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 End of Property Porn
ADITYA CHAKRABORTTY
London. At the start of this century, a new race took over British television. They didn’t look so different from the people in whose living rooms they took up residence: they had the same receding hairlines and weight issues. But they had one apparently...
Conyers Explains Why He Didn’t Push Impeachment
DAVID SWANSON
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has released a lengthy new report that updates his previous report originally released in 2005 documenting Bush and Cheney’s crimes and impeachable offenses. The new report recommends that the Attorney General app...
Why the Stimulus Alone Won’t Work
MIKE WHITNEY
There’s no guarantee that Obama’s stimulus package will work, but there is growing consensus that something has to be done…and fast! The economy is contracting faster than anytime since the 1930s. Unemployment is soaring, consumer spending is plumme...
Fragile: Handle with Risperdal
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The email did not beat around the bush. "The rationale of this center," wrote Christine Cote, VP of Janssen’s Medical Affairs about the planned MGH-Johnson & Johnson Center for the Study of Pediatric Psychopathology at Massachusetts General...
Killing Children With Impunity
HENRY A. GIROUX
The unsettling and deeply disturbing images of children in Gaza mutilated, bleeding, and dead evoke similar images from our collective memory.  One such image is that of Emmett Till, whose body arrived home in Chicago in September 1955. White racists in Mississi...
The Humiliation of America
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
“Early Friday morning the secretary of state was considering bringing the cease-fire resolution to a UNSC vote and we didn’t want her to vote for it,” Olmert said. “I said ‘get President Bush on the phone.’ They tried a...
An Obama Nightmare
SAUL LANDAU
My wish for Obama’s New Year’s resolutions: Lose the empire! Stop giving military aid and special treatment to Israel; demand Israel behave responsibly under international laws; get out of Iraq and Afghanistan — quickly. Yes, Obama has repeat...
No Other Option?
SAM BAHOUR
Iwatch in shock, like the rest of the world, at the appalling death and destruction being wrought on Gaza by Israel; and still it does not stop. Meanwhile, we see a seemingly never-ending army of well-prepared Israeli war propagandists, some Israeli government offici...
The Facts About Hamas and the War on Gaza
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
The record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point—and now I’m quoting the official I...
Cuba and the Obama Administration
ROBERT SANDELS
The incoming Obama administration is being bombarded with suggestions on how to deal with Cuba.  In the main, they favor relaxing or ending the blockade (embargo) and travel ban.  The principal argument is that trade and diplomatic relations will nudge Cuba...
Hamas and Gaza
MICHAEL NEUMANN
This time, Americans disgusted with Israeli’s treatment of the Palestinians are not an isolated few. Even among American Jews, the outrage is palpable, and the trickle of condemnation has become a deluge. Some polls indicate that almost as many American join in...
No Victors in the War on Dissent
COLEEN ROWLEY And WILLIAM JAMES COX
Among the wars currently being fought by the American government is one in which there can be no winners. Our prior law enforcement experiences warn us that the “war on terrorism” has spawned an internal “war on dissent” in which everyone lose...
Eating Away at the Land That Feeds Us
ROBIN MITTENTHAL
I recently brought a cake to a friend’s party, and several people asked me if I had made it from scratch, which I had. In an age dominated by manufactured, pre-prepared foods, the ability to make a cake from raw ingredients seems to inspire awe in some folks....
Is Israel Using Experimental Weapons in Gaza?
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. Concerns about Israel’s use of non-conventional and experimental weapons in the Gaza Strip are growing, with evasive comments from spokesmen and reluctance to allow independent journalists inside the tiny enclave only fuelling speculation. ...
What to Ask Eric Holder
DAVID SWANSON
On Thursday, January 15, at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Eric Holder. If the senators are willing to work together and to listen to those of us who elected them, the questioning might go som...
Waltzing with War Crimes
WAJAHAT ALI
Waltz with Bashir, an autobiographical “animated documentary” from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman, examines the repressed memory and guilt of an IDF soldier’s participation in the horrific 1982 Sabra and Shatila Massacre of Palestinian refugees, while...
Why It’s Useless to Lobby Congress on Gaza
STANLEY HELLER
The U.S.A. is reportedly a democracy. It just had an election so Congress candidates made some effort to take the public pulse. And there are the polls. The Rasmussen poll on Dec. 31 reported that only a bare plurality of Americans supported Israel’s all out wa...
Beyond Grief and Rage
ROBERT JENSEN
We need to analyze and strategize about political realities, but let’s begin with an emotional reality: For the past few weeks the scenes from Gaza have been driving many of us mad. For all the horrors in the world, there has been something especially b...
Israel Ponders the Third Stage
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. As Israel rejected the terms of the proposed United Nations ceasefire at the weekend, Israeli military analysts were speculating on the nature of the next stage of the attack on Gaza, or the “third phase” of the fighting as it is being re...
The Ceasefire in Gaza
EWA JASIEWICZ
Beit Hanoun and Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip. Last night was a quiet one in Jabaliya. ‘Only’ six homes bombed into the ground, the Market, again, maybe four lightly injured people – shrapnel to the face injuries – and no martyrs. Beit Han...
A Day in Gaza
BILL QUIGLEY
Rafah, Egypt. Tiny jets, the size of rice, cross-stitch the blue skies over the streets of Gaza.   Surveillance blimps hover like the Super Bowl.  The people below, one and a half million of them, huddle in close homes without electricity or wa...
The Blood-Stained Monster Enters Gaza
URI AVNERY
Nearly seventy ago, in the course of World War II, a heinous crime was committed in the city of Leningrad. For more than a thousand days, a gang of extremists called “the Red Army” held the millions of the town’s inhabitants hostage and provoked ret...
Oakland on Fire
KARA N. TINA
"I’m sorry my car was burned but the issue is very upsetting." -Ken Epstein, assistant editor of the Oakland Post, who was finishing an article about Grant’s death, watched from the 12th story of his office at 14th and Frankli...
Israel’s Moral and Political Insanity
MIKE WHITNEY
Apart from the slaughter of 900 Palestinians and the vast destruction from 14 days of aerial bombardment, the Israeli invasion of Gaza has failed to achieve any of its strategic objectives. The Palestinian resistance is still intact, the rocket-fire has continued, an...
Blowback From a Tragic Error
BILL And KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
Your unwillingness before inauguration to say anything substantive about Gaza in public is in our opinion a tragic error. Specifically, your failure to censure Israel for refusing to accept immediately the U.N.’s ceasefire resolution on Gaza will severely and v...
Russell Means Breaks the Silence on Obama
BRENDA NORRELL
American Indian activist Russell Means said President-elect Obama was selected by the colonial powers as president to improve the US image globally in the aftermath of George Bush. Further, Means said Obama’s appointments show that he is a Zionist controlled by...
From Vietnam to Gaza
DAVE LINDORFF
As we hear the horrifying and sickening reports of the atrocities in Gaza by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), and as ardent Israel backers predictably justify each one or contest the facts it’s worth reading a new book ("...
A Plea From a Teen in Gaza
NOUR KHARMA
Today, it is the two weeks of this horrible war. Last Saturday was the worst day of all. When I woke up in the morning one of my friends called. His voice sounded strange when I asked, “How are you?” He answered “Fine, but have you heard any n...
Our Collapsing Economy
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment declined by 3,445,000 from December 2007 through December 2008. The collapse in employment is across the board.   Construction lost 520,000 jobs.  Manufacturing lost 806...
Seven Years of Guantánamo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Seven years ago, on January 11, 2002, when photos of the first orange-clad detainees to arrive at a hastily-erected prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba were made available to the world’s press, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld reacted to the widespread uproa...
The Dying Days of the Guantánamo Trials
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Since the last blowout at Guantánamo on De...
Nature Conservancy Backs Schwarzenegger’s Big Ditch
DAN BACHER
The Nature Conservancy, a group infamous in conservation circles for trading environmental principles for the acquisition of land throughout the world, on Wednesday joined Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign to build a peripheral canal to divert water fro...
The American Peace Movement and Israel
CATHERINE FENTON
As the local peace group I belong to begins to stumble on the question of Israel’s invasion of Gaza, I happen to be reading Rick Perlstein’s "...
Oakland’s Not for Burning?
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
Oakland. In 1968, Amory Bradford penned a volume entitled Oakland’s Not For Burning, documenting the tinderbox that the city had become, and the lamenting the inevitability with which it would explode. But the assertion contained in the book’s titl...
Move Fast to Restore the Rule of Law
RALPH NADER
Dear President-Elect Obama: You have been receiving a great deal of advice since November 4, 2008 from people and groups who either want you to advance policies not covered in your campaign or who want you to be more specific about initiatives you emphasized....
The Torturer-Elect?
STEVE HENDRICKS
Two months ago we denied the presidency to a man who, for a few votes, forsook a long opposition to torture and pledged his America would continue the barbarity. This month we evict from the White House its resident torturer. These are victories worth celebrating, bu...
Revisiting the Tale of Samson
GARY LEUPP
Only one Bible story takes place in Gaza. So now, when our thoughts are focused on that tragic place, let’s revisit it: the story of Samson. The Bible readers among you will know that the story appears in the Book of Judges, and that Samson is the last l...
Why Greek Youths Took to the Streets
VALIA KAIMAKI
The veteran Greek politician Leonidas Kyrkos, now in his eighties, is an iconic figure of the Greek left. He told me what he’d like to say to the young people out on the streets: “Welcome to social struggle, my friends. Now you must take care of yourself ...
The Rationale of Scorched Earth Policy in Economic Warfare
STEPHEN MARTIN
And I thought: My God … the genius of that. The genius.  The will to do that.  Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline;  pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monste...
What They Sing About When They Sing About Love
LORENZO WOLFF
Bands never get sick of talking about love. After more than a century of recorded music (and live music for millennia before that) you’d think that the subject would be exhausted, but bands like Paulson keep searching for new perspectives and mining new sentime...
A Music School Silenced in Gaza
NADIA HIJAB
There was a music school in Gaza. It was just six months old. The 31 children aged seven to 11 could choose one of five instruments, including the guitar, oud (lute), and piano. Most of the 19 girls gravitated to the guitar and piano while many of the 12 boys showed ...
Doctors Stopped at the Border
BILL QUIGLEY
Rafah, Egypt. Dr. Nicolas Doussis-Rassias and many other volunteer doctors have been waiting in Rafah, Egypt for days. Nicolas and the other physicians came to Rafah to go through the border into Gaza to help the 3000 people wounded by Israeli bombs and heavy...
Can Chemicals be Regulated?
PETER MONTAGUE
In the past 20 years, four new discoveries have completely changed our understanding of chemical hazards. 1. Many chemicals can interfere with the hormone system Beginning roughly 80 years ago, scientific studies started showing that some chemicals can ...
Haiti’s Gas Gang
RICHARD MORSE
The streets of Port-au-Prince are empty. Public transportation is at a trickle. Students aren’t going to school. The economy of Port-au-Prince has come to a grinding halt. Haiti’s biggest gang, the Gang of Eleven, has struck. In essence, they’re say...
Drowning in a Toxic River
MIKE ROSELLE
The news traveled quickly up and down the Coal River Valley. The morning of December 22nd, a dam holding back an ash pond burst at the Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant in east Tennessee and covered 400 acres twenty feet deep in toxic coal ash. Heavy rains were continuing t...
Gaza: History Matters
ELAINE C. HAGOPIAN
Mohammed, age six, marched with determination to his bedroom, put on a record of the Fatah marching song, picked up a wooden toy rifle and marched out to the balcony.  He pointed the rifle to the sky where minutes ago, Israeli planes flew over droppi...
Tunnel Vision
KATHY KELLY
Arish, Egypt. As I write, we can hear the dull thud of explosions in the distance. Israeli airstrikes continue to blast targets in southern Gaza. Merciless bombing of the small Gaza Strip continues into a third week. I heard some people here in Egypt wonder i...
Livni’s Big Lie
RANNIE AMIRI
“There is no humanitarian crisis in the [Gaza] Strip.” - Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, 1 January 2009. In 1925, Adolf Hitler, writing in Mein Kampf, defined ‘The Big Lie’. He called it a lie so e...
In the Jaws of a Depression
PETER MORICI
Today, the Labor Department reported the economy lost 524,000 payroll jobs in December and 1.3 million jobs in the fourth quarter. The economy is the jaws of a depression. The economy has shed 2.6 million jobs since December 2008, as the full weight of the ba...
The Horror, the Horror
CHARLES R. LARSON
It takes a bold writer to tackle a hackneyed theme and repackage it in fresh wrappings so that the most jaded reader finds the story imaginative.  For the most part, Kira Salak is that writer, giving us a contemporary version of Joseph Conrad’s classic Hea...