FUND RAISING TIME: Dear all, Jan and I wish that we would know one or more wealthy individuals (there's so much money floating around in ever-more confined hands) or that we would be wealthy enough ourselves. Unfortunately, we know none and are not, but you know what, each and every single one of you who has sent a total of $3,005 to date is a winner, and our gratitude goes to each of you. Now, we need to find another $1,995. Please, talk to your friends. You've done your lot. Ask them to do theirs. Where will they find a publication that calls it as it is, and refuses to be bribed by commercial interests? Where? Independence is priceless, but penniless won't keep us independent indefinitely. More effort is needed. Please do your part in bringing other readers and fellow travelers to Donate Now!  Thank you for your support!


Note from the Editors

Regular readers of Swans know that its editors have long supported third-party candidates in general and Ralph Nader in particular, an often unpopular position even among those self-defined champions of change. Yet despite endless presidential debates, interviews, stump speeches and the like, there has yet to emerge from any direction a candidate who has led a life of public service for the betterment of all Americans, not just the special-interest few. It was indeed humbling for our editor, after sending Mr. Nader the text of his article "The Essential Significance Of Ralph Nader," to receive a reply from the man himself with a signed copy of his latest book. Gilles d'Aymery reviews Nader's The Seventeen Traditions, which gives insight into the family upbringing and values that shaped the life of this extraordinary man, and through his service to country, our very lives as well. Gerard Donnelly Smith describes how language and preconceived notions passed down from our parents and others can turn us into Pavlov's dogs of hateful ideology -- unlike Nader's parents, who taught him to think, not believe. Similarly, Philip Greenspan illustrates that attacks against books such as Jimmy Carter's Peace Not Apartheid come from critics with a closed-minded, forejudged opinion on the controversial matter, not from critical thought.

Special-interest politics are not uniquely American -- Charles Pearson provides a chilling look from the United Kingdom at the global arms trade supported by politicians who manufacture animosities to engender wars. The present American recipe for such war-profiteering politics is a far cry from that created by her Founding Fathers, as Carol Warner Christen connotes. For grassroots democracy to ever take hold, according to Martin Murie we must take a giant step back and understand that we are part of a cosmic system far larger than our own recent history.

From the Martian cosmos, our editor's Blips cover the gamut -- from cooked inflation books and a fried prized coffee maker; to deprived French CEOs and depraved life in the boonies, among other tidbits. Peter Byrne tells a short story of a revolutionary struggling in the modern age of Little League and soccer moms. Cultural critic Charles Marowitz celebrates the glittering golden age of American song through a book review on George Gershwin, and he is Down on Nature in the form of a poem; aptly so, given the wildfires that have raged through his very neighborhood -- our thoughts are with him and his wife. We close with the ever-colorful poetry of Guido Monte and Francesca Saieva, with drawing by Giuseppe Quattrocchi, and your letters.

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

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Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Gilles d'Aymery:  A Much Admired Human Being

Ralph Nader's book The Seventeen Traditions opens a window to his family and the values that shaped the life of this extraordinary man, and because of his service to country, our lives as well. Writing with reverence and love for his remarkable parents the author provides much needed advice for parents and children alike. Highly recommended.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Language Shapes Reality

Have we all become Pavlov's dogs, accepting the cultural myths passed on by family experience, education, and political language?   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Where Are The Open Unprejudiced Minds?

Alternative-media documentaries cover issues not touched by the popular press; one of the most misrepresented topics is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and showcasing these films can help expose the mainstream media's propaganda.   More...


Charles H. Pearson:  How Do They Sleep At Night?

The iniquitous arms trade and the hypocrisy of its political and financial backers: A look at the global arms trade, supported by politicians from the United Kingdom to the United States who manufacture animosities to engender wars.   More...


Carol Warner Christen:  Master Recipe

The political kitchen of America has been occupied by self-interested chefs who serve poisonous, secret recipes to the People while fattening themselves on the spoils of their ventures.   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Saving The Earth Is Not About Harmony

Dangers embedded in today's environmental movements. For the preservation of the future we must learn from the past: On Arnab Row Chowdhury, ecotopia, and realizing that we are a part of a cosmic system larger than mere predatory capitalism.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #62

A few selected issues that landed on the editor's desk, from the dirty little inflation secret and a coffee-maker crisis on an un-American Thanksgiving; sympathy for the suffering CEOs in France; a bewildered visit to the post office and befuddled bankers in the boonies; to an illustrious poodle's Catholic conversion, and more.   More...


Short Story

Peter Byrne:  Ideologies

A short story of a revolutionary caught up in the modern age of Little League and soccer moms.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  Wilfrid Sheed's The House That George Built

A look at the popular music written between the early 1920s and the mid '50s -- some of the most exquisite art ever created in America.   More...



Charles Marowitz:  Down On Nature

A poem on a not-so-friendly side of nature.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Francesca Saieva:  Journey To The Sleep Doors n.1: Daedalus

Monte and Saieva describe Daedalus as the prototypical essence of the man's voyage on the ways of the world.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On the state of Western democracy and the Canadian situation; Joe Orton's permanent spots in Cyberspace; and recommended reading from the Bureau of Public Secrets.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: December 3, 2007