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 July 2013
All Over America Lamps Are Going Out
M. G. PIETY
These are bad times. I thought of James Agee’s beautiful and heartrending work Let Us Now Praise F...
Cuba’s Economic Performance in 2012
JOSÉ LUIS RODRIGUEZ
Havana. Recently, the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) published a digital version of the Economic and Social Outlook for 2012,  a document it publishes regularly as a preview of the Statistical Yearbook of Cuba (AEC).  [1] The...
Immutable Egypt
NICOLA NASSER
Gaza will remain a matter of national security for Egypt. And regardless of who is in charge in Gaza, Egypt will also remain a strategic asset for Gaza, a lifeline for its people, and a mainstay of its peace and stability. These are the irreversible facts o...
Netanyahu, Abbas to Resume ‘Peace Process’ that Never Was
RAMZY BAROUD
The political peddlers, think-tank experts and media professionals are all back in full force. They want us to believe that US Secretary of State John Kerry has done what others have failed to do. On his sixth trip to the Middle East during his post, and following intense...
Concentrated, Privatized Wealth or Shared Prosperity and Economic Democracy
KEVIN ZEESE & MARGARET FLOWERS
One of the major conflicts of the era that is not often highlighted for public debate is whether we want an economy that privatizes government services and public resources and continues to concentrate wealth; or whether we want to develop an economic democracy that inves...
A Poem for the Royal Baby
MICHAEL DICKINSON
The guns sound out in salute, the bells ring out in the air, The royal Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to an heir! Prince William and Kate are overjoyed and blissfully happy They have their longed-for offspring – in a clean white nappy! ...
Blood and Oil
VIJAY PRASHAD
On September 16, 2013, the Libyan National Oil Corporation is going to hold a three-day fest called the Libya Forum for Oil, Gas and Sustainable Growth. The speakers include a mix of Libyan government officials and energy bureaucrats as well as suits from the major oil an...
QE3 and the Shadow Banking System
ELLEN BROWN
Ben Bernanke’s May 29th speech signaling the beginning of the end of QE3 provoked a “taper tantrum” that wiped about $3 trillion from global equity markets – this from the mere suggestion that the Fed would moderate its pace of asset purchases, and that if the eco...
NSA Surveillance Through the Prism of Political Repression
CARLOS BORRERO
July 28th marks the 35th anniversary of the political assassination of two Puerto Rican independence activists, Carlos Soto Arriví and Arnaldo Darío Rosado, in the infamous Cerro Maravillai case. This case, which was widely followed among Puerto Ricans, involved an agen...
Progressive Taxation is an Alternative to Austerity
FRED GLASS
There is no alternative to austerity,” insist the rich, along with their politicians, foundations, think tanks, and media. They’ve been saying it for decades. “Taxes are bad,” they also claim. “Government doesn’t work. And public emplo...
The Betrayal of Helen Thomas
BARBARA LUBIN and DANNY MULLER
When the news spread through Washington this weekend that the unwavering, pioneering journalist Helen Thomas had died, there must have been a collective sigh of relief throughout the halls of Washington. News articles and obituaries are obligatorily mentioning her ...
A Better Alternative to Extreme Sentencing in Michigan
CHLOE COCKBURN and ALEX STAMM
Imagine you hear gunshots down the street and you call the police, but they take an hour to show up. Imagine the victim is your son, and you don’t call the ambulance because you know it isn’t coming, so you drive to the hospital yourself. These are real stories from D...
Livni Squeals, Kerry Deals and the EU Picks Up the Tab
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut. It was  reportedly a hectic and intense past weekend in Washington and London according to an emailed report from a Capitol Hill source, as the...
A Boy Was Born in Britain
TOM CLIFFORD
A boy was born in Britain. His mother will try to give him as normal a childhood as possible. She knows it will be  difficult but her determination has won admirers and her friends are  determined to help out, as best they can. Few actually believe she can achiev...
The Scourging of Detroit
JANE SLAUGHTER
Detroit hit the Trifecta last week—the third in a series of body blows that politicians have landed on the city’s working people. The Michigan legislature ...
The Condition of Communism
JOSEPH RAMSEY
The eye-grabbing cover of Jodi Dean’s The Communist Horizon (Verso, 2012) depicts what cou...
Natal Drama
BINOY KAMPMARK
“The heir is almost apparent.” Alex Pappas, Jul 23, 2013 Melbourne. New born babies...
Helen Thomas, Palestine and the Anti-Semitism Card
BURKELY HERMANN
Twitter exploded with sadness as person after person wrote ‘RIP Helen Thomas.’ I looked up the controversial comments by the fearless American journalist, who challenged the powers that be, to ...
White Guy Profiles
BRUCE JACKSON
Several years ago, my wife was shopping for something in a fancy NYC department store. I had nothing to do in there so I stayed outside, leaning against the corner of the building, watching the street action, which in that part of Manhattan was mostly a lot of well-dresse...
The Long War in Syria
GARY LEUPP
Two years ago, Barack Obama announced that Syrian President Bashar Assad must “get out of the way.” “The time has come,” he declared on August 18, 2011, “for President Assad to step aside.” Needless to say, Assad ignored him. He was probably not surpris...
Fun and Games With the Peace Talks
PATRICK FOY
Over the past several months U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is a former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was Democratic candidate for the White House in 2004, has been beating the bushes in the Middle East. He is on a mission to resuscitate ...
Making Corporate Fantasies Come True
DAVID CRONIN
Brussels. Edward Snowden has exposed more than a massive spying operation.  The whistleblower has – perhaps unintentionally – drawn attention to just how obsequious Europe’s political leaders are towards the US. Angela Merkel and ...
Insomniac Capitalism
RON JACOBS
Most of us are familiar with the fact that the global financial markets run twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week with just a few exceptions.  This is due in part to the incredible improvements in technology which have enabled trading to occur at rocket speed and...
Gen. Hayden’s Snow Job on Snowden
RAY McGOVERN
Former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden should not throw any more stones, lest his own glass house be shattered. His barrage Friday against truth-teller Edward Snowden and London Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald invited a return rain of boulders for Hay...
Harshness Before Sense
BINOY KAMPMARK
This is patently sinister.  Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea, is destined under the “regional agreement” between PNG and Australia to become an expanded detention centre which may house upwards of 3000 individuals.  (Shades of an Asia Pacific Gulag Archipelago come...
Stand Your Ground
STEPHANIE VAN HOOK
Poet Maya Angelou once said that courage is “the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” It takes courage to “stand your ground” and I am not talking about the law in Florida (or ot...
Helen Thomas and Zionist Bigotry
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
Helen Thomas, the renowned journalist, died on 20 July 20...
Socialists and the Animal Question
JON HOCHSCHARTNER
Despite government repression of animal activists, in many ways there has never been an easier time to be vegetarian or vegan. One can find a wide selection of food without animal products in the most unlikely of places, such as small towns of upstate New York, where typi...
Obama, Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman Verdict
NORMAN POLLACK
The verbatim transcript of Obama’s unscheduled appearance at the White House news briefing revealed all the human warmth of dead mackerel wrapped in yesterday’s paper.  As one who saw the rawness of racial murders in the South a half-century ago, I was struck by the ...
Capito to Citizens: Drop Dead
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
On June 26, a group of citizens here in West Virginia delivered a petition to their Congresswoman — Shelley Moore Capito (R-W...
The Terrible Plutocratic Plan
DAVID SWANSON
Thanks to Michael Feikema and Doug Hendren for inviting me.  Like most of you I do not spend my life studying trade agreements, but the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is disturbing enough to make me devote a little time to it, and I hope you will do the same and get you...
The Grand Scam: Spinning Egypt’s Military Coup
ESAM AL-AMIN
Every coup d’état in history begins with a military General announcing the overthrow and arrest of the country’s leader, the suspension of the constitution, and the dissolution of the legislature. If people resist, it turns bloody. Egypt is no exception. ...
Black Humanity on Trial in America, Again
HORACE CAMPBELL
“Let us banish from our minds the thought that this is an unfortunate victim of injustice. The very concept of injustice rests upon the premise of equal claims.” — Richard Wright The above quote from the author Richard Wrig...
There Will Never Be Another Helen Thomas
RALPH NADER
There will never be another Helen Thomas. She shattered forever one anti-woman journalistic barrier after another in the Washington press corps and rose to the top of her profession’s organizations. Helen Thomas asked the toughest questions of Presidents an...
Panama Nails a CIA Torture Capo
STEVE HENDRICKS
You gotta love our erstwhile banana republics. While Uncle Sam has been busy the last dozen years trampling on the rights of everyone—and we now know, thanks to that paragon Edward Snowden, that everyone means everyone—and while nearly all the governments in th...
The Murder of Trayvon Martin and Racist America
ROB URIE
The racist murder of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin as he walked the streets of the Florida town in which his father lived (a/k/a ‘home’) is proving a Rorschach test for race ‘relations’ in the U.S. The acquittal of his murderer, George Zimmerman, who first sta...
The Plight of Syrian Minorities
ANNA HAQ
As the conflict in Syria rages, attention is increasingly drawn to the role of Islamist militants. The dire reality of religious and ethnic minorities comes to the surface. On July 18, BBC World News featured reportage on the Syrian government shelling of the town of al-H...
The Real Purpose of the Drug War
ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
A heart in love will decipher every squiggle in a letter as a kiss. In the final days of the 2008 campaign and in the opening ones of his administration, Obama and his top legal aides seemed to the eager ears of marijuana legalizers on the West Coast to be opening the doo...
Out of ICE Into the Fire
ANDREW LEVINE
Janet Napolitano will leave her post as head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to become the President of the University of California (UC) system. This is a change worth pondering. * * * Only a decade ago, Ameri...
I May Be White, But I’m Not Stupid
CARL FINAMORE
The vigilante murder of young Trayvon Martin and his legal lynching in the courtroom is producing a valuable conversation about racism that is probing deep into the very heart of our country. Hopefully, it all will lead to an honest and frank examination among the ...
Hitler vs. Bernanke
MIKE WHITNEY
Why was Adolph Hitler able to lift Germany out of the Great Depression, when policymakers in the US–particularly the Fed–have failed so miserably? Let’s look at the facts: When Hitler came to power in 1933, the German economy was in a shambles. Mi...
Elephant in the Room? No, the Whole Trumpeting Herd!
NORMAN POLLACK
I awoke this morning with Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People” (1882) tugging at the back of my mind because I had been puzzling earlier over the possibilities of interpreting the phrase, “elephant in the room,” frequently heard among radicals in denoting the outrageou...
US Spying and Resistance in Latin America
BENJAMIN DANGL
US imperialism spreads across Latin America through military bases and trade deals, corporate exploitation and debt. It also relies on a vast communications surveillance network, the recent uncovering of which laid bare Washington’s reach into the region’s streets and...
The Manning Show Trial
THOMAS L. KNAPP
I’m shocked — shocked! — that Colonel Denise Lind, the military judge who ruled in February that Bradley Manning could be tried on  various charges even after being held prior to arraignment for more than five times the absolute longest time specified i...
Gun Laws and Race in America
ROBERT CHASE and YOHURU WILLIAMS
“The simple fact is we are not safe. Not in our homes, not anywhere…People now cannot walk on their streets without fear of crime!”” Interestingly, these are not the words of those around the nation currently seeking ju...
What the New York Times Talks About When It Talks About Drones
JUSTIN DOOLITTLE
The New York Times, the most respected newspaper in the world, evidently remains unpersuaded of the illegality of American drone strikes, and continues to take a bizarre, tortured approach to discussing the matter in its news articles. That launching drone strikes in a fo...
Why Rio Has Turned Against the Olympics and the World Cup
MICHAEL VOLPE
Four years ago, one reason that Rio de Janeiro was chosen over Chicago and Tokyo to host the 2016 Olympics was because public opinion in Rio de Janeiro at the time was nearly 100 percent to zero in favor of hosting the 2016 Olympic Games. In Chicago and Tokyo public opini...
The French Hitchcock
LOUIS PROYECT
After proposing an article on radical Swedish detective novels to Jeff St. Clair, he responded positively and also mentioned parenthetically: “Speaking of French noir, have you seen Quai des Orfevres?” I drew a blank on the flick, but would have been just as lo...
Are Palestinian Students in Lebanon Being Pressured to Choose Kalashnikovs Over College?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Ein el-Hilweh Palestinian Camp. They are 67 new families, or about 400 Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria, residing in 60 recently erected tents set up as an emergency ‘gathering’ near the Ein el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp adjacent to the c...