We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

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. I have opened another FaceBook account.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Wall Street comes to the "rescue" of Puerto Rico with HR 4900.

Wall Street is coming to the "rescue" of Puerto Rico the same way it came to the rescue of Detroit with a little added bonus for Wall Street employers including raiding the pension funds and lowering the Minimum Wage to $4.25 an hour:


http://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hr_4900_promesa.pdf


I wonder how our great free media missed this one?


Here is Congressman Paul Ryan's take on another imperialist (mis) adventure:


http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/statement-puerto-rico-legislation


More injustices enforced by the United States government with tax-payers picking up the tab to keep Puerto Ricans subjugated through a "benevolent" and uniquely American brand of colonialism passed off as "humanitarian" assistance.


I wonder if the FBI, CIA and the U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy are going to be able to handle the rebellion which is sure to follow?


I wonder how the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs Magazine and the rest of our great free media so adept at passing off big lies as the truth will explain all of this?


I would point out that only Cuba has been able to get out from under the heel of U.S; imperialism since the Spanish American War--- a war we have been paying for since 1898--- anyone think imperialist wars come cheap?


It is almost unbelievable in this day and age there is any government on the face of the earth with so much arrogance in bringing forward such legislation; but, considering that Puerto Rico was one of the first American attempts at "nation building" (for other countries) I guess we shouldn't be surprised to find the United States Congress now considering this kind of thoroughly reactionary austerity measures for its oldest colony which Wall Street employers have used as one of its primary sources of cheap labor... although the Haiti experiment is proving to be much more promising when it comes to raking in maximum profits through exploitation fostered by the great philanthropists like Bill and Hillary Clinton whose foundation is blazing new trails for greater profitability for the sweatshop industries...


after all, don't ya know--- lower wages is what the chase for bigger profits is all about.

Oh, wait!

At least one voice in our great free media has ventured forth with an ever so "enlightened" opinion on the risk of having too high of a Minimum Wage in Puerto Rico:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/puerto-ricos-lesson-for-the-mainland/2015/07/08/24e63970-25ad-11e5-b77f-eb13a215f593_story.html

Now, where are the organized anti-imperialist voices here in the United States?


Monday, April 11, 2016

Which way for the New Democratic Party in Canada?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding recent developments in the New Democratic Party in Canada.


I lived in Manitoba for ten years until I was deported because of my political views after the Liberal government joined the right wing in attacking me.


At the present time, I am a member of the Lake-of-the Woods Communist Club, one of three co-chairs of the club which has members from Minnesota, Manitoba and Ontario. Members of our club have been very involved in the NDP and our club had members at the recent NDP meeting.


There are those making the outrageous claim that the NDP is a "social democratic party."


This was my response to one person making this claim: Wrong. Dead wrong, Andy Span.


The New Democratic Party is not a social democratic party.


The NDP includes all views from the left... and beyond... or, at least it should.


Social democrats should go start their own party if they want an exclusively social democratic party.
But, this wouldn't solve any problems, either.


The NDP would be severely weakened should the social democrats withdraw; but, the social democrats are going to have to learn to be respectful of the views of others.


There is no proof that the Leap Manifesto won't gain tremendous traction with the vast majority of working class Canadians. Why would anyone oppose it being debated and discussed. These debates and discussion will bring new life into the NDP.


The most successful provincial NDP government of all time in Canada was led by Howard Pawley in Manitoba and he had an open door to all of the entire left... and most others willing to work with him for the common good.


I would suggest everyone take a few deep breaths and read Howard Pawley's excellent book, "Keep True, My Life in Politics."


The NDP paid a very heavy price for Bob Rae's treacherous betrayal (and I was very involved in helping get this guy elected as the first NDP premier of Ontario) and the NDP is paying a very heavy price for making a substantial part of the left in Canada feel like they have no home in the NDP because there are those who try to pigeon hole the NDP as a social democratic party.


Tom Mulcair started coming to his senses in his later speeches in Toronto but it was too little, too late.
Buying into this crap about the need for "baby steps" and "incremental reforms" is sure to doom the NDP.


Tommy Douglas, from his deathbed, urged the NDP and all Canadians to take up the task of struggling and fighting for fully socialized health care and if we examine this issue as a way to look at most other struggles for required reforms we can do so by asking a very simple question concerning the right to have dental care included as part of health care:


Would you vote for any politician who didn't care if you have a toothache and can't afford to get dental care?


Working people have very serious problems from poverty wages to lack of child care (and what is with this "affordable child care crap" when child care should be universal through a public system and free for all? Is this too much for the well-heeled crowd of social democrats to comprehend?


And why don't the social democrats like Mulcair want to talk about a Minimum Wage that is tied to actual cost of living factors which would bring in a Minimum Wage of just over $20.00 an hour for a forty hour work week?


Or, what is the position of the social democrats when it comes to a Basic Income Guarantee which worked so well as an experiment in Dauphin, Manitoba when the NDP forced the Liberals to fund the experiment?


When it comes to health care, child care, unemployment, Minimum Wages, the cost of higher education--- "baby steps" and "incremental reforms" are not what the severe problems working class families confront need... a giant Leap forward is required and it is time for the NDP to bring forward some kind of program and platform to make the multi-national corporations which have been raping the land of resources pay for it all.


I have traveled and met with Canadians in every single province and a point of great unity is that Canadians are sick and tired of U.S. and other multi-national corporations taking everything they can grab while leaving nothing behind to improve the lives of the people and this theft has been carried out in a way that has left tremendous damage to the environment.


As far as the oil in Alberta... bring these oil fields under public ownership like the NDP originally believed in doing. Then take a look at the situation and decide how to proceed. Again, this is foreign multi-nationals raking in huge profits at the expense of the Canadian people while doing great harm to the environment. Cut out the huge corporate profits and perhaps an environmentally sound way can be found to manage the production of oil. In the long run as the oil industry is going in Alberta it would be cheaper to just halt it right now because the mess that is being made is going to end up costing a lot more than what is being gained right now.


What gave the social democrats the right to use bullying tactics to replace the demand for public ownership of the mines, mills, factories and entire industries like banking, communications and energy with this coddling of private industry--- domestic and foreign--- while pushing higher taxes on the working class?


And why would Mulcair seek to ally the NDP with Obama's neo-liberal Wall Street Democrats as a way to appease Bay Street instead of seeking out allies from among the working class?


The social democrats who have bullied their way into the NDP while trampling on democracy insisting that the NDP be a social democratic party have been very selfish and their selfishness cost the NDP an election victory that was there for the taking.


The NDP should have gone to Canadian with a plan to reduce the retirement age to 60; free universal child care; free public education through university; tax the hell out of the foreign multi-nationals; for a socialized health care system that includes everything from pre-natal through burial... and a commitment to pull out of NATO and end all complicity with U.S. imperialist wars and a promise to raise the Minimum Wage to at least $20.00 an hour while outlining a strategy to put an end to the cost-of-living crisis every single working class family in Canada is experiencing.


The base of the NDP must be the working class and farmers along with real small businesses and professionals.


The Manitoba NDP put a full dental program into every single elementary school and the Conservatives and Liberals killed that program--- as Manitobans today how they like paying for private dental care for their children.


Manitoba had a provincially owned and operated telephone system providing Manitobans with the least expensive phone service in North America... the Conservatives and Liberals connived together to kill this... ask Manitobans how they like paying through the nose for private for-profit telephone service today.


The NDP government took over bus manufacturing in Manitoba saving hundreds of jobs; the company was doing just great. The company was sold to a foreign multi-national after being subsidized by Manitoba tax-payers.


Manitoba has government owned casinos... the profits go for health care and education not into the pockets of Las Vegas mobsters. And Manitoba's casinos were among the first to go smoke-free to protect the health of its workers and the general public.


Because of the fight led by Howard Pawley, Manitoba has a provincially owned auto insurance program. I don't hear many people other than the Conservatives and few of the more die-hard free-enterprise Liberals complaining.


The NDP should be for public ownership not just out of some old principle articulated in a Marxist pamphlet but because public ownership works better for the people than private ownership in most cases.


The strength of the NDP has always been that all views from the left are always welcome... and not just those with left wing view but those with liberal and progressive world outlooks, too; and this is the way it should remain.


I want to point out that in Manitoba, the NDP always got along with Communists like Jacob Penner and Joe Zuken... in fact, the NDP took the initiative to name a public park after Jacob Penner.


And Jacob Penner's son became an outstanding Minnesota Attorney General.


I counted Howard Pawley among one of my best friends and we got along just fine even though we had some differences on some issues.


My suggestion is that the problems should be articulated and a common approach should be found to solving these problems in a way that works best for the working class.


Tom Mulcair and his social democrats are just going to have to learn to live with the fact that working people want their problems solved now--- while they are still alive, not later after they die.


These are very important developments now taking place in the New Democratic Party and there will be much for everyone to learn.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My experience with for-profit capitalist dental care.

I went to the dentist today.


I am "covered" by an insurance outfit called, "Health Partners" which operates a Health and Dental Clinic in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.


After having a bunch of teeth pulled; now they tell me I need something called a "deep cleaning and planing." The cost: $1,200.00. And they say this isn't covered under my plan.


And they told me they won't even fill my three cavities until I have this done. What a neat way to get out of providing the care needed... thus saving them a lot of money at my expense and at the expense of my health.


And then these bastards wonder why people are getting angry.


I told them I couldn't afford that so they told me to call the University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry.


The School of dentistry told me they would do it for about $900.00.


I told them that I couldn't afford that.


Their response--- and I quote exactly word for word:


"Too bad; you will just have to wait until you can come up with the money."


So much for health care under capitalism...


Just wait until you can come up with the money... it is all about money, money, money... or, to put it more succinctly: Profits! Profits! Profits!


Everything under this rotten capitalist system is driven by sheer greed in quest of the almighty dollar.



Here is the solution and it is very simple:


A National Public Health Care System.


General health, eyes, ears, dental, family planning and mental health... pre-natal to death. Everyone in; nobody left out. Health care provided based on need not how much you can pay.


Put all of the doctors and dentists and optometrists on the public payroll just like teachers and pay them the same thing. Provide them with a free education so they don't have to cry for forty years about how much they spent for college in spite of becoming multi-millionaires.


Public funding and financing instead of paying for these dirty rotten imperialist wars.


Public administration of the entire system.


Public delivery.


A public health care center in every neighborhood and community instead of wasting our tax-dollars on over 800 military bases on foreign soil protecting Wall Street's interests and investments with profits derived from exploiting cheap labor and raping Mother Nature.


The hell with wasting any more time on this single-payer crap... even the Canadian health care system doesn't cover dental work.


We need to work up a national struggle for socialized health care... a National Public Health Care System that is no more controversial than public education.


The for-profit health care system has failed miserably... except for those who profit.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tell the Democrats to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Has anyone noticed a very interesting development that has been taking place in Wisconsin, the home of the most right-wing reactionary Republican governor in the United States, over the last month?

The Democrats--- including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and all of these millionaire labor leaders--- have made Wisconsin the focus of their attention with more political activity than in the past than over the past six years during Scott Walkers term as governor of Wisconsin...

And they expect all of us to drop everything we are doing, including taking days off from work!

To do what? Campaign for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Now, here is my question...

Actually two questions:

1. How come these millionaire labor leaders did not exert the same efforts and marshal the same resources to support the militant initiatives of the rank-and-file working class and grassroots activists who took to the streets, occupied the Wisconsin State Capitol and were preparing for a general strike to halt Scott Walker, the Republicans and the Koch Family bosses in their tracks as they destroyed the standard of living of millions by taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions?

And, two...

Why weren't the same efforts and resources brought into the struggle to recall Scott Walker after the Democrats and their millionaire labor leaders friends pushed workers out of the streets and sabotaged their efforts that were leading towards a general strike by making people believe they would spare no efforts at getting a political solution through recalling Scott Walker?

And, the non-struggle position of the Greens who set up separate rallies because the millionaire labor leaders and their Democratic Party allies and friends didn't want their participation in the labor movement; so, instead of fighting for their right to participate in a UNITED struggle, the Greens took the cowardly way out of non-struggle.

All of this begs the question:

Why should workers waste their time and limited resources working for any of these worthless Democrats, of which we now know for certain Bernie Sanders is one of them.

Vote for whoever you want...

But put your efforts and resources into building a new working class based people's party that will finally challenge Wall Street and its two political parties for political and economic power.

The most successful alternative party in the United States has been the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party which called for the creation of the "cooperative socialist commonwealth" which would have brought the mines, mills, factories, banks, communications and energy industries under public ownership and control--- something this phony socialist Bernie Sanders and his long time "democratic socialist" colleagues are determined not to talk about just like they have determined they will not place on the table and before the people in the public square the need to beat swords into plowshares as the way to peace and a full employment economy.

We need an anti-monopoly/anti-imperialist working class movement of which this new party would be an integral component...

This is what movement building is all about.

And we can't build this movement if we are allowing the Democrats to drain our strength and monopolize our limited resources.

Bernie Sanders and the current labor unions in the grip of these millionaire labor leaders have the resources to tell the Democrats to go to hell but they are not going to do this.

This initiative needs to come from rank-and-file and grassroots activists.

Why are we delaying taking the required action?

All that is required are small circles of friends in each and every state and in the cities and communities around the country.

We know this is possible because of the huge turnouts for Bernie Sanders from among the working class.

Bernie Sanders has now openly stated his intent to betray his base of very enthusiastic socialist supporters as he declared in Wisconsin just last week that Democrats must come together to defeat the Republicans. This is not a program for change. Supporting Democrats has proven not to be of any benefit for workers and working class families. All we end up with is Wall Street wars paid for with austerity measures shoved down our throats which deprives us of real solutions to our very real a very pressing problems--- jobs for all at living wages and livable incomes, be they wages, unemployment compensation, welfare or Social Security, child care and free quality public education through university and the kind of world-class National Public Health Care System we are entitled to after having created with our labor the wealthiest country in the world the likes of which has never been seen before.

Where were Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Obama, the Democrats and the millionaire labor leaders when Wisconsin needed their organization and resources to get rid of Scott Walker?

As far as being so afraid of these Republicans like Donald Trump?

Tens of thousands of workers are forced to work in his casinos and hotels every single day and I have yet to hear one single Democrat or millionaire labor leader say that he is not fit to be an employer and his hotels and casinos should be taken away from him and placed under public ownership using eminent domain for the public good with the profits derived from these enterprises used for the health and welfare of all of us.

And Hillary Clinton and her Wal-mart friends are no better than Donald Trump or the Koch Klan.

This is a class thing.

This is all about CLASS STRUGGLE.

Politics is about class struggle.

Isn't it time we as working people start to talk about the politics and economic of livelihood?

Capitalism is collapsing all around us. Wall Street's wars are every continent creating massive human misery. Other people are being bombed when our own needs are going unmet.

We have "leaders" who will boast of having signed on to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights but won't come up with the resources to make these words filling one sheet of paper a living reality for the living, breathing human beings who they expect to cough up votes to legitimize this rotten system.

Is there anyone else who feels like I do willing to sign on to a statement calling for creating a new working class based political party?

Canadian workers have their own political party--- the socialist New Democratic Party. It's late great past leader, Tommy Douglas, has been recognized in a poll involving millions conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the "greatest Canadian of all time." Shouldn't this tell us something?

And Canadians can walk into any doctor's office or hospital and get the care they require without every having to pay one single penny let alone have their home taken away to cover the bill.

"Baby steps" and "incremental reforms" are the words of the uncaring, muddle-headed, upper middle class crowd of intellectual Democrats who don't have to worry about how to make ends meet and who have no concept of what is involved in this "cost-of-living crisis" now dogging every single working class family; we don't have to put up with this crap. Life is two short. There is no reason we should have to struggle just to survive.

We need the kind of organizations and a party that will enable us to take a giant leap forward comparable to what the wealth of our society--- which our labor has created--- will provide.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Add your voice to putting an end to the inhumane U.S. Embargo against Cuba.

Here is some information about Obama's historic trip to Cuba you will find useful in your activity for ending the Embargo:


























http://en.granma.cu/


https://medium.com/an-historic-trip-to-cuba

https://berniesanders.com/press-release/sanders-statement-president-obamas-historic-visit-cuba/



Use this information in contacting your members of the House and Senate and insist on knowing where all the candidates stand.

Since Sunday, President Obama has been in Cuba on an historic mission. Obama has called for the elimination of the five-decade-old economic blockade of the island and has taken some key steps to accomplish this. There are more steps he can take, and we must ask him to do so.


But to completely eliminate the blockade will require congressional action. The blockade is locked into place, especially, by the 1992 Torricelli Act and the 1996 Helms-Burton Act. To remove these acts will require the passage of legislation in the Senate and the House of Representatives.


Though the Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, together with many thoroughly reactionary Democrats, constitute a daunting obstacle, it is not impossible to overcome. Besides the fact that ordinary U.S. citizens are motivated by a desire to see justice for the Cuban people, there are business interests which are anxious to develop commercial relationships with Cuba, relationships now impeded by the blockade. This mixture of interests is able to influence Republican as well as Democratic members of Congress to follow Obama's step with legislative action.


IFCO/Pastors for Peace is a highly respected faith based organization which has organized solidarity actions with the people of Cuba for more than twenty years, including annual "Friendshipments" which defy the blockade by bringing needed supplies to ordinary Cuban people. Now IFCO/Pastors for Peace is requesting  that we all take advantage of the moment created by Obama's Cuba visit to contact our elected representatives, including the White House and members of Senate and House, to promote support for some specific bills in Congress, which will eliminate the blockade and also the onerous restrictions on U.S. citizens' right to travel to Cuba.


In the House, these are HR 3238, the Cuba Trade of 2015 and HR 664, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015. In the Senate, the bills to focus on are S 1543, the Cuba Trade Act of 2015, and S 299, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015.


All four bills have both Republican and Democratic cosponsors and are deemed to have an excellent chance of passing. But they need to get many more supporters in Congress, which means we have to work hard to lobby in their support.


IFCO/Pastors for Peace has provided a very handy script you can use for contacting the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the script are links to the contact information you will need. Or, you can find Congressional contact information here: 


Phone calls, emails, faxes and visits to your representatives' district or D.C. offices are all useful, but it is important that we act now while there is a focus on the Cuba issue.


More from the White House on the historic trip to Cuba: medium.com/an-historic-trip-to-cuba


Full statements published by Time magazine, here: http://time.com/4266772/barack-obama-raul-castro-press-conference-transcript/

Friday, March 11, 2016

If this is too much for you to read, then don't read it... just keep getting screwed.

We often wonder why unions with their huge staffs and millions upon millions of dollars led by millionaire labor leaders can't organize themselves out of a wet paper bag with a big hole in the bottom.

Well, the other day a pork-chopper from the United Steelworker's Union came posting on my FaceBook page "refuting" what I had written by saying "too much information; too much to read; I can't be bothered with this."

I never solicited his stupid comment in the first place. He came forward and posted that as a smear tactic as these pork-choppers routinely do thinking people would just ignore what I had to say after reading his "brilliant" brief remarks.

But workers are fed up with these pork-choppers being passed off as "union leaders." They can't even defend the pensions of their own members when these pensions are in writing and signed on to by the bosses. Nor can they negotiate any contract that isn't a concession and give-back to the employers.

Well; as it turns out, it seems people are fed up with politicians, too, just mouthing words like "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" in order to get our votes or with saying they are for health care reform without serious bringing forward the solutions to this health care mess when we can actually create millions of jobs by solving our health care problems.

If this is too much for you to read; then don't read it; just continue getting screwed. Don't bother trying to free yourself from Wall Street's two-party trap. Be content to think the way the millionaire labor leaders tell you you must think... just like they do which pleases the Wall Street bosses.

People are always asking me: Who are you going to vote for?

Why don't you suggest solutions?

So I previously posted this:

"People do not realize what they are in for until they get sick in this country and require health care. Then the nightmare begins.

And this is why we need a National Public Health Care System free from the for-profit system; nothing else will work as the Canadians are finding out just as Tommy Douglas warned after the single-payer reform: "Keep fighting for socialized health care until you get it."

What we need is publicly funded health care that is publicly administered and publicly delivered.

We need a network of community health care centers across our country instead of over 800 military bases dotting the globe protecting Wall Street's profits and investments.

This is the socialist solution to this health care mess.

A united working class movement can win the struggle for real health care reform."

And then I posted this...

"I really think we need to get beyond advocating for single-payer universal health care. Let the liberals advocate for single-payer. We have as much chance winning a struggle for a socialized National Health Care System plus it gives us the added advantage of talking to people how socialists will solve problems.

As socialists, we have been far too timid in advocating socialist solutions to problems.

When Bernie pulls out of the race the Democrats are counting on that ending all talk about socialism. We can't let this happen.

Explaining to people how we socialists advocate solving this health care mess through socialized health care will make sense to lots of people."

And that still wasn't good enough so now I'm posting this...

Some people seem to think that we have to wait for some kind of certain time and just the right political atmosphere to talk about the socialist alternative to capitalism.

Other people think all we need to do is talk about socialism without talking about what it is that makes socialism a good alternative to capitalism.

Some of the biggest issues and most pressing problems being discussed should be what provides us with the platform to explain why we need socialism and what kind of solutions to the problems socialists have.

Ending the wars, health care, living wages with full employment are very prominent right now.

There are those who approach all of this as if these issues are not connected.

Many people are hung up in thinking we need to bring the full 99% into struggle if we are going to bring about change.

If we can bring 20% of the people into active participation in a movement for real health care reform this would be a huge, huge movement.

And health care is very closely associated with these other issues; in fact, so closely it is correct to say that solving all of these problems can not be separated one from the other.

We have to realize that most of the politicians in this country, from the president on down get elected to public office with fewer than twenty percent of the over 18 years of age population voting for them. How many are in the 1%? Can't 20% of the population united and struggling for what they want and need to live decent lives in dignity win with 20% and most other people supporting them?

We know from the polls; we know from talking to people where the majority sentiment lies in this country and it is with a truly progressive agenda for ending these wars and reordering the priorities of this country.

In fact, every single time the people are presented with all the alternatives to the present health care mess they choose a National Public Health Care Program.

The advocates of single-payer refuse to place the National Public Health Care System as an alternative before people.

Why? Because the strength of the single-payer movement is formed by doctors and other "professionals" who have for-profits motives in approaching health care reform--- they want the profits instead of the insurance companies.

I have had exchanges with the Physicians for a National Health Policy on this very question and they admit in private that a National Public Health Care System is far and away superior to single-payer universal health care; but, they also admit they fear advocating for this because they will lose the support of the doctors and other for-profit health care "professionals."

I would never suggest that the present health care system or single-payer be taken off the table for consideration--- what I am suggesting is that socialized health care, a National Public Health Care System, be placed on the table for the consideration of the American people, too. This is only fair. This is what democracy requires when discussing and debating these issues.

When I traveled all across Minnesota the majority of the people favored National Public Health Care once I explained all the options.

In fact, I had many Republicans say things to me like, "I hate socialism but I support socialized health care."

Plus, and this is a huge plus for a National Public Health Care System--- not are we only talking about free health care for all and its public delivery through neighborhood and community based health care centers, we are talking about creating some twelve-million good paying, real living wage jobs in the process. At best, single-payer creates only 2 million jobs.

Of course "how to pay" is always the question.

Let the people decide if they want to pay for health care or militarism and wars. Obviously the current crop of corrupt Wall Street bribed politicians are never going to tolerate or allow people to make this decision in a democratic manner.

The key to winning the struggle for any health care reform is what side of the issue the working class is on and how determined workers are to win the struggle.

The question is always:

Where do we begin?

What needs to be done?

The key to winning is always embodied in this very basic and fundamental formula:

Education + Organization + Unity in struggle = the key to Winning

And, we don't do one and then the other. They all need to take place simultaneously with each struggle building into more massive struggles.

It can start with a leaflet, a letter to the editor; a few people then getting together to table/door knock with leaflets and petitions; then a meeting with public officials and/or selecting someone to run for office committed to making this a main issue among voters and everyone; a picket-line here, a demonstration there. Forums and debates get organized.

Create a "To Do List."

Study up yourself and begin talking to people. The more you talk to people the greater chance you have of finding others willing to work with you.

Let's put the struggle for a National Public Health Care System front and center during this period of the 2016 election cycle... given the circus taking place in the electoral arena we will be talking the ones talking about seriously solving this problem and people will appreciate this.

As socialists, let's take our politics seriously and I think we will find millions of other people welcoming us into the national political discourse.

We need to create the kind of movement on this issue where ALL politicians are forced to respond to us and not the other way around even though at first we will be responding to them.

For those who don't like this approach let them go their own merry ways; but, we shouldn't give into their cheap political shenanigans as they attempt to "properly frame issues" without providing real solutions to our problems while evading connecting the dots as required just to trick people out of their votes.

When Hillary Clinton baits Bernie Sanders with her crap that Bernie doesn't explain where the money will come from for "free college" and "free health care" we need to make our voices heard when Bernie is afraid to open his mouth in rebuttal.

By all rights, we should have small groups of people following both Bernie and Hillary around distributing leaflets, circulating petitions, unfurling banners in front of them which articulate our real progressive socialist agenda.

Maybe we need to nationally circulate some kind of statement with all of our signatures on it like: "The Socialist Solution To This Health Care Mess--- A National Public Health Care System."

And then whenever these candidates come into our communities we get this statement out at their events.

This way these politicians know we are not buying into their phony shenanigans of "properly framing issues" devoid of real solutions while the people are finding out that socialists are bringing forward the real solutions that these politicians do not... thereby we create the foundation for a new working class based political party, too.

Is anyone willing to sign on with me to a National Statement concerning all of this that we can each circulate widely in our own communities in this country?

Oh, and if you got this far, you might want to read a little more... find out what Minnesota's former socialist governor, Elmer Benson had to say about the need to break free from the two-party trap.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

We need a National Public Health Care System

People do not realize what they are in for until they get sick in this country and require health care. Then the nightmare begins.


And this is why we need a National Public Health Care System free from the for-profit system; nothing else will work as the Canadians are finding out just as Tommy Douglas warned after the single-payer reform: "Keep fighting for socialized health care until you get it."


What we need is publicly funded health care that is publicly administered and publicly delivered.


We need a network of community health care centers across our country instead of over 800 military bases dotting the globe protecting Wall Street's profits and investments.


This is the socialist solution to this health care mess.


A united working class movement can win the struggle for real health care reform.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bernie Sanders' "American Health Security Act;" one more scam.

How will Bernie Sanders pay for his proposed "American Health Security Act?"


I find it interesting neither Bernie nor his supporters ever mention where most of the funding will come from... and where most of the money will go.


First of all, in the act itself it states that most of the funding will come from a new income tax dedicated specifically to fund this program. Why is this never stated that we will have another new tax imposed on all of us?


Second is the problem of where all the money will go. Well, instead of the money going into the pockets of insurance companies, those raking in enormous profits will be doctors, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, the private research institutes and the medical equipment industry along with the hospitals and nursing homes.


But, why aren't Bernie Sanders and his supporters telling us about this new income tax Bernie has in mind?


And, why are these socialists so loathe to advocate for a National Public Health Care System which would be publicly funded, publicly administered and publicly delivered?


Oh, and Bernie's "American Health Security Act" would even be administered by the for-profit crowd! Albeit through a quasi-governmental agency in which all the profiteers would select the board members. As well as being privately delivered.


The only thing "public" about Bernie's "American Health Security Act" would be the way it is primarily going to be financed--- through a new income tax system dedicated just for this purpose which would have a "trust fund" to hold our money... in other words, what would be created is a fund like the Social Security Trust Fund that the politicians could rob to pay for more wars.


As it stands right now, Bernie's "American Health Security Act" does not have one single co-sponsor... and we should be happy it doesn't have any.


Like with Medicare, doctors would establish their own fees.


I knew there had to be a reason not one single supporter of Bernie Sanders introduced a resolution for Bernie's much ballyhooed "American Health Security Act" during the Precinct Caucuses here in Minnesota... someone might have asked how it was going to be paid for.


I am sure Bernie's most loyal fans will toss more insults my way claiming I have not told how other methods will be used to raise the funding for this "American Health Security Act;" but, every time I have asked them to explain how the plan would be funded they never mentioned that most of the funding would be derived from a new income tax imposed on all of us... and, as we all know, many corporations, millionaires and billionaires pay hardly no tax at all and many don't pay any tax while a few billionaires like Warren Buffett pay as much as their secretaries.


We need to put an end to all these phony health care schemes and just bring forward a plan for National Public Health Care System paid for by beating swords into plowshares. Will we get wars and more wars or health care?


Bernie Sanders must be a complete fool if he expects the American people to fund these dirty wars and health care.


Cut the profits out of health care and providing health care for free for everyone will cost a lot less than providing everyone with a free public education and a whole lot less than militarism and these dirty imperialist wars.


I have an idea. Let's do this the democratic way... let's put it to a national vote.


Make the question real simple:


Do you want a National Public Health Care System; or do you want more wars?

We need a national organization to educate for, advocate for and fight for a National Public Health Care System.

No more promises that aren't kept. No more schemes and scams. No more "baby steps." No more "incremental reforms."


We have to learn to establish a new public agenda for real change by talking about the politics and economics of livelihood.

Reject racism in all of its ugly forms.

Why it's Possible to Reject the Klan and Still Support Racism

By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

If Donald Trump is telling the truth, he only recently learned that David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, is an avowed segregationist. Apparently, the KKK and its history have faded from many white Americans’ memory. Jeffrey Lord argued on national television this week that the Klan is an invention of “the left.” As native sons of the South, we could forgive these men their ignorance. (“Bless their hearts. They ain’t from around here,” is the polite way to say it.) But we can neither forgive nor ignore the way 400 years of white supremacy have been naively reduced to whether a candidate will disavow the support of a hate group leader. Racism lives on in policies that perpetuate racial disparities, with or without the KKK.

For those unfamiliar with Southern history, white supremacists in the South have a long history of disavowing the KKK. Strom Thurmond disavowed them in 1964, even as he filibustered the Civil Rights Bill in the US Senate. White Citizens Councils disavowed them while they fought desegregation in Mississippi. George Wallace publicly disavowed Klan violence in Alabama, but hired Klansman Al Lingo to oversee his state’s Highway Patrol.

No one wants to be associated with the KKK in polite company today. But almost no one wanted to be publicly associated with them fifty years ago either.

Nor sixty years before that. Here in North Carolina, Democrats waged a take-over of state government in 1898, seeding a propaganda campaign to incite racial fears and arming the vigilante Red Shirts. But no sooner than they had regained power, Democratic leaders disavowed all violence and called for civility and a restoration of order.

Racial disparities in America have not persisted since the end of the Civil War because people believe in the ideology or the tactics of the KKK. Inequality continues because we have never finished the work of Reconstruction.

“Forty acres and a mule” was the promise to formerly enslaved people during the First Reconstruction, recognizing that their success would require an economic base. But black representatives in Reconstruction legislatures were clear that more was needed; they demanded equal access to education, voting rights and equal protection under the law. The Klan’s violence didn’t end Reconstruction. While terror intimidated both black and white progressives, it took the denial of African-American voting rights and regressive legislative action to usher in the era of Jim Crow. While white Southerners have often been willing to resort to terror to maintain control, they disavow violence whenever power is securely in their hands.

We have learned that nothing challenges white supremacy more than the people joining hands across dividing lines to confront race-based policy. In the summer of 2013, over one thousand black, white and brown North Carolinians--rich and poor, Republican, Independent and Democrat—were arrested in the largest state government-focused civil disobedience campaign in US history. Our movement noted that the same Constitutional provision that prohibits KKK influence in state government also guarantees all citizens the right to instruct our legislators about matters affecting the general welfare. A Superior Court judge agreed, dismissing charges against us and affirming our right to publicly disavow race-based policies.

Some Republicans have suggested they cannot support Trump if he refuses to disavow the KKK. But the question we should ask of every politician is, Do you also disavow policies that perpetuate racial inequality and disparity. Because it is possible to reject the Klan and still support racism. We need more than trite disassociation; we need true political transformation.

We cannot reconstruct democracy in America without disavowing efforts to resegregate public schools through voucher programs, neighborhood schools, and attacks on public funding. In order to address disparities in our criminal justice system, we must also disavow the racially charged War on Drugs, mandatory minimum laws, and the death penalty. More black people died this year because of state governments refusing to expand Medicaid than at the hands of police officers. We must disavow policies that deny a living wage while 62 million Americans struggle to survive on less than 15 dollars an hour.  54% of African-Americans earn less than a living wage, and many Southern states do not have a minimum wage 150 years after the end of slavery. We must also disavow the inherent racism that fuels fear and hate mongering by politicians toward Latinos and Muslims.

Every aspect of institutional racism must be disavowed to complete the work of Reconstruction in America, but maybe none is more important than the current attack on voting rights. In the midst of the first Presidential campaign since the Supreme Court’s Shelbydecision gutted the Voting Rights Act, we must disavow the racially gerrymandered districts and voter suppression laws, many of which are in play for the first time during this primary season. Nothing could be more racist than the cynical attempt to maintain white control in a nation where whites are quickly becoming one among many minorities by suppressing people of color’s voting power.

These are not conservative or liberal issues; they are moral issues that deserve the same outrage that Americans on the left and the right have expressed about the KKK.

It’s past time for a grown up conversation about race in America. Let’s stop talking about whether Trump will, has or should disavow the KKK and start asking who will disavow the policies that perpetuate racial disparities and prevent us from achieving freedom and justice for all.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is President of the NC NAACP and founder of Repairers of the Breach. Together with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, he is author of the recently released The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.