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 24, 2003
 
Over at Irregular Tracking, a trend is emerging. Bumper sticker sales for Clark have dropped significantly from the boom of late September and early October. For over a week now, Clark's rate of gain of Meetup members has dropped back below Dean's rate, which has recovered from its late September and early October doldrums. And while Dean's website visits have picked up in the past week, Wesley Clark's has stagnated.

Given the strategy of Wesley Clark's campaign, which is to overcome a very late start with a broad push for support of his candidacy, this trend is significantly discouraging. Clark is already well behind in his competitors in organizational and monetary terms. If he cannot compensate in grassroots enthusiasm, then his candidacy will go nowhere. I don't like to make predictions as a rule, but given the combination of Clark's needs and the mediocre enthusiasm he is inspiring, I predict Clark's campaign will not have the momentum to make it to the convention.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 9:47 PM. # (permalink)



Thursday, October 23, 2003
 
Reason #395 to Boot Bush: George W. Bush's own dad is so upset at his son's behavior in the Oval Office that he has given Bush Jr.'s most vocal Senate critic, Edward Kennedy, the 2003 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service. (Source: Boston Globe October 18, 2003)

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 5:08 AM# (permalink)



 
CBS NEWS reports: "At Michigan State University, some students are putting a new twist on an old tradition. Writing on the bathroom wall is a common way to pass the time, but in an effort to cut back on graffiti in a newly-redone women's room, the college is hoping that a bit of paper will do the trick. "

Sorry, CBS, but that's not a new twist. They were doing that at Oberlin College 13 years ago, and it was really fun.



Posted by Matthew Cook at 3:49 AM. # (permalink)



Wednesday, October 22, 2003
 
New Iraq Atrocities!

The American military now admits that its soldiers killed a Baath Party official by grabbing him by the neck so violently that the bone supporting his tongue was broken and he suffocated.

Now, if this had happened nine months ago, Fox News would have reported it like this:

"The evil terrorist dictators of Iraq engaged in yet another political murder today! Get this! They grabbed a member of an opposition political party by the throat and choked him to death! Can you believe this! It's just more evidence that we have no choice but to put an end to this tyrannical regime! We've tried everything, but if we wait too long, then we're going to have their jack-booted thugs banging down our own doors right here in America and killing us in our beds! It's the undeniable truth, folks, and if you can't handle that, then you don't deserve to be an American! You can go to Canada, you socialist scum!"

Of course, now that George W. Bush is the dictator of Iraq, Fox News thinks that these kind of brutal tactics are absolutely justified. Oh yeah, that's Foxy for you!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 11:16 PM# (permalink)



 

Bush Losing the Money Race



Conventional media wisdom has it that George W. Bush is winning the campaign fundraising race. After all, he's raised a whopping $84.6 million so far in 2003 (Source: Center for Responsive Politics). Wow!

The problem for that story is that the Democratic candidates have raised a whoppinger $98.6 million so far in 2003.

Whoopsie.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 9:40 PM. # (permalink)



Tuesday, October 21, 2003
 
Boykin Bungle Update!

Late today, the Pentagon announced that it would be launching an internal investigation of Lieutenant General William G. Boykin's public statements in uniform that Bush's wars are part of a Christian Crusade against Islam.

We must regard word of this investigation as good news, as we called an investigation of Boykin last week. However, this good news only goes half way.

In our article of last week, we called for an independent investigation of both Boykin and the Bush White House. Here's why:

The Boykin problem is really not just about one high-ranking officer who has shot his mouth off. The problem is systematic within the Pentagon and the Bush Administration.

Let's not forget:

  • George W. Bush promoted General Boykin to become Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence with full knowledge that Boykin has a history of using his official military authority in order to promote his own religious beliefs, coercing Green Berets into religious conversion.
  • George W. Bush himself has characterized his wars as a "Crusade" against "evildoers" who belong to a "Cult of Evil", a "Crusade" in which God has appointed him as leader and has taken sides with the Americans against their enemies.
  • George W. Bush has refused to distance himself from Boykin's remarks, saying nothing about them himself, even as the scandal increases.
  • George W. Bush is counseled in the White House by extreme fundamentalist preachers and laypeople who believe in the coming of the End Days, who believe that the United States is a Christian nation, and who have characterized Islam as a satanic religion. One of Bush's senior aides, Michael Leedon, has declared publicly, "God willing, Judgment Day is coming to the Middle East."
  • The extremely lenient foreign policy of George W. Bush towards Israel seems to be dictated by his political allegiance to the conservative Protestant belief that Israel must expand its borders in order to fulfill the prophecy of the second coming of Jesus. As the head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention writes, "The reason most evangelicals support Israel is that we believe in the bible."


The question is not just whether General Boykin has used his position in the military to try to engage in a religious war against non-Christians. Equally important is the question of whether George W. Bush and his fundamentalist Christian aides within the White House have created a climate that encourages the military to view its mission as the execution of a Holy War of Christianity against Islam. To answer this question, there must be an investigation that is separate of both the Pentagon and the White House, but will look at both organizations and the relationship between them.

There is a systematic problem behind General Boykin's statements, and the problem will continue to threaten our security until it is exposed and excised. Sorry, Mr. Rumsfeld, but a cosmetic, limited internal investigation won't do.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 9:30 PM# (permalink)



 
Hundreds upon hundreds of Americans have died in Iraq in the course of prosecuting George W. Bush's war of choice. In our country, one traditional way to honor the sacrifice slain soldiers has been the ceremonial reception of soldiers in their caskets upon their arrival. Since the days of Vietnam, such ceremonies have been televised as a way of allowing the nation to share in the reverential moment -- and as an indicator of the finality that war brings.

Now comes word that the administration of George W. Bush, which sent these soldiers to die halfway around the world, has not only banned these ceremonies, but has also banned media from covering the return of slain soldiers to our country.

Bill Clinton not only allowed these ceremonies to occur; he took it upon himself to personally attend these ceremonies as a way of honoring the soldiers' sacrifice for their country.

George W. Bush, on the other hand, would rather act by fiat to hide the painful consequences of his actions.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 5:33 PM# (permalink)



 
j. clifford cookAn update on the General Boykin scandal:

You may have read our article from earlier this week about the scandal surrounding Lieutenant General William G. Boykin. General Boykin was found to have made a series of public statements in recent years, while in his official uniform, declaring that George W. Bush's wars were really wars against Satan, that Islam was a wicked false religion of idolotry, and that the armies of the United States were really Christian armies on an official Crusade to destroy Islam. Earlier this year, General Boykin also was revealed to have a history of using his military position to promote conservative evangelical Christianity, giving special access for Southern Baptist missionairies to Green Berets soldiers, using his official authority as a means of coercing conversion among soldiers.

Now, since we wrote our article, General Boykin has offered up what he calls an "apology." Taking a look at his statement, however, more scandal has erupted from new statements from Boykin that the General wrote as part of the statement but were omitted from the official press release. In these parts of the statement, Boykin, far from apologizing, re-iterates his beliefs in the Christian identity of the American government and American military, and his belief in the divine appointment of George W. Bush as prime leader of the American nation.

Boykin says, "I believe that God intervenes in the affairs of men, to include nations, as Benjamin Franklin so eloquently stated. Yes I believe that George Bush was placed in the White House by God..."

and

"As a Christian I believe that there is a spiritual war that is continuous as articulated in the Bible. It is not confined to the war of terrorism."

"The evidence that this nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles is undeniable. We are a nation of many cultures and religions but the evidence of our foundation is historic... My references to Judeo-Christian roots in America or our nation as a Christian nation are historically undeniable."

This isn't an apology. It's a repetition of General Boykin's original offensive, inaccurate and treasonous remarks.

Speaking of remarks, there's one very important man we haven't heard from on this matter yet. George W. Bush still refuses to contradict, criticize or distance himself from the far-out statements of General Boykin. The only reasonable conclusion is that George W. Bush also believes that his wars are part of a larger Christian Crusade against Satan and Islam.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 9:49 AM. # (permalink)



Monday, October 20, 2003
 
Mother Davis looks to the East as she clears her throat to say,

I want to take the time today to say something that I should have said here on this blog a long while ago.

I support Gene Robinson.

Mr. Robinson is engaged in the daunting task of trying to become a bishop of the Episcopal Church for New Hampshire. That's a daunting task, because the Anglican Communion, an international religious body to which the American Episcopal Church belongs, seems dead-set on defending a theology that is based upon rejection and exclusion.

You see, Mr. Robinson is gay. Not only that, he is honest about being gay.

That doesn't bother the Episcopals that Mr. Robinson represents in New Hampshire. They have whole-heartedly supported his efforts. It doesn't bother the American Episcopal Church either. They voted to approve Mr. Robinson as a bishop earlier this year.

The Anglican Communion is having a conniption, though. They think that what Gene Robinson is doing is just wrong, wrong, wrong. The leaders of the Anglican Communion are so mad that they're willing to destroy their organization over the matter, splitting it in two.

Let's be clear about one thing: This struggle is not about whether to allow gay Episcopal priests to become bishops. The struggle is about whether to allow priests who admit to being gay to become bishops.

You see, the Anglican Communion has always had gay bishops. It just hasn't admitted to it. There was an unspoken agreement that it was all okay, just so long as they didn't openly acknowledge being gay.

Until this year, the Anglican Communion and the American Episcopal Church kept their gay priests undercover, hidden.

This isn't about homosexuality. It's about hypocrisy. Gene Robinson is willing to end the hypocrisy of the American Episcopal Church, and be honest to the people he serves.

Isn't that what churches are supposed to do?

Acknowledging her confusion about official church dishonesty,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 7:12 AM. # (permalink)




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