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 April 2008
Papal Benedictions
ANDREW WIMMER
“They treat the rupture of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14 Act One: In January 2004 Dick Cheney concluded his...
The Politics of Armageddon
RAMZY BAROUD
A memorable quote in Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894) still carries a wealth...
Lead Guitars and Movie Stars, Get Their Tongues Beneath Your Hood
PHYLLIS POLLACK
The New York premiere for the Paramount Classics film, Shine A Light, the Martin Scorsese concert documentary about the Rolling Stones, was held on Sunday, March 30, at Clearview’s Ziegfeld Theater on West 54th. The area was he...
“Hero” John McCain as Phony and Collaborator: What Really Happened When He Was a POW?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
McCain: What Really Happened When He Was a POW? Patrick Cockburn A New Struggle is Beginning in Iraq Wajahat Ali Zinn Speaks Andrew Wimm...
Suitcase Arias and Ithacan Jazz (But Tune That Piano!)
DAVID YEARSLEY
There are two kinds of musical baggage, the one real, the other virtual. The so-called suitcase aria combines these two aspects. 18th-century opera stars lugged around actual leaves of paper with the notated music for their show-stopping set pieces, thei...
Zinn Speaks
WAJAHAT ALI
At 85 years old, the indefatigable Howard Zinn still maintains the prolific activist and academic jab fueled by his political and social activism nurtured during The Civil Rights Movement. The esteemed historian and controversial rabble rouser’s se...
The New Texas Two-Step
DAVID ROSEN
A war against Texas polygamists is underway. As of mid-April, an estimated 534 people (401 girls and boys as well as 133 women) have been removed from a compound of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) located near Eldora...
Raelians, Aliens and Evolution
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
Last week, I had dinner with Raël, international connoisseur of pleasure and “prophet” of the Raëlian Movement which includes about 80,000 members in 90 different countries around the world. Apparently, after watching a few of my sh...
The No Escape Clause on Iraq
SAUL LANDAU
"Be all you can be” extol the commercials inducing naïve youngsters to enlist. The pictures show attractive people learning skills, not killing or getting killed, wounded or psychically scarred. The palpable glorification of the military ...
A New Struggle is Beginning in Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
A New Struggle is Beginning in Iraq April 18, 2008 John Ross The Bush Legacy: Losing Latin America Dave Lindorff Courage and Conviction: In Pra...
Stratcom is the Main Threat to Peace on the Korea Peninsula
KO YOUNG-DAE
After the September 11 attacks, by the Bush administration’s decision, the USSTRATCOM began to develop a close relationship with the Korean Peninsula. On December 31, 2001, Bush submitted the Nuclear Posture Review, which defined Russia, China, and the so-ca...
A Look Inside the Hangars
CARL FINAMORE
John Goglia is an internationally recognized expert in aviation maintenance and aircraft operations. In August 1995, he was sworn in as a Member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). He was the first working Airframe & Power plant (A&P) ...
A Himalayan Surprise
FAROOQ SULEHRIA
Nepalese left stuns the world yet again. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), US designated terrorist outfit, won a landslide victory in April 9 general elections. In a complex electoral process for 601 seats, Maoists have bagged 112 out of 240 first-past-the-po...
In Praise of Bill Ayers
DAVE LINDORFF
The pundits are having a heyday with Hillary Clinton’s sleazy McCarthyite attack on Barack Obama during the April 16 debate, trying to link him to the Weather Underground because of his having served on a charity organization board with one of the Weathermen...
"Just as the Wall is Called a Fence, So are the Mercenaries Called Contractors"
DAN GLAZEBROOK
Robert Fisk has a well-earned reputation as one of the most honest and hard hitting foreign correspondents in the British media. He has worked in Northern Ireland, where he exposed the presence of the SAS in the mid-1970s, as well as Bosnia, Palestine, Iraq, and L...
The Bush Legacy
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. For George Bush, the March 1 anti-terror strike by the Colombian air force under U.S. guidance on a FARC guerrilla camp deep in the Ecuadorian jungle had everything to do with legacy. During eight years in the White House, Bush’s w...
A Creepy Roadblock at Midnight
RICHARD MORSE
I saw a picture of Youri Latortue in The Chauvettes’ newspaper this morning. Makes me think that he may be the Parliamentary leader of recent events. Though Youri Latortue is based in Gonaives, according to the newspaper, he was in the south (Les Cayes) inve...
J Street: Do We Really Need Another Pro-Israel Lobby?
RANNIE AMIRI
This week witnessed the online debut of a new, self-styled "pro-peace, pro-Israel" lobby dubbed J Street, and its affiliated political action committee, JStreetPAC. Purposely named after a fictional street in the nation’s capital in order to distin...
The G7, the Banks and GE
PETER MORICI
This week, it’s tough to pick the most significant news. The G7 Finance Ministers Meeting was significant for what it didn’t do-something truly constructive about the credit crisis. Tired carpenters, the ministers and central bank chiefs ...
Losing Haiti
BEN TERRALL
Haiti briefly entered the U.S. news last week, thanks to a new round of protests in that much-beleagured land. Food riots throughout Haiti were reported as part of a world-wide wave of uprisings responding to increasing food prices (brought on by various factors i...
The Carrion Feeders’ Ball
MADIS SENNER
Hedge Fund managers in 2007 reaped huge profits by betting on commodities and the crisis in financial markets-John Paulson $3.7Bln., George Soros $2.9Bln. and James Simons $2.9bln. The 50th hedge fund manager’s $210 ml. seems paltry in comparison according t...
Political Log Rolling in Clinton County, PA
WALTER BRASCH
It was just an old-fashioned case of political log rolling. In this case, the Clinton campaign approached a Democratic county commissioner and held up a political carrot-if the commissioner, the only Democrat of the three commissioners, would endorse Sen. Hillary ...
Obama’s Disconnect with Small Town America
JAMES MURREN
I was born and raised in a farming family in small-town, rural, southcentral Pennsylvania. By any academic or stereotypical definition of "rural," my family, friends and neighbors define the word. They also debunk the definitions. Barack Obama&...
The Ethanol Apologists
ROBERT BRYCE
The outrages of the ethanol mandates are growing by the day. Last week, a study funded by American beef, pork and chicken producers estimated that the total cost to taxpayers of the corn ethanol mandates now exceeds $33 billion per year. That’s equal...
Washington, al-Maliki and the Militias
RON JACOBS
Recently, the Green Zone parliament in Baghdad drafted a law that would forbid any political party that has an armed wing from participating in the upcoming regional elections in Iraq. This law comes on the heels of an announcement by the Green Zone leader al-Mali...
Hillary Joins the Vast, Rightwing Financial Conspiracy
MICHAEL HUDSON
On Monday, March 24, presumably representing Wall Street–as any New York senator must do in view of its dominant financial role in the state’s political campaigns–Hillary Clinton proposed that Congress show its bipartisan spirit by appointing an ...
A Confirming Moment in Basra
WILLIAM S. LIND
When Iraqi Prime Minister al-Kerensky sent his "army" to fight the Mahdi Army in Basra, President Bush called it "a defining moment." It turned out instead to be a confirming moment. It confirmed that there is no state in Mesopotamia. ...
Don’t Collaborate
KATHY KELLY
U.S. Senators and Representatives are finding common ground in asking that Iraqis begin picking up the tab for the cost of war, so an April 14 AP article by Anne Flaherty reported. The lawmakers are troubled that Iraqis might experience windfall surpluses of reven...
The Food Riots in Haiti
RICHARD MORSE
I’m starting to get funny emails. I haven’t felt threatened in Haiti since 2005 when Apaid and the boys had their man Latortue in office. The police came into the hotel and arrested some of my musicians in the middle of a show. As if that wasn&#...
Squeezed Vietnamese Workers Strike Back
JEFF BALLINGER
The current strike wave in Vietnam can be traced to a seemingly benign statement by Adidas officials last year, attempting to explain a sharp increase in profitability. Since the German shoe giant’s acquisition of the Reebok brand, it gained new leverage ove...
How to Leave Iraq
SAUL LANDAU
Iraq-satiated Democrats face a formidable political challenge: If they win in November, can they extricate the country from Bush’s illegal war, which apparently can’t be won by US military forces and has drained material and psychic resources? ...
Colonization and Massacres
ROXANNE DUNBAR-ORTIZ
What does it mean, if anything, that a student, child of Korean immigrants, killed thirty classmates and faculty at a Virginia university while nearby celebrations of the onset of colonialism was taking place? In April 2007, all the news seemed to be coming...
The Candidates from Nowhere
BILL KAUFFMAN
The last three major-party presidential candidates standing have this in common: the state abbreviations after their names–John McCain (AZ), Hillary Clinton (NY), and Barack Obama (IL)–are no more meaningful than the random pairings of letters in a spo...
Einstein Turns in His Grave
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
Caracas. In the inaugural 1949 issue of Monthly Review, renowned theoretical physicist Albert Einstein penned a now famous article entitled "Why Socialism?" Here was a towering giant of the scientific community, transcending the limits of his own ...
Union Strikes and Replacement Workers
DAVID MACARAY
"Labor cannot, on any terms, surrender the right to strike" –Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Not to disrespect anyone, or pit one class of labor organization against another (God know...
Letters from the Bitter Belt
DAVE LINDORFF
I find it interesting that among the responses to a recent column of mine about Obama’s "bitterness and frustration" comments regarding rural Americans, those that came from rural folks — including from the...
Electoral Revolution in Nepal
GARY LEUPP
It ought to be the ballot heard ’round the world. It ought to be front page news. But chances are you haven’t yet learned that the Maoists of Nepal have apparently swept to power in an election that international monitors acknowledge was free and fair....
McCain’s Economic Plan
PETER MORICI
John McCain has put forward an economic program that won’t rescue the economy from its mess but Senators Clinton and Obama offer little more. McCain advocates tax cuts for parents and corporations and mortgage relief for distressed homeowners, paid fo...
Bankers Saved, Human Rights Sacrificed
ERIC TOUSSAINT And DAMIEN MILLET
The randomness of numbers sometimes throws up some striking coincidences. Behind the shadow plays conjured up by the zealous servants of neoliberal globalisation, the brutal backstage reality revealed itself this week, through the publication of two international ...
Let’s Not Put the Torch in a Bubble
LARAY POLK
I read a recent report that one of the proposed security plans for the torch run was to construct a bubble that would protect the flame as it was carried through the crowds. That seems an appropriate symbol for the current state of affairs worldwide. How m...
The Making of a Palestinian State
MATS SVENSSON
Mavivi comes from South Africa and is for the first time in Gaza to speak with women’s organisations, students, civil servants and political fractions. For 18 years she was part of the struggle against apartheid. There are those who never understand ...
Media Shit Storms and Heartland Reality
JOE BAGEANT
There seems to be no end to the media mediocrity we must suffer in this country. Now we have the Obama Guns, God and Bitterness shit storm, with the shit pouring forth from the same media scuppers (scuppers are outlet sewage blowholes on the sides of ships) as usu...
The Purple Punch-Out in Dearborn
STEVE EARLY
A rent-a-mob of rowdy, punch-throwing demonstrators burst into Labor Notes’ biennial labor conference in Dearborn, Michigan, last Saturday night. When it was over, the local cops had been called in, one demonstrator had collapsed and died and SIEU’s ch...
Arrogant Lies
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Last month: "an Egyptian citizen was killed when a [US] Navy-contracted ship fired warning shots at approaching motorboats in the Suez Canal. The United States Embassy in Cairo and the Navy initially maintained that, according to the secur...
Dead-Eye Hil and the Elitist
MICHAEL DONNELLY
It’s come to this: a white, Ivy League grad from a wealthy Republican family calls a mixed-race black kid from a single-mom family an "elitist" and the racists and shoulder-pad feminists pile on – desperate for any excuse to not vote for a bl...
What Does a Woman Have to Do to Get on the Cover of Sports Illustrated?
CHARLES MODIANO
Candace Parker is the truth: She can score, rebound, dribble, pass with ease, play all five positions, and was dunking by age 14. When not kicking men’s butts in pick-up games, you might find Parker acing tests while earning the University Division Academic ...
Dissecting the Politics of Paraguay’s Next President
APRIL HOWARD And BENJAMIN DANGL
Fernando Lugo, a bearded, left-leaning bishop is expected to win Paraguay’s historic presidential election on April 20th, upsetting a 60-year rule by the right wing Colorado Party. While escaping the heat of the Paraguayan sun by sitting in the shade of an o...
Manifest Destiny and Israel
URI AVNERY
NEXT MONTH, Israel will celebrate its 60th anniversary. The government is working feverishly to make this day into an occasion of joy and jubilation. While serious problems are crying out for funds, some 40 million dollars have been allocated to this aim. B...
The Politics of Distraction in an Age of Gotcha Capitalism
RALPH NADER
In this year’s presidential campaign, the major media want you to focus on the candidates’ gaffes, their tactics toward one another’s gaffes, the flows of political gossip and four second sound bytes. Over and over again this is the humdru...
Outrageous Pre-Tour de France Ban
DAVID PRICE
Drug scandals have become such a regular feature of the Tour de France that surely someday soon we will find biochemists and forensic urologists added to the race’s television commentator teams. The last several Tours had wide swaths of riders caught...