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 January 2009
The Struggle of an Un-People
DINA JADALLAH-TASCHLER
Watching and reading the Western mainstream media coverage of the war in Gaza as well as the Palestinian question is frequently a source of never-ending frustration.  One must continuously suppress one’s outrage at the deceptive and convoluted framing of w...
Voices in the Mirror
STEPHEN MARTIN
‘Abu Ghraib, obviously, was a huge disappointment, during the Presidency. You know, not having weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment’ George W Bush, Last White House Press Conference, January 12 2009. ...
Katrina’s Endless Loop
KIM NICOLINI
If  Trouble the Water is playing in your town, please go see it. This documentary about Hurricane Katrina will blow you away on so many levels. It delivers an urgent and immediate view of what Hurricane Katrina was like for actual poor black people living in New...
Can Obama’s Shift on Terror Succeed?
J. MICHAEL COLE
But a few days in office and already US President Barack Obama has moved to undo some of the most nefarious monsters former president George W. Bush unleashed in his “war on terrorism.” This included, on Thursday, the signing of executive orders calling f...
The Freefalling Economy
P. SAINATH
When the applause dies down, the first African-American President of the United States will have to deal with things less cheerful than his Inaugural Ball. The US is losing close to 16,000 jobs a day on average. (That was 14,000 a day just a month ago.) It lost over ...
Return to Law?
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Finally! 2569 days after the prison at Guantánamo opened — but just two days into the new Presidency — Barack Obama signed three executive orders and a Presidential memorandum that mark a decisive break with the “War on Terror” policies...
Panning for Pyrite on a Cold Day at the Mall
RICHARD RHAMES
“The American way of life is not negotiable.” GHW Bush, 1992 “The American way of life is non-negotiable.” RB (“Dick”) Cheney, 2001 “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense…”...
In Israel, Detachment From Reality is the Norm
PATRICK COCKBURN
I was watching the superb animated documentary Waltz with Bashir about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It culminates in the massacre of some 1,700 Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in south Beirut by Christian militiamen introduced there by the ...
Jurassic Radio
LORENZO WOLFF
The stereo in my car has been slowly deteriorating. First the CD player, then the tape deck, now all I’m left with is the radio. I happened to be listening to Hot 97, the rap station in New York and they were doing a half hour of what they were calling throwback songs. ...
The Way Forward
DAVE LINDORFF
As someone who has spent nearly three frustrating years actively advocating the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their many crimes and abuses of power, I have to admit that not only did it not happen, but that the likelihood of ...
The Ghosts at Obama’s Side
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
So many ghosts crowded the inauguration dais that it’s not surprising Chief Justice Roberts flubbed his lines and had to be corrected by the man he was swearing in. Over there on the right! That jowly fellow with the 5 o’clock shadow and the long upsweepi...
The Aftermath of the War on Gaza
MOHAMMED ALI SHABANI
Five-thousand homes destroyed, more than 1300 killed, and thousands of injured – yet, Hamas is still in charge of the Gaza strip. If one follows mainstream media, which overall argue that Israel’s objective is/was to crush Hamas and free captive soldier G...
Breaking Gaza’s Will
RAMZY BAROUD
My three-year-old son Sammy walked into my room uninvited as I sorted through another batch of fresh photos from Gaza. I was looking for a specific image, one that would humanise Palestinians as living, breathing human beings, neither masked nor mutilated. Bu...
Here We Go Again
RAYMOND F. GUSTAVSON, Jr.
On January 21, 2009 the US Senate confirmed Retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as the seventh Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  At stake is a 284,000-employee organization that delivers care and financial benefits to millions of veterans and survivors.  The e...
The Music That Wasn’t There
DAVID YEARSLEY
Obama became President during one of the most preposterous musical events in history. It’s not that the music itself was terrible. One expects mediocrity at massed spectacles of this sort. It was the idea that was so utterly implausible: open air chamber music ...
The Problem with the Stimulus
ALAN FARAGO
Doom and gloom is everywhere. We now see what happens when the productive capacity of a nation is propelled by ever widening wheels of debt, tied not to strength of assets but to derivatives of debt. Now comes the question, what to do. First, be realistic. Sec...
Meeting Cristina
FIDEL CASTRO
We talked for 40 minutes. It was an intense and interesting dialogue; just as I expected. Cristina Fernandez is a person of deep convictions. There was no debate. When she spoke at the Auditorium of the University of Havana, she was quick to answer the student...
Bolivia Poised for Historic Vote
BENJAMIN DANGL
Dozens of marches and rallies in support of Bolivia’s new constitution, to be voted on this Sunday, have filled the streets of the La Paz in recent days. On Tuesday, at a rally for the constitution and to celebrate Venezuela’s donation of 300 tons of asph...
Halting the Gitmo Trials
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Two separate universes were in evidence on Tuesday. In the world of Barack Obama, the sense of change, the optimism and the intelligence were palpable, as two million Americans from every part of the United States — and numerous visitors from around the world &...
The Democrats on Israel
ADRIANA KOJEVE
"Israel continues to show admirable restraint in dealing with her hostile neighbors, even in the face of increasing rocket attacks, kidnappings, and threats to her people.  I support her actions in defense of her people, and I pray for a swift and just conc...
The First MBA Presidency and the Business Academy
JOSEPH G. DAVIS
This week marked the end of the first MBA Presidency in US history.  Not any MBA, a Harvard MBA to boot.  While it is unlikely that Harvard Business School would deem George Bush as one of its shining stars, the fact remains that he walked the corridors of ...
How to Fix the Banks
PETER MORICI
For every new president, campaign promises and inaugural idealism must give way to the hard choices that measure the mettle of their leadership. Now Barack Obama must act pragmatically to fix the banks or the economy will sink under their weight....
Worse Than an Earthquake
KATHY KELLY
Rafah, Gaza. Traffic on Sea Street, a major thoroughfare alongside Gaza’s coastline, includes horses, donkeys pulling carts, cyclists, pedestrians, trucks and cars, mostly older models. Overhead, in stark contrast to the street below, Israel’s ult...
Another Real Estate Crisis is About to Hit
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
For a picture of the US real estate crisis, imagine New Orleans wrecked by Hurricane Katrina, and before the waters even begin to recede, a second Katrina hits. The 1,120,000 lost US retail jobs in 2008 are a signal that the second stage of the real estate bus...
US Intel Nominee Lied About Church Murders
ALLAN NAIRN
On the eve of his Senate confirmation hearing (due for 10am, Thurs. Jan 22), new information has emerged showing that Adm. Dennis Blair — President Obama’s nominee for US Director of National Intelligence — lied about his knowledge of a...
Investing with Madoff
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
Click here to read Part One. Click here to read Part Two. The SEC’s failure to investigate and put an end to Madoff’s crime, its announcing in 1992 that there ...
The Peaceful Transfer of Violent Power
SHELDON RICHMAN
At the risk of raining on the parade, I suggest that the inaugural festivities were not what they appeared. Barack Obama says the pomp and circumstance were not about him but were a celebration of democracy. “For the forty-third time, we will execute the peacef...
Killer in Chief
ALLAN NAIRN
Barack Obama said during this campaign — speaking of a notional US president — that he should be able to do more than one thing at a time, which is sound advice for any person. As Americans today justly celebrate their sweet win over the country...
Obama and the Muslims
WAJAHAT ALI
is a Muslim American of Pakistani descent. He is a playwright, essayist, humorist and Attorney at Law, whose work, “Th...
Investing with Madoff
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
Click here to read Part One of Investing with Madoff. Over the years since 1995, Madoff, as often said in the media these days, made steady annual returns — on which one paid ordinary income taxes, not capital gains tax...
Abolition
DAVID Kεr THOMSON
Canadians are always so surprised when someone doesn’t like them. “Kandahar blast kills decorated soldier,” says the Star headline truculently. Like, because his handbag matches his Uggs, he should have been okay. Well, we live in interesti...
In My Own Bones
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. On the third day of the Israeli genocide in Gaza my lower back began to knot up and throb. The pain grew sharper as the bombings continued. By the end of the first week, I was so hunched over that each step was a via cruces. I did not have to ho...
Starting Over in Gaza
AUDREY STEWART
Toffah, Gaza. Yesterday morning I visited Toffah, a small farming area about one mile from the Israeli border.  Because it sits atop a hill, it so was prime land for Israeli surveillance during the invasion.  Mohammed, a university student, agreed t...
Ready. Aim. Organize.
MICHAEL COLBY
Oh America, you celebrate better than most. But why must you always celebrate with your blinders on? Why must you celebrate the end to the “race wars” with a nasty kick at the queers? Why must you speak of toil while keeping the toilers at bay? I&r...
Buying the President
BINOY KAMPMARK
Utopias have a habit of tumbling down in the long run, falling foul of brutal realities and nasty predicaments.  In the short-run, they resonate with a pop-like glow, mesmerizing crowds narcotized on slogans and promises.  Regarding the inauguration of the ...
Understanding Gaza
GABRIEL KOLKO
How will history describe the Israeli war against the Palestinians in Gaza? Another Holocaust, this time perpetrated by the descendants of the victims? An election ploy by ambitious Israeli politicians to win votes in the February 10 elections? A test range for new A...
Obama’s Work Ethic
HARRY BROWNE
It wasn’t a very good speech. Even his brother-in-law yawned. The oration’s first problem was accidental: how he must have regretted opening with a reference to all the men who have said the Oath of Office, given that (ouch) his own oath had just ...
SAG Watches It All Slip Away
DAVID MACARAY
While American labor unions are having their usual rough time of it (not to mention the additional burden of having weathered eight brutal years of Elaine Chao as Secretary of Labor), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is facing not only potential defeat in the form of ge...
The Strongest Weapon of All
KATHY KELLY
Gaza City. Dr. Atallah Tarazi, a General Surgeon at Gaza City’s Shifaa Hospital, invited us to meet him in his home, in Gaza City, just a few blocks away from the Shifaa Hospital.   Early this morning, he and his family returned to the...
Israel’s Doctrine of Destruction
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. In the last days before Israel imposed a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza to avoid embarrassing the incoming Obama administration, it upped its assault, driving troops deeper into Gaza City, intensifying its artillery bombardment and creating thousands m...
Hosing Obama Israeli Style
CHUCK SPINNEY
The last time the US restrained Israel in its never-ending wars of aggression was when President Eisenhower pulled the plug on the Anglo-French-Israeli effort to grab the Suez Canal in 1956. Since then, we have not even chastised Israel when its actions hurt ...
A Citizen’s Oath of Office
ROBERT JENSEN
Eight long years ago at a counter-inaugural event in Austin, TX, I administered a “Citizen’s Oath of Office” to the people who had come together on the steps of the state Capitol to challenge the legitimacy of the incoming Bush administration and it...
Why I am in Gaza
AUDREY STEWART
Lots of people have asked me why I chose to leave my children and travel to Gaza in the middle of a war.  If you knew three year old Omar it might be easier to understand.   Omar is the youngest child in the family of Abu Yusif, one of our host...
The EU, Gaza and the Lisbon Treaty
RAYMOND DEANE
The increasingly forceful tone of statements critical of Israel issuing from certain European Union governments during the current Gaza crisis, plus the news that Israel has decided to send ministers on a tour of six insufficiently docile European countries as a kind...
Inauguration Ad Nauseum
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
The American presidency in its outward show and innermost tendency has since World War II increasingly shown all the markings of monarchy. The president is hovered over and catered to by hundreds of aids and sycophants, his every whim answered at notice. He enjoys a ...
State Terrorism Against Gaza
RALPH NADER
In the long sixty-year tortured history of the Palestinian expulsion from their lands, Congress has maintained that it is always the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, and now Hamas who are to blame for all hostilities and their consequences with the Israeli go...
A Ten-Point Solar Agenda
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Amidst the ecstasy of the Obama Inauguration, there lurks great danger. Merely with his swearing in, our nation has broken an epic racial barrier. We are losing our worst president and getting one who was actually elected. But the promise of change is...
This Land Really is Made for You and Me
DAVE LINDORFF
Maybe symbolism is just symbolism, but the optimist in me says that Barack Obama’s invitation to former Communist and life-long political activist Pete Seeger (along with Bruce Springstein and 89-year-old Pete’s full-throated grandson Tao) to sing Woody G...
Time for a New Divestment Campaign
KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY
Barack Obama’s inauguration coming as we celebrate of Martin Luther King Day predictably draws linkages between the two. Many use Obama’s election to claim a realization of the “dream.” Others mumble something about a post-racial America. I su...
What Obama Left Out of His Economic Recovery Plan
MIKE WHITNEY
Barack Obama and Co. are planning to launch their own version of economic "shock and awe" in the opening weeks of the new administration. Aside from the $825 billion stimulus package, which will be used to create 3 million new jobs and make up for flagging ...