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, October 18, 2003
"I had one guy tell me all he wanted was to see his little daughter; she was born three days after the war started. He died in the sand holding my hand and crying because his daughter would never know him. Tell me thatís fucking right. Where was George Bush when this kid was gasping for air and spitting his blood on foreign soil?"

- An Army veteran with over 20 years experience, now on leave from Iraq.

Posted by Katherine Davis at 3:47 PM# (permalink)

Mother Davis pulls back the curtain and reaches for the lever as she comments,

We at Irregular Times mostly cover national and international issues. However, we recognize that these broader issues have their local foundations. Often, national issues are decided by the actions of local politicians who are able to exert influence in surprising ways.

For this reason, as much as we're focusing on the elections of 2004, we urge you not to forget that there are important elections this year too!

Yes, they're local elections. Yes, local politics can often seem boring, or petty, or pointless. Please, don't let that stop you from getting out to vote when Election Day rolls around.

Many of our best national politicians got their start as local political candidates, and never would have made it anywhere if people hadn't bothered to vote them into office. The same is true for some of our worst national politicians. Local politics is where national politicians begin, so it's where we have the biggest impact, if we care to pay attention.

Local politicians also have a great deal of influence over how elections are run, deciding crucial issues such as how petitions will be registered or what kind of voting machines will be used. If Republican politicians are elected on the local level this November, they'll use their power as much as they can to help George W. Bush get back in office for another 4 years.

It matters very much who your district attorney or town supervisor is. It matters if you have a qualified county clerk.

It's just a few weeks now. Please, do your research on the local candidates who are running in your area this year. Then, do your part and vote.

Acting up locally,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 3:37 PM. # (permalink)

Friday, October 17, 2003
This just in from George W. Bush's No Such Thing As Global Warming Office at the Environmental Protection Agency:

Last month has now officially been declared the hottest September on record. Also, the United States government has now confirmed that glaciers in South America and Antarctica are melting away at record pace.

However, George W. Bush wants to remind you that there is no such thing as global warming, and urges you to consider the really important issues of our day, such as how to help really rich people avoid paying their share in taxes.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 5:36 PM# (permalink)

More Fake Evidence on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago, a desperate David Kay tried to justify his budget of hundreds of millions of dollars devoted to looking for the mythical weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Giving the appearance of political cover for George W. Bush, Mr. Kay referred to the finding of a vial of botulinum virus in the home of an Iraqi scientist. This was cited as evidence of an Iraqi weapons program.

Now, it has been revealed that the vial was almost certainly bought from an American company through legal means and for legal, non-military purposes, not for weapons of mass destruction.

Oops. Again.

George W. Bush keeps on telling us that where there's smoke, there's fire. Sometimes, there's just smoke and mirrors.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 3:40 PM# (permalink)

Mother Davis is not surprised as she reads,

Half of the soldiers in Iraq interviewed by Stars and Stripes in a recent survey say that the morale of their units as low or very low, and say that they will not re-enlist.

35% say that their mission in Iraq is not clearly defined. One-third of the soldiers there say that they believe that the war has not been worthwhile.

These findings of low morale in Iraq help us to understand why American newspapers have been receiving letters expressing support of the war that claim to be from American soldiers but in fact are not. The letters were written by the soldiers' commanding officers and sent out in their names without their knowledge.

Overnight, however, it became very clear that three American soldiers in particular will not be doing or saying anything to criticize Mr. Bush's adventure in Iraq. They were killed in a gun battle with the followers of a Shiite cleric in the city of Karbala.

Noticing that standing behind George W. Bush has not really made the "troops" feel supported,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 7:04 AM. # (permalink)

Thursday, October 16, 2003
Is Bush's War on Evildoers a Holy Crusade?

George W. Bush has used the word "Crusade" to describe his war against the people he calls "evildoers." Bush believes that the United States of America is a Christian nation. General Wesley Clark reports in his latest book that the White House has drawn up a list of exclusively Muslim nations to target as enemies over the next four years (Afghanistan, Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and the Sudan) - two down, six to go.

Now, it has been discovered that one of Bush's top generals in the war against evildoers, General William G. Boykin, believes that Bush's war is a war against Satan.

Preaching in his military uniform before a religious congregation in Oregon this June, General Boykin proclaimed, "we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian... And the enemy is a guy named Satan."

To that same congregation, still in military uniform, General Boykin said of George W. Bush that, "He was appointed by God" to be leader of the United States.

To another religious group in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, General Boykin declared that the true enemy in George W. Bush's wars "is the principalities of darkness. It is a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy."

Comparing himself to a follower of Islam, General Boykin states that "my God is bigger than his."

Confronted with these comments today, the Bush Administration is supporting General Boykin.

What else are we to think but that George W. Bush and his assistants in the White House are using the American military in order to wage a religious war on behalf of Christianity against Islam?

None of our soldiers signed up for that.

For more on this breaking story, read an article from Reuters. We are not making this stuff up, folks!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 8:54 PM. # (permalink)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Following the Candidates Down Different Tracks

If you read the newspaper or watch television news, you're regularly inundated with the latest polling data for the Democratic presidential contenders (if you're a real junkie, you can even compare results over time here. And every three months, there's a splash of news coverage regarding the fundraising exploits of the candidates.

But isn't there more than polling data and money to running a successful political campaign? I think so. Voluminous media coverage helps get a name onto people's lips. Visits to a candidate's web site both indicate and generate interest in that candidate. Grassroots organizing can spread good feelings about a candidate without the spending of cold hard cash. And bumper stickers that people put on their cars for a candidate not only spread positive word in a very public way but also reflect a great deal of enthusiasm for that candidate, the kind of support that goes beyond checking a box on a survey form.

On our new Irregular Tracking page, we follow and graph these four less-tracked items on one page so that you can get a bigger feel for how each of the candidates is doing on different levels. Check it out for an alternative view of the donkey horserace.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 9:37 AM. # (permalink)

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
The News As It Almost Is:

White House Resident George W. Bush, rejecting criticism that he has lost control of his Iraq policy amid staff infighting, insisted yesterday that he is firmly in charge of the federal government. "I have been informed by my advisors that the person who is in charge is me," Bush said to a group of reporters gathered at the White House Rose Garden. The announcement was delayed by technical glitch with Bush's teleprompters. Bush also said that he was in possession of top secret classified government documents that proved he is in charge, but claimed he could not release these documents because of national security. After this brief statement, White House Spokesperson Scott McClellan took all questions.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 2:01 PM# (permalink)

More Fantasies from the Bush Spin Squad

There's some kind of strange enjoyment we get watching the creativity with which George W. Bush's aides try to twist basic facts of life.

The latest: A recent CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll found that when asked about the direction of the American nation, 59% said they were "angry about something".

Matthew Dowd, referred to as a "senior strategist" for George W. Bush, responded to this poll by saying, "It's not an anger. It's just a concern."

Hmm. So, according to the Bush Administration, when a majority of the American people say they're "angry", they're not, really.

Is that like how when George W. Bush says that he has "evidence", what he really means is that he doesn't have any evidence, but he's guessing that some will turn up, somewhere, eventually?

For George W. Bush it isn't just math that's fuzzy. Bush seems to think that the truth is fuzzy too.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 11:05 AM. # (permalink)

Monday, October 13, 2003
Mother Davis searches for the telephone number of Sheldon Silver as she offers some advice:

A little tidbit for those Democrats who have not already figured out which candidate they want to support for the 2004 presidential nomination:

Joseph Lieberman not only voted for the resolution to give Bush a blank check for going to war in Iraq, Lieberman co-sponsored the resolution in the Senate. That means that Lieberman volunteered to serve as Bush's pro-war pointman in the United States Senate, and can be considered one of the Iraq war's legislative architects. Furthermore, Lieberman still says that co-sponsoring the resolution to authorize the Iraq war was a really good idea.

We've heard from our sources that the Democratic Party bosses in New York State and other big states are leaning heavily on their members to push a Lieberman candidacy through next spring. They want a traditional, top-down decision, and Lieberman's campaign is cooperating with them.

In 2004, the progressive majority of the Democratic Party has the opportunity to take back control of the Democratic identity from the conservative elites of the Democratic Leadership Council who support politicians like Joseph Lieberman. For the first time in years, Democrats have the opportunity to support truly progressive candidates, and the outcome couldn't be more important.

Candidate Lieberman wants to keep the Democrats from going grassroots. He would make the Democratic Party into Republican Lite, with all the mind-numbing intoxication of the GOP, but with even less taste. It's up to us to stop him.

In November of 2004, it's anyone but Bush. Before that, however, Democrats have got to vote for anyone but Lieberman.

Posted by Katherine Davis at 10:00 PM. # (permalink)

Sunday, October 12, 2003
Bush News Flash: Communist Dictator Rises to Power in Cuba!

You've got to admit that it takes real guts to make leaps of logic as large as those attempted by George W. Bush, lately.

My favorite: Faced with the rapidly deteriorating condition of American-occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, and looking for a solution, Mr. Bush shifts focus to dealing with Cuba. Ever in need of an evil enemy, but unable to catch Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, Bush has found a new evildoer in old Fidel Castro.

Bush lectures Americans, "Clearly, the Castro regime will not change by its own choice, but Cuba must change." Talk about a timely issue! Yah, that Bay of Pigs thing was never really settled was it? Better dead than red, all over again. The next thing you know, Bush is going to be telling us to Remember the Maine and demanding to invade Spain.

Why did you know that there are people being held prisoner in Cuba that are never charged with crimes, in violation of the Geneva Convention?!? Well, okay, it's true that the imprisonment is taking place on American territory on Cuba under the orders of George W. Bush, but that's not the point. At least not according to Mr. Bush. He's funny that way.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 10:54 AM. # (permalink)

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