Volume 30
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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December 2017

Recent ZMagazine

Patrick T. Reardon: The South Side

Moore tells the history of how racial segregation came about here and considers a variety of ways through which it might be reversed

Sam Cossar-Gilbert: #NuitDebout

Over the last months France has been rocked by mass protests, occupations, and strikes

Esther Kersley: Drones, Drugs, & Death

The war on terror’s methods of mass surveillance and remote warfare are not unique. The U.S. is also addicted to covert tools in its “war on drugs,” with disastrous consequences. In April 2015, USA Today broke a story with the headline: “U.S. secretly tracked billions of calls for decades.” At first glance, it appeared to Read more…

Paul Street: Obama in Cuba

It’s not very often that you hear or see a salaried corporate media operative defend Fidel Castro and Che Guevara’s Cuban Revolution and its accomplishments. That’s why I did a double take when I read an opinion piece titled “Cuba’s Success Lost in Media Frenzy”

Jack Rasmus: Neoliberal Economists v. Bernie Sanders

The irony of the Krugman/Gang of Four attack is that Sanders’s proposals represent what were once Democratic party positions and programs—positions that have been abandoned by the party and its mouthpiece economists since the 1980s as it morphed into a wing of the neoliberal agenda.

Juan Cole: With Us Or Against Us?

Thirteen years after the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, it is worth considering its full impact on this country and on the region. Bush-Cheneyism had a number of key pillars

Steve Early: The Last Hurrah in Richmond?

Even Bernie Sanders, now the nation’s foremost critic of big money in politics, seems taken aback by the scale of Chevron spending on Bates’s behalf.

Mark Engler: Claiming Our Victories

Ever so often we see an explosion of protest that propels an urgent issue to the fore of public debate

Pete Dolack: No Planet for Optimism

When it comes to global warming, what else don’t we know? What science does know, and what it can infer from studying archeological records, already makes anybody who thinks the long-term habitability of Earth is more important than short-term profits very worried.

Edward Morris: Why Bernie’s Right About Glass-Steagall

Most observers think Sanders is on a quixotic quest and, with Wall Street’s political power, the chances of any revival of Glass-Steagall are, like his election to the presidency, slim. Yet Sanders has a strong argument, one that can be effectively made using Citigroup

John Pilger: A World War Has Begun

Few seem aware that the bikini swimsuit was named to celebrate the nuclear explosions that destroyed the Bikini island.

Michael Lesher: Blindness of Privilege

Because the recent shootings at the Peachtree Mall in Columbus, Georgia haven’t been blamed on Muslims, they’ve never been described in the press as acts of “terror,”  in fact, they haven’t received much national attention at all. But they have stimulated a good deal of frightened commentary in the affected region, much of it depressingly Read more…

David Swanson: Israeli Lies Fall As Corporate Media Falls

The new film narrated by Roger Waters, The Occupation of the American Mind, traces the rise of Israeli war propaganda in the United States. This propaganda, which has skillfully swayed U.S. public opinion in support of Israeli wars and occupations, has in fact been not so much a matter of skill as a matter of Read more…

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

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