Kirby Urner's Blog (56)

War Studies

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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

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…

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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?…

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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

Should Meetings Accept Bitcoin and/or Other Crypto Currencies?

I'm asking an open-ended query, accepting in advance that some Friends may have made up their minds on this question (see title), whereas many more will have never posed such a query to themselves. 



We might as well give it some time to season, invite feedback. 



As Clerk of IT Committee for NPYM, it's a part of my designated role to invite open forum on such questions, debate if you will, worship-sharing, worship-discussion.



For more context: …

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Added by Kirby Urner on 5th mo. 14, 2016 at 6:30pm — 5 Comments

What's "New" About Quakerism

What I find refreshingly "new" in Quakerism (well-established by now) is a mode of corporate self governance designed around the concepts of managing a business, a shared enterprise.



A monthly Business Meeting is deliberately kept open to involvement by the whole community and treasures transparency in its doings, as manifest by the…

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Added by Kirby Urner on 3rd mo. 26, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

Quaker Boot Camps?

I can't claim to "study war no more" like in the song, as "war" (the concept) permeates our collective thinking too deeply to ever be excised. 



Those of us who think outward weapons are for losers, may still have a Lamb's War to fight, with inward weapons only.  Our enemies are psychological complexes, meme viruses, damaging ideologies.  "You can't kill the devil with a gun or a sword" goes the popular tune about our founder George Fox.  Outward weapons are semi-useless where…

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Added by Kirby Urner on 3rd mo. 7, 2016 at 12:30pm — 5 Comments

On Membership

Lets do an experiment.  Pick a Meeting, any Meeting.  Find a Monthly Meeting that dares to list its recorded members as a matter of public record, with or without other contact information.  Have you found one yet?  Take your time.

Time was, being public about one's membership was an act of courage.  You might go to prison for it.  The English church considered Quakers too subversive to be allowed to spread.  Many left for the New World as a result of these persecutions, although it…

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Added by Kirby Urner on 2nd mo. 29, 2016 at 1:30pm — 15 Comments

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