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 November 2008
Escaping the Dollar’s Shadow
MARTINE BOULARD
Like it or not, the next US president must accept that his great country and its mighty dollar are no longer unchallenged masters of a world economy slowing alarmingly. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), there will be 20 million more people unem...
Holder, Chiquita and Colombia
MARIO A. MURILLO
First the good news: We’re two months away from President George W. Bush’s last full day in the White House. The countdown for the end of the nightmare has begun in earnest. Now the bad news: As Barack Obama puts together his cabinet and eyes a sle...
This Just in From Middle Earth
MICHAEL WINSHIP
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand. You might think it hard to think about politics when you’re in a place as extraordinary as this on New Zealand’s South Island. The landscape fills the eye with glacial and volcanic lakes, valleys and mountains so breathtaking ...
Courting the Bear
ERIC WALBERG
Tthe meeting underlined improved relations. The European trade commissioner, Catherine Ashton, said talk had been “robust, but very open. Presidents Sarkozy, Barroso and Medvedev were very direct with each other in the spirit of having a dialogue.” Europe...
The Irresponsibility of Appointing Hillary Clinton Secretary of State
BILL And KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
In 2005 Hillary Clinton stood in Palestine and praised the apartheid wall that the government of Israel was building with large amounts of U.S. aid in furtherance of the Zionist goal of destroying one of the world’s peoples — the Palestinians.  This ...
What Really Happened in Washington?
DAMIEN MILLET And ERIC TOUSSAINT
The G20 summit that brought together major industrialised and emergent countries in Washington on 15 November 2008 is a dismal failure. The international financial crisis is deep indeed, stock markets lost close to 40% of their capitalisation in October 2008, financi...
Perils of Pakistan
GEORGE C. WILSON
President-elect Obama has committed himself to stepping up the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is not an overstatement to say that he will risk his whole presidency, and perhaps even unwittingly put nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists who might use ...
Drilling vs. Direct Democracy in Mexico
JOHN ROSS
Berta Robledo, a nurse at the National Pediatric Hospital here, was hunched over the counter at La Blanca, a popular old quarter restaurant, a magnifying glass in one hand, a dictionary in the other, and a print copy of a petroleum "reform" law pending in t...
Cheering for Morgan Stanley
CHELLIS GLENDINNING
It was September 23 — and Bear Stearns,  Lehman Brothers,  and A.I.G. had already tanked.  Morgan Stanley,  still holding on by bloodless knuckles,  had just been sold in bulk to Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Group.  That da...
Is Obama the Muslim World’s Superman?
WAJAHAT ALI
Muslims, both here and abroad, are investing their collective faith in Obama as a modern political Superman who will transform U.S. foreign policy from the abrasive “Us vs. Them” ideology of President Bush to an engaging, constructive dialogue. But as Oba...
When Mooning is a Sex Crime
MARC GARDNER
In 1993 JM turned around, dropped his trousers and told his sister-in-law to “kiss my black ass!” The younger sisters laughed, compounding the indignity. To make JM pay for this rude affront, the sister-in-law called the cops. He did three days in the cou...
Buying the Message on the Bottle
WENDY WILLIAMS
I remember when the name of the game at my gym was pump ’n’ swig. Weight lifters and treadmill sloggers routinely carried with their sweat towels expensive water in plastic bottles. Drinking commercial water was the cool thing. In 200...
Orchestrating a Civic Coup in Bolivia
ROGER BURBACH
Evo Morales is the latest democratically-elected Latin American president to be the target of a US plot to destabilize and overthrow his government. On September 10, 2008 Morales expelled US Ambassador Philip Goldberg because “he is conspiring against democracy...
Who Will Evict Israel from Lebanon?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Northwest of Ghajar Village, South Lebanon  "We, as Lebanese, are here to confirm that we cling to freeing every grain of our soil. We will not abandon the great national cause, which is the continuation of the liberation of our land. The...
The Ballot Heard Round the World
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
Bush will be gone. We could stop right there and last Tuesday’s election would be monumental for that reason alone.  We would all have very good cause to celebrate for that reason alone. Of course, there is a lot more, and it’s worth ta...
Where is Nader Country 2008?
STEVE CONN
Where is “Ralph Nader country?” We know that “Marlboro Country” is a lung cancer ward and “Countrywide” is a landscape of empty and boarded up homes as far as the eye can see, but where is Nader Country.? If I were presumptuous, I ...
Busted in Washington
MIKE WHITNEY
As expected, the G-20 Economic Summit in Washington turned out to be a total bust. None of the problems which have pushed the global economy to the brink of disaster were resolved and none of the main players who gamed the system with their toxic securities was held ...
Bailing Out the Automakers
DAVID MACARAY
Let’s put two things on the table immediately, two things which, while not exactly logical, are nonetheless meaningful.  If you’re looking for steel-trap logic or cold, bottom-line infallibility, you won’t find them here.  But if you&rsquo...
Dual Loyalties Will Doom Obama
RANNIE AMIRI
"Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he be? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House." - Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, father of Rahm Emanuel, predicting his son&r...
Bankers Shake Down Congress and the G-20
MICHAEL HUDSON
The financial press has been negligent in reporting how last week’s two top financial stories are linked: first, the testimony by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and his evasive Interim Assistant Secretary Neel Kashkari defending why they followed a completely...
Closing Guantánamo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
On Sunday, in his first television interview since winning the Presidential election, Barack Obama repeated his campaign pledge to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay and to ban the use of torture by U.S. forces. Speaking on ...
When It’s a Clear Day and You Can’t See GM
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
"The prospects of a government rescue for the foundering American automakers dwindled Thursday as Democratic Congressional leaders conceded that they would face potentially insurmountable Republican opposition,” reported the NY Times last Friday. Wo...
Sports Illustrated and Sexism
CHARLES MODIANO
POP QUIZ: Which of the following statements are true. In one single week Sports Illustrated (SI) has had: A) As many covers depicting women athletes as the last five years [1]. B) As many covers depicting African-American women athletes ...
The Real Goal of Israel’s Blockade of Gaza
JONATHAN COOK
The latest tightening of Israel’s chokehold on Gaza – ending all supplies into the Strip for more than a week – has produced immediate and shocking consequences for Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants. The refusal to allow in fuel has force...
Time to Give the Friends of Big Coal the Boot
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
It was such a blast watching the Berkeley Springs High School soccer team win the state championship in Beckley, West Virginia this weekend. The boys cranked it up and defeated Weir 8-6 on Friday and then cruised past Pocahontas County 5-2 on Saturday morning ...
Barricading the Border
JOSEPH NEVINS
and TIMOTHY DUNN On August 18, 1971, first lady Pat Nixon inaugurated Border Field State Park. Located in Imperial Beach, California, at the extreme southwest corner of the continental United States, the park is the site of the initial international borderline es...
Rahm Emanuel’s Political Pragmatism on Immigration
TOM BARRY
Obama’s selection of Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff signals that political pragmatism, not campaign promises to Latinos, may determine immigration policy in the new administration. It’s not that Congressman Emanuel (D-IL) is a foe of immigratio...
Vermont Against General Dynamics
BENJAMIN DANGL
On November 1st, in Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, one hundred activists gathered to protest against General Dynamics, a weapons manufacturer operating in the state. The diverse group of activists rallied in support of building a peace economy and movement beyon...
Transcending Race?
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Media commentary on the significance of an Obama Presidency remains relevant in light of America’s continued problems with racism.  What will Obama do to tackle questions racial bigotry that have so long haunted American politics?  Historian and progr...
The Obamas and the Million-Mutt March
KELLY OVERTON
Animal-loving Americans swooned on Election Night as President-elect Barack Obama, during his victory speech, promised his daughters a new puppy. I am hoping our next president brings change to our nation’s doghouses as well as the White House. American...
Cats, Dogs and Creationism
JEAN BRICMONT
  ...
Heading for the First Hundred Days
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Looking back over the record since FDR, the pattern is discernible: declare war on something, or at least kill people; put a woman in the cabinet. FDR: Day 1, declares war on fear; nominates Frances Perkins to be Secretary of Labor (the best we ever had)....
The Conservative Malaise
JACOB G. HORNBERGER
I suspect that the malaise that has afflicted the conservative movement is not simply due to the defeat of John McCain and Sarah Palin. I think that their despondency goes much deeper than an electoral defeat. My hunch is that their depression is much more owing to a...
The Center-Right Nation Con
LANCE SELFA
No matter how much social change takes place in the U.S., there always seems to be a well-paid cohort of Washington blowhards ready to declare that things really haven’t changed much. That’s because, they say, the U.S. is a "center-right"...
The State of the Israeli State and the Return of the Wandering Jew
LARRY PORTIS
Israel is the eye of an ethnic hurricane, sucking in fanaticized Jews thanks to its iniquitous “Law of Return” and spewing out its most sensitive souls in reaction to the racist culture engendered there. Amos Kollek is a director who c...
Paulson the Bungler
MIKE WHITNEY
Henry Paulson’s time at Treasury has been one pratfall after another. Even so, on Tuesday he managed to outdo himself. Paulson held a "surprise" press conference where he announced that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) wouldn̵...
The Myth of the Black/Gay Divide
SHERRY WOLF
In the wake of Barack Obama’s historic victory, a false and reactionary narrative has emerged that blames Black voters for the gay marriage ban that passed by a 52 to 48 percent margin in California. While Florida and Arizona also passed same-sex marriag...
How I Played Hooky from "High School Musical 3"
DAVID YEARSLEY
I have never refused an offer to go to the movies. My daughters wanted to see “High School Musical 3” last weekend, so I took them without protest. Anyway, I thought it would be a good reward, not to say antidote, to their morning labors at their ...
Nuke a Gay Whale for the Navy
ALLAN STELLAR
The Supreme Court ruled this week that the U.S. Navy has the right to slaughter marine mammals in training exercises off the coast of California. Score one for the Empire. A setback for the progeny of Arne Naess and the Deep Ecology movement. How sad. T...
Lifelines in Hard Times
SETH SANDRONSKY
Before the mid-2006 collapse of the home price bubble, it stimulated U.S. local and state economies. Private employers, small and large, expanded their payrolls. That growth increased U.S. workers’ earnings to purchase goods and services. Meanwhile, local ...
Zach is Back
LORENZO WOLFF
Zach De la Rocha and Jon Theodore have made an album that’s so good it hurts. In fact let me rephrase that. They’ve made an album that’s good enough to hurt. You can feel the pain and anger in every note, every sound, every breath. Sonically,...
The Eisenstadt Hoax
SHELDON RAMPTON
There is a minor controversy bouncing around right now on the internet, and I’d like to do what I can to set the story straight. The controversy involves two incidents: The day after the U.S. presidential election, Fox News reporter Carl Cameron gave a...
Secretary of Greed
PETER CERVANTES-GAUTSCHI
Appointing Larry Summers our Treasury secretary would be a grave mistake, and a slap in the face to Mexico and those who struggle for economic justice on both sides of the border. Summers, while serving as under secretary of the Treasury in 1995, engineered th...
Che Guevara Meets Trashman
RON JACOBS
Like many of my contemporaries, I grew up on comic books.  From the mainstream graphic fiction starring Billy Batson and Archie to the alternative realities of the Zap Comix universe and the Freak Brothers, those stories with pictures entertained me and enhanced...
How Clinton Doomed the Spotted Owl
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
RED STATE REBELS: Tales of Grassroots Resistance from the Heartland ...
Obama’s Brain Trust
MARY LYNN CRAMER
Last weekend, I searched the newspapers for a listing of all the economic advisors President-elect Obama had met with in Chicago the previous Friday. I wanted to see which ones, among the 21 chosen advisors, represented the economic needs and concerns of wage workers...
China’s Greatest Export
MOSHE ADLER
Anyone who is wondering why Chairman Ben Bernanke and Secretary Henry Paulson favor fantastically expensive bailouts of private firms instead of Keynesian policies of direct governmental investments in the public sphere–and why the economics profession has by a...
R.I.P.: the Experts, 1929-2008
SASAN FAYAZMANESH
A recent invitation to speak on the “cause or causes of the current financial crisis” made me reflect on another topic: “the cause or causes of the Great Depression.” To this day there is no consensus among economists as to what caused the sev...
Let the Trials Begin!
DOUGLAS VALENTINE
Amid the euphoria and angst of the Obama apotheosis, the unreality of a mismanaged, two trillion dollar, taxpayer funded bailout of freewheeling capitalists, and the wars of limbo in Iraq and Afghanistan, one little thing is being overlooked. George W Bush....
Why Mink are Cheering the Economic Crisis
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Americans may be buying their Christmas gifts at Oriental Trading this year and rationing household Kleenex but the fur industry thinks mink can be part of the recessionary tableau. "There is simply no room for purchasing frivolous pieces that will only b...