card?

In a blow to attempts by liberal advocacy groups to expose Bu$hCo's unwarranted surveillance program, federal judge Ellen Segal Huvelle issued a ruling that gives support to using classification as a way of covering up illegal activity. She said in the case of People for the American Way v. NSA that, "...even if the program is ultimately determined to be illegal, it doesn't change the fact that the materials are classified and are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act."

Now I suppose we'll see a rush to classify everything about this administration's doings so that Bush and his cronies can ensure that they're not exposed to criminal liability. Classification is about to become just another tool of the would-be criminal, like money-laundering or multiple set's of books.

2006/11/20

Should Democrats go nukuler?

Threatening to use the so-called "nuclear option" was good enough for Bill Frist and the Senate Republicans when the it looked like Democrats would filibuster Bu$hCo nominees to the federal bench. Will it be good enough for the Democrats when Republicans decide to tie up the Senate in order to get their way?

Apparently Mitch McConnell (R KY), the minority leader in waiting and a man for whom no hypocrisy is too blatant, doesn't think so. He's all about making threats when he's talking to a receptive audience like the Federalist society, but all his bluster on the subject of bi-partisan cooperation won't get him very far. Senate Republicans spent 10 of the last 12 years sh*tting on their colleagues across the aisle, excluding their amendments, preventing debate, and running committees like tiny dictatorships. Democratic cooperation will last right up until Republicans start their first filibuster, and then the GOP better pray that they can get Joe Lieberman to switch sides before radiation suits become necessary.

2006/11/19

The Pizza Flyer - Scourge of the Modern Metropolis

I've got a problem. My city is getting dirtier. Well...it was pretty dirty before--trash blowing around our streets, people leaving their junk on the sidewalks--but now I'm sweeping outside our flat almost every day. And what is it that makes such a mess, fills my trash bags and clogs our gutters, PIZZA FLYERS!

If you don't live in a major metropolitan area, you may not be familiar this modern form of advertising. It's basically a restaurant menu, pizza, Chinese, Indian, Thai, whatever, that somebody attaches to your front door. Sometimes they leave a few. Pizza FlyerSometimes they dump 'em by the dozens in your entryway. Maybe they slip them through your mail slot, but regardless of how or how many they leave, hundreds end up in the streets.

And how do you fight back against this scourge? Well I've tried signs saying "no flyers". I've called restaurants to tell them not to distribute the things on our block. The usual response being, "F*ck off. We've got a right to run a business!" or "Nothing I can do. Call the guy who distributes them for me." Though they never tell you who that is. One lady even accused me of targeting her restaurant specifically, of trying to drive her out of business. The police aren't helpful. Unless you've got a photo of someone actually dumping flyers in the streets, they don't want to hear about it. I've even gathered up all the flyers on our block and then tossed them into the lobby of an offending restaurant. I'm a popular guy at that place.

So the question remains, how do I get rid of this problem? All I want to do is clean up my feakin' block. Any suggestions?

2006/11/17

Music - The Guiltiest Pleasure

OK, I admit that I spent my formative musical years listening to classical and in doing so missed most of the 1970s. Well...with the exception of disco, that is. And this little admission brings me to my point. There's a lot of music out there that we'd be embarrassed to admit we like. Are you a Paul Anka fan? Not me, but I do have a fetish for Bananarama. In fact, I've often been reluctant to lend out the flyPod because of some of the stuff that's in there.

So Kvatch asks the question: What are your guiltiest musical pleasures? And just so you won't think I'm a slacker, here are mine:

America

Chances are, if you were any older than 7 by 1970, you could count yourself a fan of at least one of the dozens of lite "folk rock" groups. They were everywhere. You couldn't escape 'em.

The B-52's

Sure the B-52's wrote some catchy stuff, but they also recorded a whole lot of dreck. I don't care. I love it all. "Channel Z! All static, all day...forever!"

Prince

On his infamous Black Album, Prince Rogers Nelson describes himself as "...that skinny motherf*cker with the high voice," but until you seen this funky little pipsqueak scream while playing a penis shaped guitar, you haven't lived.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Saving the best for last. All hail the indomitable, unstoppable, greatest one-hit, filthy, party-monster band of all time!!!

Frankie says... RELAX---WHOAAAA!!!

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Washington (f-A-ke. P.) -

At a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday CIA Director, Michael Hayden, described the violence in Iraq as having reached "satanic levels".

Responding later in the day from his office in the fiery pit, the Great Deceiver said -
I'd like to take credit for Iraq, but really it was the work of my minions Bush and Cheney, and just let me say that I couldn't be more proud. Heck of a job boys!

2006/11/16

The O'Froggy Factor

On good days, this frog would never curtail someone's right to free speech--never apply the kinds of labels or advocate the kinds of punishments that radical rightists are in love with.

This is not one of those days. Spurred on by this new CNN f*ckstick, Glenn Beck, tearing into MN Rep. elect Keith Ellison, Evil Kvatch takes over, grabs the microphone and lets loose with The O'Froggy Factor!

You know that what we really want is to go medieval on Ann Coulter's ass--drop Michael Savage in East LA and let the homies have at him for 20 minutes. You know it! We want to render David Addington to an Albanian prison where he can experience water-boarding for himself--grab John Yoo and let him teach classes at Gitmo Law...


...but for now how about we just take these choice six, pundits and politicians, and send them for an all expense paid vacation to a Halliburton Reeducation Camp. What else are you going to do with people who choose to so systematically damage America?

OK...I feel better now. Anybody else you'd like me to deal with?

Kvatch Kvetches - Meet the New GOP...

...same as the old GOP, or "What Kvatch blogs about until a BBP (bigger better post) comes along".

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
Trent Lott manages to win back a leadership post in the Senate. Republicans deny that this is a return to the 'good ol' days'. Strom Thurmond sends his congratulations from beyond the grave.

"They didn't win. We lost. Or...was it the other way around?"
Tom DeLay takes to the Blogsphere to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

"If senior citizens win, America loses!"
Bu$hCo announces that it will "strenuously oppose" one of the Democrats top priorities: Legislation authorizing the feds to negotiate with drug companies to get lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.

2006/11/15

Hot & Hunky Hydrogen Honda

Well OK. It's not really that hunky, but never let it be said that this frog doesn't pander to his local readers. Nonetheless...cute, Cute, CUTE! Runs on hydrogen, emits H2O, and after factoring in the cost of fuel production gets the equivalent of about 65 MPG.


And so here at Blognonymous we have to ask: Considering Detroit's near constant dissing of hybrid technology and their insistence that "they're going straight to hydrogen", how come they didn't bring this to market first?

An Ode On Jack Abramoff

Fat Jack is off to jail today
And many lawmakers will pray
A six year sentence in the clink
Will gag this lobbyist and fink.


But alas it just ain't so
The scandal's set to grow and grow
With Jack about to spill his guts
In the hope his time they'll cut.

Right and left all quake in fear
Cause senators and Karl are near
To learning of a fate they dread
As they're fingered by the feds.


But for now there's no more black
They're gonna take Jack's sporty hat
And perhaps he'll look less fat
When prison stripes are where it's at.

2006/11/14

Discrimination Blatant...And Subtle, Part 2

In 1994 the GOP engineered a 26 seat advantage in the House after being in the minority for decades.
After 12 years in the minority the Democrats engineer a 29 seat advantage in the House.


Time Magazine considers the former a "Revolution". But the latter? Something else entirely.

2006/11/13

Discrimination Blatant...And Subtle

This is the logo of
the Democratic Party. > >
< < Not this!


Apparently WHDH TV in Boston doesn't have a problem with the GOP's logo.

Kvatch Kvetches - Meet The New Boss

...same as the old boss.

"Whatever your opinion of the outcome, all Americans can take pride in the example our democracy sets for the world by holding elections even in a time of war," - George W. Bush

Uh George...the US has never cancelled a federal election! Never will cancel an election. Not during wartime, not ever...unless some moron like you tries it!

"President Bush will not relent in his defense of John Bolton, his nominee for U.N. ambassador, despite unwavering opposition from Democrats..."

The Senate--the Republican Senate--has been sitting on this for almost a year. Bolton doesn't have the votes in committee much less on the Senate floor. The nomination is dead. Move on George!

2006/11/12

Kvatch's Kommandos Storm The Kastro

At noon today two companies of Kvatch's Kommandos stormed into San Francisco's Castro district, showing support for America's veterans while getting odd looks from the Sunday brunch crowd.


Check out all of the great pics of bloggers fighting the War on War at the Kommandos Project.

Kommandos Swing Into Action...

This morning in San Francisco's Castro district.


Dispatches from the front will be posted later today.

2006/11/11

'Good for GM' No Longer Good For America

The evidence that the earth has already passed the "tipping point" on global warming is accumulating, and the situation is looking increasingly dire. In fact, rather than stabilizing or--in a more perfect world--starting to retreat, global carbon emmissions are accelerating. Recent reports from the Global Carbon Project, reported in The Independent, show that the growth rate leapt from an annualized .08% per year (1990 - 1999) to .6% per year (2000 - 2005), a factor 7!

But in the United States, where the Democrats have just won control of Congress, one would expect some new, some reinvigorated thinking on how to curb emissions, right? Wrong! The presumptive head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, John Dingell of Michigan, has already announced that raising the fuel-efficiency standards of American cars is not on the table. Unfortunately for us, Dingell, whose been a lawmaker since 1955, seems to have his head stuck in an era when fuel-efficiency didn't matter. But this is 2006, and what's good for GM is no longer good for America or for the world. In fact, it might be down-right deadly.

We don't need this kind of leadership. Dingell should step aside.

Updated 2006/11/12, 7:30 AM PST -

The Washington Post is running an interesting article today about how the Democrats plan to bring to the 110th Congress the same energy that Republicans brought in 1994. Fine words, but I'd point out that ossified attitudes toward profound issues like global climate change are exactly what the Democrats don't need, especially before they've even swapped offices with their GOP counterparts.

2006/11/10

Men Are Pigs...Literally

And so we end the week here at Blognonymous with a saying that you always suspected to be true but that never had any definitive proof.

Scientists at NEC Systems and Mie University have designed a little robot that can tell you what it's tasting. And what does the metal maitre d' think of a reporter's hand? "BACON!" it replies.

So there you have it folks. Men really are pigs.

Time For Tough National Election Standards

While Democrats haggle and speechify about little stuff like the minimum wage, examine their proposed legislative agenda and ask yourself, "Where's meaningful election reform?" Because if there's anything that the elections of 2000 - 2006 have proven it's that Americans no longer believe that their leaders can resist gaming the system--believe unquestioningly that their vote will be counted. Of all of the nasty, tragic things that have happened in the last 4 campaigns, this is the most tragic.

And how do we know that Americans have lost faith in the election process? Did you think you would live to see the day when citizens routinely take cameras and camcorders into the polling place to record their votes? Americans are voting absentee in record numbers. And why? Because they feel it's a way to ensure that their vote gets counted. Have you ever been turned away from a polling place? Waited in a 4 hour line to vote? Well...this sort of stuff happens frequently in urban areas. And what about the voter suppression efforts? Or the legions of lawyers ready to contest every outcome--poll monitors ready to contest every registration?

This nonsense has got to stop, and congress has the power to do make it stop:
  • The toothless and inadvisable Help America Vote Act needs to be scrapped.
  • Voting system certification should to be nationalized and handed over to a non-partisan board of experts.
  • Any accepted system must either have physical ballots or a physical audit trail.
  • Service levels for voting systems need to be developed that mandate "hours in service" without a crash or glitch.
  • Polling place capacity standards need to be developed so that urban areas don't get shorted on equipment or personnel.
  • Voter registration procedures need a uniform federal standard, and the registration process should produce a certificate (or ID) that is sufficient for demonstrating eligibility to vote.
  • And finally, penalties for tampering with any aspect of the voting process, from machine management to polling place procedures, need to be severe enough to deter the types of shenanigans we've seen in the last 4 elections.
Tell the Democrats that tough national election standards should be one of their first orders of business!

2006/11/09

RIP Ed Bradley, 1941 - 2006

You were certainly the best on 60 Minutes and probably the best at CBS. As tough as Mike Wallace, more charm than Morley Safer, with greater longevity and more style than all the rest.

Television journalism is in a sorry state and today is much the worse for your departure.

Future Headlines - Rapture? What Rapture...

FUTURE SPEAKER PELOSI ANNOUNCES THE DOMINION OF SATAN ON EARTH.

San Francisco (f-A-ke. P.) -

Future House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D CA), announced that, with the Democrats resounding success in the midterm elections, the dominion of Satan on Earth has begun. Stunned evangelicals were left to wonder about the supposedly missing rapture, but their confusion was short lived when government scientists announced that the Rapture occurred at 12:35 AM on the 8th, approximately 4 hours after polls closed on the west coast. "Apparently most conservatives were too depressed to notice," remarked an official from the Republican National Committee.

Satan, for his part, has announced his intention to work with the Democratic congress on initiatives that will greatly increase the "wages of sin". "We want to make the words 'you'll have to sell your soul to get that S.U.V.,' have real meaning again," the Great Deceiver was quoted as saying at a press conference earlier this afternoon.

What's the Kommandos Project all about?

Once upon a time there was a Chicago peace activist named Sallie Gratch who had an idea for a novel sort of protest involving the little green army men that you played with as a kid. A blogger named Jay Lassiter picked up the idea and began deploying these little guys whenever and wherever he had the chance.

The Kommandos Project started when your's truly decided to go national with the idea in order celebrate Blognonymous' one year anniversary. That was in May. Since then, dozens of bloggers all over the nation have deployed thousands of these little guys. We held major protests on Memorial Day and Independence Day.

And now we're going to show our support for the troops and for an end to the Iraq War with a Veteran's Day Protest. The Democrats have taken control of Congress, but that doesn't mean that the war will end. We need to speak out!

Please join us.

2006/11/08

On the Right - Tearing of Hair and Gnashing of Teeth

The cry is going up among the conservative bloggers. From Balloon Juice to Ankle Biting Pundits, Little Green Footballs to Michelle Malkin: "The big bad Democrats didn't really win, but they're coming to harvest our organs, clone our bodies, kill our babies, take our property, stifle our speech, and welcome the terrorists in...anyway!" To a one though, each of these rhetorical pipsqueaks conveniently omits that most "islamo-fascists" agree on how much better off they are for having a Bu$hCo to fight against. Well no more. Seems even Bush may have seen the writing on the wall.

But don't worry whiny babies, your message will still get out, even without a Republican tyranny to ensure that it's the only message. Remember, you still have O'Reilly and Coulter, and nothing can shut them up.

With Regard To Bipartisanship

Mammaries of Mass Destruction

Peacechick Mary gets the coveted, "I made Kvatch snort his martini through his nose," Award for this week. Her proposal for weapon redesign is brilliant!

2006/11/07

The Last Word On Robocalls

OK, I've held back on this, but now I've just got to get it off my chest:

Anyone who is so intimidated by a nasty GOP robocall that they choose not to vote, has the intelligence of a doorknob and isn't deserving of the benefits of democracy. The Frogette adds that they're probably looking for a reason to continue stuffing their faces with Doritos rather than getting their fat asses off the couch and to the polls.

There... I said it. (Blame the Anon-Paranoid for this rant. ;-) )

With Every California Election A Forest Dies

Well I've just voted, and don't that just make me feel grand? Not really. Unlike other states where I've lived, the California election process is study in boredom, frustration, and too much democracy. I've blogged on that last topic before. So now let me tackle another topic: The fact that our elections are so goddamned wasteful that the mind boggles.

Do you know how many of those deceptive little campaign leaflets the Frogette and I received? 68...in three weeks. I counted them. Add to that three, 200 page voter guides all mandated by the state, and you've got a massive amount of waste. "How much waste?" you ask. Well let's see. San Francisco has about 480,000 registered voters...

SourceAmount
San Francisco Voter Guides
(7.2 lbs of paper / voter by 480,000 voters)
= 3,456,000 lbs
California Voter Guides
(7.2 lbs of paper / household by 160,000 households)
= 1,152,000 lbs
Campaign Leaflets
(3.3 lbs of paper / household by 160,000 households)
= 528,000 lbs.
Total Pounds of Paper= 5,136,000
Tons of Paper= 2568
Trees Consumed
(24 trees / ton of paper)
= 61632

And that's just for the City of San Francisco! What about the whole state?! What about the fact that we do this EVERY SINGLE YEAR?!

We've got to be able to do better than this.

2006/11/06

1999 Report: Outcome In Iraq Never In Question

Did you ever play Risk as a kid? If so, you probably experienced at least one hopeless situation--looking at say a hundred armies across the Bering Staits? Well that was the situation with Iraq. The outcome was never in question, and CENTCOMM knew it--knew it in 1999! Bu$hCo almost certainly knew it as well, and now so do we.

On the eve of the election, you probably don't need another reason to vote against Bu$hCo or the Rethuglicans, but this new report, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, should be a stake to the heart of the Bush administration vampire. And what does this report say? For starters, the war simulation called 'Desert Crossing' concluded that, even with 400,000 troops on the ground, Iraq would probably end up as a failed state. 400-f*cking-thousand!!! 2.5 times the number we sent. It also predicted the instability of the replacement regime and the exacerbation of tensions with Iran. In short...IT PREDICTED THE WHOLE F*CKING DISASTER! The only things it didn't predict were a megalomaniac president and the terrible cost for America.

So tomorrow...everyone get your ass to the polls and put George Bush in a hurt locker for the next two years!

Time For The Governator To Go

The Governator On Larry King
Democrat Phil Angelides is having a tough time in the California governor's race and probably won't win. But three years of a man acting the part of our governor is enough. Schwarzenegger waffles, proposes initiatives nobody wants, and treats the legislature and his opponents with disdain.

It's time for Skynet's minion to be shown the door.

I Want My Goddamned Spectacle!

Saddam In Better DaysSo here we have the big November surprise: Saddam Hussein is convicted and sentenced to hang for crimes against Iraqis. But after the most expensive prosecution in human history, I have to ask: We've spent $400B and all we get is a hanging!? For that price I would expect to see the gates of Hell open and Satan himself emerge to duck-walk Saddam down into the fiery pit.

Where's my goddamned spectacle?!

2006/11/05

Kvatch Kvetches - Should'a Copped To The Meth Ted

Bits for when nothing but the finest 20/20 hindsight and prognostication will do...

Ted Haggard - Are you insane? Half of evangelical American doesn't even know what methamphetamine is. You should have admitted using meth and denied having sex with a gay prostitute.

Dear Leader - You just secured a guilty verdict in the most expensive prosecution in history...what are you going to do for an encore?

Donald Rumsfeld - Your own generals just dissed you. F*cking resign before Cheney invites you on a "hunting trip".

Nancy Pelosi - The House is yours, but just barely. You better have a solid agenda and PR of the gods to handle the GOP. They're going to blame you for everything from the Iraq to Darfur.

Democrats - You got the House, but the GOP called Diebold who promptly delivered the Senate. (The evidence of fraud is just too compelling, folks. Talent and Allen will pull off "miraculous" wins). Prepare for gridlock that will make the 109th look like a cakewalk.

America - You lose. Sorry, but The Deciderer has already stated that he won't change course. He won't fire Rumsfeld or Cheney, won't stop the executive power grabs, will flush away another $200B in Iraq. It's gonna be a rough two years.

2006/11/04

America - Where Even Torture Is Classified

While the neocons abandon the President like rats off of a sinking ship and the military calls for Rumsfeld's resignation, you may have missed a little post-Military Commissions Act drama taking place in the US District Court in Washington.

Seems that the CIA is trying to prevent a "high-value" detainee from talking to his lawyer because it might reveal details about how and where the suspect was tortured. Specifically, agency Infomation Review Officer Marilyn Dorn argues that such information is classified TOP-SECRET/SCI because its disclosure would be very damaging, allowing our enemies to develop ways of resisting harsh interrogation techniques.

But frankly, this is all a Bu$hCo smokescreen. Under the Military Commissions Act, detainees have no access to the US court system. So Majid Kahn's lack of access to his lawyer is not relevant. Moreover, Bu$hCo has shown no reluctance to talk about interrorgation techniques when they feel it's in their interest to do so, making the disclosure issue irrelevant as well.

What is not irrelevant is a court ruling stating that prison locations and torture techniques are TOP-SECRET information, because with such a ruling in hand, Bu$hCo could go after anybody--a citizen, a lawyer, a reporter, an editor--anybody who might be tempted to embarrass the administration.

Bu$hCo couldn't care less about detainees, their target here is the public and the press--their goal is to put in place a mechanism for silencing their critics.

2006/11/03

I Got Yer San Francisco Values Right Here

In this final week before the midterms the phrase San Francisco values is being thrown around by conservative stalwarts as a way to rally their base--to scare the kiddies into voting Republican. Newt Gingrich put it like this:
Will everything you've worked so hard to accomplish be lost to the San Francisco values of would-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi?
But you know what this frog says? America could use a good dose of San Francisco values...

While the heartland is busy trying to keep gays from marrying, we're defying California law to embrace commitment in all it's splendor and diversity. 3000 gay marriages in a week is a number that makes even the Reverend Moon look like a piker.

In San Francisco you've got a city where the big-box is told to shove it so that Mom-and-Pop shops can thrive.

While the heartland criminalizes homelessness, we're trying novel solutions that get the indigent off the streets, into rehab, and into homes of their own.

While the rest of America tries to decide between the Escalade and Expedition, we're out here buying Priuses, and driving in the H.O.V. lane, and taking mass-transit, and starting car-sharing companies.

We're gonna try out universal health care, right here in Sodom by the Sea, to see how we like it. What is the GO-f*cking-P doing for the rest of y'all?

While Bu$hCo is busy blowing Big Oil, we're out here passing the kind of clean air initiatives the EPA can only dream of.

This is a city that doesn't judge you by the color of your skin, the language you speak, by your gender, by your age, your sexual-orientation, your religion, your kink, your fetish, or your oddity. (Note I didn't say political party. We have to have some standards after all.)

There's a reason that the Rainbow flag flies over the Castro. We don't just know about diversity--we don't just know about multi-culturalism--we bloody well live it! And if the GOP, the RNC, and all of the so-called "values voters" are so goddamned afraid of San Francisco, then why does everybody and their brother want to live here?

Dear Reverend Haggard

Dear Reverend Haggard,

I know that this must be a trying time for you, having to step aside as the head of the New Life Church because of these ridiculous allegations. But just in case you really did pay a gay escort for sex every month for the last three years, let me just say...whoa! A man of your age! [Whoops...sorry.]

Where was I? Oh yeah. I'm sure that the accusations are false--just as your niece said--and that you'll be exonerated and back to doing the Lord's work in no time. For example, your state-by-state efforts to ban gay marriage are invaluable. Let's work to keep sex between men where it belongs, in clandestine relationships like yours. [Oh damn! Sorry again.]

Anyway, I'm sure this is all just a political stunt, and I'm looking forward to seeing you at next year's National Association of Evangelicals convention. Hey, by the way... Why don't you bring along some of that methamphetamine you snort. Those sessions can get pretty long, and I bet with enough meth we could all see God! [Ooops!]

Sincerely,

Kvatch

2006/11/02

Windows Vista - The OS You're Gonna Love To Hate

It's been a busy day, and I just can't face any more Republican sleaze. So let's talk about something else. How about Windows Vista, the new and improved Microsoft behemoth that you're gonna love to hate.

Vista is chock full of gotchas that will make your life just a little bit harder, for example: Digital rights management (DRM) that will decide what you can and cannot view--what you can and cannot listen to--even if you own your content; Defender, operating system software that will have the final say about what constitutes malware, even if it's a legitimate program that you use. And what about that funky reinstallation restriction? Rumor has it that one major hardware change is all you get before Vista decides you've got a new machine and deactivates itself.

And if that weren't enough, the new and improved End User License Agreement (EULA) has some gems for industry professionals as well, like...no published benchmarks without Microsoft's permission and no disclosing those pesky security vulnerabilities.

All in all Vista looks like a bad deal for just about everyone, and take it from a Frog in the industry...if you want to be happy using largely trouble-free software...get MacOS. On the other hand, since it looks like Vista will be delayed another 18,000 years, maybe it isn't such a problem after all.

The Military Recognizes Liberal Wisdom

By now you've all seen the graph from the NY Times article on the military's assessment of the situation in Iraq. I just want to call your attention to one important but overlooked fact...


What's on the LEFT side of this graph? What's on the right?
'Nuff said! :-)

2006/11/01

Reprogramming? No. Crashing Voting Machines? Yes!

I've long maintained that if this election is stolen by the Rethuglicans it won't be due to some sophisticated mass reprogramming of touch-screen voting machines. The infernal devices are not suddenly going to report GOP victories because, although reprogramming is possible, it would require a huge conspiracy to pull off in a way that would swing an election.

No. What we are going to see is AccuVote machines (and others like them) crashing by the hundreds...by the thousands. Poll workers taking incorrect or inappropriate measures to fix the problems, such as rebooting the devices while the polls are open. Improper calibrations that favor GOP candidates. In fact, reports are already starting to come in of machines that won't choose Democrats, machines that freeze up, and machines set up to hide or obscure Democratic candidate's names (Webb). And where will these shenanigans hit the hardest? In dense urban areas where higher voter volumes are handled at each precinct. Unfortunately for us, these are also the districts where Democrats are strongest and where the GOP can benefit most from dampening turnout.

So what do we have to do? Remain vigilant and document, Document, DOCUMENT!!! It's not enough to provide anecdotal evidence of election fraud. We need the proof! So carry a camera with you to the polls and photograph your ballot, the screen, whatever. And, if you experience a screwup, DOCUMENT IT!!! Write down what happened, get photographs. Don't let election workers intimidate you. Our democracy is at stake here!

I live in San Francisco, a safe California district where we use optical scan machines, and I still plan on carrying my camera with me on election day.

Future Headlines - No Sex Without Procreation

Washington (f-A-ke. P.) -

After the stunning success of the federal "No Sex Without Marriage" program, administration officials announced the next step in their drive to make sex in America more acceptable to God, the No Sex Without Procreation initiative.

Department of Health and Human Services Undersecretary for Sin, Courtney Windblatt-Smythe, said:
We've put the brakes on promiscuity among young adults. Now it's time to deal with married couples, and this new initiative will do just that. It will make sexual congress in this country godly and pure.
When asked at the afternoon press briefing for the President's thoughts on the issue, Press Secretary Snow replied:
I asked President Bush about this just the other day, and he said that...well...you all know they have twin daughters and they've had sex...um...once. So I assume that the President is firmly behind this program.
In related news, recently released studies show that, in fact, children are not losing their virginity earlier and that there appears to be no link between promiscuity and sexually transmitted disease. Administration officials have referred these findings as, "junk science".