OCTOBER 2017
Volume 30
Number 10

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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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Matt Guardino: Akwesasne Border Action

Matt Guardino The April 19 “Day of Rage Against Globalization” near the Akwesasne Mohawk territory began in an abandoned, weed- choked parking lot shadowed by a GM plant. Organizer Shawn Brant, a Mohawk activist from the Tyendinaga reserve near Belle- ville, Ontario, was frying some of the 2,400 pounds of pickerel speared from his home Read more…

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Edward Herman: Israel’s Approved Ethnic Cleansing, Part 3

Edward S. Herman The U.S. mainstream media have followed closely their government’s agenda of giving Israel carte blanche in dealing with their Palestinian subjects, both within Israel and in the occupied territories. This has involved a major intellectual and moral challenge, given the facts of serious racist discrimination, the long Israeli refusal to exit the Read more…

Richard alan Leach: none

Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson and Martine Anderson. Forward by George P. Schultz 549 pages, New York: The Free Press. Review by Richard Alan Leach Deemed more significant by the media than the ongoing fallout throughout the social order of regressive policies is the comparatively trivial question of post- presidential perks. On this media staple, Read more…

Jamin b. Raskin: Courting Injustice

Jamin B. Raskin Last year, in Bush v. Gore, Republicans on the Supreme Court packed the White House. This year, in Bush v. Everybody, Republicans in the White House plan to pack the courts. Fifty Senate Democrats are the last line of defense against right-wing control of every nook and cranny of federal government. In Read more…

Ustun Reinart: Life Against Gold

Üstün Reinart      An aging man with a white mustache, wearing a peaked cap walks on the stage of an auditorium at Turkey’s Middle East Technical University (METU), followed by 10 peasant women. More than 1,000 students filling the auditorium rise to their feet and give a standing ovation to the unlikely assembly on the Read more…

Eric Schwartz: Resistance in Peru

Eric Schwartz As Peru lurches out of a decade of state repression and crushing neoliberal reforms, most international attention celebrates the country’s “transition to democracy” and upcoming elections. From Peru, the view is different: the elections offer only slightly more choices than our own presidential elections, and the fight for democracy is far from over. Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Scrutiny Overdue for “White Bloc”

Norman Solomon As police fired rubber bullets through tear gas in Quebec City, many reporters echoed the claim that “free trade” promotes democracy. Meanwhile, protesters struggled to shed light on a key fact: The proposed hemispheric trade pact would give large corporations even more power to override laws that have been enacted—democratically—to protect the environment, Read more…

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Paul Street: Free to Be Poor

Street At the turn of the millennium, leading architects of American policy and opinion claimed to know that one thing was clear in a complex and ever-changing world. Human beings, they told us, were freer than ever before. According to the editors of Time magazine, the last century’s legacy to the new one could be Read more…

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Brian Tokar: Biotechnology

Brian Tokar   Later this month, thousands of people will converge on San Diego, California for what may be the largest protest against the biotechnology industry in the United States. Coinciding once again with the annual convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), this year’s Biodevastation events are intended to significantly enhance and broaden the Read more…

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Karen lee Wald: Lennonism in Cuba at Last

Wald Twenty years after his death by an assassin’s bullet, and more than thirty years since Beatles’ music was considered part of the negative influence coming from the English-speaking imperial powers, John Lennon has at long last been welcomed in Cuba. On December 8, 2000 a statue of a Lennon sitting on a park bench Read more…

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David Barsamian: Liberating the Mind from Orthodoxies

David Barsamian Noam Chomsky, long-time political activist, writer, and professor of linguistics at MIT, is the author of numerous books and articles on U.S. foreign policy, international affairs, and human rights. Among his many books are World Orders Old and New, Class Warfare, and Powers and Prospects. Among his latest books are The Common Good Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Anti-Harassment Policies

Michael Bronski Since Columbine, school shootings and killings have become so routine, even commonplace, that they have lost their initial horror. The downside is that they have become part of accepted U.S. behavior patterns. The upside is that there has been a far deeper, more honest discussion of the role cliques, bullying, class, gender, and Read more…

Margie Burns: The Marc Rich Hearings

Margie Burns Regrettably, Congressperson Dan Burton suspended hearings on former President Clinton’s pardon of fugitive trader Marc Rich. The hearings could have told us something about Rich’s opulent-but-murky deals with rogue entities, whole governments, and multinational corporations around the globe. Take Alcoa Aluminum, for example. Until recently, Alcoa may have been most visible in the Read more…

Sandy Carter: Spring Reviews

Carter Dolly Parton, Little Sparrow (Sugar Hill/ Blue Eye) In an interview decades ago, the great Merle Haggard lamented the fact that one of country music’s most talented singer-writers, Dolly Parton, had wasted her greatest artistic gifts when she reinvented herself as a pop diva. Now, stripped of all the glitz and camp that accompanied Read more…

Ron Galaktik: Make The Switch

Ron Galaktik There are a lot of reasons for border patrols and border wars, a lot of empty-headed and tight-fisted justifications for keeping the thems out and the uses in. That’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m not here to attack or defend the nonlogic that has been robustly proliferated to propagate the Read more…

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Edward Herman: Israel’s Approved Ethnic Cleansing

Edward S. Herman As described in Part 1, Israel has been able to establish and maintain a “Jewish” state —hence a racist state—and systematically “redeem” the land from the large indigenous Palestinian population—that is, engage in large-scale ethnic cleansing—because in this case the United States found ethnic cleansing not only tolerable but worthy of aggressive Read more…

Frank Morales: Electromagnetic Weapons

Frank Morales In a neatly calculated “unveiling” of weapons designed for social control, for use against civilians and the suppression of dissent, the Pentagon has gone “transparent” with the latest in electronic weapons technology which targets people. At a selective press briefing for congressional and military leaders March 1, Pentagon officials stated they were “developing Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: On Celibacy, Cigars, and Sales Pitches

Cynthia Peters It’s practically a cliché to say that the marketplace uses sex to sell. Not only do the commercials feature attractive female hands caressing gear shifts, but the shows themselves feature instant sexual gratification, without so much as a nod toward responsibility. In the old days, the Brady Bunch mom and dad kept their Read more…

James Petras: U.S. China Conflict

James Petras The resolution of the conflict between China and the U.S. is over much more than the U.S. airpeople and airplane in Chinese possession and the question of a U.S. apology. What is at stake is sovereignty versus hegemony, ideology versus trade, and the old Cold War versus the new Cold War. In the Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Dear Sisters

In Dear Sisters Rosalyn Baxandall and Linda Gordon set out to document a “social movement that changed America.” They note that while women's liberation was “the largest social movement in the history of the U.S.,” reaching into every home, school, business, etc., very little has been written about it and no publication has presented the Read more…

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Norman Solomon: The Digital Promise Of A Global Village

Norman Solomon Many Americans have seen the digital dream of global communications vividly expressed on TV commercials for Cisco Systems. Eager to promote its theme of “empowering the Internet generation,” the giant high-tech firm paid for a lot of lovely ads with adorable children from different countries asking: “Are you ready?” By now, we understand Read more…

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Paul Street: Race, Prison, and Poverty

Street In the last two-and-a-half decades, the prison population has undergone what the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics director Jan Chaiken last year called “literally incredible” expansion. Chaiken reported a quadrupling of the U.S. incarceration rate since 1975. That rate, more than 600 prisoners for every 100,000 people, is by far the highest in Read more…

Sophie Style: Gustavo Esteva

Sophie Style Gustavo Esteva is a Mexican grassroots activist and “de- professionalized” intellectual. He is the author of more than 500 essays and a dozen books, including Grassroots Post-modernism: Remaking the Soil of Culture, with M.S. Prakash, London: Zed Books, 1998. At present, he works at the Centre for Intercultural Dialogues and Exchanges (CEDI) in Read more…

Kip Sullivan: Rationing Health Care Is Not Necessary

Sullivan Rationing has long been a dirty word in the health care reform debate. HMOs hotly deny that they are engaged in rationing. Politicians decry rationing, whether it is inflicted directly by HMOs or indirectly by lack of insurance. Polls consistently indicate that a large majority of Americans oppose rationing as a means to reduce Read more…

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Marie Trigona: Zapatista Caravan

    The Zapatista rebels made a historic journey to Mexico City this March in order to rally support and to make demands for indigenous rights in Mexico. An estimated 200,000 people came to Mexico City’s center square Sunday, March 11 to hear the demands of the 24 masked Zapatista delegates and to catch a Read more…

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Z Staff: What Do Women Want?

Staff It drives many “second wave” feminists nuts when men and/or mainstream media intone, “Well, what do you women want, anyway?” This, of course, implies some combination of the following: (1) women, being confused hysterical creatures don’t really know what they want, and/or (2) women do know, and it means something bad for men, and/or Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: Moon Shadows

Bill Berkowitz Some 1,700 religious, civic, and political leaders attended a January 19 pre-inaugural prayer luncheon. The guest list included a host of Religious Right luminaries; the ubiquitous Rev. Jerry Falwell, former National Evangelical Association President Don Argue, Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Paul Crouch, and a host of leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention, including President Read more…

Sera Bilezikyan: Wild Buffalo Slaughter

Sera Bilezikyan Over 65 million buffalo once roamed this country. A massive extermination of the species was launched in order to destroy the native peoples of the Great Plains, recognizing their dependence on the buffalo for every purpose from food and materials to spirituality. By 1900, when the native peoples were themselves massively reduced in Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Before Night Falls

Bronski There is no surprise that Javier Bardem’s exquisite performance as the late gay Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas in Julian Schnabel’s Before Night Falls is worthy of praise. It is nuanced, thoughtful, and entirely convincing. What is surprising is that it got nominated for an Oscar this year by the usually more conservative Academy of Read more…

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Roger Bybee: none

Will Hutton and Anthony Giddens The New Press, New York, 2000, 241 pages. By Roger Bybee On October 4, 1996, long-time workers at Johnson Controls’ valve plant in Milwaukee were rewarded with a lavish dinner and plaques and pins for their years of service to the company. For workers who had reluctantly accepted severe economic Read more…

Vanessa Daniel: Conference on Welfare Ignites Protests in DC

Vanessa Daniel Mary Anderson had come all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a fancy hotel in Washington DC. A single mother now working for less than minimum wage in exchange for welfare benefits in Wisconsin’s notoriously harsh W-2 workfare program, neither Anderson nor any other welfare recipient had been invited to participate in the Read more…

Larry Everest: California’s Energy Crisis

Larry Everest California is in the midst of a major energy crisis, and many other states are feeling—or will soon feel—the pain. The crisis, which has been building for a year, escalated sharply in mid-January. From then until mid-February, much of California was in a near-continuous “stage 3” power alert—meaning supplies of electricity were barely Read more…

Thomas Frank: none

Frank Doubleday, 414 pages Review by Tom Gallagher It is the entrepreneurs who know the rules of the world and the laws of God.” Could you imagine reading dozens of books filled with stuff just as loopy as this pronouncement from George Gilder, the country’s leading economic cheerleader? Well, Thomas Frank has done that, and Read more…

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Edward Herman: Israel’s Approved Ethnic Cleansing, Part 1

Edward S. Herman Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has always presented a moral problem to the West, as that treatment has violated every law and moral standard on the books. Some 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in 1948-1949, and since then scores of thousands more have been pushed out by force, their houses Read more…

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Stan Karp: Bush Plan Fails Schools

Karp Five years ago the Republican presidential candidate campaigned to abolish the Department of Education and drastically cut back the federal role in education. This year a new Republican president is pledging to dramatically expand the federal role in education and make it his number one domestic priority. Unfortunately, change and progress are very different Read more…

Virginia Meredith: The Census 2000 Money Hole

Virginia Meredith As an artist, various and sometimes strange jobs come my way. When talk of the Census went around, with its intoxicating mythical promise of $18 an hour, I was intrigued enough to find the phone number and make the call. Thus began my journey into the lucrative labyrinth of not working for the Read more…

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Sonia Shah: The Celebrated Immigrant

Sonia Shah Labor and civil rights groups were outraged at Bush’s nomination of anti-affirmative action, anti-minimum wage Linda Chavez for labor secretary. But strangely, when Bush quickly replaced Chavez with anti-affirmative action, anti-minimum wage (and anti-feminist) Elaine Chao, nary a peep was heard. Chao sailed through her confirmation. For one thing, Elaine Chao is the Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Reporting On AIDS in Africa

Norman Solomon In Africa, 17 million people have already died of AIDS. In developing countries around the world, twice that many are now HIV positive. Such statistics are largely unfathomable, and news accounts rarely explore basic options for halting the deadly momentum. But during the past several weeks, some major U.S. media outlets have taken Read more…

Mark Oshinskie: The Rest Of The Story Behind Genetic Engineering

Oshinskie The Edmonds Institute is an organization that studies the social and environmental effects of technology, particularly genetic technologies. At its recent annual board meeting in Seattle, I had the chance to talk with one of the Institute’s board members, Brian Tokar, who has just finished his third book, Redesigning Life?, which was published in Read more…

Phil Wilayto: The Bradley Foundation

Wilayto When Republican presidential hopeful George W. Bush made a campaign stop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last July, he visited a new inner city center for addicted fathers called Faith Works. It’s one of many private agencies that use religion as a motivator to help people overcome alcohol or drug problems. Bush used the visit as Read more…

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Michael Albert: Stop Whining, Start Winning

Michael Albert Think of a professional athletic team. What distinguishes those who win from those who lose? Talent and training, of course. But let’s assume talent and training are essentially the same for some set of teams. Then what characteristics dstinguish them? Luck will be a factor, of course, but often it’s attitude that will Read more…

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David Bacon: Paolo Friere Hits LAx92s Mean Streets

David Bacon   I’m going to sing you a story, friends (Voy a cantar compañeros) that will make you cry, (algo que da compassion) how one day in front of K-Mart (un dia frente a la K-Mart) the Migra came down on us, (nos cayo la migracion) sent by the sheriff (manda por el sheriff) Read more…

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David Barsamian: Childhood Memories

David Barsamian June Jordan is assistant professor of African American studies at the University of California at Berkeley. She also directs the Poetry for the People program. She writes for The Progressive magazine. She’s an award-winning poet and essayist. She has numerous books, including Technical Difficulties, Naming Our Destiny, Affirmative Acts, and Haruko/Love Poems. Her Read more…

Stephen Bender: American Banks and the War on Drugs

Stephen Bender When discussing the war on drugs, the political class and hence the mainstream media focus their collective heft on military intervention in the South and mass incarceration in the North. The targets, almost invariably, are the poor and brown. Yet, an understanding of the drug trade’s machinations is incomplete without an analysis of Read more…

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Bill Berkowitz: Left Behind

Bill Berkowitz Who would have imagined that when Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole lashed out at Hollywood during the 1996 campaign, it would bear fruit four years later? In fact, the Bush presidency may usher in a golden age for evangelicals in the entertainment industry, giving them their biggest opening in many years.   By Read more…

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Jeremy Brecher: none

Staughton Lynd and Alice Lynd Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000 Review by Jeremy Brecher In the 1960s, Staughton and Alice Lynd got the idea of going around with their tape recorders and asking rank and file workers about their experiences in the labor upheavals of the 1930s and 1940s. The results, published in their 1973 Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Christian Queer Sex Radicals?

Michael Bronski Earlier this year, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development released the results of a study showing that teen virginity pledges can effectively delay sexual intercourse until later in life. Virginity pledges, for those who’ve been too busy screwing around to notice, are public promises made by young people—usually Christian youth— Read more…

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Site Administrator: History As Mystery

Parenti San Francisco: City Lights Books, 273 pp. Review by Dan Brook The writing of history, Voltaire believed, “should be one form of battle in the age-old war for our intellectual emancipation.” So begins Michael Parenti’s History as Mystery. Having written other books, which I also recommend, such as The Sword and the Dollar (on Read more…

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Site Administrator: The Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

Bárbara Renaud González Free speech is not popular in Texas. For a state that prides itself on individualism, the Lone Star state is no place for the lone voice. But in San Antonio, where cultural fusion is not the postcard-perfection of the Alamo that many tourists happily visit, a renegade—and nationally prominent arts and cultural Read more…

James Ingalls: “Smart” Sanctions On Afghanistan

James Ingalls   The United Nations Security Council voted on December 19, 2000 to intensify the existing sanctions against the Taliban militia that currently rules Afghanistan. The goal of the sanctions, according to United States Ambassador to the UN, Nancy Soderberg, is “convincing the Taliban leadership to turn over the terrorist that we seek.” The Read more…

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