Note from the Editors

"Don't Ignore the Warning Signs: World War III is Escalating!" was the ominous headline in a January 25 press release by James DiGeorgia. No, it's not about Rapture; as editor of the Gold and Energy Advisor, he's suggesting how to profit from mayhem. "Diversify your investment portfolio with gold, platinum, silver, and the right oil sector investments. Pay attention to the warning signs and 2007 could be an enormous year for your portfolio even as chaos unfolds on the world stage." Yes, folks, it all boils down to natural resources and war profiteering.

As the world enters the post fossil fuels era without having found or invented energy alternatives, the 1957 speech by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the "father of the nuclear navy," brings an honest picture of the bind we created for ourselves. Two other texts, a 1978/1998 lecture by Dr. Albert Bartlett and the 2005 Hirsch Report, further the understanding of the energy situation we face and the immense challenges ahead...and the US involvement in the Middle East. Oil is the elephant in the room of every discussion on why we dismantled Iraq and have our sights set on Iran, and the only steps we take toward "decreasing our dependence on foreign oil" is to claim it as our own, thereby rendering it domestic! This strategy is not an American invention -- as Jan Baughman illustrates, it's a 5000-year practice repackaged as a "new" way forward.

Having successfully demonized Iran's President Ahmadinejad, one can only imagine what the Bush regime will conjure up -- in between testifying in the Libby trial -- to further justify its escalation. See what Philip Greenspan has to say on Iran, and hope that his prediction for the emergence of a hero will ring true. Of course, said hero would have to break from his/her blind obedience to the State, only to be labeled an insurgent -- Gerard Donnelly Smith continues his series with a look at loyalty and power. Bruce Patterson suggests we need a Fifth Estate that follows Joseph Pulitzer's principles of fighting for progress and reform in order to combat the growing corporate warfare state and Constitutional crisis.

For our French-speaking compatriots, Mohammed Ben Jelloun translated his recent article on Lebanon's domestic crisis, Les Revendications Démocratiques Du Hezbollah. In an analysis of the US domestic crisis, Milo Clark turns to Leopold Kohr's classic work, and first-time contributor Carol Warner Christen shares a hypnotic look at the current national fear of the Other.

Heeding the call of the wild, Martin Murie tells the stories of two inspiring back-to-nature individuals. In Arts & Culture, Peter Byrne combines fact and fiction with genuine literary quality in a tale of Edward Lear, with insights on how art is made and the nuances of a master-servant angle; Charles Marowitz lends his sharp-witted review to the play Legends; Robert Wrubel critiques The Good Shepherd for its lack of Le Carré subtlety; and Guido Monte paints a poem in the colors of Kenya. Finally, your letters, full of vigor about energy, including the exchange that introduced us to Carol Warner Christen.

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


Energy Dossier

Admiral Hyman G. Rickover:  Energy Resources And Our Future
Introduction by Gilles d'Aymery

This 50-year-old text you are about to read was submitted to the Congressional Record for the 110th Congress on January 24, 2007 (Pages H936-H939) by Representative Roscoe G. Bartlett (R. MD) and is reproduced here as is.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Jan Baughman:  The "New" Way Forward

Cartoon: Yes People, the mining pyramid is not new and neither is the Iraq War. "The 'New' Way Forward" in Mesopotamia is as ancient as Mesopotamia itself, or more. It is the Establishment's way to keep the pyramid going, and going, and going. Does it make sense humanely and ecologically? You decide.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Another Neocon Disaster Awaits

The curtain has risen on the final act, the last two years of the Bush administration's eight-year era spanning the rise and likely demise of the neocon war plans.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Insurgent Word: Zhōng ("Loyalty")

In an age of falsehood, misplaced loyalty binds one to actions he/she might or should otherwise reject. Does loyalty to one's superior demand that the individual act against his/her best interest or the better interest of all?   More...


Bruce Patterson:  The 5th Estate

All dictatorial social systems are protection rackets. European feudalism during the Absolutist Era is one glaring example. Society was broken down into three "estates."   More...


Middle East

Mohammed Ben Jelloun:  Les Revendications Démocratiques Du Hezbollah

Dans son discours de la prière du vendredi, le premier décembre 2006 coïncidant avec le premier jour de sit-in dans La Protestation anti-gouvernementale libanaise en cours, Cheikh Abd al-Amir Kabalan, le vice président du Conseil chiite du Liban, précisait que les revendications de l'opposition étaient de caractère "consociatif ;" "nous sommes pour la participation consociative et non pas le système des majorités et minorités," dit-il.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Milo Clark:  The Breakdown of Nations

Leopold Kohr's classic work, The Breakdown of Nations, was written in the early 1950s; first published in 1957, republished in 1986 and again in 2001.   More...


Carol Warner Christen:  Fear, Distraction, Hypnosis, And The National Attention Span

Humankind has four enemies: fear, knowledge, power, and old age according to Carlos Castenada. Fear is the first enemy of humanity: we will live fearfully until we conquer it.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Call Of The Wild

If Uncas and Chingachgook could speak, what might they reveal about Deer Slayer, aka Hawkeye, their white companion? What secrets have Pontiac and Tecumseh and Geronimo and other peoples of the wild kept from us?   More...


Arts & Culture

Peter Byrne:  The Old Man Of Corfu

Story: It was May 21st near Armyro on the Island of Crete. Edward Lear was sleeping off an early lunch under a lavish olive tree. Stringy chicken, twice-baked bread softened with water, ewe's cheese full of salt, red wine the southern sun had made too strong.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Dynastic Legends

James Kirkwood's Legends at the Wilshire Theatre in Los Angeles, (and currently on a national tour) concerns two long-in-the-tooth actresses (originally Mary Martin and Carol Channing -- in this revival, Joan Collins and Linda Evans) who are desperate to salvage their careers from the threat of obscurity.   More...


Robert Wrubel:  The Good Shepherd

Robert De Niro's film about the CIA inevitably invites comparison with the master of the spy genre, John Le Carré. The grim, alienated hero, played by Matt Damon, recalls the hero of Le Carré's early work, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.   More...



Guido Monte:  Voices n.2:muraika munjereri

'humani nil a me alienum puto'
there is nothing kind about human—
et ex summo:   More...


Letters to the Editor


A brilliant, or not so brilliant, commentary on Oil, The Elites, And The Commons; Swans' secret Pentagon funding; saying no to capitalism and yes to ethical techno-socialism; some suggestions on alternative energy; Robert Mugabe's Opel Rekord, and more.   More...



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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: January 30, 2007