Z Nightly Commentaries
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Recent Z Nightly Commentaries
Bond: Johannesburg Protests
Apr 27, 2008
South African neoliberal state brutality was on display last week in the famous Soweto suburb of Kliptown - where the African National Congress (ANC) "Freedom Charter" was signed 53 years ago - as the municipal-owned but commercially-oriented Johannesburg Water (JW) company felled a low-income resident with contaminated water. Cholera and E.coli scares spread across the city. Soon after, in nearby Lenasia, cops shot mercilessly at shackdwellers who were nonviolently protesting denial of water/sanitation services.
Billet: CBGB Disney-fication
Apr 21, 2008
There is something obscenely wrong with what sits in the former location of CBGB. Some of what defined the legendary rock club remains; a few walls are still covered with fliers and graffiti. But the stage has been replaced with a tailoring shop: the kind you see at Brooks Brothers. And the floor where kids once danced to Television and Bad Brains is now filled with clothing racks adorned with $1600 leather jackets.
Bennis: "Surge" Failure
Apr 03, 2008
The Iraqi government's U.S.-backed offensive that began on March 25 was not designed to go after "criminals" and was not limited to Basra.
Barouski: Sudan Natural Resources
Apr 01, 2008
For the United States (US), oil is a major part of their interest in Sudan, but it is not about Darfur's oil so much as it is South Sudan's oil.
Bond: Zimbabwe's Roller-Coaster
Mar 12, 2008
The March 29 election in Zimbabwe is very likely to result in Robert Mugabe winning, by hook or by crook, a slim 50% majority, so as to avoid a run-off. In the last presidential election, in 2002, his main opponent Morgan Tsvangirai - leader of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions from 1988-99, but subsequently also supported by business and most Western governments - officially received just 40% of the vote.
Blum: The Anti-Empire Report
Feb 29, 2008
NATO is a treaty on wheels -- It can be rolled in any direction to suit Washington's current policy
Billet: Hip-Hop Candidate?
Feb 23, 2008
For many, the answer to this question might be an enthusiastic "yes." In recent weeks I have spoken on a radio show on "the hip-hop effect on the Obama campaign." I've talked to politically active MCs who are beyond stoked that Obama is ahead in the primaries. I've been sent e-vites to online groups called "Hip-hop for Obama." The phenomenon is striking. It seems lately that there is no paucity of those inspired by the righteous message of hip-hop who now feel they finally have a voice through Barack Obama. Indeed, a friend of mine who observed an Obama rally recently told me that "it was like a rock concert." Footage from other rallies seem to back that up. Large crowds, overwhelmingly young and multi-racial, absolutely ecstatic at the thought of an Obama presidency.
Bond: The Neoliberal Loo
Feb 19, 2008
Sanitation occasionally needs our attention. Usually it's when there's a water shortage. Today it's because toilet ("loo") technicians are having a major summit here in Durban, South Africa.
Barouski: Ituri's Plight 2/2
Feb 18, 2008
Regional interference is the real root cause of the war in Ituri, not ‘tribal,’ cultural, or ethnic differences. If the 2nd Congo War had not occurred, and soldiers from Uganda and Rwanda had not illegally occupied Ituri, I hypothesize that the violence would never have reached the horrific intensity that it did. It is even quite possible that large-scale massacres may not have occurred at all. Unfortunately, we will never know, and that makes what happened in Ituri all the more tragic.
Bennis: Gaza Wall Comes Tumbling Down
Jan 31, 2008
The breaching of the Israeli-built wall dividing the Gaza Strip from Egypt brought some critical relief for the population of 1.5 million Palestinians whom Israel had kept locked into a kind of prison since January 2006.
Billet: Music Business Liberation
Jan 28, 2008
Upon going to the website niggytardust.com, you'll see two options. One says "I want to directly support the artists involved in the creation of this music ($5)." The other reads "I'm not concerned about that. I just want the music (Free)." Clicking on either will get you an electronic version of Saul Williams' The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!
Barouski: Congo's Plight Pt1.
Jan 20, 2008
I remember vividly the day I became interested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It was back in 2002. I was browsing the daily news on the Internet and the Cable News Network (CNN) website was featuring an article sensationalizing the gristly violence and cannibalism occurring in the Ituri District of the Orientale Province, located in northeastern DRC. As the weeks went by, more horror stories from Ituri were carried in the mainstream press. Some of the articles impressed upon the fact that children were often both the perpetrators and the victims. After reading these articles, despite the sensationalism, I was profoundly affected. I asked myself, "What could possibly create such conditions where human beings would do such horrendous things to each other?" As I eventually came to learn, a large part of the answer to that question is regional interference from the DRC's geographic neighbors.
Billet: Morrissey on Immigrants
Jan 18, 2008
It's been over a month and I still can't bring myself to listen to the Smiths. The controversy over Morrissey's recent comments regarding immigration in the Britain's NME is well worth examining on this side of the pond. It should be said straight away how disappointing and unacceptable they are. They also, unfortunately, shed light on an element completely absent from the narrow debate on immigration taking place this election season.
Blum: The Anti-Empire Report
Jan 16, 2008
I recommend the new documentary about Ralph Nader, which was recently shown on PBS television, "An Unreasonable Man". Its primary focus is on Nader's argument for having run in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections despite the alleged harm done to the Democratic Party candidates. As I've written earlier: The choice facing people like myself was not Ralph Nader or Albert Gore or John Kerry. The choice facing us was Ralph Nader or not voting at all. If Nader had not been on the ballot, we would have stayed home. It's that simple. The film shows a clip of a TV network newscast just after the 2000 election in which star news anchors Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw are discussing this very question, and much to my surprise they both come to this same conclusion -- Nader did not cost the Democrats many votes at all. If he had not been on the ballot, the great bulk of his supporters would NOT have voted Democratic instead.
Bennis: Bush in Mideast
Jan 11, 2008
Bush's current visit to the Middle East, despite the official central message of supporting an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, has far more to do with Iran.
Bond: Real Solutions for Climate Change
Jan 06, 2008
Amidst her welcome critique of the biofuel mania, Vandana Shiva's ZNet commentary last month (December 13, 2007) also made this point: 'The Kyoto Protocol totally avoided the material challenge of stopping activities that lead to higher emissions and the political challenge of regulation of the polluters and making the polluters pay in accordance with principles adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio. Instead, Kyoto put in place the mechanism of emissions trading which in effect rewarded the polluters by assigning them rights to the atmosphere and trading in these rights to pollute.'
Blum: The Anti-Empire Report
Jan 04, 2008
Another peace scare. Boy, that was close. The US intelligence community's new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) -- "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities" -- makes a point of saying up front (in bold type): "This NIE does not (italics in original) assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons." The report goes on to state: "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program ."
Bond: Jacob Zuma's Election
Dec 23, 2007
Congratulations are due Jacob Zuma – apparently far more Machiavellian than even his arch-opponent since 2005, Thabo Mbeki – and the tireless band of warriors from the Congress of SA Trade Unions, SA Communist Party and African National Congress Youth League who kept his political life support on when everyone else declared him dead.
Blum: Anti-Empire Report
Nov 24, 2007
Bohmer: 10 Days That Shook Olympia
Nov 21, 2007
For 10 days, anti-war activists in Olympia, Washington have slowed down and for two different periods of 12 hours or more, stopped the flow of military weapons and military cargo that were unloaded from a Navy ship that had returned from Iraq.