Note from the Editors

The world economy, suffering the ripple effects of the sinking dollar, the subprime lending scandal, and other financial shenanigans, is holding its collective breath, hoping the U.S. can plug the holes in its sinking ship and steer away from recession. In tried and true American fashion, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping, so it's time to dust off the good ol' Economic Stimulus Package and throw a few bones to the working class (slipping in a few corporate tax cuts, bien sûr). Jan Baughman has a better idea for those so-called tax rebate checks -- had we listened to her investment advice in 2001 regarding the $600 rebate, we'd have seen a 183% increase in the value of our Lockheed Martin stock. See, not every sector is hurting! Our Martian Blips expose capitalism at its worst, when the very culprits of the subprime scandal are rewarded with billions so they can enjoy the banality of the elite. This system is simply obscene, grotesque, and indefensible, and as Carol Warner Christen illustrates -- we, the people, must open our eyes to reality and close them to the idealism of power. How did we become sheep with no vestiges of the "Don't Fence Me In" attitude? Gilles d'Aymery's historical look at barbed wire fences sheds some light.

Another muckraker who's still full of barbs is Michael Moore -- Peter Byrne examines his documentary repertoire, which explains why those in power fear the man who leaves no controversial stone unturned. Were we to spend a little more time examining the character of those vying for our leadership, there might be less fodder for the likes of Moore. Resident critic Charles Marowitz shoots straight at what the mainstream media dodges, with a review of our current lot of aspiring presidents. As Martin Murie explains, we Swans are not mute; we'll keep boring into hidden causes and sounding the trumpets...

From politics to culture, Louis Proyect shares his appreciation of crime novels, particularly those of the monopoly capitalism epoch. This time around he explores the world of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley's Game and variations on the Tom Ripley character. Charles Marowitz applauds the niche occupied by American theatre critic Robert Brustein; Guido Monte & Francesca Saieva share their multilingual thoughts on solitude's frost and angst; and Carol Warner Christen's poem shows how siblings with a shared heritage can diverge in opposite directions. Finally, we close with your letters in defense of Ron Paul, and more. Viva la Revolución Libertariana!!!

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 The Beautiful

Jan Baughman:  Eleven Shares Of Lockheed Martin

What would happen if 117 million Americans refused to spend their 2008 instant gratification economic stimulus check, and instead invested long-term in 11 shares of Lockheed Martin?   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #64

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from housing-bubble billionaire John Paulson's obscene earnings and the libertarian players that surround him; to income inequality and a rational stimulus package for the American economy; to comfort food for the wealthy, and more.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Carol Warner Christen:  Opening Our Eyes: Reality Or Dream?

Many of us have chosen to live in a distorted dream world in the name of some idealism -- capitalism, militarism, etc. -- a government or military official's idea of free will. We must open both eyes and see reality objectively; be true to oneself and to others.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Artificial Bramble: Segregation And Subjugation - Part I

Part I of an essay on the remarkable achievements of barbed-wire fences in subjugating animals and humans alike and keeping them separate from us.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Who Else Is Afraid Of Michael Moore?

A review of Michael Moore's documentary repertoire explains why those in power are afraid of him.   More...


US Elections & Democracy

Charles Marowitz:  Cast Of Characters

The 2008 US presidential candidates receive little scrutiny on their positions, and even less on their character...but for the well-honed critic Charles Marowitz, who provides a spot-on analysis of each that will allow us to make an informed choice, for what it's worth.   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Five Minutes To Midnight, Part Two

An attempt to show that we are on the road to hell: Murie reviews recent Swans articles and their trumpeting calls for radical turn, honest speech, and devoted action.   More...


Arts & Culture

Louis Proyect:  The Crime Novels Of Patricia Highsmith

Crime novelist Patricia Highsmith, among other writers of the monopoly capitalism epoch, subvert the norms of the genre by making the criminal -- such as the character Tom Ripley -- rather than the detective the real hero.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Charles Marowitz:  Robert Brustein's Millennial Stages

The British have always boasted talented theatre critics possessing depth, style, and an ability to think as well as they write. One noteworthy American exception is Robert Brustein, who occupies a niche of his own.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Francesca Saieva:  Journey To The Sleep Doors n.3: The Golden Bough

The third initiation step of Monte and Saieva, to the mysterious doors of old forgotten linguistic ways, with two Sanskrit lines, one Latin verse of Vergil, and an unexpected Dante's provencal citation. Drawing by Giuseppe Quattrocchi.   More...



Carol Warner Christen:  To My Brother

Siblings born of a shared constitutional heritage diverge in opposite directions.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Praise for Swans 1991 Gulf War Rationale; Ron Paul defenders on the offense, and a critique from a banished 'Aryan' fanatic.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: January 28, 2008