Indian gaming is to the livelihood of Native Americans as the lottery is to quality education of children; that is, both scams, and both Band-Aid funding solutions in a society that values war-being over well-being. Imagine, then, that fate finds your Native American lands falling within the borders of what was to become Utah, where gambling is illegal. The economic alternative? Become a repository for spent nuclear waste, a chilling solution for the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians, described by Gerard Donnelly Smith. With 10,000 years to decay and more weapons on the horizon, job security is certain...though their survival is not. Manuel García, a nuclear physicist, is pleading for an end to nuclear weapons development and he shares his recent letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein in support of her stance on the issue. Feinstein is a lone voice in an environment where war is business and pollution is a commodity to be sold, bartered and traded as in Bush's "Clear Skies" initiative, but Michael Stowell forecasts continued rain -- acid rain, that is.
Survival of the fittest has become the basic tenent of democracy, though just what one means by "democracy" anymore is explored by Richard Macintosh and Philip Greenspan. For not only are we, Americans, the fittest in the world, we are God's Chosen People. Phil Rockstroh, in his unique and sardonic manner, explains how we have exchanged reason and compassion for endless killing in the name of god, and vengeance on behalf of the dead, all of which have only been exacerbated by 9-11. Charles Buffalo looks at the hypocrisy that defined that day's American casualties as 'tragic' and those we've previously and since inflicted as 'collateral damage,' and Abdul Latif Aeppli, an American Muslim, relates the dehumanizing racism and hatred he and fellow Muslims are experiencing. But what goes around comes around, for individuals as well as nations, and Tim Bellows pledges to act accordingly.
Gilles d'Aymery has been struggling with a case of Computer Blues; in fact, a footnote to his commentary is that his mouse went AWOL mid-publication of this rendition. How to build a better mousetrap -- or computer, for that matter? It's not rocket science...but then, the field of rocket science is also going by the wayside, as Alma Hromic laments both editorially and poetically while exploring the demise of NASA and, potentially, the dreams and promises of space exploration. Welcome to the world of computerized sky monsters and DARPA satellites, poeticized by Scott Orlovsky. Finally, an interesting assortment of Letters to the Editor worth perusing (check the graphic about racism and take the test...).
As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.
Gerard Donnelly Smith: Environmental Suicide or Economic Survival
According to the Utah Division of Indian Affairs' Goshute Page, "The Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians is a federally recognized Indian Tribe located in the west desert of Tooele County. They are part of the larger Shoshonean-speaking Native American groups that lived in the Intermountain West . . . More...
Manuel García, Jr.: US Insane Nuclear Policy: Letter to my Senator
Dear Senator Feinstein: Thank you for your vigorous efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, by resisting the push by the Bush Administration to fund the development of new, low-yield nuclear "earth-penetrating" bombs. More...
Michael W. Stowell: Acid Reign
In 1972, I purchased a brand new Triumph Spitfire, the only new car I have ever owned. In those days, gas prices were around twenty-nine cents a gallon and my beautiful little sports car got between twenty-five and thirty miles to the gallon. More...
Richard Macintosh: Delusions
Using Akhilleus (Achilles) as a starting point, it is a given that politicians are corrupt, prone to lying, and consequently cannot be trusted. Most Americans sense this, but ignore it out of necessity. More...
Philip Greenspan: Where Are the Democracies?
The word 'democracy' is derived from the Greek demos, the people, and kratein, to rule. A succinct definition is Lincoln's famous phrase 'government of the people, by the people and for the people'. More...
Phil Rockstroh: Gods, Ghosts, And Superstitions
We have the temerity to claim we speak for the dead. We have the hubris to claim we speak for God. We claim the dead want vengeance. If they do -- it is, perhaps, against those who claim to know what their wishes might be. More...
Charles Buffalo: Why?
On the evening of September 11, 2003, I watched an HBO documentary, "In Memoriam: New York City." The program obviously dealt with the attacks on the World Trade Center, September 11, 2001, and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani seemed intent on presenting the attacks as unprovoked acts of terrorism. Leaving the question regarding them as, "Why?" More...
Abdul Latif Aeppli: Being A Muslim Since 9/11
The morning of 9/11 I was up early and watched in shock as the first tower burned. Within a few seconds the second tower was attacked and my heart sank. I knew that a radical Muslim group had struck and that nothing good could come of it. On arriving at work I was immediately confronted with hostile looks and a chilling atmosphere. More...
Tim Bellows: Action, Reaction
A few thoughts came swimming by for me the other day -- in the shower, of course -- about how all the cause-and-effect situations in this world are similar or perhaps parallel. More...
Gilles d'Aymery: Summer Computing Blues
This has been a rude summer for Swans; not on the scope of the land of the one thousand and one nights or the many spots in the world where poverty, disease, starvation and violence are rampant, but tough nonetheless. More...
Alma A. Hromic: Cancelled, Because Of Budget Cuts
I have just returned from the 61st World Science Fiction Convention in Toronto, Canada -- almost a week of panels, discussions, keynote addresses, book signings, industry awards for excellence, and other things too numerous to list. More...
Alma A. Hromic: The Five Questions — And An Answer
You already have the what, the where and the who —
You know that it is we the people
Who have looked up at the stars with wonder
And saw our dreams of sending our own kind out there
To gather the stardust from the heavens
For those of us left behind. More...
Scott Orlovsky: Talking To Myself Out In Right Field
i wonder if the next terror attack
which will most definitely come
as terrorism experts
and administration officials
will result in an electronic
resurrection of COINTELPRO
empowered by Patriot Act II
Total Information Awareness
a computerized spy-monster
databasing our lives
in a Foucaultian Panoptic prison
and DARPA satellites that identify
and target people by their gait More...
On Deck Deckert's article about Nader, Philip Greenspan's on a museum for the genocide perpetuated against the Indian Nations (Native Americans), Ed Herman's piece on the Cruise Missile Left, Gilles d'Aymery's take on Green politics, "Naked Jan" and more. More...
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