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 2011
Malick’s Tree of Clich
DAVID YEARSLEY
Of all the musical instruments, the organ is the most prone to clich?: in fiction and popular culture its players are most often represented as inherently anti-social, even pathological, the music they conjure unsettling or even dangerous, from Captain...
The Death of Democracy
WILLIAM A. COOK
“The right to freedom of expression is a fundamental one, necessary to protect the exercise of all other human rights in democratic societies because it is essential for holding governments accountable to the public” – Human Rights Watch, &l...
In Pursuit of Idleness
ROBERT ZARETSKY
Many writers have raged against laziness, and from St Paul’s epistles to Dante’s Inferno, from Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac to Frederick Taylor’s The Principles of Scientific Management, the slothful have been cur...
Not Bloody Likely
CHARLES R. LARSON
With westerners, his name alone is enough to cause consternation ? loathing, knee-jerk reactions, though there have been numerous Southern African leaders who sang his praises too long, permitting him to stay in power in the face of some of the contine...
Why All the Wrangling Over the Debt Ceiling?
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
In light of the fact that in the ongoing budget negotiations President Obama and the Republican leaders share the common objective of drastically cutting non-military social spending, all the bickering between the two sides seems somewhat puzzling. Con...
Rupert’s Empire of Slime
SAUL LANDAU
Rupert Murdoch finally got his you know what caught in the proverbial ringer ? for his employees’ hacking, not for contributing to the prolonged murder of English-language journalism. Wars, revolutions, famines and disasters occurred and Murdoch&...
Apocalypse Nigh?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
In these scandal-sodden weeks it’s been tough to write passionately about the fight here over deficit reduction. I look up from some wearisome bulletin on the latest maneuvers of the Gang of Six and here’s Tristane Banon’s mother admi...
"The Poor Should Do More!"
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
"When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income." Plato, The Republic The purpose of this piece is to identify for readers how an unjust ta...
Larry Summers and the F-Word
CHARLES DAVIS
In economics, as in war, the best propagandists prefer the language of euphemism to straightforward, ignoble fact, the latest in obfuscatory jargon to the jarring reality of truth. Why, that’s not a dead mother whose children are uncontrollably w...
The Charge of the New York Times
URI AVNERY
A Riddle: Which fleet did not reach its destination but fulfilled its mission? Well, it’s this year’s Gaza solidarity flotilla. It could be said, of course, that last year’s “little fl...
Crocodile Tears Over Famine
THOMAS MOUNTAIN
As predicted here in CounterPunch, crocodile tears have begun to run down the faces of the likes of Anthony Lake, CIA director nominee turned Executive Director of UNICEF, as some 15 million people starve in the Horn of Africa. Tony Lake appeals to the...
How Not to Make Friends in the Middle East
TOM ENGLEHARDT
In the method, there is madness; in the comedy, nightmare; in the tragedy, farce. And despite everything, there’s still good news when it comes to what Americans can accomplish in the face of the impossible! No, not a debt-...
Whatever Happened to Corporate Patriotism?
RALPH NADER
The fireworks and celebrations that mark Independence Day are over. But the need for a national conversation on corporate patriotism has never been more timely. For more than 125 years the courts have been awarding corporations mo...
Up the Revolution
MICHAEL WINSHIP
We went to Mount Vernon in Virginia a few weeks ago. It was the first time I’d been to George Washington’s family estate since a whirlwind day tour of Washington, DC, when I was a high school freshman. Our guide then was a fast-talking cabd...
Inequality and Poverty in Latin America
MARK LOYKA
Over the past decade, income inequality and poverty in Latin America have been on the decline. These two key socio-economic indicators have historically plagued the region, inhibiting it from prospering. Although most of the countries in Latin America...
“The Arts of Life They Changed Into the Arts of Death”
PHIL ROCKSTROH
As of late, Pat Robertson has been waxing apocalyptic regarding mankind’s imminent reckoning with wrathful divinity, while liberals have been sharing scary bedtime stories by the ghostly light of computer screens?telling sleep-banishing tales of ...
The Death of Democracy
WILLIAM A. COOK
“The right to freedom of expression is a fundamental one, necessary to protect the exercise of all other human rights in democratic societies because it is essential for holding governments accountable to the public” – Human Rights Watch, &l...
Remembering Carlo Giuliani
MICHAEL LEONARDI
On July 20th 2001 there was a palpable tension in the air of the historic port city of Genova in Northern Italy. Silvio Berlusconi was playing host to a meeting of the G8 economic powers and hundreds of thousands of people had converged from all over ...
The Earth Grabbers
PATRICK BOND And KHADIJA SHARIFE
When African National Congress youth leader Julius Malema recently proposed the mining industry’s partial nationalization ? and last week asked, quite legitimately, ‘what is the alternative?’ to those in the SA Communist Party (SACP) ...
The Fallen-Away Jesuit
RAY McGOVERN
Dear Gov. Brown, I’m thinking that the Jesuits who educated you probably told you, as they did me, that Ignatius of Loyola required all Jesuits, including the highly educated ones, to empty bedpans at local hospitals and pri...
Blood on the Tracks
DENNIS BERNSTEIN
My first direct encounter with S. Brian Willson, occurred not too long after he was fitted for what he refers to as his "Stilts," the prosthetic legs he has worn wherever he goes since he was purposely run over on Sept. 1, 1987, and nearly ki...
The Silent Humanitarian Crisis in East Africa
RAJESH MAKWANA And ADAM PARSON
The unfolding crisis in the Horn of Africa is yet another tragedy that reflects the dysfunction and injustice inherent in the structures of the world economy. Although the factors that are currently causing widespread hunger and deprivation across a la...
Blaming the Tea Party
PAUL STREET And ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
It’s easy to blame “the Tea Party” for the ever more insane rightward drift of American politics and policy that is on such ugly display in the current budget and debt ceiling drama in Washington. That’s what the conservative Ne...
Every Crook Can Govern
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER And JEFF ST. ANDREWS
As we write this, thousands of inmates across California–spearheaded by an organized bloc in the Pelican Bay secure housing unit (SHU)–are refusing meals and risking their bodies and lives in the struggle to reform the atrocious condit...
Atomic Power in a Destabilized Climate
KEVIN KAMPS
The nuclear power industry has spent a lot of money on public relations and national advertizing campaigns aimed at convincing the public and decision makers that atomic energy is a solution to the worsening climate crisis. But extreme weather, likely ...
The Great Games
GILAD ATZMON
Though the number of critical voices concerning Israel, Zionism and Jewish power is growing steadily, a clear distinction can be made on the one hand between contributors who operate within the discourse and are politically oriented, and others who tra...
Zimbabwe’s Filthy Lucre
CHARLES R. LARSON
Once nearly forty years ago in Suakoko, in up-country Liberia after I bought something to eat, I was handed a frayed piece of paper which?only when I held it up to the light?I recognized as an American dollar bill. It was so thin, so transparent, that...
A National Park for Nukes?
DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM
When the Truman administration dropped the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945, they not only initiated a Cold War struggle against the Soviet Union, they also began a struggle over the meaning of the atom bomb inside the United States. ...
Mexico’s Rule of Lawlessness
PAUL IMISON
According to the US Departments of State and Homeland Security, referring to the organized crime gangs in Mexico as drug-trafficking organizations, or DTOs, is pass?. The acronym du jour is TCOs, or transnational criminal organizations; to better refle...
A "Democratic Moment" in Morocco?
YUNIS ABOUYOUB
During the last years of his reign, King Hassan II initiated a modest and controlled reform process intended to ease the transition towards handing the power safely to the crown prince then, today’s King Mohamed VI. To buttress his legitimacy and...
Understanding the Federal "Debt Crisis"
SAM PIZZIGATI
Once upon a time in America, back a century ago, our nation’s rich paid virtually nothing in taxes to the federal government. And that same federal government did virtually nothing to better the lives of average Americans. B...
Destination? Gaza!
STEVE FAKE
The French-flagged ship, Dignit? ? al Karama, was halted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) en route to the shores of Gaza this morning. The small vessel was boarded and reportedly towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod. There were 16 people on the boat,...
Balance the Budget on the Backs of Billionaires!
DAVID SWANSON
The wealthiest nation on earth is not actually obliged to starve our senior citizens. We don’t need a military 670% more expensive than the next largest one on earth. We don’t need to fund health insurance corporations instead of healthca...
Murdoch
TARIQ ALI
The rottenness of British political culture, in a country where the lives of so many have been subjugated by lies for so long, has now been on public view for the last few weeks. The country’s most powerful media baron is forced by events to clos...
A Life Worth Less Than Train Fare
MIKE KING
Another young, unarmed black man, Kenneth Harding, has been gunned down, shot numerous times in the back as he fled, his empty hands in the air in broad daylight. His crime had been a simple train fare evasion for which San Francisco police executed h...
A Hunger Strike for Humanity
RON JACOBS
1. Eliminate group punishments. 2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. 3. Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons (20...
Judge Throws Out Kaiser Elections
CAL WINSLOW
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has just thrown out the results of the September/October 2010 representation election at Kaiser Permanente, the huge California based Health Maintenance Organization. The ruling, by an administrative law judge,...
The Police Murder of Kenneth Harding
PATRICK MADDEN
Dozens of people were arrested last night in San Francisco in a protest over the recent police shooting of Kenneth Wade Harding, a 19 year old black man who was shot down on Saturday afternoon while attempting to flee from police who had confronted him...
Why Palestine is Important
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Palestine is important not because it is as beautiful as Tuscany, nor because the Palestinians are suffering, and not even because it is occupied by a Jewish state. What we need to understand is that the Jews have been handed Palestine not because they...
Marco Rubio Faces the Nation
ALAN FARAGO
Marco Rubio has been in the US Senate nearly nine months. After a nine month gestation, last Sunday the junior senator from Florida emerged as tidy proof on "Face the Nation’. Face The Nation host Bob Schaeffer led off ...
The Method in Netanyahu’s Madness
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. It was an Arab legislator who made the most telling comment to the Israeli parliament last week as it passed the boycott law, which outlaws calls to boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied territories. Ahmed Ti...
To Cuba, With Baggage, and Love
LISA BARR
McAllen, Texas. The Pastors for Peace (PFP) 22nd annual Friendshipment is gathering at the U.S./Mexican border, readying to defy the ridiculous cold war relic known as the Cuba embargo. Passed in 1961, the ban on trade with Cuba was invigorate...
Why Did Andrew Cuomo Get Rid of James Sheehan?
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Question: Why did Andrew Cuomo get rid of James Sheehan? Cuomo is the Governor of New York. James Sheehan is one of the nation’s top fraud busters. For the last two years, Sheehan ...
Prisoners Strike Against Torture in California Prisons
MARJORIE COHN
The torture of prisoners in U.S. custody isn’t confined to foreign countries. For more than two weeks, inmates at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison have been on a hunger strike to protest torturous conditions in the Security Housing Uni...
All Hail the Draft!
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
There’s talk of a draft. I think we should dispense with the talk, forget about the worrying over the details, and get down to business. We need Americans to participate, every one of them, in the national project of murder and destruction ove...
What Israeli Democracy?
MYA GUARNIERI
The anti-boycott law, which the Israeli Knesset passed last week, has sparked a storm of controversy both inside Israel and within Jewish communities abroad. The legislation effectively criminalizes Israelis who answer the Palest...
Why Does Britain Insist on Punching Above Her Weight?
PATRICK COCKBURN
The horrible Foreign Office clich?, used for decades by diplomats and politicians to justify Britain’s military alliance with the US, claims that "it enables Britain to punch above her weight internationally". A moment’s reflectio...
Is the Sun Setting on "Clean Coal"?
JOHN BLAIR
Most people who have studied the issue easily understand that coal is not clean and really cannot be made so, but that does not keep those who make big money mining and burning the black mineral from making those dubious claims. M...
The Corporate Supreme Court
RALPH NADER
Five Supreme Court Justices–Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy are entrenching, in a whirlwind of judicial dictates, judicial legislating and sheer ideological judgments, a mega-corporate supremacy over the rights and remedies of individu...
Youth vs. Seniors
DAVID GREEN
In the midst of the current debt crisis, a conventional theme of the mainstream media has been that of inter-generational conflict. First, the current generation of senior citizens, as recipients of Social Security and Medicare, is charged with consumi...