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Rolla Peace News

May 3, 2016


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) From Our Readers: Truth
          b) Meanwhile, Pentagon Absolves Itself Of War Crimes
          c) And The Rape Of Iraq Continues...



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, MAY 5, 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.


Thanks partly to Bernie Sanders, who has made this a campaign issue, everyone is aware of the vast difference in the way capitalism works for the rich owners and investors, and how it works for the employees and ordinary citizens. CEOs' are reimbursed in 6 figures, or even in millions, whether or not they have benefited the companies they work for, and if fired, get huge sums as golden parachutes. Workers, on the other hand, are given as little compensation as possible, and are laid off the minute the company sees a chance of getting the same work for less somewhere else, as happened here in Rolla with Briggs and Stratton. Consumers are lied to and influenced by advertising to buy shoddy, overpriced goods, and the profits in many cases go to offshore tax havens, so even the government is cheated. This is capitalism as it mainly exists today in the Western world.

A few companies have chosen a different path, one that includes the welfare of its employees in decision-making. One such company is Chobani Greek Yogurt; and its owner, Hamdi Ulukaya, is giving all of his full-time employees shares in the company. He feels that people will work harder and have better morale if they have a stake in what they are working for (Our own Phelps County Bank has a similar program). Apple Computers and Twitter are two other companies who have instituted policies to benefit their employees. One thing about Ulukaya that this article doesn't mention is the fact that he gave $700,000,000, or half of his wealth, to benefit Middle Eastern refugees.

Capitalism doesn't have to be evil. What it needs is a large infusion of the milk of human kindness, and the realization that every worker, no matter how menial, deserves to be paid a living wage, and that people respond positively to fair treatment. This could be a great country again if there were a lot more companies like Chobani, and a lot less like Yahoo, Walmart, Menards and Verizon. Think about it.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) From Our Readers: Truth
          b) Meanwhile, Pentagon Absolves Itself Of War Crimes
          c) And The Rape Of Iraq Continues...


A reader writes in:

“I read your newsletter. I have a bone to pick about your ‘big lie’ theory about WMDs [weapons of mass destruction]. Please let me know if this link publishing undisputed quotes from Democrats was also part of your alleged conspiracy.


“Maybe you can put this out to your group and ask them.”

My response:

I'm assuming our reader is referring to Helen's article in last week's newsletter entitled “Truth;” but I will respond nonetheless since it is a subject that I am somewhat familiar with.

The reader brings up two questions:

1. Did Iraq have Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2003 when the US invaded Iraq?

2. If many prominent Democrats agree with Republicans that something is true, does that make it true?

The rape of Iraq began in earnest in 1990 under the administration of George H.W. Bush and has continued for over 1/4 of a Century under the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In short, it was and is a bipartisan gang rape, that has killed millions. It appears likely to continue into the next administration, whether Democrat or Republican. All viable presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, want to continue our military involvement in Iraq in one form or another, although Bernie shows some signs of rethinking his position.

I had thought that the question of WMDs in Iraq in 2003 had been settled in the negative a long time ago, although it reared its ugly head again last year when the New York Times published a series of articles about how we failed to protect our invading soldiers from Iraq's aging chemical weapon dumps.

During the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), The West (USA and mostly European allies) supplied Iraq with the know-how and precursor chemicals to make chemical weapons, which were used against Iran with enthusiastic Western approval. Many of these weapons, although now militarily useless, still lie in weapons dumps around Iraq, where they pose a danger to anyone who might stumble upon them.

These are what our invading troops found — no viable chemical weapons program or militarily useful chemical weapons, no mobile biological weapons laboratories, and no viable nuclear weapons program.

To understand what an impossible job accounting for all these aging weapons was, keep in mind that the United States has literally lost as many as 50 nuclear warheads. Suppose we were given the task of accounting for all nuclear material in the United States? We just couldn't do it.

I suspect what really upset our reader about Helen's article, was the final paragraph in which she talks about each one of us creating our own [subjective] truth. I can see where this might be upsetting to someone who thinks their subjective truth is the only objective truth.

As Helen put it, “It's important to have an open mind, and to listen to what others who disagree with you have to say, but the last word has to come from one's own judgment.”

As a disclaimer: I believe in an objective truth, essentially a mystery to all but God.

In his lecture, Does God play Dice, Stephen Hawking ends by noting, “God still has a few tricks up his sleeve.”

If you haven't listened to John Lennon sing “Gimme Some Truth” recently, here's the URL.


The Pentagon report (redacted) on the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz has been released. The report claims that the bombing was unintentional and therefore no war crimes were committed. (Wrong on both counts.) No criminal charges will be filed.


Meanwhile, the Pentagon has ramped up the bombing of Iraq killing even more civilians. I wonder if our military is capable of doing anything other than killing.


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