Note from the Editors

With new tragedies and scandals overshadowing the preceding headlines it is no wonder that Washington is stuck in a big muddy with multiple non-ending investigations and resolutions. As always, "now is not the time" given the war and mourning and the like to rock the boat or question the status quo, as Jan Baughman illustrates. The debate on whether the Iraq War is "winnable" (and for whom?) became obviously moot when we resorted to the age-old tactic of building The Great Wall of Baghdad to keep our troubles at bay and off camera. Fran Shor describes the ruins of the Bush administration's imperial designs. Although the lies that justified the Iraq war have been exposed, it will take decades to learn all the facts behind this imperial blunder. Milo Clark contrasts those lies and the truth as exemplified by Tenzin Gyatso in his 50-year struggle for Tibet, and Philip Greenspan follows with a collection of contemporary political cover-ups. By the way, for those still clinging to hopes of impeachment, Charles Marowitz explains why Mr. Bush, under the influence (of neocon elixir), should be, but won't.

Given all of the above and the pervasive angst that is attacking our sensibilities day in and day out, what can we do to have an impact on the direction of society? We can start by instilling democracy and equality in the home, as Carol Warner Christen's family has done. We can adopt a more simplistic life and shun the constraints of corporate rule, as Martin Murie attests. We can emulate the kindness of Kurt Vonnegut and carry on his political activism and that of Martin Luther King, Jr., Harry Belafonte, and so many other "extremists."

Peter Byrne reviews the documentary La Strada di Levi, which shallowly chronicles the life of Italian writer Primo Levi and his experience at Auschwitz. In poetry, Jude Bischoff and Gerard Donnelly Smith provide an ode to W, though probably not the sort of George Washington legacy America's president would hope for; and Guido Monte and Francesca Saieva's voices echo poetically from underground. Finally, our resident Martian wants to "begin a conversation," the phrase du jour that signals anything but action will follow, whether on race relations, gun violence, or global warming. As always, we invite you to join the conversation as in this issue's letters on Swans as antidote; satire vs. schtick; praise for the cello, Carol Christen's questions, and more.

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

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Patterns which Connect

Jan Baughman:  A Tragic Week In The Culture Of Life

A tragic week in the so-called culture of life, where violence is pervasive, war is escalating, children are fighting and dying, and women's rights are vanishing.   More...


Fran Shor:  Bridges, Walls, And Gated Communities

From San Diego to Baghdad, the US is struggling against its floundering imperialism by attempting to wall off the forces created by their blinded delusions.   More...


Milo Clark:  Lies And Other Untruths

As America attempts to maintain its strength through military power and obstruction of truth, we can learn from fourteenth Dalai Lama and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Tenzin Gyatso, who holds firmly to truth as the path that will free Tibet from the Han Chinese.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Suspicious Scenarios + Logical Explanations = Nuts

Conspiracy: A secret plan by two or more individuals to achieve an illegal outcome. Do decades of regime change, war profiteering, price gouging, and witch-hunts point to the US government and big business's plan for global control?   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Exit Strategy For George W. Bush

With the virtual disappearance of American rebellious vigor and a timid and docile opposition party in power, it's easy to understand why there won't be an impeachment of George W. Bush, despite his misconduct that would justify it.   More...


Carol Warner Christen:  Homemade Politics

The female half of the human species is taught, in this patriarchic world, that they are unequal, unheard, and unrepresented; it's up to them to teach their children otherwise in an environment of fairness and integrity.   More...


Martin Murie:  Simplicity

Simplicity -- a simple life -- means an escape from the constraints of the profit-based Western system in which the poor are forced to conserve and all others are swamped with possessions and distractions.   More...


Arts & Culture

Gilles d'Aymery:  Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) - Bijou (1989-2007)
"God Damn it, You've Got to be Kind"

Two kind and fiercely independent characters whom we held in the highest esteem died in April -- Kurt Vonnegut, and our 18-year-old feline companion.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Whistling Home From Auschwitz

Primo Levi proved as early as 1946 with Se Questo e un Uomo (Survival in Auschwitz) that the horrors like those of Auschwitz are not too overwhelming to be directly expressed in art.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith & Jude Bischoff:  The Litany Of W

A tribute to the multifaceted and warped legacy of W. as witnessed by two poets.   More...


Guido Monte & Francesca Saieva:  Kuenda beyond n.4: voice of silence

Underground echoes of Monte and Saieva, from the only Book ever composed   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #50, from the Martian Desk

"Thinking is very upsetting. It tells you things you'd rather not know."
—Brickman, The small society

A few selected issues that landed on the editor's desk, beginning with conversations and ending with endless talk and little action, from Alberto Gonzalez's responsible incompetence; the right to bear arms and shoot each other; the unspoken issue behind Imus's rant; to tepid conversations about global warming and a hot tidbit about Jeb Bush's new job, and more.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Swans as antidote to state propaganda and political idiots à la Thomas Friedman; Charles Marowitz's Ann Coulter satire and the missed meaning behind the Imus story; applause for Isidor Saslav's cello masterpiece; and some thoughts on Carol Christen's question and Timothy Leary's advise.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: April 25, 2007