Note from the Editor

You may have noticed that for the past month and one-half Swans has been publishing on a bi-weekly instead of a weekly basis. We are working our way into a new format that should be ready in the near future and we are redesigning the site to increase its navigability and usability.

For now, enjoy two pieces by Jan Baughman who looks into the politics of morality in Washington D.C. For his part, Deck Deckert, with his usual humor, brings you two stories related to the bureaucratic maze of the INS. Milo Clark carries on with his philosophical musing in regard to our culture's seeping descent into barbarity. And we republish a piece by an old friend of Swans, Donella Meadows. Sadly, Donella Meadows died last week of bacterial meningitis. She was 59. Our thoughts go to her family.

As usual, please read this rendition and then form your own opinion.

In the poetry corner we are happy to present to you Sandy Lulay whom we met two weeks ago at a Writers Revel in Florida. We may have finally found our own in-house poet. Welcome, Sandy! In addition, we bring you a poem by James Dickey (the author of Deliverance) that is related to Jan Baughman's two pieces on morality.


Philosophy and Reflections

Milo Clark:  Barbaric Silence

Part of my compartment is a naiveté which has repulsed direct experience as aberration.

It took me a very long time to recognize that the beyond barbaric efforts experimented in Vietnam were but a continuity common to militaries world-wide. One barbarity, usually that of the "losers," is vastly exceeded by the barbarities of the "winners." This has only been one part of my personal denial of Vietnam.   More...

Milo Clark is a Swans' founding member, advisor and columnist.


U.S. Society

Jan Baughman:  Reproductive Blackmail and the Funding of Morality

One of President Bush's first executive orders came on January 22nd, on the 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when he reinstated the ban first implemented by Ronald Reagan (the 'Mexico City Policy') and later rescinded by President Clinton prohibiting US funding for international aid groups that provide abortions or abortion counseling. This ban holds true whether or not an organization uses US funds to provide any of these services, and independent of the extent of other services provided, such as family planning, education and health care.   More...

Jan Baughman is a scientist by profession and Swans' co-editor.



Jan Baughman:  A Few Words on OFBCI

On January 29, president Bush proudly unveiled the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to help ensure that religious groups can receive public funds for social services. "Government, of course, cannot fund and will not fund religious activities, but when people provide faith-based services, we will not discriminate against them."   More...

Jan Baughman is a scientist by profession and Swans' co-editor.



Donella Meadows:  Understanding Where All That Stuff Comes From

Usually, as I boot up my computer to write this column, I'm thinking about the column, not the computer. Today, though, I've just finished reading Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things, and I'm looking at my computer with awe.   More...

A systems analyst, author, director of the Sustainability Institute, and adjunct professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College, Donella Meadows died last week. She was 59.


Humor - Coming to America: Navigating the INS Maze

Deck Deckert:  Part I: The Forms That Would Not Leave

Just before we got married, we called the INS and after an hour or two of screaming at voice mail, got a live human being.

"I need to know how to apply for an adjustment of status for my wife," I said.

After several questions, the helpful woman at the other end of the line didn't scream 'You can't do that!' - as Alma had feared she might. Instead, she simply said, "I'll send you the forms you'll need."   More...

A former copy, wire and news editor, Deck Deckert is a freelance writer. He is the author, with Alma Hromic of Letters from the Fire.



Deck Deckert:  Part II: Congratulations, You Are Green!

We arrived at 8:15 a.m. for our 9 a.m. Adjustment of Status INS hearing. There were mobs of people inside and outside the offices and a guard stopped us at the door.

"Do you have an appointment?"   More...

A former copy, wire and news editor, Deck Deckert is a freelance writer. He is the author, with Alma Hromic of Letters from the Fire.



Sandy Lulay:  SAVANNA SONG

In the noon of her day
She bloomed in amoeban pools.
Green became her terrestrial smiles;
A cradle for water birds,
Their grassy feet keeping time
To march flutes.   More...

An "Original Woodstock Girl," Sandy Lulay is also a "Swans kind of girl" who's been writing poetry since age 10.



James Dickey:  THE SHEEP-CHILD

Farm boys wild to couple
With anything          with soft-wooded trees
With mounds of earth          mounds
Of pine straw            will keep themselves off
Animals by legends of their own:
In the hay-tunnel dark
And dung of barns, they will
Say         I have heard tell   More...

James Dickey [1923-1997], won the National Book Award in Poetry in 1965. He is also known for the film Deliverance.



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Created: August 16, 2001