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 May 2009
It’s Up to You to Save Troy Davis
RON JACOBS
One wonders how many times this scenario has played out in the United States.  Like a classic crime movie, the details go something like this:  A group of young men, usually African-American, get involved in an activity of questionable legality.  A pol...
Killer Virtues
LORENZO WOLFF
I guess I’m just a contrary motherfucker. This would explain why a two star review of a Jerry Lee Lewis record is an incentive for me to buy it. A decade after his big hits for Sam Phillips, Jerry Lee Lewis released an album called ...
Double Exile
CHARLES R. LARSON
The facts about this The Halfway House and its writer are bleak.  Guillermo Rosales fled ...
A Real History of Rupert Murdoch
BRUCE PAGE
If, as seems possible, we shall need a block of something to lower onto the grave of western journalism, then Michael Wolff’s fat masterpiece  of sycophancy about Rupert Murdoch, ...
The Lion Tamer’s Story
MARK SETH LENDER
I never buy the New York tabloids because they bore me, but I love those trashy headlines. I catch up with them over someone’s shoulder, in line at the checkout or as today, from the high vantage of an old-fashioned barber chair where I am getting the best hair...
Last Man Walking
DAVID KER THOMSON
I present my voice handle at a wide spot in the Road of Life. Guard shows himself and gives it an earball. “See Walk?” he goes. “What’s that stand for?” “We don’t stand for anything,” I says. &ldquo...
The Drones Are Coming
RAMZY BAROUD
President Barack Obama took the podium in a White House press conference and stood with an all-embellished confidence that often accompanies new presidents. He was flanked by two leaders whose apparent grandeur barely reflected their embattled situations on the groun...
Lipstick Nightmare for Spin Merchant
STEPHEN MARTIN
It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same. Thomas Paine. The above quote ‘prescience e...
From My Lai to Bala Baluk
MIKE WHITNEY
Barack Obama is aggressively stepping up the war in Afghanistan. He’s intensified the cross-border bombing of Pakistan and he is doubling the number of U.S. troops to 68,000 by 2010. He’s also a strong proponent of pilotless drones even though hundreds of...
What to Tell the Children
HANNAH WOLFE
Accusations of "anti-Semitism" have long been the knee-jerk response by Zionists to critics of Israel. And woe unto the Jew who dares to criticize; they are clearly a self-hating masochist. This is playing out once again in the barrage of vituperativ...
Handel’s Ghost
DAVID YEARSLEY
As the ghost of Handel clanks through this 250th year since his death, he must look on in astonishment at how the living have updated his legacy. The Handel of today is gay, a binge eater, and a chemical abuser, not just in the form of far too much wine, but also, an...
The Black Shirts of Guantánamo
JEREMY SCAHILL
As the Obama administration continues to fight the release of some 2,000 photos that graphically document U.S. military abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, an ongoing Spanish investigation is adding harrowing details to the ever-emerging portrait of the tortu...
Fresno, the New Ground Zero
CAL WINSLOW
Ground zero in the California war between the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the new National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) is now an election in the sprawling Central Valley city of Fresno, where in June 10,000 home healthcare workers will cho...
Stealth Move by IMF to Get $100 Billion Without Congressional Debate
MARK WEISBROT
"You don’t have to do this.” Those are the near-last words of several victims in the Coen brothers’ classic, “No Country for Old Men,” as they try to convince the movie’s unrelenting assassin that he should spare them. The ass...
Angels & Demons and the Extraordinary Power of Imaginary Heretics
CHASE MADAR
The Cathar heretics believed in the transmigration of souls. They thought the world was created by a malevolent deity, Rex Mundi. They referred to themselves as bonas femnas and bons omes (good women and good men) the way caribeños often call each other mami a...
On the Beach in Tel Aviv
MATS SVENSSON
Tel Aviv. We don’t know if we should stay. Late afternoon on the beach in Bat Jam south of Tel Aviv. There is a cool breeze. Just a few middle aged men dare to take a swim. A couple play tennis on the beach. Dogs are being walked. The seafood tastes won...
Fighting the Drug War at Homeland Security
TOM BARRY
The drug war, declared by President Richard Nixon in 1971, is a prohibition campaign that began in the United States and has since spread around the globe, often with U.S. assistance and under U.S. direction. It started more as a backlash movement against the spread ...
Labor Needs a Southern Strategy
DAVID MACARAY
In case you haven’t noticed, most of the really good manufacturing jobs still left in the U.S. are being moved to the Deep South.  It’s like a vast animal migration.  Think of caribou.  And why wouldn’t companies want to move there?&n...
Vaginas From Outer Space!
KIM NICOLINI
I did it. I boldly went where I haven’t gone before. Yes, I went to Star Trek last night. I am not going to write some kind of thorough analysis of the movie because there are plenty of people way better equipped than me to do that. When I say boldly went to th...
The Case of the Missing H-Bomb
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Things go missing. It’s to be expected. Even at the Pentagon. Last October, the Pentagon’s inspector general reported that the military’s accountants had misplaced a destroyer, several tanks and armored personnel carriers, hundreds of machine guns, ...
Sexual Torture
DAVID ROSEN
“Removal of clothing was authorized by the Secretary of Defense [Rumsfeld] for use at GTMO [Guantánamo] on December 2, 2002,” acknowledges the recently released U.S. Senate Armed Service Committee report on the use of harsh interrogatio...
Tortured Reasoning
FRED GARDNER
A three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for Bryan Epis, 42, the first California medical marijuana grower convicted in federal court in the Prop 215 era. Jay Bybee was one of the three judges. Their ...
Of Scapegoats and Separatists
FARZANA VERSEY
Mirwaiz Umer Farooq’s cap is symbolic. The story goes that the minute he reaches Delhi, he wants to take it off. It isn’t capitulation, but the heavy burden that was thrust on him after his father’s death when he was just 17; Mirwaiz is an inherited...
Science Fiction From Below
MARK ENGLER
Tapping into a long tradition of politicized science fiction, the young, New-York-based filmmaker Alex Rivera has brought to theaters a movie that reflects in news ways on the disquieting realities of the global economy. Sleep Dealer, his first feature film, has open...
Involuntary Baptism
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
They’re still at it. I’m referring to the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Colorado Springs. They’ve probably learned that it really works. How else to explain its practices. We examined its practices in 1993 and 16 years later it’s still going s...
The Limits of Liberalism
LANCE SELFA
While most of the people who would call themselves liberals have been quite pleased with President Obama’s debut, a growing minority is becoming restless at what they see as the administration’s too-easy capitulation to business forces. A case in p...
Obama Channels Cheney
DAVE LINDORFF
In reversing himself and declaring that the US government will not release further photos in its possession of torture being practiced on captives held by the US military and the CIA, President Obama is sounding increasingly like the Bush/Cheney administration before...
Nuclear Options
FRIDA BERRIGAN
It’s not on the front pages of what is left of U.S. newspapers. The headlines are dominated by violence in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, by Miss America’s semi-nude photo scandal, and by the Chrysler fiasco. But just about everyone who is anyone is tal...
Judge Condemns Guantánamo Evidence
ANDY WORTHINGTON
David Remes, an attorney for 16 Yemeni prisoners in Guantánamo, claimed today that the government’s detention policy was “in tatters,” after District Court Judge Gladys Kessler comprehensively demolished the Justice Department’s case ag...
The Pope’s Pilgrimage
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. Pope Benedict XVI upset the schedule on his first day in Israel by leaving an interfaith meeting in Jerusalem early on Monday night after a leading Muslim cleric called on him to condemn the “slaughter” of women and children in the recent...
The Impotent President
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find that your power is restricted to the service of powerful interest groups? A president who does a good job for the ruling interest groups is paid off with remunerative corp...
The Bybee Question
SUE UDRY
You’ve got to go pretty far back in U.S. history to find someone impeached for conspiracy to commit torture. Actually, you need to go over the pond to Britain in 1649, when King Charles was impeached. I’m thinking if they could impeach a King back in the ...
Where Russia Went Wrong
MICHAEL HUDSON
Last week Izvestiya published an interview with former Premier Yevgeny Primakov, now president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. (Johnson’s Russia List published a translation on May 8). The discussion centered on a universal problem – what China a...
Ugly Questions for General Myers
RAY McGOVERN
Tuesday evening offered an unusual opportunity to question the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2001-2005), Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, at an alumni club dinner. He was eager to talk about his just-published memoir, ...
The Deportation of Demjanjuk
DAVID GREEN
In his May 12th New York Times report on the deportation of 89-year-old alleged Sobibor death camp guard John Demjanjuk to Germany, Nicholas Kulish writes: “Ultimately Mr. Demjanjuk’s advanced age and poor health serve as reminders, re...
Lebanon: From Perdition to Redemption?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Al Buss Palestinian Refugee Camp, Tyre, Lebanon “When I graduated from Medical School here in Beirut more than 20 years ago there were 80 students in my class. The top dozen or so were Palestinians. But they all had to emigrate in order to pr...
NATO in Georgia
ERIC WALBERG
As Russian troops marched to celebrate the victory over Nazi Germany 8 May, NATO troops — 1,300 of them from 10 member countries and six “partners” — were beginning their month-long Cooperative Longbow/Lancer war “games” on Russia&...
Cuba: the Measure of a Revolution
RICARDO ALARCÓN De QUESADA
I should start with words of gratitude to Queens’s University and all those who participated in the organization of this Conference on the Cuban revolution. Their initiative, hospitality and excellent preparations have facilitated three days of useful discussio...
Back to the Balkans
WILLIAM S. LIND
A story I read years ago culminated with the protagonist holed up in a cheap hotel in the Balkans, listening unwillingly through the paper-thin wall as the man in the room next door beat his wife. As he pummeled her, she cried again and again, "Balkan! Balkan!&q...
The Sinking of GM
DAVE LINDORFF
You might imagine that, even if they didn’t give a rat’s ass about their employees, the managers of General Motors would at least feel an obligation to show some solidarity with the beleaguered bondholders and shareholders of the company that they have so...
A Populist Health Care Rebellion
KEVIN ZEESE
Last week when I was one of the Baucus Eight, so-named because eight of us were arrested before Sen. Baucus, I hopped others would join us. Yesterday, they did. And, the single payer movement grew stronger. Before the hearing I joined nearly 50 people in a spi...
The Sinking of GM
DAVE LINDORFF
You might imagine that, even if they didn’t give a rat’s ass about their employees, the managers of General Motors would at least feel an obligation to show some solidarity with the beleaguered bondholders and shareholders of the company that they have so...
The Road Out of Iraq
BRIAN M. DOWNING
A spate of bombings in Iraq has given rise in recent weeks to asking how long US troops must remain in the country. Al Qaeda was thought to be all but eliminated from the Sunni Arab provinces and barely holding on to redoubts in the northern Kurdish provinces. But al...
Gen. McChrystal and Afghanistan
GARETH PORTER
The choice of Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal to become the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan has been hailed by Defence Secretary Robert Gates and national news media as ushering in a new unconventional approach to counterinsurgency. But McChrystal’s backgr...
Obama and Latin America: No Light, All Tunnel
ROBERT SANDELS
The April summit appeared to be a grand success. No, not the one in Trinidad and Tobago; the one in Cumana, Venezuela, where Bolivian President Evo Morales said, "If we do not change capitalism, humanity will be at risk, including the same people who concentrate...
A Culture of Abuse
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
“The roots of violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principles.” Mahatma Gandhi ...
The Banker Boys Are Alright!
DEAN BAKER
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the country last week that the banks are essentially okay based on his stress tests of the country’s 19th largest banks. Secretary Geithner’s call may not seem quite right. After all, the bad case in stress tests a...
Why Isn’t Obama Turning to Credit Unions?
BOB FITRAKIS And HARVEY WASSERMAN
As hundreds of our hard-earned billions are being poured into corrupt, greed-driven, lethally inefficient banks, the  Administration, Congress and corporate media have studiously avoided the one sector of the banking industry that actually  works—the ...
Obama Chooses a Reliable Dictatorship
WAJAHAT ALI
By choosing Cairo, ...
The AfPak Blues
RICHARD NEVILLE
Millions of warm hearted, fair minded humans live in America, though few are part of the military. If they were, perhaps the carnage could be kept under control. To Americans with a conscience I say – get a grip on what’s going on in Afghanistan and Pakis...