Kirby Urner's Blog (40)

Religious Studies

I've long been aware of this branch in Jewish Orthodoxy and have wondered if the free-from-nations movement (FFNM) would be regarded as offensive to them. Paradox: FFNM encourages each self-respecting nation to fulfill plans for world domination virtually meaning: assume you've won, the world is your… Continue

Added by Kirby Urner on 2nd mo. 25, 2018 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments

Jerusalem: World Capital

As one respectful and grateful to science, and yet a believer in continuing revelation, to me it's clear what a Chosen People we are, as hominid inhabitants of this "Global U" or "universe city" called Earth.  Likewise I see our Promised Land is a spherical body, with a relatively large moon, situated amongst other such spherical bodies, none so much an Eden nor genesis zone.

The theatrics of nation-states, on the other hand, seem increasingly phony to me, nothing serious enough on…


Added by Kirby Urner on 12th mo. 6, 2017 at 11:30pm — 1 Comment

A Quaker Men's Group

I've been a stalwart of this Men's Group for many years now, although I was not present at its inception.

When I moved back to Portland and sought friendship, twas the regional Gathering of Western Young Friends to which I felt attracted. Such beautiful people (Pan, Kate...). I still think so.

However by now, in my late fifties, versus late…

Added by Kirby Urner on 3rd mo. 13, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

On Racism Again

:: stand-up philosophy by Wes Cecil ::

What I wrote on Facebook:

Really enjoyed this, because he's doing philosophy and standup comedy at the same time. Gets my…

Added by Kirby Urner on 2nd mo. 3, 2017 at 6:03pm — No Comments

War Studies


That famous folk song that goes "ain't gonna study war no more" seems clearly in the back of the mind of our writer, Friend Wolf Mendl, as he opens with a defense: "Why would a Quaker, a subclass of Pacifist, study and/or play war games?"  Obviously, in order to end…

Added by Kirby Urner on 1st mo. 16, 2017 at 3:16pm — No Comments

13th (movie review)

Friends gathered at the Stark Street meetinghouse for this public-invited showing of 13th, a widely distributed, award-winning documentary about the ongoing cultural and civil war in North America.

Although Lincoln declared the slaves free, an opening shot in his war to preserve the Union, the South was not on board with providing them with full human rights overnight.  Women couldn't vote yet either.  A system of apartheid…


Added by Kirby Urner on 1st mo. 8, 2017 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

True Stories

The Multnomah Meeting's Peace & Social Concerns Committee arranged for this event.

We had a potluck downstairs, then adjourned to the upstairs worship room for singing and stories told by Carol Urner, my mom, about her life.…


Added by Kirby Urner on 11th mo. 7, 2016 at 11:20am — No Comments


I've been revisiting the literature assembled in the wake of Russian mystics Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, having purchased in soft cover four of the published six volumes by Maurice Nicoll, which are psychological commentaries on the thinking thereof.  A book sale at the meetinghouse.

Some may dispute this label "mystics" correctly applies, as if to them,…

Added by Kirby Urner on 10th mo. 23, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Reflections on Worship

Carol, my mom, shared one of two spoken ministries in Meeting for Worship last First Day. 

I found out about it second hand, as my job, as her chauffeur, was to obtain new triple-A batteries for her hearing device (she's 87) and pack her lunch, so she could eat a bit during Peace & Social Concerns, leaving early to make a concert downtown. I did this during worship.

Anyway, I gather she shared about the threat of WW3 breaking out, which you'll see all over Youtube as a hot,…


Added by Kirby Urner on 10th mo. 10, 2016 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Revisiting 911

[ originally from my Grain of Sand ]

I think I'll do a 9-11 post a couple days early.  That's my wedding anniversary, true for many.  We booked the Rhododendron Garden, and although we had a backup plan, in case it rained, it didn't. That was 1993.

My parents suffered their car crash, fatal to my dad, in October, 2000.  I'd been to Lesotho to help with the aftermath, Julie taking over.  On September 11,…


Added by Kirby Urner on 9th mo. 10, 2016 at 12:30pm — No Comments

New Circuit Designs for Motherboard Earth

[ originally on wholesys-l discussion list in 1995, later published by Electronic Frontier Foundation and a Mensa newsletter in Canada. Early "manifesto" introducing "GST" (general systems theory) ]…


Added by Kirby Urner on 9th mo. 5, 2016 at 11:00am — 29 Comments

Internal Memorandum (NPYM IT Committee)

npym-it-discuss content may be forwarded by any subscriber.  I'm sharing a recent memo (by me) here to give a snapshot of a regional body of Beanite branch Friends taking care of IT / business.

From: kirby urner <>

Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:26:43 -0700

Subject: update on Regional Directory design (future plans)

To: npym-it-discuss <>…


Added by Kirby Urner on 8th mo. 30, 2016 at 5:30pm — 15 Comments

Religious Education

Given I'd "glommed on" to Wittgenstein, as my thesis advisor Richard Rorty might have put it, as a user of the verb "to glom," I found myself wandering over to the Religion Department half the time.

Victor Prellar was there, in Religion.  He'd been an Anglican priest in one chapter, I think it was, and now he was sharing Wittgenstein with higher level students.  Princeton includes a small grad school, although it prides itself on its focus on undergrads.  I was invited, as an…


Added by Kirby Urner on 8th mo. 27, 2016 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Offering Refuge to the World's Weary

A "refugee" is "someone seeking refuge" which quickly expands to us all in meditation or prayer. 

Whole communities came to the New World on those dangerous watercraft, seeking liberty, freedom from persecution, the right to be left alone.  Relationships were continued, at a village level.

Thinking of refugee camps as full of solitary individuals, each needing a desk job and a bus pass, a separate singleton existence, is of course unrealistic. 

Extended families often do…


Added by Kirby Urner on 8th mo. 21, 2016 at 5:00pm — No Comments

What's A Liberal?

I realized somewhat acutely, in some recent discussions here on Q2, that we're sometimes miles apart in our use of terms, without even realizing it sometimes.

In looking over archival copies of what dad and his team put together, for Libya, looking ahead some twenty or more years, I'm impressed by a confidant 1960s, a time of going to the moon. 

Urban planning was something to get a degree in, a new discipline in the US. I was born while dad was finishing up his PhD studies at…


Added by Kirby Urner on 8th mo. 20, 2016 at 7:30pm — 10 Comments

Disarm Day in PDX (autobiographical)

I don't know about other cities, but Portland-based Oregonians have a penchant for referring to their own fair city, by its three-letter international airport code: PDX. 

You'll see that everywhere, as a part of the branding, right up there with Portlandia -- the statue, not the TV show, though why not share that word, make it more multi-media?…


Added by Kirby Urner on 8th mo. 10, 2016 at 3:30pm — No Comments

On Racism

Earlier this morning I finally grabbed a copy of Ashley Montagu's Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race, Kindle Edition, for under $8.

I cite this book often in my copious writings on racism, but will now confess to not having accessed it directly (to the best of my recollection), only come across juicey quotes from it, in books by others.   I'd cut and paste such an example quote right now, but Kindle software hinders cutting and pasting so never mind. Amazon would…


Added by Kirby Urner on 7th mo. 13, 2016 at 4:00pm — 5 Comments

Media Campaigns

US citizens are looking to Washington, DC for "gun control" apparently forgetting this is the world's hub for arms dealing and war planning

"Gun control" is not the name of that city's main business.

[ Moving the US capital around, rotating its location, more like the Olympics, might be a way to hold the nation together, but these days it's looking …


Added by Kirby Urner on 6th mo. 22, 2016 at 9:00pm — No Comments

A Quaker Dress Code

Note that I use the indefinite article on purpose, "A" and not "The".  The dress code Friends expect and even enforce on occasion (no shirt, new shoes, no service), at least in a Business context, is in no way universal and is of course reflective of ambient dress codes, role models in the surrounding culture.

For example, driving while naked is not permitted in Portland except on designated days and routes on a bicycle.  Some don't bother with permission but that's…


Added by Kirby Urner on 6th mo. 5, 2016 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

An Abolitionist President

Although US president Barack Obama is not a direct descendant of the Anglo-American slave trade, his abolitionist stance versus nuclear weapons is consistent with abolitionist values championed by a few Quakers in Underground Railroad times. 

You may be thinking "a few Quakers" is an understatement given Friends had disowned all slave-owning by around the early 1800s, pre Civil War.  Good point, however the US Government took the position that slavery was legal at the time, and indeed…


Added by Kirby Urner on 5th mo. 27, 2016 at 11:30am — No Comments

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.

You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Melinda Grube liked Kirby Urner's discussion No Quakers, Only Quakerism
Melinda Grube updated their profile
Michael liked Kirby Urner's discussion No Quakers, Only Quakerism
3rd day (Tue)
George-Michael Payne updated their profile
2nd day (Mon)
Madeleine Reidy replied to Barbara Smith's discussion 'New Worship Group near Ithaca, NY' in the group Conservative Friends
"Hello Barb, I'm originally from Trumansburg, now live in New Orleans, but I occasionally go…"
7th day (Sat)
Keith Saylor posted a blog post

Hidden things brought to light, or, the discord of the grand Quakers among themselves ...

Research Notes, Geroge Fox, John Pennymen, John Perrot, Robert RichI am currently keyboarding…See More
3rd month 16
Kirby Urner replied to Kirby Urner's discussion 'No Quakers, Only Quakerism'
"Deborah writes, in conclusion: At the core of the practice of Quakerism is the experience, and the…"
3rd month 15
Forrest Curo replied to Kirby Urner's discussion 'No Quakers, Only Quakerism'
"Are we talking about that exclusive club of friends of Christ Jesus, who hangs out with all manner…"
3rd month 14

© 2018   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service