For a long time now I myself have considered the existing political/economic system to be a disaster; and the latest unnerving results to be less of a change than politically-oriented Friends seem to believe. (I wouldn't say we've had the government we 'deserved' exactly -- but one well-designed to make us work through a whole mess of bad karma.)

In terms of what to do about it, this is the best I've seen:


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Basically, the Pseudo-Anti-Awfulists beat the Awfulist Party.

I think it is a good time for Friends to reflect on the words of Mike Farley from Britain Yearly Meeting.  I shortened thoughts from his much longer recent blog so it could be read to Friends who are hurting over the election results; yet I tried to be careful to keep the context and wording as he rendered it (if you are reading this Mike, please do forgive me for changing British spellings to American spellings).  I thought it is so powerfully expressed, and our Clerk of Meeting may choose to read it this Sunday before we go into the silence that begins our Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business. 

Our activism as Quakers is an outcome, an outworking, of our experience of the Light. We do not hold meeting for worship in order to strengthen ourselves for action, or to seek God’s blessing on a course of action we have willfully decided upon.  We meet in order to encounter the presence of God. As a result of this encounter, and of our encounter with that of God in each other, we may find ourselves called, inevitably, to action of some kind – but this is humanly a side effect, and divinely a leading; something God leads us into.

Christ was crucified; Gandhi was assassinated. And yet, they did not fail.

We must beware of judging our causes by the standards of the world. The trouble with thinking of ourselves in terms of politics is that we come to think of ourselves as successful or unsuccessful in our political endeavors. But it is our endeavors to love as God first loved us that may have effects beyond anything we may see in our own lifetimes. It is ultimately the power of suffering in love that redeems humankind from the power of evil.

~ Mike Farley, Britain Yearly Meeting

This is true, as far as winning/losing the old political team sport.

The trouble is, we had an apparent choice of two candidates, both of them standing for the increase of human misery and further degradation of the world that provides the physical basis for human survival.

The overt policies of the woman who lost were blatantly militaristic, dangerously aggressive in foreign policy, regressive in her domestic economic stance.

The con man who won, to widespread shock and horror, is effectively a loaded die -- If you remember that Nixon beat Humphrey in the guise of being a peace candidate, then escalated the war against Vietnam to include increased bombing of neighboring countries, that Reagan too posed as 'an outsider'; the possible outcomes aren't worst than what Hillary was bent on producing, but could easily be as bad.

The outcome wasn't the disaster; the election was.

My expectation is Iran will continue to suggest Pakistan follow the role model of South Africa (RSA) and renounce nukes as weapons, keeping the fuel strictly for power and medicine.  That'd say something to India, were Pakistan to follow Iran's advice.

Many in the US are hellbent on casting Iran as lusting for nuke weapons, ignoring the convergence of the non-aligned with the non-nukehead nations.  Getting out of the nukehead club would be a smart move for Pakistan I agree, as to enter it is to play in those terms, which is mentally deranged and not consistent with Islam.

Nukes for power are unfortunately an idea as bright as using gasoline to power myriads of small mobile vehicles & paving whole continents to give them identical places to drive to... I liked what Dmitri Orlov said about reactors, that a bomb was in a sense less dangerous -- because no one would try to operate one safely.

Agreed, however the facts remain what they are, in terms of nukeheads seeking excuses for their depravity.

Yes, if the government of Iran says they aren't pursuing nuclear weapons I'm inclined to believe them. Aside from various religious & ethical objections to such weapons, the (unsuccessful) effort to produce them would expose Iran to even worse foreign harassment.

The fact that nuclear reactors are a pretty unreasonable power source would not have kept the Iranians from making them; it hasn't stopped us so far. (We even keep making bombs; are we nuts or what?)

Kirby, was this ever a discussion about Iran? I'd thought it was about if and whether either of our Biparty candidates was ever a "lesser" evil. And about who our incoming CEO was most likely to sell the country to; also about whether Republican policies would be implemented any better or worse than under Democrat Party auspices...

Depends what you mean by "this" as your lead-in to the thread, as I thought of it, was "In terms of what to do about it".

I was thinking in terms of what other nations could do about it, as a stated objective of the winning campaign was to do away with existing agreements with some of those nations (Iran in particular).

I know you were saying the counterpunch article was the best you'd seen.  Was that the only content you wanted to talk about then?  

I think of the thread that develops as synonymous with "the discussion" so in that sense, yes, Iran was a part of it, thanks to me.

Forrest Curo said:

Kirby, was this ever a discussion about Iran?

Well, other nations gonna do what other nations gonna do; but our own looks likely to come out of this utterly benurgled. So, any suggestions re what we who happen to live here might be called to do?

Like in my case, I have a Flickr album devoted to Portland's Iranian festival. A long time ago, University of Tehran (I'm pretty sure it was, in Iran anyway) cloned several of my Fuller-related web pages, maybe because of 'Humans In Universe' (by Anwar Dil)?

I want Iranians to read what a Quaker who has been to Iran and knows Bucky people thinks Iran needs to keep telling Pakistan (get out of the nukehead club).  That's what I do.  Other Friends might wanna do something similar (citizen diplomacy and all that).

As an expat for so long, I don't always think like "someone who lives here" (old habits...). 

[ Kirby waves to Iranian ambassador ]

Forrest Curo said:

Well, other nations gonna do what other nations gonna do; but our own looks likely to come out of this utterly benurgled. So, any suggestions re what we who happen to live here might be called to do?


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