Note from the Editor

A bit of news crossed our desk thanks to writer and researcher David Peterson. A professor at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois, Peter Kirstein, was suspended for a semester and administratively reprimanded for having sent a strongly worded E-mail to an Air Force Academy cadet. You should read the chilling statement made by the president of SXU. Censorship galore...and think of the influence our military culture has upon our society... The E-mail was indeed strongly worded but we wonder whether Prof. Kirstein had in mind when he wrote it the tragedy of, among other US-instigated military conflicts around the world, Cambodia-Kampuchea. Read Milo Clark's wrenching piece on the subject and you'll understand what we mean.

A majority appears to believe that it will always be the same, as the US midterm elections appear to demonstrate, but we happen to think that there are other ways to behave and that there are alternatives to this warmongering, eat-or-be-eaten madness. So we present some of them thanks to the reflections of Eli Beckerman, Milo Clark, Deck Deckert and Michael Stowell. Perhaps things are not as bleak as one would fear or as hopeful as one would wish... Plenty of food for thought there; see for yourself. Gilles d'Aymery recently met Michael in Northern California. Read his piece on Arcata, a small city that is a breath of clean, undiluted fresh air!

Then Aleksandra Priestfield has a field day with the deconstruction of the neo-conservative hypocritical moral compass. Priestfield's style is as mordant as Herman's is direct. Ed Herman does not mince his words as he confronts a taboo issue never, ever touched with a ten-foot pole by the main media, the use of anti-Semitism name-calling by Israel and her friends to silence all criticisms of Israeli policies against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Should we expect a few Letters to the Editor? Or shall we be subjected to yet another of those dreadful E-mail and virus bombing campaigns? For on a subject far less controversial Alma Hromic has had to respond to a flurry of criticisms. Yet the freedom to express one's ideas, opinions, thoughts, whether popular or not, is fundamental.

Now, if you think that Kafka would not have felt at home in the USA, whether in 1914, 1984 or 2002, then read the essay by Margaret Randall. You can always (and you should) take solace in the company of Sandy Lulay's poetry.

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.


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  In Memoriam: Cambodia-Kampuchea

As the United States, I can no longer say "we," prepares yet again to diddle still more peoples at phenomenal material expense and deepening depredation of soul may we pause to remember Cambodia-Kampuchea, a once truly beautiful people plunged beyond death, still more than a quarter century later lying gauntly ruined, desecrated, bared and gutted of humanity and soul.   More...


How NOT to Play the Game

Gilles d'Aymery:  Not Convinced Yet?
Then Check The Color Of Hope

You are mourning. Your friendly Democrats got bashed. This time you can't even fault Ralph Nader for the results. The pundits tell you that the main reason the Dems were taken to the cleaners is they did not propose any road map for the economic woes the country is experiencing. They could also have added that, aside from playing the Bushite fuzzy math game, the oh-so-loyal opposition voted for war against Iraq, the tax cuts, the Patriot Act, and tutti quanti. Talk about opposition!   More...


Eli Beckerman:  I Vote. Therefore I Think. Therefore I Am.

If you don't vote, I mean you no disrespect. Frankly, I can probably brainstorm more arguments against voting than in favor of it. However, and this is a big "however," you simply do not get counted in today's world. That is, not unless you vote.   More...


Michael W. Stowell:  A Resolute Proclamation

The elections are over and the Bush administration has gained more control of government, people and ideas. This mid-term election has set records for Republicans and galvanized the assault on peace, justice and human rights everywhere. I suppose many people reading this are feeling distraught, some are angry, a few have given up all hope. To all of you downtrodden I bring good tidings from Arcata, California; a place where hope for peace and justice is brighter than ever before.   More...


Deck Deckert:  Can The Peace Movement Save Us?

I came to the age of real awareness during the Korean War, which started in 1950 when I was a freshman in high school and ended in 1953 a month after I graduated. While I was of draft age at the end of that period, I wasn't in any real danger of being sent to war. But I could have volunteered.   More...


Milo Clark:  Evolution Through Catastrophy?

My personal sense has long been that this speck of cosmic dust called Earth has been through several regime changes over the millennia of millennia. Regime changes in this case involve whichever species was dominant at some point and then swooshed into the fecal matter of time. "Extinctions" is a popular word at the moment which captures the general idea.   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Gilles d'Aymery:  A Trip To Sanity: Arcata

With the mid-term US elections over -- record low turn-out, whining Dems, boasting Reps -- I felt the time was ripe to venture into a little sanity, a place where people are not drones but smiling, lively, and very engaged folks who keep thumbing their noses at the national trends with sheer delight. The place is Arcata, a small city of 16,000, berthed on the Pacific Coast and ensconced in Redwood country, in the county of Humboldt, northern California. It's also the place of residence of Swans columnist Michael Stowell.   More...


More Patterns Which Connect

Aleksandra Priestfield:  When The Moral Compass Starts Spinning

"I think Europe has lost its moral compass," Richard Perle, leading Pentagon adviser on Iraq, is on record as saying in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian on November 13. Perle has accused Europe of providing what he called "succour" to Saddam Hussein. "Many Europeans have become so obsessed by the prospect of violence they have failed to notice who we are dealing with," he said. Er, what?   More...


Edward S. Herman:  "Antisemitism" As A Tool Of Israeli Ethnic Cleansing

Palestinians are "Semites," but the word antisemitism is never applied to prejudice against them, only to Jews. The restriction on the application to Jews, and failure to use it in reference to Palestinians, continues in the face of the fact that prejudice against Jews has sharply diminished in the West from the era of Hitler, and that the Arabs have displaced them as target of anti-"Semite" hostility.   More...



Sandy Lulay:  Can't Stop The Dancing

A song so familiar
Changes time before I can find
The title in my mind or hear the words.
The beat of it fades;
Black notes dancing backwards.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Book Excerpt by Margaret Randall:  When The Imagination Of The Writer
Is Confronted By The Imagination Of the State

Her writings go far beyond mere dissent, disagreement with, or criticism of the United States or its policies . . .   More...


Letters to the Editor




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Created: November 24, 2002