Pic: S W A N S  Commentary - logo © Gilles d'Aymery 1996. All rights reserved. - size 6k

c o m m e n t a r y

(Since 1996)

July 14, 2014


Trade liberty for safety or money and you'll end up with neither. Liberty, like a grain of salt, easily dissolves.
The power of questioning -- not simply believing -- has no friends. Yet liberty depends on it.


S U P P O R T   S W A N S


Pic: "football 2014 world cup" - WIDTH=272 HEIGHT=184 BORDER=1
2014 World Cup

Note from the Editors:   The World Cup is finally over, with a deserving German team taking the glory from Argentina, and leaving Brazilians slightly less traumatized by their losses. Perhaps now we can turn our attention to writing and publishing once again...except, Le Tour is under way, and a French cyclist is sporting the yellow jersey on Bastille Day's Stage 10, with two more weeks to go. Despite all the crashes and injuries and unseasonable weather, it, like football, is a much more humane sport than the geopolitical games erupting around the world of late. We'll get to those in due time.

Meanwhile, Glenn Reed leads the July 4th cheers for the Dow -- as if Wall Street's gains are cause for fireworks and celebration by the hot-dog-eating masses. (If you're left feeling bad for the downtrodden, you can distract yourself with Peter Byrne's Empathy Song.) In the last edition, we learned from Bo Keeley what $200 got him in a Peruvian hospital. This time we hear about the worm infestation that was diagnosed while he was there, and the resulting anemia that nearly sucked his body bloodless. Jan Baughman shares her dog's healthcare story, which shows it's not just the human system that is fraught with inequity and price gouging, and Michael DeLang has a few thoughts on the art of compromise -- or lack thereof -- in relation to the Affordable Care Act, pointing out that one president's socialism is his enemies' free-market solution. Michael Barker continues his exploration of conspiracy theorist David Icke and the British National Health Service -- a great system, but Icke fails to imagine what it might look like without capitalism. And corruption also reigns freely in Delhi. Raju Peddada describes his almost comical business transactions in Part I of an emotional letter to his father. Last but not least, we close with the poetry of Guido Monte on Seneca's words about life and death.


Ecrasez l'infâme


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Patterns Which Connect

Let's All Join in a Cheer of "Wow, Dow!" on the 4th!
by Glenn Reed

"Wow, Dow!"

This was a headline on the Huffingtonpost.com today. Not that I ever spend time on that Arianna ego-driven, corporate/status quo Web site. Sometimes it's just interesting to surf the Internet and see the stark contrast in realities that are portrayed.

Ah yes, it's quite the affluent world staring through the shades of msn.com, yahoo.com, Huffingtonpost.com, and other sites that reflect the corporate view offered by virtually all of "mainstream" television, radio, magazines, and newspapers.   More...

Glenn Reed is a long-time activist and author from Fair Haven, Vermont.


Global Anemia And Me: Almost Heaven
by Bo Keeley

I feel like a Spanish conquistador on a small scale. My past vanquishes from seven trips to Peru include malaria, elephantiasis, amoebic dysentery, hepatitis, and last year three fly larva with sprouting wings crawled beneath the skin looking for a way out. Once any disease is identified, the treatment is straightforward and efficacious, as with these. Each ailment, if one is able to study and feel it in progress, is an honor with a merit badge of antibodies or sash of resistance. I was ready for the next exotic disease.   More...

Bo Keeley is a former national paddleball and racquetball champion, author of 7 books, and adventurer.


Healthcare Goes To The Dogs
by Jan Baughman

By now we're all familiar with the state of the US healthcare system and its ranking in comparison to similar nations: the highest per capita spending ($8,608) and percent of GDP; lowest quality of care and life expectancy; highest infant mortality and prevalence of numerous chronic and infectious diseases; and joined only by Turkey and Mexico on the short list of OECD countries without universal healthcare. Nearly $2.8 trillion spent annually -- dollars that do more for the well being of corporations than the public. In the meantime, said Americans with an inadequate system -- 314 million of them -- are spending more and more on their pets, comprised of 179 million cats and dogs alone, not to mention birds, fish, reptiles, and rodents, for a total expenditure of an estimated $55.72 billion this year according to a report by the American Pet Products Association, one-quarter of which goes to veterinary care.   More...

Jan Baughman is a clinical researcher and Swans' co-editor.


The Art Of Compromise
by Michael DeLang

You say that the sun rises at 5:30 am this time of year. I say that it comes up about 10:30 am. In the spirit of compromise, we agree to refer to the hour that it first shows above the horizon as 8:00 am. But what impact does our agreement have on the rotation of the Earth?   More...

Michael DeLang is a self-defined middle-aged blue collar worker in the trucking industry who lives in Golden, Colorado.


David Icke And The Liberty Of Psychics
by Michael Barker

The now globally infamous conspiracy theorist David Icke first embarked upon the spiritual dimension of his career while serving (between 1989 and 1991) as one of four principal speakers for the Green Party UK. During Icke's limited time within the Green's he developed something of an antipathy towards politics, and a special displeasure for organized political groupings. Icke even went so far as to say that organizations on the far left that call themselves anti-capitalist are actually "supporters of the system in the same way as anyone else." He is able to say this because he was (and still is) convinced that capitalism is not "the system." Instead, within his autobiography In the Light of Experience (Warner Books, 1993) Icke warns...   More...

Michael Barker is an independent researcher who lives in London, England.


Singing Poetry

The Empathy Song
by Peter Byrne

Em-PA-thy, em-PA-thy
Heart-warming empathy
When the ceiling falls
Em-PA-thy, em-PA-thy
Serve up the empathy
Em-PA-thy, em-PA-thy
Sing for the deaf   More...

Peter Byrne is an American-born teacher and writer who lives in Lecce, Italy.


Arts & Culture

The Corruption Of Delhi: A Letter to My Father - Part I
by Raju Peddada

My dear Father,

Delhi reminds me of you -- epitomized by that picture of us at the Lodi Gardens. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Delhi again. And after experiencing our old place for a month, I thought, who better than you to have this catharsis with!

The Delhi you had so fondly introduced to us in 1966 is no more. Not even the vestiges of it. What remains are only the names of places.   More...

Raju Peddada is an industrial designer who lives in Des Plaines, Illinois.


Multilingual Poetry

Seneca, Fragments from "Troades"
Translated by Guido Monte

aut toti morimur nullaque pars manet
nostri, cum profugo spiritus halitu
immixtus nebulis cessit in aura?
or we all die and nothing of us remains,
while the spirit flies away with quick breath
and merges with fog, is lost in the air?

Guido Monte teaches Italian and Latin literature in Palermo, Italy.



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