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 March 2012
You Really Think the Killers of Trayvon Martin and Those 16 Afghan Villagers Will Ever Do Time?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
I’d say the chances of George Zimmerman spending time behind bars for killing Trayvon Martin are about the same as Sergeant Robert Bales doing time for killing those 16 Afghan villagers the night of March 11. Zero. Like most things that happen in America these da...
Snapshot of Systemic Police Abuse
LINN WASHINGTON, JR.
I don’t know Temple University photojournalism major Ian Van Kuyk, despite his enrollment in Temple’s Journalism Department, where I teach. ...
The New Mandela
URI AVNERY
MARWAN BARGHOUTI has spoken up. After a long silence, he has sent a message from prison. In Israeli ears, this message does not sound pleasant. But for Palestinians, and for Arabs in general, it makes sense. His message may well become the new program of the...
Obama Apologetics
ANDREW LEVINE
In ancient Greece, an “apology” was a formal speech presented by a defendant in a legal proceeding; thus Plato recounted Socrates’ defense against charges of impiety and corrupting the youth in a dialogue called “The Apology.”  Early Christian writers used the ...
Israel Shields Public from Risks of War with Iran
GARETH PORTER
Tel Aviv The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been telling Israelis that Israel can attack Iran with minimal civilian Israeli casualties as a result of retaliation, and that reassuring message appears to have headed off any widespread Is...
Born Again! George Galloway Stuns Labor, Shakes Up Britain
TARIQ ALI
London George Galloway’s stunning electoral triumph in the Bradford by-election on Thursday 29th March has shaken the petrified world of English politics. It was unexpected and for that reason the Respect campaign was treated by much of the m...
Five Challengers of the Neoliberal Jackboot
VIJAY PRASHAD
The governments of the five large countries of the Global South, the BRICS states, met in New Delhi this week for their fourth summit. These five countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are home to forty per cent of the world’s peoples, and their share...
The Perverse Logic of Wolf Hunts
GEORGE WUERTHNER
The hysteria that surrounds wolf management in the Rockies has clouded rational discussion.  Wolves are hardly a threat to either hunting opportunity or the livestock industry. ELK NUMBERS ABOVE OBJECTIVES For instance, the Wyoming Fish and Game reports: ...
Intellectual Incest
RODOLFO ACUÑA
It has always been difficult to convince Anglo-Americans that they should know more about Latinos.  It did not seem to matter to Anglos that their ignorance spawned stereotypes that damaged Mexican American children. Even after World War II and the Korean Wars wh...
Why Sgt. Bales Should be Sent Back to Afghanistan for Trial
SAUL LANDAU
Western media has focused attention on Sgt. Robert Bales’ background. He allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians, 9 of them children, near Kandahar. After the bloodbath, Bales returned to his base and confessed. The media delved into Bales’ childhood, his marria...
The Beasts We Have Built
MISSY BEATTIE
On Tuesday in “Great Decisions,” I co-taught the class whose topic was “Exit from Afghanistan and Iraq.”  Abandoning the textbook, I wanted current news.  So much has happened in the past month that I decided to print, print, print articles more relevant to the ...
The Race to Legislate Creationism
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
“Darwin’s theory, like all other attempts to explain the origin of life, is thus far merely conjectural.” Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz, Evolution and Permanence of Type (1874) It’s time for an update on the pr...
We Are All Luddites
DAVID ROSEN
This year, 2012, marks the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprising, when English textile workers smashed looms with hammers.  Few words in the English language invoke such perjorative connotation as Luddite.  It signifies the machine breaker, someone who op...
It’s Time to Revive the Civil Rights Movement
Rev. JESSE JACKSON
We mourn Trayvon Martin, the young African American who, armed only with candy and a soft drink, was shot dead for the offense of “walking while black.” George Zimmerman, the vigilante who shot him, has not been arrested, apparently pr...
How to Beat Poverty in India
P. SAINATH
One Tendulkar makes the big scores. The other wrecks the averages. The Planning Commission clearly prefers Suresh to Sachin. Using Professor Tendulkar’s methodology, it declares that there’s been another massive fall in poverty. Yes, another (‘more dramatic in the r...
Papa Had a Brand New Bag
RON JACOBS
When I was in junior high back in 1967-68, many of my Saturday afternoons were spent at the outdoor basketball courts across the highway from my house.  These courts were where I learned about many things besides basketball, which I was never very good at.  Sex, beer an...
Secure Communities on Thin ICE
TANYA GOLASH-BOZA
There are ten million undocumented migrants in the United States who risk deportation if apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE only has ...
Adam, Darwin and Androids
FARZANA VERSEY
Science has a problem with morality, but will create a robot with a conscience. Is there a difference between insecure theism and insecure science? Neither accepts an element of doubt – doubting of its completeness in isolation to all else. One can accept such ri...
The African Roscius
CHARLES R. LARSON
If you have never heard of Ira Aldridge—“the most visible black man in Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century”—his biography, by Bernth Lindfors, will come to you as a revelation.  How can that be?  Aldridge, who was African American, left the United Sta...
How a Hooker Trumped the Berliner Ensemble
DAVID YEARSLEY
Berlin  It’s not only dangerous to have the headphones on or the earbuds in when on the bike; I want to hear what’s going on, whether it’s the blackbirds whistling in the chestnut trees or the metrobus bearing down on my back tire. Helmet on ...
Four by Lojeski
POETS' BASEMENT
Where Sleep Lives by PAUL LOJESKI On waking, the feeling of climbing rapidly from deep beneath the ground, of coming up and up against my will rushed upon me...
Footloose Montana
WEBSITE OF THE WEEKEND
Footloose Montana ...
The AFL-CIO is in a Deep, Defensive Rut
RALPH NADER
Dear Mr. Trumka, You have come to your leadership position of our country’s labor federation of unions with 13 million members the hard way. Starting by working in the coal mines, then becoming a lawyer, heading the United Mine Workers, then becoming the Secretar...
Egypt: A Culture of Subjugation is Dying
PATRICK COCKBURN
Cairo It is a gun battle people in the Shubra district in central Cairo still talk about six months after it happened. In a dispute over a piece of land he had seized amid the small shops and densely crowded streets, Mohammed Shaban, who had escaped from p...
A Jobs Bill for Wall Street
ROBERT HUNZIKER
It’s about time Congress focuses attention on jobs for Wall Street, and it appears they are going overboard to help in the new JOBS Act that recently passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 380-to-41. After all, last year Wall Street cash bonuses fell 14% to $1...
The Conflict in Syria
NASEER ARURI
On March 21, 2012, the fifteen-member UN Security Council voted unanimously, for the first time, to push the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, towards a diplomatic settlement, by ordering it to comply with the Six Point plan presented by Kofi Anan, the former UN Secretary...
The Myth of Peak Oil
GEORGE WUERTHNER
Each time there is a short-term shortage of oil or the price begins to rise, there is talk of running out of affordable oil, an idea captured by the concept of Peak Oil. Peak Oil is the theoretical point when the maximum rate of oil production is reached and after that ti...
The Affordable Care Act: an Allegorical Perspective
RAVI KATARI
Let’s imagine ourselves as belonging to a remote valley population that survives on water supplied by groundwater reserves.  As a society we have collectively decided to send the best and brightest to use their ingenuity to find the reserves and dig efficient wells tha...
The NDP’s Awful New Leader
MURRAY DOBBIN
There will be lots of soul searching and head scratching going on this week about what happened with the NDP leadership race. The mechanics of the convention, the interesting lack of deal-making, and how the balloting progressed are all fodder for those who enjoy going th...
Catching Up With the Republican Primaries
WALTER BRASCH
It’s the beginning of April, and that means I just finished celebrating New Year’s Eve, and will soon begin shopping for Valentine’s gifts. In a month or two, I may even get around to toasting St. Patrick. It’s not procrastination, it’s just that I’m a ...
Golf is a Pussy Game
DAVID MACARAY
By all accounts, the most difficult thing to do in sports is hit a moving baseball.  Virtually every sports writer who ever lived agrees with that observation.  The ball is traveling at upwards of 95 mph.  You’re standing approximately 60 feet away.  The 5.25 ounce ...
Leon Uris Taught Me About Sex
LINDA UEKI ABSHER
Leon Uris taught me about sex.  In sixth grade, no less. I wasn’t a particularly precocious or debauched child, though I did have an unhealthy attachment to Almond Joys.  I was what sociologists have come to identify as “bookworm”.  But not by choice. ...
Adrienne Rich: “What Kind of Times are These?”
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Adrienne Rich: “What Kind of Times are These?” ...
Transition From the Sweatshop of the World
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
For many the Retraction of the Apple story by This American Life turned Apple from a labor abuser into a corporation with best practices. Others saw this as a proof of yet another corporate cover-up and PR campaign by Apple. Meanwhile, American involvement in workplace...
The Perils of Civilian Policing
BINOY KAMPMARK
A hundred years of lynching, justifiable homicide.  Same thing. Protester’s sign, Sanford, Mar 21, 2012 ‘We report all suspicious persons and acti...
Nuking Canyonlands?
JOHN WEISHEIT
A coalition of private citizens and activist groups filed suit in the Utah court ...
The Lies of So Cal Edison
RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN
The most amazing pump in the universe — the most amazing machine in the universe — is the main pump inside your chest, the human heart. When your main pump fails, you’re in BIG trouble — unless it’s recognized in time, of course.  The...
Aggravated Pimping and the Global Elite: From DSK to the Emir of Kuwait
SUZAN MAZUR
The current woes of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn relea...
Security for the One-Percent
WILLEM de LINT
Over the past several years, but now with more intensity, domestic security measures are being mooted, planned, and carried out with a purposefulness that appears to take as a given that what is good for the 1% is good for the rest of us. Moreover, they appear to be devel...
Three Killings
JOHN FEFFER
The note left next to the bloodied body of Shaima Alawadi read “go back to your country, you terrorist.” Alawadi, who died on Saturday after being taken off life support, was an Iraqi-born mother of five living outside of San Diego. Someone had delivered a similar not...
The Leftist Spy Who Came in From Cold Pretoria
PATRICK BOND
‘I don’t have the stomach or the taste to serve any more at this level,’ said the normally ebullient Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils, as he quit after fourteen years of service to the South African government. It was late September 2008, just after Thabo Mbe...
A New Start for the World Bank?
MARK WEISBROT
The opening up of the contest for World Bank president is a historic change whose significance has not been fully appreciated. This is not surprising, given the widespread misunderstanding of the Bretton Woods institutions (the IMF and World Bank). The IMF’s ...
A Big Fight Over Israel at a Small Food Co-op
ARI PAUL
On Tuesday night, members of the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn voted against having a referendum on whether to boycott Israeli products, a largely symbolic move that would have taken a few items like hummus and paprika off the shelves if enacted. The debate pitted the...
Yes, There is a War on Religion in America
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Yes, There is a War on Religion in America ...
The Second Killing of Trayvon Martin
JOHN ESKOW
The cowardly police in Sanford, Florida, who sanctioned the murder of an unarmed black teenager by a racist vigilante named George Zimmerman, have now assassinated Trayvon Martin a second time, by leaking  scurrilous and irrelevant “news” about him.  This age-old di...
Ratzinger in Mexico
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City When John Paul II used to swing by Mexico – the first Pope to do so in 1979 – he went straight to Mexico City, the country’s throbbing spiritual heart; as well as the site of its most important Catholic shrine, the Basilica of Guadalupe. ...
How the New American Empire Really Works
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive. The empires succeeded, because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. The reason Rome did not extend its empire east into Germany wa...
A Visit to Syria
WALDEN BELLO
The sound of what seems like thunder wakes me up at 3 am, Monday, a few hours after I arrived in Damascus. Storm coming, I think, and my jetlagged brain plunges back to sleep. When I go down to jog at six, the side streets around the Hotel Arjaan are blocked ...
The Hybrid Rules of Drone Warfare
JOANNE MARINER
I don’t think there’s any question but that we are at war,” said then-Attorney-General designate Eric Holder at his ...
SOS From Emergency in Afghanistan
MICHAEL LEONARDI
For several days the NATO war lords in Afghanistan have been heavily bombing the village of Mirbandao in the Helmand province of the south of Afghanistan. The Italian medical aid and anti war group called Emergency has a hospital for war casualties located in the Helmand ...