September 2015
Volume 28
Number 9



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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.”

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.

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…

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.

Z Staff: Gift Offers

Gift subs, donation for book premiums to help Z

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”

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…

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.

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.

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,

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.

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.

William Boardman: Police Go Nuts Over Mumia Speech in Vermont

This year, when Goddard announced that students had invited Mumia to a return engagement at their graduation, Philadelphia police, politicians, media, and Fox News went crazy with angry rhetoric aimed at curbing free speech.

Kevin Zeese: Hong Kong Protests

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

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

Jon Queally: Election Alert: When Democracy Broken, Progress Impossible

When democracy becomes numb to the desires of its citizens and political campaigns become sporting events for television pundits, the ballot box becomes a sad (if necessary) expression of populist will.

Cynthia Peters: Research This!

A recent study funded by the McArthur Foundation found that in disadvantaged neighborhoods, black women are facing eviction at an “alarming rate.”

Harry Targ: What To Make Of Electoral Politics 2014?

I am looking at exit poll data and, as in prior election seasons, more Democratic votes came from the young, women, African Americans, Latinos, voters with post-graduate degrees and educational levels at or below high school, and low income citizens. This national polling data comports with results from many individual Congressional and state races. These Read more…

Edward S. Herman: Double Standards and/or Hypocrisy?

The mainstream media’s treatment of two cases of alleged aggression illustrates perfectly the propaganda role and service of the dominant media

Ajamu Baraka: ISIS, Double Standards, and the Fight for Kobani

The difference and the reason why the Kurds of Kobani are to be sacrificed stems from the fact that they are the wrong kind of Kurds

Jack Rasmus: Global Economic Instability, Part 2

Taylan Tosun interviews Rasmus on how the mortgage crisis in the U.S. turned into an epic recession in the real economies of the many advanced capitalist countries

Linda Gordon: Immigrant Women and Violence

U.S. policy toward undocumented immigrants damages women in many ways—by separating them from children, by leaving them without support, by making it harder for them to earn for their families

Kevin Zeese: With The Climate March Behind Us, What Do We Do Now?

The climate action weekend built around the People’s Climate March proved that the climate movement has broad popular support and millions are ready to mobilize.

Seth Sandronsky: Reading Samir Amin

The two books under review study the economy within the parameters of social change.

Ramzy Baroud: Another Failed War to Rearrange the Middle East

The logic for intervention that preceded the latest U.S. bombing campaign of IS targets is similar to what took place in Libya over three years ago.

Marcello Musto: Labor’s Battle Against Exploitation By Capital, 150 Years Ago

On September 28, 1864, the International Working Men’s Association was founded in London. It became the prototype of all organizations of the Labor movement, which both reformists and revolutionaries subsequently took to be their point of reference.

Barbara Garson: Fifty Years Later, Who Really Won the Battle of Berkeley?

the people we beat in Berkeley also had a vision for America. It can be roughly summarized as, “More for me: less for you.” In the decades that followed, they learned to pressure regulators, legislatures, and Presidents far more effectively than they pressured our university Administration.

Martha Woodall: Philadelphia Students Strike to Support Teachers

On Monday, the SRC voted to cast aside the expired Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) contract and require teachers to begin contributing to the cost of their health insurance premiums on December 15

Laura Finley: Sexual Assault is Men’s Problem

Given that 78 American colleges and universities are now being investigated by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, it is clear that the same-old strategies that focus on women’s behavior are not effective

Bill Berkowitz: Meet Dr. Willie Parker, Christian Abortion Provider

Parker had what some might call a second “come to Jesus” moment, deciding “to give up his fancy career to become an abortion provider”—for the poorest of the poor and the most needy…

Alexandra Bradbury: Alarming Trends in Package Delivery

Their employer is the U.S. Postal Service, but a few unlucky Bay Area letter carriers were hired only to find out their job is actually delivering groceries for Amazon…

Various Contributors: Bureaucracy Consumes One-Quarter of U.S. Hospital Benefits

Health Affairs study says single-payer reform could save $150 billion annually on hospital overhead….

Alex Andreou: The Scottish Independence Vote: A Significant Legacy

With an unprecedented voter turnout of 85 percent and a political mobilization that shook the foundations of the United Kingdom, much was accomplished…

William Boardman: Stupid Stuff on Steroids

American hysteria is a wondrous thing to behold. Our hysteria is usually obvious in retrospect, whether the freak-out is over witches, labor unions, or communists. Hysteria is not always so easy to perceive as it happens or, in this case, as it is happening right now with ISIS-centric Islamophobia running rampant

Roshan Bliss: A Battle Rages At FSU

“The corporate/political influence on Bense’s PSAC is blatant and unapologetic,” say members of the FSU Progress Coalition, a bloc of students, faculty, and campus organizations opposed to Thrasher’s candidacy and the current search process

Owen Mccormack: Columbus Day and the Sanitization of History

Upon arrival, the sheer magnitude of gold, which was readily available, set into motion a relentless wave of murder, rape, pillaging, and slavery that would forever alter the course of human history.

Jeremy Kuzmarov: Celebrating the Life of Peace Hero Fred Branfman

The noted peace activist Fred Branfman passed away on September 24 after suffering the effects of ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease). In 2002, while researching the history of the Vietnam War, I came across Fred’s Voices from the Plain of Jars…

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

Events, books, music, video and other items of interest to progressives

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