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 November 2006
The War on Us
FRED GARDNER
The damage wreaked by products and procedures foisted on the American people by pharmaceutical and "health care" corporations is incalculable. This week the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study showing that 300,000 unnecessary ba...
Women in the Israeli Army
CHRISTIANE PASSEVANT
and LARRY PORTIS The refusnik movement is one of the few encouraging developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Given the overwhelming support of Western governments to a Jewish fundamentalist state, and especially the billions of dollars in annual financi...
Return to District 8
DANIEL WOLFF
District 8 is the name of the area we’ve been filming for the past year; it includes the Lower 9th Ward and the Holy Cross District, both east of the industrial canal from downtown New Orleans. Pre-Katrina, the median household income was $20,916, a...
The Washington Post’s Campaign Against Social Security
SETH SANDRONSKY
A Washington Post reporter has a problem with Social Security. She wrote that "the rising costs of Social Security and government health-care programs" are on tap as subject for debate in future talks between the GOP and Democrats in Congress. Med...
The Arrest of Journalist Freddie Muñoz
JAMES J. BRITTAIN
Shedding light on issues of government corruption, state officials indirectly involved in the violation of its own citizens’ rights, or sectors of the nation’s elite hiring killers to eliminate their adversaries would, in many countries, be on the fron...
Native Resurgence Spurs Hope
BRIAN McKENNA
A few days ago my 4th grade daughter came home with a 20 question "Thanksgiving Quiz" very disappointed at her failing grade. We looked it over and noticed not one question about Indians, a topic she knows well. But I quickly noticed that there were two ...
How to Let Lebanon Live
CHARLES GLASS
Everyone in Lebanon knows someone who has been assassinated. We also know people who may soon be assassinated. Israel wants to murder the Hizballah leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah–just as it killed his predecessor with his wife and son in 1992. Syria’s...
A Prayer in Paradise
GIDEON LEVY
The kindergarten teacher is lying on a stretcher, covered with blood. The minibus is parked alongside. From somewhere to the left, the army cannon is firing shells. The children are lying on the ground next to one another. That is how one of the children described...
Syria as Fallguy for Gemayel’s Death
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. Commentators and columnists are agreed. Pierre Gemayel’s assassination must have been the handiwork of Syria because his Christian Phalangists have been long-time allies of Israel and because, as industry minister, he was one of the leading ...
The UN Fails Haiti, Again
KIM IVES
On Friday, November 18, 1803, the decisive battle of the Haitian revolution was fought at Vertières, just outside the northern city of Cap Français. There, General Jean-Jacques Dessalines led the revolutionary army of former slaves to rout Napoleon&#...
Build a Fire on Main Street
RON JACOBS
A little more than thirty-seven years (November 14-15, 1969), the streets of Washington , DC and San Francisco, CA were filled with a million protesters against the US war in Vietnam. These protests, known as the National Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam, ha...
Head for the Exits, Now!
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Imagine a steer in the stockyards hollering to his fellows, "We need a phased withdrawal from the slaughterhouse, starting in four to six months. The timetable should not be overly rigid. But there should be no more equivocation." Back and forth among th...
Palestinian Solidarity in a Time of Massacres
GILAD ATZMON
Let’s face it; while the Palestinian and Arab resistance evolves into an absolute example of the ultimate heroism and collective patriotism, the Palestinian solidarity movement in the UK and around the world is not exactly what could be called a profound suc...
Green Muscle on Election Day
MIKE ROSELLE
Yes it’s great to be alive, and we are happy about the elections, not because we like the winners, but because we do not like many of the losers. Let’s face it, it was still a razor thin victory and the elected Democrats are hardly better than the Repu...
The Massacre at Beit Hanoun
KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
Ha’aretz correspondent Gideon Levy described the situation in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun in a searing article on Sunday. He proposed, half seriously, that the Israeli colonies removed last year as part of Israel’s so-called "disengageme...
Bush’s Lone Victory
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
George Orwell warned us, but what American would have expected that in the opening years of the 21st century the United States would become a country in which lies and deception by the President and Vice President were the basis for a foreign policy of war and agg...
Organized Labor in Retreat
SHERWOOD ROSS
So who is surprised construction workers are treated worse than dogs in the United Arab Emirates? Who is surprised to find migrant workers from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh building skyscrapers for just 10% of the average UAE wage of $2,106 per month?...
Pimping Mike Tyson
DAVE ZIRIN
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson began life in the condemned projects of Brooklyn, and condemned he has remained. His American journey has included stops in homeless shelters, reform schools, bankruptcy courts, and prison. Along the way, he earned and...
Dealing with Ortega
NADIA MARTINEZ
For the Bush administration, it wasn’t just the U.S. elections that brought bad news last week. Citizens of Nicaragua voted Nov. 5 to return former leftist President Daniel Ortega to power. In what seems like a case of Cold War blues, U.S. officials ...
Up from Chiapas
GREG MOSES
With the storefront door opened to crisp air and curious people, Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo is for now seated near friends who ask for an autograph of her 2001 book, ‘...
The First Task of the New Congress
DAVE LINDORFF
Forget Nancy Pelosi’s "100 Hours" agenda for the new Democratic Congress. The first thing Democrats need to do when they walk into the Senate and House chambers this January is to vote out a joint resolution repealing the September 18, 2001...
How Multinational Corporations Avoid Paying Their Taxes
PETER ROST, MD
Drug companies and other multinational companies based in the U.S. systematically avoid paying tax in the U.S. on their profits. The companies elect to realize profits in low-tax countries and because of this the rest of us have to pay billions of unnecessary taxe...
Three for Thought
ROGER MORRIS
Are we the eagle nation Or have we but the talons and the maw, And for the abject likeness of our heart, Shall some less lordly bird be set apart? Some gorger in the sun? Some prowler with the bat? -William Vaughn Moody, An Ode ...
Repression and Resistance in Oaxaca
LUIS HERNÁNDEZ NAVARRO
A profound political crisis is shaking up Mexico. The rules that regulate the balance of power between elites have been violated. From above, there is no agreement or any possibility for one in the short term. A severe crisis in the model of control has er...
Spoilers of the World Unite! … Now!
JOHN V. WALSH
Let us start with the biggest lie of all, that the Democrats cannot end the war, are unable to do it, do not have the power to do it. Big, big, big lie. Bush is now asking for another $127 billion to "stay the course." If either the House or the Senate r...
Big Pharma Hits on Pregnant Women
EVELYN PRINGLE
If Big Pharma cared one iota about the unborn fetus, at a bare minimum, it would call off its hired-guns traveling around the country peddling SSRI antidepressants to pregnant women by convincing doctors to prescribed the drugs and ignore the studies and FDA warni...
Iraq: “At a Minimum Negligence in the Commission of a Fraud”
KEVIN ZEESE
Michael Isikoff is a reporter for Newsweek and co-author of Hubris: the Inside Story of Spin, S...
Here Come the Democrats … So?
DON MONKERUD
With a newly elected Democratic Congress trying to put the brakes on the worst American president in history, many are breathing a sigh of relief. A number of Democratic legislative goals would impact working people positively: increasing the minimum wage, ...
The Ongoing Myth of Energy Independence
ROBERT BRYCE
Now that the Democrats have swept aside the Republicans in both the House and the Senate, they are clamoring for major changes in policy. The first item on their list, rightly, is a change in America’s military occupation in Iraq. They also want to raise the...
Usurpation of Power
Col. DAN SMITH
Messages are circulating on the Internet that raise an alarm over a provision of the FY2007 Defense Department Authorization Act (PL 109-364) that expands presidential discretion to declare martial law and to federalize the National Guard in case of insurrection....
Housing Bubble Smack-Down
MIKE WHITNEY
Give me 5 minutes and I’ll convince you that you should sell your house immediately and invest your life-savings in gold or a Swiss bank-account. Okay? For some time now we’ve been hearing about the so-called housing bubble and what effec...
Killing Hope in Beit Hanoun
RAMZY BAROUD
"God is greater than Israel and America," was the echoing cry of tens of thousands of Palestinians, who descended into the graveyard in grief stricken Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. They congregated in yet another familiar scene to bury their l...
Shia Walk
ROBERT FISK
The Shia, the largest community in Lebanon, are no longer represented in the Lebanese government. It could be just part of Lebanon’s bloody-minded politics–or it could be a most dangerous moment in the history of this tragic country. At the week...
American Anthropologists Stand Up Against Torture and the Occupation of Iraq
DAVID H. PRICE
In San Jose, on Saturday evening, November 18, 2006, the rank and file members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) attending the Association’s business meeting approved resolutions condemning the occupation of Iraq and the use of torture. ...
Opportunities Lost
ROBERT JENSEN
In a world of spin, no one expects truth from corporate executives or the politicians who serve them, but many of us hold out hope that in the classroom and sanctuary we can engage one another honestly in the struggle to understand the world and our place in it. S...
America’s Progressive Nightmare
JOE MOWREY
We are already beginning to see the results of the "blue wave" which occurred in our recent elections. Lobbyists are retooling to accommodate their favorite Democratic politicians. Harry Reid has promised to increase the military budget by $75 billion. I...
Ziodämmerung
DAVE HIMMELSTEIN
Towers sway. Seismic jolts rattle the realm. A mainstream epiphany is at hand: the extent of ideological and operational "twinning" of Israel and the United States. The diversionary benefits of an attack on Iran become ever more compelling–but Iran...
Living Within Limits
CARL N. McDANIEL
Every important environmental trend today is negative: growth of population and consumption, global warming, mounting pollution, loss of soil, declining biodiversity. Our modern world is headed toward the same place as old civilizations that overreached their ecol...
Criminalizing Compassion in the War on Terror
KATHERINE HUGHES
"The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But … the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to h...
Why the Democrats Should Cut Loose Lieberman
DAVE LINDORFF
If the Democratic Party were a real opposition party–a party of principle filled with fighters–I’d say maintaining control of the Senate, even with by a margin of a single, fragile vote, would be important and valuable. But that’s no...
The Fall of Donald Rumsfeld
ELIZABETH SCHULTE
HE WAS the architect of the war in Iraq, and like a condemned building, it all came tumbling down around Donald Rumsfeld’s ears last week. In the aftermath of the Republicans’ crushing defeat in congressional elections, with voters in large part...
"We’ve Got a War to Run!"
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
and Jeffrey St Clair are available to speak forcefully on ALL the burning issues, as are other CounterPunchers seasoned in stump oratory. Call CounterPunch Speakers Bureau, 1-800-840-3683. Or email beckyg@counterpunch.org....
Data Days
ADAM ENGEL
What is a girl’s desire in the world of men? The Office Women, the "Datists," convert raw material of alphanumeric symbols to "actionable" info. Datists sit smartly at squat machines. Squarish, sleek machines. Explosion of words, i...
Halliburton Wrecks Mexico
JOHN ROSS
Macaspana, Tabasco. The billboard posted along the scrubby highway running east in sultry, southern Tabasco state displays lush jungle, a sun-dappled iguana, and a flock of dazzling macaws. "We’re working for a better environment" the giant ...
We’re Drinking What?
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Look at photos of the gigantic udders on rBST treated dairy cows and it’s not hard to imagine the artificial hormone’s role in increasing U.S. rates of breast and prostate cancer, precocious puberty and obesity. But U.S. milk producers and agric...
The Lounge
PETER ROST, MD
We all get them-the credit card applications. The better credit you have, the more letters you get in the mail, proposing that you should get one more credit card. Funny thing is that many of those cards advertise themselves as a way to buy more, as if yo...
US Rides Weapons Bonanza Wave
FRIDA BERRIGAN
War, instability, and high oil prices have created a perfect storm of profit for the world’s weapons manufacturers. This year, military analysts predict the biggest arms bonanza since 1993 which is saying something because in the aftermath of the first Gulf ...
Back in the Aether Again
RON JACOBS
Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day is the story of a quest. Perhaps for reason; perhaps...
University Unity
SETH SANDRONSKY
The recent election victory of an incumbent and (suddenly) centrist GOP governor in California over his Democratic challenger by double digits might suggest that the political status quo is alive and well. Is the state’s gubernatorial landslide a triumph of ...
The Adverse Effects of Marijuana
FRED GARDNER
In the past 10 years, California doctors have authorized cannabis use by at least 350,000 patients. What have they learned about its adverse effects? According to a survey of 19 doctors associated with the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, side-effects are re...