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 February 2016
Volume 29
Number 2

 

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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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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Sandy Carter: Cures For The Summertime Blues

For summertime inspiration and release, here are some of the good ones from the first half of the year. Sleater-Kinney, The Hot Rock (Kill Rock Stars) On their fourth album, Olympia, Washington’s Sleater-Kinney have moved to a new level of maturity. The guitars still crackle and burn and the grrrl power critique remains acute, but Read more…

Edward s. herman and david Peterson: How The New York Times Protects Indonesian Terror In East Timor

The rapid decline of the Indonesian economy in 1997 and 1998–by some estimates a one-third fall in GDP–coupled with the resignation of Suharto in May 1998, loosened Indonesia’s grip on East Timor, the former Portuguese colony that Indonesia had invaded in December 1975 and annexed the following year. The aftershocks of these two closely related Read more…

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Tim Wise: Exploring the Depths of Racist Socialization

Every now and then a lesson comes easy. Other times we learn things by accident, if at all. And inevitably it seems, the lessons that matter most, often come from the least likely sources, and at the most inopportune moments. So much so, that if we aren’t paying close attention, we’ll miss them altogether. Such Read more…

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Michael Albert: Lend Me Your Ear

  People supporting bombing argue that it is better than nothing and is somehow dealing with horrible ethnic crimes in the Balkans. They either claim that that was the bombing’s purpose and the purpose is being met — or they admit that the motive was something else but add that even so the bombing is Read more…

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David Bacon: Miners’ Strike Broken in Cananea

David Bacon In the mile-high mountains of the Sonora desert, just 25 miles south of the border between Arizona and Mexico, over 2,000 miners have been locked in a bitter industrial war since mid-November. Here Grupo Mexico operates North America’s oldest, and one of the world’s largest copper mines—Cananea. For 2 months the mine has Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Fundies Upset About Undies

Michael Bronski In the past 100 years Times Square has been the metaphoric center of American anxieties about sexuality. From the new honky tonk freedoms of the early years of the century to its state-imposed Disneyfication in the last few years it has been the place where American culture has debated what was sexually permissible Read more…

Sandy Carter: Cassandra Wilson Sings Miles

Sandy Carter Although the musical tradition known as jazz has long enjoyed a reputation as an art of change and freedom, the music seems increasingly mired in recycled history. Check out any record store where jazz is sold and you’ll find CD shelf space dominated by dead and gone greats. Airplay on mainstream jazz radio Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: Crisis in the Balkans

Noam Chomsky On March 24, U.S.-led NATO forces launched cruise missiles and bombs at targets in Yugoslavia, “plunging America into a military conflict that President Clinton said was necessary to stop ethnic cleansing and bring stability to Eastern Europe,” lead stories in the press reported. In a televised address, Clinton explained that by bombing Yugoslavia, Read more…

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Z Staff: Pacifica, Pacifica!

requirements subvert our values, and has to operate with limited means under harsh pressures. Not surprisingly problems arise, ranging from budget deficits and personal disputes, to shortages of resources, time, or energy, to structural inadequacies in changing contexts. But these facts of life do not justify ignoring progressive aspirations and aims. Three broad areas of Read more…

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Ted Glick: A Progressive Voice in 2000?

Ted Glick The year 2000 Presidential sweepstakes has gotten underway. As the candidates for president go about their work of raising the millions needed to be seen as serious, there’s one presidential “horse” that is not even mounting up to be in the race: good old progressive. The Republicans have their center-right to far-out-right stable Read more…

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Edward Herman: The Godfather’s New World Order

Edward S. Herman Perhaps we should take heart in the rationality of the process whereby power affects global moral judgments and policies, even if this results in the institutionalization of truly laughable double standards. Examples abound. The Godfather can get away with supporting tyrants of the most monstrous sort for decades (e.g., the Duvaliers of Read more…

Ben Manski: 97 Hours of Struggle

Ben Manski This was the beginning of the end—200 of us pounding on the walls, on the floors, on the doors, chanting “No More Bullshit,” and “We Say No to Sweatshop Labor.” The 97-hour occupation of the Bascom Hall administration building had come to an end. It began on Monday evening, February 8, at 5:00 Read more…

Geoffrey Paterson: Louisiana Supreme Court

Geoffrey Paterson Louisiana has never been known as an environmental panacea. Indeed, its reputation has long been as one of the dirtiest and most polluted in the country and with good reason: no matter what is measured (air, water, ground), Louisiana leads the nation in toxic emissions per capita. Uncoincidentally, Louisiana is one of the Read more…

James Petras: From Pericles to Samaranch

James Petras The corruption scandal of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was an event waiting to happen. The blatant buying of IOC delegate votes for holding the winter events in Salt Lake City, Utah should be no surprise, given the big business atmosphere that engulfs the operations of the Olympics. The recently published 300-page report Read more…

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Michael Albert: The Kosovo/NATO Conflict

1. What are the roots of the Kosovo conflict? Ethnic Serbs and Albanians give extended historical arguments going back as far as 1389 or 1912 or World War II. The basic issue is that the Kosovo province of Serbia (called Kosova in Albanian) has a large majority—as much as 90 percent—of ethnic Albanians with a Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Hillie, Madie, Tippie, Tracey, & an Erect Nipple

Sargent   Gals. Welcome to Hotel Satire where gals learn (through rigorous training) to be the true gals they were born to be. We gals have been confused of late about feminism—what the heck is it? Sometimes, everyone and everything seems to be feminist, even when clearly not. For instance, is Hillary Clinton a feminist Read more…

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Site Administrator: The Growing Wealth Gap

Holly Sklar, Chuck Collins, & Betsy Leondar-Wright The booming economy has been a bust for millions of Americans. Most households have lower inflation-adjusted net worth now than they did in 1983, when the Dow was still at 1,000. The top 1 percent of households have soared while most Americans have been working harder to stay Read more…

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Kristian Williams: Reflections on the Georgetown Sit-In

Kristian Williams On February 5, 27 students occupied the office of George- town President Leo O’Donovan, vowing not to leave until the Administration adequately addressed the conditions under which university apparel is produced. Eighty-five hours later, Dean of Students James Donahue signed an agreement, granting nearly all the students’ demands. The sit-in came after many Read more…

Sandy Carter: Reading Elvis

Carter In the last two decades, the image of Elvis Presley has been so thoroughly obfuscated by myth and parody, it is near impossible to recall his life and music without bringing to mind the ridiculous and tragic figure he had become by the time of his death. With that in mind, Peter Guralnick’s two-volume Read more…

Mitchel Cohen: Jerry Brown – A Green Success?

  A number of Greens started out in politics campaigning for Jerry Brown in the 1992 Presidential elections. It’s true, the once-upon-a-time Zen-Governor of California did describe himself as a “recovering politician.” His nightly radio show on Pacifica touched on all sorts of ecological and radical issues, and his thundering speech to the Labor Party’s Read more…

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Henry A. Giroux: Substituting Prisons for Schools

Henry A. Giroux The current debates about multiculturalism in higher education represent more than insular disputes between warring factions of professional academics. They also, with few exceptions, harbor an indifference to the world outside of the university that borders on bad faith and ethical irresponsibility. As more and more young people face a world of Read more…

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Site Administrator: Remember the Alamo Part II

R. González On August 4, 1998 in San Antonio, the Alamo rumbled. This time, though, it was not the typical lucha between Anglos and Latinos for power in this southernmost mecca of Mexican heritage. Instead, it was a battle against the latest enemy in a city whose history is defined by war. The hate this Read more…

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Robin Hahnel: Capitalist Globalism In Crisis

Robin Hahnel When real world outcomes differ from the efficient ones predicted by mainstream models in text books, the memories of pro-capitalists are jogged to recall catchall phrases, like “perfect competition,” and “complete markets.” The word “perfect” refers to knowledge and requires complete and accurate information for all participants in the economy about the consequences Read more…

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Edward Herman: All the Book Reviews Fit to Print

Books are a relatively open avenue to dissent in the United States. Critical voices of the left are rarely heard on TV or in the leading news magazines and dominant newspapers, and never at the length (or with the repetitions) necessary to overcome audience unfamiliarity and cognitive dissonance. Left-of-center books, by contrast, are published frequently, Read more…

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Aaron Krei: Hunger Strike At Notre Dame

Kreider   On February 3, at the nation’s most prominent Catholic university over 100 Notre Dame students organized a 3-day hunger strike in support of including sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause. The Board of Trustees was to meet on February 5 and for the first time ever, have the opportunity to end years of Read more…

Jeff Nygaard: Social Security Reform

Jeff Nygaard A society’s system of Social Security deals explicitly with a fundamental human issue: What do we, as a society, do about human suffering? The key word being “we.” Whose responsibility is it to address the suffering created by a system that produces more than enough for everyone, but leaves some in desperate need? Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Marketing to Teens

Cynthia Peters You are what you wear, what you snack on, how you accessorize. Ever heard of the “echo boomers?” Generation Y, generation wired, the digital generation, millenials? If not, you probably haven’t been reading the retail trade journals—BrandWeek, Sporting Goods Business, and Target Marketing, among others. You’ve missed out on the frenzy, the corporate Read more…

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E. Wayne Ross: Re-segregating Schools

  Current efforts to reform public education are driven by a fervent desire to improve student test scores. For many states and local school districts the only thing that counts when judging the effectiveness of schools are the scores students produce on standardized tests. In the pursuit of higher test scores, a Long Island, New Read more…

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Paul Street: “Don’t Blame the Company”

Paul Street If, as Noam Chomsky argues, the conservative thought-controlling nature of the corporate media is best seen in its “leftmost” or most liberal creations, then Time magazine’s recent four-part exposé on corporate welfare give us an especially good look at the boundaries of acceptable opinion. This hard-hitting Fall 1998 series found that more than Read more…

Jesse Walker: The Care & Feeding of Community Radio

Walker If nothing else, the recent fracas at Pacifica should remind us of the importance of structure, of building a sound foundation that will allow free-spirited radio to thrive. In 50 years of community radio, there have been as many station structures as there have been stations. Most of these can be fit into six Read more…

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David Barsamian: The Future of History, Part I

Howard Zinn, professor emeritus at Boston University, is one of this country’s most distinguished historians. He was an active figure in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. His seminal book, A People’s History of the United States, is widely used in college and university classrooms. He is also the author of Declarations of Independence Read more…

Elsa Davidson: Chutes & Ladders

Elsa Davidson Jeanette” leaned against the shabby exterior of Welfare Center 62, an infant daughter on one shoulder. Although Social Security had issued Jeanette a notice stating a delay in the processing of her daughter’s Social Security card, her welfare caseworker had just refused to accept this surrogate document and had terminated her daughter’s benefits. Read more…

D. stanley Eitzen: Upward Mobility Through Sport?

Typically, Americans believe that sport is a path to upward social mobility. This belief is based on the obvious examples we see as poor boys and men (rarely girls and women) from rural and urban areas, whether white or black, sometimes skyrocket to fame and fortune through success in sports. Sometimes the financial reward has Read more…

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Robin Hahnel: Capitalist Globalism In Crisis

If international trade and investment actually reduced international economic inequality, if it actually reduced strain on the environment, if it actually increased ds global efficiency, we should be all for it. The problem, of course, is that international liberalization and neoliberal policies have actually done just the opposite. They have increased international inequality and environmental Read more…

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Edward Herman: Transparency: Fad Word/Pseudo Remedy

In the recent evolution of fad words and clichés we have already digested, exhausted, and moved past deregulation, privatization, and restructuring, and latched onto “transparency” and its close relatives, accountability and responsibility. If only there had been more transparency in Indonesian (Thai, Mexican) business and governmental practice we wouldn’t have suffered such investment excesses and Read more…

James Petras: The Philippines Revolution

Nearly 100 years ago, U.S. Marines invaded the newly independent Philippines and killed anywhere from a quarter of a million (U.S. military estimates) to a half million Filipinos in the course of colonizing the archipelago. The legacy of 50 years of U.S. colonial rule is palpable in the slums and streets of Manila, the misery Read more…

Katherine Sciacchitano: Welfare Reform in the Global Economy

More than the embarrassment of his impeachment, Bill Clinton’s legacy will be the disgrace of his welfare reform debacle. Elected initially to help safeguard the safety net and reforge a role for government in the economy he has, under the guise of forging a middle way, dismantled programs and disarmed the electorate as no Republican Read more…

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Brian Tokar: Monsanto: A Checkered History

Headquartered just outside St. Louis, Missouri, the Monsanto Chemical Company was founded in 1901 by John Francis Queeny. Queeny, a self-educated chemist, brought the technology to manufacture saccharin, the first artificial sweetener, from Germany to the United States. In the 1920s, Monsanto became a leading manufacturer of sulfuric acid and other basic industrial chemicals, and Read more…

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Michael D. Yates: Frederick Taylor

I do not think that many faculty members would challenge the notion that their universities are run by people who are primarily managers and not academics. At the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where I work, our administrators have never been scholars and no more so than at present when the very titles so common Read more…

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David Bacon: Liverpool Dockers

Liverpool was once the strongest union port in Britain, a country where all dockworkers were unionized for over 100 years. Under past Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, however, British ports were turned over to private companies. Dockworkers, who had been public employees, then became employees of individual private employers. In the process, recognition was withdrawn from Read more…

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Site Administrator: Our New Financial Architecture And Theirs

Smith In a previous article (“New Global Architecture’ Poses Questions for the Left”), we argued that popular movements, progressives, and the left should develop their own program for a “new architecture” for the global economy and demand that policymakers bargain with them. While the global economy needs radical alteration in all its structures, this article Read more…

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Michael Bronski: The Half-Life of the Stepmom

Bronski There is Susan Sarandon looking handsome, proud, intelligent, brave, powerful and dignified. Oh look, and there’s Julia Roberts looking beautiful, nervous, quirky, and well, very much like Julia Roberts. It’s Stepmom—the high-profile holiday movie. Susan’s the real mom, Julia’s the stepmom and their intersecting lives are a battlefield for the love of two cute Read more…

Sandy Carter: 1998 in Review

Carter It was a very dismal year for mass marketed popular music. Cruise down the list of Billboard’s Top 50 Albums of 1998 and you’ll find mostly bland, conformist sounds reflecting the dominant currents of a degraded social and political culture. From chart topping divas such as Celine Dion, Shania Twain, and Mariah Carey and Read more…

Joanna Cagan: none

Cagan & Neil deMause Common Courage Press, Maine, 1998   Review by Tom Gallagher From 1991 through the first half of 1996, the value of public bonds issued for construction of sports complexes exceeded that dedicated to new libraries and museums. In 1996, Cleveland, Ohio committed itself to building a $220 million football-only facility the Read more…

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Robin Hahnel: Capitalist Globalism in Crisis

IMF bashing, a popular sport on the left for years, has finally made it into mainstream culture. Unfortunately some new mainstream players are now playing at a higher level than many leftist veterans. Since Johnny-Come-Lately mainstream critics of the IMF do not share our progressive priorities, we can expect their views will not accord with Read more…

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Edward Herman: Corporate Junk Science in the Media

The prime mark of industry control over environmental policy is that its right to put chemicals into the environment without independent testing is unchallenged even today. This hegemony is so complete that only a small fringe of environmentalists question this industry prerogative. Mainstream environmentalists take producer sovereignty for granted and seek only marginal changes that Read more…

Rick Mercier: Asia Pacific People’s Assembly

As the leaders of APEC nations prepared to converge on Kuala Lumpur for their annual summit last fall, representatives of non-governmental organizations met in Malaysia’s capital for the fourth annual Asia Pacific People’s Assembly. Assembly delegates had harsh criticisms of the neoliberal development model, which they say promotes a form of globalization that favors transnational Read more…

Billy Nessen: East Timor in Suharto’s Shadow

Dili, June 28, 1998. They came running at us, screaming something. One man’s face was painted red and white, the Indonesian flag, and his fist hit my chin, a sharp jolt near my ear as I staggered back. His colleagues surrounded me and Felipe and Jose, two East Timorese university students, on the narrow side-street. Read more…

Paul von Blum: Art for Life’s Sake

Paul Von Blum Since the 19th century, African American artists have devoted extensive attention to storytelling in visual form. Their paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and photographs have chroni cled the hopes and struggles of their people, their neglected African heritage, and their social and political life in the United States. Their artworks have often focused Read more…

Tor Wennerberg: Liberty for Property: On human nature, economics, and democracy

or women’s rights and so on. It wasn’t just people screaming at each other. There were interesting arguments on both sides. The pro-slavery side had substantial arguments that are not easy to answer. But there was a common moral ground in which a good bit of the debate took place, and as it resolved, which Read more…

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