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 November 2010
Memo to Ireland
MIKE WHITNEY
Imagine that Yasser Arafat had succeeded in ending Israeli occupation and establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Now imagine that 10 or 15 years later, new Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, agreed to hand over control of his country’s b...
The Skin of Our Teeth
KARL GROSSMAN
As Thanksgiving 2010 arrives, thanks should be given for something that never happened decades ago: the use as planned of bases built all over the United States armed with BOMARC and Nike Hercules nuclear-tipped missiles. It was the 1950s and 60...
Palintology 101 (Part One)
CHARLES R. LARSON
Well, students, in the last twenty-four hours Sarah Palin has put her foot in her mouth again—at least twice. First, she diced that icon of the twentieth-century feminism, Barbara Bush, calling her a blue-blood, which is certainly the col...
Why Gen. Petraeus was Snookered by the "Taliban" Imposter
GARETH PORTER
The revelation that the man presumed to be a high-ranking Taliban leader who had met with top Afghan officials was an impostor sheds light on Gen. David Petraeus’s aggressive propaganda about the supposed Taliban approach to the Hamid Karzai regime. ...
Next Up: a "Flat Tax" for the Rich
MICHAEL HUDSON
The danger the United States faces today is that the government debt crisis scheduled to hit Congress next spring (when Republicans are threatening to vote against raising the federal debt limit as the government deficit soars) will provide an opportunity for the wea...
The Climate Loan Scam
NICK DEARDEN
UK loans to low income countries will make the poor pay twice for climate change. On Thursday, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell promised to stump up funds to ensure developing countries are better heard in climate negotiations. But it is di...
TSA’s Gestapo Empire
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
It doesn’t take a bureaucrat long to create an empire. John Pistole, the FBI agent who took over the Transportation Security Administration on July 1 told USA Today 16 days later that protecting trains and subways from terrorist attacks will be as high a priori...
A Tale of Two Elections
DAN BEATON
On November 7, Burma’s military regime held the country’s first elections in 20 years. While several parties participated, the electoral process, and the results that saw the regime’s Union Solidarity and Development Party win, have rightly been con...
First a Hand on Your Crotch, Next a Boot in Your Face
MICHAEL SCOTT
If the American public does not stand up and oppose the TSA enforced false choice between potentially dangerous irradiating body scanners or what amounts to federally mandated sexual harassment, then the Republic is almost certainly lost.(1) In the cause of fighting ...
Private Insurance Induced Stress Disorder?
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Pissed off? Maybe it’s your insurance company. A Maryland psychiatrist thinks it might be. Writing in the current issue of Psychiatric Times, Dr. Carol Paris lays out the diagnostic criteria for ...
BP’s Inside Game
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
By the morning of May 24, the tide had turned against President Barack Obama in the Gulf. Weeks of indecision at the White House and the Interior Department had shifted the balance of blame. BP was no longer seen as the lone culprit. Now, the Obama administration was...
Invasion of the Body Scanners
JAMES RIDGEWAY
On the eve of some of the busiest travel days of the year, airport scanners are causing hysteria–and with good reason. Never mind the puerile TSA screeners giggling at your naked body. It turns out that the things may pose serious health concerns. In a letter t...
Tear Down the Dam; Restore the Commons
DANIEL MOSS
"The eyes of the world are on Temacapulin.” So declared an anti-dam banner wrapped around a gazebo in the tiny Mexican village. Alongside it, banners named the Mekong River and the Naradama Valley. Solidarity is probably the single be...
The Marvels of Exile
YASSIN GABER
Celebrating what would have been the late Edward Said’s 75th birthday, Professor Judith Butler was invited by the American University in Cairo to give the sixth Edward W Said Memorial Lecture, organised around his birth anniversary (1 November 1935). ...
The Media as Middle Man
FARZANA VERSEY
Mumbai. The sudden interest in the involvement of some Indian media persons in what appears to be lobbying has posed the question about ethics, but it has a lot more to do with the cult of icons. Readers and viewers tend to blindly believe in t...
Ten Ideas to Starve the Wall Street Beast
PAM MARTENS
Dialogue on the economic crisis has focused on symptoms: bailouts, corruption on Wall Street, collapse in housing prices, intractable unemployment, Federal Reserve monetary policy.  Most people have been socialized to silence on the topic of the disease itself: ...
America’s New Entertainment
DON MONKERUD
A senator has an affair with the treasurer of his election campaign and political action committee, gives her a no-interest loan of $40,000, and pays $15,000 for her children’s private school tuition. After their affair becomes public, he fires her, gives her h...
Bush the Warmonger in His Own Words
RAY McGOVERN
Why should George W. Bush have been “angry” to learn in late 2007 of the “high-confidence” unanimous judgment of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon four years earlier? Seems to me he might have ...
Legal Lessons From the Green Scare
BEN ROSENFELD And LAUREN REGAN
"Anna” the 19-year-old FBI informant bought the materials and worked to keep the group focused on targets and timeframes. When 28-year-old Eric McDavid and his two younger friends failed to muster sufficient enthusiasm for Anna&rsqu...
Obamabush
RALPH NADER
After nearly two years out, I can imagine George W. Bush writing his successor the following letter: Dear President Obama: As you know I’ve been peddling my book Decision Points and while doing interviews, people ask ...
The Dangers of Embedded Journalism
PATRICK COCKBURN
Embedded journalism earned itself a bad name in Iraq and Afghanistan. The phrase came to evoke an image of the supposedly independent correspondent truckling to military  mentors who spoon-feed him or her absurdly optimistic information about the course of the w...
Healing From Empire
CLARE BAYARD
“Today we asking for more than a moment of silence. We are demanding justice.” This statement, published in a Veterans’ Day open letter from the Central Illinois chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), expla...
Another Free Ride for the Pentagon?
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
The Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission will be reporting out its results in early December. We can expect that it will focus on domestic spending, especially entitlements, including Social Security. By the time the dust settles, it is quite likely that the Pentagon &#...
Livestock and Predators
GEORGE WUERTHNER
One of the unquestioned and unspoken assumptions heard across the West is that ranchers have a right to a predator free environment. Even environmental groups like Defenders of Wildlife more or less legitimize this perspective by supporting unqualified compensation f...
Sinking Ireland
DEAN BAKER
When a firefighter or medical team make a rescue, the person is usually better off as a result. This is less clear when the rescuer is the European Central Bank (ECB) or the IMF. Ireland is currently experiencing a 14.1 percent unemployment rate. As a result o...
Seven Ways Medical Conflicts of Interest are Disguised
MARTHA ROSENBERG
"Trust me" used to be the punch line about how a certain obscenity is uttered by Hollywood agents. It also used to govern the conflicts of interest policies at hospitals, universities, medical schools and scientific journals about doctors’ and...
"Leave the Oil in the Soil!"
PATRICK BOND
The stench of rotting blubber would hang for days over The Bluff in South Durban, thanks to Norwegian immigrants whose harpooning skills helped stock the town with cooking fat, margarine and soap, starting about a century ago. The fumes became unbearable, and a local...
Why Paul Krugman Waves the Flag for Uncle Sam
MICHAEL HUDSON
Here’s the quandary that the U.S. economy is in: The Fed’s quantitative easing policy– creating more liquidity so that banks can lend more – aims at helping the economy “borrow its way out of debt.” But banks are not lending more, ...
TSA and the New "Americanism"
RICHARD FORNO
There is a vocal segment of the American political fringe that throws around words like "communism", "socialism", or "fascism" in describing the economic or social policies of the current Administration. Right or wrong, they’re ent...
Obama Plays the Fox
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
On Saturday, 20 November a State Department spokesperson announced that the United States government is actively negotiating with Israel the price of a proposed 90 day cessation of settlement activity on the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem). It is reported that t...
Ignorance There … and Here
GARY LEUPP
The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS), a think tank with offices in London, New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro and Sharjah (UAE) has just released the results of a survey involving 1500 Afghan men interviewed in October. Conducted in the northern provin...
Honoring Helen Thomas
JAMES ABOUREZK
These remarks were delivered at a tribute for Helen Thomas, Thursday, November 18, at the  Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in  Washington DC D.C., sponsored by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). ...
The Vatican Versus Jesus
MICHAEL DICKINSON
Istanbul. What a busy weekend the Pope has just spent!  After a closed-door pre-consistory meeting on Friday with the 150 cardinals who had traveled to Rome, where the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy may have been discussed,on ...
When Sanctions Are Not Enough
SASAN FAYAZMANESH
On September 14, 2010, the chairman of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, stated: “We h...
Insouciant Americans
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In a recent column, “The Stench of American Hypocrisy,” I noted that US public officials and media are on their high horse about the rule of law in Burma while the rule of law collapses unremarked in the US. Americans enjoy beating up other peoples for Am...
194 Years of Scabs
DAVID MACARAY
According to labor historians, the word “scab”—used as a derogatory term for a strikebreaker—was coined by the Albany Typographical Society on November 20, 1816.  This Saturday will mark its 194th anniversary.  ...
Israel’s War Against the Dead
LAWRENCE SWAIM
In June, 2005, the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles began construction in Jerusalem of an ambitious new facility. This project was variously referred to by Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and “dean” of the SWC, as the “Center for Human Dignity,...
The Politics of Nice
BILL MANSON
In his essay on "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell critiqued insincere, pretentious verbiage masquerading as meaningful prose. But above all, he deplored the use of politically expedient euphemisms: "Defenceless villages are bombarded f...
So Many Messages
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
All week, I intended to write about Nancy Grace and her Veterans Day tribute to our “fallen,” that euphemism for the war-torn dead. I would begin and, suddenly, see her surname with fallen and be Galatians 5: 4’d to “ye are fallen from grace.&...
Natives Without a Nation
JOSHUA BROLLIER
JOSHUA BROLLIER: This is JOSHUA BROLLIER with Voices for Creative Nonviolence. I’m here in Syria with Firas Majeed, the founder of the Native Without A Nation project. Firas is a 34-year-old Iraqi refugee living in the Jaramana neighborhood of...
Time for a Real Mutiny
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
So much for 2010 as the year of mutiny, when the American people rose up and said, "Enough! Throw the bums out!" As the dust finally clears after the midterm elections, and the bodies are hauled from the field of battle, guess what? It was all so predictabl...
Let Them Eat Oil
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
The mood in the Alaska office of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) was festive. Word had just reached Anchorage that the president was preparing plans to expand offshore drilling in Alaska. John Goll, the service’s regional director, summoned his top lieute...
Education at Gunpoint
RAMZY BAROUD
I recall the first sentence of my fifth grade essay on “Education and Youth”. Written with the occasional aid of my father, and dotted with clichés, it might have read something like this: “Youth is the backbone of any nation, and edu...
Pot and the Deficit
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
This week’s musings pertain to a leafy plant with the Latin name of Cannabis. It is a magical plant. When properly ingested or smoked, it can produce pleasurable physical affects on its user. But the didacticism of this column is about the fiscal, as distinguis...
How to Cut the Defense Budget
THOMAS CHRISTIE, PIERRE SPREY, FRANKLIN SPINNEY Et Al.
The Honorable Erskine Bowles National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform 1650 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20504 Dear Mr. Bowles: We are writing to you and other members of the President’s National Commi...
Immigration Supporters Win Big Victory in California
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform scored a major victory last week when the conservative-leaning California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that illegal aliens with three years of high school attendance could qualify for in-state tuition rates to attend ...
India’s Great Drain Robbery
P. SAINATH
India has lost nearly a half-trillion dollars in illegal financial flows out of the country, says a new study by Global Financial Integrity. India is losing nearly $54.03 million every 24 hours, on average, in illegal financial flows out of the ...
Tying Bernanke’s Hands
MIKE WHITNEY
Say what you will about Alan Greenspan, he was never a whiner. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about present Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. Bernanke’s speech on Friday at a conference for the European Central Bank (ECB) was so full of crybaby blabber th...
How the US and Israel Hope to Destroy Hezbollah
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut "I’ve got these [expletive deleted] just where we want them Maura! Watch the 1000 slow cuts as we shred Hezbollah–who do they think they are? And we’ll do it by using 1757 and this time we’re going all the wa...
Schumann and the Warm Bath of Memory
DAVID YEARSLEY
This year marks the bicentennial of Robert Schumann’s birth and has brought with it many concerts, festivals, and recordings. His father was a publisher, and Schumann was an avid reader as a child. Aside from his great productivity as a composer, he became one ...