The ever grassy knoll

BY BEAU ELLIOT | MAY 10, 2011 7:20 AM

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Sometimes, just for some giggles (although, being an American male, of course I never giggle — that's reserved for females and British males), I listen to late-night radio on KXIC.

The radio station is, of course, the local outfit that broadcasts the Cubs' games and Hawkeye sports. (Speaking of which, couldn't the KXIC people have found an even more boring announcer for Iowa softball, so that listeners could doze off in the top of the first inning instead of the top of the second? Get a better nap that way.)

Outside of the sports, its programming is utterly right-wing. Hannity, Rush, Dennis Miller — you get the idea. This, in an allegedly liberal community. What's up with that?

And then, late at night, KXIC goes for the conspiracy-theory jugular. You want late-night hilarity, KXIC is the place to be. (The station's public-radio counterpart, WSUI, on the other hand, goes for the British-accent jugular with the BBC. Nothing wrong with that, but unless a Brit was part of Monty Python, he or she barely registers on hilarity's Richter scale.)

So, thanks to KXIC, I now know a whole lot more about UFOs than I ever though was possible, not to mention necessary. (Did you know that President Obama looks a lot like ET? Neither did I. It has something to do with the ears and Roswell, N.M. The reason I'm not sure is that all that birth-certificate talk puts me to sleep faster than the Hawkeye softball announcer.)

The other night, however, KXIC served up John B. Wall and "Coast to Coast" with guest Craig Hewlet. Conspiracy heaven ensued.

Did you know that Osama bin Laden didn't plan the 9/11 attacks; he was a family man who was set up by the Americans. No, really. (Well, all right; he was such a family man that he couldn't stop marrying women. Kind of like Bob Barr or Newt Gingrich. Though neither one of them had anything to do with 9/11. Maybe that's next week's show.)

Same thing with Saddam Hussein. I mean, I had no idea.

Oh, and American corporations prefer the Chinese model to the American model, and in 20 years China will dominate the globe. We all better start learning Mandarin.

Hewlet also alleged that President Obama was no different from President George W. Bush. (Part of my brain wanted to point out that Obama's team found bin Laden and the Bush-Cheney team didn't, so there's one difference, but details, details. Don't bother me with the facts, as President Reagan once famously said.)

Of course, saying Obama is no different from Bush is about as ludicrous as saying eating salt-water taffy is no different from sucking on limes. (For that matter, how different is eating Coquilles St. Jacques from flapping your elbows and flying to the Moon?)

And a caller from Wisconsin brought up the "Jewish Conspriracy" that controls everything, starting with the Rothschild family in Britain.

I thought the Rothschild family lived in France and made wines, but obviously, I know nothing.
Well, I do know that State Sen. Sandra Greiner of Keota said, "I think it opens up a new window for universities. Are we going to put the Steve King Institute at the University of Iowa? I guess so."
What was she smoking? Sarsaparilla?

I mean, Rep. Steve King has about as much a chance of having an institute at the UI as Kazakhstan has of sending a person to the Moon.

Not to put down Kazakhstan. The country, in its new capital, Astana, boasts the largest "tent" in the world, Khan Shatyr, which took four years to construct and cost $400 million. The top floor, writes Ken Gessen in The New Yorker contains a beach with sand shipped in from the Maldives.

The Maldives apparently didn't need the sand, because the island nation in the Indian Ocean stands a good chance of being engulfed by rising seas caused by global climate change.

So 100 years from now, the only way people could get a glimpse of the Maldives would be to go to Astana and gaze at the beach on the top floor of the Khan Shatyr.

Seen any good grassy knolls lately?

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