J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire, Vol. 2, No. 08... I'm Mojo...
S. And I'm Sean, it's Saturday, May 8, 2004, Day 1,132 of the Neocon Captivity, 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, the Wire launches out of the basement with an all out Alpha Strike on the Christian Right and their latest dupes, medieval Catholics who think God told them to hate Democrats.
J. Next, you didn't think we would let this morning go by without a big steaming cup of "We Told You So!" did we? Yeah, we are going to be talking about Abu Gharib and trying to get a read on the terrible questions it portends.
S. Then Strychnine cranks up the old mass driver rail gun and rains down firey horror on our collective getting down on the latest in the right wing's desire to electronically rig elections and steal the Republic again in November.
J.Finally this morning, we peel the skin off the Kerry campaign and look where things currently stand, and even throw in a couple of helpful hints for free, but we're warning the Kerry camp, np more freebies; any more of this, we'll have to start charging.
...So stand by to stand by while we get ready to pull the pin on this thing...
BODY OF CHRIST
J. Of all the awful pretenses and farces currently having an extended run in this country today, the worst one is the awful spectacle of homophobes and literalist refugees from the Middle Ages pretending to be faithful modern Christians, and then running around giving hatred away for free along with their purchase of a ticket to the Jesus Chainsaw Massacre.
We know there are decent God-fearing Christians, who are the overwhelming majority, faithfully going to church and try to put their laudable moral code into action every day, we got no problem with you Atticus.
We're talking about a bunch of scheming fanatics who have hijacked their faith and are running it into the ground with their fear and hatred.
Remember Gerald T Boykin, the President's favorite general who was touring the country like a rock star telling right wing Christian fanatics how his god was bigger than that Muslim God. Thanks Gerry, I always wanted to hear someone combine penis envy with the worship of Jesus. I'm sure that pornography collection belongs to your dog.
And remember that investigation that was being done to see if an American General giving speeches in uniform condemning the faith of a Billion people, some of whom we might want to be on our side against our deranged enemies was, I don't know...against regulations or something?
How long does it take to figure that out? We're still waiting Rummy...Did you hand this investigation over to Angry Jay and Silent Bob? Are they still playing skeeball at the shore instead of reading the Army's regs?
Sorry, we digress...Under the deluge of semi literate dorks trying to pimp me Intelligent Design theory is a science that should be taught alongside the work of Newton and Galileo, and fat trailer dwelling Cops extras bemoaning the makeover of America's poorly dressed bachelors by a gang of Gay Superheroes, I sometimes wonder if I have wandered into Rod Serlings Rec Room.
And can someone even remotely explain why a horde of Limabugh listeners believe that George Bush was selected by God to be President? Is God an oil man? Is he running a pharmaceutical company that gets wealthy by grifting sick old people like someone holding a biscuit out of reach of their dog to make them beg?
The reason we raise this is, is the new front opened up on the Kerry campaign by the Christian Right. Apparently, some rogue Knights of Columbus doped up on the book on tape version of the Da Vinci Code have cooked up a scheme to force the Catholic Church to become a front for the Republican Party.
A few Bishops, eager to curry favor with the conservatives that are reading the sick Popes mail and listening to his answering machine, want to deny the sacrament of Communion to John Kerry and other pro-choice Democrats because the Catholic Church is opposed to Abortion.
So, if you don't sign on to the entire stance of the Vatican on every issue, you can't receive the sacraments?
S. Folks, this has nothing to do with being a faithful Catholic.
This is the Bush-Cheney campaign reaching out via their bitches in the Catholic right, tyring to get Catholics peeled away from the Demcorats. The Governor of New Jersey has had to swear off receiving Communion because of this.
We here at the Mojowire say: If you want to bring your Jesus Freak up in our grill? Step up and bring it punk!
I'll buy this garbage when Rick Santorum gets beaten like a narc at a biker rally with a Bishops Miter for being a pimp for the death penalty. Or when Rudy G cannot show his mug in St. Partrick's because he realized he could get the Upper East Side to vote for him if he was pro-choice. Is this not the most appalling thing you've heard so far this year?
Right Wing Cranks trying to pervert American Catholicism like they've perverted the Southern Baptists into a wholly owned subsidiary of Pat Robertson 700 Club? Apparently someone was making spitballs in parochial school when they taught them the Church stance on Social Justice.
Tip for you monkey's, it looks remarkably like the Social Justice policies of the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party, not like the Oliver Twist Wet Dream that vomits forth from the lucky Ducky hate machine at AEI and the 50,000 volt Thorazine ward at the Wall Street Journal.
This President seems like a devout believer, and that's fine folks, props to him for putting down the coke spoon and bottle of Jack Daniels and ceasing to drive juiced up down the highway looking for the next gin joint with the aid of Twelve step Jesus program.
But like Islam and other faiths with theologies more complex than smoking Ganja to commune with the Great Rufi Spirit, interpretating the true will of your deity isn't solely the province of the hate merchants who have subscriptions to the National Enquirer.
Back off from dropping the religion bomb on our electoral process so you can elect the land raping hyena's from BMI and Raytheon..errr... the Bush-Cheney ticket and the Republican party...
I'M SHOCKED, JUST SHOCKED...OH...NO I'M NOT...
J. Boy, where to start on this story... there has just been so much in the past two weeks concerning this, and that’s just the part that actually made it into the public consciousness.
So that seems as good a place as any to begin the great unraveling of this military trainwreck turned political horrorshow .
For those of you asleep for the past couple of days, several soldiers at the feared-Abu Ghraib prison in Bagdad were photographed in the process of humiliating and torturing Iraqi detainees.
This lead to a certain amount of alternate chest-thumping mea-culpas and bland indifference from the military and administration.
No one, as yet, knows why the soldiers were taking photos of this behavior, although we are fairly certain this was part of a well-coordinated and officially sanctioned program of interrogation techniques by military intelligence.
This is the same U.S. military intelligence that is under the control of one Lt. Gen. Gerald T. Boykin in the Department of Defense. If you, loyal wireheads will be rememered of it, this is the same Gerald Boykin who had been telling people, while in uniform that the War on Terror was a war between Christ and Satan and that his God was bigger than the Islamic God.
So the immediate questions that leap to mind include: why are reservists and National Guard members who have little training or little supervision being given this function. Why are members of the military intelligence community being given such a free hand with these troops? What role are “private contractors” playing in all of this?
For instance, in Sy Hersh’s recent New Yorker column, he documents one of the accused torturers as specifically stating in emails, which he published that they were under orders from military intelligence, CIA and private defense contractors.
''In November, Frederick wrote, an Iraqi prisoner under the control of what the Abu Ghraib guards called ''O.G.A.,'' or other government agencies—that is, the C.I.A. and its paramilitary employees —was brought to his unit for questioning. 'They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. They put his body in a body bag and packed him in ice for approximately twenty-four hours in the shower. . . . The next day the medics came and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake IV in his arm and took him away.' The dead Iraqi was never entered into the prison's inmate-control system, Frederick recounted, 'and therefore never had a number.' ''
Then the other questions arise: Why are we only now learning of this, when the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as the Army’s own internal investigations, had been warning the adminsitration of this behavior for months and months? What would have happened if no pictures had come forward?
Actually, we can answer that last one, really easily: Not a damn thing. Come on, this is not the first case of this kind since 9/11. There were the problems with detainees in Gitmo, the deaths of detainees at the interrogation center just outside Kabul that the Army has been allegedly
“investigating” for more than two years now.
And there have been various reports of deaths and torture of Iraqi detainees since the President annoucned “Quagmire Accomplished” a little over a year ago.
But no, we were told that we were just a bunch liberal pantywastes ready to believe any nonsense that Osama Bin Hussein poisoned our brains with.
So now the varinish is coming off the polished brass of the brave American soldiers lionized by Rummy and Joe Lieberman in a horrible Senate circle jerk Friday morning. That Toby Keith song about the honor and nobility of the American service member seems a little tawdry while looking at our young men and women posing for souvenir photos with hunks of’ hunks o’ naked
This is just the tip of the real iceberg. The real story is what is going on that is beyond the reach of accountability, at Camp Xray, at Intelligence sponsored prison camps sheltered by the National Security Act, and what acts of horror are being practiced in countries we have outsourced our intelligence gathering to, but our acting in our name. That is where the light needs to shine, and that is where the true nature of this administration will be revealed.
S. So where does that leave us with respect to our fine fighting men and women in Iraq?
As if it were not possible to heap any more shame on the U.S. military in the wake of this tragedy, the pundits of the right wing have managed to dig down to a new rock layer.
You see, this was just a form of hazing. All good fun, don’t you know.
That’s right: hazing. Just let that one sink in for a moment, roll it around on your soft pallet to get the fruity esthers and pick up the buttery earth tones of the essential acids and sugars. Apparently, the meme that is going around is that this incident was not only isolated, but that it was also no worse than a innocent college prank. That’s right, hazing. They were being initiated into the club. This is what we are getting from the right wing hive brain as embodied mainly by the Big Pharma himself, Rush Limbaugh.
Memo to the Big Oxy: Hey Rush, if posing yourself with piles of sweaty, hot naked man-flesh is your idea of a simple youthful indiscretion, then I don’t want to be a member of your club.
Honestly, I am not sure what is more horrifying: minimizing government sanctioned torutre to simple “hazing” or the meta-message that hazing is actually acceptable. Seriously, it makes me want to look up the old bullies at my school and blow their houses up!
And the problem is that this kind of ugly punditry manages to distract from the central questions that need to be asked. Why is our government sponsoring torture, in spite of repeated promises that we would not. Well, we all know the answer to that question. Because they can. That’s the real question: Why can they? Because we told them they could.
Sure, as long as we aren't forced to see it. I mean, this is what we're paying for, right? If Americans are doing it, it can't be wrong, isn't that how it works?
These are the same people who felt comfortable telling the American Public: “living conditions now are better in prison than at home. At one point we were concerned that they wouldn’t want to leave,” according to a December 2003 interview with General Janis Karpinski, who named chief jailer of the Iraqi detainees.
Now Rummy is up on the hill trying alternately to deflect any responsibility while at the same time bracing the Congress for even more horrifying images and stories about to emerge.
But we all know the endgame. None of these young service members ever receives a full Courts Martial, they plead out, or their cases disappear in a military justice quagmire, leading to general discharges, because anything else will mean lawyers wanting to introduce things into evidence in open court that this administration has no intention of doing.
And in the meantime, anything that might have been left in U.S. credibility in the Middle East on the war against Al Queda and Terror completely was summarily evaporated.
You know, it’s almost like they didn’t want to win the war on terror...
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…
DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA
S9 Greetings from the low earth orbit free workers democratic republic of S9 station, space travelers. We are sorry we are unable to provide you with our usual load of raving nutbar conspiracy theory this week. Our ancient and decrepit editor has demanded that we put you to sleep with 750 words on the subject of electronic voting. So, we promise that next week, our transmission from the dark of space will be a high-energy particle beam of white-hot plasma on the subject of wingnut apologia for the war criminals in Washington and Baghdad.
Loyal listeners to the MojoWire know that we here on S9 Station have been following the story about electronic voting risks with a sense of deep foreboding for many many months now. First we'll give you a quick recap of the main issue of contention, then we'll tell you how easy it
could be to address the problems, and finally we'll bring you up to date on the latest news.
The main problem is that the widgey new electronic voting machines you've been seeing at your polling places -- the ones with the touch-screens or the optical card reader -- are ridiculously vulnerable to wholesale vote tampering. The companies that make them, i.e. ES&S and Diebold (as well as a couple of other also rans), are openly and staunchly allied with the Republican Party. The CEO of Diebold is a prominent fund-raiser for the Bush-Cheney 04 campaign. The software is riddled with security flaws, and the source code is a proprietary trade secret -- which makes it impossible to have a public security audit. The programmers and managers at these companies are unusually more likely to be convicted felons. And lastly, the machines do not produce any paper trail for enabling manual recounts. These are the machines that counted your votes in the last election, and they'll be counting most of the votes in this year's Presidential election.
It would be easy to address the current problems with electronic voting systems. Simply: require two features of any voting system for granting certification. First, require public disclosure of the source code; second, require a voter-verified paper trail. There are some technical details associated with doing both of those, and they're too tedious to get into here. Suffice to say, they're manageable and inexpensive. I've even seen a high-tech proposal in IEEE Spectrum that would make the paper audit trail cryptographically secure.
Now, for the news. As you may have heard, California has scrapped all its touch-screen voting machines because they don't enable manual recounts. The reason? Diebold machines badly miscounted the results in the March 2 primary, and a recount was impossible. Furthermore,
Diebold secretly patched the software in the machines with uncertified software, without telling election officials until after the election. The State Senate just approved a bill that will ban the use of all electronic voting machines in this upcoming November election -- it will probably pass, but you might want to reward your State Senator for doing the right thing.
Unfortunately, the bills in the U.S. House and Senate that would require voter-verified paper trails have been met with a partisan stonewall from the Republican Party -- who are unified around the idea that an audit trail in the vote count is fundamentally unacceptable to them. That's not an exaggeration, by the way -- they are openly saying they believe an audit trail is a bad thing. Meanwhile, the kind of fuddling of voter registration databases that disenfranchised thousands
of Black Florida voters in 2000, is now MANDATORY in every state -- as a result of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. You may already have been disenfranchised; have a nice day.
Not to mention the unfortunate fact that nobody anywhere seems to understand why the computer scientists are saying the source code of the vote counting systems MUST be open to public audit prior to every election in which it is used. Without public audit of the source code, a blackmailed or corrupt programmer could basically fix the results of an election by hardcoding the outcome and no one would ever be able to discover the crime.
If you don't want America to become a rubber-stamp electorate -- where the outcomes of elections are negotiated in secret smokey back rooms weeks before the polls open, and the voters never know it -- then you need to get activated in the effort to bring voter verified paper audit to every polling place in America. Not next month. This week. Your Republican member of Congress especially needs to hear from you. Specifically, they need to know you are worried about what will happen to the Republic if Americans lose confidence in the integrity of their elections.
Before we log off, we would like to say a kind word in the memory of Athan Gibbs, the founder of TruVote International, and the inventor of the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail voting system. He was killed in a tragic automobile accident 10:30am on a downtown Memphis freeway a few
weeks ago. He leaves a wife and two children. He was an eloquent voice in the public square on the subject of voter verified paper audit, and we are saddened by the news of his untimely demise.
We hope the surviving people at TruVote can pick up the ball he was carrying and run it downfield.
RUNNING IN PLACE
J. So here we here, 6 months before the general election and we know our nominiees, the issues are taking shape, and an obscene amount of money has been dumped on the candidates. And the left is in a panic...
You cannot really blame them. The Kerry campaign, after a strong showing in the primaries, has spent the last few months in the money raising cocoon, and the Bushies dropped a 50 million dollar curbstomping on them, and not a day goes by that Dick Cheney or some maggot from the ranks of the undead right wing fabrication mahcine doesn’t cook up some twisted logic to besmirch the Senator’s war record or doctor some movie posterr so it looks like John Kerry did stunt work on Barbarella with Hanoi Jane.
Isn't it funny how soldiers are treated like icons on the right, but veterans are shady grifters who cannot be trusted?
So why not panic?
It’s true the awful few months the President has been riding out because of Dick Clarke and the degeneraration of the Iraq situation should pose an opportunity for the Kerry people to bury Bush early on. This turn of events caught the Kerry campaign in the pupae stage, and they were unable to capitalize.
But let me drop some better news on you: The White House dropped 50 million on Kerry and what they got was a draw in national polling. They tried to define Kerry before he could define himself
and most American still say they haven't decided what he is about.
The NeoCon grand Strategy to liberate the Middle East from the clutches of darkest evil and run the table to allow Likud to settle the Palesitian dispute without removing the Settlements has failed... utterly... and everyone knows it.
Even the cheap carny hack from the INC who conned them into their south Asian debacle won’t take their phonecalls, and is openly courting the Axis of Evil charter member Iran.
Rummy is mass emailing his resume to all the fast food joints in walking distance from his house, and best of all, polling in the battle ground states shows kerry with a bigger lead than before they blew 50 large on a pack of festering lies...
It's all right there in electoral math; blue v. red. Let's go to the map: According to the latest analysis from the quantitative number crunchers hired by the Associated Press to do their dirty math work, it looks like if the election were to be held today, JK and Dubya would more or less have a lock on 205 electoral votes a piece.
The deal is that it takes 270 to win. That's where the so-called battleground states come in, from the ignorant backwaters in Redneckistan to ... well, to the hill people of Redneckistan. It looks like places like Arkansas and Oregon will decide this thing.
And in the big three of those states, Florida with 27 electoral votes, Pennsylvania with 21 and Ohio with 20, the story is the same. Polling shows the natives to be restive with direction of the country, and yet JK and Dubya are in a deadlock. The people simply aren't punishing Bush for dereliction of duty yet.
And who's fault is that? Personally, I lay it at the feet of JK. He's got the ball, and he seems to be just standing there with it in a state of shock, looking around at his teammates and the crowd as if he can't understand why all these people are shouting and why he's holding this orb and why that large number of people are running towards him very, very fast with looks of pain and death on their faces.
S. Here is our prescrpiton to getting back on track. First, there is a horde of loyal Democratic voters out there who want ot drive Bush and his right wing Red State punks in the Dead Sea.
JK's people need to stop stiffarming them and get them involved. This is one of the first things that needs to be done. So many Dems are so underwhelmed by the performance of JK to date, they are starting to despair and then being told they are not cool enough to play with the other kids in the sandbox is sending them home in a fit of pique likely to depress yet another generation of progressive voter turnout.
Then someone on the Communications team needs to fire up the grey cells and come up with a coherent messaage that democrats in government can get on the chat shows to defend and pimp.
We need a theme and a message that Democrats can get excited about and use to beat down their conservative coworkers at the watercooler, and most imporantly, get those voters who are too cyncial about the whole mess off their barcalounger and out to the polling place to drive Bush out of the White House.
Also, we are glad that JK has had some success fundraising. We all know how important that's going to be in order to maintain some level of parity with Bush frontman Ken Mehlman's Mighty Wurlitzer chugging away across the land like a terrible vision of a carnival nightmare fouling everything in its path.
But you now have the money, and it ain't gettin' any greener... The time is now to just get after it. And while we're on that subject, regardless of what the Arithmancy Geeks say about the likelyhood of any given state leaning this way or that, JK needs to run a national campaign.
Word around the campfire is that he has written off certain states, or considers others so safe that he doesn't need to really show there. One of those states is our own beloved California. The same state that elected Conan The Gropinator to Governate the state.
The state Democratic Party is in a serious mess, and it is going to take some strong national leadership to help sort things out and reach out to the ground level activists who want to work on this stuff, but can't find a foothold.
And God knows that kind of leadership is not forthcoming from the Democratic National Committee. We need it to come from the nominee, a galvinizing campaign that will reach down through the various levels of the party and pull things together. Come on JK, we're not getting any younger -- or freer for that fact -- out here.
J. So our patriotic thought for the day: Making a big deal about a little innocent initation hazing means the terrorists win, or as John Ashcroft says... “Iraqi dangly bits on TV are ok, cause they ain't really people, see...”
S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, until, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.
And remember, you can now email the Mojowire at Mojohaus@hotmail.com, that’s M-O-J-O-H-A-U-S@hotmail.com. Email, us hippies!
J. And now you can check out the Mojowire online at Mojowire.Blogspot.com; you can read the entire archive along with our general ramblings...
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