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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

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Z Staff: Internet News

Youth Unemployment Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan youth advocacy organization, released its Millennial Jobs Report for May 2013, revealing that the effective unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds, adjusting for labor participation rate by including those who have given up looking for work, is 16.1 percent.   Syria In a series of interviews, UN investigator Read more…

Various Contributors: Events

Events CUBAN 5 – From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.   Contact: [email protected]; [email protected]   BIKES – Bikes Not Bombs is holding Read more…

Various Reviewers: Book and Music Reviews

  Book Reviews     America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy The Truth About U.S. Foreign Policy and Everything Else By William Blum London: Zed Books, 2013, 304 pp. Review by Jeremy Kuzmarov In 1967, William Blum resigned from the State Department to protest the Vietnam War and went on to write Killing Hope: U.S. Military and Read more…

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Kevin Zeese: TPP Will Undermine Democracy

On critical issues, the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated in secret by the Obama administration will undermine democracy in the United States and around the world and further empower transnational corporations. It will circumvent protections for health care, wages, labor rights, consumer’s rights and the environment and decrease regulation of big finance and risky Read more…

Robert Joe Stout: Bright Lights and Grunts and Waving

In 2009 Mexican journalist Luis Hernández-Navarro perceived “discontent breaking out on all sides like the bubbles in a vat of water about to boil.” Citizen groups battling police in Estado de Mexico, Morelia, and Oaxaca filed thousands of criminal complaints against Mexican militaries they identified as “another of the organized criminal bands.”   The wives Read more…

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Paul Street: Power Served, Millions Betrayed

Remember when Barack Obama threw his white maternal grandmother under the bus of his lust for the presidency while throwing his former black preacher Reverend Jeremiah Wright more completely under that bus in the spring of 2007? That was cold, but it’s nothing compared to the president’s current assault on millions of other American grandmothers, Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: “I Should Have Been Dead By Now”

Antonio Ennis is an organizer with City Life/Vida Urbana (www.clvu.org) and a rap artist. Performing under the name “Twice Thou,” his music video “The Bank Attack” is available at www.youtube.com and his album, which just won the New England Urban Music Award “Best Conscious CD,” is available at www. cdbaby.com. A short documentary about his Read more…

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David Barsamian: Behind the Kitchen Door

Saru Jayaraman is co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) and director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the author of Behind the Kitchen Door.   BARSAMIAN: Please read from “The Hands on your Plate,” the opening of Behind the Kitchen Door.   JAYARAMAN: Read more…

Scott Mclarty: The Tar Sands Pipeline

Bill McKibben says we don’t have time to challenge two-party rule and build an alternative like the Green Party. In reality, we don’t have time not to. Those of us who participated in the #ForwardOnClimate Rally against the tar-sands pipelines in Washington, DC on February 17, witnessed the environmental movement at its best and worst. Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: The Buried History of Massacres

Few with any sense of intellectual or historical integrity would still question the bloody massacre that took place in the village of Deir Yassin 65 years ago, claiming the lives of over 100 innocent Palestinians. Attempts at covering up the massacre have been dwarfed by grim details from well-respected historians, including some of Israel’s own. Read more…

Ricardo Guerra: The Kidnapping of Priests in Argentina

The election of the Argentine Jesuit cardinal Jorge Bergoglio —now mostly referred to as Pope Francis—as the new pontiff came as a big surprise to the whole world. Pope Francis is considered a modest man who, as an archbishop in his own country, declined the luxurious perks of the position; he is also an avid Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: Wreaking Havoc: Debtors’ Prisons R Us

In 2010, the ACLU did a study titled “In for a Penny: The Rise of America’s New Debtors’ Prisons,” which revealed the use of debtor prison practices in five states—Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, and Washington.   In his 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon B. Johnson said: “Unfortunately, many Americans live on the Read more…

Robert Hunziker: 400,000 Hiroshima Atomic Bombs Per Day

The energy of 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day is how much energy imbalance the earth is absorbing because of global warming. This imbalance was explained by Dr. James Hansen, one of the world’s foremost climate scientists at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California.   Hanson explained that scientists know the earth is out Read more…

James Petras: Boston and Venezuela, Terrorism There and Here

Two major terrorist attacks took place almost simultaneously. In Boston, two Chechen terrorists set off bombs during the annual Boston Marathon killing 3 people and injuring 170. In Venezuela, terrorist supporters of defeated presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, assassinated 8 and injured 70 supporters of the victorious Socialist Party candidate Nicolas Maduro, in the course of Read more…

Various Contributors: News from the Internet

Fast Food Workers Strike   New York—In April, fast-food workers walked off their jobs at more than 60 NYC restaurants. “We deserve better,” said Glenda Soto, a McDonald’s worker. “I work very hard. I’m a single mom, I have 3 kids, and on $7.25 an hour I can’t support them, and I can’t give them Read more…

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Z Staff: Information 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…

Various Contributors: Richie Havens: 1941-2013

Richie Havens, who brought an earthy soulfulness to the folk scene of the 1960s and was the first act to hit the stage at Woodstock, died of a heart attack on Monday, April 22. He was 72 and was living in Jersey City, New Jersey.   From the beginning, when he played Greenwich Village folk Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Time to Renounce the “War On Terror”

This article was added after the May issue was printed. It is one of the many articles we received in response to the Boston Marathon bombings.  – Editors As a perpetual emotion machine–producing and guzzling its own political fuel–the “war on terror” continues to normalize itself as a thoroughly American way of life and death. Read more…

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

  Events LABOR – May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Workers’ Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew Read more…

Various Contributors: Reviews of Recovering Bookchin & War Is A Racket

  Books     Recovering Bookchin Social Ecology and the Crisis of Our Time By Andy Price   New Compass, 2012, pp.3 04     Review by Janet Biehl   In the 1980s, the emerging Green political movement was looking for an alternative to conventional politics and became enamored with a “new paradigm” based on Read more…

Chris Lewis: Number Crunch

Lansing has it out for Detroiters. That’s William Scott’s estimation, at least. “The politicians in state government, in my opinion, care more about the suburbs than here in Detroit,” the retired auto worker told me a few years ago, sitting in a lawn chair perched alongside one of the city’s many barren avenues. During the Read more…

John Raymond: Low Level Radiation, High Level Risk

What can we learn from a new study of cancer risks around nuclear plants that we don’t already know? The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) spins its new pilot study—now underway in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) around seven reactor communities—as an effort to reassure the public that the radiation routinely released from Read more…

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Jack Rasmus: Cyprus and Global Banking Instability

More than five years after the global banking crisis first erupted in the summer of 2007, the global banking system continues to drift toward yet another crisis. The collapse of the banking system in Cyprus last week represents the latest milestone in that inexorable drift, as well as an important qualitative shift in the overall Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Mississippi Yearning

It’s a blessing from God,” heralded a quote prominently displayed amidst the Jackson, Mississippi  Clarion Ledger’s lavish coverage when Nissan opened its ultra-modern assembly plant just outside the small town of Canton, 27 miles west of Jackson. The plant initially symbolized new hope for lifting many Mississippians out of the widespread misery that has long Read more…

Nicolas J.S. Davies: How the West Fueled the Ever-Growing Carnage in Syria

On Tuesday March 27 2013, Kofi Annan gave a speech at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. In his usual careful and diplomatic tone, Annan spoke firmly against Western calls for more direct military intervention in Syria. “Further militarization of the conflict, I’m not sure that is the way to help the Syrian people,” Annan said, Read more…

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Paul Street: Military Keynesianism Survives Sequestration

In a story that shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with business rule as usual in Washington, U.S. military contractors will suffer no great or particular loss from the federal austerity fiscal policy called sequestration. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)—the top lobbying and public relations arm of the nation’s high-tech corporate “defense” (military empire) contractors—was crying wolf Read more…

Roger Hull: It Is Time For a New Contract with America

  1. Create a sustainable environment that will support the health and well-being of future generations. 2. Eliminate as soon as possible toxic and dangerous fossil fuels, coal, tar sands, fracking and nuclear power from the energy and transportation mix. Immediately eliminate all subsidies to fossil fuel and nuclear power companies/entities and install a fossil Read more…

Elsa Rassbach: Rise of German Campaign Against Combat Drones

Leading national and local peace and justice organizations in Germany have launched a major campaign to oppose the German government’s recently revealed plan to acquire combat (weaponized) drones. The organizations met together in Hanover to begin the joint campaign. As a first step, they drafted an appeal—“No Combat Drones.” Close to 100 German organizations and Read more…

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Esther Vivas: From the World Social Forum to the Arab Revolts

On March 26, Tunisia, cradle of the revolts in the Arab world, hosted the World Social Forum (WSF), the most important international meeting of social movements and organizations. And this was not by chance. The promoters of the WSF chose this country in reference to the Arab Spring. The latter has not only given rise Read more…

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David Bacon: Corporate Education Reform at San Francisco College

On March 14, the day before the Trustees at San Francisco Community College District handed in the report that may decide the life or death of California’s largest community college, student and faculty marchers headed downtown to City Hall. A sinuous line of hundreds of chanting, banner-waving people stopped traffic on Mission Street, the main Read more…

John Laforge: U.S. Warned Kodak, Not Steve O’Neil, About Bomb Test Fallout

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Atomic Energy Commission doused the entire United States with thyroid cancer-causing iodine-131—and 300 other radio-isotopes—by exploding atomic and hydrogen bombs above ground. To protect the dirty, secretive, militarized bomb-building industry, the government chose to warn the photographic film industry about the radioactive fallout patterns, but not the general public. Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: Un-Planned Prisonhood

America’s federal prison system is broken as facilities are literally bursting at the seams. While overcrowding is endemic, some prisoners are often isolated, leading to severe mental health problems that go untreated. Staffing is inadequate and taxpayer dollars are flying out the window to maintain facilities, some of which are as structurally unsound as many Read more…

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Lawrence Wittner: Maryland Model: Welfare for the Richest

At this time of severe cutbacks in government funding for food stamps, early childhood education, and Meals on Wheels, some Maryland legislators are hard at work looking out for the welfare of one of the world’s wealthiest corporations. Under a bill rapidly advancing in the legislature of that state, the Lockheed Martin Corporation will have Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: Ignoring Genocide in Rohingya

One fails to understand the unperturbed attitude with which regional and international leaders and organizations are treating the unrelenting onslaught against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, formally known as Burma. Numbers speak of atrocities where every violent act is prelude to greater violence and ethnic cleansing. Yet, western governments’ normalization with the Myanmar regime continues unabated, Read more…

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Kevin Zeese: The Plague of Wall Street Banking

Recent economic news highlights what happens when governments are unable to confront the root cause of the financial collapse—the risky speculation and securities fraud of the big banks. What happens? They blame the people, cut their benefits, tax their savings, and demand they work harder for less money. In the United States there have been Read more…

Edward S. Herman: Democrats’ (And Liberals’) Existential Crisis?

In his New York Times column of March 23, 2013, “The G.O.P.’s Bachmann Problem,” Charles M. Blow argues that the Republicans’ open internal squabbling, while it is “too delicious for words,” is not the main show. The main show is that “The Republican Party is experiencing an existential crisis, born of its own misguided incongruity Read more…

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Bruce E. Levine: Imperialist Psychiatrists, Psychopathic Corporatists

Mark Twain famously said, “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” My immediate reaction to Jon Ronson’s TED talk? Imperialist psychiatrists, psychopathic corporatists—but I too repeat myself. Ronson reminds us that the media’s poster boy for psychopathic corporatists in the 1990s was “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap. Read more…

Ben Terrall: Attacks on USPS

  On March 18, U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe spoke at a National Postal Forum in San Francisco, prompting picketing by rank and file postal employees and their supporters. Protestors opposed Donahoe’s support for post office closures and layoffs of USPS workers. The demonstration was part of a week of actions called for by Communities Read more…

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Events, New Releases, Campaigns

Events   KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE/CLIMATE – Bold Nebraska, The Other 98%, Hip Hop Caucus, CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, 350.org and Oil Change International have launched the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance. The pledge asks signers to engage in peaceful civil disobedience.   Contact: http://ran.org/act/pledge_resistance.   HISTORIANS/WAR – Historians Against the War will host their national Read more…

Various Reviewers: Book & Music Reviews

  Books     Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party By Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr. University of California Press, 2013, 560 pp. Review by Jeremy Kuzmarov In the summer of 1970, the North Vietnamese invited Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver to speak to black GIs Read more…

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Michael Albert: We Don’t Have Borders

ALBERT: If I am not mistaken you are originally from Australia. What brought you to Venezuela Analysis and to living and working inside Venezuela? PEARSON: After seven years in Sydney, Australia, as an active member of the DSP, resistance, and the Socialist Alliance, I came to Venezuela in 2007 to learn more about what was going Read more…

Evan Taylor: The New Crossroads of Empire

Railroads build empires. Beijing is building a new one. China, now a world-class producer of high-speed rail technology, is in the middle of a transportation boom unprecedented in history as 5,800 miles of domestic high-speed rail lines have been built since 2008, at a cost of $640 billion. Three months ago, just in time for Read more…

Dan Glazebrook: The African Union, Algeria, and Mali

Africa’s classic depiction in the mainstream media as a giant basketcase full of endless war, famine, and helpless children creates an illusion of a continent utterly dependent on Western handouts. In fact, the opposite is true—it is the West that is reliant on African handouts. These handouts come in many and varied forms. They include Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Elites Push the Skills Gap Myth

The Great American Jobs Machine,” as the New York Times once famously christened U.S. capitalism, has been seriously sputtering even in the post-“recovery” period for working people. On one hand, corporate profits have more than recovered and have hit stratospheric records, nearly $2 trillion for 2012 (NYT, 11/29/12). On the other, the working class and Read more…

Chris Williams: The Struggle to Save Our Planet Heats Up

Capitalism stands as a death sentinel over planetary life. Recent reports from institutions, such as the World Bank, detail how, as a result of human activity, we are on track for a 4° Celsius increase in average global temperatures. Should this come to pass, the Earth would be hotter than at any time in the Read more…

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Gina Mason: Betrayal of Trust on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation

Living with radiation sickness is not on my bucket list and I would hazard that it isn’t on yours either. Nor is it what I have in mind for my children’s future. Yet our government continues to manufacture nuclear materials and unsafely store radioactive waste in clear violation of the public trust. Nowhere is this Read more…

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Peter Rugh: Historic Rally Pushes Climate Change

There is no doorbell at the front gates of the White House—at least not for the public anyway—but the estimated 30,000 to 50,000 people who stood before 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Sunday, February 17 made perhaps the largest human buzzer in the history of the U.S. climate movement. Despite a strategy of ignoring climate change Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: The Catholic Church’s Sexual Abuse Scandal

Strategies used by the Church to cover up its worldwide sexual abuse scandal include: the Vatican’s refusal to cooperate with civil authorities; officially sanctioned priest shifting; the destruction of evidence; punishing whistleblowers and rewarding enablers; and blaming the victims. At the end of February, the eyes of the world were on Pope Benedict XVI as Read more…

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