[Note: This essay was originally published in Friends Journal; but it’s now behind their paywall. It still seems timely today; maybe more so.]
Quakerism was born in a time of revolutionary upheaval. Yet it learned how to survive when the revolution failed and was followed by decades of persecution.
I sometimes hear Quakers waxing nostalgic about recovering the fire and fervor of “early Friends.”
Continue reading “Survival & Resistance” A Message from 2006 That is Timely Again
All-One Faith! All-One Soap!
Here’s the man behind it all, live from Escondido.
By Chuck Fager – Summer 1976
On March 9, 1945, a man named Fred Walcher got himself crucified. In Chicago, on the framework under an el station, after dark. When the cops found him and pulled him down, bleeding and semi-conscious, he wouldn’t say who had nailed him up there.
Continue reading Dr. Bronner, Magic Soap & Me
In 1856, the Pennsylvania Progressive Friends heard a report from a committee “appointed to consider whether any, and if any, what Limitations ought to be put to the Accumulation of Property in the hands of individuals, as well as corporations, and to suggest laws and other expedients, by which the enormous inequalities among the children of men may be gradually lessened, and hereafter prevented.”
Continue reading Progressive Friends vs Wealth Inequality: Many Good Questions, Few Good Answers . . . .
Yes, for Progressive Quakers, A Man’s Best Friend Was His Dog-gerel. (It Was A Woman Friend’s Best Friend too.) So here’s a sample, from 1856; it might not be great art, but I hear a lot of current resonance in it. It’s called:
The Tyrant’s Ancient Argument: Or, The Dangers of Thought:
Continue reading Progressive Quaker Poetry: The Tyrant’s Ancient Argument–Or, The Dangers of Thought
Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet, by Aric Mcbay, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen. Seven Stories Press, 560 pages.
In early August 2012, a large Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California was hit by an explosion and fire, disrupting production of as much as 240,000 barrels a day.
About two weeks later, at the huge Amuay refinery in Venezuela, an explosion and fire killed more than forty people, and shut down the processing of over 600,000 barrels of oil a day.
Continue reading A Plan For World Holocaust Disguised as a “Green” Revolution
As reports, official and unofficial, have come in about Gina Haspel, the nominee to be the next CIA Director, eerie memories began to seep from the back of my mind.
Take, for instance, this passage from a major Newsweek piece, just out:
“She is the woman who keeps the secrets,” Daniel Hoffman, another former senior CIA officer, told Newsweek. “That’s her. She’s the most discreet person I ever worked with.”
Early on, when she signed up in 1985, she chose the clandestine world over a more public life with a husband and children, her colleagues said. Hall recalled asking Haspel what her weekend plans were as a meeting broke up one afternoon. “Steve, come on,” he remembered her saying. “You know that I have no social life. I have no life whatsoever outside of work.”
No life outside of work: I’d heard that before.
Continue reading Gina Haspel Marks The Return of “Zero Dark Thirty” — Still Zero; Even Darker
A CIA front company, Aero Contractors, ran “torture taxi” flights out of the Johnston County airport in North Carolina for years. The flights crossed there Atlantic, picked up prisoners from Iraq, Afghanistan and other places, and took them to secret prisons, Guantanamo, and other torture sites overseas. (This is not a rumor; the New York Times among others “outed” the operation years ago.)
Continue reading Cleaning Up Torture In North Carolina
Part One: Trying to Catch the Bus
Copyright © By Chuck Fager
San Francisco – 2006
Kate was racing the Muni bus toward the stop at the corner. She was wet and out of breath. It was bad enough, she thought as the bus slowed, that the skinheads had ripped up her peace poster. But why did they have to drench her with ice water?
The bus stopped and the doors flapped open. Kate leaped onto it, flashing her bus pass and shivering her way toward the back. A sudden San Francisco fog had rolled over the peace rally just as it was breaking up, quickly turning a sunny afternoon chill and dreary. The skinheads had jumped her when she rounded a corner, away from the others, headed for the bus and home.
Continue reading Lucy In The Sky, No Diamonds – A Quaker Ghost Story
Friends Seminary, New York City
Settle in, guys and gals; this one is lengthy. But worth it. (It should be especially useful for recovering from an overdose of Supreme Court hearings.)
In a couple of earlier posts– here and also here — many months ago, I mentioned discussions of class as a factor that complicated self-understanding and community-building among Friends today, and promised to return to them at some point.
This is one of those points, precipitated by another New York Times report back in 2011, describing tensions between some Friends in New York City and an expensive private school, Friends Seminary, which adjoins and shares facilities with the Fifteenth Street Meeting in Manhattan. It seems there are New York Friends who say that ties with the school should be cut. This saga is part of the background to the current issue at the school over the firing of its only remaining Quaker teacher. Continue reading Back To Class: Friends, “Our” Schools, And The Shock of Recognition
Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland
In December 2010, on a bright but cold afternoon, I took a serious blow to the ego, and what’s left of my cultural pride. It probably did me good, but I’m still rubbing the sore spot: it’s like a bruise that just won’t heal. It started out fine, when I got off a bus not far from Waterford, Ireland, just in time for an interview.
Continue reading Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland