Polly Mann

Essays by Polly MannClick this image to read Polly Mann’s Easy Essays

I was born Nov. 19, 1919, in the little town of Lonoke, Ark., and spent my growing-up years in Hot Springs, Ark. After high school I got a job in the Transportation Section of the Quartermaster’s Office (U.S.Army) in Little Rock. During my couple of years there I watched bayonet practice and troop trains depart for the war in Germany (very sobering experiences).  As a result I became a pacifist and that belief guided the rest of my life.  I married a military draftee, a young lawyer from Minnesota, who shortly was sent by the military to a base in New Guinea. I then got a job with the U.S. government and went to Ecuador and Peru for a couple of years. When the war was over, my husband, Walter, and I lived in Minnesota where he practiced law and eventually was appointed judge. We (Walter and I and our four children) lived in Windom and Marshall. Upon his retirement we moved to the Twin Cities. He died in 2004. When we came to Minneapolis, a friend and I started an organization, Women Against Military Madness, which has 1,000 members, one staff person and a newsletter editor and is going strong. Today I write occasional articles for the newsletter, see my friends and enjoy retirement.


FROM WHERE I STAND: Notes from the desk of peace activist Polly Mann (b. Nov.19,1919)

A wrongfully-convicted man’s vision During these depressing “Days of Trump” a little positive news is helpful. Therefore with anticipation I began to read the Oct. 6 New York Times article entitled “An Innocent Man Who Imagined the World as It Should Be.” His name was John Thompson, a resident of New…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Noam Chomsky holds the U.S. accountable

BY POLLY MANN One of the most erudite and informed people on the planet is Noam Chomsky, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of countless books and a lecturer par excellence. The May 2017 edition of the London Review of Books contains reviews of three books written…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Plight of Yemen and Gaza needs to be exposed

BY POLLY MANN Yemenis and Gazans are starving today, but lack of food is not the issue. The issue is politics. Saudi Arabia continues its three-year blockade of Yemen while Israel and Egypt continue their 10-year blockade of Gaza. Seven million people in Yemen, nearly 70% of the population, are…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Who should take care of the radioactive leaks in Washington State?

BY POLLY MANN Several months ago in the Star Tribune was a tiny article about nuclear waste that caught my eye. I consulted my computer and the story it gave me was important. Recently a tunnel containing radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear weapons complex collapsed at the Hanford Nuclear…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: The promise of greatness—the American F-35 airplane

BY POLLY MANN It is a magnificent but somewhat ugly flying machine called the “Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter,” a U.S.-built “fifth generation” stealth jet with super-advanced avionics, which has been under development for over 20 years at a cost of many billions of dollars. Over…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Short observations

BY POLLY MANN CEO pay may not be quite as high as it once was, but the numbers still dwarf the pay earned by the typical worker. Chief executives of America’s 350 largest companies made an average of $15.6 million in 2016, or 271 times more than what the typical worker…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Wealth inequality

BY POLLY MANN According to research on wealth by the Boston Counseling Group, by 2021 only 1% of American millionaires and billionaires will control 70% of the nation’s wealth. Currently more billionaires and millionaires live in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, with two out of five millionaires…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Violence brings starvation

BY POLLY MANN The U.N. has announced that it is short $220 million of the $1.4 billion which was allocated for the starving children of Syria, saying it is the worst crisis it has faced since the start of the war there in 2011. Nearly 6 million children are without…

Continue reading

FROM WHERE I STAND: Arms manufacturing leads to war

I just finished reading a long article about Prime Minister Abe of Japan, who is seeking to overturn Japan’s policy of nonviolence foisted upon it as a result of the settlement at the end of World War II. Why, why, I thought, would he want to do this? There are…

Continue reading