covJune 2015
Volume 28
Number 6

 

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

 

 

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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, 215 Atlantic Ave, Hull, MA 02045 (508- 548-9063). To donate online go to: www.zcommunications.org and become a Sustainer.

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Gabriel Kolko: none

Routledge; 190 pp. Review by Asad Ismi   What should a communist party do when it leads a nation to victory over the most powerful empire the world has ever known at the cost of three million lives? Build an equitable society for the survivors, of course. The Communist Party of Vietnam has not done Read more…

James Petras: The Post-Communist Generation

  The Soviet Union has transited from a repressive and authoritarian communist regime in which social welfare, full employment, and a secure old age predominated to a savage capitalism in which a small minority of Mafia business thugs, ex-communist bureaucrats, and new rich speculators have pillaged the economy leaving 60 percent of the population in Read more…

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Z Staff: Economics?

  Robert Barro of Harvard recently was offered a $300,000 salary to jump to Columbia. In reaction, MIT’s Paul Krugman wrote in Microsoft’s online magazine, Slate: "the ability to do innovative economic research is at least as rare as the ability to sink a basketball through a hoop—and a lot rarer than many other abilities that Read more…

: Whither Asia’s Economies?

  Throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s big business made the mistake of letting the U.S. government assume the major responsibility for bending Southeast Asia to capitalism’s will. Because of the incredible heroism and determination of the Vietnamese people, supported by the moral indignation expressed by an ever-increasing number of Americans, the effort was Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Are You Femme Enough?

  Welcome to Hotel Satire—where traditional values inhabit our tastefully decorated rooms, where the enterprise is free for those with the right background and breeding, where dad is in command, the kids are at his feet, mom is in the kitchen, lesbos are in jail, commies have all joined the Russian Mafia, and everyone is Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Media Beat

Sex-Scandal Coverage Evades Contradictions In the days since Kathleen Willey’s interview on "60 Minutes," media outlets have flooded us with renewed debates over President Clinton’s sexual conduct. But news coverage still fails to consider the Clinton scandals in the context of what he has long been preaching about welfare recipients and other low-income Americans. So Read more…

Paul von Blum: Sculptures of Charles Dickson

  Sculpture has played a powerful role in the artistic heritage of Africa. Too often regarded as "primitive," and routinely consigned to museum "curiosity rooms" and natural history exhibitions, these works have nevertheless been sources of inspiration to many Western modern artists. Viewers familiar with Pablo Picasso, Amadeo Modligiani, Constantin Brancusi, Chaim Soutine, and others, Read more…

Sue Wall: Towards “2000 in 2000″

  One candidate grew up working in Hong Kong sweatshops and led the fight as a school board member against accepting funds from Nike. Another is the chief steward of her union, a single working mother putting her daughter through college. A third is a food service worker who helped organize her restaurant. The three—Joseph Read more…

Sandy Carter: Celebrating Pete Seeger

  Our songs are like you and me, the product of a long human chain… —Pete Seeger Ever since the radical tradition of American folk music incubated in the 1930s, a loosely defined, loosely tied "folk music community" has inspired strains of popular music linked to radical politics and struggles for social justice. In musical Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: Rogue States

  The concept of "rogue state" plays a pre-eminent role today in policy planning and analysis. The current Iraq crisis is only the latest example. Washington and London declared Iraq a "rogue state," a threat to its neighbors and to the entire world, an "outlaw nation" led by a reincarnation of Hitler who must be Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: The American Doll

  Zoe, my six-year-old, was practically vibrating with delight when she opened the big rectangular box and pulled out her first American Girl doll. It was her birthday. She had asked for Felicity—the "colonial era" doll, but there had been a mix-up. She got Kirsten instead. This "pioneer" girl is from Sweden. Blond hair. Blue Read more…

James Petras: Our Man in Mexico and the Chiapas Massacre

  The massacre of 45 Indians in Chiapas by government-sponsored paramilitary forces has to be viewed within the broader context of regimes’ vigorous implementation of the socio-economic model and its growing political isolation within Mexican society. While there was worldwide condemnation of the massacre (over 58 cities and several parliaments in Europe) and its perpetrator Read more…

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David Bacon: A New Europe?

  Morena Pivetti’s mother was a dedicated school teacher. Until she retired a few years ago, she devoted her working life to Italy’s greatest and most-loved resource, its children. When she retired, she got one of the best pensions in Europe. Over decades, the social respect gained by Italian teachers has earned them the right Read more…

Liberal Genius: Liberal Genius

Cold War was supposed to bring not only a peace dividend, with less money spent on defense, but a sort of moral dividend, too. The United States, which had suppressed its ethical standards in the higher battle against godless Communism, was now supposed to be able to pick its friends with a little more discretion." Read more…

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Elizabeth Martinez: High School Students In The Lead

  Who’s got the power? We’ve got the power. What kind of power? Youth power!" The train was packed with dozens of high school students who had walked out of classes and jumped onto the BART subway without paying. They came from San Francisco, Oakland, Daly City, San Leandro, Hayward, Richmond, Pittsburg, San Leandro. Many Read more…

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Site Administrator: The Super Rich

  The super rich, the 1 percent that owns the lion’s share of the nation’s wealth, go uncounted in most income distribution reports. Even those who purport to study the question regularly overlook the very wealthiest among us. For instance, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, relying on the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, Read more…

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Z Staff: Stop the Insanity!

don’t care about typos, only content, and that this reflects badly on the whole left, no less. Be serious folks. Does Z look like it was created by bumbling folks who have no aesthetic or "professional pride?" We profread it up the kazoo. Do we need to repeat that? We prufread it up the kazoo. Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Hotel Satire

that makes corsets and peek-a-boo dresses, but this shouldn’t concern you.) Here are the letters she picked out and her answers.   Dear Satire Expert Gal, I just don’t know what to make of this "crisis" in the White House. Our government seems to be just another soap opera episode. Shouldn’t we be more upset Read more…

Sandy Carter: THE BEST OF 1997

lap slide phenom Kelly Joe Phelps, Brown etches a multi-faceted portrait of life in the rural Midwest. Like Dylan, Brown sees and feels the rot all around. But he also penetrates life deeply enough to find its humor and grace. As a result, you come away from Slant 6 Mind with recharged faith in humanity. Read more…

Israel Shahak: none

  Israel has an estimated 60 to 80 nuclear warheads. They are pointed at every Arab capital, and at nuclear facilities in Pakistan and some states of the former USSR. Absent a Chernobyl-like accident at the Israeli nuclear instillation at Dimona, another horrific possibility for the weapons’ use is a hijacked launching by messianists along Read more…

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Z Staff: A Tale of Two Stories

of the broader political system. When the media runs too fast, sometimes a story gets wings of its own and the results escalate beyond anyone’s interests, as in this case.   Y2K is a real issue. Lurking in billions of lines of computer code an infinitesimal fraction that is very hard to find refers to Read more…

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Z Staff: Hollywood?

Hollywood?

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Edward Herman: GLOBAL ROGUE STATE

more than they would label it a terrorist state or sponsor of terror, no matter how close the fit. If a country is sufficiently powerful, it naturally assumes the role of global policeman, and as such it designates who are terrorists and rogues. This role is accepted and internalized not only by its own media, Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: I’m Sick of Cultural Awareness

  Helloooo. I’m Mrs. Geoffrey. I’m sitting here in my expensive townhouse. I gaze out the window at the noon sun glistening on our $500 birdhouse. A Martin Luther King day march passes by. I clutch my $18,000 emerald necklace which Geoffrey purchased just yesterday, on a whim. A newspaper with the headlines "Clinton Begins Read more…

Richard w. franke and barbara h. Chasin: Power to the (Malayalee) People

Franke and Barbara H. Chasin In Kerala State, India, an elected left wing government has launched a campaign to make village democracy a major development mechanism.   Ninth Plan, People’s Plan Kerala State, in southwestern India, is the scene of a dramatic experiment in democratic development. The Left Democratic Front government, elected to office in Read more…

Mariana Mora: Massacre in Chiapas

The Government’s double headed game unfolds to disclose a strategy of violence and military solutions to the 4 year conflict   "They, our fathers, our mothers will ensure that we reach the dream of justice. Their blood will water our earth, our cornfields, our houses so that peace may awaken and justice shine." On Christmas Read more…

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Site Administrator: none

Review by Christian Parenti   Zines are the kudzu weed of the publishing world. Much like that floral alien which so dominates the empty lots and waste ground of the U.S. South, zines have for years flourished on a social terrain long deemed worthless and inaccessible. "Zine" is short for "fanzine." The first of these Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Media Literacy

  When my daughter came home from kindergarten telling me that her school was teaching her about the media, advertising, and such things as toy packaging, I was impressed. She was beginning to get the tools necessary to think critically about the blizzard of advertising and commercialism we confront everyday. It’s always been clear that Read more…

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Ward Churchill: The Crucible of American Indian Identity – Part 2

  The Impositions of U.S. Policy Probably the first concerted effort on the part of U.S. officialdom to use the incorporation of whites and their mixed-blood offspring as a wedge with which to pry indigenous societies apart began in the late 1700s, when Moravian missionaries were asked to serve as de facto federal emissaries to Read more…

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David Barsamian: Activism On and Off the Reservation

pretty much linked to the rest of it. I had the benefit of presenting the research I had done to the UN. Then I asked if I could go and work in these communi­ties that were impacted. So I began by working down in the Navajo reservation in the Southwest on uranium mining, and then Read more…

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Michael Albert: The Stickiness Problem

Toward the end of last Summer I spoke at a National Green gathering about "movement building." My initial idea was to discuss the progressive and left community’s outreach problem. We try to reach potential allies in society and to "reel them in" to full participation. Not enough  people hear us. Our outreach problem involves our Read more…

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David Bacon: MAQUILADORA WORKERS ELECT THEIR FIRST INDEPENDENT UNION

  TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA (11/25/97) — Beating off a last-minute attempt to destabilize the election process, employees of the Tijuana factory of Han Young de Mexico on October 6 became the first maquiladora workers on the U.S./Mexico border to vote in favor of an independent union. In the traditional open voting system used by the Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Boogie Nights

  There is so much to like and admire about Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights that small qualms or reservations seem petty. The tone — and the plot — of the movie is summed up in its subtitle (when was the last time a movie had a subtitle?): "The Life of a Dreamer, the Days Read more…

Sandy Carter: Talking with Greg Brown

of albums on his own Red House label, The Iowa Waltz (1983) and 44 & 66 (1984), which eventually led to frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio program, A Prairie Home Companion. With the national attention, Brown embarked on a full-time music career and gave up the reins of Red House Records to Read more…

Christopher d. Cook: Welfare Rights Redux

Christopher D. Cook   Radicalized by welfare "reforms" that are eliminating aid for millions of families and forcing many into hazardous, low-wage workfare jobs, unions and welfare advocates convened a "Labor-Welfare Summit" in San Francisco this September that could mark the rise of a new welfare rights movement. Despite considerable turf-war friction between organized labor Read more…

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Z Staff: Editorial: Media Madness

compared to one standard or another that some of us may have, is, nonetheless, a vast improvement over mainstream media. The reason is that mainstream media is motivated both by private profit (selling access to audience with disposable income to advertisers seeking to fleece it) and the maintenance of society’s hierarchical social and class relations Read more…

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Amy Goodman: Exception to the Rulers, III

  Two weeks after the 1991 massacre, the Indonesian military held two news conferences in Jakarta and announced that Allan and I were banned from returning to Indonesia or East Timor. They called us a threat to national security. Probably because we survived the massacre and talked about it. In November 1994, President Clinton was Read more…

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Edward Herman: The Human Rights Charade

  The business of America is business The Chinese market is huge and its increasing openness to foreign business has caused a global "gold rush" from which U.S. business does not want to be excluded. A powerful business lobby has been organized here to fight for government support for entry into the Chinese market, and Read more…

Rob richie and steven Hill: Senate Hearings Missed the Real Problem

Steven Hill   After 32 days of hearings and expenditures of $2.6 million, the closing gavel has finally sounded on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigation of campaign financing abuses. Unfortunately, amidst all the frenzy, one of the most important questions was never asked: just what difference does money make in Congressional elections? Given the Read more…

Matthew Knoester: title(“Washington’s Role in Colombian Repression”)

Knoester   Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian born 1982 Nobel Prize winner in literature, almost single-handedly changed the way Latin American literature is read around the world. Writing in a style others coined "magical realism," Garcia Marquez narrated the history of a town called Macondo in such classics as One Hundred Years of Solitude. In Read more…

Rick Mercier: Tokyo Conference

  More than 650 people from 20 countries and 40 activist groups gathered in Tokyo in early November for the International Conference on Violence Against Women in War and Armed Conflict Situations. Meeting in the capital of a nation that is still trying to come to terms with its own history of wartime sexual violence, Read more…

Wayne Grytting: Newspeak

corporations, their work is inevitably compromised. Just the opposite was demonstrated by attorney Gary Reback at a conference on Microsoft sponsored by Ralph Nader. Recently the Gates monolith bought out Funk & Wagnell’s Encyclopedia to use for their on-line "Encarta" version. Funk and Wagnell’s originally had an entry on none other than Bill Gates himself, Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: A Progressive Approach to Caring for Children and Community

Peters   Feminists—particularly white liberal feminists—have long considered quality day care to be a key factor in our ability to balance work and family life. Now, suddenly, day care is getting some mainstream support; legislators of all stripes, the President and Hillary Clinton, as well as some major corporations are behind it. What happened? What Read more…

James Petras: The Asian Crises and U.S. Hegemony

  A framework for understanding of the rise and demise of Asian capitalism requires a look at the larger historical context and the role of imperial politics. The "Asian Tigers" grew in the context of the cold and hot wars in Asia between 1945-1990. Washington sought to showcase the advantages of capitalism over communism and Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: One Minute You’re Changing Diapers, The Next Minute You’re Committing Civil Disobedience

  For our tenth birthday, Z will begin an ongoing series of articles called "Being Left." Activists will talk personally about what made them political, what keeps them going, and their hopes for the future. As the designated lead off writer, I immediately wanted to satirize my personal story, then felt that would not be Read more…

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Ward Churchill: The Crucible of American Indian Identity

Churchill   Among the most vexed and divisive issues afflicting Native North America at the dawn of the twenty-first century are the questions of who it is who has a legitimate right to say he or she is American Indian, and by what criteria/whose definition this may or may not be true. Such queries, and Read more…

Jenna e. Ziman: Freeport – McMoran Mining Corporate Greed

There is a U.S. multinational corporation on the loose that watchdog organizations are keeping a close eye on. The company is a picture perfect example of a multinational company that knows no bounds in the race for profit, say human rights and environmental organizations. The corporation is a New Orleans-based mining company named Freeport-McMoRan Copper Read more…

Jan knippers Black: Booming on Borrowed Labor

  After more than five years of graduate study in Great Britain, Asliza was anxious to return to her native Brunei. But the country she returned to was not the same one she had left. She wonders at times how much longer she will be able to stay. She doesn’t mind covering her head with Read more…

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Jeremy Brecher: American Labor on the Eve of the Millennium

  This is the first in a series of articles on the history of rank-and-file labor struggles over the past 25 years. It is drawn from the new concluding chapter Jeremy Brecher has written for the 25th anniversary edition of Strike!, just published as the first book in the South End Press Classics Series.   Read more…

Sandy Carter: Off The Beaten Path

  After decades of steady expansion the record industry has finally bottomed out. With record sales at $12.3 billion in 1995, $12.5 in 1996 and only a mild upswing projected for 1997, industry executives must now figure out where the next burst of market expansion will be coming from. Part of the problem, from a Read more…

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