Note from the Editor

Watching US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice give a speech at the French Institute of Political Sciences -- the august institution this editor attended -- where she brought a message of forgiveness from Mr. Bush to the European leaders for being correct on the absence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq brought tears of laughter matched only by the election of Howard Dean to the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. How the Deaniacs who left the Greens in droves in 2003/2004 to join the oh-so "progressive" candidate will react to this news is anyone's guess. It sure did not take long for Dean to shed his progressive colors back to the center right to which he always belonged. He even agrees with Senator Hillary Clinton that abortion is bad and abstinence good. "There's nobody who's pro-abortion in America," says he. Oh no, ma'am, we ain't pro-abortion; we want it rare...but legal, see. Err, what about promoting contraception in the first place? 'Cause, see, it's not a part of our great American "values"... From progressive to value-based centrism, the Deaniacs should rejoice!

One who does not, however, is Phil Rockstroh who, with the help of a wonderful graphic by Angela Tyler-Rockstroh, takes on religious fundamentalism over the very issue of abortion; and since social bigotry is omnipresent, Philip Greenspan looks at its corollary, political bigotry democratic style; and what about the zealotry of our liberal intellectuals en chaise longues, always at the ready to launch a witch hunt in the name of their own pleasing or displeasing values? They can't even heed the words of John Stuart Mill, the great advocate of liberalism, individual rights and free speech. That's how pathetic these people are. Add the exploitation of the citizens for military gains (cf. Ian Werkheiser's article), and you won't be surprised that Milo Clark wonders about implosion. But before you decide to move to Canada, you better read Dave Patterson's report -- it ain't that much rosier up North!

This has been a sad week, first with the passing of Arthur Miller, whose creativity and political courage are remembered here thanks to Louis Proyect and Charles Marowitz, then the demise of Bruce Anderson's weekly, the AVA Oregon!. Were it not for the Internet, where operating costs are much lower, there would not be much independent press left in the U.S. Real journalists are a dying species, replaced by the politically correct robotic bureaucrats regurgitating the corporate-owned party line.

Much more in this edition: A review of George Carlin's When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?; a poem on torture by Gerard Donnelly Smith; a short vignette on Sha Sha Higby; a rather fiery review of our last issue by John Steppling, among various Letters to the Editor; and if you want to know more about those open letters and other statements signed by the haughty left, have a peep through the blips from the Martian desk.

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


America: Myths and Realities

Phil Rockstroh:  It Makes The Unborn Baby Jesus Cry
Graphic by Angela Tyler-Rockstroh

I dreamed I was a fetus floating within the protective womb of Dubya's America. In the dream, my work cubicle, the sealed interior of my SUV, and my insular guarded gate suburban home were awash in an amniotic fluid of mass media imagery; an umbilical cord tethered me to the corporate state, feeding me a steady supply of junk food and mind-numbing pharmaceuticals. The world outside the safety of my womb bristled with menace, threatening as the surgical knife of an abortionist.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Put "-ocracy" On The Proper Prefix

Democracy, democracy, democracy. Politicians in the U.S. are consistently peppering their communications with that word. No matter what dubious policy they are out to sell they will wrap it up with a copious supply of democracy. Well, what is this democracy that is being bandied about so much?   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Another Witch Hunt Story

Here they go again, from the conservatives (O'Reilly, Rick Lowry, the WSJ editorial page, et al.) to the liberals à la Marc Cooper, Michael Bérubé and other cherubim of the bien-pensant left, they gathered the dogs and went hunting for the past week or so. Their game? A relatively obscure professor (for those of us little familiar with Indian Studies) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Ward Churchill. His crime?   More...


Ian Werkheiser:  The Draft

Despite being explicitly told that there would be no need to draft US citizens to cover our military adventurism abroad, it looks increasingly inevitable.   More...


Art & Culture

Louis Proyect:  Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller, one of our greatest political artists, died at the age of 89 on February 11, 2005. Although none of his other plays received the critical acclaim of "Death of a Salesman," his reputation could rest on this one work alone. Whatever his sixteen other plays, including "The Crucible" or "The Price," might have lacked in craftsmanship they more than made up for in terms of political and social insight.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  A Death In The Family

For those of us who were brought up on the romance of the Group Theatre and a belief that a playwright had to be a socio-political animal in order for his esthetic to be entirely legitimate, the death of Arthur Miller on February 11th was like a death in the family.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  AVA Oregon!, RIP

Here's how I concluded my plug on November 15, 2004 on behalf of Bruce Anderson's new weekly paper: "I can't assure you that the world would be better off if it had legions of Bruce Andersons scattered all over the planet, but without hesitation I can guarantee you America would; and so will you when you read him." Well, you aren't going to read him anymore, at least not in the AVA Oregon!. The paper has headed for the chopping block.   More...


Milo Clark:  Sha Sha Higby: An Appreciation

Sha Sha Higby is from Faery. Unique is a confining word for Sha Sha. She gathers air into form and expands beyond it. Through her, space is released from its bounds. She gives color new perspectives, moving far off-screen beyond out-of-box.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  Implosion Time?

As it is improbable that any one single event would plunge the nation and the world into financial ruin and social catastrophe, what might accumulate to bring about a similar result?   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Musings On Natural Disasters

In Shakespeare, natural disasters always foreshadow the dissolution of the state. In Julius Caesar, for instance, the assassination of the emperor is preceded by inexplicably powerful storms;   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Dave Patterson:  Canadian "Alternative" Media As Fifth Column?

An open letter to anyone who says they speak for, or provide a forum for, "progressives" in Canada (that is to say, those whose allegiance lies somewhere besides the "PC"-Lib Tweedledee-dum corporate governments we have been living under for the last 20 years in this country):   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Charles Marowitz:  George Carlin: Apocalyptic Comedy

Since the demise of Lenny Bruce, there has been no shortage of fulsome foul-mouthed funnymen. Vegas and Cable TV have produced an endless stream of crass, four-letter and twelve-letter drolls who have plumbed the depths of our sexual mores and exposed the ickier nuances of our lavatorial habits.   More...


John Stuart Mill:  On Liberty
Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion

The Time, it is to be hoped, is gone by when any defence would be necessary of the "liberty of the press" as one of the securities against corrupt or tyrannical government. No argument, we may suppose, can now be needed, against permitting a legislature or an executive, not identified in interest with the people, to prescribe opinions to them, and determine what doctrines or what arguments they shall be allowed to hear.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Sacred And The Profane

Upon the statues, upon the temple walls
Applied to invoke the goddess, but
Not for all is this lunar cycle blessed:   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #12

"As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand."
—Josh Billings, Affurisms, 1865

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk: on the grand "success" of the Iraq elections, much more on America's egocentric left's Open Letters and grand-standing statements that "change" the world, a suggestion to Joanne Landy, the sad demise of the AVA Oregon!, and, of course, the Boonville News, with a few tibits in between.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Philip Greenspan's thoughts on war and elections; creating a progressive movement in Canada; shock and awe regarding Marowitz's support of Havel; support from the coiner of "corporism;" and John Steppling's wintery grumblings on our last issue, including "who dressed Dick Cheney for his visit to Krakow?"   More...



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Created: February 19, 2005