Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave Macaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
Archives from December 2012
Is Obama About to Betray Those Who Re-Elected Him Less Than Two Months Ago?
SCOTT HARRIS
One of the most contentious issues in the current “fiscal cliff” negotiations that’s angering progressive activists is President Obama’s offer to the GOP to change the way cost of living adjustments are made to Social Security benefits. According t...
A New Year’s Revolution
RONNIE CUMMINS
As a longtime writer and activist campaigning for decades on food and farming issues, most recently Prop 37, the California Ballot Initiative to label genetically engineered foods, I am reminded daily of the allure, indeed the addictive pleasure, of single-issue organizin...
Truth and Christmas
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
So it was Christmas, the pagan sorcerer’s fire festival.   Remember these ancient origins: the tree is lit on December 21, solstice, darkest day of the year, to re-ignite the sun and return the land to warmth.   The red and the white of the big bearded and the jolly...
Hagel Out
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
Is former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel, a sharp critic of US counter-terrorism policy, still President Obama’s top choice to replace Leon Panetta as defense secretary?   Apparently he was, but a highly reliable Republican source with close ties to the US Senate armed ...
On Killing Children (and Others)
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
Here is part of an Associated Press announcement appearing in U.S. papers on 20 December 2012: ...
Those Laboring Days
LINH DINH
In the 1980’s and 90’s, even a klutz like me could find work as a manual laborer. I painted houses, washed windows and cleaned apartments and offices. At my first house painting job, I propped a ladder upside down against the wall, don’t laugh, and was n...
Violence American-Style
JOHN GRANT
The tendency to identify manhood with a capacity for physical violence has a long history in America. – Marshall Fishwick Violence is as American as cherry pie. – H. Rap Brown Wat...
Banning BPA
KARL GROSSMAN
It’s what the county legislature in Suffolk County, New York is noted for—passing first-in-the-nation laws.  It’s done that with laws banning the hand-held use of cell phones while driving, the sale of drop-side cribs and the supplement ephedra, and many statutes p...
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or “Moral Injury”?
SHEPHERD BLISS
“My God, what have we done?” combat soldiers sometimes gasp as they see those they or comrades just killed, especially when they include innocent children, women, and other civilians. “We knew that we killed them/…the terrified mother/ clutching terrified c...
China’s Year of Living Dangerously
PETER LEE
The passing year was the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) first opportunity to get up close and personal with the United States’ pivot back to Asia, the strategic rebalancing that looks a lot like containment. The PRC spent a lot of 2012 wrestli...
Italy, the Return of Politics
CHRISTOPHER J. BICKERTON
Paris. A couple of weeks ago, the secretary of Silvio Berlusconi’s rightwing People of Liberty party launched a vitriolic attack against the technocratic incumbent, Mario Monti. Stating clearly that Monti no longer enjoyed the support of his party, Angel...
Institutionalizing “Secret” Drone Strikes
MARK WEISBROT
There is perhaps no time in American history when our leaders have fought a war with so little support. More than ...
Democracy & Detroit, 2012
ELENA HERRADA
Detroit is the largest of the internal colonies of Michigan. It is followed by Benton Harbor, Flint, Muskegon Heights, Pontiac and Highland Park. The aforementioned cities have been occupied by “Emergency Managers” for the past several years. In 2009 Democratic...
A Militaristic Culture
LAURA L. FINLEY
Guns. Media. Mental Illness. Lax Security. All these and more have been offered as explanations for the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday, December 14 that left 26 people, including 20 children, dead. And all of those things may have played a role. B...
The Tale of the Onion
P. SAINATH
“My onions are big, aren’t they?” Chris Pawelski asked our group of visitors at his farm 60 miles from New York City. “Any idea why?” Because of consumer demand, we wondered? Perhaps bigger bulbs caught the customer’s eye better? “Nope,” said Pawels...
U.S. Energy Independence is a Sham
JOSHUA FRANK
Whether it is the hucksters pushing for the Keystone XL pipeline to cut across the Heartland, or the coal barons who are ramping up their exploits in Powder River Basin, a familiar refrain can be heard echoing throughout their propaganda: America must produce its own ener...
My Christmas Story
MICHAEL YATES
For Tatiana. When I was a boy, I wore mostly hand-me-down clothes. The neighbors next door had a son a year or two older than I, about my size, and I got his discarded shirts and pants. Grandma or my mother would alter them to fit me bet...
Regimen of Permanent Wars
RON RIDENOUR
We live in the Permanent War Age. The United States’ goal is simple—one that exposes a superpower’s arrogance and monetary greed, and one that appeals to the American Dream for the majority of its citizens—world domination! Most US Americans believe they ar...
Have a Merry War on Christmas
PAUL KRASSNER
This is my first tweet. I have Writer’s Block. I mean Twitter’s Block. I’m waiting for a cure to be developed. A minimalist summation of American culture in the Los Angeles Times on Conan O’Brien: “The Masturbating Bear will remai...
Approaching the Twilight of the Labor Movement
DAVID MACARAY
Private sector union membership in the U.S. stands at about 7-percent, meaning that 93-percent of all private sector jobs in this country are non-union, which makes those accusations of unions of being “too powerful” even more ridiculous and hysterical than they alrea...
Doing Time for Peace
DAVID SWANSON
Hundreds of Americans, young and old, are regularly going to prison, sometimes for months or years or decades, for nonviolently resisting U.S. militarism. They block ports, ships, submarines, trains full of weapons, trucks full of weapons, and gates to military bas...
Political Grinches Stealing Christmas From Palestinian and Syrian Refugees
FRANKLIN LAMB
Church of Notre Dame, Damascus. Church officials in Damascus advanced the hour of last night’s traditional Christmas Eve midnight service to 6 pm because few Damascenes’ venture out past sunset these days. The reasons include ubiquitous checkpoints, se...
Free Trade in Medicare
DEAN BAKER
Washington policy debates are chock full of rich people telling poor and middle-class people that they will have to tighten their belts. In fact, in the crazy upside down world of Washington this passes for “courage.” Cutting back Medicare is one of the favorit...
Stuff Jerusalem
MICHAEL DICKINSON
Or rather, fill it.  Gather as many as possible of the dedicated Jews and Zionists dispersed throughout the world, and settle them in settlements in the disputed areas of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank/Judea and Samaria in order to strengthen the power of the Israeli Stat...