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 2015
Volume 28
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 to understanding current circumstances and as necessary for developing visions and strategies for progressive change.

 

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Recent ZMagazine

Lisa Hamilton: Diamonds In The Dirt?

Consumers, growers, and corporations predicted imminent failure when organic agriculture enjoyed an American renaissance in the 1970s. Nobody believed organic food was important enough to carry its high retail price. Despite the misgivings, organics proved their human and environmental health benefits to consumers and established a small but successful market throughout the country. As with Read more…

Kamal Hassan: Justice Too Long Delayed

On Tuesday June 10, 1997, surrounded by members of his family, former comrades in the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, a crush of "suddenly interested" media personnel, and hundreds of cheering, hugging, and crying supporters, Geronimo ji-Jaga (Pratt) walked out of an Orange County jail, a free man for the first time in 27 Read more…

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Edward Herman: Privileged Dependency and Waste: The Military Budget

  Resource Allocation in a Weapons Culture The United States remains a weapons culture today, with the MIC still powerful and dominant in national priorities. This is strikingly displayed in the Center for Defense Information’s (CDI) chart (shown below) depicting Clinton’s proposed 1998 allocation of discretionary (as opposed to mandatory) spending. It can be seen Read more…

Joseph m. Perry: Dropping The Bomb On CD-ROM.

    Works reviewed: Encarta (c) 1992-1994 Microsoft Corporation Grolier (c) 1993 Grolier, Inc. (c) 1987-1993 Online Computer Systems, Inc. (c) 1993 The Software Toolworks, Inc. Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia (c) 1992-1996 Softkey Multimedia, Inc. Webster’s Concise Interactive Encyclopedia (c) 1994 Attica Cybernetics Ltd. (c) 1994 Helicon Publishing Ltd. ZCI Publishing Concise Encyclopedia (c) 1995 by Read more…

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Site Administrator: none

The Hesperian Foundation. Berkeley California. 584 pp. Paperback. Review by Cynthia Peters My dogeared copies of Where There is No Doctor, A Village Health Care Handbook (the Hesperian Foundation) and an early edition of Our Bodies Ourselves (Boston Women’s Health Book Collective) both have bent covers, broken spines, and ripped pages. They have absorbed coffee Read more…

Daniel Burton-rose: none

Writing of the Nazis in 1948, Graham Greene said: "The totalitarian state contrives, by educating its citizens, to suppress all sense of guilt, all indecision of mind." "It is an apt description of the current state of the politics of crime in the United States," writes Jerome Miller, author of Search and Destroy: African-American Males Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Oh, Promise Me

Sargent   People. And you gals. Lots of inspiring things have happened recently. Two, in particular, stand out. One is the welcome sight of hundreds of thousands of mostly white men gathering together to worship God, who is also white and male (not to mention heterosexual),  which makes white heterosexual males superior to everyone else. Read more…

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Site Administrator: Boom Times for Billionaires, Bust for Workers and Children

A million bucks is chump change these days to the richest Americans. It took at least $475 million to get on this year’s Forbes 400 roster of the ultra-rich, up from $415 million in 1996. Oprah Winfrey, ranked 343 with $550 million, is the only Black person on the list. If the lowliest Forbes 400 Read more…

Jim Smith: Unions From 61 Countries Meet

Just as the pivotal UPS strike was getting underway, union activists from 61 countries were assembling in Havana, Cuba, intent on breathing new life into the international labor movement. The International Workers Conference Against Neoliberalism and Globalism, August 6 to 8, brought together some of the most militant unions from every continent to hammer out Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Good Grief: When It Reigns, It Pours

"the suffering was somehow unimpressive." The same media outlets that can go into paroxysms of grief over one celebrity’s demise have shown themselves fully capable of ignoring—or even celebrating—the deaths of many people. In 1991, when U.S. bombs killed "enemy" soldiers and civilians, the American news media rejoiced. At the end of the slaughter known Read more…

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Amy Goodman: Freeing the Media: The Exception to the Rulers

Amy Goodman   I wanted to talk about the idea of freeing the media. What happens in covering issues that the consensus defined by Washington and inside the beltway doesn’t agree with or does not want to cover. I’m going to talk a little about Mumia Abu-Jamal and my experiences trying to get his voice Read more…

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Michael Albert: What Makes Alternative Media Alternative?

  Is the Nation an alternative media institution? What about Dollars and Sense or Mother Jones, or, for that matter, Z Magazine? Do these institutions make decisions in an acceptably alternative manner? Do they treat workers properly? Do they have good relations with their audiences? Is Monthly Review going in a good direction in becoming Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream

Noam Chomsky   Part of the reason why I write about the media is because I am interested in the whole intellectual culture, and the part of it that is easiest to study is the media. It comes out every day. You can do a systematic investigation. You can compare yesterday’s version to today’s version. Read more…

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Z Staff: Writing for the Mainstream

Z Staff   Z: Over the years you have written in a lot of venues, ranging from newsletters to national left publications to mainstream periodicals and Time magazine. To what do you attribute this success? EHRENREICH: Is it success, whatever exactly that is, or just compulsive productivity? If it’s the latter, I can explain a Read more…

Wayne Grytting: NewSpeak

the Journal to "Teamster Lords." These Lords won because, "Modern media politics isn’t about substance or subtle distinctions. It’s about spin and sound bites…" Pretty shocking. Makes it tough for the corporate message to get out. In this shallow media spin-controlled world, the public bought "the alleged injustice of part-time work." But before you start Read more…

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David Peterson: The Global Media

David Peterson Edward S. Herman and Robert W. McChesney are two of the most important critics of the global media scene. A Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a contributor to Z Magazine since its founding in 1988, Edward Herman is the author of numerous books, including Read more…

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Greg Ruggiero: On the Growing Free Media Movement

Greg Ruggiero & Kate Duncan   From July 26 through August 3 more than 3,000 people gathered in Spain for the Zapatista initiated Second Encuentro for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism. Following up last year’s Encuentro in Chiapas which analyzed globalization from economic, political, social, and cultural perspectives, the goal of this year’s gathering was to Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Creating Institutions

Lydia Sargent   I was going to write an impersonal account of institution-building vis-a-vis describing Z Media Institute. That’s why all the ZMI photos in this article. But my original plan seemed: (a) impossible in the space allotted here; (b) dull; (c) not for me, my skills lie elsewhere; and (d) to take time away Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Worshipping New Media Gods

story. Meanwhile, back on the ground, mortals can only imagine what it’s like to move corporate mountains and build digital highways with the flick of a pen. We’re encouraged to look up with awe at the colossal deal-makers. They’re creating the software in our drives and the images on our screens—and, increasingly, the dreams in Read more…

Chris Gaal: A Tale of Fear and Greed

Chris Gaal   For years far-right critics of Social Security have warned of the impending financial collapse and bankruptcy of our nation’s public pension system. Suddenly, these predictions of doom burst into the headlines of the major news media. Are we finally going to have to face the music about Social Security’s coming insolvency? The Read more…

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Henry A. Giroux: Disney, Southern Baptists, & Children’s Culture

Henry A. Giroux   The Southern Baptist Convention in June generated a lot of media attention when it called for a boycott of the Disney Company for promoting "immoral ideologies such as homosexuality." The Southern Baptists were angry because Disney sponsors "Gay Days" at its theme parks, provides health benefits to the domestic partners of Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Clinton And JFK — Media Myth, R.I.P.

Norman Solomon Five years ago, everywhere you turned, journalists were comparing Bill Clinton to John Kennedy. In the summer of 1992 — when the Democratic National Convention showcased footage of a teenage Bill shaking hands with President Kennedy — many news outlets proclaimed that manifest destiny was in the political air. The media hype escalated Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: Market Democracy in a Neoliberal Order: Doctrines and Reality

Noam Chomsky   I have been asked to speak on some aspect of academic or human freedom, an invitation that offers many choices. I will keep to some simple ones. Freedom without opportunity is a devil’s gift, and the refusal to provide such opportunities is criminal. The fate of the more vulnerable offers a sharp Read more…

Christopher Cook: From Welfare to Profit Shares

Christopher Cook   The four qualifying words in President Clinton’s pledge to end welfare—"as we know it"—are proving to be the ultimate twist of the dagger in the heart of public assistance. While ending AFDC, America’s 61-year-old guarantee of aid to poor families, Clinton’s reforms extend $28 billion worth of new contract opportunities to for-profit Read more…

Bob Harris: Where’s There’s Smoke… Someone’s Getting Burned

Harris   OK, so the big tobacco companies and their lobbyists have cobbled together a backroom deal to save their hides. And now the various state Attorneys General can return to their respective capitals and grandstand the agreement triumphantly. Neville Chamberlain did the same thing once. Didn’t help. Yeah, the bad guys have to pour Read more…

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Edward Herman: Pol Pot And Kissinger

Edward S. Herman The hunt is on once again for war criminals, with ongoing trials of accused Serbs in The Hague, NATO raids seizing and killing other accused Serbs, and much discussion and enthusiasm in the media for bringing Pol Pot to trial, which the editors of the New York Times assure us would be Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: The Church of Chastity Belts

mostly gals) should refrain from having sex until they are in a monogamous marriage when, presumably, sex will not cause STPs, pregnancy, and heartache. We saw vivid slides of the ravages of herpes, chlamydia, human papilloma virus, all prepared by an Austin, Texas group called Medical Institute for Sexual Health (MISH). We learned the shocking Read more…

Genevieve Howe: none

The American Association of World Health released an extensive study in March 1997 of the impact of the U.S. government’s embargo on public health and nutrition in Cuba. Through hundreds of examples, the study provides an abundance of evidence that the embargo has a widespread, penetrating, and cruel affect on the people of Cuba. As Read more…

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Joel Kovel: Bad News for Fast Food: What’s wrong with McDonald’s?

In 1990, London Greenpeace circulated a six-page leaflet entitled "What’s Wrong With McDonald’s? Everything they don’t want you to know." The ever-vigilant fast-food merchant did what it routinely does in such instances: threaten with law suits; and four of the six activists who put out the broadsheet did what others have done when faced with Read more…

Tom Lewiston: Motown ’97

Tom Lewiston   In one of Labor’s historic strongholds and the birthplace of the United Auto Workers’ Union war has again been declared on the working class. Near Flint, Michigan the city made famous by the sit-down strikes of the 1930s and the organizing by the CIO in the auto industry, the war against working Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Parenting

Parenting It Takes A Whole Baby Product And Toy Industry To Raise A Child   By Cynthia Peters   Buy a copy of the Prenatal Classroom and learn how to give your fetus a jumpstart on learning. Have a "Babyscapes Video Mobile" installed in your baby’s crib to ensure proper infant stimulation during the crucial Read more…

James Petras: Nato Expansion

Petras   The admission of three former members of the Eastern bloc into NATO was described by President Clinton as "a very great day not only for Europe and the United States, not simply for NATO but indeed for the cause of freedom in the aftermath of the Cold War." Behind the euphoric rhetoric of Read more…

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Michael Albert: title(“Society’s Pliers”)

Michael Albert   Having completed this article about how the rest of us might contribute to winning the Teamsters Strike, I awoke this morning to find labor had won. There was no government intervention. UPS wasn’t going to fight a long war of attrition. The Teamster pension plan is intact and enlarged. UPS wages are Read more…

Simon Archer: Export, Eh?

Archer   In January the Canadian Trade Minister, Art Eggleton, came down with competitive advantage flu and mused that the state should not support or protect Canadian culture, but instead "free" it for export and, one assumes, to flourish accordingly. He was speaking generally about the increasing presence of U.S. media in Canada, but seemed Read more…

Charles Fairchild: Low-Power Radio

Fairchild   As part of his arguments submitted to the FCC regarding the possibility of low-power radio in the U.S., Free Radio Berkeley founder Stephen Dunifer suggested that low-power broadcasting in Canada could act as a model for licensing related efforts in the U.S. The arguments used by commissioners to counter Dunifer fell into one Read more…

Rich Gibson: In Memory: Paulo Freire

Gibson   Paulo Freire, the radical Brazilian "Vagabond of the Obvious" and the most widely known educator in the world, died on May 2, 1997 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was 75. Freire drew on humanist and Marxist ideas to forge a concept of popular literacy education for personal and social liberation. He suggested that Read more…

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Ted Glick: Unity in Diversity

Glick   Over the weekend of May 2-4, 1997, 150 people from over 90 organizations and from 19 states, the District of Columbia, and Mexico attended the National Independent Politics Summit/97 in Decatur, Illinois. This was the third Summit in the last 21 months organized by the Independent Progressive Politics Network (IPPN). From its inception Read more…

Bob Harris: The Scoop

Harris     The Gingrich Bailout In accepting $300,000 from Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich claims he took the high ground. If enough folks examine the deal closely, he may have to head on up to the hills. House rules only allow loans on terms "generally available to the public." That includes me, so I called Read more…

Kathleen Hart: Deregulation and Nuclear Power

  Deregulation of the U.S. electricity industry is moving forward quickly, quietly, and with little public debate about its potential dangers—including the increased risk of a nuclear power plant accident. California regulators voted May 6 to speed up the pace of deregulation in that state by allowing some customers to pick their electricity providers beginning Read more…

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Edward Herman: The Economics of the Rich

S. Herman   Back in 1849, the British economist Nassau Senior chided those defending trade unions and minimum wage regulations for expounding an "economics of the poor." The idea that he and his establishment confreres were putting forth an "economics of the rich" never occurred to him; he thought of himself as a scientist and Read more…

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Z Staff: Editorial: The Personal Is Political?!

political and social setting. They feel personal, and their details are personal, but their broad texture and character, and especially the limits within which these evolve, are largely systemic. In this sense, the contribution of the New Left was to say that we suffer a "totality of oppressions," systemically based, entwined, and all needing to Read more…

Wayne Grytting: NewSpeak

Grytting   Fairness For Logging Companies In the past few years, environmental groups have adopted a tactic of bidding on Federal timber lands to preserve old growth trees from rampaging chainsaws. Clever strategy you say? Completely legal? Wrong, according to an "unauthorized" letter from Agriculture Undersecretary James Lyons denying the acceptability of "non-harvesting bids." The Read more…

Amber Older: Toxic Clean

  Fifty miles southwest of Salt Lake City, in the heart of Tooele (pronounced too-ELL-ah) County, the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF) has started to burn 42 percent of the nation’s chemical stockpile. Situated on 27 acres of rugged desert, the $650 million facility houses about 15,000 tons of the world’s most lethal chemical Read more…

James Petras: El Salvador Elections

Petras   The signing of a peace accord between the guerrilla commanders and the right-wing government in 1992 promised a period of freedom, prosperity, and peace. Overseas donors would contribute funds for reconstruction, reinsertion of combatants, and social reform. The regime would dismantle the repressive apparatuses including the paramilitary death squads and encourage popular participation Read more…

Elayne Rapping: The “Ellen” Event

Rapping   When Gil Scott-Heron famously sang, back in the 1960s, that "the revolution [would] not be televised," we all knew what he was talking about. Yet, of all the now legendary "errors" we of the generation of 1960s activism made in those zanily hopeful and idealistic days, one of the most trenchant may well Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Dick Off

Sargent   Welcome to Hotel Satire, People…and you Gals. It’s summer and you know what that means. It’s time for my semi-traditional article on summer as a dick thing. By the way, I did not come up with this concept, so men out there, don’t get all worked up, if you catch my drift. It Read more…

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Stephen R. Shalom: New Jersey Jokes

R. Shalom   Nineteen ninety-seven is an off-year for mainstream electoral politics in the United States—there are no House or Senate races and only two states are holding gubernatorial contests—so considerable national attention will be focused on the New Jersey governor’s election. The implications of this election may go well beyond the Garden State. Christine Read more…

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Site Administrator: CrossCurrents: Imagine A Country

Holly Sklar   Imagine a country where one out of four children is born into poverty, and wealth is being redistributed upward. Since the 1970s, the top 1 percent of families have doubled their share of the nation’s wealth—while the percentage of children living in extreme poverty has also doubled. Highlighting growing wage inequality, the Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Media Beat

similar stories many times: A scrappy innovator took on the business establishment and made a fortune. An engineer battled myopic bosses to develop a great new product. A brilliant computer nerd overcame entrenched foes and now heads the firm.   Today’s news reports seem to be more focused on mutiny than conformity in corporate suites. Read more…

David Adelson: Inside Pacifica

David Adelson   As a member of the Local Advisory Board (LAB) of Pacifica’s KPFK (90.7 FM Los Angeles) I am charged with mediating effective communication between the station and the public. Long-standing rules impede discussion of internal policy over the air, now apparently including a prohibition on announcing events organized to discuss such policy. Read more…

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