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...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Warriors for Justice... from today's Bemidji Pioneer Press


Curtis Buckanaga, left, and Greg Paquin staff a protest sign at Sunday’s DFL Central Committee meeting at Bemidji High School. Paquin is forming the political party “Warriors for Justice,” provided he gets 500 petition signatures by June 1. If so, he would face Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, on the November ballot. Similarly, Nicole Beaulieu would also run under the “Warriors for Justice” banner as a Nov. 2 candidate against House 4A Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji. Buckanaga is Beaulieu’s campaign manager. Both candidates had earlier sought DFL endorsement. Pioneer Photo/Brad Swenson


This was a protest held outside the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party's State Central Committee meeting at Bemidji Public High School in Bemidji, Minnesota where the Bemidji Regional Event Center (B.R.E.C.) has been planned, is under construction, and will be staffed and maintained without an affirmative action plan being developed and enforced in accordance with Executive Order #11246 which is required that all public works projects be subjected to analysis to determine if an affirmative action plan is required in areas were unemployment among people of communities of color are suffering exceedingly higher unemployment and lack of quality public education in relation to the rest of the population. Since three Indian tribes in the Bemidji Region and a large Native American Indian population in the City of Bemidji itself as well as in Beltrami County where Bemidji is located are suffering in excess of 70% unemployment rates it would be considered plain old common sense that Executive Order #11246 would come into play.

A racist white Beltrami County District Court judge, Judge Melbye, has ruled that it is sufficient that "non-discrimination in hiring" is adequate and that affirmative action is not required thus adding "legitimacy" to the long and continuing pattern of institutionalized racism permeating every facet of life in Bemidji which is widely known as the most racist city in North America.

In the five county region which includes three very large Indian Reservations, public employment for Native American workers is less than 1%. 

Many of the contractors awarded contracts for the construction of the BREC are non-union.

The Minnesota AFL-CIO has refused to throw its weight behind the demand for affirmative action on this 80 million dollar community center which is the first phase of a 300 million dollar development project which will be mostly city, county, state and federally funded with tax-payers even subsidizing privately owned development.

The Republicans have openly stated they are opposed to affirmative action while former United States Senator Mark Dayton has publicly stated that he is appalled that neither the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) have refused to insist upon the enforcement of affirmative action and pledged, that if elected governor, he will see to it that affirmative action is enforced.

Senator Leroy Stumpf publicly stated at his nominating convention, that the activities of Greg Paquin and Nicole Beaulieu triggered his own inquiry as to affirmative action not being enforced on the Bemidji Regional Event Center and was led to believe by deceitful Bemidji City officials that affirmative action was being enforced when the facts are such that Bemidji City officials are trying to pass off their very weak "non-discrimination" clause for hiring as affirmative action when non-discrimination in hiring is completely different from a governmental agency creating an affirmative action policy and then enforcing that affirmative action policy which would include non-discrimination as part of the hiring process.

At the same Senate District nominating convention, Minnesota State Representative Dave Olin, the former Pennington County Prosecuting Attorney who now acknowledges that he let drug dealers ply their dirty trade un-hindered through the Seven Clans Casino-Thief River Falls, says it is not his job to make sure affirmative action policies are in place and enforced on public works projects financed with public funds. Olin, who is widely known as doing political favors for his friends, says that this is not his job but the job of other state agencies. This is probably all that one can expect from a former prosecuting attorney who didn't believe it was his job to go after drug dealers. It is interesting that Representative Dave Olin takes huge campaign contributions from casino managements and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association but refused to prosecute drug dealers breaking the law just as he now refuses to acknowledge he has a role to play in seeing to it that Native American Indians have equal opportunities provided by affirmative action enforcement. Failing to provide the enforcement of affirmative action is the largest single contributor to Native American Indian poverty. 

Not one single Native American Indian sits among Minnesota's state legislators while the Minnesota State Legislature is full of racist creeps like Democrat Dave Olin who has more in common with Republicans.

The entire working class is paying a terrible price for this racism because it is the divisiveness of racism mainly responsible for the lack of unity among working people which suppresses the standard of living of the working class--- a racially united working class would be able to wrest many concessions, including real living wages for all workers, from big-business interests.  

Every worker a "warrior for justice."

Alan L. Maki

What does this mean?

Note: To charts use this link:
Survey Reports
May 4, 2010

"Socialism" Not So Negative, "Capitalism" Not So Positive

A Political Rhetoric Test


“Socialism” is a negative for most Americans, but certainly not all Americans. “Capitalism” is regarded positively by a majority of the public, though it is a thin majority. There are certain segments of the public – notably, young people and Democrats – where both “isms” are rated about equally. And while most Americans have a negative reaction to the word “militia,” the term is viewed more positively by Republican men than most other groups. 

These are among the findings of a national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press that tests reactions to words and phrases frequently used in current political discourse. Overall, 29% say they have a positive reaction to the word “socialism,” while 59% react negatively. The public’s impressions of “capitalism,” though far more positive, are somewhat mixed. Slightly more than half (52%) react positively to the word “capitalism,” compared with 37% who say they have a negative reaction.

A large majority of Republicans (77%) react negatively to “socialism,” while 62% have a positive reaction to “capitalism.” Democrats’ impressions are more divided: In fact, about as many Democrats react positively to “socialism” (44%) as to “capitalism” (47%).

Reaction to “capitalism” is lukewarm among many demographic groups. Fewer than half of young people, women, people with lower incomes and those with less education react positively to “capitalism.”

The survey, conducted April 21-26 among 1,546 adults, measured reactions to nine political words and phrases. The most positive reactions are to “family values” (89% positive) and “civil rights” (87%). About three-quarters see “states’ rights” (77%) and “civil liberties” (76%) positively, while 68% have a positive reaction to the word “progressive.”

Reactions to the word “libertarian” are evenly divided – 38% positive, 37% negative. On balance, Republicans view “libertarian” negatively, Democrats are divided, while independents have a positive impression of the term. “Militia” elicits the most negative reaction of the nine terms tested: Just 21% have a positive reaction compared with 65% who have a negative response.

Partisan Divide over “Socialism”

The most striking partisan differences come in reactions to the word “socialism.”  Just 15% of Republicans react positively to “socialism” while 77% react negatively. By more than two-to-one (64% to 26%), independents also have a negative impression of “socialism.” However, Democrats are evenly divided – 44% have a positive reaction to “socialism” while 43% react negatively.

“Capitalism” elicits a less partisan reaction. About six-in-ten Republicans (62%) react positively to “capitalism,” compared with 29% who have a negative reaction. About half of independents (52%) have a positive impression while 39% react negatively. Among Democrats, 47% react positively to “capitalism” while nearly as many (43%) react negatively.
There is a substantial partisan divide in views of the word “progressive.” However, majorities of Democrats (81%), independents (64%) and Republicans (56%) have a positive reaction to “progressive.”

More than four-in-ten independents (44%) react positively to the word “libertarian,” while 32% have a negative reaction. Democrats are nearly evenly divided (39% positive, 37% negative). However, Republicans on balance have a negative impression of this term (44% negative, 31% positive).

Majorities of Democrats (70%), independents (66%) and Republicans (59%) react negatively to the word “militia.” Nearly twice as many Republicans (27%) as Democrats (15%) have a positive view of this term.

Young People Lukewarm Toward “Capitalism”

Young people are more positive about “socialism” – and more negative about “capitalism” – than are older Americans. Among those younger than 30, identical percentages react positively to “socialism” and “capitalism” (43% each), while about half react negatively to each. Among older age groups, majorities view “socialism” negatively and “capitalism” positively.

People 65 and older have a particularly negative reaction to “socialism” – 73% have a negative impression of the term compared with just 14% who are positive. But those 65 and older are no more likely than those ages 30 to 64 to have a positive reaction to “capitalism” (56% vs. 55%).

More than twice as many blacks as whites react positively to “socialism” (53% vs. 24%). Yet there are no racial differences in views of “capitalism” – 50% of African Americans and 53% of whites have a positive reaction.

Those with a high school education or less are evenly divided over “capitalism” (44% positive vs. 42% negative). Among those with some college experience, 49% react positively to “capitalism” as do 68% of college graduates. Those with a high school education or less are more likely to express a positive view of “socialism” than do those with more education.

People with family incomes of $75,000 or more are the only income group in which a clear majority (66%) reacts positively to the word “capitalism.” Views of “socialism” also are much more negative among those in this income category (71% negative) – and those with incomes of $30,000 to $75,000 (64% negative) – than those with incomes of less than $30,000 (46% negative).

Conservative Republicans stand out for their overwhelmingly negative reactions to “socialism” (84% negative) and highly positive reactions to “capitalism” (67% positive). No more than about half in other political groups, including moderate and liberal Republicans (51%), have a positive impression of “capitalism.”

Perhaps surprisingly, opinions about the terms “socialism” and “capitalism” are not correlated with each other. Most of those who have a positive reaction to “socialism” also have a positive reaction to “capitalism”; in fact, views of “capitalism” are about the same among those who react positively to “socialism” as they are among those who react negatively (52% and 56%, respectively, view “capitalism” positively). Conversely, views of “socialism” are just as negative among those who have a positive reaction to “capitalism” (64% negative) as those who react negatively (61% negative).

There are some differences in the relationship between these terms by demographic groups, although the association is not particularly strong among any group. For instance, among college graduates, 71% of those with a positive reaction to “capitalism” have a negative reaction to “socialism.” By contrast, among college graduates who have a negative view of “capitalism” a smaller proportion have a negative view of “socialism” (51%).

Gender Differences in Views of “Militia”

While the word “militia” is viewed negatively, there are gender and partisan differences in reactions to this term. Overall, twice as many men (28%) as women (14%) say they have a positive reaction to the word “militia.” In addition, more Republicans (27%) than independents (20%) or Democrats (15%) have positive impressions.

Republican men have a more positive impression of “militia” (36% positive) than do Democratic men (19%). Moreover, GOP men have a more positive reaction than do Republican women (18% positive).

There also is a sizeable gender gap in independents’ reactions to “militia.” Among independents, 28% of men have a positive reaction to “militia,” compared with just 10% of women. The gender differences are more modest among Democrats (19% positive among men vs. 12% among women).

"Socialism" Not So Negative, "Capitalism" Not So Positive

About the Survey

Results for this survey are based on telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,546 adults living in the continental United States, 18 years of age or older, from April 21-26, 2010 (1,006 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 540 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 203 who had no landline telephone). Both the landline and cell phone samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were conducted in English. For detailed information about our survey methodology, see http://people-press.org/methodology/.

The combined landline and cell phone sample are weighted using an iterative technique that matches gender, age, education, race/ethnicity, region, and population density to parameters from the March 2009 Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The sample is also weighted to match current patterns of telephone status and relative usage of landline and cell phones (for those with both), based on extrapolations from the 2009 National Health Interview Survey. The weighting procedure also accounts for the fact that respondents with both landline and cell phones have a greater probability of being included in the combined sample and adjusts for household size within the landline sample. Sampling errors and statistical tests of significance take into account the effect of weighting.

The following table shows the error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence for different groups in the survey:
In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.


The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press is an independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. We are sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts and are one of seven projects that make up the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

The Center's purpose is to serve as a forum for ideas on the media and public policy through public opinion research. In this role it serves as an important information resource for political leaders, journalists, scholars, and public interest organizations. All of our current survey results are made available free of charge.

All of the Center’s research and reports are collaborative products based on the input and analysis of the entire Center staff consisting of:

Andrew Kohut, Director
Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research
Carroll Doherty and Michael Dimock, Associate Directors
Michael Remez, Senior Writer
Robert Suls, Shawn Neidorf, Leah Christian, Jocelyn Kiley and Alec Tyson, Research Associates
Jacob Poushter, Research Assistant