Category Archives: Passing the Torch(es)

A fresh wave of hard-right populism is stalking Europe

In Germany, the AfD are weaponising climate change

The Economist — Sep 14th 2023
A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of a rising hard right. In Germany the overtly xenophobic Alternative for Germany (afd) has surged to become the country’s second-most popular party.
Its success is polarising domestic politics and it seems poised to triumph in state elections in the east next year. In Poland the ruling Law and Justice party is leading the polls ahead of a general election on October 15th, and it is being drawn further to the right by an extreme new party, Confederation.

Continue reading A fresh wave of hard-right populism is stalking Europe

Dyer: Zimbabwe Election (With Updates)

Late Update, August 26, 2023:

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa was reelected for a second and final fiveyear term late Saturday in results announced much earlier than expected following another troubled vote in the southern African country with a history of violent and disputed elections.

An opposition party spokesperson said within minutes of Mnangagwa being declared the winner that they would reject the results as “hastily assembled without proper verification.”

Mnangagwas victory meant the ZANUPF party retained the governmental leadership it has held for all 43 years of Zimbabwes history since the nation was renamed following independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Zimbabwe has had just two leaders in that time, longruling autocrat Robert Mugabe and Mnangagwa.

Background: Zimbabwe and the ‘Ruling Party Syndrome’

Gwynne Dyer — August 21 2023

Emmerson Mnangagwa -Zimbabwe

“No-one will stop us from ruling this country. You will be lost if you don’t vote for ZANU-PF,” said President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe. A bit more arrogant than the usual election pitch in most parts of the world, perhaps, but not unusual in Zimbabwe, one of the southern African countries suffering from ‘ruling party syndrome’. Continue reading Dyer: Zimbabwe Election (With Updates)

Quakerism by The book: A Tribute to Tom Hamm And A Call To His Successor Quaker Historians

Tom Hamm, applauded as he concludes service as Clerk of the Faculty at Earlham College on the Eve of his retirement, May 2023.


Thomas Hamm was the subject of many tributes and high praise at Earlham College this month, as he retired from more than three decades as a professor of  Quaker history and director of the school’s noted archives, built around an extensive Quaker collection.
I was among those who gathered during the weekend of May 19-20 at the Earlham School of Religion, for “Quakerrama,” an extended hybrid tribute to his scholarship at the Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana.

Say Hello to The New “Antiwar” Movement: It’s Already Winning

Back in the day, the Vietnam years, resisters against the military draft could muster an occasional bit of whimsy. A favorite button was about beer.

But if truth is the first casualty of war, for many of us whimsy and a sense of humor were soon missing in action too. Draft resistance became a mass movement: marches, sit-ins, draft files turned into bonfires, show trials of high profile protesters. It was a gripping, sometimes heroic, often grim time, and as the war dragged on, not a lot of laughs. In 1970, a movie was released called Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?” Billed as a comedy-drama; it was a total flop. Continue reading Say Hello to The New “Antiwar” Movement: It’s Already Winning

Aiming for the Roots: Anti-Racism and A Failed Attack on Racist Culture

It was in the second session of our anti-racism class, if I remember right, that the teacher drew a diagram on the big flip chart. I’m going to call it TUD, for The Unforgettable Diagram. I’ve forgotten a lot about the class, but not that. Definitely not that.

The class met in the library at Pendle Hill, the Quaker study/retreat center near Philadelphia. The teacher came all the way from Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s iconic college town. Continue reading Aiming for the Roots: Anti-Racism and A Failed Attack on Racist Culture