Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. These were Cockburn’s rules for how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, CounterPunch will get a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC (This photo of Alexander Cockburn and Jasper, on the couch that launched 1000 columns, was taken in Petrolia by Tao Ruspoli)
 Day 19

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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...
"A Damned Murder Inc."
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Some time in early or mid-1949 a CIA officer named Bill (his surname is blacked out in the file, which was surfaced by John Kelly in the early 1990s) asked an outside contractor for input on how to kill people. Requirements included the appearance of an accidental or...
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.)...