+' Rolla Peace Newsletter, January 17, 2017

home archives last week feedback

Rolla Peace News

January 17, 2017


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) An Exciting Weekend
          b) Dumb Intelligence
          c) US Marines Training in Norway For War With Russia
          d) How Far Down We've Come
          e) What's Next?
          f) Passing Of An Icon
          g) Early April Fool



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2017, (and all subsequent Thursdays until peace is established) from Noon to 1:00 PM. Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the 40s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.


There's a lot to think about in Chris Hedges' latest essay, starting with the opening sentence: “Politics is a game of fear.” He says, “Only when power becomes worried about its survival does it react. Appealing to its better nature is useless. It doesn’t have one.” If we want to take back our democracy, we will have to be powerful enough that the elite will take notice, and that can't happen unless enough of us stand together as one.

The various social movements that have come and gone in recent times have failed to achieve real change, because there has been no unity, and numbers without unity are powerless. The exception has been the Standing Rock people's victory in stopping the North Dakota pipeline from going through their sacred sites (and even this may be only a respite). Standing Rock prevailed because the people there were in unity with each other. The women's march on Inauguration Day will be impressive in numbers, but in the end most will just go home congratulating themselves, while Trump and his cronies continue to party on in the White House, knowing that their power hasn't been diminished even a little bit by the spectacle.

Hedges believes that the only way to have a chance for change is to start from the ground up, to build bases at the local level, involving the people who are most impacted by the issues that need to be addressed. This is how the movements that got women the vote, that created unions for working people, that ended overt racial segregation, were able to accomplish their goals.

For many decades now, there has been a concerted effort to separate people from each other, so that community organizations, churches, labor unions, have been deserted by many of their constituents. They are all at home watching what the power elite want them to see on television, and reading what the corporate-controlled media wants them to believe. And what they see, and what they read, trains them to hate and fear each other.

To counteract this, we need to build bridges between groups that have been taught that the other is the enemy. Calling Trump's working-class supporters “deplorables,” or worse, is doing just the opposite. These people are about to find out that they have been conned, and when they do, some of them may be ready to do something about it.

We cannot afford to dismiss potential allies because their ideology does not match ours. There aren't many human beings alive with whom one cannot find some common ground; it only needs goodwill and the ability to put oneself in another's place and see things through his/her eyes. Most people just want to have a good life for themselves and their families, and aren't averse to other people having the same. That's enough common ground for a start.

Here's a link to the full article, which has a lot more to say than I have touched on here.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) An Exciting Weekend
          b) Dumb Intelligence
          c) US Marines Training in Norway For War With Russia
          d) How Far Down We've Come
          e) What's Next?
          f) Passing Of An Icon
          g) Early April Fool


We have a big weekend coming up. Friday is the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump. Saturday is the Women's March on Washington DC. The Women's March is expected to be the larger event. That figures. Women make up about 1/2 the population. Donald Trump was elected by a minority and his popularity appears to have taken a hit since election Day.

The Women's March has a long list of Visions and Principles. Missing from the list is any statement of solidarity with the women of Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan who live in fear that their homes will be bombed and families killed. On the other hand, we are told “that it is our obligation to uplift, expand and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters and siblings.”

OK. The Women's March believes in protecting the rights of folks of indeterminate sex; but has nothing to say about the rights of women not to be bombed by a mostly male military. I'm a little thick. Someone, please, explain this to me.

I'm going to skip both events. On Thursday, as usual, I'll be at the Noon Peace Vigil at the Rolla Post Office, inshaAllah.


Our “intelligence” agencies claim that Russia was behind the leaking of emails from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta. These emails made Hillary Clinton look bad and may have contributed to Trump's victory. Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity thinks it's all smoke and mirrors and asks to see some proof that Russia was involved in these leaks. So far its all “classified;” but we're supposed to believe it anyway.

Totally missing from the discussion is that whoever passed those emails to Wikileaks is a national hero. We, The People, have the right to know that in any fair contest, Bernie Sanders would have trounced Hillary Clinton; but the entire Democratic Party establishment connived to get Hillary the nomination.

Just think. If the Democratic Party establishment had played fair, we would likely be preparing to inaugurate Bernie Sanders Friday, instead of Donald Trump.


We've gone to war for lamer excuses than allegedly hacked computers. US marines have landed in Norway and are busy learning how to fight in the grueling Russian winters. Maybe they should hire the ghost of Napoleon Bonaparte as a consultant. He, at least, had some experience fighting in Russian winters.


From income inequality to suicide, the United States is at or near the bottom among industrialized nations in almost every significant category. And, we're still three days away from inaugurating Donald Trump.


So Friday, a most-unpopular president will take the reins of command over a most-divided country. Sadly, this most-unpopular president seems hell-bent on exacerbating divisions in society, rather than uniting people. A society this divided will typically either be taken over be a strong autocrat or disintegrate into warlordism. Take your pick; and remember: There are 300 million fire-arms out there — many of military grade.


A monster storm and high winds, following on the heals of four years of drought, toppled California's famous drive-through sequoia. The tree had already been weakened by being hollowed out so that tourists could drive through in their cars. Such is human folly.


Guess what, Rollaites? Starting April Fools Day you'll be paying an extra penny sales tax on the dollar to pay for a road to enhance the value of property you don't own that will be developed by an out-of-town developer with money that should be paid in local taxes. Yup, they sure did make fools of us.


Rolla Peace News is distributed by email once a week on Tuesday evenings (except on rare occasions) and is posted on the web at http://tomsager.org (click on Grassroots Rolla: top of rightmost column).

If you don't wish to get notices of peace events in the Rolla area, let me know and I'll take you off this list.

If you want to be added to this list, let me know.

Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com