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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...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Business as usual for Minnesota mining

Reader's view:

 http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/259710/

Business as usual for Minnesota mining

The latest report from the UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics (as reported on by the News Tribune in the Feb. 7 story, “UMD report underscores value of iron ore mining, potential for copper”), is business as usual in the world of mining in Minnesota.

Once again we get a promotional brochure for the mining industry masquerading as an economic report.

To make judgments about proposed industrial developments, the civilized world usually agrees that a cost-benefit analysis is required. But all we get from the University of Minnesota Duluth is a list of benefits. There was no apparent discussion of costs, of elevated sulfates in Lake Vermilion or of heavy metals leaching from the Dunka pit. I noticed no hint of the dead zone for wild rice in the St. Louis River, no analysis of the blighted communities along the length of the Mesabi Range and no acknowledgement of the poverty rate in Virginia, the heart of the Mesabi Range.

“Regulatory capture” refers to the industry domination of agencies meant to regulate them. “Deep capture” occurs when the industry dominates the media, academia and popular culture. It seems to me the state of Minnesota has been captured by the mining industry.

The editorial pages of the Duluth News Tribune and the publications of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics should be adequate proof of Minnesota’s subjugation to mining interests.

Robert Tammen

Soudan

Public Banking

Public Banking
End-run the 1 percent and the 'Grand Bargain'

By Mike Krauss
Bucks County Courier Times

The great strength of America has always been the immense diversity of our people; which has enabled us to adapt, survive and even prosper in an ever changing environment of challenges and opportunities.

That diversity is still our greatest asset, but it is being choked off in Washington. It can be enabled at the state, county and municipal level.

The key is sustained and affordable credit to stimulate locally directed economic development: new ideas, new technologies, job creation, strong local banks and sound municipal finances.

That is what public banking is all about — enabling an end-run around the callous indifference to the well being of the American people, which the self-absorbed parasites of the federal establishment barely trouble to conceal.

The urgent need for this banking innovation was fully on display in a recent column by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in which he was again beating the drum for the “Grand Bargain.”

That’s the deal that will cut Social Security and Medicare, raise taxes on those who won’t feel it and supposedly cure the nation’s economic woes.

It is the argument for austerity, which has produced more misery for the 99 percent and more wealth for the 1 percent in every nation where it has been tried.

The Grand Bargain is a fraud — lipstick on a pig — and incredibly, Freidman doesn’t get it.

I say incredibly, because Friedman is married to a former billionaire, now millionaire, whose family fortune was in commercial real estate, mostly shopping malls, and was estimated by Forbes at $4.1 billion, back in 2007. But since the market crashed, the family’s fortune has declined to a reported $25 million.

Friedman is unable to make the connection. His wife’s family fortune was in shopping malls. Americans stopped shopping. They have no money. There are no jobs. And it is getting worse.

There was a lot of pre-Christmas hype about what a great shopping season it would be. It never happened.

Now, Bloomberg News reports that February sales at Wall Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, are “off to the worst monthly start in seven years,” according to a Wal-Mart VP who explained in a memo to his colleagues, “February MTD [month to date] sales are a total disaster… The worst start to a month I have seen in my seven years with the company.”

And Friedman thinks reductions in Social Security and Medicare support will send Americans out to the malls, shopping?

This is such easy math.

The population of the United States is something over 300 million. Let’s work with that number. If the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans all purchase new shoes — mom, dad and all the kids — about 3 million pairs of shoes will be purchased.

But if the 53 percent of Americans who have hung on in the middle class all purchase new shoes (I am excluding the 1 percent at the top and the 46 percent who now live officially in poverty) about 159 million pairs of shoes will be sold.

It takes jobs, more investment in the 99 percent and less in the 1 percent. The malls would be full.

I’m surprised Mrs. Friedman isn’t filing for divorce.

Still, Friedman bangs the Grand Bargain-austerity drum and warns that without more cuts, America would be in dire straits. How dire? So dire, he warns, that Americans might stop looking to Washington for solutions to their problems.

They already have.

Friedman cited polling data of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment, making his argument for reductions in Social Security and Medicare, but let slip this news. According to the poll’s director, historically “people have always turned to Washington in times of economic crisis, but now they’re losing confidence in the government’s ability to reshape the economy… Americans now think they have to take more control themselves.”

We can’t have that! Imagine American states, counties, cities and municipalities solving their own problems. What would become of us?

What would become of us is that America would stop looking to Washington.

And that is Friedman’s worry, and the worry of the governing elite and the 1 percent who have used the federal government for decades to set up the so-called meritocracy of the best and brightest (Mr. Obama is their poster boy), to set up an America in which — surprise! — they do very well, while the living standards of everybody else deteriorate .

I’m rooting for all the gridlock in Washington we can get, because every time the GOP and Democrats come together, the middle class takes it in the neck.

Friedman posed the question, “What to do to get Washington moving again?” The better question is, “What to do to get our states, counties and municipalities moving?”

The former will deliver us to more of Washington’s servitude to the 1 percent and the continued concentration of the vast wealth of the nation in the hands of the few, while the latter will lead to local initiative that will rev up the engine of American ingenuity and broadly shared prosperity.

Public banking at the state, county and municipal level is a declaration of independence from a thoroughly subverted and corrupt federal government, and the first step on the path back to prosperity for all Americans.

Peace, employment cure many ills

Published in the Bemidji Pioneer Press

http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/content/peace-employment-cure-many-ills

Peace, employment cure many ills
By: Alan Maki
Warroad, MN
February 19, 2013


Once again with President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Speech we got another politician hypocritically talking about “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.”

If just one job was created every time some politician opened their mouth and started talking about “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” we wouldn’t have any unemployment in this country and everyone who wanted to work would have a decent, living wage job.

So, what is the main obstacle to full employment? Accountability from the very politicians who mouth the words “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” whenever they want to get elected, re-elected or want thunderous applause then go about their business forgetting about jobs as they go looking for their next bribe from a Wall Street lobbyist who views unemployment as the way to keep all wages down which pushes profits up.

What we need in this country is a real “Full Employment Act” which mandates –  by legislation and law – that the President and the United States Congress must maintain full employment as part of their responsibility to the American people.

What good is a government that gets us into war after war but can’t even assure full employment for the very people it taxes?
Wars cause government debt and deficits; peace and full employment eliminate debts and deficits.

An exchange with the Editorial Page Editor of the Duluth News Tribune

An exchange with an editor:

February 25, 2013

Mr. Chuck Frederick
Editorial Page Editor,
Duluth News Tribune


Dear Editor Frederick,

When I did not hear back from your newspaper in a timely manner I decided to submit my Letter to the Editor to other newspapers.

Your newspaper was the very first newspaper I submitted my letter to.

I think I have the right to publish my own letter on my own blogs, do I not, with it still remaining an exclusive submission to your newspaper?

Anyways, if the original ideas in my Letter to the Editor are not worthy of being published in your newspaper that is up to you.

The fact of the matter is, you repeatedly publish the views expressed by all kinds of politicians as they hypocritically talk about "jobs, jobs, jobs" and not once have you as the Editorial Page Editor of the Duluth News Tribune challenged these politicians by holding them accountable by asking where these jobs are.

Nor have you ever suggested that since these politicians consider "jobs, jobs, jobs" to be the primary issue facing the country at election you don't follow up after the election asking them why they don't pass legislation making themselves responsible for full employment.

If one newspaper does not respond as to whether they will publish my letter I merely submit it to another for consideration.

Obviously I am aware my letter was on my blogs because I placed it there. I was also aware another newspaper, not the one you mentioned, published my letter--- after I had submitted my letter to the Duluth News Tribune.

What are you suggesting; I have a responsibility to notify you the letter is no longer an "exclusive" or else I become a "liar?" This seems rather petty of you.

In my opinion, you have gone way over the line as an Editor in calling one of your loyal readers a "liar" over this.

Make no mistake you are calling me a "liar" because I do know the meaning of "exclusive."

When was the last time you called Barack Obama or any politician a "liar" for saying they are for "jobs, jobs, jobs" when you know full well they aren't talking about creating jobs for every unemployed person who wants to work--- what is it now, Something like FIFTEEN MILLION unemployed people in this country and counting?

When was the last time you called any of these politicians "liars" because they continue to talk day after day about debts and deficits yet they continue funding these dirty wars for which they always manage to find the money even though this adds to debts and deficits?

In my opinion; I have not written about some kind of trivial issue. Nor have I written about something that is anything other than a very major issue that the entire Nation is focused on--- jobs and unemployment. I have not only written about an important issue; but, I have suggested a solution to unemployment by making the President and the members of the House and Senate legislatively responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment.

If these politicians are going to campaign for our votes on the basis that "jobs, jobs, jobs" are their highest priority items on their agenda then they should be held accountable once elected. Accountability can only be assured if full employment is made part of their job description and legislative duty.

Feel free to call me any names you want. You obviously have the "power" to decide whether my Letter to the Editor is published or not in the Duluth News Tribune.

In the interest of "freedom of the press" and the right of people to have access to all ideas and suggestions for solutions to pressing problems discussed in the proverbial "public square," I am requesting you publish my Letter to the Editor in the Duluth News Tribune because it merits publication no matter how many times or where it has been published. You are certainly free to add your Editorial comments about what you think of me, or my ideas, before or after the Letter. This is what would best serve the public interest.

Perhaps one of the politicians receiving this would like to respond to my Letter? Perhaps some of your readers would like the opportunity to respond to my Letter? Perhaps since "jobs, jobs, jobs" is such a newsworthy issue you could assign some reporters to go out and talk to people in the Duluth area to see what they think about my Letter in relation to what the politicians have done to live up to their campaign promises of making "jobs" their number one priority when it comes to seeking votes but forgetting once elected?

I have noticed on the Editorial Page of the Duluth News Tribune you frequently endorse politicians who lie. And you endorse them more often than not on the basis of their lies--- "jobs, jobs, jobs" being the perfect example; drone warfare being another.

Use your power as an Editor to do as you see fit with my Letter to the Editor; not printing my Letter won't hurt or bother me; it will be your readers who will be deprived of an alternative viewpoint; it will be your readers who will pay the price in not having access to one more idea.

Let's see if there are any politicians who talk about "jobs, jobs, jobs" who might want to weigh in on this controversy of whether or not my Letter to the Editor should be published... the Duluth News Tribune has endorsed enough of them--- all liars when they talk about "jobs, jobs, jobs" being at the top of their legislative agendas.

All I ask is you not sue me nor turn me over to the authorities for punishment as the last Letter to the Editor I wrote that was published in the Duluth News Tribune ended up in the FBI's "Red Squad" file they maintain on me--- but there is another dirty little government secret just like the drone wars killing our jobs just like they kill people we shouldn't read about or talk about.

By the way, Mr. Frederick; have you ever considered there is a reason so many people turn to blogging in this country?

I guess I can assume if I decide to run for the United States Senate there won't be any use my stopping by the Duluth News Tribune's Editorial Offices seeking your endorsement if I should choose to run on a platform of "jobs, jobs, jobs."

Alan L. Maki

 

On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM, Chuck Frederick wrote:

Hello Mr. Maki. The subject line of the email containing your letter to the editor submission to the News Tribune indicated the letter was exclusively for publication in the News Tribune. Exclusively, as in ONLY submitted to the News Tribune. But I'm finding your letter already published by the Bemidji paper and already published on at least two blogs. That's hardly exclusive. So were you lying to us when you submitted your letter or did you not understand what "exclusive" means?

Chuck Frederick
Editorial Page Editor
Duluth News Tribune




On Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM, Alan Maki wrote:

An exclusive Letter to the Editor submitted for publication in the Duluth News Tribune

Once again with President Barack Obama's State of the Union Speech we got another politician hypocritically talking about "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs."

If just one job was created every time some politician opened their mouth and started talking about "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" we wouldn't have any unemployment in this country and everyone who wanted to work would have a decent, living wage job.

So, what is the main obstacle to full employment? Accountability from the very politicians who mouth the words "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" whenever they want to get elected, re-elected or want thunderous applause then go about their business forgetting about jobs as they go looking for their next bribe from a Wall Street lobbyist who views unemployment as the way to keep all wages down which pushes profits up.

What we need in this country is a real "Full Employment Act" which mandates--- by legislation and law--- that the President and the United States Congress must maintain full employment as part of their responsibility to the American people.

What good is a government that gets us into war after war but can't even assure full employment for the very people it taxes?

Wars cause government debt and deficits; peace and full employment eliminate debts and deficits.

--
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/



--
Chuck Frederick
Editorial Page Editor
Duluth News Tribune
424 W. First St.
Duluth MN 55802
cfrederick@duluthnews.com
218-723-5316




--
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/