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Rolla Peace News

April 27, 2021
Dear Friends:
Editor's note: Please consider writing for our newsletter. It's always very exciting to be able to publish submissions from our readers.

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In this newsletter is:

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Censorship
          b) From Our Readers: Interview with Noam Chomsky
          c) Ukraine: Everyone Blinkened
          d) China and the USA: Committed to Cooperating



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office, THIS THURSDAY, APRIL 29, FROM NOON TO 1:00 PM (and most subsequent Thursdays until Peace is established). Please join us this Thursday in saying NO WAR AGAINST IRAN or any other country. 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.

Note 1: Since there are so few of us, generally 2 or 3, no need to cancel; but let's maintain social distancing.

Note 2: In case of inclement weather, vigils may be canceled or terminated early.

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Censorship
          b) From Our Readers: Interview with Noam Chomsky
          c) Ukraine: Everyone Blinkened
          d) China and the USA: Committed to Cooperating


          Ban This Book

Last month, when I was writing about Dr. Seuss and censorship, a reader recommended Ban This Book by Alan Gratz.
“[We] are reading a book called Ban This Book. ... I think you might like. ... A parent [Trey's mom] pushes the school board to ban a variety of books (all of which are real books and have been banned at some point) in the school library, and the students set up a hidden library of the books in a locker and loan them out. The students' interest in the books grew because they were banned. ... Trey doesn't like it and starts filling out forms to ban ALL the books as a protest and to show that what his mom is doing is ridiculous. The line ‘Once you ban one book, you can ban them all’ stuck with me. And then the kids start getting creative about banning others: stories about lions? Too gory.”
This book fits in well with the discussion of Dr. Seuss and how children can change the world. In the story, the kids (non-violently) convince the School Bored (sorry about that) to reconsider their actions. The Rolla Public Library has a copy of this book. You are never too old to read good juvenile fiction.

          Censoring Blasphemy

Last year, Charlie Hebdo reprinted hurtful cartoons of Islam. Besides sharing responsibility for a number of murders, Hebdo has created yet another international incident. They almost got the French ambassador expelled from Pakistan. — They may yet succeed. They may even bring about the world's first (and last) war in which both sides use nuclear weapons. Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has suggested that Europe ban blasphemy, drawing a parallel to banning the denial of the Holocaust, which has been done in parts of Europe.

Along with the discussion of Dr. Seuss last month, I noted that:
“We have totally banned religion from our public schools. Maybe if schools would teach the many and important similarities among religions, we wouldn't be plagued with so much religious hatred and deadly attacks upon houses of worship. But teaching religion in a fair, impartial, non-judgmental manner is VERY DIFFICULT. It's much easier to just ban the subject entirely.”
It is understanding and acceptance that we need. Censorship is a very poor substitute for understanding. Censorship is, at best, condescending: We'll save you the details which you wouldn't understand anyway. Just take our word for it. At worst, it is a denial of necessary information, providing severe punishment to any who, like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, would disseminate it

Five years ago, I wrote a piece about the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. Perhaps, if so much of the world hadn't celebrated the dead at Charlie Hebdo as martyrs to the cause of free speech for publishing hurtful cartoons, this wouldn't be happening again.

Strange. All this brou-ha-ha about a few images in a Dr. Seuss's story; but no public outcry over Charlie Hebdo's images which are thousands of times more hurtful. Why?

From Our Readers: Interview with Noam Chomsky

A reader recommends this interview with Noam Chomsky. It's somewhat long, but well worth the trouble.

Ukraine: Everyone Blinkened

Last week I reported that after a phone conversation between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, Biden decided against sending warships into the Black Sea. This week Putin began withdrawing troops from Ukraine's borders. That's diplomacy.

China and the USA: Committed to Cooperating

Here is a link to the U.S.-China Joint Statement Addressing the Climate Crisis in which they announced that they were “committed to cooperating” (and little else). That's also diplomacy.


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 Rollaites for Peace: near the top of rightmost column).

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Wage peace,

yushasager (at) yahoo.com