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Rolla Peace News

October 9, 2018
Dear Friends:

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          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) “All Is Calm:” 1914 World War I Christmas Truce
          b) War by “Accident”
          c) The World Thumbs Its Nose At U.S. Sanctions On Iran
          d) NASA's Climate Program Moves Forward
          e) Earthquakes and Tsunamis and Volcanoes, Oh My!



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 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 50s. 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.


Yesterday was Indigenous Peoples Day — why honor a racist and a murderer by calling it Columbus Day? This letter, authored by Native American activists Jade Begay and Dallas Goldtooth, should be required reading for anyone who considers him/herself an environmental activist.

The indigenous people of the North American continent have been on the frontlines, protecting the land, the water, the animal and plant life, and the very air we breathe, for a long time. They now realize how much power they have, and they are refusing to be pitiable victims. Compared to many of their comfortable white counterparts in the movement, they have very little to lose, and their actions may sometimes seem extreme to those who have quite a lot to lose, but extremity is what is called for if we are to leave a habitable planet to our children and grandchildren.

The authors have a very astute understanding of the forces and the stories underlying our toxic society/civilization, and what needs to happen to change it. Incidentally, theirs is the only culture in the Western world that does not see or treat women as second-class citizens. Indigenous women are equal partners in the fight to save the planet, and there is a strong feminist movement.

In addition to the indigenous feminist movement, women all over the country are starting to stand up and say “Enough!” It's time to dump the whole victim-tyrant polarity and acknowledge how strong women are. True, we weren't able to keep Congress from confirming Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court “justice,” but there already was no justice in the Supreme Court anyway. This whole patriarchal system can't be defeated by playing their game. We are busy creating a better game, one where everyone wins. It's only a matter of time.

Robert Koehler is one of the few journalists out there that sees a positive vision for the future of our country, and our world. His latest article is well worth reading.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) “All Is Calm:” 1914 World War I Christmas Truce
          b) War by “Accident”
          c) The World Thumbs Its Nose At U.S. Sanctions On Iran
          d) NASA's Climate Program Moves Forward
          e) Earthquakes and Tsunamis and Volcanoes, Oh My!


“All is Calm” is the story of the 1914 World War I Christmas Truce along the Western Front, told in the words of those who experienced it. It wasn't planned. It just happened. It's one of the most powerful statements on war and peace I've ever encountered.

If you missed the performance of “All Is Calm” last year at Leach Theatre; you have another chance this year. Fine Linen Theatre will be performing “All Is Calm” at Cedar Street Playhouse from Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 with a cast of local talent. DON'T MISS IT!

Here's what I wrote last November after watching “All Is Calm.”
“What would happen, I wonder, if the armies of both sides suddenly and simultaneously went on strike and said some other method must be found for settling the dispute?” —Winston Churchill
If you missed Monday's performance of “All Is Calm” at Leach Theatre, you missed one of the most powerful anti-war statements ever to come to Rolla. All Is Calm is a play by Peter Rothstein about the 1914 Christmas Truce on the western front during World War I. The words are mostly from letters and statements made by soldiers in the trenches.

All Is Calm makes you realize to what lengths the politicians and generals must go in order to get people to fight wars. It also makes you realize why we fight wars at a distance, so soldiers cannot see the humanity in the enemy facing him. It also makes you realize why the next step in warfare will likely be robo-wars which may make soldiers, and perhaps all of humanity, obsolete.

If you missed the play, here's a ten minute discussion with director Peter Rothstein along with excerpts from the play.

And here is John McCutchen's famous song about the Christmas Truce.

And here's a short piece I wrote on this subject ten long years ago.

Here is an article from The National Interest discussing what might happen if US and Chinese vessels were to collide in the South China Sea. Not so far-fetched. We've already had a very close call. It would be in everyone's interest to de-escalate the tension between the US and China now. Unfortunately we seem to be going in the opposite direction.


China and India are both likely to continue to purchase Iranian oil in spite of US sanctions. Europe is looking for a vehicle to skirt US sanctions on Iran. This is one more example of the United States being sidelined by the rest of the world.

The result of continued sanctions and trade wars will likely be more and more oil traded in Chinese Yuan and Euros as the dollar ceases to be the world's most dominant currency.

Meanwhile, the United Nations International Court of Justice ruled that US sanctions on Iran are “Illegal and Cruel” and ordered an easing of sanctions. The US will likely ignore the ruling, further isolating The United States.


In spite of Donald Trump's vow to axe NASA's climate science program, it appears to be expanding and doing quite well.


The Indonesian Island of Sulawesi has been hit by all three: an earthquake, tsunami and volcano. Thousands have died. Could this be the result of human activity? It's possible. What we do on the surface and above affects the subsurface too. If you are interested in how climate change can trigger earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes read Bill McGuire's “Waking the Giant.”

And here's an interesting article on what makes cities sink.


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: near the 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