Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


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...

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Fourth of July and the Perversion of Patriotism

In the United States, big-capital--- big-business--- has always tried to pervert patriotism into a holiday of big-power chauvinism using the media and its bought and paid for politicians making the most shameful jingoistic speeches distorting real patriotism in order to sow confusion in the minds of the people.

Big-capital would like to poison our minds with the image of John McCain as a "patriotic war hero." Getting shot out of the sky while strafing with machine-gun fire poor Vietnamese peasant families working their rice paddies to secure their next meal has nothing in common with "patriotism." Any "suffering" John McCain endured by his captors was nothing compared to the suffering endured by the Vietnamese people who heroically--- and patriotically--- stood up and defended their country against big-capital U.S. imperialism which sought to brutally and tyrannically subjugate and exploit the people in the rape of their country in quest of corporate profits.

John McCain should hold his head in shame for the cowardly and murderous acts he perpetrated against the Vietnamese people. McCain had options; he did not have the good sense to follow the leadership of the patriots who opposed the dirty war in Vietnam; McCain lacked the courage, leadership and patriotism to lead the struggle against this unjust and immoral imperialist war. Today, instead of being apologetic to the Vietnamese people for his dirty deeds, and the American people for the shame and dishonor he brought upon our country for the war crimes he perpetrated against the Vietnamese people in our name from a jet-fighter adorned with our most sacred patriotic symbol--- the American flag--- McCain cries he was mistreated by his captors; that he was "brutalized" and "brainwashed" and "coerced" to make statements against the war.

Millions of patriotic American youth had the good sense and basic, common human decency to stand up and say, "Hell no, we won't go."

Today, who "coerces" McCain to to front for big-capital and once again do the dirty work for U.S. imperialism in carrying out another brutal and bestial carnage, this time in Iraq. And Afghanistan.

Who is "coercing" McCain to remain silent about the systematic brutalization of the Palestinian people? McCain's loyalty is to big-capital, and his patriotism runs as deep as his big-capital backers' pockets.

Little Rachel Corey had the patriotic courage to stand up to the Israeli war machine; John McCain does not... and from the looks of things neither does Barack Obama.

Big-capital's support for the unjust, immoral and illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aimed at securing the oil fields and gas supply pipelines of the Middle East along with the political domination required to suppress the resistance of the local populations to accomplish the rape of their resources has brought us to a Fourth of July, months before an Election, in which the perversions and distortions of what patriotism really is has risen to a new shameful level.

This Fourth of July and the perversion of patriotism by big-capital finds the oil companies like Mobil robbing us at the pumps, Archer-Daniels-Midland, Cargill & Wal-mart robbing us as we try to feed our families, the "Big Three" stealing our jobs, the rigged "one-armed bandits" of the corrupt Indian Gaming Industry picking pockets of what remains after the bankers and the mortgage companies foreclose and evict us from our homes.

The Fourth of July is about protest.

The Boston Tea Party. The fight to put an end to chattel slavery. The struggle of the miners, truck drivers and auto workers to organize powerful industrial unions capable of standing up to big-capital. The fight to defeat Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo. The struggle against McCarthyism. The fight to bring an end to that other dirty imperialist war in Vietnam.

Protest against injustice is what the Fourth of July is really all about no matter how much money big-capital spends trying to poison peoples' minds to the contrary; no matter how many "stump speeches" the politicians they own say otherwise; the Fourth of July is about people struggling for justice, dignity and human rights.

Big-capital needs to shamefully distort what the Fourth of July is really all about because big-capital is the source of today's injustices and as any good community organizer knows, the only way to confront injustice is through vigorous protest.

Barack Obama made us all aware he was a community organizer. As such, Obama understands that in an Election Year, people will take their issues to the streets to make some "political hay" in an attempt to get their problems resolved.

There are those who argue that now is not the time to "make political hay" around our problems; Barack Obama, the community organizer mentored by Frank Marshall Davis, would have to disagree, even if his "political handlers" think otherwise.

We know, from history, the "wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the grease."

It takes massive, united protests to turn the wheels of justice.

There are those who compare Barack Obama to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt... unless we take our problems and our demands for solutions to the streets we will never find out if this is the case because these Presidents never would have achieved greatness had it not been for the determined revolutionary activism of people united for change.

George Washington took up armed resistance to British rule; Lincoln was elected in the midst of some of the most militant protests this country has ever experienced as caring and compassionate people were trying to bring an end to slavery; Roosevelt was elected in the midst of massive protests and social upheavals of workers and farmers seeking justice from capitalist tyranny--- protests unparalleled in American history; protests which resulted in tremendous benefits many people take for granted today.

The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday because of the struggles of the common people for freedom and liberty--- struggles against tyranny and injustices.

Today, we face a powerful tyrant--- big-capital.

Big-capital is a far more powerful foe and tyrannical force than the British occupiers ever were.

Big-capital is far more powerful and tyrannical than the cruel, despicable racist slave holders of the Southern Confederacy who sought to destroy our country to protect their thoroughly corrupt, rotten and inhuman social and economic system.

Big-capital today is far more repressive, powerful and tyrannical than the mining companies and auto bosses of the 1930's; who, when confronted with sit-down strikes by workers seeking change were forced to recognize the unions.

Big-capital today is far more tyrannical, oppressive and undemocratic than what Joe McCarthy ever imagined in his wildest dreams.

To protest is patriotic.

The time has come to say: ENOUGH!

The time has come to serve notice on big-capital that WE ARE FED UP!

We are fed up with the robbery at the pumps.

We are fed up with the oil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is our patriotic duty to take to the streets in protest.

We need to serve notice on big-capital that we will not put up with this robbery at the pumps and the endless parade of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

We need to serve notice on big-capital that we are fed up and will no longer take what they are dishing out.

There is a lot of talk about "change."

"Change" does not take place by thousands of people sitting in the Excel Center or Cobo Hall listening and clapping to a politician talking about "hope" and "change" that has not been defined.

There needs to be a catalyst for this change; there needs to be a "spark" that ignites a movement for "change."

The Boston Tea Party was such a catalyst for "change." No one would dare to dispute that those who dumped the tea into Boston's harbor were anything but true patriots.

Today we need a "Boston Tea Party" as a spark to ignite a real movement for change.

On this Fourth of July, let us not be deceived by all the chauvinistic and jingoistic rhetoric coming from big-capital--- the merchants of death and destruction, their media and the politicians they have bought and paid for.

On this Forth of July let us prepare to take big-business on--- in the patriotic tradition of the Boston Tea Party, by igniting a boycott of Exxon/Mobil/Esso...

Gather together your friends and neighbors to picket and protest at your local Exxon/Mobil/Esso gas stations and convenience stores. This is the essence of patriotism--- saying "No!" to the robbery at the pumps; saying "No" to dirty imperialist wars for oil.

Make signs: "We are fed up with the robbery at the pumps." "We are fed up with your dirty wars for oil." "Boycott Exxon/Mobil/Esso." Walk around these gas stations and convenience stores on your way home from work; protest the robbery at the pumps--- this is the way to get change in a country tyrannically dominated by big-capital.

Like Thomas Paine and the protesting patriots of 1776, distribute leaflets with these messages every time you go to get gas at stations other than Exxon/Mobil/Esso.

Now is the time for us to define the "change" we need and want; we must not wait until after Election Day, then it will be too late.

Whether you intend to vote for Barack Obama, Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader... we need to "unite for change;" every community organizer understands that the kind of "change" needed has to be well defined and articulated before politicians will listen. Also, what every community organizer understands is that politicians will never listen to voices for "change" until they take to the streets in protest where their demands are seen and heard.

Barack Obama's mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a true patriot in the best sense of this word. This summer, sit under the shade of a tree or on the beach and read for yourself the words of Frank Marshall Davis. Pick up his books "Living the Blues" and "The Writings of Frank Marshall Davis" at the local socialist institution--- your local public library.

Ironically, when I went to the Warroad Public Library to check out "Livin' the Blues" by Frank Marshall Davis, I was greeted by Mary Marvin, the head librarian, asking me to fill out a post card protesting the fact that the Warroad Public Library is the most underfunded library in the State of Minnesota. I wrote on the post card: "Fund our public library not this dirty war in Iraq." Mary Marvin did her patriotic duty and organized a protest for change. I did my patriotic duty and joined the protest activity she organized seeking more funding for our community's public library... dozens of library patrons had filled out these post cards to elected officials as an act of protest in order to get "change."

Pick up a copy of Howard Fast's, "Citizen Tom Paine."

Dalton Trumbo, a patriot extraordinaire, wrote "Johnny Got His Gun;" please give this book to any young person thinking of enlisting in the military.

Something to think about as you sit around the picnic table on this Fourth of July with family, friends and neighbors.