Philip Greenspan (1926-2008)










It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.
--Abraham Lincoln in a letter to William F. Elkins, Nov 21st, 1864

[Ed. This quote appears to be a forgery.]

[Pic: Philip Greenspan]

Philip Greenspan was born in 1926 and was a goody-good boy at home, a dedicated student at school, an oddball at sports, a sad-sack in the army, and a workaholic at the office. A US Army veteran (World War II), Greenspan graduated from Brooklyn Law School, became a member of the New York bar, went into private law practice, and worked in the motion picture industry as well as distribution, exhibition and data processing industry. He retired in 1995. Since then, knowing old geezers are granted greater tolerance for irrational behavior, to his great delight, he became an eccentric, an iconoclast and a curmudgeon, as well as an ardent peace & justice activist. He heartily recommended eccentricity, 'iconoclasticity' and 'curmudgeonicity' for happy and healthy living.

Phil passed away on February 20, 2008, from cancer that spread to his bones and took his life in just about four weeks. Please read Jan Baughman's words about Phil, and Swans publisher's tribute to this exceptional man.

He was a bedrock of Swans from the day of his very first column in June 2001 to his last on January 14, 2008, which was fittingly entitled "The Secret Ingredient Of Activism: Mutual Support." May his 129 columns, essays, and rants listed below with a short description for each be a living memory to the extraordinary human being Philip Greenspan was.


In Memoriam


•  The Secret Ingredient Of Activism: Mutual Support (Jan. 2008):  As veteran protestor George Houser stated, mutual support among antiwar activists, in the face of government and media obstruction, is key to the movement's success.

•  No Beauty Will Win The Beauty Contest (Jan. 2008):  The endless 2008 US presidential election coverage leads the public to believe that change is in their control, yet the establishment will ensure that the existing political system remains unless popular conflagration demands otherwise.

•  The USA Of 2007: A Sinking Ship Of State (Dec. 2007):  A review of the important news stories impacting American politics and economy that did not get the main media attention they deserved in 2007.

•  Where Are The Open Unprejudiced Minds? (Dec. 2007):  Alternative-media documentaries cover issues not touched by the popular press; one of the most misrepresented topics is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and showcasing these films can help expose the mainstream media's propaganda.

•  The Home Court Advantage (Nov. 2007):  Statistical analyses reveal the home court advantage in sports, and a historical perspective shows that this pertains to war, suggesting that America's conquests are fighting a losing battle, while troop mutiny is on the rise.

•  Will Hollywood Films Ride To The Rescue? (Nov. 2007):  A review of antiwar films not touched by the mainstream media, including In the Valley of Elah, Rendition, Stop Loss, and Meeting Resistance.

•  Après Bush! Le Déluge? (Oct. 2007):  A look at the potential consequences on an American strike against Iran, and where the US presidential candidates -- Republican and Democratic alike -- stand on the matter.

•  Do Protests Make A Difference? (Oct. 2007):  A tireless antiwar activist reminds us why our individual efforts do make a difference; in the words of Frederick Douglass, "power concedes nothing without a demand."

•  The Immigration Problem (Sept. 2007):  The U.S. was built upon the encouragement of immigration, but the welcoming beacon of the Statue of Liberty has been replaced by a Keep Out sign to the now-dehumanized immigrants seeking refuge from their economies that America is exploiting.

•  Who Are Your Enemies? (Sept. 2007):  You and I have neither vital interests nor natural enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Iran -- it is the power elite, with their private interests, that profit from endless war.

•  Is This Not Genocide? (Aug. 2007):  Ilan Pappé's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine is to Israel and the 1948 war of independence what the Pentagon Papers were to the U.S. and the Vietnam War.

•  Fiddling During The Conflagration (Aug. 2007):  The author responds to Gilles d'Aymery's The Establishment's Tocsin, proposing that the Establishment is indeed happy with the Bush administration's actions, particularly the expanding war.

•  Often An Essential Business Practice (July 2007):  The author and activist looks back on the 1930 American elites' desired coup against Franklin Roosevelt and its would-be leader, retired general Smedley Butler.

•  Condemn That Contemptible Constitution (July 2007):  In defense of scrapping the US Constitution, Greenspan compares it to the Universal Declarations of Human Rights, under which people would be empowered to dethrone the elite and impacting policy decisions.

•  The Education Route To Con Hearts And Minds (July 2007):  The modern US education system is designed to create compliant, obedient workers and new generations of consumers rather than independent thinkers, so do not expect reform from the power elite any time soon.

•  The Founding Fathers' Fraud (June 2007):  Contrary to the mythology of democracy, America's Founding Fathers represented the power elite, not the power of the people, and they would be very proud of the ongoing dismantling of the Bill of Rights and the return to a highly centralized government.

•  The Politicians Cannot Prevent An Unsatisfactory End (June 2007):  One success story of antiwar activists' perseverance is their pressure on the School of the Americas (aka School of Assassins) and the resulting refusal of some Latin American countries -- Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay to date -- to send their officers for training.

•  Locate A Lecture: Look, Listen, Learn (May 2007):  Progressives need to act locally and support speakers on the lecture circuit, such as the founder of the non-violent activist Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Jeff Halpern.

•  Report From A Chávez Fan Club (May 2007):  A look at Venezuelan life and politics through the eyes of the poor instead of the media's spin: on Charles Hardy's lectures and latest book, Cowboy in Caracas.

•  Suspicious Scenarios + Logical Explanations = Nuts (April 2007):  Conspiracy: A secret plan by two or more individuals to achieve an illegal outcome. Do decades of regime change, war profiteering, price gouging, and witch-hunts point to the US government and big business's plan for global control?

•  A Cornucopia Of Reality Via The Video (April 2007):  Antiwar activist Philip Greenspan recommends several documentaries, including John Pilger's The New Rulers of the World and Ward Churchill's Perpetual War: State Sponsored Terrorism & the Limits of Academic Dissent.

•  No Excuse For Inaction (March 2007):  Broken bones won't stop this determined antiwar activist who heeds the words of Dante Alighieri: The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain neutrality in times of moral crisis.

•  Consent Of The Governed (March 2007):  Citizens have ousted their governments throughout history, and if Americans want a change in direction then they must take action sooner rather than later.

•  The Impossible Takes . . . (Feb. 2007):  In an era characterized by an endless series of problems, Black History Month celebrates two men who never gave up on their principles in the face of adversity -- and succeeded: film maker Melvin Van Peebles, and the wrongly convicted Darryl Hunt, who was released on DNA evidence after 20 years in prison.

•  Beware Of Those Desperate Hawks (Feb. 2007):  Israel's standing in the world is a public relations challenge, having been ranked last across six areas of national competence in a global poll.

•  Another Neocon Disaster Awaits (Jan. 2007):  The U.S. is setting the stage to attack it's latest Hitler stand-in, President Ahmadinejad of Iran, which could cripple world economies if Iran stops production and shipment of oil.

•  When And How Might It End? (Jan. 2007):  While another escalation of the war on Iraq is looming, troop morale is declining, support for the war and the president is dropping -- and defense companies' stock prices are soaring, it is fundamental that the anti-war protests continue.

•  What Happens To The Decent Kids Who Enlist (Jan. 2007):  The creation of American soldiers through increasingly dehumanizing indoctrination and ever-more technical training has, over the wars, resulted in greater kill rates, the latest of which may create an Iraq Syndrome far overshadowing the Vietnam Syndrome.

•  The Year The Obvious Was Acknowledged (Dec. 2006):  2006 may prove to be the defining moment in which the Unites States is no longer the leader of the free world, whether socially, economically, or politically, but it's pro-war policies will remain.

•  A Complex Education For Misery (Dec. 2006):  The glamorization of the military, with the support of (and profit to) the military-industrial complex, brainwashes individuals to join the rank and file -- will conscientious whistle blowers have an effect on exposing the inside truth?

•  Consequences Of A Domestic And A Foreign Election (Nov. 2006):  What neither the Democrats not the Republicans will admit: there is no exit strategy for Iraq, but a plan for a permanent military presence in the oil-rich area.

•  Has Fascism Arrived In The U.S.? (Nov. 2006):  The emergence of labelling terrorists as "fascists" prompted Philip Greenspan to review the history and definition of fascism, and to conclude where the label truly applies.

•  Election 2006: Delivering More of the Same (Oct. 2006):  Democrats and Republicans alike are controlled by the corporate elite, so expect no change in foreign policy if the Democrats regain control of Congress in the 2006 mid-term elections.

•  Blowback From Shock And Awe (Sept. 2006):  Wars past and present teach that Giulio Douhet's theory on victory by air power, more commonly known as "shock and awe" and used by the U.S. and Israel, does not stop war, but rather adds fuel to the fire.

•  Who Wins, Who Loses (August 2006):  War profiteering is an American tradition, yet while the elite individuals from Prescott Bush to Dick Cheney and corporations from Standard Oil to Halliburton thrive, the mention of class differences and the price paid by the masses remains taboo.

•  "Realities" In B Flat (August 2006):  A look at authentic realities compared to the created realities in Israel's role and existence in the Middle East.

•  What Do The US Enemies Want? (July 2006):  The U.S. has created a new type of colonialism and, along with it, resentment toward the country that has nothing to do with its 'freedoms.' Case in point, Bin Laden's 1998 fatwa.

•  Singing Off Key In The Choir (July 2006):  Calls to impeach president Bush ignore the fact that there is nothing that he has done that has not been done by past US presidents. To really effect change it is the system that equates wealth with power that must be junked!

•  Making Those Responsible Pay A Price (June 2006):  Requiring a time and cost contract from the proponents of war, with punishment clauses in the form of proportional death and prison time for cost and casualty overruns, would prevent future wars from being implemented.

•  Johnnies-Come-Lately To Dissent (June 2006):  Summary of famous contemporary whistleblowers -- many don't reveal their secrets until long after the danger of retaliation has passed, and the current Supreme Court ruling that scales back protection of government employee's wont help.

•  Can The Status Be Un-Quo'ed? (May 2006):  When will a major protest erupt against the Bush administration's undoing of the economic reforms of the New Deal and the social reforms of the 1960s?

•  A Review Of Prior Thoughts (May 2006):  On the tenth anniversary of Swans, Philip Greenspan recounts his discovery of the Website during the war on Yugoslavia and his inspiration to write on this and other matters, with observations on the growth of Swans during that time.

•  Is The Israel Lobby Effective? (April 2006):  A critique of Noam Chomsky and Joseph Massad's response to "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy" by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.

•  Public Access TV Can Fill The Void (April 2006):  With the American corporate media working hand-in-hand with the government, one must turn to alternate sources, such as public access television and Websites like, for trustworthy news and analysis.

•  Who's The Enemy? (March 2006):  The real enemies of the American public and its Armed Forces are the ruling elite, who serve the interest of their kind, and not those of the people who elect them.

•  Rhetoric And Reality: Democracy And Hypocrisy (March 2006):  Promoting the self-serving politics of the ruling elite in the name of democracy, better known as hypocrisy.

•  Eat, Drink And Be Merry, For Tomorrow . . . (February 2006):  The evolution of greed and the self-destruction of the so-called higher level species -- Homo sapiens.

•  Continuing Israeli-Palestinian Historical Trends (February 2006):  An analysis of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how to avoid repetition of history in the form of intifada number three.

•  Are US Citizens As Gullible As The "Good Germans" Were? (January 2006):  From Pearl Harbor to the War on Iraq, and in spite of all the US administrations' past dirty linen, the public refuses to believe that any one of the presidential bums might be implicated in a scandal that capitalized on the violent death of American citizens!

•  Norman Finkelstein In The Cross Hairs (January 2006):  The widespread silencing of Norman Finkelstein, whose writings shatter the myths of the Zionists, may be a sign that he is considered effective and influential.

•  Pearl Harbor vs. 9/11 (January 2006):  Compare and contrast the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center, subsequent US military action, and the respective leaders that led the war efforts.

•  2005 And Its Possible Impact (December 2005):  The influential players of 2005 -- Mother Nature, John Murtha, Patrick Fitzgerald, Hugo Chavez, Cindy Sheehan, and Amir Peretz.

•  Better Dead Than... (December 2005):  What happens when a nation overextends its resources and neglects its citizens? America should heed the lessons from the former USSR.

•  How Much Longer Will The War Last (November 2005):  With the problems that are brewing within the military and within the Bush administration, how much longer will the war in Iraq last?

•  Democracy, Let's Bring It Here (November 2005):  How to reinvent the US Constitution and government as a true democracy that protects the rights of the people and not just the priveleged.

•  Crisis: Depravity Of The Leaders, Obedience Of The Citizens (October 2005):  From Nazi Germany to Abu Ghraib: America is in a crisis of criminality of herleaders and the obedience of her citizens. (This essay is part of a Special Issue focused on answering the questions, "What have we come to? Who are we? And what do we stand for?" -- published on October 24, 2005.)

•  Katrina: A Missed uh Messed Opportunity For Bush (September 2005):  God's agent, George W. Bush, is becoming an emperor with no clothes with the calamities of Iraq and the Gulf states.

•  The Declining Sole Superpower (September 2005):  An assessment of America's scorecard in its "War on Terror," as it sinks from superpower to Third World country.

•  A New Kind of Warfare (August 2005):  How America distinguishes between terrorism, war, and crime, based on its political agenda.

•  Blowback From The A-Bombs (August 2005):  Perpetuating America's battlefield laboratories, where deadly agents, from the Atomic bomb to depleted uranium, are tested without justification or accountability.

•  An Iconoclast's View How It All Works (July 2005):  The ruling corporate elite and the governments and media that enforce their agenda.

•  Prelude To A Military Disengagement (July 2005):  Will there be a Vietnam-like mutiny against the war in Iraq, or a return to the military draft?

•  Effective And Not So Effective Side Effects (June 2005):  The consequences of major wars produce unexpected side effects that may overshadow the belligerents' initial objectives.

•  Have The Meanings Of Words Been Hijacked? (June 2005):  US propaganda and the redefinition of words to suit its agenda, from democracy and free elections to communism and terrorism.

•  Penetrating The Closed Mind With The Truth (May 2005):  Chipping away at the facade of lies in the Bush administration's version of the news.

•  Will The Withering Shrub Recover? (May 2005):  Can the Bush administration change the inertia of negative momentum, and if so, to what might it resort?

•  Deliberate Misstatements Of Anti-Semitism Are Counterproductive (April 2005):  The counterproductive tactics of ad hominem attacks of anti-Semitism on critics of Israel.

•  The Dream That Turned Into A Nightmare (April 2005):  Israel as failure to world Jewry and the world at large.

•  Scores for Wars: Where Have Wars Taken The U.S.? (March 2005):  An overview of America's wars, which have systematically resulted in more harm than good.

•  Side Effects Of Perverted Brains (March 2005):  The side effects of evolutionary survival traits in modern man -- deception, greed, war -- could render this earth uninhabitable.

•  A Comparison Of Three Wartime Leaders (Feb. 2005):  An overview of the similarities and differences between Franklin Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush and their political environments.

•  Put "-ocracy" On The Proper Prefix (Feb. 2005):  Replacing the notion of 'democracy' with words that truly reflect America's power system and political exports.

•  Excessive Demands Will Exceed Capabilities (Jan. 2005):  With support declining and problems arising, to what ends will the neo-cons go to further their agenda?

•  Let's Hear It for the Lyricists (Jan. 2005):  Singing the praises of the lyricists of the golden eral of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and the like.

•  2004: The Superpower Kept Sinking (Dec. 2004):  2004: A year of accelerated U.S. deterioration.

•  Blowback For The Bigots (Nov. 2004):  Defending freedom of speech, protecting a Palestinian art exhibit and bridging the gap between Palestinian and Jewish communities.

•  "Voting" with the Non-Voters (Nov. 2004):  Mandate, what mandate? Non-voters once again proved the majority and outnumbered the winning candidate's votes in the 2004 US presidential election.

•  Why Vote? (Oct. 2004):  A sound analysis of voting patterns in the USA. Indeed, why vote?

•  Transforming Reality Into Mythology (Oct. 2004):  An objective exercise of rating US presidents reveals a surprising winner of 'worst' -- Abraham Lincoln.

•  The Continual Election Winner (Sept. 2004):  The non-voters in America are merely a creation of the system designed by the Founding Fathers to keep the elite in power.

•  Hooray For The DIS-es -- The DISobedient And DISsenters (Sept. 2004):  Without disobedience and dissent, the War on Iraq and its atrocities will prove to be just another in the bloody history of Nazi death camps, the firebombing of Tokyo and countless other examples of destruction wreaked by loyal obedient conformists.

•  Sharon, Israel, And Anti-Semitism (Aug. 2004):  How Zionism uses anti-Semitism to its own self-interests, and further dispossesses Palestinians from their lands.

•  Dubya's Elixir: Bigger And Brighter Same Old Crap (Aug. 2004):  A look at the marketing of "compassionate conservatism" by the elite, and its deleterious impact on the public.

•  Legislative Process In The US Two-Party System (July 2004):  The practical face of democracy in the land of the free and the home of the brave: Tweedledee-Tweedledum!

•  ABB a.k.a. America's Bizarre Bunko (July 2004):  Why "ABB" merely equates to "America's Bizarre Bunko."

•  Uncle Sam, The Bullshit Virtuoso (June 2004):  A look at the true legacy of Uncle Sam, Bullshit Virtuoso.

•  Latest Epidemic: Gas Pain Syndrome! (June 2004):  The politics of oil, supply and demand, and the rising price of gasoline.

•  A Cancer In The Military (May 2004):  The inability to control the troops; a recurring story leading to the collapse of the armed forces.

•  I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be A Soldier (May 2004):  There'd be no war today if mothers would all say, "I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier."

•  Law And Order (April 2004):  The meaning of "law and order" relates to power and control, and should not be confused with "justice."

•  Who Will It Be: Coke, Pepsi Or 7-Up? (April 2004):  The pseudo-issues and the watered-down candidates in the 2004 US presidential election -- which soft drink do you prefer?

•  Spaniards Get The Message (March 2004):  Understanding the legitimate complaints of terrorist organizations and finding peaceful solutions.

•  The Good Germans (Nazi Era)
And The Good Americans (Today)
(March 2004):  The United States' complicity in criminal acts and the behavior patterns that allow it.

•  It Wasn't Saddam, And It Ain't Bush! (March 2004):  Getting rid of one man, whether Saddam Hussein or George W. Bush, will not change a country's politics.

•  Successes For The 'Dummies' (Feb. 2004):  Once upon a time there were 'real' dummies. Nowadays only dummies prevail.

•  A Plethora Of 'Road Maps' (Jan. 2004):  Mass control, news manipulation: If you have a lousy map you'll get lousy results!

•  How Elites Employ Governments To Justify Their Crimes (Oct. 2003):  An examination of how government policy and the masses are controlled by the elite.

•  Super Deluxe Rip-Offs By The Most Distinguished (Oct. 2003):  Violations of the public trust through repetitive scandals led by the elites.

•  Where Are The Democracies? (Sept. 2003):  America's government of, by and for the plutocracy.

•  A Genocide Museum For The U.S. (Sept. 2003):  There are many Holocaust museums in the USA but not one regarding the historical genocide of the Native Americans.

•  Broken Promises Of World War II (Aug. 2003):  Two of the Atlantic Charter's Four Freedoms that continue to elude us: freedom from want and freedom from fear.

•  The Irrational Fear Of A Violent Death (Aug. 2003):  Government and media propagation of irrational fears and paranoia.

•  Whether The Superpower Forecast Is Stall And Fall (July 2003):  The weakening dollar and collapse of America's financial strength.

•  Founding Father's Formula Fulfilled (July 2003):  America's Founding Fathers: creators of democracy or plutocracy?

•  Historical Amnesia Perverts Comparisons (June 2003):  Make no comparison between George W. Bush and the true statesmen of the WWII era.

•  An Awful Lawful World: Who Wins, Who Loses (May 2003):  The US anti-war movement from the nineteenth century to today.

•  Curing The Pro-War Pandemic (May 2003):  The US anti-war movement from the nineteenth century to today.

•  Keep Protesting (Apr. 2003):  Anti-war protests must continue and all upcoming foreign adventures should be challenged.

•  Will The Favorite Go The Distance? (Apr. 2003):  America's War on Terrorism and lessons from Vietnam.

•  Revolutionary Historical Phenomena Unfold (March 2003):  World-wide opposition to the US war on Iraq and the US form of 'democracy.'

•  Some Thoughts About Lying (March 2003):  The individual, group, media and government lying and the quest for war on Iraq.

•  Making the World Safe for Oilgarchy (March 2003):  The shenanigans of the US oil industry and US interests explained with humor.

•  The Evolution Of Slavery (Feb. 2003):  Slavery has not been abolished -- it still exists today, in the form of Capitalism.

•  An Unjust Justice System (Feb. 2003):  A lawyer's take on 'Law and Order,' an important principle for maintaining an elite-approved society.

•  Dividends From A Patriotic Investment (Jan. 2003):  A 'patriotic' investment in war generates dividends of death, destruction and misery to the poor souls who are caught in its web.

•  From Kings to Corps: Futile-ism to Crapitalism (Jan. 2003):  Boss men through history: The power behind the corporations and the government.

•  A Fading Vision Of The USA (Dec. 2002):  US Foreign Policy Under Fire: 2002 review.

•  Pity The Poor Iraqi (Dec. 2002):  How Saddam Hussein went from darling of the US to its Number One Enemy.

•  The War Against Dissenters (Oct. 2002):  The USA PATRIOT Act and the government's suppression of dissent to enable war.

•  State of Mind Maladies: Enron and Dubya (Oct. 2002):  From the Enron state of mind to the Bush state of mind and the overall decay of the United States.

•  Iraq: Democracy Because I Say So (Sep. 2002):  Uncle Sam knows what's best for the world: democracy American style.

•  A Formula For The Future (Aug. 2002):  A look at George W. Bush's decision-making process on whether to go to war on Iraq.

•  Seeing 3 C's in the Caribbean Sea Castro, Cuba and Communism (Aug. 2002):  The survival of Castro and the Cuban Regime: Thumbs up!

•  A Verbal Analogy - Mind : Body :: Illusion : Reality (April 2002):  What kind of illusions allow us to agree to an unlimited war against a numerous list of countries and permit the erosion of constitutional liberties?

•  'Terrorists' Who Made Good (March 2002):  Nationalist or terrorist -- the definition depends on who is holding the weapons.

•  A Belated Apology to Adolf (Feb. 2002):  Similarities between Hitler's actions and those of the US leadership. But who inspired whom?

•  Unlikely Suspect (Nov. 2001):  Why was the US government unprepared to stop the 9/11/01 attacks in New York City and Washington?

•  Change the Education Paradigm (Oct. 2001):  Creating a population of critical thinkers would revolutionize US policies and extinguish global injustices.

•  Amnesty International and Yugoslavia: Duped or Accomplice? (June 2001):  Common sense facts in simple language to explain what happened in Yugoslavia and how Amnesty International can either be duped by, or an accomplice of the Western Powers.


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Swans - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: December 21, 2002
Last Updated: February 23, 2008