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, June 3, 2013

The Raleigh, North Carolina "News and Observer" gets a piece of my mind...

I just sent this Letter to the Editor of the News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina:

The way the North Carolina State Legislature has been slashing funding for social programs is disgraceful.

With trillions of dollars being squandered on militarism and wars we have reached the point where we can no longer fund human needs.

Government budgets reflect our true priorities and if our national budget priorities are out of whack state and local budget priorities are sure to follow.

I want to add my voice in support of the protests being waged by the North Carolina NAACP against government cuts to social programs.

We should be funding human needs not militarism and wars.

Just the other day 28 Democratic United States Senators disgracefully joined with every single Republican in the U.S. Senate in voting against restoring billions of dollars cut from the Food Stamp program yet these same politicians have no qualms when it comes to spending on war after war. I was disgusted to learn our two Democratic U.S. Senators from Minnesota joined North Carolina's Republican Senators in this vote.

What we need is a new working class based progressive people's party to challenge these Wall Street merchants of death and destruction--- who control both the Democrats and Republicans--- for political and economic power.

Alan L. Maki; Warroad, Minnesota

See link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EjvQmwMN3_I

The controversy around Affirmative Action continues... why when we all gain from its enforcement?

The controversy surrounding Affirmative Action results from a lack of class consciousness among working people.

Most people don't understand that when we raise the standard of living and defend the rights of the people who have been victims of racist discrimination we are raising the standard of living and protecting the rights of everyone.

Why don't people understand the link between enforcing Affirmative Action and protecting
their own standard of living and defending their own rights?

Link:  http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/americans-oppose-affirmative-action-for-race-if-you-only-ask-white-americans/276426/

Americans Oppose Affirmative Action for Race, If You Only Ask White Americans

What do polls show about racial preferences in college admissions? Don't take the overall number at face value.
Abigail Fisher, who was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin, is challenging race-based affirmative action at the Supreme Court. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)
With the Supreme Court set to hand down a decision on a controversial affirmative action case in Texas in college admissions -- and expected to deal a blow to traditional race-based measures -- The New York Times has a thoughtful look at socioeconomic affirmative action, which is often presented as a preferable alternative in the 21st century. The argument, proponents say, is that while race is still an issue, race quotas often end up perpetuating class privilege, and that colleges and universities should focus on poor students instead. The upshot? "But many educators see real limits to how eager colleges are to enroll more poor students, no matter how qualified -- and the reason is money."
The story also drops this seemingly innocuous fact: "Polls show that while most Americans oppose racial or ethnic preferences in college admissions, they also think colleges should give extra help to the poor."
That's a deceptively complex statement. When you actually take a look at the polls, the truth is more like this: A majority of Americans oppose racial or ethnic preferences, but only because a majority of Americans are also white.
For example, look at this Pew study from 2009. The toplines are clear: Many more respondents oppose affirmative action for race than support it.
pew AA 1.gif
But when you look at the breakdown by race, it's a radically different picture. Note that against 1100 white respondents, there are barely 250 black and Hispanic ones -- and that their support for race-based remedies is 30 to 35 points higher.
pew AA 2.gif
This isn't hard to suss out: There are more white people in these polls, and in the U.S. white Americans, who don't benefit from these programs directly (setting aside arguments about the essential value of diversity and social inclusion), see less reason for them -- it's not necessarily racial malice; they just don't see the need. The minorities, of course, who stand to benefit directly, see things rather differently.
The pattern is reasonably consistent. For example, another 2009 poll, from Quinnipiac, found that 55 percent of voters favored ending affirmative action for minority racial groups in hiring, promotion, and college admissions. But drill down: Just a quarter of whites supported continuing the programs, a whopping 78 percent of blacks did. Hispanics were evenly split. (The poll doesn't appear to show how many respondents were black, white, and Hispanic.) The breakdown is consistent over time, too. Here's a Gallup poll from 2005; the poll's topline found Americans support racial preferences 50-42.
A couple of caveats. The conservative pollster Rasmussen has also found support for ending race-based affirmative action, but doesn't make their crosstabs publicly available, so it's unclear what the race breakdown is like. Furthermore, few of these surveys include Asian-Americans as a separate category, usually because there aren't enough respondents for statistical significance. However, Asians and Asian-Americans are an important part of the higher-education debate, as those groups' enrollment has skyrocketed. As Inside Higher Ed reported, there's some disagreement in the demographic, with some arguing that Asians and Asian-Americans now constitute such a large part of college populations that race-based preferences aiding blacks and Hispanics actually disadvantage Asians and Asian-Americans.
But the overall point is clear: When someone says that most Americans oppose race-based affirmative action, what they really mean is most white Americans oppose it.
Update: In a poll this week, the Public Religion Research Institute found stronger support for affirmative action than others: Almost two thirds of respondents "favor programs which, in order to make up for past discrimination, make special efforts to help blacks and other minorities get ahead." But the disparity in answers between respondents of different races is present here, too:

David A. Graham

David Graham is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.