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, September 21, 2002
 
Don't believe the blather by Fox News fans about how the media has a liberal bias. The following statistics are from a new study of ABC, CBS and NBC news programs by F.A.I.R (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting).

Partisan Affiliation of Sources, Where Identifiable




††
RepublicanDemocrat3rd Party/Independent
†ABC ††††73 %†††† ††††27 %†††† 0.7 %
CBS ††††76 %†††† ††††23 %†††† 1.2 %
NBC ††††75 %†††† ††††25 %†††† 0.2 %
TOTAL†† ††††75 %†††† ††††24 %†††† 1.0 %


Total Partisan Sources Before & After Sept. 11



Republican†† Democrat††††3rd Party/Independent
Before 9/11 ††††68 %†††† †† 31 %†††† 1.0 %
After 9/11†† ††††87 %†††† †† 13 %†††† 0.1 %


Take into account the fact that not all Democrats are liberals, and the idea of a liberal bias in the news media looks more and more like a cover for exactly the opposite - an extremist conservative voice dominating what passes for news these days.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 11:50 AM. # (permalink)



Friday, September 20, 2002
 
Mother Davis goes slack jawed as she contemplates the logic of war:

1. Iraq has announced no plans for an attack against the United States and there is no evidence of their support of any other nation or organization that has plans to attack the United States

2. The United States demands its right to invade Iraq in order to defend itself against an attack that it claims is imminent

3. Can Iraq now demand its right to invade the United states in order to defend itself against the attack that the United States has announced it is planning?

Wondering which little bully will invoke its right to kill the other for the sake of "honor" first,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 11:06 PM# (permalink)



 
This afternoon, I went to the airport 2 hours early to make time for security checks, sat on the airplane for 30 minutes before takeoff, flew for an hour and a half, and waited for another half hour for my baggage before driving 45 minutes to get to my final destination.

Total travel time: 5 hours, 15 minutes
Estimated driving time to the same destination: 6 hours, 30 minutes
Ticket cost: $280
Purpose of trip: Make a presentation about a project that has already been canceled

Today, the question ďWhatís it all about?Ē seems presumptuous.

Fundamentalists say, ďItís all part of Godís plan.Ē I take note of the fact that the plan they attribute to God has as its ultimate objective the annihilation of all humanity through a global holy war.

Is pointless air travel supposed to be part of this plan? Does that mean that Satan promotes a more efficient and user-friendly national transportation system?

I wonder how Godís plans and Satanís plans regarding Armageddon affect their positions about prescription drug coverage through Medicare. Maybe I ought to ask a theologian for guidance on this one.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 12:29 AM. # (permalink)



Monday, September 16, 2002
 

Now is the time: Write Your Representative!



We have reached what the academics call a "constitutive moment." As Iraq offers to readmit weapons inspectors without condition and the Bush administration sputters in flummoxed and transparently exposed surprise, the campaign to unleash violence against the people of Iraq teeters on the edge of a knife.

It is at times like this that we non-elite regular folk can make a difference.

So write a letter to your representative in the House and your two Senators! You have no excuse not to. Try me:

  • "I don't know who my representative and Senators aaaaaaaaaare! Well, read the paper tomorrow and figure it out, Betsy, but for today you can simply visit Congress.org, enter your zip code and be on your merry letter-writing way!

  • "I don't know what to saaaaaaaay!" Well, goodness, Lucas, try just writing down your thoughts without editing them or self-criticizing, then tidying them up afterwards. What's that? Can't compose a good line to save your life? Well, darn my socks, just try working from this example (being sure to add, you know, your own original thoughts):


    Representative XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
    2162 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515-3304

    September 16, 2002

    Dear Representative XXXXXXX,

    This evening I followed two news items in quick succession:
    1. The Iraqi government sends a formal letter agreeing to readmit inspectors without condition.
    2. The Bush administration dismisses the Iraqi offer as ďa tactical stepĒ and continues to move on to war.

    This is a shameful move on the part of the Bush administration. Now that the terrorism excuse has been shot down, and Iraq is willing to concede on the weapons issue, what is left to motivate the Bush Administration but a family grudge and crude economic cronyism?

    I fully expect that as a representative of the people with a record of progressive and thoughtful policy decisions, you will speak out actively and vigorously against the Presidentís self-serving battle cry against the people of Iraq.

    In trying times such as these, it is up to individuals like you to stand for our core American values of individual liberty, compassion, justice and democracy, and against the tide of brutalism, dictatorial leadership, and demagoguery.

    I have faith that you will display the courage required to say yes to reason and no to unnecessary slaughter.

    Sincerely,

    [Your Name]

    You see, it's easy to write a forceful yet respectful letter that saves the world.

    Now pat yourself on the back and get ready to tell your grandkids you did your part.

    Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 10:19 PM. # (permalink)




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