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...

Monday, June 30, 2008

An Open Letter to voters about Health Care reform...

I have received a number of letters and phone calls over the past several months telling me that Minnesota State Senator John Marty’s health care legislation is patterned after the federal H.R. 676.

This is not the case at all, which anyone can tell from simply reading the two pieces of legislation.

If this is the case, then what are the costs involved in the Marty legislation and why is how this plan will be financed, along with the real costs, so hidden?

The Marty legislation doesn’t read anything like H.R. 676.

As you probably know, the Democratic leadership has already stated, that even if they win the Presidency and control both Houses of Congress, they will not support H.R. 676. Like on impeachment, Congressman John Conyers will back down--- and have those visiting him arrested just as he did those who came to his office seeking he follow through with promises of impeachment.

And, I am sure you know the Marty legislation here in Minnesota will never pass. Democratic Senator Rod Skoe has even told me he endorsed it just to get all of us supporting socialized health care off his back. I think Skoe’s endorsement is even more devious than just getting us off his back… Skoe, and most of those who have endorsed the Marty legislation have done so with a very devious intent; intending to go along with the even more reactionary proposals as a “compromise” alternative to the Marty legislation. I am sure many of your other endorsers have equally sinister and corrupt motives like Skoe who cannot be trusted for anything.

We are very well aware most Minnesotans want just what the Canadians have in the way of health care; yet, there isn’t a single proposal in keeping with this--- not H.R. 676, not the John Marty legislation. Even the Conyers proposal is too costly for most working people; again, those uncritically supporting H.R. 676 conveniently ignore the costs and who will pay the costs--- very dishonest on their part, even though politically expedient.

The Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition (MUHCC) could easily draft something in line with what the Canadians have. So could the Physicians for a National Healthcare Policy. This would solve everything. Everything, that is, except for the profiteers wrecking the system just like this is ruining the Canadian single payer universal health care system. Most Canadian labour union people will tell you the solution is outright socialized health care; as will most of the socialist supporting New Democratic Party voters.

To me, it is quite dishonest that MUHCC and others have written off socialized health care without even giving it any consideration since here in Minnesota the majority of voters could be won to support it. Simply because there are those business people and those like doctors, hospital administrators, HMO’s and insurance company CEO’s who deathly fear ant talk of “socialized health care” is no reason not to discuss this solution which would be no different than public education or Social Security.

In fact, as we approach the Fourth of July, we can say that it is downright undemocratic for the Democrats and Republicans to scheme to prevent an open public dialogue and public discourse on the question of socialized health care.

In fact, we could go even further knowing that there are so many millions of people suffering not only the consequences of their illnesses, but the double whammy of paying outrageous medical and health related bills; trying to pay them even though for many it means being foreclosed on and evicted from the family homestead and then thrown out of nursing homes when they can no longer afford to pay the bills.

We saw how Democrats used dirty-tricks and schemed to deny the liberal Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer the U.S. Senate nomination; we see how these same corrupt forces in the Democratic Party are scheming to push Obama even further to the right as they force him to provide the most minute detail of the neoliberal agenda while they make sure he remains very vague and inconsistent when it comes to ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on health care reform, Social Security, the minimum wage and the rights of working people.

I, along with others, went to Obama’s “Unite for Change” events, and in most cases, we found no one home for these publicly promoted and advertised events… similarly, we will find no one home at the White House on the day after the Election unless we immediately begin to use our very limited resources to organize rank and file and grassroots initiatives dedicated to fighting for real solutions to our pressing problems; it would be all the better if such initiatives are geared towards organizing progressive independence from the Democrats and Republicans.

When those promoting Obama’s “Unite for Change” event at 722 Upton Avenue North in Minneapolis found out that I was coming intending to raise the issues of socialized health care, a real living minimum wage and with a plan to end these dirty wars in Iraq and Afghanistan everyone arrived at a home with no one home--- not even an explanation provided. I have since heard of many other such “cancellations without notice” all over the United States.

Obama refuses to define what “change” he is for. People are fast losing “hope” in Obama’s rhetoric.

John McCain has one pathetic claim to fame which he says qualifies him to be President of the United States of America: he got shot down reigning death and destruction on the Vietnamese people and Obama can’t even bring himself to denounce McCain for the warmongering murderer he really is. Make no mistake, McCain is no hero… McCain is a war criminal who deserved to get shot out of the sky for what he was doing in Vietnam. McCain received better medical care from his Vietnamese captors than what most working people receive when they go to a doctor or hospital and McCain walked out of Vietnam without a bill for the medical care he received and Uncle Sam has never paid his bill or compensated the Vietnamese for the death and destruction they suffered at the hands of John McCain and his “buddies.” And here we are, in another quagmire in Iraq, another boon-doggle in Afghanistan; and Obama and McCain are cheering on Bush to go to war with Iran while both ignore the real health care needs of their own people as money is wasted creating death and destruction in the countries of others.

It is too bad that honesty in politics will not be a consideration this Fourth of July as the capitalist sooth-sayers hawk their snake-oil cure-alls.

Something to consider around the dinner table as we finance bombs doing more damage to other peoples instead of simply “bursting in air;” of course, as we all know, we can’t pay for socialized health care and continue dirty imperialist wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for dope, oil and world domination… although the by-product of Afghan poppies might relieve some pain.