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, December 24, 2011

Some thoughts about politics and poverty

Years ago I had a long discussion about poverty and unemployment with United States Congressman Guy Vander Jagt of Michigan; I asked him if he wasn’t concerned about how the unemployed people and the poor would vote.

This right-wing conservative Christian Reformed Congressman replied, very callously, “I won’t get overly concerned with unemployment and the poor until they outnumber the people who are working. Until that time I’m not going to worry about you bringing these people out to vote against me.”

That was in the early 1970′s as Wall Street investors were just beginning their shift to high-tech automation while already beginning to move our industrial base to cheap labor markets.

Now, however, Wall Street has just about completed its destruction of our basic industries in mining, steel and auto.

And with this shift Congressman Guy Vander Jagt’s worst nightmare has begun to come true— in states like Congressman Guy Vander Jagt’s Michigan, about half the people are now poor with well over 40% either long-term unemployed, under-employed, working at poverty wage jobs or at jobs where unions have “negotiated” concessions as part of this “new” breed of labor leadership’s idea of “class struggle” which sees many of the auto workers still employed working at poverty wages— and if you are being paid poverty wages you are going to be poor.

It used to be fairly easy for these worthless politicians like Congressman Guy Vander Jagt to speak very callously towards the poor; now, when these bozos get elected by dumb people who think they are smart they, like Wisconsin Governor Walker and Michigan Governor Snyder are facing some major opposition… but, the problem is the Democrats are no better except they pander to the poor for votes by pretending to be concerned; but like with Obama and Minnesota Governor Dayton who pose and posture as liberals in public at election time as  they do their duty behind closed doors to help their billionaire 1% class by pushing the entire working class into deeper poverty with most of the real liberals, progressive and the left afraid to challenge these hypocrites by asking the American people:

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

I don’t understand why there is this fear of asking this question? What better question is there to ask American voters as we approach Election Day?

I guess people are afraid to ask this question because they will be called “Communists;” just like they call people who insist the wealth be redistributed through the creation of universal social programs when these phony “liberals” are pandering to this crap that “the free market will solve our problems if we help the entrepreneurs and small businesses.” The problem with this is that these “entrepreneurs” and “small businesses” are paying the lowest of the poverty wages and paying poor people poverty wages sure doesn’t solve the problem of poverty no matter how many jobs are created.

Poor people will continue to be poor and more people are going to become poor until we break ourselves free from Wall Street’s “two-party trap” and we seek solutions to our problems outside of the capitalist “box.”

And it sure doesn’t help matters any to have the wealth of our nation squandered on militarism and wars— as if we are all so rich we can empty our pockets into the ocean.

We had better start to think in terms of massive universal government social programs as the way to rescue us all from poverty while solving our pressing problems.

One example of what we need to do, sooner rather than later, is solve our health care mess by creating a National National Public Health Care System which would create over ten-million jobs providing the American people with world-class health care.

I have never heard anyone except Democrats and Republicans complain about getting a pay-check signed by the government. The irony here is that those like the President and members of the House and Senate get the biggest government pay-checks— well, almost the biggest because those getting the biggest government handouts are the Wall Street coupon clippers pulling their strings.

Congressman Guy Vander Jagt is long dead and buried; capitalism is limping along. It is time to stop feeding this sick system and bury the beast before it kills us all with its militarism, wars, unemployment and poverty.

Come to think of it; these dirty imperialist Wall Street wars are going to make us all poor--- except the rich who get richer from the profits made from war.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Before you put your hard-earned money into the "one-armed bandits" of the Indian Gaming Industry this holiday season, here are some facts you should know...

I have been suggesting--- for 8 years--- that the state of Minnesota and the Indian Nations should go into a joint venture manufacturing slot machines. This joint-venture would create around 2,000 good-paying high-tech jobs while getting organized crime out of the Indian gaming business.

Quite literally, over a twenty year period, trillions of dollars would be pumped into Native American communities as a result of all the proceeds derived from Indian gaming going back to Indians instead of wealthy white mobsters who now take anywhere from 35% to 65% right off the top from all the money that goes into each and every slot machine in the United States. 

I personally met with every single State Representative and State Senator, including your own--- Tom Rukavina and David Tomassoni--- with this proposal.

The Democratic Party and organized labor seek out and use the conference, convention and banquet/party facilities of the Indian Gaming Industry instead of using union organized hotels and other facilities.

I suggested that the start-up funds come from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and a factory be built where it would employ members of the Red Lake, White Earth and Leech Lake bands; people suffering from the highest unemployment rates in the country. 

But, the obstacle to this very common sense proposal is that EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party’s legislative caucus receives huge campaign contributions from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association whose Executive Director, John McCarthy, is a white man who represents the interests of the owners of the slot machines and table games not the Indian people.

Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA):

The IRRRB would get back its investment for a change, too, instead of the money going to finance boon-doggles like the peat mining project now destroying the largest freshwater aquifer in the lower-forty-eight in the Big Bog which will create at most 30 jobs with people being paid $8.00 an hour by the Canadian multi-national corporation out of Quebec, Canada--- Berger Peat. Tax-payers have now invested over twenty-million dollars in this boon-doggle. 

What you suggest is something we should all get together and push for. It would cost a lot less to build a factory to manufacture slot machines than what it cost to build the new prison in Red Lake--- plus it’s much cheaper to create jobs like this than to put poor people in prison.

As a side note; John McCarthy now owns Tony Doom Supply Company, a company that produces campaign materials like yard signs for politicians. So, with one hand here we have John McCarthy doling out the proceeds derived from “Indian” gaming, and with the other hand he is raking in this money for himself. Indian Gaming has become quite the “racket” in the full sense of the word--- Al Capone, Bugsy Siegle and Meyer Lansky must be smiling.

McCarthy purchased Tony Doom Supply Company with money he has stolen from Native American Indians--- How many Native Americans are employed by Tony Doom Supply Company?

Oh, I forgot to mention, a little old man--- Alvin Malnik, in Boca Raton, Florida, actually owns, through a complex network of “franchises” issued to his “family,” every single slot machine in the Indian Gaming Industry--- the little old man inherited the “family business” from mobster Meyer Lansky whose big brain-fart gave creation to the Indian Gaming Industry because Lansky needed three things: 

1. A way to make money once his casinos were kicked out of Cuba; 

2. A place where he would not have to maintain financial records;

3. A place where his rackets would be virtually free from police and regulation by government agencies.

I also pitched this idea about a joint state-federal-tribal venture manufacturing slot machines for the Indian Gaming Industry, in person, to none other than Barack Obama in a three hour meeting with him--- but, guess what? Barack Obama receives millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the National Indian Gaming Association and its affiliated members.

Obama also receives campaign funds from the Fertitta Family which manages through their Colony Casino empire, many of the casinos in the Indian Gaming Industry. The Fertitta’s are known to the United States Department of Justice to be one of the “first families” of organized crime in the United States. The Fertitta's have been involved with the Kansas City Mob in their casino "skimming operations."

We hear a lot of hot-air from Obama and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton about the need for government to bolster the “entrepreneurial spirit” and to subsidize “small business.” But, when it comes to creating jobs for Indian people manufacturing the slot machines for what is supposed to be their industry, the Indian Gaming Industry, everything goes into the pockets of these white mobsters while the Native American people are plunged further into poverty resulting from the huge debts they underwrite--- because, as any economist knows, a nation in heavy debt is going to be poor.

Everyone, except for Indians, are walking off with the profits from Indian Gaming.    

As for labor issues:

Workers in the Indian Gaming Industry have NO rights. None. Not under state, federal or tribal laws.

Workers are forced to work in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos.

With very few exceptions all are paid poverty wages--- some less than the minimum wage because the U.S. Department of Labor refuses to enforce the minimum wage as well as things like hours and working conditions. Not even the Family Leave Act is enforced.

Rank-and-file casino workers began to organize in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in about 2000. We had to create a self-financed organizing council because the AFL-CIO unions refused to support the effort. In fact, the few times we have had some of these casino managements just about ready to recognize us these unions stepped forward and told these casino managements they would "give them a better deal." I sent John Sweeney a tape recording I made of a four hour meeting I had with Minnesota AFL-CIO president Ray Waldron in which Waldron repeatedly made comments like, "I'm not going to let a bunch of reds take over this state  fed--- I don't care if they are Indians or Communists like you."
All of the attacks on us coming from organized labor result because the Democratic Party is so heavily funded by the National and State Indian Gaming Associations.

The Democratic Party created the "Compacts"--- the joint tribal/state/federal agreements--- giving birth to the Indian Gaming Industry.

Democrats, with organized labor looking over its shoulder, as a favor to Alvin Malnik, made sure  these "Compacts" would exclude workers rights.

In fact, the Teamster and Teacher Union pension funds are among the largest investors in Indian Gaming operations.

The Building and Construction Trades unions have a sweat-heart agreement with the Indian Gaming Associations to hire union labor except the workers do not work under the protection of a union contract or Project Management Agreement. State and federal building, health and safety inspectors are prohibited from coming on these job sites. Affirmative Action is not enforced.

The head of the Indian Health Service under George Bush described these casino operations forcing workers to work in smoke-filled casinos as, "The modern day equivalent to small pox laden blankets." The American Cancer Society and the Heart and Lung Foundation who have pushed smoke-free workplaces for years remain silent concerning the Indian Gaming Industry which provides the foundation-funded outfits with millions of dollars.

News media remain silent; never probing the labor aspect of the Indian Gaming Industry because Indian Gaming has become the number one purchaser of advertising in the United States. Look at any newspaper, listen to any radio station or watch any television station and you will see ad after ad for Indian Gaming.

Note: My blogs contain a lot more information including information on our struggle to organize casino workers at the Gun Lake Casino that has become notorious because it was at the center of sending Jack Abramoff to prison. Some of this, albeit very distorted and inaccurate, came out in the movie: Casino Jack. The Fertitta Family now manages the Gun Lake Casino south of Grand Rapids, Michigan in exchange for receiving 85% of the casino's profits.

Also, the movie "Casino" is based on the true story taken from Gary Hart's prosecution of Frank Fertitta and members of the Kansas City Mob.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm refused to insist that casino workers receive all the protections all other workers enjoy under state and federal labor laws before signing the "Compact" creating the Gun Lake Casino.

Workers in the Indian Gaming Industry are forced to sign statements as a condition of their employment starting that if they become involved in union organizing they we be terminated immediately.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has reneged on the three point agreement he made with us in return for supporting him. Neither Dayton nor ANY candidate receiving campaign contributions from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association or any of the associations affiliated with the National Indian Gaming Association will receive our endorsement or support; instead, we will work to defeat these candidates regardless of party affiliation.

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

Phone: 218-386-2432

Primary E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It has "occurred" to many of us that something is drastically out of kilter in this country... What are we going to do about it?

Cindy Sheehan posted this on her FaceBook wall today:

 "It occurs to me after another "end" to the "war" in Iraq; my son and hundreds of thousands of other people are dead for absolutely nothing good. Dead for lies for profit."

I think this is "occurring" now to many people especially as we see the Iraqi people celebrating U.S. troops leaving their country by burning U.S. flags as the same corporate owned U.S. MainStreamMedia that force-fed us all the lies about why this dirty imperialist war was needed is trying to feed us another lie that "the U.S. flag is being brought home."

Now tax-payer funded mercenaries provided the name of "contractors" have been charged with the effort to "maintain law-and-order" as the Iraqi people complete their civil war over whether multi-national corporations will rob them of their oil using them as sources of cheap labor.

As the great anti-imperialist Mark Twain explained, "I wasn't an anti-imperialist until our government got involved in the Spanish-American War."

Now that it is "occurring" to many people here at home and around the world that this war (an imperialist war) has been fought for the exact same reasons as the Spanish American War--- to secure cheap natural resources and regional domination for "policing" these areas of the world to maintain Wall Street's ability to reap maximum profits, the American people are now getting the bill to pay for it all via the most draconian austerity measures being imposed by Obama, we will no doubt find many people saying, "I wasn't an anti-imperialist until the war in Iraq."

Something to think about: After over one-hundred years we are still paying for this country's very first imperialist war--- the Spanish American War--- and we still have the U.S. military "policing" both the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

The United States government honors Mark Twain with a "Forever" postage stamp without so much as a mention that he was a great anti-imperialist who tried to warn the American people about the need to resist imperialist wars while encouraging us to join the struggles in solidarity with the victims of these imperialist wars lest we become the victims of these dirty imperialist wars ourselves.

We have had many great anti-imperialists amongst us--- from Mark Twain to General Smedley Butler to W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson and Albert Einstein who the despicable pervert J. Edgar Hoover viciously smeared and attacked for his anti-imperialist activities as "having more Communist friends than Joseph Stalin."

A dirty, corrupt, profit-driven Wall Street government can only continue to get us involved in imperialist war after imperialist war. Wall Street is our enemy and the enemy of peoples everywhere.

The time has come for the 99% to challenge Wall Street for power.

A good, solid, united anti-imperialist movement in this country would go a long way towards driving these Wall Street shills like Obama from power.

Anti-imperialist education, organization, struggle and solidarity... Forever.

Mark Twain should be honored with more than his picture on a postage stamp if we are ever going to live in peace and cooperation with the rest of the world.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What is this country coming to?

We sure have a bunch of lazy bastards in this country.

I just read about this guy named Herne who has college degrees up the wazoo who is complaining he can't find a job.

I'm telling you; the guy doesn't want to work. He wants to begin his working career as an Administrative Assistant to the governor or something.

I asked Herne: Have you tried applying for a poverty wage paying job at Wal-mart or looked into working at one of the smoke-filled casinos dotting Minnesota?

Probably not; you are just another lazy bastard looking for a real living wage job in a healthy working environment. If you can't find a job with all your degrees in the private sector, I suggest you check out the jobs available in the public sector--- Uncle Sam would love to have you.

If all this fails, come on up and apply for one of these "middle class" jobs offered so kindly by the Marvin Family working in their big yellow building adorned with pretty roses.

What a bunch of lazy bastards we have in this country. They can't find a job for what they spent on a college education and then they start complaining.

Where's the cops when you need them to shut these people up?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Let's strive to make 2012 the year we come together in anti-imperialist solidarity

Let's strive to make 2012 the year we come together in anti-imperialist solidarity to carry forward the work begun by the great anti-imperialists like Mark Twain and Paul Robeson.

This is an "art technique" I learned in a class taught by cartoonist Gary Huck who told me I had no talent to draw--- lol! So he taught me to use the art of others. I just posted this on his FaceBook wall:

Gary; A technique I credit as learning from you. I used my camera and the art of others compliments of the U.S. Postal Service and an appointment book from my insurance company to create an anti-imperialist message of struggle and solidarity about the kind of movement we need in the coming year. 
International anti-imperialist solidarity--- Forever! 
... in our communities, where we work and go to school; in the streets and at the ballot box.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some facts about Marvin Windows and Doors Barack which Obama conveniently left out of his speech while praising this union-buster

Barack Obama held up Marvin Windows and Doors headquartered in Warroad, Minnesota as his idea of a company that cares about its workers--- have Richard Trumka, Leo Gerard, Bob King and Jimmy Hoffa had enough of Obama's lies, now?

Marvin Windows and Doors is a company that engages in racist hiring practices; pays poverty wages of $7.50 to 10.00 an hour to most of its employees and has reduced the wages of these poverty paid workers by over $800.00 a year this year while pushing workers to produce more for less pay. Most of the workers employed at Marvin Windows and Doors are so poor they are on some form of government assistance and their children even "qualify" for free and reduced price school lunches as the government subsidizes the wages with Food Stamps.

Every worker Marvin hires is scrutinized by a union busting detective agency before they are hired.

The Marvin's big boast is that they have hired violent thugs to thwart and stymie three union organizing drives by the Carpenters Union, the Teamsters and most recently the International Association of Machinists.

The Marvin Family runs the City of Warroad as a company town. A Marvin is the Mayor. The Marvin Family and their relatives own just about every business in town including the one bank and the one super-market and even most of the gas stations.

The Marvin Family contributes to both the Republicans and the Democrats including making huge campaign contributions to Minnesota's two most reactionary Democrats who would feel right at home in Mississippi--- U.S. Congressman Colin Peterson and State Senator LeRoy Stumpf.

Maybe Richard Trumka should consider one more organizing drive at Marvin Windows and Doors to find out just what kind of candidate the AFL-CIO is backing in Barack Obama.

What Obama doesn't say is that he heeded the advice of the Marvin Family in chucking the Employee Free Choice Act.

Why would Marvin Windows and Doors want to lay-off employees during tough economic times when they can force workers to produce more for less pay while the government subsidizes the living standards of its employees so Marvin Windows and Doors can drive its competition out of business selling shoddy products touted in their advertising as the best in the industry while boosting its profits making billionaires out of the Marvin Family in an area that is the most impoverished region in the Nation, second only to Appalachia? Oh, yes; Marvin built a brand new plant in the right-to-work state of Virginia because it could reduce its labor and resource costs even further.

By the way, here in Warroad, Minnesota, this is the only place in the United States that I know of where the Mayor tells the Chief of Police to take battered women to jail and the psych ward because, "We don't have a women's shelter."

The local casino owned by Red Lake Gaming Enterprises works hand-in-hand with the Marvin Family to keep wages down.The Mayor of Warroad determined that it was against the law to distribute union leaflets on any public sidewalk in Warroad because sidewalks are really privately owned and the owners are just kind enough to permit people to walk on the sidewalks provided they don't pass out union leaflets while walking on the sidewalks.

Marvin Windows and Doors--- welcome to Barack Obama's wonderful new world of a new kind of labor relations intended to create and enforce poverty.


December 7, 2011, 2:10 PM

Obama’s Tribute to a Company That Preserved Jobs

On the factory floor at the Marvin Windows and Doors factory in Warroad, Minn.Ben Garvin for The New York TimesOn the factory floor at the Marvin Windows and Doors factory in Warroad, Minn.
In President Obama’s populist speech in Kansas on Tuesday on rebuilding the middle class, he urged business leaders to realize that their obligations extended beyond the desires of their shareholders.
In citing an example of the type of ethos he envisioned, Mr. Obama citedMarvin Windows and Doors, a midsize, privately held manufacturing company based in Warroad, Minn. Hard hit by the decline in the construction trade, Marvin executives vowed not to lay off any of their workers or cut their health insurance benefits, a credo detailed in a Sept. 25 article in The New York Times. Instead, they cut back hours and pay, including their own, and eliminated some perks.
Mr. Obama quoted Marvin’s president, Susan Marvin, who told The Times, “You can’t grow if you’re cutting your lifeblood — and that’s the skills and experience your work force delivers.”
“That’s how America was built,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s why we’re the greatest nation on Earth. That’s what our greatest companies understand. Our success has never been about survival of the fittest. It’s been about building a nation where we’re all better off.”
In Warroad, Marvin executives were thrilled with the shout-out from the president, even if they are reliable contributors to Republican campaigns, including John McCain, Mr. Obama’s Republican opponent in 2008.
“We’re honored that the president took notice of our longstanding efforts to strengthen our communities as we keep our work force intact,” said John Kirchner, a Marvin spokesman (and family member), in a prepared statement. “As a family-owned and operated company, our philosophy is simple: Do the right thing. If we stay focused on doing the right thing for our customers, our employees and our communities, then our business will be just fine. It’s been a tough few years, but by pulling together, we’ve survived — and we believe we’re poised to thrive.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"The Hill" newspaper deletes my comment; so much for democracy... read my comment for yourself

I posted this comment to an article on Jill Stein's campaign (http://thehill.com/capital-living/cover-stories/195781-occupy-the-white-house) in The Hill:

I am presently supporting Jill Stein for President. Jill is a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" kind of citizen/activist we need in this country right now. Jill Stein is walking in the footsteps of Frances Perkins in promoting real ideas aimed at solving the social and economic problems we are experiencing.

It is encouraging that we are seeing a lot of third party activity. Notably there is the rise of the Justice Party which will be running former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson.

I think there are a lot of people like me who would like to see all of these entries into third party politics trying to break free from the two-party trap come to a "meeting of the minds" and figure out how they might work together for the kind of change that is really needed which only Jill Stein to date has had the courage to place in writing.

Plus, from the standpoint of the workers I represent trying to organize who are forced to work in the smoke-filled casinos of the Indian Gaming Industry at poverty wages without any rights it would be good to know we had a president who really is concerned with the health, rights and livelihoods of working people.

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
If Green Party political veteran Jill Stein were to visit Occupy Boston several times. If Green Party political veteran Jill Stein were to visit Occupy Boston several times, and if she were to describe the Occupy Wall Street movement’s grievances as “synergistic” with her own policy beliefs, and if ...