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, June 14, 2003
Also in today's news: American troops are reported to have killed five Iraqi civilians in a settlement north of Baghdad. Among the five civilians killed by U.S. soldiers are a 70 year-old man and three of his sons.

These killings come after several American soldiers died in combat and bring the total Iraqi war dead from this week alone to over 100.

It just goes to show you that we can all breathe a sigh of relief now that the war is over, Right?

Posted by Katherine Davis at 3:18 PM# (permalink)

Watch For It! New Republican Astroturf is on the Way

Over at the Republican National Committee's website, they're firing up the astroturf engines again.

The RNC, headed by Marc Raciot, has over and over again encouraged its rank and file to take RNC-written statements, sign their names to them, pretend they wrote them and submit them as original letters to the editor. Shamefully, a number of newspapers have published this dreck -- and when they've been told about the problem, they have refused to let their readers know about the problem.

Here's the text of the Republican National Committee's latest canned letter:

"Because of President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, our schools are already receiving additional resources and historic levels of federal funding to ensure that students succeed, and more positive changes are on the way. Recently, the President announced that every state had put in a place an accountability plan to ensure that all schools makes progress.

As part of these plans and the No Child Left Behind Act's strong accountability provisions, school districts will be required to test students and give parents annual report cards. Schools that don't make progress will offer their students additional services, such as free tutoring, and parents will be given new options.

Through these new reforms, we have a real chance to ensure that every child receives a quality education, and President Bush deserves enormous credit for focusing our nation's attention on this challenge."

This message, and the Republican Party's request that people plagiarize it in letters to the editor, has just been posted. That means, dear friends, that there is still time for those of us who are sickened by Republican Astroturf to combat the plagiarism. Because some newspapers and magazines won't take the steps to stop this abusive Republican practice themselves, we need to hold their hands and help them. Here's what you can do:

  1. Register at GOP Team Leader, the aforementioned Republican National Committee website.

  2. Log in, and click on the "Look Up/Write" link right after "My Newspapers" in the lower right-hand corner.

  3. Now look on the left-hand side of the screen. There should be a drop-down menu under the words "Action Center" entitled "Choose...". Select "Print and TV."

  4. Enter your Zip Code and press "Go."

  5. A menu appears on which you can select newspaper, TV and Internet news sources. Select up to five, as the handy instructions say. Then click the "Compose Message" button at the bottom.

  6. Choose the letter option that ISN'T "Compose Your Own Message." This month, that means you should select "I Support The President's Education Act." Then click "Next Step."

  7. Well, looky! There's that plagiarized text, ready to send to five media outlets with YOUR name on it! The Republican National Committee wants you to plagiarize. But you can use the tools of evil for the forces of good, my friend. Take that text, and insert right above it a big notice (occasional uppercase words help so the editor doesn't miss what you're doing) that politely lets the editor know the letter is plagiarized astroturf, and warning the editor not to publish it or other copies of it that are coming the editor's way.

And that's it! Now you've done your part to shut the Republican Astroturf machine down and restore integrity to the journalistic enterprise in your neck of the woods. Doesn't that make you feel good?

If we can catch these messages early in the process, we won't have to see them in print. If everyone does their part, together we can stop the Republican Party's campaign of dirty tricks.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 9:57 AM. # (permalink)

Wednesday, June 11, 2003
j. clifford cookEvery now and then, we here at Irregular Times get an email message that lets us know that we're on the right track. We really appreciate these, especially in the cases of those messages that don't intend to give us this kind of support. We got one just yesterday from someone calling themselves Blue Smith. Here it is, word for word:
Your Democrat web site is stupid? If anyone is telling
lies it is you bumper stickers. You are so dumb to put
Mosely Brawn bram what every that 1 time senator's
name is. She has no chance in hell to make it.

Isn't that just beautiful? Thanks for the confirmation, Mr. Smith. Sometimes an illegible rebuttal is a greater source of pride than an articulate letter of support. We'll keep things going just as they are, thanks.

By the way, if you want to get one of those stupid, dumb, no chance in hell, lying Democrat bumperstickers, here's the link.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 10:20 AM. # (permalink)

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Bush Administration: A House of Cards

I just got, for about the fiftieth time, a piece of email spam advertising one of those decks of playing cards of Iraqi Evildoers. The spam says that buying the deck will be an act of patriotism that will support the troops. Of course, all the profits go to the guy who sent the spam. These decks of cards of sold by people who are eager to make profits from war.

As I hit the delete button, the thought came to me: How about the White House Most Wanted playing cards?!? After all, George W. Bush and those Republican buddies of his are the most powerful criminals in the land, ripping America off piece by piece. Offer that playing deck and I'll buy it!

Well, I replied to the spam offering the deck of cards, but of course the email was a sham, just like the cards themselves. I was hoping that this fellow might want to get into printing some more reasonable cards, the White House Most Wanted. Apparently, he only wants you to buy his war profiteering line of goods.

So how about anyone else? Know a company that prints out cards where we can put our own images on? Let's follow that trend, and alert the American people to the most dangerous criminals on Earth! Click on one of the links at the top of the page and send us an email -- we'll get the White House Most Wanted on the shelves in time for 2004, when they have planned to execute their biggest caper of all!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 4:30 PM# (permalink)

Mother Davis clears her throat and begins to yodel,

Country roads, take me home
to the woods, so I can cut them down!
National forests, an emerging market,
for country roads, to log and mine some lode!

Yeehaw! There's a new frontier, out there. George W. Bush and his Republican friends have decided that America's wilderness has been wilderness too long, so they're opening the whole gol-danged thing up to industrial development. The national forests shouldn't just sit there, they say. No, Bush and his posse of Republican governors want to harvest the national forests for every single natural resource they've got. It's a sin for a Republican to pass up an easy profit, you see.

Before you can axe, drill and mine the national forests into submission, however, you need to get the equipment there to do the dirty work for you. That's why George W. Bush is about to revoke all of the environmental regulations that prevent new logging and mining roads from being carved through national forest lands. You can read all about it in this article provided by

What a lot of Americans don't understand is that the public owns these lands. As Mr. Guthrie once sang, these lands belong to you and me. The funny thing is, when the big corporations go in to rip the natural resources out of the national forests, the profits won't go to you and me at all. Under Bush's stewardship, the corporations will be given the license to go and take whatever they can carry out of our public-owned lands, and the public won't get one penny of compensation.

Now, if I were a highly moralistic person, like oh, say, William Bennett, I'd make a big speech about how these Bush policies are wrong, wrong, wrong, and reflect the moral decay that the Republicans have brought to America, now the land of the greedy. Lucky for you, I'm not a highly moralistic person like William Bennett, so I'll restrain myself. I won't give you a lecture about how immoral these policies are. Let's just say that I believe that Bush's plans to ravage the national forests are in very poor taste. Spoiling the environment on public lands is tacky, don't you think?

Of course, no one has had any illusions that George W. Bush is a great environmentalist. Heck, even the spin doctors in the White House don't make that claim. All they say is that George W. Bush isn't all that bad when it comes to the environment.

Folks, am I off-base when I say that America needs a President whose claim to fame is that he isn't all that bad?

Planning a trip to the nearest national parkland before Bush lays it bare,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 4:16 PM. # (permalink)

Sunday, June 08, 2003
Calling All Kick Ass Democrats!

The Republicans say that the Democrats will take back the White House when donkeys fly.

I say we take them up on the offer. Through the power of our magical leftist fairy dust, we here at Irregular Times have created an absolutely unique method for making donkeys fly.

Come on then, get to it! Let's get those donkeys flying and reclaim the White House for the American people in 2004!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 10:55 PM. # (permalink)

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