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 February 2009
Napolitano’s Hard Line
TOM BARRY
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano shows few signs of reining in the immigrant crackdown launched by her predecessor Michael Chertoff. She recently called for "more boots on the ground" along the border and touted her determination to promote the ...
Rush to the Rescue
JAMES McENTEER
"The Obama regime has shown itself incapable of taking the necessary bold steps to end the economic catastrophe that began with Clinton-era liberal malfeasance. We’re beyond bailouts and other rearguard efforts. This is not the Great Depression. It is the ...
Did the US Learn Anything in Iraq?
PATRICK COCKBURN
President Obama is likely to announce in the coming days that he will withdraw all US combat troops from Iraq by August 2010. Many of these soldiers will end up in Afghanistan where the Taliban is getting stronger and the US-backed government weaker by the day. How m...
Obama’s Address to Congress
DAVE LINDORFF
Barack Obama’s first address to Congress provided Americans with yet another example of competent speechmaking, and I suppose, given that we’ve just endured eight painful years of oratorical farce, being able to listen to your president without wincing is...
The Geithner Put
MIKE WHITNEY
Timothy Geithner is putting the finishing touches on a plan that will dump $1 trillion of toxic assets onto the US taxpayer.  The plan, which goes by the opaque moniker the "Public-Private Investment Fund" (PPIF), is designed to provide lavish incentiv...
"Make Bono Pay Tax"
EAMONN McCANN
The most eye-catching placard on a 120,000-strong march in Dublin last Saturday against the Irish government’s austerity response to the tottering of the capitalist system was held aloft by a scrawny teenager with the look of a music-lover about him, reading &l...
Israel’s Military Mephistopheles
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. It is not entirely surprising that Amos Gilad, an Israeli general who once sued his own government for “irreversible mental damage” caused by his role in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, has publicly courted controversy again. On Mon...
The Enemies of Unions and the Lies They Tell
ADAM TURL
Within days of receiving $25 billion in federal bailout money–paid for with your tax dollars–Bank of America hosted a conference call of corporate executives and conservatives to strategize about how to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). C...
Obama’s Excellent Atomic Omission
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Two lethal words went thankfully unspoken in President Obama’s address to the nation this week—atomic energy. Unfortunately, two others—"clean coal"—were included. An increasingly desperate reactor industry just tried...
When People are Fired Illegally
DAVID MACARAY
Who believes that a 55-year old job applicant has the same chance of being hired as a 25-year old?  Even though it’s a violation of federal age discrimination statutes to deny a job solely on the basis of age, who honestly believes it never happens? ...
Eric Holder and the Whitewashing of Racism
TIM WISE
It was all too predictable that Attorney General Eric Holder would be attacked for his recent remarks about race in America. To suggest that the nation is still haunted by the specter of racism is unacceptable it seems, especially since, with the election of Presiden...
The Water Line
DENNIS LOO
Part 3 of a three-part series. Obama has ridden a great wave of hope and expectation into office fueled by a desire by millions to see a radical departure from what Bush and Cheney have been, done and represent. What Bush and Cheney did and personify has been ...
Obama’s Non-Withdrawal Withdrawal Plan
CHRIS FLOYD
It would be superfluous in us to point out that a plan to "end" a war which includes the continued garrisoning of up to 50,000 troops in a hostile land is, in reality, a continuation of that war, not its cessation. To produce such a plan and claim that it &...
The First Waltz
NADIA HIJAB
Watching Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir inevitably reminded me of Eran Riklis’ Cup Final, also an Israeli film about its 1982 invasion of Lebanon. When Cup Final came out in 1992, it made me think that a common future for Israelis and Palestinians ...
It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over
RON JACOBS
As Barack Obama’s troop escalation begins in Afghanistan and talking heads debate how many more troops the US should send, the leadership of what was once the largest antiwar organization (UFPJ) in the United States rejected a call for a unified antiwar protest...
Neoliberals Do The Amazon
RACHEL GODFREY WOOD
Ever since its opening to the double edged sword known as “development,” debates over the Amazon rainforest repeatedly have degraded into an international tragi-comedy of hypocrisy and shirked responsibilities. Development’s fate, in reality, has be...
Afghanistan: Chaos Central
CHRIS SANDS
As the summer of 2005 began its slow fade into autumn, a piece of newspaper wrapped around a kebab said Osama bin Laden had moved to Iraq. It seemed everyone had forgotten there was a war on here. American soldiers used those remaining days of sunshine to buy carpets...
Teacher and Student
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
In the old days there was a certain protocol to rural correspondence in India, owed almost certainly to the fact that many villagers, illiterate themselves, would have a professional letter-writer write their letters for them. Every communication, whether conveying t...
Israel in 1948
M. SHAHID ALAM
“The Achilles’ heel of the Arab coalition is Lebanon. Muslim supremacy in this country is artificial and can easily be overthrown. A Christian State ought to be set up there, with its southern frontier on the river Litani. We sho...
Wall Street and Bernanke
DAVE LINDORFF
Free market aficionados, particularly in the media, have long been wont to tell us that the "market knows best." That was always the line when progressives (remember when there used to be progressives in government?) would come up with some do-good scheme l...
The Slow Pullout Method
NORMAN SOLOMON
Hours after President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, the New York Times printed the news that he plans to gradually withdraw “American combat forces” from Iraq during the next 18 months. The newspaper reported that the advantages of ...
Biofuels: Promise or Threat?
RACHEL SMOLKER And BRIAN TOKAR
In the coming weeks, the Obama administration is expected to release its plans to address the dual problems of global climate disruption and excessive dependence on foreign oil. Meanwhile, in the background, the debate among environmentalists over biofuels and their ...
The Oscar for Denial
JAMES McENTEER
Kate Winslet’s Academy Award for Best Actress in The Reader surely disappointed and outraged Ron Rosenbaum.  Amid the torrent of nonsense glutting U.S. media since the movie award nominations were announced, Rosenbaum’s objections to The Reader were ...
The Man Who Shouldn’t be King (of Afghanistan)
PAUL FITZERGALD And ELIZABETH GOULD
It was hoped that t he election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States would bring a change of course to the beleaguered US effort in Afghanistan. But word that representatives of the Taliban and the infamous Afghan drug trafficker and extremist Gulbu...
Who is Binyam Mohamed?
ANDY WORTHINGTON
As British resident Binyam Mohamed stepped off a plane at RAF Northolt on Monday February 23, six years and ten months since he was first abducted by the Pakistani authorities at Karachi airport, it was impossible not to sympathize with the words written in ...
The Only Palestinian Woman in Israel’s Parliament
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. When Israel’s 18th parliament opened today, there was only one Arab woman among its intake of legislators. Haneen Zoubi has made history: although she is not the first Arab woman to enter the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, she is the ...
Biofuels: Promise or Threat?
RACHEL SMOLKER And BRIAN TOKAR
In the coming weeks, the Obama administration is expected to release its plans to address the dual problems of global climate disruption and excessive dependence on foreign oil. Meanwhile, in the background, the debate among environmentalists over biofuels and their ...
Is Nationalization Inevitable?
PETER MORICI
The Obama Administration is on track to nationalize the nation’s largest banks, unless it alters policy and creates a Bad Bank to absorb commercial banks’ mortgage-backed securities. The housing market and banks are caught in a vicious cycle. ...
How Judges Disgrace the Bench
NORM KENT
All across this country, from small counties to large cities, judges are being exposed as every bit as corruptible as the public they preside over. They are frail. They are weak. They are foolish. They are human. There are 800,000 stories in the Naked City. These are...
Crisis Creates Hope for Reality
BRIAN HOREJSI
The winds of change have been blowing ever stronger in North America since that exceptional day in November of 2008 when Barack Obama became president of the US. The appearance of this man on the world scene has empowered millions of informed and progressive people a...
Coalition Theory
URI AVNERY
"ACTA ALEA EST” – the die is cast – said Julius Caesar and crossed the River Rubicon on his way to conquer Rome. That was the end of Roman democracy. We don’t have a Julius Caesar. But we do have an Avigdor Liberman. When he announ...
The Water Line
DENNIS LOO
No mass sentiment, no matter how widespread and strongly felt, can find concrete and effective expression unless it is organized, focused and led. People who blame the American people for their apathy and conclude that the public is principally (or wholly) at fault f...
How the Economy was Lost
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The American economy has gone away. It is not coming back until free trade myths are buried six feet under. America’s 20th century economic success was based on two things. Free trade was not one of them. America’s economic success was based on pro...
Crisis Creates Hope for Reality
BRIAN HOREJSI
The winds of change have been blowing ever stronger in North America since that exceptional day in November of 2008 when Barack Obama became president of the US. The appearance of this man on the world scene has empowered millions of informed and progressive people a...
Who is Binyam Mohamed?
ANDY WORTHINGTON
As British resident Binyam Mohamed stepped off a plane at RAF Northolt on Monday February 23, six years and ten months since he was first abducted by the Pakistani authorities at Karachi airport, it was impossible not to sympathize with the words written in ...
I was a Writer for the Government
JULIA STEIN
In 1980 I got a job as a writer on an oral history unit of CETA (Comprehensive Education Training Act). The Federal government during the really bad recession in the 1970s established CETA, which was a revival of the WPA of the 1930s. Both the WPA and CETA gave jobs ...
The Intelligence is Wrong
TERRY LODGE
Iran has zero nuclear weapons capability!  Worse still, for the Chicken Littles in the media and government,  they don’t intend to have nuclear weapons! Federal officials are frothing over the disclosure by the International Atomic Energy Agenc...
The New War in Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
A new war is threatening Iraq just as the world believes the country is returning to peace. While violence is dropping in Baghdad and in the south of the country, Arabs and Kurds in the north are beginning to battle over territories in an arc of land stretching from ...
Obama Steps on the Pentagon Escalator
FRANKLIN SPINNEY
Marmaris, Turkey. Perhaps the greatest weakness in any foreign policy is the temptation to shape it according to the dictates of domestic politics. This seduction corrupts the synthesis of a sensible grand strategy as well as the formulation of sound military...
A War Cry From the North
EINAR MÁR GUOMUNDSSON
You who live with an island in your heart and the vastness of space a sidewalk beneath your soles. Hand me the Northern Lights! I shall dance with the youngster who is holding the stars. We peel the skin from t...
Ted’s Table
HELEN REDMOND
So now we know where Senator Edward Kennedy has been in between treatments for his cancerous brain tumor and recuperating at his compound in Hyannisport, or at his other home in Florida. He’s been in secret, invitation only meetings with lobbyists from: Aetna, ...
A New Orleans Intifada?
JORDAN FLAHERTY
In neighborhoods around New Orleans, there’s a buzz of excitement gathering among this city’s Arab population. A new wave of organizing has brought energy and inspiration to a community that is usually content to stay in the background. The movement is yo...
On Cherry Pond
MIKE ROSELLE
The first time I was on Cherry Pond it was ramp season, and I joined Judy, Bo, Larry and Ed for the much anticipated spring ritual, in which the tasty wild onions are harvested and cooked in butter with potatoes. It was a steep hike through rugged country, and from t...
On Cherry Pond
MIKE ROSELLE
The first time I was on Cherry Pond it was ramp season, and I joined Judy, Bo, Larry and Ed for the much anticipated spring ritual, in which the tasty wild onions are harvested and cooked in butter with potatoes. It was a steep hike through rugged country, and from t...
The Water Line
DENNIS LOO
Part one of a three part series “The water line is rising and all we do is stand there. The water line is rising and all we do is stand there. The water line is rising and all we do is stand there.” — Sage Fran...
How Credit Unions Survived the Crash
RALPH NADER
While the reckless giant banks are shattering like an over-heated glacier day by day, the nation?s credit unions are a relative island of calm largely apart from the vortex of casino capitalism. Eighty five million Americans belong to credit unions which are ...
The Language of Looting
MICHAEL HUDSON
"Banking shares began to plunge Friday morning after Senator Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who is chairman of the banking committee, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television that he was concerned the government might end up nationalizing some ...
Jet Crashes and Nuclear Reactors
HARVEY WASSERMAN
The ever-vigilant Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued milestone regulations requiring the builders of new nuke reactors to explain how their plants might withstand the crash of large commercial jetliners. But the NRC has exempted the reactors that matter...
Take My State, Please
WAYNE CLARK
The recession/depression is less than a year old, but it’s already driving South Carolina’s governing elite over the abyss. Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham rant theatrically on the Senate floor about the dangers of the Obama administration’s ...
Last Mambo in Minnehaha
JAMES McENTEER
Norm Coleman’s lawyers are hinting that the only way to settle the still undecided 2008 Minnesota senate race is to hold the election again. That would be an extremely costly admission that Minnesota’s electoral system is broken.  And isn&rsq...