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, June 11, 2011

How the big-money of the Indian Gaming Industry controls the media and places profits above human health

I sent "Letters-to-the-Editors" to over 100 newspapers in response to the Walk Across America promoting awareness of diabetes in the Native American communities.

My letters concerned the fact that it was being omitted from this awareness campaign that the primary offenders when it comes to the relationship between diabetes and second-hand smoke are the casinos of the Indian Gaming Industry.

Not one single newspaper out of more than 100 printed my "letters-to-the-editors" yet all health professionals and scientists state that there is a direct link between second-hand smoke and diabetes.

Not coincidentally, all of these newspapers run very lucrative advertising from casinos in the Indian Gaming Industry.

When newspaper revenues and profits are involved human health doesn't matter.

Also of concern is the fact that casino managements played a major role in funding and supporting this Walk Across America to create diabetes awareness thus assuring the connection between second-hand smoke, diabetes and casino workers didn't become an issue because as the Indian Health Service has acknowledged, it is the second-hand smoke in these casinos presenting the greatest problem when it comes to the relationship between second-hand smoke and diabetes along with cancers and heart and lung problems.

So, why was there no emphasis on the need to end smoking in the casinos of the Indian Gaming Industry? It's all about money trumping human health.

Out of one-hundred plus newspapers I monitored for reporting on the Walk Across America to create awareness of diabetes among Native American Indians, not one single reporter asked a question about the relationship between second-hand smoke and diabetes in the Indian Gaming Industry which is the major employer of Native American Indian workers. This is more than coincidental if you ask me given the direct link between second-hand smoke and diabetes since the Indian Gaming Industry is the major employer of Native American Indians and these newspapers receive major revenue from the advertising of the Indian Gaming Industry.

Here is a link to an e-mail exchange between myself and Dr. Nathaniel Cobb, MD--- a high-level official in the Indian Health Service--- quite some time ago so it wasn't like no one was aware of this issue:


And here is another more recent article:

Secondhand smoke linked to diabetes

NEW YORK | Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:21pm EST
(Reuters Health) - Cigarette smoke is tied to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, both for smokers and the people around them, a new study shows.

And the more secondhand smoke people are exposed to, the greater their risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the paper in Diabetes Care.

The potential risks of diabetes from being exposed to secondhand smoke weren't previously known, said Dr. David Nathan, who heads the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and is a professor at Harvard Medical School.

"This just reinforces the lesson from a public health point of view that we've been stressing for decades," which is to limit exposure to cigarette smoke, Nathan, who was not involved in the study, told Reuters Health.

For the new research, Dr. John P. Forman at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and colleagues looked at the responses of more than 100,000 women to questionnaires they had answered in 1982.
The women -- all nurses participating in a national study that would last several decades -- provided information about how much time they spent around cigarette smoke.

During the next 24 years, about one in 18 women were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Overall, about one in 13 people in the U.S. have this disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. Type 2 diabetes, in which the body can't process sugar properly, usually develops in adults. Sometimes it can be controlled by diet and exercise, but advanced cases require insulin treatment and can have life-threatening complications.

Forman's group found that women who smoked more than two packs a day had the highest odds of developing diabetes. For every 10,000 women in the study, about 30 of the heavy smokers got diabetes every year, compared to about 25 women who didn't smoke and didn't spend time exposed to other people's cigarette smoker.

The risks were actually higher for ex-smokers and for women exposed to second-hand smoke. In both of these groups, about 39 of every 10,000 women developed diabetes each year. However, once the researchers took things such as weight status, age, and family history of diabetes into account, the ex-smokers had a 12 percent higher risk of diabetes compared to women who were regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

Even though the smokers had a lower risk of developing diabetes in this study, that doesn't mean it's better for them to continue smoking, Nathan said.

In this study, nearly all the women were white, but type 2 diabetes affects men and women fairly equally, Nathan said.

"There's no a priori reason to think that this wouldn't apply to men as well," he told Reuters Health, since the risk factors for the disease are the same for both sexes.

Nathan said no one knows why smoking and type 2 diabetes are linked, but inflammation may play a role in both.

Forman and his team did not respond to requests for comment by deadline.

Nathan noted that the study can't prove that smoking causes diabetes. It just shows they are associated with each other.

But "did we need another reason not to smoke? I don't think so," he said.
SOURCE: bit.ly/i1whLA Diabetes Care, online February 25, 2011.

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

A guest blog: Save the Penokees

(Posted as a guest blog on request by the author who would like this to receive the widest circulation possible. Alan L. Maki)

June 7, 2011 

Dear Editor: After a boiler explosion on a steamer in the anti-lynching novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Aunt Sally asks, "Good gracious! Anybody hurt?" Huck says, "No’m. Killed a n----." Aunt Sally responds, "Well, it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt."

Which is exactly what courses through my mind when I read the pro-mining propaganda saturating our media around Wisconsin supporting the http://madisle.info/2011/06/03/gogebic-taconite-asks-for-public-support-in-hurley-meeting-last-night/#axzz1OcDEmcAE Penokee mountaintop removal project near Mellen. The downstream tribe is never acknowledged. Some people will get hurt more deeply by this iron mining project. And they are the Bad River Ojibwe and ultimately the rest of us in the downstream plume on Cheqaumegon Bay and Lake Superior.

According to our water hydrologist friend Jamie Dunn, who grew up hunting and fishing in the Penokees and was mentored by conservationist Martin Hanson, we can expect the mining "reform" bill will pass right through the Legislature. The Fitzgerald brothers will suddenly announce the introduction of the streamlined iron mining bill, which will lower well water protection standards and deny us the due process right to contest the mine permit.

All that is left us to protect our motherland is that the Bad River Ojibwe won treatment as state status from the federal government, which allows tribal sovereignty to establish more protective water quality standards, and local opposition to the mine, which reflects the spirituality most Indians and many others feel about the water.

This proposed mine has put an assault rifle laser sight dead center on the hearts and minds of the Ojibwe people. https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.epa.gov%2Fr5water%2Fwqs5%2Fpdf%2Fbadriver%2Fa%2520TAS%2520Supplemental%2520Letter_final_July232008.pdf&h=5c07a The Bad River people believe state and federal law is inadequate to protect this source of life.

We are adversaries to this proposed mountaintop removal. As the poet Dylan Thomas reminds us, we will not go gentle into that good night. We will rage, rage against the dying of the light. We invoke our grandmothers’ and grandfathers’ fierce tears.

And we will become more humble before Nokomis Aki, Grandmother Earth.

Nick VanderPuy

HURLEY — On Thursday, Gogebic Taconite officials asked for public support of legislation yet to be introduced in the Wisconsin legislature that would speed up the permitting process for their proposed iron mine.