Category Archives: Agni ad Bellum/ The Lamb’s War

A Letter to Students at Friends Central School: Resist!

NOTE: This report has been updated as of late Feb. 14. The update is here.

News background:

Wynnewood (Philadelphia) PA, February 13, 2017: “Two Friends’ Central School teachers who supervised a club that invited a Palestinian speaker to the Wynnewood campus — an appearance the school canceled after some parents and students complained — were placed on administrative leave Monday morning.

Sa’ed Atshan, Swarthmore College Peace & Conflict Studies Assistant Professor.
 

English teacher Ariel Eure, 25, and history teacher Layla Helwa, 26, were called to an off-campus meeting with Craig Sellers, the head of school, and a human resources manager, and informed they were suspended indefinitely, said Mark D. Schwartz, a lawyer and former parent at the school who is representing the women.

Schwartz said that he tried to attend the 7:30 a.m. meeting at the Llanerch Diner in Upper Darby, but that school officials turned him away. The teachers were told they were being suspended for disobeying a supervisor and for having a “single-minded approach to a complicated issue for the community,” he said.

“This was done in a non-Quaker fashion,” Schwartz said. “It was more like storm trooper fashion.”

Late Monday afternoon, the administration released a statement: “As a Quaker school, we have long-standing expectations for all members of our community – especially for our teachers, who have the responsibility of guiding young minds. There are very real concerns about the conduct of Ariel Eure and Layla Helwa for their disregard of our guiding testimonies, which include community, peace, and integrity. As of today, Ariel Eure and Layla Helwa are on indefinite paid administrative leave while a more extensive review is conducted.”

The controversy has stirred passions at the school and shone a light on a thorny issue for many Quaker schools: While the American Friends Service Committee supports putting economic pressure on Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian territories, many students at Quaker schools are Jewish.

Sa’ed Atshan, a Swarthmore College professor and a Quaker, had been invited to speak Friday by the school’s Peace and Equality in Palestine Club, which formed last April. After parents complained about Atshan’s ties to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which advocates punitive measures against Israel, the school rescinded the invitation.

About 65 students walked out of a weekly Meeting for Sharing on Wednesday to protest the cancellation, while others stood and read a statement. Eure and Helwa walked out with the students. . . .”

Cathy Bocella, Staff Reporter, phillynews.com

Continue reading A Letter to Students at Friends Central School: Resist!

For MLK Day: Stories from Selma, January 16

Two Nights & a Lifetime with Dr. King

Next Monday will be devoted to the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It was my good fortune to work under Dr. King in the great voting rights campaign he led with others in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Besides being historic for America, that experience was formative for me. It led me to jail, to a repudiation of war, and even to Quakers.

Monday evening at Pendle Hill, starting at 7:30 PM, as part of this remembrance, I’ll be talking about that experience, and you’re invited. Details are here, and it’s free.

In December 1964, I joined the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta. Shortly thereafter I was sent by SCLC to Selma, Alabama, where I worked in the Voting Rights Movement organized by Dr. King and SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Continue reading For MLK Day: Stories from Selma, January 16

Deep State vs. Dupe State: Round One

Thinking over the Friday “revelations” about how the big intel agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA) are agreed that Russia hacked the election to favor the President-elect (Or P-E), I’m recalling that African proverb about how when  elephants fight, it’s the grass & the mice that get trampled.

And I’m taking a mouse-eyed view of what just happened.
Here’s how I think it looks from there: those with eyes to see witnessed an opening round in what could be a death struggle between the Deep State and the Dupe State.


“Deep State” is a term borrowed from Turkish politics. It was applied to the American body politic by Mike Lofgren, a longtime congressional staffer, in his book, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government. (A good summary is here. )

Continue reading Deep State vs. Dupe State: Round One

The Great Carolina HB2 Bathroom Bill “Repeal” Ripoff

The original idea was this: Wednesday morning, on the solstice, I’d drive into Raleigh, and watch the North Carolina Legislature repeal HB2, that awful bathroom Bill.  It shouldn’t take long, I figured. A  repeal bill could be as short as one sentence.
Then I’d hop back on the highway,  and head out to the country to meet my friend, a trans woman I’ll call Penelope. Living under HB2 has been hard for her. So we’d have a quiet victory lunch somewhere — she’d mentioned a Greek place in the county seat that sounded good.

Continue reading The Great Carolina HB2 Bathroom Bill “Repeal” Ripoff

Standing Rock, TigerSwan & the Dawn of Officially Occupied America

[NOTE: Originally posted on November 26, 2016; disappeared from the web for five days. Background on this disruption is here. The post has been slightly updated.]

Buried in an October report by local North Dakota investigators was the disclosure that: “TigerSwan Security” is in charge of the DAPL [Dakota Access Pipeline] Intelligence and overall supervisor of the other security companies” involved with the corporations that were in the long, often violent standoff with the native Americans at Standing Rock.

 

Who is TigerSwan? And what does its presence at Standing Rock portend for the new post-election era Americans are about to enter?

Continue reading Standing Rock, TigerSwan & the Dawn of Officially Occupied America

Catching Up With The Saga of TigerSwan, Standing Rock & My Blog

This is an overdue update on my Vanished TigerSwan post:  While everyone is rightly celebrating the current success at Standing Rock, I have an obscure (but not irrelevant) footnote to fit in somewhere:

Late on Saturday, November 26, I published a blog post about TigerSwan, the mercenary “security” company started and run by ex-special forces “operators”  that was overseeing the DAPL security efforts at Standing Rock. Two days later, the post disappeared, along with my entire blog.

The missing post filled in information about TigerSwan, its origins among veterans of the most secretive U.S. military units, with some context about these programs and their training programs in North Carolina. Among the “Solutions to Uncertainty” TigerSwan offers is the capability of spying on cell phones, apps, social media, and more.

All the information in the post was from public sources, yet it was not widely known, and the post quickly racked up many hits. In two days the hits were over a thousand (a lot for this blog), and still climbing. Then–nothing. Continue reading Catching Up With The Saga of TigerSwan, Standing Rock & My Blog