May 2015
Volume 28
Number 5



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.






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: and become a Sustainer.


Recent ZMagazine

Jack Rasmus: Bernanke’s Bank: An Assessment

The evolution of the Fed

Paul Street: Capitalism’s Ironic Defenders

Our diseased profit system

Stephen Bergstein: Federal Court Rules Against NSA Phone Surveillance

Another recent court decision that abridges our freedoms

David Barsamian: Mohamed Bouazizi & the Arab Revolts

An interview with Rami Khouri

Various Reviewers: Three Reviews

Reviews by Jeremy Kuzmarov, Edward S. Herman, and Jane Slaughter

Robert Hunziker: The Inevitability of Radical Climate Change

There is indisputable evidence of climate change in the ocean

Allen Ruff: Operation Enduring America

The U.S. I Central Asia after Afghanistan?

Edward S. Herman: Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa

Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the recent history of Rwanda

Sue Katz: Blackpool Same-Sex Dance Festival

A report on The Wimbledon of Dance and challenges to gender assignments

jlc: Events, Books, Campaigns

Items of interest for radicals

Doug Morris: The Most Dangerous Belief: An Interview with Noam Chomsky

Chomsky answers questions from young people

David Barsamian: Kashmir and the Intifada of the Mind: An interview with Sanjay Kak

David Barsamian interviews Sanjay Zak on Kashmir, Uprisings, and filmmaking

Ramzy Baroud: Gaza is Flooded with Sewage and Conspiracies

The latest punishment of Gaza may seem like another familiar plot to humiliate the strip to the satisfaction of Israel, Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, and the military-controlled Egyptian government. But something far more sinister is brewing. This time, the collective punishment of Gaza arrives in the form of raw sewage that is flooding many neighborhoods Read more…

Bill Berkowitz: Doctors and Torture

The changing role of health professionals

Lauren McCauley: Exposing Walmart’s Massive Data Collection Schemes

Outside of its growing reputation for poverty wages, worker intimidation, and an overall culture of employee repression, a new report reveals that retail giant Walmart is also throwing its weight behind a massive consumer tracking effort with particular implications for people of color. Authored by a coalition of consumer rights and social justice groups, the Read more…

Site Administrator: Thoughts for the New Year

Quotes from the articles in this issue to inspire continued activism in 2014

Site Administrator: 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…

Seth Sandronsky: Public School Reform

Education reform, teaching to test to increase market share

Various Contributors: Events, Books, Campaigns

HUMAN RIGHTS – The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA. Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; [email protected]; AFRICAN/SOCIALIST – The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in Read more…

Marc Becker: Resource Extraction and the Yasuni National Park

At 7:39 PM on August 15, 2013, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa tweeted “in a few minutes I will speak to the country about the Yasuní-ITT initiative. It has been a long time since I was so nervous.” Correa had good reason to be nervous because he was about to cancel a signature program of his Read more…

Jack Rasmus: The Great Corporate Tax Shift

For more than three decades, what might be called the Great American Tax Shift has been gaining momentum. Wealthy investor households with annual incomes of more than $5 million and $20 million respectively have been paying less and less in taxes relative to the accelerating growth of their incomes, while the more than 100 million Read more…

Rob Larson: Home Is Where the Empty Investment Property Is

 The unrelenting disgrace of America’s economic inequality has continued to reach new heights of executive pay and new depths of depravity. The numbers are stark. In September, Emmanuel Saez of UC-Berkeley reported that the “Top 1 percent incomes grew by 31.4 percent while bottom 99 percent grew only by 0.4 percent from 2009 to 2012. Read more…

Kevin Zeese: Fukushima: A Global Threat

The story of Fukushima should be on the front pages of every newspaper. Instead, it is rarely mentioned. The problems at Fukushima are unprecedented in human experience and involve a high risk of radiation events larger than any that the global community has ever experienced. When we researched the realities of Fukushima in preparation for Read more…

Andrew Gavin Marshall: Empire Under Obama

Obama’s global terror campaign is not only dependent upon his drone assassination program, but increasingly it has come to rely on the deployment of Special Operations forces in countries all over the world—reportedly between 70 and 120 countries at any one time. As Obama has sought to draw down the large-scale ground invasions of countries Read more…

Nicolas J.S. Davies: Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy

The idea of U.S. national security seems inextricably entangled with the notion of military supremacy. Over the past 15 years, this has served to rationalize the most expensive unilateral military build-up in history. But there is no evidence that having the most expensive and destructive military forces makes Americans safer than people in other countries Read more…

John Malkin: Technology in a Free Society

JOHN MALKIN:The Internet, computers, cellphones, tablets, and social media are changing how we live and having an impact on human thinking, communication, and collaboration. On the other hand, Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks have revealed the ways that new technology is used for surveillance and control. Are the new digital technologies contributing to a more democratic Read more…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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, 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…

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…

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…

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…

Z Staff: News From the Net

The Forbes 400 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…

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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