Please note I have a new phone number...

512-517-2708

Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.


"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Friday, April 15, 2016

Wall Street comes to the "rescue" of Puerto Rico with HR 4900.

Wall Street is coming to the "rescue" of Puerto Rico the same way it came to the rescue of Detroit with a little added bonus for Wall Street employers including raiding the pension funds and lowering the Minimum Wage to $4.25 an hour:


http://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hr_4900_promesa.pdf


I wonder how our great free media missed this one?


Here is Congressman Paul Ryan's take on another imperialist (mis) adventure:


http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/statement-puerto-rico-legislation


More injustices enforced by the United States government with tax-payers picking up the tab to keep Puerto Ricans subjugated through a "benevolent" and uniquely American brand of colonialism passed off as "humanitarian" assistance.


I wonder if the FBI, CIA and the U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy are going to be able to handle the rebellion which is sure to follow?


I wonder how the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs Magazine and the rest of our great free media so adept at passing off big lies as the truth will explain all of this?


I would point out that only Cuba has been able to get out from under the heel of U.S; imperialism since the Spanish American War--- a war we have been paying for since 1898--- anyone think imperialist wars come cheap?


It is almost unbelievable in this day and age there is any government on the face of the earth with so much arrogance in bringing forward such legislation; but, considering that Puerto Rico was one of the first American attempts at "nation building" (for other countries) I guess we shouldn't be surprised to find the United States Congress now considering this kind of thoroughly reactionary austerity measures for its oldest colony which Wall Street employers have used as one of its primary sources of cheap labor... although the Haiti experiment is proving to be much more promising when it comes to raking in maximum profits through exploitation fostered by the great philanthropists like Bill and Hillary Clinton whose foundation is blazing new trails for greater profitability for the sweatshop industries...


after all, don't ya know--- lower wages is what the chase for bigger profits is all about.

Oh, wait!

At least one voice in our great free media has ventured forth with an ever so "enlightened" opinion on the risk of having too high of a Minimum Wage in Puerto Rico:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/puerto-ricos-lesson-for-the-mainland/2015/07/08/24e63970-25ad-11e5-b77f-eb13a215f593_story.html

Now, where are the organized anti-imperialist voices here in the United States?


Monday, April 11, 2016

Which way for the New Democratic Party in Canada?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding recent developments in the New Democratic Party in Canada.


I lived in Manitoba for ten years until I was deported because of my political views after the Liberal government joined the right wing in attacking me.


At the present time, I am a member of the Lake-of-the Woods Communist Club, one of three co-chairs of the club which has members from Minnesota, Manitoba and Ontario. Members of our club have been very involved in the NDP and our club had members at the recent NDP meeting.


There are those making the outrageous claim that the NDP is a "social democratic party."


This was my response to one person making this claim: Wrong. Dead wrong, Andy Span.


The New Democratic Party is not a social democratic party.


The NDP includes all views from the left... and beyond... or, at least it should.


Social democrats should go start their own party if they want an exclusively social democratic party.
But, this wouldn't solve any problems, either.


The NDP would be severely weakened should the social democrats withdraw; but, the social democrats are going to have to learn to be respectful of the views of others.


There is no proof that the Leap Manifesto won't gain tremendous traction with the vast majority of working class Canadians. Why would anyone oppose it being debated and discussed. These debates and discussion will bring new life into the NDP.


The most successful provincial NDP government of all time in Canada was led by Howard Pawley in Manitoba and he had an open door to all of the entire left... and most others willing to work with him for the common good.


I would suggest everyone take a few deep breaths and read Howard Pawley's excellent book, "Keep True, My Life in Politics."


The NDP paid a very heavy price for Bob Rae's treacherous betrayal (and I was very involved in helping get this guy elected as the first NDP premier of Ontario) and the NDP is paying a very heavy price for making a substantial part of the left in Canada feel like they have no home in the NDP because there are those who try to pigeon hole the NDP as a social democratic party.


Tom Mulcair started coming to his senses in his later speeches in Toronto but it was too little, too late.
Buying into this crap about the need for "baby steps" and "incremental reforms" is sure to doom the NDP.


Tommy Douglas, from his deathbed, urged the NDP and all Canadians to take up the task of struggling and fighting for fully socialized health care and if we examine this issue as a way to look at most other struggles for required reforms we can do so by asking a very simple question concerning the right to have dental care included as part of health care:


Would you vote for any politician who didn't care if you have a toothache and can't afford to get dental care?


Working people have very serious problems from poverty wages to lack of child care (and what is with this "affordable child care crap" when child care should be universal through a public system and free for all? Is this too much for the well-heeled crowd of social democrats to comprehend?


And why don't the social democrats like Mulcair want to talk about a Minimum Wage that is tied to actual cost of living factors which would bring in a Minimum Wage of just over $20.00 an hour for a forty hour work week?


Or, what is the position of the social democrats when it comes to a Basic Income Guarantee which worked so well as an experiment in Dauphin, Manitoba when the NDP forced the Liberals to fund the experiment?


When it comes to health care, child care, unemployment, Minimum Wages, the cost of higher education--- "baby steps" and "incremental reforms" are not what the severe problems working class families confront need... a giant Leap forward is required and it is time for the NDP to bring forward some kind of program and platform to make the multi-national corporations which have been raping the land of resources pay for it all.


I have traveled and met with Canadians in every single province and a point of great unity is that Canadians are sick and tired of U.S. and other multi-national corporations taking everything they can grab while leaving nothing behind to improve the lives of the people and this theft has been carried out in a way that has left tremendous damage to the environment.


As far as the oil in Alberta... bring these oil fields under public ownership like the NDP originally believed in doing. Then take a look at the situation and decide how to proceed. Again, this is foreign multi-nationals raking in huge profits at the expense of the Canadian people while doing great harm to the environment. Cut out the huge corporate profits and perhaps an environmentally sound way can be found to manage the production of oil. In the long run as the oil industry is going in Alberta it would be cheaper to just halt it right now because the mess that is being made is going to end up costing a lot more than what is being gained right now.


What gave the social democrats the right to use bullying tactics to replace the demand for public ownership of the mines, mills, factories and entire industries like banking, communications and energy with this coddling of private industry--- domestic and foreign--- while pushing higher taxes on the working class?


And why would Mulcair seek to ally the NDP with Obama's neo-liberal Wall Street Democrats as a way to appease Bay Street instead of seeking out allies from among the working class?


The social democrats who have bullied their way into the NDP while trampling on democracy insisting that the NDP be a social democratic party have been very selfish and their selfishness cost the NDP an election victory that was there for the taking.


The NDP should have gone to Canadian with a plan to reduce the retirement age to 60; free universal child care; free public education through university; tax the hell out of the foreign multi-nationals; for a socialized health care system that includes everything from pre-natal through burial... and a commitment to pull out of NATO and end all complicity with U.S. imperialist wars and a promise to raise the Minimum Wage to at least $20.00 an hour while outlining a strategy to put an end to the cost-of-living crisis every single working class family in Canada is experiencing.


The base of the NDP must be the working class and farmers along with real small businesses and professionals.


The Manitoba NDP put a full dental program into every single elementary school and the Conservatives and Liberals killed that program--- as Manitobans today how they like paying for private dental care for their children.


Manitoba had a provincially owned and operated telephone system providing Manitobans with the least expensive phone service in North America... the Conservatives and Liberals connived together to kill this... ask Manitobans how they like paying through the nose for private for-profit telephone service today.


The NDP government took over bus manufacturing in Manitoba saving hundreds of jobs; the company was doing just great. The company was sold to a foreign multi-national after being subsidized by Manitoba tax-payers.


Manitoba has government owned casinos... the profits go for health care and education not into the pockets of Las Vegas mobsters. And Manitoba's casinos were among the first to go smoke-free to protect the health of its workers and the general public.


Because of the fight led by Howard Pawley, Manitoba has a provincially owned auto insurance program. I don't hear many people other than the Conservatives and few of the more die-hard free-enterprise Liberals complaining.


The NDP should be for public ownership not just out of some old principle articulated in a Marxist pamphlet but because public ownership works better for the people than private ownership in most cases.


The strength of the NDP has always been that all views from the left are always welcome... and not just those with left wing view but those with liberal and progressive world outlooks, too; and this is the way it should remain.


I want to point out that in Manitoba, the NDP always got along with Communists like Jacob Penner and Joe Zuken... in fact, the NDP took the initiative to name a public park after Jacob Penner.


And Jacob Penner's son became an outstanding Minnesota Attorney General.


I counted Howard Pawley among one of my best friends and we got along just fine even though we had some differences on some issues.


My suggestion is that the problems should be articulated and a common approach should be found to solving these problems in a way that works best for the working class.


Tom Mulcair and his social democrats are just going to have to learn to live with the fact that working people want their problems solved now--- while they are still alive, not later after they die.


These are very important developments now taking place in the New Democratic Party and there will be much for everyone to learn.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My experience with for-profit capitalist dental care.

I went to the dentist today.


I am "covered" by an insurance outfit called, "Health Partners" which operates a Health and Dental Clinic in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.


After having a bunch of teeth pulled; now they tell me I need something called a "deep cleaning and planing." The cost: $1,200.00. And they say this isn't covered under my plan.


And they told me they won't even fill my three cavities until I have this done. What a neat way to get out of providing the care needed... thus saving them a lot of money at my expense and at the expense of my health.


And then these bastards wonder why people are getting angry.


I told them I couldn't afford that so they told me to call the University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry.


The School of dentistry told me they would do it for about $900.00.


I told them that I couldn't afford that.


Their response--- and I quote exactly word for word:


"Too bad; you will just have to wait until you can come up with the money."


So much for health care under capitalism...


Just wait until you can come up with the money... it is all about money, money, money... or, to put it more succinctly: Profits! Profits! Profits!


Everything under this rotten capitalist system is driven by sheer greed in quest of the almighty dollar.



Here is the solution and it is very simple:


A National Public Health Care System.


General health, eyes, ears, dental, family planning and mental health... pre-natal to death. Everyone in; nobody left out. Health care provided based on need not how much you can pay.


Put all of the doctors and dentists and optometrists on the public payroll just like teachers and pay them the same thing. Provide them with a free education so they don't have to cry for forty years about how much they spent for college in spite of becoming multi-millionaires.


Public funding and financing instead of paying for these dirty rotten imperialist wars.


Public administration of the entire system.


Public delivery.


A public health care center in every neighborhood and community instead of wasting our tax-dollars on over 800 military bases on foreign soil protecting Wall Street's interests and investments with profits derived from exploiting cheap labor and raping Mother Nature.


The hell with wasting any more time on this single-payer crap... even the Canadian health care system doesn't cover dental work.


We need to work up a national struggle for socialized health care... a National Public Health Care System that is no more controversial than public education.


The for-profit health care system has failed miserably... except for those who profit.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tell the Democrats to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Has anyone noticed a very interesting development that has been taking place in Wisconsin, the home of the most right-wing reactionary Republican governor in the United States, over the last month?

The Democrats--- including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and all of these millionaire labor leaders--- have made Wisconsin the focus of their attention with more political activity than in the past than over the past six years during Scott Walkers term as governor of Wisconsin...

And they expect all of us to drop everything we are doing, including taking days off from work!

To do what? Campaign for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Now, here is my question...

Actually two questions:

1. How come these millionaire labor leaders did not exert the same efforts and marshal the same resources to support the militant initiatives of the rank-and-file working class and grassroots activists who took to the streets, occupied the Wisconsin State Capitol and were preparing for a general strike to halt Scott Walker, the Republicans and the Koch Family bosses in their tracks as they destroyed the standard of living of millions by taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions?

And, two...

Why weren't the same efforts and resources brought into the struggle to recall Scott Walker after the Democrats and their millionaire labor leaders friends pushed workers out of the streets and sabotaged their efforts that were leading towards a general strike by making people believe they would spare no efforts at getting a political solution through recalling Scott Walker?

And, the non-struggle position of the Greens who set up separate rallies because the millionaire labor leaders and their Democratic Party allies and friends didn't want their participation in the labor movement; so, instead of fighting for their right to participate in a UNITED struggle, the Greens took the cowardly way out of non-struggle.

All of this begs the question:

Why should workers waste their time and limited resources working for any of these worthless Democrats, of which we now know for certain Bernie Sanders is one of them.

Vote for whoever you want...

But put your efforts and resources into building a new working class based people's party that will finally challenge Wall Street and its two political parties for political and economic power.

The most successful alternative party in the United States has been the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party which called for the creation of the "cooperative socialist commonwealth" which would have brought the mines, mills, factories, banks, communications and energy industries under public ownership and control--- something this phony socialist Bernie Sanders and his long time "democratic socialist" colleagues are determined not to talk about just like they have determined they will not place on the table and before the people in the public square the need to beat swords into plowshares as the way to peace and a full employment economy.

We need an anti-monopoly/anti-imperialist working class movement of which this new party would be an integral component...

This is what movement building is all about.

And we can't build this movement if we are allowing the Democrats to drain our strength and monopolize our limited resources.

Bernie Sanders and the current labor unions in the grip of these millionaire labor leaders have the resources to tell the Democrats to go to hell but they are not going to do this.

This initiative needs to come from rank-and-file and grassroots activists.

Why are we delaying taking the required action?

All that is required are small circles of friends in each and every state and in the cities and communities around the country.

We know this is possible because of the huge turnouts for Bernie Sanders from among the working class.

Bernie Sanders has now openly stated his intent to betray his base of very enthusiastic socialist supporters as he declared in Wisconsin just last week that Democrats must come together to defeat the Republicans. This is not a program for change. Supporting Democrats has proven not to be of any benefit for workers and working class families. All we end up with is Wall Street wars paid for with austerity measures shoved down our throats which deprives us of real solutions to our very real a very pressing problems--- jobs for all at living wages and livable incomes, be they wages, unemployment compensation, welfare or Social Security, child care and free quality public education through university and the kind of world-class National Public Health Care System we are entitled to after having created with our labor the wealthiest country in the world the likes of which has never been seen before.

Where were Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Obama, the Democrats and the millionaire labor leaders when Wisconsin needed their organization and resources to get rid of Scott Walker?

As far as being so afraid of these Republicans like Donald Trump?

Tens of thousands of workers are forced to work in his casinos and hotels every single day and I have yet to hear one single Democrat or millionaire labor leader say that he is not fit to be an employer and his hotels and casinos should be taken away from him and placed under public ownership using eminent domain for the public good with the profits derived from these enterprises used for the health and welfare of all of us.

And Hillary Clinton and her Wal-mart friends are no better than Donald Trump or the Koch Klan.

This is a class thing.

This is all about CLASS STRUGGLE.

Politics is about class struggle.

Isn't it time we as working people start to talk about the politics and economic of livelihood?

Capitalism is collapsing all around us. Wall Street's wars are every continent creating massive human misery. Other people are being bombed when our own needs are going unmet.

We have "leaders" who will boast of having signed on to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights but won't come up with the resources to make these words filling one sheet of paper a living reality for the living, breathing human beings who they expect to cough up votes to legitimize this rotten system.

Is there anyone else who feels like I do willing to sign on to a statement calling for creating a new working class based political party?

Canadian workers have their own political party--- the socialist New Democratic Party. It's late great past leader, Tommy Douglas, has been recognized in a poll involving millions conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the "greatest Canadian of all time." Shouldn't this tell us something?

And Canadians can walk into any doctor's office or hospital and get the care they require without every having to pay one single penny let alone have their home taken away to cover the bill.

"Baby steps" and "incremental reforms" are the words of the uncaring, muddle-headed, upper middle class crowd of intellectual Democrats who don't have to worry about how to make ends meet and who have no concept of what is involved in this "cost-of-living crisis" now dogging every single working class family; we don't have to put up with this crap. Life is two short. There is no reason we should have to struggle just to survive.

We need the kind of organizations and a party that will enable us to take a giant leap forward comparable to what the wealth of our society--- which our labor has created--- will provide.