FC-LOW

September 2016
Volume 29
Number 9

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

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…

Martin Thomas: Bill Bradley: Progressives’ Pal or Wall Street Stooge?

In the next decade, the most pressing issue likely to face the president will involve disputes over international economics, finance, and trade. It is important we have a president who needs no tutoring,” says David M. Smick, former chief of staff for Jack Kemp and Bob Dole advisor, in a Washington Post op-ed titled “GOP Read more…

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Mark Weisbrot: Anti-WTO Organizing

  The demonstrations against the WTO in Seattle were probably among the most effective protests in modern American history. The sequel—on April 16 in Washington DC, at the IMF/World Bank spring meetings—may have an even greater impact on the world. The main reason that these demonstrations can be so effective is that U.S. foreign economic Read more…

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Elizabeth Martinez: The New Youth Movement In California

  Last February, 42 mostly professional adults—lawyers, teachers, civil rights leaders, and older activists—were arrested for shutting down the Oakland jail to demonstrate against a vicious juvenile crime law. They did this out of a strong belief that it was time to show adult support for the many youth fighting that new injustice. In the Read more…

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Elizabeth Martinez: Black & Brown Workers Alliance Born In North Carolina

  In recent years, thousands of Latino migrants have come to work in the Southeast and often remained as permanent residents. In North Carolina alone, the number of Latinos rose from about 77,000 in 1990, according to the Census Bureau, to over 300,000 today. They are mostly Mexican but also Guatemalan and other nationalities. Latino Read more…

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David Barsamian: Monopolies, NPR, & PBS

Robert McChesney is Professor of Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a leading critic of corporate media. He is the author of Telecommunications, Mass Media and Democracy. His latest book is Rich Media, Poor Democracy, published by University of Illinois Press. DAVID BARSAMIAN: Will Rogers once said, “I only know what Read more…

Michael Steinberg: Stop McNukes

The deregulation of the U.S. electrical industry was supposed to end monopoly control of that commodity. Unfortunately the nuclear component of the industry has tainted this process. Across the nation ratepayers are getting stuck with paying for billions of dollars in “stranded costs” for inefficient aged nukes. These are the portions of bad investments in Read more…

Jeremy Leggett: none

Penguin Books, 1999 Review by David Cromwell In January 1991, almost seven years before the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change set an overall target for industrialized countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent, one eminent meteorologist stated, “It’s possible there will be unprecedented climate change.” This was no far-sighted warning from a Read more…

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Michael Bronski: The State of Queer Film

Nearly a decade ago it looked as though we were about to enter a Renaissance of gay and lesbian filmmaking. Unable to have access to mainstream movie making, independent filmmakers, writers, and producers began turning out a remarkable body of work. Todd Haynes’s brilliant The Karen Carpenter Story and Poison that moved a gay sensibility Read more…

Sandy Carter: 1999 In Review

In the decade I’ve been writing about music and popular culture in the pages of Z, I can’t recall a year when the pop music mainstream seemed more empty of soul and critical thought than in 1999. Commercially speaking, this was a year dominated by a steady flow of cheap thrill rock and pop acts Read more…

Michael Demers: Living in Delray Beach

The city of Delray Beach, Florida represents a world of two distinct realities for two distinct groups of people: those of upper income and those of middle to low income. The current trends that are shaping the downtown section of this city of over 50,000 inhabitants are both wonderful and tragic—depending on whom you ask. Read more…

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Ted Glick: A Unity Movement Begins to Emerge

It is the worst of times, and it is the best of times.” With these words Victoria Jackson Gray-Adams, one of the meeting’s conveners, described the context within which 45 leaders from the Independent Progressive Politics Network met for a weekend of “progressive dialogue” from December 4 to 5, 1999. As Gray- Adams elaborated, it Read more…

Christopher Black: An Unindicted War Criminal

& Edward S. Herman Among the many ironies of the NATO war against Yugoslavia was the role of the International Criminal Tribunal and its chief prosecutor, Louise Arbour, elevated by Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien to Canada’s highest court in 1999. It will be argued here that that award was entirely justified on the grounds Read more…

Steven Hill: San Francisco Mayoral Race

In an otherwise off political year, the San Francisco mayoral race in December 1999 commanded national attention. The quintessential “only in San Francisco” story line of the mainstream media set Willie Brown, the powerful, liberal African American incumbent, against Tom Ammiano, an openly gay male who was a teacher and stand-up comedian before becoming president Read more…

Jim Smith: Politics in Russia

Boris Kagarlitsky is a Moscow-based writer, academic, and democratic socialist political activist. He was a leader of the Party of Labor, which was outlawed by Boris Yeltsin in the aftermath of the 1993 “presidential coup” that resulted in the destruction of parliament. Since then he has served as an advisor to various trade unions and Read more…

Sanford Kelson: Protesting SOA

The Columbus, Georgia police estimated that on November 21, 1999 there were nearly 10,000 at the front gate of Fort Benning protesting the School of the Americas which is located on the base. SOA Watch believes the correct number is 12,000. The protest is held yearly on the anniversary of the murders of six Jesuit Read more…

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Z Staff: A Simple Plea

Here are the opening lines of a piece by Marc Cooper, Nation writer and radio correspondent, in the New York Press, a free weekly newspaper. “I make no New Year’s resolution. Instead, I have a simple plea: Oh Lord, please make 2000 a year free of Mumia. That’s right. That’s no typo. I said free Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Reading “feminism” and glimpses into the “female brain”

In Parts I and II of this series about reading “feminism” I examined the claims in Just Like A Woman by Dianne Hales. I left off with an introduction to The First Sex by Helen Fisher whose theme is that through deep evolutionary history, women and men developed different abilities and brain structures. She explores Read more…

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Norman Solomon: none

  A few numbers tell a dramatic story about extreme changes in media fascination with the Internet. After the 1990s ended, I set out to gauge how news coverage of cyberspace shifted during the last half of the decade. The comprehensive Nexis database yielded some revealing statistics: In 1995, media outlets were transfixed with the Read more…

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