Note from the Editor

We hear that the first act of President Jacques Chirac of France, upon being re-elected to his country's supreme magistrature with 82.1 percent of the vote (only 20 percent abstention), is to exile the defeated far-right candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen, to the USA. Just kidding... But thinking of it, Le Pen would be welcome here with the likes of Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson; they'd become the three musketeers of white, Christian Occident, anti-immigrants, anti-abortion, women back in the kitchen and all the niceties these guys keep coming up with to appeal to the lowest common denominator of so-called human nature. Start a talk show on CNN with the three of them and both Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge would become envious of the ratings. Le Pen would just blend into the crowd of Americana!

For undoubtedly we -- the happy few 4 percent of the planet -- are the land of democracy and civil liberties as Steve Gowans and Deck Deckert demonstrate, the land of milk and honey where Monsanto will promise to feed the world at a price that the world cannot afford and with unforeseen consequences, as Jan Baughman and Alma Hromic reveal. Next, Monsanto will need to find a way to clone the 200 species that are being extinguished every day as a result of the transfer of their biomass to ours. But don't worry about our actions; no one can sue us: We ARE the Law. His Highness Bush II is "unsigning" the treaty (a first in history) creating an international criminal court and will assert that we are not bound by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law and Treaties. As Milo Clark writes, there is nothing inherently wrong here...till we depend on a sheer dominance of physical power for our survival... The future is bright!

And while this brightness illuminates all the way to the Middle East, more particularly over the blessed lone democracy in the area, whose history Milo Clark touches upon in his own style, Serbs must be literally dumbfounded by the events that have taken place in the past five weeks in the West Bank. Steve Gowans draws an interesting picture when he compares these events with those in Kosovo... But here again, not to worry, the future is bright as Sharon comes into town with his own generous plan filled with painful concessions, a short primer revealed by Gilles d'Aymery with an irony the Palestinians will certainly appreciate.

Finally, the first two parts of a ten-part poem by Hromic that continues her theme of immigration, and two must-read book reviews by Milo Clark, "Dollars for Terror, The United States and Islam" and "The Sixteen-Trillion-Dollar Mistake, How the U. S. Bungled its National Priorities from the New Deal to the Present," complete the new crop of articles, essays and poetry for this rendition.

As always, form your OWN opinion and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.


America: Myths and Realities

Stephen Gowans:  The United States v. Democracy

"We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of few," remarked US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. "But we can't have both."   More...


Deck Deckert:  The Wrong Stuff

"I don't understand this USA Patriot Act," my Martian friend Yyuran said.

"A great thing," I said enthusiastically. "It is going to help keep us free."   More...


$$$ Biotech Science $$$

Alma A. Hromic:  The Hand Of God

It is not unusual to fear something one does not understand. The science of genetics is so far away from the everyday lives of everyday people that it often assumes the status of a mythical monster. So what, precisely, is genetic engineering and why is it getting so many people upset?   More...


Jan Baughman:  Of Rice And Men: The Mistaken Promise Of Genomics

Biotechnology aims in agriculture strive to improve the nutrient value of foods such as rice, toughen them up for transport from field to market, and develop plants that emit their own pesticide and have increased crop yields. The most prominent promises of human genomics research include diagnosing, preventing and curing disease in humans.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  Self Interest

Self-interest, as such, is a reasonable approximation of human behaviors within scale. That is, self-interest is functional up to a point and dysfunctional thereafter.   More...


Middle East Quagmire

Milo Clark:  Israel

What if all is irrelevant except killing and destroying? Following my curiosity, I recently muddled around in the history of Judaism, Zionism and Palestine covering a couple thousand years and focused on the twentieth century and the post WW II years.   More...


Stephen Gowans:  Massacre Or Not? It Depends On Which Side Of Washington's Ledger You're On

In 1999, Serb police alerted the media of an impending arrest of a man accused of murdering a police officer. The arrest would take place in Racak, a Kosovo village, known as a Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) stronghold.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Blackmailing Palestinians: Plucked, Cooked, Baked And Packaged

Ariel Sharon is coming into town with his own peace plan (#2,977), a serious peace plan, fair to all parties involved, something like Allon Plus Plus. There was the original Allon plan in the seventies, then the Netanyahu Allon Plus plan. With Sharon it'll be Plus Plus.   More...


Michael W. Stowell:  Palestine and Israel

[Ed. This article was written over one year ago but remains quite relevant.]

When I contemplate the state of affairs in Palestine and Israel I am faced with the whole of human conflict at its primal level; the human family fighting over a pile of rocks. I'm also faced with a deplorable question; will we destroy our humanity in our quest for ownership of the Earth?   More...



Alma A. Hromic:  Going Home: i - Looking Back

[Ed. This is the first part of a ten-part poem]

Sometimes the wind touches me
with familiar fingers,

I stand on the shore of an ocean.   More...


Alma A. Hromic:  Going Home: ii - Taking Flight

[Ed. Second part of a ten-part poem]

A child's spirit
loosed like an arrow
into the world.

I left behind the old country,
all that I loved,
all that I knew.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Milo Clark:  Dollars for Terror

The Bushite "War on Terror" joins history primarily as puzzlement. To take only one prior puzzlement ending in war, is there coincidence, simple epidemic incompetence or something else in process at the time: In spite of broken codes, voluminous message traffic and intercepts, accurate data on movements, elaborate documentation of orders of battle, etc.;   More...


Milo Clark:  Dollars for Terror

Rarely is Federal budgeting and spending looked at as a whole rather than parts. To do so endangers credulity if not inducing retching. Presidents propose budgets. Congress prepares budgets and enabling legislation. Basic checks and balances -- too bad it works so poorly.   More...



– We've added a new classification of the work published here, Humor with a Zest.



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Created: May 14, 2002