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 July 2009
Hooded in Bush’s Hood
RAY McGOVERN
The hellish-hot weather persuaded me that I was wise to ignore the caution expressed by a close friend who grew up in Dallas, as I set off to give talks there. Better wear a bulletproof vest, he told me. I was, nonetheless, feeling a bit anxious, given what ha...
Surreal Honduras
CLIFTON ROSS
Gabriel Garcia Màrquez could easily have written "A Hundred Years of Solitude" in any country of Central America. It’s a region replete with characters and magical landscapes and myths with power to make the hair stand up on the back of your ne...
Empty Nest
DAVID Ker THOMSON
"Awesomer,” says Liam, coming briefly into rhyme alignment with gossamer. “Schadenfreude,” he says later.  He’s nine.  “Pleasure in the suffering of others.” “You read too much,” I tell him ...
Chicken Soup for the Worker’s Soul
SARA MANN
My TV is going to die soon. It will break and I will have to go shopping for another. I know this not because it is making any sort of sound or tuning in and out. It’s not too old. Its inevitable malfunction has nothing to do with the recent digital conversion....
Which is Worse? Germs in Our Food or the Antibiotics That Kill Them?
MARTHA ROSENBERG
If you want to lose weight the late comic Gilda Radner used to say, eat your lunch next to a car wreck. But this summer all you have to do is eat the food the FDA approves. Recent recalls of pathogen tainted milk, meat, chicken and cheese make you wonder if E...
Guilty Laughter in the Dark
KIM NICOLINI
Believe it or not, I have seen Brüno twice at the movie theater since it opened two weeks ago. I went the first time not really knowing what to expect because I had never seen a Sacha Baron Cohen movie before. I knew it would be funny. I knew it would be outrage...
U.S. Labor in Crisis
LEE SUSTAR
The election of Barack Obama last November seemed to promise a new era for organized labor. With Obama in the White House and a solid Democratic majority in Congress, it appeared that unions would finally be able to get action on their main legislative agenda—p...
Party of "Change" Challenges Old Guard in Kurdistan
PATRICK COCKBURN
Sulaimaniyah. "I must ask you to leave because you are criticising the authorities on state property,” said a Kurdish official, interrupting our conversation with a critic of the Kurdish government. We were speaking to Peshko Hama Fares Moham...
Psst, I Show You a Feelthy Gluck
DAVID YEARSLEY
In the 18th-century the word virtuoso had yet to become unmoored from its root: virtue. Those accorded the status of a virtuosomeant not only these respected musician had cultivated a discerning taste and had developed wide-ranging knowledge both theoretical and prac...
Cha-ching Culture
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
I finished reading an e-mail from David Axelrod with “This isn’t a game” in the subject line.  The body of the message contained: Truth be told — with each passing day, more and more Americans   are unable to ...
Learning From China
MARK WEISBROT
Global trade flows and the economic stimulus policies of individual national economies will play an important role in the recovery from the current global recession. This is especially true of the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China. ...
Report Card on Obama From a New Frontiersman
WILLIAM POLK
Probably like most of you, I am engaged in a daily attempt to make up my mind about President Obama. I was an early supporter. And as a former Washington "player," I am aware how difficult is his position. I began to worry when he failed to grasp wh...
The Crying of Lots 1 Thru 50
STEPHEN MARTIN
Love for sale, Appetising young love for sale. Love that’s fresh and still unspoiled, Love that’s only slightly soiled, Love for sale. Cole Porter. (of ‘Indiana ;  or ‘Lot  19’) ...
The Song of the Guerrilla
JOHN ROSS
One day long ago in August 1974, the 25th to be precise, in the heat of the Mexican military’s "dirty war" to root out subversion in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, security forces under the command of General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparo dragged ...
The Actually Existing Health Care System
CARL GINSBURG
There is nothing inherently wrong with spending 17 per cent of GDP on health care if the result is a really healthy population. Just like there is nothing wrong with a "big" budget deficit if the money goes to making good jobs for working people, cleaning u...
Cops Gone Wild
DAVE LINDORFF
Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley has gone whining to his professional organization, the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Assn., asking for support in calling for President Obama to apologize for saying he acted "stupidly" in arresting Harvard Prof. Hen...
The Masters of Perfidy
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
The first clue that something was terribly amiss with the insurance giant AIG should have been made manifest when the conglomerate began offering products–and financial products at that. What exactly does an insurance company produce? The short and nasty answer...
Israeli Warships in the Red Sea
NADIA HIJAB
Two Israeli missile class warships sailed through Egypt’s Suez Canal into the Red Sea this week, some days after one of their nuclear submarines. The news barely blipped the media surface of the United States. It should have raised a few questions: Will ...
The Reality of Israel’s "Open" Jerusalem
JONATHAN COOK
Jerusalem No one would have been more surprised than Fawziya Khurd by the recent pronouncement of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, that Israel operates an “open city” policy in Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunda...
Living in a Police State
DAVE LINDORFF
The point about the arrest Monday by a Cambridge Police sergeant of Harvard Distinguished Professor Henry “Skip” Gates is not that the police initially thought the celebrated  public intellectual, PBS host and MacArthur Award winner might have been a...
How California Could Turn Its IOUs Into Dollars
ELLEN BROWN
California has over $17 billion on deposit in banks that have refused to honor its IOUs, forcing legislators to accept crippling budget cuts. These austerity measures are unnecessary. If the state were to deposit its money in its own state-owned bank, it could have e...
21st Century Coups d’Etat
LAURA CARLSEN
The consolidation of power through brute force represents a serious step backward for the region. How is it possible that a coup d’etat could take place and survive in the 21st century? This is the question that the international community faces after the coup ...
Spinning Health Care
NORMAN SOLOMON
"I want to cover everybody,” President Obama said at his news conference Wednesday night. “Now, the truth is that unless you have a — what’s called a single-payer system, in which everybody’s automatically covered, then you’re...
Hypocrisy and the Honduran Coup
SAUL LANDAU And NELSON VALDÉS
"Why haven’t there been attempted coups in Washington DC? Because there’s no US Embassy there." (Joke told by Chilean journalist to President Obama during President Michelle Bachelet’s White House visit.)...
Youth Activists Demand Military-Free Schools
JORGE MARISCAL
On the weekend of July 17, over 250 activists from across the country converged on Roosevelt University in Chicago for the largest meeting ever of counter-recruitment and anti-militarism organizers.  Retirees from Florida and California, concerned parents from O...
Bankers Beware?
STEVE BREYMAN
A poll by Worldpublicopinion.org finds that people across the world are eager for more robust responses to the economic crisis than offered them thus far by their governments. Publics in 19 countries that comprise 62 percent of the world’s population were polle...
Memoirs of a Lost Arab World
NADIA HIJAB
"It was a trying time for dreamers," Wadad Makdisi Cortas wrote of the year 1935. She was 26 and "yearned to speak my language, to read Arabic books, and to foster Arab independence and solidarity." But she had just become the headmistress of a gi...
How to Argue Against Torture
BERNARD CHAZELLE
A signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture, the United States "does not torture." Yet abundant evidence indicates that it does, directly or by proxy—and in fact always has. An old American tradition of state-sponsored torture even has its own le...
The Coup and the U.S. Airbase in Honduras
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
The mainstream media has once again dropped the ball on a key aspect of the ongoing story in Honduras: the U.S. airbase at Soto Cano, also known as Palmerola.  Prior to the recent military coup d’etat President Manuel Zelaya declared that he would turn the...
Cronyism at the Tate
CHARLES THOMSON
The appointment of "Bob and Roberta Smith" (aka Patrick Brill) and Wolfgang Tillmans as two new artist trustees at the Tate gallery has done nothing to redeem the gallery’s somewhat tarnished reputation over the relationship between its supposed gover...
Ted Williams and the Florida Keys
ALAN FARAGO
As a grade school kid in Providence RI I was a baseball fanatic. I dreamt the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees and practiced my home run swing in my sleep. I memorized statistics and slept with my baseball glove under my pillow with neats foot oil so it would ...
Health Care, Media and the Case for Socialized Medicine
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
We may look back at the last few weeks as a historic time in American politics.  Free market rhetoric used to denigrate government-sponsored health care is finally being seriously challenged.  But is media debate on health care truly open?  Commentary ...
The Recovery: Phase Two
CARL GINSBURG
Now that the grease in the wheels of the American money machine is working its way, the next phase of the recovery is afoot — proper attention to what Bob Rubin calls “the yields”, the place where creationists and monetarists converge in one simple ...
The Whoppers Behind WOPR
MICHAEL DONNELLY
The foundation-dependent professional enviro eco-blogs are humming with praise for the Obama Administration’s recent desertion of the Bush Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR). Said whopper was an attempt by Big Timber lobbyists/lawyers and captive politicians o...
Return to El Salvador
CLIFTON ROSS
I arrived in El Salvador half-expecting to see soldiers guarding the corridors of the airport with made-in-the-U.S. machine guns, the way they did during my first, hour-long visit to the country on a lay-over on a flight to Nicaragua in 1982. More than once on my fli...
Structural Inequality
DEDRICK MUHAMMAD
Last week President Obama spoke boldly about persistent racial discrimination and criticized the "structural inequality" that presents "the steepest barrier" to African American equality in the 21st century. Speaking before a crowd at the c...
Séance on Wall Street
DEAN BAKER
There is a long history of mediums who claim to communicate with the dead. They sell their services to people anxious to talk to relatives or great figures of the past. Such exercises can be dismissed as harmless entertainment – people spend a few dollars to be...
Cronkite and Three Mile Island
HARVEY WASSERMAN
The accolades are still pouring in for departed anchorman Walter Cronkite. Few mention his critical "that’s the way it is" reporting on the atomic melt-down at Three Mile Island. Yet Cronkite and TMI are at the core of today’s de facto moratoriu...
The Johnny Procedure
URI AVNERY
Like the ghost of Hamlet’s father, the evil spirit of the Gaza War refuses to leave us in peace. This week it came back to disturb the tranquility of the chiefs of the state and the army. “Breaking the Silence”, a group of courageous former c...
The Deferential Party
CARL FINAMORE
Several of my favorite, most memorable quotations come to mind these days as I sadly observe what seems to me like abject, deferential genuflection before Washington’s Democratic Party majority by major labor and progressive organizations in this country. ...
Israel’s Internet War
JONATHAN COOK
in Nazareth. The passionate support for Israel expressed on talkback sections of websites, internet chat forums, blogs, Twitters and Facebook may not be all that it seems. Israel’s foreign ministry is reported to be establishing a special underc...
Interrogating the Uighurs
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Last Thursday, while most U.S. media outlets were focused relentlessly on the marathon endurance test that was ...
The Marie Antoinettes of Health Care
WALTER BRASCH
Marie Antoinette, contrary to popular opinion, never said a solution for the starving masses of revolutionary France in the late 18th century was, "Let them eat cake." But, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) apparently said something close to it. At a p...
The Iranian Election and Its Aftermath
SASAN FAYAZMANESH
We often have a tendency to reduce complex social situations to simplistic scenarios, where there is only black or white and no shades of gray, only heroes or villains and nothing in between. Such seems to be the attitude of many Iran analysts, particularly those on ...
Heat, Dust and OSHA
DAVID MACARAY
Some years ago, a group of union reps were idly discussing what the “worst possible job” in the world might be, and, having once lived in India, I nominated the low-caste Biharis who had the job of hauling the bones and rotted carcasses of dead animals to...
Saving Private Bergdahl
DAVE LINDORFF
Let me say from the outset that I have the greatest sympathy for 23-year-old Bowe R. Bergdahl, the US soldier in Afghanistan who was captured and is being held by Taliban forces, and for his family, who must be going through a living hell worrying about what is going...
Recalling 1979
RON JACOBS
I found myself in San Diego, CA. when 1979 began. Our traveling group of friends had left the environs of Santa Cruz a few months previous because we had been told that San Diego had lots of work.  Once we got there, of course, we decided that the only work we r...
Netanyahu’s Time Bomb
IRA GLUNTS
The public disagreement between Israel and the U.S. over continued settlement expansion in the West Bank and Jerusalem has heated up considerably. At a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly rejected the Obama administration’s req...
Obama’s Policy on China and Iran
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Recent disturbances in Iran and China have drawn attention to not only the fragility of their socio-political systems but also to contradictions in how the United States and other Western powers react to such events. America’s response  to demonstrations i...
Threatening Iran
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Japan did not spend years preparing her public case and demonstrating her deployment of forces for the attack.  Japan did not make a world issue out of her view that the US was denying Japan her role in the Pacific by hindering ...