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
The Art of Political Suicide
BINOY KAMPMARK
Now we will be stuck with him [Obama] for another four years because Mitt the unfit can’t get his shit together. Anonymous GOP strategist, Capitol Hill Blue, Sep...
The Struggle for Rachel Corrie’s Legacy
PATRICK O. STRICKLAND
Ramallah. Two weeks ago, an Israeli court ruled that the death of Rachel Corrie, a Palestinian solidarity activist crushed by an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) armored bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, was her own fault and not the result of military negligence. Br...
Occupy, Year One
CHIP GIBBONS
I’d like to start with a confession. When I first descended upon the Bowling Green statue in Lower Manhattan on the morning of Saturday September 17, 2011 to discover a handful of people doing yoga, I was not impressed. While my spirits were raised when a larger, but st...
Pol Pot Revisited
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Now, in the monsoon season, Cambodia is verdant, cool and relaxed. The rice paddies on the low hill slopes are flooded, forests that hide old temples are almost impassable, rough seas deter swimmers. It’s a pleasant time to re-visit this modest country: Cambodia is not ...
Somalia’s Election Farce
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
While the international media might trumpet “Somalia’s First Free and Fair Elections in 50 Years” reality on the ground in Mogadishu reveals a truly grand farce of an “election” process. First of all, the so called “Members of Parliament”, most of who...
Barack Obama and the Temple of Doom
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
The defining image of the Obama White House is a culture of so-called smart power and death – F-35 fighter jets, unmanned killer drones, Navy Seals, Delta Force death squads, and more recently, the White House kill list.  In an act of unprecedented arrogance, President...
A Nation in Perpetual Mourning
JOHN STANTON
What’s the point in Stars and Stripes flying full staff anymore? What joy or pride is there in looking up at the American Flag when it seems that each week it is lowered for this and that death, current or past? And knowing that over the last three decades or so, most o...
‘Israel’ meets South Africa in World Baseball Classic
IRA GLUNTS
On September 19th at 7:00 PM a baseball team representing Israel will play S...
Give Stewart Francke, One of CP’s Favorite Musicians, a Kick
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Give Stewart Francke, One of CP’s Favorite Musicians, a K...
Occupy, Year 2 Begins
VIJAY PRASHAD
Smiles. A mid-September sunny day in New York City draws those with the day off to go to the parks and laze along the avenues, walking by the workers on call, cleaning up after tourists, holding together a city that always seems held together by the sweat ...
Nuclear Betrayal in the Marshall Islands
BARBARA ROSE JOHNSTON
September 13, 2012 was a historic day at the United Nations and in the Marshall Islands. On this date, in this seventh decade of the nuclear age, the UN Human Rights Council considered the environmental and human rights impacts resulting from the radioactive and toxic sub...
The Howling
CHRIS FLOYD
Sparked by a deliberate provocation put together by Christian extremists, riots by groups of Islamic extremists ...
Sabra-Shatila 1982; Iran 2012?
BARRY LANDO
The outburst of anti-Americanism sweeping much of the Arab world was ignited by an...
Unintended Consequences in Libya
GARY LEUPP
 “This is the first time in American history when we have used our military power to prop up and possibly put in power a group of people we literally do not know.” –Nicholas Burns, Bush-era undersecretary of state, writing in March 2011 about...
The Man Who Was Chemically Tortured
BINOY KAMPMARK
One sensed they were out to get him from the start.  David Hicks, a misguided, foolish man, who found himself at a paramilitary camp in Afghanistan, had to be punished.  Since the Australian authorities struggled to find a basis to get the former Guantánamo inmate for ...
The Chicago Teachers and Their Students’ Test Scores
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
Many crucial issues are at stake in the Chicago Teachers Union strike. But the school district’s insistence that student test scores constitute a major basis of teacher evaluations seems to have become a particularly contentious point, leading to the vilification of tea...
Japan’s Long Atomic Sayonara
HARVEY WASSERMAN
As demonstrators from the Coalition Against Nukes prepare to descend on Washington DC and the Nuclear Regul...
Catalonia’s Shouts for Freedom
THOMAS S. HARRINGTON
Last Tuesday, over a million people took to the streets in a European city that has, in recent years, become one of the   more popular  tourist  destinations in the world. And as anyone who has was there to witness the run-up to the event in recent weeks and mo...
The Cycle of Hate, Anger, Violence and Counter-Violence
RAOUF J. HALABY
Even though the details about the producer of a 13 minute film about the life of the Prophet Muhammad are vague, the film has ignited a firestorm of protests and anger in North Africa, the Near East,  and Central Asia.  Alleged to be a Los Angeles Copt of Egyptian backg...
Morello: This Land is Your Land
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Morello: This Land is Your Land ...
America and the Muslims
ESAM AL-AMIN
Thousands of angry Muslims demonstrated in front of American embassies and consulates in Egypt and Libya because of a newly released film that deliberately insulted and mockingly falsified the life of the prophet of Islam. The protests soon spread to Yemen, Tunisia, Sudan...
Grading Teachers, Failing Kids
MOSHE ADLER
What would children gain from teachers who have the highest evaluations as measured by the metric that Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to implement for Chicago’s public school (but not charter school) teachers?  This is precisely what three Columbia and Harvard economists...
Economic Policy and Rising Poverty
ROB URIE
Around the mid-1970s a shift in economic reasoning took place that reflected the capture of the Western academy by post-industrial capital. This isn’t to argue that industry has, for better or worse, ceased to be, but rather that the theoretical reasoning guiding econom...
Obama’s Double-Speak at the DNC
DANIEL KOVALIK
“You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan.’  Even if the plan is horrifying!” — The Joker Sounding very much like his predecessor, George W. Bush, President Obama enga...
The Best Democracies Money Can Buy
SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES
“Do you really want to live in a country where one party is so desperate to win the White House that they go around trying to make it harder for people to vote if they’re people of color, poor people or first generation immigrants?” &#...
Protest in Ramallah
URI AVNERY
Ramallah. Visiting Ramallah after an absence of several months, I was again amazed by the ongoing building activity. Everywhere new high-rise buildings are going up, and many of them are beautiful. (Arabs seem to have an innate talent for architec...
Revolution From Above
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Today the Western peoples are experiencing the destruction of their well being that is comparable to what the one percent in Rome imposed on Roman citizens and conquered peoples. Here is how John Williams (...
Ripping Open the Curtain on the Forbidden
ALISON WEIR
Alexander Cockburn  was a brilliant, witty, and courageous opponent of falsehoods and injustice. He stood on the side of the oppressed, the weak, and the victimized – even those victims that many writers and human rights defenders chose to ignore. With his scath...
The Most Brutal Genocide Money Can Buy
ANDRE VLTCHEK
The camp for Congolese refugees in Kisoro is overcrowded, and people keep flowing in. The border between Uganda and DR Congo is just a few kilometers away, and right behind the border the vicious fighting goes on; there is true bloodshed and carnage. The border is ...
White Lies and Arizona’s Culture of Fear
RODOLFO ACUÑA
When I was a kid there was what we used to call white lies.  You distinguished them from lies that were untrue. You told white lies because you did not want to reveal a secret or hurt someone’s feelings. Children would easily get caught telling lies – we were not too...
The Fabricated Case Against Gerardo Hernández
RICARDO ALARCÓN de QUESADA
Charge No 3, added in May 1999, against Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, almost eight months after his incarceration is based on a false –more than false, absurd’- premise: the made-up existence of a Cuban Government plan to attack US planes in international airspace. This...
Iran: an Irksome Prelude to War
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
London. A sadistic streak permeates the mainstream commentary on Iran. No attack on its sovereignty by the US and Israel, however egregious, has succeeded in satiating the appetite of journalists for further conflict. Though this atmosphere of war-m...
Screwing Working People
JODI DEAN
A friend of mine dropped out of high school in the mid-70s. She went to work cleaning at a college in her town. She worked at this college for about 30 years. Apparently, she didn’t work for the college, though. She worked for three or four (it’...
Israel’s Growing Isolation
RAMZY BAROUD
Should Israel be worried? Very much so, for the age of total impunity is coming to an end. Critical voices of the Israeli occupation and mistreatment of Palestinians are rising – not only within civil society circles, but among world governments as well. The ...
Caleban on the March
EAMONN McCANN
Derry. The Northern Ireland Caleban are on the march across Europe and have already reached the outskirts of Austria. The Caleban want children taught that the sun, the moon, the stars and all thereon were created over a six-day period beginning at ...
Wherefore Art Thou Occupy?
ELLIOT SPERBER
As its anniversary is celebrated, we will no doubt be reminded that no matter what else it achieved, or failed to, Occupy Wall Street managed to introduce if not a new sensitivity to inequality to the world, it at least introduced a new phrase into popular political parla...
India’s Baciles
FARZANA VERSEY
Mumbai. Nothing can be more potent than ‘Sam Bacile does not exist’. It is the invisibility and the stories surrounding his identity that expose ingrained and acquired hatred like the word of god revealed. We should thank him, for he stands for the man...
Why You Should Support the Chicago Teachers’ Strike
CHRISTOPHER FONS
The serious villagers have now spoken: the editorial boards of many of the country’s major newspapers including the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, Mitt Romney, Rahm Emmanuel’s new friend Paul Ryan, Illinois’ “progressive” Senator Dick Durbin, Jesse Jack...
Why Obama and Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett Must Go
DAVE LINDORFF
Just because someone has the ability to do something, does not mean he or she should do it. We have two examples of such a situation before us at the moment: President Barack Obama and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. Here in Pennsylvania, Terry Williams, a ma...
Labor on the Ropes
DAVID MACARAY
There are plenty of notable labor events occurring at the moment.  And by “notable,” of course, we mean hideous and horribly depressing.  Clearly, management people all over the world believe the stars are in perfect alignment and that they now have a decided advant...
T-Shirt Trouble in Jerusalem
MICHAEL DICKINSON
Having arrived from Istanbul at Tel Aviv airport in Israel last month, I was queuing at passport control.  The line was long but people were getting through quite quickly, and I was fairly optimistic that I might too.  More fool me. “I’d rather not have an Is...
The Banality of Hyperbole
THOMAS KNAPP
You know the quadrennial refrain: Americans are politically “polarized.” Half of us are ranting right-wing Torquemadists, the other half are raving left-wing Jacobins, and by implication the country faces a stark binary choice between those two approaches to g...
On the Line in Chicago
DAVID STEWART
On Monday, September 10, 2012, the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike. The next day Linda and I drove up to Chicago, parked our car on the North Side, rode the “red line” mass transit downtown and arrived after the speeches were over and just as the big march began...
Occupied Campus in Mexico City
JOHNNY HAZARD
Mexico City. The Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM) was founded in 2001, ostensibly by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, then mayor of Mexico City, but spurred by the student strike at the much larger Universidad Autónoma Nacional de Méxic...
Central America’s Newest “Death Squad Democracy”
ANDY THAYER
My first day in Honduras last week was also my first in a truly “Third World” country, though from what I’ve seen, portions of Russia and the Appalachians could give it a run for the money.  Of the nine people on our delegation, I’m easily the lea...
Burning Paper Instead of Children
RON JACOBS
Fire is a most evocative element. From Hell to the fiery tongues of the Christian Pentecost to the forges of Hephaestus and the Fire Demon of the Bhagavad-gita, the religious meanings attached to fire swirl around the concepts of death, punishment, and rebirth. On a more ...