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...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ask Kennedy To Make It Single Payer... nothing less than HR 676

Some people say: “Let's give Obama the chance he deserves.”

I can’t believe anyone would suggest giving this bunch a “chance.”

Obama had a “chance” to stand up in defense of people being foreclosed on and losing their homes at the time the banks were bailed out… he, and the Democrats, chose to do nothing; nothing for working people anyways. They could have bought up the foreclosed mortgage and the banks would have gotten their same bailout money since they own the mortgages.

And now, the rumors circulating from what I have been told directly by a United States Senator, is that this bunch of Wall Street people are talking about bailing out a bunch of real estate speculators with huge investments in rental housing, office leases and shopping malls who are apparently facing foreclosure because so many of their tenants have been evicted!

A “chance” to do what?

Look at Obama’s Transition Economic Advisory Board… there is not one single person on there that is going to do anything in favor of working people.

After everything that organized labor put into his campaign, there isn’t one single union “leader,” as rotten as most of them are, sitting on this Board. The closest one gets is David Bonior and in all of his time as minority whip in the House he never once put up a fight on one single issue of substance… he cried that he had been betrayed by John Edwards while he sits on a Board with sleaze like Antonio Villaraigosa and the rest are all Wall Street people.

Wall Street needed a con-man to try to get them through this mess and they found their man in Obama, and people just got sucked in like they would from a slick salesperson selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door.

And, now, after so many people have contributed money to his campaign, they figure they have an investment in the guy and they are too embarrassed to admit they have been had.

I must admit, listening to all the hype I was thinking maybe I was even going to vote for Obama, too. I purposely went and voted early for Cynthia McKinney just so I wouldn’t get caught up in all the last minute BS; afraid I might be tempted.

This was all just one big show; a Barnum and Bailey production. Here in Minnesota the state government is referred to as “the circus in the Cities.” (St. Paul-Minneapolis)

Weeks before the election they had everything planned out; where Obama was going to make his acceptance speech and where John McCain was going to accept defeat.

Common sense should cause anyone to look at what they did at Grant Park… and all over the country. Can you imagine what would have happened had this been another stolen election like 2000 and 2004… Chicago would still be burning along with half the cities in the United States. You don’t bring this many people together to celebrate a defeat. Here in Minnesota they can hardly keep public order after the ref makes a bad call during a hockey game.

Face it; we were all played for suckers, and shame on us if we give Obama anymore chances in any other ways.

Even Rahm Emanuel, the racist, anti-Palestinian bigot--- Obama knew he was going to be his Chief of Staff but he also knew that if he let this out to people most of his support wouldn’t have shown up at the polls.

Already these people who tried to pump everyone up on Obama are talking that business will have its way with Obama in the first term but they are going to fight for control of the Democratic Party so they control Obama in the second term. Gees, this is unbelievable. But, this is what has been posted to the Progressives for Obama blog written by none other than Mark Rudd and being hailed as a masterpiece in progressive thinking.

The other thing to keep in mind is that in spite of all the euphoria surrounding Obama’s election, George Bush is still in power; and to give Obama a “chance” is also giving Bush a whole lot of room to maneuver. This is a guy who should have been impeached, or, long ago, driven from office in disgrace like Richard Nixon.

Much has been made of Barack Obama having been a “community organizer;” do you know any community organizer who would pull back at the very time there is maximum momentum for change without getting what people wanted?

Very likely the capitalist economy is going to go into the worst depression in human history and it might be a dozen years or more before there will be any improvement.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has wasted no time letting Obama know what its agenda is… why have progressives held off so long with their “wish list?”

If nothing else we should be moving forward very militantly and asserting our rights to single-payer universal health care… we don’t even have any national organization in place to coordinate such a massive movement… the “Progressives for Obama” and “progressives for Obama” are undermining what organization and struggle we have.

At least if we come together as grassroots and rank-and-file activists in support of real single-payer universal health care, we all develop a working relationship and learn to struggle together and if we are successful we have built the foundation to broaden our struggles to bring forward a much more advanced progressive agenda and begin challenging these people for real power… that is what this is really all about.

We are very close to suffering a major set-back in the area of health care reform right now.

In fact, another good reason not to give Obama a “chance” is because he is already undermining the single-payer universal health care movement knowing that if he can divide us on this issue it will be very hard for us to recover to come back united on any other issues, including the struggle for peace.

I received a letter from the All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care-HR676, just today… I attached my own letter and sent it out to many people… I would encourage all of you to do the same… we need to get up some momentum here and not give the Obama Administration a minute of peace--- no justice, no peace--- this is the way we should be looking to do business with this Obama Administration… here is the letter I received and my letter as I sent it out:

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Maki [mailto:amaki000@centurytel.net]
Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2008 2:10 PM

Subject: Ask Kennedy To Make It Single Payer... nothing less than HR 676

I would encourage people to post this letter--- see below--- on blogs, websites and list-serves along with bulletin boards, refrigerators, take it with you to meetings and to work and ask everyone you know to sign it. You should also send it as I am doing now to politicians and all your friends and even those not so friendly.

There are many websites, blogs and list serves where heated discussions on health care are taking place especially with organizations like the Campaign for America's Future trying to derail the single-payer universal health care movement.

It is on this issue of single-payer universal health care that all liberals and progressives should remain united... other than the American Medical Association and the insurance companies there is not much other opposition to H.R 676... the American people are entitled to get something for throwing this bunch of crooked and corrupt Republicans out of office... it is time to insist on something in return for our votes.

Keith Ellison is the only Minnesota member of Congress on record supporting HR 676 and Al Franken has refused to endorse it... I say, let him sink.

Congressman James Oberstar has been a no-show on HR 676. Why?

The time has come to let politicians know there is going to be a penalty paid for not supporting HR 676... We have to ask our state legislators why they have balked at taking a similar initiative as that of their colleagues in following the lead of Kentucky, New York and New Hampshire in endorsing HR 676.

For a fraction of what these dirty wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing we could have a world class health care system.

The Roseau County Convention of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party unanimously passed a resolution calling for no-fee/no-premium, comprehensive, all-inclusive, single-payer universal health care; publicly funded like Social Security and publicly administered.

The Minnesota 2006 DFL State Convention, by a 72% margin, passed a resolution in support of HR 676.

Don't forget to write Letters to the Editor of newspapers supporting HR 676.

Also, don't forget the call-in radio programs.

It has become very important that you make clear you are supporting HR 676 specifically because there are numerous other proposals being floated as unscrupulous politicians try to wiggle out from this issue as high-powered lobbyists representing the American Medical Association and the insurance industry are making the rounds with their bribes.

Let's get HR 676 support committees established in every community in Minnesota... and demand from politicians we will settle for nothing less.

Again, please circulate this widely.

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


Thirty-thousand casino workers go to jobs in smoke-filled casinos... someone should figure out how much this adds to health care costs.

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

From: Unions for Single Payer HR676

Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2008 12:14 PM

To: Single Payer News

Subject: Ask Kennedy To Make It Single Payer

News articles report that Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has instructed the

staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee to

begin working on a comprehensive healthcare bill to be presented in the

next Congress that convenes in early January.

The following letter was sent to Senator Ted Kennedy on behalf of the All

Unions Committee for Single Payer Healthcare—HR 676.

We encourage all who receive this email to contact Senator Kennedy’s

office urging him to offer single payer legislation modeled on House bill

HR 676.

We urge you to do this as an individual and to ask your union to do so as


November 7, 2008

Senator Ted Kennedy

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Kennedy,

We understand that you are currently working energetically on a

comprehensive health care reform bill to be introduced in the new session.

There are certain junctures in history when the obstacles of the past melt

in the heat of a rising popular demand for change. This is one of those


You once proudly described yourself as “an old single payer advocate.” We

urge you to return to that vision now when your tremendous influence could

make this truly just and practical plan a reality.

Please consider the simplicity, cost effectiveness and humanity of a

single payer plan which could be implemented comparatively easily as was

traditional Medicare. Any plan that keeps the profit-making insurance

companies in the mix will add layers of bureaucracy, will not be able to

control costs, and will fail in the noble effort to bring good care to


We ask that you introduce, in the Senate, legislation modeled on HR 676,

which has now gained the support of 94 representatives in the US House,

480 union bodies, 39 state AFL-CIO’s, 117 Central Labor Councils, 20

international unions, the US Conference of Mayors, the Houses of

Representatives in Kentucky, New Hampshire and New York, and hundreds more

cities, counties, faith groups and organizations that express the great

hope and dire need of our people.

We urge you to be our Tommy Douglas, to lead the charge for nonprofit

single payer universal coverage. The people will be with you. Surely we

deserve the health benefits offered to the people of every other country

in the industrialized world—all medically necessary care and freedom from

the fear of economic ruin due to illness. It is only by moving to single

payer that we can cut the waste while expanding the care.

We must not squander the opportunity of this momentous time. With your

experience and stature in Congress and the nation, you are uniquely able

to ensure that generations to come will enjoy the legacy of health care as

a human right. Please say “yes” to single payer.

Sincerely yours,

Kay Tillow, Coordinator

All Unions Committee for

Single Payer healthcare—HR676

c/o Nurses Professional Organization

1169 Eastern Parkway #2218

Louisville, KY 40217

(502) 636-1551