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...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Democracy at the crossroads

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) proves that in this election, democracy is at a crossroads.

Can democracy survive this kind of Presidential and government secrecy carried out in collusion with Wall Street behind the backs of the American people?

Can democracy even survive another four more years of an Obama Administration?

The struggle for working class issues like the relationship between war and peace and poverty and unemployment is a struggle to defend democracy from Obama and these parasitical Wall Street vultures/venture capitalists seeking his re-election.

Wall Street's greed, the TPP and democracy.

I find it very interesting Barack Obama always uses the left to "leak" out information he doesn't want to provide himself.

Obama used Communist writer Gerald Horne to "leak" the fact that his "mentor" as a youth was Communist Frank Marshall Davis. The "Frank" in Obama's book. How would Gerald Horne have known this had it not been for Obama or someone close to Obama feeding him this information?


Obama used Tom Hayden and the "Progressives for Obama" to "leak" he was a closet "progressive" and "peace activist." Hayden even forced Obama as a speaker at a huge peace demonstration in Chicago just to get a picture of Obama speaking at a peace demonstration... that photograph still remains as the centerpiece on the "Progressives for Obama/Progressive America Rising" website even though Obama has been exposed as a Wall Street warmonger employed by the merchants of death and destruction.

Now Obama uses the "Public Citizen" and "Foreign Policy In Focus" to "leak" information about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). How quaint and coincidental.

I would note that this is the FOURTEENTH "round" of discussions on the TPP according to the government's very own website--- a pact that the Obama Administration made anyone who talked about this previously sound like some kind of paranoid idiot:

http://www.ustr.gov/tpp

Obviously, Obama now wants to consolidate his Wall Street backing so it becomes a political necessity to acknowledge these talks are in progress.


And these left-wing phonies breaking the "news" about the TPP through "leaks" turn right around and continue supporting Obama: Gerald Horne, Tom Hayden, the foundation-funded outfits associated with Foreign Policy In Focus; and, last but not least, the AFL-CIO pretending to be "progressive."

Leo Gerard and Richard Trumka are great buddies with Obama--- they "have his back."

What about the backs of workers who continue losing their jobs as a direct result of these "trade deals" like the TPP? Who is covering their backs? It would be nice if the leaders of the AFL-CIO were as interested in protecting the lives, jobs, rights and livelihoods of workers whose dues pay their big fat salaries as they are protecting "Obama's back."

Check it out.

Right here now on the U.S. government's own website:

http://www.ustr.gov/tpp

This is the website of the "Office of the United States Trade Representative; Executive Office of the President.

One has to wonder why one would have to rely on "leaks" instead of being able to read all the documents associated with the TPP on the official government website.

Who "leaked" this "partial" information; and why was it done?

Obama isn't concerned about this "leak?"

The TPP has been in the works at least since 2010 when they had their First Round of Talks on the TPP...

But, think about this:

How long did it take to prepare for this First Round of Talks?

Did it begin with Bush? Was this then carried over by Obama knowing about this even before he was elected?

Was Obama already surreptitiously in a stealth, secret way and alluding to the TPP in his article in Foreign Affairs Magazine in 2007?

Why must the American people learn about the TPP from "leaked documents" not being able to verify their authenticity rather than being able to read all the documents themselves provided directly from the United States government?

Why hasn't Barack Obama been running for re-election based on his involvement in promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

It seems the "great leaders" of this great bastion of democracy fear what the American people--- most notably the working class--- may have to say about the TPP.

All just a bunch of hypocrites.

Does anyone call the way this TPP is being shoved down our throats: democracy?

The TPP: A Quiet Coup for the Investor Class

Re: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

To:

Lacy MacAuley

Media Relations Manager 
lacy@ips-dc.org 
202-787-5242 Office 
202-445-4692 Cell


From:

Alan L. Maki
alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com

September 26, 2012



Lacy MacAuley

I keep reading about the "leaked chapters" of the TPP. Recently your own writer referred to these "leaked chapters:"

http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_tpp_a_quiet_coup_for_the_investor_class

Note: See complete article below.

But according to Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, the leaked chapters of the TPP “sent shock waves through Congress because it showed that U.S. negotiators had totally abandoned Obama’s campaign pledges to replace the old NAFTA trade model and in fact were doubling down and expanding the very Bush-style deal that Obama campaigned against in 2008 to win key swing states.”

I have been trying to find these "leaked chapters" to read but no one can provide me a link; why is this? The article above has all kinds of links to other things but none to these "leaked chapters."

I resent writers who keep referring to something I can't read and I think many people feel the same way.

I can find no place on your web site to contact the writer of this article.

I hope you will provide me the link/s to the "leaked chapters of the TPP."

Also, why hasn't your organization sought to make the entire TPP document public since your writer claims "600 corporate lobbyists" have been provided with copies.

My concern, judging by your foundation funders and your Advisory Committee--- many of whom back Obama--- you are protecting Obama from criticism while making Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF) appear to be unbiased:

Salih Booker, Global Rights
Sarah Browning, Split This Rock Poetry Festival
Robert Borosage, Campain for America’s Future
John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies
William Hartung, New America Foundation
Martha Honey, Center on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development
Michael Klare, Hampshire College
Roxanne Lawson, TransAfrica Forum
Thea Lee, AFL-CIO
James Lobe, Inter Press Service
Lora Lumpe, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Cynthia McClintock, George Washington University
Lisa McGowan, Solidarity Center, AFL-CIO
Jae-Jung Suh, SAIS-John Hopkins University
Joe Volk, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Coletta Youngers, consultant
Stephen Zunes, University of San Francisco
I insist on being provided a link or a copy via e-mail of these "leaked chapters of the TPP" because people have a right to read for themselves what this TPP consists of.

I find it interesting FPIF provides no other contact information for its writers (or perhaps I am just not able to find the info on your site?).

Contact Us


Lacy MacAuley

Media Relations Manager
lacy@ips-dc.org
202-787-5242 Office
202-445-4692 Cell

I will call you about this later today after you have had a chance to discuss this with the writer. I find it difficult to believe Hilary Matfess, the writer, would write about the TPP without having read the "leaked chapters of the TPP" for herself or at least finding out if such "leaked chapters of the TPP" actually exist.

But; my concern remains: Why should we the people, in this great democracy, not be able to read for ourselves the entire TPP by obtaining a copy from our government?

One of my primary, though not only, concerns with the TPP is that it will enable the Ford Motor Company to import the Ford Rangers it is producing at its new plant in Thailand financed by Minnesota and U.S. tax-payer bailouts and subsidies intended for the survival of the now closed Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant which resulted in the loss of 2,000 union jobs of those manufacturing the popular Ford Ranger pick-up trucks as the manufacturing of the Ford Rangers has been off-shored to Thailand.

Thanking you in advance for your prompt attention to this important and timely matter;


--
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
E-mail: alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com

Blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/


Article...

The TPP: A Quiet Coup for the Investor Class

By Hilary Matfess, September 25, 2012

It would be a relief to report with any certainty that the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a massive proposed free-trade zone spanning the Pacific Ocean and all four hemispheres—are definitely empowering corporations to the detriment of workers, the environment, and sovereignty throughout the region. Unfortunately, the secretive and opaque character of the negotiations has made it difficult to report much of anything about them.

What can be confidently reported about the TPP is that, in terms of trade flows, it would be the largest free-trade agreement yet entered into by the United States—and, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service, that the ministers negotiating the agreement “have expressed an intent to comprehensively reduce barriers in goods, services, and agricultural trade as well as rules and disciplines on a wide range of topics” to unprecedented levels. Yet despite these grandiose ambitions, details of the negotiations and drafts of the text have been purposefully withheld from Congress and American citizens.

The secrecy surrounding the negotiations is breathtaking. In July, 134 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk requesting that the appropriate congressional committees be consulted and that a draft of the text be released. The members reminded Kirk that draft texts were circulated and congressional committees consulted throughout the NAFTA negotiations in the early 1990s. Their letter received no response. A month later, House members petitioned Kirk to allow a congressional delegation to observe the negotiations—as in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the launch of the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization, and numerous NAFTA rounds. Despite its persistence, Congress has not been granted any significant oversight or insight regarding the negotiations.  

While Congress, the press, and the public have had to make do with leaked chapters of negotiations, Just Foreign Policy reports that 600 corporate lobbyists were granted access to the negotiated text. American democracy is in a sorry state when corporations are granted more access to even the text of sweeping government agreements than the public and its elected officials. Although corporate influence on U.S. trade policy is hardly a new phenomenon, the simultaneous waning of congressional oversight is all the more unsettling.

In May, Democratic Reps. Barney Frank and Sander Levin wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to express their concern about the TPP’s provisions entrenching capital mobility. Their letter requested “an official written statement of the U.S. policy” concerning the ability of parties to the agreement to deploy capital controls in the face of a financial crisis. If the leaked drafts accurately reflect the direction of the negotiations, countries that instituted capital controls could be taken to court by private corporations and could be held liable for damages. Hundreds of economists signed letters in January and February 2011 opposing these provisions, yet the investment chapter leaked in June suggests that neither their concerns nor Frank’s and Levin’s were taken into consideration.

Other troubling trends have emerged in the leaked chapters. According to Citizen.org, the negotiations thus far have given corporations the right to avoid government review when acquiring land, natural resources, or factories. They have also banned corporate performance requirements, guaranteed compensation for the loss of “‘expected future profits’ from health, labor, [or] environmental” regulations, and included stunning provisions concerning the right to “move capital without limits.” If these are indeed terms of the TPP, then the agreement would make it nearly impossible for countries to hold corporations accountable for their conduct—and would in fact hold governments liable for any “damage” incurred by corporations due to the institution of regulations.

Many progressives had hoped that President Barack Obama would shift U.S. trade policy away from staunch free-marketeering. But according to Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, the leaked chapters of the TPP “sent shock waves through Congress because it showed that U.S. negotiators had totally abandoned Obama’s campaign pledges to replace the old NAFTA trade model and in fact were doubling down and expanding the very Bush-style deal that Obama campaigned against in 2008 to win key swing states.”

The struggle over the Trans-Pacific Partnership reveals a disturbing trend in American politics. The much discussed Citizens United ruling granting corporations personhood has given way to a trade negotiation process in which corporations are granted more rights than American citizens, their elected representatives, or foreign governments impacted by the deal. That trade negotiations with such an immense potential impact on numerous sectors of the American economy have been conducted in secret is troubling enough. To consider that those negotiating the treaty have willfully ignored experts and elected representatives in favor of corporate interests calls into question the sustainability of American democracy. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do you see any votes here that look like they come from liberals, progressives or leftists?

Here we go again into another war---

U. S. Senate Joint Resolution 41, while its authors, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman (whose worthless political butt Obama saved to do this dirty work when a real voice for peace could have been elected) claim this resolution is "not authorization for war" but it sure as heck is part of the ever-expanding and deafening drum-beat for war with Iran.

All these phony liberals, progressives and leftists telling us we must get Obama and these Democrats elected then after the election we should act when these warmongers don't stop their dirty deeds make me sick.


Now is when all who believe in peace should be declaring loud and clear---

No peace, no votes.

Why would anyone with a conscience cast a vote for any of the 90 U.S. Senators who are engaged in a campaign to drum up a war with Iran?

This vote, like all past votes in defense of the Israeli killing machine, should cause people to see how useless this so-called "Progressive Caucus" is in Congress.

Ironically, this resolution, U.S. Senate Joint Resolution 41,
( http://legiscan.com/gaits/view/429912 ) was passed along with the bill to approve government spending--- spending for more militarization and wars.

Here is how they voted--- which was a foregone conclusion because the resolution had 83 co-sponsors:

Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Ayotte (R-NH), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Yea
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea
Blunt (R-MO), Yea
Boozman (R-AR), Not Voting
Boxer (D-CA), Not Voting
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Brown (R-MA), Yea
Burr (R-NC), Not Voting
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
Coats (R-IN), Yea
Coburn (R-OK), Yea
Cochran (R-MS), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Yea
Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Yea
DeMint (R-SC), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Franken (D-MN), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Yea
Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Hagan (D-NC), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Heller (R-NV), Not Voting
Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Inhofe (R-OK), Not Voting
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Johanns (R-NE), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Johnson (R-WI), Yea
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Lee (R-UT), Yea
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Moran (R-KS), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Not Voting
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Paul (R-KY), Nay
Portman (R-OH), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Yea
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Not Voting
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Yea
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Yea
Toomey (R-PA), Yea
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Not Voting
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Wyden (D-OR), Yea

 
NAYs ---1

Paul (R-KY)


Not Voting - 9


Boozman (R-AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Burr (R-NC)
Heller (R-NV)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Kirk (R-IL)
Murray (D-WA)
Rubio (R-FL)
Vitter (R-LA)

What does this tell us?

That we have a U.S. Senate full of Wall Street bribed warmongers... and we are supposed to be silent "until after the election?"

Through "Letters to the Editor," demonstrations and picket-lines--- let these warmongers know right now that they are not going to get your vote; and why not.

Here in Minnesota we have the opportunity to vote for Michael Cavlan for United States Senate and Rocky Anderson for President.

Tell the warmongering Democrats and Republicans working for Wall Street's masters of war to go to hell.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9HDljNlWYk

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

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Part-time faculty pay reaching poverty level

by: Michelle Kern 
September 21 2012 

The American Federation of Teachers recently highlighted the tenuous employment and poor compensation of part-time college teachers in an article titled: "New report blasts working conditions of adjunct faculty."

The article spotlights findings of two recent reports. In the first, a survey of 500 adjunct faculty found they are frequently hired at the last minute for courses they have little time to prepare for, with little or no support from the institution. They rarely have opportunities for professional development or chances to share in the collegial culture of education.

The second report, "Dismantling the Professoriate," paints a bleak portrait of the poverty-level wages and lack of professional support for adjunct faculty, who often make significantly less per course than their full-time counterparts:

"The median pay per course, standardized to a three-credit course, was $2,700 in fall 2010, and ranged from a low of $2,235 at two-year colleges to a high of $3,400 at four-year doctoral or research universities.

"Part-time faculty respondents saw little, if any, wage premium based on their credentials.

"Professional support was minimal for part-time faculty members' work outside the classroom and for their inclusion in academic decision-making."

Grassroots efforts are also drawing attention to the low pay, lack of benefits and lack of support in a field that has come to depend on the presence of a surplus of "freeway flyers," as adjuncts are often called.

A "crowd-sourced" spreadsheet at adjunctproject.com lists data from part-time faculty all over the U.S., on wages, health benefits (or more commonly, lack thereof), access to institutional support, union membership and retirement.

Budget cuts are often blamed for the over-reliance on part-time adjuncts to handle the bulk of teaching. Budgets have indeed been slashed in education, but data shows at the same time, the non-teaching administrative sector has grown.

While college administrations often tout the fiscal advantages of using part-time faculty, they don't apply the same logic to their own ranks. Between 1976 and 2005, part-time faculty rose from 31 percent to 48 percent, while part-time administrators declined from 4 percent to 3 percent.

College administrators' salaries are several levels higher than the wages of adjunct teachers. Although full professors' salaries may seem commensurate with those of administrators, salaries and wages for all teaching staff have not kept pace, even with rising tuition, as reported by the American Association of University Professors.

The AAUP says tuition rose much faster than full-time faculty salaries, with the greatest gap at public institutions, where tuition and fees grew by 72 percent, accounting for inflation, while professors' salaries rose by less than 1 percent at doctoral and baccalaureate institutions and fell by over 5 percent at master's universities.

Meanwhile, the AAUP says, between 2006-7 and 2010-11, median presidential salaries jumped by 9.8 percent, adjusted for inflation, while median full-time faculty salaries rose by less than 2 percent."

In fact most adjuncts have been hired when universities were not facing budget cuts, the AAUP reported .

At the same time, colleges are increasingly turning toward corporate models and business culture. And corporations and businesses are taking more of a role in diverting public education funds intended for colleges, and instead directing them to private profit. Cheap and surplus labor is the model for an expanding bottom line in Wall Street-driven institutions and the same process has taken hold of our institutions of higher learning, especially in privatization at public universities.

Without tenure, adjuncts are among the first to be fired when cuts are on the table, just like temps and contract workers across many other fields. This can translate to depressed wages across the board for teaching staff, higher class loads for the remaining faculty (in some cases throwing teaching duties on "stipend" paid graduate students who make even less than adjuncts), and a decrease in dues in the teaching union locals, attacking their ability to fight educational austerity measures.

Slashing the teaching workforce in education does not cause the economy to grow or save the budgets of universities in the long run. Expanding wages and benefits and teaching opportunities for adjuncts would bring more regional prosperity, increasing the tax base and helping to grow available funds for education.

The political will must also be found to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations, who benefit from the presence of public universities and a well-educated labor force. Full time and part time teaching staff must forge organized and unified fight-backs, to press universities to benefit the teaching staff who attract students to the school. Resisting the privatization of our public resources will also help reverse the trend of making education jobs poverty-level.

Adjuncts should not view themselves as "the expendables," but as a workforce that now makes up the majority of higher education staff. If there is a union at your college, join it. If the adjuncts are not organized or not part of the existing union, press to become a part of the union or form an adjunct union.

Organization is the best weapon against capitalism, which has definitely entered the arena of higher education. The future of our working people, teachers and students alike, is at stake.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, September 21, 2012

The U.S. working class is paying the price that created 60,000 Chinese billionaires as Wall Street absconds with Quadrillions.

I found this statistic interesting:

There are 60,000 billionaires in China. 

http://china-wire.org/?p=22137

Is creating selfish, greedy, money-grubbing billionaires what socialism is about?

At whose expense are these 60,000 billionaires accumulating this kind of wealth?

And, what isn't stated is this:

How many billions/trillions of dollars has the Chinese government allowed the parasitical Wall Street coupon clippers--- venture/vulture capitalists and financiers--- and the other finance capitals of the world like Bay Street and The Square Mile to abscond with as workers who have created this tremendous wealth are forced to live in disgraceful poverty?

The main foreign exploiters always are willing to "share" the wealth with a few of the puppets they use in order to get away with stealing a lot more so we have to ask how much, in addition to these "home-grown billionaires," the foreign financial centers have stolen from the Chinese people through the exploitation of their labor.

Considering there are 60,000 billionaires in China it is logical to assume that the actual robbery taking place far exceeds even trillions of dollars--- we are probably looking at an enormous figure running beyond the Quadrillion range. I don't even know what there is beyond Quadrillion but the thing to keep in perspective is that the Chinese government continues to peddle this bullshit about "socialism with Chinese characteristics---" market socialism--- as an excuse for forcing workers to endure poverty. 

The Chinese government collaborates with these foreign financial centers in all kinds of elaborate schemes most people can't even understand or comprehend in order to facilitate this gigantic swindle and theft of an entire nation's wealth.

And to think that one of the primary objectives of Barack Obama's very secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] (NAFTA on major steroids) will move more production to China where this exploitation will be expanded, enlarged and intensified--- again at the expense of Chinese workers and the American working class which has already suffered the closing of over 55,000 mines, mills and factories in order to create these Chinese and foreign billionaires with Quadrillions in profits for the few.

Of course Romney supports the TPP, too.

Obama or Romney--- Democrats or Republicans; the two-party trap is once again set; workers are going to lose.

Capital from the major financial centers around the globe led by Wall Street has united to reap super-profits from the exploitation of workers while workers haven't caught on to "workers and all oppressed peoples of the world unite."

And these politicians and foundation-funded outfits can't figure out what causes poverty? More like they are hiding what causes poverty because tremendous wealth, and what is done with this wealth, what is at stake. 

Come on, really; is there any reason any child should be forced to go to bed hungry or any person should be homeless or without health care amidst this kind of wealth being created? 

And, what is with workers being paid poverty wages instead of real living wages when there is this kind of wealth?

To think that so many billions of people have to suffer because these billionaires are "entitled" to profit.

There is no better time than now for workers and oppressed people to demand real change:

People before profits!

Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism--- barbaric and cannibalistic.

What the hell are working people going to have to endure as capitalism lives out its twilight years of severe and super-exploitation, wars, inequality, hate and poverty?

Kind of obvious why no Wall Street politicians like Obama or Romney want to address the truth about poverty as an election issue.

And Minnesota Mark Dayton has gone to China on a "trade mission" while he did nothing to halt the closing of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. One would think with 60,000 billionaires in China Dayton could have found a joint partner to keep the Ford Plant operating--- but, wait; the idea is to bludgeon the U.S. working class until it is willing to compete with Chinese workers in the "race to the bottom" and closing these plants is what it is all about.

The U.S. working class is paying the price that created 60,000 Chinese billionaires as Wall Street absconds with Quadrillions.

Completely and totally disgusting.


-- 
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

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Right-wing Republican Minnesota State Representative Tony Cornish warns state legislators and the public about me: "Be Very Careful of This Man"

A large number of people have asked that they be able to read the exchange.

Here is the e-mail Minnesota State Representative Tony Cornish sent out to all members of the Minnesota State Legislature and hundreds of other people. Below is my response:

Be Very Careful of This Man

x
amaki000@centurytel.net
x

Tony Cornish
11:04 AM (9 hours ago)

Dear Members,

If you get any letters from Alan Maki, I would suggest you do not answer them. I have been keeping his letters on file for 7 years. As soon as you don't agree with him, he will print your letters and make you out to be a horrible person. Then he claims you started it. Years ago he harassed Maxine Penas with insulting letters and called people ignorant that did not agree with him. He started this 7 years ago by calling all of us clowns before he was into any discussion with anyone.

This is what he wrote about Republicans; " Gees, I forgot, it doesn't do any good to talk to a Republican about morals or ethics, anyone who would walk around wearing a Bush‑Cheney
baseball cap must be on a team that doesn't have either morals or ethics.

He's written about a number of issues over the past concerning the war, the environment, the Cuba embargo, smoking in Casinos and the Ford plant. In November of 2005 in an environmental discussion, he said that former Senator and DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam committed a "racist and criminal" act regarding the environment.

One of his favorite tricks is to insult you and then say you started it and then copy everyone under the sun plus the newspapers which doesn't bother me. I wrote him a nice letter at one point and asked if anyone had gotten back to him, even though he was not my constituent. He wrote back and said no and then said that I had not one iota of concern for the environment.

In short, I would delete anything you get from this man and use your e mail block for him. His partner is David Thorstad who also writes in vulgar terms since 2005.

Here is a copy of the letter from 7 years ago and it has not let up. Just hit delete and e mail block.


My response...

From: Alan Maki

To: Tony Cornish

Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:34 PM

Subject: Re: Be Very Careful of This Man


Representative Cornish,

Yes, the "Circus in the Cities" continues with both Democrats and Republicans refusing to address the concerns of Minnesotans; you are living proof.

You know, Representative Cornish, you forget to mention that I apologized for calling you a "clown."

As you will recall, an association representing clowns from Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Brothers and the Shrine circuses strenuously objected--- claiming I was maligning their honorable profession.

Fact:

1. My initial contact with you and Maxine Penas was over the issue of casino workers--- a health issue, a worker's right issue, a poverty issue. Neither of you did anything.

2. Again I met with you concerning peat mining in the Pine Island State Forest in the Big Bog; the largest freshwater aquifer in the "Lower 48." My thinking was that since you were once a game warden in a former life employed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to protect our resources, you would be concerned with this rape of our resources and the destruction of this aquifer. The "racism" comes in because in refusing to even consider this issue you and Commissioner Meriam slighted the people of the Red Lake Nation and their historic opposition to the commercialization of the peat which will destroy a very delicate ecosystem they require--- as former Red Lake Nation Chair Roger Jourdain pointed out in opposing this peat mining: "Destroy this freshwater aquifer and you destroy my people and our Nation." I requested you help me to get a letter from the DNR showing there was collusion between corrupt tribal officials, Congressman Oberstar and Koochiching County Commissioners--- you refused; the head of the Littlefork Forestry office of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources turned the letter over to me and DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam summarily demoted her--- and you did nothing. This peat mining is now underway with state and federal tax-payers footing the infrastructure bill so a Canadian multi-national can truck away the profits. I stand by my statement that former Minnesota DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam committed a "racist and criminal act" in granting a permit to mine peat in the Pine Island State Forest in the Big Bog.

3. Like many people, including American Crystal Sugar's management and other farm organizations, I have called for ending the blockade/embargo of Cuba. You are for maintaining this blockade. This blockade/embargo of Cuba is costing Minnesotans thousands of jobs. Like Canadians, I believe Americans should be able to travel freely to Cuba; you disagree.

4. As for the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. I am very proud of my activities trying to save this plant and two-thousand jobs as you and just about every single member--- with a handful of notable exceptions--- abdicated your fiduciary responsibility in trying to save this plant after hundreds of millions of tax-payers' dollars were allocated to Ford's operation after Minnesotans were promised by the Ford Motor Company and you legislators that these hand-outs to Ford would "assure the continuing operation of this plant for the next 75 years;" a direct quote from Minnesota State Senator, and gubernatorial candidate, Roger Moe. You abdicated your fiduciary responsibility after tax-payers built the Ford Motor Company a brand new training center in cooperation with MnScu--- over thirty-million dollars and now the plant is closed and slated for demolition and Minnesota tax-payers will be paying millions of dollars for many years after the demolition. Again, you were on the wrong side of this issue.

5. You have supported all of these dirty wars that Bush started.

6. Are you a "clown?" Anyone who saw you walking around the state legislative building and seeing you on the floor of the legislature wearing your little beanie emblazoned with "Bush-Cheney" was laughing at you; just as people laugh at you when you respond to serious health concerns relating to second-hand smoke in the workplace by suggesting they vote for Romney/Ryan.

7. About these wars. Yes, I am opposed to these dirty imperialist wars; you support them. No doubt you are for going to war in Syria and Iran--- please correct me if I am wrong (I hope that I am wrong).

8. The Minnesota State Legislature voted for the "Freedom to Breath Legislation." I criss-crossed the state supporting this legislation while you opposed it for years only to have the legislation passed with the only exclusion being the Indian Gaming Industry and now you legislators pay for a conference (really nothing but an outing for the mobsters who manage the Indian Gaming Industry) to study the impact of second-hand smoke in these casinos when the health and science communities have determined that second-hand smoke in the workplace causes heart and lung problems, cancers, problems with child-bearing and complications with diabetes. If you know of any reason why casino workers would be immune to the consequences of second-hand smoke please set me straight.

I do find it interesting that you now bring forward every single issue under the sun when the concern I wrote you about now is health care reform and you say not one word in response to what I have written concerning this problem.

Then you warn people about engaging in dialog with me when you have engaged. LOL! I'm rolling on the floor laughing out loud.

Come on, Representative Cornish; now that we know you can say and write more than "blah, blah, blah," respond to my concerns about what it is going to take to solve this health care issue.

As far as your slanderous, libelous and malicious statement that I am in any way "partnered" with one David Thorstad, I challenge you to back up this lie. I can't help who responds to issues of concern to me.

But, the real issue here is not who I am partnered with, or not partnered with; the issue, when it comes to health care reform is who are YOU partnered with, Representative Cornish.

And, when it comes to the issue of health care, you are partnered with the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries along with the American Medical Association. You are partnered with all the greedy, money-grubbing profiteers whose dirty hands we have to remove from health care so we can keep people well and get them well when sick.

Please respond to the points in my original "Letter to the Editor." Once again you have removed that letter from your response while telling us what you have in your file. Obviously you are going to file away my "Letter to the Editor" to bring forward on another day with another issue as you have done here.

So, again I provide you with my "Letter to the Editor" requesting you respond to the here and now--- two-thousand jobs (the Ford Plant) are down the river thanks to your inaction. Oh, before I forget. You allowed the Ford Motor Company to use the subsidies from tax-payers to build a new plant--- not in Minnesota, not in the United States... but in Thailand of all places where the production of Ford Rangers continues and as part of the Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP) initiated by Obama and supported by Romney/Ryan those Ford Rangers will be allowed to be sold here in the United States.

But, back to health care. Here is my letter that so inflamed and incited you without explanation which I sent to you in very cordial and civil manner after which you started doing what? Harassing me?

One more letter for your file:

This "Letter to the Editor" is being submitted exclusively to Northern Watch Newspaper for publication in rebuttal to a previously published "Letter to the Editor."

In the Northern Watch (September 8, 2012; Page 4 < http://www.trftimes.com/news/index.php?option=com_flippingbook&view=book&id=186%3Aseptember-8-2012&catid=1%3Adefault-category&Itemid=18 > a letter written by Valerie Solem, Chairperson of Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Senate District 1, was published about healthcare; specifically her letter was in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare; or, a more accurate description is the "Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010."

The objective with health care is not, as Valerie Solem states, to provide health insurance for everyone. This only benefits the profitability of the insurance industry and assures profitability for the pharmaceutical industry, private hospitals, nursing homes and the greedy doctors for whom health care is nothing more than a racket from which they grow richer at the expense of a population getting sicker with people suffering needlessly and dying prematurely.

Health care is all about keeping people healthy and helping to get people well when they are sick.

For health care to work most effectively and efficiently at the lowest possible cost the profit motive behind health care has to be removed.

In fact, as can be seen from many other countries, including our neighbors to the north in Canada, health care works the best the more the "for profit" motive is removed from health care; Obama care does just the opposite by enhancing the profits of the health insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry and greedy doctors.

As an active member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, including having served as the elected member of the State Central Committee of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party for Roseau County which is part of Senate District 1 and having frequently been a delegate to state conventions and having participated actively in Senate District 1 conventions, I know first hand how Valorie Solem has worked to undermine taking profits out of health care.

I am also the author of the resolution passed by 72% of the delegates to the Minnesota DFL State Convention calling for single payer universal health care; a resolution that was a compromise because there were the well-heeled in the Minnesota DFL, like Valerie Solem, who refused to support what is really required if we are going to solve our health care problems--- now a crisis with almost 50 million people still without any health care and over 100 million people under Obamacare unable to afford the "Cadillac" health insurance premiums so they are stuck picking up the co-pays which are often so huge it results in people having to declare bankruptcy.

Single-payer universal health care like our Canadian neighbors have would be far superior to what we have now.

However, to solve this health care mess will require nothing less than a National Public Health Care System.

A National Public Health Care System would create over twelve-million good paying, real living wage jobs for people who would be providing us with health care for free through neighborhood and community health care centers.

A National Public Health Care System would provide no-fee/no-premium, comprehensive, all-inclusive (general medical, eyes, dental, mental health), universal health care from pre-natal through burial. A National Public Health Care System would be publicly financed, publicly administered--- and most importantly health care would be publicly delivered.

In other words, a National Public Health Care System would function of the same principle--- and in the same way--- as public education or Social Security.

In fact, the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party led by such distinguished advocates for the rights of working people like former Minnesota socialist governors Floyd B. Olson and Elmer Benson along with Iron Range U.S. Congressman John Bernard were advocates of just such a health care system.

The question is always brought forward: How would we pay for a National Public Health Care System?

We could stop fighting these senseless wars and pay for National Public Health Care with the resulting "peace dividend."

We could "tax-the-rich."

We could institute a payroll tax like that which funds Social Security.

No one would suggest we should turn our public schools over to Wall Street to profit from. Who in their right mind would suggest that the parents of each child should have to pay the teacher a fee like we pay doctors. Privatization doesn't work for education and it sure as heck isn't working for health care.

That Republican Mitt Romney, de facto supports Obamacare as Valerie Solem points out, does not validate Obamacare being legitimate as Valerie Solem would like us to believe.

In fact, the very fact that Romney and Obama support the same "for profit" health care system--- the "Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010" (ACA, Obamacare)--- only goes to prove there is no difference between Obama or Romney; they both come before the American people promoting Wall Street's reactionary agenda of greed before human need--- in this instance of health care it is profits for the few versus health care for all. On the health care issue, like all other issues, no matter if Romney or Obama win the election the American people will lose.

A very sad commentary on the state of our democracy.

And this is why I will cast my ballot for former Democrat Rocky Anderson who is running on the Justice Party ticket for President and Michael Cavlan of the Open Progressive Party for United States Senate. Both of these candidates have fought long and hard for the very modest reform of a single-payer universal health care system like our neighbors to the north in Canada enjoy--- at a cost far less than even the cheapest insurance premium leaving a huge co-pay; and fifty-million people uninsured without health care.

Hopefully, in 2016, we will have a candidate come forward articulating the need for a National Public Health Care System.

We don't even have to look to other countries for a model when it comes to a National Public Health Care System. We have three very effective--- effective in terms of low-cost and superior delivery to the private sector--- public health care systems in this country: VA, the Indian Health Service and the National Public Health Service; all funded by our tax dollars.

There is a lot of talk from Obama supporters like Valarie Solem that Obama is like President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nothing could be further from the truth. President Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, was a vigorous advocate of a National Public Health Care System and President Roosevelt had to remove a National Public Health Care System from consideration from the New Deal reforms because the American Medical Association (AMA) demonized Frances Perkins as a "Bolshevik" for advancing a National Public Health Care System. It is time to stand up to these bullies like the AMA and all those who profit financially from people getting sick.


--
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
E-mail: alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com

Blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/