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 November 2012
The Beloved Community
RANDALL AMSTER and WINDY COOLER
As we move into the winter of 2012, the days are getting shorter and the sociopolitical realities put before us seem, in some ways, to be darkening by the minute. How is it that we do not know how to live in the world, in those ways that have sustained and advanced the h...
Shadow Banking
MIKE WHITNEY
Regulators are worried about the explosive growth of shadow banking, and they should be. Shadow banks were at the heart of the last financial crisis and they’ll be at the heart of the next financial crisis as well. There’s no doubt about it. It’s simply ...
The Drug Store in American Meat
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Food consumers seldom hear about the drugs oestradiol-17, zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengestrol acetate and the names are certainly not on meat labels. But those synthetic growth hormones are central to U.S. meat production, especially beef, and the reason Europe h...
Contradictions of the New Juarez
KENT PATERSON
The push to rebrand and re-sell the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez is in full swing. With violence way down as 2012 draws to a close, business and political leaders are extolling the return of security, inaugurating public works and opening new restaurants. Accordi...
Perpetual Conflict by Israeli Design
GRAHAM PEEBLES
And so for a moment or two the slaughter of Palestinian civilians and the destruction in Gaza City has ceased; the oppression, intimidation and terror throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories though continues unabated. The ‘Pillar...
What If America’s Leaders Actually Want Catastrophic Climate Change?
DAVE LINDORFF
What if the leaders of the United States — and by leaders I mean the generals in the Pentagon, the corporate executives of the country’s largest enterprises, and the top officials in government — have secretly concluded that while world-wide climate change i...
Name That Foreign Policy Legacy
JOHN FEFFER
In re-electing President Barack Obama, voters decisively rejected the Republican version of economic reform. Obama is already angling to use his mandate to solve the nation’s fiscal woes by letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the rich. But the election d...
Who Really Crashed the Economy?
DEAN BAKER
The talk in Washington these days might lead people to think that the main cause of the economic downturn is the Social Security and Medicare benefits being paid to retirees. After all, we have people from both parties giving us assurances that cuts to these programs are ...
The Pentagon and the Fiscal Cliff
JONATHAN M. FELDMAN
Progressive and left leading ...
Nullify the Drug War!
SHELDON RICHMAN
Thomas Jefferson said a revolution every 20 years would be a good thing. Regardless of what one thinks of that, perhaps a little constitutional crisis every now and then would have its benefits. One such crisis may be brewing now. On election day, solid majorities ...
Where’s the Accountability for Israeli War Crimes?
AUDREY BOMSE and JAMES MARC LEAS
Gaza City. The Palestinian Authority would be “traitors” if they agreed to a condition the UK is seeking to impose in exchange for agreeing to  support Palestine upgrading its membership in the UN. So said Raji Sourani, Director of the ...
My Encounters with Cruelty and Kindness Toward Animals in India
ANTENEH ROBA
In November 2012, I spoke at the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) conference in Goa, India. Realizing that I had some time to spare, I decided to take a side trip to Chennai, India. There, I embarked on an unplanned visit of the Blue Cross of I...
Will Worker Justice Take Flight at Chicago Airports?
BOB SIMPSON
Will worker justice take flight at Chicago airports? by Bob Simpson  “I make $10.50 an hour, which is not a living wage here in Chicago, but due to the new victory which we won…in a year I’ll be making a living wage. Th...
From Gaza to the Hindu Kush
JASON HIRTHLER
Slip into their shoes for a minute. No, not into a traditional Iranian galesh or Pakistani khussa or Palestinian sheepskins. Step into the western sneakers they wear today: Nike and Adidas and Converse. Then run for cover as you hear the whistling warnin...
Breaking Private Manning
MICHAEL RATNER
By the time the 23-year-old soldier’s court martial starts on February 4, 2013, Bradley Manning will have spent 983 days in prison, including nine months in solitary confinement, without having been convicted of a single crime. This week, in pre-trail hearings, a milita...
A Septic Mess of Trouble
LINH DINH
Catalans want to break from Spain, again, and secession is also the buzz in Flanders, Scotland, Texas and Vermont. With the global economy collapsing, people everywhere are becoming fed up with being ruled by distant bureaucrats and bankers hell-bent on destroying local l...
How to End the Gaza Tragedy
RON PAUL
As of late Friday the ceasefire in Gaza seems to be holding, if tentatively. While we should be pleased that this round of fighting appears temporarily on hold, we must realize that without changes in US foreign policy it is only a matter of time before the killing begins...
Goodnight to President Felipe Calderon, the Drug Warrior
PAUL IMISON
Recall the classic scene in Scarface where a raging drunk Tony Montana tells a restaurant full of Miami’s 1%: “Say goodnight to the bad guy! It’s the last time you’re gonna see a bad guy like this again!” Those are surely the words that Mexican P...
To Appease the Gods, Human Sacrifices Must Be Offered
RAOUF J. HALABY
Ancient pagan cultures practiced the ritualistic killing of humans for a number reasons: appeasement; retribution; expiation for guilt, an entreat for military victory over an enemy; a seasonal invocation for spring planting or fal...
Global Intifada
BILL V. MULLEN
On 25 July, Spanish coal miners in the northern village of Cinera blocked their roads in protest against the austerity cuts. When state subsidies fell by 63%, and miners lost their jobs, homemade slings hurled rocks at the police. This protest took place as the Spanish ...
Paula Broadwell, Whistleblower
FRED GARDNER
Q: What name did Monica Lewinsky call Maureen Dowd? Answer below. In Men in Black Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith make use of a device that erases memory as they save the USA and the whole collateral world. In real life the memory-erasing function ...
Celebrity Worship Is a Mixed Bag
DAVID MACARAY
It’s such a disappointment when a writer or entertainer we like and admire says or does something that not only disappoints or confuses us, but offends us. His or her personal philosophy shouldn’t enter into it, but it does. Intellectually, we know we shouldn’t mix ...
Isolating a Nation
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
Award winning independent producer Afshin Rattansi, a frequent contributor to CounterPUnch, has released the groundbreaking documentary “Eritrea; A Nation In Isolation” on PressTV. The first authentic documentary on Eritrea since its independence 21 years ago a...
When Justices Are Unjust
OMAR KASSEM
Eric Walberg’s essay on Muhammad Morsi’s recent decrees stands out as an insightful article. There hasn’t been particularly good coverage of these recent events in Egypt by the general med...
Netanyahu Gives Obama His Comeuppance
ANDREW LEVINE
Pity the reporters and editors of the “quality press” and their NPR counterparts who must struggle to reinforce one of conventional wisdom’s more preposterous tenets: that Israel has to massacre Gazans every now and then to protect its citizens from “terrorist” ...
Are US Troops Targeting Journalists?
DAVE LINDORFF
During the Vietnam War, which US forces fought from 1960 through 1974, and which cost the lives of several million Southeast Asians and 58,000 Americans, eight American journalists died. Not one of them was killed by American fire. In the Iraq War, 136 journalists ...
Egyptian Revolts
MAYSSOUN SUKARIEH
Cairo. “We are not thugs, and we are not criminals,” It is the sentence that every single protester in Mohamed Mahmoud street used as they began to tell me about the protests that began on November 19. That day is significant. It is the first anniversa...
Micro Militarism
MICHAEL SCHWALBE
My ATM receipts now tell me, beneath my checking account balance, that the North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union SUPPORTS THE TROOPS!  The classical music station I listen to runs a dedication to “the men and women of our armed forces, who work ...
The Politics of Cuban-Americans
SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES
Several of our friends expressed shock when they learned that President Obama had won some 48% of south Florida’s Cuban-American vote. One asked: how can you explain that a reputedly reactionary community would yield such a high percentage vote for a Democrat? Th...
Gaza: Same Time, Same Place
RAMZY BAROUD
Many key phrases have been presented to explain Israel’s latest military onslaught against Gaza, which left scores dead and wounded. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is flexing his muscles in preparation for the Israeli general elections in January, suggested s...
Morsi Bites the Bullet
ERIC WALBERG
At last Egyptian politics is moving. President Mohamed Morsi is slowly building on his summer ‘coup’, when he stared down Egypt’s generals and put his men in the top army and defence positions, following terrorist attacks in Sinai which the army, so old ...
Hurricane Sandy and Sick Building Syndrome
Dr. BERNT DANIELSSON, MD and RITT GOLDSTEIN
As many still struggle to address the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, another facet of this epic battle is underway, though, many remain unaware of it.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many of the people of New Orleans found themselves faced with unusual hea...
Weaponizing Trauma
NICOLA PERUGINI
The recent operation “Pillar of Defence” coincided with a widespread use of social media by the Israeli army. A military tweet sent by the army spokesperson’s account on November 18 reads: “‘Harmless’ rockets? Staggering number of kid...
The Ongoing Battle Over GMOs and Food Safety
CARMELO RUIZ-MARRERO
The battle for safe food is not over, despite the defeat in California. California’s Proposition 37, which would have made it mandatory to label foods containing ingredients from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), was narrowly defeated on Nov. 6 as a resu...
Why is Obama Silent Over the New Congo War?
SHAMUS COOKE
The last Congo war that ended in 2003 killed 5.4 million people, the worst humanitarian disaster since World War II. The killing was directly enabled by international silence over the issue; the war was ignored and the causes obscured because governments were backing gro...
The Politics of the Exodus Myth
WILLIAM A. COOK
“I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.” — Exodus 23:27 During this interlude in Israel’s second unprovoked ...
Revisiting America’s Longest War
BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN
The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan – the longest war in U.S. history – entered its 12th year last month (October). The war was launched ostensibly to bring those responsible for the attacks of 9/11 to justice and to prevent future acts of terror on American soil. To achi...
Why Israel Desires to be Hated by Palestinians
OREN BEN-DOR
Yet another massacre is unfolding in Gaza, the largest prison in the world.  We are surrounded by familiar chatter: ‘Israel’s right to defend itself’; ‘Palestinians’ legitimate resistance to (the 1967) occupation’; ‘who started it this time?’ Most insidio...
Into Africa
CONN HALLINAN
Africa is probably the single most complex region of the world and arguably its most troubled. While the world concerns itself with the Syrian civil war and the dangers it poses for the Middle East, little notice is taken of the war in the Congo, a tragedy that has taken ...
The Rise of “Sub-Imperialism”
PATRICK BOND
The heads of state of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa BRICS network are coming to Durban in four months, meeting on 26-27 March at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Africa’s largest venue. Given their recent performance, it is reasonable to expect an...
Obamacare in an Economy of Death and Destruction
ADAM CHIMIENTI
Imagine for a second if you will, holding a card in your hand, roughly the same dimensions as a credit card, with a chip somewhere in the middle, similar to a sim card used in cell phones. Most of the front portion of this card features a waving flag of the United States...
Kafka in Israel
LINH DINH
“We want to be troubled no more by Arabs; room to breathe; a skyline cleansed of them; no more bleating of sheep knifed by an Arab; every beast to die a natural death; no interference till we have drained the carcass empty and picked its bones clean. Cleanliness, nothin...
How the Hamas Victory in Gaza Can Bring Civil Rights to Palestinians in Lebanon
FRANKLIN LAMB
The current festive celebrations in Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian refugee camps reflect the intense euphoria being witnessed throughout Gaza and occupied Palestine, Arab and Muslim countries, as well as relief among people of good will globally. This observer’s spec...
The Big Winner is Hamas
URI AVNERY
The mantra of this round was Once And For All. “We must put an end to this (the rockets, Hamas, the Palestinians, the Arabs?) Once and For All!” – this cry from the heart was heard dozens of times daily on TV from the harassed inhabitants of Israel’s batter...
The Road to Mandalay
MICHAEL BRENNER
  President Barack Obama paid a much heralded visit to Myanmar this week.  This first foreign trip abroad  since reelection magnified Myanmar’s freedom.   There seems little else to warrant giving Myanmar top priority. It is geographica...
Mental Wage-Slavery
CLAYTON ROSATI
1) The Poverty of Marx’s Math: Or, Marx Thinks Wages Suck. It’s confusingly true. Workers under capitalism are shortchanged. And one of the central but hardest to appreciate lessons about our current economic order is that “profi...
‘Operation Pillar of Defense’ – Was a Crime
ADAM PARSONS
The conflict in Gaza may have come to an inauspicious end last night following a ceasefire agreement, but there is little reason to rejoice for the Palestinian people. Although a ground assault of the Gaza Strip was narrowly avoided, still well over 1,500 air strikes by F...
It’s the Message Not the Wrapping Paper
RODOLFO ACUÑA
I am often asked what ideology I favor, and what tactics should Chicanas/os use to achieve equality. If I were living in the 19th Century I would take the question seriously. However, while this kind of conjecture is interesting, let’s face it, we live in ano...