Note from the Editor

The three less-than-presidential and so-called debates are behind us, and the pollsters put the election at a dead heat, demonstrating that the differences between Bush and Kerry are, at best, insignificant; or at least, unconvincing. Even amongst the Swans flock of contributors the positions are quite divided. This we learned after publishing a pro-Nader editorial on March 1, 2004 and had to quickly deal with friendly internal dissent -- dissenters being dissented, what d'ya know! So we begin this edition with a recapitulation of Swans contributors' stance on the election, with links to their supporting articles. Though we have been accused of being "spineless" and having "no editorial guidance," we stand by our policy of presenting cogent essays, and ask that you, the reader, form your OWN opinion. And like the national opinion polls tell us, it's not that clear cut...

Philip Rockstroh for one is embarrassed and appalled by the god-ordained Bush, and would like nothing more than to see a fitting end to his smirk, with a send-off à la Richard Nixon that just might heal the nation. Gilles d'Aymery speaks on behalf of Ralph Nader (who was once again excluded from the faux debates for fear he might otherwise make them real) and presents the Town Hall Meeting that should have been, demonstrating full well the sanity of a vote for Nader. A cartoon by Jan Baughman supports this view. Philip Greenspan, a tried-and-true antiwar activist, has an unforeseen, but not surprising, perspective on the election strategy; one that goes beyond the Bush vs. Kerry charade to finding a way to fix the broken electoral system. Based on Milo Clark's experience as an "Official Observer" in Hawaii's new electronic voting method, the system appears all but broken already with a potentiality for Florida 2000 redux. Yes folks, that's the best democracy in the world!

While the (two) candidates hem and haw about their respective positions on the war in Iraq (same old, same old), the actualities on the ground speak for themselves. Gerard Donnelly Smith provides a sobering summary of the human cost of this latest imperial adventure, and what is yet to come. How can anyone truly believe that the US approach to spreading "democracy" and capitalism around the globe makes the world a better, safer place? Those ostriches who do should take a look at the events in Poland -- just one example -- with the results of the overthrow of communism and the mirage of "democracy," as cogently reported by Anna Kuros, a philosophy student in Krakow; and in his review of Herman Melville's Typee: a Peep at Polynesian Life, Louis Proyect evaluates the results of Western colonialism on the Typees and other South Sea islands -- a lesson that can be universally applied in our attempts to bring "freedom and democracy" to the world, all the while squashing the local "savages" (did we say, same old, same old?).

The editor's blips, Gerard's poem on the spoils of war, and the Letters to the Editor -- with John Steppling's review -- close this edition. As always, please let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


Countdown to 2004

Gilles d'Aymery:  2004 US Presidential Election: Recapitulation

Time to recapitulate the various stands taken by this bevy of Swans in regard to the November 2004 US presidential election, with an eye firmly set toward the future (there will be a post-election era, you know...). Stands were taken to quite a degree, much wider than I would have hoped...   More...


Phil Rockstroh:  God, The Ghost Of Richard Nixon, And The Demons Of Election 2004

George W. Bush stole the presidency and he should not be allowed to keep it. He and his gang of right-wing bullyboys beat up the electoral process and took it outright. One should never allow a bully to prosper from his brutality.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Ralph Nader: A Vote For Sanity

Written speech in favor of Ralph Nader, a man who extends "the area of sanity little by little..."   More...


Jan Baughman:  Anyone But Bush?

Voting for the top candidate through a cartoon.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Why Vote?

With a presidential election approaching many options present themselves to potential voters. To determine what option to choose, one must envision the possible consequences of each option.   More...


Milo Clark:  A Summary From The Hawaii Political Trenches: Letter To The Election Commission

After four intense months of digging into the Hawaii Election system -- ferreting out weak points, probing into processes -- I begin to understand a "system impossible." We are living a 21st century version of the Emperor's Clothing fable. How could it be otherwise?   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Liberty's Century

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure," said Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William Stephens (November 13, 1787). If Jefferson is right, then the desert will bloom!   More...


Anna Kuros:  Never Buy a Cat in a Bag
Poland, a Country that Asked for Freedom...
but Got "Democracy"

It's been fifteen years now since the overthrow of Communism in Poland. For someone who grew up basically during that transition to capitalism, it is probably hard for me to come up with a first hand analysis of the former. My scant memories, filtered through the experiences of the child I was then, probably aren't sufficient tools for looking into the mechanisms at work in that centrally planned socialist economy.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Herman Melville's Typee: a Peep at Polynesian Life

After the Panic of 1837 bankrupted the Melville family, the eighteen-year-old Herman was forced to fend for himself. After bouncing from teaching to surveying to civil engineering jobs, he finally signed up on the whaler Acushnet and sailed from Fairhaven, Massachusetts on January 3, 1841.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Usus Fructus

Temporarily we use a thing, enjoying the fruit
through another's hard work achieved,
profited though we did no hard work
in fields burning, in the commons
where that natural manure spills out
like so much milk about which
we dare not cry out.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #4

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk: a response to Liz Burbank and her comradely objections, the dreaded Imperialist/Zionist connection, "revolutionaries" for Kerry, anti-war apostles for pro-war Kerry, "friendly" fire in Gaza during the Days of Penitence, the ABSers (Anybody But Sharon) make their voice heard, "Indian Country" in the military, poverty and wealth, etc.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Philip Greenspan, Milo Clark, Gilles d'Aymery, Kerry and Nader, and more. Of course, John Steppling has his say on our past edition.   More...



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Created: October 26, 2004