+' Rolla Peace Newsletter, June 6, 2017

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Rolla Peace News

June 6, 2017


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) In Memoriam: Rebecca Gibbs
          b) From Our Readers
          c) Whole Lotta Fuzzy Thinkin' Goin' On
          d) Another Korean War? — Worse Than You Think



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 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 70s. 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.


There's nothing like a good rant for letting off steam, releasing pent-up anger, frustration and outrage, etc. David Michael Green has written a good one; most Democrats/liberals/progressives will probably agree with him. His theme is that conservatism as an ideology is basically toxic to life on this planet. The Trump administration is his horrible example of choice, but he feels that Trump is just the logical outcome of a process that has been going on for a long time. I agree. However, what Green does not make clear is that this could not have gone on all this time without the tacit agreement of the Democrats (most of them, anyway). It's been kind of a good cop/bad cop operation, with the Democrats pretending to be on the side of the ordinary citizen. But behind the scenes, the Democratic establishment has been just as avidly scooping up the swag as the Republicans.

What has taken it to the next level is the issue of climate change, which threatens all life on the planet (except maybe cockroaches). The Paris Accord wasn't going to save us on its own, but it was the first time in recorded history that almost every country on Earth was able to agree on anything at all. Trump's pulling out of it sent a message to the rest of the world that we don't care about anyone else. That has been the case for a long time, as far as the politicians in power are concerned, but it has never been so boldly flaunted before.

Our best hope is that the politicians on the state and local levels, some of whom do care, will work to bond together with like-minded communities and create local policies that will somewhat ameliorate the damage being done by the Federal government policies Trump and his associates are making. Green seems to think Trump will go to jail in the end. Maybe, but that isn't going to solve anything. What is needed is positive action that will make conservatism irrelevant. If Federal job safety regulations are gutted, which looks like happening, then companies that care about their employees will have to make their own and enforce them. If public schools are defunded to the point of non-functionality, which also looks like happening, then parents and other people who care about children need to step up and help in whatever way they can, so that no child is denied an education. We got ourselves into this, and it's up to us to get ourselves out.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) In Memoriam: Rebecca Gibbs
          b) From Our Readers
          c) Whole Lotta Fuzzy Thinkin' Goin' On
          d) Another Korean War? — Worse Than You Think


Rebecca Gibbs passed away on May 11. She was a reader of this newsletter and would email me every Wednesday, sometimes to comment, but more often just to say thanks for sending the newsletter. I miss getting her weekly emails.

Nine years ago, Becky started the orange balloon release for her husband, Bill, and all other victims of agent orange poisoning. Here's a video by Lois Ann Marler of the first orange balloon release . And here's a placard I made for a later balloon release .


A reader, noting the religious and apocalyptic nature of my snippet last week on Stephen Hawking, sends in this cartoon which speaks for itself and requires no further comment.


Donald Trump is taking a lot of flack for pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. You'd think from what I've been reading that the Paris Accord would save us all from climate collapse, if it weren't for Donald Trump.

Not so. Paris is essentially a “feel good” document — no hard goals or milestones — just tell the world what you are going to do to prevent global warming, and later say whether or not you did it. “[K]eeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius?” Gimme a break. We're already almost past 1 degree Celsius.

I think it would be much more realistic and productive to say that now that Paris is dead, let's hammer out a real agreement that will slow down or even reverse climate change. It's unlikely that Donald Trump would be of much help here.

Why isn't this being done? I don't think any of the big polluters: China, Europe, Russia, Japan, The United States, Exxon, BP, World Bank, etc. are really interested in tackling runaway climate change. Much easier to blame it all on Trump and go back to business as usual. Donald, what would we do without you?

And here's some more fuzzy thinking: Representative Jamie Raskin tells us “Putin is the ringleader of the unfree world” and “Donald Trump is the hoax perpetrated on the Americans by the Russians.” No Jamie, perpetrated by us on ourselves. Give credit where credit is due.

All this anti-Russian rhetoric only increases hostility between the two nuclear-armed behemoths and makes a nuclear World War III more likely. “Even crazier than Donald Trump:” That's how I would characterize people who would risk World War III just to win a game of one-up-man-ship.


Did you know that Korea, all 85,000 square miles of it, contains “more soldiers and armaments than any other place on the planet?” North Korea has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them; and Seoul, with a population of 25 million, is 35 miles away as the missile flies. The United States has nuclear armed submarines off the coast of Korea. The tinder is all in place. All that is required is the spark.

I don't think North Korea can be bullied into giving up its nukes — not after what happened to Gaddafi.

Rajan Menon offers a roadmap for rapprochement. It's never too late to try.


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