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.

Dissent Returns to America in Force
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Two points in the news today illustrate how dissent is finally recovering from the stomping it has received from the Bush Administration:

1. In New York City alone, over one hundred thousand people have come together to protest the lies that George W. Bush told America to convince the nation to invade Iraq. Across the rest of America and the world, millions of others have gathered in other protests, strongly rejecting the dangerous course of unprovoked warfare against international law that Bush has adopted.

2. The man who held the position of White House anti-terrorism coordinator in the wake of September 11 has revealed that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld planned to attack Iraq even as early as September 11 and September 12, 2001, in spite of the fact that Bush's intelligence advisors informed him clearly that Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:33 PM# (permalink)

George W. Bush in July 2003: "The United States will not waver from its commitment to the cause of democracy and human rights in Burma."

George W. Bush in March 2004: the official Bush campaign website sells clothing made in Burma, where child labor and sexual slavery are rampant and textile laborers earn 7 cents an hour.

John Kerry in 2003 and 2004: the official Kerry campaign website only sells goods made in the USA.

(Source: Washington Post March 20, 2004)

Posted by Matthew Cook at 6:50 AM. # (permalink)

al Qaeda for Bush?
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
So Reuters reports that the Arabic newspaper al-Hayat will release a statement by a wing of al Qaeda tomorrow which says it hopes Bush wins the election and Kerry loses.

The statement addresses Bush personally, saying it hopes he wins in November because it wasn't possible to find someone "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals in matters by force rather than wisdom.... Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization. Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."

In reacting to this piece of news, I found myself doing a triple-take:

1) Oh, come on. This is so obviously an early April Fools' joke. I mean, the author of the supposed Reuters piece is named "Opheera McDoom"?

2) Whoah, there really is a reporter for Reuters named Opheera McDoom. OK, maybe this is real. al Qaeda supports Bush -- y'see? y'see?

3) Well, hang on a minute. If al Qaeda wrote this, then it's clear that al Qaeda is made up of juvenile morons -- which is entirely possible. The text of the statement sounds like some bad movie script, like where the Russian terrorist says "We hate you Americans... and your Freeeeeeeedom!" What posers! I mean they're going to criticize Bush for "dealing with matters by force rather than with wisdom?" Hello, 9/11? Hello, Madrid?

I might feel differently in the morning. But tonight, I'm staying put with my third reaction and elaborating further: this is a stupid statement by a bunch of losers, and violent losers at that. Fuck them. The reason to oppose Bush is not because some terrorists say they like Bush. The problem with Bush is that Bush actually pays attention to terrorists and gives them the limelight, making them appear bigger and more important than they really are. It's not because the terrorists said "we desire Bush to be elected" that Bush is so wrong for the country. Bush is wrong for America because Bush and the terrorists, independent of what these asshole terrorists said, actually do exist in a perverse symbiosis. Bush needs al Qaeda to scare Americans so he can play out his Sheriff fantasy. al Qaeda needs Bush to toss money and lives down the rabbit hole because they could never cause so much death and disruption on their own.

So screw the terrorists and their stupid little message, regardless of the fact that their "al Qaeda for Bush" message might be politically convenient to people like me who like neither group. And screw Bush for doing the dance with the terrorists, with the pair leaving chaos and loss in their wake.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 9:20 PM# (permalink)

Bush Haiku
Bush Haiku from Bluestocking:

I am afraid.
Fake Christian demagogues laughing.
The door is locked.

Send us your Bush Haiku.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 8:44 AM# (permalink)

Join Kerry's Army of Truth Tellers
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry says that he's starting an Army of Truth Tellers, a nationwide group of Americans who will reveal the way in which George W. Bush has misled the nation.

How do you join up? Well, so far there's no link on the John Kerry web site for this Army of Truth Tellers, but we can point you the way to Kerry's Online Action Headquarters, as well as the page where you can sign up to become a volunteer.

Of course, you don't need to wait to get an official invitation to start work on the campaign to boot Bush. You can get started right now, by:
  • Registering to vote
  • Posting a bumper sticker on your car
  • Finding out about the next John Kerry meetup
  • Starting your own presidential campaign club with people you know
  • Talking to your friends, family and coworkers - even those who you suspect of being Republican, explaining why you're voting for Kerry
  • Writing a letter of your own to your local newsletter
  • Sending us your very own reason to boot Bush
  • Putting your two cents in at our Irregular Forum
  • Sending us a Bush haiku to add to our collection

    Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 8:34 AM. # (permalink)

    Another Bush Supporter Shares the Love
    Tuesday, March 16, 2004
    Another Bush supporter is spreading the love in a spirit of constructive civic discourse. writes to say, "Losers !! Bush is fabulous and you idiots are going to lose again !! You bunch of tree-hugger weirdos !!"

    Posted by Matthew Cook at 7:31 PM# (permalink)

    Bush Haiku
    from David G.:

    Are you better off
    Than you were 4 years ago?
    Hmmm. No, not so much.

    Laura committed
    Vehicular Homicide.
    First Lady of Death?

    Clinton advisors
    Warned Bush about Al Qaeda.
    He wouldn't listen.

    300 million
    People to pick from. Is this
    the best we can do?

    Send us your Bush Haiku.

    Posted by Matthew Cook at 1:28 PM# (permalink)

    Donald Rumsfeld is Caught in a Lie, Part Deux
    CNN Late Edition, March 14, 2004:
    WOLF BLITZER: "If the intelligence was wrong, looking back, was it a mistake to go to war at that time instead of giving the U.N. more time to continue their own inspections?

    DONALD RUMSFELD: Well, the U.N. inspectors were not in there. The U.N. inspectors were out."

    CBS News, February 20, 2003:
    "Inside Iraq, U.N. arms inspectors are privately complaining about the quality of U.S. intelligence and accusing the United States of sending them on wild-goose chases.

    CBS News Correspondent Mark Phillips reports the U.N. has been taking a precise inventory of Iraq's al-Samoud 2 missile arsenal, determining how many there are and where they are."

    Does Rumsfeld think we're that stupid, or is Rumsfeld himself profoundly ignorant?

    In either case, we should worry that such a man occupies the office of Secretary of Defense.

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

    Donald Rumsfeld is Caught in a Lie
    Donald Rumsfeld, caught in his WMD lie:

    Watch It Here.

    It's a big file (2.1 M), but it's worth it to watch him stew.

    (Thanks to Atrios for the clip)

    Posted by Matthew Cook at 12:00 PM. # (permalink)

    Republican National Committee Forces Donations
    Monday, March 15, 2004
    Okay, so I just visited the Republican National Committee's web site, where I saw the following paragraph right next to a check box. It read,
    YES! I want to help support President Bush's agenda for a stronger, safer and better America. I also want to do my part to continue our Party's successful grassroots organization for the 2004 elections. Here is my contribution in support of President Bush, the GOP Congress and our candidates.
    The thing I couldn't help notice was that the box next to this paragraph was already checked, and the web site wouldn't let me uncheck it. That's a pretty good metaphor for the way Bush treats working Americans, I think.

    Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 8:26 PM# (permalink)

    Bush's America: Arresting Ministers
    What hath Bush wrought? In the wake of his endorsement of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, ministers have been arrested for performing marriages between same-sex couples. Neither the couples nor the ministers signed civil licenses, but instead simply performed a ceremony.

    As long as no legal documents are signed, isn't it ministers' and couples' own business what they do in their churches? Apparently not.

    When George W. Bush tries to use government power to enforce religious doctrine, the use of government power to arrest religious officials for carrying out legally non-binding marriages should be no surprise. (Source: Associated Press, March 15, 2004)

    Posted by Matthew Cook at 3:23 PM# (permalink)

    The Matrix -- Brought to You Thanks to the Bush Administration
    The Bush Admininstration was stymied in its attempts to foist Total Information Awareness, a program putting your public and private information on a centralized government computer so the government can observe you for patterns in your behavior, on the American people. This you know.

    What you may not know is that since Total Information Awareness was sidelined, a new program started with financial support from the Bush Administration has taken its place. This new program also collects public and private information about you in a computer database so the government can observe you for patterns in your behavior.

    Guess what it's called? That's right -- the Matrix. (Source: New York Times March 14, 2004)

    Posted by Matthew Cook at 7:53 AM. # (permalink)

    New: Anti-Bush, Pro-Kerry, Progressive Decals
    Sunday, March 14, 2004
    People have been telling us for a while that they'd like to put a bumper sticker on their car, but aren't looking forward to the sticky mess. To solve this problem, we've just begun offering progressive window decals -- ones we've made ourselves in that old attic office.

    Each of these transparent 3-inch by 3-inch decals attaches to the inside of your window or windshield via static cling, so it's protected from the elements. The decals are repositionable as well, and come off without any messy residue (George W. Bush has given us enough of that).

    Click here to check out our new set of progressive window decals.

    Posted by Matthew Cook at 3:47 PM. # (permalink)

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