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 January 2008
Clinton Praises the "Suharto of the Steppe"
JEFF BALLINGER
A NY Times report of the "monster deal" for a uranium-mining concession in Kazakhstan...
Why the Republicans are in Deep Trouble
ALAN FARAGO
Judging from the violence of Rudy Guiliani’s collapse as a presidential candidate, Republicans are in big trouble. The American voter, who whistled to work while the foundation of the national economy eroded, is awake. Rudy Giuliani bet the farm on th...
Horror at Guantánamo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
It really doesn’t get any worse than this. Candace Gorman, lawyer for Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi, a Libyan detainee at Guantánamo, reports that her client has been infected with AIDS. Mr. al-Ghizzawi explained to his lawyer in a letter that he was...
Waterboarding
WILLIAM LOREN KATZ
Attorney General Michael Mukasey, this country’s chief legal officer, discussed the torture known as water boarding Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chair Patrick Leahy insisted that water boarding "has been recognized as torture for the...
Return to Afghanistan
SAUL LANDAU
After six plus years, the war in Afghanistan drags on. The media occasionally cites casualties, but if it doesn’t involve NFL veteran Pat Tillman’s execution by his own comrades, Afghanistan gets sparse attention. A few stories feature the growing numb...
The Usual Suspects Once Again
DAVE LINDORFF
With the presidential race now effectively pared down to four candidates, thanks to the departure of John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani, we’re left with a really "B-grade" contest: a bomber (John McCain), a bummer (Hillary Clinton), a betrayer (Mitt Ro...
Slouching Toward Islamabad
CHINA HAND
As the 40 day period of mourning comes to an end, nothing very good seems to have come out of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Eager to capitalize on the outpouring of outrage in the aftermath of the assassination, the Pakistan People’s Party, le...
The Saga of the Freightliner Five
TIFFANY TEN EYCK
Cleveland, a small town with less than 1,000 residents in western North Carolina, is an unlikely home for an active autoworkers’ union. Freightliner LLC (now owned by Daimler) opened a truck-manufacturing plant in the town in 1989. The United Auto Wor...
America’s Teetering Banking System
MIKE WHITNEY
Somebody goofed. When Fed chairman Ben Bernanke cut interest rates to 3 per cent yesterday, the price of a new mortgage went up. How does that help the flagging housing industry? About an hour after Bernanke made the announcement that the Fed Funds rate wou...
Oh Say Can You See the 2009 Budget?
Col. DAN SMITH
On January 23, the Congressional Budget Office released an update on spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for reconstruction, and for "war on terror" associated projects. CBO put the combined costs at $691 billion, of which nearly two-th...
Bush’s Troubling Non-Verbal Communication
RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE
A very significant part of human communication is non-verbal. Anyone who attends only to words, and ignores the non-verbals is apt to be blind-sided. The non-verbal aspects of President George W. Bush’s final State of the Union address were remarkable...
McCain vs. Clinton?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR Before his handlers told the press Bill Clinton wouldn’t be taking any more questions, the former president gave it as his considered opinion that his wife and John McCain are a lot alike, and that assuming the two become their part...
The Writers’ Strike Continues
DAVID MACARAY
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is already into the twelfth week of its strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), They’ve been out since November 5. That’s one hellaciously long time to be out of work, even for ...
How Anti-Terror Laws Threaten Free Speech
JOANNE MARINER
Restrictions of all sorts have multiplied in the heightened security environment of the last six-and-a-half years, so it should be no surprise that, around the world, legal restrictions on speech have tightened. Since 2001, there has been a clear trend toward proh...
The Collapse of Central Valley Salmon
DAN BACHER
The latest federal government data on 2007’s salmon run on the Sacramento River point to an "unprecedented collapse" in the fishery considered for years to be one of the most healthy on the West Coast. If the data is verified in upcoming mee...
Regulation or Deregulation
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Libertarians preach the morality of the market, and socialists preach the morality of the state. Those convinced of the market’s morality want de-regulation; those convinced of the state’s morality want regulation. In truth, neither seems to wor...
The Genius of the Development Industrial-Complex
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
  A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. -the land ethic of Aldo Leopold Money has proved the mo...
Is NATO Committing Genocide in Afghanistan?
LIAQUAT ALI KHAN
Sloganeers, propagandists and politicians often use the word "genocide" in ways that the law does not permit. But rarely is the crime of genocide invoked when Western militaries murder Muslim groups. This essay argues that the internationally recognized ...
The Shameful State of the Union
ROBERT WEISSMAN
Here’s one thing everyone should be able to agree upon from George Bush’s State of the Union address: "We have unfinished business before us." Apart from that, it’s a little difficult to credit much of what he said. "...
Hamas is Not the Real Issue
NEVE GORDON
The experiment in famine began on January 18, 2008. Israel hermetically closed all of Gaza’s borders, preventing even food, medicine and fuel from entering the Strip. Power cuts, which had been frequent for many months, were extended to 12 hours per day. Due...
Obama, the Kennedys and "Change We Can Believe In"
FRAN SHOR
Caroline Kennedy’s New York Times op-ed endorsement of Senator Barack Obama alludes to the idealism and inspiration unleashed by her father during his presidency and its resonances in the Obama campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. She contend...
The Ordeal of the Blackwater Protesters
JEREMY SCAHILL
Last week in Currituck County, N.C., Superior Court Judge Russell Duke presided over the final step in securing the first criminal conviction stemming from the deadly actions of Blackwater Worldwide, the Bush administration’s favorite mercenary company. Lest...
Bush’s New War Budget
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
The President’s FY 2009-13 budget plan, which he will submit to Congress next week, includes $70 billion to cover only the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through the first four months of Fiscal Year 2009, which begins next October 1. This budgetary...
Florida, the Candidates and the Latin Builders Association
ALAN FARAGO
For decades, from the time Hispanic builders began to profit from construction of low cost housing in Miami Dade farmland, the Latin Builders Association has been the de facto political arm of south Florida construction and development interests. They gained hundr...
Ravens in the Storm
RON JACOBS
Carl Oglesby was once the president of the original Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Before that he was working for a defense contractor. His last project with the company was to develop a method of delivering Agent Orange so that it would cover the Vietna...
Musharraf’s Post-Electoral Prospect
AHMAD FARUQUI
Having orchestrated many an electoral charade during the past eight years to keep himself in power, Musharraf now faces what may be the final test of his political career. The general-turned politician is probably the only man in Pakistani history (and maybe world...
Entitlement, Justice and the War of All Against All
ALLAN NAIRN
President Bush said last night during his State of the Union Address: "We will deliver justice to our enemies" So does that mean that it’s dependent on our enemies to deliver justice to us? That’s the way people like Bin La...
The Great Credit Unwind of 2008
MIKE WHITNEY
Global market turmoil continued into a second week as stock markets in Asia and Europe took another tumble on Monday on growing fears of a recession in the United States. China’s benchmark index plummeted 7.2 per cent to its lowest point in six months, while...
A World Without Abortion: USA v. Romania
R. F. BLADER
If you’ve ever experienced, first- or second-hand, a teen pregnancy, or a high school relationship, or a being a teenager, or being pregnant, or giving birth, or being a parent (to an infant or a teenager), or getting divorced, or living in small town, or be...
"We Can’t Afford to Let Them Spill the Beans"
GARY LEUPP
I am not one to easily embrace conspiracy theories, and in particular have found the idea that 9-11 was somehow an inside job too incredible for serious consideration. On the other hand, there are some very fishy aspects to some officials’ behavior pertainin...
"The Americans Bring Us Only Destruction"
PATRICK COCKBURN
Fallujah is more difficult to enter than any city in the world. On the road from Baghdad I counted 27 checkpoints, all manned by well-armed soldiers and police. "The siege is total," says Dr Kamal in Fallujah Hospital as he grimly lists his needs, which ...
What’s Left?
JENNIFER VAN BERGEN
With Kucinich out of the race, there are NO viable candidates left. I’m sorry, I will not vote for somebody who compromises his or her morals and betrays his/her constituents and the US Constitution, not to mention international laws. We are ...
What a Great Freakin’ War
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
What a ding-dong I am! For months–nay, years!–I’ve been ranting about how screwed up the war in Iraq has been, and how disastrous have been its consequences. What a fool I’ve been! In reality, it’s actually turned out pr...
Pissed About Pistorious
JAMES L. SECOR
Oscar Pistorius is a gimp. A crip. A handicapped man with an attitude. He’s also what’s known, in disability circles, as a super-crip. This is a somewhat pejorative label as it gives the rest of us a bad name–by and for the mainstream abled commu...
The Breaking of the Gaza Wall
ALLAN NAIRN
The breaking of the Gaza-Egypt wall is clearly a good thing, and a rare example of the moral — and also wise — use of violence in politics. (For the logic and effects of the Israeli cordon of Gaza see posting of December 7, 2007, "Imposed Hunger i...
Return to Fallujah
PATRICK COCKBURN
Fallujah. A crucial Iraqi ally of the United States in its recent successes in the country is threatening to withdraw his support and allow al-Qa’ida to return if his fighters are not incorporated into the Iraqi army and police. "If there ...
Obit for the "Front Page" City
MARTHA ROSENBERG
In Ben Hecht’s town it’s been a while since you boarded a bus or train at rush hour and met the "newsprint curtain." In its day, the wall of newspapers spread eagled in front of intent readers was such an institution, poet Allen Ginsberg sati...
Ending the Stranglehold on Gaza
EYAD Al-SARRAJ And SARA ROY
An Israeli convoy of goods and peace activists will go today to Erez, Israel’s border with Gaza, and many Palestinians will be on the other side waiting. They will not see one another, but Palestinians will know there are Jews who condemn the siege inflicted...
Survival Tips for Hard Times
NANCY ODEN
Our country has been bankrupted by wars, corporate and political corruption, and tax breaks for the rich. Times are getting harder and harder. We know all this. What can we do to survive? States can help their people by: 1. Eliminating all corporate ...
Saving India’s Sea Turtles
DIVYA KARNAD
Chennai. The cool breeze ruffles the hair of thirty people standing around the hole in the ground. This is no ordinary hole, after all, there are ten torches trained on it and excavations have begun to reveal the treasures of the deep. Treasure hunting of t...
The End of American Liberty
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
"Your papers please" has long been a phrase associated with Hitler’s Gestapo. People without the Third Reich’s stamp of approval were hauled off to Nazi Germany’s version of Halliburton detention centers. Today Americans are on t...
How They Rip Us Off
CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER
What’s the fastest growing corporate crime in America? Corruption? No. Pollution? No. Market manipulation? No. Securities fraud? No. Give up? It’s hidden fees. It’s how the giant credit card, cell ...
How the Clintons Lost It
JoANN WYPIJEWSKI
Orangeburg, South Carolina. The polls have not yet opened as I write, but however the primary turns out it has already had one tremendous effect. As Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a state legislator from Orangeburg, told me on the eve of the election: as far as black p...
Hillary’s Lie
EAMONN McCANN
Ask not what you can do for the peace process, but what the peace process can do for you. Thus the approach of US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Some may say that Hillary distorting beyond recognition any role she played in the North may not be a...
Exonerating Neo-Con Crimes
JOSHUA FRANK
According to FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds there is a vast black market for nukes, and certain U.S. officials have been supplying sensitive nuclear technology information to Turkish and Israeli interests through its conduits. It’s a scathing allegation whi...
Ambition, Power and the Clintons
RALPH NADER
For Bill and Hillary Clinton, the ultimate American dream is eight more years. Yet how do you think they would react to having dozens of partisans at their rallies sporting large signs calling for EIGHT MORE YEARS, EIGHT MORE YEARS? Don’t you have the...
Little Hands with Fever
ALLAN NAIRN
At an orphanage this morning, the ustad (Muslim cleric) in charge said they were taking care of 387 kids, and when I shook hands with twelve of them — mainly little girls — four of them clearly had fevers. When I asked the ustad how the parent...
Société Générale and the Economic Meltdown
BINOY KAMPMARK
I don’t know the person and his motives are totally irrational. – Daniel Bouton, chairman of Société Générale, January 24, 2008 The Americans and British will naturally point a finger ...
California’s Raging Health Care Crisis
SETH SANDRONSKY
Big California papers such as the San Jose Mercury News and The Sacramento Bee are urging the state Senate Health Committee to pass the Núñez-Perata health-care reform bill, ABX1-1. Gov. Schwarzenegger backs the speaker and senate leader’s bill...
Murder and Cover-Up in Mexico
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. Flash back to October 27th, 2006. U.S. Indymedia photojournalist Brad Will is splayed out on a sidewalk in Oaxaca Mexico, mortally wounded by the pistoleros of rogue governor Ulisis Ruiz during tumultuous street battles in that southern city. H...