Note from the Editor

So, what will be the outcome of the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary? Which nondescript candidate will distinguish himself (it is now PC to use "himself," due to Ms. Braun's withdrawal) as the top-ranking low double-digit front-runner in the race to elect "Anyone But Bush?" Leftist bedfellows are turning into Democrats in droves applying "friendly" pressure on Ralph Nader to stay out of the way, and are ready to vote for anyone, so long as it is not Mr. Bush. We'll soon know whether the Dean momentum dissolves like a grain of salt, but Manuel García predicts that Dean's capture of Cool will win him the nomination and the White House (this editor is skeptical). Nevertheless, should Dean emerge in the lead, the bashing of late will reach new heights, a phenomenon explained by Milo Clark, whose perspective we are thrilled to have back after a brief sabbatical.

'Expert' opinion has it that Mr. Bush's (re-?)election will be based on managing successfully the Iraq quagmire and the weakness of the economy, aside from a bin Laden October surprise or another terrorist attack. Would the Ashcroft/Ridge/Bush trio please step forward and reveal itself for what it is, asserts Phil Rockstroh. Promises of safety all too likely deliver slaughter abroad and a police state at home. Frank Wycoff isn't buying Bush's spin either and longs for some straight talking on US unemployment. (For Swans' late-comers, Wycoff is one of our 1996 founding flock of five). Milo Clark, another one of the original five crazies, shows how lies and truths become policy and practice, and allow an administration to take and keep control, "at any price;" and Philip Greenspan relates those lies (and truths) to the real and imagined road maps that guide, or mislead us (the belief system). There are ways, however, to clearly identify politicians' lies. Steven Yoder, in his first column for Swans, does just that. He looks at the language of evasion and the telltale physical and verbal signs of deception, with some notable illustrations provided by our oh-so-good leaders -- a piece worthy of your time.

Looking for inspiration and a renewed sense of hope and purpose Mr. Bush is proposing to send us back to the moon. "Mankind is drawn to the heavens for the same reason we were once drawn to unknown lands and across the open sea," he stated (anything will go in 2004, so long as the it happens in the future with no attached price tag). Scott Orlovsky offers a different take. He appraises the human disconnect from the planet Earth, in Part One of a two-part series on "Shamanism and the Evolution of Humanity."

Finally, Tanweer Akram addresses the motives behind the United States' pre-emptive war on Iraq as he reviews Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.'s article, "Eyeless in Iraq," published in The New York Review of Books. Akram takes exception to Schlesinger's distortion of history and the Bush administration's motives. Then again, distortion of history is not unique to Mr. Schlesinger as Gerard Donnelly Smith poetically demonstrates in his powerful, "Monuments to Magnificence."

On a personal note, we are delighted to report that Richard Macintosh has returned home following a very serious heart attack, and we wish him the best for a full recovery.

Our next edition will feature a Special Issue on Iraq, a collection of about 20 essays contributed by some remarkable people. Stay tuned.

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


Countdown to 2004

Gilles d'Aymery:  Another Friendly Blow To Ralph Nader

Oh my, oh my, the lib-labs are frightened again. Their favorite straw man, Ralph Nader, we are told, is polling to evaluate support for his potential run as an Independent in the 2004 US presidential elections. The cottages panic, terrified by such ignominy. Turmoil can be seen at the corner store. No Nader, no, don't run, sings the choir.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  Why Howard Dean Will Win In 2004

Howard Dean has captured Cool. Cool galvanizes the Golden Horde, and they have flocked to Dean. The market gravitation of the Golden Horde will tow corporations along by their marketing departments, and the familial connections of the Golden Horde will tug at the heartstrings of their corporatist elders when they "come home" to their parenting and intergenerational connectedness.   More...


Milo Clark:  Arianna's Huff

A friend in New Zealand asked about Arianna Huffington's recent piece in AlterNet, "Unelectable, My Ass!" She deplores the Demycrap and Republicrat attacks on Howard Dean. She cites Robert Kennedy's aborted 1968 campaign as being more relevant to Dean's candidacy than McGovern in 1972. Overall, I agree with her. The attacks on Dean are unconscionable.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Phil Rockstroh:  Who Will Protect Us From Our Protectors?

O Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Ridge, Mr. Bush, et al., O you fine and noble lords of the light, you stalwarts of the sun, you luminous knights of Christ, with your armor glinting golden in the light of eternal certitude -- O You ever-vigilant foes of those unholy demons borne of darkness and all other demimonde of moral murk and gauzy uncertainty -- could I trouble you to just turn down the glare of your glowing goodness, for just a moment? I have a question or two I'd like to ask you.   More...


Frank Wycoff:  Are The Unemployed Eating Cake Yet?

The new unemployment figures are out, and 5.7 percent of Americans are collecting unemployment checks. Let's see, that's 16 million people conservatively, down 0.2 from the month before. The percentage numbers are from the AP wire service Jan. 9, 2004.   More...


Milo Clark:  Lies: The Grease Of Politics

From the whitest of the whites to the blackest of the blacks, lies are the grease of political processes. As the nature of actuality is paradox, so lies for one are truths for another. Actuality then becomes a function of control. If I control Enron, then my lies/truths determine policy and practice. If I control the White House, Congress and federal bureaucracy, my lies/truths determine policy and practice. Spread that general principle to every organizational entity world wide. To counter my lies/truths, you need to take control.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  A Plethora Of 'Road Maps'

Each of us live in two different worlds. The world as it actually is and the world as we imagine it to be. Because of those differences problems continually occur. It is as if you were to drive to a destination with a road map that did not accurately depict your proposed route. The greater the differences between the real world and the imagined 'road map' world the more troubles you could expect.   More...


Steven Yoder:  The Language of Evasion

People who care about language -- editors, writers, and teachers among them -- can sometimes seem a picayune bunch. Their focus on proper grammar and use of words appear petty in light of, for example, the threats that humanity will face in this century. What do misplaced commas and misspelled words matter at a time when we are altering Earth's climate and India and Pakistan flirt intermittently with holocaust?   More...


Solutions Under the Radar Screen

Scott Orlovsky:  Shamanism And The Evolution Of Humanity

For many millennia human beings existed in a symbiotic relationship between themselves and their natural surroundings; however, several thousand years ago the human animal rose out of the nourishing womb of the planet to conquer and pillage the generous resources of its biological mother, and disrupt the communion between matter and spirit. Before the emergence of agriculture and pastoralism, human society sustained itself in a homeostatic equilibrium with nature.   More...


Eli Beckerman:  Message To Friends

I am writing out of fear, out of sadness, but mainly, out of hope. On my trip to the French Alps by way of Budapest in March 2003, I was riding on a bus through Northern Italy just a few days after my country started a war with Iraq. My senses and emotions were roaring as I noticed the gorgeous rainbow peace flags strewn from every building.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Tanweer Akram:  Historian And The Distortion of History

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., has the distinction of being a super respectable historian of the United States of America. He served in the Kennedy administration. He wrote about the Kennedy administration from the vantage point of an insider. He is regarded as a liberal. His books are popular bestsellers. He publishes in the mainstream press. He writes well and clearly. He embodies the thinking of a large segment of the Establishment.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Monuments To Magnificence

Mount Rushmore
(for Leanord Peltier)
Inscribed in granite, these dictators who conquered this continent,
who immortalized them here in boldfaced hypocrisy about humanity, equality, and liberty?
Still they glitter like gold, these virtuous words, like nuggets of
truth from the Little Big Horn, swirling around in a pan with other
words being sorted out.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Peter Camajo, the Greens, Milo Clark and the work of Robert Heinlein.   More...



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Created: January 30, 2004