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 June 2008
Sex Work is Different from Sex Slavery, aver Carnal Toilers
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Nicholas Kristof was baffled. A year after the New York Times columnist rescued teenaged Cambodian prostitute Srey Mom from a Poipet brothel by purchasing her freedom for $203, she was back in the brothel. Voluntarily. In fact, she wou...
Blind Whistling Phreaks and the FBI’s Historical Reliance on Phone Tap Criminality
DAVID PRICE
In 1971, Ron Rosenbaum’s Esquire article, “Secrets of the Little Blue Box”, introduced America to phone phreaks, a subterranean network of geek explorers who probed the global phone system as the world’s largest pre-I...
Why They All Keep Coming
ALEXANDRA EARLY
Having just spent time south of the border in a poor country whose major export is people, I’ve seen firsthand what’s driving people north – and why conventional political solutions aren’t going to deter desperate Sal...
The AFL-CIO Votes to Endorse Obama
DAVID MACARAY
Despite a dip in labor’s national membership rolls and a significant decline in overall influence, make no mistake about it:  The AFL-CIO is going to play an important part in the outcome of the 2008 election.  That $300 million which the ...
?Making A Billion Hindus Glow in the Dark”
PETER LEE
For the U.S. intelligence establishment, the Cold War was a time of certainties: Communism had to be stopped; no cost was too great, no technological obstacle was insurmountable. And, in the case of gaining information on China’s missile program, n...
A New Age for Latvia Dawns? ?Atstatu Loskutovu!?
JEFF SOMMERS
Riga The otherwise cool tempered Balts erupted into street protests this Sunday in Riga.  The reason was a cynical move by Latvia’s ruling coalition in parliament to convene an early morning weekend vote on the fate of Latvia’s chi...
It Was Oil, All Along
BILL MOYERS And MICHAEL WINSHIP
Oh, no, they told us, Iraq isn’t a war about oil. That’s cynical and simplistic, they said. It’s about ...
Politics and Animal Cruelty in Pennsylvania
WALTER BRASCH
Dave Comroe stepped to the firing line, raised his 12-gauge Browning over and under shotgun, aimed and fired. Before him, a pigeon fell, moments after being released from a box less than 20 yards away. About 25 times that day Comroe fired, hitting about three-fourths...
Bush and the Press vs. the Constitution
JEREMY R. HAMMOND
Last week, an article in the Washington Post explained how decisions of the Bush administration with regard to detention policies have been overturned by the Supreme Court. The tone of the article is interesting. It’s title is "White House Dismissed Legal ...
A Field Trip to the Reagan Library
BRETT DRUGGE
In the movie, “It Started in Naples” (1960) starring Sophia Loren and Clark Gable, Gable portrays Michael Hamilton, a stuffy lawyer from Philadelphia, steeped in American exceptionalism and arrogance, and finds himself seeking out the custody of his broth...
Nike’s Bad Air
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
This is an excerpt from JEFFREY ST. CLAIR’s new environmental history, ...
The Rest is Noise
DAVID YEARSLEY
Last summer the Musical Patriot decided to travel light. Rather than load up his saddlebags with fat volumes on music he stocked his iPod Nano with dozens of audio books, ranging from the lofty to the lurid.  The first sunny day, I fell asleep on a West Sussex B...
The Human Right to Eat
JOAN P. MENCHER
Somini Sengupta’s front-page article, "India’s Growth Outstrips Crops" (New York Times, June 22, 2008) points out various reasons for the current shortage of staple foods in India– including rapidly sinking water tables, inadequate governm...
Nader, Obama and White Talk
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
Ralph Nader, whose independent bid for the White House has received scant media attention, just got noticed.  Speaking to the Denver-based ...
Obama Veers Right
ALAN MAASS
Back in January, at one of the Democratic presidential candidates’ debates, Barack Obama took one of his few open shots at Hillary Clinton’s past as a shill for shady corporations. "While I was working [as a community organizer in Chicago]…watc...
Collective Guilt and the Fate of Kosovo
JUSTIN E.H. SMITH
In "Rape, Genocide, and Women’s Human Rights," a 1994 essay in the Harvard Women’s Law Journal, the feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon takes sides in the Bosnian war on squarely gender-based grounds: Serbia is a man, and Bosnia and Croat...
Sex Sans the City
SUSIE DAY
Many capitalist roaders say the Left is out of touch with popular culture. Well, I say NYET to that! Here, for instance, is an episode of "Sex and the City" that I translated for my Marxist-Leninist study group, so that we may better throw off our Tiffany c...
The Mendacity of Hope
PHAM BINH
"Change we can believe in." "Yes we can!" "Change the world." For hundreds of millions of people, the slogans of the Obama campaign are not the focus-group tested products of marketing gurus and professional...
19 Aphorisms to Jaundice Your Day
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
Regarding the abortion debate, I tend to think that life starts when a child develops irony. The hope of the human race is that we will learn to disagree without believing in anything. Only brothers could hate each other the way Arabs and Jews do. ...
Iraq and the New York Times
ROBERT FANTINA
In his most recent editorial, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times discusses the great progress he sees in Iraq, and attributes it to President George Bush’s troop ‘surge’ of eighteen months ago. A look at just a few of Mr. Friedman’s bizarre...
Guess What "Surprise" Republicans Yearn For
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Everybody knows it, but it took a tacky Republican operator to come right out and say it. Charlie Black, John McCain’s campaign adviser, recently let drop to Fortune magazine that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a "big advantage" for th...
Have You Lost Your Mind or Just Been Bought Out by AIPAC?
KATHLEEN M. BARRY
Congressman Barney Frank 2252 Rayburn H.O.B. Washington, DC 20515 Dear Barney Frank, While you were espousing the freedom of speech and democratic principles of Israel to the House of Representatives on June 18, 2006, were you thinking of ...
Tillie, Elephants and the Zoo
JASON HRIBAL
She had begun her life of captivity known as Chocolate. But unlike the dessert, which denotes images of sweetness and experiences of delight, this elephant could be anything but. She did, in fact, resemble the food’s more controversial side – its stimulan...
A Glimmer of Light in Television Wasteland
MIKE WHITNEY
It’s time to knock the cobwebs off the television and fish the remote from the trashcan. Believe it or not, there’s finally something worth watching on TV. GRIT TV with Laura Flanders is a fast-paced political talk show that leaves its mainstream competit...
Israel’s Encaging of Gaza
JONATHAN COOK
in Nazareth. The following is taken from a talk delivered at the Conference for the Right of Return and the Secular Democratic State, held in Haifa on June 21. In 1895 Theodor Herzl, Zionism’s chief prophet, confided in ...
Embracing Big Brother
CANDACE COHN
It may be June, but Christmas came early this year for Big Brother and the telecommunications giants. Unfortunately, it is average Americans who will pay–dearly–on three separate counts. First, precious constitutional and other legal p...
Obama and the Death Penalty
LILIANA SEGURA
What a difference a general election makes. Hours after the Supreme Court handed down a ruling banning the death penalty for the rape of a child, Democratic candidate Barack Obama found his inner Scalia and declared it a miscarriage of justice. "I hav...
Occupation by Bureaucracy
SAREE MAKDISI
A cease-fire went into effect in Gaza last week, offering some respite from the violence that has killed hundreds of Palestinians and five Israelis in recent months. It will do nothing, however, to address the underlying cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ...
The Defense Reform Trap
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
Philip Taubman’s June 24 article the New York Times and International Herald Tribune is another st...
The War and the Yellow Press
WILLIAM S. LIND
A person my age has watched many things decline in America, and few get better. As one of my neighbors says, everything good is gone or going. In that category we must now include good reporting. When I started work in Washington in 1973, it was axiomati...
Remembering George Carlin
PAUL KRASSNER
In December 1962, when Lenny Bruce was arrested for obscenity at the Gate of Horn in Chicago, the police broke open his candy bars, looking for dope.  They checked the IDs of audience members, including George Carlin, who told the cops, “I don’t believe ...
What’s a Voter to Do?
RON JACOBS
In the good ol’ USA, I’m considered a white guy.  Despite my leftist/anarcho politics and my preference for news that isn’t filtered through the capitalist media, I’m a white guy as far as polling demographics go.  I’ve got friend...
Chaos in Afghanistan
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Can anyone state exactly why foreign troops are fighting in Afghanistan?  What is the collective aim, the specific mission, the ultimate objective, of the 60,000 soldiers there?  I ask this because as I write the total of US deaths in Afghanistan “and re...
Beached in Chile
BINOY KAMPMARK
The International Whaling Commission has had its 60th meeting, this time in Santiago, Chile.  Proceedings have followed their traditional pattern; hostilities have been reasserted between pro-whaling parties and those reluctant to give any ground on the matter.&nbs...
John Howard and War Crimes
BINOY KAMPMARK
The International Criminal Court, active since 2002, is getting busier, though much of its activity still remains buried in preparatory paperwork.  It has begun fielding petitions on a growing list of war criminal suspects with some regularity. The first sign th...
There’s No Hope at the Ballot Box
MATT REICHEL
Every four years it’s the same game on the American left: arguments on anti-war listservs about whether or not to vote Democrat in the upcoming election. Every four years it seems like an awful idea no matter where you live, whether it be a “swing ...
The Drone of Experts
WILLIAM P. O'CONNER
I recently wrote an essay Counterpunch published. Judging from the amount of emails I received, a lot of people took the time to read it.  This surprised me, both because I have never written anything of consequence before, and...
Who’s Actually Winning in Iraq?
PATRICK COCKBURN
The American occupation of Iraq follows the same course as that of British  rule after the First World War. At first there was imperial over-confidence  following military victory and a conviction that what Iraqis did was of no  importance. Then there ...
Obama Waffles on School of the Americas
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
For a candidate who talks the talk on human rights, Barack Obama has little to say about the infamous School of the Americas (SOA). Originally established in the Panama Canal Zone in 1946, the school later moved to Fort Benning, Georgia in 1984. Since its inception, ...
There’s No Hope at the Ballot Box
MATT REICHEL
Every four years it’s the same game on the American left: arguments on anti-war listservs about whether or not to vote Democrat in the upcoming election. Every four years it seems like an awful idea no matter where you live, whether it be a “swing ...
Which Way Forward for the Antiwar Movement?
ASHLEY SMITH
I HAVE been asked to lay out the political rationale for a mass action strategy for the antiwar movement. To do so we must begin with the horror the United States has brought to the Middle East. The United States has nearly destroyed Iraq. Its invasion and occupation...
A Brief History of Union Negotiations
DAVID MACARAY
To anyone curious about how labor and management actually conduct contract negotiations, they should know that, even though these things are wildly unpredictable and can change from courteous and productive to acrimonious and destructive in a heartbeat, the negotiati...
McClellan’s Mini Mea Culpa
SAUL LANDAU
Betrayal by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, Scott McClellan viewed as ultimate betrayal. Yes, Bush and Cheney had prevaricated their way into a war with Iraq, which upset him, but not to the extent of the treasonous behavior by his bosom buddies. Former Bushies, McClell...
John Howard and War Crimes
BINOY KAMPMARK
The International Criminal Court, active since 2002, is getting busier, though much of its activity still remains buried in preparatory paperwork.  It has begun fielding petitions on a growing list of war criminal suspects with some regularity. The first sign th...
The Drone of Experts
WILLIAM P. O'CONNER
I recently wrote an essay Counterpunch published. Judging from the amount of emails I received, a lot of people took the time to read it.  This surprised me, both because I have never written anything of consequence before, and...
McClellan’s Mini Mea Culpa
SAUL LANDAU
Betrayal by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, Scott McClellan viewed as ultimate betrayal. Yes, Bush and Cheney had prevaricated their way into a war with Iraq, which upset him, but not to the extent of the treasonous behavior by his bosom buddies. Former Bushies, McClell...
Terrorists or Victims?
DAVE LINDORFF
Double standards when it comes to children are pretty appalling—especially when it comes to “our” kids vs. “their” kids, but here in America they aren’t limited to just right-wingers. Take reaction to the US Supreme Court&rs...
Which Way Forward for the Antiwar Movement?
ASHLEY SMITH
I HAVE been asked to lay out the political rationale for a mass action strategy for the antiwar movement. To do so we must begin with the horror the United States has brought to the Middle East. The United States has nearly destroyed Iraq. Its invasion and occupation...
A Brief History of Union Negotiations
DAVID MACARAY
To anyone curious about how labor and management actually conduct contract negotiations, they should know that, even though these things are wildly unpredictable and can change from courteous and productive to acrimonious and destructive in a heartbeat, the negotiati...
You Don’t Mess With the Racism!
REMI KENAZI
I love Adam Sandler. From Billy Madison to Happy Gilmore to the Chanukah Song, the predecessor of the Superbad generation has effortlessly conquered the domain of slapstick comedy and inappropriate jokes. But damn you Scuba Steve! If you’re going to propagate m...