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 July 2010
Rising Tensions in the Persian Gulf
BRIAN M. DOWNING
Once again US political and military figures are hinting at military attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Few looking back on US ventures in the Middle East will be struck by exceptional farsightedness or appropriate gauging of likely consequen...
Government Has Run Amok Since 9/11
SHELDON RICHMAN
Those who understand the exploitative nature of big government suspected that the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks had little to do with the security of the American people and much to do with power and money. Still, the magnitude of the scam, as rev...
Jobs, Stimulus and Debt
MARK WEISBROT
In much of the world, including the United States and Europe, a debate is taking place about whether the government’s first responsibility should be to reduce unemployment – which is at elevated levels – or to reduce government defic...
National Insecurity Complex
DAVE LINDORFF
The White House’s initial response to the release of 92,000 pages of raw reports from the field by US forces in Afghanistan for a period from 2004-2009–that it was a threat to national security and to the lives of American troops–was...
The Great Myth of Counter-Insurgency
CONN HALLINAN
As the chopper swung around to land, the Taliban opened up, sending journalists scrambling for cover and Marines into full combat mode. According to Matthew Green of the Financial Times, “The crackle of gunfire lasted about 20 minutes and contin...
The Story of Evo Morales
RON JACOBS
Although the rhetoric against the left-leaning governments in Latin America in the US media has calmed down since the Obama administration moved into the White House, it is safe to assume that the continuing popularity of these governments and their a...
Rogue State
JORDAN FLAHERTY
Three months ago, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the notorious SB 1070, a bill that put her state at the forefront of a movement to intensify the criminalization of undocumented immigrants. Since then activists have responded thro...
Trillions for Wall Street
MIKE WHITNEY
On Tuesday, the 30-year fixed rate for mortgages plunged to an all-time low of 4.56 per cent. Rates are falling because investors are still  moving into risk-free liquid assets, like Treasuries. It’s a sign of panic and the Fed’s lame...
Taft-Hartley Revisited
DAVID MACARAY
“The most effective anti-poverty program ever invented was the labor union.” —George Meany There are three important things that need to be remembered about the ...
The Great Marijuana Boom
BRUCE McEWEN
Everyone in a position to know says this is another banner year for the marijuana cultivation business, Mendocino County franchise.  Mendocino county is about three hours drive north of San Francisco. Sheriff A...
Sickened Ire
BARRY CRIMMINS
Yesterday I went to a doctor for a preliminary consultation for a colonoscopy. The entire procedure was to be covered by a state agency because I am 57 years old; have no health insurance; and a family history of colon cancer. This was surprising to m...
Letter to an American Hero
JOHN GRANT
Inmate PFC Bradley Manning TFCF – Theater Field Confinement Facility APO AE 09366 USA Dear PFC Manning: The New York Times just reported on 92,000 classified military field reports from Afg...
Is Cameron Douglas’ Life in Danger?
ANTHONY PAPA
Cameron Douglas – who recently received a reduced sentence (from 10 years to five) in exchange for his cooperation – is now likely to face a very tough time in prison. It was reported yesterday that the information given to authorities by ...
Shin Bet Exposed
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. The arrest by Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, of an Israeli Jew accused of killing at least four Palestinians has thrown a rare light on the secret police, including attempts by one of its agent...
The Predatory Nature of Home Loan Modifications
JEANINE MOLLOFF
Zobari Kina and his wife were trying to live the ‘American Dream,’ namely owning their own home.  Like far too many people these days, the economic tsunami caused by Wall Street had reduced their income and as a result forced Kina and...
US Treasury is Running on Fumes
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The White House is screaming like a stuck pig. WikiLeaks’ release of the Afghan War Documents “puts the lives of our soldiers and our coalition partners at risk.” What nonsense. Obama’s war puts the lives...
Sickened Ire
BARRY CRIMMINS
Yesterday I went to a doctor for a preliminary consultation for a colonoscopy. The entire procedure was to be covered by a state agency because I am 57 years old; have no health insurance; and a family history of colon cancer. This was surprising to m...
The Sinking of the Cheonan and Its Political Uses
GREGORY ELICH
Much has been written about the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan, and the evidence is widely regarded as clearly pointing to North Korean culpability. In the Western press, the case has generally been presented as solid and irrefutable. Th...
Another Reverse Racism Scam
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
Yet another Republican attack charging “reverse racism” is in play, this one datelined Philadelphia. The usual suspects – right-wing operatives, conservative media commentators and GOP Congressmen – are po...
How Shirley Sherrod Saved a White-Owned Farm in South Georgia
HEATHER GRAY
In March 2010, Shirley Sherrod spoke before the NAACP in Douglas, Georgia. As the first Black director of the USDA’s Rural Development in Georgia, and a long history of advocating for justice and civil rights in the rural south, Shirley had much...
The Afghan War Springs a Leak
GARETH PORTER
The 92,000 reports on the war in Afghanistan made public by the whistleblower organisation WikiLeaks, and reported Monday by the Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel, offer no major revelations that are entirely new, as did the Pentagon Papers...
Climate of Fear on the Border
RANDALL AMSTER
One of the unspoken tragedies and implicit intentions of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, is the promotion of a climate of fear among certain segments of the population. This fear-mongering strategy has been cooked up by the bill’s l...
Worse Than Hiroshima?
PATRICK COCKBURN
Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, accordin...
A Decade of Declining Housing Prices
MIKE WHITNEY
The housing depression will last for a decade or more. This is by design. The Fed has been working with the banks to withhold inventory so prices do not fall too fast or too far. That way the banks can manage their write-downs without slipping into in...
The Poor Must Die
CHRIS FLOYD
News from Blighty: the disparity in death rates between the well-off and the poor in the UK  is now greater than at any time since 1921. The London Review of Books points to a new study by the British Medical Journal that shows that by 2007, &quo...
Floating Chernobyls
KARL GROSSMAN
They would be floating Chernobyls. Russia has embarked on a scheme to building floating nuclear power plants to be moored  off its coasts—especially off northern and eastern Russia—and sold to nations around the ...
McCain on Iraq
MARJORIE COHN
On July 15, I attended a reception in Washington DC to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam. Geoff Millard and I spoke to Sen. John McCain. When Geoff introduced himself as chairman of ...
The Lights are Out in Washington
DEAN BAKER
I was late with my column this morning. It was the first time that I missed a deadline since I started college. This made me angry, not just because I hated to see a 34-year-streak end, but more importantly because of the reason I was late. ...
Dear Democrats, 2012
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Logically, it is pointless to vote for you, as I explained in 2008. But, public delusions and political pork barrel being perennially popular, you will no doubt retain your hold on the hopes of tens of millions nation...
Afghanistan: the Inside Story
STEVE BREYMAN
The big news Monday morning (July 26) was about Wikileak’s latest feat: the release of nearly 92,000 secret incident and intelligence reports from US military files from Afghanistan for 2004-2009. The New York Times, the British Guardian, and th...
Rampant Racism in the Criminal Justice System
BILL QUIGLEY
The biggest crime in the U.S. criminal justice system is that it is a race-based  institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much  more aggressive way than white people.  Saying t...
The Incarceration of Carlos Alberto Torres
MARJORIE COHN
Today, Puerto Rican political prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres will walk out of prison after 30 years behind bars. He was convicted of seditious conspiracy – conspiring to use force against the lawful authority of the United States over Puerto Ric...
Why Stewart Brand is Wrong About Nukes
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Stewart Brand has become a poster boy for a "nuclear renaissance" that has just suffered a quiet but stunning defeat. Despite $645 million spent in lobbying over the past decade, the reactor industry has thus far this year failed to gouge ou...
The Future is Female … and Republican
CLANCY SIGAL
I live and work in Hollywood, the capital of celebrity flameouts – Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr, etc. My local Beverly Hills and Malibu courthouse and police stations are stakeouts for paparazzi, snapping well-known actors look...
The Year America Dissolved
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
It was 2017.  Clans were governing America.   The first clans organized around local police forces. The conservatives’ war on crime during the late 20th century and the Bush/Obama war on terror during the first de...
The Skeleton in John Yoo’s Closet
JAYNE LYN STAHL
If former White House lawyer and deputy assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush, John Yoo, were ever to decide to join the ranks of newfangled conservatives running for office he would be hard-pressed to hide the skeleton in his clos...
Olympia Food Co-op Boycotts Israeli Goods
STEVE NIVA
On July 15, the Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors  decided to boycott Israeli goods at their two locations in Olympia, Washington. The July 15 meeting was  packed with Co-op members when the Board reached this consensus....
BP’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy
DAVE LINDORFF
Prof. Bob Bea, of UC Berkeley, a civil engineer with years of expertise in marine oil drilling, says he is concerned that during the current crisis of BP’s blown-out well deep under the Gulf of Mexico, government scientists may not be getting al...
What Capitalism Means to the Tea Party
GREG MOSES
Call me evangelist for anti-racist conversion and apologist for conversations that would get us there.  “Well, let’s face it,” says John McWhorter of the Manhattan Institute speaking Sunday on CNN’s ...
Israeli Police Impunity
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. A decision by Israel’s Supreme Court to double a 15-month jail term for a policeman who shot dead an unarmed Palestinian driver suspected of stealing a car has provoked denunciations from police commanders and go...
Fly Away, Mockingbird!
JOHN H. SUMMERS
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was a success before it was published in July 1960. The Book of the Month Club and The Literary Guild guaranteed the novel commercial success by selecting it. Thence it was condensed by Reader’s Digest, a...
Progressive Bribery
DOUG GIEBEL
A guest on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman urged that voters write to their representatives telling them to not accept contributions from tainted corporate donors. On a recent Diane Rehm Show, Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd in...
Playing in the Church of the Rev. Gary Davis
CHARLES M. YOUNG
So here we are in the eighth term of the Reagan administration, in the middle of a heat wave, in the middle of the hottest year on record, in the middle of a likely mass extinction event.the middle of a likely mass extinction event. ...
G-Spot Redeemed
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
People hate to admit that they’re wrong, especially after they’ve just published a well-funded, highly publicized “scientific” study, like the “G-Spot: Fiction or Friction.” This was the catchy title of the King&rsq...
Who Has Shirley Sherrod’s Back?
LAURA FLANDERS
At the end of a long painful week, Shirley Sherrod’s been offered a new job with the USDA’s Office of Civil Rights and Community Outreach. She’s still considering, though, and who can blame her? In an interview o...
Labor and Money Clash in 15 Cities
CARL FINAMORE
Contracts expire in 2010 for 45,000 hotel workers in ten cities and, on July 22, several thousand supporters demonstrated across the U.S. and Canada. This time Hyatt Hotels were targeted because “Hyatt wants to take more away and lock workers int...
Killer Governor Falls
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City As the preliminary election results began to flow this past July 4th, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO), Oaxaca’s outgoing governor whose police state tactics have been dissed on every strata of Mexican society from the na...
Who’s Funding the Settlements?
NICOLA NASSER
Since 1860, when the American Jewish tycoon Judah Touro donated $60,000 — a fortune for that time — towards the construction of the first Jewish settlement outside the old walls of Jerusalem, public and private American funds have aided th...
Not Bad Policy, But Class Policy
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Instead of calling the recent G-20’s brutal austerity declaration (issued at the conclusion of its annual summit in Toronto last month) an orchestrated declaration of class war on the people, many progressive/Keynesian economists and other liber...
The Mother of All Gushers
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
The mother gusher, BP’s Deepwater Horizon well, has been polluting our planet since the initial explosion on April 20, 2010. Early on, BP CEO Tony Hayward minimized his company’s responsibility. Blaming Transocean, owner of the rig...