Note from the Editors

Following the money is not easy in this global economy and all the schemes and scams that dot its landscape. Take, for example, the path of $16 billion in contracts the U.S. awarded KBR, the former subsidiary of Dick Cheney's Halliburton, for work in Iraq; money that was funneled through shell companies in the Cayman Islands in order to avoid paying US taxes, while Iraq's reconstruction languishes. Or consider the growing number of billionaires on planet Earth in a zero-sum economic game that rewards the lucky few with diamond-studded dog collars, and sends pets-turned-financial-burdens back to the shelter for the unlucky many victims of the subprime-credit-housing scandal that has only scratched the surface. Our Martian Blips untangle these obscenities and more in their usual sardonic fashion, with a few thoughts about the election, bien sûr. As always, it's we the People that carry the burden on behalf of the elite in every city, including San Francisco where the cost of crossing its landmark bridge is about to increase to plug a budgetary pothole that half a day of war funding could easily fill, as Jan Baughman laments. For a better understanding of the corporate shenanigans leading us toward economic meltdown, read Michael Doliner's excellent primer on the matter. Playing into the hands of those powerful corporations is the dehumanization of children, women, and nature that fuels our disrespect for life, which Carol Warner Christen analyses in an excellent essay. Eugene Debs warned us about corporate power, and Martin Murie heeds his words and shares one local success story of the People vs. Noble Corporation.

Our Second Act is comprised of a wonderfully diverse cultural potpourri; from an update on the Scottish independence movement by Joe Middleton, to a short story of racism in a European seaside town by Peter Byrne. Charles Marowitz directs us to New York and the multi-cultured Vaudeville of the 1930s, and Isidor Saslav takes us on a musical journey to Texas with Sir James Galway. From there we turn to Utah, September 11, 1857, through the poetry of John M. Marshall, and Guido Monte & Francesca Saieva offer their poignant words and images in remembrance of Philip Greenspan's journey. Finally, we close with your letters, including more on economic demise and banketeering; a sad lark bids au revoir to dear Phil; and divide and conquer tactics à l'Américaine.

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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Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #67

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the deepening banking meltdown to the 1,125 unaffected gazillionaires; the alarming rise of abandoned pets due to foreclosure and a $1,800,000.00 diamond-adorned collar for your favorite pooch; an electoral detachment caused by a black sartorial semiotician and a gritty, no-holds-barred woman; the wailing of the "true believers" who've lost their heroes (Kucinich & Paul); to the Nader-Gonzalez 2008 campaign, and more.   More...


America The Beautiful

Jan Baughman:  The Increasing Economic Toll On The Masses

It will soon cost $6 to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, thanks to yet another tax increase on the working people to pay for our crumbling infrastructure. While bankruptcies increase; so too does the wealth of the few.   More...


Michael Doliner:  A Quick Look At The Credit Crisis

An overview of the subprime lending crisis reveals a wide-spread disaster that reaches far beyond subprime mortgages to the entire economy, yet all the players in the system continue to pretend that bogus good news will keep the system from failing.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Carol Warner Christen:  An Assessment Of The Eleventh Hour

When will we, and can we give the babies and children back to the childhood realities deep in our souls, for the sake of humanity?   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Leaders

Celebration of a grassroots victory: Small-town Brandon, New York, takes on the industrial wind turbines of the Noble Corporation with the likes of old-timers and newcomers, and succeeds in kicking the corporation out.   More...


Joe Middleton:  Mass Petition Planned For Independence Referendum

Scotland continues its drive toward independence, pointing toward many historical and contemporary justifications despite the unionists' refusal to support the vote.   More...


Short, but Meaningful Story

Peter Byrne:  Seaside

A short story that illustrates anti-immigrant sentiment: whether it's Italy against North Africans, or America against Mexicans, the story transcends geography.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Charles Marowitz:  Anthony Slide's New York City Vaudeville

American vaudeville represented the people's entertainment, in which all walks of life were targeted and entertained. Anthony Slide's New York City Vaudeville chronicles this great lost art.   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  Galway In Texas

The Texas Music Educators' Association, world's largest, joins with flutist Sir James Galway, world's greatest.   More...



John M. Marshall:  Meadow Of The Mountains, The First 9/11

Inspired by the movie September Dawn and by the poem Aftermath: West Nickel Mines by Scott Urban, this poem encompasses the first 9/11: the Mountains Meadows Massacre of September 11, 1857.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Francesca Saieva:  Journey... n.5: Sphinx

In this work, dedicated to the memory of Philip Greenspan, Monte and Saieva talk about the mysteries of death and separation, and about the hope when "all the vanity fairs and habits vanished."   More...


Letters to the Editor


A few thoughts on the economic demise and banketeering; a sad lark bids au revoir to Philip Greenspan; and dividing and conquering the USA utilizing her own dismemberment policy.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: March 10, 2008