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.

Bush Administration: Liars, Incompetent, or Recklessly Belligerent?
Saturday, January 10, 2004

Liars, Incompetent, or Recklessly Belligerent?

Paul O'Neill, who served in the Cabinet as Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush, says that in the first few months of the Bush Administration in 2001, the Bush White House was drawing up plans to invade Iraq using American troops. O'Neill is corroborated by members of the dissident Iraqi National Congress, who say that officials representing the Bush White House contacted them in early 2001 to include them in planning for an American invasion of Iraq.

Part of the early 2001 planning for an invasion of Iraq was the drafting of official planning documents. One of these documents, authored by the Pentagon, is entitled "Foreign Suitors For Iraqi Oilfield Contracts" and describes areas of the country that are suitable for oil exploration. A war for oil? Don't be ridiculous!

The White House is trying to control political damage from the revelations of Paul O'Neill by sending out anonymous "senior administration officials" to say that Paul O'Neill is incompetent even in his area of expertise and therefore can't be trusted to speak competently about the goings-on in the White House when he was there. If such accusations are false, they indicate that the Bush White House is willing to engage in baseless slander to protect itself. If such accusations are true, they mean that George W. Bush put an incompetent man in charge of the U.S. Treasury for two years. Neither possibility inspires confidence in the quality of the Bush administration.

(Source: CBS News January 10, 2004)

Posted by Matthew Cook at 11:54 PM# (permalink)

Mountaintop Mining: Another Bush Assault on the Environment
Bush's attacks on the environment just come 2 fast and 2 furious 2 follow. As if allowing more sewage and arsenic into drinking water weren't enough, Bush now wants to give the green light to polluting watersheds right at the source.

See, up to now there's been this pesky little regulation that prevented coal miners from disturbing land within 100 feet of a stream unless they could prove it wouldn't harm the water quality or reduce the flow of water. But the mining industry wants that regulation overturned so it can do something called "mountaintop mining": blasting away the top of a mountain ridge to reveal a coal deposit, then dumping the waste into mountain streams. And George W. Bush is going to bat for them.

Did an overwhelming flood of letters from ordinary Americans begging to have their pure alpine brooks turned into heaps of mining waste convince Bush that he just had to act? Or is he taking his cue from National Mining Association ( lobbyists?

Congratulations, NMA. The way the administration's towing your line, you may as well be the EPA. I can only plead with you, as I would plead with a monarch, to have mercy on the environment.

And listen up, Bush. You are not my king. And your fatcat lobbyist friends are not my lords. You've got one more year to be their puppet, then we vote you out of office.

(Source, The Guardian, Jan. 7, 2004)

Posted by Doctor Theopolis at 12:38 PM# (permalink)

A Blast from Bush's Own - Blind Man Bush
In a new book, entitled "The Price of Loyalty", George W. Bush's former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill reveals that George W. Bush fails to participate in most Cabinet meetings, but just sits in his chair without saying anything.

Echoing the perspective of other former Bush insiders, O'Neill described a Bush Cabinet that is only able to hold scattered, disorganized meetings, with the major political decisions being made elsewhere, behind closed doors, out of the view of the Bush Administration's cabinet members.

O'Neill refers to George W. Bush in the Cabinet meetings as "a blind man in a roomful of deaf people."

So, the obvious follow up question is: Who the heck is really running America?

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:39 AM. # (permalink)

I'm SOOOO Grateful for the Orange Alert!
Friday, January 09, 2004
Mother Davis stands with her chin jutting out, waving a four-inch high flag as she loudly proclaims,

I am grateful to our wonderful leaders for giving us the gift of an Orange Alert this holiday season. Now that the Orange Alert is officially over, after weeks of delays and alerts and cancellations and secretively vague warnings, the Orange Alert policy has been vindicated!

Why, if we hadn't had that Orange Alert, do you know what would have happened?!?

We would have... We wouldn't have... There would have been a... um... Evildoers might have... It's somewhat possible that... There's no specific evidence to believe anything, but...

Scratching her jutted-out chin,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 4:25 PM# (permalink)

New Report contradicts Bush's Claims about Iraq, WMD and Al Quaeda
No time to be long this morning. Suffice it to say that the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has just released a whiz bang report that can be summarized in the following short excerpt:

"There was no evidence to support the claim that Iraq would have transferred WMD to al-Qaeda and much evidence to counter it"

The full report is out on the Internet, at the Endowment's web site.

We'll be offering additional information and discussion about the report soon. In the meantime, take a read for yourself!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 8:20 AM# (permalink)

New FBI alert: Armed People are All Around Us

New Terror Alert: Be On the Lookout for Armed People in Your Hometown

At a mid-afternoon news conference today, flanked by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, George W. Bush's Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a new terror alert on behalf of the FBI. "Following our warning for citizens and police officers to be on the lookout for people driving with maps or carrying almanacs, we would like to issue a more general call to the public.

"It has come to our attention that in a number of communities across the nation, certain individuals have been sighted with potentially dangerous arms. These arms can be used at will as deadly weapons with little or no modification. The arms in question can be utilized for multiple offensive purposes, making them especially formidable. Do not -- repeat, DO NOT -- attempt to approach these armed individuals, as such armed individuals should be considered extremely dangerous. Instead, individuals carrying such arms on their persons should be reported to local or federal law enforcement officials with diligence and detail.

"For purposes of identifying these armed individuals, we ask law enforcement officers and dutiful citizens to look for the following telltale signs:

  1. Large lumps emerging from below the neck and concealed beneath a shirt, blouse, or coat of some sort, extending in an orientation orthogonal to the dorsal-ventral axis;
  2. Five or ten soft protruberances, typically of no more than five inches in length, located some distance away from the aforementioned large lumps. These protruberances are generally blunt unless augmented, but are capable of being adapted for a number of nefarious purposes;
  3. Sleeves.

"We appreciate the public's cooperation in bringing these potential purveyors of terror to justice. The last thing our country needs right now is for everyone to be unnecessarily scared out of their gourds by evildoers. Let your vigilance be your guide."

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 12:00 AM. # (permalink)

Apple iBook Logic Board Problem exposes illogical cult of Apple
Thursday, January 08, 2004
Mother Davis taps away on her PC as she reflects,

We may now be witnessing the end of the cult of Apple.

I've got a good friend who owns an Apple iBook, and bought one for his wife. For the first four months of his ownership, he taunted me with his iBook's high-concept styling and supposed reliability and graphics power.

Then the iBook's logic board went out on his computer and his wife's as well. It's done so three more times in just a year. Now my friend has joined a group that's organizing a class action lawsuit against Apple, asking simply for replacement computers that work.

Increasingly, Apple users are falling off the bandwagon of the Anti-Microsoft Crusade. Apple denies that there's even a problem, which suggests that they're anticipating going to court. This is hardly the behavior of a pioneering computer company that's out to change the world.

Apple Computer has turned into, or maybe always was, just another big old company trying to cover its butt.

Hey, I know that Microsoft is no great creature.

The point is that the time is up for the worship of computer companies. These computers are great tools that allow us to do great things, but the companies that make them are out to use us as much as we'll let them.

No, Microsoft isn't opening windows for little rays of light. No, Apple does not think different.

Sorry. The dream is over. Now, let's at least find a laptop computer that works.

Tap, tap, tap.
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 10:17 PM# (permalink)

Gary Hart to take on Ben "Turncoat" Campbell
The word is that Gary Hart, former Democratic Senator from Colorado, is planning to take on current Republican Colorado Senator Ben Campbell, commonly known by his constituents as Ben "Turncoat" Campbell. Why "Turncoat"? Senator Campbell is one of a handful of former Democrats who decided to switch to the Republican Party when Newt Gingrich took over Capitol Hill in 1994.

Yes, that's right. Senator Campbell is not only a turncoat, he's an extremist Gingrich Republican. He helped Newt Gingrich shut down the government and lent his support to the effort to impeach Bill Clinton.

Gary Hart, on the other hand, is an intelligent, educated, experienced statesman with a strong progressive record in public service. This is the kind of contest we want to see, because it's the kind of contest that's good for America.

Go on, Mr. Hart. You've got our support.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 1:15 PM. # (permalink)

Propane Dipthong Bitterroot
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Propane Dipthong Bitterroot read the title of a spam e-mail in my mailbox this afternoon. Spammers have taken to combining random words to escape e-mail filters. Is this poetry?

Posted by Matthew Cook at 7:29 PM# (permalink)

Find the Black Bush supporter!
It's that time again! Let's play find the Black Bush supporter!

Posted by Matthew Cook at 12:02 PM# (permalink)

Cheney: God's Representative on Earth?
In today's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof reveals that Dick Cheney's 2003 Christmas card included this quotation: "And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"

Beware a Vice President who thinks God is his ally. The whole "empire" reference in the card is a bit troubling, too. The job of the President and Vice President is to run the country, not rule the world. Most troubling is that Dick Cheney felt comfortable sending out hundreds of Christmas cards with the message that God was his Imperial ally. To root out the moral rot at the base of this hubris, we need to remove the current occupants of the White House.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 9:04 AM. # (permalink)

The Bosses of Bush - Workers Lose Power since 2000
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Mother Davis uses her 5-minute break to say,

In the time since George W. Bush was elected to office, there’s been a fundamental change of direction in American society, one that I haven’t heard any economist, social scientist or professional commentator mention. In the last three years, the meaning of Americans’ work has undergone a 180 degree reversal.

Just think back to the days when Bill Clinton was in office. Back then, the defining idea about work was that ordinary Americans had finally found the power to make their work their own. Americans were beginning to make free choices about their work, including where, when and to what ends they would work. Record numbers of Americans in the 1990s began to work for themselves, ending their wage enslavement to the whims of bosses.

What’s happened since Bush began his occupation of the White House? America has gone back to the days when bosses were kings, ruling the lives of their employees like hungry feudal lords. We’re told when to work, how to work, and we’re told to like it or else. Under Bush, the bosses have regained the power to cut wages, increase hours and wither down the health care packages workers earn. We’re bludgeoned with the hammer of OR ELSE, told that a cruel job is better than no job at all. So, we get busy working at someone else’s job, for someone else’s interests.

What about the independence we workers gained in the 1990s? The Republicans now tell us that our independence was a dream, a manifestation of workers’ “irrational exuberance”. The Republicans tell us to get back in our place, under their heels.

Are you going to vote four more years of that?

Punching back in,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 2:04 PM# (permalink)

The New Evildoers: Latte-Sippers!

The New Evil: Latte-Sippin'!

According to the Washington Times, the pro-Bush Club for Growth is putting an advertisement against Howard Dean on the airwaves starting today.

In the ad, two actors dressed up as farmers lay out their case against Dean:

"Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs."

There are two substantive claims here, that Howard Dean hikes taxes and expands government. These claims are a matter for substantive debate, since they are related to what a President might actually do that affects the country. But they're swamped by the following damning criticisms:

  • Howard Dean drinks lattes!
  • Howard Dean eats sushi!
  • Howard Dean drives a Volvo!
  • Howard Dean reads a newspaper!
  • Howard Dean likes the movies!
  • Howard Dean runs a freak show!

Some of the charges are baseless: according to the Detroit Free Press, Dean owns two Ford Explorers. And until I see a picture of a bearded lady or a fire-eater at a Dean staff meeting, I'll be leery of the freak show claim (although that would make politics a lot more entertaining).

Some of the charges are bigoted: who eats sushi? Furriners, the kids of furriners and the sorts of people who associate with furriners. Who drinks lattes? Young people, more educated people. Clearly youth and education are dangerous things! (I don't drink lattes myself. But one of my best friends is a latte-sipper.)

Some of the charges are just plain stupid: when your own candidate (Bush) admits he doesn't read a newspaper, reminding voters that his opponent actually does read a newspaper might not be a good thing. And last time I checked the box office figures, it seemed to me that a heck of a lot of people like the movies in this country.

What this the text of this ad really shows is the insecurity of Bush supporters. They feel only fleetingly comfortable with criticizing Dean policies, because the majority of Americans agree with them. Being weak on that front, they retreat to attacks on Dean's perceived personal habits: what he drives, what he reads, what he watches, what he drinks, what he eats. They hope to repeat the 2000 Election, when some people decided that although they agreed with Gore they found him just too grating on a personal level. This time, they hope that people will decide that although they agree with Dean they find his lifestyle (or perceptions of his lifestyle) just too tacky.

The Club for Growth must also be reading the polls, which pretty consistently indicate that Dean does as well or better against Bush in a hypothetical matchup than his fellow competitors for the Democratic nomination.

What silliness!

Posted by Matthew Cook at 10:20 AM. # (permalink)

New Book: The Bush Bathroom Reader
Monday, January 05, 2004
The Bush Bathroom Reader bookWe are proud to announce that we have a new book for sale, just in time for the Election 2004 season to really get into gear. The Bush Bathroom Reader is a long series of short pieces, puzzles and lists designed for the place that any piece of literature on George W. Bush belongs: the can. While you, um, sit on your porcelain throne, peruse through 525 Reasons to Boot Bush, decipher top-secret intelligence briefings, play Bush Bingo, fill out Cross-at-Bush-Words puzzles, find your way out of Iraq and ask yourself "Do I hate George W. Bush?" And there's oh-so-much more: kind of like our nation's deficit.

This book is not only suited for your own lavatorial amusement, but also makes a great gift for your favorite person who needs just a little nudge to move away from the dark side of politics.

Read on!

Posted by Matthew Cook at 3:26 PM. # (permalink)

Willie Nelson Defies Conservative Country Establishment
Sunday, January 04, 2004
Our thanks go out to Willie Nelson, who has once again defied the corporate conservative country music elites and actually expressed an opinion that doesn't toe the Republican Party line. In his new song, entitled "What Ever Happened to Peace on Earth?", Nelson questions the way that Americans fell for George W. Bush's lies about Iraq, like a "bewildered herd".

The song, written on Christmas Day, has already been performed in support of the candidacy of Dennis Kucinich. To read the complete lyrics, visit the Willie Nelson web site.

Good for you, Willie. Now let's see how many of those Clear Channel Corporate country music radio stations will actually play the song...

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:50 PM# (permalink)

Coupon Deal at Irregular Goods
For those of you interested in stocking up on anti-war, anti-Bush, pro-Bush Alternative, Heretical, Orange Alert, or Environmental bumper stickers, t-shirts, posters and the like, check this out:

from now until January 16, if you order more than $35 of any of these items at Irregular Goods, we'll take $4 off. No holiday blahdeblah justification for this offer. Just 'cuz.

To make good on the offer, be sure to enter the coupon code ILOVE2004 in the coupon code box when you check out.

P.S. We sell so many things that it may be hard to slog through our regular store if you don't have broadband. If you have a dial-up connection, check out our text-only store.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 11:59 AM. # (permalink)

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