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...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Can Obama win in 2012?

Once people feel they have been betrayed by a politician they don't go back.

If Obama remains in the race it simply means fewer people will be voting. Had people believed Obama and the Democrats were real opposition to the Republicans they would have turned out in droves for the 2010 Election.

In fact, you can talk to people anyplace--- where they are being robbed at the gas pumps, having their pockets picked at the local supermarket, walking down the cracked, crumbling and uneven sidewalks, at work, in community centers or the local union hall, sitting in their cold, unheated living rooms because they can't afford to heat their homes and pay the mortgage or in the state park camping--- no matter where you go these days, you are not going to find "happy campers."

If there are those who don't believe, just do your own survey by going to your local supermarket and stand at the meat cooler near the hamburger and say to someone: "Pretty soon we aren't going to afford to eat any more; these prices are ridiculous." Say this to ten people; let me know what they say. Then go to the fruits where the bananas are and say, "Look at the prices; can you afford these things?" Again, let me know what the first ten people say. Then take your voter survey out to the gas station and say to a few people, "When is this robbery at the pumps going to end?" Let me know how people respond.

Let's be clear-minded here and not influenced by the Democratic Party hacks who are working the social networking sites posing as real people using 40 or 50 phony names bullying, badgering and intimidating people with this crap like, "If you don't support Obama you are going to be saluting Donald Trump."

Most people never voted for Obama in the first place; they voted against the Republicans because their livelihoods were already deteriorating and they were war-weary and just plain fed-up. Does anyone really believe that people are happier today because their standard of living has improved? Are people any less war-weary? If you want to know the answer, just ask people:

"How is Obama's war economy working for you?"

Obama doesn't dare ask voters this question; his die-hard supporters and Democratic Party hacks just loathe this question being asked.

Yet, this question is the most honest and forthright question that can be asked of anyone in this country because the answers tell us exactly what people are thinking.

The fight between the Democrats and Republicans for votes will be for a share of fewer voters. The Republicans are relying on this although the Republicans have moved so far to the right many of their own people are not turning out to vote, either.

Also, Obama by his own admission, is no liberal.

I am not nit-picking terms here. It is important we understand where everyone is coming from ideologically because it pretty much tells us what we can expect from people and the organizations and movements they "lead."

Obama is a neo-liberal which makes him as reactionary as reactionary can be.

By his own admission, Obama is ideologically a "pragmatist" very typical of the Wall Street crowd, as is the labor leadership in this country; and, unfortunately, much of the leadership of the peace, civil rights, environmental and women's movements are ideological pragmatists making it virtually impossible for even the littlest of reforms to be won.

In my opinion the entire results of this election in 2012 will be determined by what the liberal-minded voters do; Obama has lost the majority of progressive and left voters for sure and he seems to pretty much have lost the liberal voters who are the most important block in this country when it comes to voting and building movements for progressive change which at this point includes the need to build an alternative party reflecting the aspirations of people who want a United States of America that is for peace, social and economic justice.

This is the very best time for liberals, progressive and the left to begin building a new party that offers a real alternative to Wall Street's two parties because we really don't have to worry about being called "spoilers" even though that tag shouldn't bother us because we have the right to vote for the kind of country we want; but, as things presently stand, it is those who continue to support Obama who are the real spoilers because they cling to Obama--- a loser.

While it is always possible in life for what appears to be impossible to happen, all common sense should tell us a President with three wars hanging around his neck as his major "accomplishments" with rapidly rising prices for food, gas, home heating fuels and electricity coupled with huge unemployment, massive home foreclosures and evictions and the freezing and reductions of wages and benefits is not going to be getting voted in again. Politically the odds of Obama getting elected again are virtually nil.

Unless you believe Obama can win without liberals, progressives and left voters turning out to vote for him on Election Day, Obama can't win. In fact, the election isn't even going to be close; Obama will be trounced and trampled at the polls.

Even if Obama can win on Election Day he deserves to have every liberal, progressive and leftist working to defeat him because he does not represent or reflect the kind of country we want.

Here is my choice for 2012:


Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan might not be able to win on Election Day 2012; but, neither can Barack Obama... I will, however, be voting for the kind of country I want as a left-wing working class voter. And this is my right. I am not going to be badgered, bullied and intimidated into voting for a rotten Wall Street war-monger. I didn't tell Nixon to take his Vietnam war and shove it up his ass only to be bullied into voting for another warmonger--- Barack Obama.

Here is a very modest program for your consideration:

A program for real change...

* Peace--- end the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and shutdown the 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil.

* A National Public Health Care System - ten million new jobs.

* A National Public Child Care System - three to five million new jobs.

* WPA - three million new jobs.

* CCC - two million new jobs.

* Tax the hell out of the rich and cut the military budget by ending the wars to pay for it all which will create full employment.

* Enforce Affirmative Action; end discrimination.

* Raise the minimum wage to a real living wage

* What tax-payers subsidize in the way of businesses, tax-payers should own and reap the profits from.

* Moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions.

* Defend democracy by defending workers' rights including the right to collective bargaining for improving the lives and livelihoods of working people.

* Roll-back and freeze the price of food, electricity, gas and heating fuels; not wages, benefits or pensions

* Wall Street is our enemy

Let's talk about the politics and economics of livelihood for a real change.

Friday, April 29, 2011

May Day on the Iron Range

Sunday, May 1 · 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Operating Engineers Local 49 Hall
8381 Enterprise Drive Northeast, Virginia, MN 55792

Created By

More Info
Join together with other workers, retirees, and elected officials to celebrate May Day and discuss issues facing working people. 

Food and beverages will be provided.
FaceBook page: 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs All-Candidates Election Forum on First Nation


The carbon footprint of Wall Street's military-financial-industrial complex

Wall Street's military-financial-industrial complex driven by profits provides the largest carbon footprint. Peace is an environmental issue seldom discussed by environmentalists yet a tremendous amount of energy is required to keep the merchants of death and destruction who profit from wars happy. The amount of fuel wasted in maintaining U.S. military operations and fighting wars in one year would provide enough fuel to run and operate all public transportation systems here in the United States for over 18 months. Peace and the re-ordering of this country's priorities must become part of the environmental movement. Wall Street exploits labor in the process of raping Mother Nature leaving our living environment one big polluted mess tax-payers are then forced to finance the clean-up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bill Fletcher: "How to Respond to Obama"

Bill Fletcher, Jr.  continues to same line put out by Barbara Ehrenreich and Carl Davidson stating that we should not focus on Obama but instead focus on electing progressives to Congress. How convenient; first they lie about who Obama is to get him elected and now they want us to ignore the fact that Obama is nothing but one more Wall Street con-artist and flim-flam man. Don't focus on Obama because the truth might result in people staying home on Election; or, worse yet, focussing on who Obama really is might result in tens of thousands of people rejecting the Democratic Party as they search out a political alternative for peace and social justice.
Fletcher writes about "Solidarity Divided" yet he was a primary leader of the group that sowed more division in the ranks of working people than ever before by bringing forward lies about Barack Obama in order to create an image of Obama that was nothing but a multitude of cleverly crafted lies; many of the lies Fletcher created himself.
In this article Fletcher continues the same line as that of Barbara Ehrenreich that we should just ignore Obama's right-wing, reactionary, warmongering and racist Wall Street agenda of wars abroad paid for with austerity measures here at home; both of which Wall Street parasites profit from.
Fletcher lies when he says he did not know just how corporate and imperialist oriented Obama is. In fact, I sent Fletcher and everyone listed on the "Progressives for Obama" website, everyone on the "Progressive Democrats of America website and all those on the Black Commentator's Editorial board Obama's entire article/essay "Renewing American Leadership" written by Obama exclusively for "Foreign Affairs Magazine which can be read here on my blog:
Fletcher, Tom Hayden, Carl Davidson not only read this essay written by Barack Obama, but they instigated a sleazy, scurrilous, non-stop attack on me simply for distributing this essay to over 28,000 liberal, progressive and left activists accusing me of just about everything under the sun.
The truth about Obama they did not want to hear or get in the way of their campaign of lies which first helped get Obama through the Primaries and then resulted in a victory in the General Election.

I have not been the only target of this group of Obama supporters; they viciously attacked anyone trying to tell the truth about Obama and now, again, Ehrenreich and Fletcher have begun to try and prevent people from discussing Obama's dirty deeds by suggesting it is only local and congressional races that matter as they try to head off a third party movement of those who are fed-up with Obama's dirty wars and his attacks on working people.
We must remember it was this same bunch who told us they intended to "hold Obama's feet to the fire" yet none of them ever lit the match; does anyone now believe these pseudo-leftists will build any kind of progressive movement among Democrats to actually really challenge those Democrats running for Congress who are for Obama's and Bush's wars and Obama's austerity measures which include depriving working people of their rights to pay for these wars? 
We know the reason Obama and the Democrats did not push for passage of card check, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA); OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS REQUIRE A WEAK LABOR movement; not a strong labor movement capable of successfully fighting Wall Street's agenda.
Here we go again; these same Obama backers attacking liberals, progressives and the left who are telling the truth about Obama.
Ironically, and hypocritically, Fletcher now has the arrogance and unmitigated gall to castigate those of us who use social media, blogging and writing in our organizing efforts to defeat Obama as he and his pathetic little group of "prominent" Progressives for Obama use these tools without let-up. Only they are smart enough to give us our marching orders and when challenged they incite name-calling in an attempt to further divide our movements for real change--- including the labor movement.
So, Bill Fletcher's advice to those of us fed-up with Obama is that we should just ignore Obama after he and his pals peddled lies in order to elect Obama. More irony; more hypocrisy. Worse, yet; we should ignore Obama's wars and the impact of Obama's war economy on the working class. I wonder who paid to publish Fletcher's book, "Solidarity Divided?" Probably the same ones who created a new image for Tom Hayden who for years was the poster boy for the Israeli killing machine and a new image for Carl Davidson one of the few people in the world that rallied to defend Pol Pot and his "handi-work" in the killing fields. No doubt the same Wall Street employed Madison Avenue people hired to provide Obama with "name-brand" recognition did some work to restore the image of these "Progressives for Obama."
Are these "Progressives for Obama" competent to be giving advice to liberals, progressives and the left about anything?
Fletcher's three points and his four suggestions should be taken with a grain of salt meant to once again mislead people.
Point number one is "don't run a candidate against Obama." How convenient. Convenient for Wall Street since Obama is completing the jobs George Bush began and now Obama wants to finish the work he is doing, and how many people are satisfied with Obama's performance in office? Does Fletcher not bother talking to people purchasing groceries, gas, home heating fuels and paying their electric bills or people being evicted from their homes as a result of foreclosures? Wall Street profits; working people suffer as a direct result of what Barack Obama is doing but we aren't supposed to run a candidate against this creep.
Just read for yourself the pathetic drivel from Bill Fletcher, Jr. written as though living, breathing human beings are not suffering as a direct result of Obama's actions.
Alan L. Maki

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Progressive Democrats of America Advisory Board and BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board, Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, and co-author of "Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor"
Rather than dwell on the question of whether we can bring Obama home, whether he ever was home, etc., I want to refocus on this question of how to respond to him, particularly as we start to think about 2012. 
First, what do we now say about 2008? Contrary to those who have thrown up their hands and feel betrayed by what the Obama administration has not done, I start in a different place. I continue to assert that Obama was knowable in 2008. He was a charismatic, smart candidate who made the right call on the Iraq War and stepped out on the issue when it was necessary.
He was also, as I said at the time, someone who could appear to be different things to different people. The problem was that too many of his supporters saw what they wanted to see rather than what existed.
What existed? Well, from the beginning he was a corporate candidate. We knew that. The question was not whether he was one but the extent to which his views could be shifted in order to take progressive, non-corporate stands.
Second, he was a candidate who was going to avoid race as you or I would avoid a plague ship.  He went out of his way to prove that he was not an ‘angry black man’ and that race was not going to be an issue that he would harp on.
Third, he was clear that he wanted to change the image of the USA around the world, but it was not clear to what extent he wanted to change the substance of the relationship of the USA to the rest of the world.
Raising these and other issues in 2008 was exceedingly difficult. Raising concerns regarding Obama and his views in 2008, even when one offered critical support to the campaign (as did I), was often met with accusations of throwing a wet towel on a fire, and other such metaphors. Of course, there were those who denounced Obama all the way, but they offered very little as an alternative, with the exception of what we must frankly characterize as symbolic political action.
What these fierce critics failed to address was how to account for and speak with the masses of people from various social movements who were gravitating toward Obama’s campaign, individuals and groups looking to create something very different in the USA (and around the world). In fact, it was because of these masses of people, incorrectly described as a “movement” by some but certainly an energized base, and the potential of that base to become a transformative force, that it was correct to critically support the Obama campaign, despite the limitations of the campaign and the candidate.
What did we learn? We learned immediately that it was a mistake to give any elected official, but particularly someone reflecting more ‘center’ politics, a honeymoon. Virtually every social movement and organization stepped back in the interest of providing Obama space. It did not work. There was space, alright, but the political Right seized it.
We also should have learned that it is not about the ‘man’ but it is about the administration. We, African Americans, tend to focus too much on Obama-the-man. We like his speeches. He is smart and seems to have a great family. He sounds so sincere. He understands and appreciates our culture. That is all well and good, but Obama-the-man is not as important as Obama-the-administration.
This became all too clear during the Honduras coup in 2009. A democratically elected government was overthrown in a coup. Obama initially condemned this but then did nothing to unseat the ‘coup people’ (a term made famous by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, describing those who overthrew President Gorbachov in the then Soviet Union).
Not only that, his administration took steps to keep the democratically elected president out of office and came up with a so-called compromise that resulted in the forces of the wealthy elite returning to power. In that sense, it does not matter whether we like Obama as a person; it is a matter of what we say about the policies of his administration.
Of course, we had a more recent example of this when no one from the administration could quite explain why the return of Haitian President Aristide from South Africa was being opposed by the US government. Does Obama like or hate Aristide? It does not matter; what matters are the actions of the Obama administration.
What should we do? First, we have to focus on policies rather than intent. Those who uncritically supported Obama in 2008 should not feel ashamed but neither should they now flip into despair or abstentionism. We have to keep in mind that this administration, as all administrations, is affected by pressure. This administration SEEMS to be more affected by pressure from the political Right than pressure from progressives and those on the Left but that is largely because the left and progressives have failed to offer sustained pressure on the administration.
At each moment that many left and progressives stand up to the administration, they are more often than not met with bared teeth and a growl, which then results in silence on our part. The political Right understands that pressure is not about barking. It is about biting.
So, in this sense, it is not about bringing Obama home. It is about pressuring him to do not only what he has promised but to go beyond what he has promised. This will not come about through email exchanges or social media, but it will come about through building mass pressure. What could this look like?
1. Forget running a candidate against Obama in 2012. That would be a sure way to alienate much of his black and Latin base. Instead, there needs to be a progressive strategy focused on Congressional races. That means identifying key races to run genuine progressive candidates against conservative Democrats and/or Republicans.
2. We need to build an electoral organization that can run such candidates. There are examples of these around the country but we need to expand, ultimately building something at the national level that rivals the vision of the National Rainbow Coalition from the late 1980s. It needs to be an organization that has a mass base and can run candidates inside and outside the Democratic Party.
3. We desperately need mass action. Wisconsin was wonderful for many reasons but one important one was the sustained presence in the capitol. A protest movement focused on power needs to be prepared to break the law, not through the actions of a few individuals, but much as happened in Wisconsin, as well as in the Civil Rights movement, with masses of people making a situation untenable. But we have to also develop key strategic targets for our actions where we are clear on what we want them to do. This will largely happen at the local level at first, but it can also happen at the national level, such as through selective boycotts.
4. We have to think and act globally and locally. We must link with social movements around the world challenging US foreign policy, providing such movements with whatever level of support we can. We cannot allow more Honduras coup situations, and we have to make it clear that US policy in Afghanistan is a disaster.
None of these “to dos” had Obama’s name on them. That is because we are not simply confronting or attempting to influence an individual. We are up against an empire and the spokesperson for that empire happens to be someone in whom many people placed excessive hope. The hope should have rested with the millions who supported him and were seeking a better day. Those are the people upon whom we need to focus so that we can go beyond the Obama moment and move in a progressive direction.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president ofTransAfrica Forum and co-author of Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice (University of California Press), which examines the crisis of organized labor in the USA. Click here to contact Mr. Fletcher.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a founding member of Progressives for Obama along with Tom Hayden, Barbara Ehrenreich, Carl Davidson and Danny Glover.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How the Zionists try to stifle democracy

This letter speaks for itself in the very biased and bigoted way these Zionists tried to pressure college officials in a most disgraceful way not to allow a leading Palestinian rights activists to speak at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This bigot, Mike Presant, speaking for the Jewish Federation lies about what Mazin Qumsiyeh spoke about at Calvin College. Hopefully there will be a rebuttal by those who invited Mazin to speak to this most disgraceful attack on democracy and the truth because the Israeli killing machine must be exposed and stopped.

Alan L. Maki

Interim Executive Director’s Letter
April 2011

I would like to talk with you this month about a recent speaker at Calvin College named Mazin Qumsiyeh. While this letter is about the circumstances surrounding this particular event, my hope is to engage you in a broader conversation about a familiar issue, though not necessarily in the Grand Rapids area: the rise of anti-Semitic rhetoric on college campuses in the guise of pro-Palestinian speech.

In late February our office was alerted by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit to Mr. Qumsiyeh’s planned visit to Grand Rapids as part of a lengthy book tour around the U.S. We were directed to an ADL ‘backgrounder’ on him (google “ADL” and “Qumsiyeh” to find it), and were immediately concerned not only by his extreme views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (e.g. he’s a proponent of the so-called “one-state solution” which if implemented would lead directly to the end of Israel as a Jewish state), but also his propensity to use anti-Semitic rhetoric in his speeches. Mr. Qumsiyeh also employs familiar anti-Semitic stereotypes such as Jewish or Zionist control of the media and the U.S.

We decided to reach out to the Calvin representative listed as the book tour contact to share the ADL information and discuss our concerns. After an initial polite exchange and an offer to look at the ADL website, we were turned away without explanation. The Calvin representative said the faculty bringing in this speaker had no interest in discussing this further (although she later offered to discuss it after the event), even though we highlighted Mr. Qumsiyeh’s track record of comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, anathema to Jews everywhere and in my view, anti-Semitic on its face. We had wanted to ask Calvin why it would give such a speaker a forum at all, and ask it to reconsider its invitation to him.

Now, you may wonder, why not let him talk and then ask Calvin to bring in a pro-Israeli speaker? After all, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is near and dear to our hearts, underpins the tradition of free speech on college campuses in America, and is close to sacrosanct. But respected institutions in civilized society need not offer all manners of speech a public hearing. Simply put, promoters of hate speech should be told they are not welcome. Imagine if a Calvin professor proposed a speaker on race relations in America who was known to use the ‘n-word’ and other racial epithets and stereotypes in describing African-Americans. How would Calvin react to that proposal? Another representative at Calvin admitted to me that such a person would never be invited to its campus. Then why not shun a person who has a documented track record of using anti-Semitic language as well?

It is noteworthy that, while our Jewish community has had a warm relationship with Calvin on various cultural programs including literature and music, we have had disagreements previously with college officials on similar matters to the current question. As I write this letter, we have requested a meeting in order to begin a dialogue with senior Calvin officials about anti-Semitic rhetoric. I have suggested that we discuss this issue in the context of the “Healing Racism” program designed for both leaders and interested members of our greater Grand Rapids community. The leaders at Calvin are quite familiar with it, as I am sure some of you are as well. As the title of the program infers, its focus is on black-white relations and considers racism a disease that requires extensive dialogue across racial lines to treat. When I attended the program over ten years ago, we watched a film about Henry Ford. It was not about cars. The anti-Semitic background of Mr. Ford was unknown to every other person in my Healing Racism group, all of whom were not Jewish. This taught me a lesson – we should not assume non-Jewish members of our greater community have an awareness of anti-Semitism as we do. My hope is that, in the spirit of Healing Racism, we will be able to connect with Calvin’s leaders about our concerns regarding anti-Semitic hate speech in a manner that we have been unable to accomplish in the past.

This is where we stand with Calvin, and I will keep you informed about its leadership’s response to our request for dialogue. Now, I would like to make a request of you, my fellow members of the West Michigan Jewish Community. While temporarily in my current leadership position in our community, I am only one voice, filtered by my own experiences and biases. To address this very serious issue in the right way, I need to be your representative and hear your collective voices on this question. What is your reaction to this situation? Join us on the Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids facebook page where excerpts of this letter are posted or, if you would prefer, call or write to me directly at mike@jfgr.org. As you can tell, I feel passionately about this issue and, no matter whether you agree or disagree with me, your opinion matters.

In sum, my view is this issue boils down to a question of free speech versus hate speech on college campuses. As suggested earlier, I am proposing that anti-Semitic hate speech (and for that matter, anti-Muslim hate speech, too) be shunned voluntarily by colleges and universities. When the Detroit JCRC representative initially contacted us, he mentioned his concern that Mr. Qumsiyeh, as ADL documents, “crosses the line.” Admittedly, where the line lies between free speech and hate speech is a difficult judgment to make. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once famously stated, “I know it when I see it,” when discussing another free speech issue (pornography), and perhaps that’s how such judgments in the case of free versus hate speech must be made as well. Nonetheless, when Israel is equated to Nazi Germany, “I see it” quite clearly.

This month, as we recall our history from slavery to freedom, I bid you best wishes for a happy and healthy Passover! And I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Mike Presant

P.S. I attended Mr. Qumsiyeh’s speech, which proved to be a disappointment. In brief, it was a 130 year history lecture on Palestinian popular resistance presented using the classic propaganda technique of an Alice-in-Wonderland, upside down narrative (e.g. were you aware this resistance has always been nonviolent?). Of note, his anti-Semitic rhetoric was toned down, which was not surprising since he was aware we were watching him, though he did make some noticeable allusions to Jewish noses and one-sided Western media. He was neither inciteful nor insightful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

All out to Iowa Democratic Party Caucuses; punish Obama for his wars

Mark your calendars for February 6, 2012; begin to organize now--- All liberals, progressives and leftists for peace should consider making plans to travel to Iowa during the Democratic Party Iowa Caucuses to talk with people about these dirty wars and austerity measures used to finance them. Obama must be punished in Iowa. There are 99 counties in Iowa; we need a presence for peace and social justice in all 99 counties.
How is Obama's war economy working for you?

W- Wasted 
A- American
R- Resources

Obama's wars kill jobs just like they kill people. 

No peace; no votes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Am Attacked on Minnesota Public Radio by Kerri Miller and John McCarthy without the right of response

I called into a morning program on Minnesota Public Radio that featured as one of its guests John McCarthy, the rich white man who heads up the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association.

After making two points I was cut-off while making the third point at which time the host of the program opened the microphone up to John McCarthy to attack me until he was done with his lies.

If Minnesota Public Radio was the least bit interested in democracy and fairness I would have been provided the opportunity to respond to McCarthy and the viciously anti-labor and racist remark made by the program host that, "no one is forced to work in the casinos."

In fact, two circumstances by themselves and combined do force people to work in these loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages and without a voice at work and without any rights under state or federal labor laws.

Circumstance #1:

The faltering economy. Tens of thousands of people are out of work. Economic necessity forces people to work in these casinos. Offer casino workers a job elsewhere at real living wages with good working conditions and their rights protected by state and federal labor laws and these casinos will be left without anyone to staff them. 

Circumstance #2:

Racism. Racist hiring practices make it practically impossible for most Native American Indians to get jobs outside of the casino industry. The statistics and facts bear this out. In all the counties and their townships and cities in, near and around where the Indian Reservations of White Earth, Red Lake and Leech Lake are located, there are fewer than 20 Native American Indians employed in these public sectors out of thousands of workers. Because Affirmative Action is not being enforced in accordance with state and federal law, and the townships, cities and counties aren't even required to have Affirmative Action policies and programs in place, these racists don't have any Affirmative Action programs in any of these townships, cities or counties. Racism forces Native Americans to seek employment in these unhealthy smoke-filled casinos where they have no rights, receive poverty wages with no or little benefits and no voice in the workplace.

In fact, when it comes to Native American Indians they are forced to work in these casinos because Circumstance #1--- unemployment and Circumstance #2--- racism are both dominant and determining factors since unemployment rates on these three Indian Reservations range from a low of 60% to a high of 85%.

How can anyone be so arrogant and callous to argue with complete disregard for economic and racist factors that "no one is forced to work in these casinos?"  Yet, this is just what Minnesota Public Radio's Mid-Morning host, Kerri Miller, argued. And then she proceeded to arrogantly and undemocratically not allow me to respond while turning the microphone over to John McCarthy to viciously attack me; again, without allowing me to respond.

Now, the facts are such that Minnesota Public Radio has intentionally ignored the plight of casino workers because the casino managements are now underwriting MPR programming to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

And, where do these underwriting funds originate from?  Indian Gaming revenues. Racist Indian Gaming which is controlled by a bunch of racist white mobsters who own the slot machines and table games and those like John McCarthy who dole out campaign contributions to the politicians who in return assure them of cheap labor.

John McCarthy and Kerri Miller refused to address the issues I raised:

1. Why don't these casino operations pay taxes as it just happens that if they were taxed like any other business Minnesota would not have any budget problems plus the Indian Nations would receive more than they are presently receiving from gaming revenues?

2. Why didn't John McCarthy or Kerri Miller respond to the fact that 41,000 casino workers are forced to work in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws and without any voice at work. Why no explanation as to why this situation exists in the first place?

3. Why didn't John McCarthy or Kerri Miller address the fact that the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association spends tens of millions of dollars contributing to the campaigns of everyone except Native American Indians and there isn't one single Native American Indian sitting amongst Minnesota's more than two-hundred state legislators?

Of course, Kerri Miller, the host of Minnesota Public Radio's Mid-Morning Program did not ask John McCarthy about the ethics of him owning Tony Doom Enterprises, a big-business making millions in profits as a result of selling campaign advertising materials to the very politicians he funnels the campaign contributions to through the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association. If this isn't a racket I don't know what is.

I leave it to people to draw their own conclusion as to whether I should have been allowed to respond to the anti-labor and racist response of Kerri Miller and the following vicious attack on me personally by John McCarthy who is such a coward he doesn't dare debate me on these issues but then goes on to attack me for "posting malicious, vicious and nasty things on my blog here" without substantiating one single one of his accusations.

Furthermore, John McCarthy told Kerri Miller that he "knows" me; another outright lie.

People should take a drive by John McCarthy's home and ask why he is living high on the hog as a direct result of his racist role in the impoverishment and ill-health of the Indian people. John McCarthy lives just outside of Bemidji, Minnesota in a two-million dollar estate at 8925Cove Drive NE, Bemidji, Minnesota. Take a drive out to see John McCarthy's estate and then drive through the Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth Indian Reservations to see how casino workers getting paid poverty wages have to live or check out the dirty, filthy, rat infested apartment complex in Warroad, Minnesota that Floyd Jourdain and the Red Lake Tribal Council reserve for the members of the Red Lake Nation who work in the Seven Clans Casino Red Lake who have to pay over half of their poverty wages to live there.

Why doesn't Minnesota Public Radio report on any of this? The reason is obvious; John McCarthy and the casino managements and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association are bribing MPR into silence just like the politicians have been bribed to enable this horrendous and most disgraceful situation to come into existence and continue where poverty is the only thing that flourishes so a few mobsters owning the slot machines and table games can profit.

For those who don't care about the plight of casino workers and enjoy gambling and the cheap meals served, keep this in mind:

* The Minnesota Department of Public Safety who is supposed to be monitoring slot machine compliance checks fewer than 150 slot machines a year in all of Minnesota.

* Food served in the casinos is not inspected by federal or state inspectors nor is the condition of the places where the food is prepared.

* And for those staying in the casino hotels/motels there has been no building inspections by local or state building inspectors.

As for John McCarthy's claim made on Mid-Morning that all the casinos have been built and constructed by union workers this is an outright big fat lie. I challenge John McCarthy to produce the union contracts. In fact, union business agents and stewards are not even allowed on these construction sites.

And casino workers, like the 5,000 employed by Stanley Crooks at his Mystic Lake Casino empire are forced to sign statements stating that they agree, as terms of their employment, that they will not engage in union organizing knowing they will be fired.

In fact, Stanley Crooks has fired over 200 casino workers from his Mystic Lake Casino empire in the last three years simply for "blogging about working conditions." And not a peep of any of this from Minnesota Public Radio. How come Kerri Miller is allowed to voice her anti-labor and racist views from a radio network funded by tax-payers in addition to casino managements without any restrictions or retribution?

One would think that an industry created by politicians at tax-payer expense while generating tens of billions of  dollars annually in profits would require a bit of scrutiny from Minnesota Public Radio but all this industry gets from MPR, its management, program hosts and reporters is unconditional praise.

Kerri Miller doesn't even ask one of Minnesota's leading politicians or John McCarthy who speaks for this dirty, corrupt and disgusting casino industry why it is that these casinos have been allowed to circumvent  the ban on smoking applicable to all other places of employment in Minnesota.

How much is it costing Minnesota tax-payers to have 41,000 Minnesotans working in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos where casino workers are fired without compensation of any kind if they develop coughs and begin to lose their hearing?

Perhaps Kerri Miller should invite someone from the Indian Health Service, the Minnesota Heart and Lung Foundation or the American Cancer Society to explain the impact of second-hand smoke on casino workers' health and lives and the impact to their families.

John McCarthy is concerned about all the "nasty things" I have to say about him, the casino managements and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association along with the politicians he bribes and then profits from, again, here on my blog... well, let's talk about the real nasty things John McCarthy brings to Minnesota--- smoke-filled workplaces, poverty and racism.

And if these nasty things and the nasty people like John McCarthy don't get talked about here on my popular blog, where do they get talked about? On Minnesota Public Radio? Ha!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The labor movement has to take up the question of peace...

The only way to defend workers' rights and livelihoods is to bring our war dollars home.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Resolution Calling for Re-Ordering of Priorities

Resolution Calling for Re-ordering of Priorities:

Whereas Minnesota is faced with a $5.028 billion budget shortfall; and,

past budget cuts have resulted in painful reductions in essential
services and future cuts would further erode the quality of life for
and, in fact, endanger the lives of many citizens; and,

many cities and communities in Minnesota are laying off police,
firefighters, teachers and other essential employees; and,

past budgets have been balanced by cutting social services, under
investment in essential infrastructure, and other measures that push the
crisis onto local governments and the poor; and,

Minnesota taxpayers even during these times of economic crisis and
fiscal austerity are poised to pay the equivalent of the entire state
biennial budget, more than $35 billion over the next two years, for
their share of the Defense Budget of the Federal government; and,

Minnesota taxpayers alone have already spent more than $27.5 billion,
and will spend $8.4 billion more over the next two years for the ongoing
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and,

Whereas 58 cents of every dollar of federal discretionary spending is devoted to military purposes; and,

military spending priorities at the national level negatively impact
budgets and quality of life at all levels of government and society;

Whereas our nation desperately needs to better
balance its approach to security to go beyond military defense and
include the economic, social, and environmental needs of our
communities, state, and nation;

Therefore be it resolved
that we, the Legislature of the State of Minnesota call on Senators
Klobuchar and Franken, and Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen,
McCollum, Ellison, Bachmann, Peterson and Cravaack as well as
Congressional leadership and President Barack Obama, to shift federal
funding priorities from war and the interests of the few, to meeting the
essential needs of us all.

Approved [date]

By Jack Nelson-Palmeyer and Bill Hilty

Show Me The Money

An Obama supporter has asked me a question...

The question...

"You think Obama is a loser, gee he is the President, what are you?"

Here is my answer...

In a DEMOCRACY people who respect DEMOCRACY never are so arrogant to suggest that the President is somehow better or more important than anyone else.

Who am I? I am one more American citizen fed up with Obama's wars and his dedicated support for Wall Street's attempt to reap greater profits by making us pay for these dirty imperialist wars abroad through austerity measures here at home which are making us all poor.

Had Obama been honest enough to run on an agenda of what he really intended to do he never would have been elected president in the first place--- he would have been a loser in the 2008 Primaries.

We now need a Primary Election where Obama's ideas and his agenda will be challenged by someone honest enough to state their real ideas for real CHANGE--- at least this is my HOPE.

I do agree with you that Obama is the President; and this is a big part of what is wrong which now needs to be corrected.