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
Economic Indicator
ALLAN NAIRN
Returning to a familiar neighborhood after an absence of nearly two months it seemed that many kids were skinnier, though there were various possible explanations. The rains were slowing, so it was hotter, there had been a run of diarrhea and bleeding fev...
Ron Paul and the Left
SHARON SMITH
"What the support for Ron Paul among potentially progressive voters signifies to me is the failure of today’s left to enunciate an anti-imperialist position better than that put forth by the libertarian right," Ron Jacobs commented recently on Coun...
The Bombing at Qarantina
FRANKLIN LAMB
Qarantina, Lebanon That word again, Qarantina. Qarantina was the site of yesterday’s message to the Bush administration where a 33 lb bomb killed three and wounded 21. The explosion destroyed the bomb resistant titanium reinforced US four wheel...
Return of the Native
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Finally, Michigan has provided the primary season with its first repeat winners: Mitt Romney (you remember Wyoming, don’t you?) and Hillary Clinton. Clinton took the Democratic primary by default. A political scab, Hillary broke the boycott of the Democratic...
Nancy Pelosi, You Must Impeach!
RICHARD BEHAN
When people who honestly believe a lie learn the truth, they will either cease believing, or they will cease being honest. –anonymous Speaker Pelosi, President Bush could have achieved his goal of "regime ...
How the American Media Enables Bush
AYESHA IJAZ KHAN
President George Bush has a few months left in office. Many analysts have believed for some time now that before he retires from that position, he will have orchestrated an attack either against Syria or Iran. Increasingly, it seems that his fixation is with Iran....
Who Wrote Ron Paul’s Newsletters?
JULIAN SANCHEZ And DAVID WEIGEL
Ron Paul doesn’t seem to know much about his own newsletters. The libertarian-leaning presidential candidate says he was unaware, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, of the bigoted rhetoric about African Americans and gays that was appearing under his name. H...
A Strategic Call to Close Guantánamo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Widely reported in the last few days were comments made by the United States’ most senior military official, Admiral Mike Mullen, during a visit to Guantánamo on Sunday. In his first trip to the prison since he became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of S...
Pakistan’s Dirty Tricks Brigade
BEENA SARWAR
Immediately following Benazir Bhutto’s tragic assassination on Dec 27, speculation began on who would head the party. There was barely time to grieve. Pressures on the party leadership included insistent questioning by journalists, particularly the insatiabl...
How the EPA is Rubbing Poison Into Libby’s Wounds
ANDREA PEACOCK
The voice on the phone spoke with the confidence of authority: he had called to say that the people of Libby, Montana, were being screwed over once again. The culprit, however, was not the W.R. Grace & Co., whose asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine had been...
Jose Padilla vs. John Yoo
ELAINE CASSEL
Jose Padilla is the first American citizen to be designated an "enemy combatant." His detention without charge lasted a shocking three-and-a-half years. Although the government dropped its initial claim that Padilla had conspired to create a "dirty ...
Getting Out the Bling Vote
JOE BAGEANT
HOPKINS VILLAGE, BELIZE. I know it’s unpatriotic as hell, but I just cannot get a hard-on about the ’08 American presidential elections. As in, I haven’t read or heard a word about them in a couple of weeks and could care less whether Hil...
Big Business is Even More Unpopular Than You Thought
ROBERT WEISSMAN
The U.S. public holds Big Business in shockingly low regard. A November 2007 Harris poll found that less than 15 percent of the population believes each of the following industries to be "generally honest and trustworthy:" tobacco companies (3 per...
Dennis Brutus Smacks Down the Hall of Fame
DAVE ZIRIN
On Dec. 5, amid lavish ceremony, famed anti-apartheid activist and 83-year-old poet Dennis Brutus publicly turned down induction to the South African Sports Hall of Fame. The 1,000 people in attendance at Johannesburg’s Emperor’s Palace were surprised-...
Zero Hour
JOHN ROSS
At the stroke of midnight this past January 1st, a hundred or so farmers and day laborers from both sides of the border converged on the hump of the Cordoba Las Americas bridge that connects up El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, to mark the demise of Mexican agriculture. ...
The Fed Needs More Than a New Communications Strategy
PETER MORICI
Ben Bernanke has indicated that the Federal Reserve will redouble its efforts to communicate clearly about the outlook for the economy and monetary policy. Plain talk won’t much improve the Fed’s credibility, because its problems lie, not in its...
Going 15 Rounds with Seymour Hersh
WAJAHAT ALI
"I’m having a horrible day," grumbled Seymour Hersh, the 70 year-old Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, arguably the most revered of his time, and reporter for the prestigious New Yorker magazine. Almost a week before, I calle...
Going Tata in India
BINOY KAMPMARK
India is getting a new car. Last week, on January 10, Tata Motors’ Nano was launched at the New Delhi Auto Expo. The difference between the elaborate launch and the car itself could not have been greater. The launch was sci-fi, ultra sleek and modern, with t...
The Candidate Taboos
RALPH NADER
Here is a short list of what you won’t hear much of from the front-runners in this presidential primary season. Call them the candidate taboos. * You won’t hear a call for a national crackdown on the corporate crime, fraud, and abuse that have r...
General Suharto of Indonesia
ALLAN NAIRN
General Suharto of Indonesia is fading fast, the news bulletins say. So when I came into the country, I started asking how people felt about their dying killer. (Body count, circa one million plus, overwhelmingly civilian). The first man I ran in...
Oh, By the Way, the Iraqis Don’t Really Want Us
WILLIAM BLUM
Did you miss this? It should have been the lead story in every newspaper and radio and TV program in America. In the Washington Post it was on page 14. In virtually all of the rest of the media it was on page zero, channel zero, 0000 AM or 00.0 FM. The US ...
The Hands of Esau
URI AVNERY
Which of the two men is the leader of the greatest power on earth and which is the boss of a small client state? A visitor from another planet, attending the press conference in Jerusalem, would find it hard not to answer: Olmert is the president of the gre...
Getting Drunk with Obama
EVA LIDDELL
Dwelling on a grim future the other evening where I saw myself amid the ruins of a blasted economy trying to figure out how to make a cool wardrobe from sackcloth and ashes I heard the voice of Senator Barack Obama and his calls to hope. The Senator tells u...
Bush’s Voodoo Stimulus Package
MIKE WHITNEY
In the next couple of weeks, George Bush will prove that the last 30 years of supply side, free market economics was nothing more than a overripe pile of horse manure. In fact, right now, the B-52s are being loaded with pallets-full of freshly-minted hundred dolla...
Ma and Pa Clinton Flog Uppity Black Man
ISHMAEL REED
During Bill Clinton’s first run for President, I appeared on a New York radio panel with some of his black supporters, including Paul Robeson, Jr., son of the actor and singer. I said that Clinton had character problems. They dismissed my comments and said t...
Are Labor Unions Ready for Prime Time?
DAVID MACARAY
Despite the AFL-CIO’s prodigious efforts to attract new members-not to mention the existence of 35-40 million "working poor," desperately in need of livable wages, pensions and medical coverage-union membership continues to slip. What was once a ro...
Burials in the Sind
ROGER MORRIS
Benazir Bhutto was a precocious twenty-three-year-old in 1976 when she noticed Army Chief of Staff Zia ul-Haq come and go at the office of her father, Pakistani Prime Minister Zulficar Ali Bhutto. "A short, nervous, ineffectual-looking man," she remember...
A Subprime Wake Up Call
ALAN FARAGO
If there is a silver lining in the sharp contraction of housing markets across the nation, it is the impetus to reform a model for economic growth — suburban sprawl — that is fundamentally flawed. The state investment pool — repository for...
Road Kill
ZOE BLUNT
The barricade at the end of the road is decorated with freshly-planted poinsettias in a mound of earth. Yellow plastic sunflowers, two graffitied TV sets and an oversize truck tire line a meter-wide trench just past the pavement’s end. They mark the b...
The US Subprime Crisis Goes Global
ERIC TOUSSAINT
The crisis that swept through the US in August 2007 is not over yet and the international repercussions will be deep and lasting. When the housing bubble burst in August 2007, it shook financial markets worldwide. This housing crisis is closely linked to a private...
Toward Militarism, War, Empire, Caskets, and Bankruptcy
JACOB G. HORNBERGER
When U.S. intelligence agencies recently surprised the nation with their National Intelligence Estimate announcement that Iran had ceased its nuclear-weapons program several years ago, many people, including ardent supporters of the president, felt that the announ...
Imagining An/Other Latin American Left
DAVID DÍAZ-ARIAS
Some years ago, Walter Mignolo pointed out that Latin America was "a consequence and product of the geopolitics of knowledge, that is to say, a consequence of the knowledge produced and imposed by Modernity in its auto-definition as Modernity" (C. Walsh,...
The Ignored Risks of Fluoroquinolones
STAN COX
The case studies are scattered around in the medical journals: a 62-year-old woman with acute psychosis; a 73-year-old man with "severe delirious psychotic features"; a woman of 47 suffering from insomnia and barely able to stand or walk; a 62-year-old w...
Barack Obama and the Crisis of the White Intellectual
COREY D. B. WALKER
After Iowa and New Hampshire the nation will now finally entertain the very real possibility of an African American president. Or rather, a president who happens to be African American. No longer a distant dream, the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama...
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
RAMZY BAROUD
The United States political process bears an uncanny resemblance to mainstream filmmaking. Elections and speeches are scripted to the letter, politicians put on a tirelessly rehearsed act, catering endlessly to the whims of the target audience. A successful Hollyw...
Bush, Iran and the Magician of the Tarot
Col. DAN SMITH
"At the edge of the Rubicon, men don’t go fishing." "Richard Nixon" in the 1987 Opera, "Nixon in China" "I can predict that the historians will say that George W. Bush recognized the...
Television, Murder and Vietnam
RON JACOBS
I was a kid in 1968. It was the year I turned 13 and it was the year my dad began to prepare to go to Vietnam. The Tet offensive was on the television in January. The picture of the South Vietnamese police chief killing a suspected NLF fighter shook up our dinner ...
The Anglosphere
JOSEPH GROSSO
On October 28th 2007 the National Football League (NFL), the professional league of the most American of sports, granted the city of London the honor of hosting the first NFL game played in Europe. Before the game went on in rainy conditions before a disinterested...
Georgie in Jesusland
MICHAEL DICKINSON
On his first trip to Israel in 1998 Texas governor George W Bush read his favorite hymn, "Amazing Grace" aloud with tear-filled eyes, standing at the place where his ‘favourite philosopher’ Jesus is believed to have delivered the Sermon on th...
The People vs. Christopher James Chakos
FRED GARDNER
In a case called "People vs. Christopher James Chakos," published Dec. 21 -the beginning of the end of darkness- the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that a narcotics officer had no expertise enabling him to distinguish between marijuana possessed l...
How the New England Journal of Medicine Undercounted Iraqi Civilian Deaths
ANDREW COCKBURN
Almost five years into the destruction of Iraq, the orthodox rule of thumb for assessing statistical tabulations of the civilian death toll is becoming clear: any figure will do so long as it is substantially lower than that computed by the Johns Hopkins researche...
Pumped to Extinction
DAN BACHER
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is now requesting data and comments on a petition to uplist delta smelt under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) from "threatened" to "endangered," according to Marty Gingras, Supervisi...
Before We Move On …
STACEY WARDE
Already we’re hearing the plea, "It’s time to move on. Forget about George W. Bush. Forget about the impeachable crimes committed by his administration against this nation, against humanity. Let’s move on." Except for one thing....
60 Years of Empire
SAUL LANDAU
Look at 2008 symbolically! Some 60 years ago, the United States emerged as the world power. Henry Luce formally announced the arrival of "The American Century" even before the country entered World War II. Luce thought the United States should become the...
Did Hillary Really Win New Hampshire?
DAVE LINDORFF
Could someone have messed with the vote in New Hampshire? That is what some people are wondering, after looking closely at the totals in the votes for surprise Democratic primary victor Hillary Clinton, and for Barack Obama, who placed instead of winning as...
Inside the Vienna Consensus
JEFF BALLINGER
"The Vienna Consensus" has a fairly benign ring to it. It only takes on a threatening aspect when linked to the Washington Consensus of 1989–the 10-point plan for economic reform imposed so disastrously by the International Monetary Fund–in ...
Bush in the Middle East
MARWAN BISHARA
To understand why George Bush, the US president, is visiting the Middle East and what he seeks to accomplish, re-read the recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton commission from December 2006, subtract what has been implemented since then and you are left with a mus...
No Escape from War and Unemployment
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
New Hampshire voters have chosen warmonger clones of Bush/Cheney for their party’s presidential candidates. The only candidates not in Israel’s pocket are Kucinich, Paul, and Gravel, who have no chance for their party’s nomination. Obama, ...
Bush’s Weepy Visit to Jerasulem
ANDREW SILVERSTEIN
President Bush, tearied eyed and wearing a Yarmulke toured Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Remembrance Museum in Jerusalem Thursday. Calling on a now very common argument to show gentile unconcern and therefore complicity in Jewish suffering, Bush said in reference to A...
Banking on Thin Ice
KENNETH COUESBOUC
The banking system has two historic functions. The first is to make the circulation of money easier, safer and faster, by allowing depositors to pay by cheque, bank card, etc. The second is to create account money, by granting credit. The two functions are distinc...