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Note from the Editors

George W. Bush likes to say -- over, and over, and over again -- that the War on Terror is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century and the calling of our generation. "We're in the midst of an ideological struggle against people who use murder as a weapon to achieve their vision," he says, stopping just short of the obvious conclusion, "and we won't stop until we've killed every last one of them!" Some vision, indeed... Jan Baughman illustrates the thought processes behind such ideology, which exploits the individual and is burying all prospects for peace. How is it that We the People continue to support our own demise? Joel Hirschhorn analyzes irresponsible behaviors that keep us subservient to corporate interests and distracted from acting as engaged citizens who could otherwise change the status quo, for example through an Article V convention. Another firm believer in the power of the Constitution, Carol Warner Christen, borrows from the Six Phases of a Project to demonstrate how the US Constitution could be reclaimed by We the People.

Now, if you're still contemplating which of the major 2008 presidential candidates is the likeliest choice to reinstate the Constitution, a) you've not yet read Hirschhorn, and b) you need to read Charles Marowitz's take on their common "politicolingo," the well-honed language façade masquerading as political discourse. And speaking of political discourse -- disguised as academic freedom -- Gilles d'Aymery deconstructs the carefully-staged invitation of America's latest Hitler, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Columbia University. Have you checked what your favorite presidential candidate has to say about Iran? It's not too early, and hopefully not too late, to voice objection to a potential attack on Number Two in our "Axis of Evil." Protests can make a difference -- just ask resident activist Philip Greenspan.

A somewhat more visionary character and positive force of our time is Jack Kerouac, who inspired a generation, including Karen Moller, to get On the Road in a life-altering adventure that she recounts in honor of the 50th anniversary of this legendary book. Fellow writer and adventurer Martin Murie hit the road recently, back to his Wyoming roots from which he chronicled his experiences as a panelist at its First Annual Book Festival, determined to work Homer's Iliad into the Wild West discussion. Peter Byrne brings this edition's book review on William Hale's Turkey, the US and Iraq; Marie Rennard shares her haunting poetic remembrance of a day with a beloved stranger; Guido Monte, along with Giuseppe Quattrocchi, takes Haiku to new heights; and Peter Byrne applies political polling to reality TV. We close with your letters on Third World status, tasteless expletives, Swans entering a college curriculum, and more.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.

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America: Myths and Realities

Jan Baughman:  The Ideological Struggle Of The 21st Century

Editorial cartoon: The ideological struggle of the 21st century is not about the defeat of terrorism, it is about putting people before power and profits and peace before war.   More...


Joel S. Hirschhorn:  Irresponsible Americans

Americans suffer from personal and civic irresponsible behaviors that define the consumerism culture and explain the ability of power elites to control the political system and block political reforms.   More...


Carol Warner Christen:  Phases Projected

The Six Phases of a Project as demonstrated in a case study of the US Constitution being reclaimed by We the People.   More...


On the Road to 2008, with Humor

Charles Marowitz:  Politicolingo & The Vanishing Art Of Rhetoric

Rhetoric as an art form has all but disappeared from political discourse, having been replaced by "politicolingo," factoids, and spin. Just watch a presidential debate -- either party will do.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Gilles d'Aymery:  The Bollinger Effect: Smear And War

Academia advanced the Bush administration's Iran propaganda with the visit of America's latest Hitler, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Columbia University -- an event that was a travesty of freedom of speech.   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Philip Greenspan:  Do Protests Make A Difference?

A tireless antiwar activist reminds us why our individual efforts do make a difference; in the words of Frederick Douglass, "power concedes nothing without a demand."   More...


Arts & Culture

Karen Moller:  On The Fiftieth Anniversary Of On the Road

On the 50th anniversary of this influential book, Karen Moller describes the influence that Jack Kerouac's On the Road had on the direction of her life.   More...


Martin Murie:  Notes From Cheyenne

Martin Murie returns to Cheyenne and his Wyoming roots to attend its first annual Book Festival.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  Going To Bed With An Elephant

A review of Turkey, the US and Iraq, William Hale's examination of Turkish foreign policy, and its relations with the Iraqi Kurds rapprochement to Europe.   More...



Marie Renard:  Memory Of A Day With A Beloved Stranger (To S.)

A poetic remembrance of a day with a beloved stranger.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Haiku

The author blends far poets in a drop of poetry, through the haiku way of describing a world in the sound of a water drop. Drawing by Giuseppe Quattrocchi.   More...


Humor with a Zest

Peter Byrne:  A Couple Of Sampling Errors

Reality TV enters the fuzzy world of opinion polls, with humor.   More...


Letters to the Editor


How scientific notation transcends cultural norms, but still leaves the US on the path to the Third World -- and a bit of investment advice to numb the journey; a caution on publishing tasteless expletives; and no child will be left behind as Swans enters the curriculum of a German university! Send your recommended reading on the changing views of the USA.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: October 8, 2007