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Rolla Peace News

Feb. 5, 2023
Dear Friends:
Editor's notes:

As I continue to recover from surgery, I hope to put out the Rolla Peace newsletter on an occasional basis.

If you haven't read Bill McGuire's new book, “Hothouse Earth, an Inhabitant's Guide,” yet, please do read it. It's probably the most important book on the climate catastrophe I've read in a long time. The Rolla Public Library has a copy. Check it out.

Webperson's note:

If you are having trouble reading this, it is posted at
In this newsletter is:

1. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) From Our Readers: Iraq: Destruction of an Ecosystem
          b) Thunderbolts of a Pitiful Jupiter
          c) 30 Years of Foreign Policy Disaster
          d) American Midnight (Revisited)

From Our Readers: Iraq: Destruction of an Ecosystem

A reader sends this article from the Guardian about the drying out of the Huwaiza marshes in southern Iraq. These marshes have nurtured the people in what is now Iraq for thousands of years, since before the dawn of civilization. Lack of rainfall, higher temperatures and decreased river flow have all but destroyed these marshes.

Sad. Iraq has suffered greatly: sanctions, war, corruption and environmental catastrophe.

Climate collapse is now — not only in Iraq but in many other locations. Many are forced to migrate. Where will they go?

Thunderbolts of a Pitiful Jupiter

It looks like Ukraine will be getting the tanks it has been wishing for — from Germany, the United States and other NATO countries. Be careful what you wish for — your wish might just come true.

The burning question: Do the tanks come with Depleted Uranium armor-piercing shells? And if not, can The Ukraine get them in some other way? Depleted Uranium is almost pure Uranium 238 — very heavy, very dense, perfect for piercing armor. It's also an ɑ emitter with a half life of 4.5 billion years.

It's both radiologically and chemically toxic to humans and is linked to miscarriages, birth defects and cancers in Iraq and other places where the United States and allies have used depleted uranium weapons — just what The Ukraine needs.

Russia has warned: “If Kyiv were to be supplied with such munitions for the use in Western heavy military hardware, we would regard it as the use of ‘dirty nuclear bombs’ against Russia, with all the consequences that entails.”

One more giant step toward nuclear war and Armageddon.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has placed the hands of the Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight — the closest to midnight they have ever been. As I've mentioned before, 90 nanoseconds might be a somewhat more honest appraisal.

Note: The title of this snippet comes from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. As Kurtz is carried to the boat on a stretcher, sick and dying, Marlow refers to the fire arms with which he exercised almost godlike domination of the Africans as “the thunderbolts of that pitiful Jupiter.”

30 Years of Foreign Policy Disaster

Voting on party lines, the House of Representatives just threw Ilhan Omar off the Foreign Affairs Committee. Ilhan Omar is a Somali-born Muslim refugee. Her unique perspective could have provided some balance to our disastrous foreign policy. It appears that the House is bent on continuing this foreign policy catastrophe for at least two more years.

Lets review some foreign policy highlights from the past 30 years.
1. The destruction of numerous countries: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Palestine and now The Ukraine.

2. The misuse of sanctions as a weapon against civilian populations, resulting in the world developing alternatives to the dollar in international trade.

3. Increase of international tensions, military spending and weapons development, not only in the United States, but also in Europe, China, Russia, North Korea and elsewhere.

4. Increased support for Israel's apartheid policy against Palestine.

5. Scuttling of arms control agreements with Russia, most notably the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which have put us on the road to nuclear World War III .

Seems like the House would have been better off throwing those responsible for the last 30 years of US foreign policy off the committee instead of Ilhan Omar.

American Midnight (Revisited)

Last month's snippet on Adam Hochschild's American Midnight: Democracy's Forgotten Crisis, 1917-1921 reminded me of the poem, “Sedition,” written in 1917 by Edmund Vance Cook.

You cannot salt the eagle's tail,
Nor limit thought's dominion.
You cannot put ideas in jail.
You can't deport opinion.

If any cause be dross and lies
Then drag it to the light.
Out in the sunshine evil dies,
But fattens on the night.

You cannot make a truth untrue
By dint of legal fiction.
You cannot imprison human view.
You can't convict conviction.

For though by thumbscrew and by rack
By exile and by prison,
Truth has been crushed and palled and black.
The truth has always risen.

You cannot quell a vicious thought
Except that thought be free.
Gag it, and you'll find it taught
On every land and sea.

Truth asks no favor for her blade
Upon the field with error,
Nor are her converts ever made
By threat of force and terror.

You cannot salt the eagle's tail,
Nor limit thought's dominion.
You cannot put ideas in jail.
You can't deport opinion.

Utah Phillips gives a very powerful recitation of Sedition here.

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