+' Rolla Peace Newsletter, February 7, 2017

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Rolla Peace News

February 7, 2017


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

6. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) The King And The Waves
          b) Targeting Children
          c) Iranian Ayatollah Tells It Like It Is



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 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 30s. 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.


This Thursday's peace vigil will make ten years of weekly peace vigils — surely a record for Rolla. The upside — we're still standing strong. The downside — after ten years, there is still no peace in sight.


Please attend the Parks and Recreation Dept. open house on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Centre at 12th and Holloway — all day long. Parks and Recreation personal will be available from 10-12 and 5-7. This is our best opportunity to vote and comment against building a dog-park in Buehler Park.


This piece of “news” is something you would expect to come out on April 1, with a little note at the bottom: “Just kidding!” But no, seriously, Melania Trump is suing a newspaper for an article alleging she once worked for an escort service, because it spoiled her “once in a lifetime opportunity” to cash in on her position as first lady. She expected to be offered endorsements of many kinds of products, and to be able to build a business around her name, as First Lady of our country. Now, apparently, potential clients are having second thoughts. I'm wondering why their first thoughts weren't “Commercialize the Presidency? No way!” But that's business. Expect more of the same.


Everyone knows what happened in Germany before and during World War II, and most everyone no doubt thinks that could never happen here in America. Well, think again. When Trumps “Muslim Ban” edict was announced, employees at numerous airports around the country performed acts which, had they been done to Europeans or white Americans, would have been thought of as unusually and unnecessarily cruel. Instead, they were done to Muslims (or suspected Muslims), some of whom were American citizens. A 5-year-old boy was handcuffed and separated from his mother for several hours. Another mother with her two children (both American citizens) was detained for 20 hours, handcuffed and without food. An older woman coming from Qatar to visit her son, a citizen serving his country at Fort Bragg, N.C., was held for 33 hours.

The Stanford Prison Experiment, in which volunteers were divided into 2 groups of “prisoners” and “guards,” showed how easily people given total authority over others could become cruel and brutal, although there had been no sign of these traits in their ordinary lives. I don't know exactly what orders these airport workers were given, but I doubt it included handcuffing young children, or making sure they got nothing to eat. Donald Trump would probably deny any responsibility for this mistreatment. Hitler probably didn't personally murder any Jews, either, but he manipulated people's fears and prejudices so enough of them were willing to commit the atrocities for him. Perhaps the airport workers were afraid of losing their jobs if they didn't comply, but it sounds like they really got into the spirit of oppression, no problem at all.

So the question is, what would you do in a similar situation? This isn't just hypothetical. This country is becoming more like a police state every day, with every executive order President Trump rolls out. Most of us are not among the minorities being targeted currently, but there are signs that it will become dangerous to give aid and/or comfort to anyone Trump and his cabal have designated Enemy of the Day. They can only succeed in recreating Nazi Germany if we stand by and do nothing while others are oppressed and mistreated. Chris Edelson asks, “What will we do?”

6. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) The King And The Waves
          b) Targeting Children
          c) Iranian Ayatollah Tells It Like It Is

Once upon a time there lived a wise and beneficent king. He ruled well and the land prospered. The king was happy, except for one problem — he was plagued by a cadre of foolish courtiers who were always flattering him and telling him what a great and powerful king he was.

One day, as he walked along the beach trailed by his courtiers, one particularly obnoxious fool said, “Oh, your majesty, you are so very powerful that even the mighty ocean obeys your every command.”

The king had had enough; and noticing that the tide was coming in, he called for his chair to be brought to him. The courtiers fell all over one another to fetch the king's chair. As the king sat on the beach watching the tide come in, he declared: “I am the ruler of the land and the sea, and I command you, waves, do not come ashore and wet our royal feet.”

As if on cue, a wave curled about the king's toes. “Impertinent wave,” admonished the king, “how dare you disobey us.” Again, as if in response, another wave washed ashore, this time wetting the hem of the king's robe.

The king turned to his courtiers and declared, “It appears that we are not so powerful as you claim.” The courtiers were silent, hanging their heads in shame and embarrassment. The king continued, “There is but One King who rules the land and sky and holds the oceans in the palm of his hand and makes the laws by which the tides ebb and swell. Save your praise for the One King who rules over us all and do not plague me again with your flattery.”

It is said that from that day until his death, the good king never again wore a crown.

Perhaps, “King Donald,” there is a lesson here for you. As you sit in your palace at Mar-a-Lago, look to the land and see your people laughing at your buffoonery and demanding your abdication. And look to the sea and watch as the tides rise higher and higher with every passing day.

And consider the wise counsel of your priest:
“Steer your way past the palaces that rise above the rot,
Year by year,
Month by month,
Day by day,
Thought by thought.”

You can read more about the tale of King Cnut and the Waves here, a tale which, in keeping with historical tradition, I have embellished in my own peculiar way.


Any hope that we might still have held that Donald Trump would reverse the long-standing US policy of targeting children for geo-political gain, was dashed last week, as Trump ordered his first military strike which failed to kill its stated target; but instead killed numerous civilians including eight-year-old Nawar al-Awlaki.

Donald, you are still way behind past administrations. Consider: Iraq sanctions under Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton killed well over 1/2 million Iraqi children under 5. Bush Jr.'s illegal war against Iraq on Trumped-up evidence was responsible for killing hundreds of thousands and leaving millions homeless, And Obama was no slouch either. He spread the Middle East War to Libya and Syria and totally destroyed the only functioning hospital in the Afghan province of Kunduz.

But, Donald, I suspect if given half a chance you will equal or surpass all past administrations in cruelty toward children.


Today, Iranian Ayatollah Khamenei stated: “We actually thank this new president [Trump]! We thank him, because he made it easier for us to reveal the real face of the United States. What we have been saying, for over thirty years, about political, economic, moral, and social corruption within the U.S. ruling establishment, he came out and exposed during the election campaigns and after the elections. Now, with everything he is doing—handcuffing a child as young as 5 at an airport—he is showing the reality of American human rights.”

I think many US citizens are finally getting the picture too.


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).

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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com