Please note I have a new phone number...

512-517-2708

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...

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

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

World Resources Institute & Goldman Sachs teamed up for Earth Day

This document, a collaborative effort from the investment firm of Goldman Sachs and the World Resources Institute, a front for the World Bank and big-business, both in the forefront of capitalist globalization--- Scaling Up: Global Technology Deployment to Stabilize Emissions --- you can access from the link below contains excellent facts… this is your opportunity to get rich quick like the Clapp family… lol!

http://pdf.wri.org/scalingup.pdf

All joking and internet laughter aside, this is a very important document (Scaling Up: Global Technology Deployment to Stabilize Emissions) that puts the “nuts and bolts” to Al Gore’s position as far as the solution to climate change even though he is afraid to say so because it would destroy his credibility and any chance to run for president, again... this is good for us because it demonstrates the latent potential that exists for challenging capitalism and globalization, the imperialist stage of capitalism. I believe it also provides the “solutions” of the Sierra Clubs and the United Steel Workers union along with those like Phil Steger who sees the solution in “markets;” if Phil Steger can make the statement that he thinks the "market" will solve the problem, we should not be afraid to challenge this line of thinking just because he does a good job articulating the consequences of global warming. Same with Al Gore. Articulating the consequences of global warming does not give one the right to bring forward the "market" as a solution simply because they are afraid to confront the real problem... we all know that their corporate funding would vanish if they did this... same with many of the so-called environmental organizations who have come to rely on corporate funding through foundation grants and tax-write-offs.

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy is this state's version of the World Resources Institute. There is the Ford Site Planning Committee's own Merritt Clapp-Smith sitting on the board of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, she is the one in orange:

Al Gore beat Bush in 2000; we all know this... and anyone who has watched Gore's movie (and everyone should) knows that compared to Gore we have an idiot sitting in the White House today. Gore didn't have the courage to fight the most powerful economic interests in our country then and he continues to lack that courage in presenting the "Inconvenient Truth." Boosting Wal-mart's bottom line by purchasing new Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFB's) is not the solution to global warming... nor are the other suggestions Gore puts forward; there is no doubt that conservation is a major part of the solution to global warming; by no means is conservation alone sufficient.

In order to begin to really solve the problem of global warming what is required is that we have the courage to look beyond superficial solutions to the real cause of the problem. The "inconvenient truth" that Gore did not dare to confront is that capitalism is the source of the problem; make no mistake, compared to capitalism, conservation efforts are only superficial. Production for corporate profits is not compatible with creating a livable world. As long as we are afraid to discuss this and take the appropriate actions the problems will worsen. The problems with the capitalist system can not be cured through reforming the system because the primary and fundamental problem is that capitalism is an economic system where human labor is exploited in the process of raping Mother Nature; this is the very basis of the capitalist system, there is nothing to reform in this. What is required is the replacement of the capitalist system with a cooperative socialist society where labor is used to create what is socially useful and necessary while taking care of Mother Nature in the process.

For far too long in our country it has been "taboo" to discuss such ideas and that is why we are confronted with the mess we have today... a war raging in Iraq with no end in sight while we have politicians talking about doing something about global warming with the same sincerity of Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank claiming to be fighting poverty and hunger as bankers' profits soar, plunging the world's peoples into even greater poverty and despair.

We all know there are a few people getting rich BECAUSE so many people live in poverty; just as we all know the corporate drive for maximum profit is responsible for global warming not "human beings." The capitalist system is the problem, not people... this is the real "inconvenient truth" which we must face up to and do something about as we change our light bulbs... but make no mistake, if we don't take care of the source of the problem as we switch out our incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, the only thing that is going to change is that we are going to be getting higher electric bills for using less electricity... because, this is the way this rotten system works--- we conserve, they profit. Just as we work, they profit. This is capitalism.

We can see how capitalists fight world hunger and global warming... they take valuable farm land that should be used to grow food to feed hungry people in order to grow corn to produce ethanol to fuel gas guzzling vehicles as they sell us Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs... they make huge profits and we pay through the nose at the pump and in our electric bills every step of the way while others in the world go to bed hungry and starve. Is this any kind of "solution" to global warming? Not to mention what will become of the land and our freshwater aquifers when they are done stuffing their pockets at our expense.

The Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party jumped on the band wagon of ethanol production in a tremendous show of bi-partisan unity with the Republicans, but couldn't muster more than three votes to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant from the wrecking ball; and only one State Senator, David Tomasonni, had the courage to be identified in trying to save the Ford Plant along with more than two-thousand union jobs.

One aspect of global warming that Al Gore never explored is war as a major source of global warming... both preparation for war, and war itself. How much industrial production has to take place in order to prepare for war? What are the consequences to our living environment with "bombs bursting in air?" Couldn't Al Gore have given us these calculations in his "Inconvenient Truth?" It has been estimated that one-quarter of all the iron ore taken from the earth on Minnesota's Iron Range has gone into war production over the last one-hundred years. When one considers the processing of this ore through to the final stage of production, what has been the affect of this on global warming? This is a very legitimate question. Where is the answer? Many politicians like Al Gore, articulate as they are, don't have the moral or political courage to take up this question; certainly the Democratic Party will never rise to this task. What was the contribution to global warming of Bush's "Shock and Awe" Hollywood production of the war in Iraq? Was it the equivalent of a years production from MinnTac... or, was it more?

We need to look at environmental “organizations” very closely to see where their funding is coming from… organizations like the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, the Sierra Clubs, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, the Indigenous Environmental Network… these organizations are all funded through a combination of corporate grants, the so-called “philanthropic” foundations, and the managements of corporations including the largest power generating, mining, forestry, and banking industries… one only has to look at the financial statements of any of these organizations to quickly determine why these organizations are so vehemently opposed to discussing anything from public ownership of the Ford Plant to why they refuse to oppose mining of peat in the Big Bog. Kind of ironic but it was these same corporations that bankrolled the smear campaign of Harold Stassen that led to the defeat of Minnesota’s most honest and popular public figure, Elmer Benson, the socialist United States Senator and Governor of Minnesota on the Farmer-Labor ticket who helped pave the way for Ford workers to organize.

It is no coincidence that these "philanthropic" foundations fund public TV and radio while their parent corporations are the major advertisers on commercial TV and radio and in newspapers. Is it any wonder that it becomes so difficult to have a real dialogue and debate on these questions?

Here in Minnesota the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy is the grand-daddy, much like Moses Clapp is to politics (a little intended pun) of the corporate capitalist approach to “environmentalism” using the finely tuned and honed skills associated with graft, greed, and corruption.

The facts in this publication from the World Resources Institute and Goldman Sachs are straight forward with lots of scientific explanations and conclusions which naturally are all packaged to fit within the capitalist framework, packaged in a way to "prove" that the capitalist market is the next best thing to God.

I think it is documents and reports like this that should challenge us to put forward socialist solutions, including public ownership… what the public pays for the public should own and the profits should go towards maintaining public infrastructure while creating more publicly owned enterprises rather than going into the pockets of capitalist investors.

This document challenges capitalist investors to profit from climate change… Do working people have a challenge?

We should challenge working people to challenge this rotten system that has created this environmental nightmare that now threatens life on this planet. We should view reports like this one from the World Resources Institute (doesn’t this name have the same nice ring to it as the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy?)and develop a strategy that takes up this issue of global warming in a way where we solve social and economic injustices, rather than perpetrating these injustices.

I think we need to be aware of the push from a very powerful section of the labor movement which, like Al Gore, supports this report but is afraid to say so for fear of alienating its base of support. Very influential “leaders” in organized labor have a stake in promoting the views of the World Resources Institute and Goldman-Sachs because the union pension funds are so heavily invested in many of these industries… and, no doubt even though it is not stated in this report, these pension fund monies will be a major source of these “venture capitalist” funds in these emerging and new industries which plan on profiting from "solutions" to global warming. In fact, I began receiving these publications from a friend of mine who sits on a Carpenters' Union pension fund board.

In my opinion we should be boldly challenging working people to think about a socialist future which involves public ownership as the alternative… and we should be making public ownership the centerpiece of our strategy to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. In fact, it is the only strategy that stands a chance of saving the Ford Plant. We need to convince the rank-and-file workers to participate in this discussion about public ownership of the Plant. We need to challenge the progressive thinking people of the Twin Cities to think about the socialist alternative that public ownership provides to the web of graft and corruption being spun through the use of lies and deceit by the Ford Site Planning Committee which is nothing but a front for those capitalist vultures and parasites who want to pick the Ford Site clean as they divvy up the profitable deals with the Ford Motor Company which has built this industry here over many years on the backs of the working class.

Ford workers created this wealth that Merritt Clapp-Smith, Councilman Harris, the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, the DFL Business Caucus, and the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis now want to steal out from under the people without a whimper of protest from the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, with one lone voice recorded in dissent: that of the heroic State Senator from the Iron Range, David Tomassoni; the word shameful doesn't even begin to describe all of this.

Many people have asked how the St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic Archdiocese fits into all of this… the Ford Site Planning Committee provides a nice aerial photo of the Ford Plant on its website… however, when we look at a larger view of the area using Google Earth it is quite apparent that one of the largest property owners adjacent to the Ford property is owned by the Archdiocese which stands to make a bundle from this swindle and not just from new patrons for their bingo games… it is no coincidence where the “public meetings” of the Ford Site Planning Committee are being held. There is a reason why the fascist and anti-Semitic Father Coughlin was always welcomed by this same Archdiocese while last Sunday Bishop Thomas Gumbleton was banned from the pulpit at St. Joan of Arc Church where he intended to preach the gospel of peace and social justice… the Ford Motor Company wants no talk of peace and social justice in these communities at a time when they are trying to give the working class the shaft, again. In fact, the fascist Father Coughlin was bankrolled by Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company who worked in cahoots with that murderous union busting thug Mr. Bennett as Ford workers in Detroit were gun-downed in the streets.

Again I raise the issue of the “investment” that many generations of Ford workers have in this Plant, not only in their direct labor at the point of production, but in the decades long struggle to win union recognition… and this is quite the investment. Think about this: Councilman Harris campaigned on the basis of being from a four generation St. Paul family while he ignores the contributions of Ford workers who have struggled for basic human dignity, decent pay, healthy working conditions and to create a "green" manufacturing facility throughout this entire time.

The Minnesota DFL has bowed to corrupt corporate pressure and influence becoming complicit in the pending destruction of the Ford Plant… it is up to us to not waste time crying over this despicable act as some cried over Keith Ellison’s complicity with the merchants of death and destruction… we have to move on with a campaign to save the Ford Plant and the more than 2,000 industrial jobs provided in a way that clearly focuses on a real solution to this very real problem which will have dire consequences for real live human beings who will suffer if the Ford Motor Company and its front, the Ford Site Planning Committee bring in the wrecking ball; cheered on by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy in the name of creating "green" spaces.

Our proposal for public ownership of the Ford Plant is the only proposal remaining on the table to these ends. Our proposal for public ownership which has been ignored by the Ford Site Planning Committee contributes to creating a more habitable living environment while combating global warming.

Check out our proposal:

http://capitalistglobalization.blogspot.com/

We need to insist that the UAW’s Gettelfinger becomes an active participant in this struggle… he has sat on the sidelines long enough… workers in Michigan don’t need him there working to fine tune his new bargaining strategy aimed at implementing Interest Based Bargaining (IBB); the Big Three managements can do this on their own. It is time for Mr. Gettelfinger to stop playing footsie under the table with the corporate masters and start working with the rank-and-file to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. Mr. Gettelfinger should move his offices from Solidarity House to Local 879 on Ford Parkway for the duration of this struggle. It is time for Mr. Gettelfinger to start thinking like Wyndham Mortimer, Bob Travis, Bud Simons, Phil Raymond and “Brother” Bill McKie instead of like Walter Reuther.

The real “inconvenient truth” is that we can have a livable planet or we can have capitalism but we can’t have both at the same time; and, this is where the focus of our discussions need to be.

Perhaps we don’t even need expensive yard signs as I previously suggested… just some nice little window posters on bright yellow paper that proclaim in big, bold, red letters: Public Ownership

If these signs appear in doors and windows in the Twin Cities and across our state like dandelions sprouting after a warm spring rain, I think the message will get across loud and clear.

You can print off a sign like this and place it for others to see... don't wait for Mr. Gettelfinger to make a nice sounding militant statement after the wrecking ball hits as is his way of doing things.

Minnesota’s socialist governors Floyd B. Olson and Elmer Benson along with United States Congressman John Bernard and the Red Finns of the Iron Range and those teamsters who fought the bosses along with autoworkers have left us a rich and solid legacy to build upon. The Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party was a breath of fresh air in response to the failed policies of the corrupt Democratic and Republican Parties… we need to begin to look towards creating a similar political formation because it is obvious from what transpired in a firmly controlled DFL senate committee last Thursday where proposed legislation to help save the Ford Plant went down to defeat, that the Minnesota DFL is not up to the tasks required to defend the rights and interests of working people or our living environment.

Workers at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant have struggled over many years to obtain a good work environment inside the plant; this struggle contributed to a healthier living environment in the area surrounding the plant as many people can remember the days when all kinds of foul and unhealthy fumes contaminated the air from paint and other substances. There was a time when the Ford Motor Company pumped a steady stream of contamination and sewage into the Mississippi River.

This Ford Plant, unlike so much other industry which is powered by electricity generated by coal or nuclear, gets its power from clean, "green" hydro and is able to sell off excess hydro to the surrounding community. If brought under public ownership the excess hydro could be used to light our public schools and other public facilities for free thus creating tremendous savings for tax-payers.

This Ford Plant, if placed under public ownership, could be producing what is required for things like clean "green" mass transit, pollution control devices for the mining industry to protect our air and waters, wind generating and solar electric generating equipment, producing more fuel efficient, environmentally friendly automobiles or trucks.

Unlike many industrial facilities, the state of the art UAW-Ford-MnScu Training Center which is an integrated part of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant can provide top notch training and research required in order to keep this plant state of the art in meeting the needs of the American people while providing us with a healthier, higher quality of life through an environmentally friendly production process.

All of these things will need to be produced someplace as this research article from the World Resources Institute and Goldman Sachs clearly points out...

...However, will this production take place to try to satisfy the insatiable greed and appetite of capitalist investors and Wall Street coupon clippers whose primary goal is profit; or, will this production take place for the maximum benefit of society--- to create more union jobs with even better working conditions, shorter hours with higher pay while providing the requirements for a healthier and more livable world as part of a contribution towards solving social, economic, and environmental problems.

From all the pious talk we hear from Al Gore to Goldman Sachs and the World Bank about solving everything from global warming to poverty all we get is war and poverty. Certainly destroying this plant and the jobs of 2,000 workers is no way to combat global warming or poverty.

There is a lot at stake in this struggle to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant through public ownership...

The time has come to talk about the politics and economics of livelihood... the time has come for working people to come forward and shape this discussion and debate. For far too long the Clapps of this world and the Ford Motor Company have been making the decisions that affect our lives and the world we live in... this is what needs to change.

Public ownership is a real solution. Public ownership of the Ford Plant is the only solution.

Al Gore and Goldman Sachs continue to evade the real "inconvenient truth:" We can have social and economic justice on a planet where we can breathe clean, fresh air and drink water without fear where our food is grown in soil that is uncontaminated; or, we can have capitalism... however, we can not have both.

Democracy is much more than being allowed to vote every couple of years. Democracy requires that working people become part of the decision making process in every phase of decision making and planning. Ford workers were never involved in the decision making process to demolish the Ford Plant. Ford workers and the community have not been allowed to participate in the planning process at all. What we have is a phony committee called the Ford Site Planning Committee that was created by the Ford Motor Company and the politicians they control along with the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce which Merritt Clapp-Smith heads up; this is not democracy even though Henry Ford and grand-daddy Moses Clapp envisioned this to be democracy.

For many generations in St. Paul Ford workers and management had different ideas about what democracy is all about. Had Ford workers shared grand-daddy Moses Clapp's idea of democracy they would not have bothered to organize the United Auto Workers union. Ford workers organized to gain a voice at work; today Ford workers need to organize for a voice in their community.

In the larger scheme of things saving the Ford Plant and placing it under public ownership may appear at first glance to be not much different from switching from incandescent light bulbs in our homes to the Compact Fluorescent Bulbs; however, when we consider that what we produce and how we produce is fundamental to combating global warming along with social and economic injustices, saving the Ford Plant is very important... something to think about as you are switching out your light bulbs.

The epitome of hypocrisy is to talk about fighting global warming and then turning around and taking a wrecking ball to one of the largest industrial manufacturing operations and facilities in the world best poised as an existing working model to help us make the needed changes and meet the challenges.

Alan



-----Original Message-----
From: World Resources Institute
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 5:01 AM
To: amaki000@centurytel.net
Subject: WRI and Goldman Sachs Partner on Climate Technology Report

To view this email as a web page, go here.

To better comprehend the economic and policy implications of climate change, World Resources Institute analysts partnered with the Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets to produce a report that outlines a blueprint for implementing the major technologies needed to reduce emissions at the requisite scale.

Expanding on the “wedges” approach proposed by Princeton researchers Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow, this blueprint focuses on developing a deeper understanding of the policy, investment, and technology drivers vital to achieving emissions reductions.

Scaling Up: Global Technology Deployment to Stabilize Emissions can be downloaded via the following link:

http://pdf.wri.org/scalingup.pdf

The authors are Fred Wellington, WRI’s senior financial analyst and Rob Bradley, director of the International Climate Policy Initiative at WRI. Emails: fwellington@wri.org and rbradley@wri.org.

This email was sent to: amaki000@centurytel.net

This email was sent by: World Resources Institute
10 G Street NE Suite 800 Washington, DC 20002 USA