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 2005
The Toxic Air in Black America
EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON
Environmentalists hit the roof in 2002 when President Bush announced his Clean Sky Initiative. The initiative would not clean the skies but dirty them further. It would allow corporations to dump tons more toxic pollutants in the air, delay or exempt enforcement o...
A Dead New Year’s Eve
RON JACOBS
When I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1970s until the mid-1980s, the week between Christmas and New Year’s was a week of psychedelic bacchanalia. The Grateful Dead were the house band for this festival and the cops kept their distance wh...
Targeting Iran and Syria
GARY LEUPP
Another year over, and we still haven’t seen the widely-predicted U.S. (or U.S.-Israeli) attacks on Syria and Iran. But keep paying attention. The ...
I Believe Only in the Power of the People
EVO MORALES
This is the text of a speech given on December 24 at the "In Defense of Humanity" conference. What happened these past days in Bolivia was a great revolt by those who have been oppressed for more than 500 years. The will of the people was imposed ...
Bush’s NSA Spying Jeopardizes National Security
DAVE LINDORFF
The massive warrantless spying campaign against people living inside the U.S. which was authorized and ordered by President Bush and is only now coming to light has angered Americans across the political spectrum. Now it appears that besides massively viola...
Inside TeenScreen
SANDRA LUCAS
In October, 2004, after taking TeenScreen, a 10-minute computer test developed in the psychiatric department of Columbia University, 16-year-old Chelsea Rhoades of Indiana was told she had two mental health problems, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and social ...
The Chickens are Coming Home to Roost
BRIAN CONCANNON, Jr.
Haiti’s Judicial and Executive Branches are both getting what they deserve this holiday season- each other. After 22 months of close collaboration to trample Haiti’s Constitution and democracy, they have now turned their destructive energies on each ot...
The Wind Has Changed
T.W. CROFT
What has happened down here is the winds have changed, Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain. Rained real hard and it rained for a real long time, Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline. The nation was in the...
Christmas Without Chase
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
I just returned to New York City after spending a week in Kentucky with my family. This was our first Christmas without Chase, my nephew killed in Iraq five months ago. We gathered for brunch at the home of my brother, Chase’s father. Many of us dreaded this...
Journalists Should Expose Secrets, Not Keep Them
NORMAN SOLOMON
Journalists should be in the business of providing timely information to the public. But some — notably at the top rungs of the profession — have become players in the power games of the nation’s capital. And more than a few seem glad to imitate ...
Turning the Page, Again
SAM BAHOUR
The pages of the Palestinian political history book turn very slowly, incredibly slowly. By the time you read these words, Palestinians will have headed to the voting booths to elect municipal and village councils in what has become a saga of multiple waves of loc...
Bolivia and Venezuela Offer an Alternative to Neo-Liberalism
DERRICK O'KEEFE
In Bolivia, Evo Morales has swept into the presidency after years of popular mobilization; the long-suffering indigenous and poor majority is demanding an alternative economic and social order. In Venezuela, seven years after Hugo Chavez first won power, th...
Over the Edge
DAVE ZIRIN
Last December I wrote the following: "2004 should be remembered as a year when the hermetically sealed divide between sports and society frayed for the first time in a generation… I cannot wait to see what 2005 has in store. Also in 2005, the Chicago Wh...
Paul Martin’s Broadside Against Bush
MACDONALD STAINSBY
You can be certain that there is a Canadian Federal election underway when a sitting Prime Minister of the Federal Liberal Party– considered the party of permanent rule north of the 49th parallel– takes direct shots at the President of the United State...
Top 10 Antiwar Stories of 2005
KEVIN ZEESE
1. Cindy Sheehan stands up to President Bush in Crawford, TX and reawakens the anti-war movement. When the ‘Peace Mom’ was at the Veterans for Peace conference in Dallas,Texas this summer she decided she was going to Crawford to see the President. She ...
Let’s Stop a US/Israeli War on Iran
BILL And KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
Former CIA analysts The peace movements of the entire world should be in crisis mode right now, working non-stop to prevent the U.S. and Israel from starting a war against Iran. (See the James Petras article in CounterPunch on December 24, 2005 titled Iran in ...
White House Leaked Classified Intelligence to Make Its Case for War
DAVID SWANSON
A new report looks into instances in which the Bush Administration leaked classified information to support its case that Iraq was a threat to the United States. While that case was, of course, ridiculous and the information falsified, the leaking of it wa...
The Worst Day of Ted Stevens’ Life
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Before Bush boarded his helicopter for evacuation into the Maryland hill country for Christmas at Camp David, the president-in-lycra made the inexplicable observation that "it’s been a great year for Americans." He probably wasn’t speaking fo...
Three Books to Wake You Up
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Since his retirement by Ronald Reagan, President Carter has given active service to the causes of human rights and peace. He has written a number of books, and now he has delivered a humdinger: ...
Operation Romeo
LILA RAJIVA
Young men and women in a public park in the North Indian city of Meerut were slapped, and punched by the police on the 19th of December on the grounds that they were having ‘illicit affairs’ though it’s not clear how different things would have b...
Iraq’s IMF Loan
JOSHUA FRANK
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $685 million loan for Iraq on December 24. Now the country’s war torn economy will be fully integrated into the global economy-indefinitely. The reconstruction of Iraq will soon be open to even more industrial...
The Humanitarian Lie
AMIRA HASS
Each detail described here, every shred of reality, is liable to be considered as a whole, which would dim its severity. Detail: Hundreds of people gather each morning at three narrow steel revolving doors, and the gates do not turn because some unseen person has ...
High Time for Torture
RICHARD THIEME
Torture is all the rage these days, getting plenty of ink in the liberal press, as if it’s something new. It’s not. We have been torturing one another for centuries. Our intelligence professionals have perfected the means and the methods and have creat...
NSA Spied on UN Diplomats During Push for Invasion of Iraq
NORMAN SOLOMON
Despite all the news accounts and punditry since the New York Times published its Dec. 16 bombshell about the National Security Agency’s domestic spying, the media coverage has made virtually no mention of the fact that the Bush administration used the NSA t...
The Peretz Shuffle
URI AVNERY
Something bad is happening to the election campaign of Amir Peretz. It is just shuffling around. The surge that started with his election as leader of Labor has petered out. Events in the country are chasing each other: the "big bang" of the new K...
A Man Without a Country
DAVID SWANSON
Kurt Vonnegut, at age 82, has published over two dozen books. His latest is called "A Man ...
Pop Goes the Bubble!
MIKE WHITNEY
Four months ago I wrote an article, "Doomsday; the Final Months of the Housing Bubble" that predicted a dramatic fall in housing prices that would have a catastrophic effect on the American economy. In truth, I’m a lousy forecaster and simpl...
Whither the National Guard?
EVAN JONES
CounterPunch published a piece on October 21 by Vietnam veteran, Colonel Dan Smith. Smith notes: In April 2005, the [National] Guard had eight combat brigades in Iraq–more than 50 percent of U.S. combat strength in-country. Even in World ...
Dusty Trail to Death
GIDEON LEVY
On Sunday morning of last week Mahmoud Shawara, a laborer, mounted his mule and set out from his home in the village of Nuaman to look for work in the neighboring village of Umm Touba. At about 9 A.M., he was arrested by a Border Police unit that detains workers w...
A Vietnam Vet’s Appraisal of Bush
CHARLIE EHLEN
I have been reading Counterpunch for quite some time. I reply to many of the authors who contribute to this wonderful, informative site. I have been told by at least one (Professor Gary Leupp) that I should write an article for the web site. OK, professor, here we...
Santa Drove a Bulldozer
SCOTT BOEHM
A thunderstorm engulfed the city this Christmas Eve morning, an apt–if ominous–metaphor for the city,s reconstruction nearly four months after Katrina came to town. A ghostly atmosphere haunts New Orleans, making Christmas seem more like Halloween gone...
The Atheist Dad at Christmas
TOM KERR
The three questions lighting up our house in the days leading up to Christmas were: 1) Is Santa Clause real? 2) Was Jesus a man or a god? and 3) Is God real? Although my wife and I have long since told our ...
The Toughest Challenge for Intelligence Design
LANCE OLSEN
The diversity of the planet’s many religious impulses and institutions prompted William James to write a book titled Varieties of Religious Experience. Even casual observers of the religion scene will have noticed that this variety includes a diversity among...
No Holiday Compassion for Haiti’s Political Prisoners
BEN TERRALL
On December 16, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and 41 other members of the U.S. House of Reprentatives wrote President Bush calling for the release of Haitian political prisoner Fr.Gerard Jean-Juste. The nonviolent activist priest, who has been held on trumped-up cha...
The Usurpers of Our Freedoms
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
At stake in the so-called war on terror is longer just treatment of detainees, but the freedom of Americans. Bush and company have very wrongly used the commander-in-chief power as a lever to make the President far, far too powerful, powerful far beyond any...
Merry XXX-mas!
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
Tis the holiday season, so here’s wishing you one that’s merry and bright, with not too much in the way of holiday blues, but lots of good cheer, good works and good sex to chase the blues away. This is not as unholy as you might think. In ancient paga...
"Here’s to the Land You’ve Torn the Heart Out Of"
RON JACOBS
The summer 2005 revelations by former FBI assistant director W. Mark Felt that he was the source known as Deep Throat that helped bring down Richard Nixon has revived talk among certain US residents regarding the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney. While I...
Happy Birthday Mithras!
GARY LEUPP
The New Testament provides no specific date for the birth of Jesus. If it occurred as the Gospel of Luke tells us, as shepherds were watching over their fields by night, it probably wouldn’t have taken place in December. Too cold. So why do most Christians o...
Begging for the Brownshirts
LILA RAJIVA
David Horowitz frequently, I should say incessantly, corresponds with me. Why, I don’t know. I am quite sure he doesn’t either. But someone on his payroll sends missives out to me regularly, informing me of one or other of Mr. Horowitz’s perennia...
Xmas Games for a Gitmo World
DAVE LINDORFF
Looking for a last minute gift idea for someone who is hard to shop for? How about a chance to wreck the nation? That’s the idea behind a wacky political board game dreamed up by two California women who watched as Bush and the Republican Congr...
Bush: the Year in Review
SAUL LANDAU
"I’m very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch." –Woody Allen "They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they hear not; noses have they, but they...
CounterPunch Playlist
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR, DAVID VEST, PHYLLIS POLLACK & MICHAEL DONNELLY
1. Smokey Robinson: The Solo Anthology (Motown) A collection of 36 immaculately sung soul songs ...
A Christmas Tale for Bushtime
JOHN CHUCKMAN
It was only a matter of time before Santa Claus himself came under the Neanderthal-eyed scrutiny of American intelligence. After all, Santa’s citizenship is unknown, and he crosses borders with no passport or other form of identification. No one knows whethe...
The Year of Vanished Credibility
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Start with Bush. Never at ease before the cameras, he now has the glassy stare and mirthless smile of a cornered man with nowhere left to run. Nixon looked the same in his last White House days, and so did Hitler, according to those present in the Fuehrerbunker. A...
Iran in the Crosshairs
JAMES PETRAS
Never has an imminent war been so loudly and publicly advertised as Israel’s forthcoming military attack against Iran. When the Israeli Military Chief of Staff, Daniel Halutz, was asked how far Israel was ready to go to stop Iran’s nuclear energy progr...
Talkin’ About the "I"-Word
RALPH NADER
Richard Cohen, the finely-calibrated syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, wrote a column on October 28, 2004 which commenced with this straight talk: "I do not write the headlines for my columns. Someone else does. But if I were to write the headline...
Dialogue with the DEA
FRED GARDNER
The levee that gave way when Lake Pontchartrain poured into New Orleans was not an old earthern berm strengthened by vegetation, but a "new, improved" concrete-and-steel wall. In the rescue effort, helicopters made so much noise that people trapped insid...
The Trew Law of Free Democracies?
ERIC JOHNSON-DEBAUFRE
In England during the early years of the 17th century, an illuminating and important debate occurred over what, if any, were the limits of monarchical authority. The crux of the debate was this: did the power and authority of the monarchy supersede the law or was ...
Will a Republican Senate Save the Republic?
RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA analyst I’ll say this for Vice President Dick Cheney: he puts it right out there, whether it is trying to ensure legal protection for those torturing prisoners, or insisting-as he did on Tuesday-that a wartime president "needs to have his...
Gospel Truth
CHRIS FLOYD
Countless words of condemnation have been heaped upon George W. Bush and his hard-Right regime–a crescendo growing louder by the day, with voices from across the political spectrum. But the most devastating repudiation of the Regime’s foul ethos was ac...