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...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sidney Nadolsky: Peace and social justice activist

Sidney Nadolsky

NADOLSKY - Sidney Nadolsky, age 95, died Wednesday, January 14, 2009, after a brief illness in Holland Hospital.

He is survived by his 3 children, David (Shanna) Nadolsky of Rogers City, Karl (Amy) Nadolsky of Holland, and Rosemary Nadolsky-Henning of Chicago; 6 grandchildren, David (Judy) Nadolsky of Sterling Heights, Erik (Amy) of Rogers City, Elizabeth (Todd) Hincka of Rogers City, Dr. Karl Nadolsky of Portsmouth, VA, Spencer Nadolsky of Blacksburg, VA, and Alexandra Sydney Henning of Chicago; 8 great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Jane Merren of Greenville; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Virginia Nadolsky (1913-1987).

Born in New York City February 14, 1913, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants Louis and Rose (Belkin) Nadolsky, Sid primarily grew up and worked in Grand Rapids.

He graduated from Grand Rapids South High School in 1931 (a classmate of the late President Gerald Ford), serving as the class Poet Laureate in Perpetuity.

He attended Grand Rapids Junior College before going on the road as the bassist in a 12 piece swing band during the Big-Band era.

He married another 1931 South High graduate, Virginia Fisher, and together they raised their 3 children in Grand Rapids, where he was a long-standing member of the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Garfield Park Summer Orchestra, as well as conducting his own 5 piece dance band, The Sid Nadolsky Orchestra.

The group played regularly from the early 40s through the mid 70s at the Rowe Hotel, the Charcoal Inn of the Pantlind Hotel (now the Amway Grand Plaza), Sunshine Hospital and countless weddings and private parties.

Every New Year's Eve his band could be found playing dance music for the Grand Rapids Alcoholics Anonymous party.

He was a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians, the ACLU, the NAACP, Amnesty International, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

He was actively involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and, as a tireless advocate of peace, was staunchly opposed to the war in Viet Nam.

He performed in Grand Rapids Circle Theatre productions of "Call Me Madame" and "A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" before he and the late Mrs. Nadolsky moved to Rogers City in the late 70s.

While residing in Rogers City, Sid continued playing music for patients at the Rogers City Hospital and Tender Care; the Senior Citizens' Center; and various other Rogers City civic functions.

He worked in his son David's pharmacy until age 86 and spent as much time as possible cross-country skiing and, through the autumn of his 93rd year, playing tennis. He was a board member of the Presque Isle District Library; the Michigan Humanities Council; and active with the Rogers City Theatre, most recently revisiting his role as Erroneous in "A Funny Thing...Forum."

When interviewed by the Alpena News on the event of his 90th birthday, he was asked to reveal his secret to longevity and vitality. He quipped, "Pick your parents right."

Always an independent thinker with a profound commitment to social justice, he wrote a weekly topical poem (calling it "doggerel") for the Presque Isle County Advance and contributed generously to various social causes that champion the poor and the disenfranchised.

He moved to Holland, MI in July of 2008, where he lived with son Karl and Amy Nadolsky until his death January 14.

While residing in Holland, he remained physically active and mentally engaged by playing his bass; riding a stationary bicycle and lifting hand weights daily; reading voraciously; attending G.R. Symphony and Jazz Band concerts; avidly following the Beijing Olympic games and the 2008 presidential race.

On November 4, he was proud to cast his vote for Barack Obama.

He also enjoyed his final fall going sailing with family and delighting in the beauty of Western Michigan sunsets over Lake Michigan.

Sid and his joie de vivre will be dearly remembered and sorely missed.

The Nadolsky family welcomes memories and messages in their on-line registry at:


Contributions may be made in Sid's name to the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Presque Isle District Library, or a charity of your choice.

A memorial celebration of his life is being planned and will take place this summer in Rogers City.

This Obituary appeared in the Grand Rapids Press

Obama: A new foreign policy?

If Obama didn't speak up given the horrors of this most recent Israeli pogrom against the Palestinian people in Gaza he isn't going to do or say anything contrary to existing U.S. foreign policy.

In fact, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Barack Obama sent signals to Israel along the lines: Go ahead and do your dirty deeds, don't tell me what you are going to do I don't want to know, just go ahead and do whatever it is you intend to do and be done before Inauguration Day.

This is the exact same kind of policies of the Russian Czars--- who, by the way, were as thrilled with Zionism as the United States Congress.

What we are now seeing with Obama is a foreign policy of "benign neglect;" or, "I'll give you the money and arms but don't tell me what you intend to do with them I don't want to know."

A new foreign policy? After the the shameful Senate and House votes on the resolutions supporting this latest Israeli killing spree and rampage in Gaza, it is very naive for anyone to think that until progressives in the United States break free from the Democratic Party (the two-party trap) there will be anything but "business as usual" in foreign or domestic policy... and anyone who thinks that the American people will get anything of benefit from a government that is so morally rotten and corrupt that it would encourage the kind of barbarity and cannibalistic behavior we have seen by the Israelis in Gaza over the recent weeks is in store for a very rude awakening.

If anyone thinks that the terms "barbaric" and "cannibalistic" are too harsh I would urge them to consider that the Israelis and their killing machine paid for with our tax-dollars did every grotesque and anti-human thing imaginable except eat their victims... and they might have done this, too, if not for the type of weapons used which made their victims unpalatable to these bestial monsters.

I would note that the only organized "progressive" voices within the Democratic Party, namely: Progressive Democrats of America, the Campaign for America's Future and Progressives for Obama, have all failed to organize in support and solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza at a time when it counted: when they were under attack. Robert Borosage, the leader of the Campaign for America's Future (CAF), in response to my inquiry as to why after two weeks of this barbaric Israeli rampage the CAF had not spoken out, declared: "We don't do the Middle East," as if he was saying this with great pride; all this weekend the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) were meeting, and not a peep from them about Gaza! Even as they talked about "Health care, Not Warfare" there was not a mention that the United States was spending billions of dollars paying for the death and destruction Israel brought upon the Palestinian people in Gaza; and the "Progressives for Obama" who pledged that they were organized to hold Obama's feet to the fire, did little more than circulate a few newspaper clippings even though there was some questioning as to Obama's silence... but, this "silence" was never analyzed in a way that this is what Obama's election is really all about... they brushed Obama's silence aside as if it is some kind of anomaly by a "President-elect who we can still expect good things from."

Here in Minnesota, Democratic United States Congressman Keith Ellison has been very vague and two-faced on this issue in refusing to pressure Obama to speak up while blaming everything on Bush. Placing blame on Bush only goes so far when the United States Senate with an overwhelming Democratic majority voted--- without one voice of dissent--- to support Israel's barbarity... ditto for the House, where at least there were a few--- very, very few--- voices of opposition (from Democrats and Republicans).

I find it very interesting that even with Bush now leaving office, Democrats who acquiesced to his every whim and war throughout these eight-long years of the most reactionary politics in this country... are going to go on blaming Bush even though the Democrats in both houses of Congress had the power to say no to these two shameful resolutions which probably are so shameful that such disgraceful governmental conduct on the part of any government from any country since the end of World War II could not be found... one would have to go back to the near unanimous refusal of the United States Congress to refuse to ship arms to the anti-fascists in Spain as anti-fascists were being slaughtered because they had run out of bullets to defend themselves and the Spanish Republic.

Now, if Barack Obama could not find it within himself to muster the moral and political courage to speak in opposition to this Israeli killing spree, I don't understand how anyone can expect him to change U.S. foreign policy with regard to support for the racist, warmongering, reactionary government in Israel.

And for those who have any hope that Israeli policy is going to be changing from within anytime soon; we only have to remember what happened to Rabin... a bullet finished him off just like Martin Luther King.

How it is that the Progressive Democrats of America would meet this weekend and refused to focus on this Israeli carnage in Gaza as they discussed "Health care, Not Warfare" I will never understand; perhaps Tim Carpenter will provide us all an explanation.

Alan L. Maki

Progressive Democrats of America and the struggle for a moral progressive agenda

I listened to speakers at the PDA conference this weekend--- in fact I am listening now to their speakers on health care as I write this blog posting, and one thing that I notice is that PDA actually believes moral arguments will sway members of the United States House and Senate.

I find it very interesting that the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) have finally taken up the call for "Health care, Not Warfare." These "Johnny come latelies" to the call for "Health care, Not Warfare" are most welcome to this struggle; however, not a mention was made about the death and destruction resulting from the Israeli carnage of the Palestinian people in Gaza... where are the "morals" of the members of PDA in refusing to acknowledge the billions of dollars this murder and mayhem carried out by the Israelis with our tax-dollars?

Apparently the PDA call for "Health care, Not Warfare" does not extend to the Israeli pogroms carried out against the Palestinian people.

Apparently in the moral struggle for "Health care, Not warfare" of PDA, the moral issue does not extend to objecting to billions of our tax-dollars being spent killing the Palestinian people. Why? Because these "progressive Democrats" understand that they wouldn't get the time of day from members of the House and Senate who voted for the barbaric resolutions in support of the Israeli carnage of the Palestinian people.

Apparently theProgressive Democrats of America joins with that other moral outpost of the Democratic Party the Campaign for America's Future and "isn't doing the Middle East" as if not saying anything is moral... but, then again, Barack Obama was silent, too. I don't find anything moral about PDA not pointing out how much the American people paid for this most recent Israeli slaughter in Gaza.

What I also find very interesting is that those people who told me that in my taking a stand to support a ceasefire in Gaza I was not supporting a "revolutionary enough position" and the call for a ceasefire "was not anti-imperialist."

Well, some of these same people were participants of the PDA conference this weekend and they clapped for throwing shoes at George Bush on his way out of the White House; but, for some reason they didn't raise the issue of the Israeli carnage in Gaza.

It is always nice to be getting advice on what I should be saying from a bunch of hypocrites who don't dare raise their own voices in a way they tell others they should do. I think the fact that the PDA met without raising any questions or opposition to this Israeli carnage in Gaza... in fact, I wonder how it is these hypocrites who are so super-revolutionary and anti-imperialist would not have pushed for a discussion on the role and responsibility of progressive to move outside of, and beyond the Democratic Party already.

I am not going to be shy about speaking out on the issue of the need to move outside of the Democratic Party towards forming working class political independence when these people don't even have the moral or political courage to raise their voices to condemn the Israeli pogrom against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

The American working class has not gotten one single universal reform for over seventy years in the government of this country. Anyone who thinks that working people will get HR 676 or will get anything in the way of reforms creating better and higher living standards for working people from a Congress who has no shame supporting this slaughter of the Palestinian people is living in la la land. Members of the U.S. House and Senate cannot be appealed to based on any kind of moral arguments... the only thing the United States Congress and Barack Obama is going to listen to is when the working class in united and militantly moving forward in unity demanding real change.