Volume 28
Number 4

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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

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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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Lydia Sargent: A Cry For Help

  People. And you gals. I almost didn’t write my column this month. Why, you ask, bereft at the thought of no Hotel Satire? Because I am emotionally drained. I know you’re thinking my drainage must be caused by two recent events: (1) The infamous murdering bitch nanny trial; (2) the overlooked trial of the Read more…

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Brian Tokar: Greenhouse Politics

  This December, heads of state from some 180 countries will convene in Kyoto, Japan in an attempt to negotiate the first internationally binding treaty to control levels of carbon dioxide and other climate-altering emissions. It is designed to be the next step in a process which began in 1992, at the UN Earth Summit Read more…

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Michael Albert: Media & Democracy

Michael Albert   The Second Media and Democracy Congress was held this past October 16–18. It was an auspicious affair, bringing together nearly 1,000 folks from all manner of media operations and projects around the country. The aim was to develop insights and connections to help force mainstream media to do a better job, to Read more…

Tom Holm: none

  Book Reviews   Strong Hearts, Wounded Souls Native American Veterans of the Vietnam War by Tom Holm University of Texas Press, 1996 Review by Ward Churchill   From 1965 through 1972, the period in which the United States committed maneuver battalions to fight in Vietnam, at least 42,000 American Indians were among the troops. Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Excerpt from The Trouble With Dilbert

Forthcoming from Common Courage   By late 1996, Dilbert characters and cartoons were central to pep-talk booklets that Xerox was producing and distributing to employees. Dilbert cartoon characters or complete Dilbert comic strips adorn nearly every page of the Xerox employee guidelines, which include formulas like "Empowerment = Growth and Productivity." In other words, the Read more…

John Hoberman: none

(1997) Review by Jim Nadell   Deep in the belly of his essay "The Pitfalls of National Consciousness," Frantz Fanon offered up a brief yet biting analysis of the role played by sport in the post-colonial nations of Africa. "The capitalist conception of sport is fundamentally different from that which should exist in an underdeveloped Read more…

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Christian Parenti: The Revolution in American Policing

  There is a revolution underway in American policing. An increasing number of police departments are mixing aggressive "zero tolerance" enforcement, aimed at minor disorders, with bureaucratic decentralization, computerized mapping of crime statistics, and a business-like focus on the "bottom line" of reduced crime rates. Nationwide crime rates are declining, with a cluster of "zero Read more…

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Michael Bronski: The Full Monty: Taking It Off For Thatcherism

  Men’s bodies are a relatively new invention in films. Sure, there have always been men in movies, but the male body, as a sexual object, is a fairly recent discovery. In the 1930s and ‘40s there were handsome men of a whole range of physical types and affects — Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Clark Read more…

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Amy Goodman: New Exception to the Rulers, Part 2

by land, and bombed East Timor. The carnage was unbelievable. The killing was massive in the first few days. Thousands of Timorese were killed. They would drag people out of their houses, bring down their families to the harbors, Dili, the capital of East Timor, and shoot people into the harbor as their family members Read more…

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

  The Second Media and Democracy Congress was held this past October 16–18. It was an auspicious affair, bringing together nearly 1,000 folks from all manner of media operations and projects around the country. The aim was to develop insights and connections to help force mainstream media to do a better job, to better utilize Read more…

James Petras: title(“Clinton’s Triumphant Tour of Latin America”)

  Clinton’s visit to Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina has been heralded as a new era of progress for the hemisphere: free markets, free elections, and free trade. The president’s stated goal in his major speech was to establish one big free market from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. While Clinton praises the "magic of the Read more…

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Michael Albert: The Cambodia Controversy

Michael Albert   Back in June, Anthony Lewis wrote a NYT column about Pol Pot and Cambodia including the assertion: "A few Western intellectuals, notably Prof. Noam Chomsky, refused to believe what was going on in Cambodia. At first, at least, they put the reports of killing down to a conspiratorial effort by American politicians Read more…

Rick Mcdowell: Economic Sanctions on Iraq

Seven years of the most comprehensive sanctions in modern history have reduced Iraq and its people to utter destitution. United Nation Security Council’s economic sanctions, invoked only ten times since the inception of the United Nations, and applied eight times since the end of the Cold War, constitute an extension of the devastating allied bombing Read more…

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David Bacon: The Revolt In The Asbestos

Sergio Ruiz Nuñez is a lonely man. Remembering his wife and daughter left behind in Mexico City a year ago, he cannot speak. To hide the water welling up in the corners of his eyes, he turns away. "You know," he finally says, "when you come to this country you have so many illusions. There Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Monster Morph

The Andrew Cunanan story— from its beginnings as a nearly unnoticed Minneapolis murder on through the killing of Gianni Versace—ended in a not-very-dramatic suicide that swept the story off page one into news oblivion. But as the smoke from the media blitz clears several facts are now evident. First of all, the police and FBI Read more…

Sean Cahill: Rough Going

For the first time since 1921, when Michael Collins reluctantly accepted the partition of Ireland by the British, the Irish Republican political party Sinn Fein (Irish for "ourselves alone") held official talks with the British government. For the first time ever members of the largest unionist grouping, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), sat in the Read more…

Sandy Carter: THE LEGACY OF PHIL OCHS

impossible to recall that these were years in which all of society’s fundamental relations of power were being questioned and assaulted. Not by everyone. But by a very vocal, idealistic, activist minority. It was this portion of the "60s generation" that the songs of Phil Ochs represented and inspired. With his clear, youthful voice, satiric Read more…

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

As mentioned in part I of this talk, Washington’s "crusade for democracy" was waged with particular fervor during the Reagan years, with Latin America the chosen terrain. The results are commonly offered as a prime illustration of how the U.S. became "the inspiration for the triumph of democracy in our time." The most recent scholarly Read more…

Wayne Grytting: NewsSpeak

Grytting   The New Face of PBS PBS has taken another bold step in expanding our concept of public broadcasting. This past year they introduced a new character for the three- to eight-year-old set who is surpassing even Barney in popularity. The new star is a cuddly aardvark named Arthur who popped on the scene Read more…

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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