To hear and read about the triumph of double-speak in Officialdom for the past ten days following the abduction of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevich brought to mind what Jean Rostand, the French biologist, once said, "When hearing some roaring shibboleths, one would wish, for what is esteemed, the dignity of silence (A entendre certains fracas, on souhaiterait, pour ce qu'on estime, la dignité du silence)." But then it only confirms what Michel Collon demonstrates rhetorically in Justice at The Hague; they are "taking us for a bunch of idiots." At least something has not changed in this age of globalization, politics remains what it "has always been and always will be, a way to stir people up before using them," to quote Talleyrand (French diplomat, 1754-1838). Then again, if it is possible to arraign Milosevich with total bravado and impunity what will happen to this great defender of our Western civilization, Henry Kissinger? Will he also be treated to the dock some day, some where, as Antony Black is suggesting in A tale of Two Fugitives? After all, when comparing the alleged crimes of Milosevich and Kissinger respectively, one has the distinct impression that they've got the wrong man in The Hague. However, Kissinger does not have to worry much; we all have been buying a Brooklyn Bridge for so long that we could even swallow an Eiffel Tower and suffer no indigestion.
Which brings me to Milo Clark who muses about history in the third part of his 5-part essay, Please Be Patient. History, says Clark, is "story telling with various intentions and perspectives." In other words, the Brooklyn Bridge fully bought, Officialdom does the story telling comme bon lui semble, advancing the same interests ever and ever again in an Orwellian fashion that even Hollywood cannot match.
Am I exaggerating? Then read Jan Baughman's Sixteen Shares of Lockheed Martin and Christopher Largen's Federal Rx: Marijuana. With humor (Baughman) or through a personal story (Largen), you'll see how the system works, how the Brooklyn Bridge has been sold zillions of times to all of us and how they do take us for a bunch of idiots, indeed! Who said, people get the government(s) they deserve?
As always, please form your own opinion and do not forget to read Sandy Lulay's poem.
Antony C. Black: A Tale of Two Fugitives
Little more than a week prior to Slobodan Milosovic having been spirited away by the victors to face charges at The Hague, another alleged war criminal, Henry Kissinger, whilst wiling away a little time at the Ritz, was being served a somewhat less forceful, though decidedly unappetizing, summons to appear before the Palace of Justice in Paris. More...
Antony C. Black is a Canadian teacher and political activist who contributes his columns to Swans.
Michel Collon: Justice at The Hague
If they tell us that everything that has happened in Yugoslavia is the fault of one man, all the while hiding the manoeuvring by the German and subsequently the American Secret Services to blow to pieces this too independent country, and remaining silent on the arms they furnished to the enemies of the Serbs, long before these wars; More...
Michel Collon is a Belgian writer and journalist who has written extensively on the geo-political aims of NATO's war.
Milo Clark: Please Be Patient III
"To regard matters of rhetoric as if they were the 'packaging' of the substantial matters of everyday life seems to be commonsensical and pragmatic. Surely what people do and how they do it are more important than what they say and how they say it. Yet acts as well as speech depend on thought, which in turn inevitably depends on language. If language is false or largely incorrect, then what is said is not meant; and when what is said is not meant, then what ought to be done remains undone, and the result is widespread confusion. The Greeks knew this, Christ said it, and Montaigne [1533-1592] restated it at the beginning of the Modern Age ('The generalization of lying could, by itself, dissolve human society.')" More...
Milo Clark is a Swans' founding member, advisor and columnist.
Christopher Largen: Federal Rx: Marijuana
I nervously glance out the car window and survey the crowded lake as my friend George McMahon sits next to me and opens a metal container filled with marijuana cigarettes. He casually presses a large joint between his wrinkled lips and lights it. We aren't in Amsterdam but rural Texas, home of Bible-thumpers, Bush-whackers, and a prison system renowned for zero-tolerance sentences and assembly-line executions. Even so, George is not concerned about legal repercussions. In fact, he can smoke in any state of the union without being arrested or prosecuted. More...
Christopher Largen is an issue-based activist committed to a wide spectrum of causes including drug-policy reform, civil liberties and social justice.
Jan Baughman: Sixteen Shares of Lockheed Martin
On April 16, 2001, I reported on the exciting new tax cuts and even a rebate that George W. Bush so proudly promised us, to give back some money to those who deserve it (and at the same time, stimulate the economy.) Here we are, three months later, a time to reflect on the 225th anniversary of the birth of our nation and give thanks for the Freedoms for which our forefathers fought. One of my favorite Freedoms (after Freedom of Speech, of course) is the Freedom of our President to Mislead the Public and Sugar Coat a Significant Tax Cut for the Wealthy by Simultaneously Throwing a Few Bones to the Middle Class American People to keep them Content and Quiet. I know, I know, it's not exactly spelled out like that in the Constitution, but trust me; it's there in the fine print. More...
Jan Baughman is a Biotech scientist and Swans' co-editor.
Sandy Lulay: REMEMBER ME
Old I am and tired,
Asleep beneath the sea grape vine.
Invisible between its roots
And the ledges of the shell rock middens;
This shore that once was mine. More...
An "Original Woodstock Girl," Sandy Lulay is also a "Swans kind of girl" who's been writing poetry since age 10.