About Z Commentaries

Z Commentaries are sent every night to all Z Sustainers, and have been for many years. They are a kind of thank you mailing, you might say, for those who are supporting our overall operations. 

Commentators are diverse and many. A few of the more prominent ones are listed in the top menu, to show just their work. In time we will add a left menu, up above this text area, and below the generic menu that now appears, with the same purpose, but for more people. 

Recent Z Commentaries

Marjorie Cohn: Toxic Policies of ‘President Agent Orange’

Rapper Busta Rhymes pegged it at the Grammy Awards when he referred to Donald Trump as “President Agent Orange.” While performing with A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson Paak, Rhymes used the opportunity to call out Trump for his Muslim ban and “all of the evil” Trump has perpetrated since assuming the presidency three weeks Read more…

Vincent Emanuele: The Indiana Democratic Party is Dead

We need activists to operate with less emotions and urgency, and with more focus, which requires discipline, education and time

Michael Albert: Anti-Trump: Two Movements, Many Tendencies

we need to find ways to navigate toward solidarity and mutual aid among contending perspectives

Andrea Muehlebach: The Irish water insurgency: no more blood from these stones

After the government tried to privatize and raise the costs of water, the Irish drew a line: “they are not going to draw any more blood from those stones.”

Patrick Bond: In South Africa, entering stage left: Jacob Zuma’s ‘Radical Economic Transformation’ alternative factoids

  South Africa’s two main warring political blocs – the forces of Fiscal Patronage (‘Zuptas!’ in local parlance, referring to the immigrant Gupta family’s curious influence over the president’s family and government) versus the forces of Fiscal Prudence (‘Treasury neoliberals!’ to critics) – are still represented by two men who have begun to stumble on Read more…

Christine Ahn: Korean Women Take On Trump

Korean women are leading a movement to re-define their country’s relationship with Washington

Walden Bello: Trump’s Travel Ban: The View from One Permanently on U.S. Immigration’s Watch List

Trump’s ban isn’t about national security. It’s about race, religion, and cultural exclusion

Jon Queally: From “Buy Pat Toomey’s Vote” to Office Protests: DeVos Stirs National Revolt

Louder than a “fictitious grizzly,” the nation’s parents, teachers, and students are roaring their disapproval of Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary

Marjorie Cohn: Trump’s Unconstitutional Muslim Ban

Countries exempted from the EO include Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates — countries where Trump apparently has business ties

Bill Fletcher: The Phenomenon of Right-Wing Populism

Bill Fletcher Jr has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labor movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labor unions in Read more…

Pete Dolack: Wall Street bigger and badder than ever

Any form of democratic control of an economy would be impossible without banking and finance being reduced to a public utility, and thus serving to benefit communities rather than existing as a parasite

Vincent Emanuele: ‘There is no precedent for these protests’

The more we can focus our critiques on the institutions of power and not those who temporarily occupy those institutions, the more successful we’ll be in the long-term

Andrew Dolan: It’s time to really take control

The left must match the anti-establishment rhetoric of the right, but with a different politics

Conn Hallinan: Blundering Into A War With China

Nonetheless, such a clash would be catastrophic. It would torpedo global trade, inflict trillions of dollars damage on each side, and the odds are distressingly high that the war could go nuclear

Peter Pedemonti: Big, bold and migrant led: an interview with the New Sanctuary Movement

We learned under Bush that even when things are terrible at the federal level, we can have a real local impact

Kim Scipes: Reflections on “Salt of the Earth” and a 1999 book titled The Suppression of Salt of the Earth by James J. Lorence

Revisiting this film might be one place to start the process of consolidating the resistance,

Juan Cole: All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one)

The administrative and legal changes proposed by Trump or his cabinet nominees will inflict harm on millions of American women

Frances Fox Piven: Throw Sand in the Gears of Everything

When it comes to stopping Trump, petitions aren’t going to do it

Pete Dolack: Eight people own as much as half the world

Does anyone believe that the world’s elite are going to suddenly accept business as usual can no longer go on and willingly give up their enormous privileges?

Vincent Emanuele: Ten Years Later: Reflections on Katrina and Iraq

In the end, there are consequences for our actions and inactions. When events like Hurricane Katrina, or the invasion of Iraq takes place, the eventual fallout is immeasurable

Carl Finamore: Property Investors Buying, Evicting & Profiting Banks Displacing People

There is no question that activism was having an impact on the First Republic Bank

Kathy Kelly: Replanting

Our shared future requires faith that whatever lays ahead, small gestures undertaken now – a folded message, a careful planting – are not lost

Pete Dolack: Dump The Kid And Get Back To Work

Here is the complete list of all the countries in the world that do not provide paid maternity leave for women workers: Papua New Guinea, United States of America

Paul Street: The Real Cost of Being Poor: Reflections from the Heartland

Serious debates over what the minimum wage should be in various U.S. locales and jurisdictions should start with serious information on what it actually costs to live in the different places where Americans live

Paul Street: Trumped: On the Political and Ideological Functions of The Donald

Trump’s ugly and vicious madness, buffoonery, narcissism, and revanchism help make the “mainstream” Big Money candidates Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton look reasonable, responsible, respectable, mature, and trustworthy by comparison

Vincent Emanuele: Donald Trump, Working Class Whites and the Left

If the Left hopes to win, we’re going to need to organize white working class communities, some of whom will transition from reactionaries to left-wing radicals

Pete Dolack: Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode Of Colonialism

The financial industry, in contrast to the mythology it loves to peddle, does not create wealth — it confiscates wealth, attempting to profit off every aspect of human activity

Vincent Emanuele: War and Culture: Becoming Politically Conscious

The next time you run into someone who’s the least bit interested in politics, please invite them to your house for a dinner party, not the next local organizing meeting

Carl Finamore: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People

Landlords behaving badly

Pete Dolack: We may have already committed ourselves to 6-meter sea-level rise

Even if humanity were to stop throwing carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere today, a catastrophic rise in sea levels of six meters may be inevitable. Two previous prehistoric interglacial periods, in which the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere was believed to be about what it is today, resulted in dramatic rising of Read more…

Nikos Raptis: Greece: The Beginning

This could be the beginning of Resistance of ordinary Greeks

David Swanson: War Acceptance 101

If you are going to support some wars, how do you pick which wars not to support?

Paul Street: Happiness v. Property: From Jefferson and Franklin to Cuba and the United States

When it comes to the pursuit of property, the “rich” U.S. has state socialist Cuba beat hands down. When it comes to human well-being, “poor” Cuba wins just as decisively

Joris Leverink: Armenian Heritage Under Threat: The Occupation of Camp Armen in Istanbul

As soon as the news broke that Camp Armen was under threat calls for solidarity were shared, leading to a Gezi-like occupation of the site

Carl Finamore: San Francisco Immigrants Mourn and Organize

ICE prefers to circumvent the legal process in order to engage in massive “round-up sweeps” in communities, schools and workplaces

Jack Rasmus: China’s Stock Bubble Bursts

The Beginning of a New Global Financial Crisis?

Patrick Bond: Is BRICS A True Alternative?

In turbulent economic times, BRICS will undergird – not undermine – Western financial decadence

Pete Dolack: Class Warfare Through Stock Markets

The insatiable greed of financiers has reached the point where large corporations are now spending almost all profits on stock buybacks and dividends

Jérôme Roos: Greece’s referendum: one no, many yeses!

A victory for OXI would not just help restore a sense of dignity to Greece; it would strengthen the ground for anti-austerity struggles across Europe

Auset Marian Lewis: A Struggle without Borders: Charleston a Uniter or Divider?

Racial differences in the U.S. cannot be denied, but the greatest tragedy is the lie that we the people do not have a common fight

Pete Dolack: G7 leaders fiddle while Earth burns

The world has to drastically reduce its consumption. As this is an impossibility under capitalism, another world is not only possible, it is necessary

Arun Gupta: The End of Terrorism

While calling Roof a terrorist is important for the historical power it carries, it should be coupled with opposition to the war on terror and more government grabs for repressive powers

Jérôme Roos: Greek referendum: euro crisis explodes into dramatic climax

Those who accuse the Greeks of “recklessness” are mistaken: the creditors’ utter contempt for democracy left them with no other choice but a rupture.

Cynthia Peters: How Quaint When the Corporate Media Notices Its Corporate-ness

The mainstream media’s task is to deliver the purchasing power of the largest possible segment of the population to companies with products to sell

Paul Street: Democracy Wrecked Again: On the Fast Track of Corporate Authoritarianism

Washington runs on corporate and financial cash, connections, reach, and propaganda, not public opinion

Pete Dolack: Building workplace organizations anew

Once we realize we don’t need capitalists to make decisions for us, and learn to organize collective self-defense, getting rid of bosses and running enterprises ourselves enters our imagination

Nikos Raptis: Patriotism, Hypocrisy, and Cowardice in Our Societies

Samuel Johnson defines patriotism as “love for one’s country; zeal for one’s country” and scoundrel as “a mean rascal; a low petty villain”

Chris Kromm: Charleston and the South’s sordid history of attacks on black churches

The assault is part of a history of racial violence striking at a central institution of African-American life in the South

Paul Street: Race Violence, Gun Violence: Reflections on Obama’s Charleston Comments

At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the depth, degree, and relevance of anti-Black white societal, institutional, and cultural racism in American life

Pete Dolack: TPP promises health care for profits, not patients

“Free trade” agreements are nothing more than initiatives to cement corporate control over all aspects of society

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