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
Judicial Apartheid
PAM MARTENS
For the past 18 years, a motley mix of corporate law firms, Wall Street powerhouses and private justice providers have been serving up false testimony to the highest court of our land that mandatory arbitration is “inexpensive, fast and fair” and a proper...
Honduras and the Big Stick
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
Liberals who have idealized Obama don’t want to believe that their President is capable of bullish behavior towards Latin America.  It was Bush, they say, who epitomized arrogant U.S.-style imperialism and not the new resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. ...
Put Your Money Down, Boys
P. SAINATH
He does not want to be named or photographed, nor have his village identified, though he speaks freely. His fraternity is crucial to the lives of nearly half a million migrants from Ganjam who work in Surat. He may have been an agricultural labourer or small farmer i...
The First Anchorman
STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN
The death of Walter Cronkite is an appropriate time to reflect on what’s happened to journalism in America. Walter and I came to CBS around the same time, in the early 1950s. Sig Mickelson, head of the CBS News and Public Affairs division, at the time, b...
Predictable Chaos
ANDY WORTHINGTON
At Guantánamo last week, the Military Commission trial system convened for only the second time since President Obama announced a four-month freeze on all proceedings on his first day in offic...
The Moon Landing and the Cold War
BINOY KAMPMARK
The anniversary of the moon landing may excite space-mad members of the human race, but far more earthy desires motivated the quest.  Little is mentioned in current tributes of the overtly political dimension that propelled the extraordinary event.  It was ...
Cronkite and Vietnam
NORMAN SOLOMON
Media eulogies for Walter Cronkite — including from progressive commentators — rarely talk about his coverage of the Vietnam War before 1968. This obit omit is essential to the myth of Cronkite as a courageous truth-teller. But facts are facts, an...
"Watch What We Do, Not What We Say"
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
"Watch what we do, not what we say,” was the famous advice Nixon’s first Attorney General, John Mitchell, gave the press at the onset of the Nixon presidency in 1969.  It’s  a handy piece of advice in the Age of Obama too, as we ...
How Not to See
DAVID THOMSON
Seen enough? What would be the clincher?  Perhaps the final stain on some garment?  A bridge too far?  Third theater of war?  Michael Jackson not quite dead? What are we looking for that we haven’t already seen? If we c...
Dark Days for Working People
DAVE LINDORFF
The Democrats in Congress have sold out their supporters in the labor movement by giving up the so-called “card-check” feature of the embattled Employee Free Choice Act, which makes the “reform” legislation that has been billed as labor’...
The Good War Goes Hot
MATT SIEGFRIED
Defense Secretary Gates said last night that the United States was considering sending yet more troops to Afghanistan later this year. Around 68,000 US troops are there now, over twenty-thousand of those are part of the Obama surge. A further forty-thousand troops co...
CIA Apples
JOANNNE MARINER
Last week, as part of a long article on the challenges facing Attorney General Eric Holder, Newsweek broke a new and potentially dramatic story. Relying on four "knowledgeable sources," the magazine reported that Holder is leaning toward appointing a prosec...
Panoticon Blues
STEPHEN MARTIN
The Panopticon – a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example. Jeremy Bentham Full spectrum dominance includes the physical battlespace; air, surface and sub-surface as well as the electromagn...
Why So Much Sympathy for Madoff’s Dupes and So Little for the Poor?
SAUL LANDAU
Amidst interminable “reporting” on the “poor” victims of Ponzi maven Bernie Madoff – would anyone care if people had blown $65 billion trying to get richer in Las Vegas? – an alarming July 5 NY Times headline informs: “Safety...
The Sound From England’s Gutters
LORENZO WOLFF
There’s something stirring in England’s gutters. Something dirty and menacing, slimy and cruel. It’s a new face in the Punk scene, a band called Gallows. Their latest record, ...
Semb?ne’s Faat Kin
BEN SONNENBERG
Summer’s the perfect season for Ousmane Sembène’s Faat Kiné, just released in DVD by California Newsreel. It’s an exuberant movie, full of laughter, wit and sexual high-jinks, by the “father of African cinema.” Faat Kin&eac...
Obama’s Donut Economics
PETER MORICI
The stock market is rallying. The economy will recover by year end, and strong profits among big players like Goldman Sachs, IBM and Google will spread to other big corporations. However, many small businesses and working Americans won’t be cheering. Si...
Israeli Road Signs
JONATHAN COOK
Thousands of road signs are the latest front in Israel’s battle to erase Arab heritage from much of the Holy Land. Israel Katz, the transport minister, announced this week that signs on all major roads in Israel, East Jerusalem and possibly parts of the...
The Placebo President
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Many times during the Bush/Cheney co-presidency of illegalities, I would hear remarks from any number of friends. The comments were like these: “Can you believe it? Definitely, this call for impeachment.” “This is criminal, and it&rsq...
Chiquita in Latin America
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
When the Honduran military overthrew the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya two weeks ago there might have been a sigh of relief in the corporate board rooms of Chiquita banana.  Earlier this year the Cincinnati-based fruit company joined Dole in...
A Pakistani, Victorian Novel Celebrating Women
CHARLES R. LARSON
The quotation from George Eliot’s Middlemarch at the beginning of Ali Sethi’s novel is a dead give away: “The difficult task of knowing another soul is not for young gentlemen whose consciousness is chiefly made up of their own wishes.” Eighty...
America’s White Underclass
JOE BAGEANT
"White underclass” is a term I’ve used often in my writing, and most American readers seem to know what I mean. They’ve got eyes and live in the same nation I do. But in a sudden burst of journalistic responsibility, I decided that if I am goin...
Just Like Hanoi Jane
MARC LEVY
The bus ride from New York’s frenetic Port Authority to sleepy Willimantic took four sleepless hours and cost twenty-nine dollars. The next day a small college would host a conference on Vietnam, known elsewhere as the war against the Americans. Arriving...
Senator Sessions, Race and Impartiality
SUE STURGIS
There’s more than a little irony in some of the questioning U.S. Sen. Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III has subjected Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to during this week’s confirmation hearings.The Alabama Republican — t...
Gaza and the Language of Power
RAMZY BAROUD
Nearly six months have passed since the Israeli army ceased pounding the tiny stretch of land that is the Gaza Strip. Since then, Gaza continues to appear on the news once in a while, as a recurring subject of human misery. The tireless efforts of British MP ...
Why Does Jon Tester Want to Log Wild Montana?
PAUL RICHARDS
I have seen a draft of the Tester Logging Bill, to be publicly announced at the RY Sawmill in Townsend on Friday, July 17, 2009. The Tester Logging Bill is in direct contradiction to a specific May 30, 2006, campaign promise made by then-State Sen. Jon Tester to secu...
Whither Pakistan?
PERVEZ HOODBHOY
First, the bottom line: Pakistan will not break up; there will not be another military coup; the Taliban will not seize the presidency; Pakistan’s nuclear weapons will not go astray; and the Islamic sharia will not become the law of the land. That’...
The Niger Delta Crisis
KIA MISTILIS
Behind fighter-planes and gunboats, Nigerian forces launched a full-scale offensive in the Niger Delta on May 13, displacing 30,000 people and sparking a humanitarian crisis. Thousands of civilians fleeing destroyed villages are now trapped between armed resistance g...
The Ricci Case and the Myth of Special Treatment
ANITA SINHA And DANIEL FARBMAN
One of the most pervasive questions swirling around the probable confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court has been, “did she receive preferential treatment because she was a Latina from the Bronx?”  Commentators, particularly f...
That’s Women for You: Abbas Kiarostami’s Così
DAVID YEARSLEY
On that warm London evening with Jacko just dead and vigil-makers clogging Trafalgar Square and with Bruce Springsteen appearing in Hyde Park before his own adoring multitudes, I did the wisest thing I could to avoid all the madness. I went to the opera. Only...
Jurassic Fallout in Mexico
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. Nine years ago on a sultry July morning, Mexicans woke up and discovered to their great amazement that the Dinosaur that had hunkered down at the foot of their beds for 71 years was gone. This July 6th, when Mexicans rose in the morning, the Dino...
The Real Demand Crisis
GREG MOSES
They tell us we’re experiencing a crisis of demand, but they have a backward idea of it. To turn the picture right side up, we begin with the biggest lesson from the financial sucker punch hitting workers of the world this year–human value comes fr...
Evil Spirits
JAMES ABOUREZK
Since taking office, President Obama has overturned several of George W. Bush’s executive orders. I would like to recommend he also overturn one of Theodore Roosevelt’s. Fourteen years after the Great Sioux Reservation was established in western So...
Casablanca: When Melodrama Trumped History
DAVID MACARAY
Not only is “Casablanca” regarded as one of the greatest American movies ever made—throbbing romance, exotic setting, superb cast, memorable song (“As Time Goes By”), signature dialogue (“Play it again, Sam”)—it managed...
Profile of a Deserter
EVAN KNAPPENBERGER
My friend Amy joined the US army to fight a war.  She graduated from college with a degree in Biblical Studies, then decided to go to Iraq to fight for American values.  That was in 2004. When she got to Iraq after being trained as a linguist, she sa...
The Search for Environmental Justice in Perry County, Alabama
GREGORY V. BUTTON
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the nation’s largest public utility, has recently gained approval from the EPA to ship three millions of tons coal ash waste, from the December 2008 Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant ash spill disaster in Kingston TN to Perry Coun...
No Obama Single-Payer Doc
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
David Scheiner is a family doctor based in Chicago. For 22 years — until 2007 — he was Barack Obama’s doctor. On Wednesday June 24, ABC News held an hour long health care forum at the White House featuring an interview with President O...
Iranian Planes and the Hidden Toll of Economic Sanctions
AFSHIN RATTANSI
It’s too early to tell the reason for the midday plane crash on 15 July in Janat-Abad near the former capital of the Persian Empire, northwest of Tehran. All 168 people on board were killed in Qazvin province and there is an inquiry underway. One thing is sure,...
Why is Leonard Peltier Still in Prison?
MICHELLE BOLLINGER
Leonard Peltier is an innocent man who has spent over 33 terrible years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. In 1977, he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the deaths of two FBI agents, Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, who were killed in a...
Paying the Climate Debt
NICHOLAS DEARDEN
Last week’s G8 meeting presents a worrying model of how climate talks will play out in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit in December. While rich countries fail to grasp the scale of the solution required to deal with climate change, larger developing countrie...
Sotomayor and the Identity Mountain
ALBERT OSUEKE
In his now-famous essay The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, Langston Hughes lamented the impulse of Black Harlem Renaissance era artists to shed the “Black” from their work product. At that time, the external imposition of standards of artistic exce...
Ahmadinejad, IranAir and the 15th Anniversary of the AMIA Bombing
BELEN FERNANDEZ
Walking down Avenida Figueroa Alcorta in Buenos Aires the other day, I came across a succession of posters advertising “la penetración iraní en América latina” and featuring Hugo Chávez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clasping hands. W...
What is Torture Like?
ALICE WALKER
Dear President Obama, If word reached me that you were being tortured, I would instantly feel tortured myself, because I would be. Torture is something an entire society feels, whether we are within earshot of the screaming or not. People don’t like to b...
What Economy?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
There is no economy left to recover. The US manufacturing economy was lost to offshoring and free trade ideology. It was replaced by a mythical “New Economy.” The “New Economy” was based on services. Its artificial life was fed by the F...
The Assassination Bureau
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
In June of 2009, Leon Panetta, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) — the American Praetorian Guard guiding the course of the Dollar Area Empire — cancelled a program to assassinate al Qaeda leaders, which had been initiated by Vice Pr...
The Trial of Charles Taylor
BINOY KAMPMARK
TThe trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor has moved into a critical phase in a session of the Special Court for Sierra Leone at The Hague.  The occasion, taking place in a room rented from the International Criminal Court, was striking for the prese...
Shouts From the Gallery
DAVID ROSEN
The first two days of the Senate hearing on Sonya Sotomayor’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court were remarkable for the noticeable downplaying of culture or values issues. With the exception of a handful of anti-abortion protester disruptions, inclu...
Stimulus Arithmetic
DEAN BAKER
When her husband was in the oval office Laura Bush launched an initiative to promote literacy across the country. Unfortunately, there was no comparable effort to promote numeracy in our nation’s capital. This has been evident in the discussion of the stimulus ...
The Trial of Charles Taylor
BINOY KAMPMARK
TThe trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor has moved into a critical phase in a session of the Special Court for Sierra Leone at The Hague.  The occasion, taking place in a room rented from the International Criminal Court, was striking for the prese...
Cheney Sweating Bullets
RAY McGOVERN
So far the summer has been mild in the Washington, D.C., area. But for former Vice President Dick Cheney the temperature is well over 100 degrees. He is sweating profusely, and it is becoming increasingly clear why. Cheney has broken openly with former Preside...