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 2011
Gaza and Thoughts of a Starving Ireland
RAY McGOVERN
Thinking further here in Athens about how it came to be that I joined the passengers on “The Audacity of Hope” and why I feel so strongly about the oppression in Gaza, it struck me that my Irish genes (as well as my theology) may be playing a ro...
Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
LINDA GREENE
Teresa Chambers is the luckiest whistleblower in the United States. She lost her job as the first woman chief of the U.S. Park Police after she told the media in 2004 that the department was below the number required to perform the job adequately. She sued,...
Afghanistan
ERIC WALBERG
In Baltimore, the nation’s mayors debated and passed a War Dollars Home Resolution at their annual meeting, the first time they have taken a stand on war since they passed a similar resolution in 1971, during the Vietnam war. The anti-war resolution e...
Rightward Drift
JAMES ZOGBY
The contest has begun to determine who will be the Republican candidate to square off against President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential elections. For months now, individuals have been announcing their intention to run, or to form “exploratory c...
Rod Blagojevich and the Audacity of Hope
ANDREW LEVINE
It is hard to believe but just a few years ago one could still say the words “audacity of hope” without irony.  That has become impossible now that the author of those words has become the world’s foremost destroyer of hope.  But even in a context w...
Capulalpam
MIGUEL ?NGEL V?SQUEZ
For two days, Capulalpam de la Sierra Ju?rez in Oaxaca turned into a modern Babel of land disputes. The town was the site of the Third National Forum Building Resistance to Protect our Land, May 20 and 21, and the indigenous participants spoke a variety of differen...
Displaced Women Demand Justice in Port au Prince
BILL QUIGLEY And JOCELYN BROOKS
“We women demand!?” sang out a hundred plus voices “?Justice for Marie!” Marie, a 25 year old pregnant mother, was injured by government agents when they slammed a wooden door into her stomach during an early morning invasion of an e...
Senator Calls for US Special Forces to Attack the Gaza Flotilla
MAX SUCHAN, KATHY KELLY And ROBERT NAIMAN
Senator Mark Kirk Washington, DC 524 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC, 20510 June 29th, 2011 Dear Senator Kirk, We are Illinois residents writing to you from Athens...
What are You Going to Do About the Empire?
THOMAS NAYLOR
Then what are you going to do about the Empire?  More specifically, how will you deal with the following: Governance The complete loss of moral authority of a government owned, operated, and controlled by Wall Street, Corporate...
Showdown in Chicago
LEE SUSTAR
Chicago takes center stage for teachers’ struggles in July amid the annual convention of the National Education Association (NEA), a gathering of reform activists and the battle with Chicago’s new mayor over cancellation of teachers’ raise...
Mugged Then Shot
LINH DINH
“The United States has been a leader in the multinational effort to end bribery and corruption in international business practices.” ?Website of the U.S. State Department If absolute power corrupts absolutely, why shouldn’t the United St...
The Nuclear Gang Regroups
KARL GROSSMAN
As the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex continued to unfold, the nuclear gang?principals of the nuclear industry and pro-nuclear members of the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration?held a two-day “summit” in Washington...
We’ve Almost Lost Nebraska
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Humankind is now threatened by the simultaneous implosion, explosion, incineration, courtroom contempt and drowning of its most lethal industry. We know only two things for certain: worse is yet to come, and those in charge are lying about it—a...
Labor Fights Back in Oregon
SHAMUS COOKE
On only the second sunny weekend of the year in Portland, Oregon, 60 plus labor activists decided to spend their Saturday at the Electricians union hall (IBEW Local 48), at the United Labor Strategy Meeting ? an event unlike any other happening in the count...
The US Military’s A/C Bill for Iraq and Afghanistan Gives Me the Shivers
DAVE LINDORFF
The United States Military is spending $20.2 billion a year for air-conditioning the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read that again please: $20.2 billion just to provide air-conditioning for our troops in these two desert countries....
A World Overwhelmed by Western Hypocrisy
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Western institutions have become caricatures of hypocrisy. The International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are violating their charters in order to bail out French, German, and Dutch private banks. The IMF is only empower...
Scenes From Tripoli
FRANKLIN LAMB
Tripoli. Entering Libya from Tunisia, the roughly 115 mile drive to Tripoli currently provides a fascinating if unsettling introduction to the current situation in Tripoli.  By the time I arrived at the hotel my mouth tasted as if I h...
Memoirs of Torturers
DAVID SWANSON
On September 18, 2009, seven former heads of the CIA publicly told President Barack Obama not to prosecute CIA torturers. On April 16, 2009, Obama had already publicly told Attorney General Eric Holder not to prosecute CIA torturers. On September 18th, Hold...
War Colleges
HENRY GIROUX
While there is an ongoing discussion about the increasing corporatization of higher education?extending from the attempted buying of faculty positions by  right-wing billionaires such as the Koch brothers to the increasing casualization of faculty labor an...
The Rich are Different
MICHAEL WINSHIP
Washington, DC, is a Potemkin village of alabaster and marble where the perpetually stalled and broken escalators of the city’s subway system are a perfect metaphor for the government’s inability to generate positive, upward movement. Yet w...
A Fuse Called Geronimo
LEONARD PELTIER
Everyone it seems knows something about Geronimo Pratt. To all of us, to every human being on the planet, he was a beacon of principle that we should all aspire to emulate. To those directly involved in the struggle, he was one of those gifted, tough as nai...
Coming Out for DREAM
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant youth have been speaking out publicly about the fear and indignity of living under constant threat of arrest and deportation in the only land they’ve ever called “home.”  And for over decade they...
Sacred Mantras
URI AVNERY
The Palestinians are planning something thoroughly obnoxious:  they intend to apply to the UN for statehood. Why obnoxious? Any Israeli spokesman (not to mention spokeswoman) will tell you readily: because it is a “unilateral” mov...
Is America Coming to Its Senses?
ANDREW BACEVICH
At periodic intervals, the American body politic has shown a marked susceptibility to messianic fevers. Whenever an especially acute attack occurs, a sort of delirium ensues, manifesting itself in delusions of grandeur and demented behavior. ...
The Salting of Florida
ALAN FARAGO
Drought, wildfires, floods. The first three minutes of network news is like a TV primer from the Book of Revelations. Al Gore, in Rolling Stone, was inventor of that line, but at some point in the not-so-distant future, destroyed drinking water wells in Sou...
A League of Fans
RALPH NADER
Why do many serious readers of newspapers go first to the Sports section? Maybe because they want to read about teams playing fun games by sports journalists and columnists, who have more freedom to use imaginative words and phrases than others in their cra...
Killing the Wild West
LAURA LEIGH
You learn many interesting things traveling on public lands following the wild horse issue in the American West. You learn that after standing in sub-zero temperatures, attempting to document winter roundups, that returning to the rela...
The Rich are Different
MICHAEL WINSHIP
Washington, DC, is a Potemkin village of alabaster and marble where the perpetually stalled and broken escalators of the city’s subway system are a perfect metaphor for the government’s inability to generate positive, upward movement. Yet with a...
Idolizing Absolute Power
JAMES BOVARD
The Christian Science Monitor published a piece I wrote  last month wrote opposing allowing the U.S. government to kill Americans without a warrant, trial, or any judicial niceties.  The article, “...
Greed and Slaughter on the Western Range
MARILYN WARGO
This summer the federal Bureau of Land Management, which overseas most of the nation’s federal lands, intends to take approximately 10,000 more horses from their legal, designated ranges in Western states. Beginning July 1st ther...
Encounter in Jerusalem
MATS SVENSSON
Jerusalem. It is early evening in Ram, a neighborhood in the outskirts of Jerusalem. The workers are on their way home to their families. The queue is long. I am sitting in my Audi, in the diplomats’ queue. I am alone, there’s no q...
Nuclear Catastrophe Imminent in Nebraska?
JOSEPH GIAMBRONE
When I wrote last week about the Nebraska reactor surrounded by floodwaters I, like most, still considered it a highly remote possibility of cataclysm. Upon further investigation, it seems much more likely now. The New York Times has e...
Bobby Kennedy Was No Hero
DAVID MACARAY
It’s a mystery why John F. Kennedy is still regarded as the family moderate?cautious, pragmatic, shrewd and calculating?while brother Bobby gets to be portrayed as the impetuous, left-leaning, idealistic humanitarian.  It’s a mystery because even a cur...
Preparing to Sail to Gaza
KATHY KELLY
Last week, newly-arrived in Athens as part of the US Boat to Gaza project, our team of activists gathered for nonviolence training. We are here to sail to Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in our ship, “The Audacity of Hope.” Our t...
Hemingway and Us
CLANCY SIGAL
A man can be destroyed but not defeated. ? Ernest Hemingway Fifty years ago, Ernest Hemingway, writer, sportsman, big-game hunter, soldier, poseur, genius and Nobel Prize winner shot himself with his favorite Boss doublebarrel shotgun at his h...
The Deep Green Meaning of Fukushima
DON FITZ
Humanity must decrease its use of energy.  The decrease must be a lot (not a little bit) and it must happen soon.  A failure to do so will lay the foundation for the destruction of human life by some combination of climate change and radiation. ...
The Undoing of Libya
VIJAY PRASHAD
NATO headquarters shares with the caves of al-Qaeda the error of hubris. The jihadis believe that it was their rag-tag mujahideen that chased the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. Nothing in their world-view allows them to share the glory with the United Sta...
The Demonization of Gaddafi
PATRICK COCKBURN
In the first months of the Arab Spring, foreign journalists got well-merited credit for helping to foment and publicize popular uprisings against the region’s despots. Satellite TV stations such as Al Jazeera Arabic, in particular, struck at the roots...
Development and Migration
LAURA CARLSEN
President Obama’s speech in El Paso on May 10 put the immigration debate back on the table. In reaffirming his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, he attempted to reframe a debate that has been dominated by a focus on security. ...
Imperial Rounding Error in Iraq
PETER LEE
For students of the IMF vs. Chinese theories of economic development, I think  the details of the Chinese struggle to keep its Congo copper project going in  the teeth of  Western disapproval strikingly illustrates some conspicuous  and interesting  d...
Understanding Class and Species
JASON HRIBAL
“I will have a degree,” the Harvard graduate student sneered, “and you will be serving my kids fries at a drive-through on our way to a skiing trip.” “Maybe,” Will replied, “but at least I won’t be unoriginal.” –...
Vajazzled in Essex
BRENDAN O'NEILL
London. Is there a right way and a wrong way for a woman to worship her vagina? Judging from this week’s weird media debate about "vajazzling", there clearly is. On Monday evening, Newsnight c...
Obama and Rendition
V. NOAH GIMBLE
The day after Barack Obama took office, he signed a series of executive orders mandating the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as the global network of secret, CIA-run "black site" prisons. In addition, he committed the U...
The Villification of Smokers
WALTER BRASCH
The federal government has launched what may become one of the most effective propaganda campaigns in American history. Beginning September 2012, every cigarette manufacturer must display one of nine government-approved graphics on the top hal...
Cosi Fan Tutte at Drottingholm
DAVID YEARSLEY
The  location and miraculous preservation of the theatre at Drottningholm which I described last week make it a must for devotees of 18th-century opera as well as those in search of a whiff of Sweden’s illustrious past as a European super po...
Picture President Newt
SAUL LANDAU
The world’s people face transcendent issues: climate change (tornadoes, tsunamis, droughts, hurricanes), seemingly endless wars in Asia and Africa, mass uprisings, growing world hunger ? and the ever present nuclear (weapons and power) threat....
America’s Tahrir Square
DAVID ROSEN
The world is watching in stunned amazement as the Arab Spring plays out. People in one nation after another in North Africa and the Middle East have taken up the tactic of nonviolent, mass popular assembly to shame political leaders into addressing out...
Assault on Detroit
TOM STEPHENS
US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan labeled Detroit "ground zero" in education reform by video conference. He pointed out that Detroit students have posted the worst scores in the nation in math, reading and science, levels that shocked lo...
Our Corporate Military
KEVIN CARSON
Nicholas Kristoff, in a New York Times op-ed ("Our Lefty Military," June 16), lauds the "astonishingly liberal ethos" that governs the military internally ? single-payer health insurance, job security, educational opportunities, fre...
Bedtime for Punk Rock Relevancy?
COLIN KALMBACHER
Spite. Look it up. I was on the cusp of 15. About to begin high school. I’d be older than everybody else, but then, I always was. The currents of fate and bureaucracy had decided not only would I be fo...