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 2008
Unheralded Coup
JAMES L. SECOR
Around the world, military regimes are arising as if it were the latest fad and every State is vying for Faddist of the Year. In all of these countries, when the military takes over, the populace rebels–and suffers horribly. No one knows exactly what these mili...
War Clouds Over Gaza
RANNIE AMIRI
“ … no one had been killed by the rocket barrages after the official end of the cease-fire [with Hamas]. This doesn’t mean the situation is possible to live with, but it appears the hysterical reaction by the public as a whole and polit...
A Christmas Message From the Bottom of the World
Cpt. PAUL WATSON
It is Christmas Eve down here off the coast of Antarctica and I can absolutely assure you that we are all having a very white Christmas. And it is a happy Christmas because there is no place else we would choose to be. Not only is it a white Chris...
The Medusa’s Head
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Conspiracism is raising its Medusa’s head again, her lethal visage wreathed with hissing absurdities, immobilizing judgement, melting intellect to pumice. Journalist Russ Baker suggests in a new book, ...
Cancerous Air
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
RED STATE REBELS: Tales of Grassroots Resistance from the Heartland ...
Government Without Laws
RALPH NADER
Over thirty years ago, a book came out titled How the Government Breaks the Law by Jethro K. L...
Changing the Ethnic Vocabulary
LARRY PORTIS
Between the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the creation of the United Jewish Agency in 1929, the evolution of political vocabulary in relation to ethnic groups in Palestine accompanied the emergence of an increasingly difficult geopolitical problem. At the t...
The Sole of Christmas
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Christians believe that Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” and that a central message of  Christmas is “on earth peace, good will toward men.”  (Luke 2:14).  In fact, belief in “Peace” permeates the Christian’s New...
What Were Those 1960s Terrorists Thinking, Anyway?
JUDY GUMBO ALBERT
We are forces of chaos and anarchy Everything they say we are, we are And we are very Proud of ourselves. –Jefferson Airplane, We Can Be Together This is the inside story of how my late husband Stew A...
Caution: Settlers Ahead
HANNAH MERMELSTEIN
"As a Jew, I was ashamed at the scenes of Jews opening fire atinnocent Arabs in Hebron. There is no other definition than the term‘pogrom’ to describe what I have seen." This quote from Israeli PrimeMinister Ehud Olmert came ju...
Venezuela and Cuba, 1960-2008
SAUL LANDAU
‘s Bush and Botox World with a Foreword by Gore Vidal Click Here to Order!...
Cold War Shivers
ERIC WALBERG
2008 will be remembered as a turning point in Russia’s relations with the West. It was a tumultuous year, with Kosovo, missiles in Europe and NATO’s seemingly relentless march eastward like thunderclouds gathering on Russia’s horizon, which finally ...
What Will Obama Do About Marijuana?
NORM KENT
“I inhaled frequently, that was the point.” –Barack Obama, November 2006 He picked for Vice President one of the major architects of the Drug War. He picked for Chief of St...
Torture, Slaughter and Lies
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
In September an Afghan journalist, Jawed Ahmad, was released from a US military prison in Afghanistan where his jailers " broke two of my ribs during the beatings." He worked for Canadian TV and the BBC, among other media outlets, and he had done nothing wr...
Tis the Season to be Jolly
STEPHEN MARTIN
Perhaps in time the so-called Dark Ages will be thought of as including our own. Georg C. Lichtenberg Giving a gift is an act sacrificial; enhancement of the self attained in the recognition of ‘other’ seen; way of ...
Five Bailout Lessons From Katrina
BILL QUIGLEY
The U.S. has committed nearly three trillion dollars to the financial bailout so far.  The Federal Reserve has made more than $2 trillion in emergency loans and another $700 million has been pledged through Congressional action.  Much more money is coming. ...
Evangelism and Politics
SAM SMITH
I was in the living room as the TV in the kitchen was playing a reprise of the campaign. I couldn’t hear the words too well, but as I listened to the cadence and tone of Barack Obama on the trail, it suddenly dawned on me why he and Rick Warren hit it off so we...
Where’s al-Zaidi’s Pulitzer?
JOHN ROSS
"Que Huevos!" ("What Balls!") grinned Don Juanito the tailor, sipping his tea across the counter and extolling the bravery of Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi reporter who gained instant hero status for hurling his shoes at U.S. president George Bush...
Obama’s Best Pick?
DAVID MACARAY
On Friday, December 19, President-Elect Obama made his fifteenth and final appointment to the cabinet.  In a move that was cheered by the AFL-CIO and greeted, predictably, with groans and whining from the business community, he chose Congresswoman Hilda Soils (D...
The Ponzi Paradigm
MICHAEL HUDSON
Last week the Good Lord evidently realized that not enough people had been reading Hyman Minsky’s explanation of how financial cycles end in Ponzi schemes – the stage in which banks keep the boom going by lending their customers the money to pay interest ...
Interior Decorating
BRIAN HOREJSI
What western lands management has suffered from over the last 20 plus years has been, in my view, a disastrous move toward consensus decision making. There is no known way – and this explains an awful lot of why western land management has moved in this directi...
India’s Reckless Road to Washington
VIJAY PRASHAD
On Thursday, November 27, in the middle of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, Imran Babar, one of the terrorists, called India TV from Nariman House. He used a cellphone that belonged to Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, the co-director of the Chabad-Lubavitch Center. The followin...
Ecuador’s Conscientious Default
NEIL WATKINS And SARAH ANDERSON
When the government of Ecuador failed to make a scheduled interest payment on private bonds this month, it was hardly the first time a country had defaulted in the middle of a financial crisis. In fact, it wasn’t even the first time for Ecuador. The small South...
The Tombstone Economy
MICHAEL YATES
My father took me to one movie, in 1957, when I was eleven years old. Our small town had two movie theaters then, the Roxy and the Ford, but we went to the State, in the larger town three miles north. This might seem not worth noting, but back then a trip to Kittanni...
Hey, Reagan Democrats!
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
Sometime in the future… “And now, ladies and gentlemen, if you’ll just follow me over in this direction, I’d like to show you one of our rarest and most reviled species here at The Human Zoo – it’s the proverbial ‘Reag...
The New York Times Flames Out in Defense Dogfight
CHUCK SPINNEY
The 21 Dec 2008 editorial in the New York Times, “How To Pay For A 21st-Century Military” purports to advocate tough-minded pragmatism to reform a Pentagon that is clearly out of control.  Yet its logic is really another example of the kind of hackne...
The Politics of Freedom
COREY D. B. WALKER
“There can and there must be a ‘political hegemony’ even before assuming government power, and in order to exercise political leadership or hegemony one must not count solely on the power and material force that is given by government.&r...
Madoff’s Money Trail Leads to Washington
PAM MARTENS
The forces of the universe sent us a corruption triple play the week of December 8th.  Just in case there were any slumbering souls still doubting the multi headed monster we need to slay to avoid becoming Rome, those benevolent forces assaulted our senses with ...
Where Would Larry Summers Dump the Guantanamo Mess?
STEVE CONN
Where to dump the Guantanamo mess? Thanks to Larry Summers, President Obama’s soon-to-be senior White House economic guru, I have an answer. Bring it to Point Roberts, Washington, our own Canadian Guantanamo. Summers has been famous for years in Progress...
More Pay is the Only Way
MIKE WHITNEY
Wages, wages, wages. It all gets down to wages. A strong, resilient economy, that can withstand the periodic buffeting of cyclical downturns, must be built on a rock-solid foundation of wages that keep pace with production. If wages stagnate, as they have ...
NASA at 50
KARL GROSSMAN
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been celebrating its 50th anniversary by doing what it does best: public relations puffery. In recent weeks, the agency issued a slick 215-page publication attributing success after success “benefitin...
Obama’s Team of Rivals
GARY LEUPP
With surprising haste and insensitivity, Barack Obama’s alienating the most serious, activist component of his political base. The blogosphere’s been seething in indignation for weeks. Chris Bowers, of the OpenLeft.com blog, calls Obama’s cabinet &l...
Spot the Difference
URI AVNERY
A MAN was asked about his sons. “I have three,” he said, “but one of them is a complete idiot.” “Which one?” they asked. “Take your pick,” he replied. In a 50 days, we shall vote for a new Knesset a...
Conor Cruise O’Brien, 1917-2008
NIALL MEEHAN
Conor Cruise O’Brien has died aged 91. He had a long career: in the Irish Civil Service in the 1940s; in the 1950s in the UN; in the Congo, the University of Ghana and New York University in the 1960s, He was elected an Irish opposition Labour TD in 196...
The Purloined Constitution
DAVID SWANSON
The wonderful thing about big lies is their kettle logic. The term, of  course, derives from the story of the man who offered several mutually  incompatible excuses for returning his friend’s kettle in damaged  condition: "It broke too easil...
Wyeth’s Pay-to-Play
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Illinois (Where Our Governors Make Our License Plates) Revelations of Wyeth’s pay-to-play, ghost-written articles in medical journals made public by Sen. Charles Grassley’s (R- Iowa) this week could not come at a worse time for the company. ...
Clothes and Commentaries That Don’t Fit
STAN COX
As they sink beneath the waves even faster than the rest of the economy, the nation’s print media are clinging to their remaining advertisers for dear life.  In the past month, I’ve seen firsthand the fear that newspapers have of losing advertising i...
The Baathist "Coup Plot"
PATRICK COCKBURN
...
Shock and Awe Economics
ALAN FARAGO
It was inevitable that the shock and awe we glimpsed for the past twenty years in the fast growing regions of the United States through an unsustainable boom in housing and construction would come to grief. It was born of hubris, and it continues through this day....
Country Without Mercy
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The Christmas season is a time to remember the unfortunate, among whom are those who have been wrongly convicted.   In the United States, the country with the largest prison population in the world, the number of wrongly convicted is very large. Hard...
Does Coldplay Give a Shit Anymore?
LORENZO WOLFF
The importance of any given artist is dependent on only one thing. You can chart their lasting effects, the people they influenced or the new techniques they pioneered, but when you get down to it all that matters is how much they care. Great artists give everything ...
Bach as Jihadi
DAVID YEARSLEY
Bach helped future marketers of his music immeasurably by choosing an auspicious year to die in. Long before the mammoth commemorations of cultural figures became standard practice, Bach expired in the summer of 1750, concerned about his own salvation and oblivious t...
Who’s Not Getting By and Why
SETH SANDRONSKY
A growing mass of people in California, where the housing bubble soared seemingly to the sky and then plunged rapidly to earth, are out of work and seeking employment due to the deepening downturn. According to the state Employment Development Department, there were ...
What Happened on the Way to the Inauguration?
TIMOTHY G. HERMACH
The transition to a new administration held promise of a change in leadership and direction for our foundering economy and deeply stupefied and polarized population. Running on a platform of hope and change, Barack Obama promised a new direction for America. Now, six...
The Auto Bailout
ROBERT WEISSMAN
Thank you, George Bush. The federal government is finally acting to protect the auto industry from failure. The $17.4 billion in loans for GM and Chrysler is not going to be enough to rescue the industry — but it will keep these companies going until the...
Milk and Twinkies
PAUL KRASSNER
In a recent Los Angeles Times Op-Ed piece about San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, Josh Getlin perpetuated a myth when he wrote that Dan White “shot the mayor four times, twice in the head as he lay on the floor of his private back office.  Standing astri...
Weekend at Bernie’s
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Put in a positive light, so as not to cast a pall over the joys of the Christmas season, Bernard L. Madoff should be viewed as someone who has expanded the consequences of one of the great new traditions of the holiday season to a group that never expected to share i...
Green Myopia
FELICE PACE
Several of the environmental movement’s deep problems were displayed during the December 18th edition of Democracy Now.  During the broadcast Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales conducted interview/debates on two Obama appointments which are critical to the envi...
"It’s Kristallnacht Two!" An Ethnic Cleansing in America
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Call any Jewish friend across the few days and the degrees of separation from someone financially devastated by Bernie Madoff are often only one or two. One rich Jewish friend in New York volunteers that because of some intricate family dispute his own money hadn&rsq...
All Quiet on the Gazan Shore
RANNIE AMIRI
“…a person who hears the voice of a man who calls the Muslims to his help but he does not respond to him, is not a Muslim.” - Prophet Muhammad Gaza is an island. Although located in the middle of the A...