Note from the Editor

The new Iraqi Constitution was heralded as a great achievement just a couple of weeks ago but they forgot their own Bill of Rights. So, the Coalition Provisional Authority, which represents the best democratic values America wants to export all over the world, closed Al Hawsa, a Baghdad newspaper, for violating coalition regulations. As CNN reported on March 28, the paper's "building was sealed, and anyone caught attempting to publish the paper could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine." Oops, sorry, no First Amendment just as yet. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., the vortex of values and democracy...and civility, compassionate conservatives were busy savaging and smearing Richard A. Clarke of "We failed you . . . and ask for your understanding and forgiveness" fame. Bloodshed in the streets, slander in others, censorship wherever, raw materials pilfering...the best democracy money can buy. For the rest, there's MasterCard ™!

Money can buy a lot actually, environment included, as Louis Proyect shows in his review of Jeffrey St. Clair's imposing book, The Politics of Nature, in which he details influence peddling and political machinations that keep destroying US natural resources to profit corporate interests (the book, in Proyect's words, is "passionately committed to the preservation of the animal and plant life that once covered the nation's vast expanse"). Looking forward, beyond 2004, Manuel García illustrates how money and natural resources will interact when the Boomer generation is confronted with either an imperial-fortress America or a more benign socialized comity. If history is a guide, guns will win over butter time and again... Meanwhile, we'll keep hearing about victory, democratic values, a safer world and a stronger America from one administration to the other. Same old, same old, and no one seems to understand the need for a third party! Milo Clark finely combs the 2000 Bush coup and wishes the Democrats would include its undoing in their platform, altogether missing the point that the Dems could care less. It's the corner (or oval) office and the perks attached to it that they care about.

Case in point, Phil Rockstroh's latest acquaintance, "Commercialla, The Patron Goddess of All Whores," finds herself in good company with either party; and if it's not one it's the other -- Bush first, James Carville (cf. the Carville-Matalin circus) next. Why, oh why does Janis Joplin come to mind? The reality, of course, is elsewhere, in the real America, the working America that struggles to make ends meet; that which faces daily hardship, immobilizing fear and scarcity of trust, and leads people, in Frank Wycoff's words, to set their principles aside. As Philip Greenspan points out, this scared and paralyzed society gave the Bush administration carte blanche, but other countries have responded in more creative ways in the past and are taking different directions now. Scott Orlovsky cuts to the chase poetically regarding all of the above: Say No to Capitalism!

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Jeffrey St. Clair's The Politics of Nature

Comprised of over fifty-six articles, Jeffrey St. Clair's Been Brown So Long it Looked Like Green to Me: The Politics of Nature amounts to a virtual handbook for radical environmentalists. St. Clair has been covering this beat for a number of years now, both in the pages of Counterpunch that he co-edits with Alexander Cockburn and in other venues.   More...


Countdown to 2004 and Beyond

Manuel García, Jr.:  Election 2016: The Issues

Three Presidential elections from today -- in 12 years -- America will face a crisis of direction that may even surpass the significance of Abraham Lincoln's ascension in 1860. Why will the outcome in 2016 be so important?   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Safer, Stronger, More Democratic: Kosovo, Iraq, And The Heavens

From one administration to the other, whether Democrat or Republican, the same patterns repeat themselves ad nauseam. Similar tall tales, similar triumphal statements in spite of failed and destructive policies, and similar disastrous consequences keep recurring. If this looks like a misguided statement, look again.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Milo Clark:  Coup d'État: A Platform Issue

If you cherish peace, justice, freedom, diversity and pluralism, you will not find those values within the fundamentalists of the military-industrial-media-religious complex who have seized power in the once United States of America.   More...


Countdown to 2004 with a Zest of Humor

Phil Rockstroh:  A Whore's Pentecost: Epiphanies In The Age of Commercialization

From within the dark matter of our dreams, we feel something is wrong... In the vast cosmology of our consciousness -- where our minds are honeycombed by multiple universes of possibilities, ideas, and imaginings -- we sense that the information we receive from the commercial media, official Washington, and the business sector is far from complete;   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Err, Mr. Carville, No Picture?

Dear Mr. Carville: Thank you so much for your fiery letter. Upon its receipt I felt emboldened, almost enthused by the recognition that my modest contribution to the country was once more being distinguished. It dawned upon me that I was ever slowly becoming a full constituent of the great American experiment -- not a citizen yet, but surely a member of the god-chosen polity.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Frank Wycoff:  The Health Insurance Slave Trade

Tim and Jodene are farmers here in upstate New York; they milk about 50 head and would have it no other way. This year, for the first time in ten years, Tim has Health Insurance. Jodene does not; they could not afford $240 a month for the both of them, so they settled on the person that needed it the most.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Philip Greenspan:  Spaniards Get The Message

Any group of kids can and often do vandalize. They can at times be quite destructive and occasionally cause the death of some innocent victim. Those random crazed acts are not terrorism.   More...



Scott Orlovsky:  Say No To Capitalism

we have fishing nets
that can fit 16 Boeing 747s inside them
to strip our oceans of fish
to trap thousands of porpoises and dolphins   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Zimbabwe, Ralph Nader, Phil Rockstroh and Mel Gibson's "The Passion," and an e-mail exchange between Manuel García and David Theroux of The Independent Institute, on Oil, Population and Global Warming...   More...



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Created: April 2, 2004