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 2012
The Financial War Against the Economy at Large
MICHAEL HUDSON
Today’s economic warfare is not the kind waged a century ago between labor and its industrial employers. Finance has moved to capture the economy at large, industry and mining, public infrastructure (via privatization) and now even the educational system. (At over $1 tr...
The Next Secretary of Defense
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
One of the most pressing problems facing the incoming Secretary of Defense is posed by our denouement in Afghanistan.  For reasons ...
All You Wanted to Know About Housing in Three Minutes
MIKE WHITNEY
There’s a ...
Longshoremen Strike Averted
DAVID MACARAY
On December 28, a potential strike by the ILA (International Longshoremen’s Association), representing East Coast dockworkers, was averted when union negotiators agreed to extend the contract for another month, and continue bargaining.  Both sides took this to be a hop...
Jailing Journalists in Plot-Mad Turkey
MICHAEL DICKINSON
In case you hadn’t heard of ‘Ergenokon’, it’s an alleged plot by a gang of ultranationalist secularists, who are accused of plotting to trigger a military coup to topple the ruling Islamic-slanted Justice and Develoment Party (AKP) in Turkey by fomenting chaos in ...
Burma’s Civil Wars
RENAU EGRETEAU
Burma’s president Thein Sein — through his envoy, former general Aung Min — has in just one year renewed most of the ceasefires agreed by the previous junta, including one with the powerful militia of the Wa minority in the north, who have produced and trafficked op...
Will Syria Go on the Offensive at the Hague?
FRANKLIN LAMB
La Maison  d’Avocats, Damascus. Even before the historic 139 to 8 vote of the UN General Assembly on  November 29 of this year which opened up a plethora of legal remedies for  Palestinians, a “legal intifada” — to borrow a phrase from Franc...
Our Intolerable Risk
PETER G. COHEN
In a 2012 Status of World Nuclear Forces report, The Federation of American Scientists (FAS, founded in 1945 by many of the original group of scientists who invented and built the first atomic bombs and who later came to oppose them) estimates that 1,800 Russian and U.S. ...
The Last Askari
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
One of, if not the last, Eritrean askari, aboy Welday Tecle Weldekidan Melkai Tensai of the village of Damba Minche in the Serai region has passed away at the age of 93. Aboy Welday was drafted into the Italian African Colonial Army, or “askaris” as they were k...
The Outrage of Guns in America
HOWARD LISNOFF
I logged onto the Internet between classes on Friday, December 14 in Troy, New York. Since the classes I teach would take the second part of their final exam, I quickly passed  by the New York Times breaking news item that stated a shooting had taken place at a ...
Note to Alexander
FRED GARDNER
The NY Times arrived this morning with the magazine devoted to “The Lives They Lived,” an extra round of obits for those who exited in 2012. Guess who wasn’t mentioned? I suppose if they’d included you we’d say “Nothing they love more than ...
Tarantino’s American Love Story
MICHAEL DONNELLY
I went to see Django Unchained with a screenwriter friend yesterday, forgetting that it was Christmas week and the matinees would be crowded. I’ve always been a little ambivalent about the already legendary director Quentin Tarantino’s movies. I think the...
America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff
MICHAEL HUDSON
When World War I broke out in August 1914, economists on both sides forecast that hostilities could not last more than about six months. Wars had grown so expensive that governments quickly would run out of money. It seemed that if...
FBI Ignored Deadly Threat to Occupiers
DAVE LINDORFF
New documents obtained from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security by the Partnership for Civil Justice and released this past week show that the FBI and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies began a campaign of monitoring, spying and disrupting the Occ...
Economic Plunder in Recent History
ROB URIE
In the mid 1990s Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman ...
In Praise of Obstinacy
ANDREW LEVINE
There is no point denying it any longer: those of us who thought that Barack Obama’s invocations of “hope” and “change” was all hot air were wrong; we didn’t get it.  We didn’t realize that he wasn’t talking about the hopes for change of the people whose ...
A Person Called Nobody
URI AVNERY
SUDDENLY, I realized that a new star had appeared on the political firmament of Israel. Until yesterday I did not even know of its existence. A respected public opinion poll posed a Nixonesque question: From which politician would you buy a used car? The answer was...
It’s Easier Than You Think
RALPH NADER
It’s easier than you think.  That’s the way I start discussions and interviews about my new book titled, “Seventeen Solutions.” The “solutions” were selected for their long-overdue practicality, fairness, efficiency, safety, employment potential and re...
For Whom the Syrian Bell Tolls
PEPE ESCOBAR
The top geopolitical tragedy in 2012 is bound to remain the top geopolitical tragedy in 2013: the rape of Syria. Just as once in a while I go back to my favorite Hemingway passages, lately I’ve been going back to some footage I shot years ago of the Aleppo so...
Manufacturing Poverty
CHERI HONKALA
On December 10, community leaders all across the country held vigils and rallies outside Congressional offices to defend the safety net and protest the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations in Washington, DC. It was part of a coordinated national campaign on Internati...
The Deep Wound of Wounded Knee
JOHNNY BARBER
December 29th marks the 122nd anniversary of the Massacre at Wounded Knee. It is a story that remains fresh in the lives of many indigenous peoples across America. Each generation is taught to never forget. In 1891, reviewing the history lea...
The PRI and Loathing in Mexico City
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City. Welcome to a new era in Mexico – or so some would have you believe. Twelve years after finally losing power in the democratic transition of 2000, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), aka “the dinosaur”, is back and attempting to ...
Desperately Seeking a Future
GRAHAM PEEBLES
Year on year the numbers of men women and children leaving Ethiopia in search of work and freedom from repression in one of the Gulf States and beyond is increasing. Lured by the often hollow prospect of earning enough money to support their family, United Nations High Co...
Okinawa: Notes From the “Evil Island”
ANDRE VLTCHEK
It is all about barbed wire, warnings and checkpoints. And to make it worse, Futenma air force base is right in the middle of an extremely densely populated urban area. Several middle-aged Japanese citizens are besieging the sedans and SUV’s driven by the US mili...
Predator-Automatons?
WILLIAM MANSON
“Automaton—person who behaves like a robot…” —Oxford Desk Dictionary...
The Nuclear Waste Dump Formerly Known as San Onofre?
RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN
Southern California Edison, the operator of the (non-operating) San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station, is running out of options. Even the federal regulators are coming down hard on them.  The public remains deeply skeptical, while local elected officials co...
Tragedy of Syria’s Palestinians and Centrality of Right of Return
RAMZY BAROUD
It must have been 2007, although I cannot remember the exact date. I do recall getting lost in what seemed like a futile search for the headquarters of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Rome. There was a meeting of NGOs and some General Assembly body, consist...
We are Adam Lanza’s Mother
JUSTIN FELDMAN
Nancy Lanza ...
Foreclosures and the Police State
LESLIE RADFORD
Van Nuys. The Hernandez family, who became ...
SNAFU 2012
RON JACOBS
Each year seems to go quicker than the last. This phenomenon is partially related to the shrinking proportion of my life each year represents. It is is also due to the ever-increasing volume of events that seem to occur every annum and our expanding awareness of them. The...
Fiscal Chicken
WALTER BRASCH
Talk show hosts and other bloviators have spent hours giving their versions of the fiscal cliff. In fewer than 750 words, I’ll explain the truth. Taxes and the deficit are intertwined. If Congress can’t come up with a plan to solve those problems, the U....
The ANC and the Exploitation of South Africa
ERIC DRAITSER
This week’s elective conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa highlighted what has become an ever more apparent and painful reality to working people in that country and political observers around the world – the revolution of 1994 effe...
Pregnant Women are NOT Incubators!
DAVID ROSEN
One contributing factor to Pres. Obama 2012 reelection victory was that the Christian right shot itself in the proverbial foot over of the issues of rape and abortion.  The now (in)famous comments by a half-dozen Republican candidates regarding rape helped expose the fu...
Fiscal Cliff or Fiscal Slope?
D. SIDNEY POTTER
Now that we know that Mr. Obama has been re-selected as President, will he be Mr. Hope or Mr. Nope.   Real estate experts (i.e., think tankers, economists, investors and hedge fund managers), are in general agreement on about half a dozen policy points that could shift t...
2013 Unoccupied
JOE GIAMBRONE
“Fight not unless the position is critical.” –Sun Tzu, The Art of War The ”...
Why We Should be Grateful to the NRA
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Such as do build their faith upon Holy text of pike and gun. — Samuel Butler, Hudibras, pt.I  The NRA showed the importance of a thoughtful response to the tragic events in Newtown by maintaining a respectful s...
Rock and Roll Crashes Washington’s Elite Holiday Party
LORI SPENCER
It was a few days before Christmas, 1970, and Elvis Presley was suddenly obsessed with a strange notion. Not another late-night private shopping spree for Lisa Marie, or a cross-country hamburger run this time. No, what Presley had in mind was far more important: the trum...
Stop Crying About Facebook
ERIC PATTON
The left loves to cry over shit it can’t do anything about, and one of the favorite objects of its whining is Facebook. If you believe in capitalism — if you believe that an economy should be organized along the lines of private ownership of the means o...
Done in Our Name
MISSY BEATTIE
This on Facebook:  “See Your 2012 Year in Review.  Look back at your 20 biggest moments from the past year.” I read the announcement, balked, and refused to click the link.  How dare they?  How dare “it”?  As if this social networking service unde...
Always, For the Sake of Religion
CHARLES R. LARSON
Africa’s first Nobel Prize laureate, Wole Soyinka, has published his latest book: Of Africa...
Two by José M. Tirado
POETS' BASEMENT
Lamentations in Times of Peace qnd War by JOSÈ TIRADO   Part 1. American Snapshots: The Blinking Lost   I. On Sundays, the drive-by church frenzy awakens evange...
Imperial Lockstep
JASON HIRTHLER
Imperial adventures are nothing new in the Middle East. Neither is their glorification, as Peter O’Toole’s pained Lawrence of Arabia eternally reminds us. But for a decade or so now, things have been heating up, as if to coincide with climate change and fears...
How to Grow Up Under Occupation
GUI ROCHAT
In 1940, when I was six years old, we were living in a small town in the Netherlands at the mouth of one of the Rhine subsidiaries. My father who was an eye surgeon needed a large house so that he could have the correct distance in his practice room for measuring people...
The Asian Pivot: Four More Years
CONN HALLINAN
In March 1990, Time Magazine titled an article “Ripples in The American Lake.” It was not about small waves in that body of water just north of Fort Lewis, Washington. It was talking about the Pacific Ocean, the largest on the planet, embracing over half of...
Gaza’s Only Fisherwoman
JOSHUA BROLLIER
“The problems started for me at eighteen,” Madleen Kulab said quietly, sitting just meters from the shore of the Mediterranean. “The police and port authorities did not want me to sail as a woman.” Though Madleen has emerged from this recent challenge, receiving a...
Why the Self-Defense Doctrine Doesn’t Legitimize Israel’s Assault on Gaza
JAMES MARC LEAS
Supporting all aspects of the Israeli assault on Gaza in November, President Obama gave Israeli forces a green light, ...
Zapatista March
TIM RUSSO
Only the resonating echo of rain pattering down on the cobblestone streets of Chiapas’ colonial cities sounded as tourists from around the globe awaiting the end of the world in the center of the Mayan Civilization were surprised by the silent marches of more than 4...
African Odyssey Turns to the South
GUILLAUME PITRON
It’s noon, and Etienne Bokoli, a Congolese translator, is getting impatient. Babasar, from Senegal, has been inside the refugee reception centre since seven this morning. The high winter sun is beating down on the tin roofs of Messina, a small South African town near th...