Note from the Editor

Words have consequences, in their context, definition and decibel level. Publisher and editor Gilles d'Aymery provides a few thoughts about his own philosophy and the works that appear on Swans. In short, we are not in the business of demonizing or scapegoating any group, religion, or nationality; we do not see evil at work behind human actions; and we consider the Hippocratic Oath to be applicable beyond the realm of medicine.

Aymery then carries on with a review of a New York Times Magazine article by Michael Ignatieff who finally calls a spade a spade. "America's entire war on terror is an exercise in imperialism," writes Ignatieff approvingly. So, imperialism and colonialism are not a figment of the imagination after all. The White Man's Burden is gleefully back; it is now fully in the open and even lauded for the better benefits of the nation-building caravans and their imperial masters! Though, once you read Aleksandra Priestfield's essay, you'll see that imperialism may well be fully in the open... until it becomes obfuscated and buried again, as seen through what appears to be Corpocracy's guidebook, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The corollaries are frightening! For reassurance that history has brought us true political change through means other than massive war and imperialism, Michael Stowell brings us a look at the life of Simón Bolívar, with words and ideas from Jean-Jacques Rousseau as well as the changes currently happening in Latin America, even though these changes are not much covered by the main media.

And what of our modern-day US politics and politicians? Is there room for change, or even a desire? Stowell's recent article, Magic, inspired some Letters to the Editor asking how we can turn on the lights of change -- read his practical suggestions. Eli Beckerman looks to the Green Party and its tenent of enduring faith in humanity for change -- a refreshing approach in the face of the good vs. evil veil under which we've all been wrapped. Milo Clark laments the shame that George W. Bush and his classmates' business 'values' have brought to this once-proud Harvard MBA. And speaking of values, Clark gives us a lesson in devaluation and some concepts to grapple with, such as how to fathom a Billion dollars (or a billion anything, for that matter.) Deck Deckert brings an inside look at the Terrorism Information and Prevention System, "Operation TIPS," another one of those feel-good, patriotic paranoia campaigns to keep us on our toes and off balance, reminding us of past regimes which perhaps the Ashcrofts of this world want to emulate. And if you don't earn a reward for catching a neighborhood terrorist, perhaps you can win the litigation lottery, another great and fully legal scam in our land of milk and honey.

Poetry is au rendez-vous as usual with the continuation of Alma Hromic's "Going Home." In part 7, she finds her compass sailing the night seas against the wind. Please note that the next edition of Swans will be published on August 26.

Enjoy this rendition and, as always, form your OWN opinion. Then, let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.


On My Mind

Gilles d'Aymery:  Primum Non Nocere

In times past, during my formative and turbulent years, armed with the faith of youth, riding high my own Rossinante against all the perceived and real injustice in the world, some close to home (much too close, sadly), instinctively loathing power in any circumstance, without exception, in a period of extreme emotional fragility, my grandmother would endeavor to guide me. She was a great listener, all-forgiving of my excesses and mistakes. She'd talk little but when she did her words were carefully chosen, tailored by kindness and always attempting to instill confidence in my shattered self.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Gilles d'Aymery:  The Case For A Committed American Imperialism

What kind of a title is this? you'll wonder. Have I gone yellow, am I a turncoat? Actually, I did not create this title. It comes from the cover page of the current New York Times Magazine (July 28, 2002) to introduce a feature story by the inimitable Michael Ignatieff in which he advocates increased resources and involvement in Afghanistan in order "to keep Afghanistan from falling apart" (also on the cover page of the magazine) and gently chastises the Bushies for doing it "on the cheap." "Nation-Building Lite," is the actual byline for the article.   More...


Aleksandra Priestfield:  Welcome To Wonderland

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe...

What, you didn't think that Lewis Carroll's Alice books had anything to do with the real world? Well, have you tried casting Osama bin Laden as the Snark lately? Try it, and re-read the Hunting of the Snark. You'll get a shock.

It doesn't end there. Re-reading Lewis Carroll today is a scary experience.

Follow me down the Rabbit Hole for a moment, if you will.   More...


Michael W. Stowell:  Bolívar's Ghost

The protests in Arequipa, Peru, last month were similar to other protests occurring throughout Latin America in recent days. Unionist workers joined social reformers and 'common' laborers in the ongoing struggle against the economic structure of free-market capitalism.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Eli Beckerman:  Self-Defeating Prophecy?
The Tenuous Rise of the Greens: it's in their Hands

What can a revitalized Green Party do in this land of two-party duopoly? For one, by withdrawing all loyalty from the Dems, they can ensure that the Democrats pick candidates that are closer to the Republicans.   More...


Milo Clark:  Business Attitude

An old Sufi admonition is to sell cleverness to buy bewilderment. Some will add the quite un-Sufi trailer that truth is but intuition. Current events reveal that truth, at best, is a relative variable. In actuality, truth is a very conditioned variable. The conditioning around Bush II's truths may be cracking just a little bit.   More...


Milo Clark:  Values, Devaluation -- Pun Or?

The American word "Billion" has crept into vocabularies of recent. The Brits still prefer "One Thousand Million." Hundred, Thousand and Million have a substance linking perceptions to actualities.   More...


Deck Deckert:  TIPS of the Iceberg

A source, who must remain nameless for obvious reasons, has just sent me copies of a few of the first reports that came into the government's Terrorism Information and Prevention System, popularly known as Operation TIPS.   More...


James Longo:  Litigation Lottery

"Another drink, Doc?" the bartender asked.

"Yeah sure."

"You look pretty glum. What's up?"   More...



Alma A. Hromic:  Going Home: vii - Against the Wind

[Ed. Seventh part of a ten-part poem]

Like the Polynesian sailors of old I navigate
my coracle by the stars.

They knew the wind. They took it
and tamed it and made it
blow them across the seas.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

George Orwell:  War Is Peace

Book Excerpt from "1984"

The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs.   More...


Letters to the Editor

Magic: Turn The Lights On

We appreciate your comments. Please, remember to sign your e-mails with your real name and add your city, state, country, address and phone number. If we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country. We are for real. Please be for real. Thanks.   More...



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Created: August 19, 2002