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 September 2012
Professor Obama Lectures the Muslim World
ESAM AL-AMIN
On Sept. 25, Professor-turned President Barack Obama lectured the Muslim World and world leaders during his annual address before the United Nations. The beautifully crafted speech of the Nobel peace laureate would have been believed – and better received—had i...
Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran
VIJAY PRASHAD
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu seemed inspired by the Road Runner cartoons, Glenn Beck and Reverend Gene Scott. The bizarre, almost hand drawn, “bomb” in one of his hands was complemented by the red marker in another: man enough, Bibi suggested, to draw his own red lin...
Letter to the Dismal Center
ROB URIE
Every four or so years an absence of political and cultural imagination is celebrated with calls to ‘participate’ in a political establishment that long ago abandoned any pretense of working in the interests of the citizenry it claims to represent. The arguments in fa...
The Grand Default
URI AVNERY
I am sitting here writing this article 39 years to the minute from that moment when the sirens started screaming, announcing the beginning of the war. A minute before, total quiet reigned, as it does now. No traffic, no activity in the street, except a few children...
An Interview With Norman Finkelstein
JAMES GREEN
On August 25, 2012 Occupy Brooklyn TV sat down with Norman Finkelstein – political dissident and world renowned scholar on the Israeli-Palestine conflict – to talk about Gandhi, the Occupy movement, Julian Assange, the economic crisis, and a possible Israeli attack on...
All About Entitlements
ANDREW LEVINE
Mitt Romney was on to something: about forty-seven percent of the country is repelled by the sense of entitlement he and his wife Ann, she especially, exude, along with their fellow one per-centers.  Meanwhile the one per-centers themselves and their useful idiots, anoth...
The Election That Matters
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
On October 7th, Venezuelans head to the polls for an election that will determine not only the future of the country and its Bolivarian Revolution, but that could also have powerful implications for the anti-capitalist struggle in Latin America and beyond. ...
A Culture Of Delusion
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
A writer’s greatest disappointments are readers who have knee-jerk responses.  Not all readers, of course.  Some readers are thoughtful and supportive.  Others express thanks for opening their eyes.  But the majority are happy when a writer tells them what they want...
Shut Up and Vote Obama
MICHAEL DONNELLY
It’s election time again and that brings on the national pastime of analytical blather from all sides. (Yours truly, like so many others, certainly feels compelled to write more during this season.) Most are “rah rah, my team rocks” missives; many mainstream media o...
Syria and the Dogs of War
CONN HALLINAN
 “Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war; That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial” — Julius Caesar, Act 3, scene 1, William Shakespeare “Blood...
Assault On The Disabled
MARK GRAHAM
Since his election as governor, Republican Tom Corbett has left no stone unturned in his assault on the people of Pennsylvania.  To boil it down to a simple formula: he cuts food stamps to 1.8 million people while giving $1.7 billion in tax breaks to Shell oil.  Neolibe...
A Proposal To Really Win The War On Terror
JOHN MCDERMOTT
The entire strategy of the War on Terror is simply to  ‘exterminate the brutes’ even though it is becoming clearer, particularly in Yemen and in Afghanistan, now Libya, that for every ‘brute’ we exterminate at least one further friend, relative, out-raged passer-...
Pussy Riot Of Vietnam
LINH DINH
Vietnam just sentenced three dissident bloggers to 12, 10 and 5 years respectively. Their trials were preposterous. The lawyer for ...
Is the Answer Blowing in the Wind?
RODOLFO ACUÑA
Writing books and writing blogs are similar. They should be truth. If they were not the author loses credibility and his/her ability to convince suffers. This is how it should be.  But Arizona is testing this rule of thumb. The assault on the truth in Arizona mak...
Morsi Takes Manhattan
JASON BROWNLEE
Historically, Washington has been more comfortable extolling democracy than accepting its consequences, particularly in the strategically important Middle East. Algerian democracy had no place in the “new world order” of former President George H.W. Bush. His ...
Europe is Revolting
TOM GILL
London. A general strike in Greece, massive protests by the indignados in Spain, public transport strikes in Portugal (and Spain), and industrial action by aluminium, steel and public sector workers in Italy headlined this week. On Saturday mass pro...
Afghanistan: as US Exits, China Surges
BARRY M. LANDO
There’s got to be some symbolism—if not irony–in the fact that just as the last of the 33,000 troops surged by Obama two years ago supposedly to pacify Afghanistan pulled out, the highest ...
When Shit Happens to Hedge Fund Heroes
SAUL LANDAU
Since we will not learn in school the lessons about the 1% we ought to know, many of us rely on movies and TV, so that through images and sound we can form ideas of who the men were who screwed upp our economy. In Arbitrage, we see how How Hollywood conceives of a cinemat...
At the Dawn of Something Bad
KATHY DEACON
At 7 a.m. an awful humming is giving me a headache. I stagger out of bed, wander into each room, bend my ear to the bottom of the bathtub, open the front door and lean outside–and even check out the basement. But nothing changes, the pulsating sound coming from ever...
Killing the Presumption of Innocence
BINOY KAMPMARK
It was a serious point of disagreement Plato had with Athenian democracy.  Made up of citizens and ostensibly judging his teacher Socrates for crimes against the community, this was a form of crude democracy in action. It was arguably democratic, but it was hardly reason...
The Joke of Democratic Accountability
KEVIN CARSON
Back in 2008, now-president Barack Obama ran against the Bush administration’s runaway national security state, created partly via legislation like USA PATRIOT and partly via executive practices like warrantless wiretapping, waterboarding and the like. One of Obama&...
Canada’s Free Trade Debacle
MURRAY DOBBIN
Stephen Harper’s no-longer-secret agenda to implement a revolution from the right and dismantle Canada has one major impediment that must really stick in his craw. He is constrained in what he can do by the constitutional division of powers which gives the provinces so ...
On Anti-Muslim Films, Cartoons And My Gaza Neighbor
RAMZY BAROUD
A neighbor of mine, of many years ago from a Gaza refugee camp, was a sacrilegious person par excellence. Unemployed like most inhabitants of the camp, he was extremely poor. His family responsibilities were daunting, yet prolonged Israeli military curfews made it impossi...
Romney’s Tax Fairness Garbage
GERALD E. SCORSE
Answering a direct question on “60 Minutes” last Sunday, Mitt Romney said it was fair for him to pay a lower tax on $20 million in capital gains than a worker pays on $50,000 in wages “because capital has already been taxed once at the corporate level, as hi...
The Victims of Bad Things
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The endless question in America is whom to blame when bad things happen and the question is asked beginning at an early age.  Any present or past proprietor of a small child knows that when any thing bad happens the child’s first response is that someone else is respon...
Beyond Voting
KEN KNABB
Roughly speaking we can distinguish five degrees of “government”: (1) Unrestricted freedom (2) Direct democracy (3) Delegate democracy (4) Representative democracy (5) Overt minority dictatorship The prese...
Debunking the Myth of the “Union Boss”
DAVID MACARAY
Among the many myths and outright lies being circulated about labor unions (e.g., union members can’t be fired, they are inferior workers, it was union wages that forced companies to relocate overseas, etc.), one of the most annoying and downright offensive is the Myth ...
Miracle in Miami
RICARDO ALARCÓN de QUESADA
Havana. On May 25, 2001, when the trial of Gerardo Hernandez in Miami was nearing its end, the prosecution filed an Emergency Petition for Writ of Prohibition with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. The first surprise was the speed – no more t...
Building Bridges Instead Of Imperial Wars
JOHN GRANT
For years, I’ve been working either in the journalism realm or as an antiwar veteran activist expressing the core idea that the United States of America is an “empire,” that its militarist foreign policy is “imperialistic” and that many of our perennial and curr...
Dueling Monarchies Of The Middle East
GIORGIO CAFIERO
The demise of secular autocratic regimes in the Middle East and North Africa has heralded a renaissance for Islamist parties in the region, igniting a rivalry for the hearts and minds of the Sunni world between the Gulf powers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. These neighboring ...
The Vilification of Teachers and Muslims
ELLIOT SPERBER
Among the issues raised by the Chicago teachers’ strike is the one involving the villainization of labor. Yet, while teachers have been shamelessly conflated in the corporate media with the very gluttons who are in fact fleecing the teachers of their pensions and ot...
Losing the Plot
JAMES McENTEER
Quito. Down at the neighborhood tavern, I was listening for the umpteenth time to my friend Barney lament how food stamps are not accepted for alcohol. Like me, Barney’s been out of work almost two years now. He’s been through the five stages of grief ...
The Black Panthers—No Bullshitting
RON JACOBS
The Black Panthers were arguably the most important revolutionary organization in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Their presence was an inspiration to millions of men and women around the globe, especially those living in colonial and neocolonial si...
To Bee or Not to Bee
MISSY BEATTIE
I have a neighbor, F, here in the Kingdom of Cross Words (and puzzling entanglements), who’s been depressed and medicated off and on for months.  The genesis of his anguish is twisted adoration for a female who clutches him closely and then hurls him away with language...
The Cult of Extreme Success
KIM NICOLINI
If you’ve read anything about Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest film The Master, you’ve probably read a lot about how the movie is a thinly veiled biography of L. Ron Hubbard and the history the Church of Scientology and Dianetics. Then there are those who have...
Abandoned by the Spirits
KATHLEEN PEINE
SETI is certainly an admirable attempt to grasp out to the heavens; it scours for sounds with an extraterrestrial origin. Once, during the 70’s, a cruel, quick nerdgasm was achieved in the form of the “WOW” signal. Sadly, never to be replicated, that 72 ...
World’s Most (In)Famous Writer Tells All
CHARLES R. LARSON
This is what most of us know and many of us remember:  On Valentine’s day in 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed the fatwa, sentenced Salman Rushie to death by accusing the author of ...
The Laura Nyro Incarnations
RANDY SHIELDS
I’m gonna take a day off from hating America — I’ll be back on the job tomorrow — and, instead, rhapsodize about Laura Nyro. I was inspired by a performance I saw this past week at the Sellersville Theater of “One Child Born,” a one-woman play/performa...
The Musical Patriot
DAVID YEARSLEY
I might be the only person on the planet who today commemorates Johann Mattheson’s 331st birthday.  Born on September 28th, 1681 in Hamburg—then the biggest, most propserpous, and most diverse of  German cities—Mattheson never moved from his ...
Clarke, Mosher and Chaos
POETS' BASEMENT
untitled by ROBIN CLARKE   Blessed with no memory class today is devoted to pushing your pens back & across the wreckage. What would happen if one woman told t...
An Interview With Noam Chomsky
RICARDO LEZAMA
Noam Chomsky’s latest books are Occupy (Zuccotti Park Press) and ...
Bankers And Their Dirty Tricks
MIKE WHITNEY
Didn’t Ben Bernanke promise that another round of bond purchases would lower unemployment and boost economic growth? We think he did, which is why we’re wondering why all the benefits from QE3 appear to be going to the banks. According to Bloomberg News...
Inside The Anti-Japanese Protests in China
GARY LEUPP
They’ve drawn far less attention in the U.S. media than the wave of anti-U.S. protests throughout the Islamic world responding to the infamous online anti-Muslim movie trailer. But the anti-Japanese protests in China migh...
Uncovering the Kent State Cover-Up
LAUREL KRAUSE & MICKEY HUFF
When Ohio National Guardsmen fired sixty-seven gun shots in thirteen seconds at Kent State University (KSU) on May 4, 1970, they murdered four unarmed, protesting college students and wounded nine others. For forty-two years, the United States government has held the posi...
Stephen Harper’s Richard Nixon Prize
YVES ENGLER
At a ceremony in New York today the Appeal of Conscience Foundation will present Stephen Harper with its World Statesman of the Year award. Former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger will deliver the prize. Canada’s Prime Minister is really racking up the...
Corporations Run the Economy
RALPH NADER
Here is an open letter that Barack Obama should write to Mitt Romney – pronto! Dear Mr. Romney: Not a day goes by without you blaming me for every slumping or stagnant economic indicator. Unemployment, increases in the number of food stamp recipients, gove...
Salam Fayyad, the World Bank and the Oslo Game
NEVE GORDON
Triggered by gas-price increases, tens of thousands of Palestinian taxi, truck and bus drivers in the West Bank observed a one-day strike, effectively shutting down cities. This, as Al Jazeera ...