It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.
These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.
Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.
Friday, July 12, 2002
Who Wants This War? (washingtonpost.com)
by Michael Kinsley
"... Polls show that a modest and shrinking majority of Americans will choose military action to remove Saddam Hussein when someone holding a clipboard confronts them with a list of options. But does anything like a majority of the citizenry hold this view with the informed intensity that a decision for war deserves? I doubt it.
...Ask around at work, or among your family: Is anyone truly gung-ho? It seems as if true enthusiasm for all-out war against Iraq is limited to the Bush administration and a subset of the Washington policy establishment. The Democratic leadership in Congress feigns enthusiasm, which amounts to the same thing in terms of responsibility for the consequences. You are what you pretend to be. The Democrats feign out of fear of seeming weak-kneed. Bush's enthusiasm seems genuine and is therefore more mysterious.
...The eerie non-debate we're having as vast preparations for battle are made before our eyes is a consequence of a long-running constitutional scandal: the withering away of the requirement of a congressional declaration of war. Oh, the words are still there, of course, but presidents of both parties flagrantly ignore them -- sometimes with fancy arguments that are remarkably unpersuasive, but mainly by now with shrugging indifference. The result is not just a power shift between the branches of government but a general smothering of debate about, or even interest in, the decision to go to war among citizens in general."
Mother Davis fumes at her morning newspaper after reading Bush's apology for thieves posing as Chief Executive Officers:
So much for George W. Bush's supposed moral clarity. Now he says that, when it comes to schemes for accounting fraud at corporations like Enron, "sometimes things aren't exactly black and white." Try telling that to the hard-working people who lost their retirement savings while Bush's friend, Enron CEO Ken Lay, made off with millions!
The best explanation for Bush's own dishonest dealings during his days as a director at Harken Energy Corporation is to say, "I still haven't figured it out completely." Is this the kind of excuse we're supposed to expect from the President of the United States?
Mr. Bush, the time for studying is over. The time has come for you to take responsibility. Or does the buck stop with someone else?
Thursday, July 11, 2002
Re: Irregular Blog of 7/6: What Does "God Bless America" really mean?
A further possibility is that when people say "God Bless America" they really mean "I like America." What does that say about the ego problem of the speaker?
Tuesday, July 09, 2002
Godless Americans March on Washington
Atheist? Agnostic? Freethinker? Secular Humanist? Just plain not religious?
Washington Post: Bush Makes Stuff Up
From Dana Milbank in the Washington Post, June 25 2002:
"President Bush often tells the story these days about the time, during the campaign, when he vowed he would keep the federal budget balanced unless the nation found itself in a war, a national emergency or a recession. "Never did I dream we'd have a trifecta," Bush then says, to audience laughter. Sometimes, he adds that he made this statement to a reporter while campaigning in Chicago.
Problem is, nobody can find evidence that he actually said this during the campaign. (In fact, Bush often said his tax cut could be done without causing a deficit even in a downturn.) The New Republic magazine first pointed out the problem, and NBC's Tim Russert earlier this month told Bush budget director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. that NBC could find no evidence Bush said such a thing. Daniels replied that he's "not the White House librarian."
A group called Spinsanity did some library research of its own and found that the president, who first mentioned the mysterious Chicago campaign interview last Oct. 3, has used the "trifecta" joke at least 13 times since Feb. 27 -- even after Russert put Daniels on the spot -- and the war, emergency and recession lines another two dozen times. But Spinsanity found no recorded mentions from the campaign."
Monday, July 08, 2002
Ann Coulter recently appeared on the Today show to complain that the "liberal establishment" constantly pigeonholes conservatives as greedy, bigoted, hateful, violent religious fundamentalists who are ignorant to boot. Coulter, who writes of Islamic nations that "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity" says the "liberal establishment" doesn't give conservatives the space to articulate their REAL principles.
So, OK, we figured, why not give conservatives just a bit of our space? We set up a thread on our bulletin board asking for something that according to Ann Coulter should be ridiculously simple: a no-spin, intelligent, facutally-supported, logical and complete articulation of conservative principles that doesn't boil down to greed, bigotry, partisan rhetoric, fundamentalist Christianity or ignorance.
(As usual, we've had a few libertarians post their screeds on other threads, but libertarianism and conservatism just ain't the same thing. Libertarianism actually is based on fundamental principles, although we happen to believe many of those fundamental principles are morally bereft and factually dubious. So please, no Ann Raynders.)
Should be easy, right? Well, we've had exactly zero respondents to that thread as of today. Wonder why?
Come on, you principled conservatives. Put your money where your mouth is. Show us.