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 July 2012
Hebron: the Occupation’s Ugly Face
PATRICK O. STRICKLAND
Hebron. A winding road, smooth and freshly paved, carries passengers from Jerusalem to Hebron, situated deep in the stomach of the West Bank. This route, like 80 percent of the total highway system in the West Bank, is prohibited for Palestinian use...
Escape From Economics
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Readers ask me from time to time to recommend a book from which they can learn about economics. The problem with reading a book to learn economics that is taught in the universities and practiced in Washington is that economics is now a highly formalized subject ba...
The Variables of Violence
MICHAEL MINCH
Can anything be said in the wake of the most recent murderous eruption, this time in Aurora, Colorado?  On one hand, many people jump forward quickly with new laments, calls for greater gun control, appeals against such control, and frankly, everything we’ve heard so m...
The New Police Surveillance State
DAVID ROSEN
Occupy Wall Street’s (OWS) nationwide May Day campaign was undertaken in New York and some 100-plus other cities.  Its goal was twofold.  First, it sought to focus attention on the major banks, the principal culprits in the still lingering fiscal crisis.  Second, it ...
Americans and Historical Amnesia
RODOLFO ACUÑA
What Americans just don’t get is that most people see history differently than they do. In order to break this down, every semester I show Robert Wuhl’s HBO special “Assume the Position 101.” Wuhl proposes that U.S. history is Pop Culture and he discusses differen...
An Interview with Laura Flanders on Alexander Cockburn
DENNIS BERNSTEIN
Well, sad news for us who love and believe in real journalism.  Radical journalist, author, and Nation columnist, Alexander Cockburn died.  Cockburn wrote the Nation’s “Beat the Devil” column and later edited “CounterPunch” with Jeffrey St. Clair.  I know...
America’s Baleful Worldwide Pressure
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The overweening arrogance of the United States in conduct of its foreign relations is evident throughout the world. A morning glance at international headlines will usually light on some intriguing gobbet of  Washington conceit, generally a lecture, a scolding or a spite...
Convention Slush Funds
RALPH NADER
Chairman Reince Priebus Republican National Committee Phone number:202-863-8500 Fax number: 202-863-8773 Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Democratic National Committee: Phone number: 202-479-5100 ‎ Fax number: 202-226-2052...
The Next Stage in the Destruction of Syria
SHAMUS COOKE
The U.S. media has made its intentions clear: the ‘rebels’ attacking Syria’s government must have more support to advance Syria’s “revolution.”  This was the result of the much-hyped advance of Syria’s rebels into the country’s two...
Supreme Court, Inc.
HILARY MATFESS
The media spectacle surrounding the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Affordable Care Act eclipsed another important judgment the Court made that week. In American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, the Court voted 5-4 to reaffirm its Citizens United v. Federal Elec...
Wall Street be Damned
SANDY LEON VEST
Bill Moyers observed recently that poor people haven’t “lost their voice.” Rather, he said, “They can’t afford a voice.” That “voice,” as more and more Americans are beginning to understand, is further muffled by Washington political elites, aided a...
Mitt the Twit
BINOY KAMPMARK
Mitt Romney is now going about the business of inflating Israeli expectations as being their most staunch of friends.  He had just been in London for the Olympics opening ceremony.  He saw fit, on his visit to Blighty, to comment on the inadequacy of security preparatio...
The Frack War Comes Home
PETER RUGH
The war came home this weekend, as thousands of people whose land has been under siege by the U.S. government and corporate interests gathered in Washington, D.C. No, they weren’t victims of drone attacks or 10-plus years of fighting in Afghanistan. They were ordinary A...
TARP: Even Worse Than You Think
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
TARP: Even Worse Than You Think ...
Nukes on Mars
KARL GROSSMAN
World Nuclear News, the information arm of the World Nuclear Association which seeks to boost the use of atomic energy, last week heralded a NASA Mars rover slated to land on Mars on Monday, the first Mars rover fueled with plutonium. “A new era of space...
Israel Rewarded … For What?
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. Israel has barely put a foot right with the international community since its attack on Gaza more than three years ago provoked global revulsion. The right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu has serially defied and insulted foreign lead...
All Eyes on Syria
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
In 1995, I had a rare opportunity to spend some time in Syria, where the Damascus Trade Fair was taking place. A normally secretive Arab country had opened its doors to a select group of Western journalists, businessmen and officials. The event was aimed at showing glimps...
Romney’s Iran Campaign
JEFF KLEIN
As Mitt Romney completes his electoral swing through Jerusalem, it is tempting to view this as just a cynical campaign maneuver.  No doubt the candidate – in an effort coordinated the Republican Jewish Coalition and Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel R...
The Tax Havens of the Super-Rich
SAM PIZZIGATI
Are America’s rich getting richer? Certainly. Every official yardstick shows that America’s most affluent are upping their incomes much faster than everyone else. How fast? Between 1980 and 2010, ...
Business Groups Take Left Flank
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
On corporate crime, business executives, corporate think tanks, business magazines and newspapers are starting to take the left flank of both the Republican and Republican parties. No leaders of the Republican or Democratic Party are calling for tougher sanctions a...
Israel’s Plan for Syria
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow. Israel retains its ability to control the Syrian ‘Islamist’ rebels. Netanyahu is not worried about Syria’s possible disintegration. Despite the received wisdom claiming that Israelis prefer a stable and familiar Assad to the great...
Gun Rights: From the Black Panthers to the NRA
PATRICK HIGGINS
Just as misplaced debates about civilian gun control were emerging in the wake of the massacre in Aurora, a billboard was raised in Idaho by a libertarian organization placing the face of the Aurora shooting suspect beside that of President Obama. The text surrounding Jam...
How Far is the ECB Really Prepared to Go to Save the Euro?
MARSHALL AUERBACK
Re-reading Mr Draghi’s market-moving remarks earlier this week, one gains a sense that the European Central Bank chief recognizes that the ECB has a banking run on their hand. Most market participants have understandably focused on Mr Draghi’s pledge that the ...
The Bomb and the Drone
ED KINANE
The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki belong always before us.  The agony of those two cities must remain our dark beacon. Hiroshima/Nagasaki wasn’t so much about targets as about audiences. We ...
Is It Our Fault We Get Sick?
CARL FINAMORE
Why do we get sick and how do we get well were the enormously complex and controversial questions explored by a gathering of labor and community activists, health policy experts and academics attending a one-day conference at the University of California Berkeley on July ...
Drug War Savages
SAUL LANDAU
Savage: not domesticated or cultivated; wild. In June and July the war on drugs proceeded apace as DEA agents and Honduran military goons knocked off some Miskitu people in Honduras – suspects supposedly running...
Let the Muddle Begin
BINOY KAMPMARK
It has begun.  Oscar-winning Danny Boyle is one of the artistic gatekeepers who was commissioned to deal with the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, and was given £27m to do it.  There was Mary Poppins, the Red Arrows, there was the Tour de France winner Bradley ...
Oceans on Acid
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Oceans on Acid ...
What Is To Be Done … Now?
ANDREW LEVINE
In one of his final columns for CounterPunch (July 6-8, 2012), Alexander Cockburn gently took to task those of us, himself included, who went overboard investing hope in the Occupy movements and other spontaneous domestic uprisings of 2011.  Too many of us...
Behind Obama’s Fake Recovery
MIKE WHITNEY
Last week’s dismal “data dump” has ended all talk of a strong recovery in the US. Retail sales, factory output, jobless claims, consumer confidence, business investment and existing home sales are all down sharply indicating that the US economy is decele...
Talking Zionism
URI AVNERY
“HE TALKS Zionism,” used to be a very derogatory comment when I was young. It meant that some elderly functionary had come to waste our time with a boring speech consisting largely of empty phrases. That was before the foundation of the State of Israel. Since t...
Syria: Washington’s Latest War Crime
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
One wonders what Syrians are thinking as “rebels” vowing to “free Syria” take the country down the same road to destruction as “rebels” in Libya. Libya, under Gaddafi a well run country whose oil revenues were shared with the Libyan people instead of monopoliz...
Paranoia & Fantasy on the Right
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO and PAUL STREET
The election season is upon us and along with it comes the standard Republican claims to be up against a powerful Democratic Party machine backed by the awesome clout of the “union bosses” of American labor.  We have been told this endlessly by pundits on the reactio...
Dancing the Revolution
CONN HALLINAN
When we think of “resistance,” what mostly comes to mind is guerrilla warfare: Vietnamese closing in on the besieged French at Dien Bien Phu; Angolans ambushing Portuguese troops outside of Luanda; Salvadorans waging a war of attrition against their military oligarchy...
Which “Terror Plots” are Relevant to Burgas?
GARETH PORTER
Following U.S news media coverage of the Burgas, Bulgaria bombing, one would conclude that the Hezbollah provenance of the attack can be determined from recent alleged Hezbollah terrorist plotting against Israelis in Cyprus and elsewhere. The New York Times quotes anonymo...
A Biotech Battle Royale
WILLIAM ALLEN
The name sounds like it could be the moniker of a really bad hombre – the arrogant, cold-hearted, bandolier clad bandito in a Spaghetti Western who rides down from the mountains with his grizzled gang to terrorize the humble villagers, demanding their meager harvest...
Romney and The Other
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Mitt Romney recently visited a successful White-owned trucking company in the predominately Black Roxbury section of Boston to hype his repeated lie that President Obama said, “If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that.   . . . Somebody else made that happe...
Boy Scouts and Bigots
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Prejudice, n. a vagrant opinion without visible means of support. – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary It’s not 1991 in the Boy Scouts of America. That was the year that the Girl Scouts issued...
Hypocrisy Over Hezbollah Arms
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut From this observers experience in Lebanon there is only one cosmic like event that is nearly as predicable from Ramlet al Baida beach in Beirut, near Shatila Palestinian refugee camp, than the sun coming up like thunder out of Syria across the easte...
Farewell Capt. Lakshmi (1914-2012)
ELIZABETH ARMSTRONG and VIJAY PRASHAD
Until a few days before she died, 98-year old Dr. Lakshmi Sahgal left her home at 9am for her clinic, located in a working class district of Kanpur (India). She opened her doors of this clinic for the past sixty years, providing reliable and cheery medical care to her pat...
The Koran and Politics in the New Egypt
ERIC WALBERG
This Ramadan is a historic one, celebrating the triumph of the political vision of Egypt’s legendary Muslim Brotherhood (MB): to take inspiration from the Koran to regenerate Egyptian society. Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s socialist vision lies in ruins, dismantled in ...
Playing Games on the Poor
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
London resident Zita Holbourne plans to participate in the Friday July 27th Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games held at the gleaming new stadium located not far from her community of Newham. However, Holbourne, a trade union activist and poet, is not partici...
How Quiet Environmental Uprisings are Spreading Across the Country
SCOTT PARKIN
It was the largest mass environmental civil disobedience in a generation. Over 1200 were arrested over a two week period after writer Bill McKibben had called for urgent action to pressure President Obama to deny the permits for the Keystone XL pipeline. McKibben r...
Don’t Print on Me
DAVID MACARAY
Life is full of surprises.  Even though many of us were in favor of it for reasons of health and hygiene, it was nonetheless a surprise how swiftly and irrevocably the ban against smoking tobacco went into effect.  On Monday, we were all smoking in our homes and offices...
In a World Without Reason
RON JACOBS
I had a summer job once that involved watering pot plants twice a day.  One of a few different positions I held in the industry during the 1980s, it paid the least and smelled the best.  The grow area was in the woods of the Pacific Northwest and our operation was but o...
Life After Death
MISSY BEATTIE
I told Laura and Erma that the trip to Istanbul was symbolic for me.  I started referring to it as: Istanbul: Life After Death. It would signify a change—the realization that my husband wasn’t going to walk miraculously into the apartment and an acceptance that a rec...
In The Land Of Never Was
PHIL ROCKSTROH
Often, the world…forever unfolding, recombining, morphing, dying and transforming…changes before the mind can grasp the implications of the ongoing alterations. This is the basis of nostalgia, for memory freezes the world like an insect encased in amber. Maturi...
Tito Gerassi, 1931-2012
STEVEN COLATRELLA
Tito Gerassi lived one of the great lives of the 20th century. John Gerassi – called Tito by his friends well before that other Tito, the former head of State of united Yugoslavia took the name as well, died last night in a New York hospital. His daughters from two ...
Tony Blair’s Phony Prayers
MICHAEL DICKINSON
He’s back!  Or at least he would be if he got the chance. The Right Honorable Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Great Britain is in London for the Olympics and hinting that he wouldn’t mind another crack at the job. As if he didn’t have enough on his plat...