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 May 2008
A Washington Witch Hanging
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
Ding dong, the DC Madam is dead Hung from the rafters of her mother’s shed. Hide under yer covers, Ye Dicks and Ye Johns! Ye Senators and Prosecutors, Ye Media Cons! There’s blood on yer hands, though you pretend to be ...
Oil Wars
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Despite all the recent talk of soaring prices at the pump, political and economic pundits rarely mention the impact of war and political instability in the Middle East on the skyrocketing price of oil. There is strong evidence, however, that the heighten...
White Heaven
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
"Like the song says, it’s almost heaven,” Hillary Clinton gushed at the Charleston Civic Center after stuffing Barack Obama into the jaws of defeat.  This statement speaks volumes about her and many voters in the state made famous by John Denver...
California Water Politics
FELICE PACE
California Governor Schwarzenegger wants to build two new dams – Sites and Temperance Flat. They are being sold as necessary to cope with the reduction in Sierra Nevada, Cascade and Klamath Mountains snowpack expected as a result of climate change. New and &ldq...
Hillary’s "Final Solution" to the Persian Problem
ROBERT WEITZEL
“To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it . . . An evil unchecked is the prelude to genocide.” Dr. Mordechai: The Ezekiel Option There are over 70 ...
Hillary, McCain and the Stupid Vote
DAVE LINDORFF
I want to be clear here from the start: there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. Stupidity is a lack of intelligence. But even here, there are subsets. Some ignorance results from a lack of access to knowledge, while so...
Israel as a Site of Struggle
NEVE GORDON
The Jewish celebration of Passover and Israel’s 60th anniversary coincide this year, and seem to be a good time to reflect upon, and perhaps explain, my passionate commitment to Israel. No doubt having been born and raised in Israel makes me feel most at home t...
You’re Either with the American People or You’re with the Big Auto Bosses
RALPH NADER
Dear President Bush, You and your White House have been sitting on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since your arrival in January 2001, thus assuring the giant auto companies that NHTSA-toothless under President Bill Clinton and previ...
Torture: a Bully’s Creed
REZA FIYOUZAT
For the past seven years — and especially since those ghastly pictures from your friendly security providers at Baghram, Abu Ghuraib and Guantanamo concentration camps, showing prisoners’ dignity, rights and minds shredded to smithereens R...
A Generation Defined by War
HAMDAN A. YOUSUF And DANIA S. AHMED
We are a generation defined by war. Shattering the idyllic innocence of our youth, September 11th fell upon us like a convulsion, bringing us face-to-face with the catastrophic consequences of American foreign policy. New terms were shoved down our throa...
The Myth That Won’t Die
DAVID MACARAY
“The greatest anti-poverty program ever invented was the labor union.” –George Meany Even on the face of it, the notion that American labor unions are “too powerful” is s...
The Crisis at Home
SAUL LANDAU
If you live in affluent neighborhoods you might have conditioned yourself to ignore the significant sector of US society that gets in your face by showing they’re poor, suffering from disease and acute angst – if not worse. Sure, plen...
Sexual Terrorism
DAVID ROSEN
The “New York Times’” recently revealed the existence of a little-known executive order issued by President Bush in the summer of ’07 that permitted U.S. intelligence operatives to circumvent restrictions on the use of humiliating...
How Empires Fall
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In a new book that will infuriate the fake conservatives who inhabit the Republican Party, Patrick J. Buchanan documents how British self-righteousness, delusion, and hubris destroyed both the British Empire and Western ascendancy in two unnecessary wars...
Marketing Ethnic Cleansing
LINDA MAMOUN
Two weeks before Israel’s 60th anniversary the House and Senate voted unanimously to pass resolutions honoring "the founding of the modern State of Israel." Before the House vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighed in on the deliberations saying, "I ur...
The Problem with Rev. Wright … There are Too Few Like Him
BROTHER BEDE VINCENT
Now is the winter of our discontent? made glorious summer by this son of York;? And all the clouds that low’r’d upon our house? In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. – Richard III ...
Nuclear Florida
ALAN FARAGO
There is a reason Miami-Dade County in Southern Florida is the first place where America’s utility industry is moving forward with new nuclear capacity in three decades. In Miami, Florida Power & Light found public officials malleable as...
Forget the Two-State Solution
SAREE MAKDISI
There is no longer a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Forget the endless arguments about who offered what and who spurned whom and whether the Oslo peace process died when Yasser Arafat walked away from the bargaining table or whet...
Gitmo’s Suicide Bomber
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Rather horribly, it seems, a former Guantánamo prisoner, Abdullah al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti who was repatriated in November 2005 and who later married and had a child, blew himself up as a suicide bomber in Mosul, Iraq, last month. According to the US mi...
Recession Watch
PETER MORICI
Wednesday, the Labor Department will issue April data for the Consumer Price Index. The consensus forecast is for a 0.3 percent increase in the headline number and a 0.2 percent increase in the core index—the headline number with energy and food pr...
Rebels Against Tyranny
ZIGA VODOVNIK
Howard Zinn, 85, is a Professor Emeritus of political science at Boston University. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1922 to a poor immigrant family. He realized early in his youth that the promise of the "American Dream“, that will come true t...
The Pentagon’s Toxic Legacy
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR And JOSHUA FRANK
The nation’s biggest polluter isn’t a corporation. It’s the Pentagon. Every year the Department of Defense churns out more than 750,000 tons of hazardous waste — more than the top three chemical companies combined. Yet the ...
The Third Way to Nowhere
RICHARD RHAMES
“The emergence of politicians-without-politics, and of PR machine parties without core support has made the electoral system more arbitrary and fickle… Few voters really care either way — and with justification.” ...
The Ambition of Hillary Clinton
SUZANNE BAROUD
Nothing seems to work right for Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton in her attempts to once more dwell in the White House. Senator Barack Obama, despite inflated controversies continued his glide to the Democratic nomination with a landslide victory and a marg...
Why All of Our Efforts Won’t Stop an Attack on Iran
GARY LEUPP
May 9. I read tonight a brief article by Philip Giraldi posted on the American Conservative website: “...
Choufeit’s Bloody Pentacost
FRANKLIN LAMB
Choufeit, Lebanon In the lower Chouf village of Choufeit with its panoramic view of Beirut’s closed airport (which will likely stay closed for 4 or 5 more days as a Hezbollah pressure point on the Bush administration to achieve...
Farmer Ernie’s Chamber of Horrors
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The Boy Scouts of America Greater Yosemite Council commended his leadership in transforming "a small family farm model to the current computer driven egg-producing company." The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors inducted him into the Agric...
The Boss’s Boycott
DAVE ZIRIN
The Commissar Vanishes is a coffee table book for only the dourest of coffee tables. The hard-covered volume is a photographic compilation of the way that Josef Stalin systematically erased his chief political opponents, Leon Trotsky and his followers, f...
I Ain’t Gonna Work No More
CARL FINAMORE
I just retired and am 62 years old today, so I guess it’s natural to reminisce a little on this birthday. All youth seem to share a disbelief that someday they actually will reach this ripe old age. It certainly was true of me in my early teens....
A Surge in Iraqi Detainees
CIARA GILMARTIN
Amid all the talk about the U.S. military "surge" in Iraq, little has been said about the accompanying "surge" of Iraqi prisoners, whose numbers rose to nearly 51,000 at the end of 2007. Four years after the Abu Ghraib scandal, occupa...
Can Yellowstone Survive?
JOHN HOLT
After reading Teewinot: Climbing and Contemplating the Teton Range, I was looking...
Morales and the Red Ponchos
PATRICK IRELAN
The Bolivian oligarchy has initiated its plan to balkanize the country. Traditionally, the oligarchy controlled the oil, natural gas, and the best farmland in Bolivia; and, for the most part, it has never indicated a desire to share the wealth with the nation’s...
Beirut on the Brink
RANNIE AMIRI
“If we wanted to stage a coup, you would have woken up this morning in prison, or in the middle of the sea. We do not want that. It is a political issue, with a political solution through early elections.” - Sayyid Hass...
The Yumare Massacre, 22 Years On
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
Caracas. May 8th marks the 22nd anniversary of the Massacre of Yumare, one of the most infamous chapters of Venezuela’s murderous “model democracy.” But despite its place in the past, the event is frighteningly relev...
Hezbollah Eases Up and Beirut Opens Its Shutters
FRANKLIN LAMB
Saturday Afternoon May 10 2008 witnessed a pronounced easing of tension. Based on a US Congressional source, the Siniora government is reportedly able, with US approval, to offer the following face-saving proposal to Hezbollah to end the current ...
Dealing Sleep
BEN TERRALL
I was out of town and missed the first 10 days of this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival, but luckily I made it back to the Bay Area in time to see the premiere of ‘Sleep Dealer.’ I was alerted to the film via a r...
Booked Up
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Sick Planet: Corporate Food and Medicine. By Stan Cox. Pluto Pres...
Bacharach at 80
DAVID YEARSLEY
The lyricist and composer Sammy Cahn once quipped that Burt Bacharach “was the only songwriter who didn’t look like a dentist.”  Many, indeed millions, were similarly bewitched by the looks of this greatest song-master of longing, loss, and amb...
Mother’s Day in Ciudad Juarez
KENT PATERSON
Juarez. No contemporary human rights crisis in Mexico has moved world public opinion more than the rapes and murders of young women in Ciudad Juarez and the state of Chihuahua. Mass protests stretching from the U.S.-Mexico border to E...
Inside a Nuclear Industry Soirée
DIANE FARSETTA
I learned many things at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s (NEI’s) annual meeting, but perhaps none more surprising than this: When nuclear power executives discuss the state of their industry, they highlight many of the same issues as their env...
Rosa Luxemburg’s Shock Doctrine
RON JACOBS
Naomi Klein’s 2007 release Shock Doctrine addressed in a rather mild way the dependence of the capitalist economy on cataclysmic events for its progress. These events displace millions and cause personal hardship for an even greater number while they ensure cap...
Real Clear Numbers: 101,000 U.S. Casualties a Year
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
A friend of mine who’s a librarian was recently reviewing job applicants. Asked his qualifications in library skills, one man put “machine-gunner.” He was a vet who’d served in Falluja. The library is in a state school here i...
El Salvador 2009
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
An image flashes across the screen of pretty young women.  They’re dressed in red T-shirts, wave a red flag, and run towards the camera.  A voice intones, “Let us all participate in the great party of hope!  Change is coming!”  T...
The Social Engineers
ALAN FARAGO
It is a popular confusion that what is good for corporations is also good for the public. They are called social engineers: that small group of corporate executives whose compensation has no correlation to the public interest, much less common shareholders or...
The Best Film of the Bush Era?
KIM NICOLINI
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay may very well be the most revolutionary movie of the GW Bush Era. Yes indeed, the travels and travails of these stoner dudes are way more politically challenging than the never-ending barrage of documentaries that h...
It’s So Over
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
It’s over.  Maybe Hillary doesn’t know it yet.  Almost assuredly Bill doesn’t.  But it’s over. And, no, I don’t just mean the Democratic presidential nomination process.  I mean the whole shootin&r...
The Lexicon Legacy of George W. Bush
ROBERT FANTINA
As the U.S. lurches towards the end of President George Bush’s reign of terror, it can look back at a number of Mr. Bush’s ‘accomplishments:’ transforming a record-breaking budget surplus into a record-breaking deficit; starting two wars for n...
Jailing the Joint
MICHAEL DICKINSON
Despite the advice of the 23 member British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that cannabis should remain in the less serious Class C category into which it was placed in 2004, Britain’s Labour Government has moved to tighten the law against ...
Team Clinton: Going Down Ugly
DAVE LINDORFF
The results in Tuesday’s twin primaries—Barack Obama by 14 percent in North Carolina and Hillary Clinton by less than 2 percent in Indiana—confirmed that Clinton is finished as a contender. Barack Obama will be the Democratic candidate ...
Street Notes from the Hamra District
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut. "Where did they come from?", the desk clerk at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Rauche by the sea near Hamra wondered out loud. "I have been on duty all night and saw nothing. Suddenly they are everywhere!" ...