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...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Peace is the main solution to ending pollution, global warming and climate change.




Why aren't we using the same techniques to serve notice on Obama:

Mr. Obama,

Militarism, wars and this Military-Industrial Complex are the primary contributors to pollution, global warming and climate change.

End militarism!

End these dirty wars!

Shut down the Military-Industrial Complex!

It's time to cash in a Peace Dividend to pay for those things we really need.




This movement built up around this book was much further advanced than any of the environmental organizations today and both Senators Gaylord Nelson and Phil Hart not only encouraged, but actively sought out grassroots activists with diverse viewpoints to participate ranging from Socialists and Communists to Democrats and Republicans and everyone in between--- these teach-ins on the environment were very democratic in nature. I don't know of any viewpoint that was intentionally excluded if they indicated a desire to participate. This is what led to this movement being so massive and overwhelming that it scared the monopoly corporations.


Senator Hart personally called me to ask if I would speak at events in three different cities on April 22, 1970.

Today, such an event would be highly manipulated and controlled to only allow a very narrow grouping of views to be aired.

Just imagine how powerful such a grassroots environmental movement would become today if this same democratic approach was taken to grassroots activism; it would threaten the corporations, the politicians and the foundation-funded outfits like the Sierra Club and 350.org would lose total and complete control as masses of people would be demanding public ownership of the energy complex and making the connection that peace is a primary solution to global warming.

If we were to have an updated version of this kind of book available today to be used as a universal handbook knowing what we do today about ecosystems, global warming and the impact of pollution, chemicals, genetic modification, etc. we could build a very powerful movement.

To find solutions we don't need any kind of ideological unity because everything involved is science that is universally applicable to the point that massive grassroots unity around solutions is achievable.

People turned out in droves to win passage of the National Environmental Policy Act... no one asked one another if they were Democrats, Republicans, Socialists or Communists... we showed up at meetings, tabling, distributed leaflets, held huge demonstrations and pushed politicians of every persuasion to pass NEPA.

And a bastard like Nixon was forced to sign it. All because of the massive pressure created by citizen involvement leading up to the first Earth Day. Quite literally, you couldn't go to a grocery store or walk in a public park without finding citizen activists pushing for passage of NEPA.

For anyone to think that we can take on these huge multi-national conglomerates from the power generating, mining companies and other industries without creating this kind of momentum resulting from the involvement of citizen-activists is just too much to even believe and yet here we are with these foundation-funded environmental organizations who are actually trying to control involvement in a way that activism is restricted and doesn't reach such proportions capable of winning real change.

Rank-and-file AFSCME workers in Minnesota say: We don't want Eliot Seide and his toothless, management-loving paper union

Minnesota's billionaire "liberal" "pro-labor" governor, Mark Dayton, has ordered working hours for thousands of state employees reduced by up to 20% while bringing in lower-paid new hires to do the jobs of the members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees with no objections from the District Director, Eliot Seide, or his side-kick, Eric Lehto. Why no opposition from Shar Knutson, President of the Minnesota AFL-CIO or her side-kick Mark Froemke.

What is going on here? State employees are losing 20% of their pay--- their standard of living slashed--- and these union "leaders" sit in silence doing nothing?

No wonder this leaflet is being distributed by a rank-and-file organization made up of AFSCME members who are pissed off:

We don't want Eliot Seide and his toothless, management-loving paper union

Our Dues - Our Union.

OUR AFSCME

Our rights.

Our Livelihoods.

Building a rank and file caucus for a democratic, fighting, militant, united union.

Brothers and Sisters,

With every new contract we have had our rights and our livelihoods decimated. Only a paper union with leaders taking our dues while doing nothing to represent us would have allowed this to happen.

This isn't Eliot Seide's union. This is our union. Let Eliot Seide go into the business world to build his fortune instead of building his fortune on our backs, off our unresolved grievances and problems.

Eliot Seide negotiated a concession contract with a Democratic governor.

The wage increases are far off-set with the rising prices we pay for groceries, home mortgages and rents, home and car insurance, gas, electricity, home heating fuels, child care and college tuition for our children. Our co-pays for healthcare have increased. This is going backwards, not forwards.

Our pensions are at risk.

We get no support or help from union leaders as unfair and unpaid disciplinary suspensions mount. Grievances have become a hassle. Arbitration has become too costly. What do our dues pay for?

One by one we are being picked off and fired as we gain seniority with increased pay levels.

Our union has shamefully endorsed a Minimum Wage for other workers based on what the Chamber of Commerce wants instead of the living wage morality, human decency, justice and solidarity requires.

We have a union leadership covering its betrayals with glowing hypocritical statements of admiration to real leaders like Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela as a cover for refusing to stand and fight the injustices of the present.

We ask you to build a caucus of OUR AFSCME in your AFSCME local and in your workplace. Together we can get our AFSCME back on course. This is OUR union. OUR dues.

We need an active and involved membership. We need to understand self-serving power in our union and the power of management concede nothing without struggle. Our union was built in struggle. Our union will survive in struggle fighting for our rights, for safe workplaces and for our livelihoods.

Forward together. Together In Struggle. Together in Solidarity. OUR AFSCME the voice of the rank-and-file

All out for Earth Day and May Day...

From Earth Day to May Day--- everyone an activist doing something to advance a real progressive agenda.

There are plenty of jobs in this country--- these jobs just have to be turned into good jobs with real living wages and decent benefits; the work week reduced with 40 hour pay; longer paid vacations; earlier retirements with real living pensions. We need a Minimum Wage that is a real living wage. We need huge government jobs programs putting people to work doing socially useful things solving the problems of the people and our country. We need a Basic Income Guarantee based on cost-of-living. We need a full employment act requiring the president and Congress to work together to attain and maintain full employment instead of waging these dirty imperialist wars--- the money saved could easily fund everything here.

In short, we need to create a government that puts the standard of living and quality of life for everyone before Wall Street's profits.

Unless we can come together and successfully challenge Wall Street for political and economic power we are doomed.

Every worker needs a job paying real living wages.

These wars are making us all poor with the exception of the few people from the Wall Street crowd who profit as this Military-Industrial Complex leaves behind horrendous death and destruction with the largest carbon footprint contributing to global warming and climate change... and if these foundation-funded environmental organization's over-paid "leaders" who have the same backwards views as these millionaire labor "leaders" with their over-staffed organizations playing footsies with politicians and their corporate donors (the "philanthropists) instead of mobilizing people for real reforms as we struggle for power, we are doomed.

We should bring together everyone for peace, those concerned about climate change and everyone who believes America's workers are entitled to a raise in united actions commencing on Earth Day without let-up through May Day.

http://canadiandimension.com/articles/5890/

Climate change and the military-industrial complex

This letter was written in reply to our recently published interview with Noam Chomsky about climate change. You can read the original Chomsky interview HERE.
The one important aspect of climate change the Left keeps missing is the fact that Wall Street’s very lucrative military-industrial complex leaves the largest carbon footprint of any industry.
So, why have the peace and environmental movements, along with most of the Left, failed to make this important connection?
I’m surprised neither Chomsky nor Canadian Dimension brought this important connection forward in this interview.
How much of what is produced from the Tar Sands will be consumed by the Military-Industrial Complex?
One aircraft carrier of the Nimitz class carries three million gallons of aircraft fuel. Fuel for just 80 aircraft. The U.S. typically deploys six of these aircraft carriers during manoeuvres, conflicts and wars. This alone is one heck of a carbon footprint and we still have to figure out what kind of carbon footprint is created manufacturing these aircraft carriers and planes.
And this example is just the tip of the melting iceberg.
Consider all the mining and manufacturing which goes into producing for militarism and wars – what kind of carbon footprint is created in preparation for wars, by wars and rebuilding in the aftermath of wars?
There is a point to be made about global warming and militarism and wars which leads me to conclude that the most effective way to fight global warming and climate change is to fight for peace by “beating swords into plowshares.”
For some reason all these foundation-funded peace organizations and environmental organizations don’t want to acknowledge that the Military-Industrial Complex bears primary responsibility for global warming and climate change. Perhaps because the “great philanthropists” funding the foundations profit so handsomely from militarism and wars?
If changing out light bulbs contributes to ending global warming and climate change, can you imagine the contribution peace would make towards this effort?
It seems our environmental and peace movements could use what the great labour leader and working class revolutionary, William Z. Foster, advised “a good strong dose of anti-imperialist education,” connecting all the dots.
Alan Maki am the Director of Organizing for the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council. I am also one of the founders of Minnesotans for Peace and Social Justice.

3 comments

  • We are so indoctrinated in “support our troops ” and the culture of military domination that we don’t even discuss peace and total nuclear disarmament with China and others.
    It seems that “jobs” and the wealth of our industry and industrialist/stockholder class is more important than survival of the species.
    #1. Posted by Herbert A. Davis in davisherb@wisper-wireless.com on January 27th 2014 at 8:58am
  • Thanks as always, Alan, for telling the truth. The graphic of the American soldier watching oil wells burn pretty much sums up what’s leading America to ruin. Here’s hoping Canadians will wake up to the damage being done in the Alberta oil patch and by the lethal material it is producing, and rise up against the corporate behemoths which are systematically buying that great nation.
    #2. Posted by Anthony Noel in North Carolina, United States on January 28th 2014 at 10:47am
  • I was glad to see an instructor from Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury, Connecticut, Leonard Yannielli, publish this on the internet as part of what he wrote on the environment:
    The single greatest global problem and threat to the environment is war and war preparations. Agent Orange use in the U.S. War in Vietnam killed an area the size of Massachusetts. Genetic damage among ensuing generations has occurred among the Vietnamese.
    The burning of the oil fields during Iraq War I is a more recent example. Both Iraqi and U.S. forces suffered the respiratory consequences. No one entity uses more nonrenewal resources than the U.S. Military. All these examples may pale in face of the dangers of spent radioactive material that spew radiation for 1,000s of years.
    The explanation of war and its extreme environmental consequences are to be found in the bowels of capitalism. The tendency of rates of profits to fall send competing capitalist elements around the globe seeking to stop this trend. Going to places whose people are not in a position to defend nature is their “solution.”
    An unfortunate example now is the so-called “pivot to Asia.” The U.S. Administration is deploying up to 60% of its military force there. Why? It is looking to exploit natural resources such as oil and gas.
    War and war preparations along with peace and peace making construct one dialectical whole. The resolution of this contradiction in favor of peace is of major importance to the many who place nature before profits. Here lies the material basis for cooperation between the labor, peace and environmental movements. The blue-green alliance is one result that needs much more attention in our work both on state and local levels.
    Socialism has the best chance to do it right vis a vis the environment. Its thrust for social solidarity and raising the cultural/educational level of all the people can only bode well for the environment. Of course, there are no guarantees. Immersion in environmental struggles would be the best determiner of a Left and peoples movement with a deep environmental consciousness.
    #3. Posted by Alan L. Maki in Warroad, Minnesota on February 25th 2014 at 6:55pm