Bait & Switch – The Carolina Quaker Steamroller Cranks Up

Bait & Switch – The Carolina Quaker Steamroller Cranks Up

There’s no hurry, the North Carolina Yearly Meeting (FUM) Executive Committee (EC) assured the YM’s Representatives on June 4, about their proposal to split NCYM-FUM. Further, there would be no compulsion. When the split came, it would “allow each meeting, if it chooses, to join either of the two new yearly meetings . . . .”


Their proposal repeated this theme, adding that the EC would “return to Annual Session with recommendations for consideration by the Yearly Meeting that pertain to process only, with substantive discussions to occur in carefully selected committees to follow Annual Session.”

Continue reading Bait & Switch – The Carolina Quaker Steamroller Cranks Up

A Note To Angry/Sad Bernieites

A Note To Angry/Sad Bernieites

I Feel You. These photos, of heartbroken Bernie fans, take me back to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. There’s a bunch more such photos in this album on Slate. (Disregard the snarky captions.)

Bernieites-sad-1No, I wasn’t physically in Chicago that year. But I felt like it; glued to a portable radio, listening to live reports of chaos inside the hall, and a violent police riot outside, a police attack this once aimed at mainly white kids like me.

Continue reading A Note To Angry/Sad Bernieites

Step Up for The Best Quaker Job There Is!

Step Up for The Best Quaker Job There Is!

While I was Director at Quaker House of Fayetteville NC, we had two big wars to cope with, among other things. It kept me plenty busy. That’s what happens when you’re the only front-line Quaker peace project, and you’ve been at it close to fifty years.

It wore me out. But I say it’s the best, most real job in Quakerdom.

What will the next Director(s) there, who will take over late next summer, have to face? 

And could that Director be YOU? (Or, excuse me, thee, Friend?)

Good questions, and big ones. But my crystal ball app got accidentally deleted from my phone, so this is only speculation. But consider:

— The current election pits a loose cannon ignoramus, against a supporter of the Iraq war, the Libya overthrow, and more, with ties to war-loving Neo-cons. Like them or hate them, I predict that one of them will win.

— And by next summer, the winner’s minions will be settling in at the Pentagon, the CIA, and the many other secret war agencies.

So I also predict (wait for it) . . . Quaker House will still be plenty busy. 

QH-Dove-Logo Continue reading Step Up for The Best Quaker Job There Is!

Cloudy Skies for Friends General Conference — Part 1

Cloudy Skies for Friends General Conference — Part 1

Early in July, I was at the 2016 Gathering of Friends General Conference in Minnesota. And not long afterward, a Quaker I’ll call  “Goodfriend” sent me an email, passing on a message from another, Friend, called here “Onequake.”


Chuck—I thought you might be interested in this email. It’s from a member of our Meeting . . . .Do you know anything about racial tensions at FGC?



Begin forwarded message:

From: Onequake
Subject: FGC and race
Date: July 11, 2016

Hi all,

This morning we attended [a Meeting far from home]. We heard that there were racial incidents at [the] FGC [Gathering in Minnesota early in July]. And that the area of MN chosen for the gathering is well-known for racial problems.

Also that last year there were people holding shotguns and confederate flags outside the grocery store in Cullowhee [NC – the town by Western Carolina U] during thec2015 Gathering. People of color felt very unwelcome and unsafe. And in California, PA [site of the 2014 FGC Gathering] we’re told there were incidents with security.

[At this Sunday’s meeting] a woman of color was collecting signatures on a petition asking for two things:

1. That the FGC site committee be majority people of color.
2. An internal racial audit of FGC systems.

Having never attended FGC I am at a loss about this and would like to hear from others who have attended this year or those years in Cullowhee or PA. MN surprised me, Cullowhee does not. Do others know about this? If so, why isn’t this a huge scandal among Friends? Have I missed all those discussions in every city I visit? The site committee seems to be only five people. Why wouldn’t FGC immediately appoint three people of color to that committee as a show of solidarity and good faith? Why is a petition necessary? It seems to be a no-brainer. I said to the woman who had the petition that if MN, PA and NC aren’t safe, it sounds like we have to leave the country to meet. She said there are plenty of safe places for people of color. If I meet her again, I will ask her where those places would be.

. . . I feel like I’m missing a lot of pieces from this puzzle. If anyone knows something about FGC and race, please give me your insight. Thank you.

Peace, Onequake

Continue reading Cloudy Skies for Friends General Conference — Part 1

Top Ten Reasons Why This Berniac Is Happy Today:

Top Ten Reasons Why This Berniac Is Happy Today:

10. Because all the smart Beltway people were “sure” Bernie would NEVER get anywhere.


9. Because most of those same people still think he didn’t get anywhere–and they look & sound even Lame-er and sillier.

8. Because the chances of beating Trump are now better than they were yesterday.

Continue reading Top Ten Reasons Why This Berniac Is Happy Today:

Jimmie Lee Jackson: One Who Went Before

Jimmie Lee Jackson: One Who Went Before

If I could, I’d add another stone to the crowded cemetery rows here, bearing the name of Jimmie Lee Jackson. He was shot by an Alabama State Trooper in 1965, and died several days later.

The same trooper-shooter killed another unarmed young black man in 1966. Forty-five years later, under pressure from black state legislators, a prosecutor finally took up Jackson’s case. The story is summarized in this blog post. 
Jackson’s death, and the heedless racism that killed him, did not go unmarked or unanswered: it sparked the march from Selma to Montgomery, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & now-Rep. John Lewis at the head, which brought about passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Continue reading Jimmie Lee Jackson: One Who Went Before

“Pathway to Freedom” — Opening Night!

“Pathway to Freedom” — Opening Night!


Yes! The wait is over!

The fabulous unique outdoor drama about Quakers & others joining enslaved people in their efforts to escape bondage in pre-Civil War North Carolina takes the stage for the premiere performance of its 22nd season tonight, July 7.  Showtime is at 8 PM at the Snow Camp Drama ampitheatre in historic Snow Camp NC. 

(If you can’t get there tonight, there are performances Friday and Saturday, then again on July 14-16, and six more after that before the limited run concludes on Saturday August 6.)

More About the play is here.

Ticket prices  & directions are here: 

Don’t miss it!


The Carolina Quaker Split: Two Targets Say, “No Thanks!”

The Carolina Quaker Split: Two Targets Say, “No Thanks!”

Last Month NCYM-FUM’s Representative session agreed to begin discussions on a possible plan to split the YM.

But now two of the Meetings among those slated to be moved out of NCYM into the as yet uncreated new YM have firmly turned “Thumbs Down” on the whole idea.

None-of-the-above-signsJamestown Meeting, near Greensboro, sent a letter to NCYM making plain its firm opposition to the entire scheme. The key section:

Continue reading The Carolina Quaker Split: Two Targets Say, “No Thanks!”

Spilling The Two Secrets I Know About Garrison Keillor

Spilling The Two Secrets I Know About Garrison Keillor

About now, I figure, Garrison Keillor has about wrapped up his last PHC show, at the Hollywood Bowl, the one the rest of us get to hear and blubber over tomorrow evening.

imageA friend of mine was at last week’s Tanglewood show, and texted that half an hour after it was off the air, the place was still going nuts and he was doing curtain calls & encores. Of course the rest of us didn’t get to hear that. I bet the same thing is going on now at the H-Bowl; wonder if it will make it to the website later.

The thought of all those encores just rubs in the separation anxiety. Makes me wonder if he’s letting it all hang out on this very last time. Maybe if he’s even telling those two secrets I know about him.

Well, to heck with wondering: I’ll tell them here, to all three of you who might pause to read them here . . . .

Continue reading Spilling The Two Secrets I Know About Garrison Keillor

Carolina Quakers (A Few, at Least) Speak On HB2

Carolina Quakers (A Few, at Least) Speak On HB2

The political purpose behind the notorious North Carolina “Bathroom Bill” or HB2, has never been hard to figure out: it is carefully aimed to stir up sexual anxiety among many in the state’s Republican base, and thus to maximize turnout in this fall’s election.

imageA similar ploy, to put a ban on same sex marriage (which was already illegal) into the state constitution was tried in 2012. Silly alarmist rhetoric was rolled out, about churches being invaded and ministers jailed, and the ban passed. Though soon struck down in court, the maneuver worked quite well politically: very conservative candidates swept the North Carolina legislature.

This year, a new panic was ginned up over mythical hordes of hulking male predators scheming to masquerade as transgender women so they could invade bathrooms and assault “little girls”. The idea is absurd (& such assaults are already illegal) but could well maximize conservative turnout again, and cement the right’s power base here.

For that matter, HB2’s bathroom provision was a very effective cover for the law’s other, more substantive provisions, which did very real harm, by stripping the state’s cities and citizens of several other rights, including some unrelated to gender, but very much to do with advantages to some greedy corporate interests. Continue reading Carolina Quakers (A Few, at Least) Speak On HB2