Note from the Editor

The concept of freedom of speech is in vogue in Washington. Not as a practice, mind you, but as a bait-and-switch manner of saying, "no comment." Pat Robertson and Cindy Sheehan can say whatever they want -- it's a free country and we're proud of that -- next question? The Democrats have no comment either, hoping that if they just keep quiet and don't mess up, the Republicans will dig their own graves and hand over their power on a silver platter. Meantime, what's a "progressive" to do -- is there a recipe for change? Robert Wrubel has some suggestions on where to focus in light of the crises facing us -- global warming and peak oil. Speaking of which, Gilles d'Aymery fills in for Mr. Bush's "no comment" and provides Mrs. Sheehan the answer to her "noble cause" question, and it's not "democracy." Jan Baughman has some thoughts on Sheehan as a symbol for the intentionally growing economic divide that is weakening and silencing the people, and George Beres reports on the impact of intimidation at the local level, where politicians are growing mute in the face of "warnings from above."

Both silence and intimidation are common practices as the Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay torture horrors keep coming to light -- unthinkable acts that are nothing compared to those committed in Vietnam, according to Milo Clark. Systematic torture as administrative policy lives on, now in the name of homeland security, but with no demonstrable increase in safety. More on "terrorism," "security," and our new kind of warfare from Michael Doliner and Philip Greenspan.

So many of us feel completely helpless in the face of all this destruction and violence in the name of greed, and wonder if Bush & Co. will ever be held accountable for their crimes. Charles Marowitz as playwright provides much-needed comic relief, in which W. is summoned by G. for all the scandals being committing in Her name. Poetry by Gerard Donnelly Smith, our editor's blips, with some thoughts on freedom of speech, reactionary ideology, torture, etc., and your letters finish out this edition.

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


Activism under the Radar Screen

Robert Wrubel:  Recipe For Change

Two great global crises confront us now -- both easily demonstrated and both apparently unthinkable to our leaders: global warming and peak oil. Both of these developments present future scenarios that are truly frightening -- the end of our industrial economy and total disruption of our way of life -- and for that reason seem to be beyond addressing by said leaders.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Gilles d'Aymery:  The Noble Cause: Oil

With no disrespect for Frank Rich's acumen, the war in Iraq is far from over. "So long as I'm the President," Mr. Bush said on August 24, 2005 in Nampa, Idaho, "we will stay, we will fight, and we will win the war on terror." We are not leaving anytime soon. We plan to be in the Middle East, permanently, for a "noble cause" that is never laid out to the public.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Darwinism and Intelligent Economic Design

After two rattlesnake-free years, on a recent hot day we spotted two within half an hour; a very large snake discovered by our curious dog, and a second, smaller snake coiled up in a crevice on the side of the road. "What do we do about them?" we asked the locals. "Take yer rifle and shoot 'em," they consistently replied, in utter disbelief that we do not own a gun.   More...


George Beres:  Local Face Of Intimidation By Government Mind Control

Intimidation by the Bush administration is becoming so pervasive that even the strongest supporters of the legendary senator, Wayne Morse, seem fearful of speaking out.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  Torture

How do I write about torture? nflicting pain beyond description to elicit information or compliance or to amuse those who torture appears to be ageless. Read the Old Testament for examples.   More...


Michael Doliner:  "Terrorism" And "Security"

It is a truth universally acknowledged: we must counter "terrorism," the scourge of the age, with "security," our savior and protector.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  A New Kind of Warfare

The 9/11 attack was interpreted by the Bush administration as an act of war. An alternate interpretation was that it was a crime. Which is correct?   More...


Humor With a Zest

Charles Marowitz:  A Summons From God

Scene: The Heavenly Kingdom. The Arch-angel GABRIEL, scampers through the swing-doors holding his golden trumpet. George nervously scampers to his feet.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Suffering (for Jason and Cara)

While Mars drew nigh the cresent moon,
my loves and I philosophized.
suffering our complacency
with cheeses and red wine.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #24

"The dispensing of injustice is always in the right hands."
—Stanislaw Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, 1962

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from champion of free speech Donald Rumsfeld to un-American extremist traitor Cindy Sheehan; from Algeria to Abu Ghraib; to racial profiling and California justice, with a few blips in between.   More...


Letters to the Editor


The debate continues, from Srebrenica massacre vs. political spin, to 9/11 conspiracies that we've neglected to take seriously, thereby providing a disservice to our readers...   More...



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Created: September 4, 2005