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, October 03, 2003
A CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll taken September 19-21 confirms some suspicions I've held for a long time about religious freedom in America. See the results for yourself at Pollingreport.com.
I love Pollingreport.com, and I love looking at polls. It's not true, as people love to say, that you can get statistics to say anything. It is true that you can say anything about statistics only if some of those things are wrong. You can interpret poll results at least in two circumstances. First, if the same question is asked on more than one occasion, especially when it is on many occasions, you can reliably look at the trend. Second, if two similar questions are asked of the same people, but they vary only one word or idea, you can attribute changes in response to changes in the word or idea cited. This second sort of variation is what struck me about this poll.
To the significant portion of Americans who want the government to promote Christianity but not Islam, it seems that freedom of religion really only means "freedom of my religion."
And that's why we have separation of Church and State, friends.
"I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education up to power. And I admire him for being such a good public speaker." - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Hello? California? Are you awake yet?
This information comes from an article in the New York Times
Mother Davis looks at a picture of a raging bull elephant as she considers,
If we can step down from the hills of partisanship for a moment, it will quickly become clear that the Republicans ought to welcome an independent investigation of the Bush White House involvement in a leak of information about a CIA operative in order to take revenge upon her husband for revealing that George W. Bush's claims about nuclear weapons programs in Iraq were phony.
It might be that Attorney General John Ashcroft intends to run a fair investigation, but the simple and over-riding truth is that Ashcroft is not trusted by a very large portion of the American people. Ashcroft has a reputation of extreme political and cultural views, and has been linked to dangerous plots that would have Americans spying on their neighbors and subjected to vast systems of electronic surveillance. Any investigation that is not independent of Ashcroft will also not be trusted by a large portion of the American people.
If George W. Bush has truly done nothing wrong, then he should welcome the creation of an independent investigation, so that the matter can be cleared up definitively. Politically, it is much better to be exonerated quickly than to have a dark cloud of uncertainty shadowing him for the rest of his visit to Washington D.C.
Don't say I didn't warn you, Republicans all,
Thursday, October 02, 2003
Three Americans Killed, Bush Says Things Getting Better
Three Americans are confirmed killed in Iraq in the last 24 hours, and there are two more reported killings of Americans that the military refuses to confirm.
Mission accomplished, huh? You know what's really disgusting? While people in the United States, where there hasn't been a terrorist attack in two years, are having their private lives searched through in the name of security, tens of thousands more Americans are being sent over to Iraq, where Americans are killed every day and there isn't even a government with a police force, much less a Transportation Security Administration to probe people with latex gloves.
Does anyone else see evidence of a blood clot in Bush's brain?
Just What This Country Needs: A Portable Flaming 12-Foot Bush Statue
Well, this is just a hoot. I pass on to you the plans of True Majority to build a Burning Bush:
If you'd like to help out True Majority in building their Portable Flaming 12-Foot Bush Statue, click here.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Reason #308 to Boot Bush:
It doesn't take a weathervane to tell which way the wind is blowing. Just watch the Republicans. Prominent New Hampshire Republican Hilary Cleveland, who served in official capacities in the campaigns of both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, will not be campaigning for George W. Bush this time around. Instead, she is starting a statewide Republicans for Dean movement that has already garnered significant support. Cleveland's move shows that you don't have to be a Democrat to find the Bush record unacceptable (Source: Associated Press September 26, 2003)
Our goal is to identify 2004 Reasons to Boot Bush by Election Day 2004. Read what we've got so far, and if you've got a reason of your own to add to the mix, send us a note and let us know!
The Dead People Who Matter
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Lloyd Grove of the New York Daily News uncovered a "frequently asked questions" memo from the Bush-Cheney campaign to their fundraisers in New York City. Excerpted text follows:
Question: "Can I use my personal aircraft for campaign business?"
Answer: "No, you may not use your personal aircraft for campaign business. Corporate aircraft may be used, but only if each person boarding the plane pays the equivalent of a first-class airplane ticket."
Q: "Can I have a fund-raising cocktail party for my friends at a private club or hotel and pay for the party?"
A: "No. You may have them come to your house and treat them up to $1,000 in expenses per adult in the household without it counting against your $2,000 contribution limit."
Q: "Can I use my executive assistant to help with my fund-raising activities?"
A: "Any person can volunteer to help. Employees may volunteer a maximum of 1 (one) hour per week during working hours and an unlimited amount outside of the office."
Meanwhile, as we speak Howard Dean is nearing a Democratic Party candidate record of $15 million for the quarter. But the average contribution to his campaign as of right now is running at about $79.27, a far cry from the Bush standard of $2,000.00 per contribution (the maximum legally allowed). Dean raises a lot of money from a lot of working-class and middle-class folks. Bush raises a lot of money from a few people who are really, really rich.
That's a big difference, and that difference says a lot about the sort of President each man aims to be.
Mother Davis listens as another prominent voice speaks up about the truth that was clear all along:
Yesterday, Representative Jane Harman, ranking member on the House Permanent Committee on Select Intelligence, strongly rebuked the Bush Administration's claims that there was any strong evidence of a need to go to war against Iraq. "As we moved to war, did the claims the policymakers made, were those claims supported by the intelligence? My conclusion is no."
That's great, Representative Harman. But the fact is that we knew this before the war. One half of the scandal rests in the Bush Administration's willingness to deceive the American people. The other half, however, rests in the lap of hawkish Democrats like Jane Harman who knew that Bush's arguments for war were hollow, but refused to stand up and say so at the time because they were afraid of being seen as unpatriotic.
Our representatives in Congress need to be leaders, and that means that they need to stick their necks out, even when a President like George W. Bush is banging the drums of war and threatening opponents with the tar of anti-patriotism. Real patriots speak truth to power.
Democrats in Congress have learned the hard way that it doesn't pay to follow along with the hype of a pro-war President. John Kerry, who was the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, has faded because of his lack of courage when called upon to vote his conscience. Kerry and most other congressional Democrats gave Bush a stamp of approval to fight war whenever and however he wanted.
We need new Democratic leaders who have the backbone not to cave in to cretins like Bush and Cheney, even when it seems the only politcally possible thing to do. The value of pragmatic politics ends when lives are on the line.
Thanks for the indictment of the Bush Administration, Representative Harman, but it's come a year too late.
Monday, September 29, 2003
Bush Administration Plays Word Games With the Truth
Oh, here's the latest defense from the Bush Administration, scrambling to explain why it sent hundreds of thousands of young Americans off to kill and be killed in Iraq when it had no solid evidence that there was any need to do so:
Condoleeza Rice, George W. Bush's National Security Advisor, justified the invasion and occupation of Iraq by saying, "nothing pointed to a reversal of Saddam Hussein's very active efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, to have very good programs in weapons of mass destruction."
Lack of evidence that a crime has not occurred is not the same thing as evidence that a crime has occurred. If there's a man who lives next door to me who has a history of embezzling money from work, would I be justified in having him arrested on suspicion of doing it again, just because I didn't have any evidence that he was not?
Of course not! This isn't the American way of doing things, although Bush and company would like us to forget it. Here in America, our legal and ethical traditions are based upon giving the benefit of the doubt, when there is a lack of evidence that we should do otherwise. If there is no evidence that a person or group of persons has committed a crime, we do not assume that there is a crime and start the punishment. That's just not the way Americans do things.
Sunday, September 28, 2003
Links of the Morning to You!
So, they're calling up more National Guard troops to go to Iraq, huh? When they're done with those troops, who will be left to call up?
More importantly, who will be responsible for the loss of life among the new National Guard members who are being sent to Iraq. Well, according to an article from the Washington Post, George W. Bush's miserable failure at diplomacy is what makes the continuing sacrifice of American soldiers necessary.
Don't forget: it's all for a futile cause! Members of Congress are growing ever bolder in calling Bush's Iraq War what it is: One of the biggest frauds in American history. Also from the Washington Post this morning, is an article describing a letter sent from the Republican and Democrat leaders of the House Intelligence Committee to the Central Intelligence Agency. The letter calls the pre-war intelligence that Bush used to push America into war "fragmentary", "circumstancial", "piecemeal", and generally "deficient". Oh, and that secret classified evidence that Bush kept on saying he had? These leaders of the House Intelligence Committee have concluded that the supposed secret evidence never existed.
A real Humdinger of a quote
"There are some who will never like the UN because it's full of foreigners, which frankly cannot be helped."
-- Madeline Albright, September 23, 2001, on NPR's The Connection
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