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512-517-2708

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...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


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...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Workers' Rights Here and Abroad

This article, Workers' Rights Here and Abroad--- being published all over the place to confuse and intimidate and manipulate and control workers--- clearly articulates the official ideology of the U.S. labor movement throughout its long history except for a period from around 1930 to 1947 when the CIO was a powerful influence led by the "left," most notably the Communist Party USA which weilded substantial influence among working people with rank-and-file activists rising to become important leaders in leading union positions, including, Harry Bridges, Wyndham Mortimer, Phil Raymond and leaders of the CPUSA like William Z. Foster, James W. Ford, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Earl Browder and writers like Frank Marshall Davis... to name just a few. 

Note: This article appeared in newspapers all over the United States; it was published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Feb. 17, 2011. http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/116361909.html

Also, note: Spending on the wars is never mentioned as a major contributing factor to the budget crisis every state faces or is already experiencing. No mention of money for people; not for war.

Another note: check out the good dose of "red baiting" for extra measure--- "It's a throwback to 19th-century America, when strikes were suppressed by force of arms. Or, come to think of it, to Mubarak's Egypt or communist Poland and East Germany."

A most important note, the real issue to Harold Meyerson:
"Newly elected Republican governors, however, may reach the same conclusion Walker did and use the recession-induced fiscal crisis to achieve a partisan political objective: removing unions, the most potent force in the Democrats' electoral operation, from the landscape. "If we just stop and cure the pension problem, we have not gone far enough," Steve Malanga of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal said at the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend."

The Democratic Party gets its money from Wall Street and its "foot soldiers" and votes from organized labor along with very substantial funding which drains union coffers to assure labor doesn't use its formidable financial resources and organizational strength to start its own political party like organized labor has in Canada with the socialist New Democratic Party.


My comment:

This dangerous ideology of "pragmatism" posing as liberalism inthis artiicle enables Wall Street through the Democratic Party to manipulate and control labor---

What kind of crap is this? The Democrats can cut wages and benefits better than Republicans?

"Democratic governors such as California's Jerry Brown and New York's Andrew Cuomo have proposed scaling back public services, pay, and benefits without going after workers' fundamental rights to bargain. The right to bargain is clearly a separate question."

"Liberalism" and "pragmatism" are not one and the same thing; though they can be, and often are.

It must be noted that Obama and the Democrats have prepared the soil for this attack--- by both Republicans and Democrats--- on the working class, not only in Wisconsin but all across the United States by:

1. Spending on wars instead of human needs and universal social programs.

2. Pushing through the "Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010" instead of single-payer universal health care or the more comprehensive and better alternative a National Public Health Care System leaving health care to remain a "bone of contention" in labor management disputes.

3. By Obama's freezing of federal government employees' wages.

4. By refusing to enact the Employee Free Choice Act which would have given labor the opportunity to push its agenda more agressively from a position of strength. In fact, it was the refusal of Obama and the Democrats to implement--- with acquiescence and passivity and approval in the form of making up excuses for Obama from the AFL-CIO leadership that the defeat of EFCA has led now to labor being vulnerable to these attacks across the country, and let us make no mistake in understanding that if these attacks on teachers and other public sector employees and their unions are a success, all working people will suffer and the attacks on private sector unions will increase to untold proportions--- and the pressure is at a high level as it is right now.

5. Through attacks on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Not to mention attacks on the anti-poverty programs like the Community Action Programs which are an integral part of what little remains of the "war on poverty."

It is unfortunate the left and progressive movement lacks a real independent publication like the Daily Worker or the National Guardian as we face these difficult dangers and problems ahead; but, since we don't have these kinds of publications it means that each of us has to take the responsibility of thinking these these kinds of things through and sharing our ideas to stimulate the broadest discussions possible in order to counter these most reactionary ideas like in this aricle being pushed in the name of liberalism, progressivism and even leftism.

What is most urgently required is a good strong dose of anti-imperialist education in the working class movement explaining the relationship between wars and the capitalist economic crisis, the crisis of every-day-living working people are now forced to endure in order to try to survive and the austerity measures being forced on us by Wall Street and it various political surrogates from Obama and the Democrats to the Republicans, the Tea Party crowd and the Birchites and their racist, fascist ilk like Ron and Rand Paul who hide behind "libertarianism."

Here is the article meant to poison the minds of working people which requires a swift response from the left (the Communist Party USA is not up to the task, unfortunately; a problem we are trying to correct)---
http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=workers_rights_here_and_abroad


Workers' Rights Here and Abroad



Workers toppled a dictator in Egypt, but might be silenced in Wisconsin.


Harold Meyerson | February 17, 2011 | web only


Wisconsin teachers protest budget cuts at the state capitol. (Flickr/markonf1re)


In Egypt, workers are having a revolutionary February. In the United States, by contrast, February is shaping up as the cruelest month workers have known in decades.

The coup de grace that toppled Hosni Mubarak came after tens of thousands of Egyptian workers went on strike beginning last Tuesday. By Friday, when Egypt's military leaders apparently decided that unrest had reached the point where Mubarak had to go, the Egyptians who operate the Suez Canal and their fellow workers in steel, textile, and bottling factories; in hospitals, museums and schools; and those who drive buses and trains had left their jobs to protest their conditions of employment and governance. As Jim Hoagland noted in The Washington Post, Egypt was barreling down the path that Poland, East Germany, and the Philippines had taken, the path where workers join student protesters in the streets and jointly sweep away an authoritarian regime.

But even as workers were helping topple the regime in Cairo, one state government in particular was moving to topple workers' organizations here in the United States. Last Friday, Scott Walker, Wisconsin's new Republican governor, proposed taking away most collective bargaining rights of public employees. Under his legislation, which has moved so swiftly through the newly Republican state legislature that it might come to a vote Thursday, the unions representing teachers, sanitation workers, doctors and nurses at public hospitals, and a host of other public employees, would lose the right to bargain over health coverage, pensions, and other benefits. (To make his proposal more politically palatable, the governor exempted from his hit list the unions representing firefighters and police.) The only thing all other public-sector workers could bargain over would be their base wages, and given the fiscal restraints plaguing the states, that's hardly anything to bargain over at all.

You might think that Walker came to this extreme measure after negotiations with public-sector unions had reached an impasse. In fact, he hasn't held such discussions. "I don't have anything to negotiate," Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week. To underscore just how accompli he considered his fait, he vowed to call in the National Guard if protesting workers walked off the job or disrupted state services.

It's a throwback to 19th-century America, when strikes were suppressed by force of arms. Or, come to think of it, to Mubarak's Egypt or communist Poland and East Germany.

Now, it's not as if our states don't have fiscal crises to address, and Walker insists that it's Wisconsin's empty till that has driven him to curtail workers' rights. But there are other options.

Democratic governors such as California's Jerry Brown and New York's Andrew Cuomo have proposed scaling back public services, pay, and benefits without going after workers' fundamental rights to bargain. The right to bargain is clearly a separate question.

Newly elected Republican governors, however, may reach the same conclusion Walker did and use the recession-induced fiscal crisis to achieve a partisan political objective: removing unions, the most potent force in the Democrats' electoral operation, from the landscape. "If we just stop and cure the pension problem, we have not gone far enough," Steve Malanga of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal said at the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend.

The real goal of the American right is to reduce public employee unions to the level of private-sector unions, which now represent fewer than 7 percent of American workers. Walker's proposal not only confines public-sector unions to annual bargaining over wage increases but restricts the increases for state employees to raises in the consumer price index and compels every such union to hold an annual membership vote to determine whether the union can continue to represent workers. It clearly intends to smash these unions altogether.

Which would yield what? Our unions have already been decimated in the private sector; the results are plain. Corporate profits are soaring, while domestic investment, wages, and benefits (particularly at nonunion companies) are flat-lining at best. With nobody to bargain for workers, America increasingly is an economically stagnant, plutocratic utopia. Is everybody happy?

American conservatives often profess admiration for foreign workers' bravery in protesting and undermining authoritarian regimes. Letting workers exercise their rights at home, however, threatens to undermine some of our own regimes (the Republican ones particularly) and shouldn't be permitted. Now that Wisconsin's governor has given the Guard its marching orders, we can discern a new pattern of global repressive solidarity emerging -- from the chastened pharaoh of the Middle East to the cheese-head pharaoh of the Middle West.

Harold Meyerson's Washington Post column runs on Wednesdays. This one originally ran here.

Harold Meyerson is the editor-at-large at The American Prospect and a columnist for The Washington Post. Click here to read more about him.


Comment by Alan Maki:

The labor movement has been "led" by those adhering to the imperialist ideology of "pragmatism" since 1947 making it very easy for employers and the government as well as the Democrats to manipulate and control labor. This particular article is a very dangerous article and needs to be refuted; especially this idea:

"Democratic governors such as California's Jerry Brown and New York's Andrew Cuomo have proposed scaling back public services, pay, and benefits without going after workers' fundamental rights to bargain. The right to bargain is clearly a separate question."

This comes from one of the AFL-CIO's "partners," American Prospect.

Look what they say about themselves in their "mission statement:"

http://www.prospect.org/cs/about_tap/our_mission

"At the same time, we take seriously our role as a forum for constructive debate and civil argument about ideas across a wide range of the center-left political spectrum. We don't have a party line, because we believe that robust, challenging internal debate, as well as honest and respectful engagement with philosophical conservatism, will strengthen our ideas, resolve weaknesses, and find the basis for compromise that leads to change."

"...honest and respectful engagement with philosophical conservatism, will strengthen our ideas, resolve weaknesses, and find the basis for compromise that leads to change."


From Wikipedia:

The American Prospect is a monthly American political magazine dedicated to liberalism. It bills itself as a journal "of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics"[1] which focuses on U.S. politics and public policy. Politically, the magazine is in support of modern American liberalism, similar to The New Republic and The Nation, which likewise target an intellectual audience.

The magazine was founded in 1990 by Robert Kuttner, Robert Reich, and Paul Starr as a response to the perceived intellectual ascendancy of conservatism in the 1980s. Originally it published quarterly, then bimonthly. In 2000, thanks to a grant from the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, it became biweekly.[2] Financial and logistical difficulties ensued, and the magazine moved to its present monthly format in spring 2003. Kuttner and Starr share the title of Editor with Mark Schmitt, who is also the magazine's executive editor. The online version of the magazine includes an active blog, as well as blogs by Dean Baker and Adam Serwer.

In 2010, The American Prospect was the recipient of Utne Reader magazine's Utne Independent Press Award for Political Coverage.[3]
The magazine's alumni include Jonathan Chait, Jonathan Cohn, Joshua Green, Joshua Micah Marshall, Jedediah Purdy, Chris Mooney, Matthew Yglesias, Michael Massing, Joe Conason, Michael Tomasky, Ezra Klein, and Scott Stossel.
Recent executive editors have included (from oldest to latest) Michael Tomasky, Harold Meyerson, and Mark Schmitt.
In March 2010, "The American Prospect" entered into a publishing partnership with Demos, a public policy research and advocacy center.

Alan L. Maki

Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

and

Co-Chair,
Lake-of-the-Woods Communist Club (Minnesota-Manitoba-Ontario)

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

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

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

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