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...

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, the North 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 the Basic 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

E-mail: alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com

The dishonesty of the Obama-loving Democrats passing themselves off as progressives really comes through in this e-mail sent out by the Campaign for America's Future.

In fact, it is Obama pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership knowing the Republicans would support him and here we have this outfit laying all the blame at the feet of the Republicans as if Obama has no part in it.

Of course, these "progressive" Democrats refuse to discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

And then this foundation-funded outfit wants your money.

Campaign for America's Future

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive trade deal that is still being written in secret. Corporations and big banks had a seat at the negotiating table while the American people and their representatives were shown the door.

To get whatever is agreed to past the Congress, the corporate lobby, the president and the Republican congressional leaders want to force an up down vote on the final treaty, no amendments, after 20 hours of debate. 

They are having trouble lining up the votes. They are opposed by almost the entire Democratic caucus, and by more than a few Tea Party legislators. 

Yesterday, Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch announced he will not introduce the "fast track" bill until April. That gives us another month to mobilize opposition. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Republican leaders plan to use the month to line up votes so fast track can be introduced and voted on overnight. They want to "fast track" fast track!

We have to stop this. Campaign for America’s Future has joined with dozens of nonprofits, labor unions and citizen advocates to send a message to every member of Congress: Vote no on “fast-track.”

Over the next month, we will be organizing petitions and a campaign to flood congressional switchboards with calls. We’re writing articles and analysis toinform Americans what is at stake.
The TPP is a 12 country, twenty-nine chapter mistake comprising thousands of pages. It has less about trade than it is about corporate privilege and a grab bag of special interest giveaways. 

Oil companies got the right to export natural gas without government approval. Fracking companies get the right to sue the US for damages if Congress decides to enforce protections for our water or air. 

Drug companies won the right to entend their patents for years. Life-saving generics will be denied to many poor and working people. Medicare and Medicaid will strain under the weight of this profiteering. 

Multinationals got a ban on Buy America provisions, giving them even more incentive to ship good jobs abroad. And that’s only the beginning.

Thank you for all you do.

Netanyahu; who does he really speak for?

What bugs me the most about Netanyahu's speech before Congress is that this fascist warmonger filled with hate claims he speaks for all Jews knowing full well the hate he spews is not supported by MOST Jews.

Netanyahu is one more Wall Street stooge advocating an imperialist agenda under the pretense of defending democracy when some his most vile followers are no better than Hitler's thugs. Here is one opinion from Uri Avnery:

"I was watching The Speech by Binyamin Netanyahu before the Congress of the United States. Row upon row of men in suits (and the occasional woman), jumping up and down, up and down, applauding wildly, shouting approval.
It was the shouting that did it. Where had I heard that before?

And then it came back to me. It was another parliament in the mid-1930s. The Leader was speaking. Rows upon rows of Reichstag members were listening raptly. Every few minutes they jumped up and shouted their approval."

In Israel, Netanyahu and his followers have done everything possible to prevent the voices of progressive Jews from being heard.

Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right wing thug not unlike Netanyahu because he worked with Yasir Arafat towards a lasting peace process.

Most Jews are fed up with war. Many Jews have married Palestinians. Netanyahu does not speak for the majority of Jews nor does he speak for most of humanity.

But, it is only natural for a bunch of warmongers--- Democrats and Republicans--- to cheer on a fellow warmonger like Netanyahu.

As far as those few Democrats who boycotted Netanyahu, they will continue to vote to fund the Israeli killing machine.

The Wall Street imperialists would like us to forget that most of those who founded Israel were working class socialists and Communists, including the heroic Meir Vilner who was the youngest and longest surviving signer of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Most of Meir Vilner's family, like my own, perished in the Holocaust. Vilner understood that failing to live in peace and harmony with its neighbors would be the demise of Israel. The Israeli socialist David Ben-Gurion also mostly understood this, too, as did the socialist Albert Einstein who supported a secular Israel.

Since when do we allow bigots and warmongers like Netanyahu to make the claim of being the sole voice for Jews?

Netanyahu doesn't speak for the majority of Jews in Israel and he certainly doesn't speak for all Jews across the world as he so arrogantly claims to do.

Perhaps the U.S. Congress, after hearing from Wall Street's Netanyahu, should now hear from a working class Jewish-Palestinian family living in Israel?

Netanyahu definitely does not speak for this Jew.