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, January 29, 2008


I am glad to see United States Congressman Keith Ellison has been reading my blog. Unfortunately, Congressman Ellison, in spite of being heavily supported by the members of United Auto Workers Local 879, forgot to mention the closing of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and chose to talk about financing small businesses instead of public ownership of this plant which tax-payers have been subsidizing over the years in so many ways.

From Congressman Keith Ellison

Washington, D.C. -- The President’s spokesperson informed us today that the President will have no new ideas in his speech tonight. That’s unfortunate. Mr. President: Our country is in grave economic trouble. We have a housing finance meltdown going on while energy costs spiral up and down [I haven't noticed any "spiral down" ALM]. Affordable and accessible health care is out of reach to almost 50 million Americans with 6 million alone added during this President’s tenure. Our educational system has left far too many children behind, while our bridges are literally falling down in America.

Mr. President: our country needs an economic stimulus package that will result in something more than pocket change for most working families.

Mr. President: The best American economic stimulus package you could offer the American public is to end this war in Iraq.

We are currently spending $10 Billion a month in Iraq, more than $2.5 Billion a week.

Taxpayers in Minnesota alone paid $11 Billion for the cost of the Iraq War through 2007. For that amount of money, Minnesota could have provided:

· over 3 million people with Health Care OR

· over 13 million Homes with Renewable Electricity OR

· over 250,000 Public Safety Officers OR

· nearly 175,000 Music and Arts Teachers OR

· over 1.2 million Scholarships for University Students OR

· 1,300 New Elementary Schools OR

· almost 70,000 Affordable Housing Units OR

· over 3.5 million Children with Health Care OR

· over 1.5 million Head Start Places for Children OR

· almost 200,000 Elementary School Teachers OR

· over 130,000 Port Container Inspectors

The President’s $150 Billion economic stimulus package represents a little over ONE year in war funding for Iraq.

I would urge the President to work with Congress to bring our brave men and women home from Iraq now – and put hard-working Americans tax dollars to use building American schools, roads, jobs, hospitals and small businesses. That is a message on the state of our union worth giving.

My commentary:

I would urge United States Congressman Keith Ellison to add public ownership of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant to the very top of his list. Last night at a meeting of the Ford Site Planning Committee and Task Force it was announced by retired UAW Local 879 member Lynn Hinckle that a coalition of organizations had been established with the objective of saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

Prior to Lynn Hinckle speaking, members of the Gus Hall Action Club spoke of the need to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant through public ownership.

Lynn Hinckle has been a leading protagonist in insisting that since Ford workers have created tremendous wealth for the Ford Motor Company over the years, these workers have a right to participate in the decision making process concerning the future of this plant.

Members of the Gus Hall Action Club have been in the forefront spearheading the efforts to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant as has often been noted in media reports. The Gus Hall Action Club points out that since Ford workers have created such tremendous wealth in an operation that has been heavily subsidized by tax-payers for over eight decades, the time has come to bring the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant under public ownership.

If government can finance a golf course/ski resort (Giant's Ridge) on the Iron Range, and a football team in Wisconsin (the Green Bay Packers), government can sure as heck bring the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant under public ownership.

I don't see any golfers, skiers, or Packer fans complaining about public ownership... I doubt anyone is going to complain about using this same public ownership to save 2,000 jobs.

I would urge United States Congressman Keith Ellison, state Representatives Tom Rukavina, Bill Hilty, Karen Clark, Carlos Mariani, Mary Ellen Otremba and Tony Sertich along with State Senators David Tomassoni, Jim Metzen and Richard Cohen to step boldly forward and get SF 607 through the legislative process, and then immediately begin the legislative journey to bring the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant under public ownership.

Judging from the response of Minnesotans, people would rather have a plant providing two-thousand jobs instead of subsidizing professional sports teams they don't even own.

Minnesotans never wanted to subsidize the war in Iraq any more than they wanted to subsidize the profits of the Ford Motor Company. Remember, the politicians always told us we were subsidizing "jobs, jobs, jobs." And we should continue subsidizing these two thousand jobs. Any thinking person would rather subsidize a job at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant for the lifetime of a worker rather subsidize the dropping of a bomb in Iraq killing people..

And as far as the war in Iraq... Minnesotans are in unanimous agreement with United States Congressman Keith Ellison... stop the carnage now, get the troops out of Iraq now; use the money for things people need... like jobs, jobs, jobs.

We are fortunate to have a manufacturing facility in our state which can play a central role in the "greening process" contributing to ending global warming... only a fool would suggest taking the wrecking ball to the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, selling the hydro dam powering the manufacturing operation to a foreign corporation, as two-thousands jobs are flushed down the Mighty Mississippi River like so much of the pollution the Ford Motor Company so callously purged from its operation for so many years as it sought to maximize profits not only through labor and reaping free energy to power the plant, but even in the way it disposed of the waste--- proving that the "free markets" of capitalism just don't work to society's advantage, especially without regulatory agencies closely monitoring this corporation's every move (another burden to tax-payers)... after over eighty years of exploiting workers, raping the land, free electricity, dumping its waste indiscriminately creating a threat to public health and the environment, it is time to give public ownership a shot--- public ownership can't do any worse than the greedy Ford Motor Company, which like the mining companies and the forestry industries, have run off with OUR wealth.

What the heck, we can't even afford health care for people because the corporations have stolen OUR wealth; and, what wealth they haven't stolen, they have squandered on war after war. Of course one could make a good argument that they have continued to reap profits, even from wars.