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, August 23, 2003
Yet Another Lie from George W. Bush

This morning breaks with news of yet another lie from the desk of George W. Bush. Two years ago, in the days after the September 11 attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Bush White House ordered officials at the Environmental Protection Agency to significantly alter a report on the air quality around the site of the attacks in lower Manhattan. The original report contained many warnings about the health risks of breathing the air near the site, yet the Bush Administration told the EPA to delete these warnings and to add in new statements declaring the site to be safe even though George W. Bush and his advisors had no evidence that the World Trade Center site was safe.

Thus, George W. Bush and his aides told rescue and cleanup workers that they could safely go into lower Manhattan in the days after September 11, 2001, when in fact, the Bush Administration had evidence that doing so was not safe.

That's not only a lie. It's bordering on a criminal assault on New York City's police officers, firefighters and emergency workers.

The very people that George W. Bush praised as "heroes", he knowingly sent into an environment that he had reason to believe could kill them. As he did so, Bush didn't even have the guts to tell the police and firefighters of New York City of the dangers they faced. He just lied to them.

According to Associated Press reporter John Heilprin, "President Bush's senior environmental adviser Friday defended the White House involvement, saying it was justified by national security." Someone's got to explain this to me. How does sending tens of thousands of New York City residents into an unsafe environment by lying to them about its safety help our national security? If this is Bush's idea of security, then we're all in a load of trouble.

Maybe you think that I'm the one who's lying. Maybe you suspect that I'm just making all of this up. Good for you. America needs more critical thinkers. Unfortunately, I'm not making this up. To prove it, I suggest that you read the following article, written by Laurie Garrett of Newsday and published in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning. There may be a similar article in the newspaper published in your area today as well (but we bet you won't hear about this from Fox News - they're too "Fair and Balanced").

Who knows what new lie from George W. Bush we're going to hear about tomorrow?

Who knows what new lies George W. Bush has in store for us for election day?

The problem with the record of George W. Bush is not in any single one of his lies, as significant and brutal as they are. It's in the pattern of lying, deceit, secrecy and manipulation that Bush and his aides have purposefully practiced from the day that Bush began his occupation of the White House.

Can America survive another four-year term of Bush's lies?

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 12:48 PM. # (permalink)

Friday, August 22, 2003
The latest from the Zogby America Poll, a nationally representative sample of likely voters taken August 16-19:

"Do you think President Bush deserves to be reelected or do you think it is time for someone new?"

Deserves Re-Election: 45%
Someone New: 48%

Back in June, the same question led to a result of 49% "Deserves Re-Election" and 38% "Someone New."

"If the election for President were held today and the candidates were Republican George W. Bush and a Democrat, for whom would you vote?"

George W. Bush: 43%
Democrat: 42%
Not sure: 13%

In June, Bush held a 7% advantage over "Democrat."

Given that the margin of error on this poll is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, we can interpret the current results as in a statistical dead heat.
Yes, Bush is really unbeatable. Right.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 12:11 PM. # (permalink)

Thursday, August 21, 2003
If you're lost, but you know you're lost, are you really lost? You know where you are: lost.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 2:20 PM# (permalink)

Mother Davis couldn't agree more with the post below as she adds,

With so many bombs going off in Iraq, we might not notice the little blurb that will appear in this morning's newspaper:
Two more Americans were killed in Iraq on Wednesday.

Just for the record, we think that it matters.

seeing links with the news described in the post below,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 12:20 AM. # (permalink)

Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Early this morning we promised it, and now it's here: a more detailed examination of the Victory Act and its implications for American democracy.

I know that not everyone who visits this blog has the time to read the whole article, so let me just say here briefly that I believe that this extension of the Patriot Act, proposed by Republican lovelies John Ashcroft, George W. Bush and Orrin Hatch, would tip the United States of America over the edge into a fast downward spiral toward a totalitarian police state.

The matter is urgent, and so we offer you a way to act:
sign Howard Dean's petition demanding that the Bush Administration stop its effort to push the Victory Act through Congress in September.

Your future privacy and freedom (and ours) depend upon it.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 11:52 PM# (permalink)

The top choice meeting spot in the NC Research Triangle for the few signed up at under Joseph Lieberman's Banner: Third Place on Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 7:30 PM# (permalink)

The two places at which George W. Bush's meetup would have occurred this month in the Research Triangle of North Carolina (if enough people had signed up, which they hadn't):

1. The Mad Hatter in Durham
2. He's Not Here in Chapel Hill

Purty telling.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 7:21 PM# (permalink)

Think fast now: What's the best way to protect the American soldiers occupying Iraq?

Okay, I admit that this is a trick question. The answer depends on who you are.

The answer, if you're most of the American people, is to hand the administration of Iraq over to a true coalition of United Nations forces, and pull most of the American military out of Iraq as their replacements arrive.

Unfortunately, this isn't the answer of the Bush Administration, which has announced that it will not even attempt to devise a plan to seek the partnership of an international coalition in Iraq. Once again, George W. Bush insists that America will go it alone.

That's easy for him to say. He's not doing the fighting. He hasn't even sent any of his own children over to Iraq, though they're of age to do so. Neither has Dick Cheney.

No, the answer to the question of how to protect American soldiers in Iraq, if you're George W. Bush, is to spy on innocent American citizens back here within the borders of the United States.

Yeah, we had a doozy of a time figuring that one out too, but that's what Bush has come up with. He's putting this strategy into a new piece of legislation which will make the reviled Patriot Act seem like cotton candy by comparison.

Bush's spokesperson for this legislation is none other than John (J. Edgard) Ashcroft, who is using this week to travel around the country on what he calls his Victory Tour. Yes, that's right. With bombs and bullets flying at American soldiers in Iraq, John Ashcroft and George W. Bush have declared victory.

In order solidify their victory over the Bill of Rights, Ashcroft and Bush are pushing what they call the Victory Act. The Victory Act expands the powers that the Patriot Act granted to the federal government, reducing Americans' freedoms even more.

Particularly frightening is a provision within the Victory Act that would allow John Ashcroft to issue "administrative subpoenas" without any oversight from a judge, whenever they want to. These subpoenas would be used to by Ashcroft and Bush to gain access to commercial databases. Commercial databases include the following sorts of things:
- private medical records
- Microsoft's massive database on the online habits of Windows users
- credit card records
- records from your Internet Service Provider about what web sites you visit
- copies of your private email

The list goes on and on, of course.

This Victory Act sounds an awful lot like Total Information Awareness, doesn't it? You may be surprised to find out that George W. Bush's Total Information Awareness program never went away. Spooky kook John Poindexter just gave the program a new name. The program is still in development, and George W. Bush has done nothing to stop it.

Just think of the power John Ashcroft would wield with the combination of the Total Information Awareness program, the Patriot Act and now, the Victory Act. Do you trust John Ashcroft with that kind of power? As George W. Bush's spokesperson warned us, "Americans need to watch what they say, what they do."

We here at Irregular Times will soon be providing you with full information on the Victory Act.

In the meantime, we leave you with the following thought: It was the Howard Dean campaign that tipped us off to the upcoming threat of the Victory Act. Dean's competitors haven't bothered to send us any similar alert thus far.

Irregular Times has not yet given an endorsement to any of the Democratic presidential candidates, but we find Howard Dean's efforts to confront the Bush Administration's efforts to take away Americans' freedoms worthy of note.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:53 AM. # (permalink)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003
And in the news today:

* One soldier blown up in Iraq
* One soldier dead of heat stroke
* U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad blown up by truck bomb
* George W. Bush is on vacation, playing golf.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 12:35 PM# (permalink)


Secret Democratic Party Plan for Retaking the Country:

Everybody wish Clinton a Happy Birthday

Earlier this week, I received an e-mail from Terry McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee. Actually, I'm pretty sure he didn't write it -- some staff member wrote it for him and he signed it. But at any rate, he signed it. The e-mail subject line read "57 Reasons to Boot Bush". Cool, I thought -- I'd like to see what such a list might contain. Unfortunately, it turned out that the 57 Reasons to Boot Bush were the 57 years in Bill Clinton's life so far. Today is Bill Clinton's birthday and Terry McAuliffe wanted us all to wish him a happy one. Yes, this is how the head of the Democratic Party appears to be spending his days.

This morning, I got another urgent message from Mr. McAuliffe and his staff. Asking me to volunteer for a campaign? Nope. Unveiling a new organizing strategy? Nope. Reminding me to send my birthday wishes to Bill Clinton? Um, yeah. This is why we can't trust the Democratic Party to do the work to get Bush out of office.

No, while the democratic rank and file are up in arms and ready to commit to action, the Democratic Party is dithering. It's up to us to do one of two things:

1. Work around the Democratic Party, doing their work for them by organizing ourselves;

2. Take over the Democratic Party from the ground up. By getting involved at the local level, we can give the Party new energy and direction.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 9:23 AM# (permalink)

5,000 killed in Attack on France!
Will they KILL, KILL KILL in Response?

In the news today, we see that over 5,000 French people have been killed as a result of the record-breaking heat wave that has devastated Europe this summer. That's more people than were killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001!

These killings are the direct result of global warming, an escalating crisis that George W. Bush has done nothing to solve.

Now, here's the test of cultures: will the French now launch an attack against the evildoing American polluters, the number one contributors of greenhouse gases and other pollution believed to be behind global warming? Will they occupy Texas and shoot oilmen who try to pass through checkpoints without identification?

Of course they won't. A military war on pollution would be a Texas-sized solution to a problem the French could solve with smaller, smarter measures. No, in response to 5,000 French killed by the heat, their government will gather experts to come up with creative solutions and send out diplomats to urge the United States to end its refusal to confront its role in global warming.

Oh, well, at least when it comes to global warming, George W. Bush will join the French in one thing: He'll insist that we all wait to act until every bit of evidence has been gathered and analyzed.

If only Bush had such restraint when it comes to the opportunity to wage war.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 8:04 AM. # (permalink)

Monday, August 18, 2003
Mother Davis renews her grip as she hangs onto the news of imaginary weapons...

A reader of ours retorts our writing about the lack of evidence for the need for an invasion and occupation of Iraq, saying, "You guys seem to by hung up on the WMD thing."

Glad you pointed this out, dear reader. We are indeed paying close attention to "the WMD thing", but that's only because we're following the example of our nation's leader, George W. Bush. Diligent citizens will remember that when other American leaders cautioned Bush that he should be careful and take the time to explore alternatives to war, or at the very least, gain international support for a war and occupation so that American soldiers would not be so vulnerable, George W. told these American leaders that there was no time to waste getting international support, attaining legal authorization for an unprovoked invasion, or constructing a plan for occupation. George W. said that America could not wait because of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

We're not the ones to bring the whole issue of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction onto the public stage. That was George W. Bush's doing. Now that hundreds of Americans have died for his quixotic quest for these weapons that did not exist, we think it's fair to keep the issue on the public stage.

For that matter, we think that it's high time for an independent investigation of the Bush White House, to discover how forgeries, hearsay, and outdated information got inflated into a bloody and expensive war that is taking American lives to this day.

If we're going to support our troops, how about we start by making sure that we don't send them on any more wild goose chases?

Posted by Katherine Davis at 7:38 AM. # (permalink)

Sunday, August 17, 2003
j. clifford cookSnarky Sparks from the Blackout

A few little things about the way that the Bush Administration has chosen to deal with the blackout in the Northeast:

- Blame Canada! Wasn't it odd how, before anyone had any idea what had happened to the Northeastern power grid (or had any substantial basis for making a guess), people from the government were insisting that the problem had started in Canada? What did they have to gain by that kind of rumor-mongering?

- The answer may be found in the way that government officials instantly forgave deregulation before anyone accused deregulation of being at fault. Now, we know that the so-called "energy shortage" in California was actually due to price manipulations by Enron and other Texas energy companies, and this manipulation was made possible by deregulation of the power industry in California and by lax oversight from Bush's Department of Energy. What's the Bush Administration trying to hide this time?

- In echoes of his servants in the Energy Department, Bush made a speech in which, in one sentence, he declared:
1. No one knows what caused the power outage
2. The Bush-Cheney energy bill (written by a secret energy task force made up of representatives from the oil and power industries that Dick Cheney refuses to name) will solve the problem

Now you wait just one little New York minute, Mr. Bush! How can you insist that your energy bill will solve the problems that caused the blackout when you just admitted that you don't even know what those problems are?!?

This reminds me of the tax cuts for rich - a cure-all that Mr. Bush says is necessary whether the economy is in good shape or bad shape. Does America really need more of George W. Bush's Texas snake oil?

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:22 AM. # (permalink)

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