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
Blowing It
DAVE LINDORFF
The smoking ruin that is the the Obama White House, and the rotting corpse that is the Democratic Party, have, incredibly, together been boxed into a corner by, of all things, the certifiably insane Republican Party. This amazing...
Bahrain Royal Personally Tortured Student Poet
PATRICK COCKBURN
A female member of the al-Khalifa royal family in Bahrain repeatedly beat Ayat al-Gormezi, the 20-year-old student poet, when she was in prison accused of reciting a poem at a pro-democracy protest rally criticizing the monarchy. In an interview Ayat, ...
It Can Happen Here
URI AVNERY
Tel Aviv. YEARS AGO I said that there are but two miracles in Israel: the Hebrew language and democracy. Hebrew had been a dead language for many generations, more or less like Latin, when it was still used i...
A Real History of Rupert Murdoch
BRUCE PAGE
Rupert’s father, Sir Keith, founded the dynasty during World War I as a dirty-tricks minion for “Billy” Hughes, probably Australia’s nastiest prime minister. His cover myth as a heroic war reporter has been so thoroughly dismant...
The Warren Betrayal
THERESA AMATO
Just four days before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is set to launch, President Obama will finally name a director. Obama has chosen former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to lead the entity which Elizabeth Warren envisioned and musc...
Droneland
VIJAY PRASHAD
"Bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended, is prohibited." (4th Hague Convention, 1907). A new continent has emerged on our atlas: it is Dron...
The Politics of Muslim-Bashing
STEPHAN SALISBURY
During the 2010 midterm election campaign, virtually every hard-charging candidate on the far right took a moment to trash a Muslim, a mosque, or Islamic pieties. In the wake of those elections, with 85 new Republican House members and a surging Tea Pa...
NAFTA-Look Alikes
LAURA CARLSEN
The full-court press on the FTAs represents a reversal for a president elected on a trade reform platform. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama proclaimed his opposition to the NAFTA-style FTAs and boasted of his stance against the devastatin...
Dumping Elizabeth Warren
RALPH NADER
To dump Elizabeth Warren, the most qualified, most motivated and most articulate candidate for the directorship of the Consumer Financial Regulatory Bureau is an act of political cowardliness by President Obama and a boon to anti-consumer Republicans a...
Afro-Colombian Resistance in La Guajira
CAITLIN R. RINGWOOD
Colombia can be viewed at the bastion of United States sponsored neoliberalism. Rich in natural resources like coal, gas, and gold- the history and success of extractive industries in Colombia are a testament to globalization’s remarkable ability...
Budget Games
DEAN BAKER
The tension is building in the budget talks as the calendar closes in on the Aug. 2 drop-dead date. According to Treasury Secretary Geithner, this is the date where the government would no longer have the money to pay its bills and a default on the deb...
Indian Regime Most Corrupt in Nation’s History
P. SAINATH
As we close in on 20 years of Manmohanomics, it’s worth remembering one chant the chattering classes uttered, first with pride, later to console themselves with. “Whatever you say, we have the most honest man in Dr. Manmohan Singh. And no o...
NATO’s Debacle in Libya
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
After three and a half months of bombing and arms supply to various rebel factions, NATO’s failure in its efforts to promote "regime change" in Libya is now glaring. Obviously NATO’s commanders are still hopi...
Return of the Dinosaurs in Mexico
LAURA CARLSEN
Mexico’s recent elections in four states proved that the PRI is not only back–it’s ready to move into Los Pinos. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI, by its Spanish initials) handily took the governorships of the State of Mexic...
Debt Ceiling Kabuki
MIKE WHITNEY
Barack Obama stormed out of a meeting with Republican leaders on Wednesday when negotiations broke down over raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. According to one report, the usually-unflappable Obama unloaded on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (...
Israel and the Flotillas
ERIC WALBERG
The efforts by Israel to prevent Freedom Flotilla II from leaving Greece have been largely successful. Of the original 10 ships, only the French ship Al-Karama (dignity) with 10 activists including French politicians, which sailed from the French Corsi...
The Change Deficit
WALTER M. BRASCH
After significant compromise with the recalcitrant Republicans who want to continue to give the wealthy tax advantages while cutting significant social programs, President Obama has finally taken a stand on debt ceiling negotiations. However, in labor,...
The Walls of Paestum
CONN HALLINAN
Paestum, Italy. Walls tell you a lot about a country’s history. Since their purpose is to keep people out who want to get in, they generally mean trouble. In the case of this stunning ruin of a city southeast of Naples, back in the 6th cen...
Free Speech in the Shadow of War
JOE ALLEN
The major powers of the world were at war in June 1941, with the sole exception of the United States. Nazi Germany had already occupied much of Europe when it launched a massive and devastating invasion of Russia on June 22, destroying much of the Red ...
The Big Rollback
MICHAEL BRENNER
Washington is hyper-ventilating at the prospect of a failure to meet the deadline for raising the national debt limit. Technically speaking, that indeed would create a grave situation with immeasurable consequences. For the United States will have no l...
Sadr’s Game
GARETH PORTER
The big question looming over U.S.-Iraqi negotiations on a U.S. military presence after 2011 is what game Shi’a leader Moqtada al-Sadr is playing on the issue. U.S. officials regard Sadr as still resisting the U.S. military ...
Israel’s Growing Crackdown
NEVE GORDON
Political change is slow. One doesn’t go to sleep in a democracy and wake up in a fascist regime. The citizens of Egypt and Tunisia can attest to the fact that the opposite is also true: dictatorship does not become democracy overnight. ...
The Phony Populism of Rupert Murdoch
JEFF SPARROW
It’s been fascinating to watch from Australia as the News of the World scandal engulfs Britain. Rupert Murdoch himself was, of course, originally one of ours, and those antipodean origins are often cited to explain his self-...
Murdoch’s Mafia
SUSIL GUPTA
So far the News International scandal, which is only just unravelling, has focused almost exclusively on ‘phone-hacking’ and the invasion of privacy by Murdoch’s print media. Although this has considerable celebrity and ‘human i...
Capitalism and the Environment
JON HOCHSCHARTNER
Chris Williams is a long-time environmental activist and author of "Ecology an...
Defending Killer Cops
JORDAN FLAHERTY
Whatever the verdict at the end of the Danziger Trial, lawyers for the accused have offered a passionate defense of their clients. The five officers on trial for killing Ronald Madison and James Brisette and wounding four others on September 5, 2005, a...
Facing the Debt Crisis in Europe
DAMIEN MILLET And ERIC TOUSSAINT
One of the avatars of the financial sector crisis that began in 2007 in the United States and spread like wildfire to Europe, is the enthusiasm shown by Western European banks (especially German and French banks [1], but also Belgian, Dutch, British, L...
Pilgrim’s Progress
CHARLES R. LARSON
My first encounter with Moroccan writer Tahar ben Jelloum was in 1987 when his early novel, ...
Danny and Saul Visit Gerardo Again
SAUL LANDAU And DANNY GLOVER
6:50 a.m. Plane leaves Oakland California airport. 8:05 a.m. Plane lands in Ontario, California, wait for the rent-a-car bus, pick up the rental and drive northeast toward Las Vegas (how else to explain heavy traffic on Saturday m...
The Politics of Spanking
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
"I got so mad at my wife,” Oswald told Charlie in their Grand Ole Opry routine, “I turned her over my knee and lifted up her skirt to spank her. Then I forgot what I was mad about.” Did Oswald go on to actua...
How the EU Made the Greek Crisis Worse
MARCIA FRANGAKIS
Greece is the first test case of the resilience of the European single currency at a time of crisis. It is a historically established fact that a banking crisis is followed by a steep increase in public debt, due both to the fiscal support given to the...
Stetch at Full Stretch
DAVID YEARSLEY
Pianist John Stetch’s last CD, TV Trio of 2008  refashioned television program theme songs, from Star Trek to Dallas to The Waltons, as vehicles of the jazz interpreter’s...
The Paradox of Progress
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Months ago, I attended David Swanson’s book signing in Baltimore to purchase his remarkable work, ...
The Wrecking Crew
ALAN FARAGO
We have reached the nadir of the dumbing down of American politics. The path was cleared by ideologues: and why should the devastation not be delivered by the conservative right holding the Book of to their American flag lapels? I am half-tempted to go...
Lake Nameless
DAVID Ker THOMSON
"Can we read the book of love?" – Richard Terdiman It’s just me and the loon in the gloaming on the world’s largest lake, the loon snickering.  I keep my paddle blade under th...
Stopping the Train, Stopping the System
RON JACOBS
In a world where the violence of war can be safely ignored by most of the population because it occurs in faraway lands the need for moral witness has never been greater.  When the recipient of the Nobel Peace prize unabashedly claims that the vio...
The Blood on Murdoch’s Hands
DAVID SWANSON
Nailing Rupert Murdoch for his employees’ phone tapping or bribery would be a little like bringing down Al Capone for tax fraud, or George W. Bush for torture. I’d be glad to see it happen but there’d still be something perverse about...
Beware of Presidential Candidates Wearing Religious Clothing
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Jesus’ recorded admonition about pretentious public displays of piety provides a timely warning for voters about today’s presidential candidates: “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them.” (Matt...
A Strike Looms in the Grocery Industry
DAVID MACARAY
Negotiators for the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) continue to butt heads with Southern California grocery store owners in their attempt to reach agreement on a 3-year contract.   They’ve been hard at it for several months no...
Why I Hate Texas
JACK RANDOM
"If you care about putting people back to work when nearly 14 million are unemployed, maybe Texas has something to teach us." Rick Wartzman, LA Times 7/3/11 The same economic geniuses that gave us the Great Recession and ne...
Jim Crow Resurrected in Florida
KARL SHEPARD
Voting rights are at the fore. You would be hard pressed to know that in Florid a despite the occasional letter to the editor ? 300 words or less. I tried, I really did, but the Orlando Sentinel just cannot bring itself to discuss...
Coming of Age in a Different Time
BRIAN TOKAR
In the 1980s, the fabled Lower East Side of Manhattan was in a time of transition. There were still substantial remnants of the old immigrant cultures that forged the neighborhood’s identity in the early 20th century, even as its zeitgeist had be...
Striking Out in Phoenix
ALVARO HUERTA
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Segil recently struck out, big time, by stubbornly refusing to relocate the 82nd All-Star Game from Phoenix, Arizona, to another city due to the desert state’s racist immigration law, SB 1070.  Although...
Russia’s Demographic Crisis
PHILIPPE DESCAMPS
There is no need to travel to remote areas of Russia to find evidence of the country’s demographic crisis. Tver and its region (known as Kalinin from 1931 to 1990) are only a few hours from Moscow, but have recorded more than two deaths for every...
Clearing Forests and People in Odisha
PRADEEP BAISAKH
While granting final forest clearance...
How the PA Sold Out Palestinian Unity
RAMZY BAROUD
If you happen to be a Palestinian government employee, chances are you will receive only half your usual salary this month. The other half will only be available when international donors find it in their hearts to make up for the huge shortage of fund...
America Right or Wrong
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
It was a good few days for the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. It spends much of its time in relative obscurity but in the first two weeks of July it found itself in the news on two different occasions. Heady stuff even for a Convention. It...
Blues on the Border
DAN LaBOTZ
Javier Batiz, the great Mexican rock-and-roll guitarist, played and sang last week in a concert that embodied and gave voice to everything that is most wonderful about Tijuana and the U.S.-Mexico border region. Batiz who since he was thirteen played in...
Conspirators Unmasked in the DSK Drama
PAM MARTENS
The political theorists in France and Russia may be correct: Dominique Strauss-Kahn may have enemies that want to end his political career for nefarious agendas.  If that is the case, it will certainly be discovered by the legions of former CIA op...
Snatching the Dead for DNA
JOHN STANTON
These are gruesome days. The world is truly adrift and on the brink of a global “something”. Everyone can feel it here in the USA. The US system of government is often described as a layer cake: federal on top, state i...