This is a guest post, from our Friend John Calvi. John, for those who don’t know, is a Quaker massage therapist and healer who lives in Vermont. John has many interests and concerns, but here he speaks about his journey with and through the AIDS crisis, on the occasion of World AIDS Day.
In the NY Times today there is a pair of OpEd pieces occasioned by the 150th anniversary of the execution of John Brown, in Charles Town WV, which is today. These short essays offer much food for thought by Friends on the subject of war.
One article, by David Reynolds, praises Brown, whose raid on the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry was meant to spark a southern slave revolt, as a national hero of freedom.
OMG — The first congressional press conference challenging the Af-pak escalation was today, and the only Republican there was Rep. Walter Jones, a conservative Catholic who represents Camp Lejeune, the Marine base from which a big chunk of the new troops will come.
“Sedition Watch.” This feature brings up “dots” of data that come onto my radar screen, which I’m working to connect.
The implications of the potential connections are unsettling, and I hope the authorities are watching. The elements here are straightforward: there are a lot of upset people, mostly guys, with guns out there, and with a high level of training in how to use them. And they are being fed a diet of sedition — talk of violent insurrection, or perhaps mounting a coup d’etat.
At Thursday morning’s program (Jan. 15, 2009), attendance was down significantly from yesterday. Is it just me, or could the smiling positive pietism be wearing on the patience of many?
The morning’s panel, entitled “Speak Truth to Power,” was another “surprise” lineup, not identified until we showed up. Yet in fact it was utterly predictable, made up of church lobbyists, all based in Washington.
The conference speaker Wednesday night was a welcome improvement. Alexie Torres Fleming’s story is easy to summarize: born and raised poor in the south Bronx, she escaped from a collapsing neighborhood into middle class respectability, but then was drawn back to live and work in her home turf. She now operates a youth program.