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
The Ordeal of the Angola Three’s Albert Woodfox
JAMES RIDGEWAY And JEAN CASELLA
Albert Woodfox has spent nearly all of the last 38 years in solitary confinement at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. His case has brought protests from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who argue that Woodfox’s decades in ...
US Fear Factory Kills Free Speech
YVONNE RIDLEY
America is still embarrassed by the infamous McCarthy Hearings which ruined the lives of thousands of innocents during the ifties. Anyone then, suspected of being linked to communism was arrested, interrogated and either impriso...
Anti-Imperialism 101
HARRY BROWNE
That bastion of British liberalism and prince of online newspapers, the Guardian, adopted a familiar tone of sniggering bemusement as it reported last Friday: “When football players seek inspiration they no...
The Brazilian Presidential Elections
MARK WEISBROT
Four years ago, when the government of Evo Morales re-nationalized its hydrocarbon industry, the Brazilian media was spoiling for a fight. After all, Petrobras, the Brazilian oil and gas company, had major interests there. But President Lula Da Silva ...
Is Pakistan Unraveling?
JOSHUA BROLLIER And KATHY KELLY
"The military is the muscle that protects the ruling elite from the wrath of the people,” says Pakistani political analyst Dr. Mubashir Hassan. “Right now, people are out on the street; blocking roads, attacking railway stations, etc....
Peculiar Politics in South Carolina
TOM TURNIPSEED
Peculiar politics in South Carolina is a never ending saga. On June 15, South Carolina Republican State Senator Jake Knotts of Lexington told the South Carolina Senate he is proud to be a redneck and would not resign from the Senate for having called ...
Festering Corruption
RALPH NADER
The festering corporate government in Washington, DC, is a theater of the absurd. Some of the acts of this tragedy follow: 1. Start with the often hapless Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that administ...
Global Bonapartism
VIJAY PRASHAD
We are left with the politicians who think poorly of us, and who stand back with chaos in their pale old eyes whimpering, “That is not what we wanted. No, it was not to have gone that way.” They are old, but we have been ve...
The Real Shakedown
JAYNE LYN STAHL
To say that the American consumer stood by helplessly for the past few years while Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, and big oil made record, gargantuan profits is almost a cliche, but it’s true, and that fact makes Texas congressman Joe Barton’s apol...
Generation Monsanto
RONIIE CUMMINS
Gen-M, the first Monsanto Generation of humans force-fed genetically modified foods hasn’t reached reproductive age yet (they were born in the late 1990s). But, if a critical mass of animal feeding studies are any indication, the millennial gene...
Vermont and Israel
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
Once again, with the full knowledge and complicity of the White House, the Israeli military machine has engaged in an illegal act of terrorism consistent with its long standing genocidal aims against the Palestinians. This time the Israeli’s hei...
The Flotilla Fiasco
SAUL LANDAU
Three Jews in Tel Aviv talked for hours. One leaves. Another says to the remaining Jew: “God, that man was stupid. He must be a general.” After Israeli commandos murdered nine people and wo...
Addicted to Prosperity
ROBERT BRYCE
Back in 2006, George W. Bush declared that the US is “addicted to oil.” Since then, that phrase has been repeated ad nauseam by politicos on both the left and the right.  But on Tuesday night, President Obama took the addiction trope ...
Economic Timidity in the Eurozone
MARK WEISBROT
The U.S. and European Union together make up about half of the global economy, and recovery is quite uncertain in both of these big economies. Contrary to a lot of folk wisdom and political posturing, the problem is not irresponsible government spendi...
Empty Presidential Platitudes
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
I really didn’t want to write another rant this week on the now yawn-inducing fact of Barack Obama’s irrelevance and presidential impotence (when, that is, it isn’t something far worse), but watching his first Oval Office address to ...
Grand Theft Flotilla
STANLEY HELLER
"There’s been three or four reports from passengers that Israelis then went out with their credit cards and bought beer with it.” That’s what Greta Berlin of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla told me about what happened with the possess...
Deficit Terrorists Strike England
ELLEN BROWN
The financial sector has sometimes been accused of shrinking the money supply intentionally, in order to increase the demand for its own products.  Bankers are in the debt business, and if governments are allowed to create enough money to keep th...
Spilling It on BP
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Jeanne Pascal knows BP. Up until three months ago, when she retired, Jeanne Pascal was an attorney at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Her beat: debarment of BP. For years,...
What Ankara Knows
RAMZY BAROUD
"Even despots, gangsters and pirates have specific sensitiveness, (and) follow some specific morals." The claim was made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a recent speech, foll...
Sex, the City and American Patriotism
MITU SENGUPTA
"Why is Abu Dhabi so advanced, but so backward when it comes to sex?” Spoken by the inimitable character of Samantha Jones, this is the dubious moral message of Sex and the City 2.  The movie has been justly disparaged for its a...
Summer Nights in Emden and Uttum
DAVID YEARSLEY
Often in June I am traipsing around Northern Europe playing organ concerts in well-preserved Baroque towns. I always think of Adorno’s great line when I arrive at the square with its view of the church I’ll be playing in. “They [the ...
Sanity Maintenance Detour
MISSY BEATTIE
Okay, I can’t help it. It is beyond my control. I’m visual. And, so, I make no apologies. Or is admitting that I can’t help it, because I’m visual, an apology? Let’s pretend it doesn’t matter. ...
Progressives Want "Direct Action" But a Disarmed Public
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Progressive William Rivers Pitt has lost patience with the Obama regime and with British Petroleum (“Enough of This Crap,” June 15, Truthout). To break through the news blackout that BP maintains over the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill, ...
Honey, I Shrank the Labor Lobby
DAVID MACARAY
Because he expected Nixon to beat Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election, comedian Mort Sahl prepared several appropriate jokes, one of which had JFK’s father, the wealthy and powerful Joe Kennedy, going on television and lamenting sadly, &ld...
Roger Cohen and the Motley Crew
M. SHAHID ALAM
Roger Cohen is the rare columnist at NYT who makes an occasional effort to bring some objectivity to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, how far does his objectivity go? Consider his piece of June 10, “Modern Folly and ...
Haiti Five Months After the Quake
ROBERT ROTH
 “We have all suffered. But we are motivated right now to help our people.  That makes us strong. That allows us to go on. ” - Teacher at a mobile school/ Aristide Foundation for Democracy ...
Against Sport
DAVID Ker THOMSON
Human sport, or buttock repose, is for the purpose of observing the motion of others.  It is a staccato activity, almost entirely static except for brief, explosive vocalizations from the blowhole in the front of the head ...
The Carachuri-Rosendo Case
TANYA GOLASH-BOZA
On Monday, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision that immigrants ...
Dangerous Liaisons
FARZANA VERSEY
Anri Suzuki wants to use her body to cure historical wrongs. She is not a card-holding pacifist but a history teacher and porn artiste who has offered to have sex with Chinese students at her college in Tokyo to make amends for the shameful Japanese i...
Sayonara, America?
MARTINE BULARD
"You can choose your allies, but not your neighbors,” said Japanese diplomat Yasushi Masaki, summing up the geopolitical options. Among his country’s awkward neighbors are Russia (getting strong again), China (emerging as a world powe...
An Exercise in Vigilantism
KIM NICOLINI
Harry Brown is an interesting movie for me to write about. A vigilante film set on a Council Estate in South London, the film has all the ingredients I love in a movie. The cinematography is some of the best I’ve seen this year. The shifts betwe...
A Visit to Turkey
JOHN STANTON
Turkey is vital to United States’ national security interests. No country in the region deserves America’s cooperation—at all levels–more than Turkey’s current government. And no country is more ignorant of Turkish p...
More Academic Fun
CHARLES R. LARSON
Although Daniel S. Greenberg’s Tech Transfer is ostensibly about the spu...
The Perils of Collaboration
GEORGE WUERTHNER
"Polite conservationists leave no mark upon the Earth except scars that could have been prevented had they stood their ground." – David Brower There is a real dif...
Better Never Than Late
RANNIE AMIRI
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa was warmly greeted by Hamas representatives when the Middle East’s top diplomat paid a visit to Gaza on Sunday. It was the first time Moussa—or any senior Arab official for that matter—had set...
Truth Through a Soda Straw
JOHN GRANT
The truth about American politics is this: disguised by the theatrics of squabbling Democrats and Republicans, Washington governs according to limits prescribed by a fixed and narrow consensus. The two main parties collaborate in preservin...
Pornography and the Military
ROBERT JENSEN
For the past decade I have been actively involved in movements to resist the United States’ imperial military activity in the world and to critique men’s sexual exploitation of women in pornography. So, when the organizers of a &ld...
Poor Britain
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Everything is soothed by oil, and this is the reason why divers send out small quantities of it from their mouths, because it smooths every part which is rough. Pliny the Elder, Natural History ...
Roger Cohen and the Motley Crew
M. SHAHID ALAM
Roger Cohen is the rare columnist at NYT who makes an occasional effort to bring some objectivity to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, how far does his objectivity go? Consider his piece of June 10, “Modern Folly and ...
The Retail Sales Slump
DEAN BAKER
The Commerce Department reported that retail sales in May were down by 1.2 percent from April. This surprised most economists who had expected a modest increase. The media were filled with accounts of economists trying to explain why consumers were st...
He Should Have Kept His Mouth Shut
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The French have a phrase, “He missed an excellent opportunity to keep his mouth shut.” That’s certainly true of Obama last Tuesday when he rolled out a big gun from the arsenal of White House crisis management, an Oval Office address...
Louisiana Story
RICHARD WARD
In an interview with Robert Gardner at Harvard’s Peabody Museum in 1960, Francis Flaherty, wife of the great filmmaker, Robert Flaherty, who died in 1951, reads from a letter sent by Standard Oil of New Jersey proposing a film that would be: &ld...
Washington’s False Promise in Afghanistan
RON JACOBS
One of the predominant rationales put forth by US civilian and military officials regarding the nature of the insurgency categorized as the Taliban in Afghanistan is that their support is derived from coercion.  Pronouncements from these official...
The Gusher and the Sun
HARVEY WASSERMAN
BP’s apocalyptic Gulf gusher has put our ability to survive in serious doubt. We have no reason to believe an end to the crisis is near—or even in sight. Nor can we begin to calculate the damage to our Mother Earth&...
Mexico’s Gaza
JOHN ROSS
The volunteers set out in high spirits on their mission to deliver tons of humanitarian aid to a besieged community that had been denied basic necessities for many months. But within sight of their destination, the convoy came under heavy fire from pa...
Five Questions for Tony Hayward
ROBERT WEISSMAN
BP CEO Tony Hayward today faces what is sure to be a tough inquisition before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Here are five questions Hayward should be forced to answer under oath: 1. Do you agree...
Fútbol Arte v. Anti-Fútbol
HARRY BROWNE
We hear it every four years: the World Cup hasn’t really begun until we see Brazil come out and play their inimitable brand of samba soccer. On such terms, this World Cup has yet to begin. In truth, if we take it literall...
The Holes in the Finance Bill
KEVIN ZEESE
The financial reform bill in its final stages of legislative action did not break up the big banks, re-instate Glass-Steagall, reign in bonuses and executive salaries, stop the usury rates for pay day loans and credit cards, nor did it require re-maki...
AEI Does Syria
FARRAH HASSEN
I knew what I was getting into when I decided to attend the Washington D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute’s Syria ...
McChrystal’s War Plan Fails
GARETH PORTER
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal confronts the specter of a collapse of U.S. political support for the war in Afghanistan in coming months comparable to the one that occurred in the Iraq War in late 2006. On Thursday, McChrystal’...