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, February 01, 2003
At this moment, news media are reporting that the space shuttle Columbia appears to have broken up in its descent from orbit over Texas. This event is, of course, a terrible tragedy for the families of the shuttle crew and for the United States space program.
An even worse tragedy would be for anyone to attempt to take political advantage of this tragedy in an effort to promote a militant agenda. Whether it comes in the form of extreme religious fundamentalist insurgents taking credit for the disaster or ambitious American politicians using the event as justification for an accelerated war against "terror", political use of death and destruction of this magnitude is disgusting, and only makes the loss worse.
We shall watch, with great sadness, as the necessary explanations of this morning's tragedy are constructed, with the hope that cooler heads will prevent greater violence in reaction to this loss.
Former President Jimmy Carter has issued a strong statement oppposing a war against the people of Iraq. Carter writes: "Despite marshalling powerful armed forces in the Persian Gulf region and a virtual declaration of war in the State of the Union message, our government has not made a case for a preemptive military strike against Iraq, either at home or in Europe."
To read President Carter's entire statement, click here.
Friday, January 31, 2003
Mother Davis idly munches a Dorito brand corn chip as she muses,
In his State of the Union address, George W. Bush declared his intention to open up federal funding to the programs of religious groups (even though federal funding is already available to them if they promise not to use the funds to push their religion or discriminate against program recipients that don't share their particular religious beliefs).
This means that many Bible-thumping "drug treatment" programs that tell drug addicts that the only way to get sober is to believe in Jesus will be supported by YOUR tax dollars.
Now, I'm not going to spend my time arguing against this idea just right now. My question, for the time being, is: If it's okay to give taxpayers' money to religious groups to conduct missionary work under the guise of "drug treatment", why not open up federal drug treatment funds to political organizations as well?
Why couldn't the Democratic Party hold federally-funded "drug treatment" programs in which they were paid by the government to tell drug addicts that the best way to get sober is to vote for Democrats in every election?
It seems to me that the logic behind such a drug treatment program would be the same as that used by conservative religious sects that are preparing to use taxpayer funds under George W. Bush's new initiatives. If faith-based programs are the new thing, how about faith in the Democratic Party?
Or, we could open it up further: the shopping mall could design "drug treatment" programs that declare that drug addicts will become sober only if they buy one sweater a week from a local department store. Bush is preaching faith in capitalism all the time. Why not?
There's money to be made in them thar' faith-based initiatives!
I'm just sayin'.
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Get The REAL State of the Union!
Like many other Americans I plan to watch the State of the Union Address on television tonight, but also like most Americans, I don't expect to hear an accurate description of the status of our nation from the mouth of George W. Bush. Let's face it: our country is going through some really hard times right now, but George W. Bush was born with money. He hasn't ever gone out grocery shopping for himself, much less held down a real job.
For a more realistic State of the Union, and a very telling view of the status of the Bush Administration, I suggest that Americans read the Bush's Midterm and the State of the Union, released by the Democratic National Committee on the eve of George W. Bush's speech. No, I'm not saying that the Democratic Party has got everything right on course, but they do have one heck of a research department, and the facts they have gathered in this report go a long way to explaining why this country has gone so far off course during the last two years.
Monday, January 27, 2003
Mother Davis waves her hand in the air to gain attention as she declares,
Since last summer, a large number of congressional representatives and senators have hedged their bets by declaring their support for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq in the abstract, but criticizing George W. Bush for the way that he is pursuing a new war. These members of Congress say that it's alright for the United States to send soldiers to invade Iraq so long as the invasion is approved of by allies and by the United Nations first. Many of these politicians opposed an war in private, but were reluctant to say so in public, for fear of angering the Bush Administration. Even many of the Democrats seeking their party's nomination for presidential candidacy have played this two-faced game.
The time has come for these representatives and senators to speak up! This weekend, the Bush Administration called their bluff, as Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that the United States would invade Iraq without provocation, without proof of any Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, without support from its allies, and without approval from the United Nations. It is as if we are back in the dark days of last summer, with George W. Bush declaring that he could send American soldiers to war against Iraq if he wanted to, without the approval of anyone, even the American people.
The American public has shown clear and consistent opposition to the extreme aggression demonstrated by George W. Bush and his cabinet. This opposition is growing stronger week by week. True leaders must now speak their consciences by speaking the truth: George W. Bush has gone too far!
Reading the political tea leaves,
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