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 February 2012
Occupation in Amsterdam
JURRIAAN VAN OORTMERSSEN
Amsterdam protesters occupied Beursplein (Exchange Square – a modest-sized piazza in front of the building that houses Wall Street-based NYSE Euronext’s Amsterdam stock exchange AEX) on October 15 2011 – four weeks after Occupy Wall Street took off ...
The Arraignment of Bradley Manning
MISSY BEATTIE
Placing my coat and purse on the bench, I heard something like, “No sleeping, no sunglasses, no tampering with gadgets.”  I looked up as the soldier continued, “If someone has the urge to sleep, please stand up.” Then, I saw him, the young hero with pale s...
How Ryan Braun Exposed the Flaws in Drug Testing Programs
NORM KENT
After being exonerated by major league baseball yesterday from his potential 50-game suspension for a positive drug test, Ryan Braun owes all  fantasy baseball players an apology. In his press release  acknowledging the support he had from his family and friends,...
Oscar and the Bronze Beauties
WALTER BRASCH
it’s phony—and she knows I know it’s phony—but I have long ago stopped teasing her about it. In her never-ending quest to appear to be beautiful and healthy, she has slathered skin tanning lotion into every pore of her body, laid out on roofs and ...
Freedom From Religion
HOWARD LISNOFF
If a person is going to act fearlessly, then it’s best done when young. At least that’s how it worked out for me. Jessica Ahlquist is such a fearless person. Jessica took on the established and entrenched points of view of a large suburban community in Cranston, Rhode...
Two Bubbles That Went Pop
PAUL STREET
Long after its leading encampments have been torn down – often with brute force and (educationally enough) by predominantly by Democratic mayors and with the approval and involvement of a Democratic White House – the populist Occupy Movement deserves major credit for ...
Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball
PETER STONE BROWN
In 1944, writing a script for a radio show Woody Guthrie wrote: “I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good.  I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose.  Bound to lose.  No good to nobody.  No good for not...
The “Feminism” of Maggie Thatcher
GAIL DINES
I usually like watching Meryl Streep, but I seriously hope that she doesn’t win an Oscar on Sunday for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. I couldn’t stand the thought of more people going to see such a dreadful piece of right-wing propaganda.  I actually paid money...
Left, Right and Paul
KEITH HOUSER
A wise old sage once revealed to me a profound truth.  He had fought and won many battles throughout his illustrious career, lancing the dragon of nuclear energy in his early years before moving on to further victories over the corporate titans of ecocide.  Now closer t...
Gateway to Global War
JUDITH BELLO
I’ve long thought that the red line that would indicate an intolerable assault on Asia and her assets runs through Iran.   However, at the moment I’m not so sure.  What I mean is, that a war with Iran, once initiated, would eventually draw in all of the Middle East...
Brazil’s Unique Voice
CHARLES R. LARSON
Most writers learn by imitation—at least that is the common assumption.  The late Brazilian writer, Clarice Lispector, obliterates that belief.  In a letter to Robert Lowell, written in 1963, Elizabeth Bishop, Lispector’s original translator, stated of her, “She...
Return to Babelsberg
DAVID YEARSLEY
If the cinema is an art, it is much more a business. Any major film festival, such as the one just concluded in Berlin, boasts a prestigious jury charged with rewarding the latest artistic achievement. This year the Golden Bear statuette for best film went to Caesar M...
Gardner, Silverstein and Orloski
POETS' BASEMENT
Casino by FRED GARDNER   old pharaoh built a wall so highwide and so strongtall it would forever never fall but they all come tumbling down recall: up to the walls of jeri...
Pentagon as Lying Machine
ANDREW COCKBURN
Washington DC Serving U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Danny Davis has been attracting notoriety following his courageous statement that senior military commanders have been systematically deceiving the American people about the war in Afghanistan.  As he points out...
In the Hole
BILL QUIGLEY
Today US Army Private Bradley Manning is to be formally charged with numerous crimes at Fort Meade, Maryland.   Manning, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by members of the Icelandic Parliament, is charged with releasing hundreds of thousands of documents expos...
The Humiliation of Greece
MIKE WHITNEY
“How can one speak of default in the future tense when we’re already bankrupt… Don’t you see the people scouring through garbage and sleeping on sidewalks? Those who led us to bankruptcy – the troika and the government – now cla...
Slaughter in Colombia
DANIEL KOVALIK
For years, it has been believed that Guatemala led the Hemisphere in mass slaughter in the modern era, with 200,000 victims in the 1980’s – about 94% of them at the hands of the U.S.-backed state and its death squad allies.    Very sadly, it appears that Colombia h...
Occupying Palestinian Water
STUART LITTLEWOOD
There are few crimes more despicable than stealing your neighbour’s water, and polluting what’s left, then watching him and his children suffer thirst, disease and ruin. Most of us would want nothing to do with the perpetrators of such evil. British Wat...
Iran, the IAEA and the Parchin Site
GARETH PORTER
The failure of a mission by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to get Iranian permission to visit a military testing site mentioned in its latest report has been interpreted in media coverage as a stall to avoid the discovery of confirming evidence of past work...
US and Egypt: a Relationship on the Rocks
JAMES ZOGBY
The US-Egypt relationship is on the rocks. If it is to be salvaged, both sides will need to change course and pay attention to the concerns of their respective publics, both of whom now hold negative views of each other. In the year that has passed since massive an...
The Glorification of Our Secret Killers
JOHN GRANT
The United States is finding the occupation of other nations more and more challenging. Consider the burning of Korans in Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, the bombing deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers and a host of other recent disasters. Economic challenges at home on...
Capitalista Virus
ROBERT HUNZIKER
One of the great contradictions of modern day nation-state socio-economics is how and why capitalists continue getting away with sticking average working people with their mistakes. Capitalists receive fees and interests payments for/on issuance of debt by countries a...
Occupy vs. the Global Race to the Bottom
ROBIN BROAD and JOHN CAVANAGH
Ever since the first tent was pitched in Zuccotti Park in September 2011, the Occupy protests have been giving life to a “99 percent movement.” Expect to hear a lot more from them: plans for a ...
Occupy Wall Street Sustainability
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
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What Really Happened in the “Yom Kippur” War?
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow Here in Moscow I recently received a dark-blue folder dated 1975. It contains one of the most well-buried secrets of Middle Eastern and of US diplomacy. The secret file, written by the Soviet Ambassador in Cairo, Vladimir M. Vinogradov, apparently a...
Silencing the Critics
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In 2010 the FBI invaded the homes of peace activists in several states and seized personal possessions in what the FBI–the lead orchestrator of fake “terrorist plots”–called an investigation of “activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”...
Apple and the China Trade
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
Recent media exposure of labor abuses among Apple’s suppliers reignited public discussions about China and the human costs of globalization. Meanwhile, concerned with jobs in an election year, President Obama has called for China to play fair in international trade and...
Sex, Sin & the 2012 Election
DAVID ROSEN
Monday, Feb. 20th, was President’s Day 2012, only nine months until the national elections.  It will be a critical election, a choice between two apparently different ways to address the crisis of capitalism now besetting the U.S.  It will come down to a choice of the...
Two Negative Perceptions of Labor
DAVID MACARAY
Included in a front-page Los Angeles Times feature article (February 21, 2012) on AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka was this sobering observation:  According to a 2011 Pew poll, only 45 per cent of Americans view labor unions “favorably.” Disturbing as...
Lessons From Iran, 1977-78
HENRY PELFIAN
During my time in Iran from 1977 to 1978 there were between forty and fifty thousand Americans, many of them working in the military-industrial complex. The Shah of Iran with the approval of the U.S. government had signed a contract with a U.S. manufacturer of helicopters...
Greece and Those Wild & Crazy Guys at the ECB
DEAN BAKER
I have been following the European sovereign debt crisis since it first developed more than two years ago. It was evident from the beginning that the conditions on the debtor nations being demanded by the “troika” of the European Central Bank, the European Union, and ...
Feeding Off Latino Misery
RODOLFO F. ACUÑA
Chicana/o Studies at Cal State Northridge will be taking close to sixty Latinos and Asians students to Tucson later this month. It will be our third trip as a group within a year. Friends keep saying, “That is a big responsibility; you have paid your dues; why don’t y...
Hollywood and Race
Rev. JESSE JACKSON, Jr.
This Sunday, nearly 40 million people are likely to tune in to see who captures an Oscar at the annual Academy Awards ceremonies. Winning the award can add millions to a film’s box office and supercharge the career of an actor, director, screenwriter or editor. Accordin...
Palestine and the UN
JOHN V. WHITBECK
Dear President Abbas, There was visible and audible euphoria at the UN General Assembly in September when you announced Palestine’s appl...
Now He’s Dead and I’m Having a Bubble Bath
FAITH KA-MANZI
Ten minutes before my uncle died in my arms this afternoon, my big brother, Kwazi, spoke to me of a horrific story about imbizas or traditional medicine. He said that one guy, a friend of his, who was sick, had given him and another guy imbiza. Kwazi said that only...
Bella’s Story
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
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You Can’t Get There From Here
JEFF HALPER
Even as I write this, the bulldozers have been busy throughout that one indivisible country known by the bifurcated term Israel/Palestine. Palestinian homes, community centers, livestock pens and other “structures” (as the Israel authorities dispassionately call them)...
Why Hasn’t Anyone Gone to Jail?
MIKE WHITNEY
Under the terms of the 50-state mortgage foreclosure settlement, US taxpayers could end up paying billions in penalties that were supposed to be paid by the banks. That’s the gist of a front-page story which appeared in the Financial Times on Thursday, February 17....
Karzai Demand on Night Raids Snags U.S.-Afghan Pact
GARETH PORTER and SHAH NOORI
Nearly a year after the Barack Obama administration began negotiations with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014, both sides confirmed last week that the talks are still hung up over the Afghan demand that ...
Germans, French Were Keen to Sell Arms to Greece
PATRICK COCKBURN
Athens As Greeks waited for a second eurozone rescue package to finally be agreed in Brussels today, many were blaming Germany and France for encouraging and benefiting from some of the much-criticized profligate spending that reduced Greece to near bankru...
Meet the New York Times’ New Israel-Palestine News Chief
ALISON WEIR
Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun Magazine, is known for his frequent condemnations of Israeli violence against Palestinians. He is labeled “pro-Palestinian” for such statements and is regularly attacked by pro-Israel zealots who charge that he is disloyal to the J...
Netanyahu Crosses the Line
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
The bombing of an Israeli embassy car in Delhi threatens India’s diplomatic maneuvers between Israel and Iran, and has put India’s discreetly nurtured ties with Israel since 1992 through a severe test. Those who are attracted to Israel’s depiction of Iran as a terro...
The Bitter Taste of Brazil’s World Cup
RAUL ZIBECHI
“The people believe that they will prosper with the arrival of the World Cup, but the truth is that they will be brutally repressed,” warns Roberto Morales, advisor to Socialist Liberty Party Representative Marcelo Freixo. The agreements between the Brazilian governme...
The Syrian Dilemma
SAUL LANDAU
How to evaluate events in Syria and what to do? Syria borders on Turkey (north), Iraq (east), the Mediterranean (west), Lebanon (south and west), Israel (Golan Heights) and Jordan (south). Unlike the “humanitarian” intervention in Libya — now edging toward chaos...
The Austerity of Hope
VIJAY PRASHAD
Poor Mitt Romney. He is worth “somewhere between $190 and $250 million”. Even he is not sure of his net worth. He cannot account for the gap of $60 million. CNN asked the multiple-millionaire about his economic policy. He said, “I’m in this race because I care...
Toilet Capitalism
KHADIJA SHARIFE
The restaurateur-cook-waitress looked more like a grandmother than mother, shrunken with poverty. Scarf tied around her simple but sweet face. Tired but with a smile and outspread, work-worn hands, one felt the urge to give her a hug, and tuck her into bed, rather than gi...
Federal Judge: “Lactation is not related to pregnancy!”
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
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