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...

Friday, May 15, 2015


Fellow Activists,
With your help, on Day 1, we passed the 200 mark in signers on the petition "Real progressives talk about militarism, war and military spending!"
But if we want to be heard, we need to make a bigger noise and that will take a lot more folks doing what you did - signing the petition. With your help, we can pass the 500 signer marktomorrow.
Please promote the petition in organizations to which you belong and on listservs, Facebook and Twitter.  Let friends know you signed and invite them to do the same.
Here's the link to the petition:
Here is a short version of the URL: http://bit.ly/1RG7cvX
You can send the text below or modify it as you like.
US Labor Against the War (USLAW) has launched a petition on RootsAction.org that calls on all those who identify as "progressives" who seek our political support to speak out forcefully, with clarity and passion, for a new definition of national security that puts the welfare of our people and the planet ahead of the interests of the Pentagon brass, military contractors, multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex.

They can't pretend that military spending, war and our militarized foreign policy are not as important to a progressive agenda as inequality, poverty, jobs, racism and climate change. A real progressive agenda should address all of those.
Demilitarizing our economy and foreign policy is key to solving many of our other social problems.

If you agree, I urge you to sign and get others to sign.  The more that do, the more likely this message will be heard and respected by politicians who count on our support.
Here is the sample text of a Tweet:
Progressive pols who want our support need to hear this. If you agree,sign,like,forward,share.http://bit.ly/1RG7cvX #progressive #Sanders
Thanks for all you do to make this a better, more just and peaceful world,
Michael Eisenscher
National Coordinator
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)
Twitter: @USLAWLeader
FB: labor.against.war
Email: info@uslaboragainstwar.org



Real progressives talk about militarism, war and military spending!
of 400 signatures

Campaign created by Michael EisenscherIcon-email

We call upon all those who seek our political support to speak out forcefully, with clarity and passion, for a new definition of national security that puts the welfare of our people and the planet ahead of the interests of the Pentagon brass, military contractors, multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex.

Why is this important?

*Populist*: someone who embraces a political doctrine that appeals to the interests and conceptions (such as hopes and fears) of the majority of people, as opposed to the interests of the elite. 
*Progressive*: a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas. 
The election season is upon us. Politicians, whether candidates themselves or supporting others, are criss-crossing the country hoping to harvest campaign donations and, down the road, our votes. Many will tell us what we want to hear, whether they believe it or not. Others will tell us what they want us to hear, whether they mean it or not.
Those who identify as progressives espouse populist ideas and speak passionately about inequality, poverty, racism and the need for fundamental reforms. They generally want government to be an active instrument to promote and secure a higher standard of living, greater economic and social equality, a society that is tolerant of differences and that values and protects human rights, social justice and the common good – all necessary elements of a progressive populist agenda.
Necessary but not sufficient!
All too often Progressives who are passionate and outspoken about the need to provide good jobs at living wages, reduce inequality, eliminate poverty, protect the planet and advance social justice suffer from a debilitating political condition known as *MAD* (Militarism Acknowledgment Dysfunction) or *PEP* (Populist Except for Pentagon).
This condition makes it difficult to connect their laudable domestic agenda to the reality that our economy and foreign policy are militarized and operate in the interests of multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex.
The US is addicted to militarism.
With 57% of all discretionary spending going to the Pentagon, war and nuclear weapons - even with significant tax reform - it will be impossible to implement an ambitious progressive agenda without cutting bloated runaway military spending and Pentagon waste, fraud and abuse. And to do that will require the US to abandon its militarized foreign policy and stop trying to militarily subordinate the rest of the world to a neoliberal agenda.
We need to reassess what is required to achieve real “national security.” Rather than measuring our security on the basis of the size and power of our military, the advanced state of its weapons and our government’s ability to instill fear in others, **we should measure our security based on the welfare of people and the planet, and the respect our government earns in the rest of the world.**
Anyone who wants our support as a progressive must have as much to say about militarism, war and military spending as about climate security, economic security, human rights and social justice. They are all essential elements of a progressive agenda. All are required to have real national security.
If you agree, please sign and urge others to sign.


Transit Union calls for Long-Term Investment in Transportation

Washington, DC – “Our national priorities as set by Congress and the White House are incoherent. What other government would squander its wealth in endless wars while allowing our people to be put at risk by failing, outdated transportation systems?” asks the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) in the wake of the recent deadly Amtrak accident and a House committee proposal to cut Amtrak funding. 
While early reports say excessive speed was a factor in this tragic accident, the lack of positive train control that would have automatically slowed the engine down and the well-documented poor condition of our nation's rail system is just the latest example of the way in which Congress refuses to adequately fund transportation. 
“Our bridges are crumbling, our transit is failing and rail is becoming more dangerous every day. This is not a question of us not having the money to save our country. We are lavishing the military industrial complex with the resources that could be spent ensuring that our people can travel safely,” says Larry Hanley, ATU international president. 
“Tragically, we can expect to see an increasing number of these terrible accidents unless more is appropriated to repair the tracks, and meet the federally mandated deadline for deployment of positive train control by the end of the year.” 
Similar dangers exist in public transit. That’s why ATU is urging Congress to act now to pass a complete, six-year transportation authorization bill and dedicated tax to bring our rails, roads and bridges up-to-date, and repair, maintain, and expand mass transit in America. 
"Our nation’s transportation network – including mass transit – is in dire need of repair and maintenance,” says Hanley. “The lives already lost should be all the motivation Congress needs to repair, revitalize and ensure safe travel on our national transportation network. 
"Yet, Congress is cutting Amtrak’s budget, and ignoring this month’s deadline for reauthorizing U.S. transit and highway funding. The safety and reliability of public transport erodes with each passing day that Congress neglects the problem. 
“The rails, roads, and transit systems built to serve the personal and economic needs of our urban areas simply cannot support the volume of traffic we have today," says Hanley. "Our nation’s transportation infrastructure is ailing and needs fixing now." 
Just this week there was another fire on Washington, DC’s Metro system following a fire in January that killed one rider and injured others. In March a bridge collapsed outside of Austin, TX, killing one.  
"This tragic Amtrak accident should alert Congress to the need for adequate funding of our transportation infrastructure," Hanley warned. "Their continued intransigence will lead to much greater expense, more lives lost, and national and economic paralysis. It’s time to act before it’s too late.”