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

Michelle Obama’s school nutrition standards upheld
It’s a rather fantastic idea, but then there is much fantasy about what the government does. It seems our president has rolled back legislation having to do with school nutrition. A federal court has struck down a 2018 Department of Agriculture rule that reversed nutrition standards in school meal programs once championed by Michelle Obama. The school lunch and breakfast program is only the latest in a series of Trump administration regulations that have been struck down for violating the legal procedures that Congress set out for approving new legislation.
The court concluded that the legislation was not inconsistent with federal law. It does not reflect unexplained and arbitrary decision-making. It does not represent an unacknowledged change in position and the U.S. Department of Agriculture appropriately responded to public comments, ruled U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel.
The food items in question are sodium and whole grains. Karianne Jones, one of the lead legislators for Democracy Forward, a liberal legal group that represents the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Healthy School Fund Maryland, explained, “What the Trump administration has done time and again is to roll back federal policies that are designed to ensure that American children can access food.”
However, it appears that Mr. Trump’s actions to weaken legislation ensuring school children sufficient food, including fruits and vegetables, have been to no avail and existing standards for such will remain in place. Hurrah hurrah!!

Weapons are big business
Year after year, American arms have been used against the Yemeni in their war with Saudi Arabia. Three times attempts were made to cut off the necessary funding of $3 billion to the Raytheon corporation for arms sales.
But lobbyists with the support of President Trump finally succeeded in pushing the legislation through the Congress.
Lawmakers from both parties have condemned the continued arms sales, expressing both humanitarian and security concerns. Sen. Mike Lee, Republican from Utah, has publicly criticized the administration’s approach to the conflict, saying, “We don’t even know how these arms are being used … This war was never authorized by Congress.”
Tom Malinofsky, a New Jersey Democrat and former head of the State Department’s Human Rights Bureau, commented about President Trump:
“He seems to see foreign policy in the way he viewed the real estate business. Every country is like a company and our job is to make money.”

The rich get richer
Since 1989 the ultra-rich have gotten $21 trillion richer while the bottom 90% have gotten $900 billion poorer.
The gap between productivity and a typical worker’s compensation has increased dramatically since 1979.
If you’re a member of that ultra-rich group, you are probably dubious about the source of this information. It follows.
—EPI analysis of unpublished Total Economic Productivity data from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Labor Productivity and Costs program
—Wage data from the BLS Current Employment Statistics
—BLS Employment Cost Trend
—BLS Consumer Price Index
—Bureau of Economic Analysis National Income and Product Accounts

Interesting statistics??
1) The billionaire class has added $308 billion to its wealth even as a record 26 million people lost their jobs.
2) Between March 18 and April 22, the wealthiest Americans’ incomes grew 10.5%.
3) Three coal companies have received $28 billion.
U.S. companies like Caterpillar, Levi Strauss, Stanley Black & Decker and World Wrestling Entertainment are still rewarding shareholders while thousands of their laid-off workers are filing for unemployment benefits.
As American families are struggling, war profiteers are requesting their own bailout. The National Defense Association, a trade group for the arms industry, asked the Pentagon to speed up contracts and awards for $160 billion in unobligated funds. Nationally, more than 70 percent of jobless Americans did not receive unemployment benefits in March.

U.S. supports ongoing war against Yemen
The following information is from The Progressive magazine of June-July 2020.
The U.N. reports a death toll of 100,000 in Yemen’s ongoing war, plus 131,000 dying from hunger, disease and a lack of medical care. At least 85,000 children have died from extreme hunger since the war began in 2015. Also involved were the rebels, the Houthis, who constitute 70 percent of Yemen’s population. Of course, the United States is involved. In 2019, it was reported that 11 states and the District of Columbia have each exported more than $100 million worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. On a monthly basis, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned shipping company, Bahri, sends cargo ships to U.S. ports to collect bombs, grenade, cartridges and defense-related aircraft.
I am sure Americans would prefer that their tax dollars be spent on causes that benefit people, be they Yemenis, Houthis, or Saudi Arabians, rather than those that destroy life.

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