Note from the Editors

With all the recent political scandals and Congressional hearings; power plays and scapegoating; one story from our nation's capitol that was missed fodder for talk-show hosts and editorial cartoonists is that one in three residents of Washington D.C. is functionally illiterate, compared to the national figure of one in five. Perhaps that explains why our elected officials spend so little time in Washington, but Carol Warner Christen thinks that We the People may have reached peak intelligence, and questions whether those very officials are even "ours," having picked up on Mr. Bush's recent slip, referring to "members of my United States" -- oops -- "our United States Congress." Time and events will tell whom the government is of, by, and for, as Congress votes on additional funding for the Iraq War and negotiates a timetable for withdrawal of troops.

On this fourth anniversary of the start of the war, Gilles d'Aymery tips his hat to the "heck of a job" we have done in Iraq and the numerous humanitarian, cultural, and ecological achievements to date; and we are reprinting a March 2003 cartoon by Jan Baughman on Operation Iraqi Freedom that is still relevant today. It is with heavy heart we add that the co-editors' nephew is one of the Marines who departed on this anniversary among the "thousands of fresh American troops...being sent to the western province of Anbar, a wellspring and refuge of the Sunni Arab insurgency," as described in today's New York Times. We hope Chris will come home safe and unharmed, and we express our gratitude to Philip Greenspan, whose recent fractures and bruises have not weakened his determination to protest the war and counter the propaganda. If only we could apply the same Boolean paradigm used with things and devices, as Martin Murie has been pondering, to solve the Big Picture issues of war and oil...

In these heady times, Charles Marowitz looks to the comedic character that is Stephen Colbert for some much-needed sanity in a politically mad world. Escape into fiction is another welcome vice, which Marie Rennard provides in the form of an imaginative tale of two soul mates brought together under bizarre circumstances. For his part, Peter Byrne recently toured the theatres of London and Dublin and shares his review of five diverse plays. And poetry -- poetry can ooze the raw pain of the human soul, as in the accident suffered by Gerard Donnelly Smith's son; or it can capture the void of the invisible object, as illustrated by Guido Monte. Finally, our resident Martian looks deeper into the scandals of late and explains why we need to mind our p's and q's; and we close with your letters on energy alternatives, War and Oil, and more. A special word of thanks to Lance Murdoch, Karen Moller, and an anonymous donor from Canada for their generous financial contributions to our efforts. We need readers' support. Please help.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.

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America: Myths and Realities

Carol Warner Christen:  The Royal We And The Royal My

Does the United States still belong to We the People, or is it 'my United States,' as George W. Bush's Freudian slip revealed? Carol Warner Chriten traces the Mobius strip of power and the circular reasoning that perpetuates it.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Heck Of A Job, Uncle Sam

Iraq: A summary of the United States' remarkable humanitarian, cultural, and ecological achievements in its 4 years of unjust war in the cradle of civilization, and some of the collateral damages inflicted on the U.S.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Operation Iraqi Freedom

"It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months," said then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in February, 2003. Four years later, Operation Iraqi Freedom continues to enlighten the world, and sadly, this cartoon remains as relevant today as it was at the start of the War on Iraq.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  There Are No Right Wars

Two profoundly antiwar individuals amidst a pro-war family struggle with their US Marine Corps nephew's departure -- on the fourth anniversary of the war on Iraq -- to the Anbar Province, and the war propaganda now strikes a much deeper cord. (With a poem by Marie Rennard.)   More...


Philip Greenspan:  No Excuse For Inaction

Broken bones won't stop this determined antiwar activist who heeds the words of Dante Alighieri: The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain neutrality in times of moral crisis.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Martin Murie:  Devices And Things

While one can achieve mastery over things and an understanding of devices -- two very different processes -- one cannot apply a Boolean paradigm to Nature Logic in order to ameliorate global warming.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  Schizoid Comedy & Stephen Colbert

A genius among comedians who conceal themselves behind fictitious characters, Stephen Colbert personifies the Neanderthal, my-country-right-or-wrong conservative whose bungling dogmatism has alienated over half the nation and sacrificed the lives of over 3000 misled Americans. Hopefully, one day the laughter generated by this comedian will morph the nation into political action.   More...


Marie Rennard:  Paradero Ltd.

An imaginative tale of two soul mates brought together by toilet paper invoices and an exotic sunflower from an atypical steroid.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Stage Struck In London And Dublin

Play reviews from London and Dublin, including the Hackney Empire's Cinderella; the Tricycle Theatre's Spice Drum Beat: Ghoema; the Gielgud Theatre's Frost/Nixon; the Gate Theatre's Anna Karenina; and the Abbey Theatre's The School for Scandal.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  This House Of Pain

The poet's gripping recount of his son and five friends' car accident; the death, the surgery, the pain, the lost innocence, and a brief semblance of normality.   More...


Guido Monte:  Ulysses: Kuenda beyond n.2

Languages combine in this poem on the experience of the invisible object.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #49, from the Martian Desk

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

A few selected scandals that landed on the editor's desk: from Valerie Plame to Walter Reed; Attorneygate and the Cheney-Leahy dual; with a gem of rationality on biofuels and a lesson on why we need to mind our p's and q's.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Feedback on Deceitful Solutions To America's Energy Dependence, including a dispassionate note from the Kucinich for President campaign; kudos to Michael Doliner's War and Oil, with the caveat that a pessimistic Swans ignores class warfare; and more from Scotland, which has yet to achieve independence.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: March 27, 2007