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...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Why do so many unions refuse to place their contracts on their web sites?

It would be very easy for unions to place their contracts on their web sites.

These contracts placed on union web sites should encourage the unorganized workers to join unions; right?

But, in spite of union officials giving lip service to how their unions are "rank-and-file" unions, union members have little say in what they want from their own union contracts.

In addition, most union "leaders" are ashamed making their contracts public because instead of winning improved wages and working conditions and benefits, each succeeding contract is worse than the previous one... the reason being union "leaders," especially those of the millionaire variety, want union members who are paying the dues as little involved as possible in the decision-making process of the union.

These millionaire labor "leaders" are often as undemocratic as the bosses.

Many union members can't even find out when their union meetings are.

Many union members who pay dues have no say in their own union. The only link many of the members have with their union is seeing how much is taken out of their paychecks for union dues; they don't know when union elections are and if they do find out when the elections are they don't find out in time to run for office themselves to be in compliance with union constitutions and by-laws.

Even many large local unions with a thousand members or more have fewer that what is required for a quorum show up for union meetings even if they raffle off a color television with all in attendance being eligible to have their names in the raffle.

Try to find a union official when you want to file a grievance; good luck.

In fact, few unions in this country today even have union stewards in each department.

Look on many union bulletin boards or web sites and you don't find the most basic information needed in order to participate fully in your own union but you will find all kinds of campaign materials for Democrats and big pictures of union leaders supporting these worthless Democrats.

It is no wonder union membership has hit an all time low with fewer and fewer workers joining unions.

Unions are much like anything else. When workers are happy with their unions they tell everyone. When workers have problems within their unions they also tell everyone.

Perhaps there is some truth that having any union is better than having no union but isn't this the same logic we get for voting for Democrats? That Democrats are better than Republicans even though more often than not they are equally as rotten.

Do we really have to be satisfied with what the sparrows leave behind when it comes to politics, economics and what is being passed off as "democracy" in our unions?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

George Lakoff going to Canada to undermine the left; ironically, sponsored by the left.

George Lakoff is a vicious anti-Communist.

If you read his "Don't Think of an Elephant!" you will find that he uses words and "framing" to trick people into voting for Democrats. In this book he advises Democrats to never bring forward specific solutions to problems but limit their statements to properly framing policy directives. Policy directives without real solutions with implications there will be solutions knowing full well there will be no solutions. This is intellectual dishonesty at its worst. It is mean and cruel towards working class families.

Lakoff's newer book, which you don't mention, is viciously anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, anti-Marxist. I would suggest you read this book:

"THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK by George Lakoff"

Lakoff is no liberal nor progressive. His role is to hoodwink people into remaining in the two-party trap by deceiving them into believing nice sounding linguistics will be turned into solutions to their problems.

Alan L. Maki

Subject: George Lakoff April 18th, Toronto
From: info@canadiandimension.com
To: red_finn@live.com
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:02:16 +0000

Use this area to offer a short teaser of your email's content. Text here will show in the preview area of some email clients.
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

You are invited to attend:


George Lakoff: Activism, Elections and Beyond

George Lakoff
April 18, 2015
Doors: 7pm, Event 7:30
Bloor United Church—300 Bloor St W, Toronto
Q & A with Trish Hennessy, founding director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' (CCPA) Ontario office.
Presented by rabble.ca and Canadian Dimension magazine.
Globally we are witnessing a time dominated by trends of growing inequality:
Runaway wealth to the wealthy
Runaway climate warming
Runaway privatization of public resources
Around the world, and in Canada, progressives are fighting to maintain long fought for wins, and struggling to communicate progressive values in a political sphere largely dominated by successful conservative messages.
Why are conservatives so successful in communicating their messages? What do progressives need to do to communicate their values to large populations?
It's a big year for Canadian politics and the stakes have never been higher electorally.
Lets make a new stand for the most important election in Canada's recent history and beyond, by Framing Progressive values to win.
Join George Lakoff for a unique opportunity to learn about the next winnable political frames—whether you are concerned about climate change, income inequality and privatization—or on how to in the next federal election the leading expert on political framing.

Interested in a more in depth opportunity to hear from George Lakoff?  Lakoff is in Toronto to provide a unique training at the Centre for Social Innovation, during the day on April 18. Limited to only 100 participants, a few spots are still available. See details here: http://inspiringtowin.rabble.ca/program
George Lakoff is an American cognitive linguist, best known for his thesis that lives of individuals are significantly influenced by the central metaphors they use to explain complex phenomena.
Lakoff has publicly expressed both ideas about the conceptual structures that he views as central to understanding the political process, and some of his particular political views. He almost always discusses the latter in terms of the former.
Moral Politics (1996, revisited in 2002) gives book-length consideration to the conceptual metaphors that Lakoff sees as present in the minds of American "liberals" and "conservatives." The book is a blend of cognitive science and political analysis. Lakoff makes an attempt to keep his personal views confined to the last third of the book, where he explicitly argues for the superiority of the liberal vision.
Lakoff argues that the differences in opinions between liberals and conservatives follow from the fact that they subscribe with different strength to two different central metaphors about the relationship of the state to its citizens. Both, he claims, see governance through metaphors of the family. Conservatives would subscribe more strongly and more often to a model that he calls the "strict father model" and has a family structured around a strong, dominant "father" (government), and assumes that the "children" (citizens) need to be disciplined to be made into responsible "adults" (morality, self-financing). Once the "children" are "adults", though, the "father" should not interfere with their lives: the government should stay out of the business of those in society who have proved their responsibility. In contrast, Lakoff argues that liberals place more support in a model of the family, which he calls the "nurturant parent model," based on "nurturant values", where both "mothers" and "fathers" work to keep the essentially good "children" away from "corrupting influences" (pollution, social injustice, poverty, etc.). Lakoff says that most people have a blend of both metaphors applied at different times, and that political speech works primarily by invoking these metaphors and urging the subscription of one over the other.
Lakoff further argues that one of the reasons liberals have had difficulty since the 1980s is that they have not been as aware of their own guiding metaphors, and have too often accepted conservative terminology framed in a way to promote the strict father metaphor. Lakoff insists that liberals must cease using terms like partial birth abortion and tax relief because they are manufactured specifically to allow the possibilities of only certain types of opinions. Tax relief for example, implies explicitly that taxes are an affliction, something someone would want "relief" from. To use the terms of another metaphoric worldview, Lakoff insists, is to unconsciously support it. Liberals must support linguistic think tanks in the same way that conservatives do if they are going to succeed in appealing to those in the country who share their metaphors.
Between 2003 and 2008, Lakoff was involved with a progressive think tank, the Rockridge Institute, an involvement that follows in part from his recommendations in Moral Politics. Among his activities with the Institute, which concentrates in part on helping liberal candidates and politicians with re-framing political metaphors, Lakoff has given numerous public lectures and written accounts of his message from Moral Politics. In 2008, Lakoff joined Fenton Communications, the nation's largest public interest communications firm, as a Senior Consultant.
One of his political works, Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate, self-labeled as "the Essential Guide for Progressives," was published in September 2004 and features a foreword by former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean. An updated version was published in 2015.
For more information visit:
rabble.ca, canadiandimension.com or georgelakoff.com
or contact inspire@rabble.ca

Bloor Street United Church
300 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON

Thursday, March 12, 2015

More discussion about the Basic Income Guarantee

This is what I posted on my blog about the Basic Income Guarantee. It might be worth it to call another conference in Duluth specifically to address organizing for BIG? There should be support for this kind of initiative in Wisconsin and Michigan, too.

I my opinion this should be linked to a Full Employment Act, peace and re-ordering priorities with how to pay for it coming from the military/war budgets, a tax on Wall Street transactions and a hefty tax on the wealthy beginning at around $100,000.00 and it should be made clear that BIG would be tied to the actual cost-of-living.

To start off a campaign for BIG we would need a good one page leaflet with a graphic; a statement of support signed by a couple hundred people, and a petition.

Letters to the Editor from around the state could be put together to form a little pamphlet.

I think this should be undertaken as a complete grassroots initiative without even asking for "big name" support. Let these people feel the heat building from below and respond to that. 

I recently purchased a high-quality laser printer (black print only) and would be willing to print everything we need at no cost provided the paper and printing cartridges are paid for. 

With all working class families now caught up in a "cost-of-living crisis" none of the politicians want to acknowledge let alone talk about or take action to resolve now is the time to move forward with the Basic Income Guarantee.

What do others think about this?

I would encourage others to circulate this entire e-mail to see if we can't reach some kind of meeting of the minds about how to develop this struggle for the Basic Income Guarantee.

I have e-mailed this to people in at least 20 states; how about a discussion?

This is the kind of issue that is perfect for organizing discussions and debates and should be a topic we can all come together around.

There has already been quite a bit of initiative taken. Here is an e-mail I  received from Liane Gale Notice: attached are the attachments Liane sent out):

Hello Alan:

I am very happy that you support BIG and that you are encouraging people to get involved and support the concept. Basic income has garnered quite some interest in Europe just the last few years, and the group that met a week ago in NYC is trying to initiate a political movement here in the US.

One of the speakers from last week's congress, Jurgen De Wispelaere, will be coming to Minnesota on March 19 to speak at the Minnesota State University in Mankato in a series of "Ethics of Economic Institutions". Flier is attached. The talk is open to the public.

Jurgen will then visit friends in the Twin Cities and he has agreed to give a talk on Friday, March, 20th. We were able to get 4200 Cedar for that evening, and I have set up a FB event. 

Attached is also the full information for the event. I will try to have some fliers made, and will share them with you as soon as they become available.

I would appreciate if you could share the events, but especially the one of the 20th, with your MN network.

Let me know if you have any other comments and questions.

We also decided that we try to start a movement. As you may know, I am currently one of the contacts for BIG and Women, New Economy, and Anti-Poverty. By March 20th, Ann Withorn and me have hopefully figured out a few first steps to take and can open it up to the community.

I am convinced that basic income has the potential to become a center point of a new women-lead movement that seeks to supersede patriarchal capitalism.

I am quite excited to have found a focus for my activism. Just a month ago, I was quite confused, as I had left the leadership of the Green Party, and also left a commitment to organize an event on Community Rights.

Thanks so much Alan for you immense support so far for BIG and I hope that you will want to be involved in some ways. Kristine Osbakken is the current contact for regional groups, so we will see whether besides a women-focused group we could also have a regional group here in MN. Maybe they can be one and the same.

In solidarity, Liane

For those who believe all the hype about an improving economy you might want to read this article which has been really big news in media all over the country:


Working people are going to need this Basic Income Guarantee to get through these ordeals combined with poverty wage paying jobs, part-time/on-call jobs and this cost-of-living crisis; not to mention that in spite of all this malarkey about an improving economy, tens of millions remain unemployed as this Wall Street bribed government seeks to use unemployment and poverty wages to "keep inflation down" and Wall Street profits high as we are forced to pay through the nose and with austerity measures for these never-ending dirty wars making us all poor. 

Any country which can afford the high cost of militarism and these wars certainly can provide everyone with a Basic Income Guarantee.

We need not wait for the Democrats or the foundation-funded outfits fronting for them like the Campaign for America's Future to bring forward solutions like the Basic Income Guarantee; nor should we pay any attention to their taunts that we must be patient and accept "incremental reforms" with the full remedy well into the future. We have seen where our patience has gotten us with the Democrats when it comes to the Minimum Wage, health care reforms and the need for child care as the Democrats push us towards a "three year war" with ISIS.

Here in Minnesota the Democrats joined with Republicans for a "blitz" to build a new Minnesota Vikings' stadium with tax-payer dollars for a bunch of billionaires. why no such "blitz" to put an end to poverty?

We need to figure out how to mount a "blitz" to win the Basic Income Guarantee.

Alan L. Maki

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Just about everything you need to initiate a campaign in support of the Basic Income Guarantee

Basic Income Guarantee...


 a big idea whose time has come.

I don't know anything about this organizational undertaking or the conference, theNorth American Basic Income Guarantee Conference, other than what you are able to read here; although I know a couple of the people involved.

I'm glad to see people working on this idea about a Basic Income Guarantee(BIG) first advanced here in the United States by the great citizen-patriot-revolutionary Thomas Paine.

In the year 2000, political leaders from around the world signed on to a commitment to end poverty in fifteen years... here we are fifteen years later and poverty is getting worse instead of being alleviated and ended.

Common sense tells us that people without jobs are going to be poor... the unemployed need BIG.

Common sense tells us that workers being paid poverty wages are going to be poor. Poverty waged workers need BIG.

Common sense tells us that workers employed “on-call” and part-time are most likely to be poor. These workers need BIG.

Common sense tells us that people living on pensions and Social Security providing incomes that aren't in line with the actual cost-of-living are going to be poor. Retired people need BIG.

Common sense should tell us that people who face discrimination in education and employment based on race and sex are going to be poor. Victims of discrimination need BIG.

Tens of millions of people in this country are living in poverty many of whom are children, women and people of color. These are all people who will benefit from BIG.

There is the basis for a massive grassroots and rank-and-file coalition effort to win this Basic Income Guarantee.

This is the richest country in the world; if we can't put an end to poverty with all of our resources and wealth what other country can?

At the present time, much of our Nation's wealth created by workers is being squandered on militarism and wars, subsidizing Wall Street's profits with our tax dollars and this Wall Street bribed government--- local, state and federal--- does nothing to put an end to poverty because there are big profits in poverty--- whether the profits come from paying workers poverty wages or banks being paid big bucks for being involved in administering poverty programs.

In my opinion, this Basic Income Guarantee is a very good reform provided it becomes legislatively tied to ALL actual cost-of-living factors.

While I definitely support the idea of lobbying for this important reform, I don't think we should kid ourselves into believing this Wall Street owned and dominated government will provide such a reform anymore that they will put an end to all these dirty wars which are making us all poor.

This Basic Income Guarantee is going to have to become a big part of the platforms and programs of alternative political parties; and, in my opinion, what we really need is a new progressive working class based political party to bring forward this important reform--- a political party intent on challenging Wall Street for political and economic power.

I hope others will forward and circulate this e-mail everywhere.

Post it on union and church bulletin boards.

Bring this idea into the proverbial public square where it belongs.

Create resolutions in support for your organizations, political party and unions to endorse.

Get out and leaflet and table.

Tens of millions of names on petitions are needed.

Organize demonstrations and educational picket lines.

Talk to people at work and at school. Talk to people in your neighborhood.

Make a banner for BIG to be used at demonstrations and on picket lines.

Put a sign in your window or in your yard for BIG.

We should be thinking of convening some kind of local, state, regional and national conferences involving hundreds, if not thousands, of people in active support of theBasic Income Guarantee--- BIG.

The Basic Income Guarantee is an effort we should all be able to plug into in one way or another to lend our support.

Cindy Sheehan did a good job bringing this issue forward in her campaign for California Governor on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket.

We also need a Full Employment Act making it mandatory for the president and Congress to attain and maintain full employment.

I have suggested the two be tied together as some kind of reform package like a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity;" does this make sense to you?

The Basic Income Guarantee is in line with our Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights along with the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, too.
I am especially happy to hear there is cross-border collaboration with our neighbors to the north in Canada on this very important issue of a Basic Income Guarantee.

Spread the word because if you don't, the Wall Street owned and controlled media isn't going to spread the word for us, although this would be the perfect issue for writing a "Letter-to-the-Editor" of your local newspapers--- and don't forget the many newsletters, too. And FaceBook posts and blogs.

If we want to build a movement to win the Basic Income Guarantee we need to bring this issue into the public square in a massive way.

We can't talk about a Basic Income Guarantee in isolation from all “cost-of-living” factors anymore than we can talk about wages in isolation from the actual “cost-of-living.”

Educate about BIG.

Organize for BIG.

Unite for BIG.

Action in the streets, places of employment and at the ballot box is needed to win BIG.

Don't be patient waiting for Wall Street bribed politicians to implement BIG.

Don't settle for incremental reforms with promises to implement BIG someplace down the road.

Inching our way towards reforms doesn't work--- health care and the Minimum Wage prove this.

The Basic Income Guarantee is a universal reform we need NOW!

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki

Here is the e-mail I received from USBIG...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Karl Widerquist 
Date: Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 2:45 PM
Subject: Special USBIG NewsFlash report from the meeting to create a political movement for basic income
To: bignews@widerquist.com

As editor, I'm sending this report is to all subscribers of the USBIG NewsFlash. A new political movement began organizing itself at the 14th NABIG Congress in New York on March, 1, 2015. The following report shows how interested people can get involve. Please send correspondence to the relevant committee contacts (below), or to Jason Burke Muprhy .

Thank you, 
Karl Widerquist, editor, USBIG NewsFlash
Report from the meeting to create a political movement for basic income

Thirty-one people signed the attendance sheet at the first meeting of group of people attempting to start a political movement for basic income in the United States. Several more people attended without signing, and others followed and contributed to the meeting online. The meeting took place from 6:30 to 9:30pm at the Commons Brooklyn on February 26, 2015, at the close of the Fourteenth North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress. The meeting began with all participants discussing their background and the history that brought them to the basic income movement. The group then split into several small groups, each discussing a different issue. Participants reassembled to bring their discussion to the whole group and to make some decisions.

The group chose not to name a leader or a leadership committee. It did not even pick a name for the new organization at this point. Instead, it created several committees and asked them to perform certain tasks. The group created the following committees:

1. One committee will be in charge of legally chartering two groups. The U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (USBIG) Network, which has existed since 1999 without an official legal charter, will become a U.S. nonprofit organization—a so-called 501(c)(3). This means that it will be able to accept tax-deductible donations, but it will not be able to do overtly political work. The second organization (yet to be named) will be chartered as a social welfare organization or a lobbying group with a 501(c)(4) tax designation. This means that it will be able to do overtly political work, but donations to it will not be tax-deductible. The following members have so far joined the committee to charter the two organizations:

CONTACT PERSON: Steven Shafarman 
Ian Ash Schlakman 
Jason Burke Murphy 
Mark Witham 
Eri Noguchi 
Dan O'Sullivan 

2. A committee was created to organize the next meeting of the unnamed political group. The USBIG Network meets once a year at the NABIG Congress (which alternates each year between the U.S. and Canada), but the political group will meet more often. The committee hopes to organize the next meeting within 3 to 6 months. The committees within the unnamed political group will probably meet earlier via the internet. The following members volunteered to organize the next meeting of the unnamed group:

Jude Thomas 
Diane Pagen 
Ann Withorn 
Dorothy Howard 

3. The content creation committee is in charge of research, news reporting, social media presence, and media relations.

CONTACT PERSON: Jason Burke Murphy 
Contact for people interested in the NewsFlash and BI News: Karl Widerquist 
Contact for people interested in improving the Basic Income articles on Wikipedia: Dorothy Howard 
Scott Santens 

4. The regional network committee will work on establishing local chapters of the group in cities and towns across the United States. The contact person for this committee is:
Kristine Osbakken 

5. Liane Gaile and Ann Withorn agreed to be the contact people for the four working groups on women & Basic Income, basic income & the new economy, and basic income as an anti-poverty policy.

The organizers of this new group without a name put out a nationwide call to anyone who wants to get involved. If people would like to join one of the existing committees or propose a new committee, please email the relevant committee contacts and volunteer. If you don’t know which committee to contact, the two groups have two general contact people:

The unnamed political group: Jason Burke Murphy 
The USBIG Network coordinator: Michael Howard 

The Following people signed the attendance sheet at the meeting:

Ann Withorn
Buffy Cain
Dan O'Sullivan
Diane Pagen
Dorothy Howard
Felix Coeln
Ian Ash Schlakman
Jason Burke Murphy
Jesse Alexander Myerson
Joel Cabrera
Johannes Ponader
Jude Thomas
Karl Widerquist
Kristine Osbakken
Leah Grace
Liane Gale
Mark Witham
Mary Bricker-Jenkins
Michael Bohmeyer
Michael Lewis
Mike Sandler
Mitchel Cohen
Peter Barnes
Ron Rubin
Scott Santens
Scott Simpson
Steven Shafarman
Eduardo Suplicy
Tristan Roberts
Tristan Mantel-Hoffmann
Victor Chudnovsky

Karl Widerquist
Associate Professor at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University
3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W.
Suite 2100, Harris Building
Washington, D.C. 20007-2401
US cell phone: +1 504-261-0891
Qatar cell phone: +974 5508-9323
Qatar office phone: +974 4457-8384
Qatar fax: +974 4457-8231
EMAIL: Karl@widerquist.com
Website: http://works.bepress.com/widerquist/


This e-mail circulated and distributed by:
Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Cell: 651-587-5541

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mall of America protesters enter pleas, supporters vow boycott


Mall of America protesters enter pleas, supporters vow boycott


By Elizabeth Mohr
Posted:   03/10/2015 12:01:00 AM CDT
A shopper walks past a group of police in the rotunda area during the Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Mall of America. (Pioneer Press: John Autey) 
A protester takes photos as demonstrators lay down during the Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Mall of America. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

Hundreds of demonstrators filled the rotunda while others marched around the mall. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

A demonstrator holds a Black Lives Matter sign. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

A Mall of America staff member takes video of the demonstration as protesters lay down in the rotunda. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

The so-called "MOA11" defendants charged in a December protest at the Mall of America pleaded not guilty Tuesday amid songs and chants outside court.

While the 11 defendants were in the Hennepin County courthouse in Edina, in a gallery full of supporters, an even larger group of supporters gathered outside to decry their prosecution and what they called the deeper issue of perceived racism.

Tuesday's courthouse demonstration, organized by the local Black Lives Matter group, was large and peaceful. Hundreds of supporters dressed in black and carried signs to show solidarity with the 11 charged as purported organizers of the Dec. 20 protest at the Mall of America in Bloomington.

December's mass demonstration drew about 3,000 people to the rotunda and halls of the megamall. It was one of many demonstrations around the country in response to the high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of police officers.

The 11 were charged with -- and pleaded not guilty to -- a range of misdemeanors, including trespassing and disorderly conduct.

The charges stem from the assertion that the Mall of America is private property and that the protest organizers were told before the December demonstration that arrests were likely if they carried out the plan.

The private property claim is buttressed by a 1999 state Supreme Court ruling. In its decision, the court said the Mall of America is private property, like any other shopping mall, whose owners can limit demonstrations.

The case began in May 1996 with trespassing charges against four protesters who picketed Macy's at the Mall of America and urged shoppers to boycott the department store because it sells fur.

In addition to the 11 people arraigned Tuesday, 25 others were arrested at the December protest and later charged. A partial list of their names was provided by court administrators.
Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson said the 36 defendants were selected because of their roles in organizing or their overtly disruptive actions at the mall.

"There were thousands (of protesters) and we couldn't arrest all of them," Johnson said. "We tried to keep the peace, and did that by arresting those who appeared to be breaching that peace."

After their arraignment hearing Tuesday, some defendants addressed the crowd.
"The 3,000 organizers and leaders who went to Mall of America on Dec. 20 were there to deliver one message: contrary to our nation's history, black lives do matter," Kandace Montgomery said. "Mall of America has a choice. Mall of America can tell Sandra (Johnson) to drop the charges or they can continue with their racist business policies."

Adja Gildersleve talked about racial disparities in Minnesota, calling it "one of the worst places to live for people of color."

"The reason we have the largest disparity is we have systems of inequity embedded in our policies, embedded in our institutions and even embedded in our social fabric," Gildersleve said. "The reason why those people -- some of you are here -- showed up at the mall and were courageous to raise their voice was they want to put an end to this injustice."

Michael McDowell said, "I'm one of the MOA11" and thanked the crowd for showing up to support the defendants. He spoke of police racial profiling and said, "This is a moral crisis."
The final speaker was Mica Grimm, who told the crowd, "This is what it looks like when we decide we want a brighter future for our babies."

The 11 alleged ringleaders charged are: Montgomery, 24, of Minneapolis; Gildersleve, 26, of Minneapolis; McDowell, 21, of Minneapolis; Grimm, 24, of Duluth; Catherine Salonek, 26, of Minneapolis; Todd Dahlstrom, 49, of St. Paul; Amity Foster, 38, of Minneapolis; Jie Wronski-Riley, 18, of Minneapolis; Shannon Bade, 45, of Minneapolis; Pamela Twiss, 53, of Minneapolis; and Nekima Levy-Pounds, 38, of Brooklyn Park, a University of St. Thomas law professor and director of the Community Justice Project.

Court officials provided a list of 21 others charged. It's unclear why the list didn't include the 25 additional reported defendants. The court's list included: Kimberly Socha, Dakota Machgan, Gustavo Mancilla-Bernal, Deanne Pratt, Rose Meyer, Nakami Tongit-Green, Mautaui Tongit-Green, Rahsaan Mahadeo, Anthony Nocella, Tadele Gebremedin, Dua Saleh, Emmett Doyle, Roxxanne Rittenhouse, Madeline Jacobs, Tamera Larkins, Andrew Edwards, Benjamin Painter, Christopher Juhn, Imani McCray, Aaron Abram and Sara Gieseke.

Asked about the calls for the Mall of America to drop the charges or to influence Johnson's office to dismiss the cases, Johnson chuckled.

"That's like asking the crime victim to drop the charges. They can ask, but if a crime is committed, we do the prosecution," she said. "That happens often in domestic assault cases where a victim will call later and say, 'I want to drop charges.' They don't have that choice. ... The Mall of America could call and lobby me until the sun came down and it still wouldn't matter. We will continue to prosecute these charges."

Bruce Nestor, an attorney on the team representing the defendants, said the mall, which routinely hosts other events, was approached and asked to allow the protest to happen.

"The mall refused to allow this event to go forward with its blessing and instead chose to greet this event, along with the Bloomington police, with a militarized approach," Nestor said. "The treatment of this event was an instance of racial profiling."

The local Black Lives Matter group recently posted on its Facebook page a series of emails between Johnson and Mall of America officials, in which criminal charges and possible civil action against protesters are discussed.

Some have accused Johnson of conspiring with mall officials to file charges or of taking directives from the mall's owners.

"There's nothing out of the ordinary about these emails," Johnson said. "It's generally the kind of conversation you'll have with a crime victim. A victim will call and say, 'Should I bring a civil lawsuit?' and we'll say, 'You might want to wait and see how the criminal case plays out. Take a breath and make sure you want to do that.' "

Johnson said the emails were released to a member of the Black Lives Matter group pursuant to a data request.

"City attorneys can classify all their conversations if it's considered legal advice," Johnson said. "But we're erring on the side of transparency because we don't have anything to hide."

The prosecution has requested that the defendants pay restitution for the reported $25,000 in police costs and $8,000 in mall security costs related to the event.

Johnson contends that the protest organizers should have sought and obtained the proper permits and should have made the required payments for police coverage for their event.

"The basis for the restitution claim is, why should they be exempt from the cost because they decided not to follow the proper channels?" Johnson said. "But the protesters just did it. And this cost was to the taxpayers."

Tuesday's demonstration ended with a call to boycott the Mall of America.

Pastor Danny Givens Jr. asked people in the crowd to get their phones out and tweet #boycottMOA, which was met with cheers.

"Boycott can get it done," Givens told the crowd. "It's one of the tools that we can use, and so let's move it forward for economic justice."

A call to the Mall of America for comment was not returned.

This report includes information from the Associated Press.

Elizabeth Mohr can be reached at 651-228-5162. Follow her at twitter.com/LizMohr

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Wall Street Democrats say they won't tolerate another George McGovern

So, the Democratic Party establishment backing Hillary Clinton has now stated what hasn't been said very openly to this point: "We don't want to get stuck with another far leftist like George McGovern."

And the creepy little spokesperson for the Campaign for America's Future, Bill Scher, shamefully nods his head in agreement.

Politicians and pork chops; its buyer beware.

Politics in this country is packaged a lot like pork chops... a couple good ones are put on the top of the "specially priced family pack" to suck you into buying them. When you get home you find nothing but fat and bone hidden on the bottom of the package to add weight.

But even the chops looking good on the top of the package are most likely loaded with all kinds of bad things from hormones and anti-biotics to all kinds of other drugs.

The pig was most likely a Monsanto GMO although we aren't told this.

Wall Street money employs Madison Avenue to package politicians in much the same way the local supermarket packages its pork chops in "family packs."

Chances are you wouldn't buy a "family pack" of pork chops if the bad ones were placed on top of the package and the label stated: "These pork-chops have been pumped full of contaminated water to add weight and are a danger to human health; they could make your dog sick."

The Wall Street bribed politicians will tell you whatever you want to hear to get your vote but once elected its a different story... all you end up getting is what the sparrows leave behind.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Economic Populism without real solutions to our problems is meaningless... will we be sucked in again by these Democrats?

Will this national conference continue to be dominated by the over-paid muddle-headed upper-middle class intellectuals and Democratic Party hacks working for the foundation-funded outfits fronting for the Democratic Party who refuse to bring forward in a timely manner the impact on the economy of financing this insane militarism and these dirty imperialist Wall Street wars while pushing an agenda for reforms which doesn't take into consideration the urgency of solving the problems of working people from the cost-of-living crisis to the need to immediately create millions of new jobs through universal social programs like a National Public Health Care System and a National Public Child Care System?
We need an economic populism which attacks Wall Street's agenda that helps us build an anti-monopoly coalition capable of challenging Wall Street for political and economic power not just "regulating" Wall Street.

Check it out but don't get sucked in to a false economic populism intended to hoodwink people into voting for Democrats like Hillary Clinton at the expense of our problems going unresolved:


Will your voice for peace, jobs and a Basic Income Guarantee be included?

Will we be lectured about how we must be "patient with the pace of reforms" by accepting "incremental baby steps" as Democrats "inch" us on the way to the good society?

Should a call for a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" be brought before this conference?

If so, how?

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin Signs ‘Right to Work’ Bill

Another dagger driven into the working class.

How many "wake-up calls" do we need before people wake up?

"Fast Track" is apparently the favored way of doing things by both Republicans and Obama. Get these dirty deeds done before people understand fully what is going on and can organize effective opposition.

Walker used a "fast track" process to ram through this reactionary undemocratic "Right-to-Work" (for less) legislation that is an attack on the entire working class.

Obama seeks "Fast Track" legislation (he has almost unanimous support from the Republicans) to shove the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) down our throats. Again, an attack on the entire working class.


Shouldn't the combination of all of this tell us, as workers. both the Democrats and Republicans are part of Wall Street's "two-party trap" and that we need a new working class based progressive people's party whose politicians would be grassroots and rank-and-file activists?

We need an anti-monopoly people's party to remove Wall Street from power.

The New York Times


Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin Signs ‘Right to Work’ Bill

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a possible Republican presidential candidate, spoke at the Iowa Agriculture Summit in Des Moines on Saturday. Credit Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — For decades, states across the South, Great Plains and Rocky Mountains enacted policies, known as “right to work,” that prevented organized labor from forcing all workers to pay union dues or fees. But the industrial Midwest resisted.

Those days are gone. After a wave of Republican victories across the region in 2010, Indiana and then Michigan enacted right-to-work laws that supporters said strengthened those states economically, but that labor leaders asserted left behind a trail of weakened unions.

Now it is Wisconsin’s turn. On Monday, Gov. Scott Walker — who in 2011 succeeded in slashing collective bargaining rights for most public sector workers — signed a private-sector right-to-work bill that makes his state the 25th to adopt the policy and has given new momentum to the business-led movement, its supporters say.
“This freedom-to-work legislation will give workers the freedom to choose whether or not they want to join a union, and employers another compelling reason to consider expanding or moving their business to Wisconsin,” Mr. Walker said.
Union members and supporters held multiple demonstrations in the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol last month. Credit Ben Brewer for The New York Times
Even before the Legislature passed the measure on Friday in a fast-tracked process, Mr. Walker’s political fund-raisers were raising money on the issue, saying of the right-to-work bill in an email pitch to donors: “You know how it is: It threatens the power the Big Government Labor Bosses crave and they are going to come after him with everything they’ve got.”

Democrats assert that Mr. Walker’s real motivation is more about politics than job creation: breaking a dwindling union movement in Wisconsin and boosting his standing as the conservative choice for the Republican presidential nomination next year. And beyond Mr. Walker’s prospects, they say the new laws throughout the region are intended to help Republicans build a favorable electoral map for 2016, by weakening the labor groups that have traditionally provided muscle and money to Democratic candidates in crucial swing states.

“It’s designed to depress wages and to help them win elections in the future,” Michael Sargeant, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said of passage of the measure, almost entirely on party lines, in Wisconsin. “That’s what this is about.”

Right-to-work battles are also emerging in other states. Republican legislators in Missouri and New Mexico are weighing similar measures. In Kentucky, where a split Legislature and a Democratic governor pose obstacles to a statewide bill, leaders in more than a dozen counties have approved or are weighing measures, officials there said on Saturday, and efforts in six other counties are awaiting final approval.

And in Illinois, a long-held Democratic territory with Democratic supermajorities in the Legislature, the new Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, announced an executive order barring state workers who opt out of unions from being forced to pay fees based on a constitutional argument, offering a new model for states where split partisan politics have slowed right-to-work policies.
Federal law already permits workers not to join unions. But right-to-work laws go further, permitting workers to not pay fees to them. Unions argue that the fees are fair for nonunion members who still benefit from the contracts they negotiate, and that without a requirement, their membership, financial support and very existence are threatened.

The effects of right-to-work measures are fiercely debated and a matter of dueling experts and research papers.

In Michigan, the percentage of workers in unions has dropped to 14.5 percent from 16.6 percent before the changes. Yet in Indiana, the percentage of union members actually grew to 10.7 percent from 9.1 percent in 2012, a statistic some labor experts say shows how difficult it is to gauge the effects of such measures given other factors at play.

In Wisconsin, the percentage of workers in unions has dropped to 11.7 percent in 2014 from 14.2 percent in 2010, before Mr. Walker took office.
Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois, a Republican, announced an executive order that bars state workers who opt out of unions from having to pay fees. Credit Seth Perlman/Associated Press

Central to the new momentum behind the laws were sweeping Republican victories in state elections in 2010, when the party got full control — in the chambers and the governor’s office — of states that included Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. They made more gains in 2014, now controlling 68 of the 98 chambers around the country and the most state legislative seats since 1920. But it was the victories in 2010 that set off a new flood of right-to-work legislation in the Midwest, which had rarely seen it.

Soon after taking office, Mr. Walker pressed for a bill that cut collective bargaining for most public sector workers as well as removing requirements that they pay fees if they chose not to join unions that represented them, and Republicans elsewhere followed suit. But not all of those measures flew through. Ohio, where Republicans had taken sole control of state government, passed a measure limiting collective bargaining, but it was rejected months later in a statewide ballot measure.

Then, for right-to-work advocates, there came an even more memorable turning point: In November 2012, voters in Indiana (where there had been a right-to-work law until it was repealed in the 1960s) re-elected majorities of Republicans to the statehouse even after labor leaders pledged to defeat them for passing a right-to-work law earlier in the year. On the same election night, voters in Michigan rejected a labor-backed ballot measure to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the State Constitution.
“The combination sent a clear message to elected officials in the region: You can end forced dues by passing right-to-work and voters will reward you for it,” said Patrick Semmens, a spokesman for the National Right to Work Committee, who keeps a copy of The Indianapolis Star outside his office from the day after the law passed there.

A month after the 2012 election, the Republican-held Legislature in Michigan, a cradle of the American labor movement, passed a right-to-work measure, which was promptly signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican who had previously said that the matter was not on his agenda.

“It’s a concerted effort by the folks who have a lot of wealth and power to get more wealth and power,” Lee Saunders, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said. “They’ve had these plans a long time, and now they’ve come to fruition.”

In Madison, politics have been nearly impossible to separate from the debate over the policy in recent weeks. For many Democrats, the issue became an intense, highly partisan battle over Mr. Walker, his conservative policies since 2011, and his flirtation with a presidential bid.

“This is about crushing unions,” Representative Chris Taylor, a Democrat, said during a debate that ran all night last week. At another point, Robin Vos, the Republican House speaker, accused the Democrats of suffering from “Walker Derangement Syndrome.”

In other states, where the debate is complicated by split partisan control, leaders were closely watching. In New Mexico, where a right-to-work measure passed through a newly Republican-held House last month, Democrats said they expected to see the measure vanish in a committee of the Senate, still held by Democrats. “This is all about breaking up unions,” said Sam Bregman, chairman of the New Mexico Democratic Party.

In Missouri, Republican lawmakers said they were concerned that they might be left behind by their Midwestern neighbors, given all that had changed. A right-to-work measure that had stalled for several years, passed the State House last month, and a Senate committee is expected to send it to the floor in a matter of weeks. Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has suggested a veto is likely, and Republicans say an override will be difficult.

“But when you see a Wisconsin, a Michigan, when they can get it done there,” said Senator Mike Parson, a Republican, “it’s pretty tough to sit here in Missouri with the makeup of things here and we can’t get it done?”