Note from the Editor

Now that the Deaniacs have officially taken a Kerryian outlook of the world, Howard Dean can call for the multinational removal of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on NBC's Meet The Press. Saddam Hussein's removal would have been okay too, had it been done through a multinational surgical action, and for "legitimate" reasons. In this light, Aristide's deposition from Haiti was kosher -- hey, weren't the French our allies this time around? Who's next? What about Hugo Chávez of Venezuela? He sure is a good candidate for multinational surgical excision. See, in spite of the country's fabulous oil wealth more than 70 percent of the population lives in poverty and the Chávez administration has directed the national oil company to increase its social spending from $40 million to $1.7 billion a year, thus transferring some of The Commons back to the commoners, away from the elite and the banks in Miami. Chávez's policies, a reversal of a long historical trend that has seen property rights and privatization become sacrosanct (see Milo Clark's article), are anathema in Western chancelleries. Ergo, Mr. Chávez, like Robert Mugabe or Fidel Castro, is branded a dictator, an enemy of freedom and democracy, a tyrant governing through corruption and violence. Unilateralists or multilateralists, same combat! Actually, Gerard Donnelly Smith provides a good example of what private enterprise can do for you; and both Manuel García and Phil Rockstroh look into the potential -- or probable -- consequences if the neo-liberal order continues unabated.

Injustice and exploitation are much on Eli Beckerman's mind, as well as an insatiable thirst for alternatives, as he ponders the significance of Martin Luther King's slaying some 36 years ago. Certainly, submits Scott Orlovsky, replacing our black and white world with liberty and fraternity, taking profits out of the equation, would serve the greater needs of The Commons. But, here again, so long as the neo-liberal order carries on unabated...

Mr. Bush, instead of sending personalized pictures to Charter Members of his campaign (seriously, look at the picture and the letter in "Err, Mr. Bush, What Went Wrong?" -- they are hilarious!), and Mr. Kerry would be well-advised to listen to Frank Wycoff and the kind of messages he would like to hear from them or any other president. He has a few concrete ideas, for instance saving on the White House rental to help the homeless. Michael Stowell, who relates some of his latest experience with homelessness and observations on how to turn people inside out, would undoubtedly agree. But will the "Good Americans" do what's necessary to overcome the interrelated conditions that keep them down? For Philip Greenspan, a young 77 years old, an unrepentant optimist and unrelenting activist, nothing's impossible! It's incumbent upon all of us to prove him right. Take the time to visit the International ANSWER coalition regarding information about the March 20 demonstrations around the U.S.

We end with another poem by Gerard Donnelly Smith and the repost of an excerpt of Diana Johnstone's Fools' Crusade.

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


Patterns which Connect

Milo Clark:  Privatization: A Platform Issue

Privatization means giving away community assets, The Commons, to private investors or corporations for a fraction of their societal value. Politicians who profit from privatization argue that private corporate management is better than public management. Better for whom?   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Environmental Contamination and Genocide: Tar Creek Superfund Site

Once, the Wyandotte, Seneca, Huron, Cherokee and hundreds of other First Nations lived East of the Mississippi in the fertile woodlands crisscrossed with streams, and dotted with lakes teaming with fish and wildlife. But along with the majority of coastal and woodlands aborigines, they were moved by Andrew Jackson to the Oklahoma Territory: a land supposedly barren.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  Oil, Population And Global Warming

Future historians will look back on the 200 years of the 20th and 21st centuries as the Oil Period in world history. During this time, the latent heat of buried petroleum will have been mined and released into a dramatically warmed and crowded planetary surface.   More...


Phil Rockstroh:  Global Warming: The Passion Of The Snow Globe of Doom

Something happened. Somewhere between the primordial slime that was our beginning and the drifting galaxies that we yearn to move toward -- we have lost our way.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Eli Beckerman:  The Power Of The People Don't Stop

Something strange in the air this year, as though the winds are about to change. February represented yet another black history month ignored, though January saw a shifting focus of celebration around Martin Luther King Junior's birthday. And coming up on the 36th anniversary of his death on April 4th, there is a renewed sense of the significance of his slaying.   More...


Scott Orlovsky:  Liberté vs. Fraternité

Blue and red portray fields, stripes, and stars on the flags of many modern nations, and the arrangement of these two primary colors awaken fervid emotions in those who have been instructed to pay homage to them each morning in the schools and before the commencement of every sports competition.   More...


Countdown to 2004 with a Zest of Humor

Gilles d'Aymery:  Err, Mr. Bush, What Went Wrong?

Dear Mr. Bush: Your faithful lieutenant and Chairman of "Bush-Cheney '04, Inc." (Not Printed at Taxpayers' Expense...but incorporated nonetheless), Marc Racicot, sent me this wonderfully personalized picture of your good self and your charming wife:   More...


Frank Wycoff:  Jobs And Janet Jackson

One day before I die I would like to hear a presidential candidate or a president say a few things to the American people; I am just so tired of the policy rat-a-tat-tat that I've heard forever. Ten presidents now and they all sound the same...   More...


Solutions Under the Radar Screen

Michael Stowell:  Inside Out

Soup kitchens and communal bunk beds, can you imagine yourself there? That's the future for many Americans, especially those in the "baby-boomer" generation.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  The Good Germans (Nazi Era) And The Good Americans (Today)

How could a modern civilized country sink to the barbaric depths that could produce the horrors of Nazi Germany? What could account for the approval or acquiescence of the German citizens to such evil rulers?   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Diana Johnstone:  Fools' Crusade

At the end of November 1999, an important new movement against "globalization" emerged in massive protests against the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. Strangely enough, only months earlier, when NATO launched its first aggressive war by bombing Yugoslavia, there had been remarkably little protest. Yet NATO's violent advance into southeast Europe was precisely related to the globalization process opposed in Seattle. Few seemed to grasp the connection.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Lies, Lies, Always Lies

When they ask: "for whom did you vote?"
I reply "the man in power," hoping to distract their attention
from the molotov cocktail held behind my back.   More...



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Created: March 22, 2004