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...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nicole Beaulieu opposes Persell for 4A bid

“It’s time to go back and fix the things we left behind so we can move forward in unity for a better Minnesota.”
Nicole Beaulieu
Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party Candidate for District 4-A

Published Sunday March 14, 2010
Beaulieu opposes Persell for 4A bid

Nicole Beaulieu of Bemidji, a student and Ojibwe language teacher, filed recently as a Democratic candidate for the House 4A seat held by Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji.

By: Brad Swenson, Bemidji Pioneer

Nicole Beaulieu of Bemidji, a student and Ojibwe language teacher, filed recently as a Democratic candidate for the House 4A seat held by Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji.

She’s running “because I know we aren’t being represented as well as we can be. It’s time to go back and fix the things we left behind so we can move forward in unity for a better Minnesota.”

She filed March 4 with the state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board as a DFL candidate for House 4A, although a three-page news release last week didn’t indicate which party.
In it, she leveled criticisms at both Persell and Bemidji Mayor Richard Lehmann, who a week ago declared his candidacy as a Republican for House 4A.

“Both John Persell and Mayor Lehmann have repeatedly failed the native community of Bemidji area by excluding our needs and special problems resulting from systemic and institutionalized racism from all matters or events that are meant to demonstrate concern for our shared community and citizens,” Beaulieu wrote.

“Neither Mayor Lehmann nor Rep. John Persell do anything about helping people living in poverty as a result of the lack of enforcement of affirmative action which is only one of the many reasons why I wish to be your 4A House of Representative chair holder,” she said.

Beaulieu did not return an e-mail asking for more information.

Born in Duluth, Beaulieu grew up in Bemidji and spent summers with her grandmother on the Leech Lake Reservation. She was graduated from Bemidji High School in 2005, and earned an associate’s degree in Anishinaabe studies from Leech Lake Tribal College in 2008. Currently she is a student at Bemidji State University and teaches Ojibwe language at Leech Lake Tribal College.

“I will work to improve the relationship between natives and non-natives. I would like to change the perspective of the native and non-natives opinion of one another by working hand in hand in all matters we engage ourselves in within our community,” she wrote. “… it saddens me to think of my own daughter exposed to the harsh realities of institutionalized racism of teachers and non-native students alike, which I have endured …”

She recalls growing up in a family of seven, making use of government programs and the food shelf, and said she would work to ensure those programs are available to all in need and entitled to receive.
“Throughout my candidacy I will make the recognition of native American issues in this city a priority along with several other important downfalls of our community,” Beaulieu wrote. “I want the people of the state of Minnesota to know that we are citizens too and we can represent our state just as well as anybody else. We want fair opportunities at whatever it is a native American may pursue as an opportunity to raise above and beyond discrimination.”

In these economic times, government programs need to be expanded, not cut back, she said, adding that it is “interesting Mayor Lehmann chose to build the Bemidji Regional Event Center rather than create the kinds of programs to help the people of Bemidji to cope better with life here.”

Beaulieu wrote that she is anti-abortion, “but why are we worrying about the unborn when the living are going without jobs, going hungry, going without adequate health care, or adequate education?”

She disputes Lehmann’s economic solution to jumpstart the economy by allowing the private sector to expand with less government regulation.

“It is because of this over-emphasis of doling out taxpayer money to private industry which is largely responsible for the present state of the economy,” Beaulieu wrote. “Massive public works programs will create jobs and stimulate the economy. Mayor Lehmann’s ‘trickle down’ theory of economics has been proven not to work.”

She also advocates for a public health program providing everyone with free health care, as is the goal of the Indian Health Service for American Indians, would create thousands of jobs in Minnesota.

She sides with Senate 4 DFL candidate Greg Paquin that the city failed to use affirmative action policies in hiring for the BREC, a decision the city says went to the construction manager and which there is no formal policy as no federal funds are involved.

“It saddens me when we have to utilize these laws meant to open up doors of opportunity for my people. But, the door has been slammed in our faces, once again, because of lack of enforcement of affirmative action,” she said.

Beaulieu is part of an effort to petition the United Nations human rights commissioner in Geneva to review human rights within the United States, including that of American Indians.

“I am doing this in hopes of giving our matters global attention so that those that create these injustices can no longer hide their corrupt agenda which has been devaluing the quality of life of my people for a very long time,” Beaulieu wrote. “Native American aboriginals are not represented by present Democrats from Senate District 4 or House Districts 4A or 4B.”

In filing her Nicole Beaulieu Committee, she lists herself as campaign chairwoman and treasurer. She reports she will not collect a public subsidy for her campaign.

Lehmann has yet to file a campaign committee with the state board.

For Nicole Beaulieu’s complete statement, check out her blog and bookmark Nicole’s blog to keep abreast of campaign activity:

Also check out Gregory W. Paquin’s blog:
MN DFL Senate Candidate District 4
Contact info:
1511 Roosevelt Road SE.
Bemidji, Minnesota , 56601
Home: 218-209-3157
Cell: 651-503-9493
Please distribute this blog posting as widely as possible. Minnesota has one of the largest Native American Indian populations in the United States and there is not one single Native American Indian sitting in the Minnesota State Legislature--- this must change.

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

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

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

Hated for their Way of Life

By June Terpstra, Ph.D.

I write today from Havana , Cuba , where the internet is connected through satellite because the USA blocks all cable that surrounds Cuba . Yesterday we met with trade union leaders, state diplomats, a medical doctor from Cinesex, the state sexual health department and Havana university professors. The people are intelligent and gracious, advanced in their knowledge of world events and unbelievably patient in the tasks of hosting a group from that same USA who has caused them so much suffering.

Cuba and its people are beautiful and brave. They have lived through hundreds of terrorist attacks by the USA including but not limited to: economic terrorism through an embargo that attempts to starve the people; a blockade that prevents their medical health and technological stability; military invasion and coup attempts engineered and paid for by the CIA; countless CIA assassination attempts of their leader; blocking of communication access; media smearing and false propaganda campaigns; wrongful imprisonment of their people in the USA while those who commit terrorism against them are free; and preventing and limiting cross country family visitations and communication. They are a traumatized but brave people who endure in the face of hardships imposed not by their government but by the terrorist tactics used by the USA to politically enforce a program of capitalist “democratization” that will benefit the corporate and military elites presently controlling much of the world’s resources today.

Why does America and the West hate Cuba ? They hate them for their way of life. What is that way of life? A unique Cuban form of social justice governance comprised of people’s committees at every level (grass roots, provincial, and national). A people who established a new way of life through the blood and tears of revolution deciding together to commit to the elimination of imperialism, slavery, racism, and sexism in order to share the country for and with each other holding a specific set of anti-oppression constructs that are foundational. Property, schools, and hospitals are not privately owned here and the Western elites hate that way of life.

Why do the global capitalists hate societies that attempt new forms of social justice governance models? Because when the people around the world self-determine their own resources the capitalists are not “free” to own it, control it, degrade it and deplete it. That is the operation of freedom the capitalist wants the people around the world to endure. In fact, “own it, control it, degrade it and deplete it” is the real program of so called democracy in the USA and Europe . That is the USA’s way of life that is to be imposed globally be it through a program of bribery and corruption; or programs of debt slavery with so called development programs and “aid”; or secret agency coordinated regime change; or, outright military invasion and occupation.

The Cuban people understand and articulate very well the politics of colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, and globalization. Unlike the public in the USA they are not dumbed down. There are no Mac Donalds and other fast foods here to make them obese and infect them with Franken-food diseases. There are no mega shopping malls or Walmarts to keep them distracted with materialistic consumption. The people here are not obsessively attached to cell phones or screens.

The Cuban people are in the schools, the universities, the government, the fields, the parks, the cafeterias, the hotels, and the streets talking, smiling, playing, working, and loving each other. The Cuban people are defending their way of life in their thoughtful relationships with each other. The Cuban people are attentive to what is needed to survive each special period imposed from the USA and each act of sabotage engineered by the USA . The Cuban people are surviving and enjoying the ocean in walks by the sea; drinking wonderful Cuban coffee while passionately debating politics; and suffering the ignorance of fools by hosting delegations from the USA .

The World is in Crisis with Dark Clouds Ahead

Alfred L. Marder, President, US Peace Council

Remarks of Al Marder, President, US Peace Council, to the World Peace Council Secretariat meeting at Katmandu, Nepal.

February 18, 2010

Comrades and Friends:

I wish to thank the Nepal Peace and Solidarity Council for providing the opportunity to come together to exchange ideas and proposals at this critical period for united action against the continuing and accelerated drive of imperialism that threatens world peace. We must seize this occasion to fulfill our historic responsibility to seek to unite the global peace movement in common struggle for peace. We recognize that our brothers and sisters in countries throughout the world, in many forms and many organizations, are struggling for national independence, for sovereignty, for the right to determine their own destiny, for peace. The World Peace Council, founded in the cauldron of anti-imperialism and internationalism, must reach out as never before, to seek common ground with all those forces, to forge a “superpower,” a global people’s movement for peace and justice.

In the last few days, further ominous steps have been taken by the Obama Administration intensifying the dangers to peace. The Polish Government announced the agreement to station a US Missile base 60 kilometers from the Russian border of Kaliningrad in the city of Modrag, Poland, stationing 100 US soldiers. The Polish Defense Minister boasted that this site would be combat-ready! The newspapers reported that a leading Russian General questioned the justification that the northern flank of NATO had to be strengthened. He said, “NATO has manifold superiority over Russian conventional arms, as it is.”

That issue, dear friends, is stalling an agreement on the START talks between the US and Russia on the reduction of nuclear weapons. Putin and Medvedev have stated that the negotiations must include missile bases before Russia will seriously negotiate on the reduction of nuclear weapons, let alone on their abolition.

Further, Rumania has announced an agreement with the US to station a missile base. Together, with a base already in Bulgaria, new military bases will be erected, costing $110 million dollars. They will house 4, 000 US troops.

We celebrated the heroic actions of the Czech people against stationing bases in their country. The Obama Administration has now announced they will arm all US warships in the Mediterranean and Middle East waters with these missiles.

Washington has increased the drone attacks in Pakistan and now there are calls for drone attacks on Yemen against the so-called terrorists. The recent attack on a vehicle in Pakistan revealed American soldiers in Pakistan dress from head to toe. The press reported that they dress the American soldiers this way in order to hide the fact from the Pakistan people that American troops are actually in Pakistan. The wars of invasion for imperialist domination have expanded: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The US has moved into Haiti again, using the horrible natural catastrophe as the excuse. French, Cuban, Venezuelan planes, bringing humanitarian supplies and assistance, were forbidden to land in the Porto-Prince airport. The French Minister of Defense has said it bluntly; the aim is to assist not occupy.

The Obama administration signed an agreement with Colombia for ten years for seven new bases. Colombia receives billions in US aid, third, after Israel and Egypt. 1,400 US troops will be dispatched to Colombia to man the new bases in Colombia. Why the need for bases and soldiers in Colombia?

These steps are clearly a threat to the independence movement in Latin America. The overthrow of the Zeyala administration in Honduras is a clear warning that US Imperialism is not ignoring the historic struggle of the peoples of Latin and Central America to rid themselves of the US yoke that has been choking them for centuries. Activities, including killings, in opposition to the new people’s governments, are taking place daily with the support of US embassies. The oligarchs and the murderous paramilitary mercenaries of Latin America are actively supported by the CIA and other US agencies.

The African Command has announced increased activities on the coast of Africa beyond the counterinsurgency operations in Somalia, Uganda, Mali, and Djibouti. Who is active in the Congo and other African countries for their rich resources? The US now gets 17% of its oil from Africa. By the year of 2015, the US will get 25% of its oil from Africa. There is now a Drone base in the Seychelles.

The World Peace Council is a member of the International Network Against Foreign Bases. The struggle against foreign bases is a struggle against imperialism at the national level, capable of mobilizing the people in the name of national sovereignty and independence. The WPC must play a leading role commensurate with its mission. It must encourage all of our members to become active in this movement.

While all of the above is very serious and dangerous, the most ominous of decisions is the decision to sell $6.5 billion dollars of weapons to Taiwan. In the mix will be 200 Patriot anti-ballistic missiles. China has rightfully denounced this dangerous situation, as direct intervention in their internal affairs. The US moves deliberately to surround China and Russia.

The Obama new missile-shield project will be extended to all of Europe integrated with NATO and will extend to the Middle East and the Caucuses. All the warships plying the oceans in Europe and the Middle East will be have Standard Missiles 3 and a new land-based version. Plans are afoot to deploy missile interceptors on the soil of European nations

The Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is to take place on May 4 again in New York at the United Nations. This is at a critical stage in the struggle against nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons have been the excuse for the invasion of Iraq; the attacks against Iran and the maneuvers against North Korea. The issue of nuclear weapons has been with us since the days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It sparked the founding of the World Peace Council itself. While it is important to recall that it was the WPC that initiated the historic Stockholm Peace Pledge, it is now 60 years later. The World Peace Council is regaining its strength. We must become deeply involved in the global movement to rid the world of nuclear weapons, in collecting signatures on the global petition , in mobilizing national movements and particularly, participating in the International Conference in New York and the Demonstration on April 30, May 1, and May 2.

The duplicitous role of the former Secretaries of State and Defense, Kissinger, Schultz, Perry and Schlesinger in the United States right-wing hawks, pretending, by major articles in the world press, that they were calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, has been revealed. Honest anti-nuclear weapons proponents pointed to the apparent change in the thinking of the right-wing hawks in the United States calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. These imperialists have strong financial ties to the nuclear weapons industry. They were misleading the public, hoping, obviously, to lull the opposition to nuclear weapons. Today, prior to the NPT Review, they are calling for increased funding and manufacture of new and more deadly nuclear weapons. Obama’s budget obliges them.

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, made a forthright statement in Prague calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. He asserted that it was the moral duty of the United States, as the only nation to use nuclear weapons, to take the lead in their abolition. The global anti-nuclear weapons movement seized upon this statement to demand that the words are followed by concrete action. However, here again, an examination of the budget of the Obama administration shows that new money is being funneled into the major laboratories for new bombs, more deadly weapons, for a policy that will continue nuclear weapons as an essential party of military strategy. Manufacturers and laboratories devoted to these weapons of mass destruction are not going to give up their huge profits. President Obama’s words prove to be rhetoric not backed by deeds.

The Obama Administration is asking for almost $1 trillion dollars in military and war spending this year. This is double all the world together spends on killing machines.

All this is not a sign of strength of US imperialism. The US is a debtor nation, financed by China and Japan and other foreign investors; 28 million people are unemployed or under employed, African American and Hispanic workers are most affected: 17% to 10%; 50 million people have no health insurance; 8 million homes have been foreclosed by the banks; one out of 5 children go to bed hungry. Pensions have been either destroyed or seriously depleted. 38 million n people are now forced to get government stamps for food. Yet, the banks and corporations register huge profits as productivity per worker is up with fewer workers! The people had demanded a change. Obama talked of change. There is little change.

It was quite common to hear that war provides jobs; while it is true our sons and daughters die, the economy benefits. That is no longer the case. Our sons and daughters die and the people suffer. That is the reality.

The World Peace Council has a noble history, holding its anti-imperialist banner high during a very difficult period, resisting all attempts to change its anti-imperialist foundation. Yesterday, the world, seeking liberation from colonial rule and the horrors of fascism, looked to the World Peace Council for solidarity and internationalism.

Today 2 billion of our brothers and sisters are hungry; without clean drinking water; homeless or living in deplorable conditions. Disease is rampant. Internal conflict is encouraged by imperialism and their domestic agents so that the natural resources, their wealth, end up in foreign hands. Their countries are in deep debt, and their destiny is decided in foreign capitals.

We must find a way to reach out to these brothers and sisters, as we did before. Their struggle is our struggle. We need them in our ranks.

The world is in crisis with dark clouds ahead. The WPC is no stranger to crisis. There is a historic global peace movement today. We must assume our role in that movement. We must respond today as we have in the past. This meeting should propel us forward to meet our responsibilities.

Thank you.