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 February 2010
All in the Family
ALISON WEIR
Recent exposés revealing that Ethan Bronner, the New York Times’ Israel-Palestine bureau chief, has a son in the Israeli military have caused a storm of controversy that continues to swirl and generate further revelations. (See my piece for CounterPunch,...
Learning to Live
CHARLES R. LARSON
Chester Patterson—the eponymous narrator and the central character of Kermit Moyer’s mesmerizing collection of linked stories, ...
Challenging History
RAMZY BAROUD
When American historian Howard Zinn passed away recently, he left behind a legacy that redefined our relationship to history altogether. Professor Zinn dared to challenge the way history was told and written. In fact he went as far as to defy the conventional...
DiFi and Blum: a Marriage Marinated in Money
WILL PARRISH And DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM
On April 17, 2009, with the edifice of the global economy rotting under an architecture of monumental greed, war deficits, and official hubris, the University of California, Berkeley conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for its Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Ec...
Don’t Mourn, Go Green
DON SANTINA
For quite awhile now, the political streams have been flooded with the ever increasing wail of the progressive Democrats. The weeping and gnashing of teeth by peace and justice groups, unions, focus groups, Democratic Party blogs and liberal/left journals has become ...
Gargantua’s Mouth
SAUL LANDAU And NELSON P. VALDES
The perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always  prepared to repel it; its armies must be numerous enough for instant  defense. The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance  of the soldier, and pro...
Peer Review as Censorship
SUZAN MAZUR
"Because findings published in peer-reviewed journals affect patient care, public policy and the authors’ academic promotions, journal editors contend that new scientific information should be published in a peer-reviewed journal before it is p...
The Potemkin Village Economy
ALAN FARAGO
US politics are in gridlock because elected officials, Democrats and Republicans alike, are fighting to revive an economic model based on construction, development and housing. Instead of breaking with the past– and confessing that trillions of taxpayer handout...
Feed Pete Peterson to the Whales
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Call him, just for now, Spartacus. He was two years old when the slavers captured him in 1982 and hauled him off to Oak Bay, near the town of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in the far Canadian west. And there he met his fellow slaves, Nootka and Hai...
24 City
BEN SONNENBERG
Jia Zhang-Ke, who turns 40 this year, is probably best known for his 2004 film, The World, a powerful tragedy that begins as satiric comedy. He has made a number of excellent entertainments, most notably Platform (2000) and Unknown Pleasures (2003), as well as the st...
Union Politics for Grown-Ups
DAVID MACARAY
You hear a lot of hypothetical “Hitler” questions in Ethics 101 classes.  Here’s one:  Who would object to a scenario where Hitler failed to receive enough votes to force that 1932 runoff election for president of Germany—even if tha...
Union Politics for Grown-Ups
DAVID MACARAY
You hear a lot of hypothetical “Hitler” questions in Ethics 101 classes.  Here’s one:  Who would object to a scenario where Hitler failed to receive enough votes to force that 1932 runoff election for president of Germany—even if tha...
Frozen in Time
M. G. PIETY
Did you catch the video last Tuesday night on NBC of U.S. champion Rachel Flatt as a three year old in what must have been one of her first skating performances? The announcers, including Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton (1984), seemed to think it was very cute. ...
Sex in the Name of Christ
DAVID YEARSLEY
I’ve taken to listening to so-called Christian contemporary music on in my car radio.  What fascinates me is the friction between sensuality and its suppression that gives sacred pop its weird energy.  A musical style redolent of sex is...
The Life and Death Struggle of the Yanomami
JARED RITVO
The Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon have been decimated in the last 20 years by an incursion of prospect-miners (garimpeiros) who brought diseases (especially malaria) and other maladies to their hitherto relatively isolated communities. Here we follow the history o...
Zinn and the Art of History
BRIAN McKENNA
Six days after Howard Zinn’s death on January 27, I asked my class of forty-seven Introduction to Anthropology students about Christopher Columbus. “Take out a piece of paper and respond to this scenario. You are the Director of Community Theater here in ...
Art as Defensive Weapon
MICHAEL DICKINSON
According to Turkish Justice Ministry Statistics as of Jan. 31, 2010, there are a total of 117,547 prisoners in Turkish jails, but only half of this number are actual convicts.  The vast majority of the rest are detainees waiting for a court appearance.  Ma...
Egypt’s Nuclear Option
RANNIE AMIRI
“For someone like myself to be unable to run for president, this is a disaster. How can a constitution bar 99 percent of the people from running?” – Former IAEA Director-General and Nobel Prize laureat...
The Debt is Not the Threat
MARK WEISBROT
Various political demagogues and Wall Street interests have mounted a campaign to convince Americans that despite persistent massive unemployment for the foreseeable future, more than 15 million people underwater on their home mortgages and two unneces...
Talking with Gail Collins About the Women’s Rights Movement
MARTHA ROSENBERG
New York Times columnist Gail Collins’ new history of the women’s rights movement in the 1960s, ...
The Accidental Patient
DAVE LINDORFF
As I write this article, I’m seated in a hotel room across from the train station in Geneva, Switzerland. There’s a slight, dull pain in my forehead from a two-inch line of stitches that are pulling together a gash that runs diagonally across my brow, tha...
A "Good" Terrorist Captured by Iran
RAY McGOVERN
The Iranian government is celebrating the capture of Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of a violent group called Jundullah (Arabic for Soldiers of God), which Tehran says is a terrorist organization supported by the United States, Great Britain and Israel. ...
Deadly Purchases
BINOY KAMPMARK
Even David Letterman found room to mock it, but Toyota’s recent acceleration debacle is an episode the company would rather forget.  The Japanese giant is mired in a controversial recall of vehicles for sudden acceleration defects, numbering...
How Orky and Kasatka Almost Sank Sea World
JASON HRIBAL
Sometimes a singular incident can trigger a wave of enormous and lasting proportions. In late 1987, one such wave washed over Sea World, San Diego and sent the entertainment park’s owner, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, tumbling in the wake. The media was investigat...
The Indefatigable Cindy Sheehan
MISSY BEATTIE
A little more than a year after her son Casey was murdered in Iraq by the US Military Industrial Complex, Cindy Sheehan took a stand in Crawford to challenge the cowering George Bush who hid behind security at his ranch. The Peace Mom sat in a ditch under the searing...
Public Virtue and Private Vice Under the Dome
PHIL DOE
I ventured down to the Colorado Capitol last Thursday to listen to the debate on Senate Bill 10-089. Like always, I couldn’t hear anything because the senate committee room, where agriculture bills such as this one are argued, isn’t adequately miked. Mayb...
China’s New Iran Strategy
PETER LEE
Beijing is monitoring the evolving United States-led Iran sanctions campaign with alarm and – as conflicting responses to an Israeli initiative indicate – some uncertainty. It suspects the Barack Obama administration may be as interested in leveraging the...
The Assault on Illhem
TARIQ ALI
Forgive an outsider and staunch atheist like myself who, on reading the recent French press comments relating to Ilhem Moussaid the hijab-wearing NPA candidate in Avignon, gets the impression that something is rotten in  French political culture. Let’s tak...
Ethan Bronner and Conflicts of Interest
JONATHAN COOK
A recent assignment of mine covering Israel’s presumed links to the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh provoked some more thoughts about the New York Times reporter Ethan Bronner. He is the Jerusalem bureau chief who has been at the centre of a co...
Charlie Wilson’s Legacy
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Former Congressman Charlie Wilson, who died on February10, was America’s answer to James Bond, the fast-moving, globe-trotting character in Ian Fleming’s novels, who foiled enemies and conquered beautiful women with ease. Wilson’s achievements in Co...
The Struggle of Nootka and Tilikum
JASON HRIBAL
Editors’ Note: Counterpunches can be landed in a variety of ways. In November 2006, Kasatka, the Sea World Orca, attempted to drown her trainer. Yesterday, it was Tilikum’s turn—killing his aquarium trai...
No, in Anger
CLANCY SIGAL
"Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred." President Roosevelt, Madison Square Garden, October 31, 1936...
War Politics
NORMAN SOLOMON
Playwright Lillian Hellman said: “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” The statement was in a letter to the House Un-American Activities Committee. The year was 1952. We tell ourselves that the...
Prosecuting Bush for War Crimes
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
In 2008, Charlotte Dennett ran for Attorney General in Vermont. Dennett’s key campaign pledge – if elected, she would appoint Vincent Bugliosi as a special prosecutor to seek a murder indictment against George W. Bush for the deaths ...
The War on Toyota
MIKE WHITNEY
Does anyone really believe that Toyota is being pilloried in the media for a few highway fatalities? Nonsense. If Congress is so worried about innocent people getting killed, then why haven’t they indicted US commander Stanley McChrystal for blowing up ...
She Coulda Been a Contender
STEWART J. LAWARENCE
Sarah Palin delivered the keynote address at the Tea Party’s national convention two weeks ago provoking wild applause and chants of "Run, Sarah Run."  But whether the former Alaska Governor is likely to emerge as a major national political figur...
GM’s Northern Strategy
AL BENCHICH
The “reinvention” of the “New GM” has begun with the opening of a lithium-ion battery plant in Brownstown, Michigan, near Detroit. The event was remarkable not only because the Brownstown plant signals GM’s return to the production of an...
The Real Objective of the Marja Offensive
GARETH PORTER
Senior military officials decided to launch the current U.S.-British military campaign to seize Marja in large part to influence domestic U.S. opinion on the war in Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported Monday. The Post report, by Greg Jaffe...
The Fairy Tale of GM Crops
JIM GOODMAN
Since the first commercial cultivation of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in 1996, Monsanto and the rest of the big six Biotech seed companies, (Pioneer/DuPont, Syngenta, Dow, BASF and Bayer) have become masters at the art of story telling. Farm...
Bribes, Corruption and the Pandur APC
TOM CLIFFORD
The Czech government’s purchase of Pandur military vehicles is hitting rough terrain amid political sniping, allegations of corruption and a police probe as it has emerged that the Czechs paid three times as much for the armored personnel carriers (APCs) than t...
The Nuclear Lobby’s $645 Million Con Job
HARVEY WASSERMAN
The mystery has been solved. Where is this "new reactor renaissance" coming from? There has been no deep, thoughtful re-making or re-evaluation of atomic technology. No solution to the nuke waste problem. No mak...
Round Midnight
JOE BAGEANT
Ajijic, Mexico. Near midnight and I am making tortillas on an iron skillet over a gas flame. Some three thousand miles to the north, my wife and dog nestle in sleep in the wake of a 34-inch snowstorm, while the dogs of Ajijic are barking at the ...
Geithner’s Gotta Go
MIKE WHITNEY
Would it be wrong to take out a $1,000,000 policy on your wife and then put strychnine in her double-tall nonfat mocha? Not if you are Goldman Sachs it wouldn’t. In fact–according to an article on today’s Bloomberg News–t...
The Hollow Man Reaches His Omega Point
RON JACOBS
Point Omega is Don Delillo’s latest novel.  It is nominally about an inexperienced filmmaker who journeys to the US Southwest in the hopes of making a film about a former official who helped run the US war in Iraq.  The novel opens and closes with a d...
Haiti and the Aid Racket
ASHLEY SMITH
It’s now more than a month since the earthquake that laid waste to Port-au-Prince, killing more than 200,000 people and thrusting millions of people into the most desperate conditions. But according to the U.S. government, Haitians have a ...
The Plot to Kill Social Security
SHAMUS COOKE
In Washington each new day brings a fresh call to “reform entitlement programs” — Social Security, Medicare, etc., (in Congress, the word “reform” now means to eliminate, or drastically reduce). Tackling Social Security has been on the t...
The Story of Pvt. Hargrove
WILLIAM P. O'CONNOR
When Congress members voted to go to war in 2002, they didn’t think about Pvt. Joseph Hargrove. Instead, they thought about their re-election, their party, and themselves.    Hargrove lives in an antiseptic-six- by-10 room at Gainesville ...
Rampage in Philly
DAVE LINDORFF
City leaders and the downtown business community in Philadelphia are wringing their hands and calling for “tough action” against a horde of some 150 high school kids from eight of the city’s decrepit and failing high schools who rampaged late Tuesda...
Health Care as Political Theater
JEFF SHER
Reading into President Barack Obama’s health care summit on Thursday, the massive rate increases recently announced by Anthem/Blue Cross of California shine like a neon marquee over this episode of political theatre. The magnitude of these...
Health Care as Political Theater
JEFF SHER
Reading into President Barack Obama’s health care summit on Thursday, the massive rate increases recently announced by Anthem/Blue Cross of California shine like a neon marquee over this episode of political theatre. The magnitude of these...