Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Better days to bitter days : )


When Sociopaths Ruled the World

Here we are, in a nation out of control, and why? Let's look at it reasonably. Sexual sociopathic killers often target those they feel would not be missed, prostitutes, runaways...
Who are the leaders of this nation targeting... Most Americans lump all middle eastern people together, a mass of dangerous "Arabs". So in order to control raw materials in Asia and the third world, we kill hundreds of thousands of them - to the Ashcrofts and Midwestern American voters, they are expendable. Unlike the American prostitute, most Americans will never hear the voice of the bereaved parents... they never "looked like us" in the childhood photos of the murdered adult splashed on the news...

Filberto was such a man to the FBI and our political leaders... one of "societies offenders who might well be underground and they'd none of them be missed, they'd none of them be missed.". So the administration declares war on "terror" in order to control the flow of oil, away from China, not even directing it over here. Cut off the tools of growth to the competitor of the empowered three percent that Mr. Bush calls his base. Well, this "war on terror" costs the US a major and beloved southern city and a large number of small towns, thousands of lives... without a major "victory" to distract the people. So, lets see, we tried Filberto, he got acquitted, we jailed him and the courts said, you must try and convict him first, so he is let out on bail and he gets away, they don't look hard for him, they did not "need" him. Who wants another acquittal that calls the US history in Puerto Rico into question. But now, now he has a role. Shoot him dead and say it is a victory in the war on terror. But, the little guy gets the last word again. He chooses not to die right away. He slowly bleeds to death thereby exposing the governments plan to use him. He does not die in the FBI blaze of glory... he does not die the Dilleringer, " FBI always gets their man ", death... no... they need to fish for excuses why as they allowed him to slowly and painfully bleed to death on the ground.
It is time we took back this nation from the sociopath bastards to whom we have given our future. We must do this, not only in memory of Filberto, but, because as they spend 900 billion on killing, they are not spending what needs to be spent for survival of our species and the end of those things that occasion war. War does not just happen like a hurricane. It is the price of allowing sociopaths to rule our lives. Blair, Bush, Hussein, Putin the stinking lot of them... give them a nice plush hospital to work out their problems, but for god's sake, take away their guns before more people get hurt.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Minstrel Boy in the land of the free and the home of the brave...

The minstrel fell, but the foe man's chains could ne'er drag his proud soul under
the harp he loved ne'er spoke again, for he tore her proud cords asunder
saying no man's hand shall sully thee, thou soul of love and bravery
thy cords were meant for the pure and free, they shall never sound in slavery.

But what of the minstrel who is left behind, to walk among the silent martyr's graves
To spend long nights thinking of the many friends in forgotten prison cells
to count the number of friends among the missing, the lost, the disappeared
The voice of such a minstrel becomes a melancholy, mechanical thing without a soul
a song lost in a land of slavery.

I walked out in the middle of a song last night, never did that before
but the sound in my throat was not my voice
thy cords were meant for the pure and free
they shall never sound in slavery.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hey Folks... a little help here... how do you live in 21st Century USA?

Let's see. I find myself jealous of Nathan and Anna. They don't even know Filberto ever lived. If a Filberto falls in the woods, and no one knows... I don't know. I just don't know... Better to be blind, away, what, I just don't bloody know. I don't even know who to ask these days. I'll be out cold before Genie gets home. Four walls, a TV... a clock, no radio... a phone, no one to call, hmmm call the FBI, ask them... naw... think not... I'll look inside, deeper, and deeper and deeper... and soon I am looking up from the bottom of the well and I find there is no one here to say... more cartoons to come soon, almost done, more laughs, good laughs... happy laughs, I think sometimes I get as sick at laughing as crying... I just want to go ... some place nice.

Scream Bloody Murder... howl in rage if you are sane...

Who can be surprised after the history of the interaction of the people of Puerto Rico and the government of the United States. Where to begin, the Ponce Massacre? 18 Puerto Rican unarmed young people, marching for freedom, shot dead in the streets in the 1920's or was it the 30's...

According to Leonardo Aldridge, of the Associated Press, Filberto was left alone in his home for almost 24 hours after being wounded, left to bleed to death..

If in fact they thought that there were bombs in the house, why did they not bring in bomb experts during the four days they staked out his house. Could they not imagine ANY scenario where they would have had to go into the house? This was a stunt to deflect attention from the fact that the war against "terrorism" is a political shell game that the government is loosing... so the FBI murders an old man to promote the myth that our nation is full of dangerous terrorists.

He was shot in his shoulder that went out through the middle of his back, piercing his lung.

Results from the autopsy late Saturday did not determine a time of death.

Sanchez Ramos, the medical examiner, criticized the FBI for refusing to allow four local prosecutors to enter the farmhouse after the shootout.

``The information we have is that if Mr. Ojeda had received immediate medical attention after being shot, he probably would have survived,'' he said.

``They did not come to arrest Filiberto Ojeda, they came to kill him,'' said Hector Pesquera, president of the Hostosiano independence movement.

Monday, September 26, 2005

America Tonight, one post that I wished could be two...

Oh dear dear dear dear dear. I so wanted to post the happy post I had lived these past three days, before today, before that mad bitch America broke loose from her rabid dog chain again to kill, to kill and to kill as she does so damn well. Friday.
Friday, such a lovely day in Lancaster PA. Gentle warmth. Cooler by evening. Morning driving to New Holland, driving without a stop, as the dear folks at Wee Fox tailors where closing early to see their daughter who has been living in Kentucky. Plain Mennonites.
Friday, a sniper, a Federal agent points his gun at an old man.
Friday, such warm smiles as I thank my Mennonite friend for making such a warm coat for me last winter. A coat I look forward to wrapping around my aching heart, so full of tender memories, gentle memories, painful memories, memories.
Memories tonight of an gentle old man, with a goatee. I see him in my mind's eye. A face, in my memory, a face with the bead of an FBI agent's gun closed on his living heart, his memories of love of his wife, of his land, of his life.
That coat you made for me made me so warm. Thank you, I'd like a new suit. She measures me, above my waist. Asks my wife to bring my trousers from the bathroom so that she can measure me with modesty... Where can I find shoes? Saunders ...
They found him ... fifteen years on the run, almost a decade before that a robbery, for the children of Puerto Rico, for the freedom of Puerto Rico, for the memory of the young Puerto Rican cadets of freedom that were shot dead by federal troops.... unarmed - they were shot dead.... not very long ago, to Filberto.
I went to get a hat cover, dear young Amish and Mennonite children getting their yearly hats...
Young cadets, lay bleeding to die on the streets in Filberto's memory, he lies bleeding to die in my memory now forever, at the same time I was seeing peaceful Amish children's faces, did he see the young cadets as he lay down to die?
The shoe store was closed. Nathan and Anna Martin ... Mennonites. I helped his son brush the horse, hitch it to a buggy. Genie in the back with Anna, me in the front with Nathan. We spoke of faith, of different faiths, of peace, of war, of wishes for sanity and peace, peace peace, oh the dear dear dear dear thought of peace.
Peace. Rest in peace Filberto. What moment did you die. Was it as we saw the world through the windscreen of a buggy, past the horse to the fields, fields of peace that madmen sow fear of a war that does not exist here. Was it as we saw the rabbits, the hamsters about to be auctioned. When. When dear friend. When did they kill you.
Another friend was shot. Burnadette Devlin McAlisky, once told the families of murdered young people who loved freedom, that when she was shot, shock was instant and it did not hurt ... she hoped it was a comfort.
Seventhday, Saturday. Falls meeting. Such dear children. I wish I could remember each name, I can each face. Young Charlotte Snipes, whose family had been in Fallsington for hundreds of years. Katelynn and her little sister, a lovely wee girl sitting next to Katelynn, whose name I so wish I could remember, Sam and Max Collins. Such thoughts of honesty, faith, peace, such hopes. I sang for them. We talked, played on the swings. Sam, and Max and their parents Lisa and Jim and Genie and I went to the peace festival.
Filberto was gone. His wife was in the hospital with one of the FBI killers, sent to end his life.
We went to dinner. Lovely evening. In the morning, we went to Solebury Meeting. There was a family from New Orleans. They were making a new life with their new baby in Solebury. I gave a message. They felt pain to ask for help. I spoke of the joy of giving and that they brought this joy to Solebury. After we spoke of the difference between leadings and notions. We met a new friend, Rachel. She reminded Genie of Amanda. She was bright, and a fast thinker, and wanted to know everything, and likely will...
All the knowing of Filberto's life is over. All he could teach, all his kindness and love ripped away by a small bit of lead for which we all paid by our taxes.
We met an old man, maybe Filberto's age. He graduated high school in 1945. He had biked from Brooklyn to New Hope.
New Hope. New hopes. Oh God, grant us new hope for his sick bitch of a nation. Grant me a joyful weekend that can stand alone. One post...

Adiós viejo amigo, usted no será olvidado

I was going to post about a good trip... instead, I come home to find that the FBI killed an old friend, friday night, as Genie and I were being taken by Mennonite horse drawn buggy to the Green Dragon, the FBI was hunting down an old man who fought for his nation Puerto Rico, and like generations of Puerto Ricans before him, he paid with his life for his hopes for his nations freedom. Filberto would always bring me a cup of tea, when I worked with Joe Doherty, on his case as a paralegal, in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. He was a kind, grandfatherly fellow, with an air of self confidence and hospitality. Visiting him on the cell block, was like being invited into his home. He and his friends robbed an armored car in protest to the illegal occupation of Puerto Rico, a story of the murder of unarmed protestors and corruption. They took the money and bought toys for all the children of Puerto Rico for Christmas.

We are returning to the times when activists like Fred Hampton are simply killed?
Adiós Filberto, mi amigo, usted no será olvidado
Sleep now, and awake in a land of freedom.

"If They Come in the Morning" by Jack Warshaw
(sung by Roy Bailey too)
and... sung by Christy Moore

They call it the law, we call it apartheid, internment, conscription, partition and silence
Its the law that they make to keep you and me where they think we belong
they hide behind steal and bullet proof glass machine guns and spies
and they tell who suffer the teargas and torture that we're in the wrong

no time for love if they come in the morning
no time to show tears of for fears in the morning
no time for good by no time to ask why
and the sound of the siren is the cry of the morning

they suffer the torture the rotted in cells when crazy wrote letters and died
the limits of pain they endured but the loneliness got them instead
and the courts gave them justice as justice is given by well mannered thugs
sometimes they fought for the will to survive ,but more times they just wished they were dead

The took away young Francis Hughes and his cousin Tom McElwee as well
they came for Patsy O'Hara, Bobby Sands and some of his friends
In Boston Chicago, Saigon, San Diego, Warsaw and Belfast
and places that never make headlines the list never ends

The boys in blue are only a few of the everyday cops on the beat
The CID branch men the Blacks and the Gilmores do their jobs as well
behind them the men who tap phones take photos program computers and files
and the man who tells them when to come and take you to your cell

Come all of you people who give to your sisters and your brothers the will to survive
they say you can get used to a war but that does not mean the war isn't on
the fish need the sea to survive just like your people need you
and the death squad can only get through to them if first can get through to you

The following comes to me from the Portside list


(Subway: 4, 5, 6, J, M to Brooklyn Bridge; A, C, E to
Chambers St.; R, N to Canal St)

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign is calling on all our
allies and supporters of justice to join us on Monday
Sept. 26th at 5pm at 26 Federal Plaza to denounce the
assassination of Puerto Rican revolutionary leader
Filiberto Ojeda Rios, leader of the clandestine
revolutionary organization called El Ejercito Popular
Boricua-Macheteros (The Popular Boricua Army-Machete

On Friday Sept. 23rd, in a massive Federal Bureau of
Investigation (F.B.I.) operation in the town of
Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, Filiberto Ojeda Rios, leader
of the clandestine revolutionary organization called El
Ejercito Popular Boricua-Macheteros (The Popular
Boricua Army-Machete Wielders) was assassinated by an
FBI sniper.

During the ensuing gun battle, Beatriz Rosado Barbosa,
Ojeda RiosÂ' wife, was critically wounded and then
arrested, along with an F.B.I. agent. Both are
presently hospitalized, and a third man has yet to be
identified by authorities.

This assassination is an attack against the Puerto
Rican Independence movement that cannot go unanswered!!
We must mobilize and organize a response to this
heinous act of murder. Ojeda Rios represented the
revolutionary spirit and morality of the Puerto Rican
independence movement!!

The FBI chose to assassinate Ojeda Rios on Friday Sept.
23rd (Known as El Grito de Lares, a celebration of the
anti-colonial resistance movement in Puerto Rico) as a
message to the independence movement; the US government
is trying to tell us that if we resist, then we will be
murdered like Ojeda Rios, Don Pedro Albizu Campos,
Angel Rodrgiuez Cristobal and the many other Puerto
Rican patriots that have fallen at the hands of the US

We will not be scared or initmidated. The power of the
people cannot be stopped!! We make freedom happen; we
make liberation happen!!

outrage, mourning and resistance!! Wear a black arm
band, wear all black, bring your niose makers, your
flags and your 25 closest friends to the protest!!


Sunday, September 25, 2005

"Funky little fifth sentence meme"

I got this from who tells you where she got it.

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to it).
3. Find the 5th sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

This was mine...

We Quakers all sit down
and pass the thoughts around
to show we're all profoundon
solid Quaker ground

as true as ever...
PS(Thanks A.G.)Notes on my trip tommorow...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

God and Harvey the Pooka

I was on the verge of a post, about truth God and being alone, about the danger of creating a God to keep you company when you seem to live far from the hope of a life lived among people who care about you, and then a single word from a friend cheered my heart greatly. But, I suppose that proves to a degree... we need not only to love, but to be loved. To create a God to love us when we live at the bottom of a well is to be sitting next to Harvey the invisible rabbit in the bar. I'd not do that to God. I once, rather foolishly said, we are to discipline ourselves to joy. I think rather, sometimes we need to simply get by and wait and hope for joy. A friend the other day, said she worried about playing music with me because I never write any happy music. Well, yes, that is a concern. But, I can't be dishonest and write well. There has not been much happiness in my life, and I can only write about what I know. If God has only shown one face to me, it is not for me to invent the rest.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


"ADHD without the hyperactivity is like a movie without popcorn" A message delivered at meeting by the Gray Avenger...

Monday, September 19, 2005

Union Sq... today

Cindy Sheehan speaks in New York,

CindyCops 3

an obscure Quaker folksinger regales the crowd with song (Bobby's Song) to be posted later...

lor 4

Cindy Sheehan is pulled to safety as the cops rush the stage from the other side to take the sound system...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

What Would Jesus Do... ?

Interesting Question... It first came to me when I bought a teddy bear for a Jewish pal's kid... it had a funny sweater... with the letters WWJD, thought it was a college or something. Gordon was not amused. He told me what it meant. Whoops. Well, let's see... What WOULD Jesus do... ?

Pretty sure he would not worship a bloke... anyone... ( even if he saw him in the mirror... )

Likely he'd torch the New Testament.

He'd take a bullwhip to the Churches... all of 'em... even ours... whoever is the ours ...

He'd say, eat together... don't forget the wine... have fun.
oh and don't leave anyone out...

That's because he got left out, allot. He remembered when he got popular,

allot don't

Oh yeah... he'd also say stop all the make-ee-up-ee crap and seek the truth.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Thank You Amanda and Ishmael


I'm still catching up on my reading... couldn't read for a long while. I had started a book given to me by my friend Amanda... for a variety of reasons, I expect... my having lived somewhere between the leaver and taker societies, to use Daniel Quinn's convention in that book, Ishmael, to describe the difference between hunter gatherer and farming societies... by ability to visit my friend Julia for hours in her jail cell, sitting with her as she played with, or showed me her child Peirpont... feeling a sense of personal outrage as people would shout at her, "Look at the monkey..." and I would reply, Julia is a ape, a higher primate like you and me.

I finally finished the book, the reflection towards the end that we are all in the prison of our culture, even Donald Trump can't escape the prison he builds for himself and others... I did try. I lived on the margins of life for most of mine. I am not sure, that I chose to do that... perhaps I found the margins because of rejection by the mainstream, but it was clear that I was not to be allowed into the company of takers.

These frontiers of the margins are now very hard pressed. I watch as my Hunter Gatherer friends in Canada slowly die within the process of being forced into the prison of Taker culture. It becomes increasingly lonely on those margins.

A fellow, who I think was likely a madman, approached me as I had coffee last first day. He was wearing a long black robe and had adorned himself with an eccentric collection of symbols.... he wished me a Sabbath Shalom, and I explained I was a Quaker, and after going back and forth between questions about the Amish and Shakers and whathaveyou, he asked where the meeting house was... and when meeting was... ah well...

During meeting I could not settle into silence, I was stuck in thought about my loneliness. I had fallen for the trap of the Taker culture. I followed love from living the hunter gatherer life of a busker on the west coast of Ireland, to return to the US, and try to bring that life here, not knowing it was not the trappings of the life that made the life. I built Irish boats, and busked, and became less and less a part of life in the States, I began to fight for the rights of those who lived in the margins next to me, Romany people, Indians, humans without homes... and so I went to law school and it became even more apparent that I had no place in the White Male Takers society... and I came out of law school a little more lonely, I'd strayed even farther from the society of the leavers, while not entering the life of the takers. There I was, thinking in meeting about living alone, eating alone, worshiping alone, forcing my self to play music at times, mostly no longer listening to music, because playing in bands, like the one I now am sitting in on, a band whose only purpose is a pay check and even the music be damned... I play alone in that band... caught in the space between my world of leavers and the world of takers. After a half hour, a figure who had been sitting in the middle of the meetinghouse, rose, and I took of my hat to hear the message, and to my real horror, it was the madman, and worse... he was walking over to me. I put a finger to my lips and shook my head, to let him know this was not a good time for a conversation. He leaned very close to me, over a bench, and whispered... "thank you."
For a moment... I was not alone.

The State of the Nation

Rome Burns while Nero reads Children's Books

So much for the Bully Pulpit. This same president who sat doing nothing during the first critical minutes of the attack on the World Trade Center, did nothing during the critical days of the floods in the south. I passed hundreds of gallons of water in neighborhood stores, buses that could have been used, as it was between school terms, to bring food and water down and people out of New Orleans. He could have created an immediate tax voucher system for companies to provide what the government did not do at once, he did nothing.

Now this morning he is offering the nation a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who does not protect a teenage girl's right to sue after being raped in school, who does not believe that environmental organization or civil rights groups have a right to use the courts for protection of rights. In short, he is putting on the highest court a man with little judicial experience who is himself, anti-court. For Roberts the courts exist to protect that old White dominance over all - likely at the expense of the future of humanity when it comes to issues of the environment.

God help the nation, God help humanity. These things matter.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Flood

This was posted on Mudcat by Poppagator, a happy man, his family is safe, though he lost a house, a car, everything else, his guitar... but there is humor and anger in this, and I thought you all may like to see it...

Wanted: Young White Women To Sit On Roofs In New Orleans

by wamland

Wed Aug 31st, 2005 at 04:30:20 PDT

It is time to step up for your country and your city, "Young White Women".
Everyone knows that the media and the population will only get involved and therefore push the government to get involved in any serious rescue attempts if they are given the face of a "Young White Woman" to identify with.

Therefore I am proposing that 100 "Young White Women" be airlifted onto rooftops in New Orleans and then videotaped being rescued by boat and helicopter. Perhaps then the country will demand that the federal government speed a thousand helicopters to the scene to rescue the rest of those on their roofs and then seal up the levee and stop the inevitable flooding of the rest of the city.

If the "Young White Women" can bring a small dog or perhaps be a minor celebrity that would be even better.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

From Paul Busby...

Friends, the Yearly Meeting staff wants to let you know that the American
Friends Service Committee is currently accepting donations to assist those
affected by Hurricane Katrina. You can make a gift to AFSC's Crisis Fund by
sending a check to AFSC, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia PA 19102 or using
the secure donation form at