December 2015
Volume 28
Number 12

Cover Quote:

"But nothing less than
the most radical imagination

will carry us beyond this place,
beyond the mere struggle for survival,
to the lucid recognition of our possibilities,
which will keep us impatient,
and unresigned to mere survival"

                                                                      - Adrienne Rich



left Box

Z Magazine is an independent monthly magazine founded in 1988. Our mission is to publish in depth articles that critique society's political, economic, social life and institutions. We see the race, class, and gender dimensions of personal life as equally important in understanding current circumstances and as necessary for developing visions and strategies for progressive change.






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Recent ZMagazine

Jeremy Kuzmarov: The Pentagon’s Brain

Annie Jacobsen’s important new book, The Pentagon’s Brain, confirms the worst of Eisenhower’s fears, showing how the top secret Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has commanded billions of taxpayer dollars

Peter Olney: The Primary Route

This is an easy read, 187 pages with great photos and tons of wry humor.

Michael Galli: The Night in New Hampshire Where Media Missed the Point

I raced down the hallway and found Shay, a senior. “I would like to know,” she said, “what PR firm he has hired and how that influences him on the campaign?”

Noam Chomsky: Rekindling the Radical Imagination

For the radical imagination to be rekindled and to lead the way out of this desert, what is needed is people who will work to sweep away the mists of carefully contrived illusion, reveal the stark reality, and become directly engaged in the popular struggles

Michael Albert: Socialism?!

With Bernie Sanders calling himself a socialist, not to mention calling for a “revolution,” and Bill Gates saying socialism may be the only salvation against climate change, something is certainly happening— but what?

Van Gosse: What’s In A Name: Bernie Sanders, Socialist Candidate

It’s a fine irony that after years of allegations that President Obama was a covert “socialist,” we now have the genuine article

William Boardman: Defending The Empire Against Freeing the Innocent

What do you say about the blameless man who was held at the Guantanamo concentration camp for 13 years, without trial, without charges against him, without credible evidence?

Jack Rasmus: Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy

The global economic crisis that erupted in 2008-09 is not over; it is merely shifting

David Barsamian: ISIS, Syria, & Journalism

The pattern that I had been seeing from the beginning of the conflict was that it was being framed not in relation to facts on the ground so much as in relation to the context of the history of the Iraq War,

Robert Koehler: The Moral Rabbit Hole

The New York Times reported recently that U.S. soldiers still fighting the war in Afghanistan—14 years on—are under orders to be “culturally sensitive”

Paul Street: Benghazi and Blowback Blues

Benghazi and the larger context surrounding it also raised unpleasant questions about the Obama administration’s violation of federal law requiring Congressional oversight of the CIA

Ramzy Baroud: Listen to Syrians: Media Jackals and the People’s Narrative

Certainly, it is already late for too many Syrians whose stories were buried with them, but it is not too late for many who are still alive. We need to listen to the Syrian people, who have been at the receiving end of death,

Mel Gurtov: Facebook is Listening to You

One thing we have become all too used to is that our reality can be manipulated to create the appearance of something else entirely.

Michael Winship: When the Rich Took Over Our Neighborhood

Much of Bleecker Street, for example, once a Village thoroughfare of bohemia immortalized in songs by Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, and Iggy Pop, is now a mini-Fifth Avenue of upscale boutiques and chain stores

Pete Dolack: Not Ruthless Enough For Wall Street?

Financiers have been punishing Walmart in part because the company has raised its minimum wage to $9 an hour. Plans to increase abysmally low pay has Wall Street in an ornery mood because profits might be hurt

Victoria Law: Going Home

On October 6, the Justice Department announced that nearly 6,000 people in federal prisons will be going home early. The move, U.S. officials told the Washington Post, is an effort to both reduce overcrowding and to provide relief to people who received harsh drug war sentences over the past three decades. In 2014, the U.S. Read more…

Bill Berkowitz: Sovereign Citizen’s Domestic Terror Threat

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), in late September, Thomas David Deegan, a man described by authorities as an anti-government sovereign citizen, was arrested and accused “of plotting to overthrow the state government in West Virginia, hoping to establish a prototype for extremists to follow in other states.” At the same time, the Read more…

Eric Rodriguez: It Took Two Hours to Get My Hands on an AK-47

It’s time that our politicians acknowledge that it’s way too easy to get guns—legal and illegal—in this country

Edward S. Herman: More Nuggets From the Nuthouse

I’ve long been intrigued by the ways in which neo-liberal class warfare is normalized and even made to seem an advance in social welfare.

Joel Chaffee: December Announcements

Free Listings

Robert Koehler: Why Bombing A Hospital is a War Crime

We tried to take a look into one of the burning buildings. I cannot describe what was inside. There are no words for how terrible it was.

Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

Events, books, and other items of interest to progressives

Brian Tokar: Dylan Goes Electric

Dylan Goes Electric By Elijah Wald Dey Street Books, 2015 Review by Brian Tokar Fifty years ago Bob Dylan sent shockwaves through the music world, appearing at the hallowed Newport Folk Festival with an electric guitar and a wailing, electric backup band. Those events have inspired raucous debate among folk and rock music fans ever Read more…

Edward S. Herman: Queen of Chaos

Diana Johnstone has written an extremely valuable book on Hillary Clinton, which not only examines in detail Clinton’s political history and record, but places them in their evolving political context

David Porter: Grabbing Back

While atlases reify the notion that every land mass but Antarctica is defined by statist boundaries and state control, Alexander Reid Ross’ interesting recent anthology, Grabbing Back exposes this illusion.

John Potash: The Black Panthers Movie’s Luster and Tarnish

A new movie, The Black Panthers, has planned showings in 31 cities nationwide this fall. The film does a good job at showing the positive community organizing , but strays into historical revisionism

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo: Justice for Emmanuel

As Emmanuel made his way to his mother’s vending stand, he could not have possibly imagined that within two hours, a Montgomery County police officer, Christopher Jordan, would end his life by shooting him in the forehead and the torso.

Nicolas J.S. Davies: The Record U.S. Military Budget

To listen to the Republican candidates’ debates, one would think that President Obama had slashed the U.S. military budget and left our country defenseless.

H. Patricia Hynes: Agent Orange: The Unfinished War in Vietnam

During the ten years of aerial chemical warfare in Vietnam, U.S. warplanes sprayed more than 20 million gallons of herbicide defoliants, chief among them Agent Orange.

Alfred W. McCoy: Grandmaster of the Great Game

Obama is revealing himself as one of those rare grandmasters with an ability to play that ruthless global game called geopolitics

Derek Ide: Retracing Toledo’s Radical History

In Toledo, isolation is the rule rather than the anomaly. This has not always been the case, however. Toledo has a long and radical history

Bruce Levine: Ten of the Worst Political Abuses of U.S. Psychiatry and Psychology

Psychiatrists and psychologists have been used by the U.S. CIA to facilitate mind control and torture

Immanuel Ness: U.S. Labor Law At 80

By embracing collective bargaining through the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935, or Wagner Act, organized labor deprived workers of their capacity to contest private and state power.

Various Contributors: Grace Lee Boggs

Grace Lee Boggs, the child of Chinese immigrants who spent her life actively supporting causes ranging from civil rights and labor to the Black Power and feminist movements, died October 5, 2015

William Boardman: Republican Leadership? Face It, That’s an Oxymoron

The American military is the most powerful and most expensive military in the world. And yet Republicans (and many Democrats) want more and more military

Ramzy Baroud: Israel’s Role in the Syrian Refugee Crisis

When Zionist Haganah militias carried out Operation Yiftach, on May 19, 1948, the aim was to drive out Palestinians in the northern Safad District, which had declared its independence five days earlier outside the border of Israel. The ethnic cleansing of Safad and its many villages was not unique to that area. In fact, it Read more…

Dan Glazebrook: Refugees Don’t Cause Fascism, Timmermans, You Do

Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, following recent negotiations over the so-called refugee crisis, remarked to reporters: “We have to patrol our borders better.

Laura Finley: Rape On Campus, Guns Are Not The Answer

The data is clear on this issue. Guns are far more likely to be used against victims of sexual assault than by them, escalating harm instead of attenuating it.

Andy Piascik: The Connecticut Physician Who Warned the World About DDT

In the late 1940s, Morton Biskind, a Westport Connecticut physician, began noticing new ailments and new variations on old ailments in both humans he was treating as well as animals in the area.

Lawrence Wittner: Russians And Americans Get Their Kids Ready for War

In 1916, Congress established the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), which today flourishes in some 3,500 American high schools

Joel Chaffee: Events and Other Items of Interest

Events EDUCATION – The National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) will host its 25th annual conference in New Orleans, October 1-4. Contact: LGBTQ – The 27th annual Out On Film Festival will take place October 1-8, in Atlanta. Contact: [email protected]; IROQUOIS – The 2015 Conference on Iroquois Research will be held October 2-5, Read more…

Paul Buhle: Two Books On Labor

An old question: is there a vital “workerism,” self-guided and instinctively radical, apart from socialist, communist or other left-wing political groups and can it make great reforms, even hold power in a workplace or city or national state?

Robert Hunziker: America’s Purple Politics

America’s illusory two-party system is so badly corrupted and perverted with such lowly debauchery, undermining any semblance of democracy, it is like a reign of terror that has emerged underneath people’s noses. There is no election when both parties are one. It’s Purple Politics buttoned up. Deep down, people understand this rigged system only too well.

Chris Hedges: Master & Slave

John Malkin interviews Chris Hedges about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Occupy movement, Hedges recent book and more.

Jeremy Kuzmarov: The Revival of American Militarism

Jimmy Carter’s illness has prompted an array of retrospectives of the man and his presidency both positive and negative. Missing from many of these commentaries is the fact that his presidency was crucial to the revival of American militarism after Vietnam, even though Carter wants to be remembered as a peace president and spoke out Read more…

Denny Riley: The Saturday Before

On the Saturday before the Sunday of the Pride Parade, the Pride Celebration happened in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza and the surrounding grid of streets. From a stage in front of city hall live music blasted out over rows and rows of canopied booths where it appeared everything was for sale but washers and dryers. Booths purveyed savory ethnic dishes and ballpark food, healthy and not so healthy beverages, clothes, crafts, trinkets, sunglasses, hats, books, posters and miniature icons from India and little pipes

Ellen Isaacs: Hurricane Sandy Is Still Drowning The Poor

It is a few months short of three years since Hurricane Sandy barreled down on NYC. The flooded subways have new barriers. The submerged hospital generators are back in order. The boardwalks along the shore are up and trod by beachgoers once again. But what of the thousands of poor renters, most on public assistance, who lost their homes that day? I don’t know all their stories. I only know one intimately, and it is not a happy story.

Sean Posey: Mainstreaming Domestic Terrorism

In April 2009, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report leaked to the public entitled “Right Wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” was released within months of President Obama’s inauguration, sketching the broad strokes of a nascent white nationalist backlash

Yohannes Woldemariam: Caring About Animals, Dehumanizing African Asylum Seekers

What is yet to enter the public discourse is Western complicity for the circumstances that generate refugees. The contributions of the U.S.-British “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq and the U.S.-British-French “Mission Accomplished” in Libya to the refugee exodus is rarely acknowledged.

Peter Rugh: Not For Sale

When I was a teenager I used to skip class, nestle under a desk in my high school’s library where the school administrators wouldn’t find me and open up a tattered copy of Leaves of Grass. The way Walt Whitman wrote about America was so blithe and idealistic, operatic, and direct that I had to read the words aloud, which I did in a low voice so no one would overhear me

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