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 January 2012
Waiting for the Barbarians
CHARLES R. LARSON
Zimbabwe again, though not through the eyes of the typical critic.  No white observer, flaying Robert Mugabe and his cohorts; no African narrator crying in despair and frustration.  Instead, a narrator who—although white—ponders the question of cause and effect, how...
Frederick the Great, 300 Years Old and Now in Rehab
DAVID YEARSLEY
Berlin Probably no one sitting in the House of Representatives chamber last Tuesday night for Barack Obama’s State of the Union address knew that January 24 also marked the 300th birthday of Frederick the Great. Poster boy for Enlightened Desp...
Beatty, Orloski and Davies
POETS' BASEMENT
Friends by EDWARD BEATTY Shostakovich’s preludes and fugues sanctify the living room, ring throughout the cold mobile home. It is late autumn and   a man, his gloved hands deep in the pockets of a ...
Finally, a Democrat Worth Supporting?
WEBSITE OF THE WEEKEND
Finally, a Democrat Worth ...
State of the Apple (Rotten)
JEFF BALLINGER
President Barack Obama blew a kiss to Apple in the State of the Union speech, praising the entrepreneurial spirit of its founder, the late Steve Jobs, as the cameras panned to his widow in the audience. Obama’s timing couldn’t be weirder. In the last month, App...
U.S. Probe of Border Attack Hardened Pakistani Suspicions
GARETH PORTER
Washington DC The Pakistani military leadership’s response to the U.S. report on its helicopter attack on two Pakistani border posts Nov. 26 assailed the credibility of the investigation by Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven Clark and expressed doubt that t...
Polio in Afghanistan
CATHERINE WILKINSON, MD
Polio forever seared two images in my mind.  That may account for my reaction to the story in the January 17th New York Times, “After Years of Decline, Polio Cases in Afghanistan Triple in a Year”. There are other images, of lines of school...
The Mother of All Union Trusteeships
STEVE EARLY
Three years ago this Friday (Jan. 27), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern declared war on one-quarter of his California membership. SEIU headquarters in Washington dispatched an army of paid staffers to seize the Oakland office of United Hea...
Childhood Leukemia Spikes Near Nuclear Power Plants
JOHN LAFORGE
French researchers have confirmed that childhood leukemia rates are shockingly elevated among children living near nuclear power reactors. The “International Journal of Cancer” has published in January a scientific study establishing a clear correlation between...
Taxing Carried Interest
EILEEN APPELBAUM
Private equity firms recruit investors—pension funds, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, wealthy individuals—for an investment fund. The ...
Rare Admission of Mistake in Mumia Case
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
I made a mistake. An article I wrote recently for CounterPunch about the Pennsylvania prison system’s latest punitive assault on now ex-death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal (unnecessarily continuing his solitary confinement) contained a factual misstatement. M...
Not A Peep About The President’s Praise of Military
LAURA FLANDERS
The grades for the president’s State of the Union are in and the critics have been kind. In fact, it’s chilling to see just how few hits the President takes for couching his entire address in unqualified celebration of the US military. Speaking of the troo...
Nuclear Iran
ROBERT FISK
Turning round a story is one of the most difficult tasks in journalism – and rarely more so than in the case of Iran. Iran, the dark revolutionary Islamist menace. Shia Iran, protector and manipulator of World Terror, of Syria and Lebanon and Hamas and Hezbollah. Ahmadi...
Out of the Public Domain
JULIE HILDEN
We’ve all heard of copyrighted works falling into the public domain, but can public-domain works constitutionally be pulled out of the public domain, and placed under the protection of the copyright law? That was the question resolved by the Supreme Court’s Jan...
Rubio Under Water
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Rubio Under Water ...
The Soft Side of Imperialism
LAURA AGUSTÍN
Reasons abound to be turned off by the New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof. He is too pleased with himself and demonstrates no capacity for self-reflection. He is too earnest. He claims to be in the vanguard of journalism because he tweets. He is said to b...
In the Age of Robotic Weapons
RALPH NADER
The U.S. war in Afghanistan is testing so much futuristic detect and destroy weaponry that it can be called the most advanced all-seeing invasion in military history. From blanket satellite surveillance to soldiers’ infra-red vision to the remotely guided photographing,...
War Abroad; Austerity at Home
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The US government is so full of self-righteousness that it has become a caricature of hypocrisy.  Leon Panetta, a former congressman who Obama appointed CIA director and now head of the Pentagon, just told the sailors on the USS Enterprise, an aircraft carrier, that the ...
Court to Vermont: “Drop Dead”
HARVEY WASSERMAN
A federal judge has told the people of Vermont that a solemn contract between them and the reactor owner Entergy need not be honored.

The fight will almost certainly now go to the US Supreme Court. At stake is not only the future of atomic power, but the legitimacy o...
Egypt at the Crossroads
TAMER BAHGAT and KHALID EL-SHERIF
“The Egyptian voices will be heard, and if not heard, it will be only because the blood already shed has not been enough…” With these words, Saad Zaghloul, one of 20th century Egypt’s most celebrated nati...
Gingrich Confronts History in the South
WILLIAM LOREN KATZ
“It’s not that I’m a good debater. It’s that I articulate the deepest-felt values of the American people,” announced the victorious Newt Gingrich in South Carolina. Republican voters [only 2% were African Americans] saw his tough, angry, ra...
Attack of the Invisible Bond Market Vigilantes
DEAN BAKER
Those still wondering why the Obama Administration surrendered so quickly on the drive for stimulus and joined the deficit reduction crusade, got the smoking gun in an ...
American Shame in Colombia
DAN KOVALIK
As Noam Chomsky has often cautioned, when considering foreign relations, and especially military intervention, states should always heed the primary Hippocratic oath – “First, do no harm.”   The U.S. has certainly disregarded this admonition with reckless abandon ...
Florida and the Foreclosure of the Ownership Society
ALAN FARAGO
In light of the economic crisis and the collapse of dreams of economic security for millions of Americans, it is worth looking back at the “Ownership Society” that helped trigger the housing boom, then bust. This is along the same lines as President Obama̵...
See No Evil
DAVE LINDORFF
The Iraq war may be over, at least for US troops, but the cover-up of the atrocities committed there by American forces goes on, even in retrospectives about the war. A prime example is reporting on the destroyed city of Fallujah, where some of the heaviest fighting of th...
The Obama Memos
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
The Obama Memos ...
The U.S., Indonesia & the New York Times
CONN HALLINAN
Why is the New York Times concealing the key role that the United States played in the 1965 coup in Indonesia that ended up killing somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million people? In a story Jan. 19—“Indonesia Chips Away At the Enforced Silence Around a Dark ...
How Hollywood’s Own Reality Undermines Its Position on Internet Policy
RICHARD FORNO
The furor over the latest legislative proposals to address online copyright infringement in the United States have cast the major American intellectual property companies – most notably, the entertainment industry — in a very negative light within the global I...
The Republican Inferno
DAVID VEST
When the GOP retook the House and promptly made it clear that the supreme goal was to prevent Obama’s re-election, they showed themselves to be united by opposition, as never before. Nothing mattered except turning the president out of office. Nothing seemed more in...
Facebook and the Degradation of Personhood
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
Behold homo sapiens lashed on the wheel of the digital social network: held frozen over a computer which is tied by a cord to a wall wherein the fiberglass cable carries the message; staring into the lit screen, the face pale in the unnatural light; or, with head bent in ...
Beyond Loser Liberalism
DEAN BAKER
Last week Thomas Edsall had a column in th...
What’s Alinsky Got To Do With It?
WINDY COOLER
This Sunday, at the Friends Meeting I attend, I shared a long, rambling account of my personal soap opera, which is what I call it, my life, my relationships, when I am not willing to be vulnerable about it all, but I still need to vent, and well, my reality, when I...
Anniversary of a Death in a New York Sweatshop
DANIEL GROSS
A year ago today, Juan Baten, a 22-year-old Guatemalan, was crushed to death while working in a Brooklyn tortilla factory.  Mr. Baten was one of 35,000 workers in a little-known, but indispensable part of New York’s food system: a sprawling industrial sector of foo...
Uproar Over Upcoming BDS Conference at Penn
VIJAY PRASHAD
It is not easy in the United States to have a real, factual discussion about Israel. When Norman Finkelstein came to give a lecture at my college a few years ago, a small minority of the faculty and students were enraged. The faculty boycotted the lecture, but the student...
Iran in the Shadow of War
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
As the prospect of a deadly confrontation between Iran and the United States increases, the fate of 78 million Iranians remains absent in the calculus of war on both sides. Invisible in the current war discourse, Iranians are caught between a repressive government with a ...
Talking With Ani DiFranco
ALEXANDER BILLET
She’s dealt with a lot of obstacles–dismissal of her music, sexist condescension, even attempts from Clear Channel to shut down her concerts. But over the past two decades, Ani DiFranco has remained thankfully relentless, and become a force to be reckoned...
Sh*t White Feminists Say
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Sh*t White Feminists Say ...
Gingrich Plays the Race Card, as Press Cheers “Debating Skills”
LAURA FLANDERS
South Carolina. It’s going to be the state that keeps on giving to President Barack Obama. I’m not talking votes; I’m talking hate. Newt Gingrich’s primary win has the pundits praising his “debating skills,” but the less prudish among us can be clear: Gingrich...
How Libertarian Dogmatists Are Sabotaging Ron Paul’s Campaign
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
If Ron Paul’s libertarian handlers and support base could escape their ideology, Ron Paul could be much better positioned to win the Republican nomination. Here are some suggestions. Ron Paul should be making the point that Social Security and Medicare are...
The Next Housing Bailout
MIKE WHITNEY
Why are housing prices falling when the number of houses on the market continues to decline? Usually, when supply shrinks, then prices rise, right? So, why isn’t that happening now? The reason is that housing market never completely cleared, which is to say t...
The NDAA and Indefinite Detention
JOANNE MARINER
Last week was the tenth anniversary of the military prison at Guantanamo, with newspapers dutifully marking the occasion with “Guantanamo at Ten” columns, op-eds and blog posts. A handful of papers, including the ...
Nuclear Power in the US: a Rigged System
KARL GROSSMAN
The nuclear power program in the United States was set up rigged—to allow the federal government to push atomic energy with state and local governments “pre-empted” on most issues. That’s what the State of Vermont was confronted with last week as a federal ...
The Decline of the American Empire
KIRKPATRICK SALE
Why America Failed, which this book is not about, is nonetheless a devastating and eviscer...
10 Steps Toward Radical Revolution in the USA
BILL QUIGLEY
“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  1967 One.  Human rights must be taken absolutely...
Will Turkey Join Sick Men of Europe?
PATRICK COCKBURN
Are the Turks seeing the Ottoman Empire reborn or are they going to be the next victims of economic chaos in Europe and political turmoil in the Middle East? Is Turkey about to pay a price for the overconfidence bred by a decade that brought it triumphant success while it...
Back in Egypt’s Tinderbox
CARL FINAMORE
Cairo.  One year ago in February 2011, getting to Egypt wasn’t that easy. Back then, my London flight crew suddenly refused, in midair, to lay over in Cairo. Instead, we touched down in Athens where the airline did not actually even have...
Mr. McKibben, Take Heed
MAURA STEPHENS
“Obama is now billed as a hero by the likes of Bill [McKibben,] who tweeted yesterday that: ‘the president acted decisively and bravely – and he listened to people, not money. a good day.’ ” So writes Michael Leonardi in a ...
Toxic Hair
KATHY DEACON
My hair is at its best in the wintertime because I can then wear a hat, which flattens it down, especially if I sleep in the hat. Does it ever look like a nylon wig? Well yes, it does sometimes if I’ve been sleeping in the hat. But wiggy or not, w...
How the Media Enable the GOP Tax Agenda
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
How the Media Enable the GOP Tax Agen...