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 February 2007
Rev. Haggard Cured! Thank You, Jesus!
SAUL LANDAU
If you believed Rev. Ted Haggard on Christ and homosexuality you might also believe Bush and Cheney on Iraq’s WMD and now on Iran’s "guilt" for the Iraq War. Millions of fundamentalists recently rejoiced because Haggard recovered from his hom...
Making Poverty History
DAN BROOK
One test of a great idea is if afterwards it seems obvious or necessary. Scott Myers-Lipton has certainly come up with a great idea with his book ...
If Bush is a War Criminal, Then What About the Troops
STEPHEN S. PEARCY
In addition to holding George Bush and U.S. Congress accountable for the illegal occupation of Iraq, American troops must also be prepared to accept responsibility, because we’re all presumed to know the law. If we accept that fundamental legal presumption, ...
Iraqi Police Commit Rapes
YIFAT SUSSKIND
The international news media is flooded with images of a woman in a pink headscarf recounting a shattering experience of rape by members of the Iraqi National Police. Most of the coverage has focused on her taboo-breaking decision to speak publicly about the assau...
The Case for Keffiyehs
CHRIS DOLS
Richard Hayne is the CEO of Urban Outfitters. For fear of landing on the wrong side of the War on Terror, Hayne pulled from the trend-setter company’s shelves, the Palestinian head scarf known as a keffiyeh. Traditionally worn in the Middle East for protecti...
The Neurontin Suicides
EVELYN PRINGLE
The all-time poster child for a drug illegally promoted for off-label uses, is Neurontin, marketed by Warner-Lambert, and its Parke-Davis division, until Pfizer acquired the company in 2000. The term "off-label" means prescribing a drug for indica...
The True Extent of Britain’s Failure in Basra Reflects the Larger U.S. Disaster
PATRICK COCKBURN
Tony Blair has admitted what George Bush still desperately denies: defeat. Iraq is turning into one of the world’s bloodiest battlefields in which nobody is safe. Blind to this reality, The British prime minister said earlier this week that Britain could saf...
The Developer’s Model of Development
ASEEM SHRIVASTAVA
"An epitome of beauty, serenity and colonial charm" – From an advertisement for The Carlton, a luxury hotel created by The Rahejas in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu Two competing notions of development ar...
Watching the Checkpoints
JONATHAN COOK
The scene: a military checkpoint deep in Palestinian territory in the West Bank. A tall, thin elderly man, walking stick in hand, makes a detour past the line of Palestinians, many of them young men, waiting obediently behind concrete barriers for permission from ...
Finally, a Populist Antiwar Candidate
KEVIN ZEESE
Senator Mike Gravel is running a populist anti-war campaign for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. Gravel, who is no novice to Washington, DC politics, is direct and clear in his views on the war. And, he has a long history of fighting unjust war...
An Interview with Noam Chomsky
MICHAEL SHANK
Shank: With similar nuclear developments in North Korea and Iran, why has the United States pursued direct diplomacy with North Korea but refuses to do so with Iran? Chomsky: To say that the United States has pursued diplomacy with North Korea is a li...
Hugo Chavez’s Agenda and the US
STEPHEN LENDMAN
Hugo Chavez Frias was reelected by an overwhelming nearly two to one margin over his only serious rival on December 3, 2006 giving him a mandate to proceed with his agenda to build a socialist society in the 21st century on a Bolivarian model designed to meet the ...
Why We Protested at Obama’s Speech
ILLINOIS STUDENTS AGAINST THE WAR
On Sunday, February 11th, a group of antiwar students turned out to challenge Barack Obama’s position on Iraq as he held a rally at the UIC Pavilion to kick-start his campaign. Approximately two dozen antiwar activists from UIC, Northeastern Illinois ...
Calderon’s War on Drugs
JOHN ROSS
The grifters, drifters, hustlers, down and outers, and ne’er do well denizens who inhabit the seedy hotels that line the run-down side streets of the old quarter or "Centro Historico" of this megalopolis, are wearing frowns these days. Not only is ...
Neoliberalism and War in Italy
TARIQ ALI
The states of Western Europe continue to resist harmonisation. On the same day that the chicaneries of every antiquated careerist vying for the New Labour deputy leadership were made public, each justifying his/her grotesque decision to support the war and occupat...
Do Something Good
KATHY KELLY
This past Tuesday, in Fairbanks, Alaska, nine people entered the office of Senator Ted Stevens to deliver their "emphatic request" that the Senator vote against supplemental funding for the war and then began reading the names of Iraqis and U.S. people w...
Stockcars on Dope
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Bicycle racing and NASCAR have more in common than the fact that both depend on their success for the wheel. Both are infected by the doping bug. Everyone knows that the sport that some might consider a touch effete has had a long history of doping. Learning that ...
Defund the War and Fund Reparations Instead
CINDY LITMAN
"This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are ca...
Repeating History
ROBERT FANTINA
No exit strategy; violent resistance by the occupied nation’s citizens; opposition to the war in the United States; international anger at the U.S. because of the war; the American economy being decimated by the war; escalating casualties; presidential refus...
Mr. Jefferson’s Inheritors
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
"I belong to no organized party", Will Rogers once boasted famously, "I am a Democrat". Were he alive, he would be dumbstruck by the conformity that has overtaken his party. It is hard to imagine a time which cried out more for a vigorou...
An Open Letter to the Israeli People
REZA FIYOUZAT
I write to you as an Iranian as well as an American person, and write to you with great urgency. I know that some, maybe most of you, know what I am about to tell you, but somehow cannot admit it publicly. Maybe in such situations a mirror from outside can help. ...
Top Gun vs. the Axis of Evil
FRANKLIN SPINNEY
We all know that the American Way of War is to use our technology to pour firepower on the enemy from a safe distance. Implicit in this is the central myth of precision bombardment that dates back to at least to the Norden Bombsight in World War II. The theory of ...
Tobacco and Hollywood
RALPH NADER
Among the greatest unsung public health advances of recent times is progress made against the global cigarette industry. In the United States, cigarette smoking is finally on the decline. The courts have ruled the tobacco industry to be "racketeers.&qu...
Why Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Romney and Schwarzenegger Don’t Support Single-Payer Health Care
Corporate Crime Reporter
The majority of the American people want a single-payer health care system ­ Medicare for all. The majority of doctors want it. A good chunk of hospital CEOs want it. But what they want doesn’t appear to matter. Why? Be...
Inside the Imperial Budget
SHARON SMITH
Bush’s budget proposal for FY 2008 is emblematic of the social crisis unfolding inside the U.S. Empire, its ramifications still largely ignored in mainstream politics. Coupled with whopping military expenditures and permanent tax cuts for the extraordinarily...
America the Stupid
MARGARET KIMBERLY
"Could you picture Davy Crockett at the Alamo looking at his BlackBerry getting a message from Congress? Davy Crockett, we support you, the only thing is we’re not going to send any troops.’ I’m sure that would really be impressive to Davy C...
Talking About the Clintons
ALAN MAASS And JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
ALAN MAASS: With the Bush presidency being such a disaster in every way, a lot of people now seem to look back at the Clinton years with nostalgia. Do the Clintons deserve this? JEFFREY ST. CLAIR: I GUESS it depends on what side of those years you were on. ...
Showdown Over Texas Immigrant Prisons
GREG MOSES
There are different kinds of angry. Jay Johnson-Castro has tears in his eyes when he thinks about Suzi Hazahza at the immigration prison of Haskell, Texas. But he’s not going to cry without doing something, so next week, Johnson-Castro will walk sixty...
Evasive Diplomacy
NICOLA NASSER
Instead of building a diplomatic momentum on the political breakthrough mediated by their Saudi Arabian ally who succeeded in developing an Arab and Palestinian consensus on going along with the U.S.-steered Quartet efforts to revive the deadlocked peace process, ...
A Conversation with Stic.Man of Dead Prez
TAO RUSPOLI
This week finds film-maker TAO RUSPOLI in the ATL for an interview with hip-hop legend Stic.Man of Dead Prez about the state of rap music, the possibilities for radical politics in post-911 America and the living legacy of the Black Panthers. ...
Beyond the "Protection Facility", Another Prison
BYEONG JEONGPIL
With the tragic incident of this past Feb. 11th in Yeosu, Korea at the Foreigners Protection Facility where 9 people were killed in a fire, attention paid to the situation of immigrant workers in Korea has suddenly increased. Nevertheless, its been noted that beyo...
A Conversation with Francisco Letelier
TAO RUSPOLI
This week film-maker TAO RUSPOLI talks with Los Angeles artist Francisco Letelier, son of Orlando Letelier, the Chilean political activist and former foreign minister in the Allende administration, who was assassinated on Embassy Row in Washington, DC in 1976. Le...
A Conversation with Francisco Letelier
TAO RUSPOLI
This week film-maker TAO RUSPOLI talks with Los Angeles artist Francisco Letelier, son of Orlando Letelier, the Chilean political activist and former foreign minister in the Allende administration, who was assassinated on Embassy Row in Washington, DC in 1976. Le...
The Lost Art of Shattuck
JOSH MAHAN
We awoke to a pile of feathers a few weeks ago up on Black Mountain. Faik had decided to stop offering protection to the chickens because they were no longer laying eggs. Instinctually the chickens roosted on the porch. But without wire to separate them from the b...
The Second Great Depression
MIKE WHITNEY
"The US economy is in danger of a recession that will prove unusually long and severe. By any measure it is in far worse shape than in 2001-02 and the unraveling of the housing bubble is clearly at hand. It seems that the continuous buoyancy of ...
Structured Cruelty
Sgt. MARTIN SMITH, USMC, Ret.
I will never forget standing in formation after the end of our final "hump," marine-speak for a forced march, at the end of the Crucible in March, 1997. The Crucible is the final challenge during Marine Corps boot camp and is a two-and-a-half day, physic...
Setting Sun
CHINA HAND
One element that continues to amaze is how cavalierly the United States threw Shinzo Abe under the bus while negotiating the North Korea agreement. The abductee issue-which Abe had ridden to power and which forms the core of his image as Japan’s new g...
People Power vs. Military Power in East Asia
JOHN FEFFER
People power does not just trouble the sleep of dictators. It can also introduce an element of unpredictability and uncertainty into the security debate in pluralist societies. People, to put it bluntly, can be a problem for the military because civilians frequent...
Common Sense About the Recent Past
CARL G. ESTABROOK
[There's an independent quarterly journal at the University of Notre Dame called "Common Sense," which was founded twenty years ago by faculty, students, and alumnae/i. I taught history there briefly almost forty years ago; I enjoyed it and ...
Cleaning Up Exxon’s Greenpoint Oil Spill
JOSHUA FRANK
You have to wonder why it has taken so long. It happened over 57 years ago when Exxon Mobil leaked at least 17 million gallons of oil in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint. The 55-acre spill, which is estimated to have been larger than the Exxon Valdez catast...
How to be a Washington Expert
WERTHER
It is a moss-encrusted truism that in order to be an expert in Washington, one only has to know an infinitesimal amount more than the average TV-watching ignoramus. The imperial capital boasts a greater density of pseudo-experts, jumped-up grad students, egomaniac...
Midwest Wolves Fall Prey to PR Scam
ALAN GREGORY
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced in late January that there are now enough gray wolves in the wilds of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan to warrant taking the wolf off the federal roster of endangered and threatened species in the upper Midwest. ...
Exposing SAIC
Corporate Crime Reporter
When investigative reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele were fired from Time magazine in May 2006, the magazine cried poverty. "They’re very good, but very expensive, and I couldn’t get anyone to take them on their budget," John H...
What’s Inside the New Farm Bill
DARYLL E. RAY
The administration’s farm bill proposal was not the "sea change" in farm programs some had feared"and others had hoped for. The proposal’s commodity title is really a continuation of the 1996 and 2002 Farm Bills with some tinkering with ...
The Daily Show and Political Activism
MEGAN BOLER
The popular debate about whether Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show is "bad for Americans" won’t go away. Indeed, worries got so big that now FOX has launched a conservative antidote, "The _ Hour News Show" which premiered this week. Now ...
Colorado Delta Blues
TALLI NAUMAN
The Hoover Dam near Las Vegas, Nevada, was the largest in the world when it was built in 1936. It set Lake Mead like a gem in a golden string of desert peaks along the 1,625 miles (2,300 kms) of the Colorado River, stretching from the Rocky Mountains in the United...
Apocalyptic Archaeology
SONJA KARKAR
The Islamic world’s most holy site outside Mecca and Medina is the Haram al-Sharif sanctuary in occupied East Jerusalem which is home to two of the most significant religious shrines in Islam – the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque. The Jews clai...
Mitt Romney Joins Iran’s Hysterical Accusers
GARY LEUPP
Bizarre though it sounds, more and more public figures in the U.S., echoing Israeli officials, are accusing Iran of genocide. More accurately, of planning genocide, although past and future get all confused in the increasingly reckless rhetoric. Former Massachuset...
The Peace Process Industry
MICHAEL F. BROWN
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet today [19 February] with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Ostensibly, they are to talk of a "political horizon" in order for Abbas to relay to the Palestinian people...
America, Where Are You Now?
MONICA BENDERMAN
He was old school. Wearing nothing but a simple button-down shirt and blue jeans he walked to the back of the café and sat at a chair in the corner. He ordered a home-style meal and ate quietly, watching the patrons who passed through the doorways o...