Author(s): Perry Hutchison
Our roads and rails in disrepair,
whole fam’lies without shelter;
while fossil fuels befoul our air
as if it did not matter.

It’s nothing less than villainous
that Afghans we condemn;
let’s spend our dollars fixing “us”
instead of fighting “them.”


Perry Hutchison is a member of the Fanno Creek Worship Group of Multnomah Monthly Meeting, Portland, Oregon (NPYM).

Author(s): Bill Lovelady
At Siegen, a single Panzer halts Allied ammo convoy for 30 minutes

Speak English, soldier boy,
she said, your German is atrocious.
I want no compliments from you.
Some American shot my brother;
I haven’t heard from him for months.

I waved you over here
because I want an American son
to teach him to hate Americans.
You will remember when you grow up,
whether you want to or not,
there is a possibility... Read more.
Author(s): Bill Lovelady
The boys of my neighborhood
dreamed of escaping middle Texas.
We wanted to see some exotic land,
such as Kansas or the Sooner State.
Simple rules seeped by osmosis
into our unformed brains.
At our most eloquent,
we said, “Fair is fair.”
We played vicious games:
no television, few radios,
no soccer, no Little League.
We graduated from marbles,
hide and go seek, red rover,
and kick the can.
We played one and over,
flip... Read more.
Author(s): David Zarembka

I received more reaction to my posting, The Iconification of Nelson Mandela and American Racism, than for any other of the 257 postings that I had done in almost seven years. Some of the responses were supportive, some critical, and some “yes, but.” Below is my original newsletter article, followed by a sampling of the responses.

At his death at 95 years of age, Nelson Mandela is being lionized as a freedom fighter, hero, and saint by the western media. The message is that... Read more.

Author(s): Paula Palmer

As I write this in late November 2013, Americans across the country are gathering together in their homes to give thanks. In southeastern Colorado, Cheyenne and Arapaho people are gathering together, too, but for a different reason. This week marks the 149th anniversary of the massacre at Sand Creek, where on November 29, 1864, the U.S. Cavalry murdered approximately 200 unarmed Cheyenne and Arapaho women, children, and elders who were supposed to be under their protection. After the... Read more.

Author(s): Nora Cooke

For the past five months, I have been living and working in Berlin, Germany. I went there to live with my cousins and their two young children and to work as a native-English-speaking intern at a Kinderladen called Humpty-Dumpty Berlin, a bilingual daycare which my cousins’ children attend. I also helped out around the house and with the kids at home. As always when I am abroad, I felt embarrassed many times a day by my nationality as a U.S. citizen. 

When this question of patriotism... Read more.

Author(s): Al Thompson, Susan Strong, Leonard Joy, Shelley Tanenbaum, Sarah Hawthorne, James Hosley, Charlie Blanchard

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) recently published a pamphlet titled, Shared Security: Reimagining U.S. Foreign Policy (April 2013). At Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting in Berkeley, California, a small group considered this pamphlet and then organized a larger meeting to talk about this topic after Meeting for Worship on September 29, 2013.  Twenty-eight people attended. For the meeting, we prepared a one-page handout... Read more.

Author(s): Hayley Hathaway

“Did you see the letters?” asked the little 7-year-old at my side. I had just returned from a trip overseas and was recounting some of the highlights. Letters?

“You know, while you were on the plane and looked down, could you see the letters? Like the ones on the maps?”

I laughed. I’m sorry, I told him. There aren’t any letters, just trees and highways and fields; from a plane usually you can’t even tell which state or country you’re in.

Yet here on the ground, those... Read more.

Author(s): Bill Lovett

During the buildup of the Vietnam War in 1967, several Friends families found themselves in Visalia, California, due to the establishment of the American Friends Service Committee’s Farm Labor Program. The program was focused on helping low-income families, especially farm workers, to form cooperative groups. These groups of eight to twelve families were then guided through the process of building their own homes.

As the war escalated, we formed the Tulare County Peace Committee and... Read more.

Author(s): Diane Randall

Diane Randall has served as the Executive Secretary of Friends Committee on National Legislation since March 2011. Before joining FCNL, Diane spent nine years in Connecticut as Executive Director of Partnership for Strong Communities, a non-profit working for solutions to homelessness. She is a member of Hartford Monthly Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting. Diane spoke by phone with Western Friend on December 10, 2013. The following text was drawn from a transcript of that interview.... Read more.


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