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...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

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