+' Rolla Peace Newsletter, September 19, 2017

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Rolla Peace News

September 19, 2017


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

4. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Trump At The United Nations
          b) Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned
          c) Hillary's Campaign Memoirs



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 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 high 80s. 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.


For thousands of years humans have considered themselves the highest and most important life form on the planet, and all their actions have come from that mindset. There are exceptions: Most indigenous societies that have not been corrupted by “civilization” believe that all life is connected, and every life form is valuable and has its contribution to make to the whole. Maybe it's time to take a look at that.

By dominating and conquering nature, instead of trying to understand how to live in harmony with it and other life forms, we've made a real mess of things. Not only do we put our value above that of other living things, but we look for differences among humans and value our kind above all others. So white people think they are better than dark-skinned people; and after that, the white people of one religion, social class or degree of wealth look down on other white people who differ from their circumstances or beliefs.

Meanwhile, the laws of nature, which we haven't been interested in except to exploit for the benefit of humans (at least the humans we consider to be “us”) are reacting to the imbalance we have created with increasing force. Humans are being impacted, even killed, in increasing numbers — even American humans. Is that what it takes to get us to pay attention? As Elizabeth West says, if we don't start acknowledging the connections between us, all life, and each other, we may not be around much longer. The Earth will eventually heal the damage we have done; she has millions of years left — we don't.

So maybe it is all about us after all — we just need to revise our definition of Us.


Jane Stillwater passes on to us the report of a Lebanese woman journalist who accompanied her country's soccer team to North Korea. What she found there may surprise you. The people are kind, friendly, and polite. Pyongyang, the capital, is scrupulously clean, and the people all participate in taking care of their environment. They have free health care and education. They enjoy sports, music, and just relaxing in the many parks. In short, they are just like us, except that they have lived every day of their lives knowing that a powerful enemy, who practically destroyed their country in the 1950's, has always wanted to finish the job.

The journalist did not meet Kim Jong-Un, nor did she try to talk to the Koreans about their leader. What we know about him is what the media and the politicians say, which has to be taken with a grain of salt. But to totally destroy a country just to bring down their leader? Didn't we just do that in Iraq, and in Libya? And how's that working? Do read this interesting report, and see if you think these people need to be destroyed.

4. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) Trump At The United Nations
          b) Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned
          c) Hillary's Campaign Memoirs


Yesterday Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly and threatened and insulted four member nations: Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and nuclear-armed North Korea. After claiming, “We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife,” Trump went on to threaten to “totally destroy North Korea.” This is on top of Trump's previous threat to meet North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” And don't forget the total destruction of North Korea during the Korean War, and the destruction of Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, Honduras, Libya etc. over the last quarter century. Any wonder that North Korea wants a nuclear deterrent?

And South Korea wants nukes on its territory now. How do you spell P-R-O-L-I-F-E-R-A-T-I-O-N?

No one has ever explained to me why some countries have a right to nuclear weapons and others do not. I favor total and complete world-wide nuclear disarmament; but I also think that no nation has any more right to nuclear weapons than any other — which is ZERO.


And while President Trump was addressing the United Nations, Hurricane Melania (María according to the National Hurricane Center) grew from a tropical storm to a category five hurricane. It has since demolished the Island of Dominica and is bearing down on Puerto Rico as I write.

This has been quite a season: devastating hurricanes; flooding in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Columbia, Texas, Florida, and many other places; drought and wildfires in what may be the hottest summer that parts of the Northwest United States have ever experienced; and earthquakes and tsunami in Mexico.

Maybe, instead of war, we ought to be appeasing Nature. She is obviously fed-up with Humanity.

Note: The causal relation between global warming and earthquakes is less well-known than the relationship between global warming and weather-related events; but equally straight-forward. A warming climate causes glaciers and polar ice to melt shifting the weight of melting ice from mountains and polar regions to ocean basins. The Earth responds to the shifting of weight on its crust with quakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. See Bill McGuire's Waking the Giant.


I had promised myself that I would never ever write about Hillary again; but here goes. I thought I could describe her defeat in one word: Arrogance; but after reading Glenn Greenwald's article, I think there is more to be said.

Greenwald points to Hillary's “advocacy of multiple wars and other military actions, many, if not all, of which were rather disastrous,” as a significant factor in Hillary's defeat. He references a paper by Douglas Kriner and Francis Shen entitled Battlefield Casualties and Ballot Box Defeat which finds “a significant and meaningful relationship between a community’s rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump.” The authors further claim, “Our statistical model suggests that if three states key to Trump’s victory — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — had suffered even a modestly lower casualty rate, all three could have flipped from red to blue and sent Hillary Clinton to the White House.”

I suspect Kriner and Shen are right. During 10+ years of vigiling for peace, the most appreciative comments always seem to come from military personnel and their families. One day a man driving by looked at my Support the Troops, Bring Them Home placard, rolled down his window and said “You brought me home! My whole unit appreciates you.”

On a personal note: At times when my resolve not to vote for either major party candidate weakened, I thought of Hillary's snooty “We came, we saw, he died.” comment, referring to the gruesome rape of Muammar Gaddafi by US supported “moderates” with bayonets. Then I would ask myself: “Why would I vote for her?”

I think there is a lesson here for politicians. The days when support for militarism is a prerequisite for election to public office may be over.


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