Quakers Quitting on QUIT: Torture Wins, this time. And maybe next time, too.

I wish it wasn’t time to write this post.

But it is: Quakers are quitting on QUIT.

QUIT is — or rather was — the Quaker Initiative to end Torture. It began in the spring of 2005, with a call by Friend John Calvi,  just as the international scope, the vast evil plus the flagrant criminality of the U. S.  “War on Terror” torture  program — all this was becoming shockingly clear.

As detailed below, QUIT formally ended this week, on July 15, 2024.

Nineteen years.

We worked hard, we did stuff. We joined with others.  But in my view, we failed. At our most active and diligent, we didn’t really lay a glove on our three main targets.

Those targets were:

Continue reading Quakers Quitting on QUIT: Torture Wins, this time. And maybe next time, too.

Saving Obama In Selma 2015: For Reading When You’re Not Thinking About Milwaukee

Durham, North Carolina, and Selma, Alabama

In the autumn of 2014, still settling into retirement in Durham, a question began nagging at me: was Barack Obama going to get shot in Selma Alabama the following March?

Now stay with me: was I just being more than normally paranoid?

Consider: March 7, 2015, would be the 50th anniversary of the first march for voting rights over the Edmund Pettus Bridge out of Selma, headed for the state capitol in Montgomery.

When that march was attacked by deputies and state troopers, images of the melee were flashed around the world as “Bloody Sunday.” I was there (and recount it in the memoir, Eating Dr. King’s Dinner). Even though my Bloody Sunday assignment was to march with a second contingent — which didn’t happen because of the assault on the first — the experience left its marks on me as well. Continue reading Saving Obama In Selma 2015: For Reading When You’re Not Thinking About Milwaukee

Bernie! Still All In (Critically) for Joe Biden

New York Times
Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

By Bernie Sanders
Mr. Sanders is the senior senator from Vermont.
July 13, 2024

I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and pathological liar. It’s time to learn a lesson from the progressive and centrist forces in France who, despite profound political differences, came together this week to soundly defeat right-wing extremism.

I strongly disagree with Mr. Biden on the question of U.S. support for Israel’s horrific war against the Palestinian people. The United States should not provide Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing extremist government with another nickel as it continues to create one of the worst humanitarian disasters in modern history.

Continue reading Bernie! Still All In (Critically) for Joe Biden

Biden and God

In Joe Biden’s July 5 interview with George Stephanopoulos, the president brusquely rebuffed all the reporter’s promptings about quitting his race for re-election: bad poll numbers, calls from a few elected Democrats, the panicked appeals from the pundit chorus. . . .

A defiant Delaware “Meh” to them all.

Then Biden made one concession:

“Look. I mean, if the Lord Almighty came down and said, “Joe, get out of the race,” I’d get out of the race.” Continue reading Biden and God

Tell It Slant — With Lemonade: A Book Launch at Haverford

Adapted from Tell It Slant, by Emma Lapsansky-Werner, with Chuck Fager:

George Fox: not a friend of the arts.

For most of the three-plus centuries since the founding of Quakerism, Quakers had viewed the arts as snares and “distractions” from listening to the Word-of-the-Divine within.

George Fox threw down the marker as early as 1678:

All ye Poets, Jesters, rhimers, makers of Verses and Ballads, who bend your wits to please novelties, light minds, who delights in jests and toyes, more than in the simple naked truth which you should be united to, you are for the undoing of many poor souls, it is your work to tickle up the ears of people with your jests and toyes; this proceeds from a wrong heart … which is a shame to all that be in the modesty and pure sincerity & truth and cleanness of mind. …  

Fox had preached against the visual arts, too:  Continue reading Tell It Slant — With Lemonade: A Book Launch at Haverford