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Note from the Editors

As the dysfunctional US government's budget impasse enters its second week with no cracks in sight, a New York Times essay describes the growing empathy gap that helps explain the situation -- the increasing "social distance between those with greater power and those with less." Factions of Congress, whose collective approval rating is at a record 10% low, are holding the country hostage over ideology that they espouse on the alleged behalf of those with less. Yet little do they care about the daughter accompanying her 83-year-old mother on a long-planned, once-in-a-lifetime Hawaiian cruise, only to discover that all the national parks from Pearl Harbor to the volcanoes are closed for business. The myriad couples whose weddings have to be moved or postponed for the same reason and at considerable expense. The government employees no longer receiving a paycheck. Or the cancer patients forced to delay treatment because enrollment in National Cancer Institute clinical trials is suspended.

That vast social distance is epitomized by billionairess Lynda Resnick, who profits from Fiji Water and snake oil in the form of Pom Wonderful, as reported by Michael Barker. And in the backdrop remain those still suffering the effects of the 2008 Great Recession. Glenn Reed shares the results of his personality test and a service sector job offer that symbolizes America's "New" Economy for Millions. Manuel García, Jr. recalls the American music of the 1960s that reflected the politics of the day and defined a generation, along with some films that today's displaced youth could benefit from. Meanwhile, all of the above shenanigans have put Syria on the media back-burner, but Gilles d'Aymery continues to unravel the anti-al-Assad propaganda, some of which has mysteriously been scrubbed from the World Wide Web.

On the culture front, we publish an excerpt from Swans' occasional contributor William Hathaway's novel set in 2026 as the earth is withering and an old woman and a young man set out to heal nature. Peter Byrne addresses old age in a short story, as lived through two entirely different perspectives, while Raju Peddada takes us on Part III of a travelogue that examines the finality of exits, whether on the road, or of a loved one. We close with the poetry of David Francis and Guido Monte, along with your letters on the Syria and US budget imbroglios.

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Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  Juicy Cancer Revelations: The POM Queen's Secrets

The cancerous story of the not so miraculous health tonic... pomegranate juice.   More...


Glenn Reed:  Having What It Takes For The "New" Economy

A personality test and a service sector job offer symbolize America's "New" Economy for Millions.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  The Promise Of Remembered Soundtracks

Remembered songs of my youth retain the power to suggest a better world is possible.   More...


Middle East

Gilles d'Aymery:  Parsing The Anti-al-Assad Propaganda

The author continues to unravel the anti-al-Assad propaganda that is reminiscent of the 1998 Herman/Chomsky book Manufacturing Consent.   More...


Book Excerpt

William T. Hathaway:  Higher Consciousness

In 2026 as the earth is withering, an old woman and a young man set out to heal nature.   More...


Short Stories

Peter Byrne:  The Widow Reardon and Captain Tomorrow

A short story on old age, as lived through two entirely different perspectives.   More...


Arts & Culture

Raju Peddada:  The Exit For Schism - Part III

Part III of a travelogue that examines the finality of exits, whether on the road, or of a loved one.   More...



David Francis:  Manhattan Tanka

Short and to the point, a poem that says it all about our security state.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  Fragments from silence, n.2

Other words by Guido Monte about animals, silences, and remote places, translated by Adele Ward.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Readers' thoughts on negotiating chemical disarmament in Syria and the region, though Syria's and its leader is off the front pages thanks to the US budget fiasco.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
URL: http://www.swans.com/library/past_issues/2013/131007.html
Created: October 7, 2013