A program for real change...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.


"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Contact information

You can contact me...

By Phone:

651-587-5541

By E-mail:

alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com

By U.S. Mail:

Alan Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
U.S.A.


Please note: FaceBook "deactivated" my account so I can no longer be reached there.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

has Immanuel Wallerstein provided us with a useful analysis of electoral politics?

This is an interesting article by Immanuel Wallerstein (see in full below my remarks) but it fails to mention several important facts:

1. In spite of a many decades long bombardment attack and massive anti-Communist/anti-socialist attack and official and unofficial government and corporate repression, millions of people are supporting Bernie Sanders BECAUSE he represents a socialist world outlook--- it makes no difference whether or not Bernie is a real socialist or an opportunist pseudo-socialist. People, for the most part are not viewing Bernie in any kind of sectarian way even though the "democratic socialists" are opportunistically trying to use his campaign towards their own narrow opportunist sectarian and anti-Communist ends.

Notice how Wallerstein, one of the "Progressives for Obama" who will most likely be endorsing Hillary Clinton, evades in his conclusion the need for a socialist alternative to capitalism.

2. Wallerstein does not mention the socialist oriented New Democratic Party in Canada nor does he mention how the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and the All Workers Militant Front (P.A.M.E.) work together very effectively in just the way he is calling for a world-wide response to imperialism although he doesn't mention imperialism. So, what kind of movement does Wallerstein expect? He doesn't say even though he is one of the editors of the Collected Works of Marx and Engels.

Both the KKE/PAME alliance and the New Democratic Party and to some extent the Labour Party in Great Britain which is beginning to turn towards its more left roots in line with the thinking of socialists like the great Tony Benn and even to a large extent those people supporting Bernie Sanders (note that I say the people supporting Bernie Sanders and not Bernie Sanders himself) are providing us with concrete and creative living examples of what is required to fight back against Wall Street and its junior partners around the globe and Wallerstein, like many of the "progressives" and "leftists" seeking excuses for their own service to the Democratic Party want to ignore all of this.

3. Wallerstein makes no mention of the "Cost of Living Crisis" most working class families are experiencing here and around the world nor does he attempt to connect this crisis of everyday living working class families are caught up in with Wall Street's global imperialist agenda.

4. Wallerstein fails to recognize one very important fact when it comes to the need for large, massive and militant Communist and Socialist parties in that our movements always reflect the strengths--- and weaknesses--- of these parties. In fact, when these parties are weak and gutless in the face of imperialism and is the case with the present Communist Party USA actually part of the imperialist camp, the large numbers of liberals remain almost clueless as to what is causing the problems and without this understanding are clueless in what needs to be done... much less having an understanding of how to do what needs to be done.

5. Wallerstein has many specifics to work with but chooses the path of "generalizations." Why? Because he doesn't want to have to explain his own support for Wall Street imperialist warmongers who are anti-working class like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton and when the Communist and Workers' parties and Socialist parties are weak, fragmented and disoriented they are not capable of challenging this thinking that the only alternatives to capitalism are "20 to 40 years" down the road as Wallerstein places the question. And what kind of reforms in the short-term is Wallerstein talking about? Things like Obamacare? He doesn't say. He doesn't even reference Bernie Sanders' ten point or twelve point program sometimes pushed without any mention of peace and sometimes at least including the mention of peace.

6. And perhaps most important of all, Wallerstein doesn't even question his "20 to 40 year" view of an alternative to capitalism being such long range within a framework that should capitalism be allowed to exist much longer, Mother Earth may not be able to support the existence of the human race for that extended period of time.

In fact, the nightmare of a nuclear winter is closer than ever and if atom bombs don't kill us off global warming is likely to.

Anyways; give Wallerstein's piece a read and ask yourself why the "Progressives for Obama" always seem to suggest there is no basis for building a working class based political alternative to get us out of this two-party trap?

No doubt Professor Wallerstein is well enough off, like the rest of the "Progressives for Obama" getting set to call themselves something like "Economic Populists for Hillary, so he doesn't have to consider answering his own questions as being urgent. Unlike working class families caught up in the "Cost of Living Crisis" now propelled out of control by Wall Street's militarization and wars, Wallerstein can afford to pay his health insurance bills, has no problem paying for food, gas or home heating expenses nor is a the cost of university a problem for him in any kind of urgent sense.

Millions of Americans have come out to support Bernie Sanders because they see socialism as an urgent and immediate part of the solution to the problems and havoc being caused by Wall Street and the two parties it owns and controls through its bribery and corrupt back room deals while limiting democracy and the participation of the people through a real democratic process.

In my opinion, Wallerstein owes it to the many people who have come to respect his thinking that he rethink his opinions about electoral politics.

Might I suggest we all get on the same page by reading and discussing this book:

"Dynamics of Social Change: A Reader in Marxist Social Science; from the Writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin"

A reader in Marxist social thought, from the writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin.

Editors: Howard Selsam

Alan L. Maki


​Please do not reply to the listserv. To correspond with the author, write immanuel.wallerstein@yale.edu. To correspond with us about your email address on the listserv, write fbcofc@binghamton.edu. Thank you.
Commentary No. 408, Sept. 1, 2015
"U.S. Presidential Elections"

If one follows the media, and especially U.S. media, the prospective 2016 presidential elections in the United States are showing a striking shift in tone and process from anything previously known. I don't believe that is true. To see why, I propose to review the alleged special features of this latest electoral cycle.

The major characteristics to which the media point in making this argument are two: The first is the unusually large polling figures thus far for two "outsiders" in the campaign - Donald Trump on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side. The second is the seemingly unmovable deadlock in the U.S. Congress, where compromise seems to have become a dirty word, especially to a sizable group of Republican members of the House of Representatives as well as to some Republican Senators.

Trump and Sanders have quite different programs. Trump is running on an anti-immigrant platform. Sanders is running on a proposal to increase "welfare state" expenditures that require tax increases, which are blocked by the rigid anti-"compromise" group in the legislature.

Despite the opposite platforms, each is getting consistently high figures in the polls and also seem to draw amazingly large audiences for their speaking engagements. Furthermore, they seem not only to break all the so-called rules governing behavior in the campaigns, but seem also to be rewarded precisely for doing this. So, the media seems to conclude we are now in a different kind of political situation, one whose outcome is quite unpredictable and one that will probably leave a lasting imprint on U.S. politics.

Let us start with the structure of electoral politics, in the United States and most other countries, especially in the North. The normal situation has long been that they hold periodic elections in which there are two main parties in competition, one center-right and one center-left. Of course, they all from time to time have seen the emergence of some third party whose votes in a particular election have hurt one or the other of these two main parties. But nowhere has the two-party structure been affected more than briefly, although in some cases the so-called third party has replaced one of the two previous mainstream parties and become the member of the two-party grouping. A good example of this latter shift in who are the two main parties is the rise of the Labour Party in Great Britain, a "third party" that replaced the Liberal Party as one of the two mainstream parties.

Of course, every electoral system has its peculiarities, which make it easier or more difficult to play the game. But the bottom line is that the system with two parties that have only limited differences from each other (usually primarily on the size of "welfare state" allocations) has been remarkably resilient for a very long time.

In the United States in 2015, there is not even a whiff of a serious third party. On the contrary, the angry people who are dissidents seem to have decided to seek their objectives by going inside the two parties rather than by going outside them. Where will these activists be after the actual elections, if their preferred candidate does not even win the primary nomination? Probably they will return to where they were before - either reluctant voters for the more conventional candidate or abstainers from the electoral process.

The media also assert that the U.S. presidential campaign seems to be going on forever, as though this was somehow unusual. But is this really not true of France or Germany or Great Britain or Japan or for that matter Greece? The reason seems obvious enough. Even if a two-party system offers the voters a very limited choice, the limited choice seems to matter for a very large percentage of voters. And so the prospective candidates and the two main parties can never stop seeking electoral advantage, whatever the formal restrictions on campaigning may be.

Does not the Trump/Sanders phenomenon reflect significant anxiety on the part of the electorate? Yes, indeed it does. But the anxiety is a worldwide phenomenon, in no way an exclusively U.S. affair. And, once again, as we look around the world, there is almost everywhere a rise of support for parties and/or individuals who speak the language of anxiety and discontent.

The economic reality of the world-system has become one of steadily increasing unemployment and ever-wilder fluctuations of market prices and currency valuations. The most common response to this has been a major increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric. It is hard to think of a country in which this is not true. Protectionist rhetoric has come to dominate the political scene, not only in the United States but also almost everywhere else.

But then comes the final riposte of the media: Suppose one of these "outsider" candidates actually wins and/or becomes a part of the government? The answer to that seems all too simple: We have seen such parties become the government (Hungary) or part of the government (Norway). Not all that much changes. If an anti-immigrant party does well, there is some tightening on the entry of migrants and some tightening of welfare state expenditures for the poorest sectors of the population. There is some increased anti-minority violence within the country. These are all negatives. But in the end neither the geopolitics of the country nor the middle-run economic options of the country seems to have changed. Why do we assume that this would not be true of the United States in 2016?

I don't wish to imply that the elections don't matter. They do matter, especially in terms of the short-run. But they matter far less than we frequently assume. To be sure, there are real political battles going on. But these battles take place largely outside the electoral processes.

So, I come back to my repeated theme. We are in a structural crisis of the modern world-system. We need to have two time frames: One is the very short-run, in which we have to fight electoral battles in order to "minimize the pain" for the vast numbers of persons who are suffering in the short run. But we also have to fight the longer middle-run (20-40 years) battle of transforming the capitalist system into the kind of post-capitalist one that will be better and not worse than the present one.

by Immanuel Wallerstein

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

On FaceBook I discuss the possibility of Bernie Sanders getting the Democratic Party nomination with a UAW porkchopper


  • Kelly Sparks The only way Bernie can win is by winning the Democratic Primary,Alan,Bernie understands this and his supporters do as well so don't bring negative distractions into our positive campaign.
  • Alan Maki No, Kelly Sparks; the only people pushing this idea that Bernie can actually win the Democratic Party's nomination are the Democratic Party hacks who intend to use his supporters to campaign for Hillary Clinton after Bernie is marginalized at the National Convention and sent packing.

    Since you have worked for the UAW International, I am sure you know exactly what the set-up is and that the fix is in to do exactly as I have pointed out.

    Tell us, Kelly; will you be supporting Hillary Clinton? And, if so, how will you justify supporting this Wall Street imperialist warmonger backing the TPP?.
  • Alan Maki Kelly Sparks; you know exactly how the Democratic machine works since your profile states:

    Retired UAW Legislative Coordinator
    Lived in Racine , WI.

    Please explain to this group how the Democratic Party really works and not how people hope it works.

    Explain how the party hacks manipulate and control people.

    Explain how difficult it is just to get a resolution passed... like one for single-payer universal health care. Explain how these party hacks were able to undermine a massive movement for single-payer universal health care in order to make way for Obamacare.

    Do you really expect these party hacks who went through so much trouble to derail the single-payer movement to allow the socialist Bernie Sanders to get the Democratic Party's nomination?

    In fact, Kelly Sparks, you were part of this well-oiled machine of Democratic Party hacks.

    You and the UAW even refused to stand up for the rights of casino workers in the Indian Gaming Industry, choosing instead to push through these compacts creating this hideous industry forcing hundreds of thousands of workers to be employed in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws.

    You see, I have dealt with people like you and I know exactly what you are up to here.

    Others who don't believe what I say will just have to live and learn just how treacherous you backstabbers really are.

    The UAW International hasn't endorsed Bernie Sanders. Why not?

    It was largely because the UAW refused to support the socialist oriented New Democratic Party in Canada that your union got booted out of Canada by Canadian autoworkers who just got plain fed up with your treachery and betrayal.
  • Alan Maki I maintain the only way Bernie has a shot at becoming the next president of the United States is if his name appears on the General Election ballot in 2016... and losing the Democratic Party's nomination at the National Convention no matter how many state Primaries he may win which will be few and far between, just won't get his name on the ballot.

Monday, August 3, 2015

We need to strike while the iron is hot

This is my response to an e-mail I received about how to proceed with electoral change citing the need to influence more prominent people and educate more people in general:



I mostly agree but I think grassroots and rank-and-file activism will bring forward many new voices which will be just as important, if not more important, than those you suggest we reach out to--- although I certainly do not write off reaching out to the people you suggest.



I also think face-to-face meeting with people is important and this is why when I travel I do a lot of "tabling." I set up a portable table with leaflets, petitions and banners promoting my blog and talk to people.



The question still remains: What do we do right now? And I do mean right NOW.



Many groups and individuals are working on different ways to approach the dilemma we are now confronted with where Bernie Sanders the preeminent socialist "Independent" has now made it official that he will not seek the presidency outside of the Democratic Party which everyone pretty much knows he has no chance at all in attaining the Democratic Party's nomination through the National Convention process which is tightly manipulated and controlled to conform to Wall Street dictate which is something much less than democracy in action and more akin to the kind of lack of democracy imposed upon workers in the workplaces of these Wall Street and big and small business employers.



In my opinion after talking with people, I conclude that a vast majority of Bernie's supporters expect him to seek the presidency outside of the Democratic Party because based on their experience working in and around the Democratic Party they know the deck has already been stacked against Bernie and for Hillary Clinton.



Others say those who support going outside the Democratic Party is a more narrow margin.



No matter how wide the gap is, one thing is for sure: never has there been so much outward support expressed for running a candidate for president outside of the Democratic Party with the exception of two campaigns--- those of Eugene Debs and his Socialist Party, and the Henry Wallace and his Progressive Party campaign managed by former socialist Minnesota Governor Elmer A. Benson who was elected on the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party ticket which intended to go national with Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson intending to run against President Franklin D. Roosevelt because Roosevelt was not bring forth reforms fast enough and the New Deal did not go far enough.



So now we have this potential base of people willing to break free from this two-party trap which includes at least 60,000 unorganized activists and no doubt millions of Americans who are liberal, progressive and left thinking--- predominantly working class--- who are so thoroughly fed up with the two-party trap and searching or at least thinking about a realistic alternative.



I have noticed many people now citing the Vermont Progressive Party as the kind of national formation they would like to see.



Others point to the Greens.



Some are wondering if the Justice Party can't be salvaged and saved while others are turning to the small sectarian left parties and still others believe we need some kind of mass "left" party and the variety of suggestions is so numerous I can't even list them all here.



In my opinion, we should probably be thinking along the lines of a national Progressive Party; one that is very similar to Canada's socialist oriented New Democratic Party which is now on the verge of taking national power for the very first time.



It is said that once Bernie goes through the Democratic Party's National Convention nominating process that federal election law/s prohibit him from running on another party's ticket for president. I have not been able to find this specific law if it does exist; but, if factual, then Bernie and his supporters better think real fast if they want to get trapped in this kind of dead end alley.



We also need to expand a discussion that is beginning to take place that Bernie needs to join together as part of a slate of liberals, progressives and leftists (all inclusive--- everyone who wants in gets in) running for House and Senate seats while filling up state house and local seats on county and city councils and school boards--- the overwhelming majority of all Americans agree we need a "clean sweep" that will kick out all these crooked and corrupt Wall Street bribed politicians now occupying almost all of these offices.



Bernie Sanders and his political entourage tout their campaign as a "political revolution" and "a movement" yet movements and political revolutions require not just one candidate running for president but an entire slate as being the only way to win as any trade unionist who has run successfully for union office understands the strength of having an entire slate of candidates. Usually all on the slate do not win but by running a slate of candidates it often makes it possible to elect enough of the slate to gain a majority or a very important and influential minority which can push towards the goals and objectives intended.



Thanks for your thought provoking response,



Alan

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Barack Obama was allowed to suck the aspirations for real change back into the Democratic Party where democracy was suffocated; will we allow and enable Bernie Sanders to do the same thing? Do we want Hillary Clinton?

Decision time is upon us; what will we do?



What needs to be done?



What can we do?



A decision is going to have to be made by Bernie Sanders and his supporters and those of us intending to vote for him in the Democratic Primary.



The decision is whether or not Bernie remaining in the Primary struggle is worth it if he has no chance of winning the Democratic Party nomination because the objective is not to win the Democratic Party's nomination but that Bernie Sanders is on the 2016 General Election ballot so he has a fighting chance of becoming president... this is the point of his campaign; or am I wrong?



A decision has to be made on whether or not we are going to develop and build a new political party that will run candidates for all these House and Senate seats, too, so we can sweep these Wall Street bribed politicians from office.



No matter what Bernie decides to do we have to take advantage of this tremendous momentum of support for him that is more about breaking free from this two-party trap in challenging Wall Street for political and economic power and get us on the road to real peace without all these dirty imperialist wars and on the road to meaningful reform measures and legislation when it comes to a Minimum Wage that is a real living wage with full employment, a national public health care system, a national child care system and real solutions to head off this impending climate change/global warming catastrophe.



These issues, together with Bernie Sanders' twelve point agenda that is basically the same agenda Ralph Nader ran on should be the basis for uniting a very large section of the American people.



Why should we allow ourselves to be sucked back in to the two-party trap at a time when there is such tremendous potential for breaking free?



Certainly among the more than 100,000 people who turned out to participate in the over 3,500 events to support Bernie Sanders last Wednesday evening there are more than enough people to bring together roundtable discussions about all of this as a base for launching a new political party whether that party is some kind of formation like taking the Vermont Progressive Party national or starting something from scratch or seizing the opportunity to turn the Justice Party into the kind of progressive party it was intended to be or working through the Green Party; these are just a few of our options but where we want to end up at is with some kind of national party similar to Canada's socialist oriented New Democratic Party which has yielded so many meaningful reforms for working class families and been a bulwark in the struggle to defend and expand democracy enabling ordinary people formerly locked out of the political process to participate to their full potential. We saw how this resulted in the Conservatives being driven from political power in Alberta. If such progressive grassroots and rank-and-file electoral activity can succeed in Alberta which is similar to our Texas it can succeed right here in the United States.



This is not wishful thinking based solely on hope for change because the very successful socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party proved the viability of such politics right here in the United States, too. Only severe government repression and corrupt conniving and shenanigans by unscrupulous and dishonest politicians like Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale were able to thwart, stymie and destroy the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party but its base and foundation remain to be built on.



And it was former socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party Governor Elmer Benson who chaired the efforts in building the national Progressive Party in the late 1940's; also smashed by severe government repression initiated by both Democrats and Republicans... first with the Democratic Party backed Dies Committee and then with Joseph McCarthy and then McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey and their Communist Control Act and House UnAmerican Activities Committee with Bobby Kennedy as its legal counsel working with the pathetic degenerate fascist, racist bigot Roy Cohn.



No matter what, we need to begin thinking right NOW about our options because more and more it is looking like Bernie Sanders has no possibility of succeeding in gaining the Democratic Party's nomination simply because big money Wall Street interests are controlling and manipulating the Democratic Party in an undemocratic way and no one can explain how this Wall Street control and manipulation of the Democratic Party can be ended.



Certainly even Bernie Sanders understands he has no chance whatever in gaining the nomination of the Democratic Party National Convention.



This isn't just about Bernie Sanders this entire electoral struggle is about defending, protecting and advancing the rights and livelihoods of working class families on and off the job.



Even for the diehard Bernie supporters who think he will succeed through some kind of miracle in obtaining the nomination of the Democratic Party they have a responsibility to help us assure there is a back-up plan in place that includes a way to challenge each and every bribed and corrupt Wall Street beholden politician occupying a seat in the House and Senate.



We need a clean sweep.



Maybe we could just call ourselves something as simple as "The New Broom Coalition" with the intent to hold roundtable discussions to address this very important issue of the need for a full-fledged national political party which would be the voice for liberals, progressives and leftists.



So; if we are fed up with war, poverty, unemployment, lack of decent health care and scared of what is in store for our children and grandchildren when it comes to global warming and climate change we can't allow this opportunity to be squandered by allowing our concerns to be suffocated, again, by the Democratic Party.



We can't allow on individual to make a decision about what needs to be done.



Bernie's campaign is supposed to be about full citizen participation in the political process. This includes making the decision on whether or not we need a new political party through which we, as working people, are empowered to look after our own interests when it comes to everything from war and peace to what kind of health care reform we need and wages and working conditions.



This is what democracy is all about.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sandra Bland

Was Sandra Bland murdered by the police in Texas before they took her mugshot?


Is her jailhouse "mugshot" the photo of a dead corpse being passed off as her being alive that was really a photograph of her dead body laying on the jailhouse floor rather than Sandra Bland standing against the jailhouse wall?


What color is the jailhouse floor?


What color is the jailhouse wall?


Once again we get a bunch of racist, crooked and corrupt cops in Texas getting off the hook for murder without having to answer the pertinent questions.


We are being fed a line of shit just like with everything else we are told in this country where lies are systematically passed off through government institutions and the media as the truth.


Racist police murders and beatings and harassment are at an all time high in this country with no let up in sight which could, taken together with calls for internment camps by military brass, be placing our country dangerously close to fascism.


The cops have become nothing but brutal racist bullies who think they are immune from prosecution.


In every single one of these cases these cops are applauded by the KKK... this should tell us something.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Living Wage

Politicians, media pundits and just about everyone is talking about a "living wage."


But, what is a living wage?


How is a living wage defined?


I find it interesting Bernie Sanders refuses to define and articulate what a living wage is.


Isn't it kind of strange so many people would be talking about something they refuse to explicitly define?


One definition is:


liv·ing wage
noun
noun: living wage; plural noun: living wages
a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.


We Marxists define a living wage as a wage which is in line with the actual and real cost-of-living which would provide working class families with a decent standard of living as articulated by the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


We need to get specific in defining what a living wage is otherwise the issue of the living wage just becomes an election gimmick with working class families trapped and unable to escape this cost-of-living crisis no politician, party hack or pundit wants to talk about.


* Minimum Wage.


* Living Wage.


* Cost-of-living.


* Standard-of-living.


* Decent standard of living.


* Cost-of-living crisis.


We can not have any meaningful discussion of the Minimum Wage becoming a real living wage until cost-of-living is brought front and center to this conversation.


Judge every speech, article or book written about wages and the living wage using these six points.


These should be our talking points when it comes to a living wage.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Liberal. Progressive, Left electoral unity

Liberals, progressives and leftists can only win in the electoral arena and break free from the two-party trap working together in a cooperative team effort.
For all practical purposes this would mean we would suggest to all the candidates we might want to support that they join together.
Maybe a Bernie Sanders/Jill Stein ticket?
Perhaps a Bernie Sanders/Rocky Anderson ticket?
Or, what about a Bernie Sanders/Cynthia McKinney ticket?
Backed up by a whole slate of Congressional candidates.
In the 2012 Election we tried to get Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson to work together. Both were too stubborn and selfish to see the logic in this.
This narrow-minded mindset has to change and it is up to grassroots activists to push such a unity slate.
Personally, I'm not willing to do any more than invest my vote until we can all learn, grassroots activists and supporters of these candidates and the candidates themselves to work in a cooperative manner in challenging Wall Street for political and economic power.


Since we are being asked for our support, endorsements, money and our votes by these candidates and their parties and/or campaign organizations, we have a right--- and responsibility--- to make our views on united action at the ballot box heard.


It would seem to me it would be quite simple to merge the Green Party's declared agenda with that of Bernie Sander's Twelve Point Program and the result would be pretty much acceptable to any liberal, progressive or left thinking person.


Bernie Sanders is not going to win the Democratic Party Primary in spite of a lot of wishful thinking.
Bernie has earned the right--- and has a responsibility as a declared socialist--- to run heading up such a ticket helping us to break free from this Democratic and Republican stranglehold that is crippling democracy here in this country.


If the Canadians, with their socialist oriented New Democratic Party, can make a credible challenge to Wall Street's junior partner, Bay Street, don't we have the responsibility to bring forward such a challenge to Wall Street right here in the United States?


Our standard of living, democracy and most especially world peace demand we make such a united challenge to Wall Street for political and economic power.


The working class is demonstrating through its support for Bernie Sanders that it is ready to move forward in breaking free from the confines of the Democratic Party.


More and more people are realizing we need some kind of anti-monopoly/anti-imperialist party.


Now is the time to begin pushing for and promoting this kind of unity in action in the electoral arena.


Those who oppose such thinking are no friends of the working class and our movements for peace, an end to racism and for full equality.


Just my two cents for whatever it's worth.


Perhaps a large group of us with fairly diverse views from the liberal, progressive and left constituencies should come together and draft some kind of open letter to these politicians all claiming to be people's politicians to one degree or another.

Greece: Debt cancellation not repayment

Regarding Greece, Robert Reich has chimed in, pretending he is opposed to the austerity measures; yet he writes:


"Debt restructuring must be part of any solution for economic reforms in Greece."


Why must "debt restructuring" be part of economic reforms when the only real reform that would alleviate the problem is DEBT CANCELLATION?


Reich is trying to draw liberals, progressives and the left into supporting what is in the interests of the bankers and international financiers when we should be struggling in solidarity with the Greek people in seeking working class solutions to this grave economic crisis.


The fact is, the Greek people have paid these loansharks in high-priced suits talking their slick talk over and over again which is why they are in this economic mess.


The debt should be cancelled and, if anything, the Greek people should be paid back all the profits these parasites have pocketed in profits from the original loans.


Make the bankers pay to solve the problem because they are the source of the problem. These bankers knew full well they were loaning money to a country and a people still suffering years of fascist dictatorships and unbridled capitalist exploitation where international capital had been squeezing super-profits from the working class through government imposed, and government subsidized, low wages.
And now Obama and the Wall Street crowd together with their junior partners want to impose further profit gouging austerity on the Greek people through the enforcement of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the TTIP which compliments the TPP for the multi-national and transnational corporate crowd which Robert Reich has conveniently refused to mention.


What happened to the concept of Jubilee and debt cancellation for countries being suffocated with debt?


It's time for a candid dialogue on one of he most controversial of all subjects: debt forgiveness.
Only debt forgiveness will enable the Greek people to get on the road to economic recovery.


Solidarity with the Greek people requires a call for debt forgiveness in line with the religious concept of Jubilee.


Don't buy into the snake-oil solutions from Robert Reich and these phony liberal economists who in reality are fronting for the neoliberal Wall Street agenda.


Speak up and speak out.

Friday, June 12, 2015

For all those raising their glasses hailing and toasting the defeat of the TPP...

First of all fast track and the TPP have not been defeated; just delayed. Wall Street will be back.

Second; the Democrats have to distance themselves from Obama as they prepare Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democrats to run as "economic populists" excluding any discussion of these trade agreements and the obscene spending on militarism and wars from their phony posturing as "economic populists."

Big business is very patient in thinking it can outlast the opposition. Here in Minnesota we see this in the mining, forestry, sports stadiums, the casino industry and big agribusinesses. When confronted with massive opposition these big businesses back off but never back down; they and their bribed politicians look for another angle to shove their projects down our throats and the "new" approach is generally wrapped in the promise of "jobs, jobs, jobs" as we can be sure fast track and the TPP will be.

And, finally; Hillary Clinton and her Wall Street backers who have hired Madison Avenue to create the "new" image of her being an "economic populist" can't risk her being forced to take sides on these issues.

We will be told to forget about Obama sending troops back into Iraq and don't blame the Democrats for being stuck with "Bush's wars" that this new found "new populism" will solve unemployment, poverty and poverty wage jobs if we only give Hillary Clinton a chance to show she is different from Obama--- unlike Obama Hillary is committed to this new found "economic populism" that will replace all the phoney baloney about "hope" and "change."

Whether the next president is Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush the working class is going to take a beating and Richard Trumka and all these phoney progressives and leftists will sell this shit by bullying and badgering anyone who won't fall into line by backing the Democrats

And we will hear all of this bullshit about "movement building" to hold the feet of these Democrats to the fire but, like with Obama, no movements will materialize from the words of these toothless blowhards with loud barks threatening to sit out the election.

How convenient that Richard Trumka and his gaggle of millionaire labor leaders will now not have to follow through on their threats to withhold backing from the Democrats because of fast track and the TPP.  

Its a little early to cheer Wall Street's defeat because we have only been subjected to the first act.

And, again; instead of building an anti-monopoly/anti-imperialist progressive working class based political party based around rank-and-file and grassroots activism we will see how Bernie Sanders, like Dennis Kucinich before him is used to keep liberals,progressives and leftists trapped under the Democrat's "big tent."

And, just like with these dirty imperialist wars, poverty and racism, the "cost-of-living crisis" every single working class family is experiencing will never be mentioned by any of these Democrats because they know the finger points right back to militarism and wars which are part of Wall Street's agenda.

And while Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will rant and rage against the Wall Street crowd calling for "curbing" Wall Street's influence they will never so much as suggest the real solution is to be found in challenging Wall Street for both political and economic power. How can their be a "political revolution" without this?

Friday, May 15, 2015

REAL PROGRESSIVES TALK ABOUT MILITARISM, WAR AND MILITARY SPENDING!

Fellow Activists,
With your help, on Day 1, we passed the 200 mark in signers on the petition "Real progressives talk about militarism, war and military spending!"
But if we want to be heard, we need to make a bigger noise and that will take a lot more folks doing what you did - signing the petition. With your help, we can pass the 500 signer marktomorrow.
Please promote the petition in organizations to which you belong and on listservs, Facebook and Twitter.  Let friends know you signed and invite them to do the same.
Here's the link to the petition:
Here is a short version of the URL: http://bit.ly/1RG7cvX
You can send the text below or modify it as you like.
US Labor Against the War (USLAW) has launched a petition on RootsAction.org that calls on all those who identify as "progressives" who seek our political support to speak out forcefully, with clarity and passion, for a new definition of national security that puts the welfare of our people and the planet ahead of the interests of the Pentagon brass, military contractors, multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex.

They can't pretend that military spending, war and our militarized foreign policy are not as important to a progressive agenda as inequality, poverty, jobs, racism and climate change. A real progressive agenda should address all of those.
Demilitarizing our economy and foreign policy is key to solving many of our other social problems.

If you agree, I urge you to sign and get others to sign.  The more that do, the more likely this message will be heard and respected by politicians who count on our support.
Here is the sample text of a Tweet:
Progressive pols who want our support need to hear this. If you agree,sign,like,forward,share.http://bit.ly/1RG7cvX #progressive #Sanders
Thanks for all you do to make this a better, more just and peaceful world,
Michael Eisenscher
National Coordinator
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)
www.USLaborAgainstWar.org
Twitter: @USLAWLeader
FB: labor.against.war
Email: info@uslaboragainstwar.org


REAL PROGRESSIVES TALK ABOUT MILITARISM, WAR AND
MILITARY SPENDING!

TO: BERNIE SANDERS, ELIZABETH WARREN
AND ALL OTHER PROGRESSIVES

Real progressives talk about militarism, war and military spending!
351 
of 400 signatures

Campaign created by Michael EisenscherIcon-email

We call upon all those who seek our political support to speak out forcefully, with clarity and passion, for a new definition of national security that puts the welfare of our people and the planet ahead of the interests of the Pentagon brass, military contractors, multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex.

Why is this important?

*Populist*: someone who embraces a political doctrine that appeals to the interests and conceptions (such as hopes and fears) of the majority of people, as opposed to the interests of the elite. 
*Progressive*: a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas. 
_______________________________________________________________ 
The election season is upon us. Politicians, whether candidates themselves or supporting others, are criss-crossing the country hoping to harvest campaign donations and, down the road, our votes. Many will tell us what we want to hear, whether they believe it or not. Others will tell us what they want us to hear, whether they mean it or not.
Those who identify as progressives espouse populist ideas and speak passionately about inequality, poverty, racism and the need for fundamental reforms. They generally want government to be an active instrument to promote and secure a higher standard of living, greater economic and social equality, a society that is tolerant of differences and that values and protects human rights, social justice and the common good – all necessary elements of a progressive populist agenda.
Necessary but not sufficient!
All too often Progressives who are passionate and outspoken about the need to provide good jobs at living wages, reduce inequality, eliminate poverty, protect the planet and advance social justice suffer from a debilitating political condition known as *MAD* (Militarism Acknowledgment Dysfunction) or *PEP* (Populist Except for Pentagon).
This condition makes it difficult to connect their laudable domestic agenda to the reality that our economy and foreign policy are militarized and operate in the interests of multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex.
The US is addicted to militarism.
With 57% of all discretionary spending going to the Pentagon, war and nuclear weapons - even with significant tax reform - it will be impossible to implement an ambitious progressive agenda without cutting bloated runaway military spending and Pentagon waste, fraud and abuse. And to do that will require the US to abandon its militarized foreign policy and stop trying to militarily subordinate the rest of the world to a neoliberal agenda.
We need to reassess what is required to achieve real “national security.” Rather than measuring our security on the basis of the size and power of our military, the advanced state of its weapons and our government’s ability to instill fear in others, **we should measure our security based on the welfare of people and the planet, and the respect our government earns in the rest of the world.**
Anyone who wants our support as a progressive must have as much to say about militarism, war and military spending as about climate security, economic security, human rights and social justice. They are all essential elements of a progressive agenda. All are required to have real national security.
If you agree, please sign and urge others to sign.