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 December 2008
White House Lied About Iraqi Yellowcake Buy
DAVE LINDORFF
A new congressional report is belatedly confirming what many have long known: that the White House and in particular then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, lied to Congress in 2004 when he told them the Bush administration was not repeatedly warned by the CIA not...
Corporatizing the Kids
RICHARD RHAMES
“In Chicago … we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices: one of them (Barack Obama), a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has ...
By the Time I Get to Arizona
The Time I Get To Arizona
By GEORGE CICCIARELLO-MAHER Much has been eclipsed in the post-election euphoria, not least of which is the continuity of racist violence in the United States. The election of Barack Obama notwithstanding, the black population still bears the overwhelming brunt of...
The Pentagon’s PR Slush Fund
DIANE FARSETTA
There’s a telling email exchange quoted in the Defense Department Inspector General’s report on America Supports You (ASY), a Pentagon program launched in 2004, ostensibly to boost troop morale. Allison Barber, who founded and led ASY until her rec...
Not All Public Work is the Same
SAM SMITH
One of the things to keep in mind as we start pouring money into public works is that not all money spent on capital items has the same results. For example, a Humvee provides employment for the workers who build it and the community that benefits from their employme...
Cheney’s Unrepentent Confession
MARJORIE COHN
Dick Cheney has publicly confessed to ordering war crimes. Asked about waterboarding in an ABC News interview, Cheney replied, “I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared.” He also said he still believes waterbo...
Continuity We Can Believe In
MICHAEL DONNELLY
This is part mea culpa, so please indulge my quoting myself. Back on November 5th much of the country celebrated the end of an error and the election of the first non-white president. (We’ll get to “male” and “Christian” later – mu...
Excluded Democracy
RALPH NADER
Earlier this year, while speaking in Fargo, North Dakota, Colleen Donley brought her nine year old son, Adam, from Perham, Minnesota, to the gathering to complain about the curriculum materials on the presidential race produced by Scholastic Magazine. Adam wanted to ...
President Meathead
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
How did George Bush feel when he saw that smart-bomb, a size-ten shoe and, then, its mate, zero in on his face? I think I know. Because my senses have been assaulted repeatedly by Bush’s impoverished insight and developmentally-stunted language. ...
Extinct Lifestyles
ERIC BERGOUST
Many people think that America’s troubles in sectors like finance, auto, housing, education, health, timber, etc. are in a slump and that we need to work towards getting things back to how they used to be. However, as Einstein said, "We cannot solve our pr...
Salazar and the Tragedy of the Common Ground
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
RED STATE REBELS: Tales of Grassroots Resistance from the Heartland ...
Full-Spectrum Dominance of the Big Lie
STEPHEN MARTIN
‘Everything I say is a lie’ –The Cretan Paradox. It’s never good to take pleasure in the misfortune of others, especially when there are charities involved, and to that extent any decline in the mitigati...
Postcard from Venezuela
SAUL LANDAU
‘s Bush and Botox World with a Foreword by Gore Vidal Click Here to Order!...
What’s Next for the Fed?
PETER MORICI
The Federal Reserve has cut the federal funds rate and its short-term lending rate to banks to near zero, but those moves have done little to unlock credit markets. Conventional mortgage money and business loans remain too scarce, as regional banks, which are the art...
Another Shill for Monsanto
RONNIE CUMMINS
Yesterday’s announcement that former Iowa Governor, Tom Vilsack, has been selected as the new Secretary of Agriculture sent a chill through the sustainable food and farming community who have been lobbying for a champion in the new administration. "...
Days of Rage in Greece
PANOS PETROU
On the night of December 6, a special police squad in Athens murdered a 15-year-old student in cold blood in Exarchia, a neighborhood with a long tradition of activism among young people, the left and anarchists. This was only the latest instance of police bru...
The Man in the Hat
PHILLIP DOE
The first time I met Ken Salazar, the man Barack Obama has tapped as the next Secretary of Interior, he was the Attorney General for the state of Colorado.  That was in 1999 or thereabouts – well before he’d been told to glue that silly cowboy hat on...
Arne Duncan’s Privatization Agenda
JESSE SHARKEY
Teachers in Chicago are sorry to see that the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Arne Duncan, is getting a promotion. Barack Obama has selected Duncan to be his Education Secretary. In the past couple years, Duncan has been turning public schools over to...
Prosecuting Bush and Cheney for Torture
DAVE LINDORFF
A month before he takes office, it has become the conventional wisdom in our conventional media that Barack “No Drama” Obama will not seek or even allow any prosecution of Bush administration officials for crimes committed over the past eight years—...
The 2008 P.U.-litzer Prizes
JEFF COHEN And NORMAN SOLOMON
Now in their seventeenth year, the P.U.-litzer Prizes recognize some of the nation’s stinkiest media performances. As the judges for these annual awards, we do our best to identify the most deserving recipients of this unwelcome plaudit. And now, the P.U...
Angels and Demons in Mumbai
CONN HALLINAN
Two things emerge from last month’s horrendous attack on Mumbai: one is how interconnected South Asia is with the rest of the world. The other is how the Carter Administration’s ill-conceived strategy in Afghanistan more than 30 years ago still reverberat...
Waiting on a President to Do the Right Thing
RON JACOBS
We live in a nation where the media writes more about professional athletes taking drugs than they write about the country’s Vice-President admitting that he authorized and supports torture.  We also live in a nation where the latest escapades of a pop sta...
Obama Lights Up
NORM KENT
I will be damned. The President-Elect has a flaw and Tom Brokaw brought him out of the closet about it last Sunday on ‘Meet the Press.’  The issue has legs. It is taking off running. Noting that the White House was a no-smoking zone, T...
Obama and the Israel-Palestine Conflict
JEFF HALPER
Writing recently in The Washington Post ("Middle East Priorities," Nov. 21), Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, two former US National Security Advisors, a Republican and a Democrat, declared: "We believe that the Arab-Israeli peace process is on...
The Big Hole
PETER MORICI
The Commerce Department reported the third quarter current account deficit was $174.1 billion. This was caused largely by a $214.7 billion deficit on trade in goods. The current account is the broadest measure of the U.S. trade balance. In addition to trade i...
Pushing Pakistan Over the Edge
PETER LEE
The "Made in Pakistan" label is by now pretty firmly affixed to the Mumbai outrage. The most significant development in the story, however, has been the determined efforts by the United States, grudgingly supported by India and enthusiastically echoe...
The Price of Expediency
Col. DOUGLAS MacGREGOR
President-elect Barack Obama confronts stark choices in U.S. foreign and defense strategy. A fourth Indo-Pakistani war is brewing, and this time, both states have nuclear weapons. Given the determination to commit more conventional ground forces to Afghanistan, a nar...
Blacks and Gay Rights
MARGARET KIMBERLEY
The passage of a ban on gay marriage in California has unleashed a flurry of wrong headed and racist thinking about black heterosexual attitudes towards gay people. Proposition 8, which defined marriage as being lawful only between men and women, passed by a 52 to 48...
Bernanke’s Fatal Flaw
MIKE WHITNEY
Ever since the two Bear Stearns hedge funds defaulted 17 months ago triggering a global financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has been busy putting out one fire after another. Fed chief Ben Bernanke has slashed interest rates to .25 per cent, handed out billions in e...
The Audacity of Parkland
ALAN FARAGO
50 million barrels of oil are being parked in tankers sitting offshore, lacking buyers. Let’s call it: Parkland. But in Miami, Parkland is a name with another meaning. Parkland is a zoning application to move Miami-Dade’s abused Urban Development B...
Indian Muslims
WAJAHAT ALI And AHMED RASHID
Although the smoldering fires from the Mumbai attacks illuminate hateful violence, the spread of Islam in India came at the benevolent, inclusive hands of Sufi Muslims instead of the oppressive scimitar of the Mughal rulers. Personalities such as Moinuddin Chishti, a...
Left Control of Academia?
HOWARD LISNOFF
The issue of the influence of the left in the U.S. has come under sharp scrutiny by the right again.  It is the same infamous battle that gripped the U.S. during the infamous days of Joseph McCarthy. Higher education has borne much of the brunt in the culture wa...
The Order to Destroy has been Given
MATS SVENSSON
It is Wednesday afternoon on the 5th November. I woke up this morning and was happy. The man who repeatedly exclaimed “Change” and “Yes we can” had done the impossible, had proven that change is possible. Now seven hours have passed and I have...
Back to the Pump: an Economic and Environmental Dead End
THOMAS MICHAEL POWER
Oil prices continue their free-fall decline, closing at the end of last week close to $40 a barrel. Less than six months ago oil prices were pushing $150 a barrel and some were forecasting $200 a barrel before this year was over. After suffering under the burden of $...
A Forgotten Genocide
VICENTE NAVARRO
A social movement has been growing in Spain, breaking the 30-year pact of silence on the enormous atrocities and genocide carried out during and after the fascist coup led by General Franco. The coup took place in 1936 with the active support of the Catholic Church a...
Workplace Violence and Termination Etiquette
DAVID MACARAY
We’ve all read those tragic, terrifying accounts of employees who walk into their office or factory, pull out a gun and begin shooting people.  While they’re frequently portrayed as disgruntled, mentally unstable employees who’ve been recently ...
Mumbai Terror’s Afghan Roots
PAUL FITZGERALD And ELIZABETH GOULD
After early speculation that the recent Mumbai attacks were linked to Pakistan, a former U.S. Defense Department official now asserts that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) had a hand in training the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists. Earlier...
Straw Warriors and the Pantomime of Patriotism
FARZANA VERSEY
His spit had licked the envelope before sealing it and what he assumed to be my fate. This was several years ago. It was what we charmingly refer to as hate mail. He, a nameless person with no address, had camouflaged his handwriting in cunning ways. He was telling m...
Orangutans, Resistance and the Zoo
JASON HRIBAL
While bread and circuses might work on the human species, orangutans require a different combination of incentives. Their control lies in bananas and sex. Orangutans are almost helpless to such things. It’s instinct, don’t you know. Surely, if San Diego Z...
Each Shoe Was Worth a Thousand Words
PATRICK COCKBURN
...
What is India to Do?
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
Countries, like men and women, ingrain patterns of behavior. Over the past 20 years, numerous acts of terrorism on Indian soil (and not on Indian soil alone) can be traced back to Pakistan. This is a fact, and no amount of sophistry or legerdemain will wish t...
Why Pay-to-Play is Bad for Labor
STEVE EARLY
Reading about the involvement of SEIU International vice-president Tom Balanoff in wire-tapped conversations leading to the arrest of Rod Blagojevich on Dec. 9, I was struck by a related headline in last Friday’s N.Y. Times: “Union Is Caught Up ...
Land of the Free
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
There are some happenings that are surreal to the point of engendering total astonishment, and a recent official US pronouncement concerning human rights violations is a prime example. The statement about Uzbekistan by the State Department that “We are deeply d...
Sound Policy, Awful Execution
THOMAS CHRISTIE
After more than four decades of supposedly well-structured defense planning and programming, and numerous studies aimed at reforming its multibillion-dollar acquisition system, the Pentagon’s decision process governing the defense establishment is clearly broke...
The Artless Dodger
ALAN FARAGO
It wasn’t just a Size 10 shoe thrown at President Bush at his final press event in Baghdad, it was the coda to his presidency. An Iraqi television journalist insulted an American president with a pair of thrown shoes. Millions around the world cheered th...
Dr. Chu’s Nuclear Prescription
KARL GROSSMAN
The reaction from safe-energy advocates is mixed to the proposed appointment of Steven Chu as U.S. energy secretary by President-Elect Barak Obama. Mixed is a charitable response to the prospects of Chu being in charge of the U.S. Department of Energy. Althoug...
Hit Me Baby One More Time
ANDY WORTHINGTON
There’s an ambiguous undercurrent to the catchy pop smash that introduced a pig-tailed Britney Spears to the world in 1999 — so much so that Jive Records changed the song’s title to “… Baby One More Time” after executives feared t...
Remembering Ron Carey
KEN PAFF
I first met Ron Carey in the early 1980s. We always met at a diner in Queens, New York, where he would order his signature tuna sandwich. We discussed how reform of the Teamsters could be possible, and we were checking each other out, too. By 1984, Ron was re...
Why Hezbollah Stiffed Carter
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut Truth be told, this observer, along with one suspects plenty of others, was miffed at Hezbollah this past Wednesday morning. As I looked up at sunrise at Sammin Mountain above Beirut on the Western chain of Lebanon’s dramatic range to see ...
A Hero of Our Time: Muntadar al-Zaidi
DAVE LINDORFF
When Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi heaved his two shoes at the head of President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, he did something that the White House press corps should have done years ago. Al-Zaidi listened to Bush blather that the ...