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, November 07, 2003
Private Jessica Lynch, in her own words, when the Pentagon isn't speaking for her:

"...they used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff. Yeah, it's wrong."

"It hurt in a way that people would make up stories that they had no truth about. Only I would have been able to know that, because the other four people on my vehicle aren't here to tell the story. So I would have been the only one able to say, yeah, I went down shooting. But I didn't."

When Private Lynch was captured in the middle of the American invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration claimed that Private Lynch was dramatically rescued from torturers during the course of a gun battle. They also claimed that Private Lynch had fiercely resisted capture. It turns out that the Bush Administration just made it all up, exaggerating the struggle of Private Lynch in order to score public relations points.

Lying about a captured, injured, and often unconscious soldier to look good - way to "support the troops", Mr. Bush!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:30 AM. # (permalink)

A Cry for Help. Oh, Help...
Thursday, November 06, 2003
I need your help. Is there any resource that keeps track of how many fundraisers George W. Bush has attended? You see, Mr. Bush has been claiming that he doesn't have the time to attend all the soldiers' funerals, but he clearly does have time to attend fundraisers. It would be interesting to see how the number of funerals and number of fundraisers compare, wouldn't it?

If you have any idea how I could find this information, add a comment below with your tip. Thanks, muckrakers!

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 8:10 PM# (permalink)

Attention, K-Mart Shoppers.

Over at Irregular Goods (visit our Text-Only Shop or our Shop With Thumbnails) we've got a sale on. If you buy $50 or more, get $5 off! Just use coupon code SHOPNOV15 when you check out. The deal expires November 15.

This is our way of encouraging you to get those progressive messages out in public as soon as possible before the Election 2004 season really winds into gear.

If you're thinking of getting something for your progressive luv or friend for the holidays, check out our Progressive Holiday-Themed Gifts. The special applies to these, too.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 7:53 PM# (permalink)

Bush Had Chance to Stop War
But Never Told the American People!

Breaking news: It has been revealed that in the days before the American invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi government sent a message to the Bush Administration repeating its claim to have no weapons of mass destruction and offering to allow American soldiers to search throughout Iraq in order to verify this claim.

George W. Bush and his top aides rejected the offer.

I'm not making this up, folks. If you don't believe me, go ahead and read the article from the Associated Press, printed in the Times Daily of Northeast Alabama - hardly a bastion of liberal media bias.

Pentagon officials have confirmed that this message was received and rejected.

The upshot is this: George W. Bush had the chance to send American soldiers to search Iraq for the weapons of mass destruction he thought were there, but which turned out not to be there.

Bush didn't need to send American soldiers to war. The Iraqi government was willing to allow them in peacefully.

Bush turned this offer down because he wanted to send American soldiers to war, not because American soldiers had to go to war.

What's particularly despicable is that George W. Bush never even had the courage to tell the American people about this offer. He kept it secret. He lied when he told us that there was no other way but war to disarm Iraq. He not only betrayed the American soldiers he sent to die, he betrayed the entire American nation.

You want another 4 years of that?

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 9:21 AM. # (permalink)

Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Everyone keeps yammering on about the unstoppable Bush fundraising machine. Even on "liberal" NPR, Neal Conan could be heard exulting during Talk of the Nation this week that Bush had raised more than all the Democratic contenders put together. Amazing!

The problem for Conan's claim is that the Democratic candidates have raised $98.6 million so far in 2003, more than George W. Bush. Go ahead, look it up. This is a simple fact that the media is almost completely ignorant of.

Let's help the media, and the public, get this one right. Contact Neal Conan at and ask him to make an on-air correction.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 8:48 PM# (permalink)

New on the Irregular Blog: add your voice!
We've added a new feature to the Irregular Blog: now you can share your thoughts about each post. Look for the "Comment" link at the end of each post. The number inside the parentheses shows you how many people have left comments. Click on "Comment" to add your own.

We hope you like this new gizmofeature. Crack your knuckles and get started!

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 4:57 PM. # (permalink)

Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Over at Irregular Tracking, we've added a new graphic charting the appeal of Howard Dean by measuring the success of his effort to get people to write letters to folks in Iowa and New Hampshire. For each of the 50 states, we've taken the % of all Dean letters written by folks in a particular state and divided it by the % of all Americans living in that state. This gave us a ratio, with a value of 1 indicating that people in the state wrote as many letters as we'd expect by chance, a value greater than 1 indicating that people there wrote more letters than we'd expect by chance and finally a value less than 1 indicating that people there wrote fewer letters than we'd expect by chance.

Take a look at the resulting map and see if you can find any meaningful patterns:

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 12:32 AM. # (permalink)

Monday, November 03, 2003
Meanwhile, a useful contrast in ethics and assumptions about the intelligence of followers:

1. George W. Bush's campaign website provides pre-written text for followers to cut and paste into computer-generated "letters to the editor."

2. John Kerry's campaign website encourages supporters to write letters to the editors of their local newspapers, but instead of supplying ready-written letters encourages supporters to read Kerry's platform and then compose their own thoughts.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 10:42 PM# (permalink)

A confidential source from Howard Dean's campaign gives us the following tidbits:

1. The Dean campaign's latest grassroots effort to get ordinary Americans to write letters to residents of Iowa is expected to give Dean a big boost in that state. How do they know this? A similar letter-writing effort at their August Meetups, targeting New Hampshire residents, resulted in a quick and sustained surge of positive sentiment for Howard Dean in the state.

2. John Kerry supporters, frustrated that their own candidate is not asking them to get involved in this way, are going over to the Dean website, getting names and addresses of Iowa residents there, and then writing letters in support of Kerry.

3. The Dean campaign is leaning heavily toward opting out of matching campaign funds. If Dean takes matching funds for contributions from the U.S. Government, he gets a quick infusion of cash to spend during the Democratic primaries, but must limit his overall spending to a certain amount until the fall of 2004. Opting in of matching funds is a smart move for a campaign that is worried about competition for the Democratic nomination. Opting out of matching funds is a smart move for a campaign that feels it can raise a lot of money on its own, and is more focused on beating Bush than surviving the primary season. The Dean campaign's current inclination to opt out of matching funds indicates that their collective eyes are on the fight against George W. Bush.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 10:38 PM# (permalink)

Thirsty? Go ahead, take a break. Head over to your kitchen, get a glass of tap water, and drink it down. Aaaaahhhh... refreshing, no? Well, enjoy it while you can. Bush's EPA (the P is supposed to stand for "Protection") is loosening sewage-treatment regulations to allow for more untreated sh..stuff in your drinking water. The Bush EPA euphemistically refers to this as "blending." Mmmm! (Source: USA Today November 3, 2003)

Posted by Matthew Cook at 10:24 PM. # (permalink)

Sunday, November 02, 2003
Reason #419 to Boot Bush:

The Bush State Department came up with a report accurately predicting the chaos of post-war Iraq. The Bush Defense Department was feuding on a personal level with members of the Bush State Department and so ignored the report. George W. Bush's job as an administrator is to bring differing departments into the same room, regardless of squabbling and get them to work jointly for a common goal. George W. Bush's job as a leader is to synthesize information from various sources and create a sensible strategy for action. George W. Bush couldn't handle these essential presidential tasks. (Source: New York Times Magazine November 2, 2003)

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 9:44 AM. # (permalink)

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