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 January 2006
What the FBI Repairman Wore When He Tried to Bug Edward Said
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The FBI was probably tapping Edward Said’s phone right up to the day he died in September of 2003. A year earlier, when he was already a very sick man, Said was scheduled to speak at an event at the Kopkind Colony summer session near Guilford, Vermont. The m...
The Stepford Hearings of Samuel Alito
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Democrats are frustrated because they failed to elicit information from the effectively coached Samuel Alito. Seems to me his sidestepping every question is reason enough to filibuster. After pledging an "open mind" on abortion, Alito completely ...
Presidential Signing Statements and the "Petition of Right"
BRUCE TYLER WICK
Under the US Constitution, Congress is the lawgiver, not the president. Thus, in presenting a bill or joint resolution to the president for his (her) consideration, Congress does not appear in the role of a petitioner, for whom any answer to its petition is possib...
The Singular Story of the Cuban Five
LEONARD WEINGLASS
Five Cuban men, were arrested in Miami, Florida in September, 1998 and charged with 26 counts of violating the federal laws of the United States. 24 of those charges were relatively minor and technical offenses, such as the use of false names and failure to regist...
"Airline Workers United" Forms to Fight Concessions Industry-Wide
CHRIS KUTALIK
and JENNIFER BIDDLE Things seem to keep going from bad to worse for workers at Northwest Airlines (NWA). While striking mechanics and cleaners face a bitter winter after more than four months on the picket line, pilots, flight attendants, gate/ramp agents, ba...
More than 800,000 Palestinians Sealed Off in Northern West Bank
AMIRA HASS
For a month now, since the second week of December 2005, the Israel Defense Forces has severed the northern part of the West Bank from other parts, and prohibited residents from traveling toward Ramallah and points southward. The ban applies to some 800,000...
The Two Questions the Senate Should Have Asked Judge Alito
RALPH NADER
As a long time observer of how Supreme Court nominees evade questions, I think the Judiciary Committee could have saved a lot of time by simply asking Judge Samuel Alito the following two questions: 1. Judge Alito, would you tell the Committee what is the c...
Alito and the Democrats
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
Liberal groups are unhappy with the quality of questions asked of Samuel Alito by Democratic senators. Some senators have been windbags, of course. But the real complaint seems to be senators’ failure to ask often very obvious follow-up questions. I would po...
How the FBI Spied on Edward Said
DAVID PRICE
The FBI has a long, ignoble tradition of monitoring and harassing America’s top intellectuals. While people ranging from Albert Einstein, William Carlos Williams to Martin Luther King have been subjected to FBI surveillance, there remains an under-accounting...
How the FBI Spied on Edward Said
DAVID PRICE
The FBI has a long, ignoble tradition of monitoring and harassing America’s top intellectuals. While people ranging from Albert Einstein, William Carlos Williams to Martin Luther King have been subjected to FBI surveillance, there remains an under-accounting...
A (Short) Congressional Honor Roll
DAVE LINDORFF
Many readers have responded to my last article about the media blackout of Rep. John Conyers’ (D-Mich.) introduction of two bills to censure George Bush and Dick Cheney, and a third bill that would create a Select Committee to investigate impeachable crimes ...
Countdown to War with Iran?
MIKE WHITNEY
Iran will defend itself if it is attacked by the United States or Israel. Defending one’s country against unprovoked aggression is sanctioned under international law and is a requirement of true leadership. We would expect no different if either the U...
The Wage Doldrums
JARED BERNSTEIN
One of the most important problems in the current economy is that, despite strong growth in labor productivity, hourly wages for most workers are not keeping pace with inflation. The source of the problem: a one-two punch of slower nominal wage growth for middle- ...
Montana Power: Killing the Big Sky’s Golden Goose
JACKIE CORR
"In modern Montana history, there is one defining moment, and that defining moment is deregulation." Cal Sweet, founder of Kalispell Electric. February 18, 2001 Before deregulation, Montana Power&n...
New Horizons in Space, New Lows in Government
RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN
In a few days, NASA plans to launch the New Horizons space probe, its destination: Pluto. In order to travel so far, New Horizons will have to start its journey extremely fast — the half-ton probe will be the fastest spacecraft ever launched, passing ...
Alito Simply Refuses to Answer Fundamental Questions
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
Up until 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, I watched much, though not all, of the Alito hearings, especially because I was to (and did) appear on a program discussing them on Tuesday evening. One has many impressions of both the Senators and Alito, in both cases some impressi...
Hugh Thompson and My Lai
CLANCY SIGAL
There is an Ugly American, a Quiet American and then there’s Hugh Thompson, the Army helicopter pilot who, with his two younger crew mates, was on a mission to draw enemy fire over the Vietnamese village of My Lai in March, 1968. Hovering over a paddy field,...
I Was Born in a Small Town…
AUBREY STREIT
You don’t have to be from a small town to know what one is like. Your stereotype is right: Old-timers gossip over morning coffee, and every person at the cafe knows you, and your dog too. Streets are nearly empty most nights, with only a few teen-agers drivi...
The Unitary Executive
JENNIFER VAN BERGEN
When President Bush signed the new law, sponsored by Senator McCain, restricting the use of torture when interrogating detainees, he also issued a Presidential signing statement. That statement asserted that his power as Commander-in-Chief gives him the authority ...
Corporations, Originalism and the Bill of Rights
RALPH NADER
and ROBERT WEISSMANN Justice Antonin Scalia Supreme Court of the United States Washington, D.C. 20543 Dear Justice Scalia, We are writing to inquire as to how the application of Bill of Rights and related constitutional protections to the...
Command Responsibility?
JEREMY BRECHER
and BRENDAN SMITH A jury verdict in Memphis late last year caused little stir among the general public, but it may have caught the attention of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and other high officials of the Bush administration. The jury found Colonel Nicolas C...
Abramoff’s Kind of Big Government
ALLAN J. LICHTMAN
Dig beneath the surface of the Abramoff affair and you find the deeper scandal within: the systematic corruption by wealthy corporate interests of a once principled conservative movement. The result is a supposedly conservative Republican administration that has t...
Snatching at King’s Legacy
EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON
The scramble to snatch and grab a piece of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy has not diminished one bit in the twenty years since the first King national holiday was celebrated. Ironically, Ronald Reagan was the first to grab at it. Reagan fought tooth and na...
"Eating Palestine for Breakfast"
KATHLEEN And BILL CHRISTISON
On the morning of the day Ariel Sharon had his stroke last week, Ha’aretz ran an analysis — aptly titled "Eating Palestine for Breakfast" — that captured the real Ariel Sharon. It may be the last honest analysis ever to see the light of...
Gaza’s Turmoil in Context
RAMZY BAROUD
The most recent kidnappings in the Gaza Strip are a disheartening testimony to how factionalism, corruption and lack of discipline can scar a national struggle that was meant to exemplify precisely the opposite. Although attempts to hijack and reduce the Pa...
Why Run Around the Low-Hurdle of FISA?
RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA analyst If you were Christmas shopping on December 19, you may have missed an important press conference. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Deputy Director of National Intelligence Gen. Mike Hayden answered questions about eavesdropping on Ameri...
Evo Morales’ Sweater
ANNIE MURPHY
For the past week Bolivian President-elect Evo Morales has been on a whirlwind tour of Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The trip could aptly be called "Where’s Evo," referring not only to Morales’s travels, but to a trademark striped ...
NSA Spied on Baltimore Peace Group
KEVIN ZEESE
The Baltimore-based chapter of the national Iraq Pledge of Resistance is an anti-war organization working for peace by challenging people in power, educating the public and getting citizens to take action. In the interview below, Maria Allwine of the ...
Schwarzenegger’s Hit List
ALAN MAASS And JOE ALLEN
"The dedication of Williams’ book ‘Life in Prison’ casts significant doubt on his personal redemption…Specifically, the book is dedicated to ‘Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Ji Jaga P...
The Surrender of MoveOn.org
JOSHUA FRANK
It’s a good thing for MoveOn.org that George W. Bush was reelected. If he hadn’t been, the liberal troupe would have nothing to contest. Even if the bloody occupation had continued under a John Kerry presidency (it most certainly would have), the cower...
Will the US Need an IMF Bail Out?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
President George W. Bush has destroyed America’s economy along with America’s reputation as a truthful, compassionate, peace-loving nation that values civil liberties and human rights. Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Un...
The War Within the Antiwar Movement
LENNI BRENNER
There is a split in the antiwar movement. On December 12, United For Peace and Justice, a reluctant cosponsor of the September 24 Washington demo, announced that it "has decided not to coordinate work with ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) again o...
Different Americas
SAUL LANDAU
George W. Bush, like the old European monarchs, claimed he possessed inherent rights and implied that those who question such prerogatives might have treasonous motives. "As President and Commander-in-Chief, I have the constitutional responsibility and the co...
Sheehan to Sheehan
RONAN SHEEHAN
Ronan: Welcome to Dublin! Cindy: Thank you. It’s nice to be here. I wish I could stay longer and it was under better circumstances. Ronan: We wish you could, too. Cindy, my name is RONAN SHEEHAN, and I come from Dublin, and my family come from...
Beyond the Ballot
NOAM CHOMSKY
The US President Bush called last month’s Iraqi elections a "major milestone in the march to democracy." They are indeed a milestone — just not the kind that Washington would welcome. Disregarding the standard declarations of benign intent on...
Playing with Fire
BRIAN J. FOLEY
If the pundits are right, during this week’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito, Jr., we’ll hear much about "Executive power." Senators will express concern that the Bush Administration has, over the past four yea...
The Post-Sharon Landscape
URI AVNERY
A political earthquake before an election is an unusual event, but not unknown. A second earthquake in such a period is already rare. But a third earthquake before an election, a short time after the first two–now, that is really scary. Well, it has j...
Media’s War Images Delude Instead of Inform
NORMAN SOLOMON
The picture was perfect. It provided a moving portrait, an image that journalists called "iconic." It was true to the moment. Yet the photograph was deceiving in a way that media images often are — showing us what’s more apparent than real....
How Many Iraqis Have Died Since the US Invasion in 2003?
ANDREW COCKBURN
President Bush’s off-hand summation last month of the number of Iraqis who have so far died as a result of our invasion and occupation as "30,000, more or less" was quite certainly an under-estimate. The true number is probably hitting around 180,0...
Who is to Blame for the Deaths of the Sudanese Refugees?
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
On December 30, 2005, some 26 unarmed Sudanese asylum seekers were killed by the Egyptian riot police in a makeshift encampment across from the office of the United Nations High Commissionaire for Refugees (UNHCR). Many condemned the unnecessary use of force, and ...
The Generosity of Credit Card Companies
CHRISTOHER BRAUCHLI
Having more credit than money, Thus one goes through the world Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Claudine von Villa Bella (1776) It is popular but unfair to criticize credit card companies for their recent successful efforts t...
To Yitzhak Eizenberg Shalom Fifth International Poetry Festival in Jerusalem
AHARON SHABTAI
Thank you for your invitation to participate in the international poetry festival in Jeruslaem in 2006 and the details. I would like to take my name out of the list of participants. I read these days on the barbarism in the Qalandia checkpoint. I oppose an interna...
How the US Press Squelches Bush Impeachment Drive
DAVE LINDORFF
Rome. There are now eight members of Congress who have put their names to a bill calling for a special committee of the House to investigate impeachable crimes by the Bush administration. To date, all of them are Democrats. So far, you’d be ha...
US Aid to Israel is Out of Hand
GEORGE BISHARAT
American and Israeli diplomats have recently revived discussions over our potential financial support of Israel’s August withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Last summer, Israel sought $2 billion, but suspended its request following the Katrina disaster. With pop...
Images of Real Eco-Terrorism in Twaneh
NEVE GORDON
Anat Rosenwaks and I just came back from Twaneh where 120 olive trees, which belong to the Amor family (planted in 1974), were cut down during the night between January 5-6. This is the family’s only plot. These photographs speak for themselves; it was like ...
The Sub Motorcycle Diaries
RAMOR RYAN
Chiapas. Like a cross between Mad Max and Zorro, Subcomandante Marcos zoomed out of the remote Zapatista stronghold of La Garrucha on a black motorbike with EZLN blazed across its handlebars and his cock hanging off the back. As the gathered scrum of media ...
Two Moms Go to Capitol Hill
LILA RAJIVA
Karen Bradley, Director of Graduate Studies in Dance at the University of Maryland, is a long-time activist, choreographer, and performance artist. She is currently writing a book on the movement theorist, Rudolf Laban, and researches and writes about movement ana...
The Dead Miners in Sago
MIKE ELY
"With all these roof falls and everything that has happened over the multiple months, not weeks, MONTHS, that this has happened, and they STILL send men in there?" John Bennett, son of a Sago miner, confronting West Virginian Go...
Abramoff Family Values
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
Once again, the moralists have been jerking us off. It’s an old story of sanctimony and thievery. We Americans never seem to learn our lesson that the worst crooks are the moralists among us. Like I said before…. Beware of Those Who Are Holi...
Business as Usual in San Diego
FRED GARDNER
The recent spate of raids on cannabis dispensaries in San Diego is not seen as much of a setback by industry insiders. Although led by DEA agents, the Dec. 12 raids were conducted by state and local law enforcement agents with warrants signed by a San Diego Superi...