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...

Monday, September 28, 2015

There is a better way.

Are you fed up?

Is there a better way of doing things?

We are in one heck of a mess...

Never-ending wars...

Nearing climate catastrophe...

Every working class family is caught up in a Cost-of-Living Crisis...

Anyone who doesn't believe there is a “Cost-of-Living Crisis” obviously hasn't gone grocery shopping, filled up their car with gas or paid an insurance premium, rent or an electric or utility bill recently or looked at the interest charged on their credit cards.

The capitalist Sooth-Sayers would like us to believe them when they say things are getting better. But, then again, they are paid well to try to make us believe we have no problems.

Poverty amid such great known wealth with soaring prices for goods and services resulting from monopoly price-fixing coupled with inflation fueled by militarism and wars and attacks on our public institutions like our public schools are intended to weaken our public institutions along with the under-funding they receive as the Military-Industrial Complex gobbles up our Nation's wealth while children go hungry.

Racism and discrimination...

The problems are endless.

Are you fed up?

Are you thinking: There must be a better way?

Do you feel like Wall Street has spun a powerful web in which you are trapped with no possibility of escape as these Wall Street parasites suck the life out of you with more work and less pay?

What holds this deadly Wall Street spun web together? The ingredients forming the powerful glue holding this web together consist of racism, corruption and anti-communism--- each on their own dangerous poisons causing pernicious societal diseases; together they wreak havoc on our lives and livelihoods.

Human society needs these Wall Street parasites about as much as dogs need ticks and fleas.

As capitalism collapses around us--- and on top of us like an old weathered barn on a foreclosed abandoned homestead--- the human misery is never-ending just like the very costly dirty imperialist wars which now come with such tremendous death and destruction one right on top of another even though most of us want peace. And these Wall Street masters of war are now preparing to upgrade the doomsday nuclear arsenal with, like with global warming, no concern for the nuclear winter which will follow from their use.

The corporate bribed and corrupted politicians use the Minimum Wage as a lever of government to keep wages down as a means to enforce poverty. By keeping wages down they are doing a favor in return for the bribes they receive from business--- large businesses and small businesses. Businesses, large and small, reap huge super-profits from these low poverty wages enforced by the Minimum Wage which when initially introduced was intended to end poverty wages because we all know that when workers are paid poverty wages working class families are going to be poor.

Let's be clear about this: Any wage that doesn't enable a working class family to purchase the goods and services required for a decent life is a poverty wage. Working people have a right to expect a decent life and standard-of-living in return for their labor which means the Minimum Wage must be linked to the real cost-of-living.

These politicians always claim a small “increase in the Minimum Wage is better than nothing” as they substantially increase their own pay while ignoring, and doing nothing about, rising prices in the grocery store, the robbery at the gas pumps, the rip-off of steadily increasing electric and heating bills, college tuition out of sight, increased rents and bus fares, unaffordable health/home/automobile insurance costs and increased rents and mortgage interest rates.

Any government which can control wages through enforcing a poverty Minimum Wage could just as easily roll-back and control prices at affordable levels. The corporate bribed politicians choose not to roll-back and control prices of goods and services claiming they are for allowing the “free market” to determine all costs--- except labor costs which they enforce at low pay. Very conveniently, these politicians always claim their “hands are tied” when it comes to legislating for the common good but spare no effort in providing a space for their corporate masters to feed at the public trough like a bunch of pigs.

How come these politicians can keep wages down but they can't roll-back and control the prices of any goods or services and the basic necessities of life we have to purchase in order to live? Can you live on a part-time job paying $9.50 an hour?

Do you want to work 18 hours a day 60 hours a week at different part-time jobs trying to survive? Can the human body endure this? Can working families survive this?

It is the epitome of hypocrisy--- not to mention sickening--- for a billionaire Minnesota Governor like Mark Dayton to tout $9.50 an hour as a wage that will lift working class families out of poverty when his wealth has been derived almost exclusively from his family paying workers poverty wages.

Politicians like Obama and Dayton talk about, “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,” yet unemployment continues with no end in sight. Where are the jobs these politicians talk about?

The climate crisis continues; putting us on a collision course with Mother Nature. Again, like with wages, these politicians legislate ever bigger carbon footprints not to mention that the industry with the largest carbon footprint in the entire world is the U.S Military-Industrial Complex.

We working people and the environment suffer as Wall Street profits. It just isn't right.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out something is wrong. It doesn't have to be this way.

Minnesota's two socialist governors, Floyd B. Olson and Elmer A. Benson, sought to bring people together to pull for reforms as they simultaneously sought to build the socialist Cooperative Commonwealth here in Minnesota--- this was a good idea back then in the 1930's... and its an even better idea now.

In one of his last interviews before he died, Elmer Benson said his worst political mistake was to support the merger of the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party with the corrupt, anti-labor and racist Democratic Party thinking the influx of socialist thinking from the Farmer-Labor wing would create a Democratic Party that would become a huge people's party. Things didn't turn out this way and working class socialist thinking was driven out of the Democratic Party.

Benson advocated re-establishing a working class based progressive socialist party for peace, social and economic justice and he advocated re-establishing the “People's Lobby” which he founded to overcome the interests of big-businesses in Minnesota politics.

As Benson noted: Working people have been abandoned by the Democratic Party, millionaire labor “leaders” and these foundation-funded outfits who hide their Wall Street agendas behind cleverly conceived schemes concocted to hoodwink us into thinking capitalism is alright, it just needs to be tweaked with reforms. As Benson said, “This is pure bullshit; the capitalist system is the source of our problems.”

Well, guess what?

These self-serving, selfish and corrupt politicians bribed by Wall Street won't even provide us with the kind of real reform that would raise the Minimum Wage to a real living wage in line with the actual cost-of-living factors even though the wealth they have accumulated through exploiting the rest of us while raping Mother Nature and placing us in this dire predicament of climate change is just plain obscene.

How the heck can we expect these over-paid politicians and millionaire union “leaders” who have no concept of the “Cost-of-Living Crisis” working class families are experiencing to address this problem when they are in denial?

Then there are the well-heeled, muddle-headed, upper-middle class “intellectuals” sitting in the ivory towers of the universities where they are shielded from the problems of everyday living working class families are experiencing who are pontificating about “economic miracles” and failing to acknowledge our problems. They speak for this or that “think tank” serving as media “pundits” to explain everything to us. All they do is create more confusion instead of providing insight and clarity. Their intent is to undermine common sense and clear thinking with their grossly distorted “insight.”

We live in the richest country in the world where labor has created all the wealth which Wall Street hordes.

Working people who horde a few canned goods are diagnosed as being mentally ill; but greedy Wall Street “investors” can horde the entire wealth of the Nation and they are running the show and get glamourized.

Much of the wealth labor has created is being squandered on war after war; the rest is controlled by a handful of Wall Street monopolists who refuse to relinquish their hold on this wealth so it could be used for the common good. This wealth is required to finance real reforms needed to improve our lives, our quality of life and our standard-of-living.

Instead of investing in reforms which would create jobs, Wall Street invests this money in low-wage areas of the world which destroys our jobs and angers those it exploits and oppresses which results in more wars.

We witnessed how this works.

The St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant once employing over two-thousand workers seldom viewed as human beings now lays in rubble; a new Ranger assembly plant was built in Thailand with the tax-payer subsidies Ford Motor Company received from the local, state and federal governments. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will enable Ford to import these Ranger pick-up trucks back into the United States. Quite the racket. Again, Wall Street profits; workers suffer.

And many of the workers who received large “buyouts” have now been cheated out of their money by investment firms, “counselors” and “advisers.”

When workers in Thailand kick about the poverty wages paid by Ford the U.S. Marines will be sent in.

There is never enough money for needed reforms; the wealth Wall Street doesn't horde goes for wars protecting Wall Street's interests, investments and profits. For Wall Street, nothing is more profitable than wars.

We need to challenge Wall Street for political and economic power if we are ever going to straighten out this mess we are in. As Floyd Olson and Elmer Benson noted: Wall Street is our common enemy.

Anyone who thinks Wall Street and its politicians can be appealed to for justice is living in La-La Land.

Justice, whether for jobs at living wages or real health care reform, requires a united struggle.

We need to fight to defend our livelihoods and our rights.

The working class needs genuine grassroots and rank-and-file think tanks and action centers in every neighborhood and every place of employment geared to solving our problems through reforms and socialist revolution...

What can't be won at the bargaining table we should be looking to win through legislation.

What can't be won either way can be won through socialist revolution.

Let's not kid ourselves... it takes a fight to win anything from these greedy Wall Street bastards.

We need a new kind of politics based on the thinking of the old socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party---

Let's talk about the politics and economics of livelihood for a change.

Working class families have to scrape and scrounge just to get by; it shouldn't be this way. This has a name: Cost-of-Living Crisis. You won't find any Democrats or Republicans talking about this crisis.

Politicians pretend the causes of poverty are complex. Why is it so difficult to figure out that workers without jobs are going to be poor?

Why is it so difficult to figure out that workers paid poverty wages are going to be poor?

Why is it so difficult to figure out that workers employed in part-time jobs paying poverty wages are going to be poor?

There is a better way.

We don't have to live this way.

We don't have to take this crap from Wall Street and their crooked and corrupt politicians.

Like Floyd Olson and Elmer Benson said, “The mines, mills, factories, banking, the forestry and energy industries should be brought under public ownership.” This was the intent of establishing the socialist Cooperative Commonwealth here in Minnesota. A good idea then; a better idea now.

Many of the solutions are very simple; just plain old common sense:

- Pay people real living wages. Raise the Minimum Wage to a real living wage tied to all cost-of-living factors.

- Make the president and Congress responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment--- this isn't too much to expect from politicians who talk about “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

- Provide everyone with a Basic Income Guarantee.

- Put an end to this undemocratic “At-Will Employment” so workers have a voice at work and in the communities where they live without the fear of employer retaliation.

- Put an end to militarism and these dirty wars; use the wealth of our Nation created by labor to create a national public health care system and a national public child care system which would create millions of new jobs at real living wages providing people with the services they need and to which they are entitled. We can continue down the dangerous barbaric path of war after war or we can join with people all over the world seeking to beat swords into plowshares.

Instead of 800 U.S. Military bases spread out across the globe protecting Wall Street's investments, assets and profits we need community and neighborhood health care centers and child care centers in every community and neighborhood.

This isn't radical to think like this. These universal social programs would be publicly funded, publicly administered with the services publicly delivered--- just like public education.

Join with us.

We need a new kind of politics.

We need some kind of “New Broom” electoral coalition to sweep Washington clean from corruption and warmongering.

We need this electoral coalition to be:

  1. Anti-monopoly.
  2. Anti-imperialist
  3. With the stated goal of taking political and economic power away from Wall Street.

Add your voice in support of common sense solutions to our problems.

Progressives in Canada are leading the way by example and we should study and learn from what they are doing:

This text is an abridged version of a declaration launched recently in Toronto. To read it in full and to become a signatory visit leapmanifesto.org

We could live in a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the opportunities of this transition are designed to eliminate racial and gender inequality. Caring for one another and caring for the planet could be the economy’s fastest growing sectors. Many more people could have higher-wage jobs with fewer work hours, leaving us ample time to enjoy our loved ones and flourish in our communities.
Canada is not this place today – but it can be.
The time for this great transition is short. Climate scientists have told us this is the decade to take decisive action to prevent catastrophic global warming. That means small steps will no longer suffice.
So we need to leap.
This leap must begin by respecting the inherent rights and title of the original caretakers of this land. Indigenous communities have been at the forefront of protecting rivers, coasts, forests and lands from out-of-control industrial activity. We can bolster this role by fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Moved by the treaties that form the legal basis of this country and bind us to share the land “for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow,” we want energy sources that will last for time immemorial and never run out or poison the land. Technological breakthroughs have brought this dream within reach. The latest research shows it is feasible to get 100 per cent of our electricity from renewable resources within two decades. We demand that this shift begin now.
There is no longer an excuse for building new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future. That applies equally to oil and gas pipelines; fracking in New Brunswick, Quebec and British Columbia; increased tanker traffic off our coasts; and to Canadian-owned mining projects the world over.
The time has come for energy democracy: We believe not just in changes to our energy sources, but that wherever possible communities should collectively control these new energy systems. We can create innovative ownership structures: democratically run, paying living wages and keeping much-needed revenue in communities. And indigenous peoples should be first to receive public support for their own clean energy projects. So should communities currently dealing with heavy health impacts of polluting industrial activity.
Power generated this way will not merely light our homes but also redistribute wealth, deepen our democracy, strengthen our economy and start to heal the wounds that date back to this country’s founding.
A leap to a non-polluting economy can create countless other multiple “wins.” We want training and resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to participate in the clean-energy economy. High-speed rail powered by renewables and affordable public transit can unite every community in this country – in place of more cars, pipelines and exploding trains that endanger and divide us.
Since this leap is beginning late, we need to invest in our decaying public infrastructure so it can withstand increasingly frequent extreme weather events.
Moving to a far more localized and ecologically based agricultural system would reduce reliance on fossil fuels, capture carbon in the soil and absorb sudden shocks in the global supply – as well as produce healthier and more affordable food for everyone.
We call for an end to all trade deals that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects. Rebalancing the scales of justice, we should ensure immigration status and full protection for all workers.
Shifting to an economy in balance with the Earth’s limits also means expanding the economic sectors that are already low-carbon: caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media. Following on Quebec’s lead, a national child-care program is long past due. All this work, much of it performed by women, is the glue that builds humane, resilient communities – and we will need our communities to be as strong as possible in the face of the rocky future we have already locked in.
We declare that “austerity” – which has systematically attacked low-carbon sectors such as education and health care, while starving public transit and forcing reckless energy privatizations – is a fossilized form of thinking that has become a threat to life on Earth. The money we need to pay for this great transformation is available – we just need the right policies to release it. Such as an end to fossil-fuel subsidies. Financial transaction taxes. Increased resource royalties. Higher income taxes on corporations and wealthy people. A progressive carbon tax. Cuts to military spending. All of these are based on a simple “polluter pays” principle and hold enormous promise.
One thing is clear: Public scarcity in times of unprecedented private wealth is a manufactured crisis, designed to extinguish our dreams before they have a chance to be born.
Those dreams go well beyond this manifesto. We call for town hall meetings across the country where residents can gather to democratically define what a genuine leap to the next economy means in their communities.
Inevitably, this bottom-up revival will lead to a renewal of democracy at every level of government, working swiftly toward a system in which every vote counts and corporate money is removed from political campaigns.
This is a great deal to take on all at once, but such are the times in which we live.
The drop in oil prices has temporarily relieved the pressure to dig up fossil fuels as rapidly as high-risk technologies will allow. This pause in frenetic expansion should not be viewed as a crisis, but as a gift. It has given us a rare moment to look at what we have become – and decide to change.
And so we call on all those seeking political office to seize this opportunity. This is our sacred duty to those this country harmed in the past, to those suffering needlessly in the present and to all who have a right to a bright and safe future.
Now is the time for boldness.
Now is the time to leap.


Let us band together in a “New Broom” coalition as Minnesotans for a Better Way

If you are fed up; stand up in seeking real solutions to our problems... there is a better way; we all know it.

What we need are citizen activists popping up like dandelions after a warm spring rain.

We need to be thinking in terms of people and Mother Nature before Wall Street profits.

The two-party system is part of Wall Street's web; part of the web spun to keep us trapped--- the two-party trap. Both the Democrats and Republicans serve Wall Street's greedy profit-driven interests.

We would like to suggest the convening of a state-wide conference of Minnesotans for a Better Way...

We are your fellow workers, friends and neighbors...

We are Minnesotans for a Better Way
Gather a few friends around your kitchen table... invite a speaker... get involved as a citizen activist.

Canadian workers have their own political party; the socialist New Democratic Party which is pretty much like our old socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party which was successfully led by Minnesota governors Floyd B. Olson and Elmer A. Benson. Even though Canadians working through their New Democratic Party are on the verge of taking national political power away from Bay Street, their counterpart to Wall Street, we aren't hearing much about this from our so-called “free” media.

For years, the New Democratic Party has been the party in power in Manitoba, our neighbor to the north and working class families are the better off for it.

Like each little individual raindrop we don't amount to much trying to stand up alone to the evil powers that be; but, together, united, we are like Old Man River, the Mighty Mississippi--- we can't be stopped... once flowing we will just keep rolling along.

Our first project will be to work up a plan to develop support for a comprehensive legislative initiative for peace, jobs and workers' rights:

A 21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity.”

A couple closing comments and observations:

Barack Obama's presidency has caused a great deal of confusion with some people still holding out hope that he will prevail in doing good. Had Obama had any decency about him he would have ended these wars, halted the executions by drones and put an immediate stop to home foreclosures and evictions.

And here in Minnesota, this billionaire governor who promised a Minimum Wage that would be a real living wage while declaring no one who works for a living should have to live in poverty would have made good on his campaign promise--- no one can live on $9.50 an hour; it is one more poverty wage... and it won't go into effect until 2016 when any “gain” will have been more than eaten up by price increases and inflation.

Most people have already noted that each succeeding president and the rest of the politicians are worse than the previous. This is because their mandate which comes from Wall Street, instead of “we the people,” places them in positions of trying to save a capitalist system in a serious state of decay which has reached its highest and most moribund stage of imperialism in which huge Wall Street monopolies order the politicians to provide the “technicians,” government bureaucrats, who are placed in positions of authority to run the government as they see fit, irrespective of any human misery they cause--- “collateral damage;” they are trying to save capitalism from complete collapse. They are trying to save their rotten system at our expense.

One of the major problems we are experiencing is too many people have bought into the idea that there is no class struggle any longer which has led people to conclude the Democratic Party and the Democrats and their “partners,” the foundation funded outfits and millionaire labor “leaders” who buy into this idea that other countries are our enemies instead of business, multinational corporations and the Wall Street backed political parties.

It is true there are some working class activists, progressives and honest liberals still active in the Democratic Party we must not beak our connections off with but these people are becoming fewer and further between as so many people in this country now recognize the two-party system is a trap established by Wall Street.

This problem was recently brought into full view at a rally on Minnesota's Iron Range where Minnesota's billionaire Democratic Governor was the featured speaker “defining” the problems confronting the taconite industry and members of the United Steelworkers in particular.

Here is what Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said in his widely publicized speech which was the opening for his re-election campaign...

The story of the Iron Range is one of standing strong against exploitation and oppression, and too often of a government that will not stand with them,” Dayton said to a cheering crowd of 1,500 iron miners. “Today’s enemies are not the companies, but the countries that dump their steel in the U.S. market, depress the prices and take away your jobs.”

Regional leaders of the United Steelworkers and leaders of the Democratic Party helped Dayton write this speech and it has been confirmed that USW President Leo Girard had his hand in this speech.

Does any thinking person really believe that foreign countries should be viewed as our enemies for “dumping steel” in this country when all these “foreign” companies are more often than not owned in whole or in part by Wall Street investors and the parasites on Canada's Bay Street along with those parasitic vultures hiding behind the monikers as investors and even “philanthropists?” Companies like U.S. Steel and Cleveland Cliffs are no friends of workers.

In fact, Dayton and his family have huge financial holdings in these “foreign” steel companies and his major funding has come from none other than the Rockefeller family which has huge holdings in foreign mining and steel manufacturing all over the world who are directly profiting from this “dumping” and it is the U.S. construction companies who are happy to be able to purchase this “foreign” steel from which they make super-profits--- often selling this steel to our government at sharply inflated rates for bridge work, sewer projects, etc.

And consider this:

If these countries are engaged in “criminal” activity as the USW and these Democrats are claiming, how should we be characterizing the brutal exploitation of workers being used to rape Mother Nature in the process of mining, milling and manufacturing this steel in the first place--- are we not talking about what is the very nature of U.S. Imperialism--- insatiable greed?

Don't we need an anti-imperialist movement in solidarity with the workers and people's of these other countries whom Minnesota's Governor, the Democratic Party hacks and millionaire labor “leaders” want us to view as our enemies as they let the Daytons and Rockefellers--- Wall Street and Bay Street--- off the hook?

Is there any truth to Dayton's words that these companies like U.S. Steel and Cliff's Natural Resources (Cleveland Cliff) no longer are oppressing and exploiting workers on the Iron Range? How soon we forget that these companies were prepared to bring in an army of scabs just a few short years ago to work the mines and process the taconite had the USW gone on strike for what workers were legitimately entitled to rather than having had concessions shoved down their throats by these same Democrats and millionaire labor “leaders” working hand-in-hand with these Wall Street companies.

And never mentioned by Dayton or these millionaire labor “leaders” is the fact that these mining companies on Minnesota's Iron Range have swindled thousands of workers in the mining industry out of their pensions. It is not China, Brazil or any other country which has swindled these miners out of their pensions it is the very companies on the Iron Range who Dayton now makes the outrageous claim these companies no longer exploit or oppress.

One can not help but wonder what kind of speech Minnesota's socialist governors, Floyd Olson and Elmer Benson, would have delivered at such a rally on Minnesota's Iron Range from which Communist U.S. Congressman John Bernard from Eveleth, Minnesota and the Iron Range organizer for the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's speech, in spite of his claim to being a big “liberal,” was just one more neo-liberal imperialist speech from one more Wall Street profiteer.

Do we simply ignore all of this because to talk about these facts will give the Republicans a lift up as the Democratic Party hacks claim?

Working people need to analyze what is going on in this country and around the world from a working class anti-imperialist perspective lest the sons and daughters of the working class continue to serve as fodder in these dirty imperialist wars and our Nation's wealth continues to be squandered on militarism and war after war.

It is also noteworthy to mention that over 40% of all the ore mined and processed and manufactured into steel and then fabricated has gone into militarism and wars--- this has left one hell of a carbon footprint contributing to global warming.

Nor did Governor Dayton talk about the need to reduce the work week with forty hours pay, shorten retirement to 55 and extend vacations in this taconite industry on Minnesota's Iron Range so that more jobs could be created in this very economically depressed region now being called “Appalachia North.”

Nor was the need to reorder the priorities of this country away from war and military spending to meet human needs broached in Governor Dayton's speech. Why not? This would create thousands of good paying decent jobs on the Iron Range.

And how is it that Governor Dayton didn't mention the need to organize the big-box industries on the Iron Range--- Wal-mart, Menard's, Target and the likes of Holiday Convenience Stations, McDonald's, Pizza Hut and Burger King? Are not these companies employing thousands of Iron Rangers at part-time jobs paying poverty wages “exploiting” and “oppressing” workers on the Iron Range without any assist from “foreign enemies?”

And why no mention of Minnesota remaining an “At-Will Employment” State in spite of Governor Dayton presiding in his first term over a Democratic super-majority state government?

Dayton did not so much as mention his role in putting over 40,000 Minnesotans to work in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages in places of employment where workers have no voice and no rights--- workers without rights at work have no rights in the communities where they live, either. Apparently this Democratic governor loathes speaking about U.S. democracy and the state of democracy here in Minnesota where employers are allowed to lock out workers and bring in scabs as American Crystal Sugar did for over a year... or are we supposed to have forgotten about this?

Again, no one is suggesting we sever ties with working class activists, progressives and real liberals still active in the Democratic Party but remaining silent in the face of this kind of Wall Street imperialist chauvinism and jingoism of blaming other countries for the problems working people here are experiencing when these Wall Street corporations are our common enemy because they exploit and oppress here and abroad is definitely not acceptable.

Governor Dayton's speech on the Iron Range is a far cry from the speeches workers used to hear at Mesaba Cooperative Park where fiery anti-imperialist speeches advocating for building Minnesota's socialist Cooperative Commonwealth were once delivered.
We can do better.

We must do better.

I think of these things often as I visit the graves of my Grandpa and Grandma and the other working class activists buried in that little cemetery in Gilbert, Minnesota who understood that these Wall Street mining companies are our enemies--- our forever enemies.

Alan L. Maki
A proud “Red” Finn

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My response to a vile accusation on FaceBook

Rick Sklader 1) Sanders has repeatedly emphasized the need to get rid of a reactionary congress in favor of one in line with his thinking. 2) Certainly the Ruling Class prefers someone like Clinton, herself a center right multimillionaire or Bush or a guy like Kasich who was a big shot a Lehman Bros up until he decided he wanted to be The Gov of Ohio. I think the capitalists could live with a Sanders presidency because of his overall agreement with the agenda of US imperialism. 3) Alan I agree with the broad outlines of what you've articulated here but I feel that while you address the never satisfied needs of the working class you never raise the fundamental reason why the U.S. Working Class is so weak politically and that's because of its history and support of white supremacy. Unless and until the class addresses structural institutional racism and priorities the struggle of its most vulnerable and oppressed sister and brothers are movement for the liberation of humanity will go nowhere.
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs



Alan Maki Rick Sklader; What a cheap shot taken from your armchair in order to evade action on your part. Where is your responsibility in fighting to end racism?

Perhaps you would like to provide us with a broad outline filled in with specifics of what your involvement in the struggle against racism has been over the years.

I not only address the problems of racism and bring forward very specific solutions to very specific problems, I have been an active participant in the struggles against racism for over 50 years.

For your critique, I provide a youtube video of one such meeting I was a participant in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv_UMyTak3g

But, before I get into the specifics which you like to avoid and evade like you do action, let me point out that the "broad outlines" I have provided include very specific solutions to the problems being experienced by working class families and I would note that when it comes to the industry with the most hideously racist exploitation and oppression of workers in this state where the most Native American Indians are employed as a pool of cheap labor enriching a bunch of racist rich white mobsters for whom crooked and corrupt tribal politicians front in which workers are forced to work in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages and without even the most basic rights and protections of state or federal labor laws or any other rules or regulations other than those created by racist and corrupt politicians which prohibit casino workers from seeking union membership to protect their rights, lives and livelihoods you have been a no show--- just like you have been in the movement to enforce Affirmative Action here in Minnesota when it comes to tax-dollars being allocated for public works projects.

But, like with all injustices, it is never too late to take a stand against racism.

I guess you haven't read much of what I have written--- or done these past 50 years.

I notice that you were absent from the meeting we invited everyone to who has demonstrated an interest in putting an end to racist hiring practices were invited to.

Since you claim to read so much of what I have written, it would have been virtually impossible for you not to have noted this series of meetings which resulted in this letter being drafted, passed around and widely circulated so that everyone could add their thoughts and opinions.

We never heard from you.

I notice that your signature has been absent from this letter I wrote that was given to Mark Dayton just like your voice has been absent in the struggle of the more than 40,000 casino workers in Minnesota seeking justice with justice including an end to racism in the Indian Gaming Industry where Native American Indians are the primary, but not the only, victims which include African-Americans, Hispanics and many undocumented workers of color. When can we expect your voice to be heard on this matter?

Perhaps you would like to add your name to this letter below and personally deliver it with your signature to the Governor's Office; a letter that I wrote at the request of Governor Dayton's Chief Legal Adviser which was signed by dozens of Minnesotans, and supported by the Leech Lake Tribal Council in a Resolution:

Proposal for a Minnesota Governor’s Advisory Committee for the Enforcement of Affirmative Action

Goal and objective: A level playing field.

All the talk about a new Vikings’ Stadium, the need for infrastructure development and repair, talk of light rail and other large-scale public works and joint public-private initiatives and projects begs the question: What will be done to end racism in employment here in Minnesota that has historical roots combined with present indifference?

Fact: People without jobs are destined to be poor.

Unemployment, under-employment and poverty-wage jobs are the root of poverty.

Poverty is more than statistics. For living, breathing human beings, poverty means going without adequate food, clothing, health care, education, housing, and transportation.

When unemployment rises well beyond the “normal” levels for people of color, women and the handicapped, Affirmative Action as articulated and defined by Federal Executive Order Number 11246 must kick in unless we end up with large pools of unemployed in communities--- and on Indian Reservations--- of people of color which hurt us all, but no where near as much as it harms the victims of racism in employment.

These large pools of the unemployed serve to push down wages and living standards for everyone.

The enforcement of Affirmative Action will help make sure Minnesotans get the jobs funded by Minnesota tax-payers rather than workers from other states.

The enforcement of Affirmative Action will lead to encouraging and strengthening small businesses and entrepreneurship among minorities as minority contractors help recruit people of color through the enforcement of Affirmative Action.

Politicians who pander to the voices of bigotry, racism and hate often claim that advocating for the enforcement of Affirmative Action is so controversial that its enforcement creates divisions in society which tears apart our social fabric. In fact, issues like a new Vikings’ Stadium, as we have seen, are themselves very controversial.

Politics embodies controversy.

The Governor of Minnesota has the responsibility to provide leadership in the just struggle for the enforcement of Affirmative Action in a way that guides Minnesotans to creating a level playing field for everyone.

Governor Mark Dayton should establish “The Minnesota Governor’s Advisory Committee for the Enforcement of Affirmative Action” and this Committee shall consist of: one member representing the Governor, one member each from the AFL-CIO & Change To Win, one member each representing the following firms: public relations, architectural, engineering, general contractors and minority contractors, with two members representing each of the following communities: Black, Native American and Hispanic with at least one member from each of these communities being among the unemployed; three women and one handicapped representative--- 18 members in total.

All members of this Advisory Committee shall participate, together, in at least one training session explaining the history, goals and objectives of Affirmative Action and must be made aware of the present problems relating to how racism in employment has led to current social and economic problems in the specific communities of people of color, women and the handicapped.

This Advisory Committee shall present concrete goals and objectives in reviewing all public funding where there is any type of state involvement in funding and financing including proposals for bonding bills and any joint public-private ventures in which more than $20,000.00 in public funding is involved and/or more than 15 employees hired.

The loop-hole preventing enforcing Affirmative Action must be closed by the Governor and State Legislature refusing to participate in any township, city, county, state, park’s commission, school district, college or university where there is not an Affirmative Action Policy in place being enforced.

Affirmative Action must kick in when any project is first publicly proposed or there is significant public-private cooperation towards project development--- whichever occurs first; long before the first shovel is sunk into the ground.

It is up to the parties involved to implement Affirmative Action in a timely manner so as to prevent project delays which might lead to additional costs incurred by tax-payers. Where this is not done, any costs relating to project delays should result in fines levied at the direction of the Advisory Committee on the parties responsible.

Affirmative Action is the law of the land. For the victims of historic racist employment practices continuing today which results in the need for the enforcement of Affirmative Action, Affirmative Action is both a Human Right and a Constitutional Right.

The Governor of Minnesota has a Constitutional responsibility to see to it that Affirmative Action is enforced. This Advisory Committee provides the Governor with the tools to achieve the enforcement of Affirmative Action.

People should not have to resort to law suits, direct action and other means of protest in order to have their right to employment protected.

Everyone has the right to seek employment from a level playing field.

A means to enforce Affirmative Action on the Vikings’ Stadium (and all other projects stated above) in line with stated goals and objectives must be found before planning for this project proceeds any further.

I am submitting this “Proposal for a Minnesota Governor’s Advisory Committee for the Enforcement of Affirmative Action” for consideration to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton upon request from Micah Hines, General Counsel to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who requested I submit this proposal in writing to Governor Mark Dayton.

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

Contact information:

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

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

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/alan.l.maki

Copies provided to:
NAACP
Urban League
Minnesota Indian Affairs Council
AFL-CIO
Change To Win
Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party
Republican Party
Green Party

Posted to:
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Preliminary response from Governor Dayton:

Thank you for contacting the Office of Governor Mark Dayton. We appreciate your feedback and suggestions about how we, together, can build a better Minnesota. A member of our staff will read your message promptly.

Note: Further responses will be shared. Please share your own concerns on this issue with Governor Dayton. Contact information:

To contact Governor Mark Dayton, please write, phone, fax or e-mail.

Mailing Address:
Office of the Governor
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Other ways to reach our office:


Telephone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717
Minnesota Relay 800-627-3529
Fax: 651-797-1850

Contact the Governor's Office by e-mail:
http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/

--
Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Cell: 651-587-5541

Primary E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net
E-mail: alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com

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