Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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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, October 7, 2008

What they don't want to talk about


There is plenty that Barack Obama does not want to talk about, too.

As far as the “Savings and Loan crisis” mentioned in the Obama campaign piece at the very bottom… Democrats--- like in the present Wall Street bailout--- were mired up to their eyeballs in this corrupt mess along with John McCain.

There are those in the Obama camp who want to stamp out and destroy any progressive voice under the guise that if you don’t support Barack Obama you must support John McCain… along with this we get Obama’s appeal to the “middle class” which is his attempt to escape all accountability… and then we get the charge of “racism” which is a very cheap trick on the part of the Obama campaign to silence those who insist on getting something of substance from an Obama administration while, quite ironically, this trillion dollar Wall Street bailout which Barack Obama has not only supported, but been a principal advocate for, is one of the most racist measures ever brought forward in the annals of American history--- bar none--- since this bailout will force the United States government to wipe out just about all social advances made in this country since the Civil War under the guise of “belt-tightening” and the need to “cut fat” from the federal budget in order to pay down this “bailout.” Wall Street’s bailout is our suffering.

This is all meant to intimidate progressive voices into silence.

For those who would deny this attempt to bully people into intimidation, here is just one of many similar things I have received via e-mail, mail and phone calls from ardent Obama supporters:

HEY DIPSTICK. Your an idiot and I'm embarrassed to see that you would try to use a title as though you are part of the labor movement. All you are is an embarrassment to those of us who actually fight for working people each and every day. Rather than always having a negative attitude and complaining, why don't you have some sort of meaningful ideas that will actually help people. My personal feeling is the real agenda here is to try and make the labor movement look idiotic. Get a life! Maybe you should come out of your shack once in a while and visit the real world.

Once again stop sending me your commie bull shit!

Erik Skoog

Teamsters Local 320

Special Projects Director

While Mr. Skoog seems to be unhappy that I come out of “my shack” too often to voice my views and spend more time on the road talking to people than in “my shack,” the real intent and motive behind this kind of pernicious, viral hate campaign is very clear. We get a very good idea what kind of “Special Projects” Erik Skoog is hired to work on for Barack Obama.

I call on Barack Obama and all those involved in his campaign to disown and disavow themselves from this vicious campaign of hate articulated so “eloquently” by Erik Skoog.

In fact, it has become darn near impossible for anyone to raise concerns and criticisms of Barack Obama and for a progressive people’s agenda without being pounced on… this is not healthy for democracy.

Because of my positions which I voice very openly, the Obama forces in Minnesota and Michigan have targeted me for a campaign of hate… if they would have spent half the time attacking this trillion dollar Wall Street bailout as they are spending attacking me, we would not have to worry about McCain being elected nor would we be worrying about the consequences and impact from this Wall Street bailout for which we will be paying in so many ways for years to come.

I think it is great that John McCain is being exposed for the right-wing, reactionary that he is… and Sarah Palin is even a bigger warmonger, moron, Neanderthal and foe of democracy than McCain himself--- possibly more pro-corporate and corrupt than Dick Cheney if such is possible; however, to cheer on Obama without questioning his own very reactionary Wall Street policies and politics, I believe, is equally as wrong as letting John McCain off the hook. Barack Obama is, himself, very reactionary as far as advancing the rights and defending the standard of living of working people is concerned.

Make no mistake: Any policies which advance the interests of Wall Street are always reactionary when viewed through the eyes of working people.

While it may be true that the election of Barack Obama will provide some relief from Republican rule, there is nothing to suggest that in an Obama Administration we will be relieved from the strangle-hold big-business has on our country… I challenge anyone to dispute my assertion… Obama speaks in platitudes lacking any substance just as Sarah Palin “talks in tongues” expecting people to understand what the heck she is talking about.

Will an Obama Administration provide us some “wriggle room?” Possibly; however, without a very strong progressive, working class movement we will never realize any advances away from the reactionary policies of big-business Wall Street interests, and allowing Barack Obama to “lead” rather than this growing progressive grassroots network which includes many rank-and-file working class activists will get us no further ahead under an Obama Administration than one of John McCain.

The progressive movement must not acquiesce to Obama, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Goldman Sachs like the Democrats have been doing for the Republicans for eight long years.

I find it very interesting that Barack Obama wants to attack John McCain because of his involvement with the savings and loan scandal when this trillion dollar bailout is an even bigger scandal which Obama could have led the people in opposition to; and Obama did not… giving us our first concrete clue that we will have to struggle tooth and nail for the rights and advancement of a progressive working class agenda.
I don’t believe it is enough to pass along Barack Obama’s campaign material without creating the kind of discussion, dialogue and debate needed to create a base of support for the kind of all-people’s united front for peace and social and economic justice which will be required to wrest our country from the control of the military-financial-industrial complex once and Obama Administration is in power.

The most wealthy men in the world--- Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, along with Goldman-Sachs--- the biggest Wall Street investment and financial house, do not support Barack Obama by investing huge sums of money in his campaign for nothing; these Wall Street coupon clippers and parasites demand and insist in getting their money’s worth out of any politician they endorse and support… and you can be sure that our interests--- the working class’ interest--- is not ever the same as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Goldman-Sachs who are looking out for their own selfish interests.

I hope you will read my latest posting on my blog on the official Barack Obama website which includes a very important letter to Barack Obama from one of his original supporters concerning Obama’s stand on this trillion dollar bailout which is the most corrupt fiasco in American history for which the American working class will pay a horrific price.

Here is the link to my blog:


And below is what I posted on my regular blog… the term “middle class” is being used by Barack Obama as a means and a way to escape his own accountability, and progressives and working class activists--- those who support Obama, along with those who support other candidates, and the great number of people who will not be voting at all because they are so fed up--- should not allow Obama to ever escape accountability for his actions.

To the extent that there really is a “middle class” in our country, this “middle class” is very small and politically insignificant… this “middle class” will advance right along with any gains made by the working class while the same cannot be said for any advances solving the problems of this very small “middle class” when considering the problems associated with poverty from a working class position.

We must be very clear in understanding this, Barack Obama could have, and should have, led the opposition to this trillion dollar bail out; and he did not… and no one should close their eyes to this while assuming Obama will correct the problem once elected because Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Goldman Sachs enrich themselves through this most crooked and corrupt deal… when they profit, we lose. Any progressive gains we make will be at their expense.

Barack Obama and his campaign are doing a pretty darn good job of turning this debate away from the real issues at every opportunity, too… it is our job, as progressives--- no matter what candidates we support--- to try to keep the debate and discussion focused on the real issues so that no matter who wins this election, the progressive all-people’s united movement for real change comes out as strong as possible in a position to turn our country away from this very dangerous road to perdition which we are on…

Monday, October 6, 2008

Middle class bail out or working class bail out?

We need more concrete proposals from Barack Obama on how he intends to save "Main Street"... As anyone can see, people are expecting much more than what is in your typical newspaper story about "middle class bail out."

We especially need to end this talk about "middle class bail out;" we need to be talking about solving the problems of the "working class."

Solving the problems of the working class means talking about specific solutions aimed at eradicating poverty, which at a minimum, requires a massive redistribution of wealth in this country.

People want, and expect, Barack Obama to get specific. How are we going to bail working class people out of poverty?

Wall Street received its "bail out," now the working class is entitled to its bail out... a working class "bail out" requires two legislative acts--- 1.) make the minimum wage a real living wage; and, 2.) socialized health care.

All this talk about "the middle class" which has become so popular in the politicians' vocabulary is nothing more than an excuse for evading what really is required and needs to be done to eliminate poverty.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense, compassion and empathy for human beings understand that what is required is a detailed program and plan of action to eradicate poverty.

October 17 is the International Day of Action for the Eradication of Poverty yet we haven't heard a mention of this by Barack Obama or his campaign.

December 10, 2008 marks the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights--- Barack Obama and his campaign have ignored this important document which clearly enunciates and articulates the rights all human beings are entitled to by birth.

As long as our country's resources are squandered on weapons of war and militarism and the interests of the Wall Street coupon clippers remains of paramount importance in the United States, poverty will remain and our basic and fundamental rights articulated in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights will not be attainable for the vast majority of the working class, of which many working people are impoverished; most working class people know nothing about a "middle class" life.

The Wall Street bail out will lead to further impoverishment of the working class.

Posted by Alan L. Maki at 8:08 PM

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


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 11:35 PM
Subject: Fw: What they don't want to talk about

Please open the link below "watch a Preview right now and share it with your friends.

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



Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 11:26 PM

Subject: Fw: What they don't want to talk about

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

From: David Plouffe, BarackObama.com


Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 2:10 AM

Subject: What they don't want to talk about

Over the weekend, John McCain's top adviser announced their plan to stop engaging in a debate over the economy and "turn the page" to more direct, personal attacks on Barack Obama.

In the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, they want to change the subject from the central question of this election. Perhaps because the policies McCain supported these past eight years and wants to continue are pretty hard to defend.

But it's not just McCain's role in the current crisis that they're avoiding. The backward economic philosophy and culture of corruption that helped create the current crisis are looking more and more like the other major financial crisis of our time.

During the savings and loan crisis of the late '80s and early '90s, McCain's political favors and aggressive support for deregulation put him at the center of the fall of Lincoln Savings and Loan, one of the largest in the country. More than 23,000 investors lost their savings. Overall, the savings and loan crisis required the federal government to bail out the savings of hundreds of thousands of families and ultimately cost American taxpayers $124 billion.

Sound familiar?

In that crisis, John McCain and his political patron, Charles Keating, played central roles that ultimately landed Keating in jail for fraud and McCain in front of the Senate Ethics Committee. The McCain campaign has tried to avoid talking about the scandal, but with so many parallels to the current crisis, McCain's Keating history is relevant and voters deserve to know the facts -- and see for themselves the pattern of poor judgment by John McCain.

So at noon Eastern on Monday, October 6th, we're releasing a 13-minute documentary about the scandal called "Keating Economics: John McCain and the Making of a Financial Crisis" -- it will be available at KeatingEconomics.com, along with background information that every voter should know.

Watch a preview right now and share it with your friends.

The point of the film and the web site is that John McCain still hasn't learned his lesson.

And this time, McCain's bankrupt economic philosophy has put our economy at the brink of collapse and put millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes.

Watch the video to see why John McCain's failed philosophy and poor judgment is a recipe for deepening the crisis:


It's no wonder John McCain would rather spend the last month of this election smearing Barack's character instead of talking about the top priority issue for voters.

But if we work together, we can make sure the focus stays on the economy -- and how to fix it.

Please forward this email to everyone you know.



David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

P.S. -- The documentary will be live at noon Eastern at www.KeatingEconomics.com.

Paid for by Obama for America

This email was sent to: hemlock5042@msn.com