Note from the Editors

Darn, we did it again! Instead of delving into the new post-January-20 age and the change we can believe in, we went astray -- no "deep" analyses on the meaning of Obama's election and his administration's first few days in office. Instead, Gilles d'Aymery keeps digging into the financial and economic fiasco that supposedly nobody saw coming (excuse us?) and looks at the next falling shoes of that nobody-saw-it-coming crowd (he adds a few tidbits about a topic that's dear to him, pet food and other inflationary trends...). Jan Baughman and Femi Akomolafe add humor to the entire W. saga that led to the new era of the "change we can believe in."

Will our new era of "responsibility" bring a resurgence of activism on behalf of the planet? Michael Barker does not think so as he lists a series of organizations you should not support given their links to the military-industrial-congressional complex, and the likelihood that their conservation models will most probably destroy the environment they advertise they want to protect. Long-time environmental advocate Martin Murie admonishes those sitting on the climate change fence to get off their couch and work to save the earth and oceans, and, to close the activist part of this edition, Joel Hirschhorn suggests that the latest Latvia public protests ought to be reciprocated in the U.S.

It's also long past time to get off the fence regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Michael Doliner's powerful essay on the influence of Vladimir Jabotinsky and Revisionist Zionism on modern Israel demonstrates the fundamental contradictions that the Israeli state and the world's Judaism (and Goyism) confront. In and around the topic, Aleksandar Jokic and Isidor Saslav add their own perspectives.

Arts & Culture managed to survive the election and we must be responsible for ensuring they also survive the recession. Peter Byrne, who hasn't met a book he hasn't read, reviews Blood River, A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart in the context of the Congolese horrors. Charles Marowitz recalls his early days in the Royal Shakespeare Company with the irreplaceable Paul Scofield. Poetry has its space through Guido Monte and Scott Porter. Movie-wise, Jeff Meyerhoff takes strong (but short) exception with "Slumdog Millionaire." We close with your letters, full of controversy aplenty -- perhaps a good sign of the coming resurgence in activism.

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 #78

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the economic Pearl Harbor and the new era of responsibility to the wealthy rats leaving the sinking ships; the hedge funds debacle -- and the next shoes to drop -- that make Bernie Madoff's swindle childs' play; more on the rising cost of pet food and shrinking customer service; to a few statistics to make us all feel safe and sound through all the turmoil.   More...


Humor with a Zest

Jan Baughman:  The Legacy Of W.

Editorial cartoon: As George W. Bush flies into the sunset, we must remember that one man's disaster is another man's success...   More...


Femi Akomolafe:  Bush's Last Hurrah

This spot-on Ghanaian satire of George W. Bush's farewell address, replete with Bushisms, Bush grammar, and Bush embellishment, reveals the penetrating legacy of this American president, though perhaps not as this former president sees it.   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Michael Barker:  When Environmentalists Legitimize Plunder

Links between Conservation International and the military-industrial-complex -- An examination of Conservation International's agenda reveals that they have succeeded in promoting a working model of conservation that will most likely destroy more environment than it protects.   More...


Martin Murie:  The Bell Tolls

The sky is truly falling, and it's up to people power to get off the fence and speak for the polar bears and penguins, wolves and jaguars, whales and dugongs, helpless to save the earth and the oceans -- and themselves.   More...


Joel S. Hirschhorn:  Learning From Latvia

Americans, who have few opportunities for direct democracy, have much to learn from the recent protests in Latvia over political grievances and economic woes.   More...


Israel & Palestine

Michael Doliner:  The Clever Child

Michael Doliner examines the influence of Vladimir Jabotinsky and Revisionist Zionism on modern Israel, whose atomic arsenal and hostile relationship to non-Jewish states could prove to be apocalyptic.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Aleksandar Jokic:  Michael Walzer's Sense Of Proportionality

Aleksandar Jokic, in a response to Michael Walzer, provides an excellent analysis of the notion of proportionality in war and the often confused moral and legal orders used to justify invasions, from NATO's attack on Yugoslavia to the recent bombing of Gaza by Israel.   More...


Isidor Saslav:  The Jewish Role In History Re-evaluated

Beyond the Hamas charter, Jews were indeed instrumental in taking down an awful regime in past times, Czarist Russia.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  Congo Round And Round

As we watch more Congo horrors on the news, it's a good time to read Tim Butcher's Blood River, A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  Remembering Paul Scofield

Charles Marowitz recalls his early days in the Royal Shakespeare Company with actor Paul Scofield, who came to be the greatest contemporary British actor, whose shoes will not be filled any time soon.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  War n.1: Walking On Thin Ice

Fragments/visions of horror and disquietude by Guido Monte, on a new world-way, dangerous like walking on thin ice...   More...



R. Scott Porter:  The Journey

This poem addresses the irony in our lives.   More...


The World of Film

Jeff Meyerhoff:  The Poverty Of Slumdog Millionaire

Not everyone liked Slumdog Millionaire -- Jeff Meyerhoff found the movie to be full of exploits of Indian poverty.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Controversy aplenty, from Swans local feed store on the rising cost of dog food; correcting Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet's birthright; blaming the victims and living in denial with war propaganda; French Americanism and Israeli boycotts; religion, population control, so-called gay stars, Don Quixote, and more.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: January 26, 2009