Note from the Editor

With utmost sadness we must announce that Richard Macintosh died on June 7, 2005, of heart failure. We are dedicating a good part of this issue to him, though Richard would have strenuously objected to taking center stage in any circumstance -- to receiving a Duc de Guise treatment ("taller dead than alive") -- for he was a humble man who considered himself just a member of the Swans team, nothing less, nothing more. He was much more, of course: a trusted adviser and a fine contributor, he had become a dear friend. I can hear the old coach in him say, "Gotta suck it up. Stay the course!"

So, we'll "suck it up," and after a tribute to Dr. Macintosh from old Swanees like Alma Hromic and Deck Deckert, whom he personally touched, we'll stay the course by offering, as usual, original work -- not the rehashed stuff scavenged and multi-posted all over the Web (our integrity, Richard used to say...).

Allons, here we go... A recent goverment study revealed that 25% of all Americans have had some kind of mental illness in the past year, and 50% will meet the criteria for such diagnosis at least once in their lifetimes. Researchers are puzzled by the high rates in the U.S., yet Michael Doliner wonders why, under the circumstances, so many in this vast loony bin are carrying on with business as usual. Perhaps it's thanks to Prozac and Viagra that life seems good -- but no drug provides benefit without risk. Philip Greenspan applies the risk/benefit analysis to war, and it didn't take government funding to conclude that every war throughout history has had unintended consequences. What the Iraq War will bring may not be known for years. However, Mr. Bush has finally spoken the truth: "Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but all of us can agree that the world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror." Translation: I lied to invade Iraq, and now that country is fraught with terrorism... Is some momentum building? Are the Downing Street Minutes finally getting media attention as the "I" word is batted about in the basement of Congress? Gerard Donnelly Smith calls for impeachment based on Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors, along with advice for Howard Dean.

What really happened in Rwanda? Who was behind the genocide? Here is a story that has not been told enough, courtesy of Mick Collins and John Steppling. The same could be said about what's really going on behind the U.S.'s relentless pressures on Iran. Why was it fine for Iran to become a nuclear power under the Shah but not after the 1979 Revolution? Ardeshir Ommani explains. Both of these stories are great examples of long-hidden Western deceptions.

It is often said that you need not speak the truth to power because power knows the truth but lies about it time and again; but you can face power head on like British activists Helen Steel and Dave Morris, who stood up to McDonalds and whose story is told in the documentary McLibel, reviewed and highly recommended by Jan Baughman. And our true cinematic expert, Charles Marowitz, recounts Bertolt Brecht's Hollywood screenwriting sojourn during his 1940s exile.

Finally, a Richard Macintosh poem on that very madness Doliner describes; our editor's blips with suggestions for the antiwar movement to support antiwar military families; and a few of your letters, minus John Steppling's review, as he is taking a summertime leave.

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


Richard Macintosh (1933-2005)

Gilles d'Aymery:  A Teacher to Emulate

Richard Macintosh, Swans columnist, friend and counselor, died on June 7, 2005, at St. Joseph's Hospital, Bellingham, Washington, following complications set in after surgery to repair a malfunction of his heart. He was 71.   More...


Alma A. Hromic:  My Friend, Richard

I first broke bread with Richard Macintosh in the back yard of his home in Blaine one weekend in early June of 2003. Before our move to Washington State in February of that year, all I had known of Richard were the articles he wrote for Swans and then the e-mail inviting us over to tea so we could meet in person.   More...


Deck Deckert:  Richard And Me

Sitting beside my desk is a box filled with magazines intended for Richard Mackintosh -- good liberal magazines like The Progressive, Harper's, Extra! (a publication of FAIR), newspapers like The Progressive Populist, and newsletters like The Washington Spectator and The Lowdown (Jim Hightower's publication).   More...


Richard Macintosh on Swans

The collection of 34 essays, articles and poems that Richard contributed over the past two years. His personal page will remain on the site, which was as much his as ours, for as long as Swans perdures.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Michael Doliner:  American Mental Health

You, my dear fellow American reader, are out of your mind. Nuts, and not in a nice way. Look at your smile in the mirror and you will see it. But worry not, for you are an inmate of a vast loony bin known as the United States of America. And you belong here, too. No one will ever let on. Look around you. Is someone buying a newspaper? What could be madder?   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Effective And Not So Effective Side Effects

The fact that prescription drugs produce side effects is well known. The benefits of drugs should be offset somewhat by their risks, though periodically the side effects of FDA-approved drugs are so serious that they are taken off the market.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Insurgent Word: Impeachment

Wake up Howard Dean! Remember: Regime change begins at home. Millions of Americans proudly displayed that sign during the 2004 election, hoping that they could exercise their right to expel the thieves from the White House. Unfortunately, because of election fraud in Ohio, as in Florida in 2000, the Bush Regime regained the presidency, and continues to consolidate power with threats of breaking the filibuster with a "nuclear option."   More...


Patterns Which Connect

John Steppling interviews Mick Collins:  Rwanda: The General's Story

Let's start with the overview of media disinformation on Rwanda. From the glaring (Hotel Rwanda) to the less clear (Gourevitch and the New York Times). How did that happen -- how did it happen in the former Yugoslavia -- and what are the repercussions for Africa?   More...


Ardeshir Ommani:  US Foreign Policy Toward Iran And Iran's Nuclear Program

Vice President Dick Cheney once said that the country that controls the Middle East oil can exercise a "stranglehold" over the global economy.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  Brecht In Hollywood

After the German theatre of the twenties was galvanized by productions of "Baal," "Drums in the Night" and "Threepenny Opera", the Weimar Republic got rudely swept away by the coming of the Third Reich and Bertolt Brecht found himself hounded from Denmark, to Sweden, to Finland through Russia, winding up in California in 1941.   More...


Jan Baughman:  McLibel: Food For Thought And Inspiration For The Soul

Friday, June 10, with my editor's encouragement and excellent information from Louis Proyect, I attended the San Francisco opening of McLibel at the Landmark Lumière theater.   More...



Richard Macintosh:  Morons And Madness

It's hard to tell the morons from the mad, these days,
Or the mad from the morons,
Madness and idiocy merging, as the case may be.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #21

"We can't kill them all. When I kill one I create three."
—Lt. Col. Frederick P. Wellman

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk: It's a pretty simple message sent here: OUT OF IRAQ NOW! and support the anti-war military families... Then there are lighter games, though scavengers are truly annoying (and that's a euphemism); Jesus shows up in a Pittsburgh bathroom, and more...Boonville News are there too with a few words in Occitan.   More...


Letters to the Editor


What happened to John Steppling's review? The Schiavo case's fallout; the antiwar movement; Dr. Gideon Polya on genocidal policies; and accolades from a proboscidean confrère.   More...



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Created: June 24, 2005