Volume 30
Number 10



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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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October 2017

Recent ZMagazine

Bill Berkowitz: Native Americans : America’s Invisible People

On a cold winter’s night in December 2014, the police officer who maintain that Allen Locke lunged at him with a knife, killed Locke inside his house at Lakota Community Homes in Rapid City, North Dakota. No charges were filed against the officer

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

Events and other items of note for progressives

Margot Pepper: Living With Trumbo Under The Blacklist

“If Trumbo has a weakness,” writes Tim Cogshell, “it’s the film’s failure to convey the depth and breadth of the Red Scare. Or the fact that it forever diminished America as an idea. America was less after the blacklist and that diminishment can be seen in the myriad investigations.”

Edward S. Herman: News Fit to Print But Not Printed, Part One

The daily front page claim by the management of the New York Times that they provide “All the News That’s Fit to Print” is comical in its audacious scope. “All” covers an awful lot of ground, and if pressed the editors might even concede that something “fit to print” might occur in places not covered by their journalists or correspondents

Leonidas Oikonomakis: Nicaragua and the Ghosts of Revolution

One could suggest that Nicaragua and its people are suffering more than anything else from a collective trauma

Laura Finley: Stifling Academic Freedom the NRA Way

The state of Texas passed a campus carry law that is set to take effect on August 1, 2016. Already, professors at the University of Houston were told that once the new law is effective, they might want to “be careful discussing sensitive topics,” “drop certain topics from your curriculum”

Jack Rasmus: Money And the U.S. Presidential Elections

Poll after public opinion poll in the U.S. today consistently show that U.S. voters overwhelmingly share the opinion that big money billionaires and their corporations were increasingly dominating U.S. elections.

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Free Listings of Events and New Book/Film Releases

Free Listings

Stephen Bergstein: Scalia’s Judicial Legacy

Court-watchers have come to accept, since at least the early 1990s, that the Supreme Court has been dominated by conservative Justices. This resulted from too few Democratic presidents and the good fortune that Republican presidents had in appointing more than their fair share of Justices

Ken Jones: Walking the Migrant Trail

I had a sense of the danger our Mexican and Central American brothers and sisters must feel as I stumbled through the uneven and gravelly scrub full of mesquite, yucca, cactus and other spiny vegetation

Alfred W. McCoy: America’s Opium War in Afghanistan

Each stage in Afghanistan’s tragic 40-year history of intervention—the 1980s covert war, the 1990s civil war, and the U.S. occupation since 2001—helped transform this remote, landlocked nation into the world’s first true narco-state

David Rosner: A Swollen River of Refugees

While escaping their country of origin, people risk their lives traveling through contested parts of their country or over roads controlled by militias or warlords known to capture and kill people because of their ethnicity or religious sects

Ramzy Baroud: Plan B: Dividing the Arabs

Oddly, the Arabism of the Arab Spring was almost as if a result of convenience. It was politically convenient for western governments to stereotype Arab nations as if they are exact duplicates of one another, and that national sentiments, identities, expectations and popular revolts are all rooted in the same past and correspond with a precise reality in the present.

Jeremy Brecher: A New Wave of Climate Insurgents

One in six Americans say they would personally engage in nonviolent civil disobedience against corporate or government activities that make global warming worse. That’s about 40 million adults. The fate of the earth may depend on them—and others around the world —doing so.

Samantha Winslow: Teachers Hold Walk-in Protests in 30 Cities

The walk-in tactic was inspired by North Carolina teachers, who organized a series of these grassroots protests across the state in 2013 against education cuts. Other teacher unions soon picked up the idea

Mel Gurtov: Dark Spots, Light Spots, and Apple’s Protest

How’s this for bad choices? A recent study by a Harvard group contended with the position of U.S. intelligence agencies that tracking possible terrorists was becoming more difficult because there are too many “dark spots”—places where data can be encrypted to prevent tracking.

William Barber: Why It’s Possible to Reject the Klan and Still Support Racism

We can neither forgive nor ignore the way 400 years of white supremacy have been naively reduced to whether a candidate will disavow the support of a hate group leader. Racism lives on in policies that perpetuate racial disparities, with or without the KKK.

Ben Dangl: The Implications of Bolivia’s Referendum

Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, who rose to prominence as a union leader among coca farmers and as a dissident congressperson, has won three general elections, including a 2014 victory with over 60 percent of the vote, and is now in his tenth year in power

Ira Helfand: Dragging Our Feet Toward Disaster

The U.S. and Russia are now engaged in a new game of nuclear chicken in Europe and the Middle East, with the ever-present danger that one side or the other will miscalculate, or that an accident will trigger a nuclear exchange.

Bill Berkowitz: Is There Hope for America’s Juvenile Justice System?

The horrific details of the injustice and torture visited upon Kalief Browder has brought a much-deserved spotlight on the system. In the spring of 2010, shortly before his seventeenth birthday, Browder was arrested for a robbery he maintained he didn’t commit

Compiled by Joel Chaffee: Free Listings of Progressive Events

Events, books, films

Charles Kaiser: Dark Money

Lots of American industrialists have skeletons in the family closet. Charles and David Koch, however, are in a league of their own.

Seth Sandronsky: The Politics of the Right

Far-right forces are on the move in and out of the U.S.

Noam Chomsky: The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism

CIA destabilization operations have assumed many forms. First is the outright murder of political leaders. Second, and also familiar, are the direct conspiracies with terrorists, mercenaries or (usually) military factions within a country to disrupt or overthrow a government in disfavor

Klee Benally: Protesting Radioactive Pollution At Uranium Mines

Indigenous communities have been disproportionately impacted as approximately 75 percent of AUMs are located on federal and tribal lands. A majority of AUMs are located in 15 western states with the potential to impact more than 50 million people.

Jeremy Brecher: Labor and Climate

Organized labor should develop its own plan for expanding jobs by meeting the Paris climate goals. Such a plan can take as its starting point the “Clean Energy Future” report and similar studies.

Laurence h. Shoup: The Clinton Dynasty and the Shadow Government

In the U.S., the shadow government represents the capitalist class—made up of extremely wealthy plutocratic families—its hierarchal values and vested interests, not rank and file Americans.

William Boardman: Are Most Americans Still Afraid to be Unafraid?

Pretty much all Republicans, and too many Democrats, buy into the notion that ISIS is a serious threat to the United States. Of course it’s not, as the President reminded us, before pretty much contradicting himself and arguing the need for the U.S. to wipe out ISIS. Why?

Aaron Brady: Libertarian Fairy Tales

For the Bundys, then, nothing really happened before the 1870s. They do not mention Spanish explorers in 1532 or French Canadian trappers, or the British occupation after the war of 1812 or Oregon statehood in the 1850s.

Jack Rasmus: Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy, Part 3

At the core of the systemic fragility-global instability relationship, it was argued, is a fundamental and defining shift in global capitalism in the 21st century: a shift toward investing increasingly in financial assets and securities, which in turn has been responsible for growing financial instability

Tom H. Hastings: Cruzing for Love

OK, carpet bombing is bombing an entire area, including homes, schools, and clinics. It is illegal under international law—that the U.S. has signed and ratified—making it the supreme law of the land, even recognized by—OMG—Fox News. Ted Cruz wants to be a war criminal. I wish him luck, but he needs to be questioned right Read more…

Edward S. Herman: King of Chaos

If Hillary Clinton was Queen of Chaos, Obama is surely King. Iraq, Libya, and Syria have been reduced to a chaotic state, and Obama has a heavy responsibility for these developments. There was also Obama’s widening use of drone warfare and declared right and intention to bomb any perceived threat to U.S. “national security” anyplace on earth.

Sean Crawford: The Flint Water Crisis From the Ground Up

More than anything, Flint and our whole nation desperately need a revitalized movement to ensure that public health decisions—and indeed all decisions of public concern—are made with full democratic scrutiny by those who will be affected

Pete Dolack: Let Them Eat iPhones

What if instead banks became a public utility with an end to speculation? Proposals are being floated in the U.S. to create state banks, perhaps on the model of the successful Bank of North Dakota

Lawrence Wittner: “Modernizing” the Opportunities for Nuclear War

the B61 Model 12. This redesigned nuclear weapon is the country’s first precision-guided atomic bomb, with a computer brain and maneuverable fins that enable it to more accurately target sites for destruction. It also has a “dial-a-yield” feature that allows its handlers to adjust the level of its explosive power

Meryl Nass: Times Article On U.S. Heroin Epidemic Gets It Wrong

Despite what you have heard, the cause of our current heroin epidemic is not as simple as doctors overprescribing narcotics

Edward S. Herman: Western Aggression is the Highest Form of Terrorism

The U.S. invaders of Iraq in 2003 proudly announced a “shock and awe” purpose in their opening assault, clearly designed to instill fear; that is, to terrorize the victim population along with the target security forces

Walden Bello: The Big Blowback

When the late Chalmers Johnson introduced the word “blowback” to the analysis of Washington’s relations with the rest of the world…he saw as the most dangerous blowback the destabilization of American democratic processes by the multiple consequences of Washington’s adventures abroad.

Brian Tokar: Paris: Hope or Hype

The world the diplomats inhabit couldn’t be farther removed from the places where the impacts of continuing climate chaos are felt the most. In that world, people are working harder year by year to grow food and sustain their lives in the face of an increasingly unstable global climate.

Vincent Emanuele: I Helped Create ISIS

When I was stationed in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines from 2003-2005, I didn’t know what the repercussions of the war would be, but I knew there would be a reckoning.

Laurence h. Shoup: Wall Street’s Think Tank

I have a number of interesting stories, but will just recount two here, the first involving a French student, and the second Dwight D. (“Ike”) Eisenhower, Allen Dulles and Harry S. Truman.

Jeremy Kuzmarov: Base Nation

Vine’s book brings up to date the work of the late Chalmers Johnson, who exposed the extent of the military base network and its contribution to “blowback” in his trilogy on the American empire.

Stephen Bergstein: Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County

The story of how southerners flouted Brown v. Board of Education is familiar, but the disregard that white residents and community leaders in Prince Edward County had for black children is breathtaking

Nina Martin: A Showdown For Reproductive Rights

For advocates of women’s reproductive rights, 2015 was the definition of “annus horribilis”: marked by tough new limits on abortion, a debilitating Planned Parenthood scandal, and a shooting at a Colorado clinic that left three people dead.

William Boardman: Environmental Terrorists in Paris

Having absolute authority to take ameliorative steps on their own initiative, the plunderers swamp the credulous media with claims that an unwieldy conference with a track record of 23 years of failure is the only possible way to find a solution to the dangers of climate change.

Jack Balkwill: Popular Resistance

Kevin Zeese has long amazed me because of the number of things he does to make a better world

Andy Piascik: The Northern Student Movement

Tens of thousands of young Americans were inspired by the lunch counter sit-ins that began in Greensboro, North Carolina and spread throughout the South. NSM Students at Yale University were no exception and some of them got together in the Fall of 1961 to form the NSM.

Julia Nakad: Street Medics

Street medic groups have been on the front line of many groundbreaking movements, from the Civil Rights and New Left movements, to modern day movements such as Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring

Juan Cole: Excluding Millions

Republican candidates for president Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, as well as other bigots on the far right are nothing new in American history. Rather, they remind us of the worst and most shameful detours of the American Republic in the past.

Lawrence Wittner: Has the Time Come for Democratization of the Economy?

A study released at the beginning of December by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) reported that America’s 20 wealthiest individuals own more wealth than roughly half the American population combined—152 million people.

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