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 April 2010
Anti-Apartheid in 8 1/2 Hours
BILLY WHARTON
Eight and half hours is long time for any movie, much less a political documentary. However, Connie Field’s "Have You Heard from Johannesburg" has a serious ambition – to tell the complete story of the South African anti-apartheid...
The Multiple Scams of Goldman Sachs
DEAN BAKER
Last year, Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi described Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." It turns out that Mr. Taibbi was far too gene...
A Lethal Hypocrisy
JAMES BOVARD
Yesterday, on the fifteenth anniversary of the attack on the federal office building in Oklahoma City, former President Bill Clinton had an op-ed in the New York Times headlined: “Violence is Unacceptable in a Democracy.”   The article settles a...
Writing in an Age of Despair
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
During the 1973 war, many Arab writers asked “what is the use of writing?”  And what is the role of the pen in a world dominated by bombs, tanks and warplanes, which in the end control the destiny of people and the future of their children?  Tod...
Eating the Dead in the Everglades
ALAN FARAGO
In June 2002, Washington Post writer Michael Grunwald quoted one of the nation’s GOP power brokers, Al Hoffman: ""You can’t stop it," said (Hoffman), the most influential developer in a state crowded with influential deve...
Iran’s Disarmament Conference
ERIC WALBERG
The logic of power is still the overriding the power of logic, quipped the head of Iran’s Atomic Organisation Ali Salehi at the “Nuclear Energy for all, Nuclear Weapons for None” disarmament conference in Tehran last weekend, referrin...
The Psychiatric Drugging of Infants and Toddlers
EVELYN PRINGLE
The United States has become the psychiatric drugging capital of the world for kids with children being medicated at a younger and younger age. Medicaid records in some states show infants less than a year old on drugs for mental disorders. ...
Good Riddance, Daryl Gates
DAVE LINDORFF
The former Los Angeles police chief, Daryl Gates, who died last Friday of cancer at his home in California, is being widely credited in mostly laudatory newspaper obituaries as the man who developed the idea of Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT)units–those para...
The Death of a Salesman
PAM MARTENS
It was only a matter of time before the hideously disfigured face of U.S. financial services would gaze into the mirror and see the reflection of legal counsel from a parallel universe. The thoroughly discredited one-stop-shopping-mega-bank-securities-casino has spaw...
The Icelandic Volcano Speaks
GARY LEUPP
In my youth I lived on the island of Oahu for a dozen years. It is still my spiritual home and I get back periodically. The Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes on Hawai’i (the “Big Island” 200 miles to the south) have been erupting periodically since 19...
Tax Day Tea Party Tosses Markets Overboard
GREG MOSES
Like so many chests of tea tossed overboard into Boston Harbor, world markets fell straight down Friday in the aftermath of Thursday’s Tea Party protests.  Whether they were Asian markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, or Bombay (yes, ...
Emergency in Afghanistan
MICHAEL LEONARDI
On the 10th of April a hospital operated by the Italian Non Governmental Organization Emergency in Lashkar-gah in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan was attacked and shut down by Afghan police and Afghan secret service in cooperation with the British military, who s...
The Diversity Dead-End
ROBERT JENSEN
After a recent talk on racism and other illegitimate hierarchies at a diversity conference in Dallas, I received a letter from one of the people who had attended that asked “why you feel it necessary to perpetuate and even exacerbate the divisiveness of languag...
Goldman Sachs’ Bloody Nose
MIKE WHITNEY
There’s something fishy about the SEC’s suit against Goldman Sachs. The timing seems particularly odd. Why did the SEC decide to drop this bombshell on a Friday, just when the market had reached a 12-month high and the economy was showing signs of improve...
The Procedural Relationship
GREGORY HARMS
Media attention concerning US-Israeli relations has been feverish recently. It is commonly assumed that the friction indicates cracks in the "special relationship," precipitated by ill feelings between the Obama administration and Israel’s prime minis...
Death in the Desert
JEB SPRAGUE
Nogales, Arizona. As he drops his last purification tablet into a pail of swirling, murky water, Sergio, 26, stares out toward the desert. Recently deported from Arizona, where he has a young child and where he has lived for the majority of hi...
Kandahar Campaign Doomed Before It Begins?
GARETH PORTER
An opinion survey of Afghanistan’s Kandahar province funded by the U.S. Army has revealed that 94 percent of respondents support negotiating with the Taliban over military confrontation with the insurgent group and 85 percent regard the Taliban as "our Afg...
Frontline Fronts for Corporations, Not the Public
Dr. MARGARET FLOWERS, M.D.
It was with a sense of déjà vu that I watched the latest Frontline documentary about health care. “Obama’s Deal” endeavored to reveal the significant influence of health industry dollars on our political process; however...
Atlantis
DAVID Ker THOMSON
Say what you want about the wall-to-wall but Aunt Mollie’s floor-to-ceiling glass is the best thing in Florida since Cabeza de Vaca walked butt naked to Mexico from this state five hundred years ago. The fifty-foot wrap of glass dazzles th...
Selective Commendation, Selective Indignation
EMILY J. KIRK, JOHN M. KIRK And NORMAN GIRVAN
The January 2010 earthquake in Haiti caused some 230,000 deaths, left 1.5 million homeless, and has directly affected 3 million Haitians—1/3 of the population. On March 31, representatives of over 50 governments and international organizations gathered at the U...
The Cost of Labor Civil War
STEVE EARLY
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern was always a fan of the blogosphere. So it was quite fitting that news of his imminent departure from SEIU first appeared, earlier this week, on several blogs. Andy bid SEIU members adieu, officially, ...
Prosecuting Massey for Homicide
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
For years, the state of West Virginia was proud to say that it was “open for business.” In a twist, now it might be open for a homicide prosecution in connection with the deaths of 29 miners at the Massey Energy mine in Raleigh Count...
McChrystal Backtracks
GARETH PORTER
The U.S. military has now officially backtracked from its earlier suggestion that it would seek the consent of local shuras, or consultative conferences with those elders, to carry out the coming military occupation of Kandahar city and nearby districts – contr...
Class Claustrophobia
KIM NICOLINI
When I first left the theater after seeing Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, I stood on the sidewalk literally gasping for air like a fish thrown onto the curb. Cars sped by on the street, leaving a trail of noise and exhaust, and I stood frozen, not able to separate ...
Lie to Congress; Get a Fourth Star
RAY McGOVERN
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander may well be harboring the thought attributed to prevaricator Oliver North upon being spared punishment — and instead getting rewarded handsomely — for lying about the Iran-Contra Affair: “Is this a great country or...
The Return of Economic Man
ALEXIA EASTWOOD
A wealth of literature has recently emerged emphasising humanity’s biological and social propensity for sharing and cooperation, effectively challenging the model of human nature that has underpinned the dominant political and economic structures of recent deca...
Social Security in the Bullseye
ALAN NASSER
But there are two kinds of security: the certainty of a given minimum of sustenance for all and the security of a given standard of life, of the relative position which one person or group enjoys compared with others. There is no reason why, in a society ...
How Obama Must Deal With Israeli Avoidance Methods
NADIA HIJAB
As Barack Obama seeks leadership of the nuclear nonproliferation cause this week, the long shadow cast by the Arab-Israeli conflict is close by. And a proliferation of peace plan advice is coming his way, inspired by reports that his administration may...
Down With Democracy
DAVID MACARAY
Dissidents in the United Auto Workers (UAW) are pushing to change the way the union’s executive board officers are elected.  According to UAW bylaws, it’s the delegates who vote to determine who becomes president of the International.&...
Kent State Anniversary Blues
PAUL KRASSNER
In my book, Magic Mushrooms and Other Highs: From Toad Slime to Ecstasy, Freddy Berthoff descr...
This Will be Obama’s Legacy
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR With the impending departure from the U.S. Supreme Court of Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 89, we lose one of the nation’s last substantive ties to Great Depression and to the effect of that disaster on the political outlook o...
The China Charade
MARK WEISBROT
The United States and China seem to have reached an agreement with regard to the exchange rate between their two currencies. The agreement is that the U.S. government will stop yelling about it, and China will do whatever it wants to do, which will probably include s...
Fatal Math
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
On April 22, 1971, Viet Nam veteran John Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Many of the statements made, then, are painfully pertinent to the situation in which we are criminally involved in AfPak-Iraq, today. Just substitute a few proper ...
A Coal Miner’s Catastrophe
TOM TURNIPSEED
The worship of money is the will of God according to Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy Company that owns and operates the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia where 29 miners were killed on April 5 in a mining explosion. Blankenship is a member o...
The New York Times vs. the Pope
DAVID ROSEN
Since mid-February, the New York Times has led a systematic campaign exposing sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church. The Times has run approximately four dozen front-page articles, follow-up stories and news reports as well as op-ed pieces and letters-to-the-...
Of Mice and Men
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
America has the meanest of politics today, and by that I don’t mean small. America also has the most impoverished of politics today, and by that I do mean small. It’s hard to imagine us practicing a political di...
A Thirsty World
CHARLES R. LARSON
It’s easy to argue that a magazine can’t tackle as complex an issue as water and get it right–the same way that an academic or a scientific analysis might. But the tradeoffs are easily outweighed by the considerable resources of the National Geograp...
High-Frequency Trading as High-Tech Robbery
MIKE WHITNEY
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) knows that High-Frequency Trading (HFT) manipulates the market and bilks investors out of tens of billions of dollars every year. But SEC chairman Mary Schapiro refuses to step in and take action. Instead, she’s conc...
Egypt’s Presidential Elections: Kuwait Casts Its Vote
RANNIE AMIRI
“Kuwait is enabling Egypt’s repression by harassing ElBaradei supporters. Kuwaitis should be asking why their security services are harassing Egyptians seeking reform at home, instead of protecting domestic security interests.” ...
On the Supreme Court
RICHARD GROSSMAN
So the Supreme Court has been igniting passions, has it? Of its Citizens United decision, people cried: “shameless hypocrisy,” “nothing short of fraud…” “Truly frightening…” “a narrow elite is impos...
Number 15 Has Left the Building
RAMZY BAROUD
Li Changchun is often referred to as one of the most powerful men in China, in Asia and, increasingly, in the world. He is a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee. On April 8, he awaited our...
Time-Traveling Down the Mississippi
JOHN ROSS
When I finally made Chicago, they were all waiting for me down there two blocks south of the end of the Blue Line through the wrought-iron gates of Forest Home Cemetery past the ostentatious mausoleums of fabulous gypsies and clustered around the heroi...
Bach and Taxes
DAVID YEARSLEY
While the rich still have not figured out how to evade death, they have always been adept at escaping taxes even from beyond the grave. During Johann Sebastian Bach’s day, a sovereign’s demise was yet one more opportunity for a levy. Johann Zedler’s...
Israel Targets Ha’aretz
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth An Arab member of the Israeli parliament is demanding that a newspaper be allowed to publish an investigative report that was suppressed days before Israel attacked Gaza in winter 2008. The investigation by Uri Blau, who has bee...
Upper Big Branch Mine and the Race to the Bottom
ALAN J. SINGER
I strongly support labor unions. Obama, Duncan, Bloomberg, and Klein, the educational czars in the United States and New York City do not. But I have always worked for a living, and they are either members of the privileged rich or identify with them....
The Youth Scare
TOLU OLORUNDA
Zero tolerance is not simply the effect of possibly ignorant adults who misunderstand data on youth violence; it is not simply the resulting social policy of ill-spirited adults who carelessly toe the line of pejorative media representations of youth; it ...
Human Terrain Systems and Military Intelligence
JOHN STANTON
There has been a lot of debate over the years about HTS’ part in the US Army’s intelligence operations function. Critics and neutral observers have known for some time that HTS is an information collections program. HTS proponents have deni...
SNCC: Same Lesson, 50 Years On
CLANCY SIGAL
This week, a 50th anniversary celebration of black and white "Freedom Movement" veterans &...
Housing Crashes Again
MIKE WHITNEY
The brief period of stabilization in housing appears to be over and the next leg-down has begun. Mortgage rates are edging higher, foreclosures are on the rise, and the government programs that supported the sector, are being phased out. The uptick in bank-owned prop...
Don’t Just Smoke a Joint on 4/20
BILL PIPER
April 20th (4/20) has long been associated with marijuana, both marijuana use and marijuana activism. Thousands of Americans will gather on that day at rallies in Boston, Boulder, New York, Santa Cruz, Seattle and other cities. For people who prefer to...