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...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ex-defense chief says hit on Iran would be disastrous

Ex-defense chief says hit on Iran would be disastrous



Painting a picture of internal political dysfunction in a dangerous world, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Wednesday night that a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran would have disastrous consequences.
Neither the United States nor Israel is capable of wiping out Iran's nuclear capability, he said, and "such an attack would make a nuclear-armed Iran inevitable. They would just bury the program deeper and make it more covert."

Iran could respond by disrupting world oil traffic and launching a wave of terrorism across the region, Gates said.

"The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world."

First in this season's Norfolk Forum speaker series, Gates spoke to an audience of nearly 2,000 in Chrysler Hall.

United Nations sanctions aimed at discouraging Iran's nuclear ambitions are starting to have an impact on the Iranian economy, he said, and "that's our best chance going forward, to ratchet up the economic pressure and diplomatic isolation to the point where the Iranian leadership concludes that it actually hurts Iranian security and, above all, the security of the regime itself, to continue to pursue nuclear weapons."
And while Israeli anxiety over Iran's intentions is understandable, he added, America should make it clear to Israel's leaders that "they do not have a blank check to take action that could do grave harm to American vital interests."

Meanwhile, Gates warned, the United States is paralyzed by partisan gridlock that threatens the nation with financial insolvency.

The combination of across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect in January, put in motion by Congress' inability to agree on how to reduce the ballooning national debt, would do grave  damage to the military and virtually every other essential government operation and could throw the country into a new recession, he said.

The central problem, Gates said, is that both major parties have been captured by their ideological extremes.

"The moderate center, the foundation of our political system, is not holding.

"Too many of our politicians seem more concerned with winning elections and scoring ideological points than saving the country."

Gates ran the Pentagon from 2006 to 2011 under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He was the first defense secretary to serve under presidents of both parties.

He was also the only career CIA officer in history to rise from entry-level employee to director of the agency. He was director from 1991 to 1993.

The Kansas native now holds the honorary post of chancellor at the College of William and Mary. A 1965 graduate of the college, he is the first alumnus in the modern era to become chancellor.

Bill Sizemore, 757-446-2276, bill.sizemore@pilotonline.com

An open letter to the Sierra Club

Cathy Duvall, Sierra Club Political Director;

What is really pathetic is that the Sierra Club doesn't even bring forward the views of the two "greenest" candidates in this race: Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein.

After watching the real debate on Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!," I don't think there is any doubt that both Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein out shined  both Romney and Obama who, without the assistance from a teleprompter, proved he was nothing but an idiot on the order of George Bush.

Because Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein have been too short-sighted to understand that had they come together with a united progressive ticket, the American people are going to be cheated out of the opportunity to vote for a team which could have turned this country around; but that is neither here nor there at this late date since either Obama or Romney will continue dragging us down the road to ruin.

Since Obama, who can't defend his horrible record after four years in office, deserves to be defeated; Romney, obviously, shouldn't be elected. What a mess. This is lose-lose for the American people.

The only thing left is for Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein to lead a massive movement of people raising hell in the streets insisting that their progressive programs be implemented.

As the leaders of a massive movement for real change against Wall Street's reactionary agenda of wars abroad paid for with austerity measures here at home, Anderson and Stein should present themselves to the American people in a united ticket in 2016.

By being honest in bringing to the attention of your members the campaigns of Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein, the Sierra Club could do a great service in quest of saving our country and our democracy.

Again, I say shame on the Sierra Club for intentionally ignoring the Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein campaigns.

Don't bother asking me to renew my Sierra Club membership; and don't bother sending me your requests for contributions because all such requests will be met with the same response the Sierra Club has shown towards Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party--- your requests for further dues and contributions will simply be ignored.

Alan L. Maki