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...

Monday, November 26, 2012

What can we expect from the Democratic majority in the Minnesota State Legislature with a Democratic Governor at the helm?

Here in Minnesota we now have a Democratic governor plus the Democrats are now in majority control of the State's House and Senate.

Does anyone really believe these Democrats will improve the lives and living conditions of working people?

Does anyone actually believe these Democrats with their huge majority handed to them will now enforce Affirmative Action and move to end racist inequalities in Minnesota?

Does anyone really believe these Democrats will move to eliminate poverty or at least alleviate poverty rather than making poverty worse?

Does anyone think these Democrats will remove the primary and main obstacle to union organizing in Minnesota by rescinding this draconian "At-will hiring; At-will firing" legislation presently on the books giving most employers free reign to fire any worker engaged in union organizing or fighting for full equality?

What these Democrats could do with their new majority and complete control of the state legislative apparatus to improve the lives and living conditions is just about without limit or restriction--- but, what working people will be getting from these Democrats is nothing but a kick in the ass.

This "liberal" Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has demonstrated very clearly what these worthless Democrats intend to do with their new found majority power:

* Harass and intimidate public employees and cut their standard of living.

* Refuse to enforce Affirmative Action on public works projects including the new billion dollar plus Viking Stadium and the billion dollar bridge across the St. Croix River boondoggle; both projects which will further enrich contractors and construction companies while deny people of color, women and the handicapped the jobs to which they are entitled.

What we can expect from Governor Dayton who came to power promising to "tax-the-rich" and enforce Affirmative Action is higher taxes on the working class and more discrimination and expanding poverty.

There are possibly two state legislators who we can count on to stand up for the rights of working people in general but probably none who will take a stand for full equality in employment.

A very sad state of affairs in a state which once boasted of having two socialist governors--- Floyd B. Olson and Elmer Benson--- elected on the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party ticket who made improving the plight of ALL working people and eliminating racist inequality their primary order of business.

Author laments the absense of Reds in the labor movement.

I found this interview very interesting although I don't care for Alternet as a source of information. But, what I find most interesting is that neither the person doing the interview nor the author bring forward what is probably the most important question to ask given the author's comment:

"McAlevey sat down with AlterNet to talk about organizing in so-called “right-to-work” states, the too-close relationship between unions and Democrats who leave them high and dry, the brutality of fighting the boss, and why the worst thing to happen to labor in the U.S. might just have been purging the Communists from the movement."

A comment which begs the question:

If we are going to strengthen the labor movement, organize working class communities and organize the un-organized; don't we need to re-build the Communist Party U.S.A. along the class struggle, anti-imperialist line suggested by one of the greatest union organizers of all time--- William Z. Foster?

Phil Raymond (a leader of the Communist Party who is widely recognized as the founder of the UAW told me the way he and Nadia Barkan (who headed up the Young Communist League in Michigan) built up the organization that led to organizing the United Auto Workers was by first building Communist Party Clubs in each plant and each community the auto plants were in.

The same thing was done on the Iron Range in Minnesota according to John Bernard who became the primary organizer for the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party and who was eventually elected to Congress.

For all practical purposes the success of labor today hinges on the working class having a strong Communist Party--- after all, without a Communist Party we never would have had these Communist union organizers in the steel, auto, electrical, chemical, transportation, forestry, mining and communication industries that Jane McAlevey who wrote this book is talking about.

Even Jimmy Hoffa acknowledged that the historic breakthrough in organizing the Teamster's Union could not have taken place had Gus Hall and Minneapolis' Communists not laid the groundwork for organizing the historic Minneapolis Teamster Strike.

At one time in this country almost every single CIO labor council was headed up by Communists.

I haven't read this book yet; but, the insinuation here that few seem prepared to discuss is that we need to re-build a strong Communist Party U.S.A. because strengthening and organizing unions is what we need and it is Communists who can get this work done.

How Organizing for Change Is Very Different Than Winning Elections
Jane McAlevey talks about her new book "Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell)," how to organize the right way, and big