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 April 2006
America’s Gulag
JOHN CHUCKMAN
Often small things provide the most disturbing evidence for world-changing events, as when naturalists observe the quiet disappearance of some little known species. The CIA’s firing of senior officer Mary O. McCarthy is a political event of just this nature....
More Suppression of Marijuana Research
FRED GARDNER
In the 1980s Melanie Dreher and colleagues at UMass Amherst began a longitudinal study to assess the well-being of infants and children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy. The researchers lived in rural Jamaican communities among the women they were stud...
Springsteen Polishes His Roots
CATHERINE ANN CULLEN And HARRY BROWNE
Harry: Back before Bruce Springsteen had recorded an album, Pete Seeger was a domestic god in our New Jersey home. A stack of well-worn LPs was spun and spun again on an old black box phonograph, and on them Seeger sang songs tha...
Bush Passes the Buck on Soaring Gas Prices
BILL PAHNELES
The other day during a brief press opportunity, President Bush expressed his concern about rising gasoline prices, assuring Americans that his administration feels the public’s pain, while laying out three reasons for rocketing prices of the past two months....
Where Are The Frogs?
DAVE LINDORFF
With the Bush neocon gang pushing ahead for war in Iraq, and talking about going nuclear, it might seem an odd time to be thinking about frogs, but hey, it’s spring. And by the way, where are the frogs? Here in the burbs just north of Philadelp...
What I’m Listening to This Week
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Curtis Salgado: Strong Satisfaction (Shanachie) The best bluesinger o...
Whose Democracy is the US Supporting in Nicaragua?
BRYNNE KEITH-JENNINGS
In Nicaragua, the US government continues to flex its muscles to achieve an electoral defeat of Daniel Ortega in the November presidential elections. Ortega, president during the Sandinista revolution in the 1980s, is running for president for the fourth time sinc...
Stuck in Mobile with the Rev. Graham Blues Again
DAVID UNDERHILL
It was ironic that last month’s news told of U. S. troops patrolling and planes bombing Iraq in the name of democracy for resistant natives, while someone in Mobile, Alabama was being denied the right to speak to his representatives at a meeting of his city ...
The GOP and California’s Levees
SETH SANDRONKSY
"Inexcusable" is what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently called the lack of federal funds to improve the state’s system of flood control. In late February on a trip to Washington, he had asked for $56 million for emergency repairs on 24 levee site...
The Little Mermaid on Highway Six
DEB REICH
Palestinian children are not made for war, any more than Israeli children are made for war. Yet while the politicians jockey for power, our Israeli mothers go on loyally sending their children to join the army and terrorize the neighbors, as if that were a normal ...
SUMUD vs. Apartheid
JEFF HALPER
This is, as they say, the crunch. This is the political moment all Israeli governments–all of them, Labour, Likud and ‘National Unity’–have been working towards the past four decades of Occupation: the final push for an expanded Israel, the...
Can Our Economy Run Without Fear?
JULIAN EDNEY
A survey question that is becoming increasingly popular asks people if they like their jobs. Depending on which survey you read, somewhere between 40% and 50% of American workers say they don’t like their work (1,2). What is it exactly people donR...
"We Are Going to Keep Marching"
LEE SUSTAR
The WALL STREET JOURNAL published a worried analysis about the April 10 day of action for immigrant rights, pointing to widespread absenteeism by workers who participated, which forced many employers to shut down. Workers at an Excel meatpacking plant in Do...
"I Know I’m Not Dreaming, Because I Can’t Sleep Any More"
RON JACOBS
A few years back I was talking with a young socialist organizer about books. He had just asked me why I wasted my time reading fiction when there was so much non-fiction that needed to be read. Culture, I replied, reflects and illuminates a society just as much, i...
Time to Overhaul US Farm Policy
JIM FRENCH
There was a time when investing in rural America meant something personal to most Americans. Many of us are only two or three generations away from a nation of farmers and rural communities. It was a time when people drank milk delivered to their doorstep...
Deporting Hamas Members of Parliament
JONATHAN COOK
The policy of "hitnatkut", or unilateral disengagement, developed by Ariel Sharon needed a swift facelift following the withdrawal of settlers from Gaza last year. And Israel’s prime minister-designate, Ehud Olmert, has found it in the related conc...
This is What a Movement Looks Like
MICHAEL GEORGE SMITH
While much of the left has been bemoaning the demise of the antiwar movement and fighting to reinvigorate the opposition to American warmongering that was so evident before the war began, millions of immigrants and their allies have poured into the streets to figh...
The Bracero Program: 1942-1964
SARAH HINES
Millions of people have taken to the streets in immigrant-rights protests mostly focused against vicious legislation passed by the U.S. House that would criminalize undocumented workers and anyone who assists them. But the "compromise" proposal in the Se...
Pure-and-Simple Revolutions
PRATYUSH CHANDRA
For a decade or so, the media has been talking about new color and flower revolutions with colorful revolutionaries like "orange" ones in Ukraine. But, after so many sponsored, colored and sanitized revolutions, as additions in the market of "a seri...
Serving at the Decider’s Pleasure
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
"He knows that I serve at his pleasure, and that’s that." These are the words of Donald Rumsfeld, revealing his job security. So, let’ see. Is Rummy King George’s court jester? How about torture designe...
Physical Courage, Moral Courage and American Generals
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
Men who rise to the top of the American military are usually men who, in the old fashioned phrase, have faced shot and shell. Their physical courage is not to be questioned. There is, however, another type of courage, moral courage. This, as I understand i...
The Rich are Different
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Once again the tidings of the season and the news from the news reminded one and all that it is better to be rich than to be poor. The week ended with news of the Cheneys’ tax refund and began with stories in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal re...
How to Out a CIA Agent
EVELYN J. PRINGLE
For all intent and purposes, the special prosecutor’s duty in the CIA leak case is straightforward. How the investigation ever got so complicated is beyond me. Mr Fitzgerald needs to keep it simple. Valerie Plame was a CIA agent in July 2003, and the ...
The Bracero Program: 1942-1964
SARAH HINES
Millions of people have taken to the streets in immigrant-rights protests mostly focused against vicious legislation passed by the U.S. House that would criminalize undocumented workers and anyone who assists them. But the "compromise" proposal in the Se...
Stop the War! Dump the Democrats!
JOSHUA FRANK
Across the country opposition to the war in Iraq is fast setting in. The latest Bush job approval ratings are dismal, hovering around 35%, in large part due to peoples’ wariness about the disorder and uncertainty engulfing Iraq. Two weeks ago 24 town...
Cheney, the Neocons and China
GARY LEUPP
Robert Dreyfuss’ article “Vice Squad,” about ...
Doctors and Lethal Injection
JUSTIN E. H. SMITH
In a recent ruling, Judge Malcolm Howard of the Federal District Court in Greenville, North Carolina, determined that the execution by lethal injection of Willie Brown Jr. may not proceed unless appropriate medical supervision of the process can be ensured. T...
Sweeping Up
WILLIAM S. LIND
As recognition of the defeat in Iraq spreads, so also does the process of sweeping up the debris. Both civilian observers and a few voices inside the military have begun the “lessons learned” business, trying to figure out what led to our defe...
The Authority to Kill
DIANE CHRISTIAN
Human sacrifice is generally contemned. People regard the Aztec practice of plucking a heart from a victim’s chest and offering it to the sun god to maintain cosmic order as barbarous. But humans clearly have a taste for it. Today’s news tells tha...
A Case for the Palestinian Government
RAMZY BAROUD
Responding to successive decisions made by the US, the European Union and various European and non-European countries to boycott the Palestinian Authority and deprive it of urgently needed funds, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh described these dicta...
Is Labor Finally Showing Signs of a Comeback?
CHRIS KUTALIK
As labor activists from around the country and world converge on Dearborn, Michigan in early May for the Labor Notes Conference, it’s worth reflecting back on a year that has brought back hopes for a revitalization of the labor movement. ...
When "Diplomacy" Means War
NORMAN SOLOMON
One of the nation’s leading pollsters, Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center, wrote a few weeks ago that among Americans “there is little potential support for the use of force against Iran.” This month the White House has continued to emp...
“We Defeated Berlusconi”
RIFUNDAZIONE
(the Refounded Communist Party) of Italy "We Defeated Berlusconi" By RIFUNDAZIONE A very important step has been made: we defeated Berlusconi. Now we intend to rule Italy towards a change and to help the rise of a new political...
More Kids? Then Pay More for Water
P. SAINATH
For some retrospective entertainment about World Water Day, the U.N.-mandated aqua-celebration each March, read Rule 12 of the World Bank’s "Principled Pragmatism & Rules for Reformers." It goes: "Reforms must provide returns for the ...
“We Defeated Berlusconi”
RIFUNDAZIONE
(the Refounded Communist Party) of Italy "We Defeated Berlusconi" By RIFUNDAZIONE A very important step has been made: we defeated Berlusconi. Now we intend to rule Italy towards a change and to help the rise of a new political...
“We Defeated Berlusconi”
RIFUNDAZIONE
(the Refounded Communist Party) of Italy "We Defeated Berlusconi" By RIFUNDAZIONE A very important step has been made: we defeated Berlusconi. Now we intend to rule Italy towards a change and to help the rise of a new political...
Movement Blues
MIKE FERNER
Not a day too soon the antiwar movement has begun a desperately needed discussion. As a movement we are great at activism, deficient when it comes to real organizing, and damn near devoid of long range, strategic thinking and discussion. So congratul...
Secrets of the Garden of Bliss
CHRISTOPHER REED
In his book about North Korea, Bradley Martin describes a curious journey there in 1979 when he met "a man called Pak", a council member of the Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. They lunched lavishly, but Martin was disappointed over...
Secrets of the Garden of Bliss
CHRISTOPHER REED
IIn his book about North Korea, Bradley Martin describes a curious journey there in 1979 when he met "a man called Pak", a council member of the Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. They lunched lavishly, but Martin was disappointe...
“We Defeated Berlusconi”
RIFUNDAZIONE
(the Refounded Communist Party) of Italy "We Defeated Berlusconi" By RIFUNDAZIONE A very important step has been made: we defeated Berlusconi. Now we intend to rule Italy towards a change and to help the rise of a new political...
The Massacre at Qana, 10 Years Later
STANLEY HELLER
News of atrocious attack on civilians in Tel Aviv is coming in as I write this article. This will be worldwide news as it should be. The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz says Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said the attack was "a natural result of the ...
When Justice Isn’t Blind
ANTHONY PAPA
New York’s drug laws ensure that the privileged and connected receive leniency for the same offenses that send thousands of blacks and Latinos to prison. Julia Diaco, the rich and connected so-called “Pot Princess” was s...
The Pulitzer Farce
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Forget the awards for hurricane coverage. They were predictable and certainly in the case of the Times Picayune and probably the Biloxi paper, deserved. The press thrives on disasters and rare is the year when a photographer cannot extract a prize from the dead or...
What Immigrants Must Learn from the Black Civil Rights Movement … and Soon
JUAN SANTOS
"I’m not an American. I’m one of the twenty-two million Black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the 22 million Black people who are the victims of democracy–nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So I’m not ...
Is Hamas Being Forced to Collapse?
SAM BAHOUR
As many predicted, including myself, the newly elected Palestinian government led by Hamas has already started to show an impressive level of pragmatism, however, Israel and the U.S. seem to not be interested. As a matter of fact the U.S., in specific, is lea...
In the Gaze of New Orleans
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
"Katrina was the act of God. This was actually a good thing. There were too many Black people in New Orleans before. Too many of them. Katrina took care of this. New Orleans will be a better city in the future. You know, people call this a ...
The Washington Post vs. Venezuela
ERIC WINGERTER
Anyone looking to keep up to date with the current talking points for the Venezuelan opposition need only follow the writings of Jackson Diehl in the Washington Post. As deputy editorial page editor, Diehl drafts the un-bylined editorials about President Hugo...
The Zarqawi Gambit, Revisited
GREG WEIHER
The Washington Post recently printed an interesting article (“Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi”, 4/10/06) that has gone substantially unnoticed by the remainder of the American corporate media. The first sentence gives the gist of the story: R...
How Safe is Your Job?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Is your job safe? Not if it can be done abroad. The only safe jobs are in domestic services that require a “hands-on” presence, such as barbers, hospital orderlies, and waitresses. For a number of years the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ ...
Olmert the Fox
URI AVNERY
The Big Wink Joshua Frank Big Greens and Beltway Politics: Betting on Losers Seth Sandronsky Immigration and Occupations Michael Leon...