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

Contact info:

Contact info:

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Anyone want to come along for a walk?

I'm thinking of trying to organize a "walk for peace, social and economic justice" across the Midwest starting on May Day until Election Day. Anyone want to join me?


I'm thinking of a route from northern Minnesota through Wisconsin and down through Michigan--- ending up in Chicago. Blogging as I go and asking people in YouTube videos: How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for you--- with lots of meetings around kitchen tables along the way leaving behind small grassroots organizations. So, it is not only walkers who would be needed.


I kind of look at it like we are each like one little snowflake--- alone we don't amount to much. It's time for the politicians to experience a northern Minnesota blizzard.


Let's get the snowballs rolling downhill like on a warm spring day--- gathering speed and weight as they go.


Let me know if you want to help out in some way: 


Phone: 218-386-2432


E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net


Here are the kind of ideas I would be getting out... kind of like a "Johnny Appleseed" for change---


From the Minneapolis Star Tribune---



The nation's wars are a heavy burden on the state


Article by: JACK NELSON-PALLMEYER and BILL HILTY

July 25, 2011 - 7:02 PM

Link: http://www.startribune.com/opinion/otherviews/126142923.html

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


Previously Pallmeyer and Hilty authored this resolution:

Resolution Calling for Re-ordering Priorities:

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

Whereas 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,

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

Whereas 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,

Whereas 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,

Whereas 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,

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

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]

Drafted by Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Representative Bill Hilty.


A more comprehensive alternative I put together based on talks with people across the Great Lakes Region:

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.

* Defend and expand Social Security.

* 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.