Note from the Editor

Asking whether America is on the brink of, or in the throes of, totalitarianism is about as useful as questioning the risk of civil war in Iraq -- call it what you want, but you can't ignore the symptoms. With violence on the increase in the latter, Donald Rumsfeld is spinning the story until he's dizzy, blaming the reporting (his media!) for exaggerating the number of attacks on mosques and the number of Iraqi deaths. Recall, my goodness gracious, you would have thought that Iraq was full of vases, when it was one vase being looted over and over again... As to the question of totalitarianism in America, Michael Doliner explains this mass political movement in the face of the bungling, criminally incompetent, perpetually vacationing Bush administration, whose domestic policy advisor was arrested in a bizarre theft scheme that can only be described as... consistent with US domestic policy. Even Sandra Day O'Connor, having let her robes down, has warned (albeit off the record) that, "It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings." It's a bit like trying to avoid a civil war at this point, but keep telling it like it is, Sandra!

Also telling it like it is, Gerard Donnelly Smith continues his "Insurgent Word" series with a look at how we lost control of the information environment in a world of propaganda, threats, blackmail, and hypocrisy in the form of fighting an Orwellian "war to spread peace." As Deck Deckert illustrates, the propaganda campaign is well underway to draw up support from the masses for an attack on Iran. The "Long War" is providing handsome rewards for the ruling elite, and all in the name of democracy. Now that's capitalism at its finest -- or worst; Philip Greenspan calls a spade a spade. Faced with increased chaos, Milo Clark recommends taking time to breathe deeply, regain perspective, and find survival in smallness. In fact, there are bright spots among us, and one that was recently extinguished is former US Congressman Charles Porter of Oregon, described by George Beres as a modern Don Quixote and a shining example of leadership for the people and not the elite. Another political death, that of Slobodan Milosevic, will not be mourned in the mainstream media; and, as you can predict, we have some thoughts on the cursed statesman that reflect Swans' extensive coverage of NATO's wars on Yugoslavia.

In our Arts & Culture center we have some creative child-rearing advice. Charles Marowitz explains how not to extort love from your ever-evolving children but rather to love them in a way that grows with them; and Martin Murie waxes nostalgic over the good, clean fun that comes from playing in the dirt rather than falling on the asphalt of our now-sterile playgrounds.

Meantime, we've not had a dose of Blips in awhile, but the spigot reopened and out flowed some matters from Judeophobia to the missing Weapons of Freedom and Democracy; sedition and Hitlerites; social retribution for a repentant Congressman; and navigating the maze of government bureaucracy in the land of Boonville, where one's house becomes a figment of one's imagination. We end with Laura Madeline Wiseman's poetry, your letters, and the continuing discussion with Dr. Jacob Amir on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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


The Balkans & former Yugoslavia

Gilles d'Aymery:  Slobodan Milosevic, 1941-2006: A Cursed, Blasted Statesman

Slobodan Milosevic, the former president of the sorely missed Yugoslavia, and later, of Serbia, died in his prison cell in Scheveningen, Netherlands, on March 11, 2006. He had long been suffering from chronic heart ailments and high blood pressure. His condition was worsening. He had requested to be allowed safe passage to Russia to get treatment. The Russian government had assured the authorities at The Hague Tribunal that once treated he would be sent back to the Netherlands. The Russians were ignored. The request was denied. He is dead.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Doliner:  Totalitarianism Then And Now

The word "totalitarianism" is, in itself, a piece of deft propaganda. With it spinmeisters yolk together the Nazis and Stalinists and claim that leftists are Stalinists and hence Nazis. Burdened with this harness the left had to drag Hitler and Stalin along as baggage. "Totalitarianism" became a tool in the ideological battle of the Cold War and effectively turned a class struggle into a struggle between "freedom" and Nazism. Now which side are you on?   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Insurgent Word: Information Environment

If the United States and its "coalition of the willing" are the alleged good guys, as we have been reminded over and over again by President Bush, then how did we lose the control of the "information environment"? In speech after speech, President Bush claims that we have "spread freedom" and "democracy" wherever the US military goes. He claims over and over again that "We are at war to spread peace." Such a reversal of logic would embed the Peace Corps and the Red Cross in the Pentagon.   More...


Deck Deckert:  Repeating Disaster

The war in Iraq is monstrous, immoral, illegal, unconstitutional, and a slaughter of innocents that puts us in the same category as all other invaders in history. We don't care about that.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Rhetoric And Reality: Democracy And Hypocrisy

Every country is controlled by an elite whose interests usually are not merely different but often inimical to the general public of the country. Support from the public is imperative if the elite's interests are to be pursued and satisfied. While those interests are constantly at variance with those of the public, they must never allow the public to wise up and gain the upper hand by revolting against their betters.   More...


Milo Clark:  Naqshbandi And Kohr

Sufism is often said to be the mysticism of Islam. Naqshbandi is a brand of Sufism. Few grok Sufism. Leopold Kohr, a socio-economist philosopher, expounded the size theory of history. Smaller is better. Larger eventually implodes. Kohr may be described as a mystic of economics. Few grok Kohr.   More...


George Beres:  Charles Porter: The Loss Of A Great Oregonian

When former US Congressman Charles Porter of Oregon died in January he left -- in Lincolnesque terms -- an empty spot against the sky, as if a giant fir had fallen. It had an impact all the way to the nation's capitol, even though it had been half a century since he served there.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  The Love Extortionists

"Give us a big kiss before you go," says the puckering mommy with half-shut eyelids as her dutiful 6-year-old busses her smack on the lips. When, at the end of his school day, he returns home, her open embrace will be like a cuddly extension of the cushy great womb from which the child first sprang into the world.   More...


Martin Murie:  Dirt Places

One summer a new fad took over Jackson Hole's kid population, Bottle Horse Ranching. I'm not sure, but suspect that the ranch kids started it. We townies began regular roundups to the back lots of Jackson's three saloons, picking up whiskey bottles -- those were the cows (Herefords in those days), and beer bottles -- those were the horses.   More...



Laura Madeline Wiseman:  Mother May I

What was thy pity's recompense? ~Byron

You've stood cowering in a corner of the basement.
A black fist mark blooming on the swell of your belly.
A fat lip shining and oozing a slim trail of blood.
You're naked and I can see the body's betrayal.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #34

"Idiocy and hate should be blessed. They drive the world."
—Author wishes to remain anonymous>

If you listen to James Petras and Justin Raimondo, then you know the Israelis are at it again, with their "fifth column" and their "dual loyalists," the sayanim. Papa Dick tells you where the next threat is coming from, and what we are doing to defeat "evil." No Sir, Mr. Bush is not Hitler, and we are not seditious losers. We love Weapons of Freedom and Democracy. . . . and we deeply commiserate with the "Duke." Experience with Mendocino County bureaucrats and the daily life we are facing should be of some curiosity to the readers. All in all, 5,900 words of bewilderment.   More...


Letters to the Editor


A continuation of the discussion with Dr. Jacob Amir on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; more on US voting fraud; seeking action from that silent majority that disapproves of Mr. Bush; and an antiwar appeal from a Vietnam War Veteran.   More...



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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: March 18, 2006