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CounterPunch Diary
Since what is now going is being described as “the greatest financial scandal in the history of Britain” -- the Barclays imbroglio – I have a question to ask. Where are those tents outside St Pauls? Or ones in solidarity this side of the Atlantic? Where are the vibrant reminders that – as has happened... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Regard the Greek political landscape and how dramatically it has changed from last November. On November 2, 2011, Greek prime minister George Papandreou flew to Cannes before a G20 meeting and received one of the most humiliating rebuffs in European history since Pope Gregory VII left Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV shivering in the snow.... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Watch Europe tip left and right as voters rise in fury against the austerity menu that’s been bringing them to utter ruin. In Holland, the right-wing Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders brought down the governing coalition on Monday bellowing his defiance for the "Diktats from Brussels", and asserting that "We must be master of our... Read More
Only 25 Per Cent of All Americans Go to College and Only 16 Per Cent of These Actually Try to Learn Anything. Welcome a Nation of Helots.
"In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a first-class education," President Obama famously declared in his 2010 State of the Union Address, just as millions of high schoolers across the nation were embarking on the annual ritual of picking their preferred colleges and preparing the grand tour of the prospects, with parents... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Consider the present dilemma of Texas governor Rick Perry, whose trajectory as the potential Republican presidential nominee now threatens to emulate the fate of the Challenger spaceshuttle in 1986. What went wrong? The necessary political attributes appeared to be in place to please the Tea Party’s foot soldiers whose season of maximum political effectiveness is... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
How many nails does it require to whack down forever the coffin lid on European social democracy? Lenin, outraged in 1914 at the sight of Social Democratic parties across Europe rallying behind their national flags and voting war credits to unleash the horrors of the First World War, would have been caustically unsurprised just over... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
As an Irish-American, I ask myself, Which of the two is the greater Judas to his nation: the Irish prime minister, Brian Cowen, or the American president, Barack Obama? Both of them are carrying out the same mission? plunging the bulk of the citizenry of their nations into debt peonage, so that bankers and the... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
That was quick.  It seems only yesterday – in fact it was only yesterday - that we had Barack the Populist flailing away at the banks. He didn’t run for office only to end up "helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street", he told CBS’s 60 Minutes in December. Early, he’d... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
You can see how seriously Obama is taking the hot populist temper of the American people and their eagerness to strangle every banker in the entrails of every insurance executive. In an altogether welcome departure from past presidential form in State of the Union addresses at least since 1973 (the first time I listened to... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Since last September Barack Obama has been trying to pull off the tricky shot of backing bailout schemes at taxpayers’ expense for the Wall Street operators who have brought the economy to its knees, while simultaneously presenting himself as a populist crusader battling for economic justice and the regular folks on Main Street. Right now,... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Conspiracism is raising its Medusa’s head again, her lethal visage wreathed with hissing absurdities, immobilizing judgement, melting intellect to pumice. Journalist Russ Baker suggests in a new book, Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It In The White House, And What Their Influence Means for America, “the strong possibility” (I... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Call any Jewish friend across the few days and the degrees of separation from someone financially devastated by Bernie Madoff are often only one or two. One rich Jewish friend in New York volunteers that because of some intricate family dispute his own money hadn’t been parked at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. On... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Hope walks arm in arm with fear, and so naturally enough Candidate Barack Obama is now reminding us, a la Roosevelt, that we have nothing to fear but fear itself and we must all pull together in a spirit of bipartisanship. Wrong. We have many identifiable things to be frightened of, starting with a bailout... Read More
A Nobel Peace Prize for Neoliberalism?
The committee that gave Henry Kissinger the Nobel peace prize has given it this year to Mohammed Younus, the economist who put the word "microloan" on the map with the Grameen Bank in his native land of Bangladesh. That's progress of a sort. But in terms of hot air, any sentences linking "peace" with "Henry... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Here we are, in early 2006 and the headlines are briefly given over to the disclosure that the oil companies have been underpaying their royalties from drilling on US public lands by $7 billion. One of the firms, Kerr McGee, is saying defiantly it doesn't owe the U.S. Treasury a penny and is suing in... Read More
Last of Four Parts of a Short, Meat-Oriented History of the World, From Eden to the Mattole
Come now to a Parable of Swine. Not so many years ago in North Carolina, the pig barons sensed opportunity for their 'right to work' state. In the traditional hog belt of the mid-west, unions and laws against some forms of agribusiness still protect the medium-sized farmer. Today, in North Carolina the hog industry is... Read More
Third of Four Parts of a Short, Meat-Oriented History of the World, from Eden to the Mattole
The vegetarians and Hitler now enter the story. With the surge in meat-eating associated with industrial capitalism came-particularly from city-dwellers-a swelling of the vegetarian cause, hitherto confined to a relatively few Pythagoreans, radicals and eccentrics. Compassion for animals also surged, particularly in Britain where Queen Victoria lent her name to the issue and where anti-vivisection... Read More
Second of Four Parts of a Short, Meat-Oriented History of the World, From Eden to the Mattole
Start with God. Now continue with Empire. In a three-week period in May 1806, as Lewis and Clark moved through Montana in the course of their survey, they and their party-the Corps of Discovery-killed 167 animals, about eight a day. Reviewing their entire itinerary, Donald Worster reckons that over twenty-eight months they probably shot-for their... Read More
First of Four Parts: Peter's Dream
Start with God. The Bible is a meat-eater's manifesto. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were vegetarian. They fed on grains, nuts and fruits. Then Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil-or at least that's the way Adam explained it to God. They were cast forth from the Garden,... Read More
Travels with Sainath, Being an Indian Diary, of Third of Three Parts
April 4 Sainath tells me he’s had difficulty sleeping since he covered the suicides in Andhra Pradesh from the late 90s on. All told, he’s visited 300 families in which a suicide has occurred. How did it all begin? From the early 90s forward, zero investment and a collapse of credit ravaged Indian agriculture. The... Read More
Travels with Sainath, Being an Indian Diary, First of Three Parts
March 25, 2005 Mumbai’s an old-style airport, unlike Hong Kong’s, which is the last word in modernity, where you can rent a cubicle, have a shower and a snooze, and fancy yourself an upscale member of the traveling classes. Here in Mumbai I meet Sainath, and off we go in a diesel Toyota taxi; I... Read More
CounterPunch Diary Paul Krugman: Part of the Problem
Enter the world of Paul Krugman, a world either dark (the eras of Bush One and Bush Two), or bathed in light (when Bill was king). "What do you think of the French revolution?" someone is supposed to have asked Chou En Lai. "Too soon to tell", Chou laconically riposted. Krugman entertains no such prudence.... Read More
INSIDE
When did the great executive stock option hog wallow really start? You can go back to the deregulatory push under Carter in the late Seventies, then move into the Reagan Eighties when corporate purchases of shares really took off. This was the era of the leveraged buy-out and merger-mania, assisted by tax laws that favored... Read More
Can Jeff Gerth Save the White House?
The right is whining. Carl Limbacher and his crew complain on the popular NewsMax site that in the two weeks since the Harken story went critical, "the prestige press" (Limbacher's odd phrase, which presumably means he's excluding The National Enquirer) has given the affair fifty times more coverage than it gave the Whitewater deal after... Read More
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