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, December 13, 2003
Coincidences are funny. Why, just yesterday morning I was remembering Mr. Bush's great edict from his July press conference: "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and I believe we ought to codify that one way or the other and we have lawyers looking at the best way to do that." And then a few minutes later I found this story about an Iowa judge's divorce decree for two women. Goodness, if he's giving them a divorce, he must be saying they were married.
The article goes on:
"We believe the judge exceeded his authority," said Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, a family advocacy group. Hurley and other conservatives fear the judge's decree, which refers to the union as a marriage, could be a step toward legitimizing same-sex unions, which are not permitted under an Iowa law passed in 1997.
Those Iowans just have to be first for everything, don't they?
Republican Family Values
How about those Republican family values!
This morning, we received an email message that exposes the core of what Republican family values really are. It's from a youngster who expresses the essence of the Bush/Cheney campaign platform quite succinctly:
Hi, i'm 14 years old and live in Washington State
I just wanted to let you know that my S.U.V. loves Iraqi oil and also;
BUSH CHENEY '04
Here it is, proof of the way that the Republican agenda is spreading smarmy, selfish, war-loving, polluting, foul-mouthed values amongst our nation's youth. Not exactly Ozzie and Harriet, is it? Oh, kids these days!
I'm wondering: Is this young fella on the Bush/Cheney campaign staff? He seems to have really hit on a great campaign slogan for 2004: "BUSH CHENEY '04: Fuck You, America!"
Reason #515 to Boot Bush
Reason #515 to Boot Bush:
Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act that George W. Bush got passed gives the Pentagon access public schools' directories for students' addresses and home phone numbers. Before the Act was passed, one third of public schools declined to share student information with recruiters in a local government decision reflecting the will of their communities. George W. Bush has removed this modicum of local control. When it comes to the war-making side of government, Bush is for big government all the way.
Anybody but Dean?
Thursday, December 11, 2003
The next time you hear someone going on about how Howard Dean cannot be an effective candidate against Bush, pay attention to who that someone is. Chances are it's a political insider named or unnamed, or someone you know quoting a political insider, that's trotting out this line.
Remember that Democratic political insiders have no chits to cash in if an insurgent Democratic candidate wins, since they haven't done the candidate any favors. This means no ambassadorships, no cabinet positions, no heart-to-heart conversations in the oval office, no rush of being close to power. I think this is a big part of why Democratic political insiders are freaked about Dean, and it's a big reason to distrust their voices of despair. These people are despairing for themselves.
Anybody but Dean? Please -- let's keep our eyes on the prize. It's Anybody But Bush.
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Rolling her eyes at the latest Democratic "insider" opinion about how to run a political campaign, Mother Davis quotes,
"...many prominent Democrats -- including former high-level Clinton advisers and top state officials -- fear Dean's antiwar, anti-tax-cuts presidential campaign could prevent the party from winning the White House and Congress in 2004 unless he quickly proves he can moderate his positions..."
That's from the Washington Post, a fascinating read these days when it comes to political insiderism. Here the conservative fringe of the Democratic Party is, actually arguing that anti-war issues and opposition to huge tax giveaways to the super rich are bad for Democrats!
I suppose I'll have to take it upon myself to give these Lieberman Democrats a bit of a history lesson. Oh, this one takes us way back to last year, when the Democrats in Congress fell all over themselves to give George W. Bush exactly what he wanted: a war and huge tax cuts. Led by Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt, the Democrats in 2002 said that they would lose if they dared to oppose the war in Iraq and that they would lose if they opposed Bush's taxpayer giveaways to the wealthy.
Well, Democrats lost big time because they failed to take up a courageous anti-war, anti-deficit, anti-rich-folk's-welfare stand. They LOST! Memo to Joe Lieberman: The word is spelled L-O-S-T.
For those Democrats who advocate a lily-livered Republican-lite presidential campaign, I have only two things to say: 1) Pay more attention to recent political history, and 2) Get off Bush's lap, already! Can't you see that he's all out of Snausages?
Glad to see most Democrats rolling up their sleeves,
15 Afghan children killed by Americans in just one week
Oh, some Republicans will say that it's unpatriotic to even mention this fact, but here goes: 15 Afghan children have been killed by the American military just this week.
George W. Bush declared victory in Afghanistan over a year ago. Isn't it odd that the war is still going on?
Bush promised the Afghan people that America would rebuild their country. Instead, Bush's attention moved on to Iraq, leaving behind only enough soldiers to do a half-baked job of stabilizing Afghanistan. As a result, warlords are still running most of the country, the Taliban are still fighting, women are still being oppressed, the opium poppy crop (that's for making heroin, kiddies) is at a record level of production, and children are still being slaughtered in the name of Bush's War on Evil.
Yes, we think that it matters. No, we don't think it's unpatriotic to talk about what the American government is doing. We do think that it's downright undemocratic of the Republicans to try to bully people into keeping their mouths shut.
Google Bomb Bush
Try this: go to Google, type in "miserable failure," and then hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button.
Cackle, cackle. Yes, it's cheap, but it's fun.
Thanks to Bob for the tip.
Hey, has anybody heard of any WMDs found in Iraq? You know, the oft-stated basis for our war against Iraq? I'm just asking, seeing that it's been a few months now without any word. Or is it "still too early in the game?"
You haven't heard any updates on the Ashcroft investigation into the illegal White House leaks, have you? That's because there's been nothing but silence from the White House and the Justice Department for months. Can you say "buried"? Well, a senior White House official can. While refusing to be named, the official commented that ""We have let the earth-movers roll in over this one."
(Source: Financial Times of London December 5, 2003)
More Bush Diplomatic Blunders
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
The Bush Administration has announced that in contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq, companies of French, German or Russian nationality need not apply because to do so would be against "the essential security interests of the United States." That's no way to treat two long-time and one fledgling ally of the United States simply because they (along with the vast majority of countries of the world) opposed a single policy decision of a particular American President. This is another indication that the Bush Administration is diplomatically incompetent. This would all be silly if it didn't matter so much to those getting ground down and picked off in Iraq. (Source: New York Times December 10, 2003)
Conservative Political Decadence?
Mother Davis bemoans the fall from the traditional liberal standards of decency in public discourse as she reads the Irregular Retorts email collection.
You know, people like William Bennett try to make a living running around claiming that the Republicans stand for decency and family values, but you've got to wonder. I do, reading the responses that we here at Irregular Times get, responses to articles that we write in which we call for revolutionary things such as peace, understanding, and honesty in politics.
I'm thinking of a particular email we got today from an angry conservative Republican. Take a gander at the kind of language this fellow is using:
"Iraq's terrorist monkeys... Kill'em all!... Fucknig arab bastards!God bless America!!!"
Now, when Republicans make demands about what they call family values, I pause for a minute, and I remember when I was raising my son. I'll tell you one thing, I never would have used this kind of crude language around my son, and I never would have introduced these kinds of amoral, socially decadent ideas to him.
When I read messages from Republicans like this, I start to think about my family, and I can't help but say that the Republican Party just doesn't stand for my kind of family values any more.
Wondering why the Republican Party has abandoned the most basic sense of dignity,
grasping a bar of irony,
Hokey smoke, Bullwinkle. If the Bush Administration is getting advice from Israel about how to use military units to quash Arab insurgents, that means the Bush Administration forsees an Israeli-type struggle in front of it. That's not good news for the United States or for the rest of the world. How depressing.
Bush endorses failed Israeli anti-insurgent tactics
Let's put this one in the "what the hell were they thinking?!?" pile:
Reuters is reporting today that the Bush Administration has decided to get advice from Israel about how to use military units to quash Arab insurgents.
Hm. All right, put aside for a moment your personal opinions about the state of Israel and ask this basic operational question:
Has Israeli actually quashed their own Arab insurgents?
The obvious answer is, um, gosh, NO.
George W. Bush asking the Israelis for advice on how to deal with the insurgents in Iraq is as profoundly stupid as it would be for Howard Dean to call up Michael Dukakis and ask him how to run a presidential campaign.
Howard Dean is smart enough not to ask miserable failures for advice, but Mr. Bush doesn't appear to have summoned enough brain cells to figure out this basic principle of life.
Making failed military strategy on the basis of political ideology: Yet another reason to give Bush the boot in 2004.
Monday, December 08, 2003
The John Kerry Blog writes:
"There have been some recent articles on Internet traffic and how the candidates are doing on various measures.... Alexa then developed a toolbar that was used to help search the archive -- which also provides tracking to determine which sites you visit to provide a sampling of users who surf the web. The traffic that is sampled are people who have downloaded the toolbar onto their Internet Explorers and surf the web. If you would like to take part, you should visit Alexa.com and download the toolbar to your computer. "
Let's see how the call by Kerry for his supporters to use the Alexa toolbar affects campaign stats over the next few days.
New on Irregular Tracking: Links
New on Irregular Tracking, the page that generates tracking statistics on presidential contenders that the mainstream media don't follow, we've started using Google to follow the number of links pouring into the candidates' websites. Take a gander and see whether the pattern in web links matches up to the pattern in other statistics...
What the Fuck? A test for John Kerry
A Test for Fucking John Kerry
Bush is fucking up Iraq, he told his aides that he was going to "fuck Saddam," and what does his White House spend its time doing? Criticizing John Kerry for saying "fuck": "Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did."
In the Bush moral universe, reckless foreign policies that end up killing thousands and wasting hundreds of billions of dollars are acceptable. But saying "fuck?" Well, that's just beyond the pale. The White House has demanded that John Kerry apologize for using the word "fuck" (Source: Reuters December 7, 2003)
Attention, John Kerry: this is a test. Will you have the guts to stick it to George W. Bush? Here are a few juicy choices:
1. Why the fuck should I apologize to George W. Bush? He got us into this mess.
2. I'll apologize to George W. Bush for saying the word "fuck" when Bush apologizes to the nation for fucking it up in Iraq.
3. Will I apologize for calling it as I see it? Fuck, no!
There are other options, I'm sure. Or will you apologize for saying "fuck," and turn the political game over to the morally obtuse Republicans?
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