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2014
Volume 27
Number 10

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 to understanding current circumstances and as necessary for developing visions and strategies for progressive change.

 

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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

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Paul Street: Unreported Resistance

Never underestimate the elitist pessimism and disdain of intellectuals—even ones on the nominal left. Take the eminent British half- or post-Marxist historian Perry Anderson. In a largely informative New Left Review essay on the corporate-dominated state of U.S. politics in the neoliberal Obama years last spring, Anderson offered a chilling take on the majority working Read more…

Andy Piascik: The Struggle to Save Worker Education

As has happened at so many colleges and universities around the country, administrators at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York are moving to eviscerate a program that for years has provided invaluable educational opportunities for working class students. The college’s plan to dramatically scale back the Graduate Center for Worker Education is Read more…

Alex Bradshaw: Looking for a Left-Wing Nation? You Live in One

Many polls conducted leave one to conclude that the American public is far to the left of their so-called “representatives” in Washington. A popular myth in the U.S. is that working-class people vote against their interest. Status quo liberals, bewildered that working-class people wouldn’t support the Democratic Party, commonly state this. They never reach the Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: States Guarantee Prison Populations for Profit

Anyone who follows the travesty that is America’s criminal justice system knows that privately-owned prison corporations are gaining a deeper foothold in our nation’s prisons. The private prison industry lobbies politicians, donates to campaigns of pro-privatization candidates, supports the ongoing war on drugs, and has helped to shape criminal justice policies like California’s three-strikes law. Read more…

Edward S. Herman: Desmond Tutu on the ICC

Former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a very decent individual who is usually on the right side in dealing with human rights issues. But in his recent op ed column in the New York Times, “In Africa, Seeking A License To Kill” (October 11, 2013), he misses the boat badly (in my opinion). He Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: Giap, Wallace and The Never-Ending Batttle for Freedom

Nothing is more precious than freedom,” is quoted as being attributed to Vo Nguyen Giap, a Vietnamese General that led his country through two liberation wars. The first was against French colonialists, the second against the Americans. Despite heavy and painful losses, Vietnam prevailed, defeating the first colonial quest at the Battle of Dien Bien Read more…

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John Pilger: Old Game, New Enemy

Countries are “pieces on a chessboard on which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world,” wrote Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India in 1898. Nothing has changed. The shopping mall massacre in Nairobi was a bloody façade behind which a full-scale invasion of Africa and a war in Asia are Read more…

Jeffrey Rudolph: Noam Chomsky vs. William F. Buckley

ED. NOTE: Noam Chomsky has been a friend and an inspiration to the staff of Z ever since 1978 when we first started publishing his work (while we were still on the staff of South End Press). When this article (Noam Chomsky vs. William F. Buckley) arrived recently by email, publishing it seemed a perfect Read more…

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Z Staff: About Z

Mission 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.   SUBSCRIPTIONS TO Z Read more…

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Events, Books, Campaigns

  Events GLOBAL JUSTICE TEMP WORK – The National Forum on Temp Worker Health & Safety will be held November 2 in Boston, MA. The event is hosted by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH), MassCOSH, National Staffing Workers Alliance, and APHA OHS Section. Contact: National COSH, 112 Blount St. Ste 103A, Read more…

Various Reviewers: Books on the Cuban Five and Apartheid

Book Review   What Lies Across The Water:The Real Story of the Cuban Five By Stephen Kimber Halifax & Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing, 2013, 284 pp. Review by Jane Franklin What Lies Across the Water is an historical narrative, an expose, a political thriller, and a romance entwined in a maze of twists and turns involving Read more…

Chris Williams: Wall Street to Planet Earth: We Don’t Mind and You Don’t Matter

On Friday, September 27, 2013, for the first time in my life, I awoke to an intense desire to monitor the opening of New York’s stock market. I pictured stock market people falling over each other in a fire sale of fossil fuel assets. Desperate phone calls from modern day oil, coal, and gas protégé’s Read more…

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Paul Street: Budget Slavery, Budget Freedom Past and Present

As the fog of Barack Obama’s frustrated air war on Syria receded from the headlines in mid-September of 2013, the most recent round of plutocratic austerity budget politicking moved to the forefront of the daily U.S. news. In the official mainstream media account of the most recent budget fiasco brewing in Washington, the “conservative” Republicans Read more…

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Jack Rasmus: The Slowing Global Economy

In 2008-09 the global capitalist economy crashed with a bang—a collapse from which it is still struggling to fully recover. The next crisis may come, however, not in the form of a crash but as a slow, grinding economic stagnation that continues on for years or even decades.   The scenario of global stagnation is Read more…

Edward S. Herman: R2P As An Instrument of Aggression

Both the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and “Humanitarian Intervention” (HI) came into existence in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, which ended any obstruction that that contesting Great Power had placed on the ongoing power projection of the United States. In Western ideology, of course, the United States was containing the Soviets Read more…

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Pratap Chatterjee: The Data Hackers

Big Bro is watching you. Inside your mobile phone and hidden behind your web browser are little known software products marketed by contractors to the government that can follow you around anywhere. No longer the wide-eyed fantasies of conspiracy theorists, these technologies are routinely installed in all of our data devices by companies that sell Read more…

Jenny Miller: Everything You Wanted to Know About Fluoridation

1. Doesn’t fluoride occur in the water naturally anyway? The fluoride products used in water fluoridation (sodium fluoride or fluorosilicic acid) are classified as hazardous waste products of the fertilizer, aluminum, and nuclear industries. They are even more toxic than naturally-occurring fluoride, since they contain other components, such as arsenic and lead. However, even naturally-occurring Read more…

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Kevin Zeese: Protesters Take Over Trade Building

On September 23, 2013, protesters concerned about the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) covered the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative with banners calling for a democratic process and a release of the treaty’s text. The group, which included members of FlushTheTPP.org, Backbone Campaign, Veterans for Peace, CODEPINK, and Earth First!, say that TPP will have Read more…

Anonymous: Cinema Politica: 10 Years of Screening Truth to Power

Cinema Politica, Canada’s only independent political documentary screening network, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since starting at Concordia University in Montreal in 2003, the network now includes over 90 chapters, 70 of them across Canada. From campus theaters to community halls, they show ground-breaking political documentaries that engage, enlighten, and inspire. Screening over 200 films Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: A Militia’s Own Private Idaho

The first thing you should know about The Citadel is that it doesn’t really exist…yet. For now, it is an artist’s rendering of walls, towers, homes, an arms factory, a website, and a developing story. The organizers and developers intend to build an intentional community—a gunner’s paradise, if you will—in the mountains of Northern Idaho Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: Oslo Dead But Still Matters

Suppose several armored vehicles belonging to a branch of the Palestinian Authority raided an Israeli border village at the eve of a new round of peace negotiations. One can picture Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas defending the killings, stating that the attack was made in the cause of protecting the security of the Palestinian public. Read more…

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Alfredo Lopez: Attacking Net Neutrality Once Again

Recently, Verizon, the telephone giant, went to court to accuse the Federal Communications Commission of “overstepping its authority” and reverse the authority’s over-step. It’s a legal wrangle that, bottled and distributed, would be a safe substitute for sleeping pills. Lurking behind the nearly unintelligible and ridiculously referential courtroom arguments, however, is a clear picture of Read more…

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Z Staff: News From the Net

The Forbes 400   Truthout.org emailed the following article by Mark Karlin, who points out that the 400 richest Americans are now worth a combined $2 trillion, according to Forbes. That sets a record, Forbes says, and marks a jump from last year’s total of $1.7 trillion. The average net worth of a Forbes 400 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 (ISSN 1056-5507) is 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 (ISSN 1056-5507) is Read more…

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Events, Books, Campaigns

 Events SCHOOLS – The 4th Annual National Week of Action on School Pushout will take place during the week of September 28-October 6, 2013. Contact: http://www.dignityinschools.org/. LGBTQ – The 26th annual Out On Film Festival will take place October 3-10, in Atlanta. Contact: [email protected];http://outonfilm.org/. RAZA – The Third Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award will Read more…

Various Reviewers: A Book and a Documentary

  Book     One Day in December : Celia Sánchez and the Cuban Revolution By Nancy Stout Monthly Review Press, 2013 Review by Seth Sandronsky In the opening pages of a new biography, Alice Walker’s Foreword sets the stage for the poignant portrayal of a person with scant name recognition in North America.Until, that Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Four Decades After the First 9-11 in Chile

September 11 marked, as we were endlessly reminded, the 12th anniversary of the profoundly shocking Al Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that engulfed the U.S. and the world in grief over the death of some 3,000 Americans, and also instilled the sense of anxiety and fear exploited by George W. Bush Read more…

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…

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