Kirby Urner's Blog (46)

Portland-Shiraz Sister Cities Project

The Unitarians are more at the forefront than Friends on this initiative, however we had a number of Quakers at the Iran Forum where this proposal was floated, receiving much interest and applause. I'll give a link in the comments to my journal entry on our meeting.  Portland is already sister cities with a lot of others, like Chicago is, including Sapporo (Japan) and Ashkelon (Israel).

Given my connections to higher education, I'm especially keen to share Silicon Forest curriculum…

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Added by Kirby Urner on 7th mo. 7, 2018 at 11:30pm — 2 Comments

Of Plain Speech & Post-nationalism

Stetson + C6XTY

I might bring this up informally with Oversight Committee, like I did with my "Gun Club" Stetson.  "Is this OK?"



By "this" I mean my tendency to refer to nations in the past tense, as a matter of plain…
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Added by Kirby Urner on 5th mo. 14, 2018 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Siding with Iran

As my long time blog readers know, I don't believe the Persians are hellbent on getting nuclear weapons.  On the contrary, the political rhetoric coming from these religious leaders as that holding such WMDs is highly immoral and unethical.



The US Christians don't usually say that.  Evangelicals tend to be pro atom bomb, as an expression of God's love for them.



Protestants are especially bomb crazed and explosive ordnance, along…
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Added by Kirby Urner on 5th mo. 10, 2018 at 1:47pm — 3 Comments

Excerpt from a Memo to SNEC (typos fixed, mentions Earlham)

[SNEC = Synergeticists of the Northeast Corridor ]

Because I went to a fancy school (Princeton) and studied philosophy, I'm used to such as Dr. Walter Kaufman suggesting that "university philosophy" was a subject with zero backbone, a spineless trajectory for dweebs.  That was a challenge to us of course, to make it be otherwise. We were the new generation. He told me directly in his office he thought I was best of breed, in terms of my writing.



Wittgenstein too begged his…

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Added by Kirby Urner on 5th mo. 5, 2018 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Memo re Syria

[memo to a listserv for faculty and Peace Corps vets, a couple typos fixed, I think I'll add this to Medium]



I was pleased to see the militaries colluding to put on a fun show for the vicious masses, eager for fireworks. TV voyeurs love a great spectacle. Many are whining they want more. They want to "rubbleize" Damascus. "Please please please give us more violence".




Choosing to attack supposed…

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Added by Kirby Urner on 4th mo. 18, 2018 at 1:00am — No Comments

Theological Murmurings

One might think "mumbling" describes it better, as more incoherent than not, however "murmuring" sounds better.  Today is Easter, and April Fools.

I'm meditating on the foolishness of Man, quite appropriately. I'm going back to Genesis 2-3 when they apparently had the choice of a second tree's fruit, the fruit of Eternal Life.

Given a choice between Eternal Life and this other thing God said no about, and that had a snake on it, a talking one, Man chose this other thing. How…

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Added by Kirby Urner on 4th mo. 2, 2018 at 1:30am — 1 Comment

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…

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

War Studies

DSCF2938


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…
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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…

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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.…

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

Mystics



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,…
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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,…

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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,…

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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) ]…

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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 <kirby.urner@gmail.com>

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

Subject: update on Regional Directory design (future plans)

To: npym-it-discuss <npym-it-discuss@googlegroups.com>…

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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…

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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…

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

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