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, February 29, 2016

When will democracy come to the U.S.A. in a form where people are free to vote for the party which best represents their interests and concerns?

Has anyone noticed how so many members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are supporting the warmonger Hillary Clinton?

Even John Conyers who stakes his claim to fame on supporting HR 676, the single-payer bill, is supporting Hillary Clinton.

Does anyone really believe that a guy who supports Hillary Clinton is going to actually lead a struggle for single-payer universal health care.

John Conyers is the same guy who said he was going to fight to impeach Bush and Cheney and then ended up having Cindy Sheehan arrested instead.

We don't need a bunch of phony "progressives" in the Democratic Party looking out for our interests; what we need is a real progressive people's party that is working class based and anti-monopoly/anti-imperialist which brings forward the best citizen activists who we can rely on to fight for real reforms like a National Public Health Care System, a National Public Child Care System, a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which views creating jobs improving the lives of the people their main priority with the required funding coming from ending militarism and wars.

Does anyone really believe that a bunch of members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus now supporting Hillary Clinton have advanced a "People's Budget" for any other reason than to keep people trapped in the Democratic Party under the illusion that the lives of working class Americans will really be improved through voting for a bunch of Dumb Donkeys?

We need a new party to challenge Wall Street for political and economic power and we need this new party NOW, not decades down the road while we are still waiting for the Democrats to take a few baby steps on a long trail of non-existing "incremental reforms."

How much longer will people tolerate this farce that is nothing but a two-party trap being paced off as the world's greatest bastion of democracy?

Kind of ironic that people in Toronto and London are more familiar with this song than people here in the United States:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bernie; how about an answer?

Just what is Bernie Sanders' position on Wall Street's Military-Industrial Complex which breeds global warming and climate change, poverty and, of course, wars?

Does Bernie Sanders support a populist people's progressive agenda which calls for beating swords into plowshares?

Or, does Bernie Sanders merely support more of the same old jingoistic great power chauvinism of "support our troops" bullshit... combined with asking the greedy profit-driven Wall Street merchants of death and destruction to be a little more frugal while carrying out their barbaric, savage and cannibalistic imperialist agenda of world domination at our expense and in detriment to so many people around the world under the guise of "humanitarian intervention?"

I really think we HAVE to have this question answered in a straight forward manner by Bernie and his supporters BEFORE Super Tuesday.

Before I take to supporting Bernie Sanders on Precinct Caucus night in Minnesota, I want to know if Bernie Sanders and his supporters are going to push for a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity."

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bill and Hillary Clinton are playing us all for fools.

How strange all of this is:

Bill and Hillary Clinton are very long-time personal friends with Donald Trump and his wife and in spite of all that is being said they remain good personal friends.

Bill and Hillary Clinton are extremely long-time personal friends with Bernie Sanders and his wife... and, in spite of all that is being said they remain good personal friends.

Are Bill and Hillary Clinton and their friends playing the American people for fools by putting Trump in the Republican Party primaries to make the Republican Party look like a bunch of morons, bigots, ogres, fools and idiots (which we all know they are even though in reality they are much more deceitful and slick about then Trump while using Bernie Sanders to bait people deeper into the Democratic Party trap?

The vile racist Michigan State legislator, Roy Schmidt (https://ballotpedia.org/Roy_Schmidt), got caught doing this very thing not long ago and yet this great free media we have in this country fails to explore the relationships between the Clintons, the Sanders and the Trumps even though what is at stake is the highest office of the land.

Notice how Hillary Clinton is trying to position herself as the voice of reason, fairness and pragmatism situated between Sanders and Trump... if this isn't a setup playing us all for fools it sure is one heck of a coincidence that this is all playing out as is happening.

Hillary and Bill Clinton are both well known for their selfish, self-serving deceit, dishonesty and shenanigans in manipulating and controlling the politics of our country; is it far fetched to think they are pulling a fast one over on us now?

Roy Schmidt almost got away with pulling off this dirty stunt; will Bill and Hillary Clinton get off with the same dirty deed?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Going to a Precinct Caucus? Take a resolution on health care with you.

If you are going to go to the Precinct Caucuses of any political party, are you going to submit resolutions bringing forward progressive solutions to our problems?

An example of a resolution on health care you may wish to present for discussion and a vote at your precinct caucus:

Whereas health care is in a mess in this country;

Whereas Obamacare has made health care less affordable for most people in this country;

Whereas private, pro-profit market-driven health care has failed miserably;

Whereas the politician have undermined and sunk the single-payer universal health care movement;

Whereas trillions of dollars are being squandered on militarism and wars;

Therefore, be it resolved the only real solution to this health care mess is a National Public Health Care System which is publicly financed, publicly administered and publicly delivered just like public education which works as intended when adequately funded;

Therefore, be it resolved militarism and wars must end to pay for health care--- health care not warfare.

Submitted by:
Seconded by:

Passed: Yes______ No______

Number for:_______ Number against:______

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thoughts about retiring...

People ask me what I intend to do when I "retire."

I'll do a lot more reading and writing; Fish more often; go for more walks in the woods and take lots of pictures of everything and do some sailing on my Columbia T-23, the "Afternoon Delight." Probably take a trip to Cuba.

One thing that I am going to do for sure is open up a fight to rescind the deportation order the Canadian government unjustly imposed upon me, and fight for my right to enter Canada to visit my children and grandchildren. The Canadian government imposed a lifetime ban on me from ever again re-entering Canada even though my kids and grandchildren live there.

The struggle continues...

American Political Refugees Fight to Stay in Canada

by Len Bush

You would never guess that the Federal Bureau of Investigation once considered Alan Maki to be one of the most dangerous men in the United States—for his politics, not because he committed a heinous crime, robbed banks, or injured anyone. Now the Canadian government wants to deport Alan back to a 30-year campaign waged against him and his family.

Alan is a communist. His parents are communists and his grandparents were part of the founding of the Communist Party of the United States. A lifelong activist in the civil rights, peace and labour movements, his activities prompted the FBI and the Michigan State Police's "Red Squad" to start a campaign of surveillance and intimidation. His employers have been questioned, his friends and family watched. He has been arrested 60 times for incidents as trivial as spitting on the sidewalk while walking with striking workers. A Canadian immigration adjudicator could not find a single charge that they thought should have been laid. In fact, after all these years of surveillance not one serious charge has ever been laid against him.

His binders contain over a thousand pages of evidence of what has been done to him and it is overwhelming. He asks, "how would you like to live under these conditions," and people shudder at the thought. The government of the United States encouraged right wing extremists to spy on, and harass, his family home in Michigan. These individuals, members of the Michigan Militia, painted swastikas on his house and shot at his 10-year-old son Jeremy.

After the shooting in 1990 (the police captured, but never charged, three people), the Makis decided to get their children to safety. Moving to Marchand, Manitoba, they have been good members of that community since.

But Alan's "big mouth", as the Minister of Immigration calls it, has gotten him into trouble. After being elected to the board of the Manitoba Trappers Association, he wrote articles for the Canadian Trapper and the Grassroots News about anti-aboriginal racism in the association. These articles infuriated the president of the association. Within days the RCMP visited the Maki home, waived the articles at him, and issued a deportation order.

In violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the RCMP constable and immigration agent tried to prevent Jeremy from going school. Only after the principal, superintendent and provincial Deputy Minister of Education asserted Jeremy's right to go to school was the order revoked. His daughter was ordered to give back her Governor General's and Citizenship Awards, but public outcry allowed her to keep it.

The Makis want to stay in Canada. This is their home. The Makis want to be recognized as political refugees as a result of the persecution they were subjected to in the US. Unfortunately, the Canadian government worries that granting the Makis political refugee status would embarrass the US government. The Makis are asking for a fair hearing open to the public and with full disclosure of all FBI files and related documents from the "Red Squad" files. Neither have been forthcoming.

Former Attorney-Generals of Manitoba Howard Pawley, Roland Penner and Al Mackling urge the Minister of Immigration, Lucienne Robillard, to use her Ministerial Discretion and allow the Maki family to stay as landed immigrants on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Something that, as former Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley said on CBC radio, "you would expect a good Liberal to do."

Len Bush is an Ottawa area activist who thinks that most of the world's refugees should be considered political refugees of the United States.

Converted October 11, 1999 - Lg

To follow up on this article, contact the author or the organizations/individuals mentioned; do not contact the Peace and Environment Resource Centre - we cannot provide follow up or contact information. This article is an archival copy of the printed one in the Peace and Environment News (PEN). Viewpoints expressed should not be taken to represent the opinions of the Peace and Environment Resource Centre, the PEN, or our supporters.

Democracy... or so the hypocrites claim it to be.

You know, to me all this talk we hear from the United States and Canadian governments about how great democracy is in the two countries makes me sick.

Canada began deportation proceedings against me and my family because I wrote a couple articles against racism.

I moved to Canada in the first place because of the never-ending political repression I was subjected to by the FBI which included the FBI egging on right wing bigots shooting at my kids and the family pets.

When Canada's Minister of Immigration, the Liberal Elinor Caplan, was asked in our meeting with her and her legal staff in her Toronto Office as to why she was being so persistent in deporting me she said in no uncertain terms uttering these very words, "Look at the things Mr. Maki is saying about our government and economic system as he travels across Canada while under a deportation order... the next thing he would be doing if we let him stay is running for public office."

So, the good "liberal" Minister was afraid I would run for public office as a Communist.

Deported from Canada; banned from re-entering Canada for life.

And the FBI's dirty anti-Communist political repression continues unabated just like this rotten Wall Street's government's dirty imperialist wars.

So much for these great big bastions of democracy.

And some people wonder what makes me think capitalism is a stinking rotten to the core system.

According to these pathetic and poor excuses for human beings who are elevated to power in these countries through blatant corruption, people are just supposed to acquiesce and cower to political repression, exploitation, poverty, war and racism.

But now lots of people are standing up and speaking their minds and the government doesn't know what to do about us.

I wonder if they are thinking how many more there are of US then of THEM?

Oh; and I am planning on spending my retirement years fighting my ban on entering Canada and speaking out even more against this rotten social and economic system of capitalism while advocating for socialism--- probably why the United States government is trying to prevent me from collecting the Social Security I'm entitled to... more about this, later.

The next time you hear anyone talking about these two great big bastions of democracy tell them to come talk to me... I'll give them the massive FBI dossier that has been compiled on me.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Now is the time to create a new political party.

I keep posting about the need for a new political party. Right now the opportunity is presenting itself to us. Will we seize this opportunity?

Why not hold the founding convention of a real people's party in Philadelphia at the same time the Democrats are holding their National Convention?

This effort should be as broad as possible with the intent of building a party that is both anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist advocating implementation of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights and very upfront about the need to break free from the corporate controlled and manipulated two-party trap with the intention of challenging Wall Street for political and economic power.

We bring young and old and the working class together by advocating free higher education/cancellation of student debt, real living minimum wage legislation based on cost-of-living, Social Security based on actual cost-of-living, full employment making the president and Congress responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment, bring back WPA/CCC, a National Public Health Care System and National Public Child Care System (both publicly financed, publicly administered and publicly delivered just like public education), enforcement of Affirmative Action, and pay for it all by putting an end to this insane militarism and ending these dirty Wall Street imperialist wars.

Call the movement something simple like "the new broom electoral coalition to sweep Washington clean of Wall Street bribery, corruption and wars." And let the people attending come up with the name for the new political party.

Just tossing out some ideas. What do you think?

Not only is this in the spirit of 1968... And 1972; but it is in the spirit of 1776.

A giant leap forward for the American people instead of these projected "baby steps" and "incremental reforms" promised in order to trick us out of our precious votes but which never materialize once the elections are over.

A party created in the spirit and on the foundations of the old socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party and the Progressive Party.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hillary Clinton, answer these two questions.

I posted this on Bernie Sanders' behalf, and on behalf of all of his supporters, on Hillary Clinton's FaceBook page; please share this on your FaceBook page and keep sharing it until we get the answers:

I am concerned with Hillary repeatedly stating that experts she has consulted with tell her that Bernie Sanders' reforms would cost too much.

Two questions:

1. Can someone please provide the names of these experts?

2. If we stopped funding militarism and these dirty imperialist wars would there be enough money to finance Bernie's reforms?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote

A very informative and interesting article raising the need for a new political party but still very weak on the question of peace. It is almost like someone has dictated that peace should not be a topic for discussion during the 2016 Elections:

Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote
From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted—and Hillary Clinton supported—decimated black America.
By Michelle Alexander
FEBRUARY 10, 2016
The Nation

Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary—or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded. Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously. Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required.

Hillary is looking to gain momentum on the campaign trail as the primaries move out of Iowa and New Hampshire and into states like South Carolina, where large pockets of black voters can be found. According to some polls, she leads Bernie Sanders by as much as 60 percent among African Americans. It seems that we—black people—are her winning card, one that Hillary is eager to play.

And it seems we’re eager to get played. Again.

The love affair between black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. He threw on some shades and played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. It seems silly in retrospect, but many of us fell for that. At a time when a popular slogan was “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand,” Bill Clinton seemed to get us. When Toni Morrison dubbed him our first black president, we nodded our heads. We had our boy in the White House. Or at least we thought we did.

Black voters have been remarkably loyal to the Clintons for more than 25 years. It’s true that we eventually lined up behind Barack Obama in 2008, but it’s a measure of the Clinton allure that Hillary led Obama among black voters until he started winning caucuses and primaries. Now Hillary is running again. This time she’s facing a democratic socialist who promises a political revolution that will bring universal healthcare, a living wage, an end to rampant Wall Street greed, and the dismantling of the vast prison state—many of the same goals that Martin Luther King Jr. championed at the end of his life. Even so, black folks are sticking with the Clinton brand.

What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work?

No. Quite the opposite.

* * *
When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, urban black communities across America were suffering from economic collapse. Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs had vanished as factories moved overseas in search of cheaper labor, a new plantation. Globalization and deindustrialization affected workers of all colors but hit African Americans particularly hard. Unemployment rates among young black men had quadrupled as the rate of industrial employment plummeted. Crime rates spiked in inner-city communities that had been dependent on factory jobs, while hopelessness, despair, and crack addiction swept neighborhoods that had once been solidly working-class. Millions of black folks—many of whom had fled Jim Crow segregation in the South with the hope of obtaining decent work in Northern factories—were suddenly trapped in racially segregated, jobless ghettos.

On the campaign trail, Bill Clinton made the economy his top priority and argued persuasively that conservatives were using race to divide the nation and divert attention from the failed economy. In practice, however, he capitulated entirely to the right-wing backlash against the civil-rights movement and embraced former president Ronald Reagan’s agenda on race, crime, welfare, and taxes—ultimately doing more harm to black communities than Reagan ever did.

We should have seen it coming. Back then, Clinton was the standard-bearer for the New Democrats, a group that firmly believed the only way to win back the millions of white voters in the South who had defected to the Republican Party was to adopt the right-wing narrative that black communities ought to be disciplined with harsh punishment rather than coddled with welfare. Reagan had won the presidency by dog-whistling to poor and working-class whites with coded racial appeals: railing against “welfare queens” and criminal “predators” and condemning “big government.” Clinton aimed to win them back, vowing that he would never permit any Republican to be perceived as tougher on crime than he.

Just weeks before the critical New Hampshire primary, Clinton proved his toughness by flying back to Arkansas to oversee the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a mentally impaired black man who had so little conception of what was about to happen to him that he asked for the dessert from his last meal to be saved for him for later. After the execution, Clinton remarked, “I can be nicked a lot, but no one can say I’m soft on crime.”

As president, Bill Clinton mastered the art of sending mixed cultural messages.

Clinton mastered the art of sending mixed cultural messages, appealing to African Americans by belting out “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in black churches, while at the same time signaling to poor and working-class whites that he was willing to be tougher on black communities than Republicans had been.

Clinton was praised for his no-nonsense, pragmatic approach to racial politics. He won the election and appointed a racially diverse cabinet that “looked like America.” He won re-election four years later, and the American economy rebounded. Democrats cheered. The Democratic Party had been saved. The Clintons won. Guess who lost?

* * *
Bill Clinton presided over the largest increase in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history. Clinton did not declare the War on Crime or the War on Drugs—those wars were declared before Reagan was elected and long before crack hit the streets—but he escalated it beyond what many conservatives had imagined possible. He supported the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity for crack versus powder cocaine, which produced staggering racial injustice in sentencing and boosted funding for drug-law enforcement.

Clinton championed the idea of a federal “three strikes” law in his 1994 State of the Union address and, months later, signed a $30 billion crime bill that created dozens of new federal capital crimes, mandated life sentences for some three-time offenders, and authorized more than $16 billion for state prison grants and the expansion of police forces. The legislation was hailed by mainstream-media outlets as a victory for the Democrats, who “were able to wrest the crime issue from the Republicans and make it their own.”

When Clinton left office in 2001, the United States had the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Human Rights Watch reported that in seven states, African Americans constituted 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison, even though they were no more likely than whites to use or sell illegal drugs. Prison admissions for drug offenses reached a level in 2000 for African Americans more than 26 times the level in 1983. All of the presidents since 1980 have contributed to mass incarceration, but as Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson recently observed, “President Clinton’s tenure was the worst.”

Some might argue that it’s unfair to judge Hillary Clinton for the policies her husband championed years ago. But Hillary wasn’t picking out china while she was first lady. She bravely broke the mold and redefined that job in ways no woman ever had before. She not only campaigned for Bill; she also wielded power and significant influence once he was elected, lobbying for legislation and other measures. That record, and her statements from that era, should be scrutinized. In her support for the 1994 crime bill, for example, she used racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals. “They are not just gangs of kids anymore,” she said. “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”

Both Clintons now express regret over the crime bill, and Hillary says she supports criminal-justice reforms to undo some of the damage that was done by her husband’s administration. But on the campaign trail, she continues to invoke the economy and country that Bill Clinton left behind as a legacy she would continue. So what exactly did the Clinton economy look like for black Americans? Taking a hard look at this recent past is about more than just a choice between two candidates. It’s about whether the Democratic Party can finally reckon with what its policies have done to African-American communities, and whether it can redeem itself and rightly earn the loyalty of black voters.

* * *
An oft-repeated myth about the Clinton administration is that although it was overly tough on crime back in the 1990s, at least its policies were good for the economy and for black unemployment rates. The truth is more troubling. As unemployment rates sank to historically low levels for white Americans in the 1990s, the jobless rate among black men in their 20s who didn’t have a college degree rose to its highest level ever. This increase in joblessness was propelled by the skyrocketing incarceration rate.

Why is this not common knowledge? Because government statistics like poverty and unemployment rates do not include incarcerated people. As Harvard sociologist Bruce Western explains: “Much of the optimism about declines in racial inequality and the power of the US model of economic growth is misplaced once we account for the invisible poor, behind the walls of America’s prisons and jails.” When Clinton left office in 2001, the true jobless rate for young, non-college-educated black men (including those behind bars) was 42 percent. This figure was never reported. Instead, the media claimed that unemployment rates for African Americans had fallen to record lows, neglecting to mention that this miracle was possible only because incarceration rates were now at record highs. Young black men weren’t looking for work at high rates during the Clinton era because they were now behind bars—out of sight, out of mind, and no longer counted in poverty and unemployment statistics.

To make matters worse, the federal safety net for poor families was torn to shreds by the Clinton administration in its effort to “end welfare as we know it.” In his 1996 State of the Union address, given during his re-election campaign, Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over” and immediately sought to prove it by dismantling the federal welfare system known as Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC). The welfare-reform legislation that he signed—which Hillary Clinton ardently supported then and characterized as a success as recently as 2008—replaced the federal safety net with a block grant to the states, imposed a five-year lifetime limit on welfare assistance, added work requirements, barred undocumented immigrants from licensed professions, and slashed overall public welfare funding by $54 billion (some was later restored).

They are not just gangs of kids anymore…they are ‘super-predators.’ —Hillary Clinton, speaking in support of the 1994 crime bill

Experts and pundits disagree about the true impact of welfare reform, but one thing seems clear: Extreme poverty doubled to 1.5 million in the decade and a half after the law was passed. What is extreme poverty? US households are considered to be in extreme poverty if they are surviving on cash incomes of no more than $2 per person per day in any given month. We tend to think of extreme poverty existing in Third World countries, but here in the United States, shocking numbers of people are struggling to survive on less money per month than many families spend in one evening dining out. Currently, the United States, the richest nation on the planet, has one of the highest child-poverty rates in the developed world.

Despite claims that radical changes in crime and welfare policy were driven by a desire to end big government and save taxpayer dollars, the reality is that the Clinton administration didn’t reduce the amount of money devoted to the management of the urban poor; it changed what the funds would be used for. Billions of dollars were slashed from public-housing and child-welfare budgets and transferred to the mass-incarceration machine. By 1996, the penal budget was twice the amount that had been allocated to food stamps. During Clinton’s tenure, funding for public housing was slashed by $17 billion (a reduction of 61 percent), while funding for corrections was boosted by $19 billion (an increase of 171 percent), according to sociologist Loïc Wacquant “effectively making the construction of prisons the nation’s main housing program for the urban poor.”

Bill Clinton championed discriminatory laws against formerly incarcerated people that have kept millions of Americans locked in a cycle of poverty and desperation. The Clinton administration eliminated Pell grants for prisoners seeking higher education to prepare for their release, supported laws denying federal financial aid to students with drug convictions, and signed legislation imposing a lifetime ban on welfare and food stamps for anyone convicted of a felony drug offense—an exceptionally harsh provision given the racially biased drug war that was raging in inner cities.

Perhaps most alarming, Clinton also made it easier for public-housing agencies to deny shelter to anyone with any sort of criminal history (even an arrest without conviction) and championed the “one strike and you’re out” initiative, which meant that families could be evicted from public housing because one member (or a guest) had committed even a minor offense. People released from prison with no money, no job, and nowhere to go could no longer return home to their loved ones living in federally assisted housing without placing the entire family at risk of eviction. Purging “the criminal element” from public housing played well on the evening news, but no provisions were made for people and families as they were forced out on the street. By the end of Clinton’s presidency, more than half of working-age African-American men in many large urban areas were saddled with criminal records and subject to legalized discrimination in employment, housing, access to education, and basic public benefits—relegated to a permanent second-class status eerily reminiscent of Jim Crow.

It is difficult to overstate the damage that’s been done. Generations have been lost to the prison system; countless families have been torn apart or rendered homeless; and a school-to-prison pipeline has been born that shuttles young people from their decrepit, underfunded schools to brand-new high-tech prisons.

* * *
It didn’t have to be like this. As a nation, we had a choice. Rather than spending billions of dollars constructing a vast new penal system, those billions could have been spent putting young people to work in inner-city communities and investing in their schools so they might have some hope of making the transition from an industrial to a service-based economy. Constructive interventions would have been good not only for African Americans trapped in ghettos, but for blue-collar workers of all colors. At the very least, Democrats could have fought to prevent the further destruction of black communities rather than ratcheting up the wars declared on them.

Of course, it can be said that it’s unfair to criticize the Clintons for punishing black people so harshly, given that many black people were on board with the “get tough” movement too. It is absolutely true that black communities back then were in a state of crisis, and that many black activists and politicians were desperate to get violent offenders off the streets. What is often missed, however, is that most of those black activists and politicians weren’t asking only for toughness. They were also demanding investment in their schools, better housing, jobs programs for young people, economic-stimulus packages, drug treatment on demand, and better access to healthcare. In the end, they wound up with police and prisons. To say that this was what black people wanted is misleading at best.

By 1996, the penal budget was twice the amount that had been allocated to food stamps.
To be fair, the Clintons now feel bad about how their politics and policies have worked out for black people. Bill says that he “overshot the mark” with his crime policies; and Hillary has put forth a plan to ban racial profiling, eliminate the sentencing disparities between crack and cocaine, and abolish private prisons, among other measures.

But what about a larger agenda that would not just reverse some of the policies adopted during the Clinton era, but would rebuild the communities decimated by them? If you listen closely here, you’ll notice that Hillary Clinton is still singing the same old tune in a slightly different key. She is arguing that we ought not be seduced by Bernie’s rhetoric because we must be “pragmatic,” “face political realities,” and not get tempted to believe that we can fight for economic justice and win. When politicians start telling you that it is “unrealistic” to support candidates who want to build a movement for greater equality, fair wages, universal healthcare, and an end to corporate control of our political system, it’s probably best to leave the room.

This is not an endorsement for Bernie Sanders, who after all voted for the 1994 crime bill. I also tend to agree with Ta-Nehisi Coates that the way the Sanders campaign handled the question of reparations is one of many signs that Bernie doesn’t quite get what’s at stake in serious dialogues about racial justice. He was wrong to dismiss reparations as “divisive,” as though centuries of slavery, segregation, discrimination, ghettoization, and stigmatization aren’t worthy of any specific acknowledgement or remedy.

But recognizing that Bernie, like Hillary, has blurred vision when it comes to race is not the same thing as saying their views are equally problematic. Sanders opposed the 1996 welfare-reform law. He also opposed bank deregulation and the Iraq War, both of which Hillary supported, and both of which have proved disastrous. In short, there is such a thing as a lesser evil, and Hillary is not it.

The biggest problem with Bernie, in the end, is that he’s running as a Democrat—as a member of a political party that not only capitulated to right-wing demagoguery but is now owned and controlled by a relatively small number of millionaires and billionaires. Yes, Sanders has raised millions from small donors, but should he become president, he would also become part of what he has otherwise derided as “the establishment.” Even if Bernie’s racial-justice views evolve, I hold little hope that a political revolution will occur within the Democratic Party without a sustained outside movement forcing truly transformational change. I am inclined to believe that it would be easier to build a new party than to save the Democratic Party from itself.

Of course, the idea of building a new political party terrifies most progressives, who understandably fear that it would open the door for a right-wing extremist to get elected. So we play the game of lesser evils. This game has gone on for decades. W.E.B. Du Bois, the eminent scholar and co-founder of the NAACP, shocked many when he refused to play along with this game in the 1956 election, defending his refusal to vote on the grounds that “there is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I do or say.” While the true losers and winners of this game are highly predictable, the game of lesser evils makes for great entertainment and can now be viewed 24 hours a day on cable-news networks. Hillary believes that she can win this game in 2016 because this time she’s got us, the black vote, in her back pocket—her lucky card.

She may be surprised to discover that the younger generation no longer wants to play her game. Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll all continue to play along and pretend that we don’t know how it will turn out in the end. Hopefully, one day, we’ll muster the courage to join together in a revolutionary movement with people of all colors who believe that basic human rights and economic, racial, and gender justice are not unreasonable, pie-in-the-sky goals. After decades of getting played, the sleeping giant just might wake up, stretch its limbs, and tell both parties: Game over. Move aside. It’s time to reshuffle this deck.

MICHELLE ALEXANDER Michelle Alexander is a legal scholar, human rights advocate, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press).

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why Our Government Isn't Listening: How Greed Is at the Root of US Suffering

This is an interesting article; but what is not mentioned is militarism and wars--- imperialism.


I don't understand how it is that in writing this type of article the impact of the Military-Industrial Complex can be missed and omitted. But, then again, Eliza Webb benefits handsomely from foundation funding and is a big Bernie Sanders booster so it is not surprising the most important truth is being omitted when it comes to a discussion about Wall Street's greedy drive for maximum profits. The article presents many important facts about the relationship between greed and poverty but then very dishonestly omits the number one problem when it comes to our government and capitalism.

As former liberal populist Texas Congressman Wright Patman and the progressive George McGovern and even Lyndon B. Johnson came to understand with his support for George McGovern, no country on earth can eradicate poverty while squandering as much money on militarism and wars as the United States does and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. drove home this point without letup...

I wonder why the socialist Bernie Sanders and these foundation-funded writers like Eliza Webb supporting him are so meticulous in evading this most important point? What is it they are afraid to lose? What is it they stand to gain? A nice hefty pay-check for fudging and hiding the truth is Eliza Webb's reward; the loss of a nice big pay-check would be Eliza Webb's penalty for telling the truth about the real cost we pay for militarism and wars.

Let us be completely honest here; no politician or journalist can be considered honest when they work so hard to evade this truth about how the greed-driven Wall Street merchants of death and destruction constituting the Military-Industrial Complex are responsible for making us all poor.

There is no way one can miss this problem unless one is dishonestly trying to draw our attention away from this real truth... again, nothing less than a combined anti-monopoly/anti-imperialist strategy and struggle challenging Wall Street for political and economic power is called for... we have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren and all the peoples of the world to wage a united, militant:struggle for beating swords into plowshares... a struggle in the streets and at the ballot box.

What we really need, and no candidates or the foundation-funded writers are talking about, is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity."

Full employment through creating a National Public Health Care System, a National Public Child Care System, revive the WPA and CCC.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more oppressive than these dirty imperialist wars.

Read the article and see if you agree with me:

Why Our Government Isn't Listening: How Greed Is at the Root of US Suffering

Why doesn't the government of a country as wealthy as the US provide for its people? Oppression is a profitable business.


By Eliza A. Webb

Here we go with "hope" and "change;" AGAIN...

Ever heard of talk about "change" before?

Ever heard of a guy named "Obama" and the "Progressives for Obama" who backed him?

Ironically, Both Hillary and Bernie have the same Obama hacks organizing their campaigns who worked on Obama's campaigns of "hope" and "change" and "give him four more years" to accomplish what he promised.

Mark Rudd: "Obama had to go along with Wall Street in his first term in order to deliver what he promised us in his second term."

Does anyone still believe this bullshit?

Of course they do... they are now working on Bernie's campaign as preparation to supporting Wall Street's darling, Hillary Clinton; who, while a member of Wall Street's board--- whoops, I mean Wal-mart's board, approved the policy of firing pregnant women "because they couldn't do their job efficiently--- too many rest breaks and bathroom breaks required.

Haven't we had enough of this crap already without listening to this nonsense about "progressives taking control of the Democratic Party?"

Oh, yes; and don't forget we must vote for Hillary Clinton because we must fear this fascist Donald Trump.

The Clintons are very shrewd... they are working us with two candidates they tossed into the three ring circus... there is one show going on in the circle on the left; another show going on in the ring on the right and there stands Hillary with her phony smile laughing as the main act.

Are you willing to pay the price of admission for this three ring circus?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

John Dewy and his phony democratic socialism of pragmatism

What is "democratic socialism" and who conjured up this phony socialism?

John Dewey created an entire ideology around "democratic socialism" out of this kind of "pragmatic" approach to politics it has hobbled the working class ever since.

Dewey's thinking goes like this: It doesn't matter what Wall Street does to people anyplace else in the world as long as we get a few crumbs here.

This has been the outlook of the labor movement for over 100 years.

It seems most people are willing to not take notice that this small coterie Dewey's followers have quietly embedded themselves inside the Democratic Party taking on the moniker of "democratic socialist."

They have approved of every single imperialist war (with World War II they were objectors) and drilled it into us that we should be content with all kinds of minor "reforms" which they call "baby steps" that are supposedly part of this great big long road of "incremental reforms" that will some day--- in many generations to come--- result in their perverted sense of what socialism is coming into existence: kind capitalists they have educated who will look after the working class with our best interests at heart.

This is the heart of what Bernie Sanders and his little band of "democratic socialists" expect us to accept as "political revolution."

Just don't rock the boat talking about the need for a huge massive electoral all-people's united popular electoral front against monopoly and imperialism--- forget about peace (which is Hillary Clinton's Achilles' Heel) and you will get pie in the sky when you die.

Democratic socialism is neither democratic as we see from their deceitful dishonest trickery and chicanery and it is definitely not socialism.

Bernie, A Lifelong Crusade Against Wall Street & Wealth

Some questions for Darcy Richardson:

About your book on Bernie Sanders, Bernie, A Lifelong Crusade Against Wall Street & Wealth

Did you write the book about Bernie Sanders?

Assuming you did, I have a few questions:

Do you think it was right that you failed to define and clarify just who the "democratic socialists" are working in the Democratic Party who Bernie has aligned himself with as opposed to the use of the term "socialist" which he apparently was at one time before aligning himself with this grouping of "democratic socialists?

Also, didn't you kind of give him a free ride when it comes to the question of peace and anti-imperialism? Obviously, Debs took the question of the need for socialists to be anti-imperialists as well as being anti-monopoly.

And, isn't peace, opposing Wall Street's warmongering and all the ways Wall Street profits from wars as well as the untold misery and destruction created integral to any "lifelong crusade against Wall Street and wealth?" 

There are many distinguishing differences between Marcantonio and Bernie... first of all was Marcantonio's militant and persistent anti-imperialism which Bernie lacks.

There is also a failure to note Bernie's hypocrisy in casting a vote against the war in Iraq and then turning around and voting for every single vote to fund the war/s.

And he is let off the hook when it comes to this insane war against ISIS when he voted to fund its creation in the first place.

There were two solcialists Bernie wasn't compared to:

Elmer Benson who was a very principled socialist who served as a United States Senator from Minnesota who went on to become governor; and then there was John Bernard, the Communist who was elected to Congress--- both on the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor ticket.

I suppose an argument in not comparing Bernie Sanders to John Bernard was that Bernard was a Communist. But, Communists advocate socialism, right?

And if we are going to distinguish socialists from Communists, shouldn't we distinguish these self-serving, pragmatic (imperialism is acceptable) John Dewey-type "democratic socialists" from socialists like Debs and Elmer Benson?
Like Franklin D. Roosevelt Sanders is prone to bringing forward reform concepts that are far too little and far too late... evidenced in his continued talk about health care reform which would leave the profit motive in health care completely intact and his jobs program which is far too little and then his Minimum Wage proposal of $15.00 an hour which fails to take into account the actual cost of living and his talk about the need to act on climate change and global warming but touts the same hypocrisy of the foundation funded outfits bankrolled by the great Wall Street philanthropists who profit form the very Military-Industrial Complex which leaves in its wake the largest carbon footprint of any human endeavor, bar none.

You had the chance to cite the fact that Lyndon Johnson endorsed George McGovern and you didn't take it even though you mention Johnson's "Great Society" and you had the opportunity to introduce your readers to the accomplishments that can be made when liberals, progressives and leftists--- including Socialists and Communists--- work together by providing the example of the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party and its unifying influence the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Association which in effect created a type of "new broom" electoral coalition which was used to sweep the Minnesota Legislature clean of the corrupt Wall Street influences from the mining, forestry, banking, energy and big-agribusiness.

Most importantly, if reference to the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party would have been included in your book, this would have perhaps encouraged others to look into its history and draw the conclusion that this is the way to move forward. You bring forward Lafollette even though his great weakness was his anti-Communism which prevented greater unity.

Of course, during his long tenure in Washington, Bernie has made no attempt to stop the attacks by the United States Department of Justice, the FBI, NSA, Military Intelligence and the CIA on his fellow socialists, many of whom are Communists.

And, Bernie is not as pro-labor as you would lead people to believe--- he has voted for "Right-to-Work" by voting for the "Compacts" in the Indian Gaming Industry--- something not mentioned in your book in spite of the fact that around two-million American workers are now employed in this hideously racist industry where corrupt tribal officials front for a bunch of racist, wealthy white mobsters who own all the slot machines, table games, hotels, motels, golf courses amusement parks, restaurants, etc, leaving Native Americans holding nothing but poverty causing debt--- just look at the poverty on the Indian Reservations amidst trillions of dollars in casino driven wealth--- as workers (including Native Americans who are deprived of other employment because of severe racists discrimination who are used as a pool of cheap labor to work in the casinos) are forced to endure smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages and without any rights under state or federal labor laws. When I approached Bernie Sanders about this issue he treated me like dog shit on his shoe going so far as to lie to me about how he voted on these "Compacts" and he turned his back on me and walked away... just like he will do to the American people who are thoroughly fed up and had enough with Wall Street's dictate and poverty causing wars when he tosses his support to Hillary Clinton; all part of the plan from the very beginning.

With all of this said, if I happen to be in the vicinity of my Lake Township Democratic Party Precinct Caucus in Roseau County on March 1, 2016 I will cast my ballot for Bernie Sanders knowing that in return we will probably get nothing from Bernie Sanders--- or the Democrats he supports--- after that.

Maybe you should consider writing a book about the extremely successful socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party.

To bad you didn't include this in the appendix to your book because it might have helped to clarify a lot of things creating such divisiveness among liberals, progressives and the left at a time when our historic unity is needed more than ever before:


I would also call to your attention the "Full Employment Act of 1945" as initially introduced by populist liberal Texas Congressman Wright Patman. Notice that Bernie Sanders has made no attempt to declare that the president and Congress have the responsibility to attain and maintain full employment.

You might want to write another book detailing the lengthy discussion Lyndon B. Johnson and George McGovern had while sitting under the large oak tree on LBJ's ranch when Johnson made the historic decision to support George McGovern for the presidency after apparently coming to the conclusion that when a Nation's wealth is being pissed away on dirty imperialist wars you can't create a poverty free and racially just "Great Society"--- apparently a lesson Bernie Sanders has never learned.

Come on, Darcy; how does one fight Wall Street without fighting against Wall Street's dirty imperialist wars?

Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Cell: 651-587-5541