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 April 2013
A Cuban Spring?
ROGER BURBACH
This is a fruitful period of experimentation and debate in Cuba. It is now almost seven years since Raúl Castro replaced his brother Fidel, first as interim president in 2006 and then as president in 2008. Under Raúl, the country is taking steps to transform the econo...
Time for a Department of Peace
DAVID SWANSON
I’m honored to have accepted the position of Secretary of Peace in the newly formed Green Shadow Cabi...
Four Signs Neoliberalism is (Almost) Dead
SAMEER DOSSANI
Though Margaret Thatcher is no longer among the living, her ideology lives on. That ideology – known today as neoliberalism, “free market fundamentalism” in a phrase coined by George Soros – is strikingly unique. Apart from religious beliefs, is there any example ...
Obama is Comfortable with Bush’s Inferno
RALPH NADER
George W. Bush is riding high. A megamillionaire, from the taxpayer-subsidized Texas Rangers company, he makes $150,000 to $200,000 per speech, receives a large presidential pension and support facilities and is about to dedicate the $500 million George W. Bush Presidenti...
Police State on Display
DAVE LINDORFF
The Boston Marathon bombing has already demonstrated the best and the worst of America for all the world to see. First, let’s talk about the best. When the bombs detonated, despite the shock and the horror of the blown-off legs and arms, and the blood on street a...
Exploring Agents of Influence in the Boston Attacks
CHRIS FLOYD
Without wishing to indulge in deep-fried conspiracy gobbling at this point, I will say that the revelation about the FBI’s prior involvement with one of the suspected Boston attackers, apparently going on for years, is of great interest. Even more so in the light of...
Obama’s Syrian Horror
SAUL LANDAU
President Obama has fueled Syria’s civil war flames and lied to Congress about his “modest” role in that conflict. Between 2002 and 2007, I visited Syria four times. I drove through the fertile valleys that parallel the Mediterranean coast, and to the Golan Heights...
The Consuming Evil of Violence
NORMAN POLLACK
In case CounterPunch readers missed the latest US commission of atrocities, the April 7th air strike in Afghanistan that killed seventeen (including twelve children), as reported in the New York Times this past week, a photo of the g...
The CIA’s Dirty Wars
MICHAEL BRENNER
The errant actions of the C.I.A. are by now so evident that they are a staple of Washington conversion. Like the weather, though, it is the topic everybody talks about, but does nothing about. The drone revelations, and the administration’s stonewalling, that c...
Obama v. EPA: Constructing His Environmental Legacy
STEVE BREYMAN
In the wake of Lady Thatcher’s passing, it’s good to remember that TINA (there is no alternative) is a miscreant. Of course another world is possible. It was in Thatcher’s UK, as it is in Obama’s America. Case in point: had the Green Party’s Jill Stein been elec...
The Art of Inequality
SAM PIZZIGATI
Thomas Campbell directs the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. He’s smiling a great deal these days. Why? Campbell has just received something museum directors only dream about: a donation of paintings, drawings, and sculptures worth over $1 billion. ...
Suspected but Not Charged
BINOY KAMPMARK
Without so much as mentioning a word, the moment Rolf Harris’ name made it to the press, his reputation was vaporised by speculation and condemnation.  As with charges about inappropriate flesh pressing, notably with the underage, anyone’s reputation that comes withi...
The High Crime of Torture
ROB URIE
Confirmation by the Constitution Project nearly a decade late that the George W. Bush administration and the U.S. military and ‘intelligence’ services committed acts of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere appears a Rorschach test for the ‘sentiments’ of the...
Our Missing Left Opposition
ANDREW LEVINE
From the time of the French Revolution, when the more radical delegates to the National Assembly seated themselves to the left of the presiding officer, Left and Right have designated relatively stable, though evolving and multi-faceted, political orientations....
Bernanke Drives Margin Debt to Pre-Crisis Highs
MIKE WHITNEY
Investors have boosted their borrowing to near-record levels to load up on stocks.   The last time that margin debt was this high was just before the bubble burst in 2007.  In January, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) margin debt tipped $366 billion,  just shy of the 2...
The US Continues to Undermine Democracy in Venezuela
DANIEL KOVALIK
I just returned from Venezuela where I was one of 170 international election observers from around the world, including India, Guyana, Surinam, Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Scotland, England, the United States, Guatemala, Argentina, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Jam...
Corporate Terrorism in West Texas
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
In his first statement in response to the Boston bombings, President Obama said that “Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.” In the his first statement in resp...
Two Acts of Terror, Only One Investigation
DAVE LINDORFF
The way I see it, we had two acts of terrorism in the US this week. The first took place at the end of the historic Boston Marathon, when two bombs went off near the finish line, killing three and seriously injuring dozens of runners and spectators. The second happened a ...
The Travails of Yoga Mogul Bikram Choudhury
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?  If his name is Bikram Choudhury, the multi-millionaire founder of “Hot” Yoga, just about everyone these days. In the past year, the 67-year old Indian immigrant who once tried and failed to copyright his signature 26 y...
Is the US Thinking About Backpedaling on North Korean Nukes? Will the Pivot Go Wobbly?
PETER LEE
Will President Obama become a late and unlikely convert to realpolitik and allow John Kerry to sacrifice America’s nuclear non-proliferation principles on the battered altar of North Korean diplomacy? And will the fearsome pivot to Asia turn into a dainty pirouet...
In Praise of Emotion
URI AVNERY
It was a moving experience. Moments that spoke not only to the mind, but also – and foremost – to the heart. Last Sunday, on the eve of Israel’s Remembrance Day for the fallen in our wars, I was invited to an event organized by the activist group Combatants f...
16 Years for Espionage; Life in Jail for Whistleblowing
NATHAN FULLER
Spc. William Millay, a 25-year-old military policeman, was sentenced yesterday to 19 years in jail, a sentence reduced to 16 years after a plea deal, minus time served, for attempting to commit espionage and for illegally communicating “unclassified national defense inf...
Stop Getting Gagged by Animal Ag
LEE HALL
“Ag-gag” bills—introduced in more than a dozen states and ...
Unintended Consequences Are Increasing World Demand for Gold
CHRIS MARTENSON
With the financial experts claiming, some gleefully, that gold has “lost its safe haven status” in the aftermath of its biggest tumble in 30 years, many commentators  thought (hoped?) that the dramatic price drop would steer people away from gold ownership. T...
Some Forbidden Thoughts on Marathon Bombing
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN
The Boston Marathon bombing’s cruel use of a second bomb, designed to harm anyone assisting those injured by the first, reminded me of the “Collateral Murder” ...
Time for a Sales Tax on Wall Street Financial Transactions
RALPH NADER
Here are some questions to consider: What do the Wall Street firms do that is so vital for the national interest? How does speculation contribute to our society? It’s time for Wall Street to step up and provide some answers. The reckless actions of Wall Stree...
Investing in War
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER
According to a report just released by the highly-respected Stockholm International Peace Research Institute...
The US / Russia Torture War
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
“The pot calls the kettle black.” –Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha The magic number is 18.  That is the number each country has selected to express its disapproval of the actions of the other.   Vladim...
The Bay of Pigs and Chronic Hubris
MANUEL R. GÓMEZ
April 17-19 marks the 52nd anniversary of the US-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles, our proxies to try to overthrow the Cuban Revolution.  My guess is that few Americans today remember what the invasion was, much less surmise why I can argue that the hubris ...
War Zones
MISSY BEATTIE
Imagine you’re there, eager, exuberant. You look at the sky and gasp at its beauty. It’s a perfect day for a life-affirming event. Suddenly you hear. You hear, but what you hear really doesn’t register as frightening. After all, this is a celebration. And the...
Rationing for Earth Day
STAN COX
The Right has developed a kind of shorthand language for talking about the future they fear more than any other, and the key word in that language is “...
Under Darkness in the Somali Region of Ethiopia
GRAHAM PEEBLES
No matter how tightly truth is tied down, confined and suffocated, she slowly escapes. Seeping out through cracks and openings large and small, illuminating all, revealing the grime and shame, that cowers in the shadows. The arid Somali (or Ogaden) region of Ethiop...
Notes From the Vomitorium
ALAN FARAGO
Economists use “digestion” to illustrate the difficulty of absorbing excess housing stock from the housing boom and bust. Years of slack, domestic growth are attributed to the economic alimentary canal stacked to Rabelaisian proportions with the appetites of o...
Thirty Years After the Bombing at the US Embassy in Lebanon
FRANKLIN LAMB
This observer has no idea if the American Ambassador here in Beirut, Maury Connolly or Secretary of State Kerrey has ever listened to Marlene Dietrich’s classic October 1965 performance of Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” still stunning,  deeply mo...
Obama’s Dog Whistle Politics
THOMAS S. HARRINGTON
One of the great mysteries of the Obama presidency, one that ever-hopeful Democratic voters think and talk about quite a lot, is: “To what extent does the man actually understand the techniques his opponents use to roll him time and time again?” Or to put i...
Life Among the Urban Pioneers
KATHY DEACON
When Al “Peanuts Al,” a Philadelphia peanut vendor, heard we were moving to Williamsburg back in 1980, his face stopped what it was doing; clubbed fingers opened wide, he warned us we were making a mistake. My husband knew better. He had discovered the area by ...
Pathology and Reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula
LOUIS PROYECT
My introduction to Korean films and the changing political landscape in the south was Lee Chang-dong’s 2000 masterpiece “Peppermint Candy”.  Not only was it a fearless assault on South Korean repression of strikes and student protests in the 1980s, it was my pick f...
Labor History Association President Cancels ILWU Panel
MICHAEL MUNK
Author’s note: As a PNLHA member and scheduled participant in another panel at our May meeting,  I consider the organization an appropriate venue for a reasoned discussion of issues such as the history of the controversial EGT contract. Our constituency i...
The Scourge of Beppe
TOM GILL
Things are not going at all well for Italy’s centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani. Once clear favourite to replace Mario Monti as prime minister, he’s now fighting for his political survival, after parliamentary elections in February denied his allianc...
Mexicans in the Photos
RODOLFO ACUNA
By now most of you are getting the message that there will be a photo exhibit at Chicana/o Studies at California State University at Northridge on Saturday, April 27, 2012 from 5 to 10 PM. – free of charge. I consider this to be an important event – not just because i...
How to Commemorate Boston
LAURA GOTTESDIENER
The Boston Marathon course runs in only one direction. Two years ago when I ran it with an old friend, we were lucky. There was a tailwind that lifted us up so hard and so fast that the race’s top male finisher, a Kenyan named Geoffrey Mutai, clocked the fastest maratho...
Citizen First-Responders: Models For Responsible Democracy
JOHN GRANT
I write a lot of critical things about militarism, our unnecessary wars and our growing surveillance/police state. So it was heartwarming to watch the videos and listen to the stories from the Boston Marathon bombing about civilian “first-responders” who chose not to ...
Dept. of Homeland Security Wasting Billions
DYLAN MURPHY
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 Congress passed legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Its mission was simple to protect the United States from any future terrorist attacks. ...
Vile, Filthy, Bloody, Dirty Wars
DAVID SWANSON
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, has a new book that should be required reading for Congress members, journalists, war supporters, war opponents, Americans, non-Americans — really, pretty much...
Wax Rhapsodic
RICHARD KLIN
Circus magazine: What do you fear most? Alice Cooper: I fear Budweiser beer will go on strike. A few years ago, my family home was sold. Emptying out one’s old bedroom is surely one of...
Four Twenty: a Sacred Day
FRED GARDNER
April 20, 2013 —we addicts call it “four twenty,” as in 4/20— is sacred because it is the day we can satisfy our craving with the really primo stuff from morning till night. Yes, there may be a lingering hangover, a sense of lethargy. Yes, there may be guilt over ...
From Tragedy May Spring Compassion
KEVIN ZEESE and MARAGAET FLOWERS
This has been another eventful week of resistance in the United States. We have much to share about what happened this week and what is coming up in the near future. But first, we want to remember the bombing in Boston on Monday and show appreciation for ...
The Desolationists
RANDY SHIELDS
You’ve heard of the “isolationist” right but I want to tell you about the “desolationist” left. The desolationists rose up recently, decrying Obama’s “gaffe” of calling California Attorney General Kamala Harris “...
Zionism and the United States Congress
WILLIAM JAMES MARTIN
The ideology, or political project, of Zionism which underlies the creation of the State of Israel had, in fact, a Christian origin rather than a Jewish one, as writings can be found dating from the 1500’s, written by Christian clergymen in England advocating the migrat...