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.
Catholic Bishops Consult to Help Bush/Cheney Re-election
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Mother Davis crosses herself then takes a swig of brandy as she writes,
The Roman Catholic Church of America has taken another step in its effort to promote the re-election of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Yesterday, American bishops met to issue a statement that politicians who support abortion rights are "cooperating in evil". There was clear support in this statement for those bishops that have declared that politicians like John Kerry should be denied the right to take Communion and live as a practicing Catholic. While the bishops did not explicitly tell American Catholics to vote for Bush/Cheney, the statement that a presidential candidate is "cooperating in evil" is generally taken as an endorsement of that candidate's opponent.
Given the bishops' statement, you'd think that the Catholic Church has only one moral teaching: Abortion is wrong. Go around stealing and lying and killing (so long as it's not a fetus), but don't have an abortion!
The silence of politicians' stances on other moral issues related to public policy is quite telling. The bishops could just as easily draft a statement accusing politicians who support the Iraq war to be "cooperating in evil". They could make a statement about withholding communion from politicians who torture their enemies instead of turning the other cheek. The bishops could also make a long and mighty sermon about politicians who bear false witness (LIE). The bishops have made none of these statements because to do so would harm the re-election campaign of George W. Bush.
It is no coincidence that the bishops' statement against politicians like John Kerry came little more than a week after George W. Bush himself went to Rome and asked a top cardinal there to orchestrate a campaign by American Catholic bishops in support of the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign.
It is also no coincidence that the support of the Bush/Cheney campaign by the American Catholic leadership comes after Bush's stunning moves to funnel taxpayers' money to the Catholic Church through his "faith-based initiatives". In a time when the American Catholic Church is struggling to make ends meet as a result of the scandal of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, the Bush-approved torrent of government money for Catholic Church projects is quite welcome.
The increasing involvement of the American Catholic bishops in Republican political campaigns is just the latest sign that Bush's "faith-based initiatives" are corrupting American religious institutions, turning them from private institutions of ethical motives to semi-public bureaucracies motivated by the smell of pork barrel.
Of course, it is the right of the American Catholic Church to deny Communion to whoever it likes. It is also the right of the bishops to preach against politicians as much as they like. However, it is not the right of the Catholic Church and its representatives to engage in such activities and to retain its tax-exempt status.
Go ahead, ye bishops: Revoke John Kerry's right to engage in Communion. Collaborate Bush/Cheney. Just prepare to pay your taxes at the same time. That's the price of partisan politicking from the pulpit.
Remembering that she didn't want Communion anyway,
Moving to Portland, Maine?
Friday, June 18, 2004
Hey, so I'm idly thinking of moving to Portland, Maine. If you're in the know, tell me what you think of the place. Good points, bad points, any points at all. I'm all ears!
The Pledge of Commitment
As the Fourth of July approaches and flag waving reaches its yearly zenith, we'd like to take a moment to return to an idea of ours from yesteryear: the Pledge of Commitment:
"I pledge commitment to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the freedoms that it protects for all people, citizen and guest, with no restriction for the comfort of the majority."
Read more about the pledge, the other pledge, and the difference between commitment and allegiance here.
Bush: My government is above the law
Mother Davis deputizes the Irregular Times readership, saying,
In the name of generations-old standards of international law and human rights, I hereby deputize the readers of Irregular Times to go out and do all they can (in a non-violent sense, folks) to bring George W. Bush to justice.
This morning we learn that Mr. Bush is trying to get a resolution through the Security Council of the United Nations that would extend a special exemption for his government from prosecution for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan has announced his opposition to the exemption, and so it is unlikely that Bush will receive it. "The blanket exemption is wrong. It is of dubious judicial value and I don't think it should be encouraged by the council," Annan says. "I think it would be unfortunate for one to press for such an exemption, given the prisoner abuse in Iraq. I think in this circumstance it would be unwise to press for an exemption, and it would be even more unwise on the part of the Security Council to grant it."
Well said, Mr. Annan. We find it hard to believe that Mr. Bush is seeking to extend his special exemption from war crimes prosecution out of the blue. It now appears that the initial exemption was sought even as Bush and his top aides were planning a program of torture by American soldiers in foreign countries.
The President of the United States is not above the law. So, if Mr. Bush wants to evade war crimes prosecution in the International Criminal Court, I say that we round him up for his crimes here in the United States.
Prepare your saddles, deputies!
Yodeling a yippie-ty-yai-yo,
Bush: Rumsfeld "Doing a Fabulous Job" - What does that mean?
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been exposed as part of a plot to keep an Iraqi prisoner of the United States military hidden from the Red Cross for over seven months. Rumsfeld has admitted that he himself ordered the prisoner, code-named "Triple X", to be imprisoned without international oversight. The Red Cross is supposed to receive a registry of such prisoners so that it can be sure that the prisoners are treated humanely. The only reason to keep a prisoner secret from the Red Cross for such a long period of time would be to cover up the illegal treatment of the prisoner.
General Taguba has called such concealment of prisoners from the Red Cross as in "violation of international law".
In response to this news about Donald Rumsfeld's involvement in the criminal conspiracy to hold prisoners in secret, George W. Bush said that Rumsfeld is "doing a fabulous job".
So, what is there about committing war crimes that makes Rumsfeld work so "fabulous"?
Well, it just so happens that I have one of those nifty unabridged dictionaries in my office, so I looked the word "fabulous" up. It doesn't mean good. Fabulous means unbelievable.
It's funny how Bush so often uses the word "fabulous" to praise the work of his top aides. It's almost as if Bush planned for his administration to deceive the American people about what's really going on in the war against Iraq. It's almost seeming that way, but we would never make such a claim. After all, Bush is a really fantastic president.
I mean that literally.
Senate Candidate Doris Haddock on Anger, Corruption and the Rising Sun
More than three years ago, on January 20, 2001, I joined thousands in protest as George W. Bush was inaugurated the 43rd President of the United States. It was a cold day that broke into a chilling rain as Mr. Bush prepared to occupy the White House, but I remember being hot with righteous anger as I emerged from the DC Metro at Dupont Circle to hoist my sign in furious dissent.
Most of the speakers at Dupont Circle that day stoked the crowd's fury, reminding us of the particular slings and arrows of the Florida election debacle. At the moment of our highest collective dudgeon, Doris Haddock took the stage. Popularly known as Granny D, and currently running as a candidate for Senate in 2004, Haddock refused to merely validate our anger. Instead, she employed rhetoric in the most civic sense, seeking to temper our anger with strategic assessment and pulling us out of the missed opportunities of the 2000 election to refocus us on a task we could yet accomplish.
I was fortunate enough to record her speech that day, and on the occasion of her decision to run for the office of Senator from New Hampshire, I am proud to share with you the words she spoke that day.
Update on Granny D.
At noon today, Granny D - Doris Haddock made a formal announcement of her campaign as a Democrat for the United States Senate. She has also launched her campaign web site, although it's just in the initial stages of design. You will soon be able to find out more at HaddockForSenate.org.
We encourage all our readers to get involved with this campaign, whether or not they live in New Hampshire. It proves to be the most exciting campaign for the U.S. Senate this year.
Reason #1201 to Boot Bush: Stop the Secret Police
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Reason #1201 to Boot Bush:
In a climate tolerant of authoritarian abuse, intelligence agents of the United States Army asserted the right (and succeeded in their effort earlier this year) to question students at the University of Texas who were asking "suspicious" questions at a conference there on Islamic law.
The response of any sane presidential administration would be to condemn such dangerous expansion of Army power into surveillance of and control over citizens' lives. Haven't there been enough brutal dictatorships to show us the folly of that path?
The Bush administration, of course, did not follow the path of sanity. Instead, it responded by slipping language into a Senate bill that would give Military Intelligence sweeping new authority to watch over and intervene in the lives of law-abiding citizens right here in the United States. (Source: Newsweek June 21, 2004)
Click here to read our other 1,200 reasons to give Bush the Boot this November.
Sometimes a movement gets so wrapped up in itself that it starts putting out some really absurd messages. So it is this morning with International ANSWER, a coalition that seeks to end, um, things it doesn't like.
The subject line in a recent email they sent to me:Support daycare workers, Summer of Protest & Resistance
That'll show those hegemonic toddlers!
Another Voice of Reasoned, Civil Conservatism
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
In our inbox, another voice of reasoned, civil conservatism:
"JUST FACE IT... BUSH WILL WIN IN 2004,,, ;) SO MAKE YOUR LIBERAL STICKERS THAT WILL NOT EVEN SERVE A PURPOSE.... AND MOVE OUT OF MY FREAKING COUNTRY YOU TREE HUGGING BASTARDS!!!!"
Wierd Day, Great News!
Mother Davis feels young and chipper as she relates the following strange and joyous news:
In New Hampshire on Friday, Burt Cohen suddenly withdrew from the race to unseat Republican Senator Judd Gregg. It appears that Cohen's campaign manager had been cooking the books, and skedaddled out of town with $200,000 in campaign money. It looked like a rotten Republican Senator was about to get a free ride for another six year term in office. There were only hours left for another candidate to file to take on Gregg.
Then, things got even worse. Two Republican vultures, Dick Bosa and Katherine Houston switched their official voter registration status that morning so that they could run as Democrats. Heck, Dick Bosa wasn't even from New Hampshire. He was from Texas. The other phony Democrat, Katherine Houston, showed up at the State Capitol carrying a suitcase and refusing to tell anywhere what the suitcase was for. Odd birds, these vultures.
Just then, a ray of sunshine burst upon the Granite State. Doris Haddock, popularly known as Granny D, marched into the State Capitol building and announced that she, a true Democrat, legally registered and a resident of New Hampshire, was filing papers to run for the United States Senate against Judd Greg.
The Republican vultures, Bosa and Houston, screeched in agony as it was announced that their attempts to begin fake candidacies would be disqualified, as neither had re-registered as Democrats in time. Granny D's paperwork was all legitimate, however, and so now, Granny D is running a very strong challenge to take one of New Hampshire's seat in the U.S. Senate away from the Republicans.
Go go Granny D!
Giving you the link to Granny D's web site, and a link to a place to get Granny D for Senate bumper stickers,
Bush Administration: Food Stamps are "The Easy Way Out"
Reason #1199 to Boot Bush:
The number of people visiting food banks in Ohio has increased during each year of George W. Bush's administration. Also on the rise in Ohio is enrollment in the food stamp program. Eric Bost, tapped by George W. Bush to run federal food programs for the poor, says that the rise is "due to people taking the easy way out." Bost's attitude underlines the lack not only of compassion but of basic understanding in the Bush Administration of how hard it has become to get by. (Source: Associated Press June 6, 2004)
Why do the terrorists hate America?
Monday, June 14, 2004
George W. Bush says that the "insurgents" in Iraq hate America "because they hate freedom."
We have an alternative explanation.
The following statement comes from American military intelligence interrogator John Harold Ketzer, who asked a colleague of his why he was repeatedly taking two Iraqi prisoners and cornering them with unmuzzled attack dogs until they screamed for mercy: "When I asked what was going on in the cell, the handler stated that he was just scaring them, and that he and another of the handlers was having a contest to see how many detainees they could get to urinate on themselves."
Why do they hate us? They hate us because this is not an isolated incident.
(Source: BBC News)
Good Lieutenant General Sanchez Covered It Up
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Who, is Triple X?
Calm down, Triple X has nothing to do with pornography. It's even dirtier than that.
Triple X the military code name for the prisoner at Abu Ghraib that Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez ordered to be hidden from human rights inspectors coming in from the Red Cross.
Now why, oh why, would the Sanchez want human rights inspectors from the Red Cross not to find out about a particular prisoner? What would motivate Sanchez to go so far as order that prisoner to be hidden away?
Surely, it couldn't be that Lieutenant General Sanchez knew about the torture of prisoners all along, and was trying to cover it up. It couldn't be that, because the Bush Administration says that the torture problem was an "isolated incident" conducted by just a few "rogue" soldiers who weren't following orders from above.
Yes, I'm a patriotic American, so I'll believe George W. Bush on this one. The only explanation I can come up with for hiding Triple X, then, is that Lieutenant General Sanchez is fond of playing hide and seek. What a gentle soul!
Return to the Irregular Times Main Page
Read our Blog Archives