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.

Wyoming Progressive Links Come Online
Saturday, April 24, 2004
As a part of our ongoing Irregular States project, the Wyoming Progressive Resources page is now up online.

People have got the idea that Wyoming's got nothing but conservative cowboys, but that's just Dick Cheney's idea of Wyoming. We don't buy it, and the progressive political resources we've got listed on this new resource page prove it. The lynching of Mathew Shepard is one half of the story - we want to help bring the other half to light.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 5:21 PM. # (permalink)

Puppet Pundits Ponder Perpetual Pseudosovereignty
Friday, April 23, 2004
We brought a pair of puppets together to discuss this week's announcement by the Bush Administration that when it transfers "sovereignty" to an Iraqi government on June 30, the Iraqi government will still not be allowed to control its own military and police, and will not be allowed to pass any laws of its own. Let's see what the puppets have to say on this issue:

Puppet 1: Well, Bush still hasn't even started with any concrete plan to even identify who this government would be, and it's just two months to go! I'm very skeptical.

Puppet 2: That's true, but you also need to take into account that the American military does not yet control all of Iraq. Large cities in Iraq are under the control of what they call "insurgents".

Puppet 1: Good point. Hey, how come we're calling them "insurgents" when they're fighting for control over their own country against a foreign occupying military power?

Puppet 2: Well, I don't know. But hey, we're getting off the topic here. The matter we're supposed to discuss is the transfer of sovereignty to an Iraqi government.

Puppet 1: Okay. So how about we start with a question: What do you call a government that is not allowed to make its own laws, and is forced to allow a foreign country to control its police and military?

Puppet 2: Oh, my gosh, what a difficult question. I don't know!

Puppet 1: I feel that the answer is hiding within me, but I'm not sure that I know either.

Puppet 2: You know what we need to answer this question? We need a larger body to settle the matter. We need a puppet government!

Puppet 1: Yes, yes! Let's get ourselves a puppet government!

Puppet 2: All right, it's agreed, just so long as it can't pass any laws or anything.

Puppet 1: Or control any police or raise an army. Now that's what I call a good puppet government!

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 10:16 AM# (permalink)

Kerry's Critic John O'Neill is a Fraud
Thanks to Daily Kos for breaking the story on the sham critic of John Kerry's Vietnam service.

This fellow John O'Neill claims to be a political independent, and claims to be familiar with John Kerry's Vietnam service because he "was in the same combat unit in Vietnam".

Well, it turns out that O'Neill actually joined that unit two months after John Kerry left it.

It turns out that, far from being a political independent, John O'Neill was personally groomed by Richard Nixon back in the 1960s to serve the Republicans as an attack dog against Veterans for Peace.

It turns out that John O'Neill is the professional partner of George W. Bush's former General Counsel. It turns out that O'Neill served as a law clerk with ultra-conservative William Rehnquist.

It turns out that John O'Neill's story is a fraud.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 8:31 AM. # (permalink)

A New Feature's First Draft: Irregular States (Alabama)
Thursday, April 22, 2004
For some time now, we've been offering progressive political bumper stickers for all fifty states in the USA. But we've decided to go further, and so are proud to announce the launch of the first wee dinghy in what will be a flotilla of progressive resources called...

Irregular States.

The new Irregular States is an information clearinghouse for local political action. We're gathering together links to alternative news sources, movement organizations, local meetups, and progressive messages to make it easier for you to follow that good old dictum, "think globally, act locally."

We've got a first-draft version up and running for the state of Alabama. Please take a gander and tell us what you think! We welcome suggestions for what would make it better.

Posted by Matthew Cook at 11:23 AM# (permalink)

Here we go again: Iran "Will Be Dealt With"
Mother Davis feels a sense of vertigo as the needle on her cringe-o-meter shoots way up upon hearing,

Not content to put soldiers in harm's way in Iraq, it now appears that George W. Bush has designs on smearing his messy hands all over Iran. Yesterday, Bush told a group of reporters that "The development of a nuclear weapon in Iran is intolerable, and a program is intolerable. . . . They will be dealt with, starting through the United Nations."

Oh, what a good idea! (sarcasm, sarcasm) Afghanistan and Iraq are not yet under control, so now Bush's short attention span has shifted to the country that lies sandwiched right between them!

Here's the part of Bush's declaration that really concerns me: it's when he says that Iran "will be dealt with starting through the United Nations." Now what, oh, what comes after dealing with the United Nations, in Bush's mind? That's right: war, rushed bloody war.

Given what we know about Bush's plans to invade Iraq starting as soon as he got into office, it seems entirely plausible to me that Bush already has war plans for invading Iran all drawn up and just waiting to go.

Schedule for the Iran war:
- During the Republican convention, we hear about Iranian fighters crossing the border into Iraq to kill American soldiers. The Iranian government denies it. They are "stonewalling" us and "defying the community of civilized nations".
- August: We are told that Iran could have a nuclear weapon to use against American soldiers within just 10 weeks - why, that's just after America's Election Day!
- September: Bush addresses the United Nations, lecturing the world's ambassador's about the failure of the United Nations weapons inspectors in Iran. Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly "report" on information that the Ayatollahs of Iran routinely feed babies face first into wood-chippers, and tell how, during the Iran-Iraq war, Iran used chemical weapons "against its own people!"
- October: Dick Cheney testifies before Congress, using fuzzy black-and-white photographs to "prove" that Iran has developed an arsenal of biological and chemical weapons disguised as American grandmothers in church hats, an arsenal that could destroy the entire United States within 25 minutes of an order from the Ayatollahs. Nashville releases a new country song entitled, "Have You Forgotten Again?", with the line "We'll stand tall, and not forget how they embarassed Jimmy Carter..." The song is played around the clock on Clear Channel radio stations across the country.
- November: Colin Powell resigns, and Paul Wolfowitz takes his place
- February: Bush and Tony Blair create a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding that the Iraniian Ayatollahs wear miniskirts and lipstick, or prepare to be attacked. Bush and Blair are "disappointed with those who would appease evil" when the resolution fails to pass.
- March: Donald Rumsfeld testifies that invading Iran could be done with just 20 dollars, 40 soldiers, a box of toothpicks and some chewing gum
- April: The invasion begins, and cable television news channel embedded reporters gush about how well the whole thing is going

Imagining that you know how it goes on from there,
Mother Davis

Posted by Katherine Davis at 9:57 AM. # (permalink)

Sweet Idea of the Week: Green Green Lima Bean
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Here's a great idea for a web site if ever I saw one:

Apparently, "Green, green, lima bean" is what George W. Bush calls people who think that environmental issues are important. Well, damn it, I guess that makes me a proud green green lima bean!

I was emailed by the people who have put up on the web, just with a single test page. They're wondering if they'll have the time to take on the project as much as it deserves, and I think it would be a shame if the site were killed, so... here's where you come in...

Take a look at the site, and think about what you would do with it if it were yours. Leave your ideas with us through the comments link at the end of this blog entry, and we'll forward the ideas on to the Green Green Lima Bean people themselves...

Have at it, you lima beans, you! Pinto beans are also perfectly acceptable. In the meantime, we've been inspired to create our own Green Green Lima Bean Pride items - a bumper sticker, a t-shirt, and more to come...

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 7:12 PM. # (permalink)

Irregular Phrase of the Day: Special Tax Favors...
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Today's irregular phrase for use by progressive political campaigns:

They aren't tax cuts for the rich.

They are special tax favors for the rich.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 2:05 PM# (permalink)

Chimpeach Bush
Chimpeach Bush highway sign

Posted by Matthew Cook at 10:35 AM# (permalink)

Oil Deals Grease Bush's Wheels
Netting the news together:

Bob Woodward, who last year gave us a book telling us what great wartime leadership Bush provides America, is now promoting his latest book, which tells us what a lousy wartime leader Bush is.

In any case, in this new book, it is revealed that George W. Bush has conducted secret negotiations to get Saudi Arabia to exert its influence to drop oil prices just before the American Election Day. This was then to be cited as proof that Bush's war and energy policies are working.

Oh, those policies are working all right - just not in America's favor. Remember how, last month, Saudi Arabia actually voted to cut oil production and thus increase oil prices? Do you also remember how the White House and the Saudis couldn't get their stories straight, with the Bush saying that he was fulfilling his campaign promise to push OPEC to reduce prices, and Saudi royal family claiming that they had no such contact with the Bush Administration?

There is a growing accumulation of circumstances that indicate that the Bush Administration has actually been working with the royal family of Saudi Arabia to increase American oil prices!

Oh, it may not be a matter of Bush literally calling Saudi Arabia and saying "Raise prices!" On the other hand, if Bush is telling the Saudi royals to lower prices at the end of October, isn't there an implicit request to keep prices high until then?

We need an investigation. Investigation. Investigation! Of course, the Republicans control the White House, so I expect we'll get nothing but lame explanations and rationalizations.

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 8:44 AM# (permalink)

What They Don't Want You To See
... Thanks to Daily Kos and the Seattle Times:

flag-draped coffin

Posted by Matthew Cook at 6:52 AM. # (permalink)

Ithaca Comes Together to Bake Back the White House!
Monday, April 19, 2004
On Friday, we were excited to find out about the impending MoveOn national bake sale to fund the effort to boot Bush from the White House. We went on down to the nearest event, Bake Back the White House, on the Ithaca Commons, and got five dollars worth of progressive sweets and a whole lot of good information about all the effort people there are going through in order to make an impact on this year's presidential election.

Check out our article about the event for more...

Posted by J. Clifford Cook at 2:59 PM. # (permalink)

Quid Pro Quo?
Sunday, April 18, 2004
From Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, promised President Bush the Saudis would cut oil prices before November to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day, journalist Bob Woodward said in a television interview Sunday" [on 60 Minutes].

Posted by Matthew Cook at 11:18 PM. # (permalink)

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