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 September 2006
State of Chutzpah
URI AVNERY
Jerusalem. IN EVERY language there are some words that cannot be properly translated into any other. It seems that they express something intimately connected with the speakers of that language and rooted in their history, traditions and reality. Such words...
The Centrality of War in the Presidency of George W. Bush
Col. DAN SMITH
"Although most governments in the world are, as they always have been, autocracies of one kind or another, no idea holds greater sway in the minds of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime, anyw...
Forgetting September 11
ANTHONY ALESSANDRINI
September 11, 2006 marks the fifth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. If you are living in the United States, there is no way that you could have escaped from reading or hearing the sentence above, or something like it, ...
What Happened?
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
However compelling the immediate drama, history’s milestones are laid out in retrospective, not exactly as things unfold. They are at best convenient markers for processes which are more significant by far. If events are the hares of history, flashy and flam...
Proving Nothing
JOSHUA FRANK
I really have no interest in debunking all the nutty conspiracies revolving around September 11, 2001. I find the exercise about as entertaining as discussing the virgin birth with a Christian fundamentalist. The truth is, it’s is damn near impossible to con...
Death Threats Against Lancet’s Haiti Human Rights Investigator
JEB SPRAGUE And JOE EMESBERGER
"You are a dog … you should die. We are going to necklace you," whispered a British-accented caller into the phone. It was the latest in a round of death threats that Athena Kolbe, Human Rights Investigator and Master’s level social worker at...
Palestinians Forced to Scavenge Rubbish Dumps for Food
PATRICK COCKBURN
Jerusalem. The Israeli military and economic siege of Gaza has led to a collapse in Palestinian living conditions and many people only survive by looking for scraps of food in rubbish dumps, say international aid agencies. "The pressure and tact...
Beyond Terror
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
The shock, the sorrow and the gargantuan damage of the attacks of 9.11.01 touched us all. Fear was in the air like the ubiquitous ash of the collapsed towers. We felt the fragility of human life. We were reminded that our security was full of holes. Technology was...
Bush After 9/11
DAVE LINDORFF
The fifth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 are a good time to take stock of where we’ve come since that day, and it is not a pretty picture. Others are writing about what has been done to make the country safer from such attacks in the...
The End of the "End of History"
JEAN BRICMONT
All was going well. Serbia, on its knees, had just sold Milosevic to the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague for a fistful of dollars (some of which, it was learned later, went to pay debts accumulated since the time of Tito). NATO was stretching eastward...
Dead Babies and Nazi Propaganda
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
“He [the Hezbollah leader] knows that every dead Lebanese baby, the fruit of Hezbollah’s cynicism and death cult, will be laid in righteous anger at Israel’s door by Europe’s political and media classes . . . .” ...
Days of Reckoning
MIKE WHITNEY
There’s growing concern among economists and market-savvy pundits that the global financial system is hanging by a few well-worn threads that could snap at any time. The $10.4 trillion real estate “bubble” has attracted the most attenti...
Making Work Safer Through Direct Action
DANIEL GROSS And JOE TESSONE
Requests have been routinely made and ignored for the purchase of a stepladder. It is vital for our safety that we have a stepladder available to use for such tasks as changing light bulbs, reaching boxes on high shelves, and cleaning ceiling til...
The Remaking of Cataract Canyon (Part Six)
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
You don’t see the Grand River coming. It sneaks in from the northeast, down a vaulted corridor of rock. You feel its muscular pulse first, sucker-punching you with a new surge to the current. The river runs a vibrant reddish-brown, the color of nativ...
Crossroads at the Litani
Col. CHET RICHARDS
As its tanks file back from the Litani River, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) joins the club of advanced military forces that have failed against non-state enemies. It’s a growing fraternity that already includes France, Britain, India, the USSR, and...
Ben Stein and Wall Street
RALPH NADER
It is fortunate for Wall Street’s institutionalized criminals and looters of investor assets that Ben Stein likes acting. Because that leaves this skilled x-rayer of corporate fraud and greed with less time to produce more of his incisive articles i...
Good Christ, Bad Christ
GREG GRANDIN
Just a few years ago, with the release of The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson seemed to have done what centuries of religious wars and inquisitions couldn’t: unite Christians, at least conservative Christians. More than two hours of remorseless s...
Tailoring the Case Against Iran
DAVID MODEL
The American people’s short memory virtually constitutes complicity in the loss of millions of lives and billions of dollars worth of property. In the past 15 years alone, over a million Iraqis have died and thousands of Serbians and Afghanis have ...
From Bil’in to Birmingham
DAVE HIMMELSTEIN
One of the latest in the long series of unpublicized Israeli attacks on civilians took place on August 25 in the West Bank village of Bil’in, a longstanding bastion of nonviolent Palestinian resistance. It occurred during the weekly protest against...
The Colbert Factor
NICOLE COLSON
In the “one-two” punch of Comedy Central’s nightly “fake news” programming, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart sets ’em up, while Stephen Colbert delivers the knockout blow. As Conan O’Brien recently...
Is Medical Pot Image a Turn-Off?
FRED GARDNER
Every year the federal Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducts a survey on Drug Use and Health (DUH) and releases reports on perceived trends. If the survey finds that drug use is down, government officials say "...
War and the Power of Words
RON JACOBS
The remembrance of the sight remains fixed in my brain. Try as I might, my mind’s eye cannot stop seeing the second plane hit that tower. Nor can it erase the sight of that tower collapsing in on itself. Being no more than thirty blocks away that d...
Working for Wal-Mart
JOSH GRYNIEWICZ
I worked for Wal-Mart just under a year. I was fired two days before Christmas, which in retrospect was probably the best holiday bonus I could have received. When I started, I knew very little about unions, even less about workers’ power and...
The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
You trip over one fundamental idiocy of the 9/11 conspiracy nuts — — the ones who say Bush and Cheney masterminded the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon — in the first paragraph of the opening page of the book by one of...
Thirty Years of "White Riot"
ALEXANDER BILLET
On August 30th, 1976, in a turbulent and volatile section of London, a piece of rock n’ roll legend took place. Though the anniversary last week was insignificant to most in the mainstream press, the events of that insufferably hot summer day were ...
Dylan’s Swing Time Waltz in the Face of the Apocalypse
PETER STONE BROWN
Sometime back in the era of Nashville Skyline, but long before Self Portrait I was talking with a friend of mine who was heavily into Dylan, and had just written a paper for some course at Columbia University on “Time and Space in Bob Dylan songs.&#...
Inside the Iron Theater
JOE BAGEANT
Nobody talks about it out loud, but a few million Americans are seriously doubting their sanity these days. Or having their sanity doubted. Or both. They seldom speak their minds because what is going on in there is a vision of society that conjures grav...
My September 11th
ELISA SALASIN
On September 11, 2001, I went shopping. I didn’t pull close to loved ones, I didn’t strive to understand, to educate, to do anything other than watch the twin towers burn, then get in the car and drive out to the suburbs to buy baby clothes. I w...
God’s Ambulance Chasers
DAN VOJIR
I’ve just come from another "beer bust" for Katrina hurricane victims. Given the magnitude of the charity the U.S. has shown for them, this might become a usual pastime for more than several months. The difference with these beer busts is that they...
When Injustice is Justice
TOM CRUMPACKER
In George Orwell’s prophetic novel "1984" the Rulers of Oceania, by their language of newthink and process of doublethink, convinced the masses that statements formerly considered irrational were rational. In other words, virtual reality became act...
Race Stories
ROBERT JENSEN
We use terms to label ourselves and others. We struggle over what the terms mean and how they should be applied. But we also define ourselves by the stories we tell. There are two different stories I could tell about myself. Which is true? Story #1...
Marijuana Might Really Make You Cool
FRED GARDNER
Marijuana use may confer health benefits by lowering overall body temperature, according to Tod Mikuriya, MD. It has been observed by his office staff -and confirmed anecdotally by colleagues- that people seeking physician approval to medicate with cannabis usuall...
It’s Not Easy Being King
CHARLES SULLIVAN
Many of you who read this will remember a minor incident involving Poppy Bush that occurred during his presidency. Bush visited the checkout line of a grocery store and marveled at the scanner that priced the goods. I do not recall the reason for Bush’s visi...
The War on Terror, as Others See It
NORMAN SOLOMON
The USA’s mass media constantly tell us how Americans see the "war on terror." But the same outlets rarely tell us much about how the rest of the world sees it. Five years after 9/11, the gap between perceptions is enormous. Countless polls ...
Judge Says, No Clowning Around Our WMDs!
BILL QUIGLEY
A federal judge cleared the way for a priest and two veterans to be tried before a federal jury on September 13, 2006 for damaging a Minuteman III intercontinental nuclear missile in North Dakota. The three, dressed as clowns, hammered and poured their blo...
Bush Family Values
MICHAEL DONNELLY
It’s astonishing to see how desperate our homegrown fascists have become. The entire cabal is in full-on media blitz mode with Rummy, Dick and Theodosius, er, Bush slamming their foreign opponents with the latest absurd tag "Islamic Fascists;" and,...
Peddling "The Path to 9/11" to Kids
JOHN BOROWSKI
Disney/ABC’s "docudrama" "The Path to 9/11", is a slanderous and fictional illusion about that tragic day five years ago. It will not only be peddled on our public airwaves, the corporate media is seeking to manipulate our cherished publi...
The Remaking of Cataract Canyon (Part Five)
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Day Four. The dawn is hot. Even the rocks seem to tremble at the appearance of the morning sun. The sky is cloudless. Again. Spotless, except for a single Swainson’s hawk probing the bottomland for lizards and mice. There’s a new pul...
The Liberals’ War on Lebanon
URI AVNERY
I once saw a nice sketch in a political cabaret: on the stage several people were speaking in unconnected sentences, all of which ended with the word "but". For example: "Some of my best friends are Jews, but", "I have nothing against blac...
Books Are Our Salvation
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Those of us who grew up before the time of virtual reality got inspiration from literature and biography. A combative scholar, a good story, the life of an achiever were all part of the mish-mash that formed character. It is still possible to turn off the s...
The Israel Lobby Works Its Magic, Again
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. The measure of a human rights organisation is to be found not just in the strides it takes to seek justice for the oppressed and victimised but also in the compromises it makes to keep itself out of trouble. Because of the business that human righ...
Why Bush Really Came Clean About the CIA’s Secret Torture Prisons
MARJORIE COHN
With great fanfare, George W. Bush announced to a group of carefully selected 9/11 families yesterday that he had finally decided to send Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and 13 other alleged terrorists to Guantánamo Bay, where they will be tried in military commissi...
Bombing Indiana
LUCINDA MARSHALL
I can understand the confusion, Indiana starts with an I. Iraq, Iran, Indiana. Common mistake. But when my morning paper announced that the Department of Defense was considering testing a humongous pretend nuclear bomb in the Hoosier state, I was terrified. This o...
Gaza is Dying
PATRICK COCKBURN
Gaza. Gaza is dying. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave is so tight that its people are on the edge of starvation. Here on the shores of the Mediterranean a great tragedy is taking place that is being ignored because the world’s attention ha...
The Global Trade in Deadly Pesticides
KRISTIN S. SCHAFER
Back in 2001, two global toxics treaties offered a rare opportunity for U.S. leadership in the international environmental policy arena. Today not only is the opportunity for leadership lost, but the United States seems bent on undermining the effectiveness of the...
Ethnic Cleansing in New Orleans
CHARLES SULLIVAN
It was a year ago that hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast region of the USA, and left a path of death and destruction in her wake. Well over a thousand human beings lost their lives in the floods that followed the tempest. Who can say how many people lost hop...
The Fraud in Mexico
RENÉ DRUCKER COLÍN
Today, the political situation in the country pivots around the question of whether or not there fraud was committed in the electoral process. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is convinced that fraud which impeded his being the legitimate president of this country was ...
Academic Freedom in Iran and America
ROBERT JENSEN
When I published an article this summer that condemned the past six decades of U.S. policy toward Iran, and the Middle East more generally, as a strategy of "...
The Future of the Family Farm
KEITH BOLIN
This morning as I write this, cash corn is at $2.15 per bushel. My grandson and I are out cutting hay, while his mother is at the hospital having her second baby–our first granddaughter. This all gets me to thinking about my grandchildren and their future in...
Downward Mobility
SHARON SMITH
While accomplishing little else of substance in this election year, the House of Representatives voted in June, for the eighth consecutive year, to award all members of Congress cost-of-living increases in their annual salaries amounting to a hefty $168,500, not i...