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, January 16, 2014

Hearing tonight in Duluth...

Hearing tonite...

I don't really see what the big deal is. So some mining companies want to dig a couple more holes in the ground. Big deal.

For over 100 years mining has been going on in Minnesota. No problems at all. People get their pay-checks and what pensions the mining companies decide to honor. There is a cancer cluster but it could be worse.

The mining companies bribe the politicians so they can abscond with the profits leaving behind massive poverty, pits and pollution.

It is called: Appalachia North... or, the Iron Range.

This has worked out good for everyone; why change things now?

Please, people... just learn to sit quietly, listen and suck in the lies from the mining companies and the politicians--- be nice! Minnesota Nice.

Be civil.

Being civil means holding your hat in your hands and keeping your mouth shut.

Come on, really. Listen to what the head of the Minnesota DNR has to say... he just wants Ducks Unlimited to end up with a new duck pond.

Come out to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC) and tell the DNR what you think about PolyMet's mine plan.

Every time you hear the words "jobs, jobs, jobs" applaud loudly with the people the Chamber of Commerce is busing in.

Don't ask any questions about what happened to the pensions of workers employed by LTV or National Steel... this is past history; let bygones be bygones. Don't use the word "swindle" in relation to pensions because this would be a violation of ethical and civil conduct on the part of citizens towards mining company bribed politicians and public servants.

Leave babies at home; no crying or public breast-feeding allowed.

5:00 p.m. - open house
6:45 - 10:00 p.m. formal presentation and public comment period

The DNR has reserved the City Side Convention Center in its entirety for the public hearing. The Open House will be held in a number of spaces, and the public meeting will be held in the Lake Superior Ballroom on the 2nd floor.

Room 202 in the Harbor Side Convention Center is reserved by a number of groups to provide a space for conversation, coffee and to be a home base. Room 202 is about a 5 minute walk from the Lake Superior Ballroom on the Skywalk. You can find a map of the DECC at http://www.decc.org/cms/files/skywalk-3rdfloor.pdf

Does "cost-of-living" have anything to do with what the Minimum Wage should be?

This article below says organized labor is pushing for this $15.37 Minimum Wage in Los Angeles.

But, I wonder how many members of these unions would work for $15.37 and hour?

What is not mentioned in this article or any of the other articles coming out about the Minimum Wage is "cost-of-living."

And here is another little FACT no one seems to want to talk about:

It is next to impossible for a working class family living on a $30.00 an hour wage to get by in making ends meet without both husband and wife working PLUS huge credit card debts.

How can any union leader make the outrageous claim that $15.00 an hour is the edge of poverty in a high-cost to live city like Los Angeles.

Remember, these are the same union "leaders" who have been "negotiating" concession contracts since the mid-1960's.

A small group has come along, received MASSIVE publicity from the mainstream media calling for "15 or fight" and everyone jumps on this band-wagon without any discussion about what a real living wage actually is in comparison to "cost-of-living."

The millionaire "leaders" of organized labor have us in a mind-set where we are apparently willing to consider wages without considering "cost-of-living."

The left-wing leaders of organized labor who built the powerful industrial unions would never have so much as considered any discussion about  "wages" in isolation from "cost-of-living." I don't get it. Why are we willing to be led down this road when it comes to a discussion of the Minimum Wage by the very people who betray their own members?

Eliot Seide of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and other "leaders" of the Minnesota AFL-CIO have stated: "We aren't delivering a Minimum Wage of more than $9.50 an hour without collecting dues."

When I asked a leader of the United Steel Workers who makes over $80,000.00 a year working as a millwright at U.S. Steel's MinnTac operation where iron ore is mined and processed into taconite if he could live on $80,000.00 a year he told me, "With my wife working. But we are putting four kids through college and we have to pay for home repairs." Well, aren't these "cost-of-living" costs all working class families have?

If the truth be told, many union members are working under such piss-poor contracts they make so little they can't even co-sign the college loans for their children to get a higher education... and this goes for many members of the AFSCME here in Minnesota.

The employers paying the lobbyists to bribe these Democratic Party politicians to bring forward these proposals to keep the Minimum Wage a poverty wage understand "cost-of-living" very well yet they don't want "cost-of-living" to enter this discussion--- and for "good" reason from their vantage point.

We are also dealing with a federal government that operates like any typical crooked and corrupt employer who keeps one set of books for the owners, another for the tax man and another to show the union; hence we have the poverty guidelines established by the United States Census Bureau and the actual "cost-of-living," or Consumer Price Index as monitored and tracked by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics which maintains the real books.

Discussing "cost-of-living" in relation to wages became a victim to Joe McCarthy's and Hubert Humphrey's anti-Communist witch-hunts.

if we here in Minnesota use the same "reasoning" and "logic" being used in the article below and this small left-wing outfit in Seattle, we might as well settle for the Democrat's "generous" offer of $9.50 an hour since in terms of "cost-of-living" $9.50 will buy much more than $15.37 in Los Angeles, California; plus, we get the $9.50 without wasting any time organizing a fight--- a fight for a real living wage based on all "cost-of-living" factors.

Maybe we should just "settle" for the bones the Democrats are willing to toss our way?

Let the Democrats campaign behind the facade of "We are for living wages."

Let the Democrats "bait" the voters with rhetoric calling for "living wages."

Just remain silent as these Democrats pull a "switch" legislating another poverty wage.

Let the Democrats hire consultants paid hundreds of dollars an hour with our tax dollars to figure out why we have poverty.

Let the Democrats keep talking about "jobs, jobs, jobs."

Here in Minnesota the Democrats delivered a massive job creating program by legislating the Indian Gaming Industry into existence. An industry now employing 44,000 Minnesotans in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws.

In campaign contributions and the many bribes between elections this "job creation program" has worked out well for the Democrats... not so well for the workers.

But, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association has stood side-by-side with these Democrats led by Democratic State Senator Tom Bakk who boasts of his leadership role in the building trades unions who thinks $8.50 an hour is a pretty decent Minimum Wage.

So why not just forget all the bullshit and instead of becoming working class warriors for justice, let's just become advocates of compromise.

Governor Dayton is proposing a $9.50 Minimum Wage; Senate Leader Tom Bakk is at $8.50. The wimp leading the Democrats in the House just wants the issue resolved.

Okay... let's negotiate this like Eliot Seide or Shar Knutson, the leader of the Minnesota AFL-CIO would do in order to preempt an employer lockout. Let's play "Minnesota Nice" and remain "civil" about this. Let's just agree to settle the Minimum Wage at $9.00 an hour. This is still pretty good when compared to $15.00 an hour in LA or Seattle.

Why fight?

Maybe because justice requires a real living wage for working people based on all "cost-of-living" factors?

Why do we even waste time with left wing parties and organizations any more when class collaboration and betrayal to the Wall Street crowd is the way to go.

Go along, to get along. One hand out in front collecting union dues--- the other hand in back taking in bribes from the employers. This is the way Richard Trumka and the 55 millionaires on the AFL-CIO Executive Board have learned to go along to get along and they have done alright for themselves.

Why would we even expect the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party with the super-majority the working class handed them to deliver the LIVING WAGE they promised?

If $8.50, $9.00, $9.50 or $10.10 is a good enough wage for millions of working people it should be good enough for everyone... look for me next year at the Minnesota State Fair circulating a petition to set the pay of all public employees, government bureaucrats and elected public officials at whatever Minimum Wage Eliot Seide and the leaders of the Minnesota AFL-CIO are willing to accept on our behalf from the Democrats.

Anyways; the Minnesota Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs wants to hear from you about how you are getting along in life--- why not tell them instead of allowing a bunch of over-paid foundation flowers and millionaire union bureaucrats speak for you:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 10:00 AM

Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs

Room: Local 49 Training Center, 40276 Fishtail Road, Hinckley, MN 55037

Chair: Rep. Ryan Winkler

Agenda: The committee will hear public testimony answering the question, "How is Minnesota’s economy working for you?"

To testify please contact Committee Administrator Matthew Bergeron at: matthew.bergeron@house.mn

Matthew Bergeron, J.D.
Committee Administrator
Health & Human Services Policy
Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs
MN House of Representatives
State Office Building #361
(651) 296-5413

Let these politicians know how Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy is working for you.

Alan L. Maki

For a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would include a real living Minimum Wage.

Published on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 by Common Dreams
LA Takes the Lead With Highest Minimum Wage Proposal
As pressure mounts nationwide to raise minimum wage, LA could see historic victory

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer
Los Angeles could soon be home to the highest minimum wage in the nation.

Three city council members in Los Angeles are set to propose a $15.37 hourly wage for hotel workers, a raise they'd like to see extended to workers throughout the city. (Photo: BobboSphere/cc/flickr)
An effort by local organizers that has now been taken up by several members of the city council is pushing for  a $15.37 hourly wage for hotel workers in the city.

Organizers with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy have led the campaign Raise LA, which has fought for a living wage for hotel workers, for over a year. With the help of other groups in the area, the movement gained support from local communities and backing from more than 700 businesses across the city,according to the Huffington Post.

Now, three city council members, Mike Bonin, Nury Martinez and Curren Price, are drafting the proposal, which has "a decent chance of passing, given that 14 of the 15 city council members are Democrats and generally friendly toward labor," The Huffington Post reports.

And, if they succeed, there could likely be a push to extend that raise to workers throughout Los Angeles.

"I'd like to see it through the city of LA," Councilman Bonin told The Huffington Post. "We know it will improve lives. We know it will bring folks into the middle class. We know it will bring more money into the local economy."

"We would absolutely like to extend this to other industries," Maria Elena Durazo, chief of the county Federation of Labor, told the LA Times. The Federation of Labor also launched a campaign this week to raise city-wide minimum wages to $15, unveiling billboards across the city styled after green "city limits" signs, which read: "Los Angeles, City Limited, Poverty Wage Pop. 810,864."

Currently in Los Angeles, 46 percent of working people earn what the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor considers poverty wages—less than $15 an hour, according to a new study by the group.

"This is an economic apartheid," said Durazo. "LA won't prosper and attract business if 46 percent of working people aren't prospering."

The movement comes on the heels of a national fight for living wages, including the "Fight for Fifteen" movement led by fast-food workers across the country and an increase in strikes and protests for better working conditions by workers at big box retail stores such as Walmart.

Following a recent victory in SeaTac, Washington, where airport workers won a fight for a $15 minimum wage in November, a group by the name of '15Now Campaign' is bringing that fight to the national level.

Starting in Seattle, the group plans to pass a city-wide wage increase, with the extended goal of pressuring municipalities across the nation to do the same.

"A $15 minimum wage in Seattle will set an example that working people and unions across the country would likely be inspired to follow," the campaign said in their official announcement.

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
E-mail: alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com

Blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/