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 May 2012
Obama At Large
RALPH NADER
The rule of law is rapidly breaking down at the top levels of our government. As officers of the court, we have sworn to “support the Constitution,” which clearly implies an affirmative commitment on our part. Take the administrations of George W. Bush and Bara...
Outraged Over Atrocities (Unless They’re Ours)
JOHN LaFORGE
In the war fever being ramped up against Syria, there is broad public indignation over the massacre of more than 100 civilians in the town of Houla last weekend. Would that the U.S. diplomatic corps and the commercial press were equally outraged over our own milita...
The Story of My Arrest for Disrupting Tony Blair
LAWRENCE REICHARD
On May 20 I was arrested for yelling “liar” and “warmonger” at Tony Blair as he spoke to the graduating one percenters at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, 50 miles from my Bangor home.  As the cops led me away, before they arrested me, I calmly led fully 4-6 o...
Sorting Out the Houla Massacre
PETER LEE
Juan Cole jumped the gun a bit by attributing the hund...
The Problem With Incrementalism
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
For seven years, Dr. Ed Weisbart was the medical director at Express Scripts. That would be medical director for the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States. Express Scripts fills prescriptions for one in three Americans. Are you a membe...
Pakistan Pays the Price for Its Defiance
JUDY BELLO
Leading up to the NATO Conference in Chicago last Friday, the U.S. was hopeful that President Zardari of Pakistan would announce the reopening of U.S. military supply routes in Pakistan, according to an article published in the Guardian of London on May 21, but their hope...
America as Self-Declared Victim
MICHAEL BRENNER
America today lives with a cultivated sense of victimhood.  That is the legacy of 9/11. It fills us with anxieties.  It warps our self-image.  It distorts our foreign relations. It is self-perpetuating. Yet we need it. Too many benefit – politically or materially ...
The Kill List of Barack Obama
RAY McGOVERN
In an extraordinary article in Tuesday’s New York Times, “S...
The Left Makes Noise in Mexico
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City. You can blame it on those damn students. Ever since over a hundred of them at a private university, the Iberoamericana in Mexico City, ran presidential frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto off campus with cries of “Coward!” and “Get out!” o...
The Volatile Flow of Hot Money
SARAH ANDERSON
At a point in the election season when politicians of the same party tend to sweep their differences under the rug, two senior Democrats have sent a strong letter to the Obama administration on a subject unknown to most American voters. This is the issue of capital...
The Paris Review and the CIA
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
The Paris Review and the CIA ...
Obama’s Wisconsin Betrayal
ANDREW LEVINE
When all else fails, Obama apologists conjure up what FDR is supposed to have said to some of his liberal supporters: “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”  In the early days of the Obama presidency, this was a call to action.  It quickly degenerat...
What’s an American Worker’s Life Worth?
DAVID MACARAY
Acknowledging the alarming polarization and gridlock of Congress, and the startling, rightward shift of the political spectrum, you regularly hear people declare that there is no way we could get something as ambitious as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) passed t...
Barren Oceans
ALAN FARAGO
This morning sun is shining. The sea is calm and blue, off the mole of Cefalu; an ancient port on the northern coast of Sicily. The summer throngs and heat have yet to arrive in a region that features in the story of Western civilization. Long before Homer and Odys...
The American Agenda in Afghanistan: a Civilian’s Review
IAN POUNDS
Kabul. One thing true we can say about war is that truth is its greatest casualty. I am a volunteer teacher. Four years ago I responded to a call from then candidate Barack Obama for a new kind of soldier to wage peace, one without a uniform, withou...
Drilling the Arctic, Obama-Style
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Because humanity has taken so avidly to the burning of fossil hydrocarbon deposits for the heat and energy to drive its industrialized way of life, an excessive amount of carbon dioxide gas has been exhausted into the atmosphere, especially during the 20th century. The at...
Syria: How Strong Are Russian Ties?
PATRICK COCKBURN
The expulsion of diplomats always looks like a weedy response to an atrocity, particularly one as outrageous as the murder of children at Houla. Unsurprisingly, news reports  about kicking out the diplomats yesterday often concluded mournfully that the move wouldn’...
Demonizing Mexican-American Studies
ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
I pick up the phone at my office at the University of Arizona and learn that I have three recorded messages waiting for me. The first one begins with the caller claiming to be half White and half Native American, addressing me as an “(expletive) Mexican” and a...
Vermont’s Military Mafia
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
Who could have ever imagined that tiny Vermont, the home of “socialist” Bernie Sanders and once considered to be the most left-leaning state in the United States, would now find itself under the political control of five hard-core military superhawks committed to tran...
The Torture of Marian Price
SANDY BOYER
Marian Price has been imprisoned in Northern Ireland for more than a year on the basis of secret evidence neither she nor her lawyers have been allowed to see. She is effectively interned without a trial, sentence, or release date.  Unless the courts intervene, she will ...
How to Starve in Somalia on 10 Cents a Day
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
The UN announced its budget for feeding the over one million Somali refugees under its care for the next year and have allocated less than 10 cents a day to do so. Anthony Lake, once nominated to head the CIA, now UNICEF supremo, held a press conference in April 20...
Doc Watson, 1923 – 2012
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Doc Watson, 1923 – 2012 ...
Countering the Israel Lobby’s Dominance
ALAN NASSER
 “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensi...
Reading the Egyptian Elections
ESAM AL-AMIN
The Egyptian people are still in shock ever since the announcement of the results of the presidential elections late last week. They refuse to accept an outcome that sees Gen. Ahmad Shafiq, the last Prime Minister of deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, having received more th...
Accountability in Higher Education
M. G. PIETY
There’s been a lot of discussion among academics of Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s book Academ...
Empty Talk From the G8
VIJAY PRASHAD
WHEN the Group of Seven (G7) was formed in 1974, its charge was to provide confidence to a global population uncertain about the major structural features in the world. The members of the G7 were Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and West...
Ducking the Real Cost of US Wars
DAVE LINDORFF
Whether he ever said it or not, I’m going to borrow from a quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln and alter it a bit to say: “American politicians must love war veterans — they keep making so many more of them.” The truth though, is that American pol...
Obama’s Secret Warriors
ANDREW BACEVICH
As he campaigns for reelection, President Obama periodically reminds audiences of his success in terminating the deeply unpopular Iraq War.  With fingers crossed for luck, he vows to do the same with the equally unpopular war in Afghanistan.  If not exactly a peacemaker...
The NYT’s Love Letter to Death Squads
CHRIS FLOYD
I must, at last, admit defeat. I simply have no words, no rhetorical ammunition, no conceptual frameworks that could adequately address the total moral nullity exposed in Monday’s New York Times article on the death squad that Barack Obama is personally ...
The World Bank and the Green Economy
PATRICK BOND
The debate over the Green Economy rages on next month in Rio de Janeiro, at the International Society for Ec...
Dirty No More!
DIANE LEFER
Last month I learned about a genocide I had never known of before. It happened not in an isolated unknown part of the world, but in Southern Italy, the ancestral home of members of my own family. Even more shocking to me, Southern Italians themselves are only now beginnin...
Tony Blair Before the Leveson Tribunal
BINOY KAMPMARK
Arctic cool Robert Jay QC keeps humming along, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is the latest star in its procession to be questioned.  There was anticipation – this, the man Rupert Murdoch favoured in a dramatic turnaround in the 1997 elections; this indiv...
Beyond Indignation
DANIEL RAVENTOS and JULIE WARK
The present situation of Europe is such that it can only lead to further social and political polarisation. Less than five years ago things were so different that it seems as if we were living in another world. Since 2008 the living conditions of the great majority of Eur...
A Eurovisionary Contest
Rev. JOSE M. TIRADO
With even the New York Times noting it’s widespread appeal Saturday...
Michelle, Stop Your Husband!
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Michelle, Stop Your Husband! ...
Syria After the Massacre
PATRICK COCKBURN
Damascus Parts of Syria are convulsed by civil war, while in other areas life continues almost as normal. At the same moment as more than 30 children had their throats cut and dozens of civilians were killed by shelling in Houla in central Syria on Friday,...
Meltdown at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
KARL GROSSMAN
The resignation last week of the chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is another demonstration of the bankrupt basis of the NRC. Gregory Jaczko repeatedly called for the NRC to apply “lessons learned” from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disa...
Toxic Time Bombs
STEVEN HIGGS
The pernicious impact of toxic chemicals in the body, from suspected roles in autism to human response to everyday stress, can manifest themselves in future generations, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Texas (UT) and Washington State Univers...
No One Hears the Poor
KATHY KELLY
Kabul. Here in Kabul, Voices co-coordinator Buddy Bell and I are guests at the home of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APV), where we’ve gotten to know four young boys who are being tutored by the Volunteers in the afternoons, having “retired” from the...
The Myth of Equal Rights
JACK RANDOM
The civil rights movement illuminated the hypocrisy of the liberal promise.  It made overt, and recorded on television for the world to see, an old daily fact of American life:  that a black person who protested his condition, or moved one step out of line, ...
A Cuban March Against Homophobia
DON FITZ and JACQUELYN OMOTALADE
“This discussion has changed my mind about homosexuality.  Now I understand what my lesbian friend went through.  When she graduated from medical school in Cuba, she cried.  She told me that she could live her life the way she wanted to when she was in Cuba.  But no...
Battlelines Being Drawn for Next Phase: a Plus for Palestinians?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut The official results of the first round of the historic Egyptian presidential elections, the first ever in Mother Egypt where the results were not known in advance, present an encouraging snapshot of “new democratic Egypt” given that the choice...
Jerry Brown’s Terrorizing Tactic
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
Current political developments in California highlight the gaping chasm that divides the established political process – which is routinely mislabeled as “democratic” – with the positions embraced by the vast majority of Californians. Unfortunately, Califor...
Social Security’s Dual-Income Trap
SALVATORE BABONES
U.S. workers have paid a reduced Social Security tax rate of 4.2 percent for the past year and a half, down from the ordinary rate of 6.2 percent. For most Americans, this has meant some welcome tax relief. But one group is still paying more than its fair share. Fa...
Torie Osborn’s Insurgent Run
STEVE EARLY
In 2008, thousands of Obama campaign volunteers got fired up about electoral politics in a way they hadn’t been before. Four years later, some are now running for office themselves. But few have made a bigger splash in local Democratic circles than 61-year-old Tor...
“Hundred Meters … or You Will be Shot!”
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
“Hundred Meters … or You Will be Shot!” ...
It’s Back to 1980, With the JCS Auctioning Off the Presidency From the Pentagon Battlements
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Let me whisk you to 1980 on one of Obama’s miracle drones. In the right-center we had incumbent President Jimmy Carter, derided as a man of peace, el wimpo. True his top foreign policy man was an unreconstructed Polish cold war warrior burning to bringing ...
The Sacking of a Revolution
ESAM AL-AMIN
Fifteen months after millions of Egyptians -led by the revolutionary youth- were united in their demand to end a corrupt and suffocating dictatorship, they were now divided as they headed to the polls in the last two days in order to elect a new president. During this tra...
The Negation of the Palestinian State
URI AVNERY
On May 15, the anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, its Arab citizens observed a day of mourning for the victims of the Naqba (“catastrophe”) – the mass exodus of half the Palestinian people from the territory which became Israel. Like every ye...