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...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

H.R. 671; National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013

Re: H.R. 671, National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013

This is Republican created legislation that Minnesota Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan voted for which passed the U.S. House.

Once again we find Democrat Nolan voting right along with these Republicans who we are told are so rotten we must settle for the "lesser evil" Democrats. Just like with Obama; vote for a Democrat and get a Republican.

H.R. 671 is intended to be a very big part of the continuing increased militarization of our country and our economy.

This is the actual act that passed in the U.S. House which U.S. Congressman Rick Nolan voted for:

See this link for definition of "strategic and critical minerals:" 

Nolan and the DFL would like to ignore the huge carbon footprint the Military-Industrial Complex and its related industries like mining have here in Minnesota.

In fact, over 40% of all iron ore and other minerals mined here in Minnesota is related to war production, war and rebuilding in the aftermath of imperialist wars of aggression with World War Two omitted.

The foundation-funded environmentalists choose to intentionally ignore this; choosing, instead, to just call this part of the entire carbon footprint.

Combine this mining with processing and production--- including transportation and energy required for mining, processing and production and one begins to realize the huge carbon footprint of this Military-Industrial Complex; and this is before figuring in the actual carbon footprint of the wars themselves. 

Coming from one who claims to be both an environmentalist and a voice for peace, Nolan's letter smacks of the worst kind of hypocrisy, second only to those in the Indian Gaming Industry like Mike Wiggins who feigns concern for the degradation of air quality resulting from mining but forces casino workers to work in smoke-filled casinos without so much as any consideration.

And I would note that the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association and the National Indian Gaming Association have contributed thousands of dollars to Rick Nolan's campaigns.

How can the people win when it comes to peace or the environment when they are backing hypocrites like Rick Nolan?

I would note that Rick Nolan has supported, and in return received support from, Kevin Leecy and Archie LaRose--- to vicious and violent criminals involved in Indian Gaming with Kevin Leecy being the Vice-chair of the National Indian Gaming Association. This is the hypocrite who beat his wife unconscious and Nolan and his DFL buddies saw to it that Leecy was not placed in prison where he belongs.

All of this corruption and violence go hand-in-hand with a terribly sick society with the Military-Industrial Complex at the root of it all. 

Needless to say, the drone industry requires many of these 
"strategic and critical minerals" as do the slot machines of the Indian Gaming Industry... hence we find these two partners destroying our living environment, exploiting workers and in the case of the Indian Gaming Industry forcing workers to work in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos without protection from any rights.

And who profits from it all? A bunch of Wall Street merchants of death and destruction and a few racist wealthy white mobsters who own all the slot machines.

What a world we live in.

The Minimum Wage and Social Security are being talked about... we must be on the eve of another election; I guess I will add my two-cents, too.

Please feel free to distribute.

We have been hearing a lot about attacks on Social Security and the Minimum Wage.

Labor has not had the proper response.

Richard Trumka, the President of the AFL-CIO, hailed Jerry Brown increasing the Minimum Wage in California to $10.00 an hour--- but, we needed to read the small print: $10.00 an hour beginning in 2016!
Anyone care to explain exactly what $10.00 an hour will buy you in a state like California with such a high cost of living? And the cost of living will be even higher when this $10.00 an hour kicks in in three years--- 2016.

How much does a loaf of br
ead cost in California?

How much is a gallon of milk?
How much is a package of hot dogs or a dozen eggs?

How much is peanut butter?

How much is rent?

How much is gas?

How much is electricity?

How much is college tuition?

How much will Obamacare cost?

Why isn't anyone placing this $10.00 an hour and the paltry increases in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 in perspective of what a working class family can purchase with the Minimum Wage?

None of these politicians, the over-paid pundits or the over-paid labor leaders want to talk about "cost-of-living" and "standard-of-living."

Games are being played for political expediency by both Democrats and Republicans.

Here in Minnesota we have the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party's leader in the State Senate, Tom Bakk, who boasts in his campaign literature that he was an officer in the Building Trades Unions calling for a pathetically miserly "increase" in the Minimum Wage opposing the billionaire DFL Governor, Mark Dayton's call for increasing the Minimum Wage a dollar an hour more than what Bakk wants it to be--- Bakk is crying the blues for the hospitality industry, billionaire Dayton--- an heir to the Dayton-Hudson-Target Store fortune--- wants to make sure Target Stores get to keep paying employees a poverty wage as profits soar.

And then, tossed into the mix, there is Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson calling for the Minimum Wage to be raised to a miserly $10.00 an hour. Knutson knows better. Knutson comes from a family of Socialists and Communists who taught her about "cost-of-living" and "standard-of-living" yet she kowtows to a bunch of Dumb Donkeys. 

No one is talking about the politics and economics of livelihood when it comes to the Minimum Wage or Social Security--- both of which are inseparably linked... as goes the Minimum Wage, so goes Social Security.

If you want a miserly poverty Minimum Wage, Social Security will continue to pay out a pathetic poverty income. You get out what you pay in.

Again, and this needs to be stressed; none of these politicians, the over-paid pundits or the over-paid labor leaders want to talk about "cost-of-living" and "standard-of-living."
Why not?

Because we don't have a national political party bringing these concepts into the proverbial "public square" which democracy requires if we are going to find solutions to our problems.

Pay a worker poverty wages and you have a working class family living in poverty. Any school child understands this.

The best way to protect and expand Social Security is through Full Employment with real living wage jobs and with a Minimum Wage that is a real living wage based on--- and legislatively tied to--- all cost-of-living factors indexed to inflation with regular increases to constantly improve the living standards of working people which would have the impact of pushing all wages and living standards up for all working people. This would result in increased payments into the Social Security Trust Fund which should be held and managed by a National Public Bank and these funds would then be available to help finance a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity"--- the solution to unemployment and any financial problems plaguing Social Security; everyone works and pays in, everyone get a real living income out upon retirement which should be at age 55 for all workers.

What the working class needs to get behind is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity;" legislation that would be brought forward by a new working class based progressive people's party like labor has in Canada with its socialist New Democratic Party. 

I do not understand why Richard Trumka and the fifty-seven members of the AFL-CIO's Executive Council would piddle around with these Democratic Party politicians who are nothing but whores for Wall Street vultures and parasites who are cutting social programs and forcing austerity measures down our throats to pay for what Mark Twain called "dirty imperialist wars."

We need to ask ourselves:

How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for us?

Chances are, most working people will tell you that it isn't working out very well for them.

In fact, these dirty wars are killing our jobs just like they are killing people and with millions of workers unemployed that means fewer people paying into Social Security.

We need to put America back to work as Stewart Acuff has suggested and the only way to do this is through massive public works jobs programs.

A National Public Health Care System would create some 15-million new jobs providing the American people with free health care through a network of community and neighborhood clinics; instead of a network of health care clinics the Democrats and Republicans are squandering our taxes and resources maintaining over 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil. 

Over one-hundred years after the Spanish American War we still have U.S. troops occupying the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico. These dirty imperialist wars don't come cheap and the expensive, undemocratic occupations never end.

The American people need a National Public Child Care System which would create another 5-million new jobs providing working class families--- and all families--- with free child care.

Our system of public education works just fine. It was organized labor and the working class which fought for our system of public education which creates millions of jobs--- National Public Health Care and National Public Child Care would be based on the public education model.

We need the restoration of the WPA, CCC and CETA--- these three public works programs combined would create well over ten-million new jobs.

Paying for all of this would come from "peace dividends" as we end these dirty wars and shut down these foreign military bases. If this isn't enough then tax the hell out of the rich--- make those Forbes 400 Billionaires pay through the nose until they cry.

The wealth being squandered on these dirty wars and that extreme, obscene wealth being horded by these millionaires and billionaires is all wealth that we as working people have created.

We need a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would contain all of this. By putting America to work this is the way we protect, defend and expand Social Security. 

Where are the voices of Richard Trumka and the 57 members of the AFL-CIO's Executive Council when it comes to supporting such legislation? 

We need more than Richard Trumka's bark if we are going to challenge Wall Street for political and economic power--- we need to fight in a way that these Wall Street bribed politicians feel our bite.

We placed before Richard Trumka and the 57 member AFL-CIO's Executive Council, the delegates to the National Convention, the State Feds and local labor councils this statement upon invitation to participate in the discussion and we haven't heard back a word from one single member of the Executive Council or Richard Trumka... we are asking working people to check this out to see if it doesn't make more sense to advocate for a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" instead of going along to get along with a bunch of Dumb Donkeys:

Sisters and Brothers, Fellow Workers;

Uniting People (UP) is a new national organization for Peace, Equality, Full Employment, Universal Health Care and Protection of the Environment. We appreciate the invitation extended by the AFL-CIO to all people and organizations to comment on its White Paper, “Prosperity Economics, Building An Economy For All” by Jacob S. Hacker and Nate Loewentheil, intended to create discussion about the direction of organized labor and the kind of country we all want to live in where peace, social and economic justice for working people prevail.

Democracy--- as well as social, economic and environmental justice--- require no less than a full and broad discussion of these important concerns and issues.

We agree with the concept of “prosperity economics” by “building an economy that works for everyone.”  There are several very basic facts left out of this “White Paper” and it is very hazy, vague and nebulous as to what our concrete and specific goals and objectives are to be and what kind of movement and struggle it will take for the working class--- organized and unorganized together--- to create a prosperity economics for us all.

The “White Paper” does not clearly articulate our main enemy: Wall Street. The “White Paper” doesn't reflect the fact that we, as working people, are engaged in a social, political and economic struggle for power with the intent to replace Wall Street's dominance over every aspect of our lives--- in our schools, at work and in our communities.

Let's state right up front workers create all wealth but workers have had no say in how this wealth is distributed and used. This needs to change. Democracy requires no less.

Let's also put it right out there before the American people that militarism and wars are squandering the wealth of our Nation to such a large extent we don't have the resources to solve our many domestic problems. These dirty imperialist wars are killing our jobs and our standard of living just like they kill people.

Militarism and wars are a major contributing factor to the world-wide collapsing capitalist economy. No nation can continue to endlessly use the wealth of its nation to prepare for wars and to fight wars. This is sheer insanity.

Wall Street's greedy drive for profits results in wars which exacerbates our problems.  

Detroit goes broke; the rest of our cities are sure to follow as Wall Street wallows in profits. 

Working people go without adequate health care; insurance and pharmaceutical companies get fabulously wealthy. Shorter workweeks/longer vacations with no cut in pay create jobs and would keep us healthier, too.

Our public institutions like public education fall apart, crumble and collapse just like our roads, highways and bridges because we are constantly feeding a war machine intended to fight never-ending wars waged to protect Wall Street's assets and profits.

Prosperity for all begins with the recognition peace is required to achieve full employment. 

Full employment is about the government seeing to it that jobs are created for all at real living wages. It is about putting people to work by creating massive universal social programs like Medicare for All, not job destroying legislation like Obama-care as detrimental to our health and jobs as wars without providing real health care reform while pushing the price of health care up instead of its stated intent to push prices down.  

Eliminating militarism and wars eliminates the largest carbon footprint contributing to global warming and climate change as the Military Industrial Complex wastes our precious resources in a huge, monstrous complex that ruins our environment---  power generation, mining, manufacturing, the resources like oil and gas required to fight wars. Preparation for war, and war itself, creates a mammoth sized carbon footprint destroying our living environment while creating massive joblessness and poverty and ill health for our people as our air, water and land gets polluted.

The Wall Street selected politicians talk about “jobs, jobs, jobs” when their hidden agenda is really “profits, profits, profits” and “war, war, and more war.”

The time has come to make politicians legislatively responsible for full employment and peace because prosperity economics requires: peace and full employment--- a healthy people and a healthy environment.

Therefore, we propose that a central goal of the American labor and working class movement needs to be the building of an economy for all that is inseparably linked to peace and full employment which must include:

A Minimum Wage tied to all cost of living factors indexed to inflation. Jobs or a living income for all.

Medicare for All. Protect, defend and expand Social Security programs.

Legislation prohibiting lockouts and scabbing. Repeal of “At-Will Employment” legislation--- the primary obstacle to worker empowerment and union organizing. 

Price controls are needed for food, gas, home heating fuels and electricity. 

A healthy economy means a healthy living environment and a healthy planet. We need a quality of life index.

The two-party system is a trap for working people. We must free ourselves from the Democrats and Republicans. A working class based people's party is required if we are going to have a prosperity economics that works for all of us. We can learn a thing or two about health care and politics from our Canadian Brothers and Sisters.

We are now at a crossroads. 

We will have an economy that serves Wall Street or we will have an economy that works for the rest of us--- we can't have both just like we can't have both war and full employment.

We encourage the use of the proposed Full Employment Act of 1945 pushed by the CIO unions and authored by liberal Texas Congressman Wright Patman and the associated hearing testimonies to broaden this discussion:

We also call to your attention the excellent Op-Ed piece by Bob Herbert, “Losing Our Way,” his last piece in the New York Times (March 25, 2011), which declares:

"The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely."

We ask: What ever happened to William Winpisinger's "Rebuild America Act" and the “peace dividend?” The AFL-CIO should bring back to life its Committee on Conversion--- from military production to producing for human needs; swords into plowshares is what was advocated by the International Association of Machinist's former President, William Winpisinger. Where is this advocacy for peace and reordering our Nation's priorities now?

Thank you for allowing us to offer our critique of the AFL-CIO's “White Paper” and our alternative perspectives.

In solidarity and struggle. Uniting People (UP) for peace, equality, full employment, universal health care and protection of the environment.

Contact by e-mail: uniting_people@lists.riseup.net 

Finding solutions to our problems means building powerful movements backed by our own political party.

We need to get thousands of Americans to endorse the idea of a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity."

This means creating neighborhood and community organizations to go out and educate, organize and unite people into a powerful movement.

Meetings, petitions, letters to the editor, tabling, educational picket-lines, demonstrations.

Most important, we need to talk about all of this with our friends, neighbors and fellow workers where ever we find people. 

Let's really defend and protect Social Security and make the Minimum Wage a real living wage.

Let's talk about the politics and economics of livelihood for a change.

As Stewart Acuff says, "Every worker needs to become a warrior for justice."

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