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 November 2013
President Obama, Pardon Both the Turkey and Drug War Prisoners for the Holidays
ANTHONY PAPA
On November 27th  President Obama will continue the Thanksgiving tradition of ...
A Pardon for Oscar López Rivera
GUILLERMO REBOLLO-GIL
Dear President Obama: Here in Puerto Rico, your lunch with now Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla is commemorated by way of a small plaque on the table in the restaurant where you paid cash for a sandwich in a button-down white shirt with the sleeves rolled up. I pr...
Christmas Time on Wall Street
MIKE WHITNEY
Remember how Quantitative Easing was going to “get the banks lending again”? Well, it hasn’t worked that way. In fact, after 4 years of zero rates and $3 trillion in monetary pump-priming, “banks are lending less to small businesses and cons...
Libya’s Hell, Enabled by Canadian Humanitarians
MURRAY DOBBIN
Who will protect Libyans now? One of the darkest and most shameful chapters in Western military intervention continues to play out in spades in Libya. Recent news from Benghazi revealed that one of the (literally hundreds) of murderous militias opened fire on peaceful, wh...
America and the Other
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
America went to bed one night believing it was a peace-loving democracy, and woke up the next morning imbued with militarism and waging war on the world.  Citizens had covered themselves with the belief in freedom and slumbered, only to also awaken in a growing police st...
Can Right and Left Rally Against Walmart?
RALPH NADER
One of the most profitable corporations in America is having a holiday food drive. Sounds good — it’s the least Corporate America can do for those struggling to make ends meet while big companies rake in record profits and give so little back. But wait… ...
The Iran Deal
BINOY KAMPMARK
This was the limited deal, one designed to halt Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapons option and stave off the proliferating actions of other states. It is a deal replete with unresolved issues – but then again, it was not expected to. For one thing, what is on the table...
Oscar Lopez Rivera and the Struggle for Puerto Rican Independence
CARLOS BORRERO
This past Saturday, thousands of people marched from San Juan to Brooklyn demanding the release of Oscar López Rivera.  Oscar López Rivera has served 32 years in the dungeons of imperialism for the crime of fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico as a member of th...
The Political Life of Michael Bloomberg
JOSEPH GROSSO
It’s always tedious when a political figure’s time in office expires and chatter then turns to a legacy. Michael Bloomberg’s three terms as mayor of New York City is no exception- three terms that is because Bloomberg, in the wake of the financial crisis and with th...
A Gorbachev Moment For Rouhani?
SUFYAN bin UZAYR
So Iran and the United States reached a deal about the nuclear stuff recently. Thus far, I have read many opinions and analyses about this historic event: Israel calls it a mistake of gigantic proportions, US and Iran are claiming it to be a step in the ri...
Obama Approves Major Fracked Gas Pipeline
STEVE HORN
Although TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has received the lion’s share of media att...
Iran Breakthrough is Real
PATRICK FOY
A classmate of mine from high-school e-mailed me on Sunday. He was enthused about the breakthrough deal (by the so-called “E3/EU+3″ or “P5 +1″ group) with Iran on the nuclear issue. He lives in London for some odd reason, and is a successfu...
Monsanto, the TPP and Global Food Dominance
ELLEN BROWN
“Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s.  “Control food and you control the people.” Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing s...
Istanbul Dispatch
JASON HIRTHLER
It was Karl Marx, in his essay on the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, who said, “They must not represent themselves; they must be represented.” Marx was writing about Louis Napoleon Bonaparte’s 1851 coup d’etat of the French state, dissolution of the...
The Check-the-Box Loophole
JACK RASMUS
Corporate taxes in America have been in decline now for more than three decades. Contrary to the drumbeat of corporate media throughout this year, and their false claims that US corporations are paying far more than their foreign capitalist cousins, US corporations pay an...
The Thrust Toward Opacity
GENE GLICKMAN
“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our d...
Caring More or Less About the Climate
CURTIS FJ DOEBBLER
Global climate experts and senior politicians from every country on Earth as well as thousands of activist gathered at the Annual Climate Summit or the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw...
The Climate Movement Needs to Stop ‘Winning’
MAYA LEMON
As a child my favorite chore was hand-pumping water from the thirty-foot well on our family homestead. The pump was shiny black and the water ice-cold. Then my father was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer linked to chemicals used in oil and gas production. It’s been...
Still in Bondage
RICHARD WARD
The outward response to the harrowing scenes in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave from the café au lait mix at the venerable Prytania Theater in New Orleans where I saw the film was relatively muted, but a friend has told me that the mostly black audience in the ...
10 More Years in Afghanistan
DAVID SWANSON
When Barack Obama became president, there were 32,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  He escalated to over 100,000 troops, plus contractors. Now there are 47,000 troops these five years later.  Measured in financial cost, or death and destruction, Afghanistan is more Presi...
The Insurance Industry’s Pre-Existing Condition: Greed
PAUL KRASSNER
Although Coachella Valley in Southern California has become synonymous with music festivals, Goldenvoice, the company that produces those events, also helped sponsor the first massive four-day health clinic this year. Free medical, dental and vision care was provided to n...
U.S. Officials Hint at Reservations on Final Iran Nuclear Deal
GARETH PORTER
The “first step” agreement between Iran and the United States that was sealed in Geneva over the weekend is supposed to lead to the negotiation of a “comprehensive settlement” of the nuclear issue over the next six months, though the latter has gotten little atten...
Eliminating Violence Against Women
BEN NORTON
Yesterday was International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. You might have seen it ...
In Search of the “Real America”
MICHAEL D. YATES
This past June, I attended the Left Forum at Pace College in Lower Manhattan. I used to love to go to this city. We visited often and moved there twelve years ago, planning to stay for at least five years, while I worked for Monthly Review magazine and Monthly Revi...
The False Analogy of Syria and Palestine
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. As with many of those who express a view in the continuing debate about the wisdom of launching yet another “humanitarian intervention” in Syria, I have found myself under attack from those calling for more war. The charge against me and many...
How Amnesty International was Played by the Egyptian Junta
MOHAMED MALIK AND MOHAMAD OMAR
Giza On 2 August 2013, Amnesty International issued a press release which said that evidence, including testimonies from surviv...
How “Gotcha” Journalism Mutes the Truth
ZOLTAN ZIGEDY
A few months ago a Pittsburgh labor attorney and human rights activist, Dan Kovalik, penned an op-ed piece for a Western Pennsylvania daily, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (and CounterPunch....
Drone Strikes in Pakistan
MEDEA BENJAMIN
“We will put pressure on America, and our protest will continue if drone attacks are not stopped,” said an angry Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan’s third largest political party, the PTI (the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf). He was speaking on Saturday, November 23,...
On Not Leaving Afghanistan
MICHAEL BRENNER
Actually, we’re not leaving. That is confirmed by the news this week of Washington’s having reached agreement with President Hamid Karzai on the terms of a Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA). With the last wrinkles ironed out, the legal basis is in place for American f...
The Ecoterrorist and Me
DAVID ROVICS
“Pinocchio asked Jiminy Cricket, ‘how do you become fully human?’ Jiminy Cricket said, ‘you develop a conscience, and then follow it.’” That’s probably not exactly how the dialog went. That of course is from the story of Pinocchio,...
Is Obama Sincere About Middle East Peace Talks?
SHAMUS COOKE
Should we trust Obama to be honest in his peace talks with Iran and Syria? His lightning shift from warmonger to peacemaker surprised everyone, including his closest regional allies — Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — not to mention the entire U.S. congress, ...
NAFTA and Jobs
DEAN BAKER
Given the trends in U.S. trade with Mexico over the last two decades, it is strange that there is much of a debate over Nafta’s impact on wages. At the time Nafta was passed in 1993 the United States had a modest trade surplus with Mexico. In 2013 we are on a path t...
Israel Still Holds Plenty of U.S. Cards
NORMAN SOLOMON and ABBA A. SOLOMON
More than ever, Israel is isolated from world opinion and the squishy entity known as “the international community.” The Israeli government keeps condemning the Iran nuclear deal, by any rational standard a positive step away from the threat of catastrophic war. ...
US Court Denies Halt to Keystone XL
STEVE HORN
The ever-wise Yogi Berra once quipped “It’s like déjà vu all over again,” a truism applicable to a recent huge decision handed down by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. ...
21 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare
RALPH NADER
Dear America: Costly complexity is baked into Obamacare. No health insurance system is without problems but Canadian style single-payer full Medicare for all is simple, affordable, comprehensive and universal. In the early 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson enr...
An Orgy of Thieves
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and ALEXANDER COCKBURN
All through the 1980s and 1990s, professorial mountebanks like James Q. Wilson and Charles Murray grew plump from best sellers about the criminal, probably innate, propensities of the “underclass,” about the pathology of poverty, the teen predators, the collap...
Blowing Bubbles With Paul Krugman
MIKE WHITNEY
America’s “highest profile economist” thinks we need more asset bubbles to battle negative real interest rates and persistent secular stagnation. In a controversial post on his blogsite, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argues that bubbl...
Grieving the Bystander
DAVID HOELSCHER
According to scholar and journalist Nick Bryant, when, on 22 November 1963, news came that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas, African-Americans “felt the loss of their president just as strongly as whites, and arguably more so.”  He not...
JFK and Obama
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The world falls in love with a charismatic young president, his stylish wife, and their charming young children. In the campaign for the presidency he has defeated his opponent in part by charging Republican failure in the war against America’s enemies. In the dawn of h...
The Warsaw Walkout and the Climate Movement
ALEXANDER REID ROSS
The story is now part of climate history. Yesterday, as climate talks degraded into a sideshow for the coal industry, more than 800 conference participants walked out. Wearing T-shirts adorned with the word, Volverermos (We will return), the activists handed in their regi...
Chilean Socialism 1: Indonesian Fascism 0
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Several years ago, I spoke to two members of Allende’s government. Two who managed to survive. One of them recalled: “They used to threaten us, before the coup, before that terrible September 11, 1973: ‘Watch out, comrades, Jakarta is coming!’” “We did ...
The Battle of the Titans
URI AVNERY
This is not merely a fight between Israel and the US. Nor is it only a fight between the White House and Congress. It is also a battle between intellectual titans. On the one side there are the two renowned professors, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. On the othe...
There’s Always a Class War Going On
NOAM CHOMSKY
This is an excerpt from the just released 2nd edition of Noam Chomsky’s OCCUPY: Class War, Re...
Inside Emergency Damascene Shelters
FRANKLIN LAMB
Al Zahera neighborhood, south Damascus This brief update is not focused on the ever deteriorating grave conditions of Palestinians and Syrians displaced and often trapped inside dangerous areas on Damascus, where this observer had been visiting some of the...
Shifting from Defense to Offense
DAVE LINDORFF
A tectonic shift is occurring in the US body politic. Ignore the media-driven sideshow about the 2014 contest for control of the House or about the screwed-up Obamacare insurance-market website. The real political battle is over Social Security and Medicare, and there the...
Roadblocks to Climate Activism
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
On 12 September 2013 I wrote a piece entitled Crisis Today, Catastrophe Tomorrow, through which I joined numerous others warning of the consequences of global warming. The evidence ...
The Mainstreaming of Sexual Perversion
DAVID ROSEN
What is your favorite fetish?  What’s your weirdest, wildest sexual fantasy?  What really turns you on?  And what would it take for you to play it out, not only at home or with a consensual partner, but to go for it in a public setting? On Sunday, September 29...
Security Giant Admits $38 Million Fraud
JAMES KILGORE
G4S, which bills itself as “the world’s largest security company,” has encountered rough going in the carceral marketplace in recent weeks. The latest episode in the troubles of this British-Danish security giant came with its public admission on November 18 that th...
Ethiopian Migrants Victimized in Saudi Arabia
GRAHAM PEEBLES
In the last 10 days persecution of Ethiopian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia has escalated. Men and women are forced from their homes by mobs of civilians and dragged through the streets of Riyadh and Jeddah. Distressing videos of Ethiopian men being mercilessly beaten, k...
Shelter From the Storms
CHARLES HAYMARKET
The storms come and go, again and again, and we’re left with devastating after images. Again. The deaths, the wreckage, the deep mourning, then the diseases, and then days upon days, even weeks (or in the case of Sandy and Katrina, years) go by while we agonize, aga...