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Norman Solomon: Clinton And JFK — Media Myth, R.I.P.

Norman Solomon Five years ago, everywhere you turned, journalists were comparing Bill Clinton to John Kennedy. In the summer of 1992 — when the Democratic National Convention showcased footage of a teenage Bill shaking hands with President Kennedy — many news outlets proclaimed that manifest destiny was in the political air. The media hype escalated Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: Market Democracy in a Neoliberal Order: Doctrines and Reality

Noam Chomsky   I have been asked to speak on some aspect of academic or human freedom, an invitation that offers many choices. I will keep to some simple ones. Freedom without opportunity is a devil’s gift, and the refusal to provide such opportunities is criminal. The fate of the more vulnerable offers a sharp Read more…

Christopher Cook: From Welfare to Profit Shares

Christopher Cook   The four qualifying words in President Clinton’s pledge to end welfare—"as we know it"—are proving to be the ultimate twist of the dagger in the heart of public assistance. While ending AFDC, America’s 61-year-old guarantee of aid to poor families, Clinton’s reforms extend $28 billion worth of new contract opportunities to for-profit Read more…

Bob Harris: Where’s There’s Smoke… Someone’s Getting Burned

Harris   OK, so the big tobacco companies and their lobbyists have cobbled together a backroom deal to save their hides. And now the various state Attorneys General can return to their respective capitals and grandstand the agreement triumphantly. Neville Chamberlain did the same thing once. Didn’t help. Yeah, the bad guys have to pour Read more…

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Edward Herman: Pol Pot And Kissinger

Edward S. Herman The hunt is on once again for war criminals, with ongoing trials of accused Serbs in The Hague, NATO raids seizing and killing other accused Serbs, and much discussion and enthusiasm in the media for bringing Pol Pot to trial, which the editors of the New York Times assure us would be Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: The Church of Chastity Belts

mostly gals) should refrain from having sex until they are in a monogamous marriage when, presumably, sex will not cause STPs, pregnancy, and heartache. We saw vivid slides of the ravages of herpes, chlamydia, human papilloma virus, all prepared by an Austin, Texas group called Medical Institute for Sexual Health (MISH). We learned the shocking Read more…

Genevieve Howe: none

The American Association of World Health released an extensive study in March 1997 of the impact of the U.S. government’s embargo on public health and nutrition in Cuba. Through hundreds of examples, the study provides an abundance of evidence that the embargo has a widespread, penetrating, and cruel affect on the people of Cuba. As Read more…

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Joel Kovel: Bad News for Fast Food: What’s wrong with McDonald’s?

In 1990, London Greenpeace circulated a six-page leaflet entitled "What’s Wrong With McDonald’s? Everything they don’t want you to know." The ever-vigilant fast-food merchant did what it routinely does in such instances: threaten with law suits; and four of the six activists who put out the broadsheet did what others have done when faced with Read more…

Tom Lewiston: Motown ’97

Tom Lewiston   In one of Labor’s historic strongholds and the birthplace of the United Auto Workers’ Union war has again been declared on the working class. Near Flint, Michigan the city made famous by the sit-down strikes of the 1930s and the organizing by the CIO in the auto industry, the war against working Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Parenting

Parenting It Takes A Whole Baby Product And Toy Industry To Raise A Child   By Cynthia Peters   Buy a copy of the Prenatal Classroom and learn how to give your fetus a jumpstart on learning. Have a "Babyscapes Video Mobile" installed in your baby’s crib to ensure proper infant stimulation during the crucial Read more…

James Petras: Nato Expansion

Petras   The admission of three former members of the Eastern bloc into NATO was described by President Clinton as "a very great day not only for Europe and the United States, not simply for NATO but indeed for the cause of freedom in the aftermath of the Cold War." Behind the euphoric rhetoric of Read more…

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Michael Albert: title(“Society’s Pliers”)

Michael Albert   Having completed this article about how the rest of us might contribute to winning the Teamsters Strike, I awoke this morning to find labor had won. There was no government intervention. UPS wasn’t going to fight a long war of attrition. The Teamster pension plan is intact and enlarged. UPS wages are Read more…

Simon Archer: Export, Eh?

Archer   In January the Canadian Trade Minister, Art Eggleton, came down with competitive advantage flu and mused that the state should not support or protect Canadian culture, but instead "free" it for export and, one assumes, to flourish accordingly. He was speaking generally about the increasing presence of U.S. media in Canada, but seemed Read more…

Charles Fairchild: Low-Power Radio

Fairchild   As part of his arguments submitted to the FCC regarding the possibility of low-power radio in the U.S., Free Radio Berkeley founder Stephen Dunifer suggested that low-power broadcasting in Canada could act as a model for licensing related efforts in the U.S. The arguments used by commissioners to counter Dunifer fell into one Read more…

Rich Gibson: In Memory: Paulo Freire

Gibson   Paulo Freire, the radical Brazilian "Vagabond of the Obvious" and the most widely known educator in the world, died on May 2, 1997 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was 75. Freire drew on humanist and Marxist ideas to forge a concept of popular literacy education for personal and social liberation. He suggested that Read more…

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Ted Glick: Unity in Diversity

Glick   Over the weekend of May 2-4, 1997, 150 people from over 90 organizations and from 19 states, the District of Columbia, and Mexico attended the National Independent Politics Summit/97 in Decatur, Illinois. This was the third Summit in the last 21 months organized by the Independent Progressive Politics Network (IPPN). From its inception Read more…

Bob Harris: The Scoop

Harris     The Gingrich Bailout In accepting $300,000 from Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich claims he took the high ground. If enough folks examine the deal closely, he may have to head on up to the hills. House rules only allow loans on terms "generally available to the public." That includes me, so I called Read more…

Kathleen Hart: Deregulation and Nuclear Power

  Deregulation of the U.S. electricity industry is moving forward quickly, quietly, and with little public debate about its potential dangers—including the increased risk of a nuclear power plant accident. California regulators voted May 6 to speed up the pace of deregulation in that state by allowing some customers to pick their electricity providers beginning Read more…

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Edward Herman: The Economics of the Rich

S. Herman   Back in 1849, the British economist Nassau Senior chided those defending trade unions and minimum wage regulations for expounding an "economics of the poor." The idea that he and his establishment confreres were putting forth an "economics of the rich" never occurred to him; he thought of himself as a scientist and Read more…

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Z Staff: Editorial: The Personal Is Political?!

political and social setting. They feel personal, and their details are personal, but their broad texture and character, and especially the limits within which these evolve, are largely systemic. In this sense, the contribution of the New Left was to say that we suffer a "totality of oppressions," systemically based, entwined, and all needing to Read more…

Wayne Grytting: NewSpeak

Grytting   Fairness For Logging Companies In the past few years, environmental groups have adopted a tactic of bidding on Federal timber lands to preserve old growth trees from rampaging chainsaws. Clever strategy you say? Completely legal? Wrong, according to an "unauthorized" letter from Agriculture Undersecretary James Lyons denying the acceptability of "non-harvesting bids." The Read more…

Amber Older: Toxic Clean

  Fifty miles southwest of Salt Lake City, in the heart of Tooele (pronounced too-ELL-ah) County, the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF) has started to burn 42 percent of the nation’s chemical stockpile. Situated on 27 acres of rugged desert, the $650 million facility houses about 15,000 tons of the world’s most lethal chemical Read more…

James Petras: El Salvador Elections

Petras   The signing of a peace accord between the guerrilla commanders and the right-wing government in 1992 promised a period of freedom, prosperity, and peace. Overseas donors would contribute funds for reconstruction, reinsertion of combatants, and social reform. The regime would dismantle the repressive apparatuses including the paramilitary death squads and encourage popular participation Read more…

Elayne Rapping: The “Ellen” Event

Rapping   When Gil Scott-Heron famously sang, back in the 1960s, that "the revolution [would] not be televised," we all knew what he was talking about. Yet, of all the now legendary "errors" we of the generation of 1960s activism made in those zanily hopeful and idealistic days, one of the most trenchant may well Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: Dick Off

Sargent   Welcome to Hotel Satire, People…and you Gals. It’s summer and you know what that means. It’s time for my semi-traditional article on summer as a dick thing. By the way, I did not come up with this concept, so men out there, don’t get all worked up, if you catch my drift. It Read more…

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Stephen R. Shalom: New Jersey Jokes

R. Shalom   Nineteen ninety-seven is an off-year for mainstream electoral politics in the United States—there are no House or Senate races and only two states are holding gubernatorial contests—so considerable national attention will be focused on the New Jersey governor’s election. The implications of this election may go well beyond the Garden State. Christine Read more…

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Site Administrator: CrossCurrents: Imagine A Country

Holly Sklar   Imagine a country where one out of four children is born into poverty, and wealth is being redistributed upward. Since the 1970s, the top 1 percent of families have doubled their share of the nation’s wealth—while the percentage of children living in extreme poverty has also doubled. Highlighting growing wage inequality, the Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Media Beat

similar stories many times: A scrappy innovator took on the business establishment and made a fortune. An engineer battled myopic bosses to develop a great new product. A brilliant computer nerd overcame entrenched foes and now heads the firm.   Today’s news reports seem to be more focused on mutiny than conformity in corporate suites. Read more…

David Adelson: Inside Pacifica

David Adelson   As a member of the Local Advisory Board (LAB) of Pacifica’s KPFK (90.7 FM Los Angeles) I am charged with mediating effective communication between the station and the public. Long-standing rules impede discussion of internal policy over the air, now apparently including a prohibition on announcing events organized to discuss such policy. Read more…

George Wright: Mobuto Was Chaos

George Wright   As this article is being written in early May, the 32-year regime of Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko is coming to an end. A guerrilla offensive carried out by the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Zaire-Congo (ADFL), led by Laurent Kabila, has control of 75 percent of the country, Read more…

Corey Dolgon: Cleaning up the Hamptons

Corey Dolgon   On April 16, over 100 people gathered to support the Coalition for Justice (CFJ), a group formed by Southampton College (SC) custodians who were recently "contracted out" to a private management company. The coalition is demanding that College administrators cancel the contract and restore custodians as college employees. Over two months ago, Read more…

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Z Staff: Media and Democracy 1997 — Preview

In any event, at the recent LAAMN meeting there was apparently a lively and productive discussion of the upcoming Congress and how it might be most effective. To start, LAAMN proposes panels on the labor movement, environment, racism and multiculturalism, youth, campuses, etc. In each instance these panels would address how alternative media have been Read more…

Wayne Grytting: Newspeak

Wayne Grytting   Advertisers Becoming Literate Major advertisers are "changing the rules of magazine publishing," reports the Wall Street Journal, by breaking down the walls separating ads from editorial content. Now a number of corporations are demanding written summaries of articles before submitting their ads. Recently, Chrysler sent a letter to Esquire, and 100 other Read more…

Bob Harris: Liggett Narcs Joe Camel

Bob Harris   In the first breath of fresh air a tobacco company has ever provided, Liggett has finally admitted that "cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, heart and vascular disease, and emphysema." Let’s not stop there. Maybe Liggett will also concede that the only reason they confessed was for the money–limiting their own liability via Read more…

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Edward Herman: Word Tricks & Propaganda

Edward S. Herman   The mainstream media carry out their propaganda service on behalf of the corporate and political establishment in many ways: by choice of topics addressed (government rather than corporate abuses, welfare rather than Pentagon waste, Kadaffi rather than Guatemalan state terrorism), by their framing of issues (GDP growth rather than distribution, Fed Read more…

Clara James: Haiti: The Roof Is Leaking

Clara James   On April 6, Haiti held elections to fill one-third of the Senate seats and positions on over 500 communal and town councils. The only problem was, most Haitians did not go to the polls. Only about 5 percent of those eligible to vote even bothered. Almost before local commentators could react, Washington Read more…

Tom Johnson: Human Rights Watch World Report 1997: Events Of 1996

  In January 1997, the international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, released its seventh annual report on the worldwide condition of human rights. The report, overall, finds human rights’ conditions bleak and deteriorating. However, the organization, financed by individuals and foundations throughout the world, also finds reasons for hope. According to the report, "…the Read more…

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Joel Kovel: Cuba & South Africa

Joel Kovel     The linkage between Castro’s Cuba and Mandela’s South Africa runs deep. Cuban slave society was less efficient in demolishing ties to Africa than its North American counterpart, allowing Cuba to retain a strong sense of their parent culture. Accordingly, revolutionary Cuba has held, amidst its many allegiances, to a special affiliation Read more…

Steve Macek: New Party Report: Making Work Pay

Steve Macek   Like most cities around the country, Minneapolis and St. Paul used to hand out millions of dollars in public subsidies to local businesses with virtually no strings attached. Companies were free to take taxpayers’ money without hiring a single central city resident. The jobs they generated using that money often paid well Read more…

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Christian Parenti: Rural Prison as Colonial Master

Christian Parenti   In 1964 a tsunami swept over Crescent City, California completely destroying the downtown. Only nine people died, but the town—nestled just below the Oregon border—never recovered. It was rebuilt as a shabby imitation of Southern California’s worst planning examples; empty parking spaces and box-like buildings dominate the landscape. In 1989 another tsunami Read more…

John potash and laurel Carpenter: An interview with Cheri Honkala at Temple University, April 14, 1997

John Potash and Laurel Carpenter Cheri Honkala is a welfare recipient who is co-chair of the National Welfare Rights Union, as well as the leader of Philadelphia’s Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU), a grassroots organization of welfare recipients who have been leading practice civil disobedience with street protests, abandoned housing take-overs, and forming "tent cities." Read more…

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Lydia Sargent: I Dreamed I Was In A Bra Ad in My Maidenform Bra

Lydia Sargent   Gals, there is a controversy raging here at Hotel Satire. It’s terrible. Mom gals aren’t speaking to daughter gals and vice verse. Gals who have been friends for years now won’t visit or even phone. What, you ask, has caused such dissension? I’m so upset over the whole thing that I’m hesitant Read more…

Jenna e. Ziman: Criminalizing the Charitable

Jenna E. Ziman   In cities throughout the world, a silent "war against the poor" is brewing, and control over food distribution is one of its most effective weapons. Food Not Bombs, a non-violent activist organization, is fighting this war by providing free food to homeless people in over 130 cities around the world, and Read more…

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David Peterson: The Global Media

Edward S. Herman and Robert W. McChesney are two of the most important critics of the global media scene. A Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a contributor to Z Magazine since its founding in 1988, Edward Herman is the author of numerous books, including a number Read more…

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Noam Chomsky: The Passion for Free Markets

  For more than half a century, the United Nations has been the main forum for the United States to try to create a world in its image, maneuvering with its allies to forge global accords about human rights, nuclear tests or the environment that Washington insisted would mirror its own values." So runs postwar Read more…

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Ward Churchill: Suppression of Indigenous Sovereignty in 20th Century United States

Ward Churchill   As the 20th century prepares to take its rightful place in the dustbin of history, the last vestiges of sovereignty among the more than 300 indigenous nations trapped inside the claimed boundaries of the United States are rapidly sliding into a kind of final oblivion. In one of official America’s supreme gestures Read more…

Rico Cleffi: An Anti-capitalist Billionaire?

Rico Cleffi   Certain segments of the business media have been buzzing lately over a "controversial" article entitled "The Capitalist Threat," written by billionaire investor George Soros. The article, which was the cover story of February’s Atlantic Monthly, attacked the irreconcilability of laissez-faire capitalism and "open societies." Recently National Public Radio’s "Marketplace" (2/23) ran a Read more…

H. kassia Fleisher: Attention Shoppers

  Great news recently from your favorite financial news network: Several U.S. manufacturers have recently announced their intentions to decrease the number of discount coupons they circulate to consumers. Some promised to lower prices as well. Cheaper goods and no more time with scissors. A good deal, right? In her essay "Revaluing Economics," Gloria Steinem Read more…

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Neve Gordon: Jerusalem Update

  Picture a beautiful city which has a small neighborhood with nice little pubs and restaurants only five minutes walking distance from the downtown district. Imagine sitting in a chic bistro in that neighborhood, sipping cool draft beer while soft music plays in the background. You are with friends, talking about work, sports, or politics. Read more…

Bob Harris: Star Wars: A Triumph of the Will

  I just saw "Star Wars" again. It’s big fun. But don’t take the kids just yet. You know by now that George Lucas’s stock for this stew was Joseph Campbell puree, which photon torpedoed into our collective unconscious by drawing on cultural archetypes and recycling every old story we’ve ever loved. However, Lucas also Read more…

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