Note from the Editor

RALPH NADER FOR PRESIDENT... and best wishes to all the ABB lib-labs! There is only one exception we take with Mr. Nader: His reference to the "liberal intelligentsia." This is an improper and much too generous characterization. He should call them by their true appellation, "liberal philistines," who after criticizing Mr. Bush for demonizing the entire world turn around and demonize him with the same ardor, who hold their nose, throw their ideals out the window, and feel no compunction about voting for a Skull & Bones of lesser-evilism, all the while trashing anyone who dares refuse to line up, in sheep-like fashion, behind the democratic Johns. The Democratic Party? Oh, come on! Read Howie Hawkins's review of its nauseating malfeasance -- a century and a half legacy of racism, wars, corporate exploitation and reactionary politics. When will the right time for change be, ABBers? When? Who ever said that "a part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances, in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society...?" By the way, Californians, vote NO on Propositions 56, 57 and 58, which not surprisingly are supported in typical bipartisan custom by the Dems and the Reps -- always in cahoots when pushing down little people's throats regressive policies made to further transfer wealth from the many to the few.

If facts don't sway you, maybe humor will. The longer Phil Rockstroh has been contributing to Swans the looser, more unhinged his irony has become. Mark Morford of The San Francisco Chronicle should take heed. Rockstroh has a formidable talent! In this issue, he runs with Jackson's tit (Janet, that is), Ken and Barbie's divorce, and gay marriage to make his point. Do not misconstrue his hilarity for mere entertainment -- Phil can be deadly serious! We are also reposting his take on "it is as it was" Mel Gibson. In light of the recent brouhaha, it is worth reading or re-reading. Milo Clark, thanks to his temperament and the cool Hawaiian breeze, gives his level-headed analysis of the patterns which connect in Central Asia. He also revised a commentary on the Work of Robert Heinlein. Phil Greenspan has his own take on Saddam and Bush, with an eye on November 2004; and we present the second part of Scott Orlovsky's essay on "Shamanism and the Evolution of Humanity."

Then, we are back to the debunking of the neo-liberal system as a force of progress, able to "deliver the goods," thanks to the excellent review of Michael Yates's latest book, Naming the System, by Louis Proyect; and we close with a poem by Gerard Donnelly Smith that pretty much recapitulates the entire issue. A letter from a friendly reader, John Blunt, while not in response to today's rendition, enhances Howie Hawkins's article and our editorial, reflecting much of our sentiments.

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


Countdown to 2004

Gilles d'Aymery & Jan Baughman:  Ralph Nader: If Not Now, When?

Editorial: Kudos to Ralph Nader for not kowtowing to the immense pressure to stay out of the 2004 US presidential race. Of course, his decision is portrayed as evidence of his huge ego, and not of his great convictions, and the urban legends and propaganda claiming that the votes Nader won cost Al Gore the 2000 election are back in full force.   More...


Howie Hawkins:  There Never Were Any "Good Old Days" In The Democratic Party

"A liberation movement for the Democratic Party" is one of the goals Ralph Nader stated for his campaign in the question and answer period of his February 23 press conference announcing his 2004 independent presidential candidacy. He went on to a lament that progressives had let their Democratic Party slip away to corporate interests since about 1980.   More...


Humor with a Zest

Phil Rockstroh:  Wayward Breasts And The Ever-Vigilant Reign Of Empress Barbie

Somewhere in this empire of Paxil and paranoia: A car alarm has sounded, issuing its electronic admonition to the empty air...   More...


Phil Rockstroh:  A Poison Pen Letter To Our Apostle Of Perpetual Psychosis,
Brother Mel Gibson

You just had to go and do it, didn't you? You had to go scavenging through the bone yard of buried religious delusions and dig-up that putrescent lie. Yet: When anger and scorn come your way as a result, you want to portray yourself as the aggrieved party in the situation.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Milo Clark:  Pakistan: Buddy Or Pariah?

Beginning in 1996, I have written over 120 commentaries for Swans. They range from pastoral to quixotic. Perhaps, in the view of those who have usurped power in this country, to seditious.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Philip Greenspan:  It Wasn't Saddam, And It Ain't Bush!

Last year the name that appeared most often in the news was probably that of Saddam Hussein.   More...


Scott Orlovsky:  Shamanism And The Evolution Of Humanity, Part II

During the ecstatic trance state a new landscape of sense experience not normally detected by the human nervous system opens to the shaman's soul.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Michael Yates's Naming the System

Michael Yates's Naming the System is very much in the spirit of Monthly Review's "The Leo Huberman People's Library," a series that was designed to "assist new people ... achieve revolutionary consciousness."   More...


Milo Clark:  Future History: The Work of Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein cut the mold for sci-fi in many ways. A 1929 Annapolis graduate, illness sidelined him from the Navy in 1934. He did some work.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Killing Socrates

All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Socrates is mortal.

Ergo Socrates can be killed.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Ralph Nader, the lib-labs, the Democrats, Phil Rockstroh and Mel Gibson, and Philip Greenspan.   More...



– If you wish to receive an e-mail regarding each new rendition (twice a month) with the Note from the Editor and the URL to each article, please send an e-mail with "Subscribe Swans" in the subject line. Please also include your first/last name in the body of the message.



« Previous | Current Issue | Next »


Created: March 10, 2004