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December 2016
Volume 29
Number 12

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

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David Bacon: Unions Take On Immigration-Related Firings

Even though she was working 40 hours a week at the Valencia Street Travelodge, Matilde (the women’s last names are not used in this article at their request) still couldn’t buy clothes for her four kids and husband. “I go first to the places where they give clothes away, like St. Anthony’s Church,” she says, Read more…

Harald Bauder: Guilty of Living in Detroit

When a client of a suburban Detroit temp agency demanded “no Detroit residents” in its recruitment profile, the agency’s personnel manager cried foul. She filed a complaint at the regional office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, citing that her employer allowed clients to screen potential temp workers not only for race, gender, religion, and Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: The Interfaith Council for Environmental Stewardship

A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to this year’s 30th anniversary of Earth Day. A group of Religious Right leaders, scientists, and academics, basking in the dual spotlights of Earth Day and Holy Week, launched the Interfaith Council for Environmental Stewardship (ICES), an organization to graft dominion theology onto right-wing environmentalism. For years, Religious Read more…

Jan knippers Black: Cuba and the U.S. in the Age of Elian

When Elian Gonzalez finally returns to Cuba, there will be a great many Americans wishing he would take along some drunken great uncles. Therein lies the lasting significance of the soap opera. One might have hoped that this lengthy national obsession with the psychological state of a 6-year-old would transmute into greater concerns about the Read more…

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Michael Bronski: The Failure of Privacy

To most Americans, the right to privacy is a cornerstone in the grand constitutional structure, a right that guarantees a wide range of freedoms. We invoke it romantically in our self-righteous claims to freedom from social or legal intrusion (“What I do in my bedroom is my own business”); freedom of belief (“My religion—or lack Read more…

Sandy Carter: Hip-Hop Uprising

Carter Ever since the world of hip-hop edged into public consciousness in the late 1970s, mainstream and alternative media have slagged the music and its listeners for encouraging gang violence, misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and nihilism. Despite the bad press, by the end of the century the music had become a billion-dollar industry. In 1999, the Read more…

Authors Many: A Z Compendium for the ‘Summer of Convention Convergences

alphabetically: Michael Albert, Tariq Ali, Leslie Cagan, Doug Dowd, Dorothy Guellec, Robert Naiman, Cynthia Peters, Lydia Sargent, Danny Schechter, Steve Shalom, Karen Wald, and Tim Wise.     Michael Albert Solving Problems For "outward organizing and demonstrating" the movement seems on track in focusing on global economics and the WTO/IMF/WB nexus, on Mumia and Peltier, Read more…

Stolen lives Project: none

By Stolen Lives Project Review by Larry Everest & and the staff of Revolution Books, Berkeley Crime has been dropping for a number of years, but you’d never know it from the capitalist press, which is overflowing with crime coverage and “reality-based” cop shows. Yet there’s one crime wave the media rarely touches and never Read more…

Tom Gallagher: none

Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Margolin Harvard University Press, 1999 Review by Tom Gallagher Exposes of communism are not new—they date back to the Russian Revolution. Yet, The Black Book of Communism caused a sensation when it first appeared in France. The stir, however, had less to do with past crimes, terror, and repression than with contemporary Read more…

Scott Mclarty: AIDS Drugs for Africa

Scott McLarty On Wednesday, May 10, President Clinton issued an Executive Order (EO) titled “Access to HIV/AIDS Pharmaceuticals and Medical Technologies.” The order reverses the White House’s earlier policy and says the U.S. will no longer challenge sub-Saharan African nations that seek to produce low-cost generic AIDS drugs (“compulsory licensing”) and buy low-cost drugs on Read more…

Mark Sapir: Dismembering PACE

In October 1999 Tom Bodenheimer, a progressive San Francisco community physician published a review article in the New England Journal of Medicine, presenting an historical overview of the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a model of community-based long-term care for frail elders. Bodenheimer’s review of PACE was far from the first, there Read more…

Jose Palafox: Arizona Ranchers Hunt Mexicans

I flew out to Tucson, Arizona (a little over an hour from Nogales, Mexico) to help out a local border rights group in their “week of action” to commemorate the life of Esequiel Hernandez Jr. He was a high school student shot and killed by U.S. marines in 1997, in a small border town in Read more…

Randy Rowland: Breaking the Bank

The Independent Media Center has recently released Breaking the Bank, a video produced during and immediately after the A16 actions in Washington, DC against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Breaking the Bank uses video edits from the demonstrations to tell the story. “This is our political moment,” says a young Asian Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: 37.7 Seconds

In Part VI of this series, we looked at Natalie Angier’s Women: An Intimate Geography, an entertaining, very thorough examination/celebration of our bodies. We probed the intimate details of our eggs, our chromosomes, and our vaginas, ending with an intense look at the clitoris. In part VII, we continue in this vein with more about Read more…

Daniel Schirmer: President Clinton, A Corporate Offensive, and Okinawan Bases

Daniel Schirmer For about a decade the United States has been the world’s sole superpower. It has had global supremacy, both economic and military. Today there is evidence that members of the U.S. corporate elite, the dominant influence in Washington, have been engaged in a global offensive to maintain and strengthen U.S. hegemony. The Clinton Read more…

Maurice Isserman: none

New York: Public Affairs, 2000; 449 pp. Review by Jason Schulman The legacy of the late Michael Harrington—known best to the public at large as the author of The Other America (1962), the book credited with sparking the Kennedy-Johnson War On Poverty —is a contested one on the Left. Many see him as the heir Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Media Beat

Norman Solomon   The Los Alamos Story Spinning Like Crazy It’s media spin in overdrive: Major security breaches have jeopardized the vital work going on at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where scientists toil to protect America. But after many years of monitoring key weapons policies, Jacqueline Cabasso dismisses the uproar as “a sideshow.” Cabasso, Read more…

Silja j.a. Talvi: Public Interest Law

Silja J.A. Talvi Ellen Barry is a respected prison rights activist, lawyer, and organizer who speaks out about the crucial issues facing women in U.S. jails and prisons. Barry works with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and in the Critical Resistance prison movement.      Barry has devoted much of her life to challenging America’s Read more…

Paul von Blum: Kuumba

Von Blum Throughout the 20th century, African American artists have used their creative powers to document and celebrate the historical record of their people. In the process, they have promoted an alternative perspective for younger generations harmed by stereotypical images of black life pervading American popular culture. For many decades following the Harlem Renaissance, a Read more…

Jeffrey j. Weiss: No-Fly Zones On Trial In Des Moines, Iowa

Are the no-fly zones deployed by the United States and Britain over Northern and Southern Iraq a violation of international law? If so, is a citizen of the United States legally authorized to attempt to prevent their enforcement, even by trespassing on a military base? For several months, activists who formed the Iowa Coalition to Read more…

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Michael Albert: Class, Race, Sex?!

Toward the end of the 1960s, Marxism climbed into the left’s ideological saddle. Left thought elevated economics. Class became paramount. Imperialism became the reigning enemy. Astute activists felt that the plight of the ghettoes, the sex life of teenagers, the ills of alcoholism, and the roots of crime were all primarily class issues. You want Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: Revving Up the Christian Movement for Bush

George W. Bush is out on the campaign trail hotfooting his way to the political center. Almost every day he’s either hawking a new education proposal or health care plan, reassuring Catholics that his Bob Jones University speech was all just a big misunderstanding, and opening up the big tent for a meeting with a Read more…

Carlos Su: xa1Ni una bomba mxe1s! U.S. Navy Out of Vieques!

On April 19, 1999, the practice bombings that the U.S. Navy has conducted on training camps in the small Puerto Rican Island of Vieques since 1941 killed,  civilian security guard David Sanes. This incident sparked a series of protests in Vieques and in the main island of Puerto Rico. The protests were followed by the Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Bully Pulpit Indeed

John Cardinal O’Connor, who died last month, was perhaps the most influential Catholic leader in America, known as much for his just-folks manner as his strongly worded moral leadership. People didn’t always agree with him, but everyone respected his moral authority. He was an extraordinarily media-friendly personality; the sort of religious leader that central casting Read more…

Sandy Carter: Review Round-Up

From the first half of the year, some of the good and better releases not yet getting their due. Marianne Faithfull, Vagabond Ways (Instinct) For better and for worse, Marianne Faithfull’s best work usually delivers emotions of regret, sorrow, and rage. Although a survivor who refuses to wallow in despair, the raspy harshness of her Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: The Colombia Plan: April 2000

  In 1999, Colombia became the leading recipient of U.S. military and police assistance, replacing Turkey (Israel and Egypt are in a separate category). The figure is scheduled to increase sharply with the anticipated passage of Clinton’s Colombia Plan, a $1.6 billion “emergency aid” package for two years. Through the 1990s, Colombia has been the Read more…

Tom Gardner: Lori Berenson

On November 30, 1995, Lori Berenson, an American citizen, was arrested while riding on a bus in downtown Lima, Peru. She was charged with treason against the state of Peru—a legal absurdity, since Lori is not a citizen of Peru—but charging her with treason enabled Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori to have Lori tried before a Read more…

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Robin Hahnel: Speaking Truth To Power: Speaking Truth To Ourselves

First in December in Seattle and then in April in Washington, DC the movement against corporate sponsored globalization spoke truth to power. Thousands of young people said they were sick of corporate arrogance, greed, and callous indifference to escalating economic injustice and suffering. They said capitalism and its values suck. They said they do not Read more…

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Edward Herman: Krugman On Economists As Hacks

Following up his April attacks on the critics of the World Bank and IMF as economic illiterates, and after being criticized by them in turn as an establishment spokesperson, Paul Krugman offered readers of his New York Times column an analysis of political bias in economics (“How To be A Hack,” April 23, 2000). This Read more…

Leon Lazaroff: Steelworkers Face Off Against Kaiser

Like most workers at Kaiser Aluminum Corp.’s plant in Gramercy, Louisiana, Ray Scroggs never thought he’d still be out of work 20 months after talks between his union, the United Steelworkers of America, and company management broke down over job security and retiree health coverage. Since October 1998, Scroggs and his USWA local have joined Read more…

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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…

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