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...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

U.S. Banks Urge Congress to Close Deal on Debt-Limit Debate

“Bankers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief Jamie Dimon called on President Barack Obama and Congress to raise the federal debt limit to steer the U.S. government away from the threat of default.”

We paythey profit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My response to a Democrat still infatuated with this prick Obama

My point exactly, Kim. Thank you for making it. We are paying for over 100 years of imperialist wars fought for Wall Street's interests: cheap labor and cheap natural resources. 

If you want peace stop paying for these dirty wars. 

Raising the debt ceiling is being done to pay for these wars.

Harry Reid let the cat out of the bag when he said he was prepared to compromise on funding these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the NEXT TEN YEARS on a more frugal budget.

As far as Social Security, Kim. Let me give you an "analogy." Wall Street has wanted to get its dirty, filthy, greedy clutches on the Social Security Trust Fund for years just like the mobsters and the Wall Street vultures control the union pension funds.

The privatization of the Social Security Trust Fund in the hands of Wall Street "managers" is what is at stake here.

Already, Congress and the Presidents have robbed the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for their rotten imperialist wars and now they don't want to pay the Social Security Trust Fund back--- Obama's intent is to turn the Trust Fund over to Wall Street the same way he did with health care through his "Affordable Health Care Act" which should be called, "The Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010."

And, by the way, here is another "analogy" for you. Obama made it mandatory for everyone to purchase Health Insurance from these greedy Wall Street vultures because this sets up a precedent: People will be able to be forced through legislation to pay into Wall Street owned, controlled and administered pension funds. Bye, bye Social Security.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stand up to the liars telling us we need to raise the "debt ceiling."

by Alan L. Maki on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 

First of all this statement and call to action by U.S. Labor Against the War is somewhat deceitful as Moveon.org and Rebuild the Dream along with their usual "coalition partners" did not mention ending the wars (Please see the "letter" sent out by Tim Carpenter of the Progressive Democrats of America and the "call to action" from Van Jones---http://www.huffingtonpost.com/van-jones/tuesday-rallies-save-american-dream_b_908444.html? which was referred to by Tim Carpenter):

MoveOn and Rebuild the Dream just put out a call for an emergency mobilization at local Congressional offices Tuesday at Noon.

The message: Increase the damn debt ceiling now and don't touch Medicare, Medicaid, Pell, Social Security, etc. Make the billionaires and corporations pay their fair share instead of hurting the middle class, working people and folks who are struggling. End the wars and put the Pentagon on a diet.

We need as many people / groups / bloggers as possible to make a public outcry. The media has had zero visuals of people protesting. If we show up and wave signs, we might just have a chance to break into the news cycle --especially in local districts-- and make an impact.

Tuesday at noonshow up at your Congress member's local office. If they are committed to defend these core social safety net programs, bring signs to thank them and show your support.

If they are waffling or lining up to make cuts to these survival programs, let them know you will remember this betrayal next time you vote.

E-mail your Congressperson www.congress.org, or call Congress members directly at (202-224-3121) till 7:00 pm EST. Call the White House at (202) 456-1111.

Forward this communication immediately to friends and relatives using text message, e-mail, personal calls, leaflet, facebook and other social media.

Ending the wars should be at the top of the list followed by "tax the rich" with both being required to create jobs.

The debt ceiling should NOT be raised as raising the debt ceiling will require imposing further austerity measures on the working class to pay for this debt because we all know that under the Democrats and Republicans the wars are not going to end and the rich are not going to be taxed.

If anyone, including U.S. Labor Against the War, really thought the wars were going to end and the rich were going to be taxed there would be no reason at all to even consider raising the debt ceiling.

What the heck is going on here? Why is USLAW calling for raising the debt ceiling just like Richard Trumka and the AFL-CIO, MoveOn, Rebuild the Dream, Progressive Democrats of America, Campaign for America's Future and the rest of these foundation funded outfits who derive their funding from the same "philanthropists" who are the same Wall Street coupon clippers who profit from these wars and are getting off with the wealth created through their exploitation of the working class not getting redistributed through a tax on the rich (them)?

I would like for any liberal, progressive or leftists to explain in very simple terms why the "debt ceiling" should be raised without first ending the wars and a program for taxing the rich to be in place?

Right now the United States in involved in funding the building of a huge NEW naval base in South Korea against the will (and opposition from) the people.

Funding for the continued occupation of the Philippines is being increased per request from Obama and the Democrats--- how much has this one-hundred plus year occupation cost us already? Someone should suggest this bill be tabulated for the American people.

USLAW should be questioning the price (debt incurred) for Wall Street's imperialist policies which have resulted in the creation of the most Draconian form of state-monopoly capitalism making it impossible for the American people to get access to the kind of information required to have an intelligent discussion of "debt" and why we have so much debt.

Fighting Wall Streets dirty imperialist wars and further protecting Wall Street's interests (cheap natural resources and cheap labor) with over 800 U.S. military bases around the globe--- while more are being constructed--- does not come cheap. The costs in terms of the human body count and the debt incurred to finance this parasitic, barbaric, cannibalistic carnage and sheer economic stupidity has to end.

What is required is a good ruckus in the streets not just protests by organizations who will turn right around and endorse Obama for re-election.

As one of the original founders of USLAW I find it insulting that USLAW would fail to put ending the wars at the top of the the list and then go right along with the official AFL-CIO policy which has not been deviated from since its birth in supporting Wall Street's imperialist policies--- one of which is increasing the debt ceiling as a way to saddle working people with paying for these dirty, rotten imperialist wars--- this is the one and only reason for increasing the debt ceiling.

USLAW should be calling for breaking free from this two-party trap set for us by our Wall Street foes.

By all means, we must join in these protest actions.

But, joining these protests does not mean we must buy into this skewed thinking that is the creation of the well-paid Wall Street sooth-Sayers who are twisting and perverting the facts to continue hoodwinking the working class to support Wall Street's imperialist and anti-working class agenda of wars abroad and austerity at home.

United States Labor Against the War should join in asking working people across the country and in these demonstrations and protests:

How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for you?

Until this question is asked of working people--- and answered--- no working class organizations or unions have any business supporting these stupid, odious and deceitful calls issued by a liar like Obama to "raise the debt ceiling."

We must also be aware that MoveOn.org and Rebuild the Dream are engaged in a deceitful campaign to re-elect Barack Obama who should be defeated as part of the struggles to take power from the hands of these greedy Wall Street coupon clippers.

I would note there isn't even any mention of the need to create a National Public Health Care System and National Public Child Care System (or WPA/CCC) as a way to create jobs funded with a peace dividend.

I would also note that there has been no clear rebuttal as to why Social Security has been included in the austerity package along with the "debt ceiling increase." What gives here? Has the Social Security Trust Fund been raided by the U.S. Congress to pay for these dirty wars, too, and now the fund is broke with no intent to pay it back? This pack of Wall Street thieves must be stopped not acquiesced to, again as the Democrats always do.

Minnesota State Representative Bill Hilty and a colleague wrote this Op/Ed piece in the Minneapolis Star Tribune published yesterday (July 25, 2011) which should be distributed at all of these protests and posted to all blogs and web sites:

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune---

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Bill Hilty: The nation's wars are a heavy burden on the state
  • Updated: July 25, 2011 - 7:02 PM

Budget gap could have been easily closed with the money we send away.

Citizens in Minnesota are being encouraged to see scarcity as the new normal. If you are an elected official at any level of government, your job has been reduced to managing austerity.

It doesn't have to be this way -- if we address the elephant lurking in the budget deficit hall. That would be the high costs of militarization and war.

Technically, the military budget is a federal issue, distinct from state, county and city budgets. However, we can no longer maintain the fiction that distorted federal spending that prioritizes war and militarism is disconnected from state and local budget crises and is eroding living standards.

According to the nonpartisan National Priorities Project, Congress devotes 58 cents of every dollar of federal discretionary spending to war-related purposes. To better understand the impact on Minnesota of privileging military spending priorities, consider this: We have just experienced a painful government shutdown over how to deal with a two-year $5 billion shortfall. Yet Minnesota taxpayers over the same two-year period will spend $8.4 billion just for our share of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

This will bring Minnesotans' total contribution to those wars to about $36 billion. Additionally over the next two years, Minnesotans will pay $26 billion for our share of the nation's base military budget, a budget that has doubled since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Every Minnesota citizen and every layer of government is impacted negatively by current war-related priorities. Faced with pressing local needs, taxpayers in Fergus Falls will pay $17 million for their share of counterproductive Iraq/Afghan wars over the next two years; Minneapolis taxpayers will contribute $255 million.

We believe it is time for Minnesotans to communicate clearly to our members of Congress and to President Obama that federal funding priorities must shift from unnecessary wars to meeting essential needs. A new citizen-driven effort, the Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project (MNasap), is a vehicle for doing so.

We have crafted a simple resolution that can be adapted and enacted by individuals, community groups, library boards, city councils and other elected bodies throughout the state. It reads in part: "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 [we] call on Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen, McCollum, Ellison, Bachmann, Peterson and Cravaack as well as President Barack Obama, to shift federal funding priorities from war and the interests of the few, to meeting the essential needs of us all."

The state government shutdown has ended, but the pain will be ongoing for many Minnesotans. As a recent Star Tribune editorial ("New budget rests on shaky structure," July 20) states, borrowing against future state revenues and delaying school payments will have serious consequences, and the budget "inflicts too much pain. The hurt will be felt most keenly on college campuses and among those who serve low-income disabled and elderly people."

Imagine what we can accomplish if we stop squandering wealth and talents on militarization and counterproductive wars. Schools could reduce class sizes and have adequate supplies. Bridges could be repaired. Food shelves could be adequately stocked but rarely needed. We could take steps to make homelessness rare and temporary. Cities and states could adequately provide essential services, including meeting their authentic security needs. Critical investments could be made in infrastructure and green technologies. Public libraries could expand hours and programming. Urban and national rail systems could be built. The country could address climate change and end child poverty. All Americans could have access to quality, affordable health care.

This sounds like a fantasy only because current choices keep us on the dead-end road of militarization. It is a realistic possibility once we demilitarize priorities, realistically assess security needs and refocus governing on serving the common good.

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer is associate professor of justice and peace studies at the University of St. Thomas. Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson, is a member of the Minnesota House. For information on the resolution campaign, contact MinnesotaASAP@gmail.com

Yours in the struggle for peace, social and economic justice,

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

In Minnesota over 44,000 casino workers are employed in the Indian Gaming Industry in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws through the racist "Compacts" created by the Democrats to enrich a few mobsters who own all the slot machines and table games leaving the Indian Nations hold nothing but debt and increased unemployment and poverty.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Letter to Carolina Astrain, Minnesota Public Radio

Carolina Astrain

Newsroom coordinator
Minnesota Public Radio
Thank you for contacting me.
Please find attached the documents I referenced in our phone conversation.
I would encourage you to seek all exhibits and affidavits referenced in the decision handed down by the judge in ordering a new election for the position of Leech Lake Secretary-Treasurer.
You will note that poverty is at the very heart of this corruption of the democratic electoral process, and if casino workers had their rights protected like all other workers under state and federal labor laws these 48 casino workers could not have been intimidated by such a "firing letter" whether the letter was true, or as it appears to be in this case, a fabrication.
As you can see, workers without any rights in their places of employment have no rights in the communities where they reside--- not even when it comes to voting for a candidate; can you imagine what the consequences would be should a casino worker run for tribal or other public office on a platform calling for real living wages and a smoke-free working environment? 
You will have people shove the issue of "sovereignty" in your face as you question them; but, do you know of any sovereign nation that gets away with using "sovereignty" as an excuse for depriving workers of their rights and a safe and healthy working environment?
Here in Minnesota, over 40,000 people employed in the Indian Gaming Industry are forced to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws. Corrupt tribal politicians and state legislators will argue the state has no business in the affairs of Indian Nations--- this is simply an unfounded argument for convenience because as you can see for yourself, even the Tribal Court Judge in this case relies on state election laws for making a determination as to whether or not a new election should be held.
Also, are you aware that John McCarthy who heads up the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association which doles out tens of millions of dollars to tribal politicians and state legislators for campaign funds, owns Tony Doom Enterprises which prints and manufacturers all kinds of election paraphernalia including such things as yard signs, pens, pencils, buttons, t-shirts, flyers and posters? This may not be illegal; but, I would urge you to consider the ethical question involved of a man in such a powerful position handing out money to politicians with one hand and taking that money right back in for personal gain in his other hand.
The entire political process in Minnesota is being corrupted by those who profit from Indian Gaming. And it is quite obvious that when votes can be purchased for a pack of cigarettes or a tank of gas or for $5.00 we are talking about poverty amidst an industry making the claim of being Indian Gaming from which everyone--- except for a few Indians--- is profiting and enriching themselves, otherwise people wouldn't be selling their votes so cheap, if at all.
Anyone can walk into any of the three casinos operated by the Leech Lake Band--- Palace, Northern Lights, White Oak--- and see there is no reason for one single family on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation to be poor--- yet unemployment is an atrocious and astounding 85% while those employed in the casinos receive poverty wages. I am pretty sure any 10 year old child could tell you that a person receiving poverty wages is going to be poor.
Archie LaRose has a lot of nerve talking about poverty since he works hand in hand with state legislators, federal politicians and the courts who have been enforcing this poverty for centuries and he leads a tribal government committed to denying casino workers their most basic human right--- the right to organize into unions to protect their rights and livelihoods.
Absentee owners of the slot machines and table games run off with the profits and this is why Indian Gaming has forced the people of Indian Nations even further into the poverty with which the United States government planned in creating the reservation system--- in fact, the way the Indian Gaming Industry was created through these so-called "Compacts" it is part and parcel of the centuries old campaign of genocide intended to exterminate Native American peoples. How else can one explain that Minnesota State Legislators banned smoking in all workplaces--- EXCEPT for these casinos. The scientific and medical studies are very clear as to the detrimental affects of second-hand smoke in the workplace--- if you don't believe me, just contact the American Cancer Society or the Minnesota Heart and Lung Foundation... better yet, contact the Indian Health Service to find out how second-hand smoke is related to diabetes, too. 
I would note; as I noted to you in our telephone conversation, that Minnesota Public Radio has not once done a news story on workers employed in the Indian Gaming Industry nor the impact of this industry when it comes to democracy on and off the Indian Reservations.
It is almost laughable, if not so sad, that the Leech Lake Tribal Council would even consider providing a severance package for the former Secretary-Treasurer who swindled the Leech Lake Band out of over two-million dollars--- I guess there really is honor among thieves seeing as how Archie LaRose was arrested at one time for the armed robbery of the Palace Casino.
Thank you for contacting me.

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

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

Primary E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bemidji Pioneer Press omits most important details from story

The article below does not address:

1. Racist poverty imposed by the Indian Gaming Industry with the full complicity of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party along with state and federal governments which fosters this corruption and perversion of democracy resulting from the government imposed poverty of Indian Nations.

2. The article fails to note that those on "the firing list" are casino workers who are forced into employment without any rights under state or federal labor laws.

In fact, this Tribal Court decision is an indictment of what racist poverty breeds.

One wonders if the writer of this article even read the decision before writing about it.

But, in the end, this is very typical of what we get from the mainstream media. No doubt had the writer told the truth Leech Lake Gaming would pull its advertising from The Bemidji Pioneer Press.

Minnesota Public Radio's coverage has been lacking from the beginning and I don't think they even mentioned this most important decision over-turning the election results for Leech Lake Tribal Secretary-Treasurer.

News coverage for what is going on on Indian Reservations should be more closely scrutinized because the issue of poverty is never addressed even when appropriate. For instance, Minnesota Public Radio ran this story about breaking the cycle of obesity and the problems with diabetes on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation:


Why was their not a single mention about poverty in this MPR story? Did MPR omit mention of poverty or did the people who got the foundation grants not speak about the relationship of poverty and diet and obesity and diabetes because they know that they would never get another grant if they exposed these problems as being the result of racist poverty? After all, it takes quite a little bit of money to "eat healthy," doesn't it? And with an 85% unemployment rate on the huge Leech Lake Indian Reservation is it any wonder people can't "eat healthy?" And then you have people being forced to work in smoke-filled casinos which is a major aggravating factor when it comes to diabetes.

The mainstream media is doing a horrible job when it comes to covering the news on Indian Reservations... but, then again, what's new? And look who is underwriting Minnesota Public Radio programming--- the Indian Gaming Industry which directly reaps super-profits from this poverty. And in turn the politicians are getting huge campaign contributions which are nothing more than bribes to ignore this racist poverty. It is this vicious cycle of racism, poverty and corruption which must be broken but to accomplish this requires the enforcement of democracy.

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

Published July 17, 2011, 12:00 AM

Judge nullifies Leech Lake secretary-treasurer election

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Election Judge Heidi Drobnick ruled invalid Friday the June 28 special election that gave Donald “Mick” Finn the secretary-treasurer’s position.
By: Molly Miron, Bemidji Pioneer


Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Election Judge Heidi Drobnick ruled invalid Friday the June 28 special election that gave Donald “Mick” Finn the secretary-treasurer’s position.

The vote was certified by the General Reservation Election Board at 1,104 or 50.14 percent for Finn and 1,098 or 49.86 percent for Donald “Donnie” Headbird. Headbird petitioned for a hearing and discovery, which was set for July 14 at the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Offices, on the election results.

Judge Drobnick found that Headbird had proved violations, which change who was the winning candidate. She ordered a new special election to be held in compliance with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance.

Issues raised in Headbird’s contesting of the election included:

- Lack of cross tabulation by the General Reservation Election Board.
- Technical violations such as spoiled ballots, non-resident votes, non-Leech Lake votes, notary stamp irregularity and malfunctions of the tally on the automated machines.
- Absentee votes also voted at precincts.
- Cross-district votes.
- Discrepancy of counting absentee ballots between the official counting site and final printed vote tally.
- Election precinct officers and/or clerks vouching for voter identity.
- Voter intimidation through a false “firing list.”
- Tribal program funds and gas vouchers used to influence votes.

According to Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance, the burden of proof of irregularities is with the person contesting the election, namely Headbird. Drobnick ruled that Headhad met his burden of proof that sufficient irregularities occurred and affected the June 28 vote.
If anyone seeks to appeal the judge’s decision, the process must abide by Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Leech Lake Tribal Court Overturns Secretary-Treasurer Election; Indian Gaming, Poverty and Corruption go hand-in-hand subverting democracy

Minnesota Democrats in creating the "Compacts" enabling Indian Gaming to take place in a way where casino workers were left without any rights under state or federal labor laws knew full well in doing this they were creating a breeding ground for corruption to thrive from the poverty they were enforcing.

Here is the Leech Lake Tribal Court's decision:


Friday, July 15, 2011

Tax the rich; What we have learned in Minnesota.

Here in Minnesota we have learned that "tax the rich" needs to become more than a campaign slogan. If we want to get real results we need to break free from the two-party trap--- a web spun from the lies and deceit by high-paid Wall Street sooth-Sayers employed by these parasitical vultures and coupon clippers--- a web in which we are all trapped.

"Tax the rich" needs to become not only a new political party but a movement of ordinary people determined to take power from the hands of Wall Street thieves.

The entire economic and political system is as corrupt as Bernard Madoff; yet, of all these Wall Street liars, crooks and thieves, only Bernard Madoff is behind bars. Wall Street was willing to sacrifice one of its own hoping they could continue their scam. In the meantime, we all "do the time" as our country suffers from austerity measures dictated by Wall Street to pay for its wars.

Don't buy into this crap about how we need to "raise the debt limit" or face economic catastrophe--- Wall Street bankers profit from our Nation's debt the same way the Wall Street merchants of death and destruction profit from these wars. We have this debt as a result of over 100 years of dirty imperialist wars.

The web we are trapped in has been spun with lies and deceit.

If we are to free ourselves from this two-party trap spun by Wall Street, ordinary citizens must become politicians and each and every one of us must become active citizen/lobbyists in the "Spirit of 1776" marching in the footsteps of Thomas Paine, Frederick Douglas, Floyd Olson, Elmer Benson, John Bernard, Nellie Stone-Johnson, Roger Jourdain, Rudy Perpich and Paul Wellstone.

If we are going to free ourselves from this two-party trap it will take much more than simply declaring ourselves to be "independents."

What we need is a "Declaration of Independence from the Democratic and Republican parties."

We need a "meeting of the minds" from liberals, progressives and the left united around a common agenda for real change--- for peace, social and economic justice.

These dirty wars must end now--- not later. No nation can continue to squander its wealth on wars; this is like dumping the wealth of the Nation into the sewers and the deepest depths of the oceans. For over 100 years our Nation has been squandering our wealth on dirty imperialist wars defending Wall Street's interests. The rich have profited from these wars in many ways and now the wealth they have accumulated over a century must be taxed to the hilt if we are going to solve our problems.

The worst political blunder in American history was when the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party merged with the thoroughly corrupt Minnesota Democratic Party which was, and remains as the MNDFL, controlled and manipulated by the "Summit Hill Club."

At a time of weakness while under severe attack from the bankers, mining companies, forestry companies, big agri-business and the power generating industries, the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party should have reached outwards to workers and farmers in other states to build a national Farmer-Labor Party for its strength--- not to the Democratic Party.

Today, Minnesotans are paying a very heavy price for not having a political party like the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party which elected two socialist governors: Floyd Olson and Elmer Benson.

"Tax the rich" is a good campaign slogan but if it is going to become the basis for government policies we need a "Tax-the-Rich" political party; a political party that becomes a powerful movement of ordinary people willing to become citizen/politicians and citizen/lobbyists.

We can break free from Wall Street's two-party trap but first we must declare our independence from the Democratic and Republican parties while stepping forward to organize our own political party and movement--- we should call our new political party and movement what we are after: Tax-the-rich.

How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war agenda working for you?

Here is 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.

* Works Progress Administration - three million new jobs.

* Civilian Conservation Corps - 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

How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for you?

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

We are going to be hearing a lot of talk from politicians about "jobs, jobs, jobs." There is only one way to put people back to work in this country and that is by putting people to work solving our problems.

Something to think about around the dinner table this evening.

What you can do:

* Circulate this blog posting.
* Write a "letter to the editor."
* Become your own lobbyist by becoming a blogger.
* Consider running for public office.
* Become a citizen/lobbyist/activist.
* Organize a get-together in your home with a few friends and lets talk about these things. This is where real change begins--- in your living room or sitting around the kitchen table.

I'm fed up; are you?

Check out this short YouTube video:

Here in Minnesota we have learned that you can't hope to tax the rich without a new political party that is part of a broad people's movement for change. We have learned that it is the same Wall Street crowd that profits from wars that is against taxing the rich to pay for social programs.

For anyone who thinks this "battle over the budget" is at an end they are in for a rude awakening--- the real troubles are yet to begin.

"The Summit Hill Club" reminds me of the old Finnish feudal lords and these old Finnish feudal lords weren't dragged down from their hills without quite a little ruckus.

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki
Former elected member
State Central Committee
Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party

Read about what one citizen did when he decided it was time for change--- check out the new book written by our neighbor to the north from Manitoba, Howard Pawley: Keep True. Get Keep True from your local library; if the library doesn't have it you can get it through the inter-library loan program. A great summer read.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A response to Robert Reich

Note: The Campaign for America's Future refused to allow me this response to Robert Reich--- whose article on jobs is published below in its entirety and on the Campaign for America's Future's web site.

Professor Reich;

As usual, you make excelent points and suggestions but intentionally omit equally important points, if not more important.

You continue to ignore the job-killing impact of these wars that need to be ended NOW.
For you to continue leaving financing militarism and these wars out of your analysis of "our economic dilemma," as you explain away the economic depression we are in the midst of, this is not only misleading and wrong but intellectually dishonest.

You also refuse to acknowledge that the biggest and best job creation programs would be a National Public Health Care Program and a National Public Child Care Program, ten million and five million jobs respectively.

In the end, after all your criticisms of Barack Obama and his handling of the economy you will turn around and support him for re-election rather than advocating for a new political party which, unlike Obama and the Democrats, would take up your suggestions in challenging Wall Street for power. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party will never entertain your important suggestions for creating jobs even though the 2012 elections will be all about "jobs."

In the end, it is not what Obama "should have said" but what he should do but we both know he won't do.
Second, you don't provide figures for how many jobs WPA and CCC will create. Yes, these are excellent job creating programs; but, together they do not create full-employment. We need much more:

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.

* Works Progress Administration - three million new jobs.

* Civilian Conservation Corps - 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.
How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for you?

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

Originally posted at RobertReich.Org.

The President’s Jobs Plan (Not)

By Robert Reich

July 13, 2011

What did the President do in response to last week’s horrendous job report — unemployment rising to 9.2 percent in June, with only 18,000 new jobs (125,000 are needed each month just to keep up with the growth in the potential labor force)?

He said the economy continues to be in a deep hole, and he urged Congress to extend the temporary reduction in the employee part of the payroll tax, approve pending free-trade agreements, and pass a measure to streamline patent procedures.

To call this inadequate would be a gross understatement.

Here’s what the President should have said:

This job recession shows no sign of ending. It can no longer be blamed on supply-side disruptions from Japan, Europe’s debt crisis, high oil prices, or bad weather.

We’re in a vicious cycle where consumers won’t buy more because they’re scared of losing their jobs and their pay is dropping. And businesses won’t hire because they don’t have enough customers.

Here in Washington, we’ve been wasting time in a game of chicken over raising the debt ceiling. Republicans want you to believe the deficit is responsible for the bad economy. The truth is that when the private sector cannot and will not spend enough to get the economy going, the public sector must step into the breach. Cutting the deficit now would only create more joblessness.

My first priority is to get Americans back to work. I’m proposing a jobs plan that will do that.

First, we’ll exempt the first $20,000 of income from payroll taxes for the next two years. This will put cash directly into American’s pockets and boost consumer spending. We’ll make up the revenue shortfall by applying Social Security taxes to incomes over $500,000.

Second, we’ll recreate the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps — two of the most successful job innovations of the New Deal – and put people back to work directly. The long-term unemployed will help rebuild our roads and bridges, ports and levees, and provide needed services in our schools and hospitals. Young people who can’t find jobs will reclaim and improve our national parklands, restore urban parks and public spaces, recycle products and materials, and insulate public buildings and homes.

Third, we’ll enlarge the Earned Income Tax Credit so lower-income Americans have more purchasing power.

Fourth, we’ll lend money to cash-strapped state and local governments so they can rehire teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and others who provide needed public services. This isn’t a bailout. When the economy improves, scheduled federal outlays to these states and locales will drop by an amount necessary to recover the loans.

Fifth, we’ll amend the bankruptcy laws so struggling homeowners can declare bankruptcy on their primary residence. This will give them more bargaining leverage with their lenders to reorganize their mortgage loans. Why should the owners of commercial property and second homes be allowed to include these assets in bankruptcy but not regular home owners?

Sixth, we’ll extend unemployment benefits to millions of Americans who have lost part-time jobs. They’ll get partial benefits proportional to the time they put in on the job.

Yes, most of these measures will require more public spending in the short term. But unless we get this economy moving now, the long-term deficit problem will only grow worse.

Some in Congress will fight against this jobs plan on ideological grounds. They don’t like the idea that government exists to help Americans who need it. And they don’t believe we all benefit when jobs are more plentiful and the economy is growing again.

I am eager to take them on. Average Americans are hurting, and their pain is not going away.

We bailed out Wall Street so that the financial system would not crash. We stimulated the economy so that businesses would not tank. Now we must help ordinary people on the Main Streets of America — for their own sakes, and also so that the real economy can fully mend.

My most important goal is restoring jobs and wages. Those who oppose me must explain why doing nothing is preferable.

Access to my blog after being prohibited from posting--- again

After keeping me out of my own blog for a long period of time, Blogger.com has finally provided me access to my blog. Isn't this nice of these people who claim to respect democracy?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Peace activists get their message across at Netroots Nation 2011 Conference in Minneapolis

(Click on picture to enlarge) Unfortunately, the need to end these dirty wars was seldom mentioned at the Netroots Nation 2011 national conference as organizers and many participants tried to protect Barack Obama from any criticism. Failure to end these wars for occupation is Obama's "Achilles' Heel" and will most likely lead to his defeat at the polls. These activists tall of the mounting financial cost of these wars in numbers as their shirts tell us what we could have instead of wars. I had my own "demonstration" for peace as I distributed about 2,400 of my business cards to NN2011 participants with the question: How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for you?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Same old, same old

This government shut-down in Minnesota is nothing but a ploy by Democrats and Republicans to soften up public employees to take huge cut-backs and concessions in their contract which expired the exact same time the government shut-down while trying to condition and bully Minnesotans into expecting less from government while paying higher taxes as private contractors extract greater profits.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Minnesota shuts down--- where is the money? It's time to talk about redistribution of wealth.

These private, for profit, home health care "providers" (read profiteers) are bankrupting Minnesota like other states. State legislators are guaranteeing these parasites fantastic profits. One need only look at outfits like Provide Care, Inc.--- they mistreat both "clients" and workers. Why haven't legislators put the facts out about this home health care industry?

Then we have a multi-billion dollar casino industry going tax-free. Put up toll-booths to the casinos not at state parks.

Liberal Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party Governor Mark Dayton has finally mentioned the magic number that I raised with Time Pawlenty years ago: 8,000.

Minnesota has 8,000 millionaires with many of these, like Dayton himself, billionaires. Do the math. If each one of these millionaires/billionaires was taxed really progressively they could pay off the state's debt. Yes; tax the hell out of the rich.

The taconite tax should be increased 300% and large stumpage fees should be assessed on the forestry industry.

But, the primary source of the state's budget problems is Obama's wars. These wars are robbing us of trillions of dollars; combined with the continued militarization of our country with over 800 military bases circling the globe not to mention the U.S. Navy with a huge presence in every ocean and this mobile military unit costing billions now fighting as they have been for over 100 years against the Filipinos.

Let's open the books fully for public observation to find out just how wealthy these 8,000 millionaire/billionaires are. Chances are good each of them could easily afford a one-time tax of $500,000.00--- call it a "fiscally responsible tax on the rich;" after all, where did these wealthy people obtain this wealth from? From the working people they exploit. At $500,000.00 they would be getting off easy since we aren't even looking at their historic robbery which for many of these wealthy people has been going on for over 100 years--- like the Dayton-Hudson Company. And then we have the Pillsbury's and the like.
When will the Minnesota shutdown end? As soon as state workers are bullied and badgered to take huge cuts in pay, benefits and job loss. The contract for state employees expired June 30; the politicians shut down the government on July 1. Coincidental? No chance. State workers are going to be forced to pay for what millionaires/billionaires should be paying for.