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 2009
Tortured in the "Dark Prison"
ANDY WORTHINGTON
On Monday, District Court Judge Thomas F. Hogan handed the government its ninth victory (against ...
Report From Cop-enhagen
DAVID ROVICS
The signs up all over the airport and various places elsewhere in town are calling it Hopenhagen, but everybody I know is calling it Cop-enhagen, which seems far more appropriate. The international media has been giving this lots of coverage, and rightly...
Resistance in Bethlehem’s Villages
ELLEN CANTAROW
Christmas is coming. My e-mail has returned at least one plea to help Bethlehem – Christ’s birthplace crucified by Israel’s segregation wall; 25 foot-high concrete punctuated by militarized watch towers surrounds the entire town. PEACE ...
Tiger’s Fix
RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE
Tiger Woods should have talked to me first. But of course, he didn’t. I suppose there is probably not a billionaire in human history who has settled for just  one and only one sexual relationship. Monogamy wasn’t invented for the rich an...
How About a War Rebate?
JAYNE LYN STAHL
Dropped into the local cellular phone store the other day to check out the newest line of cell phones. Every phone came with a mail-in cash back rebate. Who can recall getting even one dime back from a manufacturer? It makes one think about the whole not...
Advocating Sweatshops
JEFF BALLINGER
"On the Media" with Brooke Gladstone in the anchor chair at NPR is always a good deal more than a diversion while cleaning the garage or running week-end errands; she explores many topics that you won’t see covered, or didn’t even a...
Easy and Fun Money
DEAN BAKER
There is a growing movement in both the United States and around the world for taxing financial speculation. The logic is simple: even a very small tax on trades in stock, options, credit default swaps, and other derivative instruments can raise an enorm...
Malalai Joya Among Warlords
MIKE WHITNEY
"Afghans live under the shadow of the gun with the most corrupt government in the world." – Malalai Joya It’s too bad Barack Obama didn’t consult with Malalai Joya before giving his No...
Larry Summers and the Jobless Recovery
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Arianna Huffington was right when she said that Larry Summers should be fired.  As the top economic advisor to Barack Obama and the director of the National Economic Council, Summers is amassing an impressive record of serving corporate greed at the...
Blair, Obama and the Narcissist’s Defense
CHRIS FLOYD
In recent days we have all witnessed two vomitous eruptions of moral nullity that would tax the powers of a Voltaire or a Vidal to do them proper justice; they quite o’er-crow the meager gifts of a hack like me. But I will sketch a few observations...
The Problem with Paul Samuelson
MICHAEL HUDSON
Paul Samuelson, America’s best known economist, died on Sunday. He was awarded the Nobel prize for economics, (founded one year earlier by a Swedish bank in 1970 “in honor of Alfred Nobel”). That  award elicited this trenchant criti...
Styling: the Charter School Look
DANIEL WOLFF
It only makes sense that the article appeared in the Style section of the New York Times. Sure, it’s about hedge fund managers supporting New York City’s charter schools. But if we are to believe the breezy slant of the piece (Sunday, Dec. 6,...
The Confessions of a Groveling Pakistani Native Orientalist
PERVEZ HOODBHOY
Here ye, Counterpunch readers! The victory of Native Orientalists – the ones which the late Edward Said had warned us about – is nearly complete in Pakistan. It has been led by “the minions of Western embassies and Western-financed NGOs...
Tiger Woods Syndrome
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
"The same principle which forbids me to lie does not allow me to tell the truth." Giacomo Casanova, Histoire de Ma Vie (Story of My Life) I’m in the midst of a humongous move and have no time to eve...
Why ACORN Won
BILL QUIGLEY
On December 11, 2009, a federal judge ruled that Congress had unconstitutionally cut off all federal funds to ACORN.  The judge issued an injunction stopping federal authorities from continuing to cut off past, present and future federal funds to th...
The Rush for Iraq’s Oil
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraq is set to become one of the world largest exporters of oil after international companies accepted low fees to develop the country’s vast crude reserves. Representatives of 44 oil companies ignored the recent devastating bom...
A Tribute to Fallen Leaves
SHEPHERD BLISS
Background: This November a City Council member in our small Northern California town of Sebastopol proposed a ban on leaf blowers, which the community and Council are currently discussing. Bans have been passed in many cities around the United States and...
Fighting the Health Care Blues
ROB STONE, M.D.
On a cold and rainy December 2, while the Senate in Washington was slogging along debating health reform, a remnant troupe of public-option supporting Organizing for America stalwarts stood outside the corporate headquarters of WellPoint, Inc. in the cen...
The Israeli Stranglehold
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
"Settlers attack West Bank mosque and burn holy Muslim books” was a London Times headline on December 11, 2009. These attacks, together with the demolition of Palestinian homes, the uprooting of Palestinians’ olive groves, the in...
Battered Berlusconi
MIKE WHITNEY
For a moment, the flamboyant Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi looked like Floyd Patterson after a 7 round drubbing by Mohammad Ali. The fastidious playboy was blind-sided by 42-year-old, statuette-wielding assassin who bonked Silvio’s schno...
The Silence of the North
INGMAR LEE
Is an antidote to all the hot air being generated in Copenhage, I devoured a fantastic piece of historic Canadian literature, ...
The Poppy Pretext
JULIEN MERCILLE
So Mr. Obama is getting ready to surge-again-in Afghanistan partly to fight opium trafficking. But an important report just released by the World Health Organization entitled The Global Tobacco Epidemic shows that Obama cannot possibly be waging a &ldquo...
Why the Time for Afghan Analysis is Over
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
Check out this so-called after action report o...
The American Pathology
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
“The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug.” – Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning In 1935, Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson founded Alcoholics Anony...
Madoff’s Verdant Suckers
LIMONE TATATJAVY
A year ago, on December 11, 2008, it was revealed that a multi-billion dollar hedge fund was, in fact, a ponzi scheme, and that the reverberating name of the confidence man was Madoff. In the blink of an eye and with the illusionism of a magic tri...
Blackwater’s Second Act
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The good news for Blackwater fans is that things are not as bleak as might at first appear. Blackwater has more lives than the victims of its blunders. Earlier this year, I erroneously suggested that Blackwater might very soon be leaving Iraq since it ha...
Superficial Reality in Honduras
BELEN FERNANDEZ
A few days prior to the November 29 elections in Honduras, Francisco Varela—the homeless man regularly stationed outside the drive-through of one of the ubiquitous Espresso Americano establishments in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa—acqui...
Cindy Sheehan’s Lesson
DAVID MACARAY
One of the most astonishing and demoralizing comments I ever heard was in response to Cindy Sheehan’s August, 2005, anti-war demonstrations outside George W. Bush’s Prarie Chapel Ranch (near Crawford, Texas).  A commentator declared that...
Leave It in the Ground
BRENDA NORRELL
Big Mountain. As snow covers the land on Black Mesa, Louise Benally, Navajo resisting relocation on Big Mountain, sends a message to Indigenous Peoples and world leaders gathered at the Climate Change Summit 2009 in Copenhagen. Speaking to global...
An Af-Pak Train Wreck
CONN HALLINAN
When President Barak Obama laid out his plan for winning the war in Afghanistan, behind him stood an army of ghosts: Greeks, Mongols, Buddhists, British, and Russians, all whom had almost the same illusions as the current resident of the Oval Office abou...
Hell is the Tijuana Assembly Line
ANNE VIGNA
"Crisis? What crisis? You’re sure there’s a new crisis? Here in Tijuana we’re always in crisis”, says Jaime Cotta with a smile. In spite of all the misery that trudges through his office, Cotta manages to retain his sense of ...
Latin America in the Age of Obama
JOSEPH SHANSKY
“I hold the view that before Obama completes his term, there will be from six to eight right-wing governments in Latin America that will be allies of the empire."  – Fidel Castro. President O...
Democracy in Honduras
BENJAMIN DANGL
Before right wing candidate Porfirio Lobo was pronounced the winner of the November 29 elections in Honduras, one senior US official spoke anonymously to reporters of his administration’s position on Honduras: "What are we going to do, sit for...
A Pacifist Critique of Obama’s Nobel Lecture
RAMZI KYSIA
In any circumstances President Obama’s speech would have been disturbing, but given in acceptance for the Nobel Peace prize it was deplorable. Full of internal inconsistencies, the speech was little more than a jingoistic defense of the institution...
The American Health Care Pyramid
CARL GINSBURG
The extraordinary creativity and commitment of the US government has given birth finally to what appears to be a new health care financing scheme which, like everything in Obama’s America, harkens back to the age of pyramids. There are hints in the...
Banned and Forbidden in Saudi Arabia
CHARLES R. LARSON
The Middle East appears to have been shocked by Seba al-Herz’s The Others, ...
The Land Mines Obama Won’t Touch
BILL MOYERS And MICHAEL WINSHIP
Many people are troubled that Barack Obama flew to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize so soon after escalating the war in Afghanistan. He is now more than doubling the number of troops there when George W. Bush left office.  The irony was...
Bernanke’s Faux Recovery
MIKE WHITNEY
"Economic recovery" is a term that has no fixed meaning. But it’s worth mulling over to determine whether aggregate demand is strong enough to keep the economy from tipping back into recession.  In normal times, the Fed slashes inter...
Haydn, Hsu and the Baryton: a Feast for a Prince
DAVID YEARSLEY
Joseph Haydn died in 1809 and before this year of commemorations slips away, I want to cast my vote for the all-time best recording of his music. A daunting, or perhaps, silly given idea, given the staggering possibilities to choose from. My choice is no...
Democracy on Its Deathbed
RON JACOBS
The day after I finished reading Ms. Roy’s wonderful and well-written collection of essays ...
Who Cares About Gaza?
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Gaza?  Where’s that?  Have you heard about it recently?  It doesn’t figure on the list of important matters for consideration by the world’s presidents and prime ministers.  It has vanished from the media.  Most...
Hawks and Hawkers
FARZANA VERSEY
Some might see it as a great move. I think it is one more sissy attempt at tolerance and reaching out. Religion is the culprit. There is the World Trade Centre and two blocks away is the Burlington Coat factory. On 9/11, one of the planes crashed...
Not Even a Peanut
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
A friend down the coast here in California called Wednesday to say that her mother, 95, had fallen, cracked her ribs, got a cough  and told her daughters, “That’s it. I’m checking out.” She’s given up eating. I remember...
Tim Lincecum’s Pot Bust
FRED GARDNER
Only in the San Francisco Bay Area did the story cross over from the sports pages to the news pages: on October 30, Tim Lincecum, the Giants’ ace right hander, was stopped by a Washington State Highway Patrol officer for driving 74 MPH on Interstat...
Why You Should Know About Ali Sibat
RANNIE AMIRI
At the time of this writing, Ali Hussain Sibat is still alive. It is unknown for how long he will be however, for he is set to be executed in Saudi Arabia at any moment for the undefined crime of practicing “sorcery” and “witchc...
Loose in Obamalandia
JOHN ROSS
Trinidad, California. Each Friday afternoon since Bush’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003, my old friend Janine V. has been standing with Woman In Black here near the 101 off-ramp as a silent reminder of the on-going Bu...
Israel’s Notorious Hannibal Procedure
JONATHAN COOK
Narazeth. The fatal shooting by Israeli soldiers of an Israeli man earlier this week as he tried to scale a fence into the Gaza Strip was reportedly part of a drastic procedure the army was supposed to have phased out several years ago. Th...
War is Not Peace
NORMAN SOLOMON
Eloquence in Oslo cannot change the realities of war. As President Obama neared the close of his Nobel address, he called for “the continued expansion of our moral imagination.” Yet his speech was tightly circumscribed by the policies...
Welcome to Norway
BJÖRN KUMM
Norway – as its former, Christian Democratic, prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, once claimed – is a nation of peace. Norway is small, the prime minister admitted, but would show a big heart. And at times it really seems as if Norwegian pri...
Selective Subpoenas
JAYNE LYN STAHL
Lawmakers have now decided to subpoena the Salahis, the Virginia couple who arrived uninvited to the White House’s first state dinner last month. The couple will appear before the Committee for Homeland Security to answer questions as to what they ...