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Rolla Peace News

August 21, 2018
Dear Friends:

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          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Nicaragua: A Failed Coup
          b) Spooks Speak
          c) Stacy Bannerman On The Failure Of Feminism
          d) Ralph Nader: Advice For Progressives
          e) Imran Khan Sworn In Prime Minister Of Pakistan



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, FROM NOON TO 1:00 PM (and most subsequent Thursdays until peace is established). Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the high 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.


It's well past time to get real about addressing climate change at the national level. Bernie Sanders says it eloquently in his short video (5 min. or so) presented in the following article on Common Dreams.

But just talking about it isn't enough. Bernie, together with Senators Jeff Merkley and Edward Markey, has introduced legislation to actually do something about it. Critics say that it doesn't go far enough or fast enough, and they're correct — and the bill won't get passed in the Congress that we currently have.

What's important is putting the vision of a world being managed sustainably out there, instead of just railing against Trump, Republicans, the fossil fuel industry, etc. People need something to feel positive about. Bernie Sanders is one of the few non-Republicans to have something to offer ordinary citizens. Most Democratic propaganda that comes through my email focuses on “stopping Trump,” “getting Republicans out of Congress,” etc., etc. And of course, “send money.” When you want to find out what Democrats are going to do about the many serious problems facing ordinary citizens, you get very few straight answers. Most Democrats, especially those in high places, are mainly concerned about staying in power, and are not interested in rocking the boat.

Bernie Sanders has plans for just about everything that needs fixing. He does indulge in a little Trump-mocking (it's hard not to), but his vision is what he focuses on. This is what America needs. If you dwell incessantly on what you don't want, you aren't putting any energy into what you do want. Very few politicians have anything positive to offer; they can't afford to offend their contributors.

Importantly, at least for us peaceniks, is that Bernie gets the connection between perpetual war and all the other environmental and social issues facing us. This article contains the transcript of a speech Bernie made at an event back in March, held on the Anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. The video of that speech is also embedded in the article.

So, when you are deciding whom to support in the November election, ask questions: “What is your plan for addressing global warming?” “What will you do to support struggling working families?” “How do you think we can best assure that everyone has access to healthcare?” “How will you work for peace?” Their answers will tell you whether or not they will be true representatives of the people.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Nicaragua: A Failed Coup
          b) Spooks Speak
          c) Stacy Bannerman On The Failure Of Feminism
          d) Ralph Nader: Advice For Progressives
          e) Imran Khan Sworn In Prime Minister Of Pakistan


The coup in Nicaragua has failed — at least for now. In spite of US support for the opposition, the government appears to be firmly in control. What happened?

According to Charles Redvers, the opposition was united only in its desire to see the Ortega government fall and had no common program of improvement. Further, the coup had turned violent, people were dying, a relatively stable economic life was disrupted, and people were afraid to venture out into the streets. The coup lost whatever popular support it had, without which, it was no match for a government that had improved the livelihood of many a Nicaraguan family.

There has been an uneasy 11-year truce between the United States and the Ortega government. The truce has been broken and is perhaps irreparable.

China is the wild card. The Chinese would love to build the Grand Canal across Nicaragua from the Atlantic to the Pacific — a canal to rival the Panama Canal. I think the US would do anything to prevent this. China is a rising global power; The US: a waning power. Clearly, China is concerned about the possibility of closure of the Panama Canal to Chinese shipping, especially in view of the current trade war.

Will there be a showdown in Nicaragua? Will Nicaragua be the bone over which the two big dogs fight? Wait and see.

The Grand Canal would be an environmental disaster. Some say it will never be built; but I would not bet on it. Environmentalists concerned about the possibility of a Grand Canal across Nicaragua would do well to work for World Peace.

This article by Alfred McCoy discusses the global rivalry between the US and China and remarks in the final paragraph that with global warming and climate change there may not be a winner.


13 former top “intelligence” officers published an open letter criticizing Donald Trump. This is unprecedented. The CIA likely holds more power in the United States than the presidency and the CIA has lots of experience with coups d'etat.

Is this letter a warning? Perhaps. I can't imagine that the “intelligence” community is happy about the way the Trump administration blew the attempted Nicaraguan coup.

And for those who would welcome a coup d'etat against the Trump presidency: I suggest you first think about what's likely to follow. (Hint: It's unlikely to be Bernie Sanders.)

“War is the weaponization of discrimination, classism and misogyny. So why are so few women talking about it.”
Two weeks ago I discussed Stacy Bannerman's article pointing out how our militarism is a major cause of climate change and how few will even talk about it. Bannerman is back this week discussing the military and feminism, showing how our militarism aggravates sexism and gender inequality and calling out the feminist movement for its failure to talk about it.

Bannerman ends her article:
“So, ladies, let’s end our silence about America’s endless wars, and start talking about peace as if justice depends on it. Because it does.”
This is a very important article. Read it!


Four time failed presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, also has some harsh words for today's timid “progressives.” Had we elected Ralph Nader, The United States would likely be the great nation we all want it to be and the Trumpian slogan, “Make America Great Again” would have fallen upon deaf ears.


Saturday Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan. It's hard to describe Imran Khan here in the United States. Think of Babe Ruth, Jim Thorpe, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali all rolled into one person. Now you are getting close.

Khan led Pakistan to its one and only victory in the world (cricket) cup. As a philanthropist he built hospitals and colleges in Pakistan. Then he went into politics campaigning against corruption and for improving the livelihood of the People.

He has been very critical of Pakistan's participation in US wars:
“We became a U.S. proxy for a war against the Soviet Union when it entered Afghanistan and we allowed the CIA to create, train, and arm Jihadi groups on our soil and a decade later we tried to eliminate them as terrorists on U.S. orders. The time has come to stand firm and give a strong response to the U.S.”
It's unclear how the US could continue fighting its 17-year-old War against Afghanistan without Pakistani help.

Khan described a potential meeting with Donald Trump as a “bitter pill,” but added that he would meet him.

Here in the USA, we do not play much cricket, but elsewhere in the world cricket is a very popular sport. It's somewhat akin to baseball. You have a pitcher (bowler) and a batter (batsman); but the batsman's primary objective is to protect his wicket (5 sticks, 3 vertical and 2 horizontal) and the bowler's primary objective is to knock down the other team's wicket.

Here is a description of cricket written especially for folks like us who are unfamiliar with cricket but familiar with baseball.

I developed an interest in cricket decades ago when I read G.H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology. Hardy was an avid cricket fan as well as one of the best mathematicians the world has produced. However, he is best known for having mentored Ramanujan, perhaps the greatest mathematician of all. I highly recommend Hardy's Apology.


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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com