November 2016
Volume 29
Number 11


left Box

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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Recent ZMagazine

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Events of Interest to Progressives

Events, demonstrations, new book releases

Michael Ansara: The Lousy Reason I Didn’t Vote in 1968 And Why Sanders’s Supporters Shouldn’t Fall For It

The only way Donald Trump does not become president of the United States is if Hillary Clinton does

John Feffer: Syria As Metaphor

Much like the Balkans before it, Syria is emerging as a metaphor for the fragmentation and chaos that the modern world barely contains

Vijay Prashad: A 50-Year Civil War

If the vote had gone the other way, Colombia might have shown the world that even intractable civil wars can come to an end. It would have been a message to Syria and the Congo, a message of the power of negotiation towards a new civil compact. But this did not come to pass.

Jeff Abbott: Mobilizing in Guatemala

Across Guatemala, indigenous communities are organizing to challenge logging in the country’s vast forests

CJ Polychroniou: Global Warming and the Future of Humanity

There is good reason to believe that we have already entered the Sixth Extinction, a period of destruction of species on a massive scale

William Boardman: Law Is To Justice as Treaties Are to Native Americans

Judge Boasberg’s deference to law, to government agencies, to oil pipeline companies is all consistent with his membership in a ruling class club

Paul Street: The Roots Are in the System: What they Police

Race riots have returned to the United States this election year, leading cable news talking heads to claim that urban violence provoked by police killings of Black men in places like Milwaukee and Charlotte, North Carolina has “discredited the cause” of racial justice

Lawrence Wittner: Where is That Wasteful Government Spending?

In early September 2016, Donald Trump announced his plan for a vast expansion of the U.S. military, including 90,000 new soldiers for the Army, nearly 75 new ships for the Navy, and dozens of new fighter aircraft for the Air Force. Although the cost of this increase would be substantial—about $90 billion per year. it would be covered, the GOP presidential candidate said, by cutting wasteful government spending

William J. Barber II: Why We Are Protesting in Charlotte

Instead, let’s look again at the vast, diverse majority of the protesters. This is what democracy looks like. We cannot let politicians use the protests as an excuse to back reactionary “law and order” measures. Instead, we must march and vote together for policies that will lift up the whole and ensure the justice that makes true peace possible.

Adam Parsons: Humanity Without Borders

Before the summit convened, it was already clear that rich governments would not be placing the needs of refugees and migrants above their narrow national self-interest.

Zoltan Grossman: Standing Rock Standoff

In recent years, powerful alliances of Native American nations and their rural white neighbors have stopped major resource corporations from carrying out their plans, in a common defense of the same land and water they have historically fought over. Last year, tribes and white ranchers and farmers, who had joined forces in the Cowboy Indian Alliance, blocked the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline

James A. Haught: The Long, Long Journey to Women’s Equality

Every year, violence in the home and the community devastates the lives of millions of women.” Even with the possibility of a female. president, the battle for full equality still isn’t over.

David Mabb: Reclaiming William Morris from Britain’s Nuclear Fleet

It seemed like an odd contrast, the work of a 19th-century socialist on a nuclear-powered submarine, and it led me to create “A Provisional Memorial to Nuclear Disarmament

Pete Dolack: The Limits of Remediation

The latest in a series of scientific reports detailing the disastrous course of global warming, “Explaining Ocean Warming: Causes, Effects and Consequences,” concludes that the mean global ocean temperature will increase by as much as 4 degrees Celsius by 2100

Libby Lunstrum: Marketing Wildlife

There are similarly devastating impacts of markets, including not only worsening economic meltdowns (e.g. 1998, 2000-01, 2008) but also the ideology now known as the financialization of nature, which is based on the view that a market problem, like the threat of extinction posed by poachers, can be treated best with a market solution

Ron Daniels: In Defense of Kaepernick

The uproar continues over San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit down, rather than stand, during the playing of the National Anthem. Kaepernick said his decision was intended to protest the continued injustices being inflicted on Black people, including police brutality and killings.  Though the negative tide has turned somewhat, his protest was Read more…

Ann Jones: The War at Home

To force the VA to use its drugs, Big Pharma set up dummy foundations and turned to existing veterans’ organizations for support

Noam Chomsky: Global Struggles for Dominance

It’s easy to say, “Let’s strike back with violence”—police repression, carpet-bomb them to oblivion (Ted Cruz), etc.—very much what al-Qaeda and ISIS have hoped for, and very likely to intensify the problems,

Norman Solomon: The Debut of Our Revolution: Great Potential, But…

It’s all to the good that Our Revolution is encouraging progressives around the country to plan far ahead for effective electoral races, whether for school board, city council, state legislature or Congress

Ramzy Baroud: War to Stop War: Libya’s Operation Odyssey Lightning

The Obama Doctrine is Ravaging the Middle East

William Boardman: New U.S. Policy: Kill the Kurds

The reality is that Syria is still a sovereign country with a legitimate government still in place. No matter what may be true about the Syrian government or the all-but-uncountable forces arrayed against it and within it, the government remains legitimate, which is why the U.S. and others keep calling for its overthrow.

Steven J. Friesen: Why The Guns-on-Campus Debate Matters

As of August 1, 2016, a new law allows concealed handguns in college and university buildings. We’re about to find out what difference guns in the classroom make in the relationships of students, faculty and staff—and in the character of higher education.

Paul Street: Bob Kerrey, Fulbright University and the Neoliberal Erasure of History

According to witnesses from his unit and the village, Kerrey helped kill the elderly Bui Van Vat and gave the order to shoot women and children. A “baby was the last one alive,” unit member Gerhard Klann recalled

Allie Yee: Refugees Stand Up

Each year since 2012, roughly 20,000 refugees have been resettled in the 13 Southern states

Marjorie Cohn: Killing Rules

In January 2013, President Barack Obama promised to make the rules for the United States’ targeted killing program “more transparent to the American people and the world”

Michael Winship: Big Business, Congress, and the EpiPen

Cash and carry has become nothing more than standard operating procedure in politics and government, and it’s wrecking the republic. The whole system is rotten to the core

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

Events, new book releases, and other items of interest to progressives

Kevin B. Blackistone: The Significance of Simone Manuel’s Swim is Clear if you Know Jim Crow

There is a reason why 70 percent of black teenagers, like those who died in Shreveport, and 60 percent of Hispanic teenagers can’t swim. But it isn’t due to some genetic disorder, as some actually believe

Mateo Pimentel: The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism

There is a pressing issue in American health care

Vijay Prashad: A Powder Keg

Milwaukee is a powder keg, long histories of racism, combined with recent incidents of police shootings. held the city on edge

Sue Sturgis: Texas Billionaire Behind the Pipeline Standoff

Over the Labor Day weekend, security guards for a petro pipeline company used attack dogs and pepper spray against Native Americans resisting construction of a $3.8 billion pipeline through North Dakota, a project they say is desecrating land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux

Peter Rugh: The Counter-Revolution Against Black Lives Matter

Protections that inhibit investigating, charging, or firing police officers who have been accused of brutality are often written into union contracts.

Portside Moderator: PROMESA and Puerto Rico’s Debt

The U.S. law creating the control board, known by its acronym PROMESA, grants the oversight panel the power to cut pensions, labor contracts with civil servants, and social services, to restructure its $73 billion debt load.

Phyllis Bennis: Before Orlando

For nine years Mateen worked for G4S Security, a British-based corporation that contracts with the U.S. and Israeli governments for work that often violates human rights on a massive scale

Martha Baskin: Massive Deployment of U.S. WMDs

“20 miles west of Seattle is the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S.”

Sam Pizzigati: For the Wealthy, A Taxing New Worry

Thanks largely to Fleischer, this preferential tax treatment of “carried interest” has now become the single most notorious loophole in the federal tax code

Jonathan Marshall: Failed Coup

The Incirlik air base in southeast Turkey—from which U.S. pilots launch bombing raids on ISIS forces in Syria—is home to about 50 B-61 hydrogen bombs. That makes it NATO’s largest nuclear storage facility, with about a quarter of all theater nuclear weapons in the alliance’s stockpiles

Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

Events VETERANS/ANTI-MIL – The IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) National Convention will be September 2-5, in Stony Point, NY. Contact: PO Box 3565, New York, 10008-3565; 646-723-0989; http://www.ivaw.org/. COMMUNITY CONFERENCE – The annual Twin Oaks Community Conference will be held September 2-5. The conference is committed to equality, participatory government, ecology, and non-violence. Contact: Read more…

Michael Albert: Thinking About the Elections

There are countless possible answers as to what one might usefully do in these times. Try to preserve and enlarge the momentum that has developed largely from the Sanders campaign, while also trying to ensure that Trump loses.

Eleanor Bader: A Review of In Motion

In Motion provides a vivid glimpse of a world that no longer exists

Seth Sandronsky: A Review of Facing the Anthropocene

Ian Angus’s book about humanity and our planet is a must-read.

Steve Early: On Citizen Activism

Becoming A Citizen Activist is full of useful tips about how activists and allied politicians can collaborate on issue-oriented campaigns

Al Gedicks: Acid Train Blockade Anniversary

The protest began when the Ogichidaa (Protectors of the People) from the Bad River reservation blockaded trains traveling through their reservation carrying sulfuric acid

Marjorie Cohn: The Content of Trump’s Character

Trump’s character is racist, sexist, and just downright mean. A Trump presidency would pose an unimaginable danger to the people of this country.

Juan Cole: Mike Pence: Evangelical Sharia

Pence and other people of faith are welcome to believe and practice as they will in the United States—that’s one of the purposes of the United States. But they are not welcome to establish an official religion here and impose that religion’s laws on everybody; preventing that kind of thing is also one of the purposes of the United States.

Jack Rasmus: Trump, Trade, & Working Class Discontent

It has now become clear that the 2016 U.S. presidential election is unlike preceding elections

Marc Norton: Trump and Manzanar

Manzanar, for those who may be a little sketchy on their history, is one of the internment camps set up by the federal government during World War II

William Boardman: Politics of Fraud Produces No More Gun Safety

Having succeeded in making no changes in gun laws, Democrats appear to have no Plan B. The Democrats’ filibuster and the Senate vote were pseudo-events,

Edward S. Herman: Containing the U.S.

who is going to contain the United States? The U.S. political system has failed its populace and the world and has imposed no brakes on the war machine

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