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.
Saturday, August 17, 2002
Mother Davis squints her eyes as she reads about the latest news from the Bush Administration Special Office of Keeping Secrets From The American People (The BS Office, for short):
The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives has requested as part of its standard oversight duties information about how the Justice Department, headed by Attorney General John Ashcroft, is using the domestic spying privileges it gained last fall through the passage of the so-called Patriot Act.
You may not remember, but as part of the post-September 11 and anthrax scare, George W. Bush and Ashcroft pushed the Patriot Act through Congress, so that government groups like the FBI could gain new powers to spy on people within the United States. For example, now, the FBI can get wiretaps not just on people suspected of criminal activity, but the friends and relatives of suspects as well. The FBI has also been given the authority to search through citizens' library records, through bookstore purchases, and newspaper records as well.
All that the congressional Judiciary Committee wanted was for the Bush Administration to provide information about how many times these domestic spying privileges have been used.
Ashcroft's Justice Department refuses to cooperate with the information request, saying that the information was "classified."
Let's ask the obvious question again: What are George W. Bush and John Ashcroft trying to hide?
Afraid of the answer,
Friday, August 16, 2002
Mother Davis takes off her sheep's clothing as she relates her morning crash into nature
This morning, as I was driving my son off to day care, just after I passed by two domesticated dogs sitting in front of a farm house just staring blankly at every car that passed, I saw the silhouette of a fox leaping off of the road ahead. On the way back, I saw the dead corpse of a fox, with its cold intestines on the road beside it and its neck bent back further than any snooty ballerina could hope for.
It's been a long time since most Americans had to worry about foxes raiding their hen houses. As for myself, I guard my own garden from deer, rabbits and other nibblers by marking it with my scent - saves water inside the house, you know. Less gentle are the asphalt barriers we're built to get us from here to there. Roads have turned from paths of adventure to a nationwide matrix of death.
I'm just guessing, 'cause I never knew Jack, but I wonder if Mr. Kerouac could have written "On the Road" today without giving it a whole new meaning.
- Guessing probably not, Mother Davis
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Mother Davis wiggles her pinky finger in her ear to get out that weird feeling as she reads about the latest revelation about the culture of September 11 worship:
The San Fransisco Chronicle reports on the trend of people who claim to be heroes or victims of the September 11 attacks, only to be exposed later on as frauds.
Daniel McCarthy claimed to have rescued a pregnant woman from the World Trade Center through showers of ignited airplane fuel. "I'm no hero," he said. "If the World Trade Center happened again tomorrow, I'd do the same thing."
I guess he means that he'd lie about being at the towers all over again. Turns out he was never there.
Sanae Zahani, on the other hand, claimed to have an older sister who worked in the World Trade Center, and looked for her frantically. Actually, she had no such older sister. She just made it up.
The biggest problem isn't that people are making up connections to the September 11 attacks. The problem is that the media and the American public take these people at their word. The two people described above, for example, were described in glowing terms by, among other sources, the New York Times and the Rosie O'Donnell Show.
Maybe we ought to ask ourselves the following questions: What does it say about the psychology of the current "war" that the American people seize upon such stories without bothering to find out if they are at all credible? What other lies about September 11 are we being asked to believe?
Not to get conspiratorial, but perhaps the anniversary of September 11 provides us with an opportunity for some critical thinking about the changes our democracy has undergone in the last year in order to support the "war".
Just remember, it's not disloyal to ask questions. Right?
Ready for some rotten tomatoes,
Monday, August 12, 2002
Bush on Vacation
"When I'm out fishing, I think about issues a lot." -- George W. Bush
In between rounds of his vacation golf game, George W. Bush responds to a reporter's question:
"QUESTION: Mr. President, yesterday in an interview I guess with Scott, you described Iraq as the enemy.
BUSH: I described them as the axis of evil once. I described them as an enemy until proven otherwise."
So the new burden of proof for a war is not that the administration has to make a case, but that someone else has to show that the administration is wrong.
Given what war, especially a ground war, would do to the Iraqi people, shouldn't we ask for more?
Or would that be impolite?
Or is it just that Bush is covering up for a stunning lack of evidence for his claims?
Given the shut-the-people-out, shut-the-people-up Bush program, we may never know.
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