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.

The Kerry Debate Challenge: Is Bush Up To It?
Saturday, March 13, 2004
John Kerry has challenged George W. Bush to a series of monthly debates. Kerry says, "Surely, if the attack ads can start now, at least we can agree to start a real discussion about America's future." We say surely, if George W. Bush is in the right on the issues that matter for America, he should have nothing to be afraid of. But to date George W. Bush has refused to agree to these debates. That's telling; yet again, George W. Bush is not up to the challenge. (Source: Associated Press March 13, 2004

Posted by Matthew Cook at 4:34 PM# (permalink)

I've got Secret Evidence I Could Show you If I Wanted to, But I Don't Want to...
"I've got it right here, and I could show it to you if I wanted to, but I don't want to..."

You heard that line on the schoolyard as a kid, didn't you? You knew what it meant then. Listen to it now:

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports the reason why the Canadian government refused to join George W. Bush's war coalition as it had done during the past. It turns out that Jean Chrétien had asked the United States to share the secret intelligence it claimed it had showing that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq. Although the U.S. has shared such evidence with Canada in the past when the need for a coalition existed, George W. Bush refused to show Canada his evidence this time. Canadian officials say they understand why now: "They didn't have any evidence." (Source: Toronto Globe and Mail March 12, 2004)

Posted by Matthew Cook at 4:33 PM. # (permalink)

The Bush Admininstration's Problem With the Truth
Friday, March 12, 2004
Thanks to today's Miami Herald, it has now been revealed that Bush Administration official and former health-industry lobbyist Thomas Scully forbade the top U.S. Medicare cost expert, Richard Foster, from telling legislators that the cost of Bush's Medicare bill would be over $100 Billion more than the Bush Administration was letting on. Scully told Foster he'd be fired if he told the Congress this fact. Scully's explanation for his action? Telling the Congress about the actual cost would have caused a political disruption in the passage of the bill.

When word leaked out that Foster had been told by the Bush Administration to clam up and not inform the Congress of the actual cost of the Medicare Bill, incensed members of Congress called Scully's supervisor in the Bush Administration, Tommy Thompson, to task. Thompson promised the following: "I can assure you that from now [on], the remaining days that I am secretary, you will have as much access as you want to anybody or anything in the department. All you have to do is call me."

So members of Congress asked Thompson to provide a copy of Richard Foster's cost estimates for Medicare. As the weeks passed, that information continued to be withheld. And Richard Foster's superiors continue to forbid him to be interviewed by news organizations picking up the story.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 1:59 PM. # (permalink)

Air America Radio Getting Ready for Broadcast
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Mother Davis perks up her ears as she reports,

The dominance of talk radio by right-wing Republican cranks has come to an end. Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh are old news. Get ready for Air America Radio, a progressive alternative that is going to be up and on the air on March 31!

Air America talk hosts will include:
- Janeane Garofalo
- Chuck D
- Al Franken
- Sam Seder
- Randi Rhodes
- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
- Sue Ellicott

The March 31 launch will take place in San Francisco, WLIB (AM 1190am) in New York City, WNTD (AM 950) in Chicago and KBLA (AM 1580) in Los Angeles. Negotiations are currently taking place for expansion of the network into other cities across the country.

Don't live in or near a major American city? Well, neither do I. Never fear. Air America Radio will offer Internet broadcasts of its shows as well.

Preparing to watch the Republicans get huffy,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 7:31 AM. # (permalink)

Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski Exposes Pentagon Office of Special Plans
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski discusses in an article in the January/February Mother Jones article how it was that she witnessed the purposeful efforts of Pentagon officials to create a case for war even though the available evidence was insufficient in its original context.

She comments, "It wasn't intelligence—it was propaganda. . . they'd take a little bit of intelligence, cherry pick it, make it sound much more exciting, usually by taking it out of context, usually by juxtaposition of two pieces of information that don't belong together."

It's a good read, folks. Depressing, but important information.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 10:45 PM# (permalink)

Hubble Space Telescope Gives Perspective
Mother Davis gazes skyward and advises,

You may not have heard the story yet, but there's a fantastic new photograph from the Hubble Space Telescope. The scientists in charge of the telescope pointed Hubble toward what appears to us to be a dark space in the sky, and then set the lens open for a long exposure. What they found was a little slice of the universe chock full of galaxies of all kinds.

We urge you to go ahead and look at the picture yourself, at the Hubble News Site. Look at all those galaxies and realize how many stars lie in each, in this one small dot in the sky. How many carry life - like ours, unlike ours?

What this really puts in perspective is the loony set of priorities advocated by George W. Bush, who wants to shut the Hubble Space Telescope down. Take a good look at that picture, and wonder how many more Bush will allow us to see.

Groaning at the pseudoscience of President Moonbeam,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 10:13 AM. # (permalink)

The Irregular Growth of Spring
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
If you look on over to the right, you'll see clear evidence that spring fever has hit us here at Irregular Times. We've had a winter time of primary angst, of diving Deans and Anybody But Bushes. Now that the daffodils have pierced the icy crust of ground outside our homes, we can't help but think of how this presidential campaign year reflects upon the state of our garden - unplanted seeds, thawing compost, perennials waiting for a little more light to take the power from their roots up through their stems to gain the sugar of the sun again.

We think that there's a natural confluence between our gardens and our politics, and so we're offering up a collection of spring fever irregular goods, garden-themed bumper stickers, and a t-shirt to wrap it all up. The t-shirt we could call sweat-free, as it's not made in an outsourced foreign sweatshop factory, but we're hoping that as you wear it in your garden this year, you'll add your own sweat to it.

The skies may still be gray, but we must remember that in March are found the beginnings of great things. It's going to be a great year, so grab your hoe and your shovel. It's time to clear the weeds!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 9:09 PM. # (permalink)

Birds in Danger, Bellwether for Us ALL
Monday, March 08, 2004
Not to be alarmist or anything, but


, according to a new report by BirdLife International. Read about it here at the New Zealand News.

What's the big deal about a bunch of silly birds, you might ask. Remember, dear reader, how miners used canaries to test whether the air in a mine was safe.

One eighth of the canaries are dying. Some are dead already. Do you want to walk down further into that mine, or do you think we ought to consider some measures to make the Earth a more livable place for us all?

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 9:49 PM. # (permalink)

Best-Sellers of the Month
Sunday, March 07, 2004
I haven't done this for a while, but I thought it would be fun to look at which of the thousands of Election 2004 bumper stickers we offer are the best sellers. Here are the top twenty:

1. Re-Defeat Bush in 2004
2. Anybody But Bush
3. Anybody But Bush -- rectangular sticker
4. Let's Not Elect Bush in 2004, Either
5. No One Died When Clinton Lied
6. Pro-America, Anti-Bush
7. More Trees, Less Bush
8. Not W Oval Sticker
9. Slash through "Bush" Oval Sticker
10. Time for a Regime Change
11. Veterans for Kerry
12. Lesbians Against Bush
13. Regime Change Begins At Home
14. Regime Change 2004
15. Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism
16. Republicans for Kerry
17. If You Can Read This, You're Not the President
18. Anybody But Bush -- Oval Sticker
19. We're All Wearing the Blue Dress Now
20. Bush-Cheney: Weapons of Mass Deception

What patterns do you see here?

Posted by Theodiclus Lock at 9:04 AM# (permalink)

Once Bitten, Twice Bitten
You know the saying "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me?" Well, George W. Bush has now been fooled by Ahmad Chalabi twice, each time in a big way. In the leadup to war, Bush bought hook, line and sinker a series of "reports" by Chalabi about Hussein's Iraq that just weren't true. After the war, Chalabi assured the Bush Administration he would support an interim Iraqi constitution... then backed out at the last minute. If the United States of America is going to depend on hucksters in developing its foreign policy, then at least... no, no, the lesson is that the United States of America should not depend on hucksters in developing its foreign policy. How many times must he be fooled until Mr. Bush learns his lesson? (Source: Knight-Ridder Newspapers, March 5, 2004)

Posted by Matthew Cook at 8:42 AM. # (permalink)

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