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 October 2011
The Real Agenda Behind the Cain Tax Scheme
MIKE LOFGREN
The tax plan of Republican candidate Herman Cain is the best current example of the real agenda of the GOP. It is a masterpiece of marketing, with its simple “9-9-9” label being reminiscent of a two-for-one pizza special. It would lower all Federal income tax rates t...
Is Bank of America Headed for the Glue Factory?
MIKE WHITNEY
Why is Bank of America moving derivatives from Merrill Lynch to an insured subsidiary? Is it because the derivatives could blow up at any time leaving Merrill with gigantic, unsustainable losses? If that’s the case, then it would make perfect sense to shift them i...
The Drug War in Mexico
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City How quickly a large Mexican city can go from relative tranquillity to a powder keg fought over by drug gangs was recently illustrated clearly in the Gulf resort of Veracruz. Until two months ago, the historic port – which witnessed the arriva...
Afghanistan Calling!
SAUL LANDAU
Ten plus years ago, the United States (oops, NATO) invaded Afghanistan and quickly won the war against the militarily (technologically) inferior Taliban government. Taliban fighters fled to Pakistan. Washington and allies followed their victory by quickly losing the occup...
What Quantitative Easing Really Means
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Stripped from the fancy (and mystifying) jargon, quantitative easing (QE) simply means increasing the quantity of money supply, or easing credit conditions—in the hope of stimulating the stagnant economy. This is usually done by having central banks inject a pre-determi...
Everybody’s Son
URI AVNERY
THE MOST sensible – I almost wrote “the only sensible” – sentence uttered this week sprang from the lips of a 5-year old boy. After the prisoner swap, one of those smart-aleck TV reporters asked him: “Why did we release 1027 Arabs for one Israeli soldier?...
From the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign to Occupy Wall Street
ALYOSHA GOLDSTEIN
As the Occupy Wall Street movement intensifies, the closing words of its first collectively written declaration grow in significance. “These grievances are not all-inclusive” acknowledges that this movement must first and foremost be an opportunity to build and expand...
Was the Iranian Plot a Plan for Retaliation?
GARETH PORTER
Scepticism about the U.S. allegation of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador has focused on doubts that high-level Iranian officials would have used someone like used car salesman Monssor Arbabsiar to carry out the mission. But when the scanty eviden...
Occupy Obama
JOHN STAUBER
President Barack Obama is no longer running unchallenged in all the major primary states, thanks to activists in Iowa who are focusing their Occupy Wall Street activism onto the headquarters of the Obama for President campaign office this Saturday, October 22,  in Des Mo...
Goodbye Iraq?
DAVID SWANSON
I just got an email from Huffington Post telling me that Obama was keeping his campaign promise to get U.S. troops out of Iraq.  Not quite.  Here’s a ...
Rage Against the Empire
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
In late 1999, 50,000 longshoremen, steelworkers, environmentalists, animal-rights activists, consumer advocates, Canadians, pacifists, anarchists, isolationists, French cheesemakers, Free Tibet fans, and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence marched on downtown Seattle disrupti...
America’s New African Empire
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Now that the CIA’s proxy army has murdered Gadhafi, what next for Libya? If Washington’s plans succeed, Libya will become another American puppet state. Most of the cities, towns, and infrastructure have been destroyed by air strikes by the air forces of the US...
Post-Political Disorder
SAM SMITH
Since history only hangs around these days for six months or so, it is easy not to notice that Republicans don’t act like Republicans anymore nor Democrats like Democrats. Robert Taft, Dwight Eisenhower, or Margaret Chase Smith would be horrified at such politica...
Will Seif Gaddafi Survive to Have His Day in Court?
FRANKLIN LAMB
During the late evening of 10/20/11 the White House, the Office of the Secretary of State, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Libyan Embassy in Washington, DC received a  faxed communication from an American organized  international legal team currently p...
Occupy Government
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
They worked many late night hours since this past spring creating a unique vehicle – part grassroots initiative and part cutting-edge technology – for countering the most corrupting force in American politics today: corporate dominance now controlling too many elected...
A Growing Disparity
JOHN SCHMITT
Economic inequality has been growing steadily for three decades. According to the most definitive data, assembled by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Pi...
The San Diego Union-Tribune is on the Rocks
FRANK GREEN
Print media’s decline in the United States can be tracked in microcosm in San Diego, longtime home to one of the country’s most conservative, reactionary dailies. Local progressives have been watching in bemusement for several years as The San Diego Uni...
Resurrection Cities
LINH DINH
The 99% will convene a National Convention in Philadelphia, so that’s the good news. Where America was born, they will try to bring her back to life, save her from this deepening degradation. Their list of demands, to be released in October of 2012, will most likely be ...
The Children of Ralph and Ron
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
“Every city in America has a Jefferson Memorial.  But if you’re looking for a memorial to Alexander Hamilton, stop looking.  You’re living in it.”  The columnist George Will wrote something along these lines many years ago. Some people’...
Kill ‘Em All and Let God Sort ‘Em Out
JOHN ESKOW
Look, I enjoy killing as much as the next guy.  Not one but two of my favorite movies are actually called The Killers–the great original film noir, based on a Hemingway story, and Don Siegal’s ’60s remake, featuring Ronald Reagan as a vicious ...
The End of Muammar Gaddafi
BINOY KAMPMARK
The words of the human rights lawyer and spokesman for the National Transitional Council, Abdul Hafiz Ghoga, were stated with chilling effect and certainty.  ‘Our revolutionaries managed to get the head of the tyrant, who has met his fate and destiny like all dictators...
In a Manner Neither Forceful Nor Foolish
RON JACOBS
I first got wind of the Occupy Wall Street action back in its planning stages.  I didn’t give it much thought, but considered it a potentially positive thing, especially if it began with a fair number of people participating or somehow captured the mainstream media...
It’s a Wonderful Strife
DAVID Ker THOMSON
“As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be strange to meet a Megolosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill.” –Charles Di...
Border People
CHARLES R. LARSON
Jamil Ahmad’s publishers refer to The Wandering Falcon as a “debut novel,” though it...
Ornette, Van Dyke and Del
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Ornette Coleman, Of Human Feelings, (Antilles)  Give or take Sonn...
The Soccer Choruses of Anfield
DAVID YEARSLEY
For an American musical expatriate with ample means and the right connections that money bring, a musical tour of Europe might include Wagner in Bayreuth and Verdi at La Scala. Tickets for these two houses are impossible to get unless you inherit them or know the right pe...
Poets’ Basement
VANESSA HUANG
“Stand with Us” by VANESSA HUANG for hunger strikers at Pelican Bay, Corcoran, Tehachapi, Folsom, Valley State Prison for Women, Centinela, San Quentin, and RJ Donovan  May the hunger your ghostb...
Tasered While Black
WEBSITE OF THE WEEKEND
Tasered While Black ...
The Secret Republican
ANDREW LEVINE
“Conspiracy theories” have a bad press.  But sometimes conspiracies are real and sometimes conspiracy theories do account for what they purport to explain.  Whether they do or not is an empirical question.  Because real world politics is propelled by multiple, hete...
Let It Grow
RALPH NADER
Congressman Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1831, the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011″ on May 11th of this year. It is a simple bill at just two pages in length, and it would legalize the growing of industrial hemp in the United States. Currently farmers ...
The Wrong Occupation
KATHY KELLY
In Kabul, Afghanistan’s beleaguered capitol city, a young woman befriended me during December of 2010.  She was eager to talk about her views, help us better understand the history of her country, and form lasting relationships.  Now, she is too frightened to return a...
Bail Out the Homeowners
Rev. JESSE JACKSON
When I was growing up in South Carolina among hard-pressed families, food would often be short. Mothers with two lamb chops and five children wouldn’t give the lamb chops to the biggest child and ...
Welcome, President Romney
MICHAEL BRENNER
Mitt Romney is our next President in all likelihood.  It will not be victory for his ideas (a pastiche of Wall Street, the Tea Party and the Pentagon) nor his personality (flat and uninspiring) nor his leadership (he is timid and painfully indecisive).  Conviction, ch...
Dramatising Shalit
FARZANA VERSEY
Moussa was 25. Too young to die, too old to live in a student’s hostel. He did not have the luxury of patriotism. What was Palestine? Home? A country? Occupied territory? His papers said he was a Palestinian. He had never lived there. Egypt, Jordan, India, where we had ...
The Road to Progress or the Road to Ruin?
TANYA KERSSEN
On August 15, over 500 indigenous people departed the lowland tropical city of Trinidad, Bolivia on a 300+ mile march to the highland capital La Paz in protest of a proposed highway construction through the “TIPNIS” indigenous territory and ecological reserve. The gov...
The Two Venezuelas
FIDEL CASTRO
There was a time when Venezuela was an ally of the US empire and the country where Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch carried out their plans for the brutal in-flight bombing of a Cuban plane that caused the death and disappearance of all people aboard, including the youth...
A New Story is Unfolding
SHEPHERD BLISS
Occupy Wall Street gatherings on Oct. 15 at around 1500 sites in some 80 countries revealed a global uprising for building democratic learning and action communities. People were joyous to be together in streets and parks, on church steps, outside banks, and elsewhere—p...
Occupy Humanity, Abolish Whiteness
MIKE KING
We can only truly transform ourselves through the process of transforming social relationships and social structures.  We can only transform those social relationships and structures collectively – across race, across class, across gender and sexuality, across nation ...
Hanford’s Nuclear Option
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Hanford’s Nuclear Option ...
Is Nuclear Power Really a Trump Card Against Global Warming?
TAKASHI HIROSE
In recent years there seemed to be a nuclear power renaissance. One reason for this has been the adoption by its promoters of the theme of global warming, and their claim that nuclear power is clean energy because it does not produce carbon emissions.  But i...
Greece on the Brink
BRANDON JOURDAN
Athens. In Athens, Greece, there are all the elements of a low-intensity conflict zone. Greece has become ground zero of the Eurozone’s fiscal crisis. The latest strikes are seen by many to be historic in a country with a rich tradition of protests. ...
The Word on the Street: Co-optation
VIJAY PRASHAD
Co-optation. An acquaintance of mine who ferrets about in the White House sends me a text, “We’re discussing the OWS. Seeing how to use it for the jobs bill.” I write back, “Good luck with that. I doubt that the Chicago Boys would like to play with...
Bringing Transparency to Wall Street
DEAN BAKER
The calls for repealing the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill are more than a little bizarre. It was only three years ago that the whole financial system was at the brink of collapse, with President Bush warning us of a second Great Depression if Congress didn’t quic...
The Biggest Environmental Crime in History?
CHRIS WILLIAMS
Called by Greenpeace ‘the biggest environmental crime in history’, the expansion of oil production from Canadian tar sands is likely to get a major boost in November, courtesy of the Obama Administration.  The estimated recoverable oil trapped in low-grade deposits o...
The Press and Panetta
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
The silence in the press about the overheated rhetoric and dubious myths from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta makes for a very unhappy comparison of today’s defense journalism compared to previous eras when, for example, SecDef Casper Weinberger was the subject of...
Banker Boyz Blues
ALAN FARAGO
In Miami it is not considered polite or politic to criticize resident and former governor Jeb Bush, whose entire career was fueled by the mad housing boom and its campaign money that is now crashed to cinders. Bush spoke in Chicago last week  to the Mortgage Bankers Asso...
Adara Scarlet, Suicide and Single Payer
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Who is Occupying Wall Street and DC? Adara Scarlet, for one. Born and raised in Denver, the 27-year old headed east once she heard about the occupy movement. Her mother died at age 40 of cervical cancer. Adara was 10 years old. “She was one o...
Obama’s Jobs Bill and Other Fictions
ROB URIE
Several seemingly well meaning pundits have asked: if Occupy Wall Street wants jobs, why don’t they come out and support President Obama’s jobs bill? Answering only for myself, the better question is: why doesn’t Obama support his own jobs bill? The White House is c...
California’s Message to Obama
JACK RANDOM
There is an unspoken law in modern electoral politics:  Take care of your adversaries; your friends can take care of themselves. In today’s political universe, progressives have no place to go but Democrat.  So it is for minorities, labor advocates, environment...