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 August 2007
When Will Linda Gradstein Go to Gaza?
FELICE PACE
This morning (August 14th) we once again had to listen to a report about an Israeli raid into Gaza reported by Linda Gradstein from Jerusalem. Why is it that NPR regularly reports about events in Gaza from Jerusalem; and why is it that Ms.Gradstein, who has report...
An Arab American’s Pocket Political Dictionary
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Dedicated to Debbie Almontaser, the Arab-American principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy — the first public school in New York City dedicated to the study of the Arabic language and Arab culture. Almontaser was forced to resign last week after ...
FDA Approved Drug Makes You Hypersexual and a Compulsive Gambler
PETER ROST, MD
On August 4 GlaxoSmithKline was forced to update its package insert for Requip, a drug used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS) or, "jitters in the legs," which some claim isn’t a real disease. What is real, is that Requip also causes "patho...
Can You Hear the Cries from Gaza?
SONJA KARKAR
No one seems to hear the cries from Gaza enough to act, despite the reports that talk about imminent economic collapse, dangerous food shortages, total aid dependency and impending humanitarian disaster. Neither the cries nor the reports appear in the headlines or...
Terrorist Nation?
DAVE LINDORFF
The idea that the US could be considering classifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist" organization, based upon some dubious evidence that the organization is supplying some weapons-in particular those shaped charges that have been so eff...
Elvis Presley: King or Apprentice?
CARLA BLANK
Peter Guralnick (in his 08/11/07 Op-Ed in The New York Times titled "How Did Elvis Get Turned Into a Racist?") is the latest critic to distance Elvis Presley from the blacks from whom he borrowed, claiming that Presley fused rock ‘n’ roll (bl...
Racism and Resistance
JORDAN FLAHERTY
Almost a year ago, in the small northern Louisiana town of Jena, a group of white students hung three nooses from a tree in front of Jena High School. This set into motion a season of racial tension and incidents that culminated in six Black youths facing a lifeti...
Protection Racket?
EVELYN PRINGLE
The FDA’s latest campaign to protect the profits of a drug company over the safety of Americans is unprecedented, and the organizers include a gang of current and former FDA officials largely credited with turning the nation’s regulatory beagle into a ...
If Politicians Won’t Lead, Citizens Must
GEORGE BISHARAT
When does a citizen-led boycott of a state become morally justified? That question is raised by an expanding academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel. The movement joins churches, unions, professional societies and other groups based in the United Sta...
How Immigrant Workers Won Their Strike Against Cygnus
LEE SUSTAR And ORLANDO SEPULDEVA
THE REMARKABLE struggle of immigrant strikers at South Chicago’s Cygnus Corp., a nonunion soap factory, ended August 10 as improbably as it began two weeks earlier–with dozens of workers jammed into a temporary staffing agency’s office, voting on...
They Can Count on the Democrats
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Karl Rove scoots off the sunken White House ship with his plans for future neo-con dominance safe and secure—in the hands of Democrats unwilling or incapable of challenging his dirtiest deeds. Elected to end a lunatic war, the Democratic Congress has ...
If Politicians Won’t Lead, Citizens Must
GEORGE BISHARAT
When does a citizen-led boycott of a state become morally justified? That question is raised by an expanding academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel. The movement joins churches, unions, professional societies and other groups based in the United Sta...
A Call of Save the Internet
JOSHUA FRANK
Last week Seattle based Pearl Jam accused AT&T of censoring lead singer Eddie Vedder during a live webcast of the band’s Lollapalooza show on August 5, which was provided online as part of AT&T’s "Blue Room" concert series. Vedder, pe...
Congress’s Busted September
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
Having lectured the Iraqi parliament for its adjournment despite piles of undone work, the American Congress has skulked out of town with at least as much unaccomplished. One difference between the two national legislatures is the supposition that when the America...
A Palestinian Miracle at the UN?
RAMZY BAROUD
Since the foundation of the United Nations’ Security Council, the Palestinians did not manage to have any kind of sway that would allow them to block or amend a proposed resolution in any meaningful way. But miracles do indeed happen, as, for the firs...
Bush Warns Puppets Not to Praise Iran
GARY LEUPP
Hamid Karzai, hand-picked by Washington to pose as president of the broken country of Afghanistan, says his government has "very, very good, very, very close relations [and] will continue to have good relations with Iran." He declares on CNN, "So fa...
Oslo Revisited
URI AVNERY
ON THESE hot, sticky days of the Israeli summer, it is pleasant to feel the coolness of Oslo, even if the visit is only virtual. Fourteen years after the signing of the Oslo agreement, it is again the subject of debate: was it a historical mistake? I...
Pesticides in the Plantations
JACQUELYN GODIN
For the period of May, 2007, the USDA reported the total value of monthly agricultural imports to the U.S. amounted to $6.1 billion. Of that total value, 15 percent arrived here from Mexico, 15 percent from Canada, three percent from Chile and three percent from B...
Latin America at the Crossroads
CLIFTON ROSS
Quito, Ecuador. Hugo Chávez arrived in Quito, Ecuador on his tour through South America on August 9th, making this the penultimate stop before he heads out to a conference with President Evo Morales in Boliva this coming week. His calls for unity and...
The Politics of Democracy Promotion
MUHAMMAD IDREES AHMAD
The temperature on the night bus from Caracas to Mérida is uncomfortably low. Venezuelans relish the opportunity to escape the tropical heat by snuggling under their blankets during these long distance journeys. On this occasion however the atmosphere is wa...
The Politics of Democracy Promotion
MUHAMMAD IDREES AHMAD
The temperature on the night bus from Caracas to Mérida is uncomfortably low. Venezuelans relish the opportunity to escape the tropical heat by snuggling under their blankets during these long distance journeys. On this occasion however the atmosphere is wa...
The Useful Fools of Empire
PAUL De ROOIJ
Most inhabitants of Western countries are afflicted by nefarious delusions about the nature of their societies and government policy; the public at large is led to believe that their societies are superior, and their governments’ policies are noble and gener...
Racism, Justice and Age-of-Consent Laws in America
DAVID ROSEN
America has long been scarred by racially-motivated miscarriages of justice, especially those rooted in white fear of interracial sex between a black man and a white woman. The case of Genarlow Wilson recalls this long history of injustice. In 1931, the rai...
Writing for the Right to be Shallow
JAMES McENTEER
In her weekly "Smart List," of upcoming cultural events, Las Angeles Times entertainment writer Deborah Netburn notes the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of On The Road. Netburn cannot help adding: "OMG, SACRILEGE! The author of Smart List ...
Dr. Strangelove Meets Dubya’s Double Buzz Twofer
RON JACOBS
Since taking office, the Bush administration has naturally had its share of parodies. Some of them have been excellent and others just so-so. The recent novel from William Hart titled Supergoose is among the former. Strangelovian in its approach, this novel reveal...
Tancredo’s Screedo
RANNIE AMIRI
Republican congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo of Colorado once again floated the centerpiece of his foreign policy platform, this time before a gathering of Iowa voters: "If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on thi...
Priests Expose Secret Cycle of US Torture
BRENDA NORRELL
Tucson, Arizona. Two Roman Catholic priests, Jesuit Fr. Steve Kelly and Franciscan Fr. Louis Vitale, are exposing the secret cycle of U.S. torture, beginning with Fort Huachuca, a military intelligence operation in southern Arizona with a sordid histor...
The Mercenary Revolution
JEREMY SCAHILL
If you think the U.S. has only 160,000 troops in Iraq, think again. With almost no congressional oversight and even less public awareness, the Bush administration has more than doubled the size of the U.S. occupation through the use of private war companies...
A Culture of Collapse
FRAN SHOR
Collapsing structures, from superhighway bridges in Minnesota to coal mines in Utah, are not just indictments of corporate engineering and government malfeasance or inaction. Such structures are part of a culture of collapse that undermines environmental and econo...
Get to Work
KATHY KELLY
Amman, Jordan. "Get a job!" These three words are very familiar to activists bearing signs calling for an end to war, whether standing on street corners, walking along highways, holding vigils, or nonviolently occupying the offices of elec...
The Language of Dominion
KENNETH COUESBOUC
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. –William Shakespeare, Henry V The nation is a fairly recent concept. It is a hybrid of the medieval feudal kingdom and the city state of Antiquity. So, vassalage an...
The Hidden Agenda Behind Bush’s Biofuel Plan
F. WILLIAM ENGDAHL
That bowl of Kellogg’s Cornflakes on the breakfast table, or the portion of pasta or corn tortillas, cheese or meat on the table is going to rise in price over the coming months as sure as the sun rises in the East. Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the new wo...
A Dark Day for Lions
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Lions in these rolling savannahs struggled for reassurance and meaning after the humiliating rout of four of their number by a herd of Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer). The entire episode was filmed by a human tourist, featured on ...
The Bipartisan Guarantee of More War in Iraq
CHRIS FLOYD
Our text for today is from the New York Times: "Even as they call for an end to the war and pledge to bring the troops home, the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the United States engaged in Ira...
Rightwing Nuts Say It Happened in Vietnam
WILLIAM BLUM
As the call for withdrawal of American forces from Iraq grows louder, those who support the war are rewriting history to paint a scary picture of what happened in Vietnam after the United States military left in March 1973. They speak of invasions by the No...
Where Bush’s New Cold War is Headed
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The Russian and Chinese militaries have been conducting a joint military exercise involving large numbers of troops and combat vehicles. The former Soviet Republics of Tajikistan, Kyrgkyzstan, and Kazakstan are participating. Other countries appear ready to j...
The Cracks in Saddam’s Dam
PATRICK COCKBURN
As world attention focuses on the daily slaughter in Iraq, a devastating disaster is impending in the north of the country, where the wall of a dam holding back the Tigris river north of Mosul city is in danger of imminent collapse. &...
Organizing Nurses
SETH SANDRONSKY
Ed Bruno is the national organizing coordinator for the National Nurses Organizing Committee, a labor union founded by the California Nurses Association in 2004. Currently, the NNOC is on the ground in Texas, organizing nurses.  ...
How the Democrats Blew It in Only Eight Months
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Led by Democrats since the start of this year, the US Congress now has a “confidence” rating of 14 per cent, the lowest since Gallup started asking the question in 1973 and five points lower than the Republicans scored last year. ...
On Fleeing the Country
BEN TRIPP
Fleeing the country is taking longer than I thought it would. I’ve been planning my escape for several years now: the tunnel is dug, the papers forged, I stitched up an SS greatcoat out of old burlap sacks, made a pair of jackboots out of prosciutt...
The Cratering Mortgage Market, WCI Communities and Amb. Al Hoffman
ALAN FARAGO
When Washington is as far away as LisbonJuly 19th was a big day in Portugal for the US Ambassador Al Hoffman, former chairman of WCI Communities. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was in Lisbon for a day-long visit. According to the ...
A New Cold War Over Oil
VIJAY PRASHAD
In February, George W. Bush announced the creation of a new unified combatant command for Africa. After several years of deliberation, the Pentagon finally agreed to create the African Command (AFRICOM), which will relieve the European Command (EUCOM) an...
Inside the Labyrinth of Lies: the Cover-Up of Pat Tillman’s Death
STAN GOFF
Part 3 (concluding) of The Fog of Fame: the Death of Pat Tillman. There is the cover-up (of the fratricide). There is the original lie (that Pat was killed in an intense combat engagement). There is the...
Romney’s Dance
ROBERT FANTINA
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney appears to be proving himself to be the classic political opportunist. He rose to fame, after amassing a considerable personal fortune, when he came close to defeating perennial incumbent Senator Ted Kennedy in a...
Assholes of the Week
PAUL KRASSNER
*Barry Bonds, not for breaking Hank Aaron’s homerun record, but for using Viagra that same night as a performance enhancer. *U.S. policy makers, for requiring organizations to take a pledge that explicitly condemns prostitution ...
SubPrime People
GREG MOSES
Now that bankers of the world have been knocked sideways by American workers in pain – a phenomenon that goes by the name of the “subprime lending crisis” — will the bankers try to fix living conditions for people who make up the ...
GM Radio
RALPH NADER
Just when one guesses that the standards and practices of national talk radio could go no lower, General Motors comes along to show the way to new lows. Automotive News (August 6, 2007), the leading trade journal for the industry, rep...
The Guelaguetza Strategy in Oaxaca
JOHN ROSS
With crucial elections for control of the state legislature looming this Sunday (Aug 5th), Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO), the tyrannical governor of Oaxaca whose PRI party had never lost an election here until last year when Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s...
China’s Threat to the Dollar is Real
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Twenty-four hours after I reported China’s announcement that China, not the Federal Reserve, controls US interest rates by its decision to purchase, hold, or dump US Treasury bonds, the news of the announcement ap...
The Upside Down Flag
ANTHONY PAPA
I am an American. I used to be a proud one. This was before a realization that hit me hard concerning the casualties of a dirty war. I am not talking about the war in Iraq. I am talking about the other war – the war on drugs. Every day, we see news...