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 September 2010
The New Turkey / Russia Axis
ERIC WALBERG
The neocon plan to transform the Middle East and Central Asia into a pliant client of the US empire and its only-democracy-in-the-Middle-East is now facing a very different playing field. Not only are the wars against the Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis floundering, but ...
Dumping the Navy Way
SUSAN GALLEYMORE
During the Bush Administration – it continues under Obama – the Department of the Navy (DON) divided the coasts and oceans into a series of “testing range complexes” (TRC) driven by five-year plans to conduct warfare exercises. They already conduct...
Venezuela’s Elections
MARK WEISBROT
This week’s election for 165 representatives in the National Assembly is significant but unlikely to bring about major change in Venezuela, despite the opposition having done better than expected. As this article goes to press, the pro-government United Socialist Pa...
From Il to Un
CHARLES R. LARSON
The glorious event has finally happened: the ascension of still another brilliant constellation into the firmament–Kim Jong Un’s elevation to super-stardom, to savior of his people, blessed redeemer, colossus of the universe, the man of the hour, the man whose...
Fear and Loathing at Saint Vincent College
MICHAEL D. YATES
Last December, I wrote an essay about my alma mater, Saint Vincent College, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  In it, I describe some troubling events. Ever since the ascendancy of the current archabbot, Douglas Nowicki, in 1991, the college ...
Peace Process to Nowhere
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reports that President Obama begged Prime Minister Netanyahu to extend his settlement freeze in order to save the so-called peace talks.   As a quid pro quo, Obama is reporte...
Teamsters Organize Legal Marijuana Growers
DAVID MACARAY
The IBT (International Brotherhood of Teamsters) recently announced that in early September it had organized approximately 40 employees of Marjyn Investments LLC, an Oakland, California, company that grows and processes medical marijuana. By ratifyi...
The Grunt Work of Democracy
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
My mom, Angele Mokhiber, grew up in Zahle, Lebanon. She was the eighth of eight sisters. It was a time before cell phones, laptops, and I Pads. Mom spent her time with family, fig trees, vineyards, and book...
Holbrooke’s Hypocrisy on Drones
BRIAN EHRENPREIS
"It’s such a precise weapon, the Predator, that if they were aiming at your producers over there,” Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administrations special representative to Afganistan and Pakistan intoned to a skeptical Rachel Maddow on Monday, “you an...
America’s China Bashing
MICHAEL HUDSON
It is traditional for politicians to blame foreigners for problems that their own policies have caused. And in today’s zero-sum economies, it seems that if America is losing leadership position, other nations must be the beneficiaries. Inasmuch as China has avoided ...
Foreclosure Funny Business
DEAN BAKER
Virtually everyone has had the experience of being forced to pay a late fee or a bank penalty because of some fine print provision that we overlooked. Sometimes begging by good customers can win forbearance, but usually we are held to the written terms of the contract no ...
"Why Did You Go to Jail?"
GEORGE LAKEY
"Pop-pop?” I tunneled up from sleep, realizing that my six-year-old great grandson was at the foot of my bed, all dressed for his school day and wanting to touch base with me before he left. “Hi, Yasin,” I...
South Africa: Dead in the Water
PATRICK BOND
Last week’s meeting of national leaders at the United Nations was predictable: more posturing about unmet global needs in relation to the eight Millennium Development Goals set exactly a decade ago. South African President Jacob Zuma was too busy to attend, staying ...
Frankensalmon and the FDA
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Rockville, MD The FDA says it has not decided about approving AquAdvantage Salmon yet, even though it held hearings about how to label the genetically engineered fish the day after hearings about if it should be approved. But a ...
The Celtic Tiger, Declawed and Defanged
MICHAEL WINSHIP
DUBLIN The last time I was here in Ireland, eight years ago, the Celtic Tiger was still roaring. The country had zoomed from poverty to wealth, enjoying an unprecedented economic boom, with unemployment down to 4.5 percent and consumer...
The Anti-Anti-Authoritarians
SHELDON RICHMAN
I’m not a member of the Tea Party. For one thing, no coherent philosophy has emerged from its activities, which explains its grab-bag of positions, some good, some not so good. As a result, it’s not entirely clear what this collection of individuals fundamenta...
Voice for Immigrants Wins Historic Seat
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
America’s largest and fastest-growing ethnic group recorded another political milestone last week when voters in Maryland – a major receiving state for Central American immigrants, many of them illegal aliens – elected Salvadoran-born Victor Ramirez as t...
Is Powell’s Bookstore a Criminal Pornographer?
JULIE HILDEN
On September 20, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that two Oregon statutes that had criminalized giving sexually-explicit material to minors violated the First Amendment. In theory, these statutes were inten...
Reasoning Against Peace
JONATHAN COOK
With the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank yesterday, Israel’s powerful settler movement hopes that it has scuttled peace talks with the Palestinians. It would be misleading, however, to assume that the only major obstacle to the success...
Massey My Masta
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Who’s your daddy? If you live in West Virginia, it’s Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy. And he never lets you forget it. Every couple months or so, we get a call from a survey firm. ...
You Only Get the Truth From Former Officials
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
Warning us about the Obama administration’s submission to Israeli pressure, in an interview with Lebanon’s OTV, Michael Scheuer, a former senior CIA officer, said: “Three hundred million Americans could wake up tomorrow to discover that a foreign leader,...
Muckrake Your Town
BRIAN McKENNA
Suzanne Rust was drowning in the ivy. After years as a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Rust abandoned the Ph.D. quest (which in anthropology takes 9 years on average) for a more urgent path. That decision bore fruit. In 2003 she became a s...
Welcome to the Recovery
LINH DINH
Soothed, fortified and frankly vindicated by the cheerful effluvium that the recession is indeed over, I set out for a walk on this Saturday morning. No doomsayer, I’ll refute, if not taser outright, all unpatriotic spoilsports who would point to crumbling factories...
HBO Limited
DAVID MACARAY
The veteran American actress Helen Hayes once observed that one of the advantages of being a celebrity is that, when you’re boring, the audience thinks it’s their fault.  Could this same criterion also apply to Home Box Office (HBO)? ...
Why Doesn’t the US Talk to Iran?
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH And KARLA HANSEN
The unrelenting diplomatic and geopolitical standoff between Iran and the United States is often blamed on the Iranian government for its “confrontational” foreign policies, or its “unwillingness” to enter into a dialogue with the United States. Li...
Is the Drug War a Class War?
LAURA FLANDERS
The war on drugs. We keep calling it that, it seems, because we like wars on abstract concepts. Like the war on terror, the war on drugs racks up one hell of a body count, and its victims are mostly innocent civilians with no more love for the corrupt regimes that rule th...
Gandhi’s Wisdom
URI AVNERY
SURFING THE television channels, I came across an interview with the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi on an American network (Fox – would you believe it). “My grandfather told us to love the enemy even while fighting him,” he said, &ldquo...
How ICE Illegally Deprived Saad Nabeel of His Freshman Year
GREG MOSES
As the 2009 graduates of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas begin their sophomore year of college under new stresses of time and study, they do not forget that their classmate Saad Nabeel never got to finish the first semester of his freshman year.  And Nabeel&rsqu...
The Dismantling of Civil Society
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
How stupid are you? I mean, let’s just face it, shall we?  That is precisely the question the right has been asking the American public for thirty years (and more) now.  And that is the question the American public has been enthusiast...
Wolf Restoration
GEORGE WUERTHNER
A year ago I wrote a CounterPunch column asking rhetorically if hunters were stupid. In that article I wondered if hunters were aware of the fact that shooting wolves is unpopular with most Americans and if hunting of wolves continued,...
The FBI Raids in Context
RON JACOBS
On September 24, 2010 the FBI raided several houses and a couple offices in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago and North Carolina  under the guise of looking for proof that the people living in those houses were involved with organizations that "lent material support...
The Redistribution of Wealth
PATRICK IRELAN
The United States is undergoing a great redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. President Obama and the Congress have done nothing to alter this trend. Despite the corporate media’s obsession with the alleged differences between the Democrats and the Rep...
Ahmadinejad Steals the Show
JAYNE LYN STAHL
All the furor, and media feeding frenzy over Ahmadinejad’s comments at a meeting of the United Nations on Thursday couldn’t have been better timed. When Iran’s Machiavelli decided to vent about the U.S. exploiting the bombing of th...
Spreading Democracy in Afghanistan
DAVE LINDORFF
US-led forces in Afghanistan sure did a bang-up job this week at promoting the concept of Western “democracy.” The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the puppet intelligence agency of the Afghan government, between them, ...
Scientists, Secrets and Wall Street’s Lost $4 Trillion
PAM MARTENS
Thanks to an ever growing influx of Ph.D.s from the Ivies and an insatiable demand for an algorithmic trading edge by secretive hedge funds and proprietary trading desks at the largest firms, Wall Street has become part physics lab, part ...
Miner Problems, Major Paralysis
JAMES McENTEER
Today is sunny and warm where I happen to be, with a light breeze, perfect for riding bikes with the dogs, enjoying a cool swim and eating lunch outside under the trees. But for thirty-three Chilean miners trapped more than two thousand feet below the earth’s surfac...
A Blurred Line in Bahrain
RANNIE AMIRI
The situation in Bahrain has deteriorated to such an extent that it can no longer be called a political crisis; it is now a human rights crisis. And the silence of those in the Middle East and West, particularly the United States, has been shameful. ...
The Danish Cartoon Affair
RUNE ENGELBRETH LARSEN
On September 30, 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, some of which were extremely demonizing in their outspoken anti-Muslim symbolism. Four months later violent protests erupted outside Danish embassies in some Muslim ...
Why Does Israel Still Occupy the Palestinians?
SHIR HEVER
The majority of Israel’s anti-occupation movement, unfortunately, does not focus on the rights of Palestinians to live free, but on the damage that the occupation causes to Israeli society (Sternhell, 2009). The arguments that the occupation is a m...
High Noon for California Nurses
DAVID MACARAY
On September 4, approximately 43,000 healthcare workers at 331 Kaiser facilities in California began voting on whether or not to stay affiliated with their current union, the large (1.9 million) and influential Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which was forme...
Why Mitchell Said "No" to Hamas
RAMZY BAROUD
One key difference between Hamas and its rival, the Fatah movement in the West Bank, is that Hamas is accountable to a much more complex set of priorities and expectations. While Fatah is effortlessly co-opted, Hamas remains confined by ideological standards and the strin...
Jewels of Silent Film Music
DAVID YEARSLEY
There are few things worth giving up a perfect fall afternoon in Upstate New York for, but Buster Keaton’s The Cameraman with live music is one of them. A dinner break and a return for F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise,beginning as the sun sets on the other side of Lake Cayuga s...
The Collapse of Western Morality
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Yes, I know, as many readers will be quick to inform me, the West never had any morality. Nevertheless things have gotten worse. In hopes that I will be permitted to make a point, permit me to acknowledge that the US dropped nuclear bombs on two Japa...
Pragmatic Idealism
DAVID MODEL
Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq; drones flying over Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen Pakistan, special ops assassins in 70 countries; aid to Israel, Turkey, Columbia, Pakistan  and over 700 bases around the world.  All these actions are a result of policies conceived in the U.S....
Ramadan in Aida Camp
RICH WILES
From the barred windows of a four-storey house, strings run across the narrow main street of Aida Camp, well above head height, to the caged fence atop the walls of the Aida Camp Basic Boys School. Small plastic Palestinian flags hang down limply from the string. The outs...
Lessons From Arizona
JESSE STRAUSS
Arizona’s legislature passed the highly contested Senate Bill 1070 last April. The bill targets people who have crossed our southern border without documentation in a variety of ways. One example is that Arizona law enforcement officers, if following SB1070 as it was wr...
Glasgow’s Two Nations
JULIEN BRYGO
The Glasgow Art Club, housed in a Victorian mansion among the offices, wine bars and boutiques of the Merchant City district, was founded at the height of the industrial revolution, in 1867, by a painter who sold his work to cotton and sugar traders. Once a week Scotland...
Running for the Exits
LAURA FLANDERS
The Internet was all a-Twitter when news broke that Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, will step down by the end of the year. Summers — ring a bell? Maybe you remember his comments as president of Harvard that gender skew...
Red Capitalism in Vietnam
CHARLES LARSON
A couple of years ago when I spend some time in Vietnam, I was struck by the country’s virulent form of capitalism. Consumer goods were stacked up everywhere; the people seemed prosperous; the streets were clean and pretty much free of trash; moreover, everyone seemed t...
A Ten Percent Shift?
RALPH NADER
How does the Big Business-indentured Republican Party get away with expectations of a runaway election victory this November? If such a victory should occur in Congress and for many governorships and state legislatures, it will be due to a ten percent or so shift in voter...