Note from the Editor

Barbara Ehrenreich, the gray lady filling in for Thomas Friedman at The Gray Lady, does a nice little hatchet job on Ralph Nader in "It's Over, Ralph" (NYT, Op-Ed, July 18). She writes, "A whole slew of candidates -- Dean, Kucinich, Sharpton, Moseley Braun -- [preached Ralph's] vision of peace and social justice from within the Democratic Party;" and she's "thrown [her] mighty weight behind Dennis Kucinich, who, unnoticed by the media, is still soldiering on the campaign trail." Ms. Ehrenreich seems to have "unnoticed" another news of sorts (was not news for some of us): John Kerry's campaign headed off a showdown at the Democratic Convention by convincing Kucinich's delegates, in the name of party unity, to give up their demands that the Party's platform include the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, the establishment of a Department of Peace, a call in favor of same-sex unions and an endorsement of Palestinians' rights. "A vision of peace and social justice," Barbara? By November, she might as well vote for Bush...for the way DLC-Kerry is going, out-flanking the pResident on his right, even out-hawking him, Mr. Bush will look quite "liberal" indeed! Seriously, let's carry on with our civil debate between Swans' ABBers and non-ABBers: A case can and should be made for Ralph Nader, and Louis Proyect, using Greg Bates's latest book, Ralph's Revolt: The Case for Joining Nader's Rebellion and Ralph Nader's The Good Fight, makes it quite clearly. Edward Herman shows the unappetizing choices that many on the Left face and advances Ricardo Levine Morales's "lizard strategy" -- "Elect the Flake; Evict the Snake." Eli Beckerman, addressing his fellow Greens, calls for political creativity as "we stand up against the patently corrupt two party system" and "Kerry's brand of imperial patriarchy." And, Mr. Bush has problems of his own with his conservative base, according to Frank Wycoff's observations. Lying does not appeal to these fellows.

Confronted by "Power, greed and corruptible seed" (Bob Dylan) and the enslaving platitudes of a Britney Spears, Phil Rockstroh offers a "libation of fermented regret to all the raging ghosts haunting the soulless towers of lost potential." More prosaically, Philip Greenspan shows the "practical face [or farce!] of democracy in the land of the free and the home of the brave," where corruption and cooperation between the two parties reign...which brings Richard Macintosh to resoundingly ring the alarm bell...which prompts Milo Clark, faced with the crazy people (corporations) in charge of everything, to mourn...

An old acquaintance recently asked what proposals one can make for the future of the U.S. (instead of simply criticizing the "system")? Well, let's see: Take Manuel García and John Blunt, for instance -- both look at the fate of the planet and our so-called "civilization." García proposes 21 steps to transition to a post-petroleum world, and Blunt reviews Lester Brown's PLAN B, a plan which has very little to do with the status quo. Oh yes, our honorable correspondent added a small caveat: "Any proposals that have a good chance of coming to pass..." Yeah, it's a Slam Dunk for sure!

A poem by Gerard Donnelly Smith and the Letters to the Editor (including John Steppling's review of the past issue) close this edition.

These notes are already too long -- sorry -- but we cannot let this opportunity pass by the wayside: Baby Bush was in Florida last week and charged Fidel Castro that ''The dictator welcomes sex tourism" [in Cuba]. Hmm, that speech would be welcome in Nevada, would it not? What other sins will the "dictator" be accused of by the Emperor -- gambling and casinos, like in the time of Baptista (another great Democrat!)...or all over the USA today? Meanwhile, call girls are congregating in Boston and New York for another blockbuster Convention extravaganza...

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


Count Down to 2004

Louis Proyect:  The Case for Nader-Camejo

Although liberal attacks on Ralph Nader have been marked by a level of vituperation usually reserved for such as Slobodan Milosevic, Greg Bates's Ralph's Revolt is completely rancor-free by contrast. It is a calm, dispassionate "case for joining Nader's rebellion," as the subtitle puts it.   More...


Edward S. Herman:  The Left And The Election Choices

We live in a plutocracy with a two-party political duopoly heavily dependent on the business community for support and with a powerful and increasingly centralized commercial media that will destroy or marginalize any candidate who displays any sign of opting for serious populist actions or threatening the imperial project and military budget. In this environment and at this point in history the left isn't likely to be very important in deciding election outcomes:   More...


Eli Beckerman:  Whose Imperial Patriarchy?

Dear greens & dear Greens,

Relax. Rejoice! Ralph Nader did throw the election to George Bush. Stop running away from this fact. Admit your sins and move forward. Those nasty Democrats were right -- your vote for Ralph Nader in two key battleground states was the difference between life and death (beside of course the 250,000 registered Democrats who voted for Bush in Florida...).   More...


Frank Wycoff:  Bush Lied!

By the November US presidential election you will have heard just about everything from every talking head on TV, radio, print media, motion pictures and now talking Web pages. I most certainly do not need to add to this bombardment, but since I have been asked to do so by my best friend, I will. I'll just make it short and sweet!   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Phil Rockstroh:  Confronting The Towering Lies Of Empire: A Eulogy

Our political leaders and corporate overlords promised to keep us safe -- so they constructed for us an impregnable tower of lies... Within which, they have provided us with cable and satellite TV access... to distract us from the soul-numbing tedium of our confinement.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Legislative Process In The US Two-Party System

Last week, like millions of others, I saw Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. Two distressing legislative events depicted in it reminded me of various anecdotal incidents that epitomize the sterility of the political system.   More...


Richard Macintosh:  Courage

Speaking truth to power is perhaps the most courageous thing to do, for the tongue is the most untamed of human weapons and can bring on all the others, simple and complex.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  Welcome To The Polyculture!

A very special, very big world has died. I have grieved, wailed and lit fires. I have raged, ranted and raved here and elsewhere. Nothing is bringing it back.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  Thirsty Invaders, Chasing Heat

Rainless winters of bitter cold, rivers and lakes shriveled to muddy traces by ceaseless wind; once rich topsoil now a permanent atmospheric haze; and still the wars go on, year after year, to load the oil ships half a world away -- in Arabia and Venezuela -- to keep them coming despite oil field attacks, the sabotage of pipelines crossing jungles and deserts, and the pirate raids on the high seas. Our people are shivering and thirsty, chasing the heat.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

John Blunt:  Lester R. Brown's Plan B: Rescuing a Planet
under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble

I was introduced to Lester Brown in February, shortly after reading the Stipp article. He presented his book in a forum event I was invited to that inaugurated the new Schuyler Lecture Fund at the UC Santa Barbara School for Environmental Studies.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Denial

After they moved them across the line—the river or the road—
they moved into their houses of wood or mud, began
tending their corn, their wheat or their olives.   More...


Letters to the Editor


John Steppling dissects the July 5 issue; the Cheney's family-minded gang and the Jesuzzy Lib-Labs get a mouth full of expletives; DU is revisited, as well as the Patriot Act and the crossing of the Rubicon, among other letters.   More...



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Created: July 20, 2004