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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

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

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Grand Rapids Press, Peter Secchia, & Casinos

Peter Secchia, the wealthy Republican Party big-shot, recently wrote an op-ed piece about casinos in the Grand Rapids Press--- a self-professed pro-war, anti-union, racist Republican Party rag. Actually, as it turns out, Secchia did not even write the op-ed piece himself... his friend Conrad Black--- with help from his wife--- penned the op-ed piece.

The op-ed piece was written to try to explain why Peter Secchia has withdrawn his support for opposition to plans by an international casino venture to construct a new casino in Southwest Michigan using the "sovereign" status of the Gun Lake Band to add another property to its already very profitable portfolio.

In the tens of thousands of words that have been published in the Grand Rapids Press about this new casino venture the only subject relating to casinos that has never been written about once is the plight of those workers who will be employed in this new casino venture.

However, irregardless of who actually wrote the op-ed piece, Secchia argues that Grand Rapids, Michigan now needs its own casino in order to raise funds to support just about every public service from the schools and public libraries to the public swimming pools and for fixing the pot-holes in the roads.

The Grand Rapids Press is every bit as interesting as Secchia himself as it is the only newspaper in the United States that can boast of having an editor that worked two part-time jobs at one time... one job as a reporter, the other as an informant for the FBI's "Red Squads." That both Secchia and the Editor of the Grand Rapids Press would continue to ignore the plight of casino workers is nothing new. What is a bit strange is that unions like the UAW would remain silent as a labor-backed governor supports an agreement with another casino operator with plans to build a new casino in Southwest Michigan employing more than 1,800 workers who will go to their poverty wage jobs in a smoke-filled casino without any rights under state or federal labor laws under the most Draconian conditions enforced by a mean and ruthless management team that hides this injustice behind the cover of "sovereignty."

Actually, I am surprised that neither Secchia or the Grand Rapids Press have taken advantage of these "benefits" provided under the guise of "sovereignty" for their own businesses.

I don't know of any other sovereign nations which are allowed to abuse the most elemental, basic and fundamental human rights of working people without strong and vigorous objections.

Ron Gettelfinger and the members of the UAW along with other unions may want to keep in mind that having tens of thousands of workers employed in these casinos under such atrocious and Draconian conditions across Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa serves the same purpose as any union buster's mace and billy club.

Come to think of it, if Secchia, Rich DeVos, Fred Meijers, the Big Three, and the pharmaceutical, chemical, mining, power generating, and forestry companies were adequately taxed to the hilt as they should be, there wouldn't be any problem at all providing an adequate level of public services for all Michigan communities... I guess Secchia's friend Conrad Black once again left out a pertinent point in something emanating from his corrupt little fingers that taint everything he touches... including Secchia's op-ed piece in the Grand Rapids Press.

Actually, there is another thing besides the deplorable conditions that will be awaiting casino workers that has never been mentioned in any of the articles in the Grand Rapids Press... this is the fact that the Grand Rapids Press stands to gain tens of thousands of dollars from advertising revenues promoting this casino.

It is no wonder that Peter Secchia dropped his opposition to the Gun Lake Band's intent to front for Las Vegas mobsters looking to get their clutches on the pay-checks of West Michigan workers through a new casino in Southwest Michigan after attending a Michigan State University football game with the Grand Rapids Press' Op-Ed Page Editor in Chief, Joe Crawford, the son of an auto corporation executive. Had the two families--- Secchia and his wife, and Crawford and his wife--- not been involved in a ghastly rear end collision of the type the media just loves that totaled the car they were so cozy in which made the nightly news, we would never have known of any of this. It is also no coincidence that Secchia and his editor friend were seated with one of the biggest sports bookies from Las Vegas at the Michigan State University football game in East Lansing, Michigan; a bookie who uses casino operations throughout the Midwest to conduct his illegal gambling ring as police agencies including the local police, the state police, and the FBI wring their hands claiming that "sovereignty" prevents their intervention. Secchia and Crawford enjoyed their seats at the game courtesy of this bookie.

As we all know... anytime there is so much money to be made by everyone from mobsters to newspapers, poverty wages and the plight of working people will always be ignored; after all, it is in paying these poverty wages to workers who have no right to organize that fortunes have always been made... the casino industry is not an exception to any other industry; labor creates all wealth, but at every turn only receives a pittance of its creation... this is all just par for the course... I am sure Peter Secchia and his well-heeled country club chums understand this all too well even if Michigan's labor-backed Democratic Party Governor and her legislative colleagues don't... or, maybe they--- like the well-heeled country club crowd--- smell some campaign contributions coming their way?