Category Archives: Current Affairs

After Charleston: Ban the Confederate Flag?? Let’s Do Something REAL.

After Charleston: Ban the Confederate Flag?? Let’s Do Something REAL.

An instant video is circulating on Facebook today, advocating a ban on the Confederate Flag. (Don’t know if non-FB readers can see it, but give it a try.)
Some good Quakers and others have hailed the video and its call. But I’m not one of them. No, I am not a friend of that flag. I’d be happy to see it removed from the SC capitol grounds.

But trying to ban the Confederate flag is a distracting, dumb idea.

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A Neo-Confederate bumper sticker, on sale at “Dixie Republic” in western South Carolina. The shop used to be called “Dixie Outpost”; but like the movement it serves, it has grown bolder. More samples of its merchandise are below. http://dixierepublic.com/

Continue reading After Charleston: Ban the Confederate Flag?? Let’s Do Something REAL.

The Photo I Hoped I’d Never See

The Photo I Hoped I’d Never See — Pass It On If You Agree

<< Obama’s new and ‘nimble’ anti-Isis strategy met with scepticism on all sides >>

From the Guardian
It remains unclear how over 450 additional troops would overcome the central problem to the training effort in Iraq: a lack of recruits to train.
The idea was to “be more nimble, because, clearly, this is a nimble enemy”, said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser.
The announcement was greeted with indifference and scepticism in Iraq, where efforts to arm local Sunnis opposed to Isis have foundered and training programmes by the US have made little progress in producing disciplined Sunni fighters capable of challenging the militant group.
“The increase doesn’t have an effect,” said Hisham al-Hashimi, an Iraqi scholar and expert on Isis. “It is a weak step to reduce pressure from the media.”

Obama-troops-to-Iraq-06-11-2015
Continue reading The Photo I Hoped I’d Never See

BIG Almonds, Little Water: The Quickie Guide to California’s Drought

BIG Almonds, Little Water: The Quickie Guide to California’s Drought

Let’s talk briefly about water versus almonds.

M-n-M-Almonds-Bag
A big bag of M&M Almonds, just shy of 16 ounces. At approximately 8 almonds per ounce, that comes to about 128 almonds in the bag. Almond production –almost all of which is from California — takes about one GALLON of water per EVERY single almond, or about 128 GALLONS of water for this one bag. (That equals about 64 gallon jugs of Nestles bottled water for each 16 ounce bag of nuts..) And estimates are that almond production ALONE makes up ten percent of ALL California water use — that’s about 3.8 BILLION gallons of water EVERY DAY, 365 days a year. And Besides BIG Almonds, BIG Agriculture accounts for 80 percent of ALL water use in California — about One TRILLION-Gallons PLUS per year.

Continue reading BIG Almonds, Little Water: The Quickie Guide to California’s Drought

Two Unforgettable Profiles In Courage: 1969

Two Unforgettable Profiles In Courage: 1969

The first “favorable” articles I ever read about homosexuality and bisexuality  were in WIN Magazine, a radical pacifist journal, in its “gay liberation issue” of November 15, 1969. (“Gay liberation” was a brand-new coinage then.)

I still remember how the “coming out” (yet another new phrase for me) story of and by David McReynolds, who was then the main staff member of the War Resisters League {WRL}, hit me like a series of physical blows.

McReynolds-Notes-Title-image

Continue reading Two Unforgettable Profiles In Courage: 1969

Guilford: Quaker College On The Endangered List?

Guilford: Quaker College On The Endangered List?

At Guilford College in Greensboro NC, the hullabaloo over graduation has died down. And now, a grim summer has begun.

Specifically, the passing out of diplomas was followed by the passing out of pink slips, to 52 staff and faculty. That’s thirteen percent of Guilford’s 400 employees, almost one in seven.

Sweetbriar-RIP-2 Continue reading Guilford: Quaker College On The Endangered List?