Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day12Fixed

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Condemn the Franchises and Let the Public Own Them

The Real Solution to Scumbag Sports Owners

by 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 name is a global embarrassment.

But these guys are the tip of the iceberg. The real question is: Why are these teams owned by individuals at all? Why do we allow our precious sports clubs to be the playthings of a bunch of wealthy degenerates?

Why aren’t the football, baseball, basketball, hockey and other major sports franchises so many of us so passionately love and support not owned by the communities that give them their life? Why is our nation powerless to remove the racist logo from a public stadium just down the street from the White House and Congress?

There’s a model out there that does work. It’s called the Green Bay Packers (a team of which I’m proud owner of two shares).

There are plenty of flaws in the setup, but when snow covers the field, the community comes out to shovel it off. And though the NFL owners have specifically banned any more teams from being publicly owned, the Packers have done just fine at the highest levels of competition.

It’s time to use the Packer green and gold as a starter model for all franchise ownership.

Some of the millionaires and billionaires who now own these teams are obviously decent, tolerant, open-minded people. Many are more than that—competent, committed, good at their jobs, even genuinely humble and community minded.

But there’s a reason Sterling can be possessed of “a plantation mentality” and get away with it all these years. Likewise the various owners of the football team in Washington.

The real issue is not the quality or lack thereof of the current custodians of the front office. These teams are plantations.

Like so much else under the laws of today’s Gilded Age America, our sports franchises are public assets that we have allowed to be owned by private rich people. That is, to vastly understate the case, wrong, wrong, wrong.

However nice or otherwise they might be, these owners have been gouging out public subsidies for stadiums, tax breaks and too much else over the decades. How else does a franchise like the Clippers leap in value from $12 million when Sterling bought it in 1981 to $575 million today?

It’s time to take these teams back. We are the rightful owners, not the latest random robber baron to want his or her very own courtside seats, where the players, coaches, fans and broadcasters can kiss the owner’s ring. Not the latest temporarily solvent corporation that wants to stick its logo in our faces while talented young men and women play their hearts out.

The Fifth Amendment says the public has the right to take property with “just compensation.” It’s called “eminent domain.” Let’s use it to condemn all these franchises, buy out their “owners” and have the teams run by the cities, counties and/or states in which they reside, and to which they rightfully belong.

Management should be coordinated in partnership with the unions of the players. And the Donald Sterlings and Daniel Snyders will be relegated to the trash heap of our sports history.

It’s the only way. See you in the publicly owned bleachers, cheering on our teams.

Harvey Wasserman roots for the Celtics, Red Sox, Packers and Blue Jackets, but he is part owner only of the Packers and wants that to change.