A Clockwork Orange

Buy my wonder snake oil: MCOKER@OCWEEKLY.COM


THIS JUST IN ...
As folks met in Irvine last night to discuss ideas for the 1,000-acre Orange County Great Park at the former El Toro Marine base, a rapid-tongued stranger rose up just before a vote was to be taken. Introducing himself as a Mr. Lyle Lanley, the gent, in a sing-songy voice, said:

Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!
What'd I say?

Ed Dornan: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: What's it called?

Mitch Goldstone and Kenny the Printer: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail!

[crowd chants `Monorail' softly and rhythmically]

Christina Shea: I hear those things are awfully loud...

Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.

Mark Petracca: Is there a chance the track could bend?

Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Italian friend.

Drunky McDrunk: What about us brain-dead slobs?

Lyle Lanley: You'll be given cushy jobs.

Kenton Beshore: Were you sent here by the devil?

Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.

Don Bren: The ring came off my pudding can.

Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.
I swear it's Irvine's only choice...
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!

All: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: What's it called?

All: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: Once again...

All: Monorail!

Christina Shea: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...

Bart Shea: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!

All: Monorail!
Monorail!
Monorail!
[big finish]
Monorail!

Larry Agran: Mono... D'oh!

Clockwork's apologies toConan O'Brien.


Posted Sept. 13, 3:30 p.m.

WHO'S THE IDJIT NOW?
As expected, Michael Kinsley is out as op-ed editor at the Los Angeles Times. Andres Martinez, who was shuffled in with the title editorial page editor "under" Kinsley, now ads the op-ed page and Sunday Current to his current duties. Nikki Finke of our sister paper LA Weekly called this move a month and a half ago, generating a stinging rebuke from Kinsley, who called the veteran Hollywood reporter "an idiot."

The Times PR statement says the switch is effective immediately and that Martinez will report directly to publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson.

"Andres is a great writer and journalist who has done an outstanding job changing the editorial page through a significant revamping of our approach to opinion journalism," says Johnson in the flack attack. "I look forward to seeing The Times continue to engage readers on critical issues, including those of importance to the Southern California region."

Johnson was more curt when it came to the year-old reign of "resigning" Kinsley, formerly of Slate and, before that, CNN's Crossfire:

"Mike and I had discussions about his management responsibilities and other possible roles," said Johnson. "I concluded that it was best to make a clean break and I wish him well."

Yep, that's what we in the news biz call a "resignation."


BUSH WHACKED
A longtime reader sent this in about a movement to impeach George W. Bush (which gets more support in this Thursday's Weekly; stay tuned):

The Time is Now
Three Major Initiatives for the Impeachment Movement
We need your support to bring Impeachment to the White House door!

Please make a much needed contribution now for the growing costs of this demonstration - from many thousands of signs and flyers to buses to help get people to DC. Help us fill the streets with ImpeachBush banners and placards - and people! Click here to donate.

The overwhelming response to the latest call for impeachment from Ramsey Clark has given the impeachment movement the ability to intensify the nationwide effort and to launch new initiatives.

There are three specific pillars to this campaign and it is urgent that all members and supporters of the ImpeachBush/VoteToImpeach.org participate and spread the word to family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

Everyone can participate either directly as a volunteer and/or by making a financial contribution.

The three upcoming Impeach Bush initiatives are critical because the possibility of impeachment has never been greater than right now.

On September 10, 2005 the AP-Ipsos poll reported that President Bush's job approval has dropped below 40 percent for the first time, reflecting widespread disgust with the ongoing Iraq war, his response to the human catastrophe to Hurricane Katrina, and his "friends" in the oil and energy corporations, who have taken advantage of both the war and the hurricane to engage in price gouging and raise gas prices dramatically. Bush's systematic shredding of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution is another principal factor that accounts for the rising tide of disgust and outrage.

The impeachment agenda:

* September 24: Mobilize a massive contingent for the National March on Washington DC. This is a demonstration initiated by the peace movement and it is shaping up to be the largest demonstration since the beginning of the Iraq war. We will make the demand "Impeach Bush" highly visible throughout the day. The ImpeachBush movement will be assembling at the south side of the White House (an area called the Ellipse at 11:00 am). You can pick up ImpeachBush banners, placards, signs, literature, hats, and petitions.

We need volunteers to help us dispatch people and materials starting in the early morning of September 24. If you can help out please send an email letting us know your availability to be an ImpeachBush.org volunteer.

* September 26: Flood Congress with emails calling for Impeachment. ImpeachBush/VoteToImpeach.org is setting up an easy to use mechanism so that hundreds of thousands of emails can be sent by people all over the country on Monday September 26 demanding that their elected official introduce Articles of Impeachment for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other high officials.

* Take out full page newspaper ads. We have placed full page newspaper ads in theNew York Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle and in newspapers in other parts of the country. We are soliciting funds now so that the next round of newspaper ads can follow directly after the September 24 mass demonstrations and the September 26 National Lobbying Day.[CAN CLOCKWORK MAKE A PLEA RIGHT HERE THAT YOU BUY THOSE ADS IN OC WEEKLY; WE WANNA BUY A PONY.]

They continue...

The number of new people joining the impeachment movement is increasing each day. But this a huge effort that requires significant funding. Many people have contributed but we must do more.

We need funds now to help promote and transport people who want peace to Washington on September 24, for the next round of newspaper ads, and for the acceleration and continuation of the impeachment drive into the Congressional elections next year. Please take a moment to make a much needed donation, by clicking here.

Sincerely,
All of us at ImpeachBush.org


A CHICKEN IN EVERY POT, A HYBRID IN EVERY GARAGE
We'd like to think it was our stinging prose about our experiences in trying to buy a hybrid car from the local Toyota dealer. Then again, we at Clockwork are quite full of ourselves. But whatever it was that spurred it, the president of Toyota ordered his minions to cut the price of hybrids so they are more in line with their all-gas counterparts.

Katsuaki Watanabe--love his jazz guitar--in a briefing for Wall Street investment analysts and members of the business media, also said Toyota will sell 1 million hybrid vehicles a year worldwide by early next decade, up from a planned 300,000 this year, about 60 percent in the USA. And he said Toyota is developing fuel-efficient diesel-power vehicles for the U.S. market but "not in the short term."

Anyone else thinking we may be revisiting the time when Japanese automakers first took over the American market with their fleets of fuel-efficient cars while American automakers got stuck with lots full of gas guzzlers?

According to the USA Today report, Toyota's intentions are significant because it is big enough and respected enough in the USA that rivals often must match what Toyota does. Honda Motor, which is the No. 2 hybrid seller in the USA, said it will remain price-competitive with Toyota.

American automakers said, "What's a hybrid?"


THIS JUST IN...

Just kidding!
Through super-secret sources, Clockwork managed to snag this never-before-seen photo of the electrical-company worker at the moment he caused LA County's major blackout on Sept. 12. We understand the worker's given name is Stephen Stucker, though everyone calls him Johnny. In the middle of the Monday afternoon's madness, as frustrated power officials demanded Johnny do something because the effected area "was getting bigger," Johnny replied, "And Leon's getting larrrrrrrger."


Posted Sept. 12, 4:55 p.m.

SURFERS TO THE RESCUE
Local surfers used knowledge they gained in January helping Indonesian tsunami victims to use aiding folks trapped in their Louisiana homes because of Hurricane Katrina.

Surfer magazine publisher Bill Sharp, his senior editor Matt George, Mavericks Surf Rescue's Frank Quirarte and water safety expert Shawn Alladio brought their experience--gleaned through their participation in Surf Zone Relief Operation to the Gulf Coast, along with eight personal watercraft donated by Yamaha Corp. All tolled, the group spent three days rescuing more than 50 Louisianans still trapped in their homes.

"The water was unspeakable. Just unspeakable," Sharp said in an interview posted on Surfer's site. "There was just a sheen of chemicals on top and sewage, decomposing everything."

The work that lies ahead is daunting, according to Sharp.

"All these neighborhoods that are flooded -- you can't just drain it out and rebuild those houses. They're history. They've been soaking in hazardous materials for days. It's done. It's going to take a long time if ever to make those areas livable."


Meanwhile, maybe that Vans Warped Tour event referenced below for Katrina victims is a washout. (Scoll down to "Vans Can Dance.") According to MTV News, organizers today killed Unite the United, a Warped Tour/ Taste of Chaos-style concert to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina, due to "complications in scheduling." The show--which was to feature such acts as the Used, Hoobastank and Pennywise--was scheduled to take place on Oct. 8 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine. Now organizers are pledging 50 cents from every ticket purchased for the 2006 Warped and Taste of Chaos tours will be donated to Katrina charities.


BOOK 'EM, DANO
According to our good pals over at the Orange County Business Journal, Aliso Viejo-based Buy.com plans to cut the prices of its in-stock books by 10 percent below what Amazon.com charges, as a direct competitive move against the web's biggest retailer. Sounds like it's time for Clockwork to go Christmas shopping . . .


A CHARITY WORTHY OF LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
Taylor Woodrow Homes, a home developer headquartered in Florida and with its California division located in Irvine, has gone Halo-happy with its entry in Homeaid Orange County's Project Playhouse. (HomeAid is the organization that puts human faces on local developers through events that raise money to provide housing to the needy. Project Playhouse is one of those events, where local developers build extravagant playhouses that rich folks outbid one another on so they little princesses and fontleroys can own the greatest playhouses in the land, to raise money for transitional housing for the homeless, who would live in one of those playhouses if given the chance.) Well, Taylor Woodrow's playhouse is called Angels in the Dugout and, thanks to d├ęcor donated by the Angels Foundation, the pad comes complete with a plasma TV screen in the locker room and stadium seating and floodlights on the roof. The developer also announced that it has committed to matching up to $50,000 raised through Project Playhouse for the HomeAid Gulf Coast Disaster Relief Fund, which will build transitional housing for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Angels in the Dugout will be raffled off on Oct. 22; it's currently on display at Fashion Island. Bring along a needy family to check it out and sigh.


Posted Sept. 12, 11:40 a.m.

THIS JUST IN...
The deadline for the submissions detailed below has been extended to Jan. 15, 2006, as per Ms. Davies.

WE ARE THE WOLRD, WE ARE THE OTHER CHILDREN
In the wake of the Governator's vow to veto the latest civil rights legislation ensuring the same rights to happiness--or, in this case, marriage, which, come to think of it, happiness and marriage are oxymoronic, but anyway . . . --former Weekly calendar editor Stacy Davies sent out the following, and we encourage you all to participate:

My friends--

Many of you were recipients of my email yesterday urging you, as gay citizens, to write your personal stories with pictures and fax them to Maria Shriver. Apparently, we may be too late. The morning papers say the governor will veto the bill as a tribute to "the will of the people." I believe the next will of the people will be that he return to private citizenry.

But take heart. I have an idea. I am going to get a book published. A "coffee table" book, if you will. So put your apathy aside for the moment and read on.

I want all of you, gay and straight alike, to write your personal stories. If you are gay, write about your life, if you are straight, write about a gay person you love. Don't worry if you aren't a "writer" that has no bearing. Send your stories and up to three pictures to me.

This will be a book of us--our lives, our humanity, our existence, that no one will be able to deny. It may take courage on your part, especially if you are gay, to have your picture in a book and let everyone know you. But it is of the utmost importance that your face be seen, that you are known. Of course, no pertinent, trackable, information will be given out in the book, not even last names.

I will edit the stories and make them shine (if they don't already!) I will also have my pro photographer friends help me with the pictures. And I will take the entire manuscript to a gay press and have the book published. I am already compiling a list of top book publishers as well as smaller presses.

If this project speaks to you, if you feel it is important, please contribute. The more people, the more diverse, the more the stereotypes they try to pin on us will fall away. You have my word that this book will be elegant and moving. With your personal stories, how could it be otherwise?


Call for Submissions
Project: We the People, Too: Putting a Face on Gay Americans.

Tell your story as a Gay American--your regular, "boring" old existence, your sorrows, your loves, your accomplishments, your children. You can be humorous, angry, sad, hopeful, contented, just be real and be yourself.
These do not have to be coming out stories, but that's fine too. We want to focus on how Gay Americans are just like other Americans, and deserve the same rights. If you are a straight person, perhaps you know a gay person who has touched your live, or who, sadly, took his or her own life because of societal pressure. This book will be honest and real, but also uplifting.

Submissions should be a maximum of 1000 words, and include up to 3 photos. The more detailed your stories the better. No last names or addresses will be printed in the book. If additional or other pictures are needed for your submission, we will contact you.

The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2005.

Send to: WETHEOTHERPEOPLE@AOL.COM


Posted Sept. 9, 5:45 p.m.

MIKE WRITES, WE WINCE
Just when you thought it was safe to start feeling safe again, along comes urban theorist/prolific author/UCI Irvine adjunct professor/Arellano buddy Mike Davis to scare the beejeebus outta us again. His latest rant, as reported in our big momma paper Village Voice, is death by birides, also known as the avian flu (a great '80s new wave band). In his new book, The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu, Davis explains how swelling slums (a bitchen '70s Dutch surf band) and the industrial poultry model (a'90s British techno band; they're just so-so) make conditions ripe for a plague. "You've literally urbanized chicken populations," says Davis. "And these huge population concentrations increase the speed of evolution of viruses, just like large concentrations of humans do." He adds, "Slum populations are growing at the rate of 25 million people a year. We're talking enormous, unprecedented concentrations of poverty, and public-health researchers and infectious-disease researchers are still racing to catch up with this phenomenon." The Voice has Davis saying researchers "have been screaming at the top of their lungs about this since 1997." Yet in the U.S., flu plans are tantamount to neglecting the levees and gutting FEMA. Now doesn't that make you feel a lot better?

Meanwhile, in the current edition of our big sistah paper, LA Weekly, Davis writes that Hurricane Katrina is but one of many instances in recent years where poor black folks are getting the shaft. He writes:

On the 40th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the United States seems to have returned to degree zero of moral concern for the majority of descendants of slavery and segregation. Whether the black poor live or die seems to merit only haughty disinterest and indifference. Indeed, in terms of the life-and-death issues that matter most to African-Americans -- structural unemployment, race-based superincarceration, police brutality, disappearing affirmative-action programs, and failing schools -- the present presidential election might as well be taking place in the 1920s.

While it would be easy to pin the blame for all this on the Republifucks (and do so often), Davis keenly observes that this type of treatment is happening in New Orleans, which has a black Democrat mayor, and Los Angeles, which is solidly Democrat.

No, the political invisibility of people of color is a strictly bipartisan endeavor. On the Democratic side, it is the culmination of the long crusade waged by the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) to exorcise the specter of the 1980s Rainbow Coalition.

The DLC, of course, has long yearned to bring white guys and fat cats back to a Nixonized Democratic Party. Arguing that race had fatally divided Democrats, the DLC has tried to bleach the party by marginalizing civil-rights agendas and black leadership. African-Americans, it is cynically assumed, will remain loyal to the Democrats regardless of the treasons committed against them. They are, in effect, hostages.

He concludes that a political party with such moral shortcomings when it comes to race will never beat the party of Bush. Wow, now we really feel like shit.


Posted Sept. 9, 5 p.m.


AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON, TOO!
According to this post, the Hurricane Katrina victim who told Veep Dick Cheney--and we quote--"go fuck yourself"--was detained by the Dickless One's rifle toting goon squad. After holding the physician/musician--who'd lost his home--for 20 minutes and getting all his personal info, the secret fuzz let him go, explaining that he'd broken no laws--at least until the John Roberts court does something about that pesky First Amendement.


Posted Sept. 9, 1:20 p.m.


THERE SHE IS ... AGAIN
Clockwork leading off with a beauty-pageant item? Hey, we needed some excuse to run this photo. And what a MILFeriffic shot it is, eh boys?
Crowned!
This is Huntington Beach resident Andrea Preuss, who has just vaulted from Mrs. California to Mrs. USA (2003) to this past Wednesday at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Racquet Club being named Mrs. America--proving that there are just as many beauty contests for women with some miles on them as there are for budding Jean Benets. This 32-year-old blonde beauty is a pharmaceutical sales manager, a former ballerina and the mother of two. It was her answer to questions about motherhood that led to her victory, said contest judge Connie "I Used to be on TV" Stevens. You can see Preuss win it all on cable's WE: Women's Entertainment, which is showing repeats of the contest throughout the month; check those local listings.


DAMN GLAD TO SEE YOU!
Two days after former American hostage and ex-Newport Beach resident Roy Hallums was rescued by U.S. Troops from an isolated farmhouse near Baghdad, he was on his way home from Iraq today. Air Force officials glad-handed Hallums before he stepped on a C-17 transport plane that took off from a U.S. Air force base at Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad. It's nice of a U.S. government official to receive Hallums like that; the ex-hostage's family and friends had accused the Bush administration of abandoning the 57-year-old, who was working for the Saudi Arabian Trading and Construction Co.supplying food to the Iraqi army at the times of his Nov. 1 kidnapping. His ex-, Susan Hallums, is enroute to Tennessee for a reunion with her former spouse. A website maintained by Hallums' daughter, Westminster resident Amanda Hallums, is now topped with the cheery message: "ROY IS FREE!"


VANS CAN DANCE
Reps from the former Orange County shoe company Vans loaded up vehicles, hit the road at 2 a.m. Tuesday and drove more than 1,000 miles to deliver new shoes and clothing to Hurricane Katrina victims who have relocated to Montgomery County, Texas. Maggie Plank, who retired from Vans and moved to Woodlands, Texas, got her former employers on the horn and pleaded for help. "When I first heard about the tragedy I felt I had to do something," Plank said. "I called Vans and within 15 minutes they called me back. I wondered what I had done when I heard the quantities." The company donated 2,000 pairs of tennis shoes, 1,000 pairs of sandals, 3,000 pairs of socks and 3,000 T-shirts to Montgomery, Walker and Harris county shelters. "We heard about the tragedy and wanted to help," said Vans veep Steve Van Doren. "I'm the type of person who doesn't like sitting still." The company had actually already started reaching out to charity groups before Plank's call; those groups only wanted cold-hard cash. "But we're a shoe company," Van Doren said. "I figured this was the best time to come." And Vans isn't stopping there; the company intends to raise $350,000 to half a mil at an Oct. 8 Warped Tour event at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine.


Posted Sept. 7, 2 p.m.


ANOTHER LOOK AT "THE REAL OC"
Remember that New York Times story from last year when reporter Alex Williams (a former Clockwork colleague from our old Daily Plot daze) parachuted in, looked around, nabbed a quote from Commie Girl and then filed a story about The Real Orange County in light of all these fictional films and TV shows about us (and yeah, I'm including MTV's Laguna Beach as being fictional)? Well, now the Boston Herald takes its swing. Among the things reporter Tenley Woodman (swear to fuckin' God that's what the byline says) discovered about us while bedding down at the Huntington Beach Hyatt Regency (with Clockwork's snarky retorts in parens):

-We never call our home "the O.C.," (something we've read so often in other pubs that we believe even Fox's The O.C. acknowledges that now).

-Surfing is a must, (unless you're one of the millions of non-surfers living here).

-Locals are unpretentious, (unless you're one of the millions of pretentious ones living here).

-Our locales are not as glamous as The O.C. makes them out to be. (No fucking wonder: you're staying at that monstrosity called the Huntington Beach Hyatt Regency, which was built over an ancient glamour spot. And don't think we believe Bean Town's as glamous as Boston Legal makes it out to be)

-The O.C. kids' favorite hangout, the Bait Shop, really exists, only it's just a shack on the Newport Pier. (What a douchebag: the shack is a shack and has always been a shack. No teen nightclub would ever be allowed to exist that close to Newport Beach's tourist traps. The Bait Shop was created in the minds of bored TV writers who needed such a place to push their version of "drama.")

-The intrepid reporter could not comment on locales that pop up on Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County because mudslides prevented a visit. (Funny, Clockwork drove down to Laguna for dinner the weekend after the slides).


WE'LL HAVE A GAY OLD TIME
Some selected comments to a Drudge Retort item on the California Legislature narrowly approving gay marriage. You can read them all here.

-Let gays get married, why should they be the only happy ones!

-The queers will all go to Cali to get hitched and when it falls of the face of the earth they will all go with it!!!!!

-Well, that's California for you. They're always doing crazy stuff like that.

-Gay marriage is like interacial marriage in the instance that it will never be legal in all 50 states without the help of the courts. Minority rights should never be put up to vote just so the majority can strike them down. Whites-only bathrooms anyone?

-Terrible.

-This is a direct threat to heterosexual marriage. Even now, two 50 year old women are planning on marrying in California and it won't stop there. Soon a plague of gayness will sweep through the nation diluting the sacred institution of heterosexual marriage. Being a married stud myself, I UNDERSTAND what marriage is all about and these freaks are THREATENING the sacred insitution which I embraced several times over the last ten years.

-I hope California passes this and then gets touched by His Noodly Appendage.

-And lets not forget how much those two women filing joint tax returns will change everyone's day to day life. I was in Massachusets on business and it was a scene of anarchy and misery.

-Are you talking about TAXachussets? Get it? I replaced the first syllable to make fun of their high taxes, better education, better health care, and lower infant mortality rate. What a bunch of fags those guys are! God hates them.

-Now you will live in Mexigayworldfornia. ANd then when the states get back the abortion issue you will live in Mexigayworldbabykillinfornia.

-Just another issue to "scare" people. Were it not a big headline here - or anywhere else - no one would really pay attention to it nor care much about it. The media and polliticians love to scare the crap out of people - West Nile, Sars, missing white women - and this is just another in a long line.

-Maybe people have finally realized that this won't affect their lives at all.

-Re: Before a bunck of you start spouting homephobic & stuff, I agree with tha CA legislature putting this bill to the Govenor. The issue should be handled this way, not thru the courts: Okay - first up its homophobe, kay? Second - you are proof of Jeffersons statement that democracy is simply mob rule, where 51% of the population gets to tell 49% of the population what to do. You phobes are so amusing. First you said homosexuals were immoral because they engaged in promiscuous sex and could not commit and then when they showed that they could, you worked on blocking recognition of their commitment because it "endangers marriage". Heteros are more of an endangerment to the institution of marriage - or have you forgotten the divorce stats for this country. Interestingly, the highest divorce rates are in the bible belt. Coincidence? I think not.


MORE DRUDGE RETORT
In case you're sick of Fox News being the only outlet to knock Bush and FEMA for their bungling of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath (and beforemath), consider this DT roundup:

Coast Guard Asked to Rescue FEMA

The "Stuff Happens" Presidency

It's Your Failure, Too, Mr. President

Krugman: Lethal Ineptitude

White House Tries to Ease Damage ... To Bush

FEMA assigns firefighters to Bush photo op

Bush: Too Little, Too Late


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
From the roundup atHuffington Post:

Bush's Visit Stopped Three Tons Of Food From Being Delivered To Starving New Orleans

Three Top FEMA Officials Are Bush Cronies With No Disaster Experience...

And blogs:

Jerry And Joe Long: Bush, Cheney, Rummy "Go Down To New Orleans And Drink A Cup Of Street Water"...

Arinna Huffington: George Bush, David Caruso, and Katrina: Why Now Is Precisely the Time for Finger-Pointing

David Corn: William Kristol Admits Bush is Often Weak in Execution (Snarky Clockwork addition: But not on Executin')

Wendy Button: Where Are the Great Words in This Time of Darkness?


IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID
Republicans can crow all they want about their moral, deeply religious, war-time president--excuse me: gotta spew. There, that's better--but one thing they gotta admit, even if we'll argue until Doomsday about the reasons, is that the economy was humming before Doofus came to office, it sputtered until showing signs of a possible rebound, and then 9/11 hit and mucked it all up again. Seems ol' Bushie's snakebitten in this regard, because as the summer came to a close, economic indicators were finally showing signs of a healthy recovery when it came to production, retail sales and jobs. And then Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. Now the Congressional Budget Office is saying that Kat could cost as many as 400,000 U.S. jobs and slash economic growth by up to 1 percentage point.

Rising fuel costs heading into the colder months couldn't be happening at a worse time, but the leaders of OPEC claim they have been cranking out 1 million barrels of oil per day OVER market demands, which should be enough to stockpile supplies and ease prices. And if you can't trust the leaders of OPEC in times of crisis, who can you trust? But why, oh why, did Clockwork just get done paying $2.95 a gallon for regular unleaded in Oakland and $2.99 a gallon in San Francisco and looking out my window, in downtown Santa Ana where petrol is much cheaper, I can see it's a slightly more reasonable—YOW! $3.12 a gallon; okay, well at least down the street at that indie station it'll be the lowest of them .... FUCK ME! $3.01 a gallon. So, yeah, back to my original point: WHY! WHY!! WHY!!! Perhaps it has something to do with Big Oil closing refineries to spike prices and boost their own profits. Thank God we have those oil company watchdogs in the White House!


DANA, SPREADING THE LOVE
Clockwork's favorite eagle-eye reader Hanna Hill spotted this interesting letter in the Long Beach Press Telegram:

LNG terminal
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher certainly showed his true colors — and where his allegiances lie — in the letter to Mayor O'Neill, which was also presented to the Long Beach City Council and the public. In it, he threatened the loss of federal financial support for any Long Beach projects unless they opposed any timely effort to stop the LNG project.

We could call that blatant blackmail. He admonished the thousands of Long Beach residents who oppose such a risky project. It didn't seem to register on his radar that our port, our economy, the lives of thousands of people living in the one-to-three mile radius "death zone" would be at risk. Ironically, he chastised us for allowing the terrorists to "win" by showing fear of them, yet his president made our security from terrorists a very large part of the Republican strategy to give Bush and the congressman another term in office.
Ann Denison
Long Beach


GOO-GOO-GOOGLE-Y-GOO!
Vanity Fair's annual powerbroker ranking New Establishment, which hit newsstands today, has Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page at the top the list, a first for the pair, and ahead of such luminaries as Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. (last year's numero uno), Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone and News Corp. chairman Satan. Brin and Page--interesting, Clockwork has worked in Orange County, the REAL Orange County, with a newspaper freelancer named Brin and publisher named Page; wonder if they're related?--took Google public last year at $85 a share and it surpassed the $300 mark over the summer.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders claims Internet powerhouse Yahoo helped Chinese authorities convict and jail a journalist in the latest instance in which a prominent high-tech company supposedly cooperated with Beijing to gain favor in a country expected to become an Internet gold mine. The French media watchdog ridiculed Sunnyvale-based Yahoo after court papers apparently showed Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. gave Chinese investigators information that helped them trace a personal Yahoo e-mail allegedly containing state secrets to journalist Shi Tao's computer. Shi, a former journalist for the financial publication Contemporary Business News (which has a great foldout Contemporary Business News Bunny of the Month), was sentenced in April to 10 years in prison for illegally providing state secrets to foreigners. Reporters Without Borders described Shi as a "good journalist who has paid dearly for trying to get the news out." Last month, Yahoo paid $1 billion for a 40 percent stake in China's biggest online commerce firm, Alibaba.com. Google and Microsoft have also come under fire for aiding the Red Chinese.


RECENT POSTS:
A Clockwork Naranja (Arellano), with some Orange (Coker) down near the bottom (Aug. 31, 6:05 p.m.-Sept. 5, 3ish)
A Clockwork Orange (Aug. 26, 4 p.m.-Aug. 30, 6:15 p.m.)
A Clockwork Orange (Aug. 22, 5:07 p.m.-Aug. 25, 6:01 p.m.)
A Clockwork Naranja (Aug. 14-22, 10 a.m.ish)
A Clockwork Orange (Aug. 2-10)

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