Note from the Editors

"It breaks my heart to see the vast potential of the Palestinian people really wasted," said President Bush through crocodile tears on Saturday after a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas. "In fact, I gave up drinking in 1986 to express my solidarity with them," he thought twice about adding, all the while pretending that a Palestinian state will be realized under his fine leadership, whose policy is merely a continuation of what Gore Vidal calls perpetual war for perpetual peace. Meanwhile, Israel is boasting her 60 years of achievements while continuing to gobble up the Occupied Territories with no intention whatsoever to go back to the 1967 Green Line, and besieging Gaza and starving its population to total destitution and slow death with the complicit approval of the "International Community" and Mr. Bush at the helm.

Will America's Middle East policy change with the next president? Jan Baughman's cartoon sums up the answer with a few simple headlines. Gilles d'Aymery relates the extraordinary and regenerating experience that he and Jan had when they recently met the very man who would reverse such policy, Ralph Nader, along with his running mate, Matt Gonzalez. Photos of the occasion are included. Like Nader, so too does Martin Murie provide encouragement for carrying on the good fight for a better world. Meanwhile, Charles Marowitz tries to gage the inner selves of the other candidates, while their outer selves attempt to present their credentials.

Our Middle East shenanigans are but one vast example of how humanism and its enemies have produced a politics of hypocrisy in the guise of nationalism -- Michael Doliner shares an excellent analysis that traces such politics back to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the American Civil War. Sincere humanism blossoms in the tour that artist and writer Carol Warner Christen provides of her rural country life, her art, and the deeply personal influences on her surroundings. This poignant essay is not to be missed.

With the 2008 US presidential election finally -- finally -- approaching the party conventions, we will publish on June 2nd a Special Issue related to the events surrounding the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, where antiwar protests and police collided. Peter Byrne sets the stage by introducing Art Shay, an exceptional photographer whose pictures of those events among others are nuggets of Chicago and American lore. Byrne reviews Shay's book of photos on his dear friend, writer Nelson Algren. Isidor Saslav brings us pictures from another exhibition, illustrating that visual art can imitate music and vice versa, and Guido Monte combines visual art and the linguistic blending of verses by Dante and Blake. Finally, we close with our Martian's Blips, responding to complaints of depressing, un-American prose on Swans, and your uplifting letters on deteriorating democracy and the ERA, Tibet and the human condition, and praise mail -- not the anticipated hate mail -- for our thoughts on Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

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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Elections 2008

Jan Baughman:  Changing The Middle East Course

Editorial cartoon: Ralph Nader is the only 2008 presidential candidate who stands for ending the Iraq War, changing Middle East policy from one of endless war to one of peace, and reducing the bloated military budget that is strangling the US economy.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Meeting Ralph Nader & Matt Gonzalez

Swans editor relates the extraordinary and regenerating opportunity that he and his co-editor experienced when they had the opportunity to meet with two men they've long respected, appreciated, and liked, Ralph Nader (a most admirable human being) and Matt Gonzalez...with link to photos about the occasion.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery & Jan Baughman:  May 11, 2008: Pictures

Pictures of Swans editors' meeting with Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez on May 11, 2008.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Judging The Candidates

In choosing a president, one must consider not only the policies and platforms of the candidate, but try to gage the inner self that is always on exhibit while the outer self attempts to present its credentials.   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Hearts And Minds

People Power has been a driving force over many years and many wars among those intensely involved in live, survival, and solidarity: It's all about body language and talking and listening.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Doliner:  Human All Too Human

Humanism and its enemies have produced a politics of hypocrisy in the guise of nationalism that can be traced back Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the American Civil War.   More...


Carol Warner Christen:  Down To Earth At Home

The artist and writer takes us on a poignant tour of her rural country life, art, and the deeply personal influences on her surroundings.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  The False Twins: Art Shay And Nelson Algren

Art Shay is a man and photographer of exception, whose pictures range from punning frivolity to hard truth. Byrne reviews Shay's book of photos on his dear friend, writer Nelson Algren, revealing their likes and differences.   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  Pictures At Another Exhibition

Pictures at another exhibition: visual art can imitate music as well as vice versa.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Atman

Monte describes a cosmic vision of the man in the world, through the linguistic blending of verses by Dante and Blake.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #70

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from Swans as a depressing and un-American read to war as an inevitable American pastime; free dirt, free-market obscenities, and seventeen alternative traditions; to outstanding citizens and magnificent swallows, and much more in between.   More...


Oldies but Goodies: The Citadel against Ralph Nader

Rick Rozoff:  Politics Of Fear And Politics Of Hope

The use of fear and smear to destroy the candidacy of Ralph Nader. (Ed. This piece was originally published on October 30, 2000.)   More...


Letters to the Editor


On deteriorating democracy and the Equal Rights Amendment, Tibet and the human condition, Obama's Jeremiads and Wright's Right Rhetoric, and more.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: May 19, 2008