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 September 2013
Neoliberalism, Japanese-Style
MIKE WHITNEY
Abenomics is largely a bunko-scam wrapped in public relations gibberish. It has no chance of producing a strong, sustainable economic recovery. The real aim of the policy is to temporarily juice GDP with a sizable blast of fiscal stimulus ($100 billion) so the Bank of Jap...
Shutting Down the US Government
BINOY KAMPMARK
Libertarians might well wonder why government should continue existing given the latest congressional antics in the United States. With metaphors likening it to a grocery store, we are being told that the U.S. government will cease to be funded this coming week, a massive...
The Police State of America
DAVE LINDORFF
I no longer recognize my country. Back in 1997, after two years living in China, and five more living in Hong Kong, during which time, as a correspondent for Business Week magazine, I slipped in and out of China regularly as a journalist to report on dev...
Utopia in the Catskills
LOUIS PROYECT
In assembling still photos to be included in a video I am doing on a trip up to my hometown in the Catskills in August, I could find nothing on the net that showed Woodridge in its prime. A visit to the Sullivan County Historical Museum in Hurleyville turned up the intrig...
Difficult Truths in Sweden
RITT GOLDSTEIN
Dalarna, Sweden. At the end of August, Swedish representatives were questioned by the ‘UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’ as to what actions had been taken to diminish intolerance.  Prior to the UN committee meeting, Social Dem...
Turkey Orders Chinese Take-Out Defense
PETER LEE
On September 26, 2013, Turkey made the rather eyebrow-raising decision to put its long range missile defense eggs in a Chinese basket, announcing it had awarded a US$3 billion contract to the People’s Republic of China for its truck-mounted “shoot and scoot...
The Economy is Falling Further and Further Behind
DEAN BAKER
Proponents of austerity both in the United States and Europe are eager to claim to success for their policies. In spite of economies that look awful by normal standards, austerity advocates are able to claim success for their policies by creating a new meaning for the wor...
Let the Revolution Begin
GARRY LEECH
What are we waiting for? How long are we going to sit idly by and watch the political warmongers deploy their drones, their warships, their stealth bombers, their missiles, our sons and daughters, and ultimately, their nuclear weapons against the most impoverished peoples...
Who Will Save Canadian Democracy?
MURRAY DOBBIN
There seems to be virtually no limit to Stephen Harper’s efforts to diminish government and democracy in this country. The prime minister’s obvious contempt for democracy keeps getting underlined by the grotesque corruption of the people he appoints and surrounds hi...
The Fire That Saved Sun Valley
LANCE OLSEN
In 2007, fire broke out in the forest west of Sun Valley, Idaho.  Prevailing west-to-east winds pushed it toward the long-famed resort town, precipitating vigorous firefighting efforts to protect Sun Valley, nearby Ketchum and homes of both modest and ostentatiously pret...
Disconnect the NSA
NORMAN SOLOMON
To the people in control of the Executive Branch, violating our civil liberties is an essential government service. So — to ensure total fulfillment of Big Brother’s vast responsibilities — the National Security Agency is insulated from any fiscal disruption...
What Really Happened at Westgate
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Nairobi Thick smoke hangs above the access road to The Westgate – the up-market shopping mall that serves mainly expats, UN staff and Kenyan elites. Sporadic gunfire and explosions are clearly heard from the direction of the compound; overtaken on...
People Want Full Medicare for All
RALPH NADER
Freshman Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who somehow got through Princeton and Harvard Law School, is the best news the defaulting Democratic Party has had in years. As the Texas bull in the Senate china shop, he has been making a majority of his Republican colleagues ...
The Bomb that Cracked an Island
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Amchitka Island sits at the midway point on the great arc of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, less than 900 miles across the Bering Sea from the coast of Russia. Amchitka, a spongy landscape of maritime tundra, is one of the most southerly of the Aleutians. The island’s rel...
American Workers: Hanging on by the Skin of Their Teeth
MIKE WHITNEY
After five years of Obama’s economic recovery, the American people are as gloomy as ever.  According to a ...
The Real Bomb
URI AVNERY
Years ago I disclosed one of the biggest secrets about Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was an agent of the Mossad. Suddenly, all the curious details of his behavior made sense. His public fantasies about the disappearance of Israel. His denial of the Holocaust, which unt...
When a US President Tried to Muzzle 60 Minutes About Iran
BARRY LANDO
Paris. In his address to the UN a few days ago, President Obama came the closest any American leaders has come to acknowledging America’s shameful legacy with Iran: overthrowing a democratically- elected government, installing a corrupt, repressive dicta...
Henry Giroux on the Militarization of Public Pedagogy
SETH KERSHNER
As a counterpoint to the current hand-wringing over public education in the U.S., it may be helpful to remember that we will spend a comparatively small amount of time during our lives as students in the classroom.  That the focus thus far has been on teachers and tests ...
Did Japan Lie Its Way Into the Olympics?
PETER LEE
In order to secure the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for Tokyo, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the IOC that the Fukushima situation was “under control”, ...
Passing the Torch to a New Generation of Syrians
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus Few, one imagines, in the Syrian Arab Republic these days  question the urgency and enormity of the task of  reconstruction of their ancient country from war inflicted destruction caused by a carnage  already more than half as long as World ...
A Flood of Refugees
VIJAY PRASHAD
Beirut. Rabih Shibli and his team from the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service at the American University of Beirut heard about the garage through their close contact with various relief organisations. Mr. Shibli is an energetic man, impatien...
Return of the Pirates
JASON MUELLER
It took long enough, but Hollywood is finally ready to jump on the “Somali Pirate” bandwagon, with their impending (October 11, 2013) release of “Captain Phillips.” This film will depict the tale of Somali Pirates hijacking the MV Maersk Alabama...
The Rogue Empire
ELIZABETH O'SHEA
It may be that we have inched back from the precipice of war in Syria, if for no other reason than a hefty gust of sheer luck. Russia’s intervention and neutralisation of the escalating tension between the US and the Assad regime has saved Obama from near certain defeat...
Nuclear Dumb and Dumber
JOHN LaFORGE
Kincardine, Ontario. The thought “Dumb and Dumber” came to mind as I recorded the work of Canada’s Joint Review Panel Sept. 23 and 24, here in Ontario, on the east end of Lake Huron. The JRP is currently taking comments on a proposal to dump radioact...
The Blowback that Created al-Shabaab
GRAEME ANFINSON
The terrible attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi has put a spotlight on radical Islam coming from Somalia. The as of yet unconfirmed reports of Americans being involved has put an added emphasis on the Somali American community, the largest of which is here in...
The Iran End Game
BINOY KAMPMARK
The latest UN General Assembly gatherings have served to reiterate the grand spectacle of what is wrong, and in some ways right, about world politics. The usual players have turned up to make a scene. We have a vibrant Brazilian leader Dilma Roussef scolding the United St...
Dave Foreman and the First Green Scare Case
JOSHUA FRANK AND JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!, awoke at five in the morning on May 30, 1989 to the sound of three FBI agents shouting his name in his Tucson, Arizona home. Foreman’s wife Nancy answered the door frantically and was shoved aside by brawny FBI agen...
Internet Pet Sellers: Humane Groups Cave In
LEE HALL
The newest victory for the Humane Society of the United States—isn’t. Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail distributed this month from HSUS president & CEO Wayne Pacelle,  announcing it. Dear Friend, I have a huge ...
The Academy on Parade
DANIEL WHITE
No one in this country is commenting on how common subservience and deference to authority, to elite America, and to bureaucratic norms is nowadays.  It certainly didn’t used to be like this in my living memory and I see it getting worse as times proceed.  The scrap a...
Mohamed Nasheed’s Campaign to Restore Democracy to the Maldives
JOHN FORAN AND SUMMER GRAY
A visiting foreign journalist asked me two days ago if Nasheed can inspire people. Apparently, [former dictator] Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has expressed the opinion that Nasheed cannot be a proper leader because he cannot do so. To be inspired by...
The Trouble with High Burn-Up Nuclear Fuel
ACE HOFFMAN
Spent nuclear fuel is hot stuff.  It’s thermally hot — about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s not residual heat from when the fuel was in the reactor, it’s decay heat from fission products with relatively short half-lives – from days or weeks ...
Syria’s Secret Chemical Weapons Sources
M. KOOHZAD
A few retired American generals tell us, mainly on the 24-hour news channels, that possessing chemical weapons is illegal. This is true, according to the Geneva Convention of 1925. But, countries that have not signed this document are not obligated to follow the law. The ...
Obama and Rouhani at the UN
NORMAN POLLACK
Obama in his address to the United Nations, Sept. 24, treated the world to a display of “democratic” rhetorical flights which uncovered at the deepest levels America’s commitment to continued world hegemony and, related, the arrogance inhering in the ideology of exc...
The Pope, Iran and the Wall Street Journal
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal has a way of taking the fun out of lots of things. Two events occurred during the week of September 15th that caused me to think that in a world consumed by violence and hatred there might be modest cause for optimism. Thanks ...
Did God Get Things Terribly Wrong?
M.G. PIETY
Alvin Plantinga is one of the most prominent figures in a group of philosophers who work on what one could call religious epistemology. Plantinga has decided to take on the “new atheists” in his latest book ...
Canadian Impotence
YVES ENGLER
Once again Conservative ideology has trumped what’s right. Prominent Toronto filmmaker/professor John Greyson and London, Ontario, physician/professor Tarek Loubani have been locked up in an Egyptian jail for nearly 40 days. After a prosecutor recently extend...
Peace is Not Profitable
MISSY BEATTIE
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: Each year we come together to reaffirm the founding vision of this institution. For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires. For recent ...
Idle No More Protest at Shasta Dam
DAN BACHER
Over 30 people, including members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, Hoopa Valley Tribe and their allies, protested government plans to raise Shasta Dam and build the peripheral tunnels under the Delta in front of the Visitors Center at the dam on Saturday, September 21 as the ...
Can You Imagine?
JOHN CARROLL, MD
Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Cite Soleil is an infamous slum in Port-au-Prince. It supposedly has hundreds of thousands of people…no one knows how many for sure or really cares. Can you imagine if Peoria and its surrounding communities with hundreds of ...
The HIV Crisis in the Porn Industry
GAIL DINES
The porn industry, using its sophisticated, well-resourced public relations machine, sells itself as an avant garde, progressive, counter-cultural force out to empower us all with exciting images of an edgy, fun, creative sexuality. In reality, it is a multi-billion-dolla...
Academia Deserves its Crisis
LOUIS YAKO
I was recently invited to be part of a student panel to welcome all new Ph.D. students to the large research university I am currently attending and to share with them my words of “wisdom,” so they can learn more about the upcoming challenges of graduate student life....
They Could Have Been Contenders
RODOLFO ACUÑA
Last July salsa singer Marc Anthony, responding to a question on television’s stereotyping of Latinos, answered that “the entertainment industry doesn’t owe us anything.” While Mr. Anthony is entitled to his opinion, he like all of us who are Mexican American ...
Garland Jeffreys’ Truth Serum
PETER STONE BROWN
For more than four decades Garland Jeffreys has been playing, writing, performing, always close to the top, but somehow remaining the invisible man who never gets inside, or when he does get inside, he remains invisible.  Maybe it’s because he’s half black and half b...
Liberace’s Prison
DAVID YEARSLEY
Last weekend Michael Douglas took home an Emmy for his performance as Liberace in the HBO bio-pic Behind the Candelabra; this accolade might in turn ignite renewed interest in the film that was released in movie theatres in Europe early last summer, but was confine...
The Dead Should Not Return
CHARLES R. LARSON
Balzac’s Colonel Chabert serves as the back story for Javier Marías’ profoundly wrenchi...
Ngengi, Kelly and Behroozian
POETS' BASEMENT
The Seeds of Freedom By G.G. NJUGUNA NGENGI   Freedom lovers are there. Many know the pain Freedom lovers get.   Freedom seed is there in all races. Doesn’t germinate, doesn’...
Some Facts You Should Know About Fukushima
TAKASHI HIROSE
On September 7, 2013 Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said to the 125th session of the International Olympic Committee, the following: Some may have concerns about Fukushima. Let me assure you, the situation is under control. It has never done and wi...
Fed Policy in Crisis
JACK RASMUS
This past week the US central bank, the Federal Reserve (Fed), opted not to change its current 3rd Quantitative Easing (QE) policy providing $85 billion a month in bond purchases from bankers and investors. The Fed’s QE3 policy has been in effect for about a ...
Bono: “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me”
HARRY BROWNE
The interview with Bono by Tim Adams published in the Observer last Sunday was blessed, or cursed, with interesting timing. Within a couple of days of the piece appearing, with its headline quoting Bono’s defensive “There’s a difference between cosying up to pow...
The Unsung Hero of the NSA Revelations
NOZOMI HAYASE
How many people can look back on their lives and say they have done something significant for the betterment of society? Oftentimes selfless and noble actions of individuals go unrecognized. There are always those who act quietly behind the scenes at crucial turning point...