Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives from February 2004
Iraq Reconstruction Fund Invested on Wall Street
STAN COX
Salina, Kansas Of the $18.4 bill...
Huddling with the Cheeseheads in a NASCAR World
JAMES JOHNSTON
I am coming to you from Wisconsin, deep in the heart of the American Midwest, where the All-Star game is banned. Only a few sketchy radio reports about the celebrities in attendance. The only thing on the TV is the Daytona 500. President Bush came to watch the sho...
My War
LARRY DAVID
I couldn’t be happier that President Bush has stood up for having served in the National Guard, because I can finally put an end to all those who questioned my motives for enlisting in the Army Reserve at the height of the Vietnam War. I can’t tell you...
The Power Elite’s Dream Ballot
MICHAEL COLBY
If you hear gleeful giggling from behind the curtain shielding the political elites from the mere masses, you’re not alone. There’s a party going on and we haven’t been invited. It’s a presidential election party, where the puppeteers of ou...
Clarett Gets Off the Plantation
DAVE ZIRIN
Author Eduardo Galeano writes that we live in an ‘Upside Down World’, a place where self described ‘War Time President’ George W. Bush is nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize; a place where Janet Jackson’s missing bra leads the news over...
Milk Bars, Hollywood and the March of Empires
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Scarcely more than a decade after Winston Churchill had assured the British people that the German foe at last lay prostrate at their feet, the invasion against which Britain had been unable to defend itself was portrayed in lurid terms: "The milk-bars indica...
No Big Loss for the Left
JOSH FRANK
In Vermont the prosecution never rests, or at least it didn’t during Howard Dean’s tenure. As governor, Dean openly claimed that the legal system unfairly benefited criminal defendants over prosecutors. Dean in early 2001 chose not to reappoint ...
An Interview with Michael Hudson
STANDARD SCHAEFER
Since the 1980s computer technology has been promoted as democratizing leisure by lowering the production costs of knowledge and culture. Consumers were promised more free time, yet a quarter or even a third of family income for the low- and middle-income brackets...
A (Counter) Revolutionary Bicentennial
STAN GOFF
February 9, 2004. As I write this there is an attempt to start a civil war in Haiti, engineered in the United States of America and supported by its lapdogs in Caricom and the Organization of American States. Former Haitian military men who have received &...
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
DAVE MARSH And LEE BALLINGER
In 1985, Rock & Rap Confidential produced the short film I’ll Vote On. It documented the efforts of the FBI and local authorities in rural Alabama to jail civil rights leaders for getting out the vote. Most charges (for "vote fraud") were ultim...
Clark Endorses Kerry
MICKEY Z.
When War Criminal Wesley Clark dropped out of the race the other day, my thoughts were with Clueless Mikey Moore. He must have been heartbroken. Clark’s smiling visage has vanished from ...
Tupac, the Patriot Act and Me
CHRISTINA HUGHES
as told to Greg Weiher OK, so my thirteen-year-old daughter, who is in eighth grade at a public school, has to write a paper for Black History Month on a famous African-American. Everyone in her class drew names, and she got Tupac Shakur (I am not making this ...
America’s Grandiose Persona Under Bush
PETER WOLSON, Ph.D
As the death toll of American soldiers rises daily in Iraq, Democratic presidential contenders are attacking President Bush’s policy of unilateral preemption and urging him to share post-war responsibilities with the international community. But the Bush adm...
Clean Break with the Road Map
WILLIAM JAMES MARTIN
Is there some difference in understanding and perspecive between President George W Bush and the members of his administration who are the dominant influences over foreign policy? Is the President, possibly because he is generally neither well read or well informe...
Is the Tide Turning?
RAHUL MAHAJAN
For at least six months, I have been resisting early pronouncements of Bush’s political death. Most of them seemed to be composed of wishful thinking, extrapolating from simple facts — the disaster of the Iraq occupation, the mostly jobless recovery, t...
The Other Intelligence Failure
WILLIAM A. COOK
"Man is the only animal that has the true religion–several of them." Mark Twain As even the conservative talk show hosts scramble to unravel truth from fiction emanating from the White House, another intelli...
To Wear the Hijab or Not
SARAH ELTANTAWI
The government of France approved last week by a vote of 494 to 36 a ban on religious emblems in state schools. France’s Commission of Reflection on the Principle of Secularity and Jacque Chirac, in his December 17, 2003 speech, made it clear that the measur...
The Drake University Subpoenas
ELAINE CASSEL
It took the "mainstream" media two weeks or more to get to the story of the grand jury investigation that involved an anti-war rally at Drake University on November 16, 2003, sponsored by the National Lawyer’s Guild. I reported on it last week, bec...
The Rituals of State Murder
KEVIN COOPER
On Monday, February 9th, 2004 shortly after 6:15 p.m., Rev. Jessie Jackson said a prayer for me and my visitors inside the visiting room here at San Quentin Prison. Then he and my personal pastor and friends were told to leave, which they did. I was then es...
Kevin Cooper and the Midnight Needle
BRUCE ANDERSON
The delayed execution of Kevin Cooper represents everything wrong with the death penalty. Not that there’s even reasonable doubt that Cooper didn’t commit the crime and a horrific one it was too: he bludgeoned and cut the throats of three children and ...
(Goodbye Howard Dean)
STAN COX
with apologies to Bernie Taupin and Elton John Goodbye Howard Dean. Though I never backed you at all, You could glimpse reality, And make those around you bawl. You said Don’t take sides with Israel, And they made you feel the pain...
Oprah’s Birthday Greedfest
TRACY MCLELLAN
Another instance of the gruel that passes for culture in the United States was Oprah’s fiftieth birthday celebration, an orgy of conspicuous consumption, unbridled greed, and insatiable hunger. It’s been almost a week now that I saw it and I still can&...
Oil Grab
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
With the attention of the press and the big greens rigidly fixated on the fate of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, the Bush administration has quietly launched a quick strike on an equally pristine stretch of the arctic plain for massive oil and gas drilling....
Democrat Snipers Target Ralph
ADAM FEDERMAN
The detractors on the left are weighing in. Ralph Nader must be sidelined. I wonder if Nader’s current detractors are the same people who argued for his participation in the presidential debates of 2000. Harry Lonsdale of Sisters, Oregonis a member o...
Kevin Cooper’s Fight to Live
ALAN MAASS
The man the state of California was determined to murder has been saved from execution. But Kevin Cooper remains on death row–and we won’t let him die. With pressure building around the state, across the U.S. and even internationally, a federal ...
McCarthyism in the Sierra Club
KARYN STRICKLER
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." – Philosopher George Santayana. In the "Father Knows Best" decade of the 1950’s, the voice of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy echo...
Can We Doubt Him? Let Me Count the Ways
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Just after Wolfowitz’s bizarre and crass pronouncement that growing numbers of deaths of occupation troops and Iraqis are evidence that "US efforts are succeeding" in that chaotic country, there were other surreal utterances by his commander-in-chi...
George W. Faces the Nation
MIKE WHITNEY
George Bush’s appearance on Face the Nation was as well choreographed as any presentation you’ll see of the Bolshoi ballet. Ensconced in the cozy confines of the Oval Office Mr. Bush looked comfortably presidential, and was convincing in rebuffing the ...
Elegy to the Salton Sea
SAUL LANDAU
In 19th Century England, William Wordsworth strolled through his garden. "I am at one with Nature," he declared. Hemingway’s 20th Century hero Nick paddled with his father in a canoe in the unspoiled Michigan lakes. He put his hand into the ice col...
Tenet and the King’s New Clothes
RAY McGOVERN
US President George W. Bush seemed quite nervous on TV last Sunday as he defended his policy on Iraq. The American press now has its hands full in trying to draw something positive from the president’s appearance on "Meet the Press." But sti...
Bush’s Nuclear Hypocrisy
ROBERT JENSEN
President Bush’s call for changes in international rules on the sale of nuclear equipment would effectively revoke the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty’s provision allowing countries to pursue atomic energy if they pledge not to build nuclear weapons....
On a Street in America
ANNIE C. HIGGINS
"It makes me so sad. It just makes me so sad." He had heard the shopkeeper speaking Arabic with me, and had asked him, "Excuse me, but may I ask you where you are from? The friendly young man behind the counter was reticent to utter a controv...
Farewell, Clark: "Dude, Where’s My Candidate?"
ALEXANDER COCKBURN And JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
We await Michael Moore’s concession speech after his hero, General Wesley Clark, tasted the ashes of defeat in Tennessee and Virginia and sensibly threw in the towel. If Dean was the hero of the dot coms, Clark was a...
The Many Faces of John Kerry
ELIZABETH SCHULTE
"A man defined by inner conflicts." That’s how the Boston Globe described John Kerry in a five-part series in June 2003. "The gung-ho Vietnam hero turned articulate antiwar protester; the shaggy-haired liberal rebel turned fe...
You Can Count Me Out (In)
RON JACOBS
There’s something about the Beatles that transcends time and other linear realities. My friend’s daughter—a nine-year-old whom I watch most every day after school—plays their music constantly. My son, a college sophomore, do...
"The Wealthy Shouldn’t Sleep at Night Either"
MICKEY Z
In February 2003, I received an e-mail from Richard and Sylvie Oxman. They contacted me to see if I’d have any interest in participating in an event in Salt Lake City in January 2004. Called OneDance: The People’s Summit ...
Feds Target Peace Activists at Drake University
KURT NIMMO
It looks like Ann Coulter may get her way. Like many on the extreme right, Ms. Coulter considers those of us engaged in dissident against the actions of the government to be "either traitors or idiots." Coulter sa...
How the Agency Should be Changed
BILL CHRISTISON
Former CIA Analyst The disaster in which U.S. foreign policy finds itself arises mainly from the lies of an administration that had long wanted war in Iraq. Even George Tenet, protesting too much his own sterling objectivity, state...
Bush’s B-Boys Replay Their Greatest Hits
CHRIS FLOYD
The confession by the Bush Administration’s chief arms investigator that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction before the war has sent a thunderbolt of puzzlement through the pundits and politicians of the Anglo-American elite. "How could th...
Boob Tube Super Bowl
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
We Americans are embarrassing ourselves again. Back in the late 1990s, a certain Independent Prosecutor showed the world our obsession with our President’s sex life. More recently, our current President showed ‘em that America could bomb the crap ...
Inside John Kerry’s Closet
MICHAEL DONNELLY
Last month, some ninety environmentalists gathered in DC to consider what to do about the BushCo assaults on our nation’s public ecosystems. The group, mostly paid staffers of one group or another, sat through a two-hour long report from the DC gre...
Putting the Consumer Back into the Game
JEFF BALLINGER
The little note on the "About Us" page of the Roots Canada website says it all: "Our Story is Being Updated and will be back soon". I’m guessing that the "old" story made reference to the pride the founders had i...
"Spray and Pray" in Iraq
DAVE LINDORFF
While flying off to Taiwan for a residency, I found myself sitting next to a young Hispanic man with a recent buzzcut. Somewhere south of Anchorage, I asked him where he was going and he said, "Okinawa." "...
McNamara: the Sequel
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Apparently to McNamara’s mortification, Errol Morris, whose film The Fog of War I recently discussed here, passes over his subject’s thirteen-year stint running the World Bank, whither he was dispatched by LBJ, Medal of Freedom in hand...
Dealing with Jewish Self-Absorption
KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
It’s most challenging to go where the silence is and say something. Amy Goodman I was kidding a couple of Muslim Palestinian-American friends the other day ab...
Our Own!
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
There is an old Indian joke about two country yokels on their first visit to the city. Coming out of the railway station, they are dazzled by all the skyscrapers around them. As they stand admiring the skyline, a city slicker walks up to them and ...
US Policy and the Kurdish Nation
RON JACOBS
If one recalls the buildup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US and UK, they will remember the Turkish legislature’s refusal to allow US ground troops to use Turkish territory as a staging area. The reasoning behind this vote was twofold. N...
Anita Bryant’s Legacy
JOANNE MARINER
Remember Anita Bryant, the Miss America runner-up turned orange juice tout turned anti-gay campaigner? Though she long ago faded from public view, her legacy survives in Florida. Bryant, who condemned homosexuality as immoral...
A Happy Family in a Barnum & Botox World
SAUL LANDAU
President Bush and his entourage have undertaken a nation-building project and some in the Administration (like Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and other “neo cons) want to do more: kick out the undemocratic, old fashioned, non-market...
The Perle and Frum H
KURT NIMMO
I admit not buying or reading the screed written by Richard Perle and David Frum, "An End to Evil: How to Win the War On Terror." I don’t want to encourage the neocon duo, although I am certain thousands of people are snapping up th...