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 January 25th, 2013
Nature’s Capital is the Limiting Resource
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Only in science fiction can humans escape the consequences of destroying their own habitat. In Robert A. Heinlein’s ...
Democracy in America, Revisited
MORRIS BERMAN
Since American democracy is in the process of disintegrating, it might be worthwhile to reflect on the nature of the phenomenon, and the sources of its dialectical death.  In 1982 the eminent French scholar, Pierre Manent, published a study of Alexis de Tocqueville’s ...
The All Powerful Fed
MIKE WHITNEY
Has housing really turned the corner? According to Calculated Risk— the nation’s number 1 economics’s blog– it has. Back in February 2012, CR’s Bill McBride boldly announced “The Bottom is Here”, and, sure enough, prices ha...
The Opacity of a Shadow War
NICHOLAS SAIDEL
The Obama administration scored two victories this month, both of which expand its ability to wage its targeted killing campaign against America’s “enemies” unencumbered by checks from the Judicial Branch, Congress or the American people.  The first vic...
The Trouble With Roe
LAURA FLANDERS
The Supreme Court Decision legalizing a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy turned forty years old this week. Protestors turned out at the court in support of the decision and also against. For opponents, the problem is the way Roe was decided. The problem for suppor...
Why Economic Inequality is Not Good for the Economy
ROB URIE
The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw multiple discourses on the relationship between concepts of ‘truth’ and power—social, political and economic. The ‘view from nowhere,’ the rhetorical device of science and economics used to claim that truth exists in ...
Obama’s Unprecedented Number of Deportations
TANYA GOLASH-BOZA
Between 1892 and 1997, a total of 2.1 million people were deported from the United States. A change in laws in 1996 permitted the number of deportees to increase from 70,000 in 1996 to 114,000 in 1997. In 1998, the number of deportees rose to 173,000. The numbers stayed f...
Another Assault by Corporations on Consumers’ Right to Know
KATHERINE PAUL AND RONNIE CUMMINS
How do you keep consumers in the dark about the horrors of factory farms? By making it an “act of terrorism” for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on the corporate-controlled farms that produce the bulk of our meat, eggs and...
Indian Farmers Trapped and Desperate
GRAHAM PEEBLES
India has the largest number of smallholder farmers in the World, 600 million by some estimates. From this army of workers one impoverished desperate man, or indeed woman, with a noose of debt around their neck takes his or her own life on average every thirty minutes, A ...
Obama: Words and Deeds
RALPH NADER
A friend asked me what I was thinking while listening to President Obama’s inaugural address. Here were my reactions: Obama: “They [the Patriots of 1776] gave to us a republic, a government of and by and for the people.” The flood of money-shaping elec...
The Importance of Revenue
ANDREW FIELDHOUSE
Via Ezra Klein comes a ...
Jakarta’s Killer Floods and the Elites
ANDRE VLTCHEK
It is ‘biasa’ – business as usual – at the ‘Mall Of Indonesia’ in North Jakarta. As if there has been no tragedy of a great magnitude that occurred in this city just a few short minutes drive from its pseudo-Baroque arches and security guards. ...
Night of the Optimists
URI AVNERY
It was the night of the optimists. Tuesday at 10.01 pm, a minute after the ballot boxes were sealed, the three TV news programs announced the results of their exit polls. The dire predictions of the pessimists were scattered to the winds. Israel has n...
The Movie “Zero Dark Thirty” Wishes It Was But Isn’t
PETER LEE
As the moving finger of chaos hovered over Mali and Algeria last week, I took another look at Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 masterpiece, The Battle of Algiers. I am somewhat puzzled that this movie is not at the heart of the Zero Dark Thirty debate. B...
From Wounded Knee to Idle No More
RON JACOBS
The American Indian Movement’s (AIM) best known and most controversial protest began in February 1973 in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, a small town on the Pine Ridge reservation. Wounded Knee Two began as a conflict within the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) tribe between the s...
The March of the MegaStores
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The plots, plans and antics of multinational jumbostore companies are in the news at the moment, and reports show that many of them are, to be kind, not altogether to be trusted. Adverse publicity has been met by energetic damage control on which no expense has been spare...
Celia Sanchez and the Cuban Revolution
SAUL LANDAU
It’s about time,”I commented when I heard that Nancy Stout had written a biography of Celia Sanchez...
US-led Sanctions Contribute to the Destruction of Syria’s Millenary History
FRANKLIN LAMB
What a difference a week can make. The heaviest snow in Syria in a quarter-century, some claimed, last week’s storm closed for a time even the main highway from Damascus to Beirut. But that was then and now its spring in Damascus, or so it feels to those of us us...
Obama Silent on Labor
BRETT WARNKE
Women.  Gays.  African-Americans.  All are groups whose historical and contemporary injustices have mobilized America’s liberal base.  President Obama offered acknowledgement in his second inaugural and even a few historical allusions, mentioning “Seneca Falls, Se...
Herzog in Siberia
LOUIS PROYECT
Back in 1954 François Truffaut coined the term auteur (the French word for author) to describe how certain directors shape their films according to a unique creative vision. According to auteur theory, directors such as Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Alfred Hitchco...
Why I Won’t be Voting for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ in Any Category
DAVE CLENNON
I’m a member of Hollywood’s Motion Picture Academy.  At the risk of being expelled, for disclosing my intentions, I will not be voting for Zero Dark Thirty—in any Academy Awards category. Everyone who contributes skill and energy to a motion p...
Pebble Mine: Qui Bono?
KEEGAN BIRCHFIELD and STACY VEGA
Pebble Mine is a hot topic today both in Alaska and nationally.  Proponents and opponents have spent millions to assess impacts both economically and environmentally, but we shouldn’t we take a more holistic approach to impacts?  In a best case scenario, Pebble Mine l...
This N-Word Sh-t is Completely Effed Up
JOHN ESKOW
The one and only time my mother ever kicked my ass was when I called Sammy Russo a nigger.  The whole scenario was bizarre, for at least four reasons: 1) though I was eight years old, and verbally acute, I did not know the actual meaning of “nigger;” 2) my friend Sam...
Obama DOE Fracked Gas Export Study Contractor’s Tobacco Industry Roots
STEVE HORN
At first, it was kept secret for months, cryptically referred to only as an “...
End of the Culture Wars?
DAVID ROSEN
The reelection of President Obama represents not only the popular support by a majority of voters for a second Democratic administration, but the deeper crisis gripping the Republicans.  While 2012 was a significant victory, its real significance will only be fully evide...
Why I Do Not Want to Leave Palestine/Israel
LYNDA BURSTEIN BRAYER
It is not by accident that I have been asked on several occasions, and not least by members of my own family, why I remain in the Jewish state of Israel. I am an implacable anti-Zionist and have left the Jewish religion formally, becoming a possible “meshumedet̶...
A New Model Drone Resolution
DAVID SWANSON
In the absence of state or federal laws, localities around the United States are proceeding to put unmanned aerial vehicles in our skies as they see fit.  The federal government has authorized the flight of 30,000 drones, and the use of drones up to 400 feet by police de...
Sport and the Sublime
M. G. PIETY
I watched a lot of TV as a kid. That was before cable, so finding something interesting could be challenging. I was channel surfing one day when I happened on some diving. I didn’t know anything about diving. but even people who don’t know anything about it can apprec...
Feeling Like a Big Shot
MISSY BEATTIE
I’ve been lying in bed, temperature elevated, bones on fire, achy, and questioning the decision to reject Big Pharma’s flu vaccine. Vowing to better prepare for the next germ wave, I hit  Google—to search symptoms, foods to bolster the immune system, tips. A...
The Great Dismal
PHIL ROCKSTROH
“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.”  – Albert Camus The repercussions of our acts — the constructs we create — endure well past the dissolution of our ...
Dilemmas of an Online Film Watcher
JOE GIAMBRONE
I clicked over here and over there, looking for something watchable. Site after site, they want more and more information about me. First it was my email address. And my birthday (which they never got accurately). And my name (ditto). Now I’m the subject of numerous dat...
Forging An Independent Foreign Policy
CESAR CHELALA
On January 23, 2013, The Jerusalem Post reported on a meeting held by Chuck Hagel, President Barak Obama’s defense secretary nominee, in which Hagel stated his strong commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and to maintaining Israel’s qualitative...
The Great White Camel
RANDY SHIELDS
Probably many people have read the informed and thoughtful commentary on the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” by ...
A Simple Story About Two Fucked Up People
KIM NICOLINI
David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook may very well be the Feel Good Movie of the Year even if we ultimately end up feeling good by accepting our imperfections and embracing how dysfunctional we are as people. Playing on classic Hollywood screwball comedies ...
Hijacking Education’s Sanctuary
CHARLES R. LARSON
Two incidents in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s richly moving account of his years during secondary school in Kenya, ...
Painful Paeans to America
DAVID YEARSLEY
Panic set in not for the obvious reasons: the blinding white stone of the Capitol dome, ramparts and columns resembling nothing so much as Albert Speer’s ...
Dorbin, DeWald and Ford
POETS' BASEMENT
A Soviet of Sound, 1986 by SANFORD DORBIN   Here’s Sviatoslav Richter scouting the steppes by train. Stops ad lib in some unpromising village & his aides have a concert organized in an hour. A t...