Note from the Editor

Handicapping the horse race in Punditland...Bush frowned, he looked confused, even angry at times; Kerry looked relaxed and presidential...great one-liners, "I'll hunt down and kill the terrorists wherever they are," "it's one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and be wrong," "I have a plan," (Kerry), "OBL doesn't get to decide," "we are winning in Iraq," "we've climbed the mighty mountain," "People out there listening know what I believe, and that's how best it is to keep the peace," (Bush). Is this the extent to which we're going to be treated till November 2? Keep It Simple Stupid? This is not just Dumbocracy, it's fast becoming a Childocracy, back to mummy's womb... What's next, fetusocracy, lobotomocracy?

Real issues may not be covered in 90 minutes but it sure would have been salutary to hear the candidates address, say, 10 percent of the questions Guy Burneko dissects in his far-ranging essay, from re-examining 9/11 in light of history, to pondering the unipolarity of our system of thoughts as well as government -- the single vision-single goal duality of our governing elites. But, then, as Louis Proyect makes obvious, you can't expect much change from a crowd that is not worth a dime of difference. If Proyect does not convince you and you need more data regarding the remarkable continuity and collusion of the bicephalous uni-party system, take a look at the Martian blips (you'll also get a short backgrounder on the Darfur "crisis," as well as additional tidbits).

Actually, the entire content of this edition has to do with items that are not even debated in Punditland -- forget the campaign trail. Phil Rockstroh makes the connection between our navel gazing consumerism and the rise of fundamentalist beliefs -- another bipartisan trend -- and Richard Macintosh shows the "danger of believing your own s***," with the help of several historical references. Michael Doliner reinforces the theme by analyzing the free-market ideology -- another set of beliefs with Milton Friedman as its Grand Priest. García takes a look at the world and the USA from out there in space and what he finds seems eerily close to what the Bush/Kerry team is fostering; not a pretty report.

Since rating the president and his contender is so important (we are told), to choose the next great US leader, Philip Greenspan went through an intriguing exercise in which he dug into the rating of former presidents. Lincoln practically always comes out on top of the various lists. Why's that? And was Lincoln such a great president? You'll be surprised by what he unearthed. As to the coming elections, if the Hawaiian case study that Milo Clark and his wife are observing from very close is generalized around the U.S., soon enough (a few election cycles?), we won't even have to bother going to the polls, or to even vote...

Ah yes, both Bush and Kerry mentioned Israel and her security, but not a word about Palestine and her security... Yet, the current and deadly incursion in Gaza by the IDF should exemplify once again that those in need of being defended are first and foremost the Palestinians. Where in the world is a 20+-foot concrete wall called a fence or a barrier? Where in the world are people being dispossessed, stolen, beaten, humiliated, poco a poco cleansed, all in the name of an ideology? How long will the famed International Community and the Humanitarian Brigades keep their heads buried in the sand? Justice and Palestine -- is it really an oxymoron? People, speak out, raise your voice!

Finally, Gerard Donnelly Smith offers another poem and John Steppling has his usual say on our last issue (among a few other letters to the editor).

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


Patterns Which Connect

Guy Burneko:  Collapse

On the morning of September 11, 2001 my very first thought was -- once the magnitude of the loss registered in me -- whether government, business, and American self-interest had indirectly ignited this extreme result.

My thought can be attributed to knee-jerk cynicism, of course. But I've grown up in an American lifetime which from childhood on has brought print, radio, TV and www rumors and confirmations of inauthenticities, excesses, lies, frauds, and crimes committed by the United States of America (U.S.) and other governments and their moneyed interests.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Jeffrey St. Clair & Alexander Cockburn: Dime's Worth of Difference

If there is one thing that both sides in the "Anyone But Bush" (ABB) debate can agree on, it is probably that Jeff St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn's Counterpunch is the most visible and powerful voice in favor of rejecting John Kerry for president. In both the print and Internet editions, Counterpunch has been publishing articles on practically a daily basis making the case against "lesser evil" politics.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Phil Rockstroh:  The War in Iraq -- The Consumer's Crusade

We believed the ghosts of Vietnam had been dispatched -- dissolved in the beatific light flaring from the blasts of our high-tech bombs dropped from Belgrade to Baghdad. Once again, American bombs lit the Mesopotamian night... The citadels of the New Jerusalem were made manifest, displacing the desert darkness with every detonation... The wicked cowered before our righteous fury... Ghost and demon fled back to Hell... Our enemies trembled, stricken with the knowledge that the final reckoning was at hand and their iniquitous hour had passed.   More...


Richard Macintosh:  Singin' The Blues With Vichy On My Mind

Ayad Allawi spoke to Congress on September 24th, 2004 and he was heralded by the usual media suspects. For those of you who don't know who Ayad Allawi is, he is a former CIA operative selected by our president to rule Iraq. Allawi is a puppet, a "Quisling." Karl Rove could have written his speech (and he probably did).   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Justice and Palestine: An Oxymoron?

GRIM ANNIVERSARY: September 28, four years ago, is known as the beginning of the Palestinian second Intifada (uprising). During the first one, the "enlightened" Yitzhak Rabin, the "man of peace," had instituted a liberal policy known as breaking-bones ("We should break their hands and legs."). Its logic was irrefutable. Break the arms of kids and they won't be able to throw stones. It was that simple and genial. Liberals applauded. With Ariel Sharon and the second Intifada, the desperate (faced as they are with the hordes of evil barbarians ready to throw them all back to the sea) but always humanitarian, peace-loving Israeli careerist bureaucrats, shoot to kill in the first place and, to spare their population -- an ardent obligation of any government (cf. Georgie, another man of peace, freedom and democracy, and security, and safety, and have I missed something, anything?) -- build a friendly, neighborly "security fence."   More...


Countdown to 2004

Milo Clark:  A Day As Observer

My question: "Did I see too little and learn too much?"

Hawaii's primary election on September 18, 2004 found us in the Hawaii County Counting Room as Official Observers, "the eyes and ears of the public."   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Transforming Reality Into Mythology

Several articles have recently appeared that claim that Dubya Bush is the worst American president. It's too early to judge. He should complete his term and then a little time should elapse for an objective evaluation.

Since 1948 eleven major surveys have been conducted to rate the presidents, usually among historical scholars.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Michael Doliner:  Free Trade Ideology And The Constitution

Aristotle thought all three of these kinds of state were perversions of corresponding good types in which the goal was the common interest. These differ from the good types of government in the quality of the rulers: good men will create and rule good states. Aristotle had an idea of what human virtue was and believed that states not ruled by such excellence would be ruled for the sake of one class or another.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  Report From An Outpost

A brief synopsis of human conditions in response to questions posed by the new Chief of Outpost Guardians, Galactic Command (COG Galcomm). This report is given from the socio-political perspective of Americans, the culture in which this outpost is embedded.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Cult Protection Act

"Under god, under god, under god," the masses chant while marching to a military air. They hang on every word he says, as if he were some charismatic cult leader in whom they had found divine abilities. Like some Latter-day Caesar who declared that though he was not a god himself, god had chosen him to become leader: serpent oil to anoint his mountebank head.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #3

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk: from the debate, err interview, to showing how much the consensus is utterly bipartisan and how the so-called progressive community is once again being swindled. From Sudan, Mr. Garang, the SPLA, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Michael Bérubé (among others) to Social Security, from pre-emption to the oh-so-progressive Barack Obama, from the big lies to the status quo, the hypocrisy and idiocy keeps boggling the mind. We like ZNet too, even if the folks there, or because the folks there, are fallible. We are in good company! And then, more tidbits...   More...


Letters to the Editor


John Steppling has his say on our past edition. A spineless editor? And, yes, Phil Rockstroh is back (he never left, actually); a vote for Kerry; and more.   More...



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Created: October 7, 2004