!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Rolla Peace Newsletter, April 21, 2015

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Rolla Peace News

April 21, 2015


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          A Touch of China



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015, (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.


The elite have a plan to end poverty: Get rid of all the poor people. They may not be able to eradicate them completely, but they are doing a pretty good job of making it almost impossible for them to pull themselves out of it, or to have any voice in their governance. This article lays out the many, many ways the poor and powerless are being screwed to enrich the already-wealthy and powerful. This is happening all over the world, by the way — we notice it more here because we didn't think it could happen in America.

This process is being worked on all poor and working-class people, whatever their color — but the black community is impacted more strongly, partly because more of them are poor, and also because of the racist society they have to live in. A lot of people think that the uproar over police shootings of unarmed black men is an over-reaction. After all, most of these men are “criminals.” Some certainly are, but none of them that I have heard of committed anything like a capital crime. And society can make criminals out of perfectly decent folks by making laws that they can't afford to comply with. Ms. Kolhatkar, in her very thoughtful essay, clearly shows how poverty begets criminalization.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)


I just returned from watching A Touch of Sin, four fictionalized vignettes of modern China, directed by Jia Zhang-ke. Well, actually, I watched half the movie. In the first half, some ten people are gunned-down in cold blood. I decided I'd had enough violence and killing for the evening and figured the second half was unlikely to be much different than the first.

I spent the 1979-80 school year at Hunan University. There was very little crime in China at the time. As far as I could tell, the major campus crime of the year was when they caught a local farmer sneaking on campus in the dead of night and emptying out the University out-houses. Night-soil was a very valuable commodity in China — probably still is. Here we think nothing of flushing it down the toilet. In China, farmers spread it on the fields to make the crops grow.

1979 was an exciting year. It was the year the United States, after pretending China didn't exist for 30 years, finally recognized China as a country. (It was also the year that the Nicaraguans overthrew the brutal U.S.-backed Somozan dictatorship and the Iranians overthrew the U.S. puppet-dictator, Shah; but those are other story.)

Everyone in China was excited about “Learning from the West” — it was the in-thing. When I left, I told them that learning from the West was admirable, but they were learning all the wrong things — adopting the bad, while rejecting the good. It was definitely not what they wanted to hear.

After watching (half of) “A Touch of Sin,” a suspect I might have been right. Here's a comment I found on the Common Dreams website — its mostly, although not exclusively, about China:
“If dollars were seconds,
in just 12 days, you would have 1 million dollars.
in 30 years, you would have 1 billion dollars.
in 30,000 years, you would have 1 trillion dollars.
China's banks have lent 15 trillion dollars in the last 5 years.
U.S. commercial banks lent 15 trillion dollars in the last 100 years.
China has made 6 gigatons of cement in the last 3 years.
U.S. has made 4 gigatons of cement in the last 100 years.
China is building enough highways - every year - to cross the U.S. twice.
They are building whole cities no one can afford to live in.
If everybody in China lit their farts on fire all at the same time,
it would be the equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima nuclear bombs.
Which is also how much we are heating up the earth every day.
If debt is the promise of future growth, then say good bye to life on earth.
We have to tax fossil energy and mass agriculture to pay people to
carbon charr soil and grow organic foods for themselves.”

          -— Whoazzer (top comment)
A “Touch of Sin” was part of the Missouri S&T free Spring film festival. There are still two movies left. Don't miss them!


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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com