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Rolla Peace News

December 18, 2018
Dear Friends:

Note from webperson: If you are having trouble reading this, it is posted at

http://tomsager.org/Peaceletters/peaceletter121818.html

          In this newsletter is:

1. NOON VIGIL FOR PEACE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2018
2. AMERICA, THE CONNED
3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) The Web of Lies Unravels
          b) Dr. Seuss Goes to Court
          c) How Rudolph Got His Red Nose

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1. NOON VIGIL FOR PEACE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2018

We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office, THIS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 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 low 40s. 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.

2. AMERICA, THE CONNED

This article by Chris Hedges is not really about President Trump, except inasmuch as he is a symbol of what Americans have been taught to value: Winning at all cost; doing unto others before they do unto you; and more is better (but never enough, if anyone else has even more).

The very beginning of this nation was based on trickery and deceit, and as Hedges notes, genocide and slavery. This isn't emphasized in our history books, but the evidence is not hard to find of treaty violations, massacres, mass abductions of African natives to be sold to plantation owners, etc., etc.

Hedges writes about P.T. Barnum, the iconic con man of the 19th century. Interestingly, most people seem to admire Barnum's ability to con the public, and quote him gleefully: “There's a sucker born every minute.” Trump seems to attract the same admiration from his supporters, who can't possibly be ignorant of his lies and amorality. They just don't seem to care, even though many of them are poor working people who are the losers in his con games.

I have heard many people say something along the lines of “This is the way it's always been, and you can't change human nature.” I don't think that's true. No one can change someone else's nature, but we can each change our own. We can each choose to be generous and caring instead of greedy and mean-spirited.

If you don't want to read another long article, at least read this quote from Malcolm Bradbury:
“We founded the nation on genocide and slavery, ravage the globe with endless wars and the theft of its resources, enrich an oligarchic elite at the expense of the citizenry, empower police to gun down unarmed citizens in the streets, and lock up a quarter of the world’s prison population while wallowing in the supposed moral superiority of American white supremacy. The more debased the nation becomes, the more it seeks the reassurance of oily con artists to mask truth with lies.”
And this one from Chris Hedges:
“In our Barnumesque culture, those who create the most convincing fantasies in the cycles of nonstop entertainment are lionized. Those who puncture the fantasies with the prosaic truth are condemned for spoiling the fun. These pseudo-events and fabrications lift people up out of their daily lives into an Oz-like world of fantasy. They destroy a civil discourse rooted in verifiable fact, obliterating any hope of holding back the magical thinking that lies at the core of all totalitarian societies.”
It's time to stop fooling ourselves.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) The Web of Lies Unravels
          b) Dr. Seuss Goes to Court
          c) How Rudolph Got His Red Nose

THE WEB OF LIES UNRAVELS
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time” —Abraham Lincoln
We live in momentous times. So many scams are unraveling. People are finally catching on. In part, I think we have Donald Trump to thank for that. He has such a great disregard for the truth. He doesn't even pretend to be telling the truth. He just says whatever pops into his deranged mind.

And there is a lot of money to be made in scamming the public. Trapped by their greed, the scammers can't let go — even after a sizable mass of people have caught on. It's difficult. We come to think of privilege as an entitlement. Some would sacrifice their lives and their children down to the umpteenth generation to hold on to their entitlements.

Below I list four scams that are coming unraveled. I believe there will soon be a reckoning on all four accounts. People don't take kindly to being scammed. Some may react violently.

          The Israel Scam

James Zogby notes that public opinion in the United States is turning against Israel.

Airbnb has refused to list Israeli rentals in occupied Palestine.

While Marc Lamont Hill was fired from his job as CNN commentator for calling for a Free Palestine, Temple University has refused calls to fire or even censor Dr. Hill.

Zogby notes that individuals and companies like Marc Lamont Hill and Airbnb are getting more praise than criticism for standing up to bullies.

The Boycott, Divestiture and Sanction of Israel movement has taken hold in spite of draconian laws aimed at criminalizing criticism of Israel.

Lana del Rey and other musicians have canceled performances in Israel.

Bahia Amawi was fired from her job as speech pathologist for refusal to take a Texas loyalty to Israel oath. She is now suing the State of Texas.

And most importantly, about half the people in the United States now favor a one-state solution in Palestine/Israel with equal rights for all. (This is a position I have held for many many years and been laughed at by liberals and conservatives, Zionists and anti-Zionists alike.)

It used to be that any criticism of Israel was considered one step shy of treason and could cost you your livelihood. Now it has become almost mainstream. It could be that the billions of dollars the United States gives to Israel each year will soon be in jeopardy.

          Climate Scam

In the last few years, we have been treated to a long series of unprecedented hurricanes, floods, droughts and fires like we have never seen before. After decades of official denials of human-induced climate change, Pew Research finds that 59% of us believe that our communities have been affected by climate change. That number goes up to 67% if you live near a coastline (see number 16 in Pew Research document).

Demonstrations against government inaction to reduce the threat of climate change are growing more and more commonplace.

          The Refugee Scam

You may have thought you had seen it all with children separated from their parents and kept in dog kennels. The latest atrocity is the murder of seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security. She was running a 105.7 fever and prison guards ignored her father's plea for help until it was too late. She died of shock and dehydration. the ACLU blamed the child's death on “lack of accountability and a culture of cruelty.”

People are catching on that this is not an “invasion.” These are destitute people trying to find some safe place where they can live with their families; and for this they are bullied and abused.

Not only has the United States helped to make Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala barely livable for many due to death squads, climate change and repressive US-backed regimes, the US is now attacking Nicaragua. First came an attempted "soft coup" that failed; and now we have the NICA act designed to put economic pressure on Nicaragua through denial of credit and banking services. If successful, we are likely to see large numbers of Nicaraguans joining other Central Americans at our southern border.

The United States and Hungary were the only two countries to vote against a UN resolution on managing refugees.

          The War Scam

This is unprecedented. The Senate passed a resolution to end support for Saudi- Arabia's brutal war against Yemen where 85,000 children are starving to death. Never before has the Senate stood up to a war president and the military-industrial complex in this way.

People are finally catching on that war does not make us more secure — it only fattens the Pentagon and the weapons manufacturers at the expense of the rest of us.

DR. SEUSS GOES TO COURT

Our friends at El Porvenir, which provides clean water and watershed restoration in Nicaragua, and Great Rivers Environmental Law Center, Missouri's only public interest environmental law center and the law center that saved Rolla's beautiful historic Buehler Park, both send me this story about how a panel of federal judges threw out permits to build a pipeline across two national forests. Noting that the U.S. Forest Service “abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources” when it issued the permits, the panel cited Dr. Seuss's Lorax in saying, “We trust the United States Forest Service to ‘speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.’

You can view a telling of the Lorax story here.

HOW RUDOLPH GOT HIS RED NOSE

Reindeer feed on moss and lichens. Heavy fallout of cesium 137 from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and from atmospheric nuclear testing bio-accumulates in the moss and lichens and then in the reindeer that feed on them. Today, some Lapland reindeer still carry a burden of radiation of over 2,000 Becquerels / kilogram and their herders 1,000 Becquerels.

This should be a reminder to us how important it is to end the nuclear age.

(Actually, Rudolph was born in 1939, a few years before the beginning of the atomic age.)

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Wage peace,

Helen
helenm (at) fidnet.com

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