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.
Mission 2005: The Progressive Backup Plan
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Ever since 2000, we've been focused on the need to get George W. Bush out of office in 2004. The problems that America faces are in large part due to the extremist policies of Bush and his cadre of corporate conservatives.
Unfortunately, a new round of state-by-state polling indicates that if the election were held today, George W. Bush would narrowly win the electoral college vote, even though he would lose the popular vote. The electoral college vote is the one that matters in the eyes of the law. So, essentially, we'd have a repeat of 2000 election, and a radical president who will have failed twice to gain a popular mandate for his policies.
In short, disaster is looming. So what do we do?
Yes, we redouble our efforts to carry the election, in the electoral college as well as with the popular vote. Most Americans have already made up their minds about which presidential candidate they support, so our efforts need to be on solidifying the progressive message and keeping progressive morale strong. Reaching out to conservatives just isn't going to work, because conservatives appear to have found plenty of ways to rationalize the Bush Administration's rampant dishonesty, secrecy and corruption.
More than ever, progressives need to start developing a backup plan. We have been so focused on dumping Bush for so long that the momentum we have achieved, in spite of the best efforts of the Democratic Party leadership to keep resistance mute, is in danger of disintegrating into nothing in the wake of a Bush electoral college victory this November.
Progressives need a backup plan of action to put into effect immediately after a Bush victory on Election Day (or during the month afterwards). We can't count on the Democratic Party to give us such a plan - they're too focused on candidacies to build a long-term progressive program. So, we're working on assembling a progressive backup plan that we can launch immediately after Election Day.
In order for this progressive backup plan to work, we need your input. Send us your ideas about what we progressives can do in the wake of a Bush re-election. So long as it's nonviolent, we'll consider it.
Love Mail from George Crofton:
"Bush is a good person and Kerry is totally evil. You are all followers of Satan. The "Demon Crated" Party has brainwashed it's follows. Someday you will face God and you will attempt to hide in shame."
Forget MTV: Free Poets Registers the Vote
Friday, August 27, 2004
MTV says "Rock the Vote," which literally means "Fuck the Vote." Whatever.
Florida indie label Free Poets does one better by Registering the Vote.
In this highly contentious swing state, Free Poets is hosting two upcoming shows at which they'll be giving away a free anti-Bush bumper sticker to everyone who either registers to vote or files a necessary change of address form with their registration. Dance to new music with a message, get yourself registered to boot Bush in November, and walk off the lot with a new sticker to slap on your bumper -- not bad for one night of fun.
Did I mention that the music is really good?
Total Information Awareness -- It's Back! What Will You Do?
Remember Total Information Awareness, that spooky program in which the Government would gather all your information -- from bank accounts, credit histories, insurance, mortgage lenders and other private sources -- to generate a profile of citizens and identify potential terrorist suspects in advance so pre-emptive action could be taken against them before anything actually happened, before anybody ever actually committed any crime whatsoever?
Remember how Americans rose up to say that this invasion of privacy, this government snooping into private business, was unacceptable? Remember how we kept TIA from happening?
Well, it turns out we didn't. The Bush Administration just waited a bit and renamed the program.
Now it's called "Secure Flight." Just as in Total Information Awareness, the Government will gather all your information -- from bank accounts, credit histories, insurance, mortgage lenders and other private sources -- to generate profiles of citizens and identify potential terrorist suspects in advance so pre-emptive action can be taken against these potential suspects?
Gee, JUST LIKE TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS!
Except, of course, it has a different name now. And they've learned that putting an all-seeing eye on top of a pyramid for a logo is a bad public relations move too. That makes it all better.
Where is the hue and cry? Where is the outrage? What are we, SHEEP?
I know you're not a sheep. You're active. You've read George Orwell. You care too much to let George W. Bush and John Ashcroft morph into Big Brother.
So when I give you these links to write your Representative, to write your Senator, to write George W. Bush and to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, you'll take the 15 minutes to do it, right?
The media is gliding by this story in a scary fashion, and the Bush Administration will push this initiative as far as they can take it -- so long as the spotlight is not turned on their efforts to sap American liberty. It's up to us.
Bush Redefines Economic Success
This year, George W. Bush has been running all around the country, telling his supporters that the economy is doing just great.
I wonder what would happen if he tried telling that to one of 1.3 million families who descended into poverty last year. Yeah, that's right - in George W. Bush's "strong economy", increasing numbers of Americans are becoming poor.
If this is Bush's idea of success, I'd hate to see what happens when he fails.
Reason #1452 to Boot Bush
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Reason #1452 to Boot Bush:
If you sat down to play poker with any major figure in the Bush Administration, you'd win hands down. They're all so transparent when they're bluffing, aren't they? The problem is, we're not playing poker. We're playing international relations.
News Flash: Direct Link Between Bush-Cheney Campaign and The Fear and Smear Campaign
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Bloomberg News reports that Benjamin Ginsberg, George W. Bush's re-election campaign lawyer, has been advising the group called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" that has been issuing scurrilous and unsupported allegations against John Kerry.
Ginsberg resigned today.
This is the day after another Bush-Cheney staffer resigned after he APPEARED in a S.B.V.F.T. ad.
It is against the law for campaigns to coordinate with groups like S.B.V.F.T.. Plus, Bush-Cheney has been spending the past week swearing up and down that, gollee, they don't have any connection to that S.B.V.F.T. group. No, none whatsoever!
What a load of cowpuckey.
Reason #1450 to Boot Bush: Even Cheney Disagrees With Him
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Reason #1450 to Boot Bush
How out of the mainstream is George W. Bush? Even Dick Cheney has publicly concluded that George W. Bush is wrong to support a federal amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. But Bush blithely blunders on, heedless to voices of reason even from inside his own party. (Source: Reuters August 24, 2004)
Turncoat Rodney Alexander Stumbles With Republicans
An update of a blog of a couple weeks ago: Turncoat Louisiana Congressman Rodney Alexander had thought that he would guarantee himself an automatic re-election by starting his campaign as a Democrat but then re-registering as a candidate for the Republican Party (just a few minutes before the final deadline for such registration). Sneaky, sneaky Rodney.
Well, it turns out that the people of Louisiana got pretty angry at Alexander, and accused him of trashing democracy so that he could amble through the election with no opponents. A large group of people from Louisiana called Rodney Alexander's traitorous maneuvers to the attention of state authorities, and on August 23, State District Court Judge Allen Edwards ruled that the Louisiana Democrats must be given the opportunity to file the forms for a candidate to replace Alexander.
Judge Edwards described the treachery of Rodney Alexander aptly when he stated, "Mr. Alexander has attempted to subvert the electoral process for his own personal gain."
There is another level of judicial review, but if the ruling of Judge Edwards stands, Rodney Alexander is in a pretty hard way. He doesn't have many contacts among his new party of the Republicans, and he has no friends left among the Democrats.
This morning, clever, clever Rodney Alexander was seen hopping through an intersection in downtown Baton Rouge. It appeared that he had shot himself in the foot.
Are we working for John Kerry?
Monday, August 23, 2004
Mother Davis fills out her W-2 form as she comments,
Last week I had the opportunity to listen to an argument between two members of my state's official Democratic committee (that's the decision-making group of the Democratic Party at the statewide level). The two were arguing over whose subcommittee could take credit for the purchase of 2,000 John Kerry campaign lawn signs.
At the conclusion of the argument, they still could not agree, but one of the two Democrats tried to smooth things over by saying, "Well, let's just remember that we're working for John Kerry. That's what matters."
We're working for John Kerry? I've been thinking about it for a few days now, and boy, I don't remember signing up for that job.
As much as the Democratic Party leadership would like to have us thinking politically backwards, the plain fact is that none of us is working for John Kerry. As a candidate, John Kerry is asking for the privilege of working for us.
I'm getting more than a bit fed up with the leadership model of American politics. The people who support the leadership model try to get us to believe that big, important leaders with a lot of power shape our ideas and dictate the direction in which our nation will go. The beauty of this model is that it's simple, and provides an easy story to tell. That beauty is a sham, however, because a country as big as the United States of America just doesn't work that way.
Those big politicians are our servants, though they'd like us to think that they're our masters. We, the gigantic body of the people, collectively decide which way our nation will go. Politicians are moved by us, not the other way around. They make take credit when the sun rises in the morning, but that doesn't mean they've made it so. Government officials can only take action when the foundation for such action already exists in the population.
I'm willing to consider casting my vote to hire John Kerry as a public servant, but I'm not going to work for him. All of the work that we do here at Irregular Times is for the benefit of our nation as a whole, and we're happy to use politicans as tools of that work. We will never be willing to become their servants, and we will never forget that the small actions of everyday Americans can control the people who call themselves our leaders.
Fertilizing the grass roots,
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