Please note I have a new phone number...

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...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The hypocrites bandy about "facts" and "figures" as millions of children go to bed hungry.

Have you ever noticed how politicians, the pundits and the media always toss around "facts" and "figures" based on very ambiguous research but with all of their support for "individual liberty" and the "protection of individual rights" they aren't willing to talk about the misery of individual, living, breathing human beings who suffer the consequences of the wars they start, the poverty their policies create as they choose to campaign behind slogans of an improving economy?

We have a good example of this when it comes to unemployment.

We here the numbers about "job growth" and "economic recovery" as if we should just ignore the plight of more than 20 million workers and their families still living in poverty.

What about the right of each and everyone of these workers and their families rights to live free from poverty?

Please distribute widely...

PRESS RELEASE

PNN - NOV. 2nd 7pm - PROGRESSIVE JOURNALIST ROUNDUP
with special Guest Candidate for Lee County Commission Debbie Jordan

Join News Director Rick Spisak and his guests
from the Progressive Roundtable with Luis Cuevas Progressive Push, Alan Maki Union Organizer, Walter Barash Journalist, Ruthann Amariefio Progressive Journalist , Gwen Holden Barry of Here Be Monsters
and ...

Join us Sunday evening, November 2, 2014 at 7pm (Eastern) or any time
Solidarity & Peace

Rick Spisak, News DIrector, PNN
 
Rick Spisak

Thursday, October 23, 2014

You won't find any Democrats or Republicans claiming credit for child poverty in their campaign literature

In newspapers across the country today there was a "little" tid-bit of information we won't see Democrats and Republicans boasting about even though the problem of child poverty is of their making:

"U.S. child poverty highest in 20 years"

Only a few weeks ago the front pages of these same newspapers blazed headlines about how the country has pulled out of the worst recession since the "dirty thirties."

Obama owns this child poverty as he has been in the lead squandering our Nation's wealth created by the very workers whose children are now living in poverty on more militarism and war after dirty imperialist Wall Street war.


http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-child-poverty-20141021-story.html


There is a very good reason why the greatest labor leader of the 20th Century, William Z. Foster whose base of support was with the rank-and-file, said the U.S. working class needed "a good strong dose of anti-imperialist education."


Our kids are going to bed hungry and leaving for school hungry as Obama spends millions bombing grain silos in Syria.


How much sicker can capitalism get?


From the L.A. Times:



"As the U.S. emerges from the worst recession since the Great Depression, 25% of children don’t have enough food to eat and 7 million kids still don’t have health insurance..."


If this is the best capitalism can do in the wealthiest country in the world how can the poor nations of the world be expected to end poverty?


Of course, no one wants to ask why these other nations are so poor. They are poor because Wall Street is stealing their resources using cheap labor and shipping our jobs to these impoverished countries.



Why has there been no examination of the child poverty on Indian Reservations?



Why are politicians allowed to "set goals" for eliminating child poverty without providing the framework with specific programs capable of ending child poverty?

Friday, October 17, 2014

U.S. Destroys $500M Planes, Sells for 6 Cent Scrap

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2787460/U-S-Air-Force-probed-scrapping-costly-planes-bought-Afghans.html


The United States purchased a bunch of planes for the Afghan Air Force.

They purchased the planes from Italy...

for $485 million dollars and the planes didn't work so the U.S. Defense Department sold them for scrap and got $32 thousand dollars.

Who paid for this?

Who made big profits?


U.S. Destroys $500M Planes, Sells for 6 Cent Scrap



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Will voting for Democrats bring the change we need?

All kinds of Democratic Party front groups are sending out e-mails like this in the name of "fighting back."

But are "blame the Republican" statements like this really true?

"Need more motivation?  There is important legislation waiting to be passed on behalf of youth and students.  Republicans have been holding these bills hostage.

* In response to Ferguson and mass unemployment among African American youth, Sen Bernie Standers is introducing a bill to provide $5.5 billion to states and municipalities to employ one million youth ages 16 to 24.

* Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act cuts interest rates on student loans.  It was two votes short of stopping the Republican filibuster.

* Sens Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy are leading support to restore the fundamental protections of the Voting Rights Act and oppose voter ID and other laws that limit turnout of youth, African American, Latino, Native American and Asian Pacific voters."

If there was a solid Democratic House and Senate with Obama as President without any Republican opposition at all, would any of this proposed legislation pass?

The answer is obvious: NO.

This is another old election eve gimmick the Democrats have been using for over 70 years... bring forward legislation at a time to make it appear the Republicans are the only road-block to progress when they know full well Democratic Party super-majorities would not even pass the legislation because Wall Street controls them just like they control the Republicans.

Same old shit; different day.

All these organizations fronting for the Democrats with millions of dollars in resources and tremendous organizational strength in numbers have had plenty of time to build up united, militant rank-and-file and grassroots movements capable of forcing the Democrats to pass this legislation and they haven't lifted a finger to do this and now they call on us to use our precious votes to keep--- and put more--- of these worthless Democrats in office who they know full well would never pass such legislation.

We will never get people centered legislation in this country until we have a working class based progressive people's party for peace, social and economic justice bringing forward real solutions to our problems with the stated goal and objective of challenging Wall Street for political and economic power.

In other words, we need a massive anti-monopoly coalition uniting the American people against Wall Street's thoroughly reactionary agenda of dirty imperialist wars abroad paid for with austerity measures shoved down our throats here at home and a working class based progressive people's party capable of electing politicians who can be relied on to bring forward legislation in line with what the American people need and want--- jobs at real living wages not wars.

We need a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity;" is there anyone who believes Democrats will deliver?

Tribal government needs investigation and reform

Grand Forks Herald publishes Letter to the Editor by Curtis Buckanaga. Please read and circulate:

http://www.grandforksherald.com/content/letter-tribal-government-needs-investigation-and-reform

LETTER: Tribal government needs investigation and reform
By Curtis Buckanaga from Bemidji Today

Leech Lake is a $200 million-a-year corporation funded by taxpayers to provide services to uplift and empower its underserved and socio-economically challenged band members, who are historically disenfranchised.

Our tribal government operates under the Indian Reorganization Act, which Congress enacted in 1934 in hopes of encouraging tribes to become more self-determined -- even though our traditional governmental practices already had been proven effective.

Eighty years later, we learn that this is a detriment to many Native Nations, including Leech Lake.

For under this form of governance, there are no checks and balances to maintain order, accountability and transparency against the tribal council, whose members are the handlers of the annual $200 million revenue stream.

Across America, efforts are taking place to reform tribes out of Indian Reorganization Act standards. Most are being spearheaded by indigenous academic organizations, which research best practices to help tribes transition to culturally matched governments that let tribes reach their full potential.

At Leech Lake, those efforts have been discouraged and sabotaged by tribal officials, who mishandle taxpayer dollars to maintain dysfunction. These officials work with state and federal officials to create this dysfunction against the tribal members, who are misrepresented because most of the time, only 10 percent or fewer of tribal members vote in tribal elections.

As taxpayers, we are funding these ineffective tribal officials, who are not only abusing resources allocated to them by the federal government, but also oppressing the tribal members.

Yes, we have casinos to help us be less reliant on federal dollars, but the casino revenue is mishandled at the council’s discretion.

I am a citizen of Leech Lake as well as the United States. As taxpayers, don’t we deserve accountability from these individuals to whom we hand our money? Shouldn’t we call for the Indian Reorganization Act to be repealed to encourage reform and prevent the abuse of tribal people and their tax dollars?

Shouldn’t we demand an annual audit and report?

I’m not trying to open the door for bigoted criticism. I’m trying to raise some valid points about wasteful and wrongful spending of taxpayers’ money.

Curtis Buckanaga

Bemidji

Buckanaga is a former executive assistant for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Economic Recovery

With all the talk about "economic recovery" being an unemployment rate of around 6%, have you ever noticed no attempt is being made to ask unemployed people how they feel about being one of the "normal" unemployed people who are part of what politicians and "economists" are willing to accept as "normal unemployment" of around 6%?


And have you ever noticed no attempt is made to ask unemployed people who are unemployed yet not counted because of government requirements for statistics as unemployed how they feel about that?


Is the economy in a stage of "recovery" for people who remain unemployed?


Is the economy in a "recovery" for working class families trapped in a "cost-of-living crisis" unable to make ends meet?


Have you noticed politicians, pundits and these so-called economists never so much as mention this "cost-of-living crisis" all working class families are experiencing?


What we need to be asking is: "Economic Recovery" for who?


Let's not let any politician off the hook without addressing fully and honestly unemployment and the "cost-of-living crisis" both spun by reactionary Wall Street interests aimed at boosting profits by hurting working class families.


Isn't the right to address economic issues in an honest way part of a democratic electoral process?