Note from the Editor

The Barnum & Bailey circus finally folded tent after record attendance and money spent in Boston and New York. The fun was in the streets, in between razor fences, orange nets, concrete barriers and tens of thousands of guard dogs in uniform and plain clothes -- there to defend civil liberties as the entire world could witness. The donkeys and elephants, with their accompanying buffoons (the pundits), took to the road; it'll take another 58 days for them to reach their respective zoos...till 2008, when it will begin all over again with the same animals. Finally behind us, the Republocratic National Convention was complete with rhetoric, sermons, brown-nosing and self-congratulations. Ever wonder why substantive issues are as hidden as the protesters? Market research shows that voters don't care about the issues -- they want emotion. They want to feel good and patriotic and safe. In light of the realities on the ground these wants do require Madison Ave. expertise. Since you didn't get these realities from the conventions, we'll give a few of them to you in a new Dossier on the real state of the "Greatest System on Earth." To dramatize these documented facts, Jan Baughman takes a look back at the path forward to the Final Decline, which leads to the state of totalitarianism. George Orwell may have been off by a couple of decades, but look back to a letter to the editor of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, written in 1987, regarding the liberal myths. It could have been written in 2004 as well, proving that it's going to take a lot more than putting energy into John F. Kerry to change the direction of this down-spiraling path.

You think the 2000 presidential selection debacle in Florida can't happen again? Think again. Milo Clark is doing some research in Hawaii, where the republican governor influenced the decision to purchase Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines made by Hart InterCivic, a Texas-based company with evident ties to George W. Bush, to be used for the 2004 election. His requests for information regarding these DREs have received about as much attention as the protesters' message in New York. Our man-on-the-street, Eli Beckerman, was among the protesters and shares his experience.

You think Nazi Germany can't happen again, or in the U.S.? Well, here too, think again. Richard Macintosh explores the methods and techniques that allowed Hitler to come to power, start wars, and act beyond existing laws; and Philip Greenspan describes the masses' obedience and conformity that permits such abuses of power, then -- and today. It's time -- long overdue -- to stop looking toward the duopoly in search of a different system... José Tirado analyzes the compatibility of Buddhism and the Green Party with, among other things, their common non-violent and holistic earth orientation, and Manuel García imagines the vision that 400 B.C. Pericles would invoke as the leader of the U.S. today. From whatever angle you want to look at it, change in our crumbling system will not come from the duopoly, except change for the worse.

Another man with a vision for change is Stan Goff, whose new book, Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century, is reviewed by John Steppling. Goff speaks with directness and clarity, and with first-hand military experience in the "machinery of death." Steppling highly recommends this book, and we highly recommend the poetry of Gerard Donnelly Smith, who once again finds a way to create beauty out of madness and terror.

Finally, some newsworthy musings by our editor, from Wal*Mart to Nader and The Hague with a few blips in between; and, bien sûr, our letters to the Editor close this new edition.

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


America: Myths and Realities

Gilles d'Aymery:  America #1 -- Score Card 2004
A Model of Freedom and Democracy for the World to Emulate ™

A series of statistics and information on the "best country in the world." Is this the model the world should emulate, really? You be the judge. (All sources are included, mainly the CIA, the World Health Organization, The Economist's 2004 Edition of the Pocket World in Figures, and a few newspaper articles and other Web sites.)   More...


Jan Baughman:  The Final Decline

It all started rather subtly, under the radar screen unless one were willing to look for it, slowly, gradually heating such that one didn't even notice the temperature change, until like the frog in the pot, we were all boiled meat.   More...


Countdown to 2004

Helen Jones:  Mythology

Dear Editor: Most of the commentary in the Anderson Valley Advertiser seems to be based on liberal myths. I find the belief in these myths touching and even pathetic.   More...


Milo Clark:  From Smoke To Fire: Is The GOP Stealing Another Election?

Folk wisdom tells us "Where there's smoke, there's fire!" Dwayne Yoshina, Chief Election Officer for the State of Hawaii, insists Hawaii is not Florida. I want to believe him.   More...


Eli Beckerman:  Welcome To New York

In October of 2001, the Strokes were set to play Boston's Avalon, partially through their fall tour. Up to this point, they had suspended their playing of "New York City Cops" out of respect to the NYPD after September 11th. The crowd was very eager to see the Strokes return to Boston after an extremely successful summer had catapulted them to fame.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Richard Macintosh:  Tragedy

Alas, some lessons are never learned. Each generation -- sure that they represent the apex of human development -- believe themselves to be immune from history (history is "old stuff" after all) and that their leaders represent the cutting edge of some sort of "New World Order."   More...


José M. Tirado:  A Perfect Fit: Buddhists & The Greens

For over 30 years I have been what is usually called an activist, involved in campaigns and causes against things, like war or apartheid, and for things, such as ecological preservation, minority rights, etc. Since even before that time, I have also been a Buddhist, journeying first from Zen to Tibetan Vajrayana and now finding my spiritual home as a priest of Jodo-Shinshu or Shin Buddhism.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  Pericles' Funeral Oration For The 911 Dead

It is three years since the attacks of 11 September 2001. What have we learned? What is our vision of ourselves as a nation, as a people, and as individuals? So many answers -- and blank stares -- would be given in response to these questions, and so much confused emotional psycho-political babble gushed out to cover the underlying fears and biases of those responding, that we can be assured the questions are meaningless.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Philip Greenspan:  Hooray For The DIS-es -- The DISobedient And DISsenters

When the GIs in World War II came upon the Nazi death camps they uncovered atrocities that shocked and baffled the world. How could a cultured society that produced such greats as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Goethe, Schiller, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Dürer, Einstein, Plank -- giants in the arts, music and sciences -- be guilty of such heinous crimes?   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

John Steppling:  Stan Goff's Full Spectrum Disorder

In an era when far too many of the voices on the left sound domesticated, overly cautious, and academically neutered (which means fearful of losing employment), or engaging in a style so obtuse, and intoxicated with a post structuralist jargon (targeted only to those battling for tenure) that they are all but unreadable, it is rather startling to come across a writer so direct and a voice so singular, authentic, as Stan Goff.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Assia de Nocumento

With this poem, I give notice that you are a nuisance,
a nuisance whom this poem removes from the premises.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Temple Goddess

The one priestess stands at the altar
bathed in white linen gowns, her long
tresses black as night, dark as hell.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #1

A few selected issues from the Editor's desk: from Wal*Mart, The US political Conventions, Garrison Keillor's take on the GOP, Ralph Nader then and now, the judicial lynching of Milosevic at The Hague and the case of Missing Mass Graves, and those darn readers who whine, complain, assail you with flaming oratory, but can't either sign their diatribes of provide their city/state of residence.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Can we unframe the Karl Rovians? asks a reader. The Courage Expert ™ comments on Richard Macintosh's three articles on courage. Alouette, gentille alouette, did not visit after all and went to Brittany instead. She has her own "positive" take on Manuel García's guide to the revolution; and so does John Steppling in his review of the past issue.   More...



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Created: September 10, 2004