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...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Time Magazing... Moral Mondays: Religious Progressives Protest North Carolina Policies

I would encourage this article be widely shared.

Link: http://swampland.time.com/2013/07/01/moral-mondays-religious-progressives-protest-north-carolina-policies/

Moral Mondays: Religious Progressives Protest North Carolina Policies

Almost every Monday since late April, hundreds of protestors have gathered in Raleigh to oppose the state’s budget cuts to unemployment benefits, healthcare funding, education, and other social benefits.

By  @elizabethjdiasJuly 01, 2013

NAACP Protests
Gerry Broome / AP

Demonstrators and NAACP-led supporters are arrested during an act of civil disobedience opposing the Republican legislature's agenda congregate at Halifax Mall outside the House and Senate chambers during "Moral Monday" protests at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, June 24, 2013.

Almost every Monday since late April, hundreds of protestors have gathered at the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh to oppose the state’s budget cuts to unemployment benefits, healthcare funding, education, and other social benefits. Today, July 1, the “Moral Mondays” protest may break records: Thousands of people are expected, as it is the first Monday since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned parts of the Voting Rights Act and the day that some of the most severe state cuts go into effect.

Nearly 600 people have been arrested for civil disobedience in the Moral Mondays protests since they started on April 29. Last week’s protest alone drew 3,000 people, and 120 people were arrested. The protestors range from ministers to a 60-year-old seventh-grade teacher to college students to a Duke University historian. Baptist churches host worship and prayer services before the protests begin, and regional Christian radio stations are starting to cover the protests.

Moral Monday protestors are liberal in bent, unhappy with the conservative policies their Republican-controlled legislature has enacted so far this year. A new law goes into effect Monday that pulls extended unemployment benefits from over 70,000 North Carolinians. The legislature opted out of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provision that would have covered an additional 500,000 people, and repealed the state’s earned income tax credit, which will now expire at the end of this year. It also appealed the Racial Justice Act, which allowed people on death row to argue that racial bias influenced their trial.

State Republican leaders have largely dismissed the Moral Mondays. Governor Pat McCrory waited five weeks before commenting about them, and then stated that he is not interested in meeting with the group, whom he called “outsiders” who were trying “to do to us what they did to Scott Walker in Wisconsin.” Republican State Senator Thom Goolsby dubbed the protests “Moron Mondays” in an op-ed for the Chatham Journal. He later said he was just joking. Police records indicate that 98% of people arrested are actually from North Carolina.

The man behind the Moral Mondays movement, Rev. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP and a Disciples of Christ minister, says he is undeterred.  The Moral Mondays are the result of seven years of progressive organizing for a new Southern ‘fusion politics’—a new multi-ethnic, multi-religious coalition with an anti-racist, anti-poverty agenda. Their goal, he continues, is “to directly attack the old divisions of the white southern strategy and what we believe were the shortcomings of the so-called Christian evangelical right that limits issues in the public square to things like prayer in school, abortion, and gender issues.”

His goals are bigger than just changing policies and looking toward the 2014 election. Barber believes the South is in the middle of what he calls the “third reconstruction.” Changing demographics in America, and state battles over voting rights laws, he claims, echo both the first reconstruction, which was voting rights for African Americans after the civil war, and the second reconstruction, which was the Civil Rights movement. A new southern strategy must, he says, be “rooted in the idea of the deep moral issues about faith, our constitution, anti-racism, anti-poverty, that can break open the solid south and put holes in it so that we expand the electorate, we expand the discourse, we destroy the myth that when you hurt entitlements you only hurt certain folk.”
Barber, 49, sees North Carolina as a necessary test case. Republicans won both houses of the General Assembly in 2010 for the first time in more than a century, and the state that swung from President Obama in 2008 to Mitt Romney in 2012. “[Republicans] believe if they can get away with this in a progressive, southern state, then it pours water on the aspirations of the rest of the southern states,” Barber says. Barber has a masters degree from Duke Divinity School and a doctorate in Public Policy and Pastoral Care from Drew University, and he worked on Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign.

Local Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and United Methodist leaders issued a joint statement in early June supporting the Moral Mondays purpose, if not their means of civil disobedience. Their concern, the faith leaders explain, is “not an act of political partisanship”—instead “it is a matter of faith with respect to our understanding of the biblical teachings and imperatives to protect the poor, respect the stranger, care for widows and children and love our neighbors (Isaiah 10:1‐2, Hebrews 13:2, James 1:27, Matthew 22:39, Galatians 5:14).”


Elizabeth is a writer-reporter in TIME's Washington bureau. Follow her on Twitter @elizabethjdias

North Carolina crowd roars back at governor: "Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!!"

North Carolina crowd roars back at governor: "Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!!"

RALEIGH, N.C.----Nearly 5,000 protestors at a "Moral Monday" rally, July 1, roared disapproval of North Carolina governor Pat McCrory's decision to terminate federal jobless benefits for 70,000 unemployed workers in the Tarheel State that same morning.
The Rev. William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP, main sponsor of the protests, accused McCrory of a "bald-faced lie" in claiming that accepting federal funds to extend unemployment compensation would cost the state.
"Zero is the amount of dollars it would have cost this state," Barber thundered. "70,000 unemployed workers lost their benefits at 12:01 this morning. Now they have to worry how they are going to pay for their medicine, pay for food, pay the rent." 
An additional 100,000 jobless workers in the state will lose their unemployment benefits in the coming months even though North Carolina ranks 5th in the nation in unemployment, he said.
Added Barber, "The hurt you are doing to unemployed people is wrong. The hurt you are doing to voters is wrong!" The crowd roared back, "Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!"
The rooftop porch of the nearby General Assembly building was packed with legislators and their aides listening to the rally speakers on a day of intermittent rain and flash flood warnings. As the rally began, the sun burst through.
Barber also blasted McCrory for rejecting Medicaid funding under Obamacare, stripping 500,000 low-income people in North Carolina of their only health coverage.
Barber recalled that Republican leaders described the Voting Rights Act as a "headache" even as they pushed through voter ID requirements that civil rights advocates term "a poll tax by another name."
Barber listed the martyrs who died to win the right to vote, from Medgar Evers to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Too much Blood has been lost, too many tears," he said. "If you think you have a headache now, just try to take away our voting rights. We're going to fight them because they are wrong. We're going to register everybody, get them to the polls like never before."
The crowd chanted, "Not one step back."
Rabbi Judy Schindler of Temple Beth El in Charlotte reminded the crowd that 600,000 poor children in North Carolina will be hurt by the cutbacks. She hailed the movement of many religious faiths, of all races and genders that is fighting back.
Javan Richardson, a 9th grader from Rocky Mount, recited lines from the Gospel according to Matthew, "For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in...." The crowd cheered.
Yara Allen, a leader of the Rocky Mount NAACP, pointed at the General Assembly building. "If there is no justice in our house, there should be no peace in that house over there. We will take this to the polls in the next election." Six hundred people have been arrested in civil disobedience protests since the Moral Monday actions began.
Later, Allen told the World "I've been coming to these rallies since they began and it has just grown bigger each week. We've been out in the rain, when tornadoes were forecast. Today they predicted flash floods. Nothing will stop us. We're here to stay.
She added, "We have become a family over the weeks. We are united across party lines, racial lines, religious lines. We are not going to be diverted by their divide-and-conquer tactics."
At this Monday's action, there were union members in their caps and jackets with placards upholding union organizing rights---Communications Workers of America (CWA), Service Employees (SEIU), Electrical Workers (UE). Many physicians who denounced cutbacks in Medicaid wore their white hospital smocks with stethoscopes around their necks. Teachers in the crowd held signs protesting the drive by to privatize public schools in the state. And many in the crowd were campaigning against "fracking" and demanding safe energy and clean air and water.
Harvey Smith told the World he has been unable to find steady work since he moved to North Carolina 23 years ago. He and his wife survive on his unemployment compensation. "After that runs out, I'll have to take early retirement and live on Social Security," he said.
The governor also reduced the maximum of those still receiving benefits from $535 per week to $350 a week. He slashed the amount workers are allowed to earn on part time jobs from $156 per week to $70 per week. He reduced the duration of benefits from 26 weeks to as little as 12 weeks.
Smith pointed out that North Carolina's Budget Director is the notorious Art Pope, owner of hundreds of variety stores in the region, a billionaire who also serves on the board of directors of Koch Industries. McCrory and Pope inflict maximum suffering on the poor while showering giveaways on their wealthy cronies, Smith charged.
Duke University historian, Dr. Timothy Tyson, scorned Republicans who think the people's movement is a "sinking ship." Said Tyson, "They are wrong. The ship that is sinking is the creaky old ship of white supremacy." The new ship of multiracial unity "is bound for glory. Get on board," he said. "There's room for many a more."
Photo: Tim Wheeler, Peoplesworld.org

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