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Note from the Editors

It's been a tough week for the US Secret Service and military, following a prostitution binge at the Summit of the Americas that brought new meaning to détente and helped American exceptionalism reach a new low. (Seeing this story virtually absent from today's New York Times, one couldn't help but recall the Dominique Strauss-Kahn "affair" in New York that dominated the news pages and airwaves for weeks, taking down a potential president. More on the French elections in a bit.) But clandestine affairs are not new to this country -- case in point, the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. As Manuel García, Jr. posits, America's relentless persecution of Cuba comes from the refusal to admit that JFK's assassination was blowback from CIA anti-Castro plots. Nor are covert operations limited to external "threats" to capitalism -- Edmund Berger analyzes the co-option of people power, practiced historically by the big three foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie), and which is currently underway with the 99% Spring attempt to co-opt Occupy Wall Street. Or take the 1960s to '70s sexual revolution, which Michael Barker demonstrates in Part II of his series was a means to promote heterosexuality and male dominance. Seems counterintuitive? Check it out... (A phrase of which Harvey Whitney, Jr. would hardly approve.)

Back to the French elections, today was Round One of the presidential run-off -- Gilles d'Aymery analyzes the candidates and results, while Aleksandar Jokic presents the case for his favorite, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who did not do as well as expected. In two weeks we'll know if Nicolas Sarkozy joins the lineup of ousted European leaders sacrificed by the struggling global economy.

Reaching for the book, Peter Byrne reviews Gabriele Torsello's book of photographs that reveal Afghan life from a very close-up and personal vantage. What appears to be a fascinating photojournal is currently available only in Italian, but an English version is in preparation. Raju Peddada begins Part I of his journey that explores Thomas Mann's classic, The Magic Mountain. In the poetry corner, John M. Marshall's verses were inspired by a clan of white witches at Big Sur, California, while Guido Monte continues his poetic rendering of thoughts that float by before falling asleep. We close with your letters, with Manuel García's reactions to the April 9 issue of Swans, and a conspiracy-inspired warning about something or other.

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Patterns Which Connect

Manuel García, Jr.:  Castro And The Kennedy Image After The Checkmate

US persecution of Cuba is denial over JFK's assassination being blowback from CIA anti-Castro plots.   More...


Edmund Berger:  Harnessing People Power: Co-Option at Work in America Today

The attempt by the 99% Spring to co-opt the imagery and issues of Occupy Wall Street.   More...


Michael Barker:  A Sexual Revolution, But For Whom? (Part II of II)

Part II of a feminist critique of the so-called sexual revolution.   More...


Harvey E. Whitney, Jr.:  Dumbest Academic Terms In Popular Vernacular

A look at academic terms misused and overused in popular vernacular.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  A Lance For Humanity

A review of Gabriele Torsello's book of photographs of Afghan life from his very close-up and personal vantage.   More...


Arts & Culture

Raju Peddada:  The Magic Mountain: Thomas Mann's Monumental Quest (Part I)

Part I of a series on Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain.   More...


French Corner

Gilles d'Aymery:  French Spectacle

Summary of the results of the 2012 first round of the French presidential election.   More...


Aleksandar Jokic:  Cher Peuple Français: Reject the Security State, and Vote for Jean-Luc Mélenchon

The author appeals to the French public to vote for Front de Gauche candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.   More...



John M. Marshall:  The Birds of Ophion

A poem inspired by a clan of white witches at Big Sur, California.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Nulla dies sine linea n.2

The second part of Guido Monte's verses describing his thoughts before going to sleep.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Manuel García, Jr. shares his reactions to the April 9 issue of Swans, and a conspiracy theorist takes on the assassination of George Moscone and warns us about something or other.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: April 23, 2012