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 20, 2003
 
george w. bush presidential portraitPoor Mr. Bush. He never really wanted to leave the greenhouse. Just wanted to play the role of a sucker off of dear Dad's old growth.

Then, Karl the Roving Political Plantation Manager came along and cut him adrift. You could say that Mr. Bush was planted in over his head. Now he just can't get out of the little terra cotta pot, and they've moved him to the White House, where the light is all wrong and poor Mr. Bush is growing all gangly and twisted. Once perfectly suited to his environment, Mr. Bush has become the National Bonsai.

Let's have some pity, and conserve Mr. Bush compassionately. It's time to return Mr. Bush to the backwoods wilds of Connecticut, where he can do no more harm. Over time, we're confident he'll return to his full, playful shape, overlooking the harbor of Kennebunkport.



Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 1:04 PM. # (permalink)


Bush can't handle the truth
Thursday, December 18, 2003
 
In George Orwell's 1984, a totalitarian regime governs under a series of slogans, including this one: "who controls the past, controls the future." The Ministry of Truth in Orwell's novel employs agents to scan the historical record for facts that would embarassing to the Party, then delete them from the record to avoid such embarassment. The totalitarian Soviet Union employed this tactic often, airbrushing "purged" officials out of old photos.

Taking a page from Orwell and the Soviets, the White House has rewritten its posting of George W. Bush's speech of May 1, 2003, changing the phrase "President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended," to the ever-so-much-more convenient "President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended."

More Soviet-style truth management: The Bush Administration has eliminated all reference to comments made by United States Agency for International Development administrator Andrew S. Natsios. Natsios aided the pro-war pep rally of the Bush Administration by announcing in an interview with Ted Koppel on ABC that the reconstruction of Iraq would only require an investment of $1.7 Billion on the part of the United States, with all other costs to be paid for by other countries. A transcript of this interview was prominently placed on the USAID website during the summer, but now all reference to it has been eliminated.

When confronted with evidence of the elimination of this information from the government database, a USAID spokeswoman requested time to investigate, and then reported back that the information was removed because ABC would have required payment for the government to continue to post it. The trouble with this story is that ABC says not only that nobody from ABC requested payment or the removal of the information, but also that as a matter of policy it would never charge the government for such information. George W. Bush and his apparatchiks just can't handle the truth.

Read all about it in today's Washington Post. Thanks to Dana Milbank for putting the pieces together.


Posted by Matthew Cook at 3:00 PM. # (permalink)



Wednesday, December 17, 2003
 
In ten years, will historians cite George W. Bush for defending America from the nearly invincible armies of Iraq that were amassed on America's borders, ready to attack at any minute?

No, they'll remember George W. Bush as the president who did nothing to stop global warming, which was responsible for tens of thousands of deaths during his first term of office alone.

Folks, global warming is not an impending threat. It's a danger that is here, right now, and it's hurting us, right now. Sure, it's not as good for television as an airplane crashing into a big building, but global warming is in fact more deadly than terrorism, by far.

At Irregular Times, we'll be bringing you a series of information on the growing global warming crisis. For right now, let's start you off with a really great link. It's to the Climate Data page of the World Meteorological Organization, administered by the United Nations.

Step one is to get informed!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 11:45 AM. # (permalink)


Biting my tongue
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
 
I've promised never to say that any of the Democratic Contenders wouldn't make a better President than George W. Bush. I've promised. I've promised. And it's true -- they'd all be an improvement

But I have no compunctions about speaking ill of Democrats who see fit to spend their time and money spreading the message that any of the other Democratic contenders would be worse than George W. Bush.

I'm talking about a new group called "Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values," which is running Democratic advertisements attacking not George W. Bush, but Howard Dean. Their ads use Democratic funds to argue that the frontrunner would be a worse President than George W. Bush. That's right: their advertisements say that "Howard Dean just cannot compete with George Bush on foreign policy." If Dean gets the nomination, their advertisements will have helped re-elect George W. Bush.

These "Bush is better than Dean" Democrats are Edward Feighan, David Jones and Robert Gibbs.

Now, they have the right to say what they want in a free society. But we have a right to speak the truth as well. Let's scarf up a profile of these three gems to see who they might possibly be connected to:

Edward Feighan
Former Democratic Representative, named as one of 22 worst offenders in House "Check Kiting" Scandal (Source: Columbus Dispatch April 17, 1992)
Violated House Rules by using government workers to collect campaign contributions through official Post Office (Washington Times, July 22, 1992)
Address: 15410 Edgewater Dr, Lakewood, OH 44107
Phone: (216) 228-1919
Campaign Contribution Profile:
* 05/16/1997 $1000 to Richard Gephardt
* 04/21/1999 $250 to Democratic National Commitee
* 02/05/2003 $2000 to Richard Gephardt
* 06/17/2003 $2000 to Democratic National Committee

David Jones
Former aide of and fundraiser for Richard Gephardt (Source: Washington Post December 12 and 17, 2003; also reported in FEC records)

Robert Gibbs
Press secretary for John Kerry until November 11, 2003 (Source: Associated Press November 11, 2003)

Contact these creeps by mail:
12700 Lake Avenue, Suite 1607
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Contact these creeps by e-mail:
info@progressivevalues.com

Contact these creeps by phone:
202-285-0587

Use your free speech to let them know exactly what you think of Democratic insiders who spread messages favoring George W. Bush over a Democratic contender.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 7:28 PM# (permalink)


New Meetup: Against Bush
 
On Meetup.com, there are as many candidate-based Meetups as you could wish for. A Clark Meetup. A Kerry Meetup. A Sharpton Meetup. Heck, even a Draft Carter Meetup.

But for those of us who are against Bush more than we are for any particular candidate, there hasn't been a way for us to organize in a way that doesn't focus on (or lately, against) any particular Democratic candidate, but rather works against the candidacy of George W. Bush.

Thankfully, this has been remedied. Click here to check out the Against Bush Meetup, a growing group of people dedicated to meeting on a regular basis to get Bush out of office.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 6:16 AM. # (permalink)


Blackspot: Bogus or Bogus?
Monday, December 15, 2003
 
Blackspot: Bogus or Bogus?

Is Adbusters' Blackspot shoe bogus, or is it bogus?

Exhibit A: a picture of the "Blackspot sneaker" that I wrote about Sunday:


Exhibit B: a picture of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Black Unisex Low Sneaker:


Either Adbusters is having a funny at the expense of the gullible, or it is ripping off the Converse design.

Either way, it's a major bummer. If Adbusters is having a culture-jam funny, then it's at the expense of people (not corporations) like me who really, truly, sincerely would like to see a sweat-free sneaker become available. If Adbusters is ripping off the Converse design in a real campaign for a sweat-free shoe, then clearly it won't get off the ground legally.

Thanks for playing cute with my heart, Adbusters. Thanks for nothing.


Posted by Matthew Cook at 2:52 PM. # (permalink)


Adbusters' New Blackspot Shoe
Sunday, December 14, 2003
 
Adbusters is doing something really nifty, and I'd like to share it with you:

The Blackspot Sneaker.

Yes, adbusters, the folks who sponsor Buy Nothing Day, are advocating that you buy something. But wait, there's more!

Advantage #1: The Blackspot Sneaker will either be made in Missouri or in a union-run shop using fair labor in Asia.

Advantage #2: The Blackspot Sneaker is not branded, except with a spot where a swoosh should be.

Advantage #3: You'll look ever-so cool wearing one. Kind of like a black low-rise Chuck.

Advantage #4: If the Blackspot Sneaker makes any dough, it will be poured back into the Adbusters monkey business operation, which exists to torment big soulless corporations.

Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, we are Santa's elves. Whoops, got off track there. The point is that for the first time in a while, you can buy a sole with soul, without a questionable ethical background, and with proceeds to benefit a nervy muckraking operation.

Interested? Production will begin in early 2004. To learn more about Blackspot Sneakers and how to get your grubby paws on a pair, read the Salon.com article about this outfit and then visit Blackspotsneaker.org yourself.

Of course, knowing snarky snarky Adbusters, this could all be some fictional thing meant to prove some kind of point.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 4:39 PM# (permalink)


Reason #516 to Boot Bush
 
Reason #516 to Boot Bush (from Dr. Theopolis, who I understand may be joining us soon on the Irregular Blog):

When Bush was (more or less) elected in the year 2000, what did the people who voted for him expect him to DO? Think about it. The guy openly confessed he was not a "policy wonk." He didn't really seem too interested in the details of government. He had a long history as a lazy party boy. He was elected to DO NOTHING!

I know that seems strange, but think back to the year 2000. The economy's going great, we're at peace. For a lot of people, it's good times. As the old saying goes, "running a country is like cooking a small fish." Don't keep poking at it, just let it cook. The man was elected to be lazy, get nothing done, and leave well enough alone.

And so it would have been, were it not for the shady entourage. You know the crew--Cheney, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz, Dumbsfeld... And the shady companies that donated big money and wanted something back regardless of the consequences to the country--Enron, Halliburton... They all got their claws into America and screwed it up. They sent our young men and women to die in the sand based on bogus intelligence. They gouged big chunks out of the bill of rights. They detained people indefinitely with no due process, like totalitarian thugs. They messed up our environment, bled our schools dry, and screwed up our tax code. He sucked our budget surplus dry and got us into a deficit spiral again.

The man has let us down on everything--even his implicit promise to the American people to slack off and do nothing once he was elected. Unfortunately for us, he and his creepy crew have done a lot.

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 3:06 PM. # (permalink)




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