Many thanks to Perle Deutsch-Shadpour, Helen & Steve Mader, and CG for their generous financial contributions.


Note from the Editors

Hallelujah, here it is, May 22, 2011, and we at Swans woke up alive today, having not been raptured -- we trust our dear readers are still with us as well (if you're out there, send us a Letter to the Editor to confirm...). With this farce behind us (until the next nutcase prediction), we can turn our attention to the matters at hand, with scandals aplenty and two high-profile politicos who are probably wishing they'd been raptured out of their public and private hell -- Arnold Schwarzenegger with his admitted lovechild, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn with his denied sexual assault. The former waited till he left the California governor office to come clean; the latter was charged before beginning his presidential campaign, leaving the 2012 French election landscape in shambles. At a time in which even the mainstream media can't spell Judgment Day correctly, who are we to judge? In fact, Gilles d'Aymery offers a different perspective on the crimes of DSK -- not the alleged personal assault, but the wholesale raping of nations he committed as head of the IMF. As always, a perspective you won't read in the MSM, and worthy of deliberation. History will judge America's intervention in the Philippines, and to help set the record straight, Michael Barker continues his analysis of the US meddling in that country's people-power movement. As for the US role in Libya, Aleksandar Jokic asked in an Op-Ed if we are a morally dumb nation, to which a high-ranking European military official took umbrage. The critic declined a public debate, so Jokic answers his charges herein, leaving the detractor unnamed.

Turning our attention to less judgmental matters, Peter Byrne reviews the literary anthology edited by the Sarajevo-born American novelist Aleksandar Hemon, Best European Fiction 2011, and Isidor Saslav recounts his undeniably memorable recent musical and operatic tour through London, including a concert for his late friend, English bassoonist William Waterhouse. Byrne returns with a conversation that attempts to explain to a schoolboy the shrinking -- and growing -- middle class, while Femi Akomolafe converses about the significance of Osama bin Laden's death. Raju Peddada celebrates a monument of civilization and engineering feat, the F-1 engine that launched man into space, and Bashir Sakhawarz propels us to Delhi with a short story of an Afghan man's brief and jet-lagged layover with his intoxicating lover. Old friend Martin Murie graces our poetry corner with an excerpt of Casino Bear, and Claudine Giovannoni & Guido Monte's multilingual verse take us to the Promised Land. We close with your letters, which judge Gilles d'Aymery as utterly wrong and utterly right about the US economy and its regressive tax system.

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Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #111

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from the socio-political earthquake in France with the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, his alleged rape of a woman and the IMF's rape of entire nations; the sickening paradox of the "champagne socialists"; to a lighter note on money, access, and the Editor's scholastic common ground with DSK and his wife, Anne Sinclair.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  The American Hijacking Of The Philippines' "People-Power" Struggle

Critical review of Mark Thompson's book, The Anti-Marcos Struggle: Personalistic Rule and Democratic Transition in the Philippines (Yale University Press, 1995).   More...


Aleksandar Jokic:  Are We A Morally Dumb Nation? A Reply to my Critic

Aleksandar Jokic, in a response to Michael Walzer, provides an excellent analysis of the notion of proportionality in war and the often confused moral and legal orders used to justify invasions, from NATO's attack on Yugoslavia to the recent bombing of Gaza by Israel.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  Nonstandard Tales From The Real Europe

Peter Byrne reviews the literary anthology edited by the Sarajevo-born American novelist Aleksandar Hemon, Best European Fiction 2011, which covers works from at least 12 European countries. Bon voyage!   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  April Concerts And Operas In London

Isidor Saslav reviews his recent musical and operatic tour through London, including a memorial concert for his friend, English bassoonist William Waterhouse.   More...



Peter Byrne:  Our Classless Aquarium

A conversation that attempts to explain to a schoolboy the growing and shrinking middle class.   More...


Femi Akomolafe:  Killing Osama, Again!

A conversation from Africa on the timely death of a man formerly bankrolled by the CIA and who for all intents and purposes has been totally irrelevant.   More...


Arts & Culture

Raju Peddada:  An Engine That Lifted Our Spirits! Part I

A tribute to the engine that became the nation's promise to a dead and visionary president's goal: the F-1 rocket engine, an authentic testament to human ingenuity and perseverance.   More...


Short Story

Bashir Sakhawarz:  A Night In Delhi

A tale of unrequited love, when an Afghan man stops in Delhi for a day to see the woman who intoxicates him.   More...



Martin Murie:  Casino Bear

Excerpt of a poem about nature and the great danger faced by bears.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Claudine Giovannoni & Guido Monte:  Promised Land

The multilingual verses of Guido Monte and Claudine Giovannoni talk about the human path and the African death-boats, and Guido remembers Black Elk's words, that "every land can be the centre of the world."   More...


Letters to the Editor


Is Gilles d'Aymery utterly wrong or utterly right about the US economy and its regressive tax system? An American "patriot" argues the former, while an American expat agrees with the latter, invoking Montesquieu and the end to American exceptionalism.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: May 23, 2011