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

The rich get richer

A great deal of what I do when I write is to reduce word usage. For example, a small newsletter that I receive monthly contains so much information about the corporations that run this country. (No, they don’t govern it; they simply control those who do govern it.) One such publication is The Hightower Lowdown written by—guess who? A man called Jim Hightower. What he does is provide details and numbers that can be verified. I excerpted a beginning sentence from his February opus: “While the corporations in America express dismay at Trump’s ignorance, arrogance and all-around awfulness, they’re delighted to exploit his power of distraction, which helps them grab more power and wealth.”

The corporations’ 2017 Christmas present from the president was his signing of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. While the middle-to-low-income taxpayers did receive a tax reduction, it was the Wall Street tycoons who received a trillion dollar tax break. Hightower lists what some major corporations should have paid:

Apple $4.5 billion

AT&T $2.2 billion

Bank of America $2.4 billion

Verizon $1.75 billion

Walmart $1.6 billion

You note that these amounts are what they “should have paid.” You’d have to contact their auditors to find out just what they did pay.

The organization found that in 2018, members of the organization Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably, with members representing AT&T, Capital One, CSX, Ford, General Dynamics, Intel, Kimberly-Clark, Lockheed-Martin, Macys, Northrop-Gruman, T-Mobile, Verizon, Viacom, and Walmart, have eliminated more than 100,000 U.S. jobs. Verizon offered a “voluntary severance package” to 44,000 employees and off-shored thousands of U.S. jobs to India.

During World War II, corporations had what was called an “excess profits tax,” and corporation taxes consumed a great deal of their profits and the war ended with the country in the black and the corporations still doing business.


The tragedy of Gaza

Gazing at the human tragedy which is Gaza is about all that we can do, even those among us who feel that we surely could do something. However, we can look at the facts. The U.N. has published a 22-page report on the subject, condemning and warning the Israeli government that it may be brought to the International Court of Justice for war crimes and violations of International Law against demonstrations that were “civilian in nature.” The Commission conducted 325 interviews with victims, witnesses, government officials and citizens, which found the following were deliberately targeted: child demonstrators, health workers and journalists. The use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces on child demonstrators violated the U.N. “Convention on the Rights of the Child. Israel also violated that Convention by intentionally targeting journalists and health workers. The report ended with the warning to Israel that these violations may constitute crimes against humanity, and called on it to “Lift the blockade on Gaza with immediate effect.”





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