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Rolla Peace News

April 12, 2016


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Oppose Rolla TDD/TIF
          b) Stupid and Immoral
          c) Unprecedented Victory For Young Climate Activists



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2016, (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 60s. 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.


Democracy is hard to come by these days. The Presidential primary has shed light on some shadowy places in our electoral process. “Closed” primaries, scarce polling places, unpublicized early registration deadlines, and incredibly strict documentation requirements are some of the ways that make it difficult for poor people and those who do not identify as a Democrat or Republican, to participate in the election process. Read Robert Koehler's article and hear all about it.

The fact is, the powers that be don't really want democracy — they just want us to think that's what we have. So many states are passing restrictive voting laws targeting, for the most part, people that have an interest in changing the unfair political structure that exists in this country. As an example, check out the situation in the state of New York, where the next big primary contest will be held.

Kevin Cashman has more to say on the subject, including what needs to happen to give democracy back to the people. Good luck with that!

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Oppose Rolla TDD/TIF
          b) Stupid and Immoral
          c) Unprecedented Victory For Young Climate Activists


As previously mentioned, the “Move Rolla Transportation Development District” (TDD) will add an extra one cent sales tax to most businesses in Rolla and the companion “Westside Marketplace Tax Increment Financing” (TIF) will give away millions of dollars in taxes belonging to our schools, parks, library, fire-fighters and other city and county departments to a St. Louis developer who promises to bring us a Menards which will then compete unfairly with Lowes, Meeks and the Family Center. All this will cost an estimated $37 million of taxpayer money.

Not mentioned previously, owner, founder and multi-billionaire John Menard could give the Koch Brothers and Ira Rennert a run for their money. The National Labor Relations Board has found Menards in violation of federal labor law and Menards has been fined millions of dollars for more environmental violations than any other company in the State of Wisconsin.

Proponents of the TDD/TIF say we need jobs; but what kind of jobs would Menards bring to Rolla? Managers would automatically have their pay cut 60% should workers form a union and Menards mostly minimum-wage workers must agree that they can be fired for any reason or no reason at all and will not sue Menards or participate in class-action suits. I think we will be better off here in Rolla without a Menards.

Read more about Rolla's TDD/TIF here. Attend the Westside Marketplace TIF open hearing at 5:30pm, Wednesday, May 4 in the Phelps County Courthouse — room to be determined.

“Infrequently a soldier has the courage to see that what he is doing is both stupid and immoral, and walk away from it. Bowe Bergdahl did. I say, speaking as a former Marine in Viet Nam, and as a life member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled Veterans of America: You have my admiration, Sergeant Bergdahl.”
          —Fred Reed

Like Bowe Bergdahl, Rory Fanning and Michael Hanes had the courage to see that what they were doing was stupid and immoral. They left the military, Fanning as a conscientious objector.

Both former soldiers are speaking out — defying official lies and the blood-lust of the military.

Fanning says, “Im more proud of leaving the military than of anything I did while in it. I signed up to prevent another 9/11, but my two tours in Afghanistan made me realize that I was making the world less safe. We know now that a majority of the million or so people who have been killed since 9/11 have been innocent civilians.”

“Soldiers are not encouraged to talk about the realities of war when they come back,” Fanning continues. “Theyre labeled a hero or warrior. Thats a major problem. It leads to further seclusion, isolation with soldiers. We talk about the suicide rates amongst veterans—22 a day. Its because were not allowed to talk about what we saw overseas, how unjust it was, how we feel like bullies.”

Says Hanes: “Were sold the idea ofwere going to liberate people, were fighting terrorism. Then we realize were the ones terrorizing people. That torments you psychologically. Ive lost a few friends to suicide.”

And both soldiers are protesting our perpetual wars, each in his own way. Fanning is going into high schools and speaking of his experiences in the military and the realities of war. Hanes has been arrested in Okinawa, along-side of Okinawans, protesting the building of more US military bases. This is what the Masters of War fear most: that those who have fought will come home and tell the truth.

Chris Hedges writes about Fanning and Hanes here. And here is an article by Rory Fanning.


21 young climate activists and renowned scientist, James Hansen, won an important decision in the courts. Judge Thomas Coffin ruled against the federal government and fossil fuel interests, declaring that plaintiffs have standing to continue their suit to force government to act to bring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere down to 350ppm by 2100. In denying the government's motion to dismiss, Judge Coffin has called this case “unprecedented.”

Read Judge Coffin's decision here.


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