Note from the Editors

There's that sinking feeling of déjà vu, back to the waning months of the G. W. Bush presidency when he talked and talked and talked up the economy, desperately trying to keep it afloat so that it wouldn't sink on his watch and leave a dark stain on his shiny legacy. Fast forward to today and the talk that "the worst may be behind us." And yet...who will hire all the unemployed; who can afford the empty houses and the mortgages that the banks won't finance; how can consumers be enticed back to the table, when all along they've sated their appetite with debt? Resident economist Gilles d'Aymery unravels the Recovery spin and debunks the Cash for Clunkers environmental boondoggle, but not before peddling the latest edition of the Canyon Country Zephyr and just prior to his nostalgic return to 1969. Another American myth of recent interest came in the form of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Femi Akomolafe reports from Ghana on a side of Professor Gates that is omitted from the mainstream media's racial-profiling story.

For a few global perspectives on patterns not connected in the MSM we offer Michael Barker's critique of the racist fixation on overpopulation and Charles Pearson's condemnation of the worldwide arms trade and the Robber Class. Martin Murie continues his coverage of Tiziano Terzani's Letters Against The War, reflecting on the apropos 2001 letter from Quetta, Pakistan; while Don Durivan looks at the failure of the 2009 Pakistan Swat peace accord and the potential repercussions, virtually ignored in the Western press. We are then rejoined by Femi Akomolafe, whose country's elected officials continue down a path of corruption while doing nothing to improve the living standards of their impoverished constituents.

On a more humorous note, Art Shay introduces us, complete with photos, to his eclectic friend whom you won't find in the mainstream but rather burrowed in the desert among the wildlife -- racquetball champ and author Steve Keeley. We then follow Peter Byrne through two tales of the Italian port of Bari and the fisherman Angelo who touched his life, and return to Chicago with Isidor Saslav, who considers whether 2009 will be the year for another smash hit musical of a George Bernard Shaw play, such as Charles Marowitz's adaptation of The Admirable Bashville. Marowitz weighs in on a related subject, the musical genius that flowed from Hollywood in the otherwise dreary 1950s. Finally, we visit the poetry corner occupied by the haiku of Guido Monte and the longings of Michael Eddins before closing with your letters, with Peter Byrne's report on the alleged Islamic takeover of Western Europe and more from Michael Barker on the elites behind Nonviolence International.

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 #88

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the digital-age Canyon Country Zephyr and its cartoon of this Martian; the alleged economic recovery and the so-called Cash for Clunkers program, another bailout boondoggle disguised as environmentalism; to a 1969 flashback and the difference 40 years make.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Femi Akomolafe:  Professor Henry Gates Got His Comeuppance

A slightly different view from Ghana on the arrest of Professor Henry Gates, an elite, anti-Africa scholar who supports the white Establishment yet cries "racism" when arrested by a white cop in his own home.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  Environmental Populationism, A Dangerous Obsession

A critique of the Optimum Population Trust's racist fixation on overpopulation.   More...


Charles Pearson:  Babies, Arms Fairs, And Voices Of Reason

Condemnation of the arms trade and discussion of anti-war books.   More...


Martin Murie:  From Quetta With A Computer

Martin Murie reflects on Tiziano Terzani's Letters Against the War, Letter From Quetta, his own World War II experiences, US foreign policy, and the inevitable end of Empire.   More...


Don L. Durivan:  The Pakistan Swat Peace Accord: Its Failure And Implications

This article suggests that it is not only the Taliban, but Pakistan and the USA that share the awful responsibility for the failed Swat peace accord.   More...



Femi Akomolafe:  Ghana Politics: It's Our Turn To Eat

Ghana's elected officials continue down a path of corruption accepting free cars, free lodging, and per diem allowances for personal trips, while doing nothing to improve the living standards of their impoverished constituents.   More...


Sports & Culture

Art Shay, with Steve Keeley:  On Burrowed Time

Art Shay tells the story of his eclectic friend, former racquetball champion and author Steve Keeley, who lives with nature in an eight-by-ten-foot burrow dug into a toenail of California desert.   More...



Peter Byrne:  Curtainless In Sulfur City

Part One of Peter Byrne's recount of his time spent in the Italian port of Bari and the fisherman Angelo, who touched his life.   More...


Peter Byrne:  No Red Carpet To Sulfur City

Part Two of Peter Byrne's story from Bari, which tells of the death of Angelo's wife and the arrival of Albanian refugees.   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  Shaw In Chicago Again

Is 2009 the year for another smash hit musical of a George Bernard Shaw play?   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Charles Marowitz:  Singin' In The Rain

Charles Marowitz's review of Singin' in the Rain: The Making of an American Masterpiece and the genius that flowed from Hollywood in the otherwise dreary 1950s.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Haiku n.4

Guido Monte continues to travel through his memory of old and new poets.   More...



Michael Eddins:  Beautiful Stranger

A poem on the beautiful stranger the author has yet to meet.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Peter Byrne conducted a first-hand investigation of the alleged takeover of Western Europe by "Islamic radicalism" and "political Islam" and he reports that he went to bed feeling pretty safe; and Michael Barker responds to Michael Beer of Nonviolence International on its elite funding sources, including the National Endowment for Democracy.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: August 10, 2009