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, February 28, 2010

Bemidji lawmakers score high on racial equity issues; but, should they have failed?

The best way out of poverty is a job, he said, and that’s why he continues to push enforcement of affirmative action.

Gregory Paquin
Candidate for Minnesota State Senate District 4

Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party holds press conference skewing the facts to try to deflect charges of racism

The Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, reeling in disorganization and disunity from charges of racism surrounding the Bemidji Regional Event Center (BREC) and resolutions passed across the state at precinct caucuses and county conventions for enforcement of affirmative action, pulled together its gaggle of front groups to try to pin the problem of racist hiring practices resulting in extreme poverty for Native American Indians who have no representation in the Minnesota State Legislature, on Native American Indian candidates now seeking the legislative seats held by Senator Mary Olson, Representative Jim Persell and Representative Brita Sailer.

The DFL leadership is fearing many of its other candidates will be challenged for national, state and local offices across Minnesota by Native American Indians seeking a voice in the state's decision-making process as a way to end the racist poverty plaguing Native American Indian communities and Indian Reservations.

For months these racist white legislators have been attacking Gregory Paquin, a Native American Indian and journeyman union pipefitter, for exposing the fact that no affirmative action program and policy was--- or is--- in place regarding the largest public works project in decades now under construction in northern Minnesota costing over one-hundred million dollars with another one-hundred and fifty million dollars in associated development about to get underway as the BREC nears completion and is brought into operation.

The BREC is an operation called by many a “boon-doggle” to make the rich richer while ignoring the extreme poverty plaguing the region.

People have cited as examples of this being a boon-doggle:

Sledge-hammers being rented for $15.00 a day and wheel-barrows being rented by the contractors for $28.00 a day for the duration of this two-year project.

It isn’t hard to figure how many sledge hammers and wheel-barrows could be purchased over a two-year period at rental rates like these.

Many people have suggested that Kraus-Anderson Construction company has learned a few tricks from the military-industrial complex and their high-priced toilet seats.

But, at issue for most people has been the blatant racism in hiring practices surrounding the BREC; a result of the fact that Kraus-Anderson has testified in court that when it asked Bemidji City officials for the affirmative action policies… both the Bemidji City Manager and the Bemidji City Attorney responded, “There is no affirmative action policy you need to follow on this project.”
The City of Bemidji, the State of Minnesota and Kraus-Anderson are now arguing in court that since there is no proof that they discriminated against anyone that they are in compliance with city, state and federal statutes and laws even though they intentionally failed to devise an affirmative action program knowing that poverty in the area has a most distinct racist edge. They can look out their office windows on any given day and see the impoverished Native American Indian people seeking help at the food bank across from city hall.

Minnesota DFL legislators representing the area who boasted that they brought hundreds of jobs to the community with this project are now embarrassed because they refused to see to it that affirmative action hiring policies were in place to assure equal employment opportunities for everyone.

Of further embarrassment to the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, is the fact that a number of the contractors on the job are rat, or non-union, contractors; and some of the contractors are refusing to pay prevailing wages as required by state and federal laws. Workers on the project have further complained that there has been an almost complete failure to enforce health and safety laws and regulations on the job site resulting in a number of injuries.

The Organizing Apprenticeship Project, a front group for the thoroughly racist and corrupt Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party which is owned by the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association headed up by John McCarthy a racist, rich white man who has a two-million dollar estate built on the poverty he and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association have subjected casino workers to; and Audrey Thayer, an opportunist apologist for this institutionalized racism, are seeking to divide Native American voters in an election year where people are thoroughly fed up with Obama’s and the Democrat’s dirty wars, their failure to enforce affirmative action and defend worker’s jobs as they claimed they would do in order to get elected: work to end poverty and provide people with healthcare, not to mention the continuing home foreclosures and evictions and rising prices on everything from food to heating costs during a period of economic depression which the Democrats have done nothing about.

Any thinking person with an ounce of common sense can see right through this article that is nothing but a puff-piece where these legislators have not even been asked by the media to explain their refusal to insist on the enforcement of affirmative action on what the Democrats refer to as a “jobs creation project;” jobs for everyone except Native American Indians, other minorities, women and the disabled.

Any person with the least little bit of intelligence has to ask how it is that a foundation funded outfit like the Organizing Apprenticeship Project which has refused to enter the struggle for affirmative action in spite of racist record high levels of unemployment among Native American Indians in the City of Bemidji and the surrounding communities, without one whimper of protest from the Organizing Apprenticeship Project or the three DFL legislators mentioned in this article or the complete and disgraceful silence from the American Civil Liberties Union another front group for the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party as is clearly evidenced by the shameful remarks of Audrey Thayer in covering up the racist hiring practices surrounding the Bemidji Regional Event Center where Native American Indians, other minorities, women and the disabled have been intentionally and systematically excluded from jobs--- the largest public works project in over 70 years in northern Minnesota situated between three large Indian Reservations where unemployment ranges from 65% to 85% and where we see predominantly Native American Indians standing in long lines in minus thirty degree cold waiting to get food at the Beltrami County Food Bank right across from the Bemidji City Hall; any thinking and reasonably intelligent person has to ask how it is that Senator Mary Olson, Representatives John Persell and Representative Brita Sailer could possibly score anything but a big fat “F” for intentionally sitting by in complete silence as this institutionalized racism reared is nasty and ugly head in such a vicious and pernicious manner around the BREC.

One Bemidji woman attending today’s Beltrami DFL County Convention compared these legislators getting an “A” for their work for racial equality with Barack Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize as he expanded the war in Afghanistan.

Instead of resolving the problem created by one boon-doggle; the DFL with this thinly veiled attempt to cover up its racism is seen by most people as indulging in one more racist shenanigan--- thus compounding the racist injury and insult.

This is not a news story; this article should have been a campaign advertisement paid for by the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association.

The real crux of this story below in the Bemidji Pioneer today is this racist comment from Minnesota State Senator Mary Olson:

“Olson, however, said she had asked Paquin for specific violations but received none from him. Also, she can only work with state violations and she noted that Paquin has a lawsuit against the city of Bemidji involving the lack of American Indian workers on the Bemidji Regional Event Center.”

Olson, like all other DFL legislators is running away from having to say “affirmative action.”

Who the hell is receiving a pay-check courtesy of the tax-payers, which include thousands of Native American Indians living in poverty in the communities in the region surrounding the Bemidji Regional Event Center?

Senator Mary Olson has now made this most outrageous racist statement yet this reporter did not even ask her what she has done to make sure equal employment opportunities are made available to everyone in keeping with the law of the land” the Executive Order #11246 from Lyndon Baines Johnson mandating that affirmative action is enforced until there is “a level playing field” for everyone.

What does Gregory Paquin have to do with whether or not affirmative action guidelines are being enforced on this massive public works project--- the Bemidji Regional Event Center?

It is not up to Gregory Paquin to tell Senator Mary Olson about any violations of anything. It is up to Senator Mary Olson and her legislative colleagues to monitor a project like this to make sure affirmative action is being enforced according to the Executive Order #11246 from President Johnson that is the law of the land; and, in spite of challenges from every single racist organization, every racist employer imaginable and the racists who head up the building trades unions--- in spite of challenge after challenge, President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Executive Order mandating affirmative action remains solidly and firmly in place.

Now, if Senator Mary Olson and all of her Democratic Party colleagues who have just received this grading of an “A” for their “outstanding” work on behalf on racial justice have to complain that they have taken no action against what anyone except a blind person can easily see just by looking that affirmative action has not been enforced on the Bemidji Regional Event Center perhaps it is time for Senator Mary Olson to make an appointment with her eye-doctor to see about a new pair of glasses.

The question here is not whether or not Greg Paquin told Senator Mary Olson, Representatives Persell or Sailer about the lack of enforcement of affirmative action on this BREC public works project… THE QUESTION here is why Senator Mary Olson, Representative John Persell and Representative Brita Sailer along with the entire gaggle of Democratic Party politicians who have been so quick to boast about all the jobs they created with this project never insisted that an affirmative action policy be in place before one single penny of tax-payers’ money was expended on this project right from the very beginning.

This is the question Senator Mary Olson and her DFL legislators cannot escape answering.

It is the epitome of the worst kind of racism that Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Senator Mary Olson would turn around in trying to escape what she is mandated by law to do as part of her job as a public official required to see to it that the rights of all people are protected as far as equal employment opportunities go and blame Greg Paquin for her failure to perform her job as an elected State Senator.

Senator Mary Olson’s entire campaign has been funded by either the racist Minnesota Indian Gaming Association which lavishly spends the money rightfully belonging to the Native American Indian people to elect their own representatives to the Minnesota State Legislature with most of the rest of her campaign contributions coming from the vey racist building trades unions which have made attempt after attempt--- to no avail--- to get the courts to overturn President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Executive Order intended to be enforced for just these types of public works projects like the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

And to compound racist injury upon racist injury, Senator Mary Olson and her gaggle of DFL colleagues have REFUSED to insist that an affirmative action policy and plan be put in place for the hiring of maintenance workers and staff of the BREC.

Than this article brings up this entire business of Minnesota legislators passing this legislation concerning the teaching of the Native American culture and language in the public schools.

The racist hypocrisy of this is the epitome of sickening because not one single one of the legislators who voted for this legislation that State Senator Mary Olson has boasted she introduced have raised their voice to question the systemic and institutionalized racism that is a part of the present public school systems here in Minnesota where Native American Indian children are not being taught their own language--- but, they are not being taught to read and write English, properly, either--- thus depriving Native American Indians of the ability and the right to participate fully in the decision-making process in a way that will better their lives and livelihoods after being subjected to centuries of racist genocidal policies on the part of a conquering nation’s government which, in robbing them of their land and natural resources and their way of life, language, culture and livelihoods--- pushed Native American Indians onto reservations hoping they would die off quicker than is being accomplished, thus ending “the Indian problem.”

I suppose State Senator Mary Olson is going to blame some Native American Indian person for not coming to tell her there is a problem of systemic and institutionalized racism in the public schools preventing Native American Indian youth from learning to read and write English properly and that no one informed her that there is going to be an even much larger problem once Native American Indian school children start to learn their own language, again, and then teaching these children to read and write English.

Of course, Senator Mary Olson never had a Native American Indian explain to her why there are no Native American Indians sitting among her and her colleagues in the Minnesota State Legislature or among its Congressional delegation.

Can someone explain to the racist Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Senator Mary Olson in some kind of peculiar political language she expects to be communicated to in, that it is her job to take the time to look into all of these problems including making sure an affirmative action hiring policy is in place before any work begins on a public works project like the Bemidji Regional Event Center--- because, for now, it is her name, not Greg Paquin’s name, on the pay-check she is receiving courtesy of Minnesota tax-payers--- ALL of whom have the right to decent jobs and quality public educations.

Receiving an “A” rating from a MN DFL front organization and then being praised by Audrey Thayer of the ACLU all sitting in the offices at Bemidji City Hall in what can only be described as “damage control” by the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party as Olson, Persell and Sailor are facing Native American Indian opponents in the upcoming election. Audrey Thayer, a political gadfly who frequently flirts with the Green Party when it is to her advantage, has made a career out of being apologist for DFL racism while managing to pull off a cute little hat trick pretending she is the advocate for Native American Indian rights without having raised her voice in support of affirmative action in hiring in her “illustrious” career as a human rights advocate--- just like she has managed to remain silent concerning all the rancor and charges of racism in hiring presently surrounding the Bemidji Regional Event Center. Audrey Thayer conveniently manages to talk about past injustices and future injustices but never once has expressed concerns for injustices taking place for which she and the American Civil Liberties Union with their vast resources could do something about… being it covering up for the racist hiring practices surrounding the Bemidji Regional Event Center by taking part in a farce like something like this, or helping to cover-up the recent police murder of a Native American Indian youth by Bemidji Police--- the powers that be can always count on Audrey Thayer to come to their rescue… this time though, she is caught in her own web of deceit and disinformation.

These are the final paragraphs from the article below:
Greg Paquin, the Bemidji union organizer who is opposing Olson for the Democratic nomination to Senate 4, said not enough has been done to enforce affirmative action policies at the county and city level.

Olson, however, said she had asked Paquin for specific violations but received none from him. Also, she can only work with state violations and she noted that Paquin has lawsuit against the city of Bemidji involving the lack of American Indian workers on the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

“We need to have more of our representation to get our people’s needs met,” Paquin said, adding there are no American Indians serving in the Legislature.

“If we just stand by and let it continue, then it won’t be long and all the Indian people will be gone,” he said. “Our people are important.”

The best way out of poverty is a job, he said, and that’s why he continues to push enforcement of affirmative action.
Probably the most profound statement we will ever hear from any politician across the country during the election campaign has come from the Native American Indian pipe-fitter, Greg Paquin, who has decided to run for public office seeking the Senate seat now held by Mary Olson:

The best way out of poverty is a job, he said, and that’s why he continues to push enforcement of affirmative action.

Every single voter in this country should determine if who they intend to vote for supports and understands the very basic and simple truth and what justice requires.

Again--- DFL Senator Mary Olson, DFL Representative Jim Persell and DFL Representative Brita Sailor--- based upon their failure to see to it that affirmative action is implemented and enforced according to statutes and legislative mandates brought into existence as a result of the Executive Order issued by Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson in making affirmative action the law of the land, should have received an “F” instead of an “A” when it comes to racial equality… fortunately, voters, not a couple DFL party front groups and an apologist for racism holding a press conference trying to cover up this disgusting and shameful racism which enforces poverty on an entire people, will get to do the final grading which will be done by giving these racist bigots the boot on election day.

Hopefully candidates will step forward to run against Skoe and Howes because if the politicians above received an “A” just imagine what kind of dirt-bags Skoe and Howes must be to have received a “C.”

Let’s just hope that the grading in our public schools is done in a more honest and scientific manner… After all, these people doing the grading gave Minnesota’s most racist and reactionary ever governor, Republican Tim Pawlenty, a “B;” but, we all know why this happened don’t we? Another cutesy little political game being played by the DFL Summit Hill Club who orchestrated this entire charade at the behest of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association… it isn’t coincidental that Senator Mary Olson’s campaign for re-election is headed up by John McCarthy, the rich white man sitting up on the hill in his multi-million dollars estate courtesy of profits derived from Native American Indians living in poverty.

Alan L. Maki


Published February 28 2010

Bemidji lawmakers score high on racial equity issues

Bemidji’s two lawmakers scored “A’s” on racial equity issues in the 2009 session, according to a report released Friday in Bemidji.

By: Brad Swenson, Bemidji Pioneer

Sen. Mary Olson and Rep. John Persell, both Bemidji Democrats, talk Friday to about their “A” ratings in the Organizing Apprenticeship Project’s 2009 Minnesota Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity, released at the City Hall meeting by the ACLU-Minnesota Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Project. Pioneer Photo/Brad Swenson

Bemidji’s two lawmakers scored “A’s” on racial equity issues in the 2009 session, according to a report released Friday in Bemidji.

Sen. Mary Olson and Rep. John Persell, both Bemidji Democrats, earned the high rating from the Organizing Apprenticeship Project, which rated lawmakers on their 2009 votes on racial justice issues.

Add to that that “A” list Rep. Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids, who represents Beltrami County north of Bemidji.

“The OAP has been at the forefront in dealing with racial equity and justice issues in the Legislature,” said Olson. “I am honored to receive this recognition, and I will continue to carefully consider issues of racial equity and justice as we move through the 2010 Legislative Session.”

The Organizing Apprenticeship Project works to advance racial, cultural, social and economic justice in Minnesota through organizer and leadership training, policy research, and strategic convening work.

It ranked lawmakers on a variety of bills, including hiring equity in green jobs, covering more kids with health insurance, and strengthening efforts to revitalize the Dakota and Ojibwe languages.

Both Olson and Persell were at a session late Friday afternoon at Bemidji City Hall to go over racial justice issues, held by the American Civil Liberties Union-Minnesota Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Project.

Olson “has done phenomenal work,” said Audrey Thayer, executive director of the Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Project. And she noted that Olson, Persell and Sailer were three of the only eight lawmakers to receive “A’s” from the OAP ranking.

“This year we particularly wanted to be sure to thank our representatives and senator,” Thayer said. “We still have a lot of work to do locally … in the community, and that’s where we see the grass roots work.”

Thayer noted that Wisconsin passed a law to record race when making traffic stops, so it could be determined if officers are conducting racial profiling. Olson carried a bill to do that in Minnesota, but it died.

“Things like that happen, for whatever reason, so you try again,” Thayer said.

Thayer said ACLU must remain non-partisan, but “I want to assure you that the representatives that we have representing us right now are doing the job that they need to for us, and all we need to do is let them know what we need on a local level.”

Among other legislators, Sen. Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, scored a “C”, as did Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker. The Legislature overall and Gov. Tim Pawlenty earned “B’s” for 83 percent support for racial equity bills, OAP said.

“John and I are down there doing what we think is the right thing to do,” Olson said. “We try to represent people in our district and often we get the privilege to be involved in local initiatives and things people bring to us to help us accomplish at the Legislature.”

Olson authored legislation, S.F. 1256, that was incorporated into the Legacy Amendment appropriations bill that was passed and signed into law last session providing $2 million for preservation and revitalization of the Dakota and Ojibwe languages and culture. The funding will be used to design and promote education programs in the two native languages.

“That bill really evolved out of the work a lot of people have been doing for a long time,” Olson said. “It was clear that there were many different initiatives happening by different tribes, but that they weren’t necessarily even aware of what other tribes were doing.”

The bill puts together a working group with representation from each tribe in Minnesota, as well as from communities with high American Indian populations like Bemidji .

The group over two years “will come back with recommendations on how we can build native culture and language into our curriculum, for not just native students but everyone to have some exposure to the benefits of what that would bring,” she said. “We can revitalize the language so that our youth can be fluent speakers, so it doesn’t become an historic language but a living, used language.”

Funded through the new Legacy Amendment, the pot grew from $125,000 to $2 million.

Persell joked that he gained House support for the measure by bringing Leech Lake smoked whitefish to his colleagues.

“A lot of good things came out of that, and we’re poised pretty well on the language issue,” he said.

OAP said that 10 of the 12 racial justice issue bills they were following passed in the 2009 session.

Bills it tracked included covering more kids with health insurance, holding public schools harmless in budget cuts, setting new standards for payday lenders, rethinking graduation testing, and opposing efforts to dismantle General Assistance Medical Care.

The report also cited Olson for authoring restorative justice legislation.

People at Friday’s meeting, representing a wide array of community action groups, cited the need for transitional housing and more youth activities. Cited as a positive move is the placing of Ojibwe language signs in Bemidji businesses.

Greg Paquin, the Bemidji union organizer who is opposing Olson for the Democratic nomination to Senate 4, said not enough has been done to enforce affirmative action policies at the county and city level.

Olson, however, said she had asked Paquin for specific violations but received none from him. Also, she can only work with state violations and she noted that Paquin has lawsuit against the city of Bemidji involving the lack of American Indian workers on the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

“We need to have more of our representation to get our people’s needs met,” Paquin said, adding there are no American Indians serving in the Legislature.

“If we just stand by and let it continue, then it won’t be long and all the Indian people will be gone,” he said. “Our people are important.”

The best way out of poverty is a job, he said, and that’s why he continues to push enforcement of affirmative action.

Yours in struggle and solidarity,

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

Please check out my blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/

Let’s talk about the politics and economics of livelihood for real change.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

We need a new party like the Canadians have

We need a new party like the Canadians have with their socialist New Democratic Party whose best known leader is Tommy Douglas.

We need a new party in order to make this presently very corrupt government functional.

I would suggest there are three major points of unity people who are liberal, progressive and on the left can come together around:

1. Peace: ending these dirty wars.

2. Socialized health care or some variant of it which would include a vastly expanded public healthcare sector which includes single-payer universal healthcare based upon Canadian-style healthcare.

3. Jobs, jobs, jobs... creating a single-payer universal health care system would create about three million jobs--- a fully socialized healthcare system would create about ten million jobs.

Paying for this kind of healthcare reform which would create jobs is very easy if we stop these dirty wars.

Peace = Healthcare reform + Jobs

If a new political party did nothing more than deliver these three things that most Americans want it will have been a success.

The first thing we need to do is sign a "Declaration of Independence" from the Democratic and Republican parties controlled by Wall Street.

The second step is to serve notice on the Democrats and Republicans:

•No peace; no votes.
•No real healthcare reform; no votes.
•No jobs; no votes.

This is called "accountability" which is fundamental to democracy... voting out of fear does not create "accountability."

Then we need to convene a national conference to plan how to move forward in establishing regional, state and local committees for a new party--- perhaps we need to begin by challenging the Democrats in their own primaries and running as independents and even as write-in candidates committed to these three unifying things: peace, healthcare reform, jobs.

If everyone who are members of this FaceBook page would copy and paste this all over the Internet and on their FaceBook pages, blogs and WebPages and e-mail it to everyone on your e-mail lists we would start building a new political movement one person at a time... it would be like rolling a little snowball down a long, steep hill on a warm spring day--- the movement would keep getting bigger and bigger.

Each of us is like one little snowflake--- we don't amount to much... but, let a blizzard come along and try shoveling those little tiny snowflakes.

No one is going to do any of this for us; this needs to be a grassroots initiative.

Presently, we are living in what Tommy Douglas refered to as Mouseland... check out this brief video narrated by Tommy Douglas' grandson--- actor Keifer Sutherland:


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The dishonest way Obama's supporters promote supplemental healthcare reform in Minnesota for Obama's Wall Street health insurance reform initiatives

Laura K Kochevar

Laura K Kochevar Woo Hoo!!! The Minnesota Health Plan Passes the State House Health Policy Committee 11-6 Thanks to all for their hard work!!!!!


The above was posted to a FaceBook comment to which I responded:

Alan L. Maki
What we need is socialized healthcare... this is the wealthiest country in the world. Any country that can afford to fight wars in three countries at the same time and fund over 800 military bases dotting the globe can do better than this Minnesota Health Plan which places the burden for healthcare costs on the backs of working people instead of where the burden belongs--- on the backs of the corporations and the rich.

What proves to me just how dishonestly this Minnesota Health Plan has been promoted by John Marty and others is that they have refused to tell the people how much their premiums will be... I don't think most of the people supporting this legislation have even bothered to read this bill which will place the cost for healthcare premiums at around $750.00 a month for the average working class family who at present is having problems paying on home mortgages and paying their heating bills. Just what working people need; one more big monthly bill they can't afford... this is not healthcare reform.

Tell John Marty to come clean and tell us how much this legislation is going to cost people in mothly premiums... why wasn't this figure mentioned at the hearing of the State House Policy Committee... this is NOT single-payer universal healthcare; it certainly is not based on the Canadian style health system... it is a gimmick that John Marty is using for another failed bid to get elected governor.
Okay so far as far as discussions go... but, then this poster sent me her response--- which follows below to which she has prohibited me the opportunity to respond... so much for democracy from those who preach it the loudest but then refuse to practice what they preach... but, here is her response, followed by the response from me which she blocked:

Laura K Kochevar commented on her status:

"A good review of frequently asked questions about the Minnesota Health Plan is provided by the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition at http://www.facebook.com/l/7ab55;muhcc.org/faq/minnesota-health-plan.

They are not affiliated with any candidate for any office.
The complete text of the legislation can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/l/7ab55;muhcc.org/minnesotahealthplan/billlanguage

Premiums for the plan will be on a sliding fee basis, based on ability to pay.

As the bill indicates, businesses will contribute to financing the plan.

The specific balance of how much will come from any specific family's budget, versus state and private sector contributions is currently being worked out as part of our democratic process, in our legislature. Also, the politically autonomous but publicly accountable Minnesota Health Board established by the plan will have a role in setting premiums and the sliding scale.

Studies are currently underway to assure that the public gets its moneys worth here. The expectation, based on previous empirical, scientific research, is that similar health care systems save states and individuals tons of money. For example, see the report of the Colorado study by the Lewin group at http://www.facebook.com/l/7ab55;www.healthcareforallcolorado.org/?p=34
please note: this study was conducted before Lewin was purchased by UHC and has been extensively peer reviewed and vetted by experts. It's a very high quality study.

With the Minnesota Health Plan, we will pay for the costs associated with just one health payer, not a whole bunch of redundant systems and that system will be accountable to the public. It will be open and transparent. All Minnesotans will have the choice of where to get their care, and the information they need. Everybody will be covered. Quality is part of the plan, because health care reform has got to be about more than just insurance, quality care keeps health up and costs down.

Bottom line: we can all expect lower costs and better health with the Minnesota Health Plan."

New Feature: Reply to this email to comment on this status.

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:

The Facebook Team
And this is my response which the poster blocked:

I read your response; but, I also read the complete legislation. In fact, I studied it very thoroughly. Your claim is that sliding scale costs will be provided in due time. In my opinion, the time to disclose the costs is when looking for support, not later. Since a big part of this health care reform debate is about "costs" it seems to me like anyone claiming this legislation will cut costs would want to prove this.

Also, what makes me believe this is little more than a campaign "gimmick" by John Marty aimed at rallying his middle class and professional base of loyal supporters (midle class as distinct from working class) is that this legislation makes a point of talking about the need to educate people about the things that make them less healthy... well, John Marty was among those who opposed including casinos in the "Freedom to Breath" legislation... there are over 40,000 workers employed in the casino industry in Minnesota forced to work at poverty wages and without any rights in these smoke-filled casinos. Apparently John Marty isn't interested in educating the managements of these casinos on healthcare issues... but, then again, some of these casino managers are among his most loyal campaign contributors.

What we need is what is socialized health care... it is the only solution to this healthcare mess. Real single-payer universal healthcare--- which this Minnesota Health Act is not--- would be a first step towards socialized healthcare or public healthcare depending on the term one wants to use.

Socialized healthcare would also create thousands of new jobs in Minnesota... good jobs with good working conditions and good pay.

Minnesotans have long voiced their support for socialized healthcare:

No-fee/no-premium, all-inclusive, comprehensive, pre-natal to grave, universal healthcare; publicly funded, publicly administered and publicly delivered.

John Marty is proposing a boon-doggle as a campaign gimmick and as soon as soon as the complete costs of the proposed legislation come to light the Minnesota Health Act will be as dead as all these people who are dying because they can't afford healthcare now.

And, as you see, the John Marty and his DFL'ers aren't even able to protect the poor from Pawlenty's very mean cuts to healthcare so how would they ever enact legislation that is real healthcare reform... the Democrats are not going to move forward on real healthcare reform even if they completely dominated both the House and Senate and had a Democratic governor... even if John Marty was governor he would not push forward his own legislation because it would come under such overwhelming attack.

By-the-way, this legislation doesn't have any support at the grassroots or rank-and-file level among working class voters; why not?

We already have a very good single-payer universal healthcare resolution that is part of the DFL's "Action Agenda" based on what most Minnesotans consider to be Canadian-style healthcare so why would you be putting forward this resolution of yours which claims to be for single-payer nationally but a very reactionary piece of state legislation which the PNHP's national leadership will not even certify as being single-payer universal healthcare or "Medicare for All?"

Alan L. Maki

Also, notice the resolution these people are pushing to undermine the present resolution which is part of the DFL's "Action Agenda" supported by 72% of the delegates to the 2006 Minnesota DFL State Convention. They dishonestly try to "piggy-back" their very reactionary state legislation on support for national single-payer knowing full well Barack Obama and the Democrats have killed single-payer:

(from the 2008-2010 Party Platform, the Action Agenda, and Legislative Priorities)

WHEREAS, lack of health insurance is a cause of 45,000 deaths per year in the U.S.


WHEREAS, 62% of personal bankruptcies are due to medical expenses and over 75% of these people have health insurance


WHEREAS, Over 47 million people in this country lack health insurance, millions more are under-insured, over 450,000 Minnesotans lack insurance coverage and minorities are disproportionately likely to be without insurance


WHEREAS, Federal reforms will not achieve universal coverage nor adequately control costs, and will perpetuate a fragmented and inequitable health care system


WHEREAS, a single payer system is the only system of health care that can assure universal and equitable coverage, portability and choice of provider, while also controlling costs,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Democratic Farmer Labor Party supports and works to enact a universal, single-payer health care plan on the federal level and the single-payer Minnesota Health Act at the state level.
"Senator Paul Wellstone, who was widely known as the "The Conscience of the Senate," wrote that he spent 85 percent of his time fighting Republican attacks on working families. Were Paul still alive, he'd be fighting for the thousands who die or are driven into bankruptcy every year due to a lack of health coverage" George Erikson
Once again, I ask: Where are the costs to working people associated with this Minnesota Health Act and where are the costs for business?
In fact, the costs for healthcare leveled on business will be reduced while working people will bear a sharply increased burden... and this is the main fact the supporters of this legislation do not want to divulge.
In the name of "progressive healthcare reform" they are attempting to sell us another very reactionary piece of state legislation meant to compliment Obama's sellout of single-payer.
Slick and shrewd politics; dishonest politics. 

The very same people who sold us Obama as being "progressive" are now trying the exact same dirty and dishonest tactics in trying to perpetuate one more hoax.

It is a good thing State Senator John Marty is floundering in trying to become an insurance salesman like Barack Obama.
Notice how they even invoke the name of former United States Senator Paul Wellstone to support their lies and dirty deeds in undermining the struggle for single-payer universal healthcare based upon the Canadian healthcare system as a first step to socialized healthcare.

I would also note that State Senator John Marty uses the word "reform" as deceptively and dishonestly as any health insurance salesman promotes their health insurance plans--- all very good on paper but quite another thing when you get sick.

The very word "reform" means to make something better; quite the opposite of Obama's health insurance legislation and John Marty's supplemental state legislative proposal.

Something to think about...

Alan L. Maki

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Chaos as an Everyday Thing"

Professor Wallerstein;

You write in your most interesting commentary [see very bottom]:

"Chaos as an Everyday Thing"

Only because unemployment, poverty, racism, starvation, lack of healthcare, inadequate education, war and occupation of other countries have become the “new normal” for so many more people across the globe.

I find it interesting you are still clinging to supporting Barack Obama even though he projects Wall Street’s policies of: anything for the sake of corporate profits--- which you don’t even mention or touch upon as if this drive for maximum corporate profits and the people be damned isn’t even a contributing influence to the “chaos” you cite. Instead, you focus on the need to increase taxes without even so much as a mention of who should be taxed more and for what purposes. Nor do you mention the huge, gross and destructive waste of resources on military spending and wars.

I find your present essay very strange for someone who is looked upon as one of the visionaries of the anti-globalization movement.

You are for sure correct in stating that the world’s states, all countries, are moving into a period of great turmoil; however, you fail to state the primary reason for this: Wall Street, Bay Street, Financial Street , The Square Mile, Frankfurt, Nihonbashi, Shanghai and Hong-Kong--- and, as a result, have hoarded all the wealth created by labor so that this wealth is now concentrated in the hands of a few capitalists which is the primary reason for this “chaos as an everyday thing.”

You imply taxation is an answer to most of the problems when private ownership of the mines, mills and factories is the major problem.

The problems have been created by the wealthy few who now expect the working class to suffer while these problems are resolved on the back of the working class. This is the cause of instability.

Never has there been a greater divide between the obscene and filthy rich and the poor.

We need a complete reordering of priorities away from war and military spending which has served to further increase corporate profits at the expense of what most people need: healthcare, housing, education and for many of the world’s peoples, simply a shirt on their backs not to mention water to drink and food to fill their empty bloated bellies.

Until this question of “ownership” of the means of production is resolved, these problems will persist and worsen with greater instability and more wars.

Redistribution of the wealth--- stolen from labor--- now controlled by Wall Street, Bay Street, Financial Street , The Square Mile, Frankfurt, Nihonbashi, Shanghai and Hong-Kong has to be our first order of business. Taxation is but one method for accomplishing this; there are many other methods needed, too; including stopping the home foreclosures and evictions, socialized health care, raising the minimum wage to a real living wage--- none of which can be accomplished as long as the Democrats and Republicans control politics the same corrupt, greedy, selfish way they have come to control the wealth created by labor.

You complain you have seen only two intelligent commentaries about the election results in the United States… part of the problem is that you continue to hold up Barack Obama as an example of “hope” and “change” when the only thing Obama represents is the greatest evil of all--- Wall Street’s most corrupt, warmongering and greedy drive for increased profits.

I am surprised you have been sucked into believing in this modern-day Elmer Gantry who is training to become this country’s leading health insurance salesman while posing as some kind of great benefactor and  supporter of “hope” and “change.”

“Chaos” has become “an everyday thing” because there is a crisis in everyday living for the vast majority of the working class across the globe. This chaos is a reflection of a capitalist system that has reached its most decadent imperialist stage. What you see as “chaos” is more about class struggle.

Come on, professor Wallerstein, help end this deception and confusion being pumped out by the mainstream media that contributes to creating this “chaos” and misunderstanding of the nature of what is going on by bringing a clear Marxist analysis into the proverbial, “public square.”

For truthful statements regarding what is taking place, and for an analysis about the election results, we are going to have to do much better than the words from the New York Time’s columnist--- Charles M. Blow, and this flim-flam man and con-artist extraordinaire who has managed to pull off the greatest hoax of the century in becoming President--- Barack Obama.

Capitalism is on the skids to oblivion dragging us all in the dark down this dangerous, curvy, bumpy and treacherous road to perdition--- if there is a stop-over in purgatory we are at this juncture right now which would account for the “chaos as an everyday thing.”

The time has come for a new kind of politics--- the politics and economics of livelihood in response to this global capitalist economic crisis.

Let us be very clear here Professor Wallerstein; the working class had no part in creating the problems resulting in the chaos you describe, and, as such, bear no responsibility in solving these problems except in making sure solution are found in the process of redistributing the wealth in a way that begins the process of needed reforms as we struggle to eliminate the source of the chaos and our problems: capitalism, now at its peak and very destructive and pernicious twilight: imperialism.

We need to think these problems through because…

Ending unemployment would contribute most toward ending this “chaos.”

 Socialized health care would be the biggest jobs creating program ever undertaken in the United States--- funded with money cut from wars and a healthy tax increase on the wealthy. No-fee/no-premium, comprehensive, all-inclusive, universal healthcare; publicly financed, publicly administered and publicly delivered is what we need instead of wars... 30,000 community-based healthcare centers spread out across the United States would create up to ten-million new jobs paying real living wages.

Professor Wallerstein, is there a reason your President Obama can’t think in terms of solving the unemployment problem by solving the health care mess we have?

Trillions of dollars bailing out Wall Street and not one single dime spent on the needs of working people.

Your President Obama has created chaos from the web of corruption spun by Wall Street--- humanity’s common enemy.

And, to add insult to injury, Barack Obama has refused to impose affirmative action as a precondition for his trillion dollar spending spree; thus assuring institutionalized racism will be strengthened rather than smashed and destroyed.

The recent International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties provided an analysis you perhaps missed… please allow me to share this sharp and clear-headed analysis with you which you might want to comment on in a future “Commentary:”

Statement adopted by the 11th International Meeting of the Communist and Workers' Parties, New Delhi, Nov. 20-22, 2009

This 11th International Meeting of the Communist and Workers' Parties, held to discuss "The international capitalist crisis, the workers' and peoples' struggle, the alternatives and the role of the communist and working class movement":

     - Reiterates that the current global recession is a systemic crisis of capitalism demonstrating its historic limits and the need for its revolutionary overthrow. It demonstrates the sharpening of the main contradiction of capitalism between its social nature of production and individual capitalist appropriation. The political representatives of Capital try to conceal this unsolvable contradiction between capital and labor that lies at the heart of the crisis. This crisis intensifies rivalries between imperialist powers who along with the international institutions - the IMF World Bank, WTO and others - are implementing their `solutions' which essentially aim to intensify capitalist exploitation. Military and political 'solutions' are aggressively pursued globally by imperialism. NATO is promoting a new aggressive strategy. The political systems are becoming more reactionary curtailing democratic and civil liberties, trade union rights etc. This crisis is further deepening the structural corruption under capitalism which is being institutionalized.

     - Reaffirms that the current crisis, probably the most acute and all-encompassing since the Great Depression of 1929, has left no field untouched. Hundreds of thousands of factories are closed. Agrarian and rural economies are under distress intensifying misery and poverty of millions of cultivators and farm workers globally. Millions of people are left jobless and homeless. Unemployment is growing to unprecedented levels and is officially expected to breach the 50 million mark. Inequalities are increasing across the globe - the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer. More than one billion people, that is one-sixth of humanity go hungry. Youth, women and immigrants are the first victims.

     True to their class nature, the response of the respective capitalist governments to overcome this crisis fails to address these basic concerns. All the neo-liberal votaries and social democratic managers of capitalism, who had so far decried the State are now utilizing the state for rescuing them, thus underlining a basic fact that the capitalist state has always defended and enlarged avenues for super profits. While the costs of the rescue packages and bailouts are at public expense, the benefits accrue to few. The bailout packages announced, are addressed first to rescue and then enlarge profit making avenues. Banks and financial corporates are now back in business and making profits.
Growing unemployment and the depression of real wages is the burden for the working people as against the gift of huge bailout packages for the corporations.

     - Realizes that this crisis is no aberration based on the greed of a few or lack of effective regulatory mechanisms. Profit maximization, the raison d'etre of capitalism, has sharply widened economic inequalities both between countries and within countries in these decades of `globalization'. The natural consequence was a decline in the purchasing power of the vast majority of world population. The present crisis is thus a systemic crisis. This once again vindicates the Marxist analysis that the capitalist system is inherently crisis ridden. Capital, in its quest for profits, traverses boundaries and tramples upon anything and everything. In the process it intensifies exploitation of the working class and other strata of working people, imposing greater hardships. Capitalism in fact requires to maintain a reserve army of labor. The liberation from such capitalist barbarity can come only with the establishment of the real alternative, socialism. This requires the strengthening of anti-imperialist and anti-monopoly struggles. Our struggle for an alternative is thus a struggle against the capitalist system. Our struggle for an alternative is for a system where there is no exploitation of people by people and nation by nation. It is a struggle for another world, a just world, a socialist world.

     - Conscious of the fact that the dominant imperialist powers would seek their way out of the crisis by putting greater burdens on the working people, by seeking to penetrate and dominate the markets of countries with medium and lower level of capitalist development, commonly called developing countries.

     This they are trying to achieve firstly, through the WTO Doha round of trade talks, which reflect the unequal economic agreements at the expense of the peoples of these countries particularly with reference to agricultural standards and Non Agricultural Market Access (NAMA).

     Secondly, capitalism, which in the first place is responsible for the destruction of the environment, is trying to transfer the entire burden of safeguarding the planet from climate change, which in the first place they had caused, onto the shoulders of the working class and working people. Capitalism's proposal for restructuring in the name of climate change has little relation to the protection of the environment. Corporate inspired `Green development' and 'green economy' are sought to be used to impose new state monopoly regulations which support profit maximization and impose new hardships on the people.
Profit maximization under capitalism is thus not compatible with environmental protection and peoples' rights.

     - Notes that the only way out of this capitalist crisis for the working class and the common people is to intensify struggles against the rule of capital. It is the experience of the working class that when it mobilizes its strength and resists these attempts it can be successful in protecting its rights. Industry sit-ins, factory occupations and such militant working class actions have forced the ruling classes to consider the demands of the workers. Latin America, the current theatre of popular mobilizations and working class actions, has shown how rights can be protected and won through struggle. In these times of crisis, once again the working class is seething with discontent. Many countries have witnessed and are witnessing huge working class actions, demanding amelioration. These working class actions need to be further strengthened by mobilizing the vast mass of suffering people, not just for immediate alleviation but for a long-term solution to their plight.

     - Imperialism, buoyed by the demise of the Soviet Union and the periods of boom preceding this crisis had carried out unprecedented attacks on the rights of the working class and the people. This has been accompanied by frenzied anti-communist propaganda not only in individual countries but at global and inter-state forums (EU, OSCE, Council of Europe). However much they may try, the achievements and contributions of socialism in defining the contours of modern civilization remain inerasable. Faced with these relentless attacks, our struggles thus far had been mainly defensive struggles, struggles to protect the rights that we had won earlier. Today's conjuncture warrants the launch of an offensive, not just to protect our rights but win new rights. Not for winning a few rights but for dismantling the entire capitalist edifice - for an onslaught on the rule of capital, for a political alternative - socialism.

     - Resolves that under these conditions, the communist and workers parties shall actively work to rally and mobilize the widest possible sections of the popular forces in the struggle for full time stable employment, exclusively public and free for all health, education and social welfare, against gender inequality and racism, and for the protection of the rights of all sections of the working people including the youth, women, migrant workers and those from ethnic and national minorities.

     - Calls upon the communist and workers parties to undertake this task in their respective countries and launch broad struggles for the rights of the people and against the capitalist system. Though the capitalist system is inherently crisis ridden, it does not collapse automatically. The absence of a communist-led counterattack engenders the danger of rise of reactionary forces. The ruling classes launch an all out attack to prevent the growth of the communists and the workers' parties to protect their status quo. Social democracy continues to spread illusions about the real character of capitalism, advancing slogans such as `humanization of capitalism', `regulation', `global governance' etc. These in fact support the strategy of capital by denying class struggle and buttressing the pursuit of anti-popular policies. No amount of reform can eliminate exploitation under capitalism. Capitalism has to be overthrown. This requires the intensification of ideological and political working class led popular struggles. All sorts of theories like `there is no alternative' to imperialist globalization are propagated. Countering them, our response is `socialism is the alternative'.

     We, the communist and workers' parties coming from all parts of the globe and representing the interests of the working class and all other toiling sections of society (the vast majority of global population) underlining the irreplaceable role of the communist parties call upon the people to join us in strengthening the struggles to declare that socialism is the only real alternative for the future of humankind and that the future is ours.

58891 County Road 13
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Please check out my blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/

From: Commentary Subscribers [mailto:COMMENT@LISTSERV.BINGHAMTON.EDU] On Behalf Of Becky Dunlop
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 6:08 AM
Subject: Immanuel Wallerstein's Commentary No. 275

Please do not reply to the listserv. To correspond with the author, write  <immanuel.wallerstein@yale.edu>. To correspond with us about your e-mail address on the listserv, write <dunlop@binghamton.edu>. Thank you.

Commentary No. 275, Feb. 15, 2010
"Chaos as an Everyday Thing"

You know you're living in a chaotic situation when (1) the mainstream media are constantly surprised by what is happening; (2) short-term predictions by various pundits go in radically different directions and are stated with many reserves; (3) the Establishment dares to say things or use words that were previously taboo; (4) ordinary people are frightened and angry but very unsure what to do. This is a good description of the past two years throughout the world, or at least in most parts of the world.

Consider the recent enormous "surprises" - the election of a Republican senator in Massachusetts; the financial collapse of Dubai; the near bankruptcy of various large states within the United States and four or five of the member states of the European Union; severe world currency fluctuations.

These "surprises" are commented on each day in the world press and by leading politicians. They don't agree at all about what is happening, and even less about what one should do to improve the situation. For example, I have seen only two intelligent statements about the election results in the United States.

One was by Barack Obama himself: "The same thing that swept [Republican] Scott Brown into office [in Massachusetts] swept me into office. People are angry, and they're frustrated." And the second was by African-American op-ed columnist in The New York Times, Charles M. Blow. He called his op-ed "Mobs rule." He said: "Welcome to the mob: an angry, wounded electorate, riled by recession, careening across the political spectrum, still craving change, nursing a bloodlust." First they elected Obama; now they're rejecting him. Why? "The mob is fickle."

What are we seeing in California, in Greece, in most of the world's governments? Government revenues are down, primarily because of reduced tax incomes, which are in turn caused by the fact that everywhere people are consuming less out of fear that their money is running out. At the same time, precisely because world unemployment is considerably greater, the demands on the states for expenditures have risen.

So states have less money to meet greater demands. What can they do then? They can increase taxes. But taxpayers are seldom in favor of having their own taxes go up. And states are afraid of the flight of enterprises. Well, then, they can cut expenditures - present ones or future ones like pensions. And then they are faced with popular unrest, if not popular revolt.

Meanwhile, the "market" reacts. But what is this market that reacts - for example, by shifting its currency preferences? It is very large corporations and financial structures like hedge funds, which are working the world financial system for very short-term but significant gains.

As a result, governments are faced with impossible choices, and individuals even more impossible choices. They cannot predict what is likely to happen. They become ever more frantic. They lash out by being protectionist or xenophobic or demagogic. But of course, this solves little.

At this point enters that greatest of world pundits, Thomas I. Friedman, to write a column entitled "Never heard that before." What had he never heard before? He heard non-Americans talking at Davos about "political instability" in the United States. He says that in his past experience such a phrase had been used only about countries like Russia or Iran or Honduras. Imagine that. People actually think the United States is politically unpredictable. And Thomas Friedman never heard it before.

There have been some people who have been writing this, and explaining this, for some forty years at least, but Thomas Friedman never heard it before. That's because he has been living in a self-constructed cocoon, that of the political Establishment in the United States and its acolytes elsewhere. Things must be really bad for them to recognize this basic reality. The United States is politically unstable - and likely to become more so, not less so, in the coming decade.

Is Europe more stable? Only somewhat. Is Latin America more stable? Only somewhat. Is China more stable? Perhaps somewhat, but there are no guarantees. When the giant teeters, many things can come down with it.

So, this is what everyday chaos is like - a situation that is not predictable in the short run, even less in the middle run. It is therefore a situation in which the economic, political, and cultural fluctations are large and rapid. And that is frightening for most people.

by Immanuel Wallerstein

[Copyright by Immanuel Wallerstein, distributed by Agence Global. For rights and permissions, including translations and posting to non-commercial sites, and contact: rights@agenceglobal.com, 1.336.686.9002 or 1.336.286.6606. Permission is granted to download, forward electronically, or e-mail to others, provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed. To contact author, write: immanuel.wallerstein@yale.edu.
These commentaries, published twice monthly, are intended to be reflections on the contemporary world scene, as seen from the perspective not of the immediate headlines but of the long term.]

Becky Dunlop
Secretary, Fernand Braudel Center

Becky Dunlop
Secretary, Fernand Braudel Center

Friday, February 12, 2010

DC March for Jobs, Peace and Justice!

South Carolina AFL-CIO Endorses DC March for Jobs, Peace and Justice!


P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140 Tel. (415)
641-8616; fax: (415) 626-1217 email:
wercampaign@gmail.com website: www.wercampaign.org


[please excuse duplicate postings, and please
distribute widely]

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Rank-and-file unions from various parts of the country,
as well as Central Labor Councils, have been passing
resolutions calling on the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to
organize a massive Solidarity Day III demonstration in
Washington to demand job-creation programs as well as
other programs vital to working people. [See initial
list of endorsers of this call below.]

This campaign just took a qualitative leap forward when
the statewide South Carolina AFL-CIO passed a similar
resolution, which you will find below.

These resolutions have a receptive audience. AFL-CIO
President Richard Trumka recently argued: "It's not
time to leave it to any political party to take care of
us once we put them in office. It's time to organize
and mobilize as never before to make every elected or
aspiring leader PROVE he or she will create the jobs we
need in an economy we need with the healthcare we need.
I know we are the people who can mobilize a massive
army to force elected leaders to deliver."

Together, these developments signal that now is the
time to act. We want to encourage all of you to raise
similar resolutions in your union locals and
labor/community organizations. Every resolution will
help, and any single resolution might just provide the
essential tipping point that results in a nationwide
call for a Solidarity Day III demonstration.

Every recent poll has concluded that job loss is the
top concern of the American public. If we succeed in
winning a call for Solidarity Day III march in
Washington, this diffuse sentiment will achieve
concrete expression in the streets as working people
across the country mobilize under the banner of a
demand for job-creation programs, single-payer
healthcare, an end to home foreclosures and evictions
and war, money for education and vital social services,
and so on.

The labor movement in this country represents the
interests of the majority of the people in this
country. The bankers do not. We have a solemn duty to
press for Solidarity Day III so that the collective
voice of the majority of working people can be heard
across the nation.

In Solidarity,

Alan Benjamin and Bill Leumer WERC Co-Conveners


Post Office Box 39
Swansea, S.C. 29160

* (803) 798-8300 * Toll free 866-798-8300 *
FAX (803) 798-2231 * E-Mail: scaflcio@bellsouth.net

Resolution in Support of a Labor-Sponsored March on
Washington WHEREAS in the aftermath of the
Massachusetts special senatorial election, AFL-CIO
President Richard Trumka issued a statement declaring,
"It's time to organize and mobilize as never before to
make every elected or aspiring leader PROVE he or she
will create the jobs we need in an economy we need with
the healthcare we need. I know we are the people who
can mobilize a massive army to force elected leaders to
deliver;" and

WHEREAS despite the so-called economic recovery, the
economic crisis for working people has continued
unabated, with growing unemployment and
underemployment, rising home foreclosures and
evictions, and the underfunding of public education and
vitally needed social services; and

WHEREAS the government has bestowed billions of bailout
dollars on the financial institutions whose
recklessness and greed created this economic crisis and
who are rewarding those responsible with obscene
gigantic bonuses; and WHEREAS the labor movement's
legislative priorities -- a massive program for jobs,
true universal healthcare, and enactment of the
Employee Free Choice Act -- are all in great peril; and

WHEREAS while the government has no problem allocating
a trillion dollars for two wars thousands of miles
away, it has not committed funds critically needed to
put America back to work, with healthcare and quality
education for all; and

WHEREAS right wing, anti-labor forces, such as the Tea
Bag movement, have brought hundreds of thousands of
people into the streets to advance their reactionary
demands; and WHEREAS there is a growing movement within
the House of Labor to counter the right-wing offensive
against workers' living standards with our own massive
mobilization; and

WHEREAS various union bodies, including the South Bay
Labor Council (CA), acting on a resolution submitted by
Plumbers and Fitters Local 393, Troy Area Labor Council
(NY), and the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO,
have adopted resolutions calling upon the AFL-CIO and
Change to Win to organize a Solidarity Day III March on
Washington D.C. in the spring of 2010 to demand jobs,
healthcare, housing, full funding for public education
and social services, and peace; now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the South Carolina AFL-CIO joins with our
brothers and sisters in calling for a labor-sponsored
march on Washington for jobs, peace and justice, which
would have the capability of mobilizing the kind of
massive army Brother Trumka spoke of; and be it finally
RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the
AFL-CIO and to Change to Win. (Adopted by the SC AFL-
CIO Executive Board  -  February 2nd, 2010)


Initial list of endorsers of Call for a Labor-Sponsored
Demonstration in Washington for Jobs, Peace and Justice

- South Carolina State AFL-CIO - San Francisco Labor
Council - South Bay Labor Council (San Jose, Calif.) -
San Mateo Central Labor Council - Hartford (CT) Central
Labor Council - Troy (NY) Central Labor Council - AFT
Local 1021 (Los Angeles) - Executive Council, AFT
Missouri - California Peace and Freedom Party - Harlem
Tenants Council - Harlem Antiwar Coalition - Bay Area
Labor Committee for Peace and Justice - Ohio State
Labor Party - Railroad Workers United - Painters and
Dry Wall workers Local  93 (Bay Area)

- Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report) - Donna Smith,
American SiCKO, American Patients United - Harry Kelber
(Labor Educator) - Sharon Black (Organizer, Bail Out
the People Movement) - Monadel Herzallah (Arab American
Union Members Council) - Andy Griggs (UTLA member) -
Don Bechler (chair, Single Payer Now!) - Larry Duncan
(Labor Beat-Chicago) - Allan Fisher (AFT 2121) - Fred
Hirsch (South Bay Labor Council) - Jerry Gordon (Ohio
State Labor Party) - Bill Balderston (Bay Area Labor
Committee for Peace and Justice)

WERC Interim National Committee Members:

- Kali Akuno, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Gulf Coast
Reconstruction activist - Alan Benjamin,* Executive
Committee member, San Francisco Labor Council - Mike
Carano, Progressive Democrats of America - Colia Clark,
Veteran, Civil Rights Movement - Donna Dewitt*,
President, South Carolina AFL-CIO - Pat Gowens,
National organizer, Welfare Warriors - Bill Leumer,*
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 853
(ret.) - Luis MagaŚćėa, Coordinator, Organization of
Farmworkers of California (OTAC) - Cynthia McKinney,
Former Member of Congress, 2009 Green Party
presidential candidate - Jack Rasmus, Economist,
Professor at St. Mary's College - Al Rojas,
Coordinator, Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior - Marc
Rich, United Teachers of Los Angeles - Cindy Sheehan,
Gold Star mother, antiwar activist - Clarence Thomas,
Member, ILWU Local 10 - Mark Vorpahl*, SEIU Local 49,
Portland, OR - Nancy Wohlforth*, Co-Pres., Pride at
Work/AFL-CIO, Vice Pres.,California Federation of Labor