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.

Thursday, February 27, 2003
I am one of the half-million Americans who called the White House and Senate on Wednesday, February 26 to protest Bush's plans for starting a new war against Iraq. The Associated Press cites the White House as commenting that these phone calls are "not objective or scientific" measurements of public opinion.

On the one hand, this comment implies that the Bush Administration is planning its war according to "scientific" methods such as opinion polls and focus groups. On the other hand, the comment suggests that the people who currently occupy the White House don't believe that they ought to pay any attention to the opinions of American citizens who take the trouble to get in touch with them to express their opinions about Bush's plans for war.

Through such statements, the Bush White House shows a frightening disdain for the serious consequences of war and for the democratic foundations of American government. We need a new president in the White House, someone both more responsive and more responsible than George W. Bush.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:41 AM. # (permalink)

Tuesday, February 25, 2003
It COULD Happen! Yet another operational definition of "propaganda."

"Fox News
Monday, February 24, 2003

WASHINGTON Iraq could be planning a chemical or biological attack on American cities through the use of remote-controlled "drone" planes equipped with GPS tracking maps, according to U.S. intelligence.

The information about Iraq's unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program has caused a "real concern" among defense personnel, senior U.S. officials tell Fox News. They're worried that these vehicles have already been, or could be, transported inside the United States to be used in an attack, although there is no proof that this has happened."

Some more breaking "could" stories:

  • A meteor could have been put on course by nefarious space aliens, set to destroy all human life tomorrow afternoon...although there is no proof that this has happened.

  • The moon landing could have been an elaborate hoax designed to deceive the American people...although there is no proof that this has happened.

  • Bigfoot could be living in the East Wing of the White House...although there is no proof that this has happened.

  • There could be a sleeper cell of angry grannies in South Dakota planning to blow up Lincoln's nose on Mount Rushmore...although there is no proof that this has happened.

  • Anybody with a credit card could buy a "remote-controlled drone plane" with GPS guidance by flipping through Model Aviation magazine or The entire middle class of the United States could be plotting a terrorist drone plane attack right now...although there is no proof that this has happened.

See how easy it is to write your own propaganda "news story"? Now you, too, can scare the living bejezzus out of your friends and neighbors...and get a byline in the local paper, too! You never could happen!

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 12:40 PM# (permalink)

I didn't write it, but I wish I had:

Caught on Film:The Bush Credibility Gap.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 7:25 AM. # (permalink)

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