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, December 19, 2010

Hamilton Day of Action: The People VS. U.S. Steel

Hamilton Day of Action: The People VS. U.S. Steel


Saturday, January 29, 2011 · 1:00pm - 4:00pm

LocationHamilton City Hall
71 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON

Created By

USW Local 1005 and its 900 members and 9,000 pensioners are waging a battle on behalf of ALL of us. Foreign-owned companies think we're just bod parts to be thrown away at the end of our working lives.

U.S. Steel locked out its workers on Nov. 7. It is trying to drive pensioners into the dirt by de-indexing their pensions! AND they want defined benefits plans closed to new hires and replaced with defined contribution plans that are nothing more than glorified savings accounts.

The OFL, CLC, USW Local 105 and Hamilton and District Labour Council are calling for a massive province-wide mobilization to stop U.S. Steel and other foreign-owned companies from wrecking our communities and stealing our futures.

Join the Hamilton day of action on Jan. 29 and help spread the word!

Sisters and Brothers,

I have been to Hamilton many times and I understand the situation you are presently in.

I can't get across the border because the same rotten corporate controlled governments of Liberals and Conservatives now attacking you, deported me; if I could cross the border I would be there in Hamilton with you because the steelworkers of Hamilton, the OFL, CLC, USW-Canada, many members of the Ontario NDP and Hamilton and District Labour Council stood with me and my family as we faced deportation from Canada because of my outspoken views and activities against racism and in support of worker's rights.

I think you are leading the way in showing people how working people can fight-back and win.

Please let me know what we, south of the border, can do in solidarity in support of your struggles to protect your jobs and your livelihoods.

All workers in North America and around the world are now engaged in struggles against Bay Street, Wall Street and The Square Mile which pits corporate greed against human needs.

Yours in solidarity and struggle,

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

I recently made two very controversial posts on FaceBook generating quite a bit of discussion...

I recently made two very controversial posts on FaceBook generating quite a bit of discussion...

Here are those posts and how I sum up my responses to people:

You know what? I think we should be encouraging a winning ticket capable of knocking Obama out in the Primary. We have to get rid of this guy--- all we are getting is more and more Wall Street domination over our lives and more war. Let's run Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the Primary... a good ticket; Hillary studied under a real community organizer, socialist Saul Alinsky.

Then I ran this:

This raises an important question: Why don't we ditch the Democratic Party and elect socialists to the House and Senate? Shouldn't we be discussing this question since Bernie Sanders is the only one on the correct path? Liberals, progressives and the left seem very comfortable with socialist Bernie Sanders.

A comment typical of most comments I received "on-line," by phone and people I have been coming across in the grocery store and hardware store is this:

As an independent voter, my choices in '08 were null. I bought into some of Obama's rhetoric, but now I know it was just that. When I heard him say "I'd rather be a one termer rather.....I knew we were in trouble. Unfortunately I don't think Hillary is going to run...what now?

My response:

I made the posts to create discussion on just the questions that have been raised because "what now?is exactly the corner we are trapped in without an answerat least an answer we all agree on as liberals, progressives and the left.

A lot of people have messaged and called me asking why I keep harping on "liberals, progressives and the left" because they are among one group or the other and want nothing to do with working with the other two and the irony is that a lot of these people all have different ideas about what it means to be "liberal," "progressive," or "left" and my opinion is usually different than everyone's... I should maybe just say, "LOL!!!" and leave it at that. But, as we start talking we realize that no matter what we call ourselves from these three political groupings we have some very important points in common that really do bring us together: even if we can't agree on "who" we want to carry forward our position against Obama.

Almost every single person who has contacted me says they like the idea I bring forward that we should be looking at creating large numbers of jobs through government programs putting people to work solving the problems of people and society paid for by ending the wars and militarism and taxing the rich. Everyone agrees establishing national public health care and child care systems are so important that it is just common sense we start here and by re-activating WPA and CCC. Everyone also agrees that Affirmative Action (Executive Order #11246) should be vigorously enforced.

In fact, even those among the "Progressives for Obama" who call me a "crank" and all kinds of other "nice" things because I oppose Obama, and the leftists who call me a "sell-out" because I supported Hillary and the liberals who say I give "liberalism" a bad name because I'm a Marxist, all agree with the solutions for jobs paid for through peace--- none of which is "my ideas" but the ideas from people like Frances Perkins who insisted just such a health care program be part of the New Deal and "the peace movement" which has been demanding a "peace dividend" or call it what you will "turning swords into plowshares." And, of course, WPA and CCC were the ideas articulated by a certain Communist Party U.S.A. leader who for some reason people are afraid to mention his name--- ideas taken up by Harry Hopkins another of FDR's appointments... kind of a Robert Reich type fellow but with a little more urgency towards solving the problems of working people.

In my opinion, our task now is to vigorously push this kind of agenda in front of the American public for dialog, discussion and debate. Out of a national dialog on what we as "liberals, progressives and the left" want will emerge a candidate we can all support.

If we can't initiate a dialog on OUR very basic agenda that is the one and only way to begin turning this country around and taking power away from Wall Street and placing the power where it belongs in line with very basic and fundamental Constitutional requirements in the hands of "we the people" we are in for more wars abroad as Wall Street wages a war against "we the people" through its enforced "austerity."

Some people talk about a "new New Deal" while saying our hopes and aspirations are tied to the "success" of Barack Obama--- and they, too, are calling themselves "liberals, progressives and leftists." Well they have defined their ideas by their continued support for Barack Obama who is waging wars that are killing jobs along with people while plunging us into massive debt that is making us as a people and a Nation poor with this debt being Wall Street bankers' profits.

We must separate and distinguish ourselves from the reactionary ideas of Obama's Wall Street agenda as a way to create a political space--- at present a huge vacuum--- that can be filled for a ticket to emerge reflecting "liberal, progressive left" thinking which mirrors the demands of those participating in weekly peace vigils and those demonstrating at the White House and getting arrested the other day who were a very ideologically mixed bag of people who I am sure would classify themselves as either "liberal," "progressive," or "left." Out of these 130 people or so arrested that must be someone we could run for president and the rest could run for Senate and House seats along with their supporters--- US.

Look at the tremendous support Bernie Sanders, a socialist has received from the American people in standing up to Wall Street. I'm not so sure Bernie Sanders is really an "independent" any more since he has kind of melded into the Democratic Party which isn't necessarily a good thing or a bad thing but it demonstrates a political reality--- we need to be pushing our agenda inside and outside the Democratic Party in a way we all feel comfortable we are working towards the same goals and objectives of very specific solutions to our problems. In my opinion, this will bring us all outside the Democratic Party at some point--- hopefully sooner rather than later.

Why shouldn't we agree to challenge Obama in the Democratic Party with the objective of getting rid of the guy while at the same time preparing to run candidates outside of the Democratic Party in case someone not to our liking who won't support our people's agenda (there, I didn't use the terms "liberal, "progressive," or "left") wins the Democratic Party nomination but defeats Obama? If we go into this thinking "program first" candidates second we should come out of this mess pretty strong as a real people's movement and isn't this what we all want no matter if we call ourselves "liberal," "progressive" or "left?"

I made this post raising the need to elect many more people who see, like socialist Bernie Sanders does, that Wall Street is our enemy. I made another post suggesting we support Hillary Clinton to "Primary" Obama because as long as Paul Krugman and Robert Reich are articulating the agenda she will run on--- and make no mistake they are Hillary's "front-men"... we can't go terribly wrong if we think first Primary Obama while being prepared to run a ticket outside of the Democratic Party--- at the worst we run these candidates for Senate or House seats along with others in all 50 states.

I do think there is a big difference between Hillary and Bill--- and, I also think Hillary is shaping a new agenda now being very well articulated by Paul Krugman and Robert Reich.

Here in Minnesota, it was liberals, progressives and the left--- especially the left--- that made the difference in liberal Mark Dayton being elected our new governor. Mark Dayton would not be our new governor today had he not reached out to the left as his campaign was sinking into oblivion just like this rotten capitalist system is. I am pretty sure Hillary is now prepared to make the same kind of deal... in Minnesota we made Mark Dayton publicly state the deal he made with us and we aren't going to let him off the hook no matter how much pressure in placed on him by the "Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party's "Business Caucus" so "affectionately" known as the  "Summit Hill Club;" the area where the rich live and plan their schemes against working people.

There is no political force in this country more powerful than liberals, progressives and the left when united around SPECIFIC solutions to problems because these are the ideas of the majority of the powerful working class.

I hope people will give some thought and discuss all of this with one another as we gather with friends and family over this Holiday period because if we want to bring our ideas into the 2012 electoral arena we don't have much time.

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki

Feel free to contact me with your ideas:
E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net
Phone: 218-386-2432
Address: 58891 County Road 13; Warroad, Minnesota 56763-9012
Please feel free to share anything you find on my blogs; no permission is ever required.

Solstice Lunar Eclipse

Get out your lounge chair, binoculars and camera and tripod (wrap up in a lot of blankets) read your camera instruction booklet for proper settings, and get ready for the show...

Solstice Lunar Eclipse

Dec. 17, 2010:  Everyone knows that "the moon on the breast of new-fallen snow gives the luster of mid-day to objects below."

Solstice Lunar Eclipse (redmoon, 200px)

A similar lunar eclipse in Nov. 2003. Credit: Jim Fakatselis. [more]

That is, except during a lunar eclipse.

The luster will be a bit "off" on Dec. 21st, the first day of northern winter, when the full Moon passes almost dead-center through Earth's shadow. For 72 minutes of eerie totality, an amber light will play across the snows of North America, throwing landscapes into an unusual state of ruddy shadow.

The eclipse begins on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st, at 1:33 am EST (Monday, Dec. 20th, at 10:33 pm PST). At that time, Earth's shadow will appear as a dark-red bite at the edge of the lunar disk. It takes about an hour for the "bite" to expand and swallow the entire Moon. Totality commences at 02:41 am EST (11:41 pm PST) and lasts for 72 minutes.

If you're planning to dash out for only one quick look -­ it is December, after all -­ choose this moment: 03:17 am EST (17 minutes past midnight PST). That's when the Moon will be in deepest shadow, displaying the most fantastic shades of coppery red.

Solstice Lunar Eclipse (map, 550px)

From first to last bite, the eclipse favors observers in North America. The entire event can be seen from all points on the continent. Click to view a world map of visibility circumstances. Credit: F. Espenak, NASA/GSFC.

Why red?

A quick trip to the Moon provides the answer: Imagine yourself standing on a dusty lunar plain looking up at the sky. Overhead hangs Earth, nightside down, completely hiding the sun behind it. The eclipse is underway.

You might expect Earth seen in this way to be utterly dark, but it's not. The rim of the planet is on fire! As you scan your eye around Earth's circumference, you're seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once. This incredible light beams into the heart of Earth's shadow, filling it with a coppery glow and transforming the Moon into a great red orb.

Back on Earth, the shadowed Moon paints newly fallen snow with unfamiliar colors--not much luster, but lots of beauty.

Enjoy the show.