Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

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

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


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

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

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The working class struggle

The class struggle does not begin or end at the ballot box for the working class.

We need to learn to initiate united, militant mass struggles in the streets with the intent of winning what we can't win at the ballot box.

We need to explore concepts of struggle like the general strike.

We are struggling for our rights, our livelihoods, in defense of democracy and for peace, social and economic justice.

Don't be tricked into believing everything hinges on "the next election."

Wall Street, our enemy, would like us to believe our only avenue is voting; on the other hand, some phony leftists would have us believe participating in the electoral process is futile.

Working people must learn to master all methods of struggle if we are going to improve our lives.

Why would we allow our common Wall Street enemies to dictate our course of struggle?

We need working class think tanks and working class political action committees.

We need a new party; a working class based people's party that is anti-imperialist/anti-monopoly with the understanding that peace and disarmament is the way to prosperity for all and we need to be explicit that we are challenging Wall Street for political and economic power.

Building a huge movement to impeach Trump could be the catalyst for organizing a new political party.

It is time for working people to tell the Republicans and Democrats to go to hell.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Racism and corruption go hand-in-hand

Racist discrimination is raising its ugly head all across this country and it is usually combined with corruption and a complete contempt for the democratic process.

I posted this in response to a planning controversy in the community Lakeway, Texas where we live:

In my opinion, every community should be planned to include all incomes with complete racial integration.

One could probably halt this development in the courts with a lawsuit challenging the intentional racial and income segregation with a lack of environmental protection being maintained with public funds.

We have already seen in the news where a person of color has been viciously discriminated against by city committees. Quite honestly, I don't understand why the City of Lakeway isn't being slapped with a huge civil rights lawsuit by an organization like the NAACP after what was described in the news.

Racist bigotry and corruption seem to go hand-in-hand here in Lakeway when it comes to the way these politicians behave.

Let this development company come forward with a plan for a racially and income considerate plan that is as diverse as the incomes of the people working in this community.

I would like to hear from each and every member of the Lakeway City Council and it's planning and zoning committees why such an approach to planning is not being taken.

The great playwright Bertolt Brecht once observed that the wealthy create the poor and then can not stand to look at them.

Quite honestly, I have to wonder if this is not what is taking place here in Lakeway by these noble "volunteers" selected for us by a small clique of "retired" corporate executives who dictate when people can clap at a City Council meeting.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Impeach Trump now

Trump is mentally, morally, ethically and politically unfit to hold any public office.

The ruling class has assigned three thoroughly reactionary fascist imperialist warmongers to keep Trump in line...

General James Kelly
James "Mad Dog" Mattice
General H.R. McMaster

These three are masters at lies and deceit.

All three loath democracy.

There is no doubt these three have discussed the possibility and feasibility of a military coup.

The Military-Industrial Complex is the government.

Militarism and these dirty wars are making us all poor as the Wall Street merchants of death and destruction profit as people die in these illegal, immoral and unconstitutional wars.

All the while, Trump and these generals have their hands on the nuclear codes.

And then we have this corporate owned mainstream media using these over-paid pundits trained by corporate sponsored "think-tanks" beholden to the Wall Street parasites "explaining" to us what is going on.

And to complicate matters there are the foundation-funded outfits pretending to look after our interests when their funding is coming from those posing as philanthropists but are the very people exploiting us and profiting from militarism and wars.

As working people we need our own Marxist study clubs and political action committees based on class struggle politics.

It was Karl Marx who correctly noted that when a nation uses its wealth for armaments and fighting wars this is tantamount to dumping the nation's wealth into the deepest depths of the ocean.

It was Karl Marx who noted that labor with quite a little help from Mother Nature creates all wealth--- these are the only two sources of wealth.

Wall Street parasites exploit labor and rape Mother Nature.

Figure it out; how long can this continue?

These capitalist politicians talk about "jobs, jobs, jobs" when their only motivation is "profits, profits, profits."

If ever there was a time for working people to check out revolutionary socialist thinking the time is now.

Pick up a book by Karl Marx today.

Capitalism is Wall Street's system; the socialist cooperative commonwealth is the system of the working class.

Don't let Trump and these generals dominate the politics of our country.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Trump must be removed from office now

Democrats are responsible for Trump being in office because they ran a thoroughly corrupt politician like Hillary Clinton against him.

Now these same Democrats opportunistically and selfishly refuse to initiate proceedings available in the Constitution to remove him from office because they think they will have a better chance to elect Democrats like Hillary Clinton in 2018 and 2020... in the meantime the country goes downhill and people suffer.

Democrats have no credibility when it comes to fighting the rampant racism and creeping fascist movement in this country because both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama played key roles in bringing anti-Semitic fascists to power in the Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Albania and Romania... hence neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama have played any significant roles in this struggle against racism and fascism now unfolding.

In addition, Obama was the first president since Johnson signed Affirmative Action into law not to enforce Affirmative Action and Hillary Clinton refused to support Affirmative Action during her campaign.

The Democratic Party has an extremely poor record when it comes to anti-racist action and civil rights; these Democrats have tolerated the most racist Dixiecrats for many years.

The Democratic Party hasn't even been an initiator of the anti-racist actions across the country.

Look at the web sites of the Democratic Party... not a word about organizing anti-racist/anti-fascist actions. No statements from the Democratic Party National Committee.

Look at even the Charlottesville Democratic Party website; no mention of recent events including the murder by these racists and fascists: http://cvilledems.org/

The Virginia Democratic Party played no role in trying to stop the KKK and Nazis from marching in Charlottesville.

The Democratic Party supported slavery. The Democratic Party supported Jim Crow laws for a hundred years. The Democratic Party had a terrorist arm: the KKK.

FDR and LBJ both had to fight the Dixiecrats and reactionary northern Democratic Party machines which used racism to maintain their power... Chicago and the racist Daley's being perfect examples... and Rahm Emanuel now.

Democratic Party machines in the north linked to the racist anti-integrationist segregationist George Wallace opposed integrated public schools and open housing.

That the Democratic Party refuses to bring articles of impeachment and use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office in spite of his stated racist and fascist pronouncements because these Democrats consider letting Trump dig himself a bigger deeper hole they expect to be a political windfall is the epitome of racism as racist and fascist violence spreads across this country.

If we want to view history and the present honestly, both the Democratic Party and Republican Party are thoroughly racist institutions--- Lincoln would be ashamed of today's Republican Party... one more reason why we need a new working class based people's party not afraid to move forward with a peace and anti-racist agenda--- of course, support for these dirty imperialist wars pushed by both Democrats and Republicans requires racism.

Compared to the very serious problems of racism and fascism now sweeping this country, the response of the Democratic Party might be compared to the squeak of the proverbial church mouse.

It is almost hard to believe the pathetic response of leaders of the Democratic Party to this most dangerous situation of rising racism and fascism in this country--- it is pathetic many Democrats are actually praising the pathetic responses from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama given the fact that several Republicans have actually been more forceful in condemning Trump's racist fascist mindset and the Nazis and KKK.

Let us put things in perspective: a proper response from the Democrats would be nothing less than taking action permitted by the United States Constitution to remove Trump from office right now before he can cause further harm.

A handful of Democrats have tried to initiate removal from office but they are being opposed by the leadership of the Democrats in both the House and Senate and the Democratic National Committee.
Pitiful has been the response from Perez and Ellison who should be leading the charge for Trump's impeachment and removal from office.

Any reasonably intelligent person can see that Trump is unfit to hold public office and poses a threat to our own people, our own country and world peace.

Pence will be a problem once Trump is removed; we can handle Pence, too, through mass action.

There is the dangerous possibility of a military coup. A mass movement intent on defending the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and democracy can prevent, this, too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Another big lie: North Korea is provoking a war with us

Perhaps the biggest of the big lies ever perpetrated by this rotten thoroughly corrupt government under the control of Wall Street, is the lie that North Korea--- the Democratic People's Republic of Korea--- WANTS to go to war with the United States.

Think about this:

Why would a tiny little country of a mere twenty-five million people forcefully isolated from much of the rest of the world by the biggest bully in the world want to provoke war with the most barbaric super-power in the history of the world?

We were hoodwinked into believing the lies about North Korea and China starting the Korean War--- none other than Republican Congressman Howard Buffett, father of Warren Buffett--- exposed this big lie.

We were lied to about how tiny Vietnam tried to provoke war with us using the big lie of the Gulf of Tonkin fiasco; a lie concocted by the CIA.

And then the lies got even bigger when George Bush and his Administration concocted the biggest of all big lies (to that point) of the Weapons of Mass Destruction used as the pretext to bomb the hell out of Iraq in a brutal display of the most insane and criminal barbarity.

And now we come to Trump trying to peddle this biggest of all big lies that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea wants to provoke a nuclear war with us.

Of course as this biggest of all big lies gets even bigger, no one mentions the "little" FACT that the United States is constructing a naval base intended to host a huge nuclear arsenal directed towards North Korea, China and Russia. http://m.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160229001123#cb

Come on really, why would anyone believe Trump's claim that North Korea is trying to provoke a war with the United States?

Every word that Trump utters ends up being part of a lie... and this is the biggest of all of his lies.
If it weren't for how this biggest of all big lies is embedded and packaged in anti-Communism to be sold no one would believe it simply because on its face it is so ludicrous and outrageous that it defies all reason, logic and common sense.

Only one lone Republican challenged the lie used by the United States government to start the Korean War.

One lone Democrat challenged the lie that Vietnam provoked the United States to go to war in Vietnam. That same Democrat, once again alone, tried to expose the lie that ended up with the never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now we have no members of Congress challenging this biggest of all big lies about how North Korea wants to provoke us into war.

It is up to the American people to say, "Enough" and take the required action to prevent World War III and nuclear war.

We have a President who has included the Nazis, the John Birch Society and the KKK in his base and elevated racist hate-mongering warmongers like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka to advise him when it comes to issues of war and peace.

Anyone who can't understand that we are living in a time very different from any other period with Wall Street tightening its grip on power and control over us, can't be expected to lead the kind of massive people's front movement required to defend democracy and prevent nuclear war.

And, make no mistake about this... this wouldn't be the first time the corporate controlled Wall Street owned media has fabricated and peddled lie after big lie supporting a war.

The government and people of North Korea want peace and friendship with us and the rest of the world. Just leave this little country alone and North and South Korea will find their way to peace and  reunification of their country.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Impeach Trump; stop bullying and badgering North Korea

Instead of seeking a peaceful solution through diplomacy and normalizing relations with North Korea, Trump has chosen to instigate war.

Obviously Russia and China can not be expected to promote a peaceful resolution to this conflict, either as both voted for sanctions against North Korea.

Shameful, too, is the position taken by Evo Morales and the Bolivian government in support of sanctions against North Korea at a time when North Korea requires access to all markets in the world in order to strengthen its economy and provide an improved standard of living for its people.

These sanctions against North Korea which has harmed no one are intended to bring down the socialist government of North Korea.

North Korea has a population just under that of the state of Texas; it is a small country whose government and people have never hurt or harmed anyone.

The United States is building a modern naval port in South Korea to host nuclear armed warships with their nuclear arsenal targeted on North Korea, China and Russia.

The time is long overdue for the United States to normalize relations with North Korea and allow the North Koreans to build socialism in peace.

Trump is a demonic barbaric imperialist monster; it is Trump who must be removed from office through impeachment in order for there to be peace.

Trump spreads the most vile forms of racist hate in our own country and now spews racist anti-Communist hate towards North Korea which is pushing us towards war when we should be working for peace.

The United States has no business maintaining military bases in Guam, Japan or South Korea.

The United States has over 800 foreign military bases dotting the globe according to the U.S. Department of Defense. This is total and complete insanity. Close down these outposts for Wall Street's imperialist policies and put health care centers in every neighborhood and community in our own country instead providing the American people with free health care and millions of jobs a National Public Health Care System would create.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Most Democrats vote along with Republicans for increased spending on militarism and wars...


This is one of the most important articles about military spending I have seen and yet Forbe's is being more truthful than most peace groups which seem loath to expose the Democrats on this most important issue. How do we achieve prosperity for all, mostly achieved through implementing huge universal social programs, when the Nation's wealth, created by the working class, is being squandered on militarism and wars making us all poor?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

It is time for real socialists to advocate for socialized health care.

In the name of "unity" should socialists acquiesce to Democratic Party hacks when it comes to health care reform or should we clearly articulate the problems with Obamacare and single-payer Medicare for All while stating how socialized health care is the far superior rout to health care reform?

My point is: How does socialized health care ever get put on the table for discussion if socialists don't put it there? I have found, once explained side by side with all other proposals, most people will chose socialized health care when it is explained that public education is the model for it.

There is a difference between working with people who currently support Obamacare and Medicare for All and not bringing forward socialized health care.

We can see here on my Facebook page how people have been misled into supporting Obamacare and Medicare for All because their main proponents are dishonest.

All kinds of people try to tell me single-payer/Medicare for All is the same as socialized health care.

A big part of working with people is explaining these things in a truthful way--- the proponents of Obamacare and Medicare for All are afraid of the truth and as we can see, they try to bully the proponents of socialized health care into silence with the intent of forcing people to support Obamacare and Medicare for All.

Medicare has some good features but it also has many very, very bad features people like Bernie Sanders are adamantly opposed to discussing and they try to stymie this discussion.

If they were honest, they would at least tolerate a discussion about a National Public Health Care System and explain from their point of view why what they support is better... of course, the facts--- these little things politicians don't seem to have much use for--- prove that socialized health care is far superior to all other forms of health care... am I correct in stating this or am I not?

I am being attacked by the Democrats simply because I am advocating for socialized health care and comparing it to Obamacare and Medicare for All.

Socialists should be advancing socialized health care not bending to supporting systems that are based on the the free-market, for-profit and private delivery of health care.

The ideological struggle is really the biggest and most important part of any struggle and this applies to the struggle for health care reform, too.

The Democrats will tolerate Bernie Sanders claiming to be a socialist as long as he doesn't advocate socialist solutions to problems... the Democrat's main party hack, George Lakoff, has made this very clear in his latest book, "Blueprint," which is nothing but an anti-socialist/anti-Communist/anti-Marxist diatribe.

Sure there is controversy in bringing forward socialist ideas like socialized health care but we need to bring this into the discussion--- this is the role of socialists.

In fact, because socialized health care is so popular it has the best chance of bringing together the kind of numbers of people required to win the struggle for health care reform.

Of course, the Democratic Party hacks who like to talk about "properly framing issues" to get votes would like it if we don't say we need community and neighborhood health care centers dispensing free health care instead of over 800 foreign U.S. military bases dotting the globe protecting Wall Street's interests. Real socialists will bring this forward... phony socialists will not.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

William Browder testifies before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

William Browder is a very wealthy investor and investment advisor running the Hermitage Fund.

William Browder is the grandson of Earl Browder, a former Chairman of the Communist Party U.S.A.

Putin is a modern day Russian Czar in the era of imperialism.

One thing not coming out in all of this feuding between capitalists is the tremendous wealth which has been created by labor which is being stolen from the Russian working class since labor creates ALL wealth and literally sucked out of Russia ending up in western banks all over the world.

Browder and his investors lost billions of dollars; Putin stole this money through graft and corruption.

Apparently Browder was happy as long as he was stealing the wealth of the Russian Nation instead of Putin. Two crooks stealing from one another.... as the Russian people are forced to endure poverty.

And we don't even know how Trump is involved with this theft of the Russian 'nation but surely he is.

And we don't know how many Wall Street investors like Browder are still stealing the wealth of the Russian Nation as they pay-off Putin and thousands of his gangster capitalists and enforcers.

Earl Browder would not have been proud of his grandson's role in all of this and as working people we should not be choosing the sides of any of these greedy pigs--- our empathy and solidarity belongs with the Russian working class struggling to regain socialism.

The full transcript of William "Bill" Browder’s prepared remarks to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is as follows...
Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, and members of the committee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today on the Russian government’s attempts to repeal the Magnitsky Act in Washington in 2016, and the enablers who conducted this campaign in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, by not disclosing their roles as agents for foreign interests.Before I get into the actions of the agents who conducted the anti-Magnitsky campaign in Washington for the benefit of the Russian state, let me share a bit of background about Sergei Magnitsky and myself.I am the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management. I grew up in Chicago, but for the last 28 years I’ve lived in Moscow and London, and am now a British citizen. From 1996 to 2005, my firm, Hermitage Capital, was one of the largest investment advisers in Russia with more than $4 billion invested in Russian stocks.Russia has a well-known reputation for corruption; unfortunately, I discovered that it was far worse than many had thought. While working in Moscow I learned that Russian oligarchs stole from shareholders, which included the fund I advised. Consequently, I had an interest in fighting this endemic corruption, so my firm started doing detailed research on exactly how the oligarchs stole the vast amounts of money that they did. When we were finished with our research we would share it with the domestic and international media.
That all changed in July 2003, when Putin arrested Russia’s biggest oligarch and richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Putin grabbed Khodorkovsky off his private jet, took him back to Moscow, put him on trial, and allowed television cameras to film Khodorkovsky sitting in a cage right in the middle of the courtroom. That image was extremely powerful, because none of the other oligarchs wanted to be in the same position. After Khodorkovsky’s conviction, the other oligarchs went to Putin and asked him what they needed to do to avoid sitting in the same cage as Khodorkovsky. From what followed, it appeared that Putin’s answer was, “Fifty percent.” He wasn’t saying 50 percent for the Russian government or the presidential administration of Russia, but 50 percent for Vladimir Putin personally. From that moment on, Putin became the biggest oligarch in Russia and the richest man in the world, and my anti-corruption activities would no longer be tolerated.
Eighteen months after my expulsion a pair of simultaneous raids took place in Moscow. Over 25 Interior Ministry officials barged into my Moscow office and the office of the American law firm that represented me. The officials seized all the corporate documents connected to the investment holding companies of the funds that I advised. I didn’t know the purpose of these raids so I hired the smartest Russian lawyer I knew, a 35-year-old named Sergei Magnitsky. I asked Sergei to investigate the purpose of the raids and try to stop whatever illegal plans these officials had.Sergei went out and investigated. He came back with the most astounding conclusion of corporate identity theft: The documents seized by the Interior Ministry were used to fraudulently re-register our Russian investment holding companies to a man named Viktor Markelov, a known criminal convicted of manslaughter. After more digging, Sergei discovered that the stolen companies were used by the perpetrators to misappropriate $230 million of taxes that our companies had paid to the Russian government in the previous year.I had always thought Putin was a nationalist. It seemed inconceivable that he would approve of his officials stealing $230 million from the Russian state. Sergei and I were sure that this was a rogue operation and if we just brought it to the attention of the Russian authorities, the “good guys” would get the “bad guys” and that would be the end of the story.
However, instead of arresting the people who committed the crime, Sergei was arrested. Who took him? The same officials he had testified against. On November 24, 2008, they came to his home, handcuffed him in front of his family, and threw him into pre-trial detention.Sergei’s captors immediately started putting pressure on him to withdraw his testimony. They put him in cells with 14 inmates and eight beds, leaving the lights on 24 hours a day to impose sleep deprivation. They put him in cells with no heat and no windowpanes, and he nearly froze to death. They put him in cells with no toilet, just a hole in the floor and sewage bubbling up. They moved him from cell to cell in the middle of the night without any warning. During his 358 days in detention he was forcibly moved multiple times.They did all of this because they wanted him to withdraw his testimony against the corrupt Interior Ministry officials, and to sign a false statement that he was the one who stole the $230 million—and that he had done so on my instruction.Sergei refused. In spite of the grave pain they inflicted upon him, he would not perjure himself or bear false witness.After six months of this mistreatment, Sergei’s health seriously deteriorated. He developed severe abdominal pains, he lost 40 pounds, and he was diagnosed with pancreatitis and gallstones and prescribed an operation for August 2009. However, the operation never occurred. A week before he was due to have surgery, he was moved to a maximum security prison called Butyrka, which is considered to be one of the harshest prisons in Russia. Most significantly for Sergei, there were no medical facilities there to treat his medical conditions.
After more than three months of untreated pancreatitis and gallstones, Sergei Magnitsky went into critical condition. The Butyrka authorities did not want to have responsibility for him, so they put him in an ambulance and sent him to another prison that had medical facilities. But when he arrived there, instead of putting him in the emergency room, they put him in an isolation cell, chained him to a bed, and eight riot guards came in and beat him with rubber batons.That night he was found dead on the cell floor.Sergei Magnitsky died on November 16, 2009, at the age of 37, leaving a wife and two children.I received the news of his death early the next morning. It was by far the most shocking, heart-breaking, and life-changing news I’ve ever received.Sergei Magnitsky was murdered as my proxy. If Sergei had not been my lawyer, he would still be alive today.That morning I made a vow to Sergei’s memory, to his family, and to myself that I would seek justice and create consequences for the people who murdered him. For the last seven and a half years, I’ve devoted my life to this cause.Even though this case was characterized by injustice all the way through, the circumstances of Sergei’s torture and death were so extreme that I was sure some people would be prosecuted. Unlike other deaths in Russian prisons, which are largely undocumented, Sergei had written everything down. In his 358 days in detention, Sergei wrote over 400 complaints detailing his abuse. In those complaints he described who did what to him, as well as where, how, when, and why. He was able to pass his hand-written complaints to his lawyers, who dutifully filed them with the Russian authorities. Although his complaints were either ignored or rejected, copies of them were retained. As a result, we have the most well-documented case of human rights abuse coming out of Russia in the last 35 years.
It became obvious that if I was going to get any justice for Sergei Magnitsky, I was going to have to find it outside of Russia.But how does one get justice in the West for a murder that took place in Russia? Criminal justice is based on jurisdiction: One cannot prosecute someone in New York for a murder committed in Moscow. As I thought about it, the murder of Sergei Magnitsky was done to cover up the theft of $230 million from the Russian Treasury. I knew that the people who stole that money wouldn’t keep it in Russia. As easily as they stole the money, it could be stolen from them. These people keep their ill-gotten gains in the West, where property rights and rule of law exist. This led to the idea of freezing their assets and banning their visas here in the West. It would not be true justice but it would be much better than the total impunity they enjoyed.In 2010, I traveled to Washington and told Sergei Magnitsky’s story to Senators Benjamin Cardin and John McCain. They were both shocked and appalled and proposed a new piece of legislation called The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act. This would freeze assets and ban visas for those who killed Sergei as well as other Russians involved in serious human rights abuse.
Putin was furious. Looking for ways to retaliate against American interests, he settled on the most sadistic and evil option of all: banning the adoption of Russian orphans by American families.This was particularly heinous because of the effect it had on the orphans. Russia did not allow the adoption of healthy children, just sick ones. In spite of this, American families came with big hearts and open arms, taking in children with HIV, Down syndrome, Spina Bifida and other serious ailments. They brought them to America, nursed them, cared for them and loved them. Since the Russian orphanage system did not have the resources to look after these children, many of those unlucky enough to remain in Russia would die before their 18th birthday. In practical terms, this meant that Vladimir Putin sentenced his own, most vulnerable and sick Russian orphans to death in order to protect corrupt officials in his regime.Why did Vladimir Putin take such a drastic and malicious step?
This is particularly worrying for Putin, because he is one of the richest men in the world. I estimate that he has accumulated $200 billion of ill-gotten gains from these types of operations over his 17 years in power. He keeps his money in the West and all of his money in the West is potentially exposed to asset freezes and confiscation. Therefore, he has a significant and very personal interest in finding a way to get rid of the Magnitsky sanctions.The second reason why Putin reacted so badly to the passage of the Magnitsky Act is that it destroys the promise of impunity he’s given to all of his corrupt officials.There are approximately ten thousand officials in Russia working for Putin who are given instructions to kill, torture, kidnap, extort money from people, and seize their property. Before the Magnitsky Act, Putin could guarantee them impunity and this system of illegal wealth accumulation worked smoothly. However, after the passage of the Magnitsky Act, Putin’s guarantee disappeared. The Magnitsky Act created real consequences outside of Russia and this created a real problem for Putin and his system of kleptocracy.
One of my main partners in this effort was Boris Nemtsov. Boris testified in front of the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament, the Canadian Parliament, and others to make the point that the Magnitsky Act was a “pro-Russian” piece of legislation because it narrowly targeted corrupt officials and not the Russian people. In 2015, Boris Nemtsov was murdered on the bridge in front of the Kremlin.Boris Nemtsov’s protégé, Vladimir Kara-Murza, also traveled to law-making bodies around the world to make a similar case. After Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Russian Investigative Committee, was added to the Magnitsky List in December of 2016, Vladimir was poisoned. He suffered multiple organ failure, went into a coma and barely survived.The lawyer who represented Sergei Magnitsky’s mother, Nikolai Gorokhov, has spent the last six years fighting for justice. This spring, the night before he was due in court to testify about the state cover up of Sergei Magnitsky’s murder, he was thrown off the fourth floor of his apartment building. Thankfully he survived and has carried on in the fight for justice.
I’ve received many death threats from Russia. The most notable one came from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2013. When asked by a group of journalists about the death of Sergei Magnitsky, Medvedev replied, “It’s too bad that Sergei Magnitsky is dead and Bill Browder is still alive and free.” I’ve received numerous other death threats from Russian sources through text messages, emails, and voicemails. U.S. government sources have warned me about a planned Russian rendition against me. These threats were in addition to numerous unsuccessful attempts that the Russian government has made to arrest me using Interpol or other formal legal assistance channels.
The Russian government has also used its resources and assets to try to repeal the Magnitsky Act. One of the most shocking attempts took place in the spring and summer of last year when a group of Russians went on a lobbying campaign in Washington to try to repeal the Magnitsky Act by changing the narrative of what had happened to Sergei. According to them, Sergei wasn’t murdered and he wasn’t a whistle-blower, and the Magnitsky Act was based on a false set of facts. They used this story to try to have Sergei’s name taken off of the Global Magnitsky Act that passed in December 2016. They were unsuccessful.Who was this group of Russians acting on behalf of the Russian state? Two men named Pyotr and Denis Katsyv, a woman named Natalia Veselnitskaya, and a large group of American lobbyists, all of whom are described below.
In addition to working on the Katsyv’ s money laundering defense, Ms. Veselnitskaya also headed the aforementioned lobbying campaign to repeal the Magnitsky Act. She hired a number of lobbyists, public relations executives, lawyers, and investigators to assist her in this task.Her first step was to set up a fake NGO that would ostensibly promote Russian adoptions, although it quickly became clear that the NGO’s sole purpose was to repeal the Magnitsky Act. This NGO was called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation (HRAGI). It was registered as a corporation in Delaware with two employees on February 18, 2016. HRAGI was used to pay Washington lobbyists and other agents for the anti-Magnitsky campaign. (HRAGI now seems to be defunct, with taxes due.)Through HRAGI, Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet intelligence officer naturalised as an American citizen, was hired to lead the Magnitsky repeal effort. Mr. Akhmetshin has been involved in a number of similar campaigns where he’s been accused of various unethical and potentially illegal actions like computer hacking.
Veselnitskaya also instructed U.S. law firm Baker Hostetler and their Washington, D.C.-based partner Marc Cymrot to lobby members of Congress to support an amendment taking Sergei Magnitsky’s name off the Global Magnitsky Act. Mr. Cymrot was in contact with Paul Behrends, a congressional staffer on the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the time, as part of the anti-Magnitsky lobbying campaign.
Veselnitskaya, through Baker Hostetler, hired Glenn Simpson of the firm Fusion GPS to conduct a smear campaign against me and Sergei Magnitsky in advance of congressional hearings on the Global Magnitsky Act. He contacted a number of major newspapers and other publications to spread false information that Sergei Magnitsky was not murdered, was not a whistle-blower, and was instead a criminal. They also spread false information that my presentations to lawmakers around the world were untrue.As part of Veselnitskaya’s lobbying, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Chris Cooper of the Potomac Group, was hired to organize the Washington, D.C.-based premiere of a fake documentary about Sergei Magnitsky and myself. This was one the best examples of Putin’s propaganda.They hired Howard Schweitzer of Cozzen O’Connor Public Strategies and former Congressman Ronald Dellums to lobby members of Congress on Capitol Hill to repeal the Magnitsky Act and to remove Sergei’s name from the Global Magnitsky bill.On June 13, 2016, they funded a major event at the Newseum to show their fake documentary, inviting representatives of Congress and the State Department to attend.While they were conducting these operations in Washington, D.C., at no time did they indicate that they were acting on behalf of Russian government interests, nor did they file disclosures under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.United States law is very explicit that those acting on behalf of foreign governments and their interests must register under FARA so that there is transparency about their interests and their motives.Since none of these people registered, my firm wrote to the Department of Justice in July 2016 and presented the facts.I hope that my story will help you understand the methods of Russian operatives in Washington and how they use U.S. enablers to achieve major foreign policy goals without disclosing those interests. I also hope that this story and others like it may lead to a change in the FARA enforcement regime in the future.Thank you.

Dare to struggle; dare to win.

Bernie Sanders and his group called "Our Revolution" headed up by former Communication Workers of American President, Larry Cohen, and Nina Turner proclaim themselves to be socialists... so why don't they do and say what any good socialists would do: advocate for socialized health care paid for with a Peace Dividend obtained by ending militarism and wars?

Why is so hard for these self=proclaimed socialists to advocate for "socialized health care?"

Medicare is not socialized health care.

Medicare for All--- single-payer universal health care--- is not socialized health care.

Medicare only works for the well-heeled upper middle class intellectuals looking for gimmicks to trick people into voting for Democrats who use Medicare for All as an election ploy to get elected only to ignore their promise once elected.

Lyndon Johnson advocated Medicare for All and had to relent in the face of opposition from his own Democrats who didn't even want Medicare to cover seniors in the first place but were forced by seniors to deliver Medicare... and the millionaire labor leaders sold this to their memberships with a lot of fan-fare claiming Medicare would be extended to everyone in a very short time because everyone would realize how good it was... these were the same labor leaders who so enthusiastically pushed credit cards and consumer debt on their members instead of fighting for real living wages to pay for housing, food, automobiles and education--- and, of course the Medicare co-pays and supplemental insurances required in order to avoid medical bankruptcies.

The phony socialists like Bernie Sanders, Larry Cohen and Nina Turner can pay for their health care--- most working people can't afford the price of health care through Obamacare or Medicare.

Real socialists will be calling for socialized health care--- everyone in, nobody out; publicly funded, publicly administered and publicly delivered, nothing controversial... just like the model of American public education; fully all-inclusive, comprehensive health care from cradle to grave.

Working people are going to have to realize they don't get anything from this Wall Street bribed government unless they fight for it.

If single-payer universal health care--- Medicare for All--- really led to socialized health care Canada and other countries would have socialized health care by now... but, instead, their neo-liberal Wall Street serving governments are cutting their health care systems and privatizing many health care services; why? Because workers have not mounted militant campaigns to fight and struggle for the implementation of socialized health care.

We need real socialists in Congress.

Democrats won't even defend the reforms working people have died to win.

Democrats talk about supporting small business; but, these small businesses ruthlessly exploit workers while many deduct Social Security from worker's paychecks and then keep the money and never pay it into Social Security--- Democrats have done nothing to stop this theft of wages.

Just like Democrats have refused to repeal and rescind the main obstacle to union organizing--- At Will Employment legislation.

Let's get some real socialists elected to Congress. Let's run a real socialist for president.

Dare to struggle for what is right and just; dare to win.