Help Wanted: The Best Quaker Job There Is

Help Wanted: The Best Quaker Job There Is

Have you been obsessing about the election? Well, you can stop. I’ll  tell you right now who’s going to win:

The war machine is going to  win, whoever occupies the White House and the Pentagon.

And that’s why, among other things, we still need Quaker House in Fayetteville NC. And Quaker House is looking for a new Director (or Co-Directors).

QH-red-Yellow-Black-White-LogoIt’s also why, if you’re serious about peace witness, you should think about applying for the job, or finding a better candidate to go for it.

I say the war machine will win the election. That’s not a guess,  because it wins every time. We know this from just the “money metric.” 

As Obama said himself, back in 2012:
Obama-on-war“Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defense budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this: It will still grow, because we have global responsibilities that demand our leadership. In fact, the defense budget will still be larger than it was toward the end of the Bush administration.”

(Emphasis added. Wonks can quibble about the “growth . . . will slow” part; peaceniks & libertarians can doubt the “global responsibilities” talk; but about the “fact of the matter” increase, there’s no real doubt.)

Here’s reporter Fred Kaplan’s quibble: “Comparing the eight years of George W. Bush’s base budgets and the eight years of Obama’s . . . Obama’s exceed Bush’s by a sum total of $816.7 billion.” 

That’s almost a trillion dollar upward quibble; lots more is coming, too.

And that’s only war spending.

As for war-making, there’s plenty of that going on as well, mostly in secret, and the American public seems to like it that way. But the major candidates are all promising us more of that, and one of them will be elected.

Militarism remains as American as apple pie; even more so. Fort Bragg in North Carolina is one of the biggest military bases; and Quaker House is the only active, long-term peace project by a major base.

Apple-pie-war

As a result, the current Quaker House Co-Directors, Steve & Lynn Newsom, have been plenty busy too. And they’ll be retiring in late 2017.  So it’s time to find their successors.

I say Quaker House offers the best, most real job in Quakerdom, and I stand by that: the testimony is real, and applied in real time, with real people. The work calls for a wide range of skills; you can stretch and will be stretched; the stakes are high. The connections to Quakers are genuine too.  If you think you’ve got religion, you’ll be putting it to use. There’s nothing else in Quakerdom like it.

And Quaker House is not a fly-by-night, Society of Trends activist fad. The next Director will get to oversee –and celebrate– its 50th anniversary. 

And did I mention that the pay is good too? (Though, to be plain, the Director has to make sure the budget gets raised , to maintain that generous paycheck. Which in my book is another way of keeping it real.) Plus free rent and utilities in a darn nice house (all tax-free “income”), in what’s long been a safe neighborhood; and health insurance.

drone-killer
Yes–there’s even a secret drone base nearby.

But it’s not a job for the faint of heart, the dilettante, or the unimaginative. 

Below is the official flyer from the Search Committee below. Look it over. If it’s not for you, please pass it on. But if the Peace Testimony means anything to you, then you know this job needs to be filled right.

You can help. If it doesn’t work for you, perhaps you know a promising candidate. Let us know! The official opening day for sending letters & resumes is almost here.

Opportunity: Director of Quaker House

Quaker House, a landmark Friends peace witness, is seeking a Director to continue an active program promoting peace and non-violence. It is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of Ft. Bragg, a major US military base.

Duties include: develop new programs to meet changing conditions; collaborate with Quakers, other churches and peace groups, extensive visitation among Friends and others; conduct fundraising, including fund appeals, soliciting and managing contributions from individuals or groups; supervise GI Rights Hotline counselors, Domestic Violence in the Military Counseling Program and administrative staff; counsel military personnel on conscience and discharge issues; write newsletters and respond to media inquiries; update the website, computer systems, databases, and QH archives; oversee building upkeep and maintenance.

Remuneration: beginning at $38,000, based on experience; plus health and dental benefits; free housing and utilities in renovated home located in Fayetteville’s historic district.

Qualifications:  We seek a Director who is closely aligned with and familiar with the Society of Friends and the Quaker peace testimony; who understands the significance of upholding this light in a U. S. military setting.  The position requires proven leadership, strong writing, fundraising, and management skills.

Candidates must have the stamina to live for an extended period of time in a military community. Familiarity with concepts in military counseling and recruitment is desirable. The candidate will preferably be available to attend some Quaker conferences during the summer of 2017 and begin full time in September of 2017.

Submit letters of inquiry in confidence to: Quaker House Search, 223 Hillside Ave, Fayetteville, NC, 28301, or by email to the Clerk of the Search Committee:

 Email: quakerhouseoffayetteville@nullgmail.com

More information about Quaker House: www.quakerhouse.org

And at the Facebook page:  Quaker House of Fayetteville.
Applications will be taken from September 1 to December 1, 2016.

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Dog Days Reading: The Secret Life of Pizza

Dog Days Reading: The Secret Life of Pizza.

Prudence Randall– Pru to all of us — was never my girlfriend. But we had strong connections anyway. For one thing, we were both trying to be writers, and specifically reporters. Journalism isn’t an easy field to break into now, and it wasn’t any easier in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1971. So we commiserated a lot back then about arrogant editors, the great news stories that got away or fizzled, and   about how broke we were most of the time.Dog-Days-Logo-CF-Dog-Days-box

In that year, the biggest news story of all was the Vietnam War. It was at its height then, killing hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of Vietnamese every month. It also produced one blockbuster news story or photograph after another. Most were shocking: our troops burning villages; massacres of civilians; and our planes spraying millions of acres with a weedkiller called Agent Orange, so toxic it’s still maiming Vietnamese children born fifty years later.

One of the most famous news photos was on the front page of the New York Times: it showed a Vietnamese general named Nguyen Ngoc Loan, commander of the national police, shooting a Communist rebel in the head on the street in Saigon, the capital city, during a big street battle. The picture won a Pulitzer Prize. Continue reading Dog Days Reading: The Secret Life of Pizza

Dog Days Tales: His Eye Is On the Sparrow

Dog Days Tales: His Eye Is On the Sparrow

A True Camp Story

I

It was Marcy Siegel who first realized that a killer was about to strike.

“No!” she shrieked. “Don’t”

But it was too late. The killer squeezed the trigger, squeezed it smoothly, silently, remorselessly. The rifle popped loudly, and the sound bounced back from the low hill in front of them.

The victim jerked and fell to the ground.

Then Marcy Siegel screamed, and so did the others.

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II

Camp Frontier, in the Hudson Valley of New York, was not much different from dozens of other such places: A long rambling row of cabins spread out along the shore of a cool blue lake. Behind them were softball fields, basketball courts, and other athletic equipment. A big lodge divided the boys’ cabins on the east from the girls’ on the west. In the big lodge we ate, heard announcements, and griped about the food. Continue reading Dog Days Tales: His Eye Is On the Sparrow

Enter The Next Trump Campaign Manager: It Might Be ME

Enter The Next Trump Campaign Manager: It Might Be ME

I was trying to avoid any political posts until after Labor Day; but this is just too good to keep to myself.

You see, I’ve been doing a lot of important work for the Trump campaign.  

No, really. I mean, I must have. And I did go to one of his rallies here in North Carolina, back in March. So it must be true, because that’s just what he and several other campaign bigwigs have told me, repeatedly.

And it’s about to pay off. Look what he wanted to sent me. An Executive Membership card! (Well, really just the picture. But who could resist?)

Trump-Ex-Card

And yes, I was a little surprised; but he’s a super-smart guy, and he said, Continue reading Enter The Next Trump Campaign Manager: It Might Be ME

Grace In Your Face: Remembering Bill Kreidler

Grace In Your Face: Remembering Bill Kreidler

First written Summer 2000
Revised 08-21-2016

I

One of the finest, most eloquent ministers of this generation of liberal Quakers, William J. “Bill” Kreidler, of Beacon Hill Meeting in Boston, died on June 10, 2000. That was a time to mourn, and also a time to remember, and to pay tribute. And today, more than a decade-plus later, remembrance and tribute are what I want to do here.

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Of Bill’s biography, I know only a few scattered facts: He was from a farm community in western New York, and grew up in the Dutch Reformed Church. He began college in Buffalo and finished in Boston, where he became a public school teacher. He was gay. He wrote books about conflict resolution in schools, and did consulting with school systems on violence prevention. Where and how he came to Friends I don’t know; but he was a founding member of Beacon Hill Meeting.

My first memory of Bill is from St. Lawrence University, at the FGC Gathering of 1984. I was leading a workshop, my first for FGC, on the Basics of Bible Study, and he was in it. Continue reading Grace In Your Face: Remembering Bill Kreidler

Quaker House: Still The Best Quaker Job There Is

Quaker House: Still The Best Quaker Job There Is

As Quaker House of Fayetteville NC begins the search for a new Director (or Co-Directors), the situation there is in many ways different from my time as Director, from 2001 to 2012: then we faced a couple of big wars. Today’s many small wars are almost entirely invisible to the U. S. public. And the public so far seems grateful not to see them — which is to say, there’s no significant anti-war “movement” anymore. Hasn’t been for years.

GI-Hotline-Website-logo
Need information about military enlistment, or issues inside? Who ya gonna call? Right here: 877-447-4487

But there’s still plenty of work for Quaker House to do. Troops come back from secret combat as much subject to PTSD as they do from big open battles. And a steady succession of them still end up questioning this war business, and call Quaker House and the Hotline for information and help. Young people are still being swept up by recruiters from mostly poorer communities, to fill the ranks — and the VA hospital beds, and the coffins. Continue reading Quaker House: Still The Best Quaker Job There Is

Dog Days Stories: Who Needs A Machine Gun?

Dog Days Stories: Who Needs A Machine Gun?

[NOTE: This is the first in a series of “summer reading” posts, for the “dog days” of August. Taking a break from current politics, religion, and other disasters, most are personal reminiscences, mainly true.]

When I was a boy, it seemed like I was always outgrowing things, especially shoes and pants.  Even though I was pretty hard on clothes, scuffing up shoes and wearing holes in the knees of my jeans, sometimes there was still some wear in the clothes when I outgrew them. 

Then my mother would sigh and say, “Well, at least we can still get some use out of them,” and hand the shirt or the pants down to one of my brothers.  Logo-CF-Dog-Days-box

Since I was the oldest, though, there was no one to hand clothes down to me.  I liked that.  It meant my new clothes would really be new.

Often enough, when I needed new clothes my mother would bring out a thick catalog from Sears of Montgomery Ward and order them by mail.  To do this she unrolled the measuring tape from her sewing box and measured my arm and chest and the length of my leg.  To figure out my new shoe size, she had me stand with one foot on a piece of paper, while she placed the side of a knife against my big toe, my heel and on both sides where my foot was widest, and then made a mark at each spot with a pencil. Continue reading Dog Days Stories: Who Needs A Machine Gun?

“Ain’t had a prayer since I don’t know when . . . .”

“Ain’t had a prayer since I don’t know when . . . .”

Imagine this scene (part of it really happened):

It’s August 6, and George W. Bush is at home in Houston, or maybe at the ranch. He’s finishing a watercolor, or (stay with me) reading a book, though certainly not that heavy new biography, “Bush,” by military/presidential historian Jean Edward Smith, which takes another big whack at his tattered reputation.

Maybe he’s even pondering the big presidential decision by Harry Truman made 71 years ago, because for many of the rest of us, August 6 is Hiroshima Day.

Whatever. Meanwhile across town, in a big Houston pavilion, more than 20,000 people are jammed and jamming, screaming their lungs out for — the Dixie Chicks, in a raucous, triumphant concert that sold out in minutes months ago. It’s the Chicks’ first appearance in Houston in fifteen years.

DCX-Dallas-cover
This month, the Chicks broke the record at their gig in Dallas, where they started out 20 years ago. (Last time they played Dallas, though, more than ten years back, they needed bodyguards. Srsly.)

Okay — I really have no idea what GWB was doing that day. But the part about the Chicks is the truth.

Continue reading “Ain’t had a prayer since I don’t know when . . . .”

North Carolina YM Split: Stick A Fork In It

North Carolina YM Split: Stick A Fork In It

This past weekend, August 12-14, North Carolina YM-FUM met, for its 319th annual session. As yearly meetings do, it deliberated, adopted minutes, and issued an epistle.  We’re interested in here in one particular minute, and an epistle.

Skeptical-Kid-FUMThe minute in question was the proposal to split the YM into two separate groups. We’ll skip the suspense: that plan was rejected.

But that’s only the beginning.

Continue reading North Carolina YM Split: Stick A Fork In It

Twisting Again at Baltimore YM

Twisting Again at Baltimore YM

“Coffeehouse” is an annual Saturday Night tradition at Baltimore Yearly Meeting, where I’m still a member. It features silly skits and other such let-down-thy-hair amateur amusements.

This year I joined in one dreamed up by my co-star & co-conspirator Michael Newheart.

imageTo get a sense of our public foolishness, check out this 9-minute video, and twist again like we did last summer (or maybe 50 summers ago)!

or try this link:

https://www.facebook.com/chuck.fager/posts/10154067224067479