Please note I have a new phone number...

512-517-2708

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

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Is Obamacare good because the right-wing opposes it?

Is Obamacare good because the right-wing opposes it?

By: Alan Maki Saturday June 30, 2012 6:18 am

Posted on FireDogLake

We are now hearing Obama’s apologists saying because right-wing politicians like Rand Paul and Mitt Romney oppose Obamacare that Obamacare and the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding it must be good.

Opposition from Rand Paul, Romney and the Republicans aside, this legislation is patently unconstitutional because it forces and coerces people to purchase insurance from PRIVATE FOR-PROFIT insurance companies.

It would be constitutional only if people were being forced to purchase health insurance from a government owned co-op or public enterprise.

This is the bottom line. We should be defending the Constitution not backing out of this fight simply because these right-wingers are opposed for other reasons.

Just because a bunch of right-wing politicians are opposed to something doesn’t make it right— ethically, morally or Constitutionally; nor does their opposition mean that this Obamacare will work, because it won’t.

For starters, does anyone really think that the few good parts of this legislation will be adequately financed? If so, dream on— because right now Barack Obama, the Democrats and the Republicans refuse to adequately fund VA, the Indian Health Service, Medicaid, Medicare and the National Public Health Service as city, county and state health care services and agencies have had their budgets slashed while Planned Parenthood goes severely underfunded.

Obama and these Wall Street politicians aren’t going to adequately fund any health care programs when they have these costly imperialist wars to finance which are so profitable to Wall Street coupon clippers just like what they expect to make with people being forced to buy insurance from them.

War and health care are two rackets managed by the same Wall Street crowd and we pay the bill for both as they profit.

When all is said and done we are getting screwed again.

Plus this most undemocratic, unconstitutional and obscene ruling from the United States Supreme Court intended by Roberts to provide Mitt Romney with never ending ammunition now until election day has opened the door wide to allow the government to force people to purchase many other “social programs” from private for-profit corporations and it places Social Security in jeopardy. If you can be forced to purchase health insurance from private for-profit insurance companies will the next step be forcing people to purchase retirement accounts from these same insurance companies as the Social Security fund is turned over to a consortium of private insurance companies to “manage”— for a nice hefty fee of course?

The “Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2012″ is just plain wrong and bad.

The moment calls for a massive movement to demand a National Public Health Care System which would also produce over ten-million new jobs by providing the American people with no-fee/no-premium, comprehensive, all-inclusive, universal health care— publicly financed, publicly administered and managed and publicly delivered.

In fact, Obamacare is a piece of extremely reactionary right-wing legislation that is anti-people at its very core while intended to bolster Wall Street profits.

Just watch insurance premiums now shoot sky-high— after all, there must be some reason Obamacare is being compared to auto insurance. Since the government forced the American people to purchase auto insurance from private for-profit insurance companies rates have been rising without letup and have you heard or seen one single Democrat or Republic stand up and insist on controlling the costs?

In Manitoba the provincial government led by Howard Pawley forced people to purchase auto insurance but this socialist oriented government did what was right and responsible by the people as they established a government owned, managed and administered non-profit public enterprise to replace the private for-profit insurance companies.

And Canada forces its people to pay a payroll tax to finance its single-payer health care system under the Canada Health Act but you don’t see any private for-profit insurance companies in the picture, do you?

There is no reason a National Public Health Care System can’t provide the American people with the same high-quality standards in health care we get from public education, Social Security and all the other government programs like water and sewer and roads.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dear friends in the peace movement...

URGENT! PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!
Dear Friends in the Peace Movement,
We can’t afford to let this opportunity slip by. By taking action over the next five days the peace community has a chance to inject a compelling and courageous peace advocate into the 2012 presidential campaign, to have a voice in the national debate over war, militarism, and military spending.
You know what is going to happen if we leave this election up to the two major party candidates. President Obama will defend his troop surges, his excessive Pentagon budgets, his preparations for war with Iran, his escalation of the drone wars, his crackdowns on whistleblowers, his indefinite detention policy, and his new role as manager of the White House assassination list. Mitt Romney will not question these policies, but will promise to pursue them with even more enthusiasm. In debates and interviews, the American people will have the Big Lie drilled into their consciousness: that our nation must accept escalating military engagement and must visit worldwide violence against all who defy the U.S. government.
Jill Stein stands ready to challenge the Big Lie. Jill Stein, a physician from Massachusetts, who has been a national board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, has just won 29 state primaries to secure the presidential nomination of the Green Party. She is putting some badly needed fundamentals for peace on the table: Cut the Pentagon budget by 50%. Halt the drone wars. Pardon the whistleblowers. Restore our civil liberties. Make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone. She is driving home the point that the Obama/Romney fascination with war and violence is dangerous for our nation and the world. We need to make sure she is heard.
Jill Stein is closing in on federal matching funds that would double the value of donations to her campaign. Because she doesn’t receive big checks from Pentagon contractors and their lobbyists, public funding is essential to her campaign. She needs to raise about $24,000 by midnight on June 30th so that she can apply for matching funds.
That’s not much money to ask of a national peace movement. We can do it. And the payoff for peace will be tremendous.
So we urge you do two things. First, go to Jill Stein’s website: http://www.jillstein.org/donate, and make a generous donation to her campaign.
Second, please forward this email to your friends and networks. Forwarding this message is critically important.
Thank you for helping us open up a dialogue for peace.
Sincerely,
David Swanson, author of War is a Lie and also of Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial President and Forming a More Perfect Union
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK
Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and senior fellow at the Nation Institute
Leah Bolger, retired naval commander and current president of Veterans for Peace
George Martin, three term national co-chair of United for Peace & Justice
Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.
Kevin Zeese, executive director of Voters for Peace

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: New Progressive Alliance <tonyn@newprogs.org>
Date: Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 7:25 PM
Subject: NC! FL! VA! Just a few dollars more!!
To: alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com


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New Progressive Alliance
Six Donors Will Do the Trick!


Two days ago we asked for your help, and you responded. Jill Stein's push toward matching funds has made great strides! Donors in each of 17 stateshave now given more than $5,000 - that means just THREE MORE STATESare needed! 

NORTH CAROLINA: Just two donors needed at $150 each!

FLORIDA: Two $250 donors get it done!

VIRGINIA: Four donations of $250 are all that's needed!

But WHY STOP THERE??

Forward this to everyone you know in those three states - and the ones listed below - and there's a great chance ALL will clear the $5,000 mark!

CONNECTICUT
ARIZONA
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
MISSOURI
TENNESSEE
MAINE

Forward by using the link at the bottom of the page! And don't forget the social sharing buttons at the top!

WHY WE ARE ASKING
The NPA was founded to foster conditions where alternatives to the sold-out corporate parties could take root. Jill Stein's candidacy will help that happen! 

Your vote for candidates who have endorsed the Unified Platform is a straw that will break the duopoly's back. Stein has endorsed it, so we're asking you to help Jill trade her megaphone for a bullhorn!
  
Donate to the Stein campaign by clicking here. 


This email was sent to alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com by tonyn@newprogs.org |  
New Progressive Alliance | 109 Tanglewood Drive | Greenville | NC | 27858



-- 
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

Friday, June 22, 2012

Meeting in Bemidji, Minnesota to take on racism and poverty


Meeting in Bemidji, Minnesota to take on racism and poverty

By: Alan Maki Friday June 22, 2012 8:12 am
Tomorrow, Saturday, June 23—
Invitation to THE PEOPLE’S VOICE
ALL members of the Leech Lake, Red Lake, and White Earth Reservations, including tribal leaders, and ALL concerned people of the surrounding communities, are invited to THE PEOPLE’S VOICE.
DATE: Saturday, June 23
TIME: 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
REGISTRATION: 9:30 A.M.
LOCATION: People’s Church
824 American Avenue NW
Bemidji
Lunch will be provided
The purpose is to give ALL people the opportunity to speak and listen to issues and concerns of reservation and surrounding community life. ALL ISSUES AND CONCERNS are on the table: poverty, high suicide rate, racist language, crime, education, casino and gaming issues, health and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, sovereignty, tribal government, Constitutional rights, Federal Indian policy, human and civil rights.
Also invited are: Governor Dayton, Rep. John Persell, Senator John Carlson (cannot attend due to a prior commitment), Senators Klobuchar and Franken. We are awaiting responses.
THE PEOPLE’S VOICE is a follow-up gathering of Native American and concerned citizens to the Council of Conversation held in Minneapolis on April 21 at the Division of Indian Works.
THE PEOPLE’S VOICE is sponsored by the Native American Justice Task Force, consisting of Native Americans, concerned citizens, and the Joint Peace with Justice Committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Questions and Registration: contact Curtis Buckanaga, 218-407-2801. Hope to see you.
The People’s Voice Process
9:30 Registration (Name tags, sign-in with name, phone number, address, reservation designation, and email)
10:00 Welcome and Introductions (name, where from) – Ron
10:10 Opening Comments
10:20 The PURPOSE for the gathering: First, to give VOICE to the Native American and all concerned to the truth of life issues
within the NA and surrounding communities. Second, to form
ACTION CIRCLES to address the issues. Third, to seek the
COMMON GOOD. We all do better when we all to better.
10:25 Common Covenant: 1) Everyone has VOICE, something to say; 2)Each circle will do a Talking Circle (TC) which means: one person talks at a time with NO INTERRUPTIONS and all
others LISTEN. Then onto the next person until all in the circle
have spoken; 3) After all have spoken, the table is open to
everyone to speak, one at a time, no interruptions, all listen.
THERE WILL BE A NOTE TAKER WHO WILL REPORT WHAT HAS BEEN SAID.
10:30 TC-1: Considering where I am living, what are the ISSUES or SORROWS that concern you? (Each person-2 minutes, then open sharing TC style) Work in reservation groups, Native American and community people together. All issues are connected. We are all part of the circle. Groups of 7.
10:50 Report in – Common sharing
11:15 PERSONAL VOICES: Curtis Buckanaga, Howard Hanson,
Pastor Bob Kelly
11:35 Open sharing and formation of ACTION CIRCLES with each reservation and interest group working independently. One
circle-one issue. Max of TWO issues. Consider separate AC on sovereignty, tribal government, Constitution issues.
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 PEOPLE form into ACTION CIRCLES
1:05 ACs design ACTION PLANS that are DEFINABLE, MANAGEABLE and ACHIEVABLE. Use the IPOPO design:
I: DEFINE the ISSUE/sorrow? List the characteristics that
define and clarify the IS and what needs to be done.
Define the overall goal in addressing the issue. What are the barriers and challenges? Why this issue? P: What PEOPLE are important to talk to who can provide knowledge and expertise about the IS? Local state, and federal leaders? People to address the specifics.
O: What ORGANIZATIONS are important to contact who can help address the IS? What place can the local media play? What is the place of the Tribal Council? Address the specifics.
P: Establish a plan: Who will contact the people and organizations? When will you meet again? Get names, addresses, phone numbers, emails. Must meet often. Choose a leader.
IS IT FAIR TO ASSUME THAT EVERYONE HERE
WILL BE PART OF THE ACTION COUNCIL ON
YOUR RESERVATION? IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
1:30 Report from each ACTION CIRCLE. Cross in-put.
2:00 Are there CRITICAL ISSUES that we need to address apart from what we are have already agreed? Tribal Council? Casino profits? Sovereignty? Civil rights? IF SO, WHO?
2:15 Next Steps: Each reservation AC select three people to serve on a UNIFIED ACTION COUNCIL. Is this necessary? Is there a willingness to work together?
2:20 Clarifications? Evaluation of TPV? Did we do what you hoped? Did you feel had the opportunity to give VOICE to your
concerns? Do you feel you were LISTENED to? Do you feel that ACTION COUNCILS were formed to address your concerns? Do you feel what happened today addressed the COMMON GOOD?
2:30 Talking Circle
4:00 Home

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Does "sovereignty" provide any nation with the right to ban union organizing?

A dialog from FaceBook:

  • Andrea Marple Wittwer
    That's a tough one. If a tribe is a democratic government, with treaty relations within the United States...can the Labor Unions meddle with Native American employee practices without involving the Federal Gov? It is like unionizing a cooperative where everyone has equal voting rights but union members can set their own wage and labor standards by overrunning the management and occupying the Board. If people would take responsibility and ownership of their own governance, you wouldn't need union bosses to negociate.
     
     
     
  • Andrea; do you know of any country in the world where working people have no rights and this is considered acceptable? How is it you consider workers struggling to protect their rights as "meddling?" Only the mobster dominated National Indian Gaming Association pushes this thoroughly reactionary idea that "sovereignty" provided tribal governments the "right" to ban union organizing. In fact, for a nation--- any nation--- to be considered "sovereign," workers would have to have the right to organize to protect their rights and livelihoods. Casino workers have the right to be protected by the same rights all other workers enjoy under state and federal labor laws.

    Why is it so "tough" for you to understand that it is a fundamental human right for working people to organize into labor unions for their own protection?

    What does "sovereignty" or any form of government have to do with this most basic and fundamental human right--- the right of working people to organize into to unions to defend and protect their rights? No government has the right to take away this most basic and fundamental human right.

    Over two-million workers across the country are now employed at poverty wages and without any rights in the loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos of this hideous Indian Gaming Industry intentionally created to deprive working people of their rights.

    I challenge you to show me anything justifying these most gross violations of human rights.

    In fact, there are no "sovereign" Indian Nations--- what there are is Indian Reservations where people are routinely victimized on a daily basis by racism as a matter of United States government policy and the "Compacts" creating and enabling this hideous Indian Gaming Industry are one more example of genocide.

    Not one single Indian Nation owns one single slot machine or table game in this country; these slot machines and table games are all owned by a bunch of rich white mobsters whose wealth is created on the backs of casino workers who are forced to work in these unsafe and unhealthy working environments.

    The "Compacts" have turned already intentionally impoverished Indian Nations (Indian Reservations) into nothing but pools of cheap labor for these more than 350 casino operations now comprising this Indian Gaming Industry.

    Every school child understands the result of paying people poverty wages--- poverty.

    Every thinking person understands that when you force human beings to work in smoke-filled casinos those people are going to end up being very sick people dying agonizing deaths from cancers, heart and lung diseases not to mention the complications working in these smoke-filled casinos causes for people with diabetes.

    Casino workers are entitled to real living wages along with safe and healthy working environments.

    The Indian Gaming Associations, including the National Indian Gaming Association, are nothing but slick fronts for organized crime.

    Largely because workers in these casinos have no rights the highly profitable "secondary" businesses are allowed to operate. Everything from drug dealing to prostitution and loan-sharking.

    Not to mention that the bribes (campaign contributions) paid to politicians by these casino managements, tribal councils and the Indian Gaming Associations has now warped our entire political process and perverted democracy.

    Here is an article about campaign contributions from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association. Do you really think that if Native Americans had any control they would be contributing to the campaign coffers of Republican politicians who oppose all measures aimed at ending poverty?

    http://politicsinminnesota.com/2012/02/tribal-gaming-dollars-go-bipartisan/

    Also, I would like to know how tribal officials like Mike Wiggins have the nerve to talk as if they are environmentalists concerned about "air quality" from the mining industry while he forces casino workers to work in a smoke-filled casino?

    The Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council of which I am the Director of Organizing and our local Organizing Committees are not "meddling" in the affairs of Indian Nations--- we are fighting to protect our rights, our livelihoods and our health.

    I would remind people who think like you, Andrea, that workers rights are human rights and no government on earth has the right to tell working people they don't have the right to organize unions to protect and defend their health, rights and their livelihoods.

    I would also remind you, Andrea, that workers who have no rights or voice in their places of employment have no rights in the communities where they live--- you might have to think about this a little bit to understand what I mean; but, the fact remains, workers who have no rights at work have no rights in the communities where they live.

    Do you agree with me that "workers rights are human rights?" If so, aren't human rights universal? Doesn't "universal" imply there are no limitations?

    I would suggest to you that one of the main reasons why the Democrats have been so weak on social and economic justice issues is because they created these "Compacts" giving birth to the Indian Gaming Industry. Come on, really; can you expect the perpetrators of such injustice to be concerned about injustices anywhere?
    politicsinminnesota.com
    Indian tribes have been a powerful force in Minnesota politics for nearly two de...See More

Native Americans left out of economic recovery, as always

Albert Bender, a columnist for News From Indian Country, writing in the Communist Party's publication--- The People's World, wrote about Native American unemployment in Indian Country and Obama. I wonder why so few publications carried this article?

http://peoplesworld.org/native-americans-left-out-of-economic-recovery-as-always-2/


Native Americans left out of economic recovery, as always

June 11 2012
Up until the past few weeks, there had been a lot of hoopla about a blossoming economic recovery. Job creation for the early part of the year had been averaging 200,000 a month. (Keep in mind, though, that responsible economists maintain that 345,000 jobs per month are needed for at least two years to get back to even five percent unemployment - and the latest numbers for May show only 69,000 jobs created.)

Indian America, looking at the historical record, would have found little reason to rejoice at the so-called "good economic news." Why? Because historically, economic recovery, as a national news pundit recently said, "is growth for white America, but there will still be three times the unemployment rate for blacks and Hispanics."

But that statistic can look good, considering that the Native American unemployment rate would be 10x greater than the white jobless rate. Indeed, as is well known in Native circles, on reservations across the nation the unemployment for Native Americans routinely ranges from 80-90 percent - and this has been the economic situation for generations. For urban Native Americans, the jobless rate averages around 48 percent. In general, Indian Country is in a permanent depression even when the national economy is on the upswing.

But once again it seems the economy was just having another false start, as in the last couple of years, and now appears at the edge of falling off the economic cliff. I cannot but take wry satisfaction in a failing recovery, a recovery that bypasses Native American misery.

The above quoted statistics of Native unemployment are years old because reservations in particular and urban Native Americans in general, incredibly, have been purposely excluded from government employment data since 2005. To cite a not atypical example, South Dakota has nine reservations, with unemployment ranging from a "low" of 12 percent on one smaller reservation to 89 percent on the largest reservation. These figures were last compiled in 2005. South Dakota's overall unemployment rate is 4.7 percent, exclusive of reservations.

Native American joblessness is so high, it is off the charts. It is so staggering and is not compiled because to do so would be an additional stunning moral indictment of U.S. government treatment of Native Americans.

The last absurd excuse given by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for not collecting American Indian employment data was that there was no money in the government budget for such compilation.

This government attitude is highlighted by the fact that as far back as 1990, in statistical tables from the U.S. Bureau of Census that contained information on American Indians, African Americans, Asian Americans and others, the category "American Indian unemployed" contained, instead of numbers, the letters MD=Missing Data. No other population had such a classification. Again, this was a shocking, clumsy attempt to hide astronomical unemployment.

The position of the Obama administration to combat joblessness in American Indian communities and others of color is that an economic recovery will uplift all the jobless; a strong, robust economy will translate into jobs for all. This simply will not work due to the institutional racism endemic in American society. The very disturbing question is who always gets the lion's share of the jobs even when the economy is on the upswing? Whites have always received a disproportionate share of jobs.

To cite an example of who does not get the jobs: In early March, the mainstream media was touting apparent job gains, but noted that Latinos were being bypassed. The national jobless rate dropped to about 8.1 percent, but the Latino unemployment rate remained at 10.6 percent. The white jobless rate dropped to 7.9 percent. Incredibly, the media posed the question: Why the disparity? - and remarked that economists and labor experts also weren't sure.

More absurdity: the 'experts' subsequently stated they simply didn't know. Whites have always gotten the lion's share of employment. Without massive employment programs for communities of color, this will continue. After all, white Americans have for over 200 years had their own special "jobs programs" - racism. Communities of color, in particular those of Native Americans, need affirmative action jobs programs; otherwise, "economic recovery" will do little to remedy Native American joblessness.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An electoral victory for grassroots activism

An electoral victory at the polls for grassroots activism.

The longtime violent, corrupt, incompetent, Democratic Party hack Archie La Rose was defeated yesterday in his re-election bid for Leech Lake Indian Nation Tribal Chair.

La Rose's sidekick, Eugene "Ribs" Whitebird, the mouthpiece for the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association and the racist John McCarthy, was also trounced and soundly defeated.

La Rose was backed by the racist Rick Nolan who is running for U.S. Congress with former Congressman James Oberstar's endorsement.

Ken Martin, the corrupt Chair of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party, also supported both Archie La Rose and Ribs Whitebird.

Archie La Rose and some members of his family used the Leech Lake Nation to enrich themselves through all kinds of stealing, theft and graft as local, state and federal law enforcement did nothing.

Archie La Rose and Ribs Whitebird used the violent Native Mob to terrorize the Leech Lake population on and off the reservation in order to maintain their power.

Archie La Rose worked in cahoots with the crooked and corrupt Red Lake Nation Chair Floyd "Buck" Jourdain and enabled the corrupt Stanley Crooks to profit from the massive poverty created by the Indian Gaming Industry and racist local, state and national public officials.

The Leech Lake Indian Nation is a very large Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota mired in poverty with an unemployment rate of over 70% which is intentionally maintained as a pool of cheap labor for the three casinos the Band owns where the slot machines are owned by a bunch of filthy rich white mobsters who skim the cream off the top leaving the Band nothing but a large pile of debt which exacerbates the extreme poverty.

To make matters even worse for the members of the Leech Lake Band, the Reservation is a "neighbor" to the most racist community in North America--- the City of Bemidji which tourists recognize as the headwaters community on the Mississippi River.

Recently the Bemidji Regional Events Center/Sanford Center was built as a sixty-million dollar plus public works project where a friend of Bemidji's Mayor charged $30.00 a day to rent wheelbarrows and $10.00 a day for sledge-hammers for over a year while racist discrimination and lack of enforcement of affirmative action all supported by the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party with not one single Native American Indian employed. In northern Minnesota corruption and racism go hand-in-hand.

Bemidji businesses have "welcome" signs in both English and Ojibwe yet most these white-owned businesses refuse to hire Native American Indians.

Over 25% of Bemiji's population is Native American but not one single Native American sits on Bemidji's City Council.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What about all of the other injustices?

I hope this letter to the editor published in the Bemidji Pioneer Press receives wide circulation and discussion...

From the Bemidji Pioneer

Published June 10, 2012, 12:00 AM

What about all of the other injustices?

The recent cross burning has sent some of the local “race relation” organizations scrambling to take a condescending stance against a blatant hate crime.


The recent cross burning has sent some of the local “race relation” organizations scrambling to take a condescending stance against a blatant hate crime.

They normally sit quietly amongst the more covert, more subtle systemic hate crimes afflicting the minorities of the community. Acting as if these issues are out of their hands when they never even tried to get a grasp on them in the first place. Throwing all their supposed token minorities on the frontlines to give their supposed show of disapproval some validity.

And now they’re threatening to throw their political clout around to call to action the usual suspects who could care less about the mistreatment of minorities. It should be a good show to continue to appear to be doing something, when nothing viable will be accomplished in the end, as usual.

Another disingenuous gesture only meant to further conceal, guise and smooth over their complete and total disregard to actually assisting those constantly enduring injustices under their watch.

A cross burning is calling attention to what everyone already knows around here, that Bemidji is a very racist town. Yes, some are unable to come to terms with their own inherent racism; that burden falls on the shoulders of those most affected by this racism most of which these organizations don’t even bat a lash at.
Yes, the burning of a cross to display intolerance is very terrible, but this is the type of behavior deep rooted systematic racism breeds, and encourages. Yeah, that’s great they’re taking a stance against the first cross burning in Bemidji, but what about all the injustices the Native Americans endure on a daily basis? They are clearly not the heroes we need, nor deserve. And those constantly taking it upon themselves to resolve these issues are utilizing this incident only to further promote their ineffective organization.

Nicole Beaulieu
Bemidji



I think this is a really good letter.

We need to get to the specifics.

Dave Culver turns out digested material in the name of Evergreene Digest which repeatedly touts the views of the foundation funded outfits under the guise of providing analysis.

I sent him this which I think is pertinent to discussing the above letter:

Stglitz' article on inequality is very typical of what comes from the intellectuals and the middle class crowd--- brilliant analysis of the problems but with no solutions to the problems.

Dave, not once in any of the articles you have circulated have any of them ever confronted the issue of racist inequality in employment with advocacy of the solution: enforcement of affirmative action.

Where is there any program advocating solutions to any of the problems repeatedly analyzed in what you are distributing under the guise of alternative ideas?

None of what you circulate attacks specific problems--- for instance, in Bemidji, Minnesota the Bemidji Regional Event Center/Sanford Center was a $60,000,000.00 public works project--- not one single Native American was hired for the construction. After completion this Center was turned over to a private firm--- VenuWorks--- to manage. Again, racist hiring practices with poverty wages.

Common sense tells us when working people aren't hired and when hired at poverty wages they are going to be poor--- the result: a spiraling web of inequality. 

I'd like to see a discussion on how this specific problem in Bemidji can be solved.

Do any of your foundation funded middle class intellectuals have a solution in mind since the foundation-funded outfits like SharedVision and the ACLU's Racial Justice Task Force have refused to confront this issue.

Shouldn't you be getting more specific by focusing  on how all of these articles you distribute relate to specific Minnesota problems?

All you are doing is mostly disseminating information coming from these foundation-funded think tanks without linking what they publish to specific problems and the solution to these problems. I'm curious as to why you do this?

What good is an analysis if it is not used as part of a movement building effort to solve the problems?

Alan L. Maki




Friday, June 8, 2012

Event will examine American Indian issues that are linked to poverty

 http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/event/article/id/100040660/

From the Bemidji Pioneer newspaper

Published June 06, 2012, 12:00 AM

Event will examine American Indian issues that are linked to poverty

The first of many events that concern various issues within Indian country that result from or are symptoms of poverty is scheduled June 23 at the People’s Church, 825 America Ave. NW, Bemidji.



The first of many events that concern various issues within Indian country that result from or are symptoms of poverty is scheduled June 23 at the People’s Church, 825 America Ave. NW, Bemidji.

The event, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is open to all, because these issues involve or affect us all. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m.

Yes, there are many groups and organizations supposedly dedicated to help alleviate miseries due to societal failures of responsibility.

And yes, these groups are often endorsed, or represented, by so-called prestigious persons of the community that is appreciated by the sophisticated powers that be for all their dedication and hard work.

But there is little to no progress for these upstanding individuals or organizations to take comfort in, little to no accomplishments to stand upon. And if there was any progress, they allowed it to be overwhelmed by their lack of conviction in seeing progress through long ago.

They have become accustomed to this broken thinking that causes more harm than help. Indoctrinated and conditioned into the broken system they once perhaps were inspired to challenge and change for the better of all.

Another unfortunate and disturbing realization we are forced to endure is the failures of these organizations supposedly created in our honor to assist us out of the perpetuating injustices and inequalities. The paralysis of analysis has set in, creating an acquiescent, myopic, apathetic, bureaucratic sense of duty to upholding status quo jobbery rather than creating progress, solutions or change.

These have become meaningless words in the mouths of those abusing them to create this illusion of worth to those they exploit to maintain funding of their organizations that most times only serve as fronts for deep-rooted systematic and normalized corruption. A lot of these compromised individuals representing these organizations that have allowed treachery to be conditioned into their services try to posture themselves against any aspiring solution that threatens their state of complacency.

So this is an invitation to join us in discussing genuine issues, for genuine solutions, with genuine people. An empirical discussion, to articulate and genuinely enunciate our situations into realistic actions. No longer should we be told what our needs are by those out of touch, out of step, nothing invested, or that have lost sight of us due to their own self aggrandizing.

Curtis Buckanaga
Bemidji

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Money did not get Scott Walker re-elected; the Democrats did.

Money did not get Scott Walker re-elected; betrayal by the Democrats did

By: Alan Maki Thursday June 7, 2012 7:42 am
I think all this constant dwelling on big money being responsible for this loss is a cop-out. We are living in a society dominated by tremendous wealth.
Wealth is going to dominate politics until people understand that they are more powerful than all this wealth combined— if they get organized.
This wealth in politics is being used as an excuse to evade discussing what kind of people’s movement is required to overcome Wall Street’s dominance.
Working people need their own political party.
If wealth is the reason politicians like Scott Walker (and Obama and Romney and on and on…) win we might as well give up right now.
If wealth is the reason for these people to keep winning how do we explain the success of the old Wisconsin Progressive Party of “fighting Bob La Follette” or the tremendous success of the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party of Floyd Olson, Elmer Benson and John Bernard?
No one in politics has ever raised more money from the Wall Street interests than Barack Obama who promised “hope” and “change.”
Money does not assure “change.”
The fact of the matter is labor “leaders” serving as Democratic Party hacks helped to undermine the struggles of the people in Wisconsin by pushing people out of the streets and into the arms of the Democratic Party whose goals and objectives were the exact same thing— albeit derived from using different methods— to drive down the standard of living of working people as a way to force workers to shoulder the cost of Wisconsin’s budget problems which result from the perverted priorities established by both Democrats and Republicans who are squandering our tax-dollars on these senseless, immoral, illegal, unconstitutional dirty imperialist wars for occupation instead of using the wealth of our Nation to fund human needs now with a collapsing capitalist economy requiring massive government universal social programs.
The Republicans set out to smash the working class in Wisconsin. The Democrats set out to cripple the working class movement… how could a crippled working class movement beat Scott Walker and the Republicans by voting for the very Democratic Party that crippled them?
We can’t win against Wall Street by complaining that they have too much money and wealth unless we confront the fact that we need a political party that isn’t afraid to wage campaigns in which the platform calls for re-ordering priorities away from war and military spending and directing the resulting peace dividends towards meeting the pressing needs of the people combined with a call for redistributing this wealth which working people created in the first place, not only through various schemes of progressive taxation— tax the hell out of the rich; but by placing the mines, mills and factories under public ownership and control. Instead of allowing Wall Street to close and demolish mines, mills and factories we need to be taking over these mines, mills and factories producing based on human needs not maximum profits for Wall Street coupon clippers.
The Democrats, including Kucinich are crying about how they were beat by wealth— and it is very sad to see Jill Stein follow Kucinich’s lead in focusing on wealth as being the determining factor in this Wisconsin election while evading the facts.
The FACT is that unless working people organize their own political party along the lines of the old Wisconsin Progressive Party and the old socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party which will reflect the goals, objectives AND priorities of people demonstrating in the streets, working people are going to suffer defeat after defeat.
Even if Tom Barrett and the Democrats would have won the day in Wisconsin, working people would have lost had they agreed to negotiate a lower standard of living.
Wall Street measures its victories by counting its money; working people measure their victories with how much their standard of living improves.
Tom Barrett wasn’t defeated by Scott Walker’s Wall Street wealth. Tom Barrett was defeated because he and the Democrats with help from corrupt and conniving labor leaders who often back the same candidates as ALEC crippled the only movement that could have— and eventually will— defeat Scott Walker: the working class movement.
Had Tom Barrett had the courage— and in Barrett’s case I think the issue is having the guts and the courage because he is in fact liberal minded— to speak truth to power by explaining how financing these dirty wars is robbing the states of needed funds and calling for a new set of priorities in this country he would have united the people of Wisconsin around a real progressive agenda for real change and he would have won… instead Tom Barrett caved to Obama and insisted that he would restore bargaining rights for workers so they could bargain away their lives and livelihoods… only the most muddle-headed, bungling booby-head would ever think that this is the way to win an election against Scott Walker and his Wall Street backers.
In fact, the Democrats never intended to win this fight in Wisconsin.
Keep in mind… it is the same worthless labor “leaders” who led working people into this set-back in Wisconsin who are counseling a vote for Obama which will lead to the exact same thing working people are getting in Wisconsin whether Obama wins or loses: a reduction in living standards for the working class as the wealth of this country keeps getting pissed away on wars. Wars that the Wall Street merchants of death and destruction profit from. When Wall Street profits working people suffer.
Some people want us to stay focused on big money in politics while evading the fact that when it comes to elections there are more of US then of THEM. All the money in the world can’t defeat a working class united for peace, social and economic justice.
Money did not get Scott Walker re-elected; the Democrats did.