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WSSN Stories

BOTTOMLINE: FERGUSON “How to Get Away With Murder”

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Ferguson, Missouri… the past (the thought), the present (the word), and the future (the echo) cannot be nor do they belong in the same room, space, or thought! There must be distance between them or chaos and confusion will reign.

Even if the Ferguson Grand Jury had indicted Officer Wilson, that would not solve the problem. If Officer Wilson were tried and found guilty, that would not solve the problem! Ferguson is only a symptom.   The fact that the Grand Jury found no reason to even have a trial is in fact an example of the real problem. It is truly the merging of the thought, the word and of the echo. It says that “We, society, the instituters and shepherds of institutional racism, so fear retaliation from All Blacks (The Thought) that we, society prepare for All Blacks to act anti-socially by treating them or their children, or children who look like their children, as if they have all ready acted so (The Word) to the point where indeed some Blacks will follow the script and retaliate… (The Echo)!

As a result of Some Blacks retaliating against racism by burning down and looting businesses that serve their community, public safety officers’ respond by letting them do so. As if to say, “If you get mad because we shoot your bad-assed kids, we will get mad and let them burn your community down.”

Ferguson is a symptom of a much deeper problem in America. The problem stems from the lingering echoes of the good ole days of official and lawful racism; institutional racism that despite not being lawful, is still official and alive and well!

The statistics describing Black males not only prove that racism is alive but also represent an undeclared State of Emergency. Black males are disproportionately represented in school suspensions and expulsions, in arrests and sentence as well as being unemployed.  Black males are identified and branded early as potential trouble makers and taken through the process to guarantee that the prediction comes true.  History shows that Institutional Racism is indeed, “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Ferguson is a symptom!  The solution will come only after a real examination of the problem. Our institutions harbor racism and encourage racists! The only way to have change is to make change!

 

“Don’t Get It Twisted… It’s Not about You Boo Boo …. It’s About God!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Yeah, I said it! It’s Not about You Boo Boo… It’s About God! And one day you may really find that from God’s point-of-view, It Really Isn’t about You at All; It Is All About Loving Him. If you and I decide to put these puny little lives of our ahead of God then some day we may hear God declare, none of these shall taste of My supper. Radical? Perhaps. Scriptural? It is! And so, with that knowledge and understanding, remember this about your life. It’s not about you!  Yes, you are God’s beloved person, but in Ezekiel 36:22, God says, “I am not doing this for you, Israel; I am doing it for my own Name’s sake.” And, there are scriptures like that throughout the Bible to give us a hint that even though God delivers us, even though God gives us great things, He gives us grace, and He offers us salvation, He wants to give us glory in His kingdom, ultimately and predominately salvation is about God and His Glory. Don’t Get It Twisted!

Sometimes in life we get so caught up in doing things in order to achieve certain things that WE FORGET that God is in control. We need to recognize and accept that our purpose here on earth is to glorify God and that is not really done through our own achievements but rather through what God is able to achieve through us.  We must understand that as we come to the understanding of our place in the kingdom of God that we must be willing to decrease so that Jesus can increase, because it is so easy to get trapped in promoting self rather than God. Why do we not yet see all things submitted to Him? When Paul said, “No, I but Christ,” he was saying “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  Just as all things are working together towards God’s purpose of increasing Christ, so all things are working together towards decreasing us. It does not matter if we understand it or comprehend it. It does not matter if you believe in it or agree with it. You are being decreased just the same, and Christ is being increased. It MUST be so, therefore it IS so.

I tell you it is better to relinquish everything now, on a voluntary basis, and lose your life in order to gain your real Life. It is more glorious to enter the Kingdom out of a desire to give Christ the preeminence than to enter kicking and screaming and crying because you love yourself too much. Make no mistake, if it is the Kingdom you seek, the Kingdom you will find, but you must be changed in order to enter therein. If you seek power from God you will have to accept weakness in yourself. If you want to rule with Him you must suffer with Him; If you want His life you must give up your life. You can have either one you want, but you cannot have both. There is no increase without decrease, and there is no decrease without increase.  Don’t Get It Twisted!

It was with considerable grace and humility that John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). What can we learn from this statement? Like John we will always be inferiority to God.  John reminds us that the gospel is more important than any one person.  When you realize that people are talking more about you, than the God you serve, then you have increased and  God is decreasing, and that’s a big problem, and God is definitely not pleased with that. Don’t allow the wrath of God to come down on you, because of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6); it will get worse before it gets better.

Listen, we are in the last days, where scoffers are walking after their own lusts(2 Peter 3:2)  “See then that ye walk circumspectly not as fools but as wise redeeming the time because the days are evil, wherefore be not unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is(Ephesians 5:15-17). Besides, when you refuse to decrease so God can increase it shows that you are of the world and an enemy of God.

I don’t know who this message is for, but to God be the glory, praise, honor, and thanks for using me to write it. It is not bashing, it is truth. Don’t Get It Twisted!

May the Son be increased through these words.

 

“Black Friday Blues”

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By Frank Clemente

Shoppers will be lining up at the crack of dawn on “Black Friday” for spectacular deals. What they don’t know is that the best bargains have already been taken – not by other shoppers, but by some of America’s largest corporations.

Walmart, the biggest corporation in America, with revenues of almost half a trillion dollars, gets a $1 billion tax break each year on average by exploiting federal tax loopholes, according to a new report from Americans for Tax Fairness. Taxpayers, even those lined up in the early morning darkness at giant retailers like Walmart, pay the price.

How? First, the more big corporations dodge paying their fair share of taxes, the more American families and small businesses have to make up, or else there is less money available for critical investments, such as rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, improving education and making college more affordable, or finding new medical cures.

When Black Friday shoppers check the prices, they’ll never see these hidden costs of tax avoidance. But when Americans figure out what’s going on they’ll have a bad case of the Black Friday Blues.

The $1 billion Walmart “saves” by ducking its fair share of federal taxes is a low estimate. It doesn’t count the taxes Walmart is avoiding on $21.4 billion in profits held offshore. Walmart has paid nothing to the U.S. Treasury on those earnings because corporations can indefinitely postpone paying U.S. taxes on offshore profits until they are brought back to America.

The retail giant is also working with other large corporations to deeply cut U.S. corporate tax rates. So while American families and small businesses continue to recover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge corporations making record profits are trying to rewrite the law so they pay much less in taxes.

If these corporations are successful, they will blow a $1.3 trillion hole in the federal budget over the next 10 years. Walmart alone will pocket $720 million a year on average – in addition to the $1 billion it already “saves” from current tax loopholes.

Big companies know that cutting corporate taxes isn’t popular with the public. Americans are outraged that profitable companies like General Electric, Verizon and Boeing – as well as 23 others – paid absolutely nothing in taxes over the past five years, according to the watchdog group Citizens for Tax Justice. Polls show that American families oppose lower corporate tax rates; instead, they want a more equitable tax system in which corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.

Fighting for an unpopular cause like lowering corporate tax rates could hurt corporate brands with the public. So Walmart and other companies pay large industry coalitions to do the work of waging media campaigns and cajoling members of Congress. Walmart is the only big box retailer that gives to all three of the industry groups that are trying to put a good face on bad policy – the RATE (Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably) Coalition, Alliance for Competitive Taxation and the Business Roundtable.

These organizations decry the 35 percent tax rate corporations are supposed to pay on profits when they know full well that they actually pay far less. Profitable corporations paid U.S. income taxes amounting to just 12.6 percent of worldwide income in 2010, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Walmart itself sends 74 lobbyists to twist arms on Capitol Hill, and tax issues are its No. 1 priority. It has spent $32.6 million lobbying over the past five years. It also tries to buy access to lawmakers by contributing heavily to their campaigns – giving $6.1 million since 2009, disproportionately to members of the two Congressional tax-writing committees.

Walmart wants to convince shoppers to flock to its stores on Black Friday to take advantage of low prices. What it doesn’t want you to know is that those prices come at a high cost of taxes dodged.

If large corporations succeed in slashing corporate tax rates, the effects on our country will be severe. For millions of American families and small businesses it will mean higher taxes, fewer services or a higher national debt.  Today’s “Black Friday blues” could turn into a full-blown economic hangover.


 

Clemente is executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of 425 national and state organizations.