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 June 2010
BP’s Temple of Doom
ALAN FARAGO
The electronic ether  is crackling with rumors of suspected collateral damage from the BP Gulf Oil catastrophe. A Youtube video purports to show rain falling in Louisiana, streaking the earth with a Deepwater Horizon sheen of oil. In Tennessee, n...
Why Afghanistan’s Poppies Aren’t the Problem
JULIEN MERCILLE
For years, there has been much discussion about the best strategy to rid Afghanistan of its poppies. Eradication, says Bush. Interdiction and alternative livelihoods, retorts Obama. Licensing and production for medicinal purposes, suggested the Senlis...
The No Blow Movement
SHEPHERD BLISS
Peter and Susan Kendall of Orinda, Northern California, are not your typical political activists. This couple really wants some peace and quiet, so they can be comfortable within their suburban home and with their backyard chickens, berries and tomato...
Fighting for the Freedom to Dissent
WINSLOW MYERS
What an extraordinary civics lesson for the students, faculty, administration, town officials and parents connected with the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School on Cape Cod. Two teachers, Marybeth Verani and Carrie Koscher, stood up at an assembly re...
36 Questions for Elena Kagan
RALPH NADER
Supreme Court nominations are a rare opportunity for millions of Americans to watch, learn and converse about what the Court, the Constitution and the Justices mean for their way of life, their freedoms and their livelihoods. M...
Video Gamers and the Future of Labor Rights
RON JACOBS
Even though I’ve been involved in at least four union organizing efforts at jobs I have had since I began working in 1971, I have never worked at a union job.  In addition, many of the various antiwar and antiracist endeavors I have been in...
The Coup is Not Complete
JOE SHANSKY
At one point during the military coup in Honduras last year, a US representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) joked that Hondurans were living in a state of "magical realism", a folkloric literary genre blurring reality and t...
Going Horizontal at the US Social Forum
BILLY WHARTON
If one political concept dominated the proceedings of the US Social Forum, it was horizontalism. Organizers mentioned it in relation to media access, workshops panelists offered it as an alternative to top-down NGOs and political parties and participa...
Who Will Pay: Wall Street or Main Street?
ELLEN BROWN
The financial reform bill agreed to on June 25 may have carved out some protections for consumers, but for Goldman Sachs and the derivatives lobby, the bill was a clear win, leaving the Wall Street gambling business intact.  In a June 25 Newsweek...
The Politics of Death
DAVE LINDORFF
"I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong." –Frederick Douglass On the evening of March 4, participants at the Fourth World Congress Aga...
Scare Tactics, Spin and Health Care
HELEN REDMOND
Liberals are on a mission to convince a skeptical public the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known by the last three letters, ACA) should not only be supported, it’s actually a good piece of legislation, a step in the right direction...
A Better Blockade?
NADIA HIJAB
After locking itself up for hours on end, Israel’s security cabinet finally emerged to announce an easing of its blockade on Gaza, a move immediately welcomed by the United States. Israel and the U.S. hope to defuse world outrage over the collec...
Chronicle of a Riot Foretold
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
Oakland. As the trial of former transit cop Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant rushes at breakneck speed toward its conclusion, spurred by the insistence of Judge Robert Perry and political imperative, ominous cloud...
Endless Occupation?
SHELDON RICHMAN
So Gen. Stanley McChrystal is out and Gen. David Petraeus is back at the helm in Afghanistan. I don’t like hackneyed phrases, but if this isn’t rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, what is it? America’s occupation of A...
The Fate of Alberta’s Grizzly Bears
BRIAN L. HOREJSI
If it looks like a pig, walks like a pig, and smells like a pig, chances are it is a pig. I don’t aim to disparage the real four legged critter, which happens to be a pretty cool animal, but I cannot say the same for the political versions. ...
The World Cup and the Politics of Immigration
JULES BOYKOFF
The World Cup has produced some mercurial moments, with defending champions Italy getting the early boot, all African teams but Ghana vanquished in the first round, and longshots like Japan and Slovakia advancing to the knockout round. We’ve hea...
Is Advice From the IMF Better Than Advice From a Drunk on the Street?
DEAN BAKER
That is the question that people around the world should be asking as the International Monetary Fund dishes out its prescription for austerity. The IMF program calls for cutbacks in government support for health care, pensions and a wide range of oth...
Giving Laws the Finger
DAVID MACARAY
Wouldn’t it be great if federal regulations were like household and auto repairs?  When you have a leaky faucet, you call a plumber; when your brakes squeal, you take your car to a mechanic.  If only legislation and federal regulations...
The Cops’ War on Videos of Cops
JEANINE MOLLOFF
A high ranking official in government was quoted some time ago on the political marriage of public relations and governmental control regarding the ‘rule of law.’  Simply put, this official flatly stated that… ...
Holding America’s Soldiers Accountable
JOHN GRANT
The US Army is holding Specialist Bradley Manning incommunicado in Kuwait, under charges of leaking to WikiLeaks video of Apache helicopter pilots gunning down two Reuters cameramen and a number of Iraqis in a Baghdad neighborhood. The video is devast...
Blueprint for a Purely Jewish State
JONATHAN COOK
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, set out last week what he called a “blueprint for a resolution to the conflict” with the Palestinians that demands most of the country’s large Palestinian minority be stri...
Honduras, After Democracy
BILL QUIGLEY
One year ago, on June 28, 2009, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was awakened by gunfire.  A coup was carried out by US-trained military officers, including graduates of the infamous US Army School of the Americas (WHINSEC) in Georgia.  Pres...
Elena Kagan’s Harvard
FRANK MENETREZ
When Elena Kagan was dean of Harvard Law School, her mishandling of a plagiarism case cost an innocent person his job while allowing the plagiarist, Professor Alan Dershowitz, to escape punishment.  Dershowitz has said that when Kagan was dean &l...
Still Free, Barely Holding On
DAVID Ker THOMSON
Synopsis:  Not all of us who are fighting in the streets here in Toronto are despondent, but a great many of us are.  I am.  We are experiencing in our neighborhoods what brown people have experienced for centuries around the world at o...
Emergency War Supplemental Explained
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is committed to passing an emergency war supplemental [funding bill for Pentagon expenses in Afghanistan] before the July Fourth recess, Roll Call reports." Why is this an "eme...
Can’t Get No Stimulation
MARK WEISBROT
It is sad to see that the U.S. Congress is having trouble even passing just $24 billion for unemployment insurance at a time when the economy is weak and unemployment is at nearly 10 percent. This shows the power of right-wing ideology in this country...
For Love and Money
HARRY BROWNE
In a better, more ‘sporting’ world, Argentina’s footballers, having seen on the big screen that they had been gifted a goal unjustly by poor officiating, would have allowed Mexico to go up the field and score a goal unopposed to even...
Vain and Void in Toronto
DAMIEN MILLET And ERIC TOUSSAINT
As at previous meetings, the Toronto summit of the exclusive G20 club to which the world’s richest countries invited the heads of state of the major emerging countries once again raised great expectations only to conclude with an empty bubble. A...
Environmental Catastrophe Fatigue
ALAN FARAGO
Since the Gulf oil spill catastrophe, more than two months ago, I have dropped in regularly to the excellent online coverage by the ...
The Bloody Sunday Report
EAMONN McCANN
"We hope it will lead to greater harmony among all the parties," declared Louis Susman, US ambassador to Britain, speaking during a visit to Northern Ireland a week after the June 15 publication of the report of Lord Saville into the massacr...
The Politics of Plunder
JOE BAGEANT
Starting with the Homeland Security probe at Washington’s Reagan Airport, arrival back in the United States resembles an alien abduction to a planet of bright lights, strange beings and incomprehensible behavior. The featureless mysophobic lands...
Hillbilly Rebel Women v. Corporate Murderers
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
Utopian feminists—the ones who profess that if only women ruled, society would be peaceful—should take a look at the ladies who preside over the violent, pill-snorting, gun-toting, hillbilly White clan in “...
Fidel Advises Obama?
SAUL LANDAU
Almost two months after the spill President Obama addressed the nation (June 15). He said he would “fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes.” Not in my lifetime, I thought. Maybe not even in his. ...
Netanyahu Plays the Vuvuzela
RANNIE AMIRI
Assuming you haven’t left planet Earth in the past two weeks, you know the 2010 World Cup is well underway in host nation South Africa. Even the uninterested have heard the unmistakable “buzz” emanating from its stadiums, as if a mas...
No Room With a View
CHARLES R. LARSON
The Cave Man is a hair-raising account “in fictional form” of Xiaoda Xiao’s imprisonment, of his “forced labor in a Mao Prison Labor Reform Camp” from 1971-1978. In a brief author’s note, Xiao states of the situatio...
Targeting Women
STUART JEANNE BRAMHALL
For some reason it is very rare to see the major issues I face as a woman reflected in the mainstream media. I find this quite sad, given that the feminist movement – which dates from Mary Wollstonecraft’s 1792 Vindication of the Rights of...
Afghanistan, the Saudi Arabia of Lithium?
PAUL FITZGERALD And ELIZABETH GOULD
It seems that Afghanistan is a never ending font of surprises. For decades U.S. officials took the position that Afghanistan held nothing of value for the United States, especially in the form of vital strategic resources. That assumption was a major ...
Racism in the Courts
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
After spending more than ten years in jail without a formal sentence, Curtis Flowers now can point to another unenviable distinction – he’s the first person in U.S. history subjected to six murder trials for the same crime. ...
What South Africa Really Lost at the World Cup
PATRICK BOND
Soccer-loving cynics have long predicted problems now growing worse here in South Africa because of World Cup hosting duties: • loss of large chunks of government’s sovereignty to the world soccer body Fif...
The New Abortion Wars
DAVID ROSEN
The U.S. is facing resurgence in the war against a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Congress contained the Bush administration’s more virulent anti-abortion efforts, especially after the 2006 election. Since Obama’s election and ...
What If the Greeks Did This?
TROND ANDRESEN
Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for the reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally” – John Maynard Keynes This is an attempt to think...
A President Without a Party, a Party Without a President
DON NORTH
A year ago, I attended the inauguration of Mauricio Funes as President of El Salvador, after covering the election campaign. My recent documentary Yesterday’s Enemies concludes with the dramatic narrow victory of Funes that enabled him to become...
Distorting Chavez
MARK WEISBROT
Stephen Sackur provides a misleading and one-sided picture of Venezuela after a brief visit there, during which he interviewed President Hugo Chávez for The Guardian ("...
The System and the Drug War
ADAM ENGEL
“Drugs were not Kissinger’s priority,” Jim Ludlum explained. “Drugs were a no-win situation.” The Strength of the Pack by Douglas Valentine Relentl...
Can the Internet End Libel Laws?
JULIE HILDEN
The advent of the Internet has profoundly changed the practical realities relating to libel law. Yet libel law — which is a creature of state law, but incorporates important requirements imposed by Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence ...
Killing Civilians, Ducking Blame
KATHY KELLY And DAN PEARSON
In accepting General McChrystal’s resignation, President Obama said that McChrystal’s departure represented a change in personnel, not a change in policy. “Americans don’t flinch in the face of difficult truths or difficult tas...
Fake Lakes vs. Real People
ANANYA MUKHERJEE-REED
If you have been to Toronto, you must have noticed that it lies on the shores of the vast and beautiful Lake Ontario. On this eve of the G20, the Lake looks perhaps especially blue and beautiful, as if with a vengeance, it seems to me. But this is not...
Righting a Perpetual Wrong
RAMZY BAROUD
Finally, a parliamentary debate in Lebanon over the human rights of Palestinian refugees. What is unfortunate though, is that granting basic civil rights to over 400,000 Palestinians – 62 years after their expulsion from their historic homeland ...
Revisiting Guazapa
WHITNEY COLE And ALEXANDER BROCKWEHL
The new documentary film Guazapa: Yesterday’s Enemies begins with the monumental event in the country’s modern history – the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero. It was he, more than any other contemporary Salvadoran, who possessed abi...
Losing It at the Airport Checkpoint
RALPH NADER
If you are planning to fly over the 4th of July holiday, be aware of your rights at airport security checkpoints. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has mandated that passengers can opt out of going through a whole...