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.
Friday, July 04, 2003
A reader, citing this source, notes:
"The military has used the term "CINC" (short for Commander in Chief) when referring to the head of a particular command, for decades. For example, the Navy has a CINCPAC (for Commander-in-Chief Pacific) and a CINCLANT (for CINC Atlantic). However, Rumsfeld issued an edict that they can no longer use the term CINC because George Weasel Bush is the only Commander in Chief. All the presidents for decades never had a problem with this but King George and his henchmen can't stand it.
This is obviously not something that is earth-shattering or that affects the lives we all live. However, it is a very good indicator
of the thought processes of King George and the fascists in his illegitimate government.
If this guy gets elected in 2004, I swear I'm moving to Canada."
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Thursday, July 03, 2003
Mother Davis snickers as she relays the following tidbit:
If you're in the mood to have a little giggle at the expense of George W. Bush's foolishness, get yourself on over to Google.com. Once there, type in the words:
weapons of mass destruction
Don't put any quotation marks around them. Then, hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button. Apparently, this is what George W. did himself.
lightening up momentarily,
The oddest question I've been asked this year:
"How interested would you be in seeing a new film starring Will Smith about a techno-phobic cop in 2035, who investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity?"
(from an e-mail I read yesterday)
Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Hoorah for Faux News, the little website that dares to stand up to the conservative media empire of Rupert Murdoch. Faux News dares to mock the absurd right-wing circus tent pitched at Fox News.
The intolerant, fear-driven nature of Fox News is shown by their lawsuit against Faux News, claiming that by being mocked, the Fox News brand is put in danger. Oh, sue away, Fox. Your so-called news is so ludicrous that two web sites will pop up to mock you for every other one that you try to sue away.
We've got ideas for two new Fox News mockery sites ourselves:
Fix News: Bringing you all the latest forgeries and lies from the Bush Administration
Fux News: Where little details (like the truth) don't matter
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
Doing Your Part
If you visited Irregular Times a few months ago, you would have noticed that we were writing a lot about war. One of the liberties of writing on an amateur basis is being able to write about whatever stokes one's fire -- and believe us, our war fires were hotly stoked.
Having witnessed the defrauding of a nation, and seeing the futility in continuing to protest a war that was a largely accomplished (although not altogether accomplished, as we have seen) fact, we turned to prophylactic politics: action directed toward prevention. To prevent travesties like this in the future, we decided the best and most principled single act would be to turn the principle practitioner of war politics, George w. Bush, out of office.
In a healthy democracy, the thing to do would be to wait for the opposition party to, you know, oppose those in power. Individuals could get involved by voting for the opposing party in elections. For some time, through the fall of 2002, through the winter and into the spring of 2003, we waited for the opposition party to do its opposing. And waited. And waited. You know this -- you were probably waiting, too. And if, like us, you were watching and waiting, you know that the opposition party never got off its ass.
This spineless lack of resolution by the most powerful figures in the Democratic Party has led some to despair. But we despair not! No! Okay, I'll tone down the exclamation points a bit, but I do want you to know this is the part of the entry where the mood shifts and all.
You see, the veil has been thrown from our eyes. It has become clear to us that simply voting for the better candidate, while important, is not enough. The reason that the Democratic party can be irresolute in the face of an arrogant twerp is that its own constituents -- that is, US, have been such passive participants. The key to getting the Democratic Party to take an aggressive stance for its core principles is to SEIZE THE STAGE AND GRAB THE MIKE.
Those of on the Irregular Times staff have found a few ways to do this. Two among our number have started working their way into the local Democratic Party leadership circles. They are, in mucky but necessary fashion, jumping into the party structure head first, building local activist networks and pushing from the inside for a progressive vision. They report a surprising amount of room at the local and even state level for impassioned people -- as a matter of fact, at the most local level they are organizing the Party where no organization was there previously at all. If you would like to get active in your local Democratic Party, it's easy to get started: just click here to get to Democrats.org, then select your state over on the left-hand side.
Others among us (me included) have devoted their time to "grabbing the mike" by acting as sloganeers. This work started when we wanted a bumper sticker that stated opposition to George W. Bush, but just couldn't find the right one. After a couple weeks of stymied frustration, it dawned on us that there must be other frustrated individuals out there like us, just waiting for the right sticker to slap on their bumper -- the one that said what was in their hearts, what they were ready to share with the rest of the world. So we decided to open up an anti-Bush, anti-Republican and pro-alternative bumper sticker shop with a few selections that spoke to our hearts and, we hoped, to the hearts of others. Once we started, we just couldn't turn off the spigot of outrage, and now we have the single largest collection of anti-Bush and pro-alternative Election 2004 stickers out there on the 'Net -- at 233 designs and counting. We've committed ourselves to adding at least one new design a day until the 2004 elections. This has been incredibly rewarding: we know that somewhere out there, hundreds of bumpers are publicly festooned with anti-Bush messages because we got irked. To make the experience doubly rewarding, we've committed to donating 25% of our profits to worthy political causes, and another 25% of our profits to worthy charities.
Both of these sorts of actions meant jumping in and doing something that nobody else was doing, something that we'd been waiting for someone else to do. Getting involved in this way has turned our impotent rage into a potent force for change. The next time you find yourself saying "Why don't they just...", stop yourself in midsentence. THEY can be YOU, and YOU can be the one who gets it done. So stretch beyond yourself and do something: it's a wonderful tonic in a toxic age.
Bush to send MORE Americans to die in Iraq
The latest from the war that Republicans insist is "over" and has been "won":
Because of the numbers of Americans being killed in Iraq, the George W. Bush is planning to send even more Americans to the Middle East to serve as targets for the "liberated" Iraqis.
Funny thing about those "liberated" Iraqis - they keep on holding huge protests demanding that the Americans get out of their country. Funny thing about those Americans - they keep on killing Iraqi civilians, even though the war is "over" and has been "won".
Funny thing about the war that's "over" - most of the objectives of the war still haven't been met. Saddam Hussein is still on the loose. Americans are now being killed by Iraqis, although before the war the Iraqis weren't even planning to attack America. The weapons of mass destruction that Bush said he had proof existed, the weapons that Bush said knew the exact locations of, still haven't been found, much less destroyed. And Al-Quaida operatives in Iraq? They haven't been found either. What has been found in Iraq? AMERICAN-MADE MISSILES!
Mystery of mysteries! What, oh, what could it all mean? Could it be that we were lied to? Could it be that the war has yet to be won?
Someone sing me "God Bless America" again. I'm finding it hard to believe in the patriojingo of Bush and Company these days.
Monday, June 30, 2003
Mother Davis scratches her cheek as she considers a quirky item from recent news.
In reaction to the Supreme Court decision that adult Americans have the right to consensual sex without being investigated and arrested by the government, far-right Justice Scalia made an angry statement, which included the odd claim that the Supreme Court has "has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda."
Now, here's the funny thing about this turn of phrase: when Scalia refers to the "so-called homosexual agenda", he's suggesting that the term "homosexual agenda" isn't really an appropriate term. If he won't accept the use of the term "homosexual agenda" himself, then who is he suggesting uses the term? If there is a "so-called homosexual agenda", then who is he criticizing for using the term?
Well, gay rights activists don't use the term "homosexual agenda". Neither does the mainstream media. Who does use the term "homosexual agenda" is the extremist conservative wing of the Republican Party. They speak of the "homosexual agenda" in the same way that neo-Nazi conspiracy theorists whisper about the "Jewish cabal", implying that gays and lesbians secretly hold the reins of power in the United States. (This dim view has been undimmed by the fact that, until last week, it was illegal for gays and lesbians to have sex in the privacy of their own homes.)
So, when he referred to the "so-called homosexual agenda", it appears that Justice Scalia actually spoke an implied criticism of Republicans' strange conspiracy theories about homosexual cabals. It appears that way, but of course, it isn't that way. Scalia believes in the existence of a nefarious "homosexual agenda" just as much his ardent supporter Jerry Falwell does. In his wrath, however, Scalia just couldn't keep track of the spite pouring forth from his mouth.
Such emotionally-driven linguistic confusion goes a long way in explaining how Scalia could oppose the right of Americans to have consensual sex without government supervision. Maybe it's time for Justice Scalia to read the Constitution again, carefully this time. Of course, that's just my so-called opinion.
Conspiring with secret agents from the "homosexual agenda",
Sunday, June 29, 2003
Republican Plagiarism: An Update
For a couple of months now, we've been following the Republican practice of Astroturf, in which Republican Party operatives write puff pieces about George W. Bush and arrange for them to be sent as letters to the editor under the name of local people. This creates the fraudulent impression of local support for a President who may have no such support.
We've been tracking the latest version of this betrayal of civic standards and journalistic ethics, a hack piece singing the praises of George W. Bush's education policies. We've uncovered loads of papers publishing the exact same letter, despite our advance warning. Worse yet are examples such as The Deseret News, which has published Republican Astroturf four times in the past year, and the Times News of Lehighton, Pennsylvania, which has published four pieces of Republican Astroturf over the past year -- each signed by the same person. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, thrice, and four times, triple shame on me. Click here to read our suggestions for how to put a stop to this abuse of our trust.
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