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...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Steve Tobocman and Michigan AFL-CIO leaders are in a tizzy; they don't appreciate my advice to adjuncts living in poverty

AFL-CIO and Michigan Democratic Party leaders in Michigan are hopping mad that I gave a group of Northern Michigan University adjuncts the following advice.

State Representative Steve Tobocman, the Democratic House Floor Leader cried, "How much longer are we going to allow Maki to operate in Michigan; he isn't even a bonafide labor leader, he has no affiliation with the AFL-CIO or Change to Win."

Anyways, all this commotion just because I gave some adjuncts living in poverty in Michigan's Upper Peninsula employed at Northern Michigan University in Marquette this advice:

Check this out… This is what I was talking about how the Election can really be used by you to push for your demands:

McCain got ambushed real good by a teacher at the NAACP National Convention…

During a question-and-answer session, McCain also sought to assuage a frustrated Head Start teacher who complained that her salary from the federal program simply isn't enough.

The woman, wearing a union T-shirt, said she was making $17,000 a year and cannot afford housing, gas, food, or health care for her children. "We cannot continue this way," she said.

Full article below my comments…

You can learn from this. This teacher put Head Start teachers on the radar of every politician in this country. You can do the same.

Now, if this kind of activity is combined with an unrelenting campaign showing a couple of your families and detailing what it costs you to live, together with how much you presently make… you have a very powerful message… do what the Democrats don’t want you to do… focus on the Democrats by insisting they solve your problems by making sure you have a real living income.

[I think this Head Start teacher was wrong for focusing on McCain instead of Obama--- obviously her union was doing Obama a favor he has not earned. Lots of workers are making this mistake because the business union mentality of most “labor leaders” doesn’t allow them to “think outside the box. Democrats are going to be in power after Election Day so, what sense does it make to take your problems to McCain? More misleadership. More lack of clear thinking. And yet these same “leaders” will say Obama will be a labor President… Ya, sure, like Jennifer Granholm is Michigan’s “labor governor” and leaves you in poverty. Don’t allow a bunch of do-nothing labor leaders and do-nothing politicians to tell you to keep your mouths shut until after the Election because this will hurt Democrats--- these Democrats have not demonstrated one iota of concern for you or you wouldn’t be living in poverty right now.]

The Democrats are happy the teachers are focusing on McCain and are staying off their back. Do just the opposite and insist the Democrats fix your problem if they expect you to consider giving them your vote… you can always tell them: Solve our problem before the Election or we are telling people why we are staying home on Election Day. You better believe the Democrats don’t want a bunch of university adjuncts pushing this kind of message to the public.

Make the point: If Democrats can’t even provide 200 adjuncts at Northern Michigan University with a living income; how can we expect Democrats to solve the problems associated with poverty afflicting the entire nation?

You have a lot of power right now as this election heats up… an opportunity like this doesn’t come along very often.

Labor Day is coming up; I am sure there would be much embarrassment if you start bombarding the letters to the editors all over the UP and all the newspapers with the message: We want a living income by Labor Day or we aren’t voting.

Just say you expect a real living income in return for your vote… the corporations get plenty for their campaign contributions and all you want is a living income from these politicians.



McCain at NAACP pledges more education options

By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer

CINCINNATI - John McCain told the NAACP and some skeptical black voters Wednesday that he will expand education opportunities, partly through vouchers for low-income children to attend private school.

The likely Republican presidential nominee addressed the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

In greeting the group, McCain praised Democrat Barack Obama's historic campaign, but said the Illinois senator is wrong to oppose school vouchers for students in failing public schools. It is time, McCain said, to use vouchers and other tools like merit pay for teachers to break from conventional thinking on educational policy.

Obama, he said, has dismissed support for private school vouchers for low-income Americans.

"All of that went over well with the teachers union, but where does it leave families and their children who are stuck in failing schools?" the Arizona senator asked. "No entrenched bureaucracy or union should deny parents that choice and children that opportunity."

In fact, Obama has spoken in favor of performance-based merit pay for individual public school teachers, even telling the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union, in a speech last year that the idea should be considered.

McCain received mostly polite applause in a room with some empty seats, two days after Obama's enthusiastic reception from a standing-room only audience hoping to see him become the first black president.

In his speech, McCain lauded Martin Luther King, Jr., as a leader who "loved and honored his country even when the feeling was unreturned, and counseled others to do the same."

In praising King to the NAACP, McCain used language similar to his mea culpa in April on the 40th anniversary of the civil rights leader's assassination, saying he had been wrong to vote against a federal holiday honoring King.

The NAACP gathering on Monday heard from Obama, who said he would push the government to provide more education and economic assistance, but he also drew big cheers when he urged blacks to demand more of themselves.

"Whatever the outcome in November," McCain told the crowd Wednesday, "Senator Obama has achieved a great thing, for himself and for his country, and I thank him for it. ... Don't tell him I said this, but he is an impressive fellow in many ways."

During a question-and-answer session, McCain also sought to assuage a frustrated Head Start teacher who complained that her salary from the federal program simply isn't enough.

The woman, wearing a union T-shirt, said she was making $17,000 a year and cannot afford housing, gas, food, or health care for her children. "We cannot continue this way," she said.

McCain said the point of his education platform was to boost pay for "a great and outstanding teacher like you" and other educators who are passionate about their work.

"I want to reward good teachers," said McCain.

Members of the audience said afterward they were glad to have heard from McCain, even if it didn't change their minds.

"Winning votes, I'm not so sure, but friends, yes," the Rev. Ronald Terry, pastor of New Friendship Baptist Church in Macon, Ga., said of McCain's appearance.

Marjory Shields, a Penn State extension nutritionist from Croydon, Pa., said McCain said nothing to make her waver from her support of Obama.

"I gave him the courtesy of listening to his platform. I thought that in order for me to make an informed vote this November I really need to hear what all the candidates have to say," Shields said.

"As far as my opinion on his speech, I feel he did not address certain key issues I wish he would have elaborated on," such as more specifics on education funding, she said.

McCain said vouchers and merit pay for teachers whose students perform well are two important ways to help kids in failing schools.

"After decades of hearing the same big promises from the public education establishment, and seeing the same poor results, it is surely time to shake off old ways and to demand new reforms," he said. "That isn't just my opinion. It is the conviction of parents in poor neighborhoods across this nation who want better lives for their children."

Both the merit pay and voucher proposals have met stiff opposition from teachers unions. Obama has indicated he would support some kind of merit pay system for teachers, if teachers help craft it.

Later Wednesday, McCain traveled to Omaha, Neb., where he toured Werner Enterprises, a trucking company, and promoted his plan for a summer suspension of the federal gas tax to help drivers cope with surging fuel prices.

Werner executives said a yearlong gas tax holiday would save them about $40 million, which could be spent on making their trucks more efficient.

Asked what individuals could do to lower the price of gas, McCain said they "can practice conservation" and pressure Congress to allow more offshore drilling for oil.


Associated Press writer Terry Kinney contributed to this report.

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk