Note from the Editors

Two. More. Days. Finally, the longest and most expensive US presidential campaign in history will be behind us... But no matter the outcome, the victor will once again be corporate America. Will we ever reject its overt control of our lives? As our wages shrink and the income disparity (wealth redistribution, as it's called in some circles) widens, as our power of the vote becomes increasingly deflated, it becomes evident that money is in fact power. Thus we're further manipulated into feeling good about changing the world by giving our discretionary dollars away to a charitable cause. Yet, in an excellent and eye-opening exposé, Michael Barker demonstrates how corporate elites and liberal philanthropic foundations such as the World Wildlife Fund co-opted the environmental movement to shape public policy and protect corporations. Jan Baughman will certainly think twice before making a contribution to such a foundation to save the polar bears. As she illustrates, laws are already in place requiring that their habitat be protected given their status as "threatened," and the next White House resident ought to read the Endangered Species Act before sending out invitations to the oil-drilling orgy.

The 24/7 election watch is certain to be replaced by economy gazing, and as the statistics grow more frightening so too does the reactionary rhetoric. Aleksandar Jokic responds to Professors Radhika Balakrishnan and Diane Elson's spurious allegation that the US economic crisis is a human rights violation and asks, where has their outrage been all this time? Michael Doliner reaches back to his studies with Hannah Arendt and proposes a Socratic solution to the current crisis in authority that just might save what remains of the American foundation, and Gilles d'Aymery has already moved on to 2012 and the next-generation president who will address the real issues with integrity. The new president will be relieved not to have a Shakespearean playwright draft his legislation, but just in case, Charles Marowitz offers his sardonic and ever-creative crimes and punishments for the first 100 days that will atone for the last eight-plus years.

From the culture club, Peter Byrne bids a fond farewell to fellow Chicagoan and much-admired writer Studs Terkel; Raju Peddada shares his travels to Morocco, where American brands reign supreme; and Byrne also reviews The Fire This Time, an homage to writer James Baldwin. R. Scott Porter recommends that people become part of the solution somewhere in the muddy middle, while Guido Monte and Alison Phipps seek a new way of world comedy through blending of words. Finally, in response to one of your letters and more, we're republishing a July 2002 article in which Swans economist warned us that the S & L crisis was child's play compared to what was in store for the economy.

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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Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  The Philanthropic Roots Of Corporate Environmentalism

Michael Barker examines how corporate elites and their philanthropic organizations co-opted the environmental movement to protect corporations and shape public policy on conservation, population, ecology, and health in their interest.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Threatened But Not Protected

Editorial cartoon: The polar bear has been classified as a threatened species, which means their habitat must be protected. We must pressure the next administration to respect and enforce the laws that are in place to do so.   More...


Aleksandar Jokic:  The Alleged Relevance Of Human Rights For The US Economic Crisis

Aleksandar Jokic responds to Professors Radhika Balakrishnan and Diane Elson's spurious allegation that the US economic crisis is a human rights violation. Where has their outrage been in response to the real and ongoing human rights violations in the U.S. and abroad?   More...


Michael Doliner:  What Is Authority?

Michael Doliner reflects on his studies with Hannah Arendt and proposes a Socratic solution to the current crisis in authority that just might save what remains of the American foundation.   More...


US Elections 2008

Gilles d'Aymery:  The Charade Is Finally Over

With the 2008 US presidential election finally upon us, the choice will be made between two corporate candidates. It's time to look foward to 2012 and begin now to support the next generation and a person who would make a formidable president, Matt Gonzalez.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  The First Hundred Days

A wish-list of suggested measures to be passed by the next president of the United States, in the spirit of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and the sardonic humor of Charles Marowitz.   More...


Arts & Culture

Peter Byrne:  R.I.P. Louis "Studs" Terkel - 1912-2008

A fellow Chicagoan and long-time fan of Studs Terkel's stories bids him farewell.   More...


Raju Peddada:  Travels In Morocco: Our Brands are our Goodwill Ambassadors

The author relates his experience with Morocco's paradox of embracing Western culture while hating its politics.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  A Slow Burn

Randall Kenan's The Fire This Time offers a thin slice of writer James Baldwin's life, and a muddy perspective on the life of black America through Kenan's own savory story.   More...


Oldies but Goodies

Gilles d'Aymery:  The Tribulations Of The Toads

Written over 6 years ago (July 2002) this piece is a tangible proof that the author had a clear analysis of the financial and economic crises that have finally, and as predicted, hit us. Swans thanks the reader who reminded us of that little gem.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

R. Scott Porter:  The Middle Ground

The window of opportunity for saving our democracy here in America is closing, and if we fail as individuals to contribute to solutions to these problems, then we have failed our primary responsibility in this life.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Alison Phipps:  Mondana Commedia n.6: Bayta (Home)

Another running through blending words of Monte & Phipps, searching for a new way of their World Comedy.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On befouled words, uncivil discourse, and the new political vocabulary; the financial crisis; American and European socialism; five degrees of government and the limits of electoral politics; and making fossil fuel burning obsolete.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: November 3, 2008