Note from the Editor

From illegal wiretaps, to sanctioned leaks; from outing a CIA agent to CIA agent whistleblowers; from smoking gun memos to hurricane-force PR disasters; from permanent tax cuts for the wealthy to perpetual benefit cuts for the poor, one would think the American Progressives would have enough fodder to actually inspire a movement. So, where have all the "pwogwessives" gone? By the wayside with the likes of Marc Cooper, who's adopted Officialdom's party line on Hugo Chàvez, questioning the Venezuelan president's motives, and shooting venom and innuendoes in a manner heretofore reserved for Dick Cheney, all with a claim of fair and balanced journalism! We offer herein a bit of balance to Mr. Cooper's rhetoric.

There's neither fairness nor balance in the mainstream media's coverage on the War on Terror, described by Deck Deckert for what it is: Eternal War -- a war on a tactic, which can never end. The populace's acceptance of Eternal War is aided by the Bush administration's disinformation campaign regarding the number of injuries and casualties among US soldiers in Iraq, a campaign deconstructed by Don Durivan. Fairness and balance are also lacking in the coverage of the seemingly eternal Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Philip Greenspan continues his efforts to debunk the pundits' coverage with an analysis of the history of this conflict. (Swift recovery, Philip...) Meantime, Milo Clark looks to various writers, from the science fiction genre to Stan Goff and Robert Baer, for an answer to the question: How will we build a universe that doesn't fall apart?

Can we count on trusted media icon and "cultural creative" Oprah Winfrey for fairness and balance? Both Charles Marowitz and George Beres have some thoughts regarding her handling of the James Frey A Million Little Pieces tempest in a teapot. Forget Oprah's Book Club -- Marowitz will give you the finest recommendations; this time it's David Lodge's Author, Author, an ingenious novel that plumbs the depths of Henry James's inner turmoil and despair.

Finally, Martin Murie shares the riveting tale of his symbiotic relationship with the froggers of Northern California in the mid-1950s -- naturalism at its finest; Laura Madeline Wiseman lends an offering to the birds that pecked out her poems; and your letters in defense of King Kong, in fear of King George; an ongoing exchange between Swans' editor, Dr. Jacob Amir, and Michael Neumann regarding Israel; and a reader writes to clear his name for posterity (you be the judge...).

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


America: Myths and Realities

Gilles d'Aymery:  Marc Cooper's "Progressive" Rhetoric

Some time ago in the prehistorical age of December 2005, a new on-line publication, Truthdig, another bona fide card holder of the much atrophied "progressive" wing of the Democratic Party, published a piece by one of its directors, journalist Marc Cooper.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Deck Deckert:  Eternal War

There is so much wrong with the country, with the world, that it's impossible to know where to start discussing it. And the most important things seem to bring the least attention.   More...


Don L. Durivan:  Distortions Of Casualties: American Wounded, And Dead, From Iraq

Senator Robert Byrd said it best when he stated four years ago that the Bush administration was the most secretive one he had ever witnessed in his half-century in the United States Senate.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Continuing Israeli-Palestinian Historical Trends

Words, words, and more words have been written and spoken about the Palestinian election; still more will shortly follow as the three-sided Israeli election campaign approaches and ultimately even more will spout forth to assess the election's results.   More...


Milo Clark:  Science Fiction . . . Altered Or Alternative Reality

Speaking of alternative realities, serendipity or synchronicity being what they may be, no sooner had I trundled off on the possible actualities embedded in Science Fiction than Lee comes home from the library with three of Philip K. Dick's works.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  The Assumption Of Oprah Winfrey

The case of James Frey and A Million Little Pieces will be chronicled in literary history as The Exoneration of Oprah Winfrey; a rare and troubling instance wherein, to affirm the unassailable integrity of a talk-show host, a vulnerable author was publicly humiliated.   More...


George Beres:  Oprah Ignores True Problems with Truth

I value Oprah Winfrey's image of commitment to truth. But there are limits. She makes too much of it in attacking the author of a book she promoted, A Million Little Pieces.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Froggers

The froggers would arrive in the mornings, having driven from their night hunt in California's Central Valley wetlands, bullfrog country. They'd carry wet burlap bags full of live frogs into the streetside building, talk for a while, take their pay in cash and disappear.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Charles Marowitz:  David Lodge's Author, Author

The great irony in the life of Henry James is that a man who suppressed both his homosexual and heterosexual impulses, took refuge behind walls of privacy and propriety, disdained marriage and eschewed crowds, was able to experience and articulate all the subtleties and nuances that clustered beneath the panoply of Victorian society.   More...



Laura Madeline Wiseman:  Birds

There are no songbirds here
only housebirds and hummingbirds
squeaking peeking clicking
from the window looking in.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Charles Marowitz's dirty mind and Mr. Bush's obscene power; an ongoing exchange about Israel with Dr. Jacob Amir prompted by the review of Michael Neumann's The Case Against Israel; and correcting, for posterity, an unflattering narrow perspective of a reader.   More...



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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: February 17, 2006