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, 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: