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July/August 2014
Volume 27
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, and social life and institutions. We see the race, class, and gender dimensions of personal life as equally important to understanding current circumstances and as necessary for developing visions and strategies for progressive change. (See “About Z” in the table of contents.)

 

Now Publishing Z BOOKS

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Recently Released:
Z Reader on the Environment!
 
Coming in June:
The Chomsky Z Collection

 

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, 18 Millfield Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (508- 548-9063). To donate online go to: www.zcom munications.org and become a Sustainer.

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Recent ZMagazine

Al Gedicks: Militarized Mining in Wisconsin

Armed guards protecting extractive resource operations is not an uncommon sight in Central and South American countries where there is growing community resistance to ecologically destructive mining and oil projects. As early as 2008, the United Nations documented “an emerging trend in Latin America but also in other regions of the world indicates situations of Read more…

Cliff Durand: Laboratory For A New Society

Cuba is poised to be the first country in the world to have co-operatives make up a major portion of its economy. Cuba is engaged in a fundamental reshaping of its society. Calling it a renovation of socialism or a renewal of socialism, the country is re-forming the economic system away from the state socialist Read more…

Stephen Bergstein: Supreme Court to Decide Town Prayer Case

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that strikes at the heart of one of the many culture wars in American society: the separation of church and state. The Justices will decide whether the Constitution allows a community in upstate New York to open its town board meetings with religious prayer. This case Read more…

Edward S. Herman: Orwellian Language Update

Imperialism and rising inequality call forth language innovations to put a nasty reality in a better light, or at least to take those responsible for the nastiness off-the-hook. One verbal device that helps obscure reality, and the responsibility for mass distress, is the use of the pronoun “we” for those responsible and the phrase “lack Read more…

Stephen R. Thornton: Hospital Workers Beat Private Equity Takeover

Waterbury, Connecticut is a company town, but union members and neighborhood activists have won their two-year battle to change that. The “Brass City” is not the industrial fortress it once was, where the Scovill, Chase and Anaconda companies hired thousands of local metal workers and controlled the political and economic life of the city. Today, Read more…

Dimitris Fasfalis: Mandela Between Fact and Fiction

There are many ways in which the capitalist rulers of the world manage to contain the empowering hope borne by revolutionary leaders: slander, silence, and in some cases outright embezzlement. The latter is the case today with Nelson Mandela. Here is—among many other samples of the same sort—an excerpt from a BBC News report about Read more…

Andrew Gavin Marshall: Kings of the Keystone Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation describes itself as “a leader in the responsible development and reliable and safe operation of North American energy infrastructure.” Beginning in 2005, the company announced plans for the Keystone XL pipeline. In 2010, Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) approved the full pipeline project, stating that it was in the “public interest” to transport Canadian tar sands oil Read more…

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James Elliott: A United Syriza Moves Closer to Power

The man who promises to end Greece’s austerity binge and reinvent European socialism for the 21st century edged closer to power, after the radical left Syriza coalition of 14 parties merged into one unified bloc to fight future elections. Alexis Tsipras, the coalition’s leader, was elected head of the new party with 74 percent of Read more…

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Peter Rugh: JP Morgan: Enron 2.0

As more and more Americans are beginning to share scientists’ concerns over climate change, revelations of big bank energy market manipulations highlight Wall Street’s entrenched stake in the fossil fuel economy that is heating up the planet. In what critics are calling Enron 2.0, JP Morgan Chase is facing a reported fine in the range of $500 Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: The Un-Revolution: Yemen’s Mediocre Transition

Considering the off-putting reality, one fails to imagine a future scenario in which Yemen could avoid a full-fledged conflict or a civil war. It is true that much could be done to fend off against this bleak scenario, such as efforts towards reconciliation and bold steps to achieve transparent democracy. There should be an unbending Read more…

John Raymond: Can the Children of Japan Be Saved?

As nuclear whistleblowers go, Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky, a pathologist and native of Belarus, is at the top of the list. He wasn’t murdered like union activist Karen Silkwood, who spilled the beans on faulty fuel rods and falsified inspection records at a Kerr-McGee plutonium production plant in Oklahoma, but he was arrested on bogus charges Read more…

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Zoltan Grossman: The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

The U.S. and its allies have long been complicit in the manufacturing and use of biological and chemical weapons, yet have targeted other countries for alleged possession and use of these same weapons. This partial chronology is intended as a starting point for critical research and analysis of bio-chemical weaponry and foreign policy. 400s BC: Read more…

Various Contributors: Saul Landau, 1936-2013

Journalist and filmmaker Saul Landau died on September 10 at the age of 77. Landau was a senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and vice chair of their board. Landau made more than 45 films and wrote 14 books, many about Cuba. “He stood up to dictators, right-wing Cuban assassins, pompous politicians, and Read more…

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Robert Fisk: Iran, Not Syria is the West’s Real Target

Iran is ever more deeply involved in protecting the Syrian government. Thus a victory for Bashar is a victory for Iran. And Iranian victories cannot be tolerated by the West.   Before the stupidest Western war in the history of the modern world begins–I am, of course, referring to the attack on Syria that we Read more…

John Laforge: Bombing for Peace

Widening the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia being waged in Syria will lead to catastrophe. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff knows this and has expressed strong opposition to even limited intervention in Syria. No country on earth is guiltier of using chemicals as weapons of war than the Read more…

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Z Staff: About Z

Z MAGAZINE is an independent magazine of critical thinking on political, cultural, social, and economic life in the U.S. It sees the racial, gender, class, and political dimensions of personal life as fundamental to understanding and improving contemporary circumstances; and it aims to assist activist efforts for a better future. Z Magazine is a project Read more…

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Joel Chaffee: Events, Books, Campaigns

  Events LABOR DAY – The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking and trolley tours. Contact: PO Read more…

Marc Norton: I Never Had it Made

Brian Helgeland, the writer and director of 42, the most recent film to tell the story of Jackie Robinson, cuts the movie at the end of Robinson’s first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1947.  But The Jackie Robinson Story, released in 1950, the first feature film about Robinson—and having the advantage of starring Robinson Read more…

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Paul Street: No Functioning Democracy

Last July, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said something that should have been a headline story and a top item on the evening and cable television news. “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy,” he remarked at a July 16 event in Atlanta, Georgia sponsored by Atlantik Bruecke (Atlantic Bridge), a nonprofit Read more…

Colin Jenkins: Political Crossover

During the 1976 Republican Presidential Primaries, then-candidate Ronald Reagan coined the term “Welfare Queen” as he detailed the story of an African-American woman from Chicago who was arrested after using multiple identities to collect over $150,000 worth of welfare benefits. Reagan’s story had a purpose: to establish a connection between the “evils of taxation” and Read more…

Stephen Bergstein: 5 to 4 Conservative Lock on the Supreme Court

The painful reality facing the civil rights community is that the U.S. Supreme Court is locked in a 5-4 conservative majority on nearly every controversial legal issue that comes before the Court. The 2012-13 term further confirms that this majority is unshakable, with important consequences for the rights of workers, consumers, whistleblowers, and voters. For Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Dancin’ in the Suites?

In 1964, “Dancin’ in the Streets”—Martha and the Vandellas slyly subversive hit recorded at Detroit’s Motown Records—topped the charts and Detroit was known as the Paris of the Midwest. After serving as America’s Arsenal of Democracy during WWII with its auto plants converted into turning out vast amounts of tanks and weaponry, postwar Detroit symbolized Read more…

Nicolas J.S. Davies: From Ohlendorf to Obama

As we see in headlines from around the world every day, the process by which a country chooses its political leaders determines the kind of government it gets and, to a great extent, the kind of society it becomes. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has described the current electoral process in the United States as Read more…

Andy Piascik: The Radical Tradition of Autoworkers

The sit-down strike by General Motors workers in the winter of 1936-37 was one of the galvanizing events in U.S. labor history. Similarly, the efforts of the primarily African-American autoworkers of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM) sparked the resurgence of rank and file militancy in the late 1960s and 1970s. In more recent years, Read more…

Jesse Phillippe: Colorblind

David Roediger teaches history and African American Studies at the University of Illinois. He has written on U.S. movements for a shorter working day, on labor and poetry, on the history of radicalism, and on the racial identities of white workers and of immigrants. His books include Our Own Time, The Wages of Whiteness, Towards Read more…

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David Bacon: Bay Area Service Workers Up in Arms

Twelve AT&T Park concession workers were arrested and another 50 were forcibly removed by police, during an act of civil disobedience on June 18, 2013. Workers sat down in front of one of the park’s most profitable concessions, Gilroy Garlic Fries, and prevented anyone from ordering food, while hundreds of supporters picketed outside the stadium. Read more…

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Peter Rugh: This Land Is Fracking Land

The Obama administration has proposed new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on 756 million acres of public and tribal lands. The rules were written by the drilling industry and will be streamlined into effect by a new intergovernmental task force, established by the president, to promote fracking—a practice that has been linked to water poisoning, air Read more…

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Esther Vivas: Poor, Silenced, and Straight

In Spain, the governing Popular Party (PP) is on a crusade—not only against such rights as health, education, housing, and work, but also against sexual and reproductive freedoms. The PP wants to impose a model of society, not only at the service of capital, but sexist and homophobic. It wants us poor, silenced, and straight. Read more…

Michael Steinberg: San Onofre

There were shock waves across Southern California on June 7, 2013 from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. They didn’t originate at earthquake faults adjacent to this nuclear plant, located above the Pacific Ocean. Rather, they emanated from the facility’s primary owner and operator, Southern California Edison. The heavyweight utility announced that it was giving Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: On Leaks and Pseudo-Reality

Those enchanted by pseudo-reality must have been on the edge of their seats as they watched Zero Dark Thirty, a Hollywood account of how U.S. SEAL Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011. But a recently leaked report shows that the “riveting” Hollywood account of the “greatest manhunt of all time” was Read more…

Edward S. Herman: Double Standards and Hypocrisy Running Wild

Samantha Power is power hungry, unprincipled, and a poor scholar. Her power hunger was on full display in her groveling before members of the Zionist lobby and Senate while seeking their support for her ambassadorship to the United Nations, and her promise to fight for “Israeli security” and “press” for an Israeli seat on the Read more…

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Z Staff: March on Washington

The name of the march on August 24 is the “National Action to Realize the Dream March.” It is important that you use the name when speaking about the march so that people understand that this march is not just a commemoration, but a continuation of the efforts 50 years ago.       The March on Washington Read more…

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David Swanson: Truman and the Memory of Mass Murder

Harry Truman spoke in the U.S. Senate on June 23, 1941: “If we see that Germany is winning,” he said, “we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible.” Did Truman value Japanese lives above Russian and German? There Read more…

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Events, New Releases

 Events IWW – The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to build one big union.  Contact: http://workpeoplescollege.org/. LA RAZA  – The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 Read more…

Various Contributors: Summer Fun
Various Reviewers: Slouching Toward Sirte, et al

  Book Reviews   The Illegal War on Libya, Ed. Cynthia McKinney Clarity Press, 2012, 308 pp.

Kike Gomez: The Determination to Live

Artistic disciplines in Palestine serve a double purpose. Not only do they foster creative development— thereby promoting mental health in the Palestinian population—but they also serve as a form of pacific resistance against the economic and military Israeli occupation of the West Bank. The index finger of almost any Palestinian shows hints of yellow when Read more…

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Jack Rasmus: Predicting the U.S. and Global Economy

Both the U.S. and global economy are at a critical juncture. Six years after the financial crisis that erupted in August 2007 and the collapse of the real economy that followed—except for asset prices (stocks, bonds, derivatives, etc.) and capital incomes (profits, dividends, capital gains, etc.)—in real terms the U.S. economy has experienced six years Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Corporate GOP Intransigence

One of Dr. Martin Luther King’s most memorable and inspiring statements—“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”—increasingly seems like a desperate hope for tens of millions of Americans in 2013. During King’s life, the audacious, defiant industrial-union movement of the 1930s and the African American civil rights movement launched Read more…

John Potash: The FBI’s Murderous Targeting of the Shakurs

On May 2, the FBI held a press conference announcing that they were putting the first woman on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List: Joanne Chesimard, better known as Assata Shakur. Few knew that the rap icon Tupac Shakur maintained a similar social justice agenda as his godmother Assata. Evidence supports that U.S. intelligence targeted Read more…

Robert Hunziker: America’s Ecological Precipice

Alaska is a good-sized part of the Arctic, the world’s epicenter of climate change, where sensitivity to human-caused global warming is magnified much more than in the 48 lower states. As such, Alaska (twice the size of Texas) is part of the ongoing, rapid meltdown of the Arctic, which is certain to bring more scorching Read more…

Anne Petermann: Historic Protests Disrupt Industry Conference

Hundreds of activists from across the country converged on Asheville, North Carolina from Sunday, May 26 to Saturday, June 1 to protest the Tree Biotechnology 2013 conference, hosted by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). They came to raise vocal and determined opposition to genetically engineered trees (GE trees). The conference occurs every Read more…

: A Look Back at Maple Spring

Anna Kruzynski is professor at the School of Community and Public Affairs at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. Her research activity aims to help activists and organizations document, analyze, and reflect on their activism. In addition to her academic work, she is also involved with a variety of community organizations (la Pointe libertaire, Collectif de Read more…

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Kevin Zeese: Popular Resistance Percolates Through the Land

Every week we are inspired by the many people throughout the country who are doing excellent work to challenge the power structure and put forward a new path for the country. The popular resistance to plutocracy, concentrated wealth, and corporatism is decentralized, creative, and growing. One growing series of protests has been the “Moral Monday” Read more…

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Kathy Kelly: Tales in a Kabul Restaurant

Since 2009, Voices for Creative Nonviolence has maintained a grim record we call the “The Afghan Atrocities Update” which gives the dates, locations, numbers and names of Afghan civilians killed by NATO forces. Even with details culled from news reports, the data can’t help but merge into one large statistic, something about terrible pain that’s Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: Felon Disenfranchisement: The New Jim Crow

When we think of electoral shenanigans, we often think of blatantly rigged elections with uncounted votes and hanging chads, overcrowded and understaffed polling places, blatant voter intimidation, the purging of voter rolls, pushing false information about when and where to vote, and forcing legitimately registered voters whose names do not appear on voting rolls, to Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: Israel, Hawking, and the Question of Boycott

It is an event “of cosmic proportions,” said one Palestinian academic, a befitting description of Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott an Israeli academic conference slated for next June. It was also a decisive moral call which was communicated by Cambridge University, where Hawking is a professor, on May 8. Hawking is a world-renowned cosmologist and Read more…

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Deborah Burger: Hospitals Should Be Care Providers, Not Loan Sharks

If there is one problem that symbolizes the ongoing national healthcare emergency, it is the rampant price gouging that continues to price too many Americans out of access to care and into financial ruin. Not only is the problem not solved by the Affordable Care Act, but it is a likely reason many will continue Read more…

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Paul Buchheit: The Globalization of Hypocrisy

The damage caused by the relentless corporate drive for profits has become clearer in recent years. In the most important areas of American life, devastating changes have occurred.    Health Care: Almost half of working-age adults in America passed up doctor visits or other medical services because they couldn’t afford to pay. The system hasn’t Read more…

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John Pilger: From Iraq A Tragic Reminder

The dust in Iraq rolls down the long roads that are the desert’s fingers. It gets in your eyes and nose and throat; it swirls in markets and school playgrounds, consuming children kicking a ball; and it carries, according to Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, “the seeds of our death.” An internationally respected cancer specialist at the Read more…

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