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
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
My musical hero Beethoven (born around this date in 1770; baptized on December 17; died 1827) wrote only one opera, Fidelio.
In it, instead of rhapsodizing about Teutonic gods, or killing off ill-fated sopranos, his story dealt with a group of political prisoners who win their freedom from an oppressive system, mainly through the heroism of a woman.
Continue reading Beethoven’s Message to Guantanamo — And To Us
May 4 — What A Day — Part Two
The Haymarket massacre (or Haymarket riot) took place on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at the Haymarket Square in Chicago. It became the September 11 of its time. It began as a rally in support of striking workers. An unknown person threw a bomb at police as they tried to disperse the rally.
Continue reading May 4 — What A Day — Part Two
So here it comes again: on another list, a complaint about expensive Quaker schools. Are they really “Quaker”? Don’t they sow division in meetings? Don’t they perpetuate all kinds of bad class stuff??
For the record, I never worked at one of the fancy Quaker schools; but I was briefly on the “faculty” of the fledgling (and now gone) Friends World College some 45 years ago, where I earned room, board and all the luxury a couple hundred bucks a month could buy.
Continue reading Rant: Complaining About Fancy-Schmancy Quaker Schools
Originally posted in July, 2009
In the current health-care melee, we hear much alarmist talk and Canada-bashing, aimed at their single-payer health system.
A few days back, I had an unexpected chance to observe the Canadian system up close. What I saw was very instructive.
Here’s what happened: on the last evening of a Toronto visit, I was invited to dinner by a young couple – let’s call them Hank and Sue, for privacy.
Continue reading Dog Days Flashback: Enlightenment In A Canadian Emergency Room