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, November 21, 2010

DFL needs to get back to principles to succeed

Letter to Editor published in the Bemidji Pioneer Press
Published November 21 2010

DFL needs to get back to principles to succeed

The next political battle about to shape up in Minnesota is over redistricting. Racist Democrats joined with racist Republicans to scheme to divide the native American Indian vote over the years in order to keep native Americans out of the Minnesota House and Senate and out of the U.S. Congress.
The next political battle about to shape up in Minnesota is over redistricting. Racist Democrats joined with racist Republicans to scheme to divide the native American Indian vote over the years in order to keep native Americans out of the Minnesota House and Senate and out of the U.S. Congress.

If Democrats are going to recover from their trouncing in northern Minnesota — Jim Oberstar, Mary Olson and Brita Sailer soundly defeated, with Persell and Skoe most likely to be next to go; Democrats will have to fight for a redistricting plan that includes a U.S. House district that includes everything from Duluth west... taking in the Indian reservations of Net Lake, Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth. This will assure native American Indians have a voice in the Minnesota state Legislature as well as a voice in Washington representing native American Indians from Minnesota. All working people will then have a voice in government.

Obviously Minnesota House and Senate Districts 4A and 4 need to have their boundaries redrawn to enable native American Indians to have voices at the real seat of power. There is nothing new about using redistricting to assure full representation of people of color in the political process; the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on this are very clear. Redistricting to end racism and enhance democracy for everyone is the way to enforce affirmative action in the electoral process the same way affirmative action (Executive Order 11246) is intended to end poverty by ending discrimination in employment.

The Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party has a most dismal and disgraceful record in each area and “the chickens have come home to roost.” Now is the time for real change.

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

Monday, November 15, 2010

U.S. Military – The World's Largest Polluter

Brita Belli

Dear Brita Belli, Editor;

(Please note; I am responding to the article below.)

The Editors of E/Environmental Magazine, in responding to a writer from New York about what the military is doing to "reduce its carbon footprint" fails to mention that this carbon footprint is a heck of a lot bigger than what military operations alone entail.

We have the entire military-financial-industrial complex which includes everything from mining to manufacturing in order to keep the U.S. military machine in operation.

As an example for starters---

It is estimated that between 30% to 60% of all the iron ore mined on Minnesota's Iron Range has gone into military production for everything from tanks to bridges and trucks. Not only does the mining leave a massive carbon footprint but the processing of this iron ore into steel leaves a huge carbon footprint. The manufacturing operations turning this steel into tanks, guns, trucks, bombs leaves another huge carbon footprint and we haven't even begun to consider the enormous quantity of power required to run all of this... one more huge carbon footprint.

The real carbon footprint of the U.S. military entails a lot more than simply how the military uses finished products and engages in untold waste and its contribution to pollution.

Learning to live in peace with our neighbors we share this planet with while "turning swords into plowshares" makes a lot of environmental sense. I wonder how it was that Al Gore and so many environmentalists missed this?

Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell Phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is the U.S. military doing to reduce its carbon footprint and generally green its operations?        -- Anthony Gomez, New York, NY

As the world’s largest polluter, the U.S. military has its work cut out for it when it comes to greening its operations. According to the nonprofit watchdog group, Project Censored, American forces generate some 750,000 tons of toxic waste annually—more than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined. Although this pollution occurs globally on U.S. bases in dozens of countries, there are tens of thousands of toxic “hot spots” on some 8,500 military properties right here on America soil.

“Not only is the military emitting toxic material directly into the air and water,” reports Project Censored, “it’s poisoning the land of nearby communities, resulting in increased rates of cancer, kidney disease, increasing birth defects, low birth weight and miscarriage.” The non-profit Military Toxics Project is working with the U.S. government to identify problem sites and educate neighbors about the risks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military manages 25 million acres of land that provides habitat for some 300 threatened or endangered species. The military has harmed endangered animal populations by bomb tests (and been sued for it), reports Project Censored, and military testing of low-frequency underwater sonar technology has been implicated in the stranding deaths of whales worldwide. Despite being linked to such problems, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has repeatedly sought exemptions from Congress for compliance with federal laws including the Migratory Bird Treaties Act, the Wildlife Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

It’s unclear whether the U.S. military is taking heed of criticisms in regard to pollution and endangered species management, but it is undoubtedly concerned about climate change, as its effects on the environment could lead to unprecedented natural resource wars and mass migrations of people. And reducing our reliance on potentially hostile foreign oil sources is a short term national security imperative as well. A recent Obama administration directive calls for the DoD to draw 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020. Nikihl Sonnad of the GreenFuelSpot website reports that the Army and Air Force are planning to include solar arrays on several bases in sunny western states. The Air Force is also building the nation’s largest biomass energy plants in Florida and Georgia, and the Navy is building three large geothermal energy plants and funding research into extracting energy from ocean waves.

Some of the military’s R&D into renewables is for battlefield applications. Outfitting troops with the capability to produce their own on-site power from solar and wind sources not only makes sourcing oil less of a necessity but also should serve to reduce casualties from fuel transport operations. Over 1,000 American troops have lost their lives delivering fuel in the past few years alone (in part because enemy combatants often use fuel trucks as attack targets), says Sonnad.

Elisabeth Rosenthal reports in The New York Times that “there is great hope that some of the renewable energy technology being developed for battle will double back and play a role in civilian life.” She adds that the armed forces have enough purchasing power to create genuine markets in the non-military world.

CONTACTS: Project Censored, www.projectcensored.org; U.S. DoD, www.defense.gov; Military Toxics Project, www.stopmilitarytoxics.org/about.html; GreenFuelSpot, www.greenfuelspot.com.

SEND YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS TO: EarthTalk®, c/o E – The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; earthtalk@emagazine.com. E is a nonprofit publication. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe; Request a Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.

Alan L. Maki
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:

Sarah Palin coins ‘word of the year’


"Brazilian and U.S. Elections: Opposite Outcomes"

A dialog with Professor Immanuel Wallerstein...(see Professor Wallerstein's "Commentary No. 293, Nov 15, 2010, below)

Professor Wallerstein,

I don't know much about the Brazilian elections and their politics or economics; but, I do know a little something about what is going on here in the United States which you don't seem to want to talk about:
Obama was hand-picked by Wall Street to do its dirty work; that he hoodwinked (actually he probably didn't have to work very hard in dpoing this) a large section of liberal, progressive, left intellectuals (including you) and "leaders" of the U.S. labor movement and all these foundation supported organizations into supporting him doesn't mean that he ever had good intentions of making good on his "hope" and "change" which you suggest his "failure" (or is it really his success?) is more the result of the economy than his bad intentions.

I guess this means you and the "Progressives for Obama" will be supporting Barack Obama in 2012?
If Lula is as beholden to ruling class and Wall Street interests as Obama is, then perhaps it is wrong for Brazilians to support him, too?

Its alright for Obama to support a neo-liberal agenda of capitalist globalization but it is not ok for Republicans to support the very same agenda--- same agenda but Obama has nicer, more people-friendly sounding rhetoric.

I supported both Al Gore and I was a delegate for John Kerry--- both of whom would have been more friendly to resolving the problems of working people than Barack Obama under the best of economic circumstances.

You say Barack Obama had a liberal voting record... there is no proof of this... a select few of his votes when his vote didn't even matter was on the liberal side intended for looks... you want us to believe the same thing about Barack Obama's voting record as a state senator and a U.S. Senator that you want us to believe of his support for healthcare reform--- the problem is, the majority of his voting record in the Illinois Senate like in the U.S. Senate was pro-corporate; not pro-people.

You bring all these issues forward that obscure the real issues: "centrism," "charismatic," "popular," "true political convictions."

But, isn't it at times when "the overall structural situation overwhelms" that we really know what politicians convictions and abilities really are based upon how they respond to the problems being encountered by working people? And you seem willing to let Obama off the hook for everything he has done that is all wrong--- in Wall Street's best interest; and, for everything Obama has not done for working people--- which just happens to be in Wall Street's best interest, too.

As someone who is looked towards for leadership in the anti-globalization movement as you are; it seems to me you have a responsibility to provide a more analytical accounting when it comes to Obama.

I would point out that Brazil's Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva is not waging dirty, immoral, unjust, illegal and unconstitutional imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which your commentary does not even mention which had a little something to do with the failure of working people--- liberal, progressive and left--- to turn out at the polls. Has it occurred to you that the American people are just plain fed up with war mongers and these wars which the Democrats refused to address in this election campaign just might have had more to do with the balloting than: "its the economy stupid."

Actually, did it occur to you that people were answering the question: How is Barack Obama's war economy working; when they stayed home on Election Day?

It is not simply about the economy; it is about this war economy.

I think I detect a bit of resentment in your commentary that the American people--- especially working people, who in their overwhelming majority are liberal, progressive and left--- who have not fallen for the line you and the "Progressives for Obama" put forward regarding how benign liberal and left Barack Obama is when most working people understand he is nothing but a right-wing, warmongering, reactionary, anti-labor flim-flam man and con artist posing as the President of the United States when he has multiple jobs working for Wall Street--- including being a corporate health insurance salesman when he isn't saddling the American tax-payer with huge debts from which Wall Street bankers will reap tremendous profits as our standard of living declines as a direct result from the austerity measures that have to be imposed so the bankers can collect--- and profit.

It's all about the PROFITS Wall Street derives from a war economy; profits that are a direct result from the growing poverty.

The "Brazilian and U.S. Elections: Opposite Outcomes"... because the U.S. has a Wall Street driven war economy to contend with and Barack Obama is not liberal or left... Brazil's "Lula" is perhaps a little liberal and a little left and having provided the Brazilian people with some much needed help--- something Obama has refused to do... but, then again, some of those small left organizations and parties in Brazil have some real clout, too, because their political homes are among the working class.
Also, Professor Wallerstein; you didn't mention the continuing home foreclosures and evictions nor Obama's failure to enforce affirmative action (Executive Order #11246).
Obama needs to be dumped by facing a primary challenge in the Democratic Party from real liberals and leftists--- not "centrists"--- who are being dogged and challenged by liberals and leftists friendly to them working in a progressive electoral coalition outside of the Democratic Party with both capable of making an intelligent and unifying decision based upon what is good for working people and the country on what to do going into the 2012 General Election... it is this liberal, progressive and left coalition that has always been the source of real change capable of delivering real reforms.

Needless to say, Barack Obama never made any suggestions to put the unemployed to work solving the problems of the people paid for with funds cut from ending these wars and taxing the rich... we could have had National Public Health Care and National Public Child Care creating some 15,000,000 new jobs for less than what these wars are costing us... a real alternative to Obama's Wall Street agenda.

Te longer all of you liberals, progressives and leftists continue supporting Obama and these Wall Street Democrats the longer the suffering of the American people will continue as problems go unresolved--- not only does Obama suffer a huge problem with his credibility but those of you who are liberal, progressive and left will continue to suffer from a lack of credibility the longer you support Obama.

Yours in solidarity and struggle with a much different view of Barack Obama,

Alan L. Maki

Quoting Becky Dunlop :
Please do not reply to the listserv. To correspond with the author, write immanuel.wallerstein@yale.edu. To correspond with us about your email address on the listserv, write dunlop@binghamton.edu. Thank you.

Commentary No. 293, Nov. 15, 2010
"Brazilian and U.S. Elections: Opposite Outcomes"

     On October 31, President Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva won a sweeping victory in the Brazilian elections. On November 2, President Barack Obama was soundly defeated in the U.S. elections. The curious thing is that neither one of them was standing in the elections. In Brazil, Lula had had two terms, the maximum allowed, and was supporting Dilma Rousseff as his successor. In the United States, the 2010 elections were midterm legislative elections, not a presidential election.
     There are some striking similarities in the two men and the two political situations. Lula was elected president of Brazil in 2002 as the candidate of hope and change. Obama was elected president of the United States in 2008 as the candidate of hope and change.
     Both men were outsiders in terms of the traditional political processes of their countries. Lula was the first president of working-class background and of little formal education. Obama was the first African-American president of his country.
     In their campaigns, both rallied large-scale popular support. In Lula's case, this was not his first, but his third attempt to become president. He had been a trade-union leader and the leader of a workers' party, the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT). Obama has been a community organizer and a senator with a very left ("liberal") voting record in the legislature. Both received support from militants in social movements and appealed particularly to young voters. Both emphasized the misdeeds of the previous president in their country - Fernando Henrique Cardoso in the case of Brazil and George W. Bush in the case of the United States - and in both cases their election was seen as a repudiation of the policies of the previous president.
     In neither case did the newly-elected president have a clear path in the legislature. In the Brazilian case, the electoral system led to a legislature with multiple parties and the PT had no more than a quarter of the seats. In the U.S. case, the rules of the U.S. Senate allowed the opposition party to block or force major concessions in any legislation the U.S. president wanted to see enacted. Both men felt they had to make political compromises.
     In both cases, a major fear of the newly-elected president was that the already difficult economic situation of their countries would turn to disaster. Lula feared runaway inflation and runaway investors. Obama feared collapse of the banks and runaway unemployment. The way each responded to these fears was to turn to a relatively conservative ("neoliberal") economic approach and the appointment of relatively conservative people in the key economic positions of their administration.
     This almost immediate "neoliberal" approach dismayed a large part of their electoral base. In each case, the two men sought to reassure their more left supporters that this "neoliberal" approach was essential but transitional, and that they would see that eventually their hopes for more fundamental change would be realized.
     These assurances were taken with increasing skepticism and public dissent by these supporters, and particularly by leading left intellectuals and leaders of social movements. In the Brazilian case, some of them publicly resigned from the PT and threw their support to smaller left-wing parties. The response of both Lula and Obama was to point to various kinds of programs they had put into effect which were intended to improve the lot of the poorer parts of the population, such as the campaign against hunger in the case of Brazil and the new health legislation in the case of the United States. The skeptics pointed in each case to the important benefits that had accrued to the wealthier segments of their countries.
     When, however, the actual elections took place, many of the left skeptics returned to the fold. In Brazil, a group of very prominent left intellectuals issued a public appeal to vote for Dilma Rousseff 0n the grounds that her opponent would wreak disaster for Brazil. A similar position was taken by the most important social movement, the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST), which had been badly let down by Lula but nonetheless thought that things would be still worse if Rousseff were not elected.
     In the U.S. case, intellectuals who had supported the third-party candidacy of Ralph Nader in 2000 because they felt that there was no significant difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush publicly repented of this approach and argued for supporting Democrats in the legislative elections. So did leaders of social movements - among African-Americans, Latinos, and gays - despite their public disappointment with the limited fulfillment of Obama's promises.
     All this seems remarkably similar, yet the outcome could not have been more different. Rousseff won handily in Brazil and Obama, in his own words, received a "shellacking." Why? It could not be clearer. There was one enormous difference in the two situations. Brazil's economic situation had markedly improved in the past few years, and the U.S. economic situation had become markedly worse. There could not have been a clearer demonstration of the Carville thesis: "It's the economy, stupid."
     It was not Obama's "centrism" that explains why voters turned against him. Lula has been every bit as "centrist" in his politics. It was not Obama's lack of charisma. He had seemed very "charismatic" in 2008. Lula was popular because things seemed to be going well. And Obama was unpopular because they seemed to be going badly. It is not that one sold out and the other did not. It was not a question of their true political convictions. Sometimes, the overall structural situation overwhelms the abilities of talented politicians to do much about them.
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
Binghamton University
PO Box 6000
Binghamton NY 13902
Alan L. Maki
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:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Can anything be salvaged from this wreck? I doubt it. The deficit commission should be told to fold its tents and go away.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Can anything be salvaged from this wreck? I doubt it. The deficit commission should be told to fold its tents and go away." 

Paul Krugman


Alan L. Maki
Alan L. Maki Paul Krugman says about Obama's cat food commission... "Count me among those who always believed that President Obama made a big mistake when he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — a supposedly bipartisan panel charged with coming up with solutions to the nation’s long-run fiscal problems.

    • Alan L. Maki

      Krugman's conclusion is correct:

    • "Can anything be salvaged from this wreck? I doubt it. The deficit commission should be told to fold its tents and go away."

    • Question:

    • So, who is going to send the message to Obama to get rid of the "cat food commission?"

    • Comment:

    • Probably we won't see the "cat food commission" go away any time soon unless liberals, progressives and the left place an alternative agenda before the American people for discussion as part of a strategy to explore the possibility of political life beyond the Democratic Party.
    • The Hijacked Commission
      Published: November 11, 2010

    • Count me among those who always believed that President Obama made a big mistake when he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — a supposedly bipartisan panel charged with coming up with solutions to the nation’s long-run fiscal problems. It seemed obvious, as soon as the commission’s membership was announced, that “bipartisanship” would mean what it so often does in Washington: a compromise between the center-right and the hard-right.
      My misgivings increased as we got a better feel for the views of the commission’s co-chairmen. It soon became clear that Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chairman, had a very Republican-sounding small-government agenda. Meanwhile, Alan Simpson, the Republican co-chairman, revealed the kind of honest broker he is by sending an abusive e-mail to the executive director of the National Older Women’s League in which he described Social Security as being “like a milk cow with 310 million tits.”
      We’ve known for a long time, then, that nothing good would come from the commission. But on Wednesday, when the co-chairmen released a PowerPoint outlining their proposal, it was even worse than the cynics expected.
      Start with the declaration of “Our Guiding Principles and Values.” Among them is, “Cap revenue at or below 21% of G.D.P.” This is a guiding principle? And why is a commission charged with finding every possible route to a balanced budget setting an upper (but not lower) limit on revenue?
      Matters become clearer once you reach the section on tax reform. The goals of reform, as Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson see them, are presented in the form of seven bullet points. “Lower Rates” is the first point; “Reduce the Deficit” is the seventh.
      So how, exactly, did a deficit-cutting commission become a commission whose first priority is cutting tax rates, with deficit reduction literally at the bottom of the list?
      Actually, though, what the co-chairmen are proposing is a mixture of tax cuts and tax increases — tax cuts for the wealthy, tax increases for the middle class. They suggest eliminating tax breaks that, whatever you think of them, matter a lot to middle-class Americans — the deductibility of health benefits and mortgage interest — and using much of the revenue gained thereby, not to reduce the deficit, but to allow sharp reductions in both the top marginal tax rate and in the corporate tax rate.
      It will take time to crunch the numbers here, but this proposal clearly represents a major transfer of income upward, from the middle class to a small minority of wealthy Americans. And what does any of this have to do with deficit reduction?
      Let’s turn next to Social Security. There were rumors beforehand that the commission would recommend a rise in the retirement age, and sure enough, that’s what Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson do. They want the age at which Social Security becomes available to rise along with average life expectancy. Is that reasonable?
      The answer is no, for a number of reasons — including the point that working until you’re 69, which may sound doable for people with desk jobs, is a lot harder for the many Americans who still do physical labor.
      But beyond that, the proposal seemingly ignores a crucial point: while average life expectancy is indeed rising, it’s doing so mainly for high earners, precisely the people who need Social Security least. Life expectancy in the bottom half of the income distribution has barely inched up over the past three decades. So the Bowles-Simpson proposal is basically saying that janitors should be forced to work longer because these days corporate lawyers live to a ripe old age.
      Still, can’t we say that for all its flaws, the Bowles-Simpson proposal is a serious effort to tackle the nation’s long-run fiscal problem? No, we can’t.
      It’s true that the PowerPoint contains nice-looking charts showing deficits falling and debt levels stabilizing. But it becomes clear, once you spend a little time trying to figure out what’s going on, that the main driver of those pretty charts is the assumption that the rate of growth in health-care costs will slow dramatically. And how is this to be achieved? By “establishing a process to regularly evaluate cost growth” and taking “additional steps as needed.” What does that mean? I have no idea.
      It’s no mystery what has happened on the deficit commission: as so often happens in modern Washington, a process meant to deal with real problems has been hijacked on behalf of an ideological agenda. Under the guise of facing our fiscal problems, Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson are trying to smuggle in the same old, same old — tax cuts for the rich and erosion of the social safety net.
      Can anything be salvaged from this wreck? I doubt it. The deficit commission should be told to fold its tents and go away.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Camping with Oprah

This comes from the Sierra Club... I find it interesting that it is claimed that few people of color use our National Parks... why not? I like to camp all seasons of the year... I went camping with my grand-kids for two weeks this past summer. One problem I see is that it costs way too much to use our State and National Parks.

I guess the well-heeled people who comprise the bulk of the contributors to the Sierra Club wouldn't be too concerned about costs.


Camping with Oprah

When Oprah Winfrey made a surprise camping trip to Yosemite, it may have been the biggest media event in the park since Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir posed together at Glacier Point.

Oprah decided to make the trip after receiving an impassioned letter from park ranger (and Sierra Club Books author) Shelton Johnson about his frustration that so few people of color visit our national parks.

When Oprah arrived, Shelton was there to welcome her, introduce her to the famous Giant Grizzly sequoia, and explain how to keep her s'mores fixings from attracting hungry bears and paparazzi. No word on whether Shelton's novel, Gloryland, will ever be selected for You-Know-Who's Book Club, but no need to wait -- you can order a copy now and learn what it was like to be a buffalo solider in Yosemite.

Democrats' Own Racism Has Done Them In

Letter to the Editor, submitted exclusively to the Bemidji Pioneer Press for publication;

The next political battle about to shape up in Minnesota is over redistricting.

Racist Democrats joined with racist Republicans to scheme to divide the Native American Indian vote over the years in order to keep Native Americans out of the Minnesota House and Senate and out of the U.S. Congress.

If Democrats are going to recover from their trouncing in northern Minnesota--- Jim Oberstar, Mary Olson and Brita Sailer soundly defeated, with Persell and Skoe most likely to be next to go; Democrats will have to fight for a redistricting plan that includes a U.S. House District that includes everything from Duluth west... taking in the Indian Reservations of Net Lake, Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth... this will assure Native American Indians have a voice in the Minnesota State Legislature as well as a voice in Washington representing Native American Indians from Minnesota... all working people will then have a voice in government.

Obviously Minnesota House and Senate Districts 4-A and 4 need to have their boundaries redrawn to enable Native American Indians to have voices at the real seat of power.

There is nothing new about using redistricting to assure full representation of people of color in the political process; the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on this are very clear.

Redistricting to end racism and enhance democracy for everyone is the way to enforce affirmative action in the electoral process the same way affirmative action (Executive Order #11246) is intended to end poverty by ending discrimination in employment... the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party has a most dismal and disgraceful record in each area and "the chickens have come home to roost."

Now is the time for real change.

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

Cougar seen on Wolf Lake trail camera

Published November 09 2010 
From the Bemidji Pioneer Press


Cougar seen on Wolf Lake trail camera

As thousands of deer hunters fanned out across Minnesota’s woods Saturday, the buzz in tiny Wolf Lake was of a cougar captured on a trail camera two weeks ago. 

By: Sarah Smith, Park Rapids Enterprise

As thousands of deer hunters fanned out across Minnesota’s woods Saturday, the buzz in tiny Wolf Lake was of a cougar captured on a trail camera two weeks ago.

Scott Koskela set up the Bushnell trail cam near an alfalfa field on his father, Leroy’s property east of Wolf Lake.

Scott, who lives in Coon Rapids, didn’t check the images on the camera until about a week ago.
On Oct. 18 at 6:48 a.m. the infrared flash captured three images of a large cat with a rope-like tail sauntering through the field.

Scott Koskela said the images that he e-mailed to friends created an immediate stir.

“I didn’t realize the copies would circulate so fast,” he said a bit sheepishly. “I haven’t had time to call the DNR.”

Koskela declined to be photographed with his camera.

“I’m really not looking for publicity for myself,” he said.

One of the three images sits on the counter at the Wolf Lake Co-op.

Scott Brown, who lives nearby, said he’d seen a cougar on his property about two months ago.

“It was a small cougar, not like this one,” he said, nodding at the photo. “My kids have heard it when they’re out playing. They said it sounded like a woman screaming.”

Brown said when his father told the kids what the sound was, “they’re afraid to go outside,” he said.
If verified by the DNR, it would be the "fourth record" of a mountain lion's presence in Minnesota since August 18, 2010," said independent wildlife biologist Steve Loch of Babbitt.

The DNR believes that periodic cats wander this way from the Black Hills, but there’s no evidence of a breeding population in Minnesota.

Leroy Koskela said he recalls an occasional cougar in the area, but it’s been decades, he said.
Employees at the Co-op spoke of a large cat being seen near Sebeka lately.

“I had no doubt they’re around,” Scott Koskela said. He said he’s seen tracks periodically in the woods around the area.

The trail cam captured photos of the field before and after the cat wandered through and also caught several deer in the area.

More about Wolf Lake, Minnesota:

Monday, November 8, 2010

No "democracy" in "e-democracy"

Mr. Perry, e-democracy Forum Manager;

I agree whole-heartedly with David Shove's characterization of e-democracy as a front for the MN DFL:
E-dem is run in pro DFL capitalist bourgeois imperial powers that be
manner; you censor serious challenges to system evil; you don't allow any
response; and you ban those who don't fit. And what's more, you like it
that way and know we have no response. "Democracy" hah!

I have known this for a long time, and have been banned several times.

I have come to know that I have to be sneaky and indirect to get around
e-dem's serious love affair with censored parts of the powers that be.


And a further response from David Shove to "e-democracy:"

This is not so much you personally as e-dem generally - the several
branches in the several cities with the several moderators over as many
years - 10? - as it has been in existence. If records are kept, I have
been banned and warned several times, and often because the official
policy is to treat public people just like private people, as if public
people did not have in law LESS protection from charges, so that the
public could have MORE ability to expose and mobilize against bad
government and corporate etc policy. I have been written that public =
private, so it's not just an impression I have but a statement from e-dem.


I would go even further than Mr. Shove and state the true nature of e-democracy is to enable a bunch of foundation fronts for the DFL to receive grants and this money is then channeled in a way that supports DFL candidates and serves to evade all accountability.

I was banned because I continued to use phrase "AFFIRMATIVE ACTION" which Mr. Moen said was the same as "reparations" which for some reason is a banned topic on e-democracy even though "reparations" is a very important topic to many, many people who continue to suffer the affects of slavery, and the United States government does, according to many people--- including myself--- have a responsibility to award damages to this "class of people."

But, it was the epitome of racism for Mr. Rick Moen to ban me because I insisted on addressing the issue of "affirmative action" in opposition to HIS interpretation that "affirmative action" is the same as "reparations for slavery."

E-democracy is racist in every way, shape and form.

E-democracy is a front used by the DFL and its foundation whores financed by outfits like the extremely anti-labor and extremely racist Blandin Foundation.

Fortunately, as we have seen from this past Election on November 2, the way e-democracy is run by you two-faced racist hypocrites interested in maintaining the DFL as the same old corrupt party of slavery, banking, power generating, mining and forestry industries raping the land and exploiting the people while engaged in a genocidal campaign that continues to this very day as e-democracy has also banned all discussion of the "Compacts" the DFL created for the mobsters who manage the Indian Gaming Industry as it was even ruled an improper topic to continue talking about how workers are forced to work in these smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws all created by a bunch of crooked and corrupt elements inside of the Minnesota DFL like "Skip" Humphrey--- none of this is allowed for discussion on e-democracy where it is prohibited, under the guise of "civility" to call corrupt politicians corrupt and racists racist... e-democracy through its racist and undemocratic behavior that EVERYONE identifies with Brian Melendez and the Zionist AIPAC apologists for the Israeli killing machine (language also "banned" on e-democracy in the name of "civility"--- well, e-democracy through its racist and undemocratic--- as well as anti-labor--- disposition as a front for the Summit Hill Club and the MNDFL Business Caucus, has contributed to doing the DFL in at the polls... and for this I and 40,000 casino workers in Minnesota rejoice as the very racist and very anti-labor and pro-business DFL candidates you have sought to shield from the criticism have now been defeated:

James Oberstar
State Senator Mary Olson
House Member Brita Sailer
House Member David Olin
House Member Bernie Leider

Good riddance; instead of using e-democracy where there is no democracy; we took our campaign to defeat these racist bastards and bigots out to the people in a variety of other ways.

Thank you e-democracy for forcing us out into the communities where our electoral actvities met with great success as we encouraged voters not to vote for these racist bigots whose campaigns were financed by the racist John McCarthy and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association which manipulated and maneuvered to have me banned from e-democracy.

Another subject taboo on e-democracy is the fact that not one single Native American Indian has a seat in the 200-member plus Minnesota State Legislature in spite of the fact that Minnesota has one of the largest Native American Indian populations in the United States of America with 11 Indian Nations that are supposed to be "sovereign" yet have to come begging to the State of Minnesota and the United States government for "permission" for everything they do... another topic I was warned not to comment on on your "e-democracy" which is obviously mis-named.

Mr. Perry, you can take your "e-democracy" and shove it far up into a place where the sun never shines.

In closing I would note that you have allowed Sally Fineday, another mouthpiece for the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, to conduct the most disgusting campaign of lies against me personally and the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council at the behest of her handlers, John McCarthy and Stanley Crooks who exploits over 5,000 casino workers in his Mystic Lake Casino empire and forces them to sign, as conditions of employment, a statement saying that they understand they will be immediately terminated if they are found to be engaging in any union organizing efforts... something that is completely contrary to every human right and labor rights standard as recognized by the civilized international community--- again, a topic you have banned from discussion on your "e-democracy."

Mr. Perry, why don't you explain the stance of "e-democracy" on "net neutrality?" Lol!

Other topics "e-democracy" has banned from discussion include:

ending U.S. aid to Israel and divestment of state funds from Israel
a national public health care system
a national public day care system

On the other hand, even after I was banned from "e-democracy;" all of you "moderators" allowed me to be attacked without let up based upon the most vicious anti-communist, racist, anti-Semitic and anti-labor campaign... true to the Minnesota Democratic Party's founding roots of defending slavery and the genocidal campaigns waged against the Native American Indian people and its support for big-agribusiness against small family farmers and its unrelenting campaign against organized labor that culminated with the "great liberal" Hubert H. Humphrey writing the Communist Control Act which still governs "e-democracy."

I am glad to see that ever larger numbers of people are coming to see "e-democracy" for what it really is... as David Shove has pointed out, you are nothing but "shills for the MNDFL."

Mr. Perry, have I provided you with enough "specifics?" I hope you will take this e-mail to the full board of "e-democracy" and provide copies to the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, Brian Melendez the Chair of the MNDFL and the Blandin Foundation.

In closing, I would note that I was prohibited from advocating for Mark Dayton's candidacy on "e-democracy" because I noted he was for the enforcement of "Affirmative Action" (Executive Order # 11246) so I don't find it strange that "e-democracy" is now trying to thwart and stymie any discussion about how the DFL leadership, working with Karl Roves attorneys under the guise of a "fair election" is trying to deny Mark Dayton his position as Governor of Minnesota an elected position he won by 9,000 votes... since when is winning by a slim margin now an opportunity to challenge an election without having to cite any irregularities... but, what the heck, it is no different than another topic that has been ruled as banned from e-democracy: the right of employers to challenge unemployment benefits due employees without having to provide a reason... and, it is right in line with another topic banned from discussion on "e-democracy," the Draconian "at-will hiring; at-will firing" legislation which remains on the books because it is supported by the DFL Summit Hill Club and the MNDFL Business Caucus along with their Republican friends... all now working in cahoots with Republicans to deny Mark Dayton his hard worked for victory where you moderators preach "civility" but you allowed Mark Dayton to be attacked to no end as being "crazy;" and then, when challenged, you claimed it was acceptable behavior because Mark Dayton admitted to be under the care of a psychiatrist and was being medicated as a result... how pitifully bigoted and biased "e-democracy" is while claiming just the opposite.

Oh, yes; and lest we forget... it was in 2007 I was warned I could not call Barack Obama "a flim-flam man and con-artist working for Wall Street."

Mr. Perry; since you obviously were inviting my comments by sending this e-mail exchange on to me I decided to provide my input even though trying to discuss anything with you DFL party hacks is a waste of time; but, I am passing my comments along to others... and for those not receiving this "Bcc'ed;" you can tell your friends to read this on my popular blog that has more readers than "e-democracy" has participants:

So, like with your daily newspaper, when reading anything on "e-democracy," make sure you "read between the lines."


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

Quoting Matt Perry :
> Mr. Shove,
> Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback.
> It appears you are implying bias, but without specifics, I cannot
> respond to such a charge. You don't know my politics from the forum. I
> make a point of not posting to the forum although that is my right so as
> to even further reduce the possibility of the perception of bias. Please
> do share any data you have related to this concern.
> I would value getting specific examples of the general concerns you
> raise. If I am being inconsistent or favoring one group (or issue
> position) over another then I can make adjustments. That helps me do a
> better job as forum manager.
> Sincerely,
> Matt Perry
> East Harriet Farmstead/Minneapolis
> Forum Manager
> David Shove wrote:
> >E-dem is run in pro DFL capitalist bourgeois imperial powers that be
> >manner; you censor serious challenges to system evil; you don't allow any
> >response; and you ban those who don't fit. And what's more, you like it
> >that way and know we have no response. "Democracy" hah!
> >
> >I have known this for a long time, and have been benned several times.
> >
> >I have come to know that I have to be sneaky and indirect to get around
> >e-dem's serious love affair with censored parts of the powers that be.
> >
> >--ds
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >On Mon, 8 Nov 2010, Matt Perry wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >>Folks,
> >>
> >>There are many aspects of the Minnesota Politics & Issues Forum that make it a
> unique and positive experience for "information sharing and discussion of
> Minnesota public policy issues and politics."
> >>
> >>A key component are the civility rules of this forum. The use of inflamed
> speech is a violation of the forum participation rules. For example, posing
> questions like "Do you take personal responsibility for the deaths caused by
> Democratic policies" is inflamed speech.
> >>
> >>If you cannot make your point in a civil manner, then this is not the forum
> for you.
> >>
> >>4. Be Civil - No insults, name calling or inflamed speech. Personal one-on-one
> arguments, disagreements or personality conflicts are not appropriate on the
> public discussion forum. The Forum Manager shall provide guidance to
> participants on what is appropriate and what is not allowed. Attempts at humor
> or sarcasm should be labeled ... ;-), :-), etc.
> >>
> >>It is possible to make your point in an impassioned, even unvarnished way
> while keeping it civil. Please let us all do so.
> >>
> >>As a reminder, discussion of the forum management in the forum is not allowed.
> Instead, please contact me directly and *offlist* if you have questions or
> comments about this post or other forum management issues.
> >>
> >>Thank you.
> >>
> >>Matt Perry
> >>East Harriet Farmstead/Minneapolis
> >>Forum Manager
> >>
> >>
> >>Matt Perry
> >>East Harriet Farmstead, Minneapolis
> >>About Matt Perry: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/4U0LZe6OT3dFlu3DaAjylX
> >>
> >>View full topic, share on Facebook, Twitter, etc:
> >> http://forums.e-democracy.org/r/topic/1HcwODRY0XfUAPBz6V3TCZ
> >>- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> >> To post, e-mail: mn-politics@forums.e-democracy.org or "Reply-to-All" to
> post publicly.
> >> To leave or for daily digest, type "unsubscribe" OR "digest on" in subject
> instead.
> >>
> >> Forum home: http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/mn-politics
> >>- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> >>Need help? http://e-democracy.org/support Hosting thanks:
> http://OnlineGroups.Net
> >>Follow us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/edemocracyorg
> >>
> >> Rules: Be civil - No name calling, personal attacks, etc.
> >> http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/mn-politics/charter
> >>Complaints to: mn-politics-fm@e-democracy.org
> >>
> >>
> >>
Alan L. Maki
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:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Peace = health care + child care + over 15,000,000 new jobs

Neither Paul Krugman nor Evan Bayh place the questions about the economy correctly by asking this very important and fundamental question:

How is Obama's war economy working for you?

One has to ask how it can possibly be that neither Krugman the economist nor Bayh the politician don't even mention these extremely costly dirty wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in either of their op/ed pieces when putting an end to this massive waste is what is required if we our going to solve our many problems.

In fact, Bayh talks about Obama making a mistake about putting health care reform before creating jobs while Krugman turns around and says that Bayh is wrong.

Well, the fact is both Krugman and Bayh are wrong because Obama and the Democrats could have killed three birds with one stone by ending these dirty wars and using the money saved to finance a National Public Health Care System providing the American people with free health care through a national network of 30,000 public health care centers which would have created around ten-million new decent good-paying jobs.

Peace = health care + jobs

There would have been enough money left to create a National Public Child Care System, too; thus solving another major problem for most working class families while creating over 5 million new jobs.

Peace = health care + child care + over 15,000,000 new jobs

Why is it so hard for these economists and politicians to figure out the most jobs are created by putting people to work solving the problems of working people while creating a more just and humane society?

If additional funding is needed you simply tax the hell out of the rich who have been stashing away their profits for four or five generations so what we need to do is take their money to redistribute this massive wealth that working people created and Wall Street coupon clippers socked away.

If need be a tax similar to the Social Security tax could be implemented to pay for national public health care and national public child care... no one would or could object since they would be getting something of real value instead of the bloody mess that comes with wars that cost way more than health care or child care ever would cost.

Paul Krugman says he wants to hear answers so this is my answer to him and the politicians.

I don't get it; how can any reasonably intelligent person not understand that by implementing both National Public Health Care and National Public Child Care programs you create jobs at the same time?

Chances are, like the wars, which the majority of the American people want to end... the majority of the American people would favor creating both a National Public Health Care System and a National Public Child Care System when given the facts.

Would anyone care to venture how it is an economist the stature of the award-winning Paul Krugman and a long-time serving U.S. Senator like Evan Bayh could not come up with any of this?


November 4, 2010
The Focus Hocus-Pocus

Democrats, declared Evan Bayh in an Op-Ed article on Wednesday in The Times, “overreached by focusing on health care rather than job creation during a severe recession.” Many others have been saying the same thing: the notion that the Obama administration erred by not focusing on the economy is hardening into conventional wisdom.

But I have no idea what, if anything, people mean when they say that. The whole focus on “focus” is, as I see it, an act of intellectual cowardice — a way to criticize President Obama’s record without explaining what you would have done differently.

After all, are people who say that Mr. Obama should have focused on the economy saying that he should have pursued a bigger stimulus package? Are they saying that he should have taken a tougher line with the banks? If not, what are they saying? That he should have walked around with furrowed brow muttering, “I’m focused, I’m focused”?

Mr. Obama’s problem wasn’t lack of focus; it was lack of audacity. At the start of his administration he settled for an economic plan that was far too weak. He compounded this original sin both by pretending that everything was on track and by adopting the rhetoric of his enemies.

The aftermath of major financial crises is almost always terrible: severe crises are typically followed by multiple years of very high unemployment. And when Mr. Obama took office, America had just suffered its worst financial crisis since the 1930s. What the nation needed, given this grim prospect, was a really ambitious recovery plan.

Could Mr. Obama actually have offered such a plan? He might not have been able to get a big plan through Congress, or at least not without using extraordinary political tactics. Still, he could have chosen to be bold — to make Plan A the passage of a truly adequate economic plan, with Plan B being to place blame for the economy’s troubles on Republicans if they succeeded in blocking such a plan.

But he chose a seemingly safer course: a medium-size stimulus package that was clearly not up to the task. And that’s not 20/20 hindsight. In early 2009, many economists, yours truly included, were more or less frantically warning that the administration’s proposals were nowhere near bold enough.

Worse, there was no Plan B. By late 2009, it was already obvious that the worriers had been right, that the program was much too small. Mr. Obama could have gone to the nation and said, “My predecessor left the economy in even worse shape than we realized, and we need further action.” But he didn’t. Instead, he and his officials continued to claim that their original plan was just right, damaging their credibility even further as the economy continued to fall short.

Meanwhile, the administration’s bank-friendly policies and rhetoric — dictated by fear of hurting financial confidence — ended up fueling populist anger, to the benefit of even more bank-friendly Republicans. Mr. Obama added to his problems by effectively conceding the argument over the role of government in a depressed economy.

I felt a sense of despair during Mr. Obama’s first State of the Union address, in which he declared that “families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same.” Not only was this bad economics — right now the government must spend, because the private sector can’t or won’t — it was almost a verbatim repeat of what John Boehner, the soon-to-be House speaker, said when attacking the original stimulus. If the president won’t speak up for his own economic philosophy, who will?

So where, in this story, does “focus” come in? Lack of nerve? Yes. Lack of courage in one’s own convictions? Definitely. Lack of focus? No.

And why would failing to tackle health care have produced a better outcome? The focus people never explain.

Of course, there’s a subtext to the whole line that health reform was a mistake: namely, that Democrats should stop acting like Democrats and go back to being Republicans-lite. Parse what people like Mr. Bayh are saying, and it amounts to demanding that Mr. Obama spend the next two years cringing and admitting that conservatives were right.

There is an alternative: Mr. Obama can take a stand.

For one thing, he still has the ability to engineer significant relief to homeowners, one area where his administration completely dropped the ball during its first two years. Beyond that, Plan B is still available. He can propose real measures to create jobs and aid the unemployed and put Republicans on the spot for standing in the way of the help Americans need.

Would taking such a stand be politically risky? Yes, of course. But Mr. Obama’s economic policy ended up being a political disaster precisely because he tried to play it safe. It’s time for him to try something different.


Where Do Democrats Go Next?

Brian Stauffer
Published: November 2, 2010

DEMOCRATS can recover from the disappointments of this election and set the stage for success in 2012. But to do so we must learn from Tuesday’s results.

Many of our problems were foreseeable. A public unhappy about the economy will take it out on the party in power, even if the problems began under previous management. What’s more, when one party controls everything — the House, the Senate, the White House — disgruntled voters have only one target for their ire. And the president’s party almost always loses seats in midterm elections.

Nonetheless, recurring patterns of history, broad economic forces and the laws of politics don’t entirely account for the Democrats’ predicament. To a degree we are authors of our own misfortune, and we must chart a better path forward.

It is clear that Democrats over-interpreted our mandate. Talk of a “political realignment” and a “new progressive era” proved wishful thinking. Exit polls in 2008 showed that 22 percent of voters identified themselves as liberals, 32 percent as conservatives and 44 percent as moderates. An electorate that is 76 percent moderate to conservative was not crying out for a move to the left.

We also overreached by focusing on health care rather than job creation during a severe recession. It was a noble aspiration, but $1 trillion in new spending and a major entitlement expansion are best attempted when the Treasury is flush and the economy strong, hardly our situation today.

And we were too deferential to our most zealous supporters. During election season, Congress sought to placate those on the extreme left and motivate the base — but that meant that our final efforts before the election focused on trying to allow gays in the military, change our immigration system and repeal the George W. Bush-era tax cuts. These are legitimate issues but unlikely to resonate with moderate swing voters in a season of economic discontent.

With these lessons in mind, Democrats can begin to rebuild. Where to start?

First, we have more than a communications problem — the public heard us but disagreed with our approach. Democrats need not reassess our goals for America, but we need to seriously rethink how to reach them.

Second, don’t blame the voters. They aren’t stupid or addled by fear. They are skeptical about government efficacy, worried about the deficit and angry that Democrats placed other priorities above their main concern: economic growth.

So, in the near term, every policy must be viewed through a single prism: does it help the economy grow?

A good place to start would be tax reform. Get rates down to make American businesses globally competitive. Reward savings and investment. Simplify the code to reduce compliance costs and broaden the base. In 1986, this approach attracted bipartisan support and fostered growth.

The stereotype of Democrats as wild-eyed spenders and taxers has been resurrected. To regain our political footing, we must prove to moderates that Democrats can make tough choices. Democrats should ban earmarks until the budget is balanced. The amount saved would be modest — but with ordinary Americans sacrificing so much, the symbolic power of politicians cutting their own perks is huge.

Democrats should support a freeze on federal hiring and pay increases. Government isn’t a privileged class and cannot be immune to the times.

The most important area for spending restraint is entitlement reform. Democrats should offer changes to the system that would save hundreds of billions of dollars while preserving the safety net for our neediest. For instance, we could introduce “progressive indexation,” which would provide lower cost-of-living increases for more affluent Social Security recipients, or devise a more accurate measure of inflation’s effects on all recipients’ income.

Democrats should also improve legislation already enacted. Health care reform, financial regulation and other initiatives were first attempts at solving complex problems, not holy writ. The administration’s grant of sensible exemptions to the health care bill, permitting some employers to offer only basic coverage, is an example of common-sense, results-oriented fine-tuning.

If President Obama and Congressional Democrats were to take these and other moderate steps on tax reform, deficit reduction and energy security, they would confront Republicans with a quandary: cooperate to make America more prosperous and financially stable, running the risk that the president would likely receive the credit, or obstruct what voters perceive as sensible solutions.

Having seen so many moderates go down to defeat in this year’s primaries, few Republicans in Congress will be likely to collaborate. And as the Republicans — including the party’s 2012 presidential candidates — genuflect before the Tea Party and other elements of the newly empowered right wing, President Obama can seize the center.

I’m betting the president and his advisers understand much of this. If so, assuming the economy recovers, President Obama can win re-election; Democrats can set the stage for historic achievements in a second term. The extremes of both parties will be disappointed. But the vast center yearning for progress will applaud, and the country will benefit.

Evan Bayh, a Democratic senator from Indiana, is retiring from the Senate in January.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Minnesota Republicans and Democrats to fight like cats and dogs over 9,000 votes to figure out who will be the next governor...

Letter to the Editor; Submitted for publication exclusively to the Bemidji Pioneer.

As an ardent supporter of Governor-elect Mark Dayton, I hesitate to bring this issue forward; however, I feel in the interest of fairness in the electoral process there is something that needs to be considered.

Ironically, Dayton could be done in because of the racism in the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party perpetrated through its collaboration with the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association which has schemed to elect Democratic Party politicians beholden to enforcing a cheap pool of Indian labor which is responsible for the poverty on Minnesota's Indian Reservations--- pay casino workers poverty wages and then deprive them of all rights accorded other workers under state and federal labor laws, and the workers and their families and the entire community will be poor.

As Frances Perkins, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor repeatedly pointed out: Workers without rights are not likely to organize labor unions to defend their rights and livelihoods or strive to have a voice at work; the consequences are obvious: termination.

So, in order to assure and secure the required number of votes for these Democratic Party politicians who can be counted on to enforce the racist poverty inherent in the anti-labor "Compacts" creating the Indian Gaming Industry, one of the front groups of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, the Native Vote Alliance of Minnesota, was allowed to register voters improperly in a manner in which residences could not be verified in any manner; and, election officials, many of whom are backed with campaign contributions from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, failed to enforce state voter registration laws so no one has any way of knowing if the tens of thousands of Minnesotans registered to vote by the Native Vote Alliance of Minnesota are even real people and if they are actually live in the districts in which they are voting.

Ironically, it was the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, the recipient of tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, which used these very voter registration rules to prevent the Warriors for Justice from attaining ballot status.

Now what will happen if the same rules as applied to the Warriors for Justice in keeping them off the ballot are applied to the votes cast in this November 2 Election?

Once these Voter Registrations are examined by the attorneys hand-picked by Karl Rove at the request of the Minnesota Republican Party to scrutinize everything, might Mark Dayton's votes derived from these "registered" voters be challenged? Thirty-thousand votes challenged; with a 9,000 vote lead. I wonder what some high-priced attorneys whose intent it is to overturn the will of the people through legal shenanigans might do with all of this? Have the Democrats done themselves in by keeping the Warriors for Justice off the ballot? Certainly the United States Supreme Court is going to rule that if these thirty-thousand votes casts by "illegally" registered "voters" are appropriate; the signatures obtained by the Warriors for Justice are also valid... now what happens; an expensive new election is ordered just because these disgusting DFL leaders and elected public officials beholden to the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association are intolerant towards allowing others on the ballot to compete with them for votes have no tolerance for democracy when their casino profits and campaign contributions are at stake?

I wonder what is in store for Native American Indians when boundaries are redrawn and redistricting takes place?

Will anyone be seeing to it that redistricting takes place in a fair way enabling Native American Indians to have a chance to get elected to the real seats of power in Minnesota: the Minnesota State House and Senate?

I venture to guess that there are many Minnesotans, just like me, who are fed up with Democrats and Republicans who want our votes but do nothing for us as they look after the interests on the health insurance companies and the casino managements who fund their campaigns; people, fed up just like me, who would appreciate the opportunity to vote for people like the Warriors for Justice who really care about all of us, ending poverty, protecting the environment and the general welfare of the public.

As Republicans and Democrats now quibble and fight like cats and dogs over 9,000 votes... who do we have among the politicians just elected who will fight with the same determination to see to it that casino workers enjoy the same rights as all other workers protected by state and federal labor laws? Who among these newly elected politicians will stand up a fight to end poverty with the same determination they now fight over 9,000 votes?

By-the-way; does anyone find it strange that the Native Vote Alliance of Minnesota has no interest in electing Native American Indians to the Minnesota State Legislature? Why not? Would the issue of poverty be too much for these cheating and lying casino managements who force casino workers to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights to withstand? Or, would the issue of poverty constantly being brought forward be too much for a group of two-hundred plus legislators who don't receive any campaign contributions from the poor be too awkward to deal with?

I find it interesting how election laws can be twisted and perverted in interpretation by the well-heeled who think they, and only they, have the right to engage in politics while hypocritically claiming to be representing all of us when they really only care about the financial interests of those funding their campaigns.

Come on, let's not be afraid to talk about what is going on in Minnesota; do politicians getting campaign contributions from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association care as much about the plight of 40,000 casino workers and their families as they care about John McCarthy, the head of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, living high on the hog up on a hill in an exclusive neighborhood as a direct result of the poverty the Indian Gaming Association forces upon Native American Indians and their communities so that cheap labor, the source of all the wealth that continues to flow into their coffers.

Someone, anyone, from our great free mainstream media please go take a picture of the home and neighborhood where John McCarthy lives and the homes casino workers forced into poverty on reservations live.

Come on... let's have an explanation from former DFL State Senator Mary Olson explaining how it is that she and her campaign manager John McCarthy live in such luxury so many of her former constituents have to live in the most deplorable housing and scrounging and scraping to get by from day to day.

Wouldn't it be nice if we had elected public officials who would step forward and fight for workers' rights and for an end to poverty the way Republicans and Democrats are now fighting over 9,000 votes to determine who the next governor will be!

And then we have these worthless party hacks and worthless politicians like Jim Oberstar crying a trail of tears wondering why people don't vote!

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

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell: 651-587-5541

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Racist Minnesota DFL State Senator Mary Olson owned by Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is defeated...

Racist Mary Olson finds comfort holding on to her campaign manager John McCarthy who is the head of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association as she glumly watches her defeat take place.

McCarthy is the racist sleazeball who became filthy rich off the poverty the gaming industry has imposed on the Indian Nations.

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association pumped millions of dollars into Republican Party coffers after DFL'er Mark Dayton made it a point to say he would work to build a state-owned, state-managed casino industry to compete with McCarthy and his mobsters who use the Indian Nations to front for their "Indian" gaming industry in which not one single Indian or Indian tribe owns a slot machine or even the decks of cards used for table games.

The Indian Nations acquire the debts of the inappropriately named "Indian gaming industry" while white mobsters who inherited the Meyer Lansky family business run off like thieves in the night with all the profits leaving Indians forced into poverty wage jobs without any benefits other than heart and lung problems and the cancers brought on from second-hand smoke.

An opening for liberals, progressives and the left... defeat racism and the corporate agenda

Now is the time for liberals, progressives and the left to come out fighting clearly articulating an agenda for real change where the needs of people come before Wall Street's corporate profits, and real reforms are paid for with peace dividends derived from ending these dirty wars and the redistribution of wealth derived from taxing the hell out of the rich.

The sooner we free ourselves from the two-party trap the better and now is the time to begin doing this... Mark Dayton will be facing opposition from not only Republicans but most of his own Democrats who are opposed to affirmative action and taxing the rich... what a shame... will Dayton come to the same conclusion Rudy Perpich did that real change will only come through the creation of a new political party? Hopefully Dayton draws this conclusion sooner rather than later because the closer he placed himself to Obama the more he placed his own campaign in jeopardy... we are very fortunate there wasn't time for another Obama or Biden visit to Minnesota.

Brian Melendez and the corporate Democrats should be driven from the leadership of the MNDFL... these corporate Democrats distributed more Margaret Anderson-Kelliher t-shirts for the state DFL convention than what they produced in yard signs for Mark Dayton.

Mark Dayton received mere lip-service support from this corporate DFL leadership which had labeled him as "crazy."

In fact, Mark Dayton owes his victory to the Warriors for Justice who nominated him directly on the state DFL convention floor which showed Minnesota Democrats and all Minnesotans that Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, the choice of corporate Democrats, was a loser. Without this massive demonstration of support shown for Dayton from the grassroots DFL'ers on the state convention floor, the nomination of Margaret Anderson-Kelliher would have been a done deal and we would have another worthless Republican Governor.

We have seen how independent political initiatives properly organized around an issue like affirmative action and against racist poverty spun by racist unemployment can bring about real change... if Mark Dayton is smart he will meet with Nicole Beaulieu and Greg Paquin, the leaders of the Warriors for Justice, as one of his first orders of business to determine how affirmative action will be enforced in Minnesota as he promised at his press conference held on the steps of the State Capitol. Mark Dayton owes his victory to the movement to have affirmative action enforced in Minnesota... without the support Mark Dayton received from the Warriors for Justice he would not have survived the Primary race.

The racist arrogance of Jim Oberstar finally was responsible for doing him in... it is just too bad that liberals, progressives and the left didn't rise to the occasion to defeat this epitome of corrupt politics long ago.

Racist, anti-labor Democrat, Senator Mary Olson, also reaped what she has sown as did racist, anti-labor DFL State Representatives Brita Sailor, Dave Olin and Bernie Lieder.

The Warriors for Justice in carrying forward a clear message for real change inside and outside of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party based upon a liberal, progressive and left agenda of placing the needs of people and protection of the environment before corporate profits should be viewed as a clear signal that Minnesotans continue to respond to the ideas first articulated by Floyd Olson, Elmer Benson and John Bernard as they struggled to bring the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party to power--- such struggles in the streets and in the electoral arena are required even more today during these very troubling times.

The time is now to discuss what will be done to make sure that Native American Indians get the seats they are entitled to in the Minnesota State Legislature--- remember, redistricting is the very next battle we will be confronting and districts should be re-drawn to make it possible for Native American Indians to attain a voice in Minnesota politics at the seats of real political influence and power. The racism of poverty spun by racist unemployment needs to be resolved... now, not later.

Let us hope Mark Dayton is organizing to defend his victory against the corporate monsters who will now employ an army of lawyers to try to use a re-count to challenge his victory. I would encourage people, especially liberals, progressives and leftists, in every county to participate as observers in the vote recount that is almost certain to take place. We must not allow a bunch of corporate lawyers directed by Karl Rove and the billionaire Tea Baggers like the Koch family of John Birchers to deprive Minnesotans of this very important victory.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Some thoughts about the "populist economics" being pushed by the Democrats as a way to evade any mention of wars and real health care reform, etc...

Democrats are making a futile last ditch effort to defeat Republicans using a sham "economic populism" which goes like this... Obama made a mistake putting healthcare reform before job creation. So, all of a sudden in time for Election Day Democrats have conveniently discovered the "jobs issue."

To listen to most Democrats one would not even know that two wars are raging with people dying and resources being wasted.

Democrats have concocted a form of "economic populism" tailored to their needs for the 2010 Election which finds almost half the Democrats saying they don't want to see Obama run for a second term... this "economic populist" talk has been concocted to evade any discussion about war and peace and social and economic justice and the fact that the economic picture for the future is not as rosy as what is being portrayed.

In fact, health care and child care should have become free universal public programs and together between these two programs over 15 million new jobs could have been created.

Of course, the Democrats could have financed health care and childcare by ending these dirty wars and taxing the hell out of the rich.

Creating public universal social programs meeting the needs of the people is the way to create jobs... instead, Democrats, like Republicans, continue to pander to the false idea that small business creates the most jobs.

We will need a massive coalition of liberals, progressives and the left to articulate real job creation programs based on solving the problems of the people as an alternative to what the Democrats and Republicans have to offer.
Both Democrats and Republicans are pushing the false idea that by helping small business expand this is the way to create the most new jobs... both Democrats and Republicans tout supporting "private enterprise" and the "free market" as the ...way to create new jobs which is just as false as relying on small business to create jobs because the fact is, private enterprise and the free market destroyed all these jobs to begin with and the corporations continue to use the economic collapse to try to get fewer workers to produce more through speed-up and longer hours as they continue to lay off more workers as they push fewer workers to produce more.

Only massive government job creation programs will put people to work, and we might as well have these unemployed workers providing working people with healthcare and childcare... thus solving our unemployment problems and healthcare and childcare problems at the same time.
Small businesses are going bust left and right as the economy continues to collapse so more jobs are being lost than created in the sphere of small business. Plus, the majority of jobs created by small business are poverty wage jobs seldom providing working people with decent benefits and usually very poor working conditions... the idea behind having a job is to have a real living income and a quality life not to have a job that keeps you in conditions of poverty. Millions of working people in this country have to work two or three poverty wage jobs in the small business sector and they still can't feed their families and pay the rent.

I hardly call workers providing healthcare and childcare being "on the public dole." Public employees who work providing us with universal social programs are entitled to real living wages and a decent quality of life... we should be looking at providing all workers with a standard of living comparable to most public employees not trying to drag public employees down; the idea is to provide better lives and livelihoods for ALL working people.

We need a FULL EMPLOYMENT ECONOMY which would also solve any problems being encountered with Social Security and would enable the Social Security program to be expanded with more and better benefits.

Frances Perkins, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, placed all of this in proper perspective... when red-baited by the Tea Baggers of her day, she responded by stating: I would rather see the words in the Communist Manifesto become part of government programs helping people instead of remaining in obscurity on the pages of a pamphlet." Perkins, together with Harry Hopkins and Henry Wallace--- kindred progressive spirits--- took up the struggles of the people from the powerful liberal-progressive-left coalition and successfully brought forward the "New Deal" which included Social Security, the minimum wage and the right of workers to organize unions.

Liberals, progressives and the left need to formulate an alternative to Wall Streets warmongering agenda abroad and austerity at home and we need to wage struggles in every local community across the Nation in the streets and at the ballot box.

I believe I have correctly framed the way we should be articulating this agenda to where public policy becomes part of solving real problems instead of mere posturing around framing issues not intended to solve problems but intended solely to get votes.
There is no doubt that politicians have to a large extent perverted the public sector by trying to turn it into one more form of corruption where they seek to provide their friends with easy and often unnecessary jobs as a way to shore up a very corrupt political system... we see good examples of this kind of corruption from one end of the country to the other. But, I think public education, the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration and the Indian Health Service are good examples of public programs where jobs are created in the public sphere providing services required by people and society. There are many other such examples, too--- from garbage collection to water and sewage, etc.

Of course, we want to advance progressive, not regressive, tax policies: tax the rich.
The age of retirement should be lowered so as to provide jobs for the unemployed and a better quality of life for working people. This can be accomplished very easily by the redistribution of wealth. 
Democrats are playing their old games with our lives. In this election, the Democrats actually want us to believe there are no wars raging claiming many innocent lives and wasting our tax dollars and resources when the fact is these wars ar...e destroying the economy as they kill jobs just like they kill people.

In fact, it is not a matter of viewing issues like these wars, unemployment and healthcare and childcare as separate and distinct issues because it will take the tremendous resources now being consumed in carrying out these wars to fund universal public programs like healthcare and childcare which will provide the American people--- especially working people--- with services needed for quality lives which at the same time create millions of new jobs.

I would never support just any Democrats. I too have called many people to support ONE Democrat--- Mark Dayton for Governor of Minnesota who has made "tax the rich" the centerpiece of his campaign as he calls for enforcement of affirmative action.

If I lived in Michigan I would be calling for support for Virg Bernero the Democrat for Governor because he has had the courage to call for the creation of a state bank like the State Bank of North Dakota.

Both Dayton and Bernero understand the relationship between a crumbling capitalist economy and these dirty wars. Both Dayton and Bernero understand the need to struggle against racism and discrimination, and both Dayton and Bernero understand the need to support--- not attack--- public employees who are the front-line defenders of our universally needed public programs.

I would never support nor waste my vote on any Democrat who tries to use jobs versus healthcare while pretending these dirty wars don't exist as they vote to continue funding the deadly, racist and genocidal Israeli killing machine.

There are definitely--- in my opinion--- a few (not many) good Democrats worth supporting but we need to give Democrats our support very selectively as we move to find a way to create a new political movement backed by a new political party giving voice to liberals, progressives and leftists seeking real change... the kind of change that puts the needs of people for peace, jobs and social & economic justice before Wall Streets drive for greater profits enhanced by a voraciousness and rapacious greed achieved through wars abroad and austerity measures at home on top of the "normal" exploitation of working people.

The simple fact is that most Democrats are just as big warmongers and Wall Street apologists as your run-of-the-mill thoroughly reactionary Republicans... I challenge anyone to prove me wrong by providing a list of U.S. Senate and House candidates and those Democrats running for state and local offices and where they stand on the issues.

Even Mark Dayton and Virg Bernero are very weak when it comes to articulating support for massive public programs like healthcare and childcare as the way to create jobs instead of relying on the "private sector and free market" to create jobs when we know that unemployment is caused by this "private sector" and the way it operates in this "free market economy."

We need to push pro-people, pro-peace, pro-worker solutions based on the expansion and development of universal programs to problems inside of the Democratic Party while simultaneously trying to free ourselves from this two-party trap set for us by Wall Street while building a new political party reflecting the liberal, progressive and left views comprising the overwhelming majority of the working class wanting peace and social and economic justice.

The solutions to our problems won't be found in struggles in the streets alone but when we creatively find a way to take our struggles from the streets into the voting booth and then backing up our candidates again out in the streets... I don't see the solutions as either we struggle in the streets or we take our struggles to the voting booth... we need to find ways where one method of struggle is constantly complementing the other; thus providing our movements for real change with greater strength.
We need to constantly point out that a full employment economy is the solution to any problems associated with Social Security, too...when everyone is paying in, everyone gets more out.