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...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and save jobs on the Iron Range









This action also takes place during the RNC. The picket line is

sponsored by the Coalition for Public Ownership of the Ford Plant and

is supported by the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities. With

Ford’s TCAP having been given a reprieve with the postponement of the

plant closing to the end of 2011, there is still time to pressure

local authorities to make the right decision. With all of the

government handouts and tax breaks the auto industry has been given

over the years, in addition to the hydro-electric dam it was

graciously given at the behest of the Army Corps of Engineers, it’s

safe to assume that we each own a piece of it by now anyway. So why

not public ownership? If Ford’s board of directors and shareholders

can’t run it properly and keep it open as a vital part of the local

economy, then the manufacturing facility and hydro-dam should be taken

over in the public interest. The assembly line can be retooled and

converted for either the production of wind harvesters or clean

electric train engines and carriages and the dam can provide clean

power for the community. So spread the word and bring your friends to

this important action.










Alan Maki — Organizer, Casino Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union Organizing Committee

David Riehle — Local Chairman, United Transportation Union 650

Michael Wood — Coalition for Public Ownership of the Ford Plant & Gus Hall Action Club

Christine Frank — Volunteer Coordinator, Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities

Racism and the 2008 Election

"There are people who are not going to vote for him because he's black," James Hoffa, president of the Teamsters union, said. "And we've got to hope that we can educate people to put aside their racism and to put their own interests No. 1."

There is a certain irony in Hoffa's statement as it reflects the problems in the labor movement for many years.

Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern have been "setting aside" the struggle against racism for so long it has now come to haunt them in the 2008 Election.

For some twenty years, James Hoffa, John Sweeney and Andy Stern along with the likes of Lane Kirkland have tried to conceal their own racism as they became part of establishing the Indian Gaming Industry... these "union leaders" worked out backroom deals with Democratic Party politicians and mobsters that traded off the rights of casino workers in return for huge payoffs in pension fund monies and dues being invested in building the Indian Gaming Industry... first the Teamster pension funds, then, when this wasn't enough, the teacher union pension funds were brought into play.

The racism of the building trades unions has been most apparent as these unions, from the get-go, colluding with the Teamster's Union, set out to work out "sweetheart contracts" with the mobsters for whom the Native American bands are fronting... the likes of the Frank Fertitta Family and the Kansas City mob to which these unions' pension fund managers have been working in cahoots for years.

How can James Hoffa possibly call on his membership to "set aside racism" when, for many of these members, being engaged in a racist campaign against workers of color is responsible for them having jobs hauling materials onto the construction sites and delivering the materials required to keep the profits of the Indian Gaming Industry rolling in as more than two-million casino workers, mostly workers of color--- the majority young women of child-bearing age, are employed in these smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages and without any rights which protect all other workers under state, federal or tribal labor laws?

For casino workers employed in the Indian Gaming Industry, the 2008 Election is about "class" and "race."

Even the much ballyhooed "Employee Free Choice Act" (Card Check)will not apply to those employed in the Indian Gaming Industry.

For years, the AFL-CIO, and now Change to Win, leaders have supported a minimum wage that is a poverty wage--- the most disgraceful racist action of all. James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern are fully aware that a minimum wage that is anything but a real living wage makes sure that workers of color remain impoverished... no where is this more evident than on the Indian Reservations where upwards of 60% of the population is relegated to a life of poverty as a result of organized labor failing to fight for a minimum wage that is a real living wage. For over 100 years, the top leadership of organized labor has been willing to look the other way, pretending that the plague of poverty destroying the Indian Nations has not existed... sheer racism.

In fact, James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern have done as much as any corporate executive to help racism thrive as they have tried to stymie and thwart rank and file movements aimed at fighting for black, white, brown, yellow and red unity of the working class movement.

Not a peep or a whimper of protest has come from James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern concerning "at-will hiring, at-will firing," the primary impediment to union organizing. "At-will hiring, at-will firing" has held back rank-and-file initiatives of working people to organize when these high-paid union bureaucrats have sat back and watch the most poverty-paid workers (many workers of color like those in the Indian Gaming Industry--- many of whom are women, as in the Indian Gaming Industry) being used as clubs over the heads of all workers to drive the standard of living of the entire working class down.

In twenty-eight states, including Michigan and Minnesota, "at-will hiring, at-will firing" is the law. "Card Check" will never break this barrier.

Right now, even as James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern hypocritically call on workers to "set aside their racism for this Election," these phony union "leaders" are conspiring with leaders of the Democratic Party to derail the single-payer universal health care movement--- an overt act of the most atrocious racism because everyone knows that the for-profit health care system of the health insurance industry is responsible for working people of color being the largest segment of the population suffering from lack of access to health care because people of color are also the largest segment of poverty paid workers who can not afford health care.

First James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern go along with the business Democrats in holding down the minimum wage; and now, James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern are colluding with these same Democrats and the insurance industry to derail the movement for single-payer universal health care... a double racist whammy from these "labor leaders" who arrogantly call on working people to "set aside their racism for the 2008 Election to elect Barack Obama."

And, the worst part of all of this calling on working people to "set aside their racism" is that racism isn't even the issue--- the issue is one of class.

The so-called "labor leaders" are afraid of the working class. They can't even get "working class" to roll off the tip of their tongues because their tongues are so twisted in lies. Instead, James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern talk about representing the "middle class." Well, there we have it... they are so far removed from the class struggle they don't even know what class they are collecting dues from.

The real racism is emanating from these mis-leaders of organized labor who have refused to bring forward working class issues into this campaign and then turn around and call their own members racist after these union "leaders" are, themselves, responsible for not only tolerating racism, but encouraging--- certainly there has been no ongoing educational campaign against racism in the labor movement for the last 60 years--- decades of racism in the union movement and in the Democratic Party which has become, once again, as corrupt and racist as the pre-Civil War Democratic Party.

Where were James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern as Bill and Hillary Clinton were spreading racism all along the campaign trail? They were silent.

If James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern were the least little bit sincere in their calls for an end to racism they would insist that Barack Obama:

1. Support a minimum wage that is a real living wage based upon the scientifically derived figures and calculations of the United States Department of Labor and its Bureau of Labor Statistics for all cost of living factors with the minimum wage constantly being updated on a weekly basis right along with the calculations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics--- and employer would simply follow the postings like they follow the stock market in the Wall Street Journal daily;

2. Single-payer universal health care as a step towards socialized health care is what America's workers need, nothing less;

3. Federal legislation as part of the "Employee Free Choice Act" which would make state legislation mandating "at-will hiring, at-will firing" illegal.

Most importantly, if James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern are to be taken seriously as opponents of racism in the United States, they will have to come out swinging vigorously in opposition to the most Draconian conditions since the days of chattel slavery which places some two-million American workers in smoke-filled casinos receiving poverty wages while being left at the mercy of the most viciously racist and violent mobsters in this country in the Indian Gaming Industry.

In fact, the pernicious forms of class collaborationist trade unionism promoted by James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern is itself a cesspool fomenting racism. These union "leaders" hypocritically talk about how workers need their unions to "have a voice at work" when any member of any of these unions will tell you straight out to your face they don't even have a voice in their own unions. How workers can have "a voice at work" when they can't even have a voice in their own unions needs to be explained by James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern. It is a good day when most union locals in the United States can even gather a quorum to conduct a union meeting. Often, even the gimmick of a raffle for a color television can not turn out a quorum for union meetings in many locals because workers know what they will be subjected to for voicing their opinions and concerns.

James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern talk about creating a "Green Economy and rebuilding America." Go out on any construction job in this country and you will see that hiring has reverted to the racist hiring practices of the past.

James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern refuse to call for public ownership of closing plants as a means to defend the gains of affirmative action... instead, "at-will hiring, at-will firing" has allowed workers of color to once again be last hired, first fired with working class women of color and youth of color suffering the worst affects of racism in hiring practices.

In Michigan, at the corruption plagued Gun Lake Casino venture, we see how the AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions have made a vicious appeal to racism in supporting the construction of this casino which will be managed by Frank Fertitta's Station Casino empire which has been built on the racist abuse of working people. Shameful. Disgusting. Uncaring. Insensitive. Anti-labor. Anti-union. And yes, racist.

It is no wonder that James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern would have the unmitigated gall to call on people to set aside their racism just to vote for Barack Obama because these labor "leaders" have built a very nice little corrupt little racket for themselves which could not exist without racism. It is they, and the corporate managements they serve, along with the do-nothing Democratic Party politicians, who should look in the mirror if in fact they are sincere in wanting to put an end to racism in this country; because, just as capitalism--- which breeds racism--- could not continue to exist in this country if it were to be challenged by James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern.

It is ironic we now have "progressives" who have lined up in support of Barack Obama along with James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern now, too, claiming that "racist white workers" are the major impediment to an Obama victory.

Workers trying to organize in the Indian Gaming Industry are offended by these phony union leaders like James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern who have dragged out a bunch of middle class intellectuals pontificating about "racism" as an excuse to cover up the shameful silence concerning the racism of these egg-heads and muddle-headed professors and "union leaders" who can't distinguish the "working class" from the "middle class" and have left the "capitalist ruling class" completely off the hook as being the main instigators of racism.

Casino workers trying to organize the Indian Gaming Industry have a message for James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern: We are willing to work ten times harder to elect Barack Obama than what he and your unions have helped us... let your egg-heads and muddle-headed professors do the calculation... ten times zero is what?

To James Hoffa, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern I say:

Do not misinterpret this to be that we want to see Obama lose this election because like all working class people we do not want to see another four or eight or more years of Republican rule in the country and we sure as heck don't want to see a war monger and war criminal like John McCain sitting in the White House--- we can't even stand to see him sitting in the Senate; but don't come around with your holier than now pronouncements about "racism" being the impediment to an Obama victory when the problem is one of class.

Failing to understand this basic truth will lead to a Republican victory and you can blame yourselves should this happen because you have promoted the myth that the members you represent are part of the "middle class;" rather than, part of the working class.

The "middle class" is fertile ground for racism and other reactionary ideas to take root, it always has been... no doubt, you have left the working class for this middle class life long ago... now you pout and point your finger of blame at others when you should be pointing your fingers at yourselves.

Mr. Hoffa, start showing some respect for OUR interests by refusing to engage in racist sweetheart contracts promoting, encouraging and fostering racism in the Indian Gaming Industry.

Mr. Hoffa, I challenge you to bring forward any facts and figures to substantiate your ridiculous and highly offensive and alienating claim that there are any significant numbers of working people who are refusing to vote for Barack Obama because he is black; this is an outright lie being used to conceal the real reason working people are thinking about staying home on Election Day. In fact, the reason working people might not turn out to vote for Barack Obama and choose to stay home on Election Day is because they know they won't get anything in return for their votes. This has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with class... a concept you do not understand, nor appreciate.

In fact, Mr. Hoffa, to insinuate the problem is one of racism as you intentionally ignore class is an overt act of racism on your own part because you are attempting to set up a strawman to knock down to blame in case of an Obama defeat when Obama should be well on his way to a landslide victory given, alone, the overall anti-Republican sentiment which is just about universal among the working class.

Mr. Hoffa, your concern should be with the plight of working class people who are considering staying home on Election Day instead of a few backwards thinking workers who have picked up their racism from you.

Mr. Hoffa, you are the president of the powerful Teamster's Union yet you have never driven a truck, worked on a dock, in a laundry, or in a factory--- you have been a lawyer from the middle class and know absolutely nothing about the conditions under which working people in this country are forced to labor. You came by your office through a most disgusting campaign of racism and bigotry. You have put the mobsters back in control of the Teamster's Union. You are no one to talk about racism. Actually, Mr. Hoffa, there are probably more workers not going to vote for Obama because you are supporting him then there are racists.

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

Monday, August 25, 2008


"The Nation" magazine finally acknowledged the existence of Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck but has left much of the story untold.

Here is what "The Nation" printed:


Steve Farber is arguably the most important man in Denver you've probably never heard of. Farber is the chief fundraiser for the Democratic Convention here and a partner with one of the fastest-growing lobbying firms in Washington and most-connected out West: Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck. A number of his clients happen to be sponsors of the convention, including UnitedHealth Group, Comcast and AT&T, the latter the ubiquitous "official wireless sponsor" of the Democratic convention.

The Obama campaign spurns money from federally registered lobbyists and political action committees, but these same entities are welcomed with open arms at the convention in Denver. In a reflection of the enduring power of big money and lobbying, Farber's firm will sponsor a ton of invite-only events this week for major Democratic donors, lawmakers, and movers and shakers. The Rocky Mountain News jested that Farber will attend 378 parties during convention week.

In fact, Farber's firm hosted the opening kickoff party for the Democratic National Committee Sunday night at the swanky Denver Art Museum. VIPs included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senator Chuck Schumer, among many others. Farber introduced Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, who's also enjoying a moment in the sun. The place was thick with lobbyists and corporate honchos, a number of whom, I was later told, are supporting McCain.

For now, Obama has accepted the money-driven status quo at the conventions while expressing his desire to one day change it. He told the Rocky Mountain News: "our primary lasted so long...that most of the plans for the convention were already in place by the time I was the nominee...there were bills to pay and commitments made. Should I be fortunate enough to be the nominee for years from now...I would like to see that some of the principles that we put in place, for example, not excepting lobbyist money, PAC money...I'd like to see those instituted as part of the convention process as well."

Here is more of the untold story:

Some people are making the claim that Barack Obama’s campaign reflects the basis for building the anti-monopoly coalition. As has been, correctly, pointed out, Obama’s supporters are from a variety of cross-sections of the population. However, those listed below are the major backers of the Democratic Party National Convention.

Ironically, these same corporations are among the backers of the Republican Party National Convention.

Note here, the inclusion of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck; this group of lawyers/lobbyists represents most of these corporations.
This outfit, which is dominated by George Soros, the Democracy Alliance:

http://www.democracyalliance.org/ is now undermining the campaign around single-payer universal health care from a “progressive” position, while Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck represents these corporate interests in the attempt to derail single-payer universal health care, too.

I would also call to your attention of Aflac on this list.
This is a very powerful financial grouping which Barack Obama will be committed to, first and foremost.

What is also very interesting is that Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck has organized support for both the Democratic and Republican conventions in the same manner they have helped politicians organize government and plan health care “reforms.”

• Forest City
• Vail Resorts
• United Health Group
• Level 3
• Travelers Insurance
• AstraZeneca
• Prudential
• Dale Carnegie Training
• Hensel Phelps Construction
• America’s Road Home
• ConocoPhillips
• Best Buy
• Visa
• Chesapeake Energy
• Merck
• Lennox
• 3M
• Allstate
• Ball
• United
• Comcast
• Amgen
• Pepsi
• CoBank
• Target
• National Association of Home Builders
• Lilly
• TeleTech
• BNSF Railway
• Medtronic
• US Bank
• Xerox
• Novartis
• Hogan & Hartson
• Peabody
• ProLogis
• Staples
• The Denver Post
• Rocky Mountain News
• Camco
• Aflac
• Archer Daniels Midland
• Lockheed Martin
• Ford
• Anheuser-Busch
• Astellas
• FedEx
• Agvar Chemicals
• J.B. Pritzker
• Motorola
• Western Union
• Coca-Cola
• PCL Construction Enterprises
• American Wind Energy Association
• Lehman Brothers
• State Farm Insurance
• United Launch Alliance
• Kroger
• Waste Management
• PNM Resources
• Morgan Stanley
• Starz
• Pitney Bowes
• Liberty Media
• Anadarko
• Safeway
• Bohemian Companies
• Kraft
• 1st Bank
• Telecom
• Jared Polis
Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck
• Anthem
• Southern Company
• SpaceX
• Cherry Creek Shopping Center
• Tri-State
• Howard H. Torgrove
• Key Bank
• Patrick H. Hamill
• Value Options
• Nanco Global
• Ellen and Steve Susman
• Continuum
• EcoLab
• Richmond American Homes Foundation
• RBC Capital Markets
• Yarmony Energy
• Callahan Capital Partners
• Robert and Jane Toll
• Newmont Mining Company $260,000
• Qwest $6 million
• Vail Resorts $500,000
• Union Pacific $1 million
• Xcel Energy $1 million
• Molson Coors $250,000
• TeleTech $250,000
• Chase $100,000
• Wells Fargo $62,500
• CH2M Hill $50,000

Obama’s bundlers:

Raising from $50,000 to $100,000:
Wendy Abrams (Highland Park, IL)
Charles Adams (Geneva, Switzerland)
Lishan Aklog (Phoenix, AZ)
Karim Alibhai (Key Biscayne, FL)
Pinney Allen (Atlanta, GA)
Michael Alter (Winnetka, IL)
Nola Anderson (Manchester, MA)
Rodney Armstead (Phoenix, AZ)
John Arnold (Houston, TX)
Ricky Arriola (Miami, FL)
Gayle Perkins Atkins (New York, NY)
Jean-Philippe Austin (Miami, FL)
Hannah Banks (Boston, MA)
Jim Bartimus (Kansas City, MO)
Sheldon Baskin (Chicago, IL)
Mike Bauer (Chicago, IL)
Jatinder Bedi (Chicago, IL)
Severin Beliveau (Hallowell, ME)
Alison & Barry Berke (New York, NY)
Allan & Jennie Berliant (Cincinnati, OH)
Richard Binder (Bethesda, MD)
Lea Black (Miami, FL)
Steven Bloch (Omaha, NE)
Les Bond (Chicago, IL)
Frank Borges (Farmington, CT)
Steve Bough (Kansas City, NE)
Elise Boyan (San Antonio, TX)
Russell Budd (Dallas, TX)
David Burd (Washington, DC)
David Burman (Seattle, WA)
Matthew Carlson (New York, NY)
Eric Casher (Berkeley, CA)
Marty Castro (Chicago, IL)
Michael Cavanagh (New York, NY)
Gracie & Bob Cavnar (Houston, TX)
Marisa Chun (San Francisco, CA)
Diana Shaw Clark (London, UK)
Bob Clifford (Chicago, IL)
Bonnie Cohen (Washington, DC)
Tom Cole (Kenilworth, IL)
Michael Coles (Atlanta, GA)
Wilbur Colom (Columbus, MS)
Kevin Conway (Chicago, IL)
Joe Cotchett (Hillsborough, CA)
Mark Cozzi (Chicago, IL)
Barbara Crown Manilow (Chicago, IL)
John Crumpler (Durham, NC)
John Cumming (Park City, UT)
Mike Dardzinski (Beijing, China)
Judy Davenport (Pittsburg, PA)
Lisa Davis (South Orange, NJ)
Stephen Davis (San Francisco, CA)
Jamie Denenberg (Los Angeles, CA)
James Dinan (New York, NY)
Greg Dingens (Chicago, IL)
John Doggett (Chatham, MA)
Justin Douglas (Chicago, IL)
Eugene Duffy (Atlanta, GA)
Rob Dugger (Alexandria, VA)
Carolyn Dwyer (Montpelier, VT)
Kelley Ellsworth (Washington, DC)
Mark Erwin (Chicago, IL)
Jodie Evans (Los Angeles, CA)
Nancy Farese (Kentfield, CA)
Mark Feierstien (Annandale, VA)
Joe Fernandez (Providence, RI)
Nadja Fidelia (New York, NY)
Peter Fisher (Los Angeles, CA)
Brian Frank (New York, NY)
Rob Friedman (Los Angeles, CA)
Ann Fudge (Chestnut Hill, MA)
Carol Fulp (Newton, MA)
Laurie Fulton (Alexandria, VA)
Jay Furman (New York, NY)
Pete Garcia (Palo Alto, CA)
Roland Garcia (Houston, TX)
Barbara Garrett (Coral Gables, FL)
Judy & Mickey Gaynor (Chicago, IL)
Tom Gearen (Chicago, IL)
Peter Gilhuly (Los Angeles, CA)
Jon Glickman (Los Angeles, CA)
Mark Goodman (Cambridge, MA)
Linda Gottlieb (New York, NY)
Howard Gottlieb (Evanston, IL)
Nancy Grant (Winnetka, IL)
Ken Griffin (Chicago, IL)
Doug Haloftis (Dallas, TX)
Cathy Hampton (Atlanta, GA)
Karen Heidelberg (Detroit, MI)
Ann & Peter Herbst (New York, NY)
Doug Hickey (San Francisco, CA)
Philip Hilder (Houston, TX)
Janet Hill (Washington, DC)
David Hinson (New York, NY)
Gary Hirshberg (Concord, NH)
Max Holtzman (Miami Beach, FL)
Jeff Horwitz (New York, NY)
Reed Hundt (Chevy Chase, MD)
Brandy Isaac (Chicago, IL)
Maxine Issacs (Washington, DC)
David Jacobson (Glencoe, IL)
Preble Jacques (Cambridge, MA)
Donna & Larry James (Columbus, OH)
Wanda James (Denver, CO)
Mark Johnson (Washington, DC)
Raye and Jerry Johnson (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Patricia Jones Blessman (Chicago, IL)
Wayne Jordan (Piedmont, CA)
George Kaiser (Tulsa, OK)
Eddie Kaplan (Bethesda, MD)
Marianne Karmel (Newton, MA)
Hrishi Karthikeyan (New York, NY)
Marilyn Katz (Chicago, IL)
David Kenney (Denver, CO)
Alan King (Chicago, IL)
Charlie Kireker (Weybridge, VT)
Ron Kirk (Dallas, TX)
Ted Kurland (Newton, MA)
Bill Lake (Washington, DC)
Rocco Landesman (New York, NY)
James Lassiter (Los Angeles, CA)
Chad Leat (New York, NY)
Debra Lee (Washington, DC)
Tom Lesser (Northampton, MA)
Jack Levin (Winnetka, IL)
Bill Levin (Moss Beach, CA)
Larry Levy (Chicago, IL)
Walter T. Lomax (Chalfront, PA)
Ken Lore (Washington, DC)
Patricia Lorsch (Cambridge, MA)
James Mangold (Los Angeles, CA)
Lewis Manilow (Chicago, IL)
Neal Manne (Houston, TX)
Aris Mardirossian (Potomac, MD)
Jerry Martin (Nashville, TN)
Alyssa Martina (Detroit, MI)
Edward Bilich and Teresa Martinez (Arlington, VA)
Linda Mason (Belmont, MA)
William Matsikoudis (Jersey City, NJ)
Scott Matthews (Wellesley, MA)
Ken Maxey (Los Angeles, CA)
Cappy McGarr (Dallas, TX)
Tom McInerney (San Anselmo, CA)
Frank McPhillips (Birmingham, AL)
Rhonda Medina (Trenton, NJ)
Alex Mehran (San Francsico, CA)
Patrick Miles, Jr. (Grand Rapids, MI)
Charles Miller (Atlanta, GA)
Herb Miller (Washington, DC)
Jon Miller (New York, NY)
Laurie Miller (Washington, DC)
Alan Mills (Indianapolis, IN)
Eric Mindich (New York, NY)
Judd Miner (Chicago, IL)
Richard Mithoff (Houston, TX)
Robert Nelsen (Bainbridge Island, WA)
Marty Nesbitt (Chicago, IL)
Wendy & John Neu (Newark, NJ)
Lora O'Connor (Los Angeles, CA)
Scott Oki (Bellevue, WA)
Bill Orrick (San Francisco, CA)
Lynn Overmann (Miami, FL)
Jeff Padwa (Providence, RI)
Max Palevsky (Los Angeles, CA)
Johnnie Patton (Jackson, MS)
Federico Pena (Denver, CO)
Giles Perkins (Birmingham, AL)
Chris Pohlad (Minneapolis, MN)
Barry Porter (Los Angeles, CA)
Quintin Primo (Lake Forest, IL)
Sunil Puri (Rockford, IL)
Josh Rales (Potomac, MD)
Mike Ramos (Avon, CO)
Michael Rawlings (Dallas, TX)
Antonio Reid (New York, NY)
Alan Reid (San Francisco, CA)
Arthur Reimers (Greenwich, CT)
Lauren Reiss-Frank (New York, NY)
Lisa Renstrom (Charlotte, NC)
Joyce Rey (Los Angeles, CA)
Doris Rhea (Detroit, MI)
Susan Rice (Washington, DC)
David Rivkin (New York, NY)
PJ & Suhail Rizvi (Greenwich, CT)
Rich Rogel (Avon, CO)
Joe Roth (Los Angeles, CA)
Paul Roth (New York, NY)
Tom Rothman (Los Angeles, CA)
Karen Russell (Seattle, WA)
Michael Sachs (Winnetka, IL)
Amelia Salzman (Bethesda, MD)
Miriam Sapiro (Washington, DC)
Sima Sarrafan (Bellevue, WA)
John Schmidt (Chicago, IL)
John Scully (Sausalito, CA)
Robert Sherman (Needham, MA)
Keith Short (Edwardsville, IL)
Tariq Siddiqui (Chicago, IL)
Craig Sieben (Chicago, IL)
Martin Siegel (Houston, TX)
Boon Sim (New York, NY)
Balvinder Singh (Chicago, IL)
Amy Singh (Chicago, IL)
Christopher Smart (Boston, MA)
Gerald Smith (Houston, TX)
Leo Smith (Chicago, IL)
Mark Smith (Washington, DC)
LaRence Snowden (Houston, TX)
David Solow (Chicago, IL)
Josh Steiner (New York, NY)
Joe Steinfield (Boston, MA)
Jon Streeter (Berkeley, CA)
Paul Taubman (New York, NY)
Bill Taylor (Washington, DC)
Dorothy Terrell (Boston, MA)
Rob Tessler (New York, NY)
Sandi Thompson (Woodside, CA)
Kathryn Thomson (Arlington, VA)
Tim Toben (Chapel Hill, NC)
Kyriakos Tsakapolous (Sacramento, CA)
Alicia Urban (Milwaukee, WI)
Kevin Vincent (Arlington, VA)
Eric Vincent (New York, NY)
David Voelker (New Orleans, LA)
Barbara Vogelstein (New York, NY)
Ayelet Waldman (Berkeley, CA)
Jordan Walker-Pearlman (Los Angeles, CA)
Francie Walton-Karlen (Chestnut Hill, MA)
Todd Weaver (St. Louis, MO)
Paula Weinstein (Los Angeles, CA)
Steve Weisbrod (Washington, DC)
Robert Weissbourd (Chicago, IL)
Jim Wiatt (Beverly Hills, CA)
Anita Wien (New York, NY)
Abigail & Todd Williams (Dallas, TX)
Margot Wilson (Washington, DC)
Harvey Wineberg (Chicago, IL)
Hope & Grant Winthrop (New York, NY)
Dan Wofford (Malvern, PA)
Kevin Joe Wolf (Arlington, VA)
Elaine Wynn (Las Vegas, NV)
Matt Yale (Chicago, IL)
Steve Zager (Houston, TX)
Michael Zeldin (Washington, DC)

Raising between $100,000 and $200,000:

Jerry Acker (Southfield, MI)
David Adelman (Atlanta, GA)
Kenneth Alleyne (Hartford, CT)
Jeremy Alters (Miami, FL)
Eddy Arriola (Miami Beach, FL)
Preeta Bansal (New York, NY)
Rob Barber (Cambridge, MA)
Doni Belau (Bedford, NY)
Lawrence Bender (Los Angeles, CA)
Dan Berger (Philadelphia, PA)
Mitchell Berger (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Judy Byrd & Ron Blaylock (New York, NY)
Leonore Blitz (New York, NY)
Peter Bynoe (Chicago, IL)
Joe Calabrese (Los Angeles, CA)
Michael Caplin (McLean, VA)
Tom Carnahan (Chicago, IL)
Hasan Chandoo (Armonk, NY)
Cleveland Christophe (Stamford, CT)
John Connors (Brookline, MA)
James Crowe (Englewood, CO)
Virginia Davies (New York, NY)
Gordon Davis (New York, NY)
FK Day (Chicago, IL)
Vincent Dimmock (Atlanta, GA)
Becky Draper (San Francisco, CA)
Blair Effron (New York, NY)
Cheryl Effron (New York, NY)
Norm Eisen (Washington, DC)
John Emerson (Los Angeles, CA)
David and Marianna Fisher (Los Angeles, CA)
Rick Fizdale and Suzanne Faber (Chicago, IL)
Clark French (Vero Beach, FL)
Lou Frillman (Minneapolis, MN)
David Gail (Dallas, TX)
Alexi Giannoulias (Chicago, IL)
Jill Goldman (Los Angeles, CA)
Fred Goldring (Los Angeles, CA)
Barry Goodman (Southfield, MI)
Barbara Gould (Cincinnati, OH)
David Grain (Sarasota, FL)
De & Paul Gray (Chicago, IL)
Joe Gutman (Highland Park, IL)
Wahid Hamid (New York, NY)
Jennifer Haro (St. Louis, MO)
William Harvey (Hampton, VA)
Greg Helmer (Los Angeles, CA)
Victor Herlinsky (Hackensack, NJ)
Crystal Nix Hines (Los Angeles, CA)
Donald Hinkle (Tallahassee, FL)
Mellody Hobson (Chicago, IL)
Sharon Hoffman (Kansas City, MO)
Helen Howell (Seattle, WA)
Dan Hynes (Chicago, IL)
Ted Janulis (New York, NY)
Valerie Jarrett (Chicago, IL)
Kevin Jennings (New York, NY)
Derek Johnson (New York, NY)
Paul Tudor Jones (Greenwich, CT)
David Kasparian (Paramus, NJ)
Michael Kasparian (Paramus, NJ)
Jay Kreigel (New York, NY)
Ann & Edward Lamont (Greenwich, CT)
Eddie Lazarus (Los Angeles, CA)
Arthur Leopold (New York, NY)
Kenneth Lerer (New York, NY)
Cliff Levine (PIttsburgh, PA)
Brad Lippitz (Chicago, IL)
Caren Lobo (Sarasota, FL)
Daniel Loeb (New York, NY)
Andres Lopez (San Juan, PR)
Kerman Maddox (Los Angeles, CA)
Sue & Steve Mandel (Greenwich, CT)
William Mann (Weston, CT)
Nancy McCullough (Los Angeles, CA)
Irena and Mike Medavoy (Los Angeles, CA)
Kelly Meyer (Malibu, CA)
Howard Milstein (New York, NY)
Ron Moelis (Larchmont, NY)
Jonathan Molot (Washington, DC)
Robert Monks (Cape Elizabeth, ME)
Sarah Morgenthau (Montclair, NJ)
Marie Helene Morrow (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Dan Nova (Cambridge, MA)
Adebayo Ogunlesi (New York, NY)
Chuck Ortner (New York, NY)
Sebastiano Paiewonsky (St. Thomas, USVI)
Eric Paquette (Los Angeles, CA)
Deven Parekh (New York, NY)
Michael Parham (Seattle, WA)
Bill Perkins (Houston, TX)
Robert Perkowitz (Charlotte, NC)
Susan Pisor (Chicago, IL)
Jonathan Pizer (Chicago, IL)
John Rhea (New York, NY)
Zeb Rice (Los Angeles, CA)
Andrew Rice (Oklahoma City, OK)
Nelson Rising (Los Angeles, CA)
Wendy Riva (Los Angeles, CA)
Robert Roche (Chicago, IL)
Desiree Rogers (Chicago, IL)
Ben Rosen (New York, NY)
Lee Rosenberg (Chicago, IL)
James Rubin (New York, NY)
BettyLu Saltzman (Chicago, IL)
Ben Schwartz (Wendell, MA)
Eric Schwartz (New York, NY)
Willie Shepherd (Denver, CO)
Mary Lang Sollinger (Madison, WI)
Ken Solomon (Los Angeles, CA)
Peter Solomon (New York, NY)
Alan Solow (Chicago, IL)
Helen Spalding (San Francisco, CA)
Bobby Stein (Jacksonville, FL)
Andre Leon Talley (New York, NY)
Willard Taylor (New York, NY)
Fabio and Molley Terlevich (Philadelphia, PA)
Vinai Thummalapally (Colorado Springs, CO)
Stan Toy (Los Angeles, CA)
Tom Unterman (Los Angeles, CA)
Jon and Ellen Vein (Los Angeles, CA)
Mikal Watts (San Antonio, TX)
Ann Marie Wilkins (Cambridge, MA)
Percy Wilson (Washington, DC)
Anna Wintour (New York, NY)
Judy Wise (Chicago, IL)
Sheldon Zenner (Evanston, IL)

Raising over $200,000:

Naomi Aberly (Dallas, TX)
Mark Alderman (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Paul Bardacke (Santa Fe, NM)
Denise Bauer (Belvedere, CA)
Josh Berger (London, UK)
Andi & Tom Bernstein (New York, NY)
Jeff Bleich (Piedmont, CA)
Neil Bluhm (Chicago, IL)
Tim Broas (Chevy Chase, MD)
Frank Brosens (Bedford, NY)
Owen Byrd (Palo Alto, CA)
Brad Carson (Oklahoma City, OK)
Tony Chase (Houston, TX)
Frank Clark (Flossmoor, IL)
Charles Clarkson (Jacksonville, FL)
Lou Cohen (Washington, DC)
Dick Cohen (Minneapolis, MN)
Les Coney (Chicago, IL)
Greg Craig (Washington, DC)
Ted Dintersmith (Boston, MA)
Kirk Dornbush (Atlanta, GA)
Ari Emanuel (Los Angeles, CA)
Daveen & Alan Fox (Studio City, CA)
Michael Froman (New York, NY)
Mark Gallogly (New York, NY)
Katherine Gehl (Chicago, IL)
Mark Gilbert (Boca Raton, FL)
Steven Gluckstern (New York, NY)
John Gorman (Austin, TX)
Daniel Halpern (Atlanta, GA)
Pam Hamamoto (Tiburon, CA)
Hill Harper (Los Angeles, CA)
Jane Hartley (New York, NY)
David Heller (New York, NY)
Vicki & Bruce Heyman (Chicago, IL)
Rick Horowitz (Wynnewood, PA)
Ted Hosp (Birmingham, AL)
Jim Hudson (Washington, DC)
Mark Iola (Dallas, TX)
Jeh Johnson (Montclair, NJ)
Jim Johnson (Washington, DC)
Orlan Johnson (Bowie, MD)
David Jones (Greenwich, CT)
Sylvia & Sam Kaplan (Minneapolis, MN)
Allan Katz (Tallahassee, FL)
Eric Kearney (Cincinnati, OH)
Lena Kennedy (Pasadena, CA)
Steve Koch (Chicago, IL)
Dan Kohl (River Hills, WI)
Nancy Koppelman (Santa Barbara, CA)
Anthony Lake (Washington, DC)
Nicole Lamb-Hale (Detroit, MI)
Jonathan Lavine (Lexington, MA)
Mattie & Michael Lawson (Los Angeles, CA)
Steve Lerner (Chapel Hill, NC)
John Levi (Chicago, IL)
Chris Lewis (Berwyn, PA)
Chuck Lewis (Evanston, IL)
Margo Lion (New York, NY)
Frank Loy (Washington, DC)
Michael and Jamie Lynton (Los Angeles, CA)
Bob Mandell (Orlando, FL)
Brian Mathis (New York, NY)
Steve McKeever (Chicago, IL)
Jon Merksamer (Sacramento, CA)
Alicia & Tim Mullen (Chicago, IL)
Spencer Overton (Chevey Chase, MD)
Jason Paez (New York, NY)
Steve Pajcic (Jacksonville, FL)
Yolonda Parker (Los Angeles, CA)
Don Peebles (Coral Gables, FL)
Jonathan Perdue (Mill Valley, CA)
John Phillips (Washington, DC)
Penny Pritzker (Chicago, IL)
Wade Randlett (San Francisco, CA)
Ron and Deborah Ratner (Cleveland, OH)
Doug Rediker (Washington, DC)
Tom Reed (Centreville, VA)
Jim Reynolds (Chicago, IL)
Cindy Moelis & Bob Rivkin (Chicago, IL)
Skip Rosenbloom (Sacramento, CA)
Kirk Rudy (Austin, TX)
Frank Sanchez (Tampa, FL)
Andrew Schapiro (Chicago, IL)
Michael Schell (New York, NY)
Tod Sedgwick (Washington, DC)
Jeff Shell (Philadelphia, PA)
Jane Stetson (Norwich, CT)
Cynthia Stroum (Seattle, WA)
Lou Susman (Chicago, IL)
Bob Sussman (Washington, DC)
Tina Tchen (Chicago, IL)
Grace Tsao-Wu (Chicago, IL)
Jim Tyree (Chicago, IL)
Kirk Wagar (Miami, FL)
Anne Wedner (Winnetka, IL)
Daniel Weiss (Los Angeles, CA)
Beatrice Welters (McLean, VA)
Alexa Wesner (Austin, TX)
Tom Wheeler (Washington, DC)
Barry White (Newton Centre, MA)
Kneeland Youngblood (Dallas, TX)

Raising over $500,000:

Nicole Avant (Los Angeles, CA)
Sandy & Stewart Bainum (Chevy Chase, MD)
Matthew Barzun (Louisville, KY)
Megan & Don Beyer (Alexandria, VA)
Peter Buttenweiser (Philadelphia, PA)
Rebecca Riley & David Carden (Bronxville, NY)
Bob Clark (St. Louis, MO)
Paula & Jim Crown (Chicago, IL)
Richard Danzig (Washington, DC)
Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe (Portola Valley, CA)
Bill Eacho (Bethesda, MD)
Christine Forester (San Diego, CA)
David Friedman (Boulder, CO)
David Geffen (Malibu, CA)
Julius Genachowski (Washington, DC)
Don Gips (Boulder, CO)
Doug Goldman (San Francisco, CA)
Wendy Wanderman & Mark Gorenberg (San Francisco, CA)
Howard Gutman (Washington, DC)
Scott Harris (Washington, DC)
Jeffrey Katzenberg (Los Angeles, CA)
Bill Kennard (Washington, DC)
Orin Kramer (New York, NY)
Karol Mason (Atlanta, GA)
Bruce Oreck (Boulder, CO)
Tom Perrelli (Arlington, VA)
Charlie Rivkin (Los Angeles, CA)
John Rogers (Chicago, IL)
John Roos (Hillsborough, CA)
Alan Solomont (Boston, MA)
Steve Spinner (Menlo Park, CA)
Jim Torrey (New York, NY)
Tony West (Oakland, CA)
Steve Westly (Atherton, CA)
Frank White (Silver Spring, MD)
Robert Wolf (New York, NY)

Names of these “bundlers” don’t mean too much; however, check out this website and see what corporations these bundlers are with:


Sunday, August 24, 2008

An Open Letter to "Fresh Energy"


Re: Moratorium on coal plants

Note: "Fresh Energy" is a "front organization" for big-business, the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party and the Minnesota AFL-CIO and Change to Win. "Fresh Energy" works in collaboration with all the other big-business financed think-tanks which seek to control and manipulate organizations like those in the Minnesota Environmental Partnership and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability.

I find it rather ironic “Fresh Energy” now calls for a complete moratorium on coal-fired electric generating plants in the fight against global warming; but your organization did not lift one little finger to bring the Hydro Dam powering the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant under public ownership to save two-thousand jobs and insure that this plant would begin being used as a cheap source of energy by people in the Twin Cities... why your organization never proposed that instead of the Ford Motor Company being allowed to sell-off excess power generated by the hydro dam to Excel, that this power instead be provided to light the public schools and other public institutions for free, just like Ford received free power for its operations, I do not understand… maybe you can explain. This could have meant a very substantial reduction in property taxes with all the money saved by public schools.

In fact, your organization, and your “coalition partners,” have been no place to be seen in the struggle to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant even though it is a model of “green manufacturing.” If every manufacturing facility of this size was as “green” as the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant we would not even be discussing global warming… yet, “Fresh Energy” and your coalition partners remain silent through it all.

I think your organization, Fresh Energy, is bogus.

In fact, it appears to me you raise demands you know are impossible to meet--- a moratorium on new coal fired plants--- as long as the quest for maximum profits is the goal and objective of production.

I also find it very strange, that along with calling for a moratorium on coal fired plants, you do not suggest any solution to rising energy costs for most people. This I find especially interesting since you are well aware that what you are proposing would force our electric bills up even as we are forced to conserve.

There is a solution which the foundations supporting your organization would never go along with:

Public ownership of the entire energy producing and distribution complex; a more feasible and workable solution if you are serious about having a moratorium on building coal fired plants.

I also find it very strange that your organization never mentions the fact that tax-payers are underwriting the costs of a very primitive electric distribution system… from the point of energy production until it arrives to where it will be used, as much as thirty percent of the energy is being lost--- there is your moratorium and more. But, what we have is corporations feeding at the public trough as they are wasting our resources--- I guess since these corporations are getting a free lunch they don’t mind making a pig of themselves and throwing most of the food away that they take at the self-serve buffet.

In fact, the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities assembly plant, under public ownership, could be turned to producing inexpensive vertical and horizontal wind generating equipment to power our entire state and we could be free of coal-burning power plants in a few years. These inexpensive wind generators could replace every farm fence post in Minnesota and placed along our roads and highways and even on bridges without any harm to the environment or the scenery. Solar units and water equipment could also be produced all in the same plant… yet, your “coalition partners” are proposing the demolition of this plant… do you not have any concept of the “carbon footprint” involved in the construction (and unwarranted destruction) of a huge plant like this?

I would suggest that you have a little discussion with the Ford Site Planning Committee and Task Force… and your coalition partners at the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party.

It might not hurt to put a halt to the war machine, either, which is creating quite the “carbon footprint.”

I really think your philanthropist funders have you pointed on the wrong track… but then again I notice many of the donors are Excel CEO’s and run like a Who’s Who of the Minnesota State Chamber of Commerce and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers--- no doubt looking for a nice fat tax-write-off as they try to derail the movement for real energy reform.

Even the media, including public radio seems to be beholden to the corporate interests in the energy industry… just take radio station KAXE up here in northern Minnesota… the Blandin foundation and Excel give them a few bucks and it is like the pollution from their plant north of Grand Rapids doesn’t even exist… it just vanishes mysteriously into the clouds… and when the plant manager is asked what is coming out of the smokestacks he will tell you, “Nothing to worry about, just some harmless water vapor.”

Perhaps this entire matter can be discussed by the “Progressives for Obama,” too.

I find it equally interesting that those who had been talking about holding a “Conference on Dis-Investment” at the University of Minnesota canceled their conference quickly after becoming concerned the issue of saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and the hydro dam along with two-thousand jobs would become the central issue of the conference.

Really, I find it thoroughly and completely hypocritical that “Fresh Energy” would call for a moratorium on building coal-burning electric generating plants without even considering any of the alternative proposals brought forward here.

I await a response from “Fresh Energy.”

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


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Single-payer universal health care

An open Letter to James Mayer, Host on Air America and John Kolstad of the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition (MUHCC)

Note: This "Open Letter" was also sent to United States Senate candidate Priscilla Lord Faris

-----Original Message-----

From: Alan Maki [mailto:amaki000@centurytel.net]

Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 9:41 AM

To: James Mayer at info@jamesmayer.org and John Kolstad

Cc: David Shove, Editor, Progressive Calendar

Subject: Single-payer Universal Health Care

Mr. Mayer and John Kolstad;

I see where you are going to be discussing health care at the Minnesota State Fair.

As usual, it looks like the discussion, by intent, will omit some real options in the way of health care reform.

You have an obligation to tell people how much this “Plan” of MN State Senator John Marty will cost people; and, who is going to be paying how much.

You have an obligation to tell Minnesotans the cost of this “Plan.”

Dr. James Hart has told me that this Marty “Plan” is projected to save people 10% to 15% off what they pay now. This is not good enough.

Every time people are given the opportunity to have input to what they want, and expect, in the form of health care reform they point to Canada and say: “We want the exact same plan Canadians have.”

There is ample proof that people mean what they say because Minnesotans continue to cross the border into Canada to purchase their prescription medication which is very selfish because this is placing a burden on the Canadian Health Care system--- the Canadian tax-payers are subsidizing what our own government will not provide to our own people.

Prescriptions in Canada are not cheaper than in the United States because some corporation decides to be nicer to Canadians than to us south of the border. Cheaper drug prices are the result of the entire Canadian health care system under the Canada Health Act.

Honesty and integrity in this debate over health care requires a Canadian perspective at this point simply because Americans crossing the border are placing this burden on the Canadian health care system and this is not fair to Canadians who are now paying higher prices for their medications as a result of all of this.

In fairness, I would suggest that you get the view from Canada, perhaps from Gary Doer or someone from his Administration to explain all of this and to explain just how the Canadian Health Act serves the Canadian people--- including explaining any problems with the system because we have a right to ALL information and viewpoints.

At this point it is very clear what Minnesotans want and expect from health care reform: We want no-fee, comprehensive, all-inclusive (from pre-natal to death with everything from eye and dentistry to physical therapy), cradle to grave, single-payer universal health care which is publicly funded and publicly administered paid for primarily the same way Social Security is funded with a special progressive tax assessment on businesses--- big-business would pay a greater percentage than small business.

However, in fairness, once Minnesotans hear the full story and have all the facts, they may want, and have a right to expect from their government, an even better plan than single-payer universal health care, which, by the way, the Marty “Plan” is not; Minnesotans, upon hearing all the facts and when presented with ALL of their options as is only right and fair, may decide they want a full-scale socialized health care system which was advocated by the two most popular governors in Minnesota history--- socialists Floyd Olson and Elmer Benson.

And, Tommy Douglas, who, without any doubt--- along with Doctor Norman Bethune, they were, and are, considered the fathers of the Canadian Health Act with Tommy Douglas having successfully brought single-payer universal health care to North America for the first time in the Province of Saskatchewan; Tommy Douglas made it very clear that he considered single-payer universal health care a “step towards” socialized health care. He based this on having seen the way doctors and all those involved in the health care industry were in health care to make a buck, rather than for serving the health care needs of the people.

In fact, what Tommy Douglas and his socialists put in place in Saskatchewan was the very same program being advanced by Frances Perkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor. When red-baited that her proposal was straight out of the “Communist Manifesto;” Perkins boldly and very honestly responded: “I would rather see this legislation helping the American people than remaining words on the pages of a pamphlet.”

Now, Mr. Mayer and Mr. Kolstad, I am suggesting to the two of you and all the other politicians and spokespersons you have had on Air America, Mr. Mayer, you refuse to tolerate a full dialogue, discussion and debate in which ALL views are brought forward--- including the Canada Health Act which the Canadians got the idea from Frances Perkins and Franklin Roosevelt AND socialized health care which had been advocated by both Floyd Olson and Elmer Benson throughout their long political careers and until each took their last gasp of air for life.

There is something inherently unfair with a mass communication media refuses to allow a full discussion, dialogue and debate on this health care issue as there is with the present health care mess itself. To me this sends a very powerful message that anything based on “market economics” and “free enterprise” is fatally flawed and rigged against the people to take their money but provide nothing of substance in return.

It just may happen that after hearing all of the facts, Minnesotans may not want anything short of socialized health care.

As the original author of the “Single-payer Universal Health Care Resolution” which was passed by 72% of the delegates to the State Convention of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, which the DFL leadership and just about every single elected, and those seeking election, DFL politician has gone on to ignore, I am, quite frankly, highly offended--- as I think most Minnesotans are--- that politicians, including John Marty, and organizations like the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition, are thumbing their noses at the democratic will of the people on this most important issue affecting ALL of us.

Up here in Roseau County, after an extensive door to door campaign, where we talked to thousands of people between 2000 and 2006, we found that the majority of the people we talked to--- 74%, very close to the number of DFL State Convention delegates in 2006 of which I was an elected delegate from Roseau County and the elected member of the State Central Committee to the Minnesota DFL from Roseau County--- I introduced a resolution, first at my Lake Township Precinct Caucus, then at the Roseau County Convention which stated in no uncertain terms our resolution on health care. That resolution stated: “Be it resolved the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party is for no-fee, comprehensive, all-inclusive single-payer universal health care; publicly financed and publicly administered.” This was the exact wording people chose from of the many options we provided them--- ranging from the fraudulent and phony Republican schemes of Health Savings Accounts to what John Marty is proposing to socialized health care.

In fact, the primary reason most of the thousands of people we spoke with in our door to door talks said they were for socialized health care but chose the wording of the resolution which passed was because they didn’t think politicians would go for socialized health care… people had just about no confidence in politicians really wanting to solve this mess… so they chose a “compromise” in the way of reform.

I support socialized health care as does our Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council. However, the people spoke and I took their resolution to the Lake Township Precinct Caucus and the Roseau County Convention where it passed without any opposition--- unanimously--- with all in attendance voting; both the Precinct Caucus and the County Convention were attended by record shattering numbers of people… all time highs.

It seems Floyd Olson and Elmer Benson are as popular today in Minnesota as when they served, having left us a legacy of progressivism even “love me, love me I’m a liberal” Hubert Humphrey and “I can’t shake this state’s progressive legacy” Tim Pawlenty have not been able to derail when it comes to health care reform.

In fact, the politicians do not dare take their real “programs” for health care reform door to door directly to the people as we have done because if they told the people the truth of their proposals after giving Minnesotans ALL the options as we have done here in Roseau County which borders Manitoba so we know what kind of health care Manitobans have--- good, quality health care; free health care--- and this is what we want; for now we will compromise and accept real single-payer universal health care, as a step towards socialized health care where all profits are removed from the health care system as the only consideration is keeping people healthy and treating them when sick as needed and as medically appropriate; a system where doctors earn a fair salary for a fair days work and not the income of a Wall Street coupon-clipper, regardless of what the American Medical Association thinks about this.

The capitalist sooth-sayers, from large and small business people, have had their say on this issue; the time has come to allow Minnesotans to have all available options made available to them so they can have their say, too… anything less makes a mockery and a farce out of democracy.

If John Marty, John Kolstad, the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition, the Democrats or Republicans, Barack Obama or John McCain think that we are not entitled to have ALL of our options on the table, including real single-payer universal health care and socialized health care, they should have the moral and political integrity and courage to explain why this dialogue, discussion and debate on health care should be limited in this way.

As the primary author of the MN DFL resolution on “single-payer universal health care” I can tell you that the proposed legislation being pushed forward by Senator John Marty is not our idea of single-payer universal health care by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. What this legislation being proposed by John Marty is, is a sop to his professional and small business constituency and there is no way working people can afford this boon-doggle… for sure not when people are losing their homes to foreclosures and being evicted because they can’t pay rent, saddled with credit card debts the result of trying to feed their families and heat their homes, not to mention the robbery taking place at the pumps where people have to have a second job just to get to the first… and if their first job is working in a casino they need a second job at Wal-mart in order to survive and a third job at Target just to pay for the gas to get to their other two jobs--- what will two-thousand Ford workers, hundreds in the airline industry, hundreds more on the Iron Range do with no jobs at all with unemployment nearing record levels as the capitalist economy appears to be on the skids to oblivion… under these circumstances, I don’t think Minnesotans want any part of John Marty’s proposed legislation which will cost the average worker still lucky enough to have a job between $700.00 and $800.00 per month.

Democracy demands some honesty here; something, like health care, we don’t seem to be able to have access to.

Now, before we go any further, let’s get Manitoba’s Premier, Gary Doer, down here to explain to Minnesotans how the Canada Health Act really works. Is someone afraid of the truth?

I find it interesting that single-payer universal health care has the obvious majority support; but, all the politicians are scheming and scamming trying to get around it.

Even an entirely new “coalition” has come into existence from among the supporters of Barack Obama trying to derail the single-payer universal health care movement… they seek to sabotage support for the federal single-payer universal health care legislation H.R. 676 which the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition has only provided lip-service to and even most of the MN DFL’s Congressional Caucus has refused to sign onto; in spite of the fact the 2006 resolution was specifically aimed at supporting H.R. 676… we need Minnesota to enact real single-payer universal health care legislation which will smoothly transition us to H.R. 676--- the proposed Marty legislation will not do this.

Let me be blunt, not meaning to offend anyone; but, we need health care reform to serve the working class… such legislation will take care of everyone else just fine--- even if business will shed a few tears as they always do when they can’t place the entire financial burden on the backs of working people. Quite frankly, it is time for business to do a little suffering… the profits they have reaped for so many years provides them with a nice soft pillow to cry into.

Mr Mayer, give me a call if you want the truth to be told like it really is.

By the way, why doesn’t Air America get both Priscilla Lord Faris and that clown Al Franken on to discuss this issue together… Minnesotans want to know where these two DFL U.S. Senate candidates stand on H.R. 676.

Speaking of clowns, Minnesota doesn’t need to send another clown like Al Franken to the United States Senate… we already have simultaneously operating three-ring circuses in St. Paul and in Washington D.C…. in fact, these are probably the longest continual running three-ring circuses in the world being passed off as the world’s greatest democracy… and single-payer universal health care and socialized health care can’t even get fair hearings… not even on “liberal” Air America.

Any country wealthy enough to finance the war in Iraq, subsidize the the Israeli carnage of the Palestinian people, stick its nose into bolstering a corrupt and incompetent government in Georgia to massacre the people of South Osetia, and still have money left over to send more troops into Afghanistan and support some one-hundred and fifty military bases around the world given the exorbitant price of fuels, certainly this government can afford socialized health care... or, at least single-payer universal health care for its own people.

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

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


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Declaration of the Georgian Peace Committee

Please distribute this widely:

0182. Apt. 2, quarter 8, house 10,
massif 3, Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel: ++ 995 93 761363
Fax/Tel: ++ 995 32 731516
E-mail: pc_of_georgia@yahoo.com

Declaration of the Georgian Peace Committee

Once more Georgia was launched into a situation of chaos
and bloodshed. A new fratricidal war exploded with renewed
strength on Georgian soil.

To our great disappointment, the alerts of the Georgian Peace
Committee and of progressive personalities of Georgia on the
pernicious character of the militarization of the country and on
the danger of a pro-fascist and nationalist policy had no effect.

The authorities of Georgia once again organized a bloody war,
feeling the support of some western countries and of regional
and international organizations. It will take decades to cleanse
the shame poured by the current holders of the power over
the Georgian people.

The Georgian army--armed and trained by U.S. instructors
and using also U.S. armaments--subjected the city of Tskhinvali
to a barbaric destruction. The bombings killed Ossetian civilians,
our brothers and sisters, children, women and elderly people.
Over 2,000 inhabitants of Tskhinvali and of its surroundings died.

Hundreds of civilians of Georgian nationality also died, both in
the conflict zone as well as on the entire territory of Georgia.

The Georgian Peace Committee expresses its deep condolences
to the relatives and friends of those who have perished.

The entire responsibility for this fratricidal war, for thousands
of children, women and elderly dead people, for the inhabitants
of South Ossetia and of Georgia falls exclusively on the current
President, on the Parliament and on the Government of Georgia.
The irresponsibility and the adventurism of the Saakashvili
regime have no limits. The President of Georgia and his team,
undoubtedly, are criminals and must be held responsible.

The Georgian Peace Committee, together with all the progressive
parties and social movements of Georgia, will struggle to assure
that the organizers of this monstrous genocide have a severe and
legitimate punishment.

The Georgian Peace Committee declares and asks broad public
opinion not to identify the current Georgian leadership with the
people of Georgia, with the Georgian nation, and appeals to
all to support the Georgian people in the struggle against the
criminal regime of Saakashvili.

We appeal to all the political forces of Georgia, the social
movements and the people of Georgia to unite in order to
free the country from the Russian-phobic and pro-fascist
anti popular regime of Saakashvili!

The Georgian Peace Committee Tbilisi, Aug. 11, 2008

Blowback From Bear-Baiting

I present this in the interest of dialogue, discussion and debate knowing that Pat Buchanan may be using this as "bait" of his own for ulterior motives; so I urge the reader"Caution--- Bear Bait ahead":

Blowback From Bear-Baiting

by Patrick J. Buchanan

Posted 08/15/2008

Mikheil Saakashvili's decision to use the opening of the Olympic Games to cover Georgia's invasion of its breakaway province of South Ossetia must rank in stupidity with Gamal Abdel-Nasser's decision to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships.

Nasser's blunder cost him the Sinai in the Six-Day War. Saakashvili's blunder probably means permanent loss of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

After shelling and attacking what he claims is his own country, killing scores of his own Ossetian citizens and sending tens of thousands fleeing into Russia, Saakashvili's army was whipped back into Georgia in 48 hours.

Vladimir Putin took the opportunity to kick the Georgian army out of Abkhazia, as well, to bomb Tbilisi and to seize Gori, birthplace of Stalin.

Reveling in his status as an intimate of George Bush, Dick Cheney and John McCain, and America's lone democratic ally in the Caucasus, Saakashvili thought he could get away with a lightning coup and present the world with a fait accompli.

Mikheil did not reckon on the rage or resolve of the Bear.

American charges of Russian aggression ring hollow. Georgia started this fight -- Russia finished it. People who start wars don't get to decide how and when they end.

Russia's response was "disproportionate" and "brutal," wailed Bush.

True. But did we not authorize Israel to bomb Lebanon for 35 days in response to a border skirmish where several Israel soldiers were killed and two captured? Was that not many times more "disproportionate"?

Russia has invaded a sovereign country, railed Bush. But did not the United States bomb Serbia for 78 days and invade to force it to surrender a province, Kosovo, to which Serbia had a far greater historic claim than Georgia had to Abkhazia or South Ossetia, both of which prefer Moscow to Tbilisi?

Is not Western hypocrisy astonishing?

When the Soviet Union broke into 15 nations, we celebrated. When Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Kosovo broke from Serbia, we rejoiced. Why, then, the indignation when two provinces, whose peoples are ethnically separate from Georgians and who fought for their independence, should succeed in breaking away?

Are secessions and the dissolution of nations laudable only when they advance the agenda of the neocons, many of who viscerally detest Russia?

That Putin took the occasion of Saakashvili's provocative and stupid stunt to administer an extra dose of punishment is undeniable. But is not Russian anger understandable? For years the West has rubbed Russia's nose in her Cold War defeat and treated her like Weimar Germany.

When Moscow pulled the Red Army out of Europe, closed its bases in Cuba, dissolved the evil empire, let the Soviet Union break up into 15 states, and sought friendship and alliance with the United States, what did we do?

American carpetbaggers colluded with Muscovite Scalawags to loot the Russian nation. Breaking a pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev, we moved our military alliance into Eastern Europe, then onto Russia's doorstep. Six Warsaw Pact nations and three former republics of the Soviet Union are now NATO members.

Bush, Cheney and McCain have pushed to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. This would require the United States to go to war with Russia over Stalin's birthplace and who has sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula and Sebastopol, traditional home of Russia's Black Sea fleet.

When did these become U.S. vital interests, justifying war with Russia?

The United States unilaterally abrogated the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty because our technology was superior, then planned to site anti-missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic to defend against Iranian missiles, though Iran has no ICBMs and no atomic bombs. A Russian counter-offer to have us together put an anti-missile system in Azerbaijan was rejected out of hand.

We built a Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey to cut Russia out. Then we helped dump over regimes friendly to Moscow with democratic "revolutions" in Ukraine and Georgia, and tried to repeat it in Belarus.

Americans have many fine qualities. A capacity to see ourselves as others see us is not high among them.

Imagine a world that never knew Ronald Reagan, where Europe had opted out of the Cold War after Moscow installed those SS-20 missiles east of the Elbe. And Europe had abandoned NATO, told us to go home and become subservient to Moscow.

How would we have reacted if Moscow had brought Western Europe into the Warsaw Pact, established bases in Mexico and Panama, put missile defense radars and rockets in Cuba, and joined with China to build pipelines to transfer Mexican and Venezuelan oil to Pacific ports for shipment to Asia? And cut us out? If there were Russian and Chinese advisers training Latin American armies, the way we are in the former Soviet republics, how would we react? Would we look with bemusement on such Russian behavior?

For a decade, some of us have warned about the folly of getting into Russia's space and getting into Russia's face. The chickens of democratic imperialism have now come home to roost -- in Tbilisi.

American Rights at Work... will David Bonior respond?

John Edwards has been intimidated into silence--- quite typical for the well-heeled who occasionally speak up against injustices; especially when they are trying to get elected to public office.

David Bonior, who worked to elect Edwards, like a rat on a sinking ship jumped off the Edwards' band-wagon real quick, too.

The "commitment" of the well-heeled when it comes to the issues affecting poverty and the rights of working people is always welcome; but, as working people we have come to expect most of these well-heeled, sometimes well-meaning (except when their involvement is just for political convenience as in Edwards' case; making a few extra retirement bucks as in David Bonior's case)will be of a nature of "support" for our struggles which will be subject to the "comfort zone" of these "love me, love me, I'm a liberal" types like David Bonior and John Edwards.

David Bonior is the Chair of American Rights at Work.

Here is the biography he provides:

David Bonior is the Chair of American Rights at Work’s Board of Directors and has served in this role since the organization’s founding in 2003. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, he served Michigan’s Macomb and St. Clair Counties for 26 years—the longest tenure of any Congressman from this district. When he retired at the end of 2002, he had held the position of Democratic Whip, the second ranking Democrat in the House, for 10 years.

His tenure in Congress was marked by a passion for social and economic justice. Bonior earned a reputation as a strong voice for working families and as a leader on the environment, fair trade, jobs, and human and civil rights.

Born in Detroit, he graduated from the University of Iowa, received a Masters Degree in history from Chapman College, served in the Air Force, and worked as a probation officer and adoption caseworker before he was elected to the Michigan Legislature in 1972.

Bonior is the author of two books: The Vietnam Veteran: A History of Neglect and Walking to Mackinac. He previously served as University Professor of Labor Studies at Wayne State University and on the boards of Public Citizen and Community Central Bank in Mount Clemens, Mich. In 2007-2008, Bonior took a leave of absence from American Rights at Work to join John Edwards’ presidential campaign as the national campaign manager.

He and his wife Judy live in Washington, DC, and are the parents of three adult children.

Now, here we have this guy who pretends to be so concerned about working people and their rights; and, he pretends in the same manner to be so personally hurt by John Edwards little tryst with a cute young hippie chick.

But. Yes, but; Bonior lives among the degenerate and the depraved servants of big-business in Washington D.C., and he has a front row seat at the three-ring circus which passes itself off to the world as the greatest bastion of democracy.

What is interesting about David Bonior is he served such a long tenure in Congress working the entire time with the Michigan legislature, before being appointed to this position of Chair of the "American Rights at Work," which is nothing more than a group which searches the Internet in quest of articles for where working people have had their rights abused... American Rights at Work puts up a few new articles and stories on its web site, and that is where the "struggle" against injustice ends.

David Bonior, as a highly influential Michigan Congressman as his own biography points out, had the opportunity to make a major contribution in the struggle for worker rights--- for human rights, but, Mr. Bonior CHOSE to close his eyes, and cover his ears as the "Compacts" creating the Indian Casino Industry were being created WITHOUT ONE SINGLE CONCERN OR PROTECTION FOR THE RIGHTS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN WORKERS who would be employed in this industry.

Mr. Bonior was fully aware at the time he voted for these "Compacts," not just one, but many of them in Michigan and around the country, that the thousands of workers who would be employed in these casinos, would have no rights at all under state or federal labor laws.

Where was Mr. Bonior's concern for "social and economic rights" as he was helping to create, and then approve, these casino "Compacts?"

Not once since "American Rights at Work" came into existence for the sole purpose of giving David Bonior a nice cushy retirement income, has this most Draconian arrangement created by these "Compacts" been brought forward or challenged by Mr. Bonior.

The least Mr. Bonior could do is pretend the same moral outrage and disgust demonstrated towards John Edwards' tryst.

Now, with Congressman Bonior's help and David Bonior's silence as Chair of American Rights at Work, the Indian Gaming Industry has grown to over four-hundred casinos spread out across the United States; these are businesses operated and managed by some of the most violent and notorious mobsters, including the most feared Kansas City Mob which Gary Hart tried to destroy until running into his own problems like John Edwards did... although someone--- maybe Brownstein or Schreck or Frank Fertitta--- would know something about this; who picked more sophisticated women for Gary Hart rather than a single hippie chick chosen for John Edwards.

Now, if the rights of American workers employed in the Indian Gaming Industry which is nothing more than a front for organized crime which owns the one-armed bandits, operates very lucrative loan-shark operations, together with prostitution and drugs and the illegal betting on everything from the ponies to high school basketball games in these casinos isn't of concern to Mr. Bonior as Chair of American Rights at Work, I don't know what the retired Michigan Congressman would consider an abuse of the rights of working people--- to allow human beings to be forced to work in such an environment without a whimper of protest; where without any rights in the work-place, and without a voice in the workplace--- workers are dragged into this "under-world" as unwilling participants which makes what John Edwards and his cute young hippie chick did as consenting adults seem rather innocent... especially when such behavior is common place among Mr. Bonior's friends of the political elite--- one needs look no further than the "family life" of David Bonior's good friend, Michigan's United States Senator Debbie Stabenow who sent her husband off to get blow-jobs in sleazy motel rooms from young, barely of legal age, prostitutes.

But, what consenting adults do, whether as volunteers or as a "business arrangement"--- you know, I guess there is something to be said about someone having the creativity to take advantage of the great "free market" in the area of the sex industry to the extent that poverty isn't forcing the decision. But, what is done between two consenting adults is no concern of mine as far as judging anyone concerning their morals and it shouldn't be an issue for anyone except some pious preachers (and Presidents) who engage in such decadent and perverted activities only with God's forgiveness.

What goes on with the business elite behind the closed doors in the Presidential Suites of the highest priced hotels we won't discuss nor mention... suffice it to say that St. Paul Police and Colorado police agencies are not only preparing for demonstrators at the Republican and Democratic Party's National Conventions, but for an influx of thousands of prostitutes in each city where the conventions are to be held.

Here in the Twin Cities Mayors R.T. and Coleman are trying to decide how many condoms and needles they need to order for free distribution during the Republican convention in addition to tasars and cattle prods which I assume aren't for erotic pleasures of anyone except the police who get their jollies using them.

However, I do think, unlike the John Edwards' affair, the issue of workers' rights is a question of morals and ethics which should concern us all, especially when we have those like David Bonior feigning being appalled by what John Edwards and a cute young hippie chick did behind closed doors--- at least those doors remained closed until those doors were opened by someone who wanted John Edwards to stop talking about poverty and workers' rights; conveniently those doors to John Edwards' love shack were opened on the heels of the opening of the Democratic Party Convention where he had been scheduled to speak about eliminating poverty and for workers' rights as human rights--- even though he intended to continue the omission of the rights, or lack thereof, of casino workers in the Indian gaming Industry.

But, what I was getting at is David Bonior, had the opportunity as a Congressman--- a long-time serving congressman as he boasts in his own biography; and, a second opportunity as the Chair of "American Rights at Work" to boldly speak up in defence of the rights of those employed in the Indian Gaming Industry--- just as he so quickly did within minutes once the John Edwards "scandal" broke--- gees, David Bonior was just so hurt; to hear David Bonior's pain you would think right-wing rocker Ted Nugent had pierced Bonior's heart with his Jim Bowie hunting knife.

But, where has been David Bonior's concern, and passion, for the rights of more than two-million casino workers now employed in these smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws all of these years he has been so concerned about social justice?

Mr. Bonior's organization, American Rights at Work, cites cases upon case of the abuse of worker's rights--- and it is good that he picks these cases up off the Internet to highlight since the abuses workers are subjected to at work in America are growing rapidly (right along with the increase in corporate profits and the strengthening of state-monopoly capitalism where employers are playing a much more open role in government and the political life of the country to the point where Wal-mart has the arrogance to flaunt the law as they intimidate workers now by "suggesting" who they must vote for).

But, one would think that Mr. Bonior would be able to demonstrate at least some concern for two-million casino workers; and have at least a few words to say about these casino managements and the anti-labor, union busting firms they are hiring as what he has been quick to point out as a breach in morality on the part of John Edwards and his cute hippie chick, which we would never have known about had Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck not wanted John Edwards "wrecking" the Democratic Party National Convention with the call that the Democratic Party should place eradicating poverty and bringing the rights of working people to the center stage of the convention and the three-ring circus in Washington.

I would also point out that David Bonior was aware that John Edwards sat on the board of a corporation, one of the largest corporations in the world--- a corporation funded by the teachers' unions pension funds--- whose primary field of investments is in what? Building casinos for the Indian Gaming Industry!

So much for David Bonior's concern for the rights of American workers and social justice.

I submit, that the plight of more than two-million workers in the Indian Gaming Industry--- a plight which David Bonior played a major role in denying rights to these casino workers--- not the denial one right or the denial of several rights--- but denying ALL RIGHTS to more than two-million workers at their places of employment in the Indian Gaming Industry is what David Bonior and his Democratic Party colleagues should be addressing to the media, and not John Edwards' tryst with what the media calls a "hippie chick."

In fact, there is something to be said about the viciously sexist way Rupert Murdock has portrayed Rielle Hunter as a "hippie chick;" but, again, in comparison to the plight of hundreds of thousands of young women workers, many who are women of color--- all of child-bearing age, employed in the Indian Gaming Industry in smoke-filled casinos... the sexism of Rupert Murdoch seems rather a non-issue... even though I hear United States Senator Debbie Stabenow has asked the National Organization of Women (NOW) to protest.

Not to worry, David Bonior and Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck have spared the Nation being subjected to the rantings of an immoral John Edwards against poverty and for the advancement of workers' rights as human rights during prime-time television by having the good wisdom of bringing in Bill Clinton as the speaker to replace him at the Democratic National Convention. And, instead of hearing about the plight of some two-million casino workers and American rights at work and poverty wages, we will now be hearing about the spots on Monica Lewinsky's blue dress.

Like I said, the three-ring circus continues with it pre-show sideshows of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; always, the show must go on. And, the show goes on at the expense of the rights of all workers in America who are being subjected to greater abuse in their places of employment as big-business gains an even tighter and firmer grip (now, I hope no one reads anything sexual into this) over lives of working people.

Come on, David Bonior, step right up--- pretend you are the ring-master, front and center stage, and call upon the Democratic Party to finally take a stand in defense of the rights of two-million Americans being forced to work in the Indian Gaming Industry because of your own actions... why don't you start demonstrating real concern for working people by insisting that Michigan's "pro-labor" governor, Jennifer Granholm, rescind her support with the corruption plagued "Gun Lake Casino Compact," by insisting--- for the first time in American history--- that this "Compact" contains rights protecting casino workers; that all state and federal labor laws be applicable to workers in the Indian Gaming Industry.

Talk it over with John Sweeney, Andy Stern and your good friends Ron Gettelfinger and Leo Gerard.

You might also want to consult with your good friend Nadine Nosal--- the UAW's lead lobbyist in Lansing, Michigan. Let's get Nadine going on opposing this Gun Lake Casino Compact until the rights of workers are included.

Mr. Bonior, I know your good friends Gary Garbarino and House Majority Leader Steve Tobocman are going to tell you not to listen to me because the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council's Organizing Committees in Michigan in Escanaba (Island Casino) and Petoskey (Odawa Casino) refuse to make any campaign contributions to the Democratic Party; but, consider this part of my contribution towards the 2008 elections. And, consider that the rights of some two-million casino workers should place as a higher priority on your own political agenda and concerns than what John Edwards and his hippie chick did in the privacy of their motel and hotel bedrooms or what they did "flying on a jet plane."

Now, do you have anything to say regarding the plight of two-million casino workers across the Nation?

No, I didn't think so.

The campaign contributions from the illustrious Fertitta family and Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck mean more to you.

Your "tenure in Congress was marked by a passion for social and economic justice;" give me a break.

Mr. Bonior, what a hypocrite you are. You are really no different or any better than John Edwards... and maybe that is why you jumped so fast to pounce on your former friend... who I notice, is on the Board of Directors of "Americans Right at Work."

American Rights at Work...Board of Directors

Hon. David Bonior
Chair, American Rights at Work

Julian Bond
Chairman, NAACP

The Right Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon
Bishop of Washington, Pro tempore, retired

Sen. John Edwards

Mayor Shirley Franklin

Wade Henderson
Executive Director, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

Philip Levine

Jack Marco
Chairman, Marco Consulting Group

Hon. Kweisi Mfume

Janet Murguia
President & CEO, National Council of La Raza

Carl Pope
Executive Director, Sierra Club

Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini
Leader, The Islamic Center of America

Harley Shaiken
Professor & Director, Center for Latin American Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Beth Shulman

Congresswoman Hilda Solis
32nd District, California

Rabbi Alana Suskin

John J. Sweeney
President, AFL-CIO

Bradley Whitford

International Advisor:

Mary Robinson
Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Must be Mary Robinson forgot to read the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights along with the rest of the American Rights at Work's Board of Directors.

As for "Card Check," the Employee Free Choice Act; this won't apply to the Nation's two-million workers employed in the Indian Gaming Industry... once again, forgotten, by David Bonior and his chums at the helms of the AFL-CIO and Change to Win. And, as far as Barack Obama who was mentored by Frank Marshall Davis... well, Obama has his surrogates, like George McGovern, out bashing the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Most companies in US avoid federal income taxes

Below is a very short story from the Associated Press, published in BusinessWeek.

This headline says it all: Most companies in US avoid federal income taxes.

This is a very interesting story.

Al Gore talks about "taxing what we burn; not what we earn," conveniently evading the question of taxing wealth.

Workers create ALL wealth--- with the exception of Mother Nature's unique form of help, the working class really does create ALL wealth... this is scientific truth; something which has been known for hundreds of years yet seldom mentioned except by Marxists.

People wonder why there is never any money for things we need--- socialized health care, public education, housing, public libraries, parks and recreation, road and bridge maintenance and infrastructure and child care; well, this story provides a big part of the answer... corporations are allowed to get away with stealing the wealth created by the working class without so much as even having to pay any taxes on this wealth.

This is by design... United States Senator Carl Levin doesn't have to look too far to find out how it is that U.S. corporations are absconding--- running off in secrecy--- without paying any taxes... Levin needs only look in the mirror because Democrats worked in a bi-partisan manner creating this opportunity for corporations to steal the wealth of our Nation; wealth created by the working class... stealing this wealth without even having to pay any taxes.

The CATO Institute has been the primary architect of such reactionary and regressive tax policies and working in cahoots with Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck positions in government agencies and legislative staffs have been stacked with those who have been trained to have a mind-set to carry out this robbery in a manner even slicker than the robbery taking place at the gas pumps.

Of course, the politicians--- Republicans and Democrats--- are both feeding like pigs at the trough... at our expense.

Marxists, like myself, refer to the Democrats and Republicans as being the two-headed monster of big-business for a reason; and this is one of those reasons.

After reading this, no one should wonder why Democratic and Republican politicians tell us no-fee, comprehensive, all-inclusive, single-payer universal health care which is publicly financed and publicly administered is not affordable.

Well, when corporations can get away without paying a dime in taxes as the billion-dollar CEO's and Wall Street coupon clippers walk off with the profits is it any wonder nothing is left for government to meet the needs of society for things like health care, education and housing?

Anyone with an ounce of common sense understands that whatever wealth is created by the working class with Mother Nature's unique contribution, that is all society has to work with... when it comes to wealth there is one pie, no more.

How that pie gets divided up is what working people need to get concerned about.

It is not just big-business sticking their greedy fingers in the pie before it cools as they try to grab what they can without getting caught... the working class is supporting a monstrous military-financial-industrial complex of state-monopoly capitalism which is growing more expensive by the day to support as imperialist wars are waged for oil and to secure cheap labor markets.

Karl Marx pointed out long ago that when a Nation takes the wealth which has been collectively created by the working class and pumps this wealth into military spending and wars, that one might just as well take the money from your your pocket and throw it out into the ocean.

Capitalism has spun a web for the working class and the capitalist parasites are having a feast--- the working class is the victim and it is time for working people to tear this web apart and break free.

Now since it is close to Election Day, Senator Byron Dorgan talks about these corporations having to "pay their fair share." What a hypocrite; for years the guy has closed his eyes, covered his ears, and twiddled his thumbs knowing full well this was all taking place... we all knew it.

We expect the Republicans to do this; the Democrats on the other hand keep getting elected because, like Dorgan and this bunch of Democrats--- in order to get our votes they claim they are different from Republicans, when, in reality, the only difference is the Republicans do what they say they will do for the corporations and Democrats lie about what they say they will do for working people while after getting elected, the Democrats wring their hands and say they don't know how to stop the Republicans from doing what they said they were going to do.

The time has come for working class political independence. This is why I support the campaigns of Cynthia McKinney for President and Cindy Sheehan for United States Congress.

There is no such thing as a free bus ride... big-business is along for the ride without paying the "FARE;" and, no matter how anyone looks at it this scheme and way of doing things is not "FAIR."

This article published in BusinessWeek proves that the working class is paying the entire "F-A-R-E." And this, by design of both Republicans and Democrats, is not "F-A-I-R."

It is all about wealth; it is all about "fare" and "fair." Give the Democrats a dictionary, not your vote.

Something to keep in mind: To top it off, these same corporations paying no taxes, can't even pay workers real living wages--- and, they turn around and fight tooth-and-nail to prevent the minimum wage from becoming a real living wage.

If this doesn't provide some food for thought around the dinner table in working class households I don't know what would...

Alan L. Maki

The Associated Press

August 12, 2008

Most companies in US avoid federal income taxes



Unlike the rest of us, most U.S. corporations and foreign companies doing business in the United States pay no federal income tax, according to a new report from Congress.

The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, and about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.

Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO's estimate.

"It's shameful that so many corporations make big profits and pay nothing to support our country," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who asked for the GAO study with Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

An outside tax expert, Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, said increasing numbers of limited liability corporations and so-called "S" corporations pay taxes under individual tax codes.

"Half of all business income in the United States now ends up going through the individual tax code," Edwards said.

The GAO study did not investigate why corporations weren't paying federal income taxes or corporate taxes and it did not identify any corporations by name. It said companies may escape paying such taxes due to operating losses or because of tax credits.

More than 38,000 foreign corporations had no tax liability in 2005 and 1.2 million U.S. companies paid no income tax, the GAO said. Combined, the companies had $2.5 trillion in sales. About 25 percent of the U.S. corporations not paying corporate taxes were considered large corporations, meaning they had at least $250 million in assets or $50 million in receipts.

The GAO said it analyzed data from the Internal Revenue Service, examining samples of corporate returns for the years 1998 through 2005. For 2005, for example, it reviewed 110,003 tax returns from among more than 1.2 million corporations doing business in the U.S.

Dorgan and Levin have complained about companies abusing transfer prices -- amounts charged on transactions between companies in a group, such as a parent and subsidiary. In some cases, multinational companies can manipulate transfer prices to shift income from higher to lower tax jurisdictions, cutting their tax liabilities. The GAO did not suggest which companies might be doing this.

"It's time for the big corporations to pay their fair share," Dorgan said.