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
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 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
[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
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
Adapted from the book, Remaking Friends: How Progressive Friends Changed Quakerism & Helped Save America
Elizabeth Buffum Chace, born in 1806, was a striking example of the Progressive Friends movement. Raised a Rhode Island Quaker, she imbibed the refining spirit from her Quaker forebears, especially a sense of mission to help abolish slavery. But this zeal soon put her at odds with the New England Quaker Establishment. While officially against slavery, the leading Friends, mostly persons of wealth, staunchly opposed the “modern” reformist movements, not only abolitionism, but temperance and women’s advancement as well.
Chase had watched in growing dismay as many abolition-oriented New England Friends were expelled or exiled by this powerful, anti-reform inner circle, and meetinghouses were ordered to exclude any abolitionist-oriented meetings and speakers.
By late 1843, she had had enough. The letter she sent in Eleventh Month (November) to Providence, Rhode Island Meeting is still compelling. It also capsulizes the personal pilgrimage of many other Friends who became part of the Progressive movement. A few excerpts: Continue reading An Indomitable Woman Friend: Five Dead Babies, Spiritualism & Reform