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 2014
Ukraine and Georgia: Different Approaches
RENEE PARSONS
In October, 2009, less than one year after becoming President, the affable Barack Obama was awarded the ...
The Case of Mondragon
VINCENT NAVARRO
Mondragon is a cooperative that has 147 companies employing 80,000 workers. It was established by a Catholic priest, Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta (JMA), in the Basque country in Spain. As did many priests in that country, JMA sided with the popular classes against the fasc...
Left-Right Alliances
RALPH NADER
This week, my new book is coming out with a daring goal. It is to break through the corporate imposed gridlock that prevents those on the left and right from realizing they actually agree on and can activate new directions for our country. The book’s title — ...
Why Large Fires are an Ecological Necessity
MONICA L. BOND, CHAD T. HANSON and DOMINICK A. DELLASALA
This winter California suffered its most severe drought in decades, with record-low rainfall and meager mountain snowpack.  Drought, high summer temperatures, and wind together make the perfect storm for what some have termed “mega” forest fires that, in spite of fi...
Kerry’s Flap Should Prompt Reflection
MATT PEPPE
If the vast majority of Americans are still in denial that Israel is an apartheid state (which it has been for 47 years), how long will it take them to realize the U.S. is – and has been since its founding – an apartheid state due to its constitutional endorse...
The Real Solution to Scumbag Sports Owners
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Enough is enough, sports fans. It’s been known for decades that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a racist jerk. Ditto Daniel Snyder, the owner of that professional football team in our nation’s capital whose current horrific anti-indigenous team na...
Israeli Hypocrisy
ROBERT FANTINA
On Sunday, April 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on U.S. television, denouncing progress made in reconciliation talks between Fatah, which ostensibly controls the West Bank, and Hamas, the democratically-elected government in the Gaza Strip. ...
The “Good Neighbor” Charm Offensive
STEVE HORN
TransCanada has taken a page out of former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s playbook and deployed a...
Moms Are Making an Impact!
KARL GROSSMAN
A phenomenon in environmental activism in recent years has been the emergence of grassroots organizations “powered by the voices of mothers, dedicated to protecting children in global communities,” as one group, ...
Time to End Military/CIA Torture Once and For All
STEVEN REISNER
In the face of continued revelations of United States’ torture policies during the Bush administration, Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR), today sent letters to President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel demanding an end to all ongoing pr...
The Story of Venezuela’s Protests
Mark Weisbrot
In reacting to the protests in Venezuela, the biggest Western media outlets have drafted a charmingly simple narrative of the situation there. According to this story, peaceful protesters have risen up against a government because of shortages, high inflation, and c...
Racism in a Post-Racism World
KATHLEEN WALLACE
In the enormous unwritten book “Prominent Jackasses of History”, Louisiana physician Samuel Cartwright merits at least a whole chapter. In his version of “what I know about the negro” circa 1851, he came up with “Drapetomania”. A mental illness he invented to ...
The Bloody Politics of Bison Slaughter
ROSALIE LITTLE THUNDER and DARRELL GEIST
We write to you still in the aftershock of the unconscionable tribal participation in the most recent government slaughter of wild buffalo in Yellowstone National Park and Montana. We feel compelled to share our insight on how this corrosive process began. In the e...
Pay to Play Along: the Shameful Saga of the NAACP and Donald Sterling
TEKA-LARK FLEMING
The rejoicing —of the handpicked by corporate— leaders of the African-American community over the $2.5 million fine handed down by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to Clipper owner Donald Sterling and his indefinite ban is part of a larger problem. People with more...
What Destruction of Israel?
JOHN V. WHITBECK
Paris. When, in response to the threat of potential Palestinian reconciliation and unity, the Israeli government suspended “negotiations” with the Palestine Liberation Organization on April 24 (five days before they were due to terminate in any event),...
Catastrophe, Reform or Revolution?
ANDREW LEVINE
Catastrophes loom on the horizon: an ecological catastrophe caused by our reliance on fossil fuels; a nuclear catastrophe, caused by our reliance on nuclear power; and another kind of nuclear catastrophe caused by our government’s failure to pursue nuclear disarmament....
Losing Russia
JONATHAN POWER
When it comes to Ukraine the US and the EU are adopting a holier than thou attitude which, unfortunately, leads them not to worship at the alter of truth. Take the issue of the fuss made over alleged soldiers wearing Russian uniforms. They are not dressed in the sm...
Boob Jubilee
KRISTIN KOLB
It was soon the Ides of March and I was showering. No, this is not a tawdry attempt at Roman erotica. I’d felt like shit for weeks going on months. Insomnia, night sweats, gut issues. I’d recently moved to Vancouver and I wasn’t happy about it. I attributed i...
Will Big Oil Kill More in the Amazon?
STEPHEN WALLACE
The Pastaza and Kawapi Rivers in Ecuador come together near the border of Peru.   At their confluence fresh water pink dolphins rise to the surface and nod their heads as if to say hello.   Nearby toucans and parrots land on an open bank of the Pastaza to eat clay t...
Are Republicans, or Their Scientists, Wearing Rose-Colored Glasses?
ROBERT HUNZIKER
Planet Earth is seen through rose-colored glasses by 58% of congressional Republicans who refuse to accept the fact that humans are responsible for climate change. And, they have a right to their opinion, same as the other side on this issue. But, are they wearing ...
ExxonMobil Tar Sands Spill and Now a Tornado
STEVE HORN
On March 29, 2013, ExxonMobil‘s Pegasus ...
FCC Wants to Give Corporations Their Own Internet
ALFREDO LOPEZ
When a federal court trashed its “net neutrality” compromise policy in January, the Federal Communications Commission assured us that the Internet we knew and depended on was safe. Most activists didn’t believe federal officials and this past week the FC...
An Imperial Scam Coming to Your State Soon
JOHN V. WALSH
Just weeks before Tax Day, April 15, Governor Deval Patrick, Obama’s “close friend,” signed into law a bond bill that dispenses $177 million in Massachusetts State Taxes to the Pentagon for construction and “upgrades” of U.S. military b...
Letting the Rapist in the House
BINOY KAMPMARK
The cloakroom of hegemony can be a heavily stocked one. There are variations in style, dress and material – but at the end of the day, the accent is unmistakable. Imperial wear remains just that, an ominous warning to those who taste it, and those who would love it. In ...
The Fracking Prostitutes of American Colleges
WALTER BRASCH
Lackawanna College, a two-year college in Scranton, Pa., has become a prostitute. The administration doesn’t think of themselves or their college as a prostitute. They believe they are doing a public service. Of course, streetwalkers and call-girls also believe t...
Modern Rules for Modern Careers
EILEEN APPLEBAUM and HEATHER BOUSHEY
U.S. economic security and family well being go hand in hand, but the role of women who provide this stability in workplaces communities, and homes across our nation is underappreciated. Individually, American families today are well aware of the importance of women’s e...
Why is Putin in Washington’s Crosshairs?
MIKE WHITNEY
“Washington wants to weaken Moscow economically by slashing its gas revenues and, thus, eroding its ability to defend itself or its interests. The US does not want an economically-integrated Europe and Asia. The de facto EU-Russian alliance is a di...
Authoritarian Role Models?
PATRICK COCKBURN
Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the core group of al-Qa’ida, may well chortle in disbelief if he reads a translation of Tony Blair’s latest speech on the Middle East delivered last week. If Blair’s thoughts are used as a guide to action, then the main b...
Silly Season at the Fed
DEAN BAKER
Throughout this recovery there have been a number of economists and policy types expressing concern about a “bond bubble.” This is the idea that bonds are overpriced and could take a sudden tumble giving financial markets and the economy the same sort of hits we saw f...
The Working-Class Mini-Revolts of the Twenty-First Century
JEREMY BRECHER
Forty years ago I published a study of peak periods of American labor conflict – what I dubbed periods of “mass strike” — called Strike!  As I have updated the book for the fortieth anniversary edition, I have had the opportunity to review the strikes ...
The Saga of the Welfare Queen Rancher
JOHN ESKOW
OK—prove me wrong on this one.  Granted, I have no hard-core evidence that nitwit rightwing hero and big-rancher/welfare queen Cliven Bundy is a completely fictional character—a flesh-and-blood piece of performance art created by “dead” comedian Andy Kaufm...
South Africa at 20
PATRICK BOND
Two decades ago, liberation was won in South Africa. In two weeks, the May 7 election will confirm the popularity of the African National Congress (ANC) with a landslide victory. But times are changing: a serious leftist party – the Economic Freedom Fighters founded by ...
US Military Globalization
NORMAN POLLACK
History, at the least, is process, interrelations, multilayered, marked by continuities of social structure, wealth distribution, all in all, embedded in a framework of causation even when serendipitous outcomes pop up, none of which is to suggest a rigid deterministic pa...
Moving Closer to War
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The Obama regime, wallowing in hubris and arrogance, has recklessly escalated the Ukrainian crisis into a crisis with Russia. Whether intentionally or stupidly, Washington’s propagandistic lies are driving the crisis to war. Unwilling to listen to any more of Washington...
A Mother Unravels Her Military Son’s Suicide
JOHN GRANT
I met Janet Burroway when I was a Vietnam veteran on the GI Bill at Florida State University and I signed up for a creative writing workshop she was just hired to teach. She was a worldly, published novelist seven years older than me. She had just left an oppressive husba...
Truck Drivers Strike for Recognition
DAVID MACARAY
Beginning Monday, April 28, Southern California truck drivers at the Long Beach and San Pedro ports, will go on a limited 2-day “exhibition” strike to protest what they see as a gross misclassification. Truckers as far away as Savannah, Georgia, are expected to join i...
Keystone Cops
ADAM FEDERMAN
Since August 2011, the Nebraska Information Analysis Center (NIAC) – one of more than 70 Department of Homeland Security “fusion centers” – and TransCanada Corporation, the company behind the Keystone XL Pipeline, have shared information about anti-pipeline protes...
Confessed Brazilian Torturer Found Murdered
MICHAEL UHL
At approximately four o’clock this past Thursday afternoon, Paulo Malhaes, a retired officer who served in the ‘70s during the years of Brazil’s military dictatorship, was murdered at his small farm outside of Rio de Janeiro. Malhaes had become infamous in re...
The Nuclear Zero Lawsuits
ROBERT F. DODGE
This past Thursday, April 24th, historic lawsuits were filed against the U.S. and the eight other Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) of the world to meet their treaty obligations to disarm by the courageous tiny island nation Republic of the Marshall Islands. ...
The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy in Venezuela
EVA GOLINGER
Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the US government. ...
Rage, Race and Violence on the Western Range
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and JAMES RIDGEWAY
In the mid-90s, shortly after the Oklahoma City bombings, James Ridgeway and I toured the interior West, interviewing ranchers in Nevada and eastern Oregon, who were engaged in an open war with the federal government over grazing and water rights. The ranchers had ope...
Unite Against Imperialism!
ANDRE VLTCHEK
In countless interviews, in personal letters, in face-to-face discussions, the questions I keep being asked are becoming very similar: “Now that it is obvious that the West is ready and willing to destroy everything that stands in its way to the total domination of the ...
Honduras: Gangsters’ Paradise
NICK ALEXANDROV
Nearly five years after the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) first called on the Honduran government to protect Carlos Mejía Orellana, the Radio Progreso marketing manager was found stabbed to death in his home on April 11. “The IACHR and its Office of...
The Politics of Pachamama
BENJAMIN DANGL
When I sat down to an early morning interview with Evo Morales over a decade ago in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the then-coca farmer leader and dissident congressman was drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice and ignoring the constant rings of the landlin...
How the Democrats Re-Branded Fast-Track
PETE DOLACK
The Democratic Party has responded to the resistance against ramming through new trade agreements by giving the process a new name. “Fast-track” has been rebranded as “smart-track” and, voilà, new packaging is supposed to make us forget the rotten hulk underneath...
Obama Pivots, China Profits
PEPE ESCOBAR
Let’s start with a flashback to February 1992 – only two months after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. First draft of the US government’s Defense Planning Guidance. It was later toned down, but it still formed the basis for the exceptionalist demen...
Marx-lite Meets the Investor Class
ROB URIE
With the polite and well–scrubbed ghost of Karl Marx now making regular appearances on television talk shows and being given column space in the mainstream press the apparent question is: what does it mean? While broadening the realm of economic concern to include criti...
Why Classroom Experience Matters
SETH SANDRONSKY
Marcos Breton, a veteran columnist for The Sacramento Bee, one of 30 newspapers The McClatchy Co. publishes, did it. In “...
Hacking China
PETER LEE
On April 23, Mark Mazzetti reported in the New York Times that the F...