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...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bailout the Big Three?

This Letter to the Editor was submitted to the Minneapolis Star Tribune for publication; writer granted the Editor the right to edit as seen fit. The letter was not published... so much for "freedom of the press."

Note: Since this letter was submitted to the Editor for publication, the UAW leadership of Ron Gettelfinger has joined with the CEO's of the Big Three in forming a "united front" seeking a tax-payer bailout. Gettelfinger has agreed to more plant closings, more layoffs and more job losses and cut-backs to unemployment benefits and delayed payments to health and union pension funds... but, Barack Obama is still not satisfied, he wants auto workers to give up even more... the "thanks" auto workers get for laying out hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of woman/man volunteer hours in efforts for his campaign for the presidency. Also, the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant has been unexpectedly idled for months leaving many employees without any income from SUB benefits or state unemployment benefits.

And, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the huge GM Stamping Plant will be permanently closed throwing over a thousand workers into the street as Michigan's Democratic, labor-backed Governor--- Jennifer Granholm, and David Bonior have encouraged these auto workers to take up training for employment in the Gun Lake Casino where they will be subjected to second-hand smoke day in and day out while receiving poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws. Each employee will have to sign a statement pledging not to engage in union organizing as terms of their employment just as workers employed by Stanley Crooks at the huge Mystic Lake Casino and Resort employing over 5,000 in its operation have to do... so much for the Employee Free Choice Act.

November 12, 2008

First Wall Street Bankers. Now the Big Three automakers. Who is coming for a handout and free lunch next? The lobbying industry or the health insurance companies?

The government is prepared to let the St. Paul Ford Twin City Assembly Plant and two-thousand jobs go down the river because there was no money to save this one plant and now tax-payers are being told, not even asked, that they will be bailing out the entire auto industry.

Obviously free enterprise has failed. Why should tax-payers bailout the Big Three when in a few months the price of each of the Big Three's stocks should be less than one-dollar a share.

Tax-payers will have the opportunity to purchase the entire automotive industry for a real bargain for far less than what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing us.

A board consisting of all the stake-holders could be brought together and we could finally produce quality products which are environmentally friendly... not to mention affordable.

Capitalism hasn't worked; socialism will.

The Big Three cry poverty after they have taken the wealth created by North American workers and invested that wealth in quest of cheaper labor and resources overseas.

I don't believe politicians would even consider turning over one penny to these greedy corporations without even having had the opportunity to see their books... all the books, including their international operations.

What tax-payers finance, tax-payers should own.

Nationalization under public ownership is the solution to the problems of the auto industry.

The time has come to put People, Jobs and the Environment Before Corporate Profits!

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


Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona for Secretary of Interior?

Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona is being mentioned as a potential Obama appointment for Secretary of Interior.

It is interesting that "progressives" and "environmentalists" would be jumping on the band-wagon in support of Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona without scrutinizing his dismal record regarding human rights abuses in the Indian Gaming Industry who would have a direct conflict of interest in his appointment to this position which would be a great set-back to the struggle for justice and dignity by two-million casino workers employed in the more than 450 loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos in this country at poverty wages and without any rights... largely because Congressman Raul Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona has been a primary backer of the "Compacts" creating the Indian Gaming Industry; "Compacts" which sow racism, sexism and a myriad of injustices.

Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona has distorted and twisted the meaning of "sovereignty" and "Indian Law" to mean the right of the Indian Gaming Industry to mercilessly and shamefully exploit casino workers while destroying their health.

It is ironic that environmentalists and progressives would turn their backs on the plight of working people while claiming that Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona would be one of the better choices among Obama's cabinet selections.

What this points out is just how terrible and reactionary the rest of the Obama team actually is.

And, furthermore, it points out what a flim-flam man and con-artist Barack Obama really is; worse than this, it points out just how screwed up and twisted middle class intellectuals who consider themselves "progressives" really are without any class analysis and a complete disregard for the rights of working people as they pit the plight of casino workers to be employed in healthy working environments against protection of Mother Nature and they can't even think clearly enough to understand the complete immorality in pushing someone forward for a cabinet post as important as Secretary of Interior who has direct ties and links to an industry that has demonstrated no more respect for Mother Nature than it has for the rights of working people.

Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the Indian Gaming Industry. The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for overseeing the "Compacts" creating casinos in the Indian Gaming Industry.

Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona has been silent when it comes to the health and rights of casino workers in the Indian Gaming Industry.

It is pathetic that "progressives" and "environmentalists" now give Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona their "nod of approval" for the position of Secretary of the Interior.

This proves that there is no clear direction when it comes to a continuity and unity based on progressive values in this country... it is this very same misunderstanding that led so many liberals and progressives to support Barack Obama along with so many other dumb donkeys and continues to hinder the development of a truly progressive constituency in this country capable of being part of the decision-making process and places progressives on the periphery of electoral politics.

Ironically, we now hear the same pathetic excuses used in pressuring and coercing liberals and progressives to support Obama that we now see being used to bully and intimidate people into supporting Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona for Secretary of Interior who is completely unacceptable to casino workers employed in the Indian Gaming Industry... not that our opinion matters to the likes of Carl Pope or other environmentalists, progressives and middle class intellectuals working in smoke-free environments usually with very good pay-checks, too.

It's all about as hypocritical as United States Senator Carl Levin waving around his little UAW membership card as he has voted to allow dozens of these casinos to come into existence while sitting in the U.S. Senate for years ignoring the trampling of rights of casino workers.

What is really the epitome of hypocrisy is that many progressives tout Obama's victory as being a new stage in the struggle for "equality" when many thousands of these casino workers employed in these smoke-filled casinos without any rights under state or federal labor laws are women of color of child-bearing age!

When one thinks about this entire situation it is really very sad to see such shallow and uncaring attitudes spun by progressives who would call themselves "environmentalists" while not giving two-hoots about the working environments of some two-million working people.

Even more sad is the fact that those calling themselves "progressive" would shamefully look the other way as racism and sexism go without challenge and the plight of working people is ignored.

Interesting how outfits like the Progressive Democrats of America who claim to be for health care reform would endorse Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona with the full knowledge he is one of the primary supporters of the Indian Gaming Industry. I would think Norman Solomon, Tim Carpenter and Donna Smith would have the intelligence to see just a little contradiction in supporting Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona for the Department of Interior knowing the consequences of second-hand smoke to human health. But alas, the PDA is about to "compromise away" single-payer universal health care in the name of not wanting to become alienated from Barack Obama the great progressive, who from among millions of Americans, can only find Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona and his ilk to be qualified to serve in his cabinet along with the entire bunch of reactionaries who are so reactionary a crooked, corrupt and uncaring politician like Congressman Raul Grijalva a Democrat from Arizona actually looks good.

Congressman Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona for Secretary of Interior? Real progressives say "NO."

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