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 October 2005
The Two-Headed Monster
WERTHER
"Corrupted by wealth and power, your government is like a restaurant with only one dish. They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side. But no matter which set of waiters brings you th...
Did You Know This About Iraq?
STAN COX
Did you know that there are five police academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks? Well, if you’re among the millions of recipients of that "Did You Know?" email proliferating on the Internet, you "know" that &quo...
Countdown to a Legal Lynching
PHIL GASPER
On the morning of October 11, the US Supreme Court declared that it will not hear the case of Stanley Tookie Williams, the most famous inmate on San Quentin’s death row. Last February, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals turned down Stan’s reques...
Capital, Power and Class
MATT VIDAL
In an October 6, 2005 op-ed in The New York Times, columnist David Brooks notes that "life prospects are widely unequal" for children coming from families in different income brackets. As would be expected, children from lower-income families are much le...
The Haves and Haves-Not-to-Much
JOHN GAUTREAUX
Some wise man with a beard once told me, "You can tell more about people by what they don’t own, than what they do own." That’s true I guess, on some philosophical level, and I’ll remember that quaint little aphorism next time I want to...
Impeachment, Now and Then
DAVE LINDORFF
Here’s a fascinating bit of news: More people today want to see President Bush impeached than wanted Clinton impeached on the eve of the House’s vote on his impeachment. According to a poll by the Zogby organization, just released by the group A...
The Gitmo Tribunals
BRIAN J. FOLEY
The prevailing belief that the procedures at Guantanamo Bay (GTMO) protect us because they make it easy to keep "enemy combatants" locked away is misguided. When legal process is not rigorous and convictions are easy to win, the danger is not only to the...
The IMF Has Lost Its Influence
MARK WEISBROT
Sometimes historic changes take place quietly, while no one is looking. Great institutions lose power with a whimper rather than a bang. Such is the case of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which will hold its annual fall meetings with the World Bank next we...
Srebrenica Revisited
DIANA JOHNSTONE
Last summer, almost the entire political spectrum in the Western world joined in a chorus of self-flagellation on the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. The dominant theme was "nostra culpa": "we" let it happen, "we" didn...
Voices from Behind the Entombment Wall
WILLIAM A. COOK
"Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? A world of fear and treach...
New Orleans: Leaving the Poor Behind Again!
BILL QUIGLEY
They are doing it again! My wife and I spent five days and four nights in a hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. We saw people floating dead in the water. We watched people die waiting for evacuation to places with food, water, and electricity. We were...
No Lie Left Untried
DAVE LINDORFF
When it comes to a reputation for selling snake oil, surely the army recruiter has long been right down there in the muck with the used car salesman and the patent medicine huckster. It’s common knowledge that the promises made by recruiters about postings a...
Live from New Orleans: Abu Ghraib!
LILA RAJIVA
Less than two weeks ago, on September 29, US District Judge, Judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered the government to release fresh evidence 87 photos and 4 video tapes of detainee torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib, which the ACLU had sought in a lawsuit brought against Ge...
Showdown at Chuck E. Cheese
MITCHEL COHEN
For about 1 hour beginning at 5 pm Monday afternoon, members of the Brooklyn Greens leafletted at the front entrance of the Atlantic Terminal against Chuck E. Cheese’s showing of military videos to their 4-11 year-old clientele. We were joined by acti...
Natural Born Liars
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
George W. Bush is a natural born liar. He lied us into a war, and now he is lying to keep us there. In his October 6 self-congratulatory speech at that neoconservative shrine, the National Endowment for Democracy, the President of the United States said: "Tod...
Pakistan Will Never Forget This Horror
TARIQ ALI
in Lahore The scale of the disaster has traumatized the entire country or perhaps not quite. Here in Lahore a group of people collecting funds for earthquake relief were apprehended and charged. They were amassing money for themselves. Even in the midst of dis...
A New Vision for a New World
ROGER MORRIS And STEVE SCHMIDT
In the autumn of 2005, America faces unprecedented challenges in national security. The war on Iraq is a strategic disaster. Unilateral invasion and a bloody, profiteering, open-ended occupation have torn our alliances, cost unparalleled international hosti...
Suspect Thy Neighbor
Dr. TERESA WHITEHURST
As Americans, we like to think of ourselves as tolerant. Even the most bigoted people consider themselves fair-minded, claiming that their contempt for members of the hated group is objective, based on "their poor morals and values" or "their bad be...
The Beautiful Life Without Arafat
GIDEON LEVY
Time flies when you’re having fun, as the saying goes. Next month marks one year since the death of Yasser Arafat, and the masses will not fill the squares in Ramallah in memorial assemblies; Bill Clinton and other world leaders will not come to inaugurate a...
The Vermont Independence Convention
CounterPunch News Service
THE VERMONT INDEPENDENCE CONVENTION An Impossible Dream or a Vision of the Future? State House Montpelier, Vermont , October 28, 2005 James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, will be the keynote speaker at The Vermont Convention on I...
Washington’s War Dems
JOSHUA FRANK
These are tremulous times for the Republican establishment. A poll released this past weekend by Ipsos/Associated Press confirms that Bush’s agenda has slid right off the table and into the trash bin. The president’s popularity has plummeted to a meage...
In Defense of Liars…
MICKEY Z.
"Lying is the most simple form of self-defense." -Susan Sontag Before you pull out your handy stone tablet and haughtily declare, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," consider the promises (sic) you heard during...
The Fight for Free Speech at Union Square
ALAN WALLIS
Joshua Frank, who published "NYPD Unplugs Cindy Sheehan" on CounterPunch should be commended for focusing on the question of free speech in Union Square, but his assessment of the political environment in this important b...
The Police State is Closer Than You Think
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Police states are easier to acquire than Americans appreciate. The hysterical aftermath of September 11 has put into place the main components of a police state. Habeas corpus is the greatest protection Americans have against a police state. Habeas c...
Rachel’s Words Live
CINDY And CRAIG CORRIE
RWhen our daughter Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza strip on March 16 2003, an immediate impulse was to get her words out to the world. She had been working in Rafah with a nonviolent resistance organisation, the International Solidarit...
Beyond the Wasteland
ASEEM SHRIVASTAVA
(This is the second part of an essay published in the columns of Counterpunch a year ago. In the first part I had related the story of an Afghan refugee, Jamal, who journeyed perilously from Afghanistan to Norway over a period of 6 years. You can read the first pa...
Katrina and the Growls of Greed
RALPH NADER
Amidst the wailing and grieving by those many victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita comes the growls of greed from those corporations getting huge contracts from the US government to supply emergency relief, reconstruction services and materials. From...
Rhetoric and Reality in the Business of Getting Rid of Black People
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Every year or so some right-winger in America lets fly in public with a ripe salvo of racism and the liberal watchdogs come tearing out of their kennels and the neighborhood echoes with the barks and shouts. The right winger says he didn’t mean it, the Presi...
Does the Controlled Substances Act Mean What It Says?
FRED GARDNER
Section 885(d) of the federal Controlled Substances Act entitles undercover police officers to obtain, handle, and sell illicit drugs. It states that "no civil or criminal liability shall be imposed" on any "authorized officer… who shall be la...
Bird Flu and Bush
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
As recent events have clearly shown, nature can have a devastating political impact for political leaders. According to a Wall Street Journal poll, just prior to Hurricane Katrina Bush’s disapproval rating stood at 55%, with 40% approving of the president an...
The Leveeathan Approach
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
"He told me what (his plan) was, and I see in a minute it was worth fifteen of mine for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, and maybe get us all killed besides." –Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn ...
The Millions More Movement and Zionism
LENNI BRENNER
The Millions More Movement continues to grow, 10 years after Louis Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Men’s March drew hundreds of thousands of Black males to Washington. The MMM has called a three-day event, October 14-16. Friday is "A Day of Absence"...
Bunker Days with George
MIKE WHITNEY
Bush’s speech to the National Endowment for Democracy was a long and tedious journey through the shadowy world of terrorism. It was loaded with the same wearisome phantoms and dreary evil-doers that have appeared in every Bush speech since September 2001. Bu...
The Millions More Movement and Zionism
LENNI BRENNER
The Millions More Movement continues to grow, 10 years after Louis Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Men’s March drew hundreds of thousands of Black males to Washington. The MMM has called a three-day event, October 14-16. Friday is "A Day of Absence"...
Legal Strategies and Precedents in the Dharfir Case
JENNIFER VAN BERGEN
[This is Part Two of a two-part series. The first part discussed the trial and conviction of Dr. Rafil Dhafir of Syracuse, NY, for having provided aide to Iraqis in violation of the Iraqi Sanctions. The second part...
Setting Up Abbas
JEFF HALPER
From Sharon’s point of view it’s a done deal. Israel has won its century-old conflict with the Palestinians. Surveying the landscape – physical and political alike – the Israeli Prime Minister has finally fulfilled the task with which ...
A Nobel Prize for Chernobyl?
ALICE SLATER
The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has given peace a black eye by awarding its annual honor to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its Director, Mohammed El Baradei, ironically, for working to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. The IAEA has been the worldR...
Bird Flu and Bush
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
As recent events have clearly shown, nature can have a devastating political impact for political leaders. According to a Wall Street Journal poll, just prior to Hurricane Katrina Bush’s disapproval rating stood at 55%, with 40% approving of the president an...
A View from Cajun Country
JOHN GAUTREAUX
Katrina has turned people into jokes. The middle class of South Louisiana has become America’s grand manifestation of melodramatic, self-serving, fear-mongering, dimwits using tragic events to fulfill insecure emotional needs and justify racial prejudice. OK...
An Oily Religious Dream
SAUL LANDAU
In September, the body count and property damage assessment mounted steadily along the Gulf Coast. After watching TV news images of the carnage, the Rev. Jerry Pat Flatulence had one of his many epiphanies ­after eating his dinner in his home in Lynchemhi...
The Hitchens Doctrine
TOM GORMAN
In his September 14 debate with George Galloway at Baruch College, born-again neocon Christopher Hitchens laid out his four-point argument for why Iraq had surrendered its right to sovereignty. In his opening statement, the Trotskyist-turned-Bush booster contended...
Legal Strategies and Precedents in the Dharfir Case
JENNIFER VAN BERGEN
[This is Part Two of a two-part series. The first part discussed the trial and conviction of Dr. Rafil Dhafir of Syracuse, NY, for having provided aide to Iraqis in violation of the Iraqi Sanctions. The second part...
Training Soldiers in Iraq
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
" . . . just one of the 120 US-trained Iraqi army and police battalions was able to operate without US forces, General Casey and General Abizaid told senators. The Pentagon said in July the number was three." Reuters, Sep...
Religion: an Epistle
BEN TRIPP
Part, the First Religion is when you owe a real apology to an imaginary person. About the only positive thing you can say for religion is gets the best out of architects. To be fair, religion is the midwife of culture: without at least one mid-level god att...
Rot in the Ivory Tower
M.G. PIETY
Things are heating up in Denmark. Peter Tudvad, the scholar who exposed the problems with Joakim Garff’s once famous, now infamous book, Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography (Princeton, 2005) has been forced out of his job. I wrote about the ...
Nobel Prize Debacle
RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN
The International Atomic Energy Agency, promoters of nuclear power (which are nothing more than slow nuclear weapons) has actually won the Nobel Peace Prize this year (2005). The only more inappropriate winners would be the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) o...
The Plame Case
LARRY JOHNSON
Former CIA analyst Want to know one reason why the CIA has been unable to recruit spies? Just reflect on how a potential recruit would react to the outing of Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA operations officer. The investigation into which admini...
Katrina Knocks Payroll Off Course–But Less Than Feared
JARED BERNSTEIN
Due to the impact of Hurricane Katrina, the nation’s payrolls contracted by 35,000 in September, the first monthly loss in over two years, according to data in today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The storm also drove the unemploym...
The Case of Dr. Dhafir
JENNIFER VAN BERGEN
[Part One of a two-part series. The first part discusses the trial and conviction of Dr. Rafil Dhafir of Syracuse, NY, for having provided aide to Iraqis in violation of the Iraqi Sanctions. The second part places his case in a larger context, discussing DOJ tacti...
Why Do We Hate Our Freedom?
WILL YOUMANS
The predatory tactics used by military recruiters to lure in youth from our schools and universities feed on desperation by offering dreams of cash for college, marketable skills, a signing bonus, and promises of cushy desk jobs. "Green card" soldie...