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
‘Factivism’ and Other Fairytales from Bono
HARRY BROWNE
It had been just about possible to ignore Bono’s TED talk about the imminent e...
Bombs Over Baghdad
VIJAY PRASHAD
Roaming through the al-Jazeera Arabic headquarters in Doha, Qatar, last month, I was struck by its wall of relics. Behind glass lay the remains of their journalists who were either killed in action or else held...
The Insanity of Austerity
TOM McNAMARA
Nightmare and insanity are akin. Mysterious and involuntary states that skew and distort objective reality One wakens from nightmare. From insanity there is no awakening. “Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machin...
Why Republicans Hate Thomas Perez
DAVID MACARAY
We’ll all need to buckle up in preparation for some dramatic and historical confrontations in the coming weeks.  No, we’re not talking about college basketball’s “March Madness”  (Go UCLA!)  We’re talking about the confirmation hearings of Thomas Perez, Pre...
Killing is Winning
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Ten years ago today the Bush regime invaded Iraq.  It is known that the justification for the invasion was a packet of lies orchestrated by the neoconservative Bush regime in order to deceive the United Nations and the American people. The US Secretary of State at...
Obama in the West Bank
RUTH MICHAELSON
Obama’s visit to Israel and the West Bank has been labelled as an opportunity by some. Indeed, it is an opportunity- and it’s likely to be one that will be deliberately skirted by the administration, in a bid to ensure that Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu does a be...
The Second Iran Hostage Crisis
NILE BOWIE
From talk of “red lines” and cartoon bombs to having “all options on the table”, an undeniably delusional logic emanates from leadership in Washington and Tel Aviv regarding the alleged threat posted by Iran’s nuclear program. When Israeli P...
War Without End
KATHY KELLY
Ten years ago, in March of 2003, Iraqis braced themselves for the anticipated “Shock and Awe” attacks that the U.S. was planning to launch against them.  The media buildup for the attack assured Iraqis that barbarous assaults were looming. I was living in Baghdad at ...
End the Criminalization of the Homeless!
PETER BOHMER
On Tuesday evening March 5, 2013, seven of us were arrested for trespassing in the parking lot of the abandoned Washington State Fish and Wildlife Building on Washington Street, near the Farmer’s Market in downtown Olympia. In addition I was arrested on the charge of as...
War of Choice
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
The arguments for and against the war have all been made, and nothing will be gained by repeating them, so let me begin instead with an old movie sequence, featuring the Indian comedian Johnny Walker at a halwai dukaan (sweetmeat shop). “Let me have so...
Absurdity Surging
ANDREW LEVINE
By the middle of March four years ago, we were deep into Barack Obama’s first hundred days.  By then, even those of us who never expected much – because we paid attention to his campaign, and because the shape of things to come was evident from his very first appoint...
China’s Cyber-War: Don’t Believe the Hype
PETER LEE
The United States has made the interesting and perhaps significant decision to generate a crisis around Chinese cyber-intrusions as the Obama administration enters its second term. With its typical careful, methodical preparation, the Obama administration has been gradual...
The Truth About Radiation
JOE GIAMBRONE
I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news, and I’m going to have to point out some widespread – let’s say – untruths going around concerning the health impacts of radiation poisoning from the Fukushima meltdowns.  Yes, that’s “meltdowns,” plural.  It’s actua...
Too Big to Jail
DAN DEWALT
Corporate America just received the confirmation that they’ve been waiting for. The attorney general of the United States has now admitted that the biggest American financial corporations have created such a labyrinth of their structures and practices that t...
How Chavez Changed History for the Better
SAUL LANDAU
Hugo Chavez died in early March. Heads of state came to his funeral and sent condolences to his family— except for the US President. Even in death the White House maintained a resentful tone toward a man we had names as an enemy. But what did Chavez do to us? He offered...
Target of a Smear Campaign
M. SHAHID ALAM
In April 2012, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), a Zionist organization headed by Charles Jacobs, began a smear campaign against Muslim students, the staff of Spiritual Life Center, and some faculty at Northeastern University. The APT posted three vid...
Obama in the Middle East
MICHAEL BRENNER
American actions in the greater Middle East over the past decade pose a unique challenge to the analyst. Understanding the thinking that goes into a particular policy decision or the calculations that lie behind a diplomatic strategy is always hard in Washington where the...
Ireland’s Home Mortgage Crisis: No Debt Relief
CAOIMHGHIN Ó CROIDHEÁIN
We are living in a society where the combination of fractional-reserve banking (lending out multiples of deposits) helped along by quantitative easing (printing almost unlimited quantities of money) based on fiat currencies (money without intrinsic value) has created expo...
Bloomberg’s Battle Against Obesity
BINOY KAMPMARK
Where there is no collective conscience – at least when it comes to social matters – there can be no workable paternalism. Matters such as health become secondary to choice – it is a consequence rather than a state of mind.  New York’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ...
Sayyeda Zeinab: the 7th Century Heroine of Karbala
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus. It is well known in this region that powerful foreign and domestic forces in nearly every country, but particularly Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, are increasingly acting, for purely political purposes, to ignite a bloody internecine conflict within ...
Iraq War Among World’s Worst Events
DAVID SWANSON
At 10 years since the launch of Operation Iraqi Liberation (to use the original name with the appropriate acronym, OIL) and over 22 years since Operation Desert Storm, there is little evidence that any significant number of people in the United States have a realistic ide...
The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats
JOHN STAUBER
There is good news in the Boston Globe...
The Corries’ Ten-Year Quest for Justice
TOM WRIGHT and THERESE SALIBA
“Parents can be awakened by their children” –Cindy Corrie, 2003 Commencement address Ten years have now passed since we received ...
Fukushima isn’t Chernobyl?
SARAH D. PHILLIPS
The March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami caused the deaths of approximately 16,000 persons, left more than 6,000 injured and 2,713 missing, destroyed or partially damaged nearly one million buildings, and produced at least $14.5 billion in damages. The earthquake ...
The Arithmetic of Desperation in Detroit
CHRIS LEWIS
Lansing has it out for Detroiters. That’s William Scott’s estimation, at least. “The politicians in state government, in my opinion, care more about the suburbs than here in Detroit,” the retired auto worker told me a few years ago, sitting in a lawn chair perched...
Two More Public Officials “Cash In”
MIKE WHITNEY
Is there anything more maddening then watching elected officials and regulators cash in for their time in office? Here’s two more names you can add to the list: Former SEC chief Mary Schapiro and ex-US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). Schapiro, the feckless sellou...
Black Out
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
In December, Daisy Cockburn and I traveled to Oakland to accept the PEN Writers’ annual censorship award on behalf of her father, Alexander. The trip was an adventure in irony. Oakland was one of Alex’s favorite cities. He loved its vibrancy and grittiness. It was the...
Obama’s Zones of Ambiguity
WILLEM de LINT and ADAM POCRNIC
“Fascism is capitalism plus murder.” ― Upton Sinclair “If the president does it, it isn’t illegal.” ― Richard M. Nixon In a 5-4 ruling labelled “Kafkaesque” the Supreme Court refused an application by ...
To the Victor, the Spoils
URI AVNERY
In the days following the recent Israeli elections, Ya’ir Lapid, the major winner, let it be known that he wanted to be the next Foreign Minister. No wonder. It’s the hell of a job. You can’t lose, because the Foreign Minister is responsible for nothing. Seri...
From the Folks Who Brought You NAFTA
DAVID MACARAY
Although there hasn’t been much mainstream news coverage, the U.S. is currently in negotiations with nine APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) countries on what could become the biggest, most ambitious, most comprehensive FTA (free trade agreement) in history.  The...
Harare: Is It Really the Worst City on Earth?
ANDRE VLTCHEK
For a change, I don’t want to discuss politics. I don’t want to debate whether big bad Mugabe is actually an African national hero, as many on this continent believe, or some brutal dictator, as we are told relentlessly by the BBC, The Economist and virtually t...
Lament of the Drones
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Frogs in the marsh mud drone their old laments. — Vergil, Georgics It is wonderful how a new weapon can rejuvenate a word that has long been something of a dullard.  The reinvigorated word is “drone.” In days...
The Wrath of the Bureaucracy
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
The institutions of modern society, including governments, large economic structures, and  military forces, are organized in bureaucratic fashion. A bureaucracy is a form of organization that operates by means of a wide range of closely supervised departments capable of ...
Walmart Bosses and the Minimum Wage
RALPH NADER
Last weekend on a bright, sunny day a dozen of us demonstrated at shopping malls where Walmart has three of its giant stores, supplied heavily by products from China and other serf-wage countries. But outsourcing the jobs of its American suppliers to China was not the foc...
Monsanto’s Death Patents
RANDALL AMSTER
Monsanto has yet another case pending in the court system, this time before the U.S. Supreme Court on the exclusivity of its genetically modified seed patents. Narrowly at issue is whether Monsanto retains patent rights on soybeans that have been replanted after showing u...
The New Generation of Hypocrisy on Iran
TED SNIDER
Though the recent nuclear talks with Iran ended with an apparent whiff of progress, and though the two sides have agreed to meet for further technical negotiations this month and then for political level talks next month, the U.S. continues to approach Iran with a hostili...
The New Normal in Baghdad
PETER HARLING
After violence that shattered hundreds of thousands of lives and left nearly everyone with a tragic story to tell, life in Iraq has settled into a strange normality — with no discernible direction or clear future. “How do you make sense of the last ten years?” said...
Pope Ratzinger’s War on Social Justice
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN
Matthew Fox is an ex-priest who was famously silenced and later expelled by Pope Benedict XVI for his progressive politics. He is the author of the book ...
A Microcosm of the Nation–Control Unit Prisons
RON JACOBS
In the late 1990s and early part of this century I worked as a researcher and writer for the journal Southland Prison News.  This small journal usually ran about thirty pages and was sent out to prisoners incarcerated primarily in the US South.  Edited by an inma...
Maryland Passes Death Penalty Repeal Bill
ALYSSA ROHRICHT
After a series of votes through the Maryland House and Senate, SB 276 was passed through the Mar...
Florida Legislature Pushing Fracking Disclosure Bill
STEVE HORN
Florida may soon become the fourth state with a law on the books enforcing hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”...
The Whole Truth About Whole Foods and GMOs
RONNIE CUMMINS and KATHERINE PAUL
Whole Foods Market (WFM) is being praised in the media for announcing that it will become the first U.S. grocery chain to require that genetically engineered (GE) foods in its stores be labeled, by 2018. This is a victory for consumers and the GE labeling movement. And it...
UNICEF Criticizes Israel’s Treatment of Palestinian Kids
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
A new UNICEF report, “Children in Israeli Military Detention,” is sharply critical of Israel’s treatment of detained Palestinian children. According to UNICEF, 700 Palestinian children aged 12-17, most of them boys, are arrested and harshly interrogated by the Israe...
Yoga? It Just Might Take Your Breath Away
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
It would seem like the perfect medical “marriage”.   Those born with asthma, a chronic respiratory disease that afflicts an estimated 29 million Americans, have lungs and bronchial passages too constricted to allow for healthy breathing.   Long-acting drug...
The Mysterious Case of the Sulu Sultan
NILE BOWIE
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia has been in the midst of an ongoing security crisis since early February, when a group of 235 rag-tag militiamen from the neighboring southern Philippines slipped into the eastern state of Sabah and began occupying several vi...
Hondurans Walk for Dignity and Sovereignty
GREG McCAIN
From February 25th to March 7th, I participated in the 200 km Walk (about 124 miles) referred to as Caminata Dignidad y Soberanía Paso a Paso (Walk for Dignity and Sovereignty Step by Step), which culminated with over 400 people from various groups ...
Apocalypse, Not?
BRIAN TOKAR
The year 2012 didn’t bring us the end of the world, nor the end of capitalism and Coca-Cola that Evo Morales promised last summer. It still remains to be seen whether or not it will have ushered in the resurgence of indigenous resistance that was proclaimed by the more ...
Hard Lessons From Iraq
ROBERT DODGE, MD
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. As one of the longest and one of the most costly wars in U.S. history, the true costs in dollars, lives, environmental contamination and opportunity costs may never be fully appreciated.  This “preventi...