' Rolla Peace Newsletter, September 27, 2016

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Rolla Peace News

September 27, 2016


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

4. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          “Gaze Upon The Syrian Example – And Tremble”



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 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 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.


Your phone calls and emails are still needed.

If you haven't done so recently, check out the new additions to the Buehler Park website.


If I had not heard Hillary Clinton act and express opinions exactly opposite to the positions she took in last night's debate, I would be very impressed by her performance against Donald Trump, who was by turns bragging, lying, interrupting, and resorting to childish and irrational behavior. Mr. Trump almost never answered the questions he was asked by the moderator, but instead went off on some tangent of his own. When pressed to back up some of his statements, he mostly sounded like he was talking through his hat. That's my take on it. However, Tom's grandson's high school communications class was asked by the teacher, “How many of you think Donald Trump would make a good president?” A large majority raised their hands. And in almost every recent poll, Trump is either very close to or ahead of Clinton. So obviously, Trump's rhetoric appeals to a lot of people.

As regards Ms. Clinton, she did not espouse most of the progressive platform she presented until she started to be afraid that Bernie Sanders would beat her for the nomination. And after she had been nominated, she backtracked on a lot of it, until Trump started surging in the polls and she realized she needed the support of the progressives to have a chance to beat him. So can we believe her? Certainly the wealthy elite who are supporting her believe that they will be well taken care of, or they wouldn't be spending their money on her behalf. One hopes that by her making these public promises, she might be held to at least some of them; but the chances are that things will remain status quo under a Clinton presidency, and we know that isn't working for most of us.

It looks like we have a choice between a megalomaniac who has the power, and apparently the temperament, to launch us into nuclear war, and someone who is openly pro-war (although she soft-pedaled this aspect in the debate) but probably wouldn't use nukes. We have someone who thinks climate change is a Chinese-perpetrated hoax, versus someone who gives lip service to saving the planet but who is beholden to those who are destroying it for their profit. Nice choice!

Watch it yourself and see what you think.

Here are a couple of other people's comments on the debate that you might find interesting:

The People’s Issues Came Second in the First Debate

Clinton Toned Down Her Hawkishness

On Bringing An Incoherent Cheeto To A Knife Fight

4. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)


As Syria goes, so goes the world.

Rarely do I read an article that resonates as strongly within me as John Feffer's, When States Dream, Is Syria Their Nightmare? Feffer points out the utter folly of creating “failed states;” and then believing that we are immune to the chaos that we have begotten. It began with a few small states like Somalia and Afghanistan; but chaos can metastasize and spread faster than a cancer. Feffer writes:
“Disharmonious pluralism has become the new global standard. Other countries – Turkey, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the EU, even the United States – gaze upon the Syrian example and tremble.”
The modern secular, pluralist nation-state is perhaps a few hundred years old – yet we act like what might be no more than a fleeting fad is a universal, timeless phenomenon. For most of humanity's brief existence on Earth, the predominant social organization was tribal – and perhaps humanity is reverting to its natural tribal state.

Amid all the flag waving and calls to make America great again, signs of disintegration are everywhere. As Feffer points out, trust in the Federal Government is falling, the prevalence of armed anti-government groups is rising, and almost 25% of the population want their state to secede.

The Presidency and the Supreme Court have an approval rating of 36%, while Congress has a dismal 9% approval rating. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the most unpopular presidential candidates in US history.

There are over 300 million guns in the United States and military-grade hardware is ubiquitous. As Feffer points out, “It doesn’t take much to turn a well-armed population into a mob.”

Yes, “gaze upon the Syrian example – and tremble.”


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