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...

Friday, March 21, 2014

World Water Day is tomorrow and our freshwater aquifers are being destroyed.

World Water Day is Saturday March 22 and few people mention the racism and genocide that is part and parcel of the destruction of ecosystems and freshwater aquifers that are a primary part of our ecosystems--- water required for our very survival.

Roger Jourdain, Red Lake Nation Chair for almost 30 years fought hard to prohibit peat mining in northern Minnesota's Big Bog. He said, "If you destroy this freshwater aquifer you destroy my People and my Nation."

Jourdain's body wasn't even cold and in the ground when racist and corrupt Democrats led Congressman James Oberstar took up with a Canadian multi-national which had contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his campaigns and they went ahead with providing this multi-national conglomerate a permit to mine the peat which requires draining the Big Bog.

Read more here:
http://pineislandstateforest.blogspot.com/

And this:
http://redlakewalleyefishery.blogspot.com/

Many environmentalists are wrongly thinking that Native Rights will supersede the rights of local, state and federal governments along with the corporations which (maybe I am supposed to say, "corporations who" with this corporate personhood crap?) exploit labor to rape the land but this is not the case as these environmentalists don't understand the "Doctrine of Discovery," the most hideously racist and genocidal doctrine enshrined into law through the United States Supreme Court ruling of Johnson versus M'Itosh; check out what this is all about here:

http://www.nyym.org/?q=doc_of_disc_factsheet

I submitted this Op-Ed Piece for publication to the Grand Forks Herald on March 20, 2014

We hear a lot about how people are "free" because they have the right to vote.

When you think about this "right" to vote though, do you ever think about what we have the right to vote on and vote for?

Do you ever think about how what we vote for is just ignored?

Democrats have a platform their candidates are supposedly beholden to when they are running to get elected--- this is the "bait;" but when it comes to platform positions once they get elected, like making the Minimum Wage a real living wage, they just cleverly pull a "switch"--- in the retail world this is called "bait and switch"... we all hate "bait and switch" in the retail sector, right? Do we like it any better in politics?

This is the platform the candidates of the Minnesota DFL ran on--- I know it well because I wrote the resolution in the Lake Township Roseau County Minnesota Precinct Caucus; it was later approved by delegates to the Roseau County DFL Convention and then approved by the delegates to the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party's State Convention of which I was a delegate along with being a member of the MN DFL State Central Committee at the time:


LABOR And EMPLOYMENT

We promote the American labor movement and the rights of all workers.

We Support:

A minimum wage that keeps pace with inflation and provides full time workers with an income above the poverty level.

Is there anything ambiguous or difficult to understand about this?

I thought I wrote it out plain and simple.

Now here we are with a Democratic governor, a Democratic majority in the State House and a Democratic majority in the State Senate--- a DFL super-majority.

Mark Dayton came begging to me in front of over two-hundred people and the news media for my support declaring that he was for a real living Minimum Wage... and a couple other things he said he was for and has since reneged on, too.

It's time for these politicians to increase the Minimum Wage to a real living wage and we find that the Minnesota DFL with the super-majority voters have given them with not one single DFL member of the Minnesota state legislative caucus or the Governor willing to legislate what the Platform calls for and what most working class Minnesotans support.

Is it any wonder participation in recent Precinct Caucuses was at an all-time low? Why bother if no one listens?

In fact, if there is anyone amongst us who doesn't believe every worker is entitled to a living wage for the work they do, let them stand before Minnesotans and explain their thinking.

What should the Minimum Wage be?

The Minimum Wage should be based on all "cost-of-living" factors; this is just plain common sense.

We pay people employed by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics big money to track and record all of this on a quarterly basis. Eight categories and two-hundred sub-categories under each of the eight categories are monitored for goods and services--- this is called the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Inflation is also monitored very closely. All of this is monitored for each region of the country.

Does anyone doubt the accuracy of the work done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics? If so, let them step forward with empirical data to prove their point. I doubt I have any takers.

If we want the Minimum Wage to be a real living wage, which justice requires, all that needs to be done is legislatively tie the Minimum Wage to these findings along with providing a periodic increase to improve everyone's standard-of-living.

It isn't the role of public elected officials to use the levers of government to provide employers with a huge pool of cheap labor from which they reap huge super-profits--- especially at a time when corporate profits and business profits are at an all-time record high.

It is the responsibility of government to provide for the common good.

A group of Minnesota DFL politicians recently grandstanded pulling a stunt saying they were going to try living on the pathetically miserly federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 an hour. What kind of experiment was this? We all know no one can live on $7.25 an hour. Why didn't they try living on the $9.50 an hour they are proposing? Because they know they wouldn't have been able to live on this, either.

Getting the Minimum Wage in line with actual "cost-of-living" is what is key in this controversy over the Minimum Wage; nothing else matters, yet this is the one issue most avoided.

Like many people, I get calls every single day asking that I make a campaign contribution to this or that politician.

From now on, this will be my response to these over-paid employer-bribed politicians:



You want my donation?

Vote to raise my wages!

Until then, go away.

I'm broke.

After all, it's not like we are asking for the Minimum Wage to increase like the price of propane. On second thought, maybe we should.


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

No end to the stupidity and the hypocrisy of the millionaire labor "leaders" on the question of the Minimum Wage.

The AFL-CIO sent out another e-mail today about raising the Minimum Wage.

The sheer stupidity and hypocrisy just doesn't end.

The AFL-CIO and their "press conference coalition" (holding a press conference is their idea of struggle) of foundation-funded Democratic Party front groups have been backing a Minimum Wage of $9.50 pushed by the Democrats here in Minnesota.

Now, get what they say here in the e-mail today:

"These questions and many others are answered for one low-wage woman and her family in the new HBO documentary, "Paycheck to Paycheck." Katrina Gilbert is a single mother of three children younger than 7 who is trying to survive while earning $9.49 an hour as a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home. Watch the full documentary online and meet some of the real people whose lives depend on raising wages."

I don't think one-cent, one penny, more is going to help Katrina Gilbert pay her bills; do you?

Does it make any sense that the AFL-CIO would advocate for another poverty Minimum Wage which they acknowledge in their own e-mail sent out today, after six-months of daily e-mails advocating a Minimum Wage of $9.50?

Question: Why wouldn't labor unions back a Minimum Wage that is tied to all cost-of-living factors?

Why would anyone advocate for a Minimum Wage knowing the wage they are advocating is just one more poverty wage working class families can't make ends meet on?

Please; someone, anyone, explain this publicly to help us all understand this push for a $9.50 Minimum Wage.

And we know there won't even be a Minimum Wage of $9.50 because the Democrats know they have these millionaire labor "leaders" so tightly wrapped around their little finger that no matter what the "increase" will be, these millionaire labor "leaders" and these foundation-funded front groups for the Democrats who more loyal to the Democrats than the working class will respond to whatever meatless bone they are thrown with: "It's the best we can get; we wouldn't even get this from the Republicans."

When will left-thinking workers begin to organize rank-and-file organizations to take on these millionaire labor "leaders" who can't "negotiate" anything other than concession contracts for them as these same labor "leaders" are brought into a struggle initiated by unorganized rank-and-file workers and grassroots activists from working class families?

Workers paying union dues paying the big fat salaries of these millionaire labor "leaders" need to be careful because someone might just step forward and say something like, "If $9.50 is good enough for me its good enough for everyone."