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...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A letter to Wade Hudson, for Left Forum panelists and participants.

Mr. Wade Hudson,

First of all, allow me to thank you for your invitation to participate in this important discussion. As you are aware, many people, like myself, who would like to be present at the "Left Forum" are unable to attend for a variety of reasons. So, I am providing my input to this discussion here.

I would like to call to your attention my blog on full employment. You may want to share this information with the panelists. I would send this to them directly if I had their e-mail addresses:

I would also encourage you to check out the Uniting People blog: 

I would also point out to you that working people struggling for their livelihoods and their rights confront a very significant hurdle in this country where "At-will Employment," instead of "Just Cause," is the "law-of-the-land" which for all practical purposes means that workers who participate in these campaigns for jobs and real living wages and for rights and a voice at work more often than not end up losing their jobs and their livelihoods in violation of their very rights supposedly protected by the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights and their rights so clearly articulated in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights--- all kinds of "rights" on paper but these rights seldom enforced.

Most unions in our country today are mere paper unions presided over by millionaire labor leaders whose first priority lacking rank-and-file movements is dues collection with little to no responsibility for defending the rights and livelihoods, not to mention the jobs, of the workers they are collecting dues from to pay their big fat salaries.   

Here in Minnesota, there is the case of a Minnesota State Employee that has been hounded and harassed to no end by management simply for availing herself of the "Family and Medical Leave Act" who has now been fired. Her "crime" is that she appealed to the United States Department of Labor to enforce her rights... and, this woman is a member of a union whose leadership has done not one single thing to represent her after she has been paying union dues for years. The U.S. Department of Labor has written that the best they can do for her is see to make sure her employer, the State of Minnesota, has posted the proper signage while citing that she is now the target of harassment by her employer but claiming that defending her in court would be too taxing on the Department's resources. Again, all kinds of "rights" on paper but never any enforcement to protect workers' livelihoods--- their jobs.

Liberals like Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and those liberals like Hubert H. Humphrey and their modern-day counterparts like those in the Congressional Progressive Caucus such as Keith Ellison and all these foundation-funded outfits and the millionaire union leaders are real slick when it comes to articulating "support" for workers to get votes--- they play the "bait and switch" game; but, like Eleanor Roosevelt who pushed for passage of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights she moaned and cried when some nations insisted on including actual enforcement measures... the result being "rights" on paper and paper unions like AFSCME more concerned with collecting dues than defending workers' rights and livelihoods. 

I am sure there must even be a law somewhere that declares unions must actually strive to enforce the contracts they negotiate with employers for which they collect dues, eh? But, who enforces such laws on paper?

Then you have the hideous Indian Gaming Industry which no Democrat or their "partners" dare to attack for fear of losing billions of dollars in campaign contributions even though almost two-million workers employed at over 350 of these casino operations spread out across the country are forced to work in these loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages and without any rights under state or federal labor laws which protect the rights (at least on paper) of all other workers in this country. This is an industry run by and for wealthy white mobsters which only leaves Native Americans mired in poverty causing massive debt as racist employment practices of businesses and corporations assure this hideous Indian Gaming Industry has a huge pool of impoverished and unemployed workers who have been forced to live on reservations creating a huge pool of cheap labor--- quite convenient, don't you think? Obviously no liberal Democrat could imagine such a set-up is intentional, unless of course one owns up to the fact that it was the great liberal humanitarian, Hubert H. Humphrey, who was the primary author of the "Communist Control Act" which assured business and industry a complacent and docile union leadership that would collaborate and become manageable.

Perhaps you would be interested in hearing the story of Nancy Beaulieu, a Native American woman with a family to feed, fired from her job at the huge Northern Lights Casino--- owned by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Walker, Minnesota? I would note, that in spite of the Leech Lake Tribal Council's most despicable record in regard to workers' rights and livelihoods, the tribal council--- Leech Lake Business Organization (LLBO)--- was recently forced by the people to increase its Minimum Wage to $10.25 an hour, more than the Democrat's suggested $10.10 poverty Minimum Wage and the "raise" Minnesota's Democratic super-majority provided to workers of $9.50 in a long-term "installment plan" which only goes to prove that when people struggle they can win.
Democrats campaigned on the promise (the "bait") of a real living Minimum Wage; once elected workers got "the switch," another poverty Minimum Wage--- one big reason why we need a working class based progressive people's party as an alternative to these worthless Democrats. 

In my opinion, jobs and a Minimum Wage that is a real living wage will only be won when we come to grips with the fact that we must struggle to free ourselves from this two-party trap as part of the struggle to better the lives and livelihoods of working people. These Dumb Donkeys provide us with no protection from Wall Street parasites who further enrich themselves from the super-profits they reap from poverty wages and the suppression of all wages by using both unemployment and poverty wages as a lever of government. 

I am taking the liberty of posting this letter to you on my blog:  http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/

I would note that here in Minnesota we have two very important rank-and-file formations. One in the United Steelworkers Union (USW): "Hard Rock Miners." The other in AFSCME: "Our AFSCME."

Again, I do hope you will share my thoughts with the panelists participating in your "Left Forum" presentation which I am attaching here as you request it to be circulated widely:

National Jobs for All Coalition
Invitation to discussion on
An Economic Bill of Rights: Reform or Revolution?
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 52 West 59th St., NYC
Saturday, May 31, 2014, 3:10-4:50PM, Room 9681, John Jay College

Abstract: In his Annual Message to Congress in 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt held that under modern economic conditions the traditional Constitutional guarantees of political and civil rights were insufficient “to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” It was necessary therefore to add a Second or Economic Bill of Rights whose guarantees would include employment at living wages, housing, medical care, education and old age security, among others. At the time this was a comprehensive set of rights, but it is incomplete in this time of environmental crisis. The rights framework has important political advantages: at once compatible with traditional American values and Constitutional guarantees and at the same time encouraging demands on the part of the people for unattained rights. FDR held that useful, living-wage work was “the most fundamental [right], and the one on which the fulfillment of the others in large degree depends.” On the one hand, employment assurance can be seen as an extension of traditional Constitutional guarantees and compatible with the vaunted American work ethic, hence reformist. At the same time, full employment—especially if it is tied to the necessity of greening the economy--has the potential for altering relationships between labor and capital, hence for transforming or revolutionizing the nation's political economy.

Panelists: Sheila Collins; Philip Harvey; David Woolner; Trudy Goldberg; Chair, Gregory N. Heires
Sheila D. Collins -- Executive Committee, National Jobs for All Coalition; Professor Emerita of Political Science, William Paterson University
Gregory N. Heires -- Sr. Assoc. Ed., Public Employee Press, DC 37, AFSCM; blogger atwww.thenewcrossroads.com , and a Portside labor moderator
Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg -- Chair, National Jobs for All Coalition; Professor Emerita of Social Policy, Adelphi University
Philip Harvey, Professor of Law and Economics, Rutgers School of Law; Executive Committee, National Jobs for All Coalition
David B. Woolner -- Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian, The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute

Left Forum is the largest annual conference of the broad Left in the United States. Each spring thousands of conference participants
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come together to discuss pressing local, national and global issues; to better understand commonalities and differences, and alternatives to current predicaments; or to share ideas to help build social movements to transform the world.
This year's theme of Left Forum is "Reform and/or Revolution: Imagine a World of Transformative Justice.” Speakers include Harry Belafonte, Angela Davis, Cornel West, and over 1,000 more.

Please register online at www.leftforum.org 
*** Please forward widely ****

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