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 February 2013
The Divine Farce
JOSEPH GROSSO
If the recent report from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is true than it turns out that the first Pope to resign his post in almost six hundred years did so, at least in part, due to the existence of a faction of gay Vatican officials being blackmailed by outs...
Money, Politics and the Roberts Court
ROB HAGER
On Monday, February 25, 2013 the Supreme Court denied certiorari in ...
O Labor, Where Art Thou?
DAVID MACARAY
It’s astonishing that we have all these people out there—all these wildly opinionated, patriotic folks—who, without any prompting, will spontaneously burst into rhapsodic discourse about how much they admire the “checks and balances” written into the U.S. consti...
Medal of Dishonor
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Drone warfare has become one of the key weapons in the United States government’s global “war on terror.”  But drones especially present a moral challenge for all Americans in this manufactured war.  They are the glaring tip of American imperialism, and must be ca...
The Axis of Tiny Handcuffs
CHASE MADAR
Outrage over the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre may or may not spur any meaningful gun control laws, but you can bet your Crayolas that it will lead to more seven-year-olds getting handcuffed and hauled away to local police precincts. You read that right.  ...
Turkey’s Difficult Choice in Palestine, Israel
RAMZY BAROUD
An Israeli-Turkish rapprochement is unmistakably underway, but unlike the heyday of their political alignment of the 1990’s, the revamped relationship is likely to be more guarded and will pose a greater challenge to Turkey rather than to Israel. Israeli media re...
Servants and Their Bosses
DEAN BAKER
The retirement of the baby boom cohorts means that the country’s labor force is likely to be growing far more slowly in the decades ahead than it had in prior decades. The United States is not alone in facing this situation. The rate of growth of the workforce has slowe...
Fallout from the Western Offensive in Mali
DAVID URRA
Plenty has been written and re-written about the events taking place in the Middle East, but it has not always been easy to comprehend that these events are the result of a unique plan that has been developing in the shadows and has only become visible in its final phases...
The Push for Sequester Cuts
ERIC ZUESSE
Republicans in Congress have decided to reject economists, the Congressional Research Service, and the International Monetary Fund, in order to argue that the sequestration cuts will be good for the economy. To do this, they also misstate Keynesian economics, and t...
Microsoft and Google’s Pathetic, Revealing and Frightening War
ALFREDO LOPEZ
If it wasn’t so harmful, it would be funny: a marketing battle between the two technology giants MicroSoft and Google over who lacks integrity and is exploitative. It’s been going on for a while and with every thrust and block the thing becomes more grotesque ...
Argo Apostasy
GARY CORSERI
A friend sends me a PressTV posting by Dr. Kevin Barrett  As is usually the case at...
Monsanto University
DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM
Last month the University of California intervened in a high stakes U.S. Supreme Court case on the side of the agribusiness giant Monsanto Company by filing an ...
Occupy Wall Street and the Significance of Political Slogans
MICHAEL D. YATES
Radical political movements always employ slogans that encapsulate in a few powerful words the aspirations of those fighting for a new world. The French revolutionaries fought under the banner, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” words that still resonate with radicals. ...
Did Pat Robertson Finally Come to Jesus?
JP SOTTILE
When Pat Robertson speaks, people listen. Sometimes ...
Beppe Grillo and Italy’s Five Star Movement
TOM GILL
Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement is now Italy’s largest party, only overtaken in terms of seats in parliament by Pier Luigi Bersani and Silvio Berlusconi by the alliances they have built with smaller parties – SEL and the Northern League respectively. S...
Politicization of Justice
NORMAN POLLACK
Tuesday, Feb. 26, the Supreme Court, Allito’s majority opinion, took a significant step in linking counterterrorism to the ugly strain of anticommunism, McCarthyism, redbaiting, going back to the 18th century Alien and Sedition laws, and defining much of the ...
Libya’s Nightmarish Winter
MURRAY DOBBIN
The West’s hypocrisy and oil-greed are coming home to roost with a vengeance in Libya as the Arab spring in that country turns into a nightmarish winter characterized by armed gangs, economic collapse, a decline in services by an incompetent government and increasing po...
Progressive Caucus Folds
NORMAN SOLOMON
For the social compact of the United States, most of the Congressional Progressive Caucus has gone missing. While still on the caucus roster, three-quarters of the 70-member caucus seem lost in political smog. Those 54 members of the Progressive Caucus haven’t si...
Big Pharma Has A Rare Week
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The sound you hear is Pharma swinging from the rafters. Two news stories this week may reinfuse revenue streams in an industry whose blockbuster pill “bubble” has burst.  As Lipitor, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Singulair, Concerta and several other drugs have lost pat...
Informing Our Consent
JEREMY MOHLER
A quarter century ago, Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman established the Propaganda Model in a book called ...
Former Insiders Criticize Iran Policy as U.S. Hegemony
GARETH PORTER
“Going to Tehran” arguably represents the most important work on the subject of U.S.-Ir...
The Destruction of Conscience in the National Academy of Sciences
DAVID H. PRICE
Last Friday, esteemed University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins formally resigned from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the United States’ most prestigious scientific society. Sahlins states that he resigned because of his “objections to the ...
LIBOR: Viewing the Biggest Financial Crime in History
DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM
It’s been five years since a few academics and ...
The Greek Economy is Kaput
MIKE WHITNEY
“The Greek economy is finished. The Greek economy is in a great, great depression… There is no power, no force within the Greek economy, within Greek society that can avert it….Imagine if we were in Ohio in 1931 and we were to ask: What can Ohio poli...
One Nation, Under Monsanto
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In the United States everything is polluted. Democracy is polluted with special interests and corrupt politicians. Accountability is polluted with executive branch exemptions from law and the Constitution  and with special legal privileges for corporations,...
Honduras: the Killings Continue
NICK ALEXANDROV
Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield succumbed to a fit of honesty earlier this month: “When the drug war turns bloody, he said, the strategy is working,” journalist Martha Mendoza reported.  By Brownfield’s standards, the strategy has been an enormous s...
Much Ado About Nothing in Budget Debate
DAVE LINDORFF
All the sturm and drang in Washington over the March 1 deadline for a budget deal is an act. Two acts really. The Republicans are pretending that if we don’t have budget cuts this year, the whole US economy will collapse because of the nation’s enormous indebte...
Italy Rejects Austerity
STEVE COLATRELLA
These are comments on an election in which votes are still being counted, so some slight changes in outcome are possible. I just want to note a few things in broad outline about the apparent results of the elections in Italy. First, the current, caretaker governmen...
Drones and the End of Strategy
MICHAEL BRENNER
Drones are the latest step in the application of high-tech electronics to armaments. The much heralded Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) first appeared on the world stage in the Gulf War of 1991where precision-guided smart weapons were used with devastating effect. The...
Minnesota Mayor and Fracking Industry Lobbyist Resigns
STEVE HORN
Usually “revolving door” connotes a transition from a stint a...
Putting the Iran “Threat” in Perspective
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
In early February, new U.S. Sanctions against Iran went into effect despite the growing sentiment that Washington is discreetly moving towards a more nuanced policy with respect to Iran. To wit, the nomination of Chuck Hagel for the post of Secretary of Defense, whose vie...
The Great Horsemeat Crisis
CONN HALLINAN
As the Great Horsemeat Crisis continues to spread—“gallops” is the verb favored by the European press—across the continent, and countries pile on to blame Romania (France, Holland, Cyprus, etc.), what is becoming increasingly clear is that old-fashioned corporate ...
Obama’s Israel Trip
JONATHAN COOK
Israeli and Palestinian officials have been in Washington laying the ground for President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel and the West Bank, scheduled for next month and the first since he took office four years ago. Topping the agenda, Israeli Prime Minister ...
Iran’s Familiar Destiny
JASON HIRTHLER
In the waning stages of his career, Gore Vidal nicknamed America the “United States of Amnesia.” Although he was much derided for speculating on U.S. involvement in 9/11, and in interviews was prone to exchange factual analysis for comic mimicry of George W. Bush, his...
Drones, Africa and the Decline of American Power
NORMAN POLLACK
The announcement (Feb. 22) that the US has opened a drone base in Niger has been deliberately couched in abstract counterterrorism terms: unarmed Predator drones for reconnaissance purposes in order to track Al Qaeda and, never to be missed, “its affiliates.”  Who co...
Hunting Humans in California
PETER LEE
Another element of the LA Times’ well-mannered coverage of the Christopher Dorner case that struck me was the incident in which police officers on the lookout for Dorner’s pickup truck shot up a vehicle driven by two newsies delivering the LA Times to homes in Torranc...
Pilgrimage Against Neoliberalism
VIJAY PRASHAD
Delhi. Early this morning, on the busy bylanes of Zamrudpur (Delhi), I passed a young girl being taken to school on a cycle-rickshaw. In her lap she held fast to her day’s homework. It was a three dimensional representation of “my town,” made with wh...
A Quest for New Jobs Where None Exists
JOHN WALSH
“Those jobs are not coming back.” The late Steve Jobs to Barack Obama. Hot on the heels of his State of the Union address with its emphasis on the moribund job market,...
Joking About Slavery at the Oscars
LEE BALLINGER
During the last night’s tedious Oscar telecast, host Seth McFarland was talking about portrayals of Abraham Lincoln in film. He first noted Daniel Day Lewis in Steven Speilburg’s Lincolnand then Raymond Massey in the 1940 film Abe Lincoln ...
Austerity USA
SHAMUS COOKE
U.S. politicians have cried wolf over austerity long enough for the public to ignore them. A perfect time, then, for politicians to actually unleash the wolves. Barring an unlikely last minute deal, here’s a short list of some of the massive, national bi-partisan-cr...
Homeless in February
ALYSSA GOLDSTEIN
It’s February, early evening. I’m on the Q train heading home. A young man in a beat-up, threadbare coat with a large backpack gets on at Union Square. “I’m sorry to bother you,” he announces. “It’s your money, and I know you’ve worked hard to earn it....
The Tail Instructs the Dog
FRANKLIN LAMB
On 2/26/2013 Iran is expected to meet with other world powers in Almaty, Kazakhstan to discuss its nuclear program. Discussions that the occupiers of Palestine fervently hope will not be successful. It is toward this end that their key demand this week to the US Congress,...
We Could All End Up Like Bradley Manning
ERIN NIEMELA
“I wouldn’t want to end up like Bradley Manning.” Those words were the beginning of an outpouring this week by an associate of mine who claimed to have experienced government and corporate corruption that many only read about in alternative media reports. I sat for ...
War, Seduction and the Dilemmas of a Bygone Empire
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Leaving the scandal of horsemeat contamination of processed meat products behind, the British prime minister David Cameron flew to India for a three-day visit (February 18-20), boasting the largest-ever trade delegation he had led to a foreign country. The aim of youn...
The LAPD’s Frankenstein
BEN ROSENFELD
The most striking fact about ex cop Christopher Dorner’s rampage against his brothers in blue is that it stems from the LAPD’s apparent cover-up of a single, minor excessive force incident of the kind we seldom talk about, ubiquitous though it is. Beyond that, ...
Masters of Fraud
ROB URIE
The most telling line from PBS’s Frontline piece ‘The Untouchables,’ on the absence of criminal prosecutions ...
Power Grab at the Fed
MIKE WHITNEY
Are you ready for a good laugh? The head of the New York Fed wants Congress to grant the Central Bank extraordinary new powers to deal with future financial system emergencies like the bank run that followed Lehman Brothers collapse in September 2008. Here’s ...
Perils of the Keystone XL Pipeline Confront Obama
RALPH NADER
Bill McKibben, a prolific writer and organizer on global warming and climate change, has had a busy year teaching environmentalists not to despair and will soon be learning some lessons himself. In August 2011, he organized an unprecedented demonstration in front o...
The Fall and Rise of the French Rothschilds
EVAN JONES
‘Rothschild’ is a household name. It belongs to a family banking dynasty with a two hundred year lineage, reputedly once supremely powerful. Omnipresent historian Niall Ferguson has devoted two volumes to this history. The Rothschild name is now bestowed on a s...
Israel’s Wall of Madness
ANDRE VLTCHEK and LYNDA BURNSTEIN BRAYER
Golan Heights. If someone would say: “Israel, Palestine and Golan Heights! And you have only two seconds to describe what first comes to your mind.” Then I would immediately put into words two images that would enter my mind: “Mental asylum, a...