Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. These were Cockburn’s rules for how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, he will give CounterPunch a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC (Photo of Alexander Cockburn and Jasper by Tao Ruspoli)
 Day 19

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)

pp1

or
cp-store

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

A True Story

Have Box Cutter, Will Travel

by PATRICK BARR

There’s one reason, and one reason only, why I am writiing from Lima, Perú today and not from Guantanamo or some hell-hole jail in Brooklyn, being stripped and tortured.

Airport security in both Newark and Lima failed to spot a box cutter in one of the sections of my Macintosh computer bag. You heard me right: a f***ing box cutter.

Now, you here’s a guy who people in more than one country have pointed to, in laughter, and called Osama. I’ll never forget that bus from Athens to Delphi, when those guys in the back had a good laugh at my expense. I was into the joke as well, I must admit.

I last remember using the box cutter in New Jersey early last week. I had bought a couple of items from Apple Computer and, like so many plastic containers, was never intended to be opened. Or opened at very great risk to life and limb.

I could never have explained to my torturers, half-naked females trying to embarrass me on religious grounds, before they discovered that I am an Atheist of the highest order, or those guy torturers pushing hot wires into my body and electrical cables clipped to my private parts, how that box cutter had gotten from that room in New Jersey into the carrying case of my computer, which was hand-held all the way from Newark Airport to Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima.

I discovered it this morning when I was emptying out the case to take my computer to the internet cabina, where I had network configured so that I could go online.

That is some scary s***! When you realize how easy it is to pick up people off the street in George Bush’s America and many are never heard from again.

It would probably have taken two years, at least, to be able to talk with a lawyer and, another five years, to be able to get a lie detector test.

During which time the Constitution would have been amended, Schwarzenegger would have become President, and little, or nothing, would have changed for the better.

Patrick B. Barr, formerly with The Daily Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica. He can be reached at barrybar@gmail.com