Thanks to read: Swans' Release *AND* Jayson Blair

Gilles d'Aymery aymery at
Tue May 13 20:14:36 MDT 2003

[Sorry, I am a bit late for this release. I've had to deal with a Jayson 
Blair of sort on Swans -- after publication date! Not a pleasant 
experience...  Plagiarism has nothing to do with race, Counterpunch 
notwithstanding. Plagiarism is color-blinded and my contact with it 
was very white indeed, and from a self-defined small town "activist" 
(and it was the second time around from the same individual).   And 
plagiarism should not be confused with the propaganda and deception 
spilled out day in and day out by the Judy Miller's of the NYT.  
Plagiarism is stealing someone else's work and ideas and attributing 
them as one's own. It is a curse on the integrity of a publication as well 
as that of its publisher and its editors. And by extension it also 
tarnishes the reputation of the entire pool of contributors.

Please, do NOT defend Jayson Blair (whatever the color of his skin 
is, and whatever the propagandist content of the NYT).  We are 
talking about the breach of trust, here.

The funny part of all is that Swans' Note from the Editor kind of 
ironically played on these events (playing with the "good" professor of 
Penn State) to present the latest issue -- btw, the biggest issue in 
seven years -- and I ended up being kicked in the ass! Not fun...

Again, do NOT excuse plagiarism for whatever ideological reason.

Gilles d'Aymery]
May 12, 2003 -- In this issue:

Note from the Editor: Here is a big edition of Swans in celebration of 
its seventh anniversary. So, let's get right down to it. Last February, 
Michael Bérubé, the good professor at Penn State, contacted us to 
point out a factual error in an essay written by Lou Paulsen on what 
was then known as, but is now long forgotten, the Lerner Affair. 
Bérubé admonished this editor gently, advising that "Paulsen should 
have been fact-checked." We issued a correction. Of course, had we 
the resources of The New York Times, facts would have been 
checked more thoroughly; certainly as accurately as the venerable 
paper did with one of its about 375 reporters. Jayson Blair, who 
instead of repeating anonymous sources emanating from the bowels of 
Washington and spinning the news as The Times is so inclined to do, 
went on to fabricate, plagiarize and falsify many of the 600+ stories he 
wrote for the paper. It took almost four years to uncover the 
journalistic fraud! "Let's not begin to demonize our executives . . . . or, 
dare I say, the publisher," said Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., the 
paper's...publisher! Faced with such perils we made sure that all the 
assertions made by Nikhil Shah in his analysis on the illegality of force 
on North Korea were factually documented. It only took 197 
footnotes, all meticulously reviewed by our own NYT-subcontracted 
fact-checkers! Since we were into facts Greg Elich ran a few of his 
own in a quiz that should help clarify what actually constitute war 
crimes. Facts, like WMD, can evidently have a different meaning 
according to the double-speak world presented by Baffour Ankomah. 
And, to follow Milo Clark, facts would suggest that our recovered- 
alcoholic president, drunken with power, is experiencing his own 
ecstasy of catastrophe.  

Not surprisingly, the aftereffects of the Iraq invasion, err "liberation," 
deeply permeate this edition. They undoubtedly triggered Scott 
Orlovsky's powerful statement of conscience as well as Eli 
Beckerman's heated condemnation of the plutocratic gang that is 
literally destroying the societal fabric of the U.S. with its calamitous 
policies. But, while the current situation is undeniably dire, and the 
Christian Right threatens the core values of the US fabric (see 
Kimberly Blaker's piece), both Robert Macintosh and Philip 
Greenspan with their life-long experience show that there are 
profound divisions in the USA today, that one should not give up, and 
that it's only a matter of time before the "game is over" with this 
ravaging oligarchy. People count!  

You may have noticed that the 2004 US presidential campaign is in 
full swing. Yyuran, Deck Deckert's Martian friend, did not miss the 
meaning of the Commander in Chief's tail-hook landing on the aircraft 
carrier and his now famous smirk. So, Michael Stowell decided to 
look into the résumés of the candidates with a special emphasis on the 
White House Resident; and Jan Baughman offers a few hints about 
what she would like to see in, and hear from an aspiring president. 
Just so you know, Bush II raised $100 million in 2000. The goal is 
twice as much this time around... It should buy a lot of votes in this 
"dollarized" democracy!  

"Has Alma Hromic disappeared?" asked a few readers. Well, no; 
she's back smiling and kicking. Read her lively and creative story and 
you'll understand her recent sojourn! In the poetry corner, Sabina 
Becker presents two short poems and the work of a new contributor, 
Phil Rockstroh, is a must-read. Finally, another Letter to a Young 

Hopefully, we've crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's. But don't 
curse this poor editor if he failed the test. Call Sulzberger!  

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and 
foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.  


Here is the list of all the pieces:
Seven Years And Going... - by Gilles d'Aymery
North Korea And International Law - by Nikhil Shah
Can You Spot The War Crime? - by Gregory Elich
Did We All Do A Clare Short? - by Baffour Ankomah
Maybe It Is Just Bush After All... - by Milo Clark
I Believe - by Scott Orlovsky
Freedom Dollars: "Last Frontier for the New Pioneers"
by Eli Beckerman
The New America - by Richard Macintosh
Curing The Pro-War Pandemic - by Philip Greenspan
Pledge And Prayer Amendment Threatens Religious Freedom
by Kimberly Blaker
Landing A Campaign Visual - by Deck Deckert
The Mud - by Michael W. Stowell
Looking For A Leader In 2004 - by Jan Baughman
A Moving Carol - by Alma A. Hromic
Letters to a Young Poet (Letter Four)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Djinn Rummy Over Baghdad - by Sabina C. Becker
He Who Damns A Lie Will Have To Answer To Me
by Phil Rockstroh


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Thank you for reading Swans.   

Gilles d'Aymery


"Hungry man, rush for the book: It is a weapon."  B. Brecht

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