Volume 21, Number 6
Mississippi’s SB 2988
Bruce k. Gagnon
A War on Communities
Z magazine Readers
Sean Bell Verdict
Damming the Flood
Triumph of Lunacy
Dr. Wall Street
Colombia Trade Deal
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Letters to the Editor
The Dalai Lama says he and George W. Bush are like "two old friends." The CIA is also quite friendly with the Dalai Lama. That's why they financed the 1959 uprising in Tibet and paid a regular stipend to the Dalai Lama and his supporters for many years afterward. Even today, much of the funding for the Dalai Lama and the Free Tibet movement comes from the CIA through the National Endowment for Democracy.
The Dalai Lama claims he has "no hidden agenda." Perhaps not, but can we say the same for Bush and the CIA? What's really going on in Tibet?
Our first impulse as progressives is to support these Buddhist protesters and Tibetan independence. (I thought their banner drop on the Golden Gate Bridge was pretty cool.) However, the Bush/Pelosi/CIA connection makes us think more carefully. If you google "Tibet" you will find hundreds of hits supporting the Free Tibet movement. However, if you google "Dalai Lama CIA" or "CIA Tibet" you find abundant documentation of CIA involvement in Tibet and a different point of view, with thoughtful articles by Michael Parenti, "Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth," "The Green Left," "The Dalai Lama's hidden past," and Richard M Bennett, "Tibet, the ‘great game' and the CIA." Then, try googling "Lee Siu Hin Tibet," "PSL Tibet," and "Workers World Tibet." Along the way, you'll come across Tom Grunfeld's authoritative The Making of Modern Tibet.
These sources raise significant questions about the Tibetan independence movement. For example, the media suggest that premodern Tibet ruled by the lamas was a peaceful, deeply spiritual country. But was this really the case? Or was it a brutal feudal theocracy, totally lacking in religious freedom, political freedom, and human rights as suggested by Parenti and numerous other sources?
The media talks about the Chinese "takeover" or "invasion" of Tibet. But has Tibet ever been independent? Or has it been part of China for centuries? No modern nation has recognized Tibet as an independent nation, nor does the United Nations. Tibet is part of China, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Tibetans are recognized as one of over 50 national minority groups in the Peoples Republic of China and by no means the largest. Not all ethnic Tibetans live in the TAR, and dozens of other national minorities also live in the TAR.
The media talks about "cultural genocide" in Tibet. But were the Tibetan masses better off when the Dalai Lama and the feudal landlords were in power? There were no public schools or hospitals in pre-modern Tibet. According to PRC statistics, infant mortality has dropped from 430 to less than 25 deaths per 1,000 births, literacy has dramatically improved, and the number of hospital beds and medical personnel in Tibet exceeds China's per capita national average. Further, the one-child rule imposed on Han Chinese families is relaxed for Tibetans and other national minorities. How does this relate to charges of genocide by the Chinese against the Tibetans?
Most troubling of all, of course, is the role of the CIA and ruling class figures such as George Soros. Is the U.S. still playing the "great game" in Central Asia? Does China have to fear a Kosovo-style "humanitarian" intervention by the United States? Crazy? Perhaps. But remember when Brze- zinski and the CIA starting funding the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan in 1979, thus prompting the Soviets to send troops? Who would have thought the U.S. would have troops and bases in Central Asia within 30 years. As you investigate these questions more thoroughly, you might start wondering whether the Free Tibet movement is something progressives really want to support.
- Eugene E Ruyle
Long Beach, CA
The Right Side of Italy
Berlusconi is back. With his virtual smiles and real lies. With his selfish practices, awkward jokes and colorful cheerleaders. If its "Party of Liberty" counts 56 condemned criminals (including himself) and barred offenders, why should it matter? Fraud, corruption, mafia connections: all can be forgiven. In the name of profit. In the gospel of power. That is all the Italian consumers needed after all. And the public? It is gone and done. Silvio won. That is all now that matters. The rest it is idle chatter. He did not need a "coup." A march to Rome. He simply seized the collective mind. Good night and good luck Italy. The Berlusconian nightmare must go on. Do not wake up too soon.
- Roberto De Vogli
Hi...outraged one more time, after reading Bob Elmendorf's "A Judicial Irony." Thanks for publishing this article, however upsetting. I submitted it to the news reading/analyzing service of which I am a member called News Trust in hopes this info would reach a larger audience. It would be great for anyone of the editors to check News Trust, helping to debunk some of the drivel pawned off as news.
Aword of appreciation for Roberto J. A Phoenix Rising?" I hope Z in the future will continue to follow related themes. One came to mind while I read the article: the corruption of professional organizations by employment of large numbers of members of the military. I heard that the recent meetings of the American Psychological Association failed to pass a resolution against psychologists participating in torture. Large numbers of military psychologists attended the meetings. Gonzalez doesn't mention that as a current problem for the American Anthropological Association, but we ought to consider the motives of the military in hiring social scientists. My sense is that American society's most prevalent social-psychological disease is militarism and we may be so deeply infected that only social scientists from other countries would have sufficient objectivity to study the penetration of militarism into our psyche.and "
- Dale Berry
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Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; firstname.lastname@example.org; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; email@example.com; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.