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, May 24, 2003
Bush Makes Room for Gift to the Rich
Using the Axes of Evil!

Make Way for The Great Government Giveaway for the Rich! Hundreds of billions of taxpayer money to be given to the super-wealthy, the leisure class, thanks to George W. Bush!

350 billion dollars -- George W. Bush calls it "itty bitty". I suppose that's so for a third-generation member of one of the country's most wealthy families, born with more money than he could ever hope to spend. As for the rest of us, throwing 350 billion dollars out as a gift to America's super-rich elite doesn't seem like an "itty bitty" thing. To us, 350 billion dollars is a lot of money.

How, oh how, has George W. Bush made room in the budget for his "itty bitty" giveaway to the wealthy?

Simple! He's used the Axes of Evil to chop huge sections out of the budget, and forced state legislatures to do the same!

Funds for Childrens' Hospitals? Hacked away by the Axes of Evil!
Federal support for police and fire departments? Slashed by the Axes of Evil!
Education for Early Childhood? Cut!
Library budgets? Cut, cut!
Environmental protection against air and water pollution? Cut, cut, cut with the Axes of Evil!
Family planning funds? Chopped up by the Axes of Evil!
Grants for artists and writers? Hewn away!
Foreign aid? Hacked to pieces!
Social security budget? Split down the middle!
Aid for farmers? Pruned down to the ground!
Support for rural school districts? Sliced up into splinters by the Axes of Evil!

Oh, the cuts go on and on, as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney go into the governmental equivalent of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Yet, miraculously, this dastardly duo still find the resources for their "itty bitty" 350 BILLION dollar giveaway to the rich. These aren't just ordinary budget cuts - they're jagged wounds to America, inflicted by Bush and Cheney's Axes of Evil!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 10:51 AM. # (permalink)

Thursday, May 22, 2003
My, oh, my. To follow up on Mother Davis' post...

Is it a matter of harmonic convergence? Is it mere coincidence the latest Orange Alert has been declared on the basis of no evidence just as George W. Bush's approval ratings plummet by nine points?.

Oh, me, oh, my. These goings on are just getting curiouser and curiouser.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 12:20 PM. # (permalink)

Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Mother Davis eats her morning serving of citrus as she considers,

As of last night, the Bush Administration ordered that the nation be put on Orange Alert, the second highest level of alarm. Yet, George W. Bush's aides admit that it has absolutely no credible evidence to suggest that a serious attack is being planned on American soil.

Question 1: If there's no evidence of an imminent attack on American soil, what is motivating the Bush Administration to declare an Orange Alert?
Question 2: How come we have to go to Orange Alert at all any more? Wasn't the invasion of Iraq supposed to take care of all those nasty terrorist folks?

Chewing on the pulp,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 7:17 AM. # (permalink)

Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Heads Up!
Pentagon Electronic Surveillance Total Information Awareness is Resurrected!

The Pentagon announced today that there will no longer be any program called Total Information Awareness at its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Does this mean that the Total Information Awareness project is going away? No, it means that they're just changing its name. It's now going to be called the Terrorism Information Awareness program.

Are you wondering how changing the program's name takes the fangs out of Total Information Awareness? Well, the answer is that, of course, the changes are merely cosmetic.

Other than that, there are no real changes to plans for the system's deploymen, scanning huge databases containing private information about American citizens' lives, like medical history, library records and credit card purchases.

Oh, the military insists that it's making changes. Sure, they are. Read the fine print, folks. All the changes they're making are to the research phase of the project, not to its actual implementation.

For good background on this sleight-of-hand, read this article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

This kind of crass public relations ploy shows that the Bush Administration is still intent upon allowing government agents to use the latest technology to assemble profiles of the most private details of Americans' lives.

There's a provision against this kind of thing in the Bill of Rights. It's called freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Apparently, the Bush Administration doesn't believe that it's unreasonable to enable its staff members to read through records of your phone calls, to scan your private emails and to keep track of your personal travel habits.

George W. Bush is exploiting Americans' fears in order to gain the kind of power for his agents that no politician has ever before possessed. Bush says that we ought to trust him not to abuse this electronic surveillance of American citizens.

Do you think we can trust Bush with this kind of power? Do you think we can trust John Ashcroft with this program? This is the same administration that recently used the new spying powers of the Department of "Homeland Security" to track the movements of Texas Democrats and report this information to Bush's aides.

Don't be duped by cheap public relations tricks. Renaming the Total Information Awareness program doesn't change the extreme danger it poses to American democracy. Pay attention to the details, and then let your representatives you won't stand for these gross invasions of your privacy.

Call on your Congressional Representatives and Senators NOW, to let them know that you will not stand by idly while the Bush Administration installs the Total Information Awareness program to scan through your private life! Act now, before it's too late!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 5:58 PM. # (permalink)

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