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 June 2009
Israeli Doctors Collude in Torture
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. Israel’s watchdog body on medical ethics has failed to investigate evidence that doctors working in detention facilities are turning a blind eye to cases of torture, so Israeli human rights groups charge. The Israeli Medical Association...
Iran and Washington’s Hidden Hand
ESAM AL-AMIN
Only weeks after the September 11, 2001, attacks, Charles Krauthammer, the Washington Post columnist and mouthpiece of the neoconservatives, revealed the target list of the Bush administration as it set out on its post-9/11 war footing. The list included six nations:...
Hezbollah After the Elections
FRANKLIN LAMB
Dahiyeh. While on the surface the pro-US team here did preserve its ‘majority’ the Hezbollah led opposition actually won the election by nearly ten percent of the popular vote. Of approximately 1,495,000 votes cast on June 7, 815,000 vote...
Feeling Michael Jackson
JULIAN VIGO
During middle school, I used to stand at the bus stop in New Orleans with my brother, Mark, and inevitably another schoolmate would amble along with a boom box, all of us waiting together. In went Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall cassette to which we danced. It became...
Beetle Hysteria … Again
GEORGE WUERTHNER
Beetle hysteria raised its head again, and I am not talking about the Fab four.  A prominent article in the New York Times titled “Tiny Beetle Adds New Dynamic to Forest Fire Control Efforts” quotes many foresters and others who suggest that beetle-k...
Debt Deflation Arrives
MICHAEL HUDSON
Happy-face media reporting of economic news is providing the usual upbeat spin on Friday’s debt-deflation statistics. The Commerce Department’s National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) for May show that U.S. “savings” are now absorbing 6.9 ...
Conditions for Citizenship
KENNETH LIBBY
The American DREAM Act is the most current piece of education/immigration reform being considered in Washington. Introduced to both the House and Senate on March 26th, 2009, the bill would allow “aliens” to gain conditional residency status for six years ...
Showdown in Honduras
BENJAMIN DANGL
Worldwide condemnation has followed the coup that unseated President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras on Sunday, June 28. Nation-wide mobilizations and a general strike demanding that Zelaya be returned to power are growing in spite of increased military repression. One pro...
Mark Sanford, Sexual Liberation and LGBT Equality
RON JACOBS
Thanks to the peccadilloes of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, the question of sex and politics has once again been cheaply splashed across US newspapers, television and the internet once again.  Although those of us who have nothing nice to say about this ...
Acceptable Versus Unacceptable Repression
TODD GORDON
June has been a difficult month for progressive activists around the world. Mass protests in Iran and indigenous blockades in Peru were met with heavy repression, while a left-of-centre President in Honduras was ousted in a military coup. What these tragic events do ...
Why Iraq is Now the Most Corrupt Country on the Planet
PATRICK COCKBURN
"I paid $800 to get my job,” says Ahmed Abdul, a technician working for Karada municipality in Baghdad. “People know this is wrong, but there is no way round it.”  In Iraq corruption is pervasive at every level. “Corruption ex...
Why Fiscal Conservatives Should Love Medicare-for-All
CAROL MILLER
Call me old fashioned, but a true conservative is someone who conserves, dislikes wasting money and is offended by endless corporate bailouts by hard-working taxpayers. A fiscal conservative like me. As a public health professional, I want to see health dollars used ...
Where the Money Isn’t Going
JAMES G. ABOUREZK
Wherever I heard that hackneyed phrase, "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging," it applies more today than anytime I can remember.  What I don’t understand is, when our government has spent billions on bank bailouts (not a good idea) on b...
Jobs First
GREG MOSES
From a distance the Chinese mainland appears to be snorting through the global depression like a fire-breathing dragon.  But a closer look at internet discourse reveals a giant in the throes of aftershock.  When we hear tones of irritation from Chinese offi...
Coups and Constitutions
CLIFTON ROSS
Even in the best of times a coup in Honduras wouldn’t get much coverage in the U.S. since most North Americans couldn’t find the country on a map and, moreover, would have no reason to do so. Nevertheless, those in the U.S. who have been alert to the chan...
The Persecution of Michael Jackson
ISHMAEL REED
Last Thursday, while working on some writing deadlines, I was switching channels on cable.  On CNN they were promoting  “Black In America,” an exercise meant to boost ratings by making whites feel good by making blacks look bad,  the marketing strategy of the m...
Dealing With North Korea
CONN HALLINAN
Most Americans think of North Korea as a nation of belligerent crazy people with a political succession system more akin to the 15th century than the 21st. Indeed, it is a repressive place, with a bizarre personality cult, but the U.S., Japan, and South Korea share m...
Between Tel Aviv and Tehran
URI AVNERY
Hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens pour into the streets in order to protest against their government! What a wonderful sight! Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz that he envies the Iranians. And indeed, anyone who tries these days to get Israelis in any numbe...
The Holes in Obama’s Financial Regulation Plan
RALPH NADER
It’s good that Barack Obama is an agile basketball player because on financial regulatory reform he?s having to straddle an ever-widening chasm between his words and his deeds. Obama said: “Millions of Americans who have worked hard and behaved res...
The Coup in Honduras
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
Could the diplomatic thaw between Venezuela and the United States be coming to an abrupt end?  At the recent Summit of the Americas held in Port of Spain, Barack Obama shook Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s hand and declared that he would pursue a...
FDR’s Real Defining Moment
FRED GARDNER
Jonathan Alter writes for Newsweek and is a frequent guest of Keith Olbermann’s.  He’s one of those liberals we appreciate when the rightwingers are in control but who lose their critical edge when their crowd is in. It’s easy to imagin...
Green, But Not Velvet
FARID MARJAI
In reaction to the widespread discontent with the election results in Iran, reflected in large scale demonstrations and disturbances in the streets, the Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei had asked the Guardian Council to conduct a partial recount of the presidential ...
Hold the MSG
CHARLOTTE LAWS
I always assumed monosodium glutamate was like a snowstorm in Los Angeles: easy to avoid. I simply needed to sidestep Chinese restaurants and eyeball product labels for those conspicuous three letters: MSG. At the same time I asked myself, why even go to the ...
Health Care Showdown
JEFF SHER
President Obama said he is not yet ready to draw any lines in the sand in the developing showdown over his health care reform initiative. Unfortunately for this consummate, consensus seeking politician, the lines in the sand have already been drawn for him by the res...
Tarnished Shields
WALTER BRASCH
Some columns are easier to write than others. This is one of them. Providing all of my research were the "family values" Republicans. This week, second term Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina disappeared for six days, leaving the st...
Yankee Prof Takes on Dallas
DAVID YEARSLEY
Three weeks back, the Musical Patriot took aim at the modern phenomenon of the Arts Center, discharging several rounds in the direction of Dallas. Those sent over the heads of Los Angeles and New York were taken in good part. Not s...
Fear and Loathing in Madeira
Cpt. PAUL WATSON
It’s hard to believe that Dr. Sidney Holt is attending his 50th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) here in Madeira. From that very first meeting he attended in Cambridge in 1959 until this very strange and weird and wacky whaling commission m...
The Night Before
DANIEL WOLFF
It’s black on the river. And still. The autumn sky is a mesh of stars. In the darkness of the river valley, there have always been only three tiny sparks visible from here: the orange campfires of the Alipkonck, the Sintsinck, and the Kichtawanck bands....
Elk River
DOUG PEACOCK
Should you visit the Yellowstone River country  with 13,000 years of human history in your head, the first thing you might notice is how little the landscape has changed. True, a few towns and ranches are now strewn about the topography. Yet, this thin cloak of ...
Meet the Retreads
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Of all of Barack Obama’s airy platitudes about change none were more vaporous than his platitudes about the environment and within that category Obama has had little at all to say about matters concerning public lands and endangered species. He is, it seems, le...
The Showdown at Schottenstein
GEOFF BERNE
On May 1, 2009, Michigan’s Board of Education, like boards in most of the other states across the U.S., issued a resolution "recognizing that teachers are vital to the very fabric of our society" and declaring the week of May 4-8 Teacher Appreciation ...
Nothing
DAVID Ker THOMSON
“Though my tale be naught, yet will I tell it.” –the bearer of bad news in Antigone I don’t mean to boast, but I think I can claim about my life that I’ve amounted to almost nothing. When it comes ...
Cry, Hypocrite, Cry
DAVID ROSEN
Nothing captures people’s attention more then watching an elected official cry before the national media. The spectacle of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, shedding tears, admitting to an adulterous affair and pleading for forgiveness, “I’ve been u...
The Hate Crimes Bill: How Not to Remember Matthew Shepard
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
We’ve got the Hate Crimes Bill, aka the Matthew Shepard Act, aka the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, before Congress and far advanced on its repellent journey towards the statute book. On Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing ...
The Rift in Iran
NADIA HIJAB
The Guardian Council’s conclusion that there were "discrepancies" but no major fraud in the June 12 Iranian presidential elections reaffirms Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner but does little to heal the bitter rift over the election conduct and result...
Gun Control: What’s the Agenda?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Some years or decades ago I researched and reported on the Sullivan Act, one of America’s first gun control laws. New York state senator Timothy Sullivan, a corrupt Tammany Hall politician, represented New York’s Red Hook district. Commercial trave...
People for Sale in a Hungry World
RAMZY BAROUD
One might be tempted to dismiss the recent findings of the US State Department on human trafficking as largely political. But do not be too hasty. Criticism of the State Department’s report on trafficked persons, issued on 16 June, should be rife. The l...
The Village and the Wall
GLEN JOHNSON
The village is small and run-down. A couple of hundred residents. Green Hamas flags hang above the dirt street and wave in the breeze. It is brutally hot. The buildings are plastered with images. One is a photo of a small Palestinian boy from the village. His ...
The New York Times and Stolen Elections
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. A stolen election by an entrenched regime? Opposition charges that more votes were cast than ballots distributed to the polling places? That independent electoral observers were barred from witnessing the vote count? Demands for a recount to whic...
Ohio: Birthplace of Charter Education … and Opposition to It
TODD ALAN PRICE
As Ohio education reformers aim ahead toward the new century and prosperity through remaking of the public school system, the Obama administration reform plan takes us back to the “choice,” “free market,” and “small government” min...
Airstrike Report Belies "Blame Taliban" Line
GARETH PORTER
The version of the official military investigation into the disastrous May 4 airstrike in Farah province made public last week by the Central Command was carefully edited to save the U.S. command in Afghanistan the embarrassment of having to admit that earlier claims...
Obama’s Father’s Day
CARL GINSBURG
We all know the pleasure on Father’s Day of taking your kids out.  What works for my little son is an amusement park, maybe a movie, lots of fries and a shake.  (Take me out to the ballgame, alas, is no longer an option as most games run in ...
The Erasure of Art
KIM NICOLINI
Reading about Olivier Assayas’ Summer Hours and watching the trailer, I could not bring myself to get inspired to see this movie. While I’m a huge fan of Assayas’ other film, this new installment just seemed so horribly middle-brow, the kind of fore...
Craving Diversity
LORENZO WOLFF
Last night I got home from a mini-tour of the southern Midwest. We managed to cover three thousand miles in five days, cramped up in a little red SUV sprinkled with a cross section of the insect population of the United States. In the fifty hour round trip we worked ...
Thoughts on Manhood From the Rafah Tunnel
EMILY RATNER
Rafah. Today I went to the tunnels in Rafah. I climbed into a loop of rope attached to a wire on a pulley and was lowered 7 meters to the tunnel floor. When I stood up the man next to me signaled me to follow him into a narrow passage, maybe three times as th...
What the Big Banks Have Won
MIKE WHITNEY
The trouble started 24 months ago, but the origins of the financial crisis are still disputed. The problems did not begin with subprime loans, lax lending standards or shoddy ratings agencies. The meltdown can be traced back to the activities of the big banks and the...
Despite My Arrest by Max Baucus, I Will Continue to Advocate for Quality Health Care for All
Dr. CAROL PARIS
Many readers learned of my arrest for nonviolent civil disobedience last month when they read about it in an article titled, "Doctor jailed after health care protest." I have seen approximately 500 patients since that time and have spoken to friends ...
Dickens in Morocco, Sort Of
CHARLES R. LARSON
If Charles Dickens had visited Morocco, he might have written Secret Son, the tortured story o...
The Man in the Mirror
FARZANA VERSEY
There may never be a Graceland for Michael Jackson. He was the wrong kind of Bad. He could not be the rake you would love to hate. He did not have the charisma that made women go weak in their knees. If he ever took out his shirt to throw at the audience, they would ...
"You Will Not Get Past Us"
BITTA MOSTOFI And BILL QUIGLEY
In Isfahan, Iran, an 80 year old woman stood defiantly in her doorway.  Twenty baton-wielding Basij men arrived on motorcycles and threatened to enter her house in pursuit of a group of young demonstrators. Instead of running with fear or turning her back on the...