july-cov-5

July/August 2015
Volume 28
Number 7/8

 

 

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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DONATIONS

We survive through income from paid subscriptions, sales of videos and books, online Sustainers, individual donations. and periodic fundraising. We are non-profit, tax exempt under the Institute for Social and Cultural Communications. We are currently in dire need of funds. To donate by mail, send checks payable to Z Magazine, 215 Atlantic Ave, Hull, MA 02045 (508- 548-9063). To donate online go to: www.zcommunications.org and become a Sustainer.

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Recent ZMagazine

Stephen Bergstein: A Review of The Burglary by Betty Medsger

In 1971, eight activists burglarized an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania to confirm suspicions that the agency was spying on and disrupting the anti-war movement. The break-in was obviously unlawful. It also exposed the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO surveillance program, which sought to destroy the social and political movements that challenged the American status quo

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Shamus Cooke: Fight “Right to Work”

In Oregon, Democrats dominate all branches of politics. Yet the labor unions are still terrified. There is justifiable dread that anti-union “Right to Work” laws will be purchased into existence by out-of-state billionaires

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David Morris: The Politics of the NCAA Sweet Sixteen

When television cameras zoomed in on Kansas Governor Sam Brownback in the middle of the Kansas-Wichita State NCAA basketball game, a thunderous chorus of boos broke out. Viewers gained a rare glimpse of the politics behind March Madness

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Bill Berkowitz: Criminalizing Poverty: A Toxic and Growing Phenomenon

The Justice Department’s report on Ferguson, Missouri’s criminal justice system pointed out that African Americans were specifically targeted, seen “less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.”

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Ramzy Baroud: Netanyahu the Mythbuster “Special Relationship” No More

In a message delivered in a video on Facebook, incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a sinister call appealing to ingrained racism in Israeli society

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Z Staff: Danny Schechter, 1942-2015

Schechter infused almost all his work—whether it was for alternative or mainstream media—with his advocacy of human rights. In 1971, Schechter joined the Boston rock station WBCN-FM, where he found a following as “Danny Schechter, the News Dissector.” This Memorial was compiled from a number of emails to Z.

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Z Staff: Subscription Rates and General Information

Z MAGAZINE is an independent magazine of critical thinking on political, cultural, social, and economic life in the U.S.

Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

Upcoming events for activists

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Edward S. Herman: Trans-Pacific Partnership versus Equality and Democracy

The TPP would encourage further out-sourcing and job and tax revenue loss, a further weakening of labor’s bargaining power, windfalls for the wealthy from enhanced copyright and patent protection, along with reduced government revenue for social spending

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Staughton Lynd: Review of “American Reckoning”

This book, with this central theme, could not have appeared at a more appropriate moment. The United States government has initiated a program, planned to extend over several years, to celebrate the Vietnam War

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Kathy Kelly: The Front Page Rule

When Clarke invokes the “front page rule,” it seems to be his acknowledgement that peace protesters like members of Code Pink play a valuable role informing public opinion. Believing that the means you use determines the end you get, they hold out for alternatives to war and killing

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Jack Rasmus: The Greek Debt Interim Agreement

Greece and Syriza have not sold out. To declare such is premature at best and counterproductive politically at worst. Yes, Greece blinked at the February 28 deadline. If it hadn’t what would have been the consequences?

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Paul Street: Beyond False Dichotomies

The reality in most cases is that there are many in-between or other alternative options, not just two mutually exclusive ones…. There are two ways in which one can commit a false dilemma. First, one can assume that there are only two (or three, though that case is strictly speaking be a ‘false trilemma’) options when there really are many more

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Lawrence Wittner: Review of Upton Sinclair: California Socialist

Can a dedicated socialist have a significant impact on American life? Lauren Coodley’s biography of prominent socialist novelist and agitator Upton Sinclair shows that, with a lot of talent and fortitude, that kind of influence is possible

Nathan Robinson: Review of Rudolph Rocker’s “Nationalism and Culture”

When Rudolf Rocker’s Nationalism and Culture was released in 1937, it was hailed by no less an assemblage of luminaries than Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Thomas Mann. The historian Will Durant called it “magnificent” and “profound,” and even the New Republic gave it a positive notice

Eric Laursen: Review of Co-operatives in a Post-Growth Era

Co-operatives—not to be flippant—are big business. They exist in 100 countries, have more than 800 million members, and provide some 100 million jobs. Co-ops market half the world’s agricultural production, and 120 million people in 87 countries go to credit unions for their banking and financial services needs. Health care co-operatives service some 100 million people in more than 50 countries. In the U.S. alone, some 30,000 co-ops provide over 2 million jobs

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John Pietaro: The Pervasive Reality of Strange Fruit”

The song “Strange Fruit” lives on as legendary poetry and music that makes perhaps the strongest argument against race hatred of any artwork. Though it will forever be associated with Billie Holiday, the piece’s relevance calls for it to be renewed and relived, over the course of generations and, likewise, struggles.

Midge Quandt: A Review of “Latin America’s Radical Left”

The radical left in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador enshrines participatory democracy in their constitutions; and it rejects the state-centered strategy of the old left. It also repudiates neo-liberalism

Stephen Bergstein: Supreme Court To Rule On Same-Sex Marriage

By late June 2015, the Supreme Court will decide whether the U.S. Constitution recognizes the right to same-sex marriage. Although same-sex marriage is a true culture war issue, the chances are good that the Court will extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians.

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David Swanson: How Did Syria Get Here?

Syria was shaped by the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement (in which Britain and France divided up things that didn’t belong to either of them), the 1917 Balfour Declaration (in which Britain promised Zionists land it didn’t own, and the 1920 San Remo Conference at which Britain, France, Italy, and Japan used rather arbitrary lines to create the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon, the British Mandate of Palestine (including Jordan), and the British Mandate of Iraq.

Eric Bonds: The Wastes of War in Iraq and Afghanistan

Journalists have described how the fumes from burning trash settled over the Ballad air base like fog, and how soldiers would try to filter out some of the pollution by placing wet towels over air-conditioning intakes at night, which would turn black by the morning.

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Michael Albert: An Interview with John Pilger

It doesn’t matter who has been in the White House—Barack Obama or Teddy Roosevelt—the U.S. will not tolerate countries with governments and cultures that put the needs of their own people first and refuse to promote or succumb to U.S. demands and pressures.

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Linda Gordon: Anti-Woman Terrorism

The proper definition of terrorism, often forgotten, is not only inflicting violence on civilians but doing so in order to intimidate, frighten and coerce others into conformity to the values of the terrorists. When the 19th-century Russian anarchist terrorists assassinated Tsarist agents, they did so in order to make others less willing to serve the Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: Obama’s Admission On Middle East Violence

Not only does the conventional wisdom in U.S. media blame the bloody exploits of IS on the region itself, as if the U.S. and western interventionism are not, in any way, factors at least worth pondering

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Bill Berkowitz: Drone Assassinations Are Being Carried Out in Our Name

According to a report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, “At least 2,464 people have now been killed by U.S. drone strikes outside the country’s declared war zones [Afghanistan and Iraq] since President Barack Obama’s inauguration six years ago.”

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Norman Solomon: CIA Evidence From Whistleblower Trial Could Tilt Iran Nuclear Talks

An emerging big irony of United States of America v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling is that the government has harmed itself in the process of gunning for the defendant

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Michael Albert: Do Not Drone Me

Drones are on the verge of being able to stay in the air for weeks and maybe months on end. They can not only have weapons for shredding people like a giant disposal might, but also super cameras

Joel Chaffee: Events, Books, Film, and Music

Events, new book and film releases and other items of interest to progressives

Various Reviewers: Books on History, Work, and Tar Sands

Doing History from the Bottom Up turns standard academic method upside down

Chris Williams: Can Bolivia Chart A Path Away From Capitalism?

Arguably, no other country thus far in the 21st Century raises the question of an “exit strategy” from neoliberal capitalism more concretely, and with greater possibility and hope, than Bolivia

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Paul Street: The Chicago Blackhawks, Indian Logos, and the U.S. Empire

In the United States, however, American Indian names and logos—appropriated from indigenous people the U.S. military and white settlers largely exterminated in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries—persist in professional, collegiate, and high school athletics and also in the military

Hilary Klein: Ya Basta!

Twenty-one years ago, in January 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) captured the world’s imagination when it rose up to demand justice and democracy for the indigenous people of Chiapas, taking on the Mexican government and global capitalism itself. The EZLN is named after Emiliano Zapata, a hero of the Mexican Revolution

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Lawrence Wittner: Will The U.S. Government Reject Children’s Rights, Again?

Within a matter of months, the U.S. government seems likely to become the only nation in the world still rejecting the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

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Sue Sturgis: Governors’ Big Oil-Assisted Lobbying Pays Off

The Obama administration released its draft five-year plan for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf and for the first time it includes waters off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, But environmental advocates blasted it for putting coastal ecosystems and economies at risk.

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Ramzy Baroud: War Begets War: It’s Not About Islam, It Never Was

First, let’s be clear on some points. Islam set in motion a system to abolish slavery over 1,200 years before the slave trade reached its peak in the western world.

First, let’s be clear on some points. Islam set in motion a system to abolish slavery over 1,200 years before the slave trade reached its peak in the western world. Freeing the slaves, who were owned by pagan Arab tribes, was a recurring theme in the Koran

William Boardman: “Low Life Scum”

Would you want to change places with a despised war criminal? Would you really like to change places with John McCain or Henry Kissinger? With Dick Cheney or George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld or any of hundreds of other predators still at large?

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Edward S. Herman: Anti-Terrorism Rally in Paris?

Hypocrisy runs deep in the imperialist and colonial-settler states. The United States has regularly and deliberately bombed and killed journalists in states under attack, including Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan, among others

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Norman Solomon: Race, Leaks, and Prosecution at the CIA

Information about the CIA program only reached the public because Risen took the risk of putting it in a book.

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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