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May 2017
Volume 30
Number 5

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 in understanding current circumstances and as necessary for developing visions and strategies for progressive change.

 

 

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DONATIONS

We survive through income from paid subscriptions, sales of videos and books, online Sustainers, individual donations. and periodic fundraising. We are non-profit, tax exempt under the Institute for Social and Cultural Communications. We are currently in dire need of funds. To donate by mail, send checks payable to Z Magazine, 215 Atlantic Ave, Hull, MA 02045 (508- 548-9063). To donate online go to: www.zcommunications.org and become a Sustainer.

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Recent ZMagazine

Colin Mclaughlin-alcock: Black Farmers Asssociation

The Reverend Willie J. Burns is a black family farmer. Years ago, increasingly high operating costs in an increasingly unprofitable business forced him to turn to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for financial help. He applied for an operating loan (to help buy seed) and, unlike many of his white neighbors, he got his Read more…

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David Bacon: Junked Workers Test NAFTA

Plant managers called them the “jonkeados”—the junked ones. They were workers who got so sick, so chronically disabled, that they were given special jobs. But they weren’t put on “light duty,” to tide them over until they could go back to the line. Instead, these workers were put under even greater pressure, harassed, and assigned Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: John Ashcroft: Attorney General from the Right

Bill Berkowitz The Reverend Pat Robertson and other Christian Right leaders received an early Christmas present on Friday, December 22, when President-elect George W. Bush named Senator John Ashcroft as his nominee for attorney general. The person that many on the Christian Right, including Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich, thought best suited to be president, Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Feminism and Hollywood

Bronski No one these days thinks that there is one brand of feminism—pure as Ivory Snow—and nowhere else is this brought to the fore than in how Hollywood manufactures and produces feminisms and how the media (and critics) interpret and repackage them. The days of the “simple” feminist Hollywood film are over. Movies like Alice Read more…

Sandy Carter: Best of 2000

The pop world of 2000 was a dreadful mess, still dominated by boy band bromides, naughty sweet boy toys, rap-metal meatheads, and gangsta nihilism. Against that backdrop rises the sensational Eminem whose critically hailed and mass selling The Marshall Mathers LP may cleverly reflect the confusion and stupidity of our time, but does it with Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: Voting Patterns and Abstentions

In commenting on the November 2000 elections (Z January), I only hinted at important considerations that lend further insight into the functioning of contemporary democracy: patterns of voting and abstention. Useful information on these matters has since appeared; particularly valuable is an analysis by Ruy Teixeira (American Prospect, December 18), on which I rely for Read more…

Jennifer baumgardner and amy Richards: none

Ariana Ghasedi & Andy Cornell With Bush poised to create a straight flush Republican government, with female incarceration rates soaring as poverty is increasingly feminized, the time couldn’t be better for activists to assess the current state of the feminist movement and lay out a plan for the future of feminism. The new 400-page book, Read more…

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Don Fitz: Who Should Nominate Political Candidates?

Don Fitz The most important election reform for U.S. progressives is winning the right of political parties to select their own candidates. Why expend tremendous effort to win instant run-off voting, proportional representation, and campaign finance reform if someone else determines who will run for office in our name? In most (or all) states, only Read more…

Tom Gallagher: Upset in San Francisco

Mayor Willie Brown recently donated one of his famous fedoras for a time capsule that will show future San Franciscans what their city was like in 2000. The mayor’s generosity may have been prompted by the feeling that he hasn’t such a great need for the fancy chapeaus since the voters handed him his head Read more…

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Henry A. Giroux: Zero Tolerance, Part 2

Henry A. Giroux Critics rightfully argue that as the War on Poverty ran out of steam with the social and economic crisis that emerged in the 1970s, it has been replaced with an emphasis on domestic warfare, and that the policies of social investment, at all levels of government, have given way to an emphasis Read more…

Karl Grossman: Aerospace Executives On Bush Star Wars Team

U.S. preparations to wage war in and from space will be getting a huge boost with the assumption of power of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. They represent a confluence of corporate and right-wing political power pushing for expanded space military activities joining with a U.S. military eager to turn space into a new Read more…

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Robin Hahnel: Imperialism, Human Rights, and Protectionism

Recently I was asked to answer some questions about tactical choices facing the movement against corporate sponsored globalization. Unfortunately, people and groups inside the movement differ in their answers to these questions, and those differences threaten to divide us. I offer my answers and reasons in hopes of persuading those who, up to now, have Read more…

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Edward Herman: Russia’s Medical System Collapse as “Freedom’s Toll”

Edward S. Herman On December 3, 2000, with Michael Wines’s front-page article “An Ailing Russia Lives a Tough Life That’s Getting Shorter,” the New York Times began a series on the disastrous condition and virtually complete collapse of Russia’s health care system. The series provides a great deal of useful information on the subject, but Read more…

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Joel Kovel: Global Warming And Realo-Fundi Greens

  The breakdown last November 25 of the Hague talks on ratifying the 1997 Kyoto protocols on global warming was bad news indeed. But it would have been worse had the U.S. gotten its way. Fortunately, Europe, chiefly France, Scandinavia, and Germany, stiffened its collective spine and refused to cave into American demands for the Read more…

John laforge and bonnie Urfer: Her Majesty’s Tireless Threatens Mediterranean

LaForge and Bonnie Urfer The near reactor meltdown aboard Britain’s submarine HMS Tireless, its spill of radioactive cooling water into the Mediterranean, and a risky, experimental, and possibly illegal repair operation in a densely populated area, have brought thousands of outraged Gibraltar and Spanish residents into the streets. Since May 19, the 280-foot Tireless with Read more…

Cecilia Zarate-laun: Introduction To Putumayo

Cecilia Zarate-Laun Last year the United States Congress and the Clinton administration made Colombia the third largest recipient of U.S. military assistance, approving a $1.3 billion package largely for a bilateral project called Plan Colombia. The focus of this assistance, about 70 percent of which is for military equipment and training, is the department of Read more…

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Site Administrator: Rebels with a Cause: a documentary on SDS

Get together 28 articulate, socially committed veterans of the largest radical student organization of the 1960s. Get them to talk about their experience in that tumultuous decade’s battles for social justice. Remind people of the brutalities of the Vietnam War and naked Jim-Crow racism. Do it all with a passion for social justice combined with Read more…

Rebecca Minnich: COSATU Conference

On a brilliantly sunny November afternoon in Cape Town, 12 seasoned labor organizers are gathered in conference at the Western Cape headquarters of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). For weeks COSATU leaders in the Western Cape have been bringing their shop stewards to meetings exactly like this one. Their goal is to Read more…

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Site Administrator: Defying the Sanctions

Michael Parenti Upon disembarking from the Olympic Airways plane that brought me to Iraq in November 2000, I could see some of the effects of the Western-imposed sanctions. What was once a busy international airport is now a desolate strip. Two lonely planes sit as if abandoned on the vast tarmac. There are no airport Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Feminists Are Undermining Our Society On Purpose!

Welcome to Hotel Satire, where a Bush is back in the White House, at last. Surely he will avert the crisis that has been brewing for the last EIGHT years—a feminist takevoer of the White House, not to mention that crucial ideological area, the place were people learn their values and roles: TV commercials. People, Read more…

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Paul Street: How Dubya Got To Be President

By Paul Street On January 20, George W. Bush began his reign as perhaps one of the meanest and certainly one of the dumbest presidents in the history of the United States. He becomes the chief executive of the world’s most powerful nation despite a mediocre record in a series of academic institutions to which Read more…

Abhay Mehta: none

Orient Longman, 2000, 226 pp. Review by Romi Mahajan Two of the most important material consequences of the wave of liberalization and privatization that has swept the globe over the last decade and a half are:  (1) The selling for a song of publicly-owned infrastructure to private corporations and (2) The granting by newly liberalizing Read more…

Ls Aravinda: People’s Knowledge in a Paperless Society

Aravinda Don’t talk like illiterates!” thundered Justice Kurdukar when asked about the responsibility of the Maharashtra government towards villagers being relocated to Gujarat. As the newly appointed Grievance Redressal Authority for rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) oustees in Maharashtra, he was, at the behest of the Supreme Court of India, making his first visit Read more…

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David Barsamian: Listening In

David Barsamian Susan Douglas is the author of Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. She is Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. She contributes essays and articles to The Nation, Ms., TV Guide, and The Progressive. Her latest book is Listening In: Radio and Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: Elections 2000

Noam Chomsky The most striking fact about the November 2000 elections is that they were a statistical tie (for Congress as well, virtually). The most interesting question is what this shows, if anything, about the state of functioning democracy. For many commentators, the fact that the presidency “is hinging on a few hundred votes” reveals Read more…

Alex n. Dajkovic: A “Model” for the Balkans

N. Dajkovic There are some persistent themes in the history of the Balkans. After an eclipse of about 50 years following World War II, they have forcefully and often violently reemerged over the past decade. Reflecting on the pattern, George Kennan asserts that “obviously, it is a problem with very deep historical roots.” “Aggressive nationalisms” Read more…

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Ron Daniels: A United Front To Mobilize Millions For Democracy on January 20

Ron Daniels For several years thousands of Black people and our allies braved the bitter January cold to rally in Washington, DC, under the leadership of Congressperson John Conyers and Stevie Wonder, to fight to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday. But what good is it to have a Martin Luther King Holiday Read more…

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Henry A. Giroux: Zero Tolerance

Henry A. Giroux There are mounting ideological, institutional, and political pressures among conservatives, liberals, and other advocates of corporate culture to remove youth from the inventory of ethical and political concerns that legitimize and provide individual rights and social provisions for members of a democratic society. One consequence is that there is growing support among Read more…

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Robin Hahnel: Play It Again, Sam

Robin Hahnel Just in case anyone thought the IMF and the World Bank had gotten the message in Seattle, Washington, DC and Prague, all he or she has to do is read the December 5 edition of the Washington Post to find out otherwise. Looming disasters in Chad and Turkey are proof positive that nothing Read more…

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Edward Herman: Errors, Lies, & “Corrections”

Edward S. Herman New York Times reporters have had a strong propensity to swallow chemical industry propaganda: most dramatically with Keith Schneider’s proposition that exposure to dioxin is no more threatening than “spending a week sun-bathing” (originally said to be the view of “scientists,” but eventually admitted to be Schneider’s own creation); and Gina Kolata’s Read more…

Baker Perry: School of the Americas

The weekend of November 17-18 marked the 11-year anniversary of the assassination of 6 Jesuit priests, their co-worker and her 13-year-old daughter. A UN Truth commission later found that 19 of the 26 responsible for the killings were graduates of the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas (SOA) in Fort Benning, Georgia. Although this was Read more…

Serena Rainey: Resisting Railroad Supremacy In Oregon

A growing movement to make railroads safer and more accountable is standing up to Union Pacific’s (UP) lies, intimidation, and secrecy in Eugene, Oregon. Union Pacific Railroad, which took over the Eugene railroad line when it bought Southern Pacific in 1996, is the nation’s largest chemical transporter and the largest railroad, according to UP’s Summary Read more…

Megan Rowling: Nicaragua

Megan Rowling It must have been a day of great celebration for Ricardo and Trini. On November 5, their beloved party, the National Sandin- ista Liberation Front (FSLN), won back the mayor’s seat in Mata- galpa, northern Nicaragua, from the country’s ruling Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC). I’d visited the couple about a month before the Read more…

Troy Skeels: En Planton, the Women of Loxicha

Troy Skeels A band of women from Loxicha have been encamped under the eaves of the governor’s palace in Oaxaca for three and a half years. Despite hardship and discomfort, they remain firmly “en planton.” Their presence is a persistent petition for the release of their sons, husbands, and brothers, incarcerated as suspected members of Read more…

Romi Mahajan: The Cost of Living

Roy Modern Library, 1999, 126 pages. By Romi Mahajan When in 1998 Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray manifested great pride in the fact that India detonated nuclear bombs by saying “we are no longer eunuchs,” he unwittingly revealed the root cause of the Indian power elite’s reckless affair with bigness—the constant perception of being embattled, Read more…

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Michael Albert: Election Lessons

Michael Albert What happened? Amazingly, as we go to press, still no president. But we do know that of all potential voters those Not Voting got roughly 50 percent. Gore got 24 percent. Bush got 24 percent. Nadergot 2 percent. Salient facts: Twice as many folks did not vote as supported either candidate. The Greens Read more…

Felicity Arbuthnot: Depleted Uranium in the Balkans

Felicity Arbuthnot In a week that saw the French government follow their Italian counterparts in launching an enquiry into the effects of depleted uranium (DU) on their soldiers in Kosova, Antonio Pereira, the Portugese Defense Minister, informed NATO Headquarters that he is withdrawing Portugese troops from Kosmet. They were not, he said, going to become Read more…

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David Barsamian: Intifada 2000: The Palestinian Uprising

David Barsamian Edward W. Said was born in Jerusalem, Palestine and attended schools there and in Cairo. He received a BA from Princeton, an MA and PhD from Harvard. He is University Professor at Columbia. He is the author of Orientalism, The Question of Palestine, Covering Islam, Culture and Imperialism, Representations of the Intellectual, The Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: RU-486

Shortly after Rev. John Earl, pastor at St. Patrick’s Church in Rochelle, Illinois, learned the Food and Drug Administration had approved the abortion pill RU-486, he paid an up-close- and-personal visit to a nearby health clinic. Rev. Earl crashed his four-door Saturn into a garage behind the Northern Illinois Women’s Health Clinic, got out, and Read more…

Ahmed Bouzid: The Algerian Tragedy Continues

Ahmed Bouzid The shocking violence that has been consuming Algeria since the cancellation of the 1992 parliamentary elections—elections that were poised to bring Islamists to power—has claimed at least 100,000 lives, with many human rights activists in Algeria and elsewhere claiming that the figure is at least double that number. The hopes that the April Read more…

John Macarthur: none

Hill and Wang Publishing, 2000; 388 pages. Review by Roger Bybee When Master Lock officials announced in 1999 that they were shifting nearly 800 jobs to Nogales, Mexico from their plant in inner-city Milwaukee, they were brutally frank about the hopelessness of the workers’ situation. “‘We can’t pay you little enough to make the locks Read more…

Mitchel Cohen: Toxic Waste As Strategy, Part 2

The trade in toxic waste is more than a lucrative industry; it is also a central strategy of the New World Order, an intentional way of enclosing lands and resources—the very air we breathe—previously held in common and setting up trade in “pollution rights.” It is a means for proletarianizing peasants and villagers, driving them Read more…

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David Barsamian: Maid to Order

David Barsamian Barbara Ehrenreich is a leading activist, lecturer, and writer. Among her many books are Fear of Falling and The Snarling Citizen. Her latest books are Blood Rites and Nickel and Dimed. You’ve been somewhat successful in penetrating the mainstream media. What’s your secret? I don’t know if I’m that successful. I was a Read more…

Elliott d. Sclar: none

D. Sclar Cornell University Press 184 pages. Review by Edward Herman This book by Elliott Sclar, a professor of Urban Planning at Columbia University, is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the bases and consequences of the still powerful drive to privatize. The mainstream media and most writers on the subject have been Read more…

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Site Administrator: none

Edward S. Herman Pluto Press, 222 pages By Robert Jensen One of the most unpleasant moments for me, and I suspect for many other leftists and anti-war activists, during the NATO attack on Yugoslavia came when I realized that a significant segment of what is usually called the progressive community had swallowed NATO’s propaganda about Read more…

Tim Rogers: Plan Colombia

In an historic round of multi- sector dialogue on peace, a delegation of more than 300 people representing the Colombian government, guerrilla leaders of the National Liberation Army (ELN), members of civil society, and international observers from 36 countries, gathered in Costa Rica on October 16 to discuss the 36-year-old armed conflict. Notably absent from Read more…

Steven nasr Salaita: …Invisible, With Liberty and Justice for All

Steven Nasr Salaita Native Americans continue to be America’s invisible constituency. Now that the presidential election is over, we can evaluate how Natives were treated by the candidates and what that might signal in the coming years. Vibrant activism arises from numerous tribes spanning all geographic regions of Turtle Island (North and South America), yet Read more…

Holly Spaulding: S26 Actions in Prague

Holly Spaulding The indigenous Zapatistas of Chiapas, heroes of resistance to many anti-globalization critics, have described the current movement as being made up of “one no, many yeses.” Among those saying “no” at the most recent, 55th annual joint meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) in Prague, were the Read more…

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Michael Albert: Why Not Create A Shadow Government?

Michael Albert As you read this, the presidential elections are over. Without doubt the new president, minutely different from the old president, is waiting eagerly to commit domestic and international mayhem on behalf of his favored elite constituencies. The unanswered question is what are Nader, LaDuke, and the Greens going to do now that the Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: Farm Bureau Is a Front

When singer/songwriter Willie Nelson took the stage in mid-September in Bristow, Virginia, kicking off the 15th annual Farm Aid concert, he once again called the nation’s attention to the desperate plight of America’s small family farms. Unknown to most folks, there is a major struggle going on in America’s heartland. Karen Hudson, from her home Read more…

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