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, June 9, 2010

Tribal fishing battles loom in Minnesota

Tribal fishing battles loom in Minnesota

DENNIS ANDERSON, Star Tribune [ danderson@startribune.com ]

LEECH LAKE RESERVATION -- The stage is set for an off-reservation treaty rights battle to begin Friday in Bemidji that ultimately could engulf much of northern Minnesota. Some Leech Lake Chippewa band members say they'll set nets in Lake Bemidji the day before Minnesota's walleye and northern pike seasons begin.

The Indians are gambling they'll be busted for violating state angling rules, sparking a legal battle not only over northern Minnesota fish but also its wildlife and perhaps its timber, minerals and other resources.

Citing a treaty more than 150 years old, the Chippewa say most state fish and wildlife rules don't apply to them across a large section of northern Minnesota -- generally north of Interstate 94 -- that they ceded to the federal government in 1855.

The stakes are high for everyone. The Leech Lake Chippewa, and those of the White Earth band about an hour away, risk backlashes that could cut into their casino profits and fracture relations with nonband members that in some instances are already tenuous.

And while the state has signaled it will hold fast to its contention that the bands have no off-reservation hunting, fishing and gathering rights, its costly defeat in the U.S. Supreme Court to the Mille Lacs and other Chippewa bands over similar treaty claims in 1999 hasn't been forgotten.

"We need to exercise our rights or our sovereignty is just a thought,'' said Renée Jones-Judkins, 52, of Cass Lake, who with her four sons will net Lake Bemidji on Friday. She was one of about 125 Leech Lake members (out of a tribal enrollment of 9,400) who attended a tribal treaty rights meeting Friday at the band's Palace Casino in Cass Lake.

The White Earth and Leech Lake tribal councils aren't sanctioning the protests. Instead, they will sponsor a public forum on Friday in Bemidji to inform nonband members about rights the Chippewa say they hold.

The councils want to adopt a conservation code governing off-reservation resource use before advocating regional fishing by band members. "We want to have a code so they [the state] can't prosecute in state court; it will go to tribal court instead,'' tribal attorney Frank Bibeau said.

This latest push for treaty rights was first reported two weeks ago. But the minutes of a Leech Lake and White Earth treaty rights committee meeting in March indicate that a decision to demand off-reservation rights by some band members and Chippewa leaders, including Leech Lake tribal chairman Arthur LaRose, was made months ago.

"If the state does not comply [with the band's demands], our next step would be to do the fish-off on May 14th, but only in public places, and in daylight hours,'' the minutes say. "We will need some nonviolence training and some legal witnesses. Get 20-30 lawyers to be legal observers. We could do this at the south end of [Lake] Bemidji, where we will have the press and they can see how many people are exercising their rights. We will need people with video cameras so it does not get violent, because it is a possibility.''

Bibeau acknowledges a long treaty rights legal battle with the state would be costly. But he said he believes the federal government will pick up the tab if the bands and the state face off in court. "If the state doesn't respond, we'll ask the Department of Justice to come in,'' Bibeau said.

Meanwhile, Audrey Thayer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Bemidji, has said her group's lawyers likely will defend any Chippewa cited by the state for illegal fishing.

Tribe members split

The bands' treaty rights claim has further split an already divided Leech Lake tribal council, just weeks ahead of a June 8 election whose outcome could affect how quickly the band pushes its demands.

LaRose, 38, is a life-long reservation resident. Now midway in his first four-year term, he is campaigning to unseat the band's secretary-treasurer and fellow council member, Mike Bongo.

"Four of six [Chippewa] reservations in Minnesota already exercise their treaty rights,'' LaRose said. "It makes sense for Leech Lake and White Earth to do the same.''

Bongo, 53, who was born on the reservation and worked for 20 years in various corporate positions in the Twin Cities before returning in 2003, agrees treaty rights are important. But so are the band's pressing economic and social issues, he said, such as widespread poverty and its need for a new hospital and high school.
"Among Indians, the issue [treaty rights] is so emotional, it can be difficult to make the decision that is best for the band unless we think it through carefully,'' Bongo said. "We should get more legal opinions and historians' expert opinions about how winnable our case is, then make a decision.''

Bongo said most band members knew nothing about the treaty rights issue until recently. "We were blindsided,'' he said.

On a reservation where some say nepotism and cronyism have long been part of the political fabric, dissension among council members is common -- as are firings and rehirings.

Bibeau, for example, was fired about 10 days ago at a special council meeting held by Bongo and council members Robbie Howe and Lyman Losh, after Bibeau publicly advocated for a treaty rights protest.

As quickly, LaRose voided the firing, saying the meeting was illegal.

Said council member Howe, 38: "This is like being in the movie 'The Departed.' It's chaos. This is a new day. We have to find a new way to express ourselves. We're not going back to 1855.''

Treaty history long

Treaties with the Chippewa, also known as the Anishinabe, predate Minnesota's founding and form the backbone of the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Mille Lacs case.

Federal court decisions in the 1980s granted Wisconsin Chippewa similar rights and awarded them as much as half the harvestable fish, game and other resources across most of the northern part of that state.

But whether those rights exist for the Leech Lake and White Earth bands isn't clear.
Unlike the government's 1854 treaty on which the Wisconsin treaty rights case turned and the 1837 treaty that supported the Mille Lacs band's claims, the 1855 treaty affecting Leech Lake and White Earth is silent about hunting, fishing and gathering rights in the ceded territory.

"They [the bands] are making a different kind of argument here, and it's more challenging,'' said Bruce White, a St. Paul historical anthropologist who was among the Mille Lacs band's expert witnesses in their successful U.S. Supreme Court petition.

"In the Mille Lacs case, the 1855 treaty came up because there was no explicit termination of hunting, fishing and gathering rights in it. That meant the rights still existed. I'm not saying [the Leech Lake and White Earth treaty case] is impossible. But it's challenging.''

Peter Erlinder, a William Mitchell Law School professor, said he believes the bands can win a treaty case. Erlinder is an Indian-rights activist whose recently completed legal treatise forms virtually the sole opinion on which the Leech Lake and White Earth bands base their treaty assertions. Erlinder also believes the state might owe the bands $350 million or more for failing to recognize their off-reservation rights.

Leech Lake and White Earth would have joined the Mille Lacs and Wisconsin cases, some band members say. But the bands were broke at the time, those band members say, and their governments corrupt.

Said Jones-Judkins, the Leech Lake member who will net Lake Bemidji on Friday: "If the state of Minnesota owes us $350 million for not exercising our rights, then why the heck shouldn't I fish? Those are my resources.''


Leech Lake Reservation at a glance

Last update: May 10, 2010 - 8:27 PM

• The Leech Lake Reservation measures
about 680,000 acres and encompasses three
of Minnesota's largest and best fishing lakes:
Leech, Cass and Winnibigoshish.

The lakes' surface area covers about a third
of the reservation. Of the remaining 465,000
acres, other governments own 332,000

• About 5,000 of 9,400 band members live
on the reservation, about a third of whom
live below the nation's poverty level
according to the band.

• Government is by a five-member
Reservation Business Committee. Its two
officers, chairman Arthur LaRose and
secretary-treasurer Mike Bongo, are elected
at-large. The other three represent specific

• The reservation has a tribal K-12 school,
Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig; a hospital and satellite
health clinics, and a two-year tribal college.

• A 1972 agreement with the state allows
nonband anglers to fish on the reservation in
exchange for up to $7 million annually to the

• Leech Lake band members can net lakes
within the reservation to feed themselves and
their families. Few nets are set. Sometimes
nets are illegally destroyed by nonband

• The band owns three casinos, with gross
annual revenue of about $100 million and a
profit of about $15 million, according to the
band. The casinos have 1,269 employees,
768 of whom are Leech Lake Chippewa or
other natives.

• Nonband members of the Leech Lake
Fishing Task Force, a community group that
helps stock walleyes, say the band and its
casinos have been invaluable in supporting
their efforts. Last summer, 650 band and
nonband members attended a walleye fry and
gathering. "Whatever we talk about, whatever
we do here [in Walker] and on Leech Lake, it's
the Indian and non-Indian community
working together,'' said Terry Holly of
Walker, a task force member who does not
belong to the band.


(Note: The "poverty level" referred to is a shamefully low figure used by politicians to hide and conceal the real poverty statistics and designed to conceal institutionalized racism and the fact that the more than 700 Native American Indians employed in the three casinos referenced ALL receive poverty wages. In fact, over 70% of the people are living in poverty on the reservation when using the more accurate data of the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics which calculates based upon cost of living factors.

Another fact not mentioned is that there is no accountability for any of the money--- profits or otherwise--- from the casino businesses. Actual gross revenues and "profits" are at least four to five times more because of the skimming operation and the fact that less than 15% of the real profits are ever seen by the Leech Lake Band because the mobsters who own the slot machines skim 30% to 60% right off the top for which there is no accounting. Archie LaRose and Frank Bibeau are nothing but corrupt politicians forcing hundreds of casino workers to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights. It is amazing how every single reporter for the mainstream media and even those writing for the "alternative" media refuse to mention the issues involving casino workers even though when mentioning "poverty" they never mention the fact that these casino workers receive poverty wages from their own Band governments operating these casinos and fronting for a bunch of mobsters who own the slot machines. Alan L. Maki)

In fact, this article is part of the institutionalized racism responsible for the continued poverty resulting from racist unemployment and racist poverty wages which the Star Tribune and this reporter, Dennis Anderson have never reported on with the living and working conditions of casino workers and the fact that affirmative action has not been enforced on the planning, construction and staffing of the Bemidji Regional Event Center because Archie LaRose and Frank Bibeau would rather Native American Indians work for poverty wages at tribally owned businesses whose only profiteers are rich white people in the fishing and casino industries.

Maybe if this reporter would report the salaries of Archie LaRose, Frank Bibeau and the guy pulling their strings, John McCarthy of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association who lives like an old feudal lord in a multi-million dollar mansion raking in the profits of these industries we would get a better picture of why poverty exists in the first place amidst the generation of so much wealth. Mr. Anderson might want to ask the Beltrami County DFL who it pays for the walleye served at its fund-raising dinners.

What is John McCarthy's role in the commercial and tourist fishing industry on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.

John McCarthy hands out millions of dollars in bribes to Minnesota's politicians only to take this money back in through the business he purchased: Tony Doom, Inc. where the politicians spend their campaign contributions on everything from pens to yard signs and leaflets. If John McCarthy is involved in this kind of unethical money-making while bribing politicians, one has to wonder if John McCarthy doesn't have his dirty, corrupt little racist fingers stuck in the fishing industry since Beltrami County Democrats purchase their walleye from McCarthy.

What is the role of John McCarthy in all of this? Is he looking to exploit Native American Indian fishers like he does casino workers.

The corrupt Frank Bibeau does John McCarthy's dirty work in trying to keep workers from having a union at the three tribally owned casinos and everyone knows that Archie LaRose is nothing but a worthless crook.

And Audrey Thayer and the American Civil Liberties Union have spent over $800,000.00 in less than five years on an office in northern Minnesota that has done absolutely nothing and now she is saying the ACLU is going to fight for the Treaty Rights of Leech Lake Band members to fish... when, in fact, the only thing being fought for is to use Leech Lake Band members as a source of cheap labor to harvest these fish... just like is being done right now with the Red Lake fishers who work hard harvesting the fish only to be paid a pittance for their catches from a white-owned processing operation getting rich which is trying to destroy the Canadian Freshwater Fishing Marketing Corporation in Manitoba which assures commercial fishers real living incomes for their catches.

I find it very interesting that the American Civil Liberties Union has never stood up for casino workers nor fought for the enforcement of affirmative action... but, here comes Audrey Thayer and the ACLU supporting one more poverty wage paying industry under the guise of defending sovereignty and Treaty Rights.

Make no mistake, Native Americans have the right to fish under their treaties which the racist Minnesota government refuses to respect; however, those like Archie LaRose, Frank Bibeau, John McCarthy and Audrey Thayer will only fight to enforce these treaties to the extent that white people will continue to profit from the poverty of Indian people, the majority of whom are working class and who will be stuck with nothing but more poverty wage jobs and the Star Tribune and its white reporter will never report on the poverty of the people forced to work in these poverty wage jobs... talk about institutionalized racism... here it is--- and why those reporting on this important struggle to protect the Treaty Rights of Indian people for the "alternative" media like Monthly Review end up tailing the reporters of the mainstream media instead of looking beneath the surface for ALL the facts is of concern.

Come on, we have the right to know... will Audrey Thayer and the ACLU fight for the rights of Leech Lake fishers for real living wages from their catches while protected under state or federal labor laws?

I find it very interesting that Frank Bibeau and his attorney friends will run to the federal government for the funds to fight for Treaty Rights under the guise of sovereignty will let his own people languish at poverty wage jobs without any rights under state or federal labor laws.

At what point do workers' rights and their livelihoods figure into all of this when it comes to sovereignty and Treaty Rights?

Tribal fishing battles loom in Minnesota--- along with a whole lot of hypocrisy.

Alan L. Maki

Ballot case delayed: Mack will take 10 days to decide Warriors for Justice case

Check out this article in today's (June 9, 2010) Bemidji Pioneer Press, the largest daily newspaper in northern Minnesota... it didn't mention that the "small group of protesters" were standing out in the rain for five hours. Nor does it mention that this public official, Kay Mack decided the petitions were not valid even though she doesn't even know the law. Many people on Indian Reservations are registered to vote using their P.O. Box number and now these racist public officials are going to go through the petitions with a fine tooth comb to come up with something else because THEIR FIRST CHALLENGE wasn't based on the law... in fact, in addition to this being a vile act of racism in trying to deny the Warriors for Justice ballot status... it further goes to prove how these vile acts of racism by these public officials is an attack on the most fundamental and basic democratic and constitutional right we have as American citizens: the right to vote for candidates of our choice--- and the right not to vote for a bunch of worthless Republicans and Democrats who do nothing to help solve the problems of the people and then they come around at election time wanting our money and our votes.

Here is the article from the Bemidji Pioneer about our small demonstration--- no mention of what our signs said:

* Bemidji, Minnesota; most racist city in America

* Boycott Bemidji

* End Institutionalized Racism

* Enforce Affirmative Action

Ballot case delayed: Mack will take 10 days to decide Warriors for Justice case

A final decision on whether two Warriors for Justice candidates may gain access to the Nov. 2 ballot will run its full course.

By: Brad Swenson, Bemidji Pioneer

A final decision on whether two Warriors for Justice candidates may gain access to the Nov. 2 ballot will run its full course.

Beltrami County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack said Monday that on advise of the Secretary of State’s Office, she will take the full 10 days as prescribed by law to decide on the Warriors for Justice case.

She had said last week that a decision would be made on Monday.

Nicole Beaulieu and Greg Paquin had hoped to start a new political party, Warriors for Justice, and run under that banner on Nov. 2.

Beaulieu seeks the House 4A seat held by Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, and Paquin seeks the Senate 4 post held by Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji.

Mack made an initial decision after filing closed June 1 that Beaulieu and Paquin didn’t have the required 500 signatures on a petition to gain the November. At issue were more than 100 signatures of people showing post office box numbers as their residence.

Under Minnesota election law, petition signers must include their physical residence, including a street and house number.

Beaulieu and Paquin allege they were told by someone in the Secretary of State’s Office that they could use P.O. Box numbers.

“We’re going to use the extra time to go through all the signatures on the petition,” Mack said Monday. “We know that not only are there a lot of P.O. Box addresses, there are also some with no addresses and others with addresses outside the district, which also don’t count.”

A final decision should be made by Friday.

Meanwhile Tuesday, Beaulieu, Paquin and a small group of supports protested at several locations on the Beltrami County campus.

They said they visited with American Civil Liberties Union staff, who have sent a letter to Mack stating their belief that state law allows P.O. box addresses on American Indian reservations.

Both Beaulieu and Paquin have decided to stay in the race as write-in candidates should Mack declare their petitions invalid.

Warriors for Justice hopes to create awareness of what it believes is institutional racism in Bemidji. Paquin has used the lack of a affirmative action policies in the construction of the Bemidji Regional Event Center as his centerpiece.

A lawsuit he filed to contest the lack of affirmative action policies against the city and contractor was dismissed. Paquin, however, plans to appeal the ruling to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.


Justice, from Bhopal to Rwanda

This “sentence” is an outrage. (see article at very bottom)

After all this time this is all that is done to punish these corporate criminals.

Where is the outrage of the peoples of the world?

I find it very interesting how “justice” works.

Peter Erlinder sits in a prison cell in Rwanda and these Union Carbide criminals get a little slap on the wrist while the CEO of British Petroleum isn’t even fired and continues to receive his huge salary and bonuses and Native American Indians are facing stiffer penalties for exercising their Treaty Rights for fishing in Lake Bemidji and I am banned from Canada for life for writing an article against racism and for the rights of working people.

These corporate criminals ply the world in quest of maximum corporate profits as they engage in these criminal activities destroying lives, families, entire communities along with our living environments and democracy as they use all kinds of racist, ethnic and cultural differences to drum up hate between peoples to keep people divided so cannot unify to put an end to this corporate exploitation of people and the rape of their lands--- and the injustices go on and on--- once again we see in this Bhopal “judgment” how there is one set of laws for the rich and powerful and another set of laws for working people.

I wonder why the corporate attorneys who defended Union Carbide are not sitting in a prison cell like Peter Erlinder? A question you might want to ponder while sitting around the dinner table tonight.

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

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

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

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

From: Working_Class_Study_and_Action@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2010 7:35 AM
To: Working_Class_Study_and_Action@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Working_Class_Study_and_Action] Bhopal Judgment Sends Wrong Message

Bhopal judgement sends 'wrong message' to business community

Updated June 9, 2010 19:30:15


There has been outrage in India at this week's two-year prison terms meted out to local managers of Union Carbide, the company blamed for the 1984 Bhopal gas leak disaster that killed three thousand people. In the world's worst industrial accident, the lethal cyanide gas leak also maimed an estimated 25,000 people. Indian government statistics put the chronically sick at another 100,000 in 1994. Victims say they have been treated with contempt by the courts and the Indian government.