Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Obama Five Point Plan on Economy; more questions than answers

I find it very welcome the issues are being addressed in this campaign. (See article below from Twin Cities Daily Planet)

However, I also find it very troubling that the Democratic Party and Barack Obama are engaged in a well known strategy devised by linguist George Lakoff to “frame progressive sounding policy directives” which “unite;” but, refrain from bringing forward specific progressive solutions fearing to fracture the “progressive voting coalition.”

Raising issues in these troubled times is not enough. We need to hear well formulated and specific solutions to problems; not simply recognition the problems exist.

Here in Minnesota, the Democratic Party has become its own corrupt self… arrogantly and completely evading any solutions to problems as it strives to capture the votes of suburbia and gated communities.

It is simply mean for any political party to play these kinds of games simply to win votes and arrogantly expect people to vote for its candidates simply because the Republicans are so bad.

We have many clear examples of this arrogant indifference towards working people and their problems from the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party… ranging from continuing to ignore the plight of some thirty-thousand casino workers forced to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights to the closing of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant where State Senator James Metzen sabotaged efforts to pass SF 607 which would have kept the plant and hydro dam intact as an industrial unit until it was brought under public ownership or new owners of the plant could be found to continue production—- thus saving some two-thousand good-paying union jobs to employer biased unemployment compensation laws to single-payer universal health care and socialized health care.

Contrary to the bad advice from George Lakoff, elections can be won by those politicians with the moral and political courage to bring forward real solutions to the problems working people are experiencing… the fact that socialists of the real Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party, Floyd B. Olson and Elmer A. Benson, were the most popular of all elected politicians in Minnesota history with the voters turning out at the polls, proves those advocating real solutions to the problems of working people are “electable” without having to participate in such shameful games in misleading voters.

I would like to know from Barack Obama and his supporters, what specific solutions they have to the concerns I have raised and I would like to see it spelled out exactly what this so-called “Five Point Plan” comprising Obama’s economic strategy really consists of. I don’t think this is too much to ask.

A trillion dollars to bail out a bunch of corrupt, conniving and crooked bankers and Wall Street coupon clippers proposed behind another bunch of lies by the Republicans with Democrats acquiescing just as they did with the war in Iraq; another similar bailout in the works for the U.S. auto and steel industries… socialism for the rich. What is good for the goose is good for the gander… let’s have socialism to solve the problems of the working class.

There isn't a single banker in this country who would make a five-hundred dollar loan to anyone without some collateral or something of substance to back up the loan and without assuming full ownership should payment not be forthcoming, yet, the United States Congress refuses to exercise its fiduciary responsibility by getting anything as collateral... it is time that tax-payers own something other than an empty sack of promises for that which they finance... what tax-payers finance, tax-payers should own should become our demand... certainly Warren Buffett and Goldman Sachs will understand this.

Obama has specifically promised three things--- and only three things, which we can expect him to keep his promises to adhere to… if anyone else knows of more, I would like to be informed of such.

Obama has promised:

1.) To increase military spending;
2.) To reinstate the draft;
3.) That in addition to bailing out the banks and financial community; the working class will get to endure “belt-tightening.”

This is far from a progressive program; in fact, it is regressive and outright reactionary as politics gets. So, let’s have the facts concerning this “Five Point Economic Program.”

Obama recently stated to a gaggle of his supporters:

“So let's be clear: what we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed.”

In fact, the capitalist system has failed and is on the skids to oblivion... the only question remaining is how many people will now be hurt before we give it the boot.

After eight long years of George Bush and Republican rule I want to see some real change not listen to a bunch of meaningless platitudes from Barack Obama whose biggest financial backers are Warren Buffet and Goldman Sachs.

I would hate to see McCain and a Neanderthal like Palin win; but, I am not so afraid of McCain and Palin that I will cast my precious one vote without getting something in return. A vote based upon fear is a vote thrown away.

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




Obama rally addresses the economy

By Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva , TC Daily Planet

September 20, 2008

More than 3,500 Obama-Biden supporters gathered downtown Minneapolis on Friday to hear Barack Obama’s plan for the economy. The rally took place as McCain addressed thousands of supporters in Blaine.

Bill Clinton’s phrase “It’s the economy, stupid!” seems to have resonated with the Obama-Biden campaign as it tries to persuade voters Obama has a viable plan to fix the economy. The rally is an indicator of the campaign’s efforts to hone its message as economic woes on Wall Street and across America deepen. Speakers R.T Rybak, Majority House leader Margaret Anderson Kelliher, and Representative Keith Ellison stuck close to Obama’s economic plan.

Nick Kimball, spokesman for the Obama campaign in Minnesota, said there has been a shift in voters’ concerns as the economy weakens. “We’re having conversations with about 10,000 a night through door knocking and phone calls,” Kimball said. “It’s very clear that people are looking for details about the eocnomy and they want to know exactly what the candidates are going to do about this crisis we’re in.”

Obama’s five-point plan consists of providing tax breaks for the middle class, bringing a responsible end to the war in Iraq, regulating Wall Street, investing in renewable energy sources, and cracking down on lobbyists. How specifically Obama and Biden will accomplish these was not the focus of Friday’s rally, but the five points appeared frequently and visually. During one speech five supporters held up poster boards representing each point.

Carol Bouska, an Obama supporter, said the rally was refreshing for its focus on a single issue rather than personality or celebrity. “The campaigns have become about style over substance, and we have to get back to the issues,” Bouska said, “It was really good to be at the rally because even though Obama and Biden weren’t there, there were a lot of people gathered there because they actually care about the economy.”