fc-lowresjpgOctober 2016
Volume 29
Number 10

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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Site Administrator: Where Are All the Bodies Buried?

In March 1999, NATO forces launched an 11-week nonstop aerial attack upon Yugoslavia that violated the UN charter, NATO’s own charter, the U.S. Constitution, and the War Powers Act. Yugoslavia had invaded no UN or NATO member. The Congress had made no declaration of war. No matter. The “moral imperatives” and humanitarian concerns were heralded Read more…

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Site Administrator: CEO Gravy Train Keeps On Rolling

It’s getting harder to tell CEO paychecks from lottery payouts. Except that CEOs expect to win big even when the company loses. When Coca-Cola CEO Douglas Ivester announced his retirement, Bloomberg compensation analyst Graef Crystal observed, “Here is a man who is resigning after a two-year tenure as CEO that produced a return for shareholders Read more…

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Norman Solomon: The Media Big Six

The push by federal regulators to break up Microsoft is big news. Until recently, the software giant seemed untouchable—and few people demanded effective anti-trust efforts against monopoly power in the software industry. These days, a similar lack of vision is routine in looking at the media business. Today, just six corporations have a forceful grip Read more…

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Paul Street: The Anti-Sweatshop Movement

For nearly three years now, American campuses have been experiencing a resurgence of student activism. This new college activism targets the $2.5 billion collegiate licensing industry, which includes companies like Nike, Champion, and Fruit of the Loom. These and other transnational corporations pay colleges huge royalties for the right to place university logos on sweatshirts, Read more…

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Brian Tokar: Gathering RAGE

One important feature of the actions in Seattle and Washington, DC was many activists’ focus on a serious new threat to our food and health: The rise of genetic engineering as the technology-of-choice in countless new areas of corporate activity; the imposition of new biotechnologies on the developing world via the WTO and World Bank; Read more…

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David Barsamian: Public Relations: Corporate Spin and Propaganda

Stuart Ewen is a professor of media studies at Hunter College in New York. He is the author of a number of books on the media and public relations, most notably PR: A Social History of Spin. BARSAMIAN: In the introduction to your book you say that the early years of the 20th century were Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Dr. Laura: Moral Dominatrix

It’s the voice that you can’t get out of your head—aggressive, accusatory, and grotesquely “girlish”—it emanates from the radio in a steady stream of unpleasantness: “What did you think you were doing? You had sexual relations with your boyfriend, who you knew was using drugs. Did you think he was going to act responsibly if Read more…

Jessica Brown: The Interactive Commercial, Coming Soon to a TV Near You

Jessica Brown A teenager is sprawled in front of a television set, remote control in hand. Her show has just been interrupted, for the third time in a half-hour, with an ad for Prada women’s wear. This is hardly a surprise, Prada is her favorite brand-name and somebody out there certainly knows it. Along with Read more…

Roger Burbach: Pinochet’s Trial and Tribulations

The return of Augusto Pinochet to Chile has sparked a broad movement to bring the former dictator to trial. Ricardo Lagos, the newly installed socialist president, in his first public address from the balcony of the presidential palace, proclaimed that Chileans “would always remember the traitors who bombed the palace” on September 11, 1973, leading Read more…

Sandy Carter: The Second Coming Of Patti Smith

Carter Although rock and roll has never abandoned rebel style and attitude, over the past two decades it has gradually given up its power to inspire utopian dreams. The best of the music still expresses important social and personal concerns. It still frees the spirit and body from earthly woes and inhibitions. But rock and Read more…

Susan Chimonas: Home Sweet Home?

As the 2000 election draws near, we presumably will hear much about the candidates’ “family values.” Republicans and Democrats alike will invariably express their concern for, and noble intentions toward, the families and children of America. Notably, none of the candidates is likely to identify class inequality, institutionalized racism, or male dominance at home and Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: In Retrospect

The absurdity of the principle of retrospective justification is, surely, recognized at some level. Accordingly, many attempts to justify the NATO bombing take a different tack. One typical version is that “Serbia assaulted Kosovo to squash a separatist Albanian guerrilla movement, but killed 10,000 civilians and drove 700,000 people into refuge in Macedonia and Albania. Read more…

Bob Harris: George W. Bush

“Can you name the president of Chechnya?”—Andy Hiller, WHDH- TV Boston, to George W. Bush, 11/4/99 “No, can you?”—George W. Bush You won’t hear about it on CNN, but George W. Bush is so lost on foreign policy that he recently got the prime minister of Canada confused with a pile of french fries, beef Read more…

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Edward Herman: The NATO-Media Lie Machine

  NATO’s “humanitarian” enterprise in Kosovo was built on a structure of lies, many of them flowing from NATO headquarters and officials of the NATO powers, and uncritically passed along by the mainstream media of the NATO countries. One of the great ironies of Operation Allied Force, NATO’s brief 1999 war against Serbia, was that Read more…

Cliff Pearson: Dallas Living Wage Coalition holds successful meeting with city council

Cliff Pearson On March 7, 2000 approximately 75 members of the Dallas Living Wage Coalition gathered at 9:00 AM at Dallas City Hall in the council briefing room for a special meeting with the Municipal and Minority Affairs Committee. As the media looked on, members of the Coalition individually addressed the members of the Committee–City Read more…

Cliff Pearson: Dallas Living Wage Coalition

On March 7,  approximately 75 members of the Dallas Living Wage Coalition gathered at 9:00 AM at Dallas City Hall in the council briefing room for a special meeting with the Municipal and Minority Affairs Committee. As the media looked on, members of the Coalition individually addressed the members of the Committee—City Council members Don Read more…

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Z Staff: The April Actions

It is April 18th, too soon to arrive at conclusions about the anti-WTO/World Bank demonstrations in Washington, DC, but a good time for congratulations. First, issues of IMF and World Bank imposed poverty, powerlessness, and ecological and social devastation were given moral and economic visibility. Subway car drivers told riders about the anti- IMF demonstrations Read more…

Jennifer baumgardner and amy Richards: The Wage Gap

Around the same time that it was revealed that Naomi Wolf, the feminist and author, was acting as an advisor for Al Gore and being paid $20,000 a month, Oxygen network for women was launching its first ad campaign. “Men,” the billboards nearly cooed, “another great reason to be a woman” or “First off the Read more…

Clayton Sinyai: Battle of Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar

Now well into its eighth month, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1814’s strike against the Domino Sugar refinery in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn is a good example of what workers can expect in the brave new world of global capitalism—and perhaps show what forms of solidarity will be needed to win. The enemy Read more…

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David Bacon: The Poor Fight For UNAM

In early February, when Mexico’s Federal government moved to end the strike at the National Autonomous University (UNAM), its action was motivated less by concern over the fate of the institution and its students, and much more by the way the strike could be used in its current electoral campaign.      Mexican voters go to Read more…

Brewster Kneen: none

New Society Publishers, 240 pp. Review by Barbara Beebe If one were to depend solely on the mainstream media for information regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs), one would come away with the impression that (1) Americans really don’t mind the stuff, (2) it’s really those pesky Europeans who are making all the fuss, and (3) Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: Powerful Right-Wing Alliance Challenges Climate Justice

What happens when a little-known, but important right-wing think tank combines forces with a long-time anti-environmental organization? You get a powerful and far-reaching anti-environmental publication that at launch-time already has a guaranteed circulation of more than 40,000. The Heartland Institute’s Environment News and New Hope Environmental Services Inc., publishers of World Climate Report, with funding Read more…

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Michael Bronski: The Subversive Ms. Highsmith and The Talented Mr. Ripley

Isn’t that the cute Matt Damon playing a beguiling, decidedly dangerous, homosexual in Anthony Minghella’s film The Talented Mr. Ripley? Damon acts to perfection the role of Tom Ripley, the accomplished young American homosexual who makes his way in the world by continually reinventing himself, often as other people—casually committing fraud, forgery, larceny, and murder Read more…

Ellen meiksins Wood: none

Monthly Review Press, 138 pp. Review by Jim Cabral Distinguished scholar and Monthly Review co-editor Ellen Meiksins Wood has written an important book, The Origin of Capitalism, that does much to improve our understanding of precisely that. Displaying an impressive command of both conventional and Marxist economic historiography, Wood challenges standard portrayals of capitalism’s origin—in Read more…

Sandy Carter: Grammy Awards Follow the Money

Every year when the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences celebrates its Grammy Awards, I gag at the notion that any of this music industry pomp honors the best music of the past year. Although all of the big time entertainment awards cater to money and power, the Grammy ceremony offers up a particularly Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: In Retrospect

The tumult having subsided, it should be possible to undertake a relatively dispassionate review and analysis of NATO’s war over Kosovo. One might have expected the theme to have dominated the year-end millennarianism, considering the exuberance the war elicited in Western intellectual circles and the tidal wave of self-adulation by respected voices, lauding the first Read more…

Mitchel Cohen: Beware The Violence Initiative Project

As late as the 1980s, a small but influential coterie of prize-winning scientists were trying to prove that black children were, on average, less intelligent than white children. Intelligence, they said, ran “in the genes” of racial groups. Their evidence? They reviewed the infamous studies of “twins” who had been separated at birth and raised Read more…

Susan peterson Gateley: Reinventing Government At The NRC

As deregulation sweeps across the market place for electric power, public utilities are quickly changing the way they do business. No area of change will have more effect on public health, safety, and the environment than that pertaining to commercial nuclear power. The deregulation of the nuclear power industry has the potential to create thousands Read more…

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Edward Herman: Key Words In The New World Order

As the 21st century begins, with the U.S. hegemon and transnational capitalism roaming the earth like the dinosaurs of the distant past, we should take stock of the key words that help rationalize their rampages. Many are heart-warming “purr” words like “democracy,” “empowerment,” “freedom,” “reform,” and “responsibility,” which are applied to arrangements and policies that Read more…

Sandy Leon: Pentagon’s $50 Billion Smart Rock Fails IQ Test

On January 18, the Pentagon’s second test of its national missile defense system (NMD), known as the Smart Rock, failed to hit its mark. The Senate and House of Representatives both passed measures in March of last year to commit billions of dollars to the deployment of the NMD system as soon as technologically possible. Read more…

Jennifer Loewenstein: Fighting the Lebanese War

On February 8, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a series of air strikes against Lebanon as revenge against recent Hizbullah attacks in South Lebanon. Three power switching stations, the most vital electricity facilities in the country, were bombed—one in the Jamhour district of Beirut, one in Baalbek, and one in Tripoli—effectively cutting off all electrical Read more…

James Petras: Rebellion in Ecuador

On January 21 a popular rebellion, led by a coalition of Indians, peasants, and urban workers, supported by junior military officials occupied the Parliament, Judiciary, and surrounded the presidential palace. A three-person junta was established including a leader of CONAI—the Indian peasant organization—a civilian representing the middle class, and a junior military officer. President Clinton, Read more…

Ann Pettifer: Mi General

Early this year, the British Home Secretary, Jack Straw, announced that he was “minded” to send General Augusto Pinochet back to Chile. Pinochet has been detained in Britain for 18 months awaiting extradition to Spain, there to be tried for human rights abuses committed during and after the 1973 coup he led in Chile. Straw Read more…

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Z Staff: The Reason To Demonstrate

The mid-April Washington demonstratons against the IMF, World Bank, and WTO are imminent. Are you going? If not, will you be discussing the issues with co-workers, relatives, and schoolmates, even though far from Washington? The reason to demonstrate and to organize folks to demonstrate in the future is to impact policy. It isn’t that demonstrations Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: 37.7 Seconds, Part V

I began this series by saying that there was a time when “reading feminism” was a joyful, liberating journey. That was pre-1980. Then it became a depressing experience, a subject for satire or/and outrage as inanities, tradition, and right wing activism filled the media. I also began by quoting the results of a 1970s study Read more…

Mike Small: U.S. Navy To Bomb Coast Of Scotland

Over here, over here! The Yanks are coming…that is, a task force headed by the USS Dwight Eisenhower to bomb the hell out of a piece of Scotland in the spring. Over 8,000 military personnel will be involved, along with two guided missile carriers, four guided missile destroyers, and two frigates, as they use Cape Read more…

Carlos Su: xa1 La Huelga Va!

Rocío García is one of the participants of the nine-month student strike at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). The strike was called on April 20, 1999, as a response to a dramatic tuition increase by the university administration. Rocío García is a recent high school graduate and one of those occupying the installation Read more…

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Michael Bronski: The Destiny of Biology

Anne Fausto-Sterling is one of the leading theorists on science, sexuality, and gender. Trained as a molecular biologist, and a professor of Biology and Women’s Studies at Brown University, her research and writing covers a broad rage of topics: the science and politics of sex hormone research, theories of the etiology of sexual orientation, the Read more…

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David Cromwell: Oil Propaganda Wars

In November 1999, the High Court in London ruled that the UK government had failed to uphold the EU Habitats Directive when it awarded offshore oil licenses in British waters of the North Atlantic. Wildlife and ecosystems were being put at risk in this “Atlantic Frontier.” But now the island of St. Kilda, the UK’s Read more…

Mara Dodge: The Juvenile Court

In 1999, 100 years after the establishment of the nation’s first juvenile court in Cook County (Chicago), Illinois, nearly all states have succeeded in passing sweeping legislation to “criminalize” or “adultify” their juvenile justice systems. Virtually every state now makes it far easier to transfer juveniles to adult court, hold them in adult jails, and Read more…

Boutros Boutros-ghali: none

Random House, NY, 1999, 352 pp, Review by Tom Gallagher Some will remember that before serving as spokesperson for the victims of erectile dysfunction, Senator Robert Dole was the 1996 Republican nominee for the United States presidency. The election years for the four year term of the presidency and the five year UN Secretary General’s Read more…

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Edward Herman: Russia: U.S. Rival, Dependent, Victim

The U.S. establishment’s and media’s treatment of post-Soviet Russia has been confused, sometimes hostile, and more often than not, apologetic. This is because Russia occupies the odd position of being simultaneously a rival and obstacle, on the one hand, and a dependent and virtual client state, on the other hand. It is a pale shadow Read more…

Jeff Melton: Protect Griffy Alliance vs. Indiana University

Early last fall, Indiana University revealed its intention to lease 300 acres of university land to a hastily formed private corporation (formed by IU alumni with close ties to the board of trustees) for the purpose of building a private golf and country club. The golf course, to be built next to the existing course, Read more…

James Petras: The Rural Landless Workers Movement

Over the past 30 years, Brazilian governments—both military and civilian—have proclaimed the need for “agrarian reform” but have resisted implementing an effective policy. INCRA (National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform) the federal government agency in charge of land distribution has pursued a policy of settling landless families in distant frontier lands, usually distant from Read more…

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Vijay Prashad: An Afro-Dalit Story

On January 30, 1998, I went on air with Ron Daniels for his two-hour radio program on the National Urban Radio Network. The theme for the show was Gandhi and Dr. King, since it was the 50th anniversary of Gandhi’s assassination. After a brief back and forth, we went to the phones. From the first Read more…

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Z Staff: For Justice and Against Prison

The Manchester Guardian of February 15 includes an article by a Duncan Campbell of Los Angeles. Here we borrow from his research and from prior Z essays by Christian Parenti, George Wright, and Stephen Shalom. U.S. citizens constitute 5 percent of the global population. U.S. inmates constitute 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. The U.S. Read more…

John h. Rodgers: World Hunger: Twelve Myths

New York: Grove Press, 1998, 270 pp, paperback, second edition Review by John H. Rodgers      In the wake of one crisis after another in the world financial system, there is growing space for the reconsideration of many economic nostrums cherished by the neoliberal establishment. The efficiency of the “free market” in the allocation of Read more…

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E. Wayne Ross: The Spectacle of Standards & Summits

  In 1989, President Bush called the nation’s governors together for the first national education summit. They set goals and tried to develop ways to measure progress, but were stymied by resistance to federal interference in local school decisions. Seven years later, governors and 44 top corporate leaders met at IBM’s conference center in Palisades, Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: 37.7 Seconds, Part IV

In Parts I and II of this series I looked at the “scientific” claims made about women in Dianne Hales’s book Just Like A Woman. In Part III I began examining Helen Fisher’s book The First Sex, published by Random House and widely reviewed, “fascinating” according to the New York Times. Fisher, an anthropologist at Read more…

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Site Administrator: Booming Economic Inequality, Falling Voter Turnout

We should have a lot more to show for an economic boom that recently broke the record for the longest expansion in our nation’s history. February marked 107 months—nine years—of uninterrupted economic growth beginning in March 1991. The previous record was 106 months from February 1961 to December 1969. The 1990s boom has been a Read more…

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