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.

This is Bush. This is Bush on Jobs.
Saturday, March 06, 2004
When George W. Bush tried to back off from the prediction of 2.6 million new jobs he put his signature to, his justification was that "I'm not a statistician." No, but presumably statisticians are on the President's Council of Economic Advisers, which drew up the report. And with a graduate-level degree in business that he supposedly earned, George W. Bush should be able to properly consume if not generate statistical reports. We're left with this unhappy set of alternatives again: either George W. Bush and the President's Council of Economic Advisers are incompetent, or they're inflating their prediction of job growth for political reasons. Neither alternative is a happy one for the nation. (Source: Sacramento Bee, March 5, 2004)

As it is, George W. Bush's rosy scenario for the economy predicted that in 2004, 2.6 million new jobs would be added to the economy. At that rate, 216,666 new jobs will have to be added each month. How does Bush's rosy scenario match with reality so far? Let's pull up the graph:

The gap between Bush and reality is growing.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 7:04 AM. # (permalink)

Vote (and Write) in our new Presidential Preference Poll
Friday, March 05, 2004
For whom are you going to cast your vote in the 2004 Presidential Elections? Or are you not planning to vote at all?

Make your selection in our brand new poll. Of course, the results will be biased because of who visits Irregular Times. But hey, we're curious. And, more importantly, we'd like you to not just note your preference, but justify it. So explain yourself by adding a reply to the poll. Read what others have to say. By gum, we'll have a good ol' civic time of it!

Posted by Matthew Cook at 2:06 PM. # (permalink)

G.I. Denied Health Care
Thursday, March 04, 2004
Stories like this one (GI Denied Health Care After Speaking Out) don't surprise me at all. It's classic human behavior: fear, secrecy, and retaliation. What's new about that? Do you really think the people running the U.S. government right now are somehow above the human condition, or somehow better? Forget it. In fact, we should be grateful Bush, in particular, is held in check by a semi-civilized society, because if he had the power of, say, Stalin, he'd be jailing artists and slaughtering dissidents without a second thought.

Posted by Bob S-K at 9:40 AM. # (permalink)

What's a little death between Bush and Cheney?
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
To be sure, they're Iraqi lives. We are told that this means we should discount them. 143 people killed today in Iraq - that's just a few people shy of the number that was killed in Oklahoma City a few years ago by our own domestic conservative, government-hating terrorists.

When Americans think about Iraq, this number of people killed is just another bombing. What is it for the Iraqis? Our war is coming to a close now, in a year or so, but theirs is just beginning. Thanks to the lack of planning by George W. Bush and his White House aides, Iraq is playing a game of making it up as it goes along, with bombs tossed around like baseballs to knock people out of the game.

This is the result of what George W. Bush's supporters call "moral clarity", but is in reality the morality of a simpleton who cannot understand politics in any way more complex than a fight of good versus evil. The world is too subtle for the man who occupies the Oval Office. How could he have forseen this, when everyone knows that the story was supposed to end with the "Mission Accomplished" banner and the capture of Saddam Hussein, evil vanquished and the heroes going home?

It is time for America to find a new President - someone who knows better than to lead through the simple wisdom of fairy tale battles. There are no white knights and black knights left. We are all now without armor, in the mud, blindly swinging with rusty axes. Smeared with blood, everyone on the battlefield now looks like a monster.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 11:03 AM. # (permalink)

Working for Change Voter Registration Center
Monday, March 01, 2004
I've got a little thing on my mind that I'd like to share with you:


This little link is brought to you by Working for Change, and leads to a 5-step action page through which you can help to make a real difference in this year's election.

So, are you going to participate, or just sit back and complain that you don't have a voice in politics?

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 9:45 AM. # (permalink)

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