Note from the Editor

Perhaps it's time for a world-wide filibuster -- 40 hours, or 40 days and 40 nights, if needed -- where we talk and write and question and write some more; lay down our credit cards and say hell no, we won't indenture ourselves to Wal-Mart to stimulate your war-torn economy, we won't go to work to fuel your trade deficit and produce your bombs; we won't fight your wars to sate your power-hungry appetite; we demand peace, truth, food, shelter, health, education and poetry for all. We want to see an end to the fighting between Israel and Palestine -- a true and lasting peace where pigs aren't dragged into war, as Michael Stowell relays. We want to live in a world in which mothers can raise their children without the fear of having to send them off to the battlefield with the pleading letter for humanity written by Aleksandra Priestfield. We want a world without the ravages of colonial racism and imperial plundering as in the Namibia described by President Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma to New African's Editor, Baffour Ankomah. We want to see the day in which Cuba is allowed to live in solidarity and thrive without external threats from the U.S. and under the veil of an ideological campaign waged against the revolution by Haroldo Dilla Alfonso and others in the American left press, recounted by Louis Proyect.

That said, it may take slightly more than 40 days of filibuster, for we've lived within an ideological campaign of 'gentlemen historians' since the time of Julius Caesar, according to Michael Parenti, whose latest book examines Roman History from an entirely different and very compelling perspective -- a people's perspective that we submit in the review of the book can be applied to our modern-day culture and its leaders, with lessons. Phil Rockstroh also explores the continuum of history, in which at any given point someone is lying and someone is dying. We want to live in a world illuminated by knowledge and clarity and grace, far from the violence that permeates society all the way to the football field. Richard Macintosh, who played and coached the game, saw first hand the gladiator-like atmosphere, fed by a patriarchic society that we want one day to see characterized in Vanessa Raney's word, "humankind." We want an earth that is clean and safe and shared by all of us, human and animal alike, where we aren't all dodging cars and sitting ducks. We want poetry, and we get it in the form of allegory by Gerard Donnelly Smith.

Finally, we want to hear from you -- and we are publishing a few letters from our readers.

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



Middle East: From Iraq to Israel & Palestine

Michael W. Stowell:  Guard Pigs In Palestine

Contrary to their reputation, pigs are relatively clean animals given the option of personal hygiene. Therefore, I was glad when prominent rabbis in Israel gave their blessing to pigs in Palestine. Traditionally, those of the Hebrew faith have not esteemed the lowly swine, but recently "The Hebrew Battalion," a security provider specializing in guard dogs, proposed the use of pigs for peace and the men of God acquiesced. I cannot fathom the spiritual implications.



Aleksandra Priestfield:  "Don't Get It Dirty"

There is just something about a man in uniform. People look good in uniforms. Young men putting one on for the first time do it with pride -- the whole stiff, starched, knife-edge ironed outer shell that screams, "I am a soldier now, I am a man, I am a warrior, I am a proud son of my race!"   More...


Africa - Another New African's Collectors' Item

Baffour Ankomah:  Nujoma - 'No Fourth Term For Me'

Historical interview of Namibia's President Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, which covers a wide range of issues, from the anti-colonial struggle to the reasons President Nujoma does not want to run for another term, the relations with Great Britain and his defense of Robert Mugabe.   More...


Cuba & the Leftist Press

Louis Proyect:  Haroldo Dilla And The Cuban Revolution

The September/October 2003 issue of Against the Current (a monthly journal affiliated with the socialist group Solidarity) includes an article by Haroldo Dilla Alfonso titled "Cuba: Opposition and Repression." Whatever the intentions of the editors, the article dovetails with an ideological campaign being waged by certain elements of the American left against the Cuban revolution.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Michael Parenti:  Tyrannicide or Treason?

Book excerpt -- part of the introduction, p. 1-4, hardcover edition -- of Parenti's The Assassination of Julius Caesar, published by permission of the author. The Table of Contents is appended to the excerpt.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Michael Parenti's The Assassination of Julius Caesar

Review of Parenti's book.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Phil Rockstroh:  The Tales We Tell: Everyone Has Their Reason

When I was three, after disembarking from a train from Atlanta, I was led by my parents through Terminus Station in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. As we walked, I gazed upon the polished floor -- dazzled -- lost in a wilderness of glinting mica. As we ascended the steps towards the lobby of the main terminal, I beheld the eternal predator: A six foot tall statue of Mr. Peanut.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Richard Macintosh:  A Moment Of Truth

Disclaimer: I have a love-hate relationship with the game of football. I played it in high school and at Stanford University, before becoming a teacher and a coach. I went on to coach football at various levels and in various capacities for over thirty-five years. While the game left me with a few broken bones and minor injuries, it also paid for my college education and gave me a springboard into a career. It also sifted my acquaintances and provided me with some life-long friends and a few enemies. Some of the best people I know played and coached the game. Sadly, some of the worst ones I know played and coached it, too. I used to think all of this was for the best. Now, in my later years, I'm not so sure.   More...


Vanessa Raney:  Disassociating Patriarchy From Maleness

So why is it, instead of asking ourselves why we need men to make us whole, we don't look to ourselves first? More important, why can't we disassociate patriarchy from maleness? Even bell hooks, during her recent lecture on "College Community" at Pomona College, can't disassociate patriarchy from maleness.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Three Allegories And A Gospel Song

The Dead Sheep

Turkey vultures tore sleep from tired bones,
then rested on dead elm branches on the back forty.
I counted sixty, once, circling in the heron blue sky
on a thermal vortex, smelling for carrion
adrift on the green, rolling ocean.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On the Franco-American brouhaha, the Smothers Brothers, Israel and Palestine, the Iraqi hellhole and a letter to Senator Robert Byrd.   More...



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Created: November 21, 2003