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 May 2013
The Strange Saga of Liquid Natural Gas
PAUL FINCH
While the last provincial election in British Columbia hinged on a promise by the governing party to restore provincial finances with a massive windfall of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) revenues, a critical question remains: why have profits plummeted in the meantime? ...
Iran Hangs on in Quiet Desperation
PEPE ESCOBAR
Nothing will be left to chance – even the hint of a green protest wave. In 2009, 475 candidates registered to run for Iran’s presidency. Only four were approved by the Guardian Council – the all-powerful, vetting clerical committee. This year, no ...
Why Alcohol May Doom Putin
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
Russians’ love for vodka has a long history. Legend holds that vodka arrived in Moscow in the 14th century, brought by Genovese merchants to Prince Dmitry Ivanovich. Legend also says that monk Isidore, who lived in the Chudov Monastery, inside the Kremlin, made a recipe...
Kim Nicolini: Dirt Yards at Night
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
http://souciant.com/2013/05/dirt-yards-at-night/ ...
Frack Job
MICHAEL D. YATES
Two schools, one a vocational technical high school and the other an elementary school, sit on tracts of land a few blocks from the house in which I grew up, in Ford City (Armstrong County), Pennsylvania. The communities served by them are, for the most part, not particul...
Tales in a Kabul Restaurant
KATHY KELLY
Kabul–Since 2009, Voices for Creative Nonviolence has maintained a grim record we call the “The Afghan Atrocities Update” which gives the dates, locations, numbers and names of Afghan civilians killed by NATO forces.  Even with details culled from news reports,...
Soros’s Bets
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
You know that gold bear market that the financial press keeps touting? The one George Soros keeps proclaiming? Well, it is not there. The gold bear market is disinformation that is helping elites acquire the gold. Certainly, Soros himself doesn’t believe it, as t...
How To Frack An Elected Official
JAMES BROWNING
“It’s not your enemies who corrupt you, it’s your friends.” Bob Edgar, 1943-2013 Before I went to work for Bob Edgar, the President of Common Cause, who passed away in April at the age of 69, all I really knew about...
The Mining Myth
BINOY KAMPMARK
It has been a fiction that has held sway for a time.  Mining booms create trickledown wealth.  It is tagged as “sustainable” when it is premised on temporariness.  Natural resources work for countries that possess them in abundance.  Only on the periphery do we se...
Visions of the Future: Mad Max, Star Trek, Big Brother or Ecotopia?
STAN COX
Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler published a book last year entitled Abundance: The Future is Bette...
They Had Nowhere to Go
JIMMY LaFAVE
I am heartbroken that our brave and underpaid teachers had nowhere
to take these terrified beautiful children today. To survive a F4 tornado
you must be underground. A F4/F5 strips the grass right off the ground!
It churns everything abov...
The Invention of the White Race
JEFFREY B. PERRY
Theodore W. Allen’s two-volume The Invention of the White Race, republished by Verso Book...
Apple and Corporate Taxes
EILEEN APPELBAUM
A “territorial” tax system – in which overseas profits of U.S. corporations would be lightly taxed in the U.S. or not taxed at all – is likely to be the top tax reform proposal advocated by Apple CEO Tim Cook when he testifies before the Senate on Tuesday...
A Mental Health Declaration of Independence
BRUCE E. LEVINE
The Green Shadow Cabinet, launched in spring 2013, is led by 2012 Green Party presidential nominee ...
Another Stolen Kenyan Election
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
That the fix was in was confirmed when the Godfather himself, son of a Kenyan, Barack Obama, called Uhuru Kenyatta, indicted for “Crimes Against Humanity” by those minions of Pax Americana, the International Criminal Court, to congratulate him for successfully conduct...
The First Syrian Casualty
PAUL LARUDEE
“Truth is the first casualty of war.” The well-worn aphorism could have served as a refrain for the Mussalaha International Peace Delegation to Syria, May 2-10, 2013. We were reminded constantly of the very different interpreta...
Dead Men Do Tell Tales
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
The person providing moral leadership in the wake of the horrific Boston Marathon bombings is not a faith leader, but a funeral home director.  Killed in a shootout with police after he and his younger brother allegedly set off the two bombs, Tamerlan Tsarnaev laid, unbu...
The National Mantlepiece
NORMAN POLLACK
Picture with me a vast luxurious hunting lodge, high-ceilinged, massive oak beams, bear and other trophy rugs, an inner sanctum of America’s ruling groups, formally known as “Interpenetration,” but more affectionately, to its members, “Co-Partnership,” to signif...
Syria Has No Reason to Use Chemical Weapons
PATRICK COCKBURN
‘I am not afraid of anything except for God and poison gas,” said an Iraqi officer who had fought in the Iran-Iraq war. “It’s like a ghost. You have no defence against it.” Though not a target of poison gas as a member of the army using...
Breast Panic on the Left
RUTH FOWLER
A rich, powerful celebrity renowned for bad action movies, sex appeal and humanitarian missions in predominantly brown and black developing countries, writes an Op-Ed which reads like a press release in The New York Times. This Op-Ed, written in the first person, informs ...
Why “African-American” is a Patronizing, Even Racist Term
M. G. PIETY
I do not like the expression “African-American.” It’s patronizing, condescending, and racist. It was coined, rumor has it, to help counteract the corrosive effect of racism on the self-esteem of black Americans. But how is that supposed to work? In practice, I w...
The Martyrdom of Angelina Jolie
JULIAN VIGO
Note: This column was written while breastfeeding. Catching a glimpse of a Facebook discussion this weekend, I noticed that Sharon Smith had written a piece entitled, “Why CounterPunch Owes Women an Apology” in the online weekly SocialistWorker.org reg...
Boycotts Are Double-Edged Swords
DAVID MACARAY
Following the April 24 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed (at last count) 1,127 factory workers, a group of the world’s leading apparel and retail companies got together to adopt a new set of safety rules, in t...
Washington Signals Dollar Deep Concerns
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Over the past month there has been a statistically improbable concurrence of events that can only be explained as a conspiracy to protect the dollar from the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing (QE). Quantitative Easing is the term given to the Federa...
Al Qaeda: Enemy or Asset?
NAFEEZ MOSADDEQ AHMED
A whistleblower has revealed extraordinary information on the U.S. government’s support for international terrorist networks and organised crime. The government has denied the allegations yet gone to extraordinary lengths to silence her. Her critics have derided her as ...
My Supreme Court Fashion Felony
JAMES BOVARD
In March 1995, I visited the sacred burial ground of Americans’ rights and liberties – the Supreme Court. Working on an article for ...
The EU, Restaurants and Olive Oil
BINOY KAMPMARK
They do themselves no favours. Like a hulking institution that has never seen the light of day lest it provide a degree of transparency, the cocooned individuals of the European Commission have decided to meddle in the restaurant trade. The mantra is always the same: qual...
Farm Suicides Soar
P. SAINATH
Suicide rates among Indian farmers were a chilling 47 per cent higher than they were for the rest of the population in 2011. In some of the States worst hit by the agrarian crisis, they were well over 100 per cent higher. The new Census 2011 data reveal a shrinking farmer...
Lies, Betrayals, Obfuscation
NORMAN POLLACK
The People (imprisoned in their own fantasies, delusions, false consciousness) vs. Obama (skillful practitioner of deceit, war criminal) is no contest, given the political culture of acquiescence he has intensified and accelerated, through the pervasive atmosphere of coun...
The Conviction of Rios Montt
DENNIS BERNSTEIN
In a historic decision, Guatemalan Strong Man, and close US Ally, General Efrain Rios Montt, was convicted by a Guatemalan court, last seek, of genocide and crimes against humanity, and sentenced to 80 years in prison. According to Alan Nairn, who has covered this sto...
Don’t Mess with Meskins
RODOLFO ACUÑA
In West Texas, during the struggles to desegregate the schools in the later part of the 1960s, I listened to attorney Mark Smith caution a small audience that, “You may not like Meskins, but the Constitution gives them the right to equal access to schools. Things have c...
In the Time Between Crises
ROB URIE
The working premise of politicians and economists in the ‘developed’ world of the West is a basic economic stability has been achieved by way of the depth and breadth of the political-economic institutions created over the last 75 years. The storyline coming out of Wa...
Is Obama the New Nixon?
JONATHAN FRANKLIN
Without going over the edge to Rush Limbaugh territory, the internal spying on reporters and politicization of the IRS do raise the question. Could Obama be trumping “Tricky Dick” on the latter’s home turf? Few politicians can match Richard Milhous Nixon for obsessi...
Obama and the Housing Boondoggle
MIKE WHITNEY
“Today, seven years after the real estate bubble burst, triggering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and costing millions of responsible Americans their jobs and their homes, our housing market is healing. Sales are up.  Foreclosures ...
Benghazi, Petraeus, and the CIA
HORACE CAMPBELL
Two years after the failed NATO intervention, Libyan society is in chaos. Over 50,000 were killed in a mission that was meant to protect civilians, and there are reportedly more than 1,700 competing militias marauding the streets. One outcome of this chaos was the attack ...
The Age of Corporate Treason
RALPH NADER
Why are big, global U.S. corporations so unpatriotic? After all, they were created in the U.S.A., rose to immense profit because of the toil of American workers, are bailed out by American taxpayers whenever they’re in trouble, and are safeguarded abroad by the U.S. mil...
Venezuela’s Popular Militias and the Revolution
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
“Who are you? What are you doing here?” When we got to La Piedrita, they already knew we were coming. If not for the phone call they received from a trusted comrade, then from the video cameras lining the perimeter of this revolutionary zone that jealous...
Women of the Wall
URI AVNERY
There was this Israeli man who from time to time put a slip of paper in the cracks between the stones of the Western Wall, asking God for favors – as Jews have been doing for centuries. They believe that the gates of heaven are located directly above the Wall, makin...
Hospitals as Loan Sharks
DEBORAH BURGER
If there is one problem that symbolizes the ongoing national healthcare emergency, it is the rampant price gouging in the healthcare industry that continues to price too many Americans out of access to care and into financial ruin. Not only is the problem not solved by th...
Angelina Jolie and the French Revolution
ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Originally published, June 10, 2001. Since the finely honed intellect, not to mention exuberant body of Angelina Jolie have become an object of vulgar interest to many of our associates we turned eagerly to Britain’s News of the World for an update on th...
Can Nonviolent Resistance Stop the Keystone Pipeline?
MIKE ROSELLE
I have so far chosen to follow the Keystone campaign from a safe distance. After staring into a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence in West Virginia and barely escaping, I was pretty sure I wasn’t ready for jail again. I had had the choice, as it were, but st...
Russia, the West and World War II
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
London. When I lived in Moscow, occasionally Russians would fix me with a stern gaze and gravely pose the question ‘who won the war?’  Circumspectly, I would answer that Russia had without doubt borne the principal burden of vanquishing Nazi Germany. ...
The Joke is on Bill Maher
JP SOTTILE
Bill Maher is a funny guy. But he’s not very reflective. That’s because, quite ironically, he’s fallen into the War on Terror trap—the comfortable and comforting stereotype of angry Muslims as irrational ideologues armed with religious hair-triggers ...
Excising Australia
BINOY KAMPMARK
Melbourne. It was a crime of sorts, perpetuated against the international community with a brazen disregard that has come to mark the politics of the country.  On Thursday, the bill that had been promised excising the Australian mainland for the purposes ...
Books, Glorious Books
CHELLIS GLENDINNING
Rio Chico, Bolivia. I have two pieces of art in my hands. One is a postcard of a painting by Bolivian artist Ricardo Pérez Alcalá. It shows a human skull morphed into a 1900s Remington typewriter — keys as teeth; paper-turning roll, ears; inner mecha...
Locke-Out on Well-Being
CHRIS GILBERT
One of the great moments in Spanish television last year was when Diego Cañamero appeared in the right-wing program El Gat...
Trouble in Monsanto Nation
RONNIE CUMMINS
Reliable sources in Washington D.C. have informed the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) that Monsanto has begun secretly lobbying its Congressional allies to attach one or more “Monsanto Riders” or amendments to the 2013 Farm Bill that would preempt or prohibit stat...
Worse Than The AP Phone Scandal
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN
Before Attorney General Eric Holder oversaw a Justice Department that secretly seized AP journalists’ phone records, he was guilty of something even worse, and closely related to the AP scandal. He argued a little-known case before the Supreme Court called Holder v. Hum...
The Descent of Britain
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
I believe our case on weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq] is very, very clear indeed. It’s perfectly obvious Saddam has them. – British Prime Minister Blair, February 25, 2003. North Korea does now have missile technology t...
Japan is Becoming the Israel of East Asia
PETER LEE
There is a delicious—well, delicious to me, anyway—flavor of Western bewilderment about the neverending parade of Japanese nationalist shenanigans. The most recent entry was Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s ...