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 August 2011
The Future State of Palestine
FRANCIS A. BOYLE
In the 15 November 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence that was approved by the PNC representing all Palestinians all over the world,  the Executive Committee of the PLO was set up as the Provisional Government for the State of Palestine—pursuant to my advice....
Germany Chokes on Walmart
DAVID MACARAY
Walmart can boast that it has more than 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names, that it is the largest employer in the United States, the largest employer in Canada, and the largest employer in Mexico (as Walmex).  It has 108 stores in China alone, and op...
An Immigrant’s Tale
DAVID NAPIER
The day before Britain’s post offices closed for their long Christmas break, I stood in a pavement queue outside one, just before nine in the morning. The queuers were all pensioners, older and cold, politely waiting for the office to open. I wasn’t there to do last-m...
The Myth of Libyan Liberation
CONN HALLINAN
In his essay, “Top Ten Myths about the Libyan War,” Juan Cole argues that U.S. interests in the conflict consisted of stopping “massacres of people,” a “lawful world order,” “the NATO alliance,” and oddly, “the fate of Egypt.” It is worth taking a mome...
Small Government Fascists
KEVIN CARSON
Recent news of the West Memphis Three — freed on the condition that they confess their guilt, thus sparing sociopathic prosecutors any public embarrassment — raises an old question. The state’s defenders commonly argue that, no matter how fallible...
The New Agencies of Change
SAUL LANDAU
An angry demonstration virus spreads to country after country in response to negligent and callous political leaders who have ignored the basic needs of their citizens. Instead, they have bowed or eagerly catered to demands of multinational corporations and banks, thus de...
Corruption and its Discontents
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
Hazare ke Khwaaishen bhi aisi ki har Khwaish ho-hum nikale Bahut nikale thay demand lekin phir bhi kam nikale (with apologies to Mirza Ghalib) Judging from the New York Times and the Washing...
Idiot Wind
PHIL ROCKSTROH
Unpopular wars drag on, gas prices erratically rise and inexplicably fall, as clouds of cynicism, dark as Richard Nixon’s perpetual five o’clock shadow, brood over the length of the U.S.  At times, it seems as though Nixon’s 1970s never ended: Only Rona...
Welfare Reform Turns Fifteen
STEPHEN PIMPARE
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) — the controversial welfare reform law of 1996 — turned fifteen years old this month. If someone suggests to you that it has been a success, don’t believe them. But you also need to...
Why Music Needs to Get Political Again
BILLY BRAGG
How ironic that The Clash should be on the cover of the NME in the week that London was burning, that their faces should be staring out from the shel...
Sinai Doldrums
SALAMA A SALAMA
Had we paid more attention to Sinai in the past 30 years, we wouldn’t be at our wits’ end now, trying to make head or tail of the current situation. How many years ago did Israel withdraw from Sinai? The answer is: more than we needed to develop the ent...
Intimations of Collapse
RONNIE CUMMINS
So-called “business as usual” is neither sustainable, nor even possible, for much longer. Out-of-control energy corporations, Wall Street, the Pentagon, agribusiness/biotech corporations, and indentured politicians have driven us to the brink. They tell us: don’t wo...
Libya: Lessons From History
MUSTAFAH BAKHTARY
With all the celebration and praise going around because of the recent victory by Libyan rebels, we must ask ourselves if we can really ascertain what is in store for the state of Libya. Vague undefined responses of ‘freedom’ and ‘liberation’...
Slipped Discs: Jarrett, Francke and Smoky Babe
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden / Jasmine  (ECM, 2010) ...
The Sound of Shellac
DAVID YEARSLEY
The man credited with convincing the global consumers that it is worth the effort and money and environmental degradation to condense their music libraries onto a matchbook-sized (or somewhat larger) gadget has announced his retirement. While Facebook has made it common p...
Wall Street Goes to School
TOLU OLORUNDA
If real reform is going to happen, it has to put in place a viable, critical, formative culture that supports notions of social and engaged citizenship, civic courage, public values, dissent, democratic modes of governing and a genuine belief in freedom, equal...
Privacy, Regulation and the Net
JAMES B. RULE
A major face-off is brewing between American and European approaches to our so-called Information Society.    European data-protection authorities are seeking to restrict the right of Google and other search engines to disseminate certain sensitive data on “private...
How to Survive in Somalia
CHARLES R. LARSON
How ironic that just as the famine has continued to worsen in Somalia and the West has responded in its usual tepid way, Nuruddin Farah has published a new novel, perhaps the major work of his impressive career.  During his early years as a writer, Farah had to live in ...
The UN and Palestinian Statehood
WILLIAM A. COOK
“It is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance  that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.” ...
A New Pledge of Allegiance
MISSY BEATTIE
Okay, I know I’m using artistic-op-ed license, but Mother Earth, maybe, rumbled a 5.8 demand for justice on Tuesday. In a North Carolina hotel room, I had just stepped out of the shower when I heard sister Laura, on the phone with her partner Erma, say, “The ba...
Poet’s Basement
ROBERT A. DAVIES
At Rupa by ROBERT A. DAVIES A sweet girl is smiling at me. I don’t recall her name. Inscribed on the back: “To a sweet soldier.” Rummaging through a dusty memory leaves me without a hin...
The Courage of Philip Levine
BERNARD MARSZALEK
In some countries a newly honored poet laureate would make the news. The United States is not one of those countries. Maybe this is the fault of US poets themselves. Are they simply content to cultivate their coteries, as if establishing their mutual admiration societies ...
Purpose, Ethics and Nuclear Weapons
DAVID KRIEGER
Recently, a friend sent me a copy of Admiral Hyman Rickover’s 1982 Morgenthau Memorial Lecture.  The lecture, given under the auspices of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, was entitled, “Thoughts on Man’s Purpose in Life.”  In the lecture...
Crude Analysis of Libyan Liberation
CHRIS FLOYD
Another war for oil? Surely not! But just to be on the safe side, the world’s oil barons are already moving in to seal some sweetheart deals on that sweet, sweet crude with the new, NATO-installed masters of Libya. And guess what? It turns out that companies fro...
The Dumbest Rally of All Time
MIKE WHITNEY
“Without the destructive power of the banks, hedge funds and other investment companies, the world would not be where it is today — at the edge of an abyss.” ...
Will Obama Denounce MLK at Memorial?
DAVID SWANSON
That sounds like a crazy question, doesn’t it?  Why would President Obama denounce Martin Luther King, Jr.? Well, the reason I ask is that he’s done it before. Really?  But surely he wouldn’t do it on such a solemn occasion? Well, ...
Steve Jobs and the Essence of America
JERRY KROTH
When I heard today that Steve Jobs was resigning, I noticed tears welling up in my eyes. It is not that Steve was the “greatest CEO of all time” as MSNBC says he was. It was not that he resurrected a company that was once in danger of going under and worth only $10 mi...
Why the Double-Dippers Are Wrong
DEAN BAKER
The latest fad among economic forecasters is to talk about the growing probability of a double-dip recession. They have raised fears that the economy will again go spiraling downward at a point where it has hardly made up any of the ground lost in the last recession. This...
Israel’s Nice Little War
RAMZY BAROUD
Israeli writer Uri Avnery recently wrote an article entitled ‘How Godly Are Thy Tents?’, which began with the words, “First of all, a warning.” The reference was made to the tent cities that have sprung up across the country by middle class Israelis demanding chan...
Parallel Lines of Dissent
PRITI GULATI COX
We have a situation in which the government is acting as a guarantor to the process of expropriation of access of common property resources across the country and handing over those resources to private interests. This is leading to inequity… this proces...
The Siege of Tripoli
FRANKLIN LAMB
Tripoli. This observer’s tentative appraisal of Tuesday’s events along the north Tripoli port area as of late afternoon 8/23/11 is that the “65,000 well trained and well-armed troops” hyped Sunday by the Gaddafi government don’t in fact e...
The State and Local Budget Crisis
MICHAEL HUDSON
The cost of the 2011 cutbacks in federal spending will fall most directly on consumers and retirees by scaling back Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and social spending programs. The population also will suffer indirectly, by lower federal revenue sharing with U.S. sta...
Pax Obama
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
Could it be that when Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama leaves office that the defining image of his presidency will have been his use of unmanned drone aircraft and military death squads to achieve the will of the Empire? Hardly a week goes by in which we do not l...
Haiti’s Swelling Wave of Evictions
BILL QUIGLEY
Port-au-Prince. Mathias O is 34 years old.  He is one of about 600,000 people still homeless from the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  He lives with his wife and her 2 year old under a homemade shelter made out of several tarps.  They sleep on the...
Is Obama’s Pragmatism a Losing Bet for 2012?
FIRMIN DeBRABANDER
Reflecting upon growing voter indifference in democracies across the Atlantic, historian Tony Judt chalked it up to a roster of world leaders that “convey neither conviction nor authority” and “stand for nothing in particular.” These words resonate in the aftermat...
Killing in Our Name
JOHN FEFFER
We make a bargain with our governments. We pay taxes and expect a set of government services in return. And in return for a guarantee of some measure of security, we grant the government a monopoly on legitimate violence. In theory, then, we forswear mob rule and paramili...
Staying in Afghanistan
ROSS EVENTON
Reports that the US is determined to maintain a presence in Afghanistan will surprise no one except 99% of foreign policy analysts.  Responding to the announcement that the US is in negotiations to maintain a presence until 2024, Mahdi Hassan, senior editor at the ...
In Praise of Ron Paul
CLANCY SIGAL
“But (America) goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.” – President John Quincy Adams in 1821 Rep. Ron Paul, the Texan doctor running for President as a Republican libertarian, looks li...
Does America Suffer From Solution-ism?
SAAD HAFIZ
Does America suffer from Solution-ism? by Saad Hafiz “America suffers from ‘solutionism'”, an ex-Marine running a Washington law practice resignedly...
Qaddafi Has Lost; But Who Has Won?
PATRICK COCKBURN
The civil war in Libya went on longer than expected, but the fall of Tripoli came faster than was forecast. As in Kabul in 2001 and Baghdad in 2003, there was no last-ditch stand by the defeated regime, whose supporters appear to have melted away once they saw that defeat...
Israeli Video Games in Gaza
ALISON WEIR
He looks at the camera with bright eyes and the beginning of a smile, wearing a miniature dark blue zipper sweatshirt, the cuffs folded up a bit to make it fit. I can imagine his mother dressing him that morning, making sure he would be warm enough. I wonder if she...
Verizon: From Wireless to Shameless
RALPH NADER
It was only a matter of time before the “pull down” NAFTA and WTO trade agreements on U.S. wages and jobs would be followed by “pull down” contract demands by U.S. corporations on their unionized workers toward levels of non-unionized laborers....
The Cult of Incompetent Bankers
DEAN BAKER
The world financial system had another serious scare last week. The immediate issue was the prospect that the euro could break up. With the debt crisis spreading from smaller countries such as Greece and Ireland to the eurozone giants of Spain and Italy, events were again...
The World’s Largest Pyramid Scheme
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
The United States managed to avert a default, and that is good news. But the partisan battle in Congress sent the stock market plunging, and the decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the country’s credit rating has made matters far worse. Party...
The Badger State’s Bloody Stalemate
ANDY KROLL
Stephanie Haw needed a good cry. On the night of August 9th, the rowdy crowd inside Hawk’s bar in downtown Madison grew ever quieter as the election results trickled in. Earlier that day, with the nation watching, voters statewide cast their ballots in Wiscon...
Nat’s Turner’s Revolt, 180 Years Later
CLARENCE LUSANE
This Sunday, Aug. 21, is the 180th anniversary of the slave rebellion led by the Rev. Nat Turner in Virginia. Born into slavery on Oct. 2, 1800, Turner developed two characteristics that would propel him eventually to lead an insurrection: literacy skills and a rel...
Why, That Must be Nancy Pelosi!
DAVID MARTINEZ
If any one ever needed a better reason to throw the Democratic Party into the garbage can of history, last Tuesday night’s “Town Hall Meeting” in Oakland, California, was a perfect example of the party’s pathos, duplicity and outright arrogance. The night h...
The Marketing of Rick Perry
ROBERT FANTINA
Texas Governor Rick Perry has ridden into the GOP presidential race on his high horse,  threatening to ‘get ugly’ with Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, stopping just short of accusing him of treason, and catering, as expected, to the most radical of the ra...