Saturday, August 16, 2003

Mojowire for 8/16

MUSIC WILL BE -Intro/Hendrix, Star Spangled Banner
S9/ Eat Static, Crash and Burn
Exeunt/WildChild, Renegade Master

J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire... I’m Mojo...

S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, August 16th, and here’s the news for the week gone-by...

J. Brought to you by Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988. Now headlines, from Mojohaus:

S. First this morning, remember Afghanistan? This is a song about Afghanistan. Or at least it was until the U.S. decided it had cooler places to be, leaving the country to spiral back into a hellish vortex of chaos and anarchy despite the pleas of the new government for more help.

J. Next, we take a look at the next cheap hustler to take the helm at the Environmental Protection Agency: none other than Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt. For those who will be remembered of it, his name last graced our broadcast when it came to light that he was trying to auction off vast areas of his state to mining corporations with the help of the U.S. Interior Department.

S. Then we take a terrifying trip into the psyche of the average conservative, a brain polluted with a pathological aversion to nuance and a minimalist approach that breaks down all politics into bumper-sticker, bite-sized phrases with a simple beat that anyone can dance to. The best part is that this information comes courtesy of a federal study just completed and released.

J. And with a truly horrifying story this morning, the good Doctor Strychnine pulls the pin out of a big one this week and explains how the traditional American notions of voting will become yet one more “reality” TV show with results negotiated weeks in advance with the help of GOP controlled companies who now are responsible for all our new electronic voting machines.

S. Then FoxNews gets completely sideways and launches ill-advised legal action against one of their most ardent critics, Al Franken. Was it because Franken called them all morally bankrupt political hacks and degenerates who wouldn’t know the truth if it appeared to them in a burning bush? No it was -- wait for it -- Copyright infringement, wait till you hear this...

J. And then with this week’s presidential roundup, why we believe the organizational omens look good for Dean, we look at the Democrats on their forced march through Oklahoma last week, and wax philosophical on the reelection chances of George W.

... So stand by to stand by while we get ready to kick this pig...

J. Between the Rise of the Machine candidate in California, and the Administration’s efforts at hypnosis to make us forget their failure to find Weapons of Mass Distraction, it is no surprise that Afghanistan and our ongoing military and rebuilding efforts there have dropped below the radar screen. But recent events have raised the question:, what is really going on in Afghanistan?

First this from the New York Times: “In the most violent day in Afghanistan in nearly a year, 15 people, including six children, were killed when a bomb exploded on their bus in southern Afghanistan, and another 20 people were killed in fighting in the country's east. The bomb exploded in Helmand province aboard a bus en route to the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, according to news agency reports. It was the deadliest such attack since a bomb exploded in Kabul last September, killing 35 people.”

I understand from the White House that Afghanistan was a great victory. Is it just us, or does victory seem a lot like a crisis in progress?

From the Globe and Mail:
“It is clear that someone is trying to destabilize President Hamid Karzai's regime in Kabul: According to United Nations statistics, several attacks a day are carried out across Afghanistan against the new government's forces, their American allies or foreign-aid organizations working in the country. But it is less clear who is behind them.”

Bottom line: There are arguably many players with an interest in sustaining the impression that Afghanistan is a violent, chaotic place, and that Washington needs all the allies it can get.

Let's try to make sense of the situation in Afghanistan. While the Taliban reconstitutes in the Western part of our ally Pakistan, the country is in the throes of a desperate security crisis from one end to another, while the U.S. and its allies refuse to expand the security force needed to secure the capital. The security problem makes it near impossible to rebuild the country's infrastructure, the chaos is demoralizing the population and making us hugely unpopular.

S. I swear I've seen this movie before!...

Can someone explain to me why the administration is using Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" as their guide to occupation and reconstruction? Sitting around waiting for someone else to actually do something.

It's a gruesome loop of inadequate troop strength, willful indifference to the continuing breakdown of even the chaotic law and order the previous regime maintained, and making it impossible to bring in the International institutions needed to really help the population.

If that is not bad enough, The Taliban and presumably their Al Queda allies are apparently reforming in Pakistan and attacking the government in an effort to overthrow them.

The UN Envoy and President Karzai have repeatedly asked for help from the US and it's supporters to help them bring the country some measure of security beyond Kabul. They got nothing but stony indifference from Washington.

Take a good long look folks. This is the way Iraq will look in a few years, a token US presence, a US installed government sinking under the weight of false promises from the truth challenged white house, and President and Republican party basking in the glow of a success that exists nowhere but in Press releases and screaming invectives from degenerate losers on Fox News.

You have to admit, this administration is determined to leave a legacy behind. A legacy of countries where opportunities to build new futures after US military intervention were squandered to square with the visions of fierce ideologues.

A legacy of lost chances to break the power of Al Queda in Afghanistan was lost to test out crank theories of warfare put forward by people who have never stood a post.

A legacy of dead Americans, Iraqi's and Afghans who believed in the promises of a President so out of touch with truth or reality, that even Afghanistan death spiral will not interfere with his American super hero fantasies, much less ultra-macho photo ops of his dashing figure in a naval flight suit or an Eisenhower jacket shouting Semper Fi to a bunch of he even know what that means...

J. Back on April 12, we brought you the news that the State of Utah was apparently up for sale to the highest bidder. Many of the President’s friends were being encouraged submit purchase offers. Now I know many are asking, “what would I want with a bunch of Mormons, cactus and a giant lake that I can’t take a drink from?”

Ahhh, but you are not a massive mining conglomerate are you? Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt form a sort of Axis of Mining Pimps, and when it comes to peddling the rear of their state they are the mack daddies, as we earlier reported.

But now, the top job at the Environmental Protection Agency has come open and Bush has been looking for someone more politically reliable than Christine Todd Whitman to take the reins. Well, Orrin Hatch already has a job, and besides he can’t move around much in the light of day, owing to the fact that he’s a blood sucking creature of the night.

So naturally, Leavitt was the clear choice for the job.

This choice has left many in the environmental community *and* regular government circles, shaking their heads with rueful grins as yet one more bad punchline gets delivered with a rimshot regarding the Bush Administration’s fiasco of environmental policy.

Most see Leavitt as a guy who started out as a moderate, but has since fallen under the big money sway of the mining industry. Choosing him to head the EPA is a signal that anyone who isn’t currently strip mining, needs to pick up a shovel and get diggin.’

This from the Associated Press: “The Utah governor said he shares Bush's enthusiasm for technological approaches for improving the environment, but recognizes with environmental matters there is often ‘an economic imperative that we're dealing with in the global economy and that's to do it less expensively.’”

Let me translate that for the Bush impaired: “Yeah we like lookin’ at pretty trees ‘n stuff, too, but hey, were talkin’ big money here...cut ‘em all down...”

S. The Sierra Club has quite the dossier on Leavitt. Here are some examples of what Leavitt considers sound environmental policy: As Governor, Mike Leavitt secretly negotiated two controversial deals with the Department of Interior to thrash millions of acres of Utah wilderness with road building and development.

Leavitt also wanted to pave Utah’s world renowned wetlands and fertile farmlands along the Great Salt Lake with the infamous Legacy Highway project.

Environmental enforcement has also been a bad joke on Leavitt’s watch. New criminal pollution cases referred by the EPA for federal prosecution are down more than 40 percent, and civil pollution cases are down 25 percent since the start of the Bush Administration.

So let’s bottom line this for you, wireheads -- dude has a history of cutting back room deals at the expense of environmental protection, but that’s ok, because he is going to head up an agency that, under the Bush Administration, really has no interest in protecting the environment.

From resisting efforts to get arsenic out of our drinking water, to weakening the clean air act and the enforcement of environmental safeguards, the Bush Administration has demonstrated a pattern of siding with corporate polluters over the health and safety of America's families.

And Leavitt will be nothing more than the latest accomplice in these crimes against America and the American people.

J. It is only rarely that a story comes along like this. But it is apparently just in the nick of time, because, as they say, admission that you have a problem is the first step on the road to wellness.

There is a psychological condition that has recently been quantified in a new report. It is earmarked by neuroses expressing in fear and aggression, dogmatism, a nearly pathological aversion to ambiguity and an obsessive need for moral certainty in all situations.

Wow, you are thinking, those guys must be real head cases. Well, you would be right. They are real head cases. They all also currently control our country. The psychological condition in question is conservatism and the report is entitled: “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition.”

And the OCD conservatives in the West Wing and their pals blotting up the nation’s op/ed pages are all in a lather. Now, I am not a clinical psychologist, but I am pretty sure that this is a normal reaction to confronting your mental illness for the first time.

George Will, a Washington Post columnist who has long suffered as a high-functioning conservative, was very sour at the whole prospect: “The professors have ideas; the rest of us have emanations of our psychological needs and neuroses.”

Now George, this is what those in the profession call denial, and it’s a normal first step. But you have to move beyond that, you have to own your illness before you will ever be able to deal with the issues in your past that made you the conservative closet case you are today.

But the study’s authors went a step further. They went and identified some typical personalities that suffered with this malady. The names they came up with the shared these fundamental neuroses, such notable figures as Smilin’ Joe Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Benito Il Duce Mussolini and of course, Ronald Reagan, as sharing fantasies of an idealized past and condoning inequality.

And then they took their model and applied it to current figures and once the Brainac5000 quantative psychoanalytical computer spit back the numbers, it turns out that our very own Maximum President George Bush is a text book example of the low-functioning conservative.

According to the study, Bush (and as far as we’re concerned, by extension the rest of his varsity starting team in the West Wing) exhibit the telltale signs, such as his preference for moral certainty and frequently expressed dislike of nuance.

"This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic cliches and stereotypes," the authors argue in the Psychological Bulletin.

One of the psychologists behind the study, Dr. Jack Glaser, said the aversion to shades of gray and the need for “closure” could explain the fact that the Bush administration ignored intelligence that contradicted its beliefs about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

S. And I know, we promised you a punchline, so here it is. The study was conducted on a $1.2 million contract from the National Science Institute and the National Institutes of Health. And that, more than anything else has Republicans hopping mad as the report apparently acted as a trigger for their neurotic expression.

Besides, we all know, after last week’s wire, how much stock the White House puts in science. As far as they are concerned, if it doesn’t prove them right 100 percent of the time, it is not scientifically valid, because they read once in their special decrypted version of the Old Testament with the whole bible code decoder ring that the White Conservative Christians were always right because they were God’s Chosen People and as we all know the GCP can’t ever be wrong because they dwell in the righteousness of the holy cleansing fire of the wrathful space god Jehovah-1...

Sorry, we got a little carried away there trying to be cool...

The good news is that in apparent recognition of the violent acting out on the part of their patients, they felt it necessary to point out that -- spoil sports that they are -- it is really not a pathology, just a collection of mental ticks, one might say.

So there’s hope that a cure for conservatism might be found. We need to start a national movement or foundation that will help us raise money so we might help these people find a way out of the twisted paths of their darkness and into the light.

Perhaps they need 12-step groups, or other support mechanisms. Because no one should have to suffer with this condition alone, and it helps to know there are others right there in the boat with you.

Ok, so much for the dispassionate sarcasm, but think on this and feel the cold chill up your spine... When Presidents like Reagan, Bush Sr. and Jr. have their fingers on the button, they are struggling with a neurotic impulse to be right all the time no matter what.

We all have neurotics in our families and we do our best to humor them during the holidays and then we tell funny anecdotes about them to our friends. But do you really want Aunt Hildy, you know the one who thinks there are monsters living in her toes after she saw the commercial for Lamisil-D to combat dermatafite infections and so she scrubbed her toenails off with Pine Sol and Brillo pads when her doctor wouldn’t prescribe the sovereign remedy...yeah that you want her to have access to The Bomb?

Because if these learned professors of the skull voodoo are right, then that is exactly what we have right now...sleep tight y’all...

And now the music is telling me that we have an incoming transmission from the redoubtable Dr. S9…

J. That’s right. It is time once again for our regular contributor Dr. Strychnine, reporting from his super-secret, ultra-dope, mega-cool, extra-jiggy, Mojohaus spy satellite of love high in geosynchronous orbit above Baghdad by the Bay…take it away S9…

S9 Greetings once again fellow space travellers. This week, we are beaming out this message from our hidden rebel base on a small planetoid outside the lunar orbit. These precautions are necessary on account of the fact that we're not too sure we want to be within the blast radius when the charge we're about to trigger goes off over your weary shell-shocked heads.

What if they held an election, and everybody who wanted to vote came out and cast a ballot, but the only votes that counted were the ones that made the result come out the way the Party Apparat decided beforehand it would come out? What if the government declared you ineligible to vote, and didn't bother to tell you? What if it even went to the trouble of accepting your ballot and telling you that you voted, but just not didn't tell you that your vote was never counted?

Sound like a paranoid conspiracy theory? Yeah, that's what *we* would say too, except-- well, let's illustrate the issue with a pop culture reference.

There's this great moment in a film from 1988, called 'The Miracle Mile' starring Anthony Edwards, about a guy who answers a wrong number in a payphone in the middle of the night and it's from a soldier in a nuclear missile silo trying to tell his father that a nuclear war has started.

He walks back into the restaurant where he tells the strangers at the counter about what he's heard. One of the people in the restaurant-- played by Denise Crosby-- "just happens to be" some kind of government analyst, and while the rest of the characters are working out whether to believe it, she's talking on a cell phone. When she's finished, she says, "I don't know whether it's true or not, but four out of five of my friends in D.C. are now in transit to the extreme southern hemisphere."

You should be reminded of this scene when the computer professionals in your neighborhood start sounding the alarm about the integrity of the electronic voting systems being deployed to count votes in the next election. Why? Because when they *stop* sounding the alarm-- and you find out they've all invested in overseas real estate-- it will be too late.

A report released a couple weeks ago by the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University is probably the most frightening document we've seen since DARPA announced they were planning to make a commodity out of terrorism and trade it on the open market. It describes how they cracked the website of Diebold Election Systems-- the company that makes the new optical Accuvote electronic voting machines being rolled out in California and across the country-- how they *stole* the source code for the voting systems, and how they disassembled it looking for security flaws.

They found plenty. Their report details how brain-numbingly easy it should be to implement widespread and wholesale election tampering with
perfect deniability. It's almost like they were *designed* for that purpose. They and most of the rest of their professional colleagues in the field of computer security are saying-- rather bluntly-- that the potential for disaster here is huge. Capital-H huge.

But since the President signed the Help America Vote Act of 2002, about four billion dollars has been allocated to go to buying new electronic voting systems, which are made by three companies, all of them with directors having close ties to the Republican Party (and without any ties to the Democrats), and they hold all the source code as trade secrets.

Yes, the Johns Hopkins researchers had to *steal* this source code in order to analyze it for security flaws. Otherwise, no one would have known about them at all.

These are the machines that have only recently been deployed in many California districts, and which might be used to fix the upcoming special election for the recall of the governor. Is this starting to ring any bells yet?

If it seems like the very foundations of our democratic principles of government are under concerted attack by a frightening G.O.P. political machine, it's because they are. One only needs to read the first chapter of Greg Palast's book 'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy' to see how a system with such serious security flaws *will* be exploited literally to kill democracy in America.

I could go on for hours on this subject, but I'm out of space. Check out the 'Electoral Integrity' section of for more information.

And in the meantime, if any of our overseas listeners know where a guy like me can land a decent job in an E.U. country slinging Internet security code, send email to the Mojowire telling me where to send the résumé.

MojoWire for 08/16/03

J. And speaking of cheap reality television and neurotic conservatism run amok, let us examine the weird tale of Al Franken, the man who brought us such illuminating works as “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot” and his latest feud with the Overminds at FoxNews.

His new book “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right”, opens up a broadside on the right wing propaganda mill, focusing in particular on William O’Reilly, Rush Limbought and Sean Calamity, among others.

Apparently, it’s a humorous attempt to call out the screaming heads -- something they would never allow in their tightly controlled sensory deprivation radio chambers.

A few weeks back, at conventions author panel, William was picked on by Al, goading him into a fifth grade temper tantrum, repeatedly telling Franken “shut up, just shut up.”

So imagine our surprise when Fox News slams a lawsuit on Franken and his publishers. Now, was it for calling out the lot of them for being a bunch mendacious dirtbags in whom there is no truth whatsoever?

Oh no, not for the hacks at Fox. That would be too straight up, something they would have to defend in court. Their claim is of the spineless, vexatious litigant variety, to wit: -- wait for it -- trademark infringement in his use of the phrase “Fair and Balanced” in his book title.

Apparently, Fox called shotgun on this phrase to drum into the heads of viewers, because God knows they would never connect the phrase fair and balanced with Fox News without a constant bombardment.

But the legal braintrust at Fox had better start warming up to the notion that most judges will look at a tort like this and once the initial conditions of how this ended up in his or her courtroom are made manifest, its even odds his or her honor will order Rusty the bailiff to take Rupert’s lawyers down to the basement to soak them in mace while beating their feet with sticks.

Most judges really hate politically inspired civil torts. And they especially hate it when the caselaw is so in favor of the defense that the only credible explanation for the suit is to harrass someone into a particular course of political action or to suppress political dissent.

Yeah, there is a special ring of hell devoted to lawyers who bring those kinds of actions, and judges have absolutely no compunction about slinging contempt citations at these guys like the Big Unit blowing up in the face of American League hitting.

S. Rupert’s only chance is to get this thing heard in the DC Circuit Court, where all the judges are charter members of the ultra-conservative Federalist Tin Hat brigade, or trump up a greasy excuse to file in Alabama State Court, where Judge Moore can call down the thunder of the righteous fiery wrath of the God of our Fathers on the godless commie heathen lib’ral who dares question the holy authority with which Rupert’s Angels speak.

So lets lay this out. Franken writes a book calling out the freaks on the right and Uncle Rupert hires a law firm to shut him down so his little sissies aren’t called names by Al Franken.

First off, somebody push Rupert off the whiskey bottle and remind him of the First Amendment, and the endless string of court cases where greedy cranks trying to run critics, particularly critics making fun, bring the pimp hand on the crybabies who can’t take a joke, let alone criticism.

And how woosie is it for William O’Reilly, who bullies people mercilessly on his wretched hour of disinformation, to have his employer sue someone because he was beaten like a punk at a book show in front of an audience. You know William, maybe you should think about all those herbal remedies for male enhancement rather than abusing the first amendment.

You have trademarked the phrase “Fair and Balanced”? Maybe Rupert can trademark the entire alphabet and sue his rivals into debtors prison for using his letters? The beauty of this shindig is Frankens book is getting massive free pub, and his climbing up the bestseller list before it even gets official published.

It should come as no surprise that once they are outside the controlled conditions of their radio and television studio cocoons, the first time William and his gang get a hard look they cry like sissies and can’t take what they like to pretend to dish out, No holds barred debate on the issues.

Stick to scaring America about the hordes of Killer sharks, or the Clinton Greenspan conspiracy to ruin your 401K, William. Franken and the rest of the liberals are way out of your league.

J. First this week on the Presidential round up, we bring you the basic disclaimer. We are endorsing former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean, the DLC and the Liebermanator can just deal with it. Just thought you should know.

With that said, here is a quick object lesson on why the Dean Campaign is the real thing when it comes to a top flight organization. This was from an email to Joshua Marshall who wrote it into his Talking Points column for the Washington Monthly:

“I thought you might be interested in my recent experience as a Democratic contributor. In the last year I've given $100 each to (1) Joe Lieberman, ...and (2) more recently, Howard Dean...

Well. I got a couple of half-hearted follow-ups from the Lieberman camp last year but absolutely nothing in the last six months or more, even though now is when they're starting to need the money, and a candidate's prior contributors are the folks he should be putting the strongest touch on. But, from Joe, at least to me, silence.

But from the Doctor! I've gotten half a dozen (correctly addressed!) follow-up letters in the couple of months since I sent him a check, and I'm obviously on his main direct-mail list, all on the strength of one contribution. VERY impressive operation on the technical side, and it certainly makes me more likely to contribute again. Wonder where Dean's people came from? Are these the tech-savvy people who are also staffing his Internet operation?”

Once upon a time, I walked wards and watched polling places for Bill Clinton’s campaign in Baltimore. It was clear from the organization that these people knew what they were doing and knew how to win a campaign. Dean’s people are exhibiting the same level of organization, the same attention to detail when it comes to dealing with people.

This guy is the real thing.

Next, we follow the Democrats on their forced march through the plains of Oklahoma in search of friendly faces, free food and a chance to take their stumps for a spin. Dennis Kucinich and Carol Mosley Braun took the opportunity to thunder away at Bush for taking us to war in Iraq.

And coming from Kucinich who was a vocal opponent of the war in Congress and one of the few Democrats voting against giving the Prez a blank check, his rhetoric has recently started to reach orbit.

This is all part of DK’s attempt to stake out the best liberal candidate to have a chance of winning label, and to do that he had to out Dean, Dean on the war issue.

So Dean concentrated on his economic message, which is to remind people that if they paid taxes at the level of the Clinton years, they could actually get something for their money, especially jobs.

S. Meanwhile the Liebermanator was only halfheartedly greeted with a few cheers and boos as we again spun out his tired jam of “Elect Me, I’ll be just like George Bush, only with less personality.”

At some point, as Lieberman’s numbers continue to free fall into the Autumn, his people are going to have to recognize that this line is not going to fly in the party this year and is failing to energize the Democratic base.

North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt were careening across the state in their deluxe luxury robotic motor coaches looking desperately for trial lawyers and union leaders who wouldn’t run them out of town.

Apparently campaigning in Oklahoma is something of an oddity, so it is perhaps indicative that the candidates are getting into pack mode, each following the other, lest someone kiss one more baby, gaze seriously into the eyes of one more hard luck American, choke down one more greaseburger than the other guy and muscle them out of the evening news.

Finally, if Bush wants to be reelected, forget the voodoo priests and the blood magick. There are some simple steps his people are going to follow.

First, he is going to have hit the fund raising trail with a vengeance which they are doing, limit the time he actually has to explain things to the American people and the big one, no big foreign policy surprises that further gives rise to the President’s utter incompetence in our international relations.

One of the smartest things that Karl Rove has been doing is to keep the President in Commander-in-Chief mode. That keeps him looking like the GI Joe Doll version of the President they want-- just pull the string in the back of his neck and he spits out a cheap piece of rhetoric.

But whatever happens, they need to have a team of guys with a capture net for those occasions when W accidentally gets loose and starts to wing it in front of the national press corps. Now Bill Clinton, you could leave that guy alone in a room full of reporters and come back an hour later and it would be fine. W on the other hand would be crouching beneath the podium asking them not to hurt him only after spitting out gaffe after gaffe...

But is this a viable strategy on the part of the President. Can they keep him in his Alexander the Great drag all the way until next November. At some point, the populace is going to expect the President to actually come down from Olympus and give them a reason to vote.

It might not have been that way a few months ago, but with continual blunders in Iraq and an economy stuck in neutral, several of the Democrats, namely Dean and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry have started to energize their base constituencies and are getting traction on these issues in the media.

So as we approach Labor Day, and the start of the most serious “Silly Season” Americans have experienced in a generation, the die is cast and the*is*on!

J. So our patriotic thought for the day: A fair election where George Bush might lose means the Terrorists win... or as John Ashcroft says... “We pronounce, you that’s fair and balanced”

S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, unless, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.

And remember, you can now email the Mojowire at, that’s

J. This has been the Mojowire, brought to you by Mojohaus...Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988, and produced by our super funky fly producer Mike Payne and the Darkling Eclectica, here on KUCI, 88.9...

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Mojowire for 8/09

MUSIC WILL BE -Intro/Hendrix, Star Spangled Banner
S9/ Eat Static, Crash and Burn
Exeunt/WildChild, Renegade Master

J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire... I’m Mojo...

S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, August 9th, and here’s the news for the week gone-by...

J. Brought to you by Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988. Now headlines, from Mojohaus:

S. First this morning, some of our worst fears of potential abuses of the Patriot Act look like they are coming to pass, with last week’s alleged admission by the Transportation Security Agency that they are targeting political activists with no criminal backgrounds for harassment at airports.

J. Next, even more evidence has come to light in the last week that global warming is a serious issue with profound implications for humanity. But the Bush Administration continues to use science to justify inaction and spew nonsense such as “global warming is actually good for the economy.”

S. And what would the Mojowire be without the continual hunt for the dreaded Weapons of Mass Destruction. Well, the bad news for our favorite guitar band, Rummy and the Neocons, is that Iraqi scientists, now under detention by U.S. forces, are still saying there are no weapons.

J. And with a truly horrifying story this morning, the good Doctor Strychnine examines the vagaries of Bush Executive Order 13303, which exempts the oil industry from the rule of law in their pursuit of Iraqi petroleum, paving the way for a new American mercantile empire.

S. Governor Terminator...are you ready for this? The die is cast, and we take a look this morning at the recall race, which is starting to resemble the bar scene in Star Wars more than an American election.

J. So stand by to stand by while we get ready to kick this pig...

J. So imagine are about to fly to your family’s house for the holidays. You get to the airport early enough to make it on time through all the increased security measures. You get to the place where you have to show your ID.

Suddenly, it seems to be taking a long time. Then two uniformed people come up to you and ask you to step out of line and come with them. You have no idea why. You ask, and all they tell you is that your name flagged on a TSA security watch list. You are then searched, your luggage searched, you are detained, questioned and of course, miss your flight.

But your not a wanted criminal, your not a terrorist, your not even all that politically active. But then a thought crosses your mind. You did give money to a left-leaning peace group and attend a couple of their meetings, but that couldn’t be it...could it?

Guess again... last week it was reported in the UK Independent that an investigation by the ACLU of Northern California has prompted the Transportation Security Agency to admit that they keep a watch list of people separate from their list of potential terror suspects.

To quote from the story: “Washington has admitted the existence of a list, possibly hundreds or even thousands of names long, of people it deems worthy of special scrutiny at airports...And it is entirely separate from the relatively well-publicized “no-fly” list, which covers about 1,000 people believed to have criminal or terrorist ties that could endanger the safety of their fellow passengers.

The strong suspicion of such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is suing the government to try to learn more, is that the second list has been used to target political activists who challenge the government in entirely legal ways. The TSA acknowledged the existence of the list in response to a Freedom of Information Act request concerning two anti-war activists from San Francisco who were stopped and briefly detained at the airport last autumn and told they were on an FBI no-fly list.”

This would seem to explain a lot to many people who have suddenly had trouble getting on board commercial aircraft in the last year. For instance: take the case of Doug Stuber, a North Carolina art dealer. He was yanked out of line at Raleigh Durham airport last year and told he could not fly because he was a member of the Green Party and ran Ralph Nader’s campaign in North Carolina in 2000.

Or Virgine Lawinger, a nun, said she was prevented from boarding a flight to Washington last spring along with 20 students. Her crime against the state was being an activist with Peace Action and her group was flying to Washington to lobby against military aid to the Colombian government.

Barbara Olshansky was ordered by airport security personnel to pull her pants down in full view of other passengers at Newark International Airport in March, 2002. The next time she flew, she was also pulled out of line. She was also subjected to extra scrutiny the next two times she tried to fly. Olshansky is the assistant legal director for the left-leaning Center for Constitutional Rights.

S. This is exactly what we were promised could *never* ever happen. Even as we all knew it was complete fabrication, we still held on to hope that these people in the adminsitration were not really the facist caricatures that they have become.

Forget the technical details of this thing, that there is no appeal process for getting off the list, or publicly known criteria for why people are flagged. The fact that this list exists at all, and that people are being singled out for government harrassment is an anathema to the American way of life.

What’s next -- check points on major roads, loyalty oaths for driver’s licenses, special registration of people who have openly opposed government policies? Where does this end?

All we’re missing now is some is kids in brown shirts and a giant bonfire in the middle a big stadium. And for those of you keeping score, this really is how facism gets a toehold in a country.

Take a place that is suffering from a little political lethargy in the first place, further convince people that their individual votes and voices are worthless and you create an atmosphere where those who are still involved must become louder, more shrill and seem more extreme. The government must then “crack down” on such “dangerous elements,” getting the general population to accept more control over their lives.

The Count von Ashcroft and his fellow trolls in the administration have given their greasy assurances over and over again that civil liberties will be protected in the implementation of homeland security. And again and again, those assurances have been proven to be lies, twice recently by the Justice Department’s own Inspector General.

We can hardly wait for the next election. That is assuming that we will be allowed to vote. Because if the Bush Administration gets the enhancements it wants, it will be able to strip political opponents of their rights, including the franchise for almost any reason with no need to publicly explain itself.

Such draconian acts of executive fiat may seem far-fetched, but hey so did the official government harrassment of political activists.

And their reason for stripping you of your right to vote? Well, you weren’t using it’ll never miss it, besides, there’s a new episode of American Idol on tonight...

J. The thing to understand about global warming, right off the bat, is that it is not only an ill-named phenomena, it is also completely natural. That’s right. The earth is continually in a cycle of heating and cooling.

So let’s focus the questions. First, is the earth currently in a warming trend? Second, if so, what is the nature of that trend? Third, what influence does human activity have on that trend? And finally, what are the implications for humanity for such a trend?

These are the questions that many in scientific circles are laboring to answer, and that hacks within the Bush Administration are laboring mightily to obfuscate.

This week, there have been reports from Alaska from climate scientists who have sent the essential message that Alaska is melting. Late last week, this story was reported by Knight Ridder news: “Glaciers are receding. Permafrost is thawing. Roads are collapsing. Forests are dying. Villages are being forced to move, and animals are being forced to seek new habitats.

What's happening in Alaska is a preview of what people farther south can expect, said Robert Corell, a former top National Science Foundation scientist who heads research for the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment team.

"If you want to see what will be happening in the rest of the world 25 years from now, just look at what's happening in the Arctic," Corell said.

In Alaska, year-round average temperatures have risen by 5 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1960s, and average winter temperatures soared 8 degrees in that period, according to the federal government.

2002 was the hottest year in Alaskan history, and this past winter was the second warmest on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., which found that Alaskan temperatures began to rise dramatically in 1976.”

Scientists the world over are in general agreement now that the global climate is changing, that wider divergence in temperatures are changing the natural balance of heat exchange, water vapor and air movement patterns worldwide.

It is also generally agreed that to some degree, human activity has added to what is already a naturally occuring phenomena, creating an unprecedented situation in earth history. Where a single species has influenced planet-wide change and a greatly accelerated rate.

But that’s okay, though, keep on driving those SUV’s, burn all the fossil fuel you want. Remember, it’s your *god*given right as an American to trash the world. What the hell do we need that much air for anyway?

S. While other nations and organizations understand that we need to start addressing some of the issues created by rapid climate change, some scientists, in the pockets of the oil and chemical industry have joined with the Bush Administration to attempt to further obscure the truth of the issue.

This is all primarily in the name of science, but many suspect there are other motives a little closer to the hearts of those in the loop.

In a detailed report released Thursday by Los Angeles Congressional Represenative Henry Waxman, the adminsitration’s lack of respect for real science, you know with numbers and stuff, was made apparent.

For instance, according to Waxman, in early 2002, the State Department successfully opposed the re-appointment of a leading U.S. climatologist to the top position on the preeminent international global warming study panel.

Dr. Robert Watson had been chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1996. An internationally respected scientist and recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dr. Watson had been the Director of the Science Division at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and chief scientist at the World Bank.

But after publicly predicting global temperature increases of 2.5 to 10.5 degrees over the next 100 years, and that the warming was due in part to human activity, then lobbyists from ExxonMobil had Dr. Watson shipped off the to island of politically incorrect scientists.

The adminsitartion has also deep-sixed scientific evidence on global warming, stashing it along side the Ark of the Covenant in that big Army warehouse from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

In September 2002, the section on global warming was removed from an annual report on the state of air pollution. Then, in June 2003, the Administration published a supposedly “comprehensive” report on the environment without any information on climate change.

According to EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, the Draft Report on the Environment used “the most sophisticated science ever” and represented “a comprehensive roadmap to ensure that all Americans have cleaner air, purer water and better protected land.” However, this report contained no information on global warming.

Instead, the document stated, “This report does not attempt to address the complexities of this issue.”

These are only a few of the many examples that can be found at:

So while the star-bellied sneetches of the West Wing are all down in Deep 13 drinking Schapps and toasting their industrial stock portfolios, the rest of us will be up here on the surface baking in the intense ultraviolet radiation of the sun between bouts of trying to duck superstorms created by the imbalance of heat exchange in the atmosphere.

J. Despite free run of Iraq, the administration has not found any of the weapons of mass destruction it swore on a stack of bibles were poised to be dropped on unsuspecting Toby Keith Fans from Unmanned Air Vehicles built with stolen UFO technology sold to Saddam Hussein by Hilary Clinton who had Vince Foster killed by Iraqi intelligence to keep him from squealing about the Cocaine drug trade out of get the idea.

No WMD's, no one to blame but themselves for the lies..errr...mistake. Hope still reigns in Talk Radio and the White House however, particularly because U.S. Forces have captured or been approached by various scientists and officials who participated in Hussiens weapons programs. Which might yield proof of an imminent threat.

Well, it might if these scientist and officials were not telling the same story. The story that there were no weapons of mass destruction, no secret links to Al Queda, no Unmanned air vehicles, and no imminent threat. Check this from the Associated Press:

A key Iraqi scientist recently told the CIA that high-strength aluminum tubes bought by Baghdad weren't meant for nuclear bomb production, as President Bush suggested in his State of the Union address, two experts on Iraq's nuclear program say.

"Mahdi Shukur Obeidi, who headed a uranium-enrichment unit vital to Iraq's pre-1991 bomb plans, "also said that since '91 they hadn't resurrected a nuclear weapon program," according to ex-Iraq inspector David Albright, an American physicist who acted as go-between for Obeidi to talk to U.S. authorities a few weeks ago."

Jacques Baute, chief UN nuclear inspector for Iraq, said he also had learned, from a trusted source, of Obeidi's statements about the tubes and program status.The Iraqi was in a position to know, Baute said. "He should have been aware if something had happened," the inspector said of claims Baghdad had revived its bomb-building.

It gets better, according to Josh Marshall from the Washington Monthly, Obedi, who struck a deal with the CIA to be relocated to the United States in exchange for coming clean about Iraq's nuke program, is apparently being held against his will now.

"The deal he made, or thought he'd made with the US, was that he would be given asylum and allowed along with his family to come to the United States. He has a job lined up in the US and even, believe it or not, a book contract (that's globalization for ya). But though he had a good-faith understanding with the CIA that he'd be allowed to come to the United States, he failed to secure a formal agreement. That turned out to be a mistake. For two months they've been holding out on him, apparently because the answers he's giving them aren't the ones they want to hear. "

S. The CIA, according to Marshall, claims they don't fully believe Obedi, because he misled Inspectors previously. Of course, if he had cooperated with inspectors, he and his family would have been cruelly executed by Hussien. There is no conceivable reason not to share any information he has with the CIA, anyone who rescues the Administration from the hell of WMD lies will be the saint of the NeoCons.

A more plausible answer lies in the fear of Mr. Obedi coming to America and appearing on Meet the Press, the NewsHour, Regis, and every other media outlet, offering credibility to critics like us that the Administrations WMD story was a dangerous fantasy with no substantive evidence to support it.

In addition to Mr. Obedi, any slack jawed neophyte of Fox News will tell you of the almost daily announcements from the Pentagon of another "key figure" that has been captured in Iraq, and assurances from the Darth Rumsfleda and Grand Moff Cheney that WMDs will be discovered in a shoe box under Husseins Bed.

The Administration has had ample time to check off every item on that list of "known" sites of WMD's. Other than a few set props better suited to a "Dukes of Hazzard" episode, and a few items Mr. Obedi dug up in his backyard, ( Maybe they should question his garden gnome?), they have found nothing.

But don't just believe us. Listen David Albright, former weapons inspector quoted by Marshall "The answer they're getting is that there were no significant stocks of chemical weapons or biological weapons, no significant on-going work on nuclear weapons. But they're not in a position to go to Bush and say, 'Hey, we were wrong.' So they're stalling."

The bad news for the Administration is that this only postpones the day of reckoning. Clearly, their hope is that the usual distractions of the NFL and a new seasons of Survivor will direct the attention of the public away from their congenital lying, and only cranks and geeks will dimly recall that people like Obedi existed and wonder for a few fleeting moments whatever became of them.

Sorry Rummy, we and others won't let them forget. Even if we have to set these issues to the tunes of old Schoolhouse Rock shorts, you can guarantee that the day of truth will come.

Maybe the rapture will come and you will be whisked away to an Old Testament paradise of Milk and Honey where old fashioned values of an eye for an eye, the ends justifies of the means, and Old Glory still fly over Muskogee reign supreme and you won't have to answer for any of this.

Crack off a memo to Pat Robertson, I hear he takes requests....

MojoWire for 08/09/03

And now the music is telling me that we have an incoming transmission from the redoubtable Dr. S9…

J. That’s right. It is time once again for our regular contributor Dr. Strychnine, reporting from his super-secret, ultra-dope, mega-cool, extra-jiggy, Mojohaus spy satellite of love high in geosynchronous orbit above Baghdad by the Bay…take it away S9…

S9 Greetings fellow space travelers. Hailings and well-meet from your friends out here in the big black. After last week's misadventure with the BZ dispensers, we're almost done drying out. So it is that we might be a little lightheaded still, but at least we have enough sense to respond quickly when the red lights on the Mojohaus Coprophagia Early Detection and Warning System start to flash like firecrackers at a Chinese New Year parade.

This week, our friends in the left-wing tin-foil hat brigade have brought to our attention a three-month-old Presidential executive order, that was ostensibly issued by George W. Bush for the purpose of protecting the Patrimony of the Iraqi People, or to be plainspoken: the 115 *billion* barrels of proven oil reserves in Iraq-- as it proceeds from being mere crude oil in the ground to the fully refined stacks of crisp, unmarked, non-sequential American 100-dollar bills.

On May 25 this year, the very same day the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1483 to set up the Iraq Development Fund for sending Iraqi petrodollars into an account to support humanitarian and redevelopment efforts in war-torn Iraq, President Bush issued Executive Order 13303-- supposedly to make sure the bad guys can't sink their hooks into the money before it can go to rebuilding all that Iraqi infrastructure the Americans and the British have so meticulously taken apart.

What it actually says is that the Federal executive branch, under the Bush administration, will not hold any American energy corporations liable for any legal matter arising from activities related to oil or oil products that were produced or somehow involved with Iraq or anyone in Iraq. We can guess which energy companies will benefit most from this largesse.

The best part is that this legal immunity covers both civil and *criminal* matters. Period. It's the end of their accountability under the law. Because the threat of Halliburton having to defend
itself in a criminal case is a national emergency requiring the intervention of the White House to prevent. No joke, that's the explicit reasoning of the order.

Now, you had to know that when George W Bush was telling you that this particular executive order was intended to protect the interests of the Iraqi people, that something about the order had to be kinky. The surprising thing is that it wasn't until late July (three weeks ago) that a couple of watchdog groups we've never heard about before starting making any noise about it. And we're still a little surprised the story isn't getting more play.

We get a lot of American broadcasts here on the Satellite of Funk, and the thing that never fails to make us go 'Huh?' is the level of devotion that Americans seem to have for the idea that Operation Iraqi Freedom was all about the tyrant, his weapons of mass misdirection, the fifteen year old bones of Kurds killed by American-made chemicals in Halabja, the Al Qaeda terrorists on the Mukhabarat payroll-- and *most* *importantly-- how the last thing the President and his administration are thinking about is the opportunity to crack open the Iraqi oil services market like an oyster and slurp out all the gooey riches while Ahmed the armless Iraqi boy does public service announcements on Fox News for Worldvision.

The administration now admits that Executive Order 13303 was probably overreaching, and it swears we should be seeing an improved rulemaking from the Treasury Department real soon now that will supposedly make everything all better and give everyone a reason to calm down about
American energy giants with total black-ice legal immunity.

So then, why do we see a story beamed to us today from Liberated France telling us about how the President just appointed one of his major political fundraisers, Thomas Foley, to run the entire sector of Iraqi nationalized enterprises. His job is to draw a sweeping plan for privatizing Iraqi state-run companies, *including* the Iraq Petroleum Company.

Never mind that the new Iraq governing council is horribly split about whether to privatize Iraq Petro, or to keep it nationalized. This is only the most recent event to show how the governing council really *is* a puppet creature of L. Paul Bremer and his dark sith lord masters in the White House

Never mind that Bechtel and most of the other American engineering, construction and oil services firms bidding on Iraq reconstruction business have abandoned the market, concluding rightly that
Halliburton-- Vice President Dick Cheney's old company-- is the only company that will be getting the business.

While the public discourse in America seems to take as gospel that what is happening in Iraq can't possibly be an equation of blood and oil, the actual reality on the ground-- both in Washington in Baghdad-- appears to be exactly that it *is* a blood for oil services swap.

Think about it space cowboys: 115 Billion barrels of proven reserves; *how* many American soldiers? Do the math...

J. Well, first I would like to apologize to the vast body of wireheads listening around the country and indeed internationally right now, but we are going to speak parochially, as it were, for a mintute or two.

So, California, are you ready for Governor Terminator. But ohhhh...if only it was only that.

But I see we are getting ahead of ourselves somewhat here. So a quick recap. Darrell Issa, a dangerous crank from San Diego county, who paid for the recall effort, ended up being the first guy Terminated by Arnold.

But in the meantime, although one star has fallen our sky shall not want. Because even though Issa has gone, we still have a whole host of characters that would make the bar scene in Star Wars look like an IBM management symposium.

First, there is the queen of local self-promotion, Angeline, a woman who’s sole claim to fame is buying bill board space featuring her scantily clad hugeness and a phone number. Yeah....clearly she is qualified to be Governor. She will cater to “special” interests...

Then there is the possibility of Gov. Porn King. First Amendment activist and Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flint has declared his intent to govern California.

On the Republican side, there is the soft-headed Bill Simon who still dreams of his stolen glory and Tom McClintock, the anti-sodomite crusader living to rid the planet of genitals.

Then out in the hinterlands are the likes of Green Candidate Peter Camejo, looking to better his five percent showing, Arianna Huffington, the former Republican, now reformed populist columnist and professional trouble maker. And of course to keep it from becoming a complete freek show, Gary Coleman, the dimmunitive has-been child star-slash-security guard-slash-gen X cultural touch stone.

Of course, there’s Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante for governor, but then hey...that wouldn’t nearly be the freak show that the rest of these people would be. And after all, isn’t that the point, to turn California into a political parody?

That’s right, $38 billion in debt, a paralyzed state legislature and a fractious, yet oddly apathetic electorate and we are going to have to choose between Governors Conan, Stripper, Porn King, Anti-Porn-King and Bobo the Simple Minded.

So even though there is the good news about getting Issa run like the two bit punk he is, it still leaves us with a number of not-so-good choices and the odd thing is that a very small number of voters could end up choosing one of these losers to be the next governor and lord high kahuna of the world’s eigth largest economy.

Look, we are thrilled, really, that finally the democratic process if getting more face time on Televison than the most recent loser to be voted off Survivor or run by the Bachelor. But this is not about Democracy, or taking power back to the people. This is about the Right wing Christian radio mouth breathers and their wealthy enableers exploiting an anchronism in the California election process to overturn an election.

Despite the endless material for the wire promised by the candidacy of Conan the Terminator, we are horrified by the notion that the only thing that will shock Califnroan voters off the couch to the polling booth is the promise the that Governor will shower them wiith Stygian Black Lotus and put his cyborg boot on the hated Hagga trade.

S. But let’s not fool ourselves. This thing is being driven by the White House’s quantative analysts and their dire electoral maths. They want this state in the red column next year, and if they have to burn the place to the ground and put a steroid-poisoned pub hound in charge to get it then so be it.

Then finally, *finally* Diamond Jim Brulte will get his reprieve and Get Out of the San Bernardino County Free card from the Bush Administration and repair to the land of the east where the living is easy and the Potomac River separates him from those lesser creatures who labor in the great beyond.

Arnold will be nothing more than a marionette for the Bush Administration. He will do whatever the Bush gang will tell him to do. That is his main claim to fame. He is the name that the Karl Rove will be able to ride into Sacramento and rearrange things the White House’s way.

But you know, this thing is turning into a freekin' Greek tragedy.

It was interesting watching Jerry Brown and Pete Wilson talk about thisissue on the Leher News Hour. Brown was even able to calm down enough tospeak complete cogent sentences. But they both agreed that there seems to be an almost Prop. 13ish feeling about the whole recall/Arnold-thing.

Put simply, Californians, or at least a good number of them, have been worked up into a state and are ready to go to the polls and do something really goofy, regardless of what arguements exist not to, nor how eloquently those arguements are made.

All most people know is that their state's political situation is in shambles right now, and that we are deeply in debt, and most have at least enough intutition to realize that party affiliation may neither exonerate, nor totally implicate one in the state's problems.

And this really is not a replay of Pat Brown/Ronald Reagan, either. People should recall that while Reagan was an actor (of about Arnold's caliber, if not the same genres), he *was* president of a large and politically powerful union in Los Angeles as well as previously being deeply involved in state politics at that point.

This seems, as it was with Prop. 13, more like a populist revolt fueled by the worst instincts of populism. It is kinda scary watching people get interviewed and say "Yeah...we want the Terminator for Governor." I mean, come on, we already have a robot for governor, now we want to replace him
with a *fictional* robot?

I just hope we don't end up making another mistake that we're going to pay for over the next 20-some years because we all got into a fit of teenage pique and did something we *knew* was stoopid, just to spite the adults.

We would like to ask the question "Hey, Conan, what is best in life..."

"To crush the Democrats, to see them driven into the Sacramento River, and hear the lamentations of the pundits..."

Bottom line...we don’t dislike Arnold, but the people need a professional in charge. Folks might not want to hear this, but the flock needs a shepard, not just another sheep with delusions of grandeur.

J. So our patriotic thought for the day: Poltical activism and an informed electorate means the Terrorists win... or as John Ashcroft says... “Eine Volk, Eine Reich, Eine Furher, Eine News Channel...”

S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, unless, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.

And remember, you can now email the Mojowire at, that’s

J. This has been the Mojowire, brought to you by Mojohaus...Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988, and produced by our super funky fly producer Mike Payne and the Darkling Eclectica, here on KUCI, 88.9...

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Mojowire for 8/02
MUSIC WILL BE -Intro/Hendrix, Star Spangled Banner
S9/ Eat Static, Crash and Burn
Exeunt/WildChild, Renegade Master

J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire... I’m Mojo...

S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, August 2nd, and here’s the news for the week gone-by...

J. Brought to you by Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988. Now headlines, from Mojohaus:

S. The hive brain at the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency launched one of the goofiest programs in the history of government last week: a futures market in terrorism. In a fit common sense, DoD yanked the program almost as soon as it went live, but not before it took a victim, the resurrected career of Adm. John Poindexter, who is getting run for making Rummy and his boss the punch line of yet another round of late-night-TV monologue jokes.

J. Next, for reasons that pass understanding, the genetically-challenged wing of the Republican Party have decided that shrinking government, fighting terrorism and even abortion will take a back seat to their new number one threat to the American way of life: gay and lesibian rights. But we would warn them, this is not a horse you people are going to ride into power, and we have some recent history to support that assertion.

S. There were some decent signs of life in the economy this week, a larger than predicted GDP number, a weekly drop in first time jobless claims, the stock market perking up. We here at the Mojowire really hope the economy is turning the corner, but a closer look at the numbers make it apparent, this may be just a fresh coat of shellack over a shabby product. And this wouldn’t be the first time a Bush in the White House has done this.

J. Then the good Doctor Strychnine brings the noise on the Bush Administration and its fearless leader, none other than W himself, who at his ninth press conference in three years last week, took the *extraordinary* step of taking responsibility for the things he says. But as simple as it may seem, that’s actually volunteering for a lot of heat, as the good Doc will explain.

S. Then finally, in yet another stunning coincidence in California politics, the moment the recall election was set, the Republicans ceased holding the state budget hostage. Amazing timing, really. The Republicans have managed to pull something of a coup, finding a way to circumvent the political process, while putting cities, which usually vote Democratic, over a financial barrel, once again, by robbing them to pay for their fiscal irresponsibility.

J. So stand by to stand by while we get ready to kick this pig...

J. You know, if you had come to us with this a week ago, we would have told you that you had mistaken a Jon Stewart Daily Show segment with a FOXNews story. Easy to do these days, they can be both pretty goofy.

And yet, to our collective dismay, we learned that early last week, Former Admiral John Poindexter and his gang at the Hall of Information Justice within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- or DARPA -- were in the process of going live with a plan to allow investors to place bets on when, where and how future terror attacks would occur.

They unveiled their mind-numbingly stoopid idea last week, and were just as quickly forced to retract it as even the most ignorant jethros amongst us were able to immediately deduce the tactical and moral failings of this enterprise.

But should this come as any shocker, when we are talking about the master of disaster himself, John Poindexter. This was a guy who was convicted for lying to Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal. His political career was raised from the dead like some horrible creature of the night, and he skulked back across the potomac to take up residence in a basement in the Pentagon earlier this year.

His very first move, if you will recall, was to announce that he was going to collect vast amounts of previously verboten private information on everyone in America and store it, look at it and let others look at it, without anyone’s consent. surprising was that coming from Poindexter.

But this...they had to dig way down into the Big Book of Stoopid to come up with this priceless little gem. A futures market to let anyone, including the terrorists we are trying to prevent the funding of, bet on future terror events.

After causing a flap with the whole Big-Brotherly Total Information Awareness scheme, this was just too much for the West Wing gang. Poindexter had embarassed them once too often. And done so within just a few months of setting up shop. The end result being Poindexter was asked for his resignation and told to be out of town by sundown. This administration does just fine making idiots of themselves, they didn’t need Poindexter’s help.

You know, when *Rummy* says you’ve gone too far off the reservation, then perhaps it is time to get thee to a personal brain care guy. Switch out those cooling cores Scorpy, yer gettin’ some serious heat induced impedence in yer head gear.

S. But you know, this sort of thing is par for the course for DARPA. To come correct, we are not bagging on DARPA as a whole. In fact, some of you are listening to us via the Internet right now only because those kooky kids at DARPA once upon a time said “hey wouldn’t it be cool if we had a totally decentralized computer communications network that was robust and resistant to damage.”

But really, some of the things DARPA are into today really make one want to ask the following questions: 1. *How*much* of my tax money is going for this soft-headed geekery? and 2. Where can I get some of the stuff *they* smoke?

DARPA was born in the great Sputnik scare of ‘58 in order to help close a perceived research and technology gap in American science. A creature of the Cold War, DARPA has been on the leading edge of many of our technological success stories, the Internet being but one of them.

However, there are some other projects: such as LifeLog, DARPA’s own version of the Real World. One person chosen to have their entire -- and I mean *entire* -- life recorded with an elaborate array of sensors, cameras and other data recorders to get all activity all the way down to the most tedious bits of everyday life.

The purpose? To create humanistic robots to be our personal slaves. Yeah...laugh, you think we’re kidding. Check out the story in the Washington Post last week.

Other little DARPA science fair projects include, research on stimulants to keep soldiers awake and combat ready for several days at a time, self-fixing computers, and tiny flying cameras the size of insects.

So perhaps it is not so surprising that in the context of what usually gets tossed around the room at the DARPA meetings, that someone who had read about history prediction with Zeta Wave Periods in the Historical Time Flow in one of those Weekly World News ads for a scheme to “beat the tables every time in Vegas” decided to trot that out.

In any other time, this would just be good fun, fodder for party talk. But facing the largest budget deficit in history, a global war on terror, a guerilla war in Iraq claiming lives daily, perhaps the gang at DARPA could be asked to reign it in a tad.

Thinking outside the box is a proud American tradition when it comes to technological development. But allowing people to bet on terrorist attacks because you think you can discern patterns in the gambling is not just outside the box, it is completely off the freakin’ rails.

J. The interesting thing about the situation with the current Lavender Menace Scare in the Republican Party, is the barely disguised glee of the Christian Right, now that, in gay and lesbian rights, they believe they have been handed a marquis issue for the 2004 election cycle.

That’s right, Mr. and Mrs. Orange County, don’t worry about the over-bloated government, the hunt for terrorists around the world, the tax and spend liberals still skulking around the halls of power in Sacramento and Washington; the biggest threat to your prosperity and way of life are the hordes of sodomites massing in their secret cabals preparing to be married and thus sealing the doom of America once their mind control take over of the Supreme Court is complete.

First a rhetorical question: Having been married going on eight years now, someone please explain how gays or lesbians marrying make me any less married or make my marriage any less than it was before?

What secret transformation takes place when the state recognizes two men or women who say “I do” to each other that damages my marriage?

Well, perhaps we can leave that question open for another time.

For right now, let’s just concentrate on the ugly political reality that bigotry has always been the lowest common denominator in American politics.

Understand this: The Christian Right is not interested in solving your problems. But they are more than willing to tell you who to blame for them.

Memo to the typical Republicans: We have a massive national debt that could seriously impede our nation’s ability to do business around the world and possibly begin to shrink our economy. How do Gay Rights effect this issue?

We are engaged in a massive military operation in Iraq, with a burgeoning guerilla war, massive cost overruns and the distinct possibility that the war will spill over into neighboring countries. How does gay marriage impede our ability to stabilize Iraq and foster a democratic republic there?

Unemployment is at 6.2 percent, but running between 20 and 30 percent in our large urban centers, while gun violence is still rampant and drug-related crime has created a permanent criminal underclass. So how will married Gays and Lesbians prevent good jobs and justice in our cities?

Our air, water and land are continually being poisoned by large industries, and public lands are being sold off for pennies on the dollar to the highest campaign contributors for more strip mining and cracker box housing tracts. So Gay rights will influence our environmental remediation protocols how, again?

See where we are going with this?

S. What many in the Christian Right don’t want to acknowledge is that gay rights is the dark secret addiction of their political kind. It is the guaranteed fund raiser. Place a picture of a couple of leatherboys lip-locked with a caption of “In Our Public Schools Next?” and that’s automatic bank.

It’s easy and it makes for good copy and video. It’s an easy sell, it’s like robbing unguarded nests, it’s the *biggest* stick in their bag.

But biggest stick or not, it is not always the best. Example: Dan Lungren.

For those who need a quick contemporary history lesson, Dan Lungren, former arch-conservative law and order State Attorney General, was the guy who lost to Gray Davis in 1998. Now understand that next to Lungren, Davis has all the personality and warmth of a bag of hammers.

Davis was never supposed to win that election. Going into election season Lungren was a lock. Every poll had him in double digits over Davis who was previously Lt. Governor.

But then, the California Republican Assembly, the hyper-right party-within-the-party in California Republican Politics seized control of the state party apparatus and began to imprint itself on the Lungren campaign.

So instead of sticking to his proven messages of fiscal conservatism and being strong on law and order, his campaign suddenly became about sodomites spitting unborn babies on pikes and feeding them to the hordes of “Mes’kins” that Davis would sneak across the border to take our jobs, steal our women, sit on our sofas, drink our beer and watch our MTV.

Result? Lungren got run like the village drunkard. And we got the alien Gray for governor. Take heed gang...there’s a lesson here. Selling Americans fear of their fellow Americans sexual habits has never won you a major seat in this state or in Washington, DC. In fact, it usually backfires. Back to the drawing board scrubs, and don’t come back until you can elevate the level of play to something worthy of us knocking out of the yard.

J. Well, according to the apologists of the Bush Administration, our long national nightmare of economic depression is over. Numbers released recently would seem to vindicate the administration with a 2.4 growth rate in GDP for last quarter, beating the expected 1.5 percent, unemploymet dropping two-tenths of a percent to 6.2 percent for July and the stock market perking up.

Many in the neocon press have been falling all over themselves for the past 48 hours trumpeting the victory of the Bush adminstration over the forces of liberalism... and satan. Even we’re not sure what the difference is..

And to be sure, the signs are good ones, as far as it goes. And we, like you wireheads, sincerely hope the economy turns around. This is not one of those things where we think we’d like the administration to fail. This affects us too, that’s why we’re always on about this.

That’s why we are genuinely happy to see some good economic news. But...oh relax, you knew there was a ‘but’ coming... But, are these numbers all they are cracked up to be?

Well, yes and no. First thing to consider, that the GDP growth is mainly due to increases in military spending. In the past three months the military spent more than during any other single quarter since the Korean war. Spending by the way, that has not been accounted for, or budgeted, in the federal spending plan for this year or next.

Also,very little of this Military spending has been within the United States, and in any way contributing to the economy. In real money terms, that is $5 billion a month for the occupation and fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also the refinance boom reached fevor pitch in the last quarter, creating yet another asset bubble and creating an appearance of a rebounding economy that might not, in the strictest sense be a reality-based perception.

But there is still the unemployment figures, right? Wrong! The unemployment figures dropped even though manufacturers in the U.S. slashed another 44,000 jobs nationwide, partly in response to continually declining consumer confidence statistics.

The two-tenths shave on the employment figures reflect the fact that those numbers are talking about people actively looking for work. There are another class of unemployed, usually referred to by economists as discouraged workers. These are people who have not actively sought work in four weeks.

This number, if folded into the other stats could top unemployment out at more than 9 percent.

And of course, let’s not forget the stock market. Remember how the Bush gang were careening around the country in late 2000 telling anyone who would listen that a strong stock market had nothing to do with economic strength.

But now, miraculously, the stock market is the perfect indicator of our financial health? Not even stock pros believe that anymore, not on the day to day basis at any rate.

S. So what is the story here...

Well, remember that once upon a time, when the elder Bush was in the White House and facing a career ending crisis embodied in the form of a horny, hillbilly ex-Governor from Arkansas, his Office of Management and Budget used second quarter figures to announce the greatest single quarter economic expansion in U.S. unprecendented 12 percent growth in one quarter.

The numbers were taken seriously for about one news cycle, roughly the amount of time it took for outside economists and the Congressional Budget Office to use their own slide-rules on the figures and it turned out that the Bush Sr.’s last-minute, buzzer-beating economic victory was complete vaporware. They literally invented it out of the aether.

Now, we’re not saying that the this administration is doing the same thing. These numbers are not that desperately out of line and Bush is not facing imminent unemployment in an election.

But this administration will be laboring mightily to put the best positive face on any numbers it deems even just not-so-bad. And unemployment recovery was so lackluster that the President’s political advisors had told him not to go out and publicly celebrate a drop to 6.2 percent, since it is still a long way from the Clinton era’s record low unemployment.

But remember, it is getting to be crunch time for the administration here, in terms of the political usably for the 2004 election.

Several months ago, many Republican insiders were concerned that if the economy were going to play good for Bush next year, then the turn around would have to start about now. And if that turn around were not really starting then he would have some serious trouble.

Markets always respond negatively in election years, and major investments in workforces and infrastructures are usually deferred during those years until the American political landscape settles.

So it is perhaps not surprising that the Bush Administration and their chimps at the Wall Street Journal and on talk radio are laboring mightily to put some lipstick on this sow in the desperate and feeble attempt to buy some economic credibility.

But let’s see what the economy looks like in 6 months to a year, after the refinancing kegger ends and the American consumer wakes up with a huge credit card debt hangover, no job, no prospects and the overwhelming urge to blame someone for their bad day. We hit our knees every night praying none of this will come to pass. It sucks being the Oracle.

And now the music is telling me that we have an incoming transmission from the redoubtable Dr. S9…

J. That’s right. It is time once again for our regular contributor Dr. Strychnine, reporting from his super-secret, ultra-dope, mega-cool, extra-jiggy, Mojohaus spy satellite of love high in geosynchronous orbit above Baghdad by the Bay…take it away S9…

S9 Greetings fellow space travelers... you'll have to forgive us the stilted language and the jittery enunciation on this revolution of S9 station. We're still recovering from the consequences of the stunning news received here earlier this week on the flightdeck that the President of the United States of America has announced that he takes responsibility for everything he says.

"Absolutely!" no less.

We were so taken aback by this development that, in our haste to call our bookies to reassure them the check is in the mail, we frightened one of the ship's cats enough that it jumped onto the security AI control panel and set off the emergency BZ dispensers on all the gravity decks. Just now, we're almost back into focus-- though we're suddenly noticing that the plants need watering.

Now it sure is nice the President takes ultimate responsibility for everything he says, isn't it? I may still have a brain-cloud, induced by industrial-grade psycho-active gas, but even *I* can't help but
revel in the supreme irony of this latest development. (And, yes comrades, I know the actual meaning of the word 'irony' and I really mean to use it here.)

The President made this absurd statement when he was asked in a press conference if he plans to take responsibility for the outright bald-faced stick-a-needle-in-your-eye whopper of a lie he told in his State of the Union address to Congress in January about Iraq trying to buy uranium ore from Africa.

The question was, "Why is Condoleezza Rice not being held accountable for the statement that the White House has acknowledged was a mistake in your State of the Union address regarding Iraq's attempts to purchase uranium? Also, do you take personal responsibility for that inaccuracy?"

The President's answer: "I take responsibility for everything I say, of course. Absolutely. And I analysed a thorough body of intelligence..." he went on to signal that he has no intention of
firing Condoleeza Rice for forwarding that body of-- well, what was it again?-- to him, without comment, so he could rely on it for use in The Most Carefully Written Speech a President gives each year.

Now I realize... George Bush is *infamous*, like no other American President, for being essentially incomprehensible in his public speech utterance behaviors. Do a Google Search on "Bushisms" and you will get thousands of hits. Some of my favorite Bushisms follow:

+ "Security is the essential roadblock to achieving the road map to peace." (July 25, 2003)

+ "You're free. And freedom is beautiful. And, you know, it'll take time to restore chaos and order — order out of chaos. But we will." (April 13, 2003)

+ "The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself." (January 29, 2003)

...and this one I got from a site in Japan:

+ "For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times." (February 18, 2002)

All kidding aside, though. The President didn't stutter when he said he takes responsibility for everything he says. His grammar was perfect. He didn't flub the words at all. At least, he *was* firing on all cylinders up until he started talking about something that makes him uncomfortable, namely the thought of analyzing intelligence reports to make a sound judgment about whether to order the military into combat operations.

He said he "analyzed a thorough body of intelligence". Yeah. I'd like to see that body myself. And I wonder what *Laura* Bush would think about it...

But the President is clearly holding himself responsible for using cooked intelligence to deceive Congress about the necessity of defying U.N. Security Council resolutions ostensibly to enforce other U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Hell, he says he's quite confident that history will regard him favorably. He did the right thing. He's certain of it. He told exactly the right lie to the American people at the right time to get
the Congress to authorize him to launch a plan to rid the world of evil. Literally. Rid the world of Evil with a capital E. And he'll do it again, too. Just you wait.

What are you gonna do about it, bucko? Impeach him? Go ahead and try it. In the words of our peerless leader, "Bring 'em on."

He takes responsibility for everything he says alright... the question is whether he should have even been *given* the responsibility.

J. In the past week, the Califonria legislature finally saw an outbreak of fiscal and political responsibility, and passed a budget.

Well, a minor outbreak, since the budget pushes 8 billion or so of the defict on to next year, severly wigs out the bond market on Californias bonds, and does nothing to address the systemic problems within the taxation system the bring this problem around when the economy tanks.

Press reports this week flagged an important element to this story that reveals the wretched truth. For years the GOP has pushed to reform the Workmans Comp system.

The Govenor and the democrats offered this choice carrot to the GOP to bring them around to a compromise budget of tax increases and spending cuts, virtually identical to the budget solution used by Pete Wilson to resolve a similiar crisis. The offer was rejected out of hand. Why would they pass on an issue they have pushed for years?

Because this was never about the budget. This is all about pimping a recall of the Governor, and stretching the budget crisis along to help the recall mercenaries skulking in WalMart parking lots jedi mind tricking citizens to signing on to this debacle. Now that the date was set, there was no value in the budget impasse, so they ended it.

And what does California get for all this? Yet another bait and switch that leaves the cities of California scrambling for loose change, and California college kids having to mortgage their futures even further to pay the 20 to 30 percent fee increases or even give up on college all together.

Now more than ever, cities and counties, particularly the urban centers of california, have to give up every dime of their respective property taxes and other revenues to Sacramento to appease the political hackery of the California GOP.

Remember, when you dial 911 after little Jimmy swallows his gum? That call doesn’t go to Sacremento. That call goes to your local cities 911 Call Center. Funded by you and your neighbors, not the cheap hillbillies in the Central Valley or the noveouu riche jethro’s clogging up the 91 every day.

S. Your property taxes are not going to pave your local streets, hire more cops, or develop a new park to walk your dog. They are going to Sacremento to appease the Conservative mooks in the GOP who still cannot come to grips with the bright red letters branded on their sloped foreheads: LOSERS!

And Remember wireheads, when the geeks at the Club for Growth and the CRA whine about the spending increases of the Davis years, what they are really talking about was the infusion of despearatly needed investment in your roads, your schools, and all the other neglected infrastructure needs of the state that were being choked to death by 12 years of neglect by GOP Governors gravy training off the Pat Brown years.

It was really Pete Wilson fiscal mismanagement that causes a similiar crisis that brought about the attempted suffocation of city and county services that Gray Davis was trying to restore.

And while we are chatting about taxes? When are we going to fix the tragedy that is Prop 13? We’re not talking about the cap on increases in the property tax. We’re talking about why you are paying thousands in property tax, but that commercial property worth 4oo times what you have is taxed at a pre 1974 rate?

It’s no accident folks, that our education and tax revenue problems started almost to the day Howard Jarvis and his cadre of flying monkeys from the San Fernando Valley hustled the California electorate into this. Let us bottom line this for you. This budget boils down to bigger class size and less instruction for our kids in school, a 20 minute hold when you dial 911, and less cops on the street.

But thankfully, those wealthy people cutting you off in traffic and not looking you in the eyes when you go to Fashion island won’t get a tax increase.

The GOP has finally managed to do the two things it has always wanted to do at the same time. Foster an completely unmanageable fiscal crisis in the state they could blame on the Democrats, and circumvent a legal election by abusing the state’s recall protocol.

Combined, it looks like they will finally be in a position to croak the state of California as a corporate entity, ready to be picked over by the Bush gang. Do not underestimate the national political dimensions in this situation.

With 48 electoral votes, and the biggest, richest donors in the country, a firmly Republican California, deep in financial servitude to an adminsitration in Washington which has nothing but unremitting contempt for the state is exactly what the Bush pirates would like to see by this time next year.

J. So our patriotic thought for the day: A free, prosperous California means the Terrorists win... or as John Ashcroft says... “Give me $10 on Hamas in the Trifecta...”

S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, unless, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.

And remember, you can now email the Mojowire at, that’s

J. This has been the Mojowire, brought to you by Mojohaus...Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988, and produced by our super funky fly producer Mike Payne and the Darkling Eclectica, here on KUCI, 88.9...