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 March 2013
Wall Street’s Role in the Crisis in Cyprus
ROB URIE
Recent events in Cyprus, the seizure of bank deposits to affect bailouts of large private banks and the implementation of capital controls to limit the rate at which remaining bank deposits can be moved out of the country, suggest the global banking crisis widely presente...
China’s Shadow Bankers and the Vampire Squid
MIKE WHITNEY
“China is displaying the same three symptoms that Japan, the U.S. and parts of Europe all showed before suffering financial crises: a rapid build-up of leverage, elevated property prices and a decline in potential growth.” — Zhiwei Zhang,  No...
The Death of the Chicano Left
RODOLFO ACUÑA
Prior to 1986 a clear Left voice could be heard on immigration reform. Among its priorities was that there would be no guest worker program, there would be no employer sanctions, there would be a more humane border enforcement policy, and there would be a clear path to ci...
Agency of Fear
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
It’s nearing dusk on November 26, 2010. More than 25,000 people have gathered in a light rain at Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, Oregon to watch the annual lighting of the holiday tree, a 100-foot-tall Douglas-fir logged from the Willamette National Forest. ...
Egyptian Female Cartoonist Pokes Fun at Fundamentalists
MEDEA BENJAMIN
One of the women who spoke at the Women’s Assembly during the World Social Forum in Tunisia was not a political activist, but a cartoonist. Dooa Eladl is 34-year-old Egyptian woman who calls herself a Muslim anarchist. Her work appears in the p...
East African Opposition, Really?
ANDRE VLTCHEK
In the three Western outposts of the eastern part of Africa – Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya – the opposition had either been totally smashed or is rotting in jail. Alternatively, it has ‘ceased to exist’. In East Africa, those who are in power and those who ...
Israeli Idiocracy
URI AVNERY
So, finally our Prime Minister has apologized to Turkey for “operational mistakes” that “might have” led to the death of nine Turks during the attack on MV Mavi Marmara, the ship which tried to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza. It took him two years and t...
You Have the Right to Remain Silent, But …
DAVE LINDORFF
Willie James Sauls is unlikely to see the outside of a prison. Last fall a court in the state of Texas sentenced this 37-year-old man to 45 years in jail. His crime: he snatched the purse from an old woman. In Norway, meanwhile, a court sentenced Anders Behring Bre...
How Obama Chose War Over Peace in Syria
SHAMUS COOKE
With Syria on the brink of national genocide, outside nations have only two options: help reverse the catastrophe or plunge this torn nation deeper into the abyss. Countries can either work towards a peaceful political solution or they can continue to pour money, guns, a...
Guantánamo Widow
VICTORIA BRITTAIN
Zinnira Aamer sat on the sofa in her parents’ flat, talking so softly it was hard to hear her, in words so sad it was difficult to listen to them. She talked about her dreams, and voices in her head that told her sometimes that her husband had divorced her while he was ...
How Big Corporations are Unpatriotic
RALPH NADER
Many giant profitable U.S. corporations are increasingly abandoning America while draining it at the same time. General Electric, for example, has paid no federal income taxes for a decade while becoming a net job exporter and fighting its hard-pressed workers who ...
Honduran Cops, The Latest U.S.-Backed Killers
NICK ALEXANDROV
Official U.S. support for bands of killers dates back to the nation’s inception, likely one reason H. Rap Brown called violence “as American as cherry pie.” The country’s founding father helped start the trend when he sent General John Sullivan to Iroquois territo...
The Myth of the Aztec Tiger
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City. According to rumors spread by everyone from The Economist to The New York Times, Mexico has gone from being the bloody epicenter of the “drug war” to a roaring “Aztec tiger” in the space of three short months. Following l...
Weathered Underground
LOUIS PROYECT
Of the 647 film reviews I’ve written over the past 13 years, most cover political documentaries. When I review a narrative film, it is often about one made in a neorealist style with nonprofessional actors. My goal is to create a consumer’s guide for a leftwing a...
Once, When the Conservatives Were Vanquished
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
 London. Ken Loach’s ...
Shameful Double Standards on Israel
SHELDON RICHMAN
The right-wing seemingly never misses a chance to go after Barack Obama for his collectivism and dislike of America. Yet when Obama embraced blood-and-soil tribalism openly and implied that America was not the “land of the free” for everyone, the right-wing ...
The Neocons Won
GARY LEUPP
Reading an assortment of commentaries (“retrospectives”) on the tenth anniversary of the U.S. war on Iraq, and onset of the horrific occupation, I find most center their discussion on the now almost universally conceded fact that the war was based on false pretexts. T...
Easter Depends on Whistleblowers
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Most people fall from grace.  I was pushed– for being a whistleblower.  This story is about my “fall,” getting back up, and pushing back—with a lawsuit, that took 13 years.  It is also about today: how religious institutions keep silent their own potential ...
Obama’s Peace Antics in Israel
RAMZY BAROUD
At the precise moment US President Barack Obama’s Air Force One touched down at Ben Gurion Airport on March 20, persisting illusions quickly began to shatter. And as he walked on the red carpet, showered with accolades and warm embraces of top Israeli government and mil...
Canada’s Secretive Role in Iraq
YVES ENGLER
When a US-led coalition invaded Iraq the forward-looking Canadian government stayed out of the war. And if you believe that I have a bridge for sale in Moose Jaw at an excellent price. As part of the tenth anniversary of the invasion many media outlets lauded Canad...
Cyprus and the Eurozone Crisis
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
London. The economic crisis of the Republic of Cyprus follows the Greek tragedy of the past year. Only the scale this time is bigger, but the anger in the small island with one-tenth of the population of its neighbor no less. Pressure applied by the troika...
JP Morgan and Payday Loans
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” – Attributed to Henry Ford JP Morgan Cha...
Mo Yan and the Use of Satire
RON JACOBS
Since receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012, Chinese writer Mo Yan has been subjected to a torrent of criticism from western reviewers and other scribes.  Most of this criticism focuses on what they perceive to be a lackluster criticism of the Chinese governme...
Cyber Battles, Phoney Wars
BINOY KAMPMARK
It is sometimes hard to yawn when it comes to cyber catastrophes and predictions of global internet meltdown, but the latest round of clashes in the global internet backyard has some experts worried. This is exactly what has been happening for a week, with London and Gene...
Who Sells More Guns: the NRA or Hollywood?
JOE GIAMBRONE
I’ve seen Cold Dead Hand a couple of times, and I als...
Think What a Leader Like Chavez Could Do in the Arab World
BARBARA NIMRI AZIZ
World attention has moved away from Venezuela. So excuse me if I am slow to follow, my thoughts remaining just a little longer with Hugo Chavez and what his life represents to me. I must be one of millions on the sidelines of history who wants to be on record as an admire...
Howard Zinn in Chicago
BENJAMIN J. GEORGE
This past January the 27th was the anniversary of Howard Zinn’s death. For all who knew Howard, be it through his books, speeches or from marching along side him on the restive streets of pr...
The Brave New World of Online Education
BARRY LANDO
Paris. A few weeks ago, I decided to apply to go back to college–to one of the 20 top liberal arts colleges in America. It turned out to be deceptively simple: No SAT exams, no mammoth tuition fees, no huge student loans, no nail-biting wait to see i...
Wolverines on the Brink
GEORGE WUERTHNER
I attended the Fish and Wildlife Service’s recent wolverine listing hearings in Helena, Montana.  Opponents, including a number of Montana state legislators as well as MDFWP, argued that wolverine populations were “stable” or even “increasing” and therefore did...
The Healthcare Delivery Con
NORMAN BALL
Innocent enough at first blush, the term healthcare delivery abets a clever linguistic ploy. It serves as the cognitive launch-point for a debate about the broken healthcare delivery systemand how best to fix it. The phraseology fosters t...
Apple Wants Your Money or Your Life
ALEXANDER REED KELLY
In the everyday game between man and corporation, it is taken for granted that the house always prevails. Apple’s winning streak hit a snag last week however, when I won an exception to the company’s policy governing the replacement of warrantied hard drives....
Is Kuwait Trying to Scapegoat the Palestinians?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus The Imam Musa Sadr, Sheik Mohammad Yaacoub, and journalist Abbas Badreddine case, like the Tell Tale Heart in Edgar Allen’s Poe novel, will not stop crying out for justice despite more than three decades of political efforts to close the file....
What Killed Neruda?
CESAR CHELALA
The recent order by a Chilean judge to exhume and then conduct an autopsy on the remains of the poet Pablo Neruda may throw light on the real cause of death of Pablo Neruda, a Chilean writer whom Gabriel Garcia Marquez called “the greatest poet of the 20th century — i...
One Issue Only
MISSY BEATTIE
My mother talked to the television, disputing anyone with a pro-war message. When George Bush appeared on the screen, she’d turn away, but still talk. At first this was humorous. After Daddy died, she became pessimistic. When she said the world should end,...
Where Quiet Beauty is Meshed with Violent Reality
KIM NICOLINI
Thirty minutes into Kim Nguyen’s film War Witch (2012) (simply titled Rebelle in its original French Canadian release) I knew I was watching something like nothing I had seen before. Nguyen’s film is based on true stories of child soldiers captured in Bu...
Adventures Down the Alimentary Canal
CHARLES R. LARSON
So—if you assume as I did that Mary Roach’s Gulp will be straight narration down the ali...
The Soundtrack of Imperial Revisionism
DAVID YEARSLEY
Now that the salt has finally settled to the bottom of the 2012 movie season popcorn tub, it’s time to pick through the recalcitrant kernels and send them back to the molars for last rites. Today I’m rolling around two of them in my mouth: Oscar winner for best pictur...
The Gospel of Judas
MICHAEL DICKINSON
“The execution of a scapegoat in Roman-occupied Palestine results in the birth of a false faith that will conquer the Western World.” FADE IN. INT. A SEALED ROCK TOMB – NIGHT. Flickering oil lamps stand at each corner of a raised slab on which li...
Bethany W. Pope
POETS' BASEMENT
from Persephone in the Underworld by BETHANY W. POPE   1 Into the Chasm   This is what I see from the base of the yew: Ravelled roots, twisted and hard, spri...
The Confiscation Scheme Planned for US and UK Depositors
ELLEN BROWN
Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated...
If You Carve Africa, Africa May Carve You
PATRICK BOND and KHADIJA SHARIFE
Durban. The reach of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) leaders was palpable this week, not just here in Durban where they gathered on Tuesday and Wednesday to plan investments and infrastructure, but everywhere on the continent where extra...
How Corporate Power Seized the Internet
NORMAN SOLOMON
If your daily routine took you from one homegrown organic garden to another, bypassing vast fields choked with pesticides, you might feel pretty good about the current state of agriculture. If your daily routine takes you from one noncommercial progressive website ...
Detroit and the International War of the Rich on the Poor
RICH GIBSON
Every Detroit teacher was fired in the fall of 2012. Apparently, the nation did not notice. Hence, this story. On March 26, 2013, 78% of the voting members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers ratified a contract which DFT president, Keith Johnson, called, ...
Why France Won’t Intervene in the Central African Republic
SASHA ROSS
The French seem to have taken an active interest in rescuing Africa from itself. They struck Libya in the name of democracy and moved to invade Mali a year later under the same premises. So now that former French colony, the Central African Republic, has been overrun by r...
World Social Forum Opens in Tunisia
JORDAN FLAHERTY
Tunis, Tunisia Tens of thousands of people marched through downtown Tunis on Tuesday in a spirited march celebrating the beginning the 13th World Social Forum – the first to be held in an Arab country. The majority of marchers were from Tunisi...
Slimy Double-Talk About the F-35
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
A Marine F-35B Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter prepares to land vertically at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., March 21. “This marks the first vertical landing of a Marine Corps F-35B outside of a testing environment,” the corps said. The...
DOMA and the Supremes
ALYSSA ROHRICHT
For the last two days, the Supreme Court Justices have listened to arguments for and against California’s controversial Proposition 8 law, a law that bans same-sex marriage in the state, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law that bars the federa...