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...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Winnipeg marks 40th anniversary of Chilean coup

Communist Party of Canada - Manitoba
3:39 PM (1 hour ago)

to Communist
[Please forward this email widely.]

Dear Friends, Sisters and Brothers,

I urge you to attend the outstanding events organized by Winnipeg's Chilean community.

Some of Winnipeg's finest citizens arrived as refugees from Chile 40 years ago, and they have organized a month of not-to-be missed activities. The powerful and moving political and cultural heritage of Salvador Allende's Popular Unity government has left a lasting mark on Canada for which we are grateful!

This is a month to play songs of Victor Jara, Inti Illimani and Quilapayun. This is a month to read about what Chilean fascism set out to destroy, with the active support of U.S. imperialism. This is a month to renew our inspiration for a better world.

For more info on the events, visit http://www.chile40winnipeg.ca/# or email info@chile40winnipeg.ca

I am appending a pdf of this email for your fridge door, or scotch tape it to the ceiling over your bed.

In Solidarity,
Darrell Rankin
Manitoba office, Communist Party of Canada

Winnipeg marks 40th anniversary of Chilean coupPeople's Voice, Manitoba Bureau

September 11, 2013 is the 40th anniversary of the 1973 military coup in Chile. During the coup and the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet thousands were illegally detained, tortured, executed and disappeared. Now, 40 years later, the Winnipeg Chilean community has come together to reflect upon this history.

The coup evoked an outpouring of global solidarity with Chile’s democrats, many of whom were forced into exile. The Soviet Union gave its full solidarity. In other countries like Canada, labour, communist and broad, democratic forces compelled governments to grant refuge and isolate the fascist Pinochet junta.

The activities organized by Winnipeg’s Chilean community will bring important memories to many, especially the struggles and solidarity of Canadians to support democracy in Chile in later years.

The activities will strengthen ideas about solidarity and democracy for new generations. Canadians have benefited greatly from this community’s presence in Canada.

Sat, Sept 7 - The Armed Forces and the Coup d’Etat in Chile/ Las fuerzas armadas y el golpe de estado en Chile - Presentation/ Presentacion, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, Legislative Building, 334 - 450 Broadway

Sat, Sept 7 - Dance performance and reception. Chile Canta y Lucha presents "Reflections : Past, Present and Future", 7:00 pm, Reception to follow performance. Technical Vocational High School 1555 Wall Street, Admission $10 

Wed, Sept 11 - Main event: Never Again: 40th Anniversary of the Coup d’Etat in Chile/ Nunca Mas: 40oAniversario del golpe de estado, 7:00 pm, Winnipeg Chilean Association, 892 Burrows Ave.

Thur, Sept 12 – 15 - Film festival: 40 Years On: The narration of Chilean resistance and exile in cinema. All at Winnipeg Film Group's Cinematheque, 100 Arthur Street
"September 11, 1973 is the day Chile's democratic government was overthrown by a brutal and bloody CIA-backed military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet. Forty years on, the investigation and interpretation of what actually happened in Chile has triggered a large body of cinema into existence around the world. While the essential elements of what happened are largely now without dispute, immersed within the core truths that surrounded this history, however, are myriad smaller and lesser known stories and perspectives - incredibly complex and telling of human nature, many still in the process of rising to the public consciousness." - Cecilia Araneda, Curator
Films featured :
Thur, Sept 12, 7:00 pm : Salvador Allende
Thur, Sept 12, 9:00 pm : The Chicago Conspiracy
Fri, Sept 13, 7:00 pm : Augustin's Newspaper
Fri, Sept 13, 9:00 pm : NO
Sat, Sept 14, 7:00 pm : Machuca
Sun, Sept 15, 3:00 pm : Violeta Went to Heaven
Sun, Sept 15, 7:00 pm : The Chilean Building
(Note: I have appended film descriptions, below. - DR)
Sat, Sept 14 - Music Concert: A celebration of his life and music, Victor Jara, 8 pm at the West End Cultural Centre, 586 Ellice Ave (at Sherbrook Street) Tickets available at WECC, Ticketmaster, Music Trader, Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store $20 advance / $25 at the door
Winnipeg musicians pay tribute to Víctor Jara with a celebration of his life and music. Hugo Torres-Cereceda, who came to Canada as a refugee from Chile, will lead the line-up, performing a selection of Víctor Jara's songs, with his son Illya Torres-Garner and Jessee Havey (The Duhks). John K. Samson (The Weakerthans) will read poetry by Víctor Jara and Pablo Neruda. Natasha Torres-Garner will perform a piece of her own dance choreography inspired by Víctor Jara's last words from a poem he wrote during the several days between his arrest and his execution. Víctor Jara was arrested on September 12, 1973 and held in the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile with 5000 other political prisoners. He was tortured and witnesses recounted that soldiers broke his fingers and taunted him with a guitar, challenging him to play it for them. In response he sang "Venceremos" - "We Will Overcome". Four days later, on September 16, 1973, Víctor Jara was executed.

Wed, Sept 25 - International solidarity with the Chilean people/ Solidaridad international con el pueblo Chileno - By invitation only, 6:00 pm - doors open at 5:45 pm Univ. of Manitoba Smartpark Event Centre, 100 - One Research Road.
Master of Ceremonies : Claudia García de la Huerta
6:00 pm - Panel discussion with Paul Graham, Howard Pawley, Darrell Rankin and Judy Wasylycia-Leis
7:15 pm - Reception
7:45 pm - Presentation of Certificates of Acknowledgment
8:30 pm - Closing Remarks

Fri, Sept 27 - Film and Presentation/ Pelicula y Presentation, 7:00 - 10:00 pm, Gas Station Theatre, 445 River Avenue, Osborne Village
Film: "The Judge and the General"
Dir. Elizabeth Farnsworth and Patricio Lanfranco 2008, 84 mins, Chile | USA – English
In 1998 Chilean Judge Juan Guzmán, who supported Pinochet in the 1973 coup, was assigned the first of the criminal cases launched against the dictator. Through interviews the film follows Guzmán's investigation into the crimes of the dictatorship and indeed his own role in endorsing the coup. The poignant cases of victims Manuel Donoso and Cecilia Castro are focused on. (See also IMDb synopsis)
Presentation: "Trade Unions Under Attack - Chile in the Aftermath of September 11, 1973"
This is an exhibition about union leaders in Chile and their work as representatives of the labour movement in the 1960s and particularly 1970 to 1973 during the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende. The presentation also features Chilean leaders who have contributed to the labour movement in Canada and their solidarity with union leaders in Chile during the dictatorship. Stephen Hunt, Director of District 3, Western Canada of United Steelworkers, will recount his experiences of that era in the Canadian labour movement.

Sat, Sept 28 - Encounter with the Association of families of the detained disappeared (AFDD)/ Encuentro con la agrupacion de familiares de detenidos desaparecidos (AFDD), 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, University of Winnipeg Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall 3rd floor - 515 Portage Avenue 
A representative of the AFDD will talk about the mission of the ogranization that labours on behalf of the disappeared victims of the coup and their families. The AFDD is a non-governmental not-for-profit organization in Chile that originated when the families of detained and disappeared victims of the coup appeared before the Pro-Peace Committee in October 1973. The Committee was a coalition of Christian and Jewish communities, girded by the courage of their faith in a mission to protect the lives of citizens from their own dictatorial government. In 1975 the families of the detained disappeared formally organized as the AFDD and their cri de coeur ever since is TRUTH, JUSTICE and MEMORY. They demand the truth about the circumstances of the disappearances of their loved ones and where their bodies are. They demand justice for the victims and their families through legal sanctions for those who participated in the crimes. In memory of the disappeared and the infamy of the crimes against them they share widely the personal stories of the victims and build monuments to them.

Other dates and activities are listed at www.chile40winnipeg.cainfo@chile40winnipeg.ca

* * * * * * *"40 Years On" film synopsesThur, Sept 12, 7:00 pm : Salvador Allende
Dir. Patricio Guzman, 2006. France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Chile - 100 min. Documentary, Spanish, French, English - with English Subtitles
        A leftist revolutionary or a reformist democrat? A committed Marxist or a constitutional politician? An ethical and moral man or, as Richard Nixon called him, a "son of a bitch"? SALVADOR ALLENDE portrays the life, times and political formation of the Valparaiso-born doctor who was active in Chile's Socialist party politics as a senator and who ran unsuccessfully for President three times before finally being elected in 1970. 
        Former U.S. Ambassador Korry provides an insider's account of President Nixon and Henry Kissinger's determination to thwart Allende, but he is unrepentant about the CIA-sponsored coup that overthrew the Chilean government.
         Internationally acclaimed director Patricio Guzmán's personalized voice-over commentary provides a compelling narrative thread for this political biography - one which, in his attempt to understand the impact of Allende on hiw own life and his nation's political history, also serves to illuminate this controversial and inspirational public figure for an international audience.
        Plays with: Even if my hands were full of truths, Dir: Francisca Duran, 2012, Canada, 8 min, Experimental
The third in a series about the legacy of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, this component contemplates how memory might or might not become history, using excerpts from now-unclassified CIA correspondence and a photo-montage taken at the Museum of Human Rights and Memory in Santiago, Chile. 

Thur, Sept 12, 9:00 pm : The Chicago Conspiracy
Dir.: Subversive Action Films, 2010, Chile, 95 min., Documentary, Spanish and English, with English subtitles
This underground documentary takes its name from a group of Chilean economists who studied at the University of Chicago and other institutions and became followers of neoliberal economist Milton Friedman. These economists returned to Chile to assist Pinochet's military regime, privatizing nearly every aspect of Chile.
        THE CHICAGO CONSPIRACY does not focus on the story of the Allende government, but instead begins on March 29, 1985, when two young brothers and members of a left wing revolutionary organization, Rafael and Eduardo Vergara, were gunned down by police as they walked through the politically active community of Villa Francia. 
        This documentary recounts the story of the Vergara brothers alongside that of the poor neighbourhoods lining the outskirts of Santiago that originally cropped up as land occupations, as well as telling the story of recent Mapuche First Nation resistence - focusing on the legacy of dictatorship within the new Chilean democracy.

Fri, Sept 13, 7:00 pm : Augustin's Newspaper
Dir.: Ignacio Aguero, 2009, Chile, 80 min, Documentary, Spanish, with English subtitles
AGUSTÍN’S NEWSPAPER follows journalism students from the University of Chile as they launch an investigation into the work of the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, owned by Agustín Edwards since 1956, and its reporting of and role in their country’s political history, in particular around the election of Salvador Allende in 1970, the violent coup against him in 1973, and the subsequent seventeen years of the military regime.
        Together, the students and the film dig into the particulars of several key events and their coverage in El Mercurio as case studies. They also look into relations between the owners and managers of the newspaper and Chilean political parties, the church, military, secret police, and the CIA. 
        In the end, through its attention to the details of one country’s journalistic history, AGUSTÍN’S NEWSPAPER raises profound questions not only about the role and responsibilities of Chile’s most important newspaper, but of all those who control or manage the dissemination of information and the reporting of news in every country.
        Plays with Pinochet's Women Dir.: Eduaro Menz, 2009, Canada, 12 min., Experimental, Spanish, with English subtitles
An examination of the forgotten history of two very different but significant women during Pinochet's brutal regime of Chile in the late 1980's - Cecilia Bolocco, who was crowned Miss Universe in 1987, and Carmen Gloria Quintana, who in 1986 suffered severe burns and was left for dead after being picked up by the military for protesting against Pinochet. 

Fri, Sept 13, 9:00 pm : NO
Dir: Pablo Larrain, 2012, Chile, 118 min., Drama, Spanish, with English subtitles
In 1988, Chilean military dictatory Augusto Pinochet is forced to call a plebiscite on his presidency due to international pressure. The country will vote Yes or No to Pinochet extending his rule for another eight years. Opposition leaders for the No persuade a brash young executive, René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal), to spearhead their campaign. 
        Against all odds, with scant resources and under scrutiny by the despots minions, Saavedra and his team devise an audacious plan to win the election and set Chile free.
        Director Pablo Larraín has said, in response to the question how much of the story is real?: "Everything. The concept, the jingles, the commercials, the slogans. All of it is true. What had to be adapted was that many of the characters had to be condensed into fewer people because we couldn't include every single one of these people and have a cast of 100. Also, something that became a point of dicussion in Chile afterwards was that the film shows one point of view, and doesn't show the reality and the importance that the political world had, which was very significant. It doesn't show the contribution of the people on the street, who played a very important part in what happened and succeeded in mobilising a country." - In Sounds and Colors

Sat, Sept 14, 7:00 pm : Machuca
Dir: Andrés Wood, 2004, Chile, Spain, 115 min, Drama, anish, with English subtitles
Set in Chile, 1973, this is an astonishingly intimate and painful coming-of-age story about a pair of 12-year-old boys from opposite extremes of society who form an unlikely friendship during the last days of President Allende and the first days of Pinochet. The potent events are accompanied by a searingly beautiful soundtrack with heart-stopping beats that propel the drama of the story.
        There is no separating the personal from the political in MACHUCA. This film's determination to tell a story of profound societal dislocation in intensely human terms favors neither part of the equation. In fact, director-co-writer Andrés Wood feels you cannot hope to understand one aspect of his fatally intertwined story unless you are willing to understand them both.” – LA Times 

Sun, Sept 15, 3:00 pm : Violeta Went to Heaven
Dir: Andrés Wood, 2011, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, 110 min, Drama, Spanish and French, with English subtitles
The extraordinary story of the iconic Chilean poet, musician and folk singer Violeta Parra, whose songs have become hymns for all Latina Americans and who was integral to the development of the Chilean "nueva canción" (new song) movement that used music as a tool for social change. 
        Director Andrés Wood (Machuca) traces the intensity and explosive vitality of her life, from her impoverished orgins to international fame, her defense of indigenous cultures and devotion to her art.
         "Indispensably supported by Miguel Ioan Littín's exquisite photography, Mr. Wood has created a poignant portrait of an artist unable to escape the stamp of her class or the burdens of aging. The grant exhibition tent she erects on a hilltop becomes, in the end, an apt metaphor for dashed dreams, its canvas unable to keep out the rain and its empty seats unable to turn back time." - Jeanette Catsoulis, NY Times
Sun, Sept 15, 7:00 pm : The Chilean Building
Dir: Macarena Aguilo, 2010, Chile, 99 min, Documentary, Spanish, with English subtitles 
        This story has never been documented before: While their parents battled the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, a group of children were raised communally, first in Europe and then in Cuba. The 20 adults who supervised “Project Home” saw over 60 children through to adulthood, children whose mothers and fathers – members of the left wing revolutionary organization MIR (Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria) – returned to Chile to fight for freedom, many never to be seen again.
        Director Macarena Aguiló chose a very personal story for this, her first film, as she is one of the children who grew up in “Project Home.” Says Aguiló: “’Project Home’ was a powerful collective experience at a time when words like ‘social participation’ had a positive connotation. That was certainly the way that the children who lived there viewed their experiences: The sacrifices our parents made in their fight to change Chilean society left us with painful memories, but with beautiful ones, too.”

Minneapolis race for mayor brings out corporate stooges and some nut jobs with the Green Party fielding the only credible candidate in the race.

Come Saturday Morning: The Corporate Blue-Greenwashing of Mark Andrew

[Story provided courtesy of Jane Hamsher's FireDogLake]

Saturday August 31, 2013 6:45 am

Photo by Karen Boros of MinnPost.

There are currently around three dozen candidates in the running to replace outgoing Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak. Many are serious, many are jokes, and at least one, former DFL chair and current alleged “Greenest City” guy Mark Andrew, is running under a false flag or two.
 Andrew, whose second biggest claim to fame (after being a Hennepin County commissioner and being its longtime chair) has been his mid-1990s role in steering the Minnesota DFL (our local branch of the Democratic Party) towards corporatism and Republicanism, is now going around Minneapolis touting his homeboy status while making himself out to be what looks like some Madison Avenue ad agency’s idea of a nice soft and fluffy pro-environment, pro-99-percent politician: Carrying a green manila folder while standing on a tree stump talking up tree planting, all while his silver hair gleams and blows gently in the winds. Seriously.

The consultants who dream up this sort of carefully-contrived greenwashing schtick don’t come cheap, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that at a nice homey hometown fundraiser held for him last Thursday the 29th, the following decidedly non-soft, non-fluffy, non-homey, and very much un-green and un-progressive entities were present:

John E. Derus
, lobbyist for Minnesota Metalcasters, a metal industry group that claims to be green but seems to be more “green by assertion”.

Jason George, pro-sulfide union mining lobbyist (creating short-term jobs through long-term polluting of trout streams and groundwater).

Dan Gunderson, lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, which among other things backs the Keystone XL pipeline.

Tony Kwilas (click on “Public Policy”), prominent member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and strong mining backer.

Duane Arens, until recently a lobbyist for Connexus Energy.
John Evans, lobbyist for Wells Fargo Bank.

The husband and wife team of Ron and Val Jerich, whose bread and butter comes from lobbying for the ethanol and Big Ag (especially Big Corn) industries.

Vic Moore, a lobbyist whose clients include the health insurance industry and anti-environmental “wise use” groups such as the Minnesota Snowmobilers Association.

Mark Oyaas, lobbyist for Minnesota CenterPoint Energy.

Erin Roth, yet another American Petroleum Institute lobbyist.

Brian Rice, longtime lobbyist for various local police and fire federations, groups not exactly known for their progressive natures.

And just in case you still aren’t sure whether Mr. Andrew really is just another corporatist DINO-saur dressed up in shiny new and ill-fitting progressive/green togs, check out this glowingly approving passage from a glowingly approving editorial titled “DFL’S NEW CHAIRMAN FACES DAUNTING TASK OF TURNING PARTY BACK TO MAINSTREAM”. The editorial was penned by the highly conservative Steve Dornfeld for the October 9, 1995 edition of the Saint Paul, Minnesota Pioneer Press:
Andrew is upbeat about his chance of turning things around. He calls his own election “a gesture of political pragmatism” by party activists.

“I want to build the party so that it matters again, and has an impact on people’s lives,” Andrew says. To do that, he says the DFL must develop “a mainstream agenda” that emphasizes bread-and-butter issues such as job creation and tax equity, and avoids “the hot-button issues that have torn the party apart for years.”
“Hot-button issues” that Dornfeld said were the province of “liberals, gays, feminists, environmentalists and others who wield great influence within the DFL”.

Needless to say, Andrew’s effort to Third Way the DFL didn’t produce the electoral bonanza that was promised.

Meanwhile, there are other elements in his past — such as the FBI probe into plumbing work done while he was a Hennepin County Commissioner — that are surfacing again, despite all the lobbyist-enabled corporate blue-greenwashing:
Not only is Mark Andrew divisive, but he’s the only candidate who has been investigated by the FBI for corruption after his service as a Hennepin County Commissioner. I really wish some more of his history would come out, especially his mandated work-for-welfare program that got unions upset that unskilled laborers were being put next to union professionals on road construction projects, and his single-handed advocacy FOR the downtown trash burner. Do your research of his time in office, people!
We don’t need to see this slickly repackaged shill become the next mayor of Minneapolis. There are other, better choices out there. Any of them would be better than the Blue-Greenwashed Man.

[Unfortunately, Jane Hamsher and her FireDogLake urged support for other very corrupt and corporate-owned Democratic Party candidates in this article without encouraging readers to check out Doug Mann, the Green Party candidate: see details about Doug Mann below.]

Hopefully Jane Hamsher and FireDogLake, since they know who shouldn't become mayor of Minneapolis, will consider Doug Mann:

Check out the only real alternative for Minneapolis Mayor---

Doug Mann:


COMMUNITY VOICES | Doug Mann of the Green Party is a mayoral candidate

I am endorsed by the New Progressive Alliance, and support its platform.

City Council member Cam Gordon also sought and received the NPA endorsement.

Last year I stood for election to the Minneapolis School Board, advanced to the
general election and obtained 31,300 votes, about 25% of the total vote, with
endorsements from the NPA, the Green Party, Democratic Socialists of America,
and Lavender Greens (the LGBTIQ caucus of the Green Party).

I am fighting for a stadium referendum this fall. On July 16, 2013, I filed a
petition for a writ of mandamus with the District Court, seeking an order
commanding the City Council to hold a Vikings Stadium referendum. A hearing is
scheduled on August 20, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. at the Hennepin County Government
Center. Shortly thereafter, I expect a ruling. I intend to give the judge no
choice but to rule that the Citizens of Minneapolis have the right to vote on
the use of City of Minneapolis tax revenues and other obligations imposed on
the City by the Vikings Stadium Act of 2012.
housing, the Court system and the Public School System. I advocate the
establishment of a division in the City's Civil Rights Department empowered to
detect and prosecute those engaged in illegal, covert discrimination in the
employment and housing markets. I advocate an end to the war on drugs, which
has been extremely effective in criminalizing, marginalizing, and
disenfranchising people of color. I advocate steps to eliminate systemic racism
in the K-12 school system: Students of color are heavily exposed to less
qualified and less experienced teachers, and more heavily concentrated in
watered-down curriculum tracks. I oppose the corporate-style reforms,
charter-ization and de-unionization of the Public School system that is being
orchestrated at the federal level, and is being carried out by the State of MN
and the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Mann for Minneapolis Mayor

Fill the Courtroom to demand a stadium vote!

08/20/2013 - 8:00am
Doug Mann's petition for a writ of mandamus, demanding a referendum on the use of City of Minneapolis tax revenues for the Viking stadium has a court date.