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...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Austin Chronicle publishes my review of: Trumbo... a fantastic movie that helps put anti-Communism and McCarthyism in perspective.

Get Talking

RECEIVED Thu., Jan. 14, 2016

See: http://www.austinchronicle.com/feedback/2016-01-14/1810252/

Dear Editor,

    I am visiting the Austin area.

    After reading the Chronicle's brief review of the movie Trumbo [Film Reviews, Nov. 20, 2015], I decided to see it at the Regal Arbor 8 at Great Hills. Apparently Trumbo isn't being shown too widely.

    I agree with your criticism that many personalities should not have been merged into one.

    However, many people after seeing the movie will not completely understand the times and circumstances beyond how Dalton Trumbo's own life was affected. Nor should we be lulled into believing that anti-Communism is something from a bygone era as the FBI and state and local police still clandestinely operate "Red Squads" intended to deprive people of their constitutionally protected rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association.

    Perhaps it is too much to expect from Hollywood to make a movie dealing with all facets of McCarthyism.

    How many people know that it was the great "liberal" Hubert H. Humphrey who authored the Communist Control Act? This history is omitted from Trumbo.

    Also, the producers of the movie took a lot for granted. Like in showing Trumbo's daughter reading the newspaper, The Daily Worker. How many people seeing the movie caught the name of the paper? How many of today's moviegoers will know that this was the Communist Party's publication put out of business as a very popular daily paper by the most aggressive government political repression?

    There is another story to be told, also. That of the thousands of workers who lost their jobs because they refused to buckle under to the anti-Communist witch hunts; workers who were deprived of jobs and their income who had nothing to fall back on as Trumbo did. These blacklisted workers, most quite poor to begin with, faced a lifetime of poverty; not just a few years of unemployment.

    One interesting topic the movie did not address is why Trumbo (and Howard Fast) left the Communist Party. Fast wrote two books on the subject; did Dalton Trumbo ever provide his reason/s?

    To be certain, Trumbo and his colleagues, the Hollywood Ten, were very courageous, and we appreciate them for their part in the struggle to defend democracy from Wall Street's anti-Communist attacks; the primary victim being the entire working class.

    Anti-Communism has always been the refuge of scoundrels, union busters, racists, and warmongers.

    All in all, I found Trumbo a fantastic movie. I would encourage others to see it; and talk about it – if they don't fear government repression here in the world's greatest bastion of democracy.

Alan L. Maki
Warroad, Minnesota

See trailer for Trumbo: https://www.google.com/search?q=trumbo+trailer&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Viewing health care, child care and full employment as Human Rights.

Health care like Wall Street's warfare is a major issue in this campaign even though most politicians do everything possible to sow confusion about these two issues. In fact, we need to be funding health care instead of warfare just like many other things. But, keep in mind, just about everyone around the world views health care as a human right as well as peace being a human right. I also think most people in this country would agree with me that we need some kind of "Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity."

One thing to keep in mind when we talk about health care is the very long-term job creating opportunities, too.

Single-payer, at best, creates a couple million new jobs.

A National Public Health Care System providing health care in every single community through neighborhood centers would create over twelve-million new jobs with some 850 regional health care centers (about the same number of U.S. military bases around the world serving absolutely no purpose at all except protecting Wall Street's interests) with thousands of neighborhood primary and urgent care clinics.

I think we need an electoral coalition, some kind of "New Broom" coalition to sweep Washington clean of the Wall Street bribed politicians.

I was a big supporter of single-payer universal health care as a step towards a National Public Health Care System but not anymore since the Democrats sabotaged this movement which called for enacting H.R. 676--- a piece of legislation its own author, John Conyers, helped, in the end, to derail by pushing the national Democratic Party Platform to include "affordable" health care as a prelude to pave the way for the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare which should rightly be called: "The Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010."

As a matter of fact, I authored and led the movement which resulted in the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party's state convention passing the resolution for single-payer universal health care. A resolution that was later modified to insert ONE IMPORTANT WORD, "AFFORDABLE," which changed the entire meaning of the resolution without the same grassroots support the initial resolution had.

I was an elected delegate to that DFL State Convention and the big-shots, or big-shits as some may prefer, tried to prevent me from speaking on the convention floor by challenging my credentials--- a dirty trick that will for certain be used against many of Bernie's delegates across the country.

Also, the primary weakness of universal single-payer health care is that it enables most of the health care for profit crowd to remain happy as single-payer would be publicly financed, publicly administered and privately delivered contrasted with a National Public Health Care System which would be publicly financed, publicly administered and publicly delivered with doctors, nurses and all health care workers on the public payroll just like teachers.

Bernie Sanders' approach seems to be to keep all existing public services public but all new public services publicly funded, publicly administered and privately delivered. This to me seems very strange for a socialist to be taking this position which is not unlike that of the reactionary neo-liberal crowd which holds the right to profit off anything and everything as being very sacred.

With child care Sanders seems to favor mostly personal funding, some mixture of private/public administration and keeping it privately delivered. Like most of what he advocates in the way of reform the child care advocacy suffers from huge ambiguities.

Bernie Sanders' infrastructure job creation program would apparently leave the private engineering firms, private architects, private contractors and private construction firms in charge, instead of the government, to feed like pigs at the public trough.

Again. I invite those with documentation to prove me wrong since they say I am lying. I am not attacking Bernie Sanders I am challenging him to come clean with what his proposed reforms really are--- and aren't; isn't this why we have political campaigns in order to clarify where candidates stand and challenge them if we disagree?

But, don't we all know that ambiguity is the trade-mark of capitalist politics? Always "properly frame issues" with the intent of getting votes; never be specific because someone who disagrees is sure to vote against you.

Plus, ambiguity lets these corrupt politicians off the hook when it comes to assuring accountability.

Shouldn't these candidates participate in roundtable discussions? Not only to defend their positions but learn from voters what they are looking for in the way of solutions to their problems.

It doesn't do much good to attack Citizens United whose main problem is that it takes citizens out of the democratic decision-making process when all the Democrats and Republicans are so arrogant that they think they have the right to shove their thinking, and what they perceive to be solutions to our problems down our throats.

If Bernie and his campaign, an entourage of very narrow minded people, are not open to the people for this entire process then this makes a mockery of his opposition to Citizens United.

If we have enacted a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would require the president and members of Congress to attain and then maintain full employment we would be assuring peace because no Nation can afford "guns and butter."

The establishment left out

By Mike Krauss

Washington just got clobbered by a gigantic winter storm. There is another one on the way. It’s going to hit Iowa and New Hampshire first. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are taking American politics by storm.

The GOP conservative establishment has emergency services out, trying desperately to clear out Trump after completely misreading the first storm warnings. The GOP moderate establishment likes the guy in second place, Ted Cruz, even less than Trump, and are going after him. Cruz looks to them like some kind of suicide bomber, throwing hand grenades in the Senate any chance he gets.

The jihadist from Texas.

On the Democratic side, the establishment watches in a kind of “déjà vu all over again” funk as Hillary gets overtaken by a candidate they dismissed, steadily gaining as Hillary’s “experience” comes back to haunt her: Iraq, Libya, Wall Street, Bill and a cynical disregard for the rules that apply to others.

Bernie Sanders’ language is more careful than Trump’s, but the appeal is the same: a promise to restore the stolen prosperity of the American people and take back control of their future from the same class of robber barons that Theodore Roosevelt confronted at the turn of the last century.

What is emerging was described in 1956 by the American sociologist, C. Wright Mills in his classic study, “The Power Elite.” Mills argument was that the United States is dominated by an interlocking political, military and economic elite. But he theorized that this elite can govern only so long as the elites and non-elites remain separate, and the elites are able to maintain power and position through an essentially controlled media and message.

The economist Michael Hudson recently compared this to how parasites work in nature; secreting an enzyme to convince the host being devoured that they — the parasites — are good for them. The media are the delivery system for the enzyme secreted by the economic parasites of today: propaganda.

Mills theorized that the control of the power elite would break down into what he called a “mass society,” if the one-way street of media access of elites to non-elites was matched by equal access of non-elites to elites: a two-way avenue of communication and information. The explosion of electronic media and the introduction of social media have created that two way street.

Something similar has happened before in American society and politics. As previously throughout history, it was a function of a great technological change in the means of communication. Trump gets this like no one else.

Just as Teddy Roosevelt understood and harnessed the growing power of an emerging mass print media at the turn of the last century, made possible by modern, high volume printing presses and the telegraph, Trump understands as no candidate before the uses of the many channeled electronic media and the emerging social media.

Communication is increasingly lateral and not vertical; collaborative and not hierarchical.

It is often said that “all politics is local,” but it is better said that all politics is personal. The new media are made for expressions of the personal. The authentic, like Trump and Sanders will rise.

The establishments are in a panic. They can’t control the front runners in either party. Enter former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. He calls himself an “independent.” Nice try. He’s Wall Street’s fall back. Good old Joe Biden will be another.

Wall Street has had an ally in the White House for the past 24 years, if not longer — Clinton, Bush and Obama. They mean to keep it that way. Otherwise, Wall Street is left out. The political establishment is left out.

Most Americans will say, “Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.” The Rolling Stones wrote their epitaph. It could be the Trump and Sanders theme song:

“You’re out of touch my baby
My poor discarded baby
I said baby, baby, baby you’re out of time…

“You are all left out
Out of there without a doubt
Cause baby, baby, baby you’re out of time…

“You’re obsolete my baby
My poor old fashioned baby
I said baby, baby, baby you’re out of time.”

Mike Krauss  is a thirty year senior executive in the international distribution and logistics industry andformerly an officer of Pennsylvania county and state government and ED of the PA Republican State Committee  / mikekrauss2016@gmail.com