May 2015
Volume 28
Number 5
MAYONLINECOV

 

ZMAG MISSION

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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

Lily Murphy: Stephane Hessel: 1917-2013

Two years have passed since one of the great political and social thinkers of our time Stephane Hessel died. Hessel enjoyed a long life, from his birth in Berlin to his final breath in Paris, where one of his last works Indignez-Vous, (Time For Outrage) was published. The book packs a large punch and it Read more…

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David Barsamian: Inside the Middle East: An Interview with Abdullah Al-Arian

Abdullah Al-Arian is Assistant Professor of History at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar

Joel Chaffee: Upcoming Events

Upcoming events for activists, new progressive books and film releases

Al Gedicks: Review of Dawn Paley’s Drug War Capitalism

Based on extensive travels, interviews, and research in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, Dawn Paley invites the reader to consider other factors and motivations for the war on drugs

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Lawrence Wittner: Review of Betty Medsger’s The Burglary

The Burglary tells the story of how, on March 8, 1971, in the midst of the Vietnam War, eight peace activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in an effort to discover whether the FBI was working, illegally, to suppress American dissent

James Petras: Brazil’s President Declares War on the Working Class

The Brazilian working class is facing the most savage assault on its living standards in over a decade

Andrew Gavin Marshall: From Ferguson to Freedom

The protests resulting from events in Ferguson and New York have spurred a nation-wide anti-police brutality and social justice movement

Stephen Bergstein: Court Watch

Federal Court strikes down mandatory drug-testing for welfare recipients

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Paul Street: Latin America Takes the Lead in Opposing Torture

It wasn’t just Europe that collaborated with CIA extraordinary rendition and torture. Fifty four nations spread across five of the world’s six inhabited continents participated in the U.S. global torture network

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Zoltan Grossman: The War at Home Meets the Wars Abroad

Do you ever get a sense of déjà vu? When you get a creepy feeling that you’ve been there before or experienced something before? On Saturday, December 13, I was participating in a #BlackLivesMatter march down 4th Avenue in downtown Olympia, Washington, with about 50 other people.

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Jenny Brown: Stirring Troublemaking

The year had a spirited and determined feel. Every time we turned around there was another sit-in or strike or ingenious job action

Winston Alpha: The Limits of #ICan’tBreathe

These slogans are catchy and make a powerful impression when spoken by a large group, but at the end of the day, that’s all they are—slogans. Here’s the reality: the system doesn’t respond to slogans, it responds to demands.

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Bill Berkowitz: The Role of Healthcare Workers in the Bush Torture Project

The role of health care workers in facilitating torture is one of the sickening details uncovered by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s 500-page executive summary of its investigation of George W. Bush’s administration’s torture program

Sujatha Fernandes: Why USAID Could Never Spark A Hip Hop Revolution in Cuba

When the AP news story broke about USAID infiltrating Cuban rap groups between 2009 and 2010, I was not surprised. Infiltration is something that Cuban rappers have been wary of for some time

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Lawrence Wittner: The $7 Million University President

Despite repeated complaints about Jackson from faculty and students, RPI’s board of trustees has invariably expressed its total confidence in her. This unwavering support appears to be based not only on Jackson’s fundraising prowess, but on the corporate approach that she and the board share

Patrick Kennelly: The Unspeakable in Afghanistan

  Two thousand fourteen, marks the deadliest year in Afghanistan for civilians, fighters, and foreigners. The situation reached a new low as the myth of the Afghan state continued. Thirteen years into America’s longest war, the international community argued that Afghanistan is growing stronger, despite nearly all indicators suggesting otherwise. Most recently, the central government Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: Five Reasons Why 2014 Was a Game Changer in Palestine

In terms of losses in human lives, 2014 has been a horrific year for Palestinians, but there are some very good signs that things are changing

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Edward S. Herman: Speaking Truth to Power or to the Powerless?

One of the clichés repeated often by liberals and leftists, which always rubs me the wrong way, is that we must “speak truth to power.” But those with power usually already know the truth, but avoid it because it’s contrary to their interests or they don’t want to know it or hear about it, for the same reason

Karen Andersen: Sony, The Interview, and Hollywood Illusions of Creative Expression

The Interview got its shot by blowing the head off of No. 1 U.S. evil enemy Kim Jong-un, but it wasn’t Rogen’s creativity that came up with that plot twist. It came from the CIA. Though The Los Angeles Times reported that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg claimed it was their idea to have Kim Jong-un as the target, an email from Sony’s senior vice president Marisa Liston, published in the Daily Beast, indicated that it came from Sony through the intelligence agency

Gregory Elich: Who Was Behind the Cyberattack on Sony?

In the rush to judgment, few were asking for evidence and none was provided. Computer security analysts, however, were vocal in their skepticism

Dahlia Lithwick: The 10 Worst Civil Liberties Violations of 2014

The world may not actually be falling apart, but it feels like America is. From police brutality and botched executions to voter suppression and election corruption, 2014 was a terrible year for civil liberties. Protests were quelled by military-grade weapons in scenes worthy of a banana republic and the divide between the rich and the poor in the freedom and justice they are afforded is Dickensian in its scope.

Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

Events and new releases of interest to progressives

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Edward S. Herman: Justice Belied

Edward S. Herman Reviews a book on the “Unbalanced Scales of International Criminal Justice

Michelle Renee Matisons: All Lives Matter

the white supremacist policing practices behind the murder-by-cop epidemic is really a capitalist, white supremacist, hetero-patriarchal policing system that must be analyzed and fought as such.

William Boardman: Gorbachev Warns of a New Cold War

Whatever is actually happening in Ukraine nowadays, reporting on the struggle remains remarkably unreliable and seemingly biased from all directions. Reports like one from Bloomberg typically treat mysterious military convoys spotted in the region as greater threats to peace than the Ukraine government’s actual killing of 200 people by bombarding Donetsk.

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Roger Bybee: The Longest Strike

“A long strike is usually a losing strike,” observes the noted labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein. Yet the longest strike in U.S. history—the United Auto Workers’ seven-year battle with the Kohler Corporation from 1954 to 1961—turned into a remarkable victory for the union.

Colin Jenkins: The Great Recession, Six Years Later

How accurate are GDP and unemployment rates when assessing the overall economic well-being of a country? Why are such macroeconomic indicators used so frequently in mainstream analyses? Let’s take a look.

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Kevin Zeese: Dramatic Correlation Between GMOs and 22 Diseases

The conclusions of the study are: “These data show very strong and highly significant correlations between the increasing use of glyphosate, GE crop growth, and the increase in a multitude of diseases.

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Paul Street: No True Justice

Throughout its coverage of the dramas sparked by the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City—and by the Grand Jury non-indictments of their killers—U.S. corporate media has framed the racial issue at stake as about how police carry out their tasks, how they police.

Nayvin Gordon: Genes, Cancer, And Capitalism

There is no doubt that there is a cancer epidemic in the U.S. Cancer is rapidly gaining on cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death. Cancer is also a major public health problem worldwide.

Nicolas J.S. Davies: U.S. Dirty Wars

The mostly Sunni Arab population of western and northern Iraq is faced with a diabolical choice between the brutal rule of ISIS and the even more murderous rule of their own government. Their life and death predicament is the direct result of past and present U.S. policy in Iraq.

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Laura Carlsen: Students March for Ayotzinapa

Recently, thousands of students marched from Tlatelolco Square, site of the notorious student massacre of 1968, to Zocalo in Mexico City in solidarity with the 43 disappeared students of the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero

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Linda Gordon: Abortion As A Moral Issue

The better news is that the U.S. right wing has become so crazy that it has re-energized women’s activism, and two new publications have raised the campaign to defend birth control onto a higher level of bravery.

Glen Ford: For A Moment, the World Embraces the Cuba Model

Recently, the nations of the world—with two exceptions—instructed their emissaries at the UN General Assembly to tell the world’s self-designated “indispensable” country to end its 54-year-long trade embargo against Cuba.

Christopher Fisher: Making Iraq Safe for American Rice

Betsy Ward, president and CEO of the USA Rice Federation, was fuming recently when the Iraqi Grain Board (IGB) neglected, once again, to purchase American rice from corporate behemoth Archer Daniels Midland and opted instead for more expensive varieties from Brazil, Uruguay, and Thailand.

James Petras: Fall of the Berlin Wall

While NATO regimes celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall as the highest expression of freedom, these same political leaders support, finance, and promote the construction of oppressive walls throughout world

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Brian Terrell: Redefining Imminent

In order to justify its global assassination program, the Obama administration has had to stretch words beyond their natural breaking point. For instance, any male 14 years or older found dead in a drone strike zone is a “combatant,” unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving him innocent…. The one word most degraded and twisted these days, to the goriest ends, is the word “imminent.”

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Bruno Jäntti: U.S. Aggression Against Vietnam

The total amount of U.S. bombings during the Vietnam War was more than twice the size of all the bombings in WWII.

Twelve million acres of forest and twenty-five million acres of farmland, at the bare minimum, were destroyed by U.S. saturation bombing. The U.S. also sprayed over 70 million liters of herbicidal agents on Vietnam.

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Z Staff: Gift Offers

Gift subs, donation for book premiums to help Z

James Petras: The Pentagon and Big Oil: Militarism and Capital Accumulation

There is no question that, in the immediate aftermath, following U.S. military conquests, wars, occupations, and sanctions, U.S. multinational corporations (MNC) lost out on profitable sites for investments.

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

Events HUMAN RIGHTS – The10th Biannual Southern Human Rights Organizers’ Conference (SHROC X) will be held December 12-14 in Savannah, GA. The Goal of SHROC is to bring together human rights organizers to discuss common issues and develop more effective strategies for building a human rights movement in the Deep South. Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue Read more…

Dylan Murphy: Kiev Regime Faces Military Defeat and Economic Collapse

With all eyes focused on the Middle East, it appears to have gone quiet in the Ukraine with a ceasefire announced in early September. However, fighting does continue on the ground and the Kiev junta faces a tough winter in which to keep hold of power.

Mateo Pimentel: A Story Grows in Arizona

The state’s legal landscape shifted drastically in 2010 when voters marginally succeeded in legalizing the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (Prop 203, commonly). According to CNN reports at the time, the Arizona ballot measure—to legalize the consumption of medical marijuana—passed with only 50.13 percent of the vote. Prop 203 was effectively the only ballot to sneek Read more…

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Robert Ovetz: Reviving the Power to Strike

Robert Ovetz reviews Strike Back by Joe Burns. “There is a hidden secret in our union movement and Joe Burns has shined a light on it. Our unions will not recover power until we again embrace worker self-organization”

Olivier Uyttebrouck: The End Of The Line For Chino’s Storied Union

The southern New Mexico mining town of Santa Rita no longer exists, even as a ghost town, except in the memories of Terry Humble and others who lived there. The ground beneath Santa Rita has been blasted, shoveled, and trucked away over the last century to feed the world’s demand for copper,

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Bill Berkowitz: Stealth Evangelism 3.0

In 1990, a young Ralph Reed, newly hired by Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition to oversee its daily operations, told the Los Angeles Times that, “What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time, and one state at a time.

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Ramzy Baroud: “Islamic State” Sectarianism is Not Coincidental

The entire American nation-building experiment was, in fact, a political swindle engulfed by many horrifying episodes, starting with the dissolving of the country’s army, entire official institutions, and the construction of an alternative political class that was essen- tially sectarian.

The entire American nation-building experiment was, in fact, a political swindle engulfed by many horrifying episodes, starting with the dissolving of the country’s army, entire official institutions, and the construction of an alternative political class that was essentially sectarian.

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Paul Street: When Words Don’t Mean Anything Anymore

Nothing mocks disingenuous, power-serving politicians more than their own past words. President Barack Obama is a remarkable case in point.

Erica Weiland: You Have Already Been Drafted

Rich and powerful people will always find a way to profit from, rather than pay in any manner for, wars. Furthermore, I want to point out that we are already making great sacrifices for our current war. We have already been drafted and we are already paying war taxes. According to the War Resisters League, for the 2015 fiscal year, approximately 45 percent of every income tax dollar paid to the U.S. government will end up being spent on war

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Kevin Zeese: Hong Kong Protests

When protests in Hong Kong exploded people looked for U.S. involvement. It was not hard to find.

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