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Diary of a Worm’s Life in a Home “Growing Power” Box and Garden

Rain Garden
August 2010

Tomatoes & Basil
from Front Lawn
Garden 2010

Back Yard
Garden 08/02/09

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Accepting Insults and Rejection - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr. in Jail

Today is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, Jesuits. St. Ignatius has always been one of my favorite saints, probably due to 13 years of Jesuit education and my study of what is known as Ignatian Spirituality.

A corner stone of Ignatian Spirituality is the Spiritual Exercises, a “set of Christian meditations, prayers and mental exercises, divided into four thematic ‘weeks’ of variable length”, to be a retreat.

Although I had made the ‘Spiritual Exercises’ for various lengths, three days, thirty days and eight days, it was some years before I really understood the prayer of St. Ignatius in the second week (SE #98) where he prays to God to be like Jesus and says he “desires to be with you in receiving all wrongs, all rejections and all poverty..” Now I do not ‘desire’ to be rejected and wronged but I do understand that at the heart of all nonviolence is the acceptance of insults and false allegations. Martin Luther King Jr., in his Letter from Birmingham jail, Gandhi in all his writings on nonviolence and Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement all made this Gospel message very clear: we must accept insults, injuries, marginalization, and false allegations when we believe in our conscience that we are “doing the right thing”.

This teaching has been a comfort to me recently when administrators at Marquette University had made all kinds of false allegations against me: I was endangering the lives of students, forcing my way into private meetings, disrupting teaching and not respecting security officers. These attacks on my character coming from a Catholic Jesuit University are hard to take but through my training and education in Ignatian Spirituality I now know what St. Ignatius was talking about and what many a follower of the way of Jesus has suffered and not reacted. In a strange way my training in the spirituality of St. Ignatius has prepared me for attacks by a Jesuit university.

This seems like a strange paradox: a Jesuit university attacking someone because he is trying to do and practice what they taught him. It was my years of Jesuit education that guided me in “loving your enemies” and doing good to those who harm you. Now my teachers, Jesuit institutions, have turned on me.

St. Ignatius at the beginning of journey to be a companion of Jesus surrendered his sword at a shrine to Mary and traded his royal clothes with that of a beggar. In fact for awhile he became a beggar on the streets of a city in Spain.

Today when I was entering a grocery store a young man called out to me and ask for money so his grandfather could have a decent burial. We talked for awhile, mostly about his grandfather, I gave him some money, we shook hands and I entered the store. Maybe this young beggar was St. Ignatius today calling me to share in the work of mercy, to bury the dead. The insults and rejections of Marquette University officials seem small compared to the grace and blessing this young man bestowed on me.


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When are We Getting Off? - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Although my mind is tired tonight here so here are some one liner’s that came to my head.

Report on the news today says that the Southeast that suffered from a drought last year and is now suffering from over abundance of rain. Buy your peaches while you can. Hope runs eternal except when you are too sad to hope any longer. The religious sisters taught me a lot of things about religion which I no longer accept. But thank God they taught me a systematic view of religion so I have something to accept or reject. When you look deep inside anything you can discover God. The ‘shadow of death’ keeps me grounded. When the mind is tired the brain works slower. The more people the President kills by unmanned drones the more persons he needs to kill. Charity starts at home. Home is where you want it to be. The masters at War are the Masters of war. Truth may be hard to find but ‘opinions of truth’ can always be right. Life is like a merry go around. Both go around and around and we never know when we are getting off. Our curses can be our blessings. Being rejected has its benefits. If you ever see it rain cats and dogs, call the humane society. The line between being a patriot and being a traitor is become very thin in the USA.


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Purple Flower Moment in the Sun - Monday, July 29, 2013

Purple flowers reign in the rain garden this week. Each group of perennial flowers seems to have its time to shine in front garden and the batch of purple flowers, (I cannot remember the name) are ready to lead the beauty show. Flowers for every season, except winter are on display, some early in spring, some in summer and some wait to fall.

Life is like that at times. We all get our time to shine, some more than others, some in big ways and many in little ways. However there is a time for all of us to shine, meet a challenge or just be persistent. When our time comes we need to be ready or we can miss our opportunities. We get ready by being available with our time and presence. A phone call we make can brighten a life or one made to us can do the same for us. In each and every moment there is a depth of experience, be it joy or sadness, laughter or crying, smiling or frowning and seeing or hearing.

We can learn from the purple flowers how to get the most out of each moment. The flowers act according to their nature, what is deep inside of their genetic code. We too can respond to our true nature, deep down in us.

The perennial flowers renew themselves each year. They grow where they are planted and flourish where they are at. The flowers are not looking for other place but grow and expand where they are planted.

Often we are looking for something beyond us when the prize is already present, if we can only see it. We wait for some authority to say it is okay. We are the purple flowers with our moment in the sun.


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Clue From Crazy Mix Up Weather - Sunday, July 28, 2013

It was oh, so hot in early July and now later in the month it is very cool. The weather patterns here have been strange as they are all over the world. Although the ice at the poles is rapidly melting and Lake Michigan, despite good rains this year, is still low, many people say all is well with the weather. The garden is adapting well but some of the flowers and vegetables are growing late, too soon, staying for a long time or just a short time. The weather, like our bowling team, seems to be Next to Normal.

The violence and homicides in North Central Milwaukee are escalating just as the Catholic Archdiocese and other institutions are withdrawing from the area. With the recent project M.A.P.S. I am trying to show how North Central Milwaukee based on race, African American, poverty, lowest in city, criminalization, highest rate of imprisonment and release in Wisconsin, lack of employment and transportation, withdrawal of food stamps and health care to the poorest and general fear in and of the area.

Good people seem ready to donate money, food, help in shelters and other so called ‘volunteer’ work if they feel safe. But living in the area or being good friends with people is another story. Those of us who call for institutional change, like using the million plus dollars the Catholic Church profited from closing of three Churches to establish a Sustainable Works of Mercy funds to make some long lasting change are ignored or ridiculed.

Like the weather people considered some of us ‘crazy’ for doing the works of mercy as a way for long lasting change. The local Catholic Church worries about losing its money while spending over 9 million dollars to protect its money.

What to do? Research like three essays on Catholic Church in North Central America?; Petitions like the Cry of the Poor?: Graphic presentations like with the M.A.P.S.?. All this does not seem to move the hearts and minds of the people on all sides and of those who “just do not want to hear about it”. Perhaps we are crazy like the weather of late and need to take some dramatic nonviolent action to expose this new ghettoizing of North Central Milwaukee. How do we do this effectively, I do not know. I might be able to get a clue from the crazy mix up weather


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Call It as It Is: Racism or Militarism - Saturday, July 27, 2013

The outline area is North
Central Milwaukee. Black area
is 85% African American

Today I finally finished a project I have been working on for some time, M.A.P.S., Maps of Segregation, Poverty, Criminalization of African Americans and the Catholic Churches in North Central Milwaukee.

These maps tell visually of how the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee has pulled out of areas as they became more African American, poor, criminalized and marginalized. Simply said when an area becomes full of persons Jesus’ man mission is to, the poor, marginalized and rejected, the more the Catholic Church as withdrawn.

These M.A.P.S. not only show the racism of the institutional Catholic Church but the racism of other major institution, city, country, state, business world, educational and police. For not only is North Central Milwaukee the poorest, most segregated, criminalized and marginalized area in Milwaukee and the nation it has extremely high unemployment, a high homicide and shooting rate, a poor transportation system and a poor educational system. It is like Milwaukee institutions are building a wall around North Central Milwaukee and ignoring it, just dealing it with superficially, like adding more police to the area.

Racism is not a word people want to use these days or even in the past. When we fought against “institutional racism” at Marquette University in 1968 Marquette tried to blame the troubles on a few students but after suspending them when on to make the very changes the student groups had demanded. Today as we struggle against ‘institutional militarism’ Marquette’s tactics has been to ignore the protest and when that did not work to make one person the ‘scapegoat’ to avoid dealing with the issue of militarism on campus. Be it racism or militarism with the institution of Marquette, Archdiocese of Milwaukee or the City, some feel compelled to call it like it is.


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Mystery of Nature Goes On and On - Friday, July 26, 2013

Ghost Peppers

Tonight Pat, Joe and I enjoyed our Friday night Fish Fry at Johnny V’s and then came back here to watch a film, Public Enemy, partly shot in Milwaukee at what is now the Historical Society of Milwaukee. Before we left I picked a few ripe hot peppers, called the ‘World Hottest Pepper’, although we know they are not. We are growing some ‘ghost peppers’ considered by many as the second hottest pepper in the world. (See one listing of World Hottest Peppers I picked them for our friend Joe who enjoys eating Hot Peppers, the hotter the better. He ate them during the Fish Fry and although they were not the hottest he has had he said they were very tasty. I bottled my home grown spices, mint; basic etc under the label called Uncle Bob’s and the hot pepper mix is called Uncle Bob’s Hot Joe’s. I might now need to make various grades of hot pepper mixes.

Tomatoes are just starting to ripen and other vegetables and flowers are at various stages of growing or dying. From March thru October there is always some plants coming or going. I have some tomato plants in the sun room in pots that are still small but growing. With enough sun and heat they will continue to grow and be ready for picking in the fall or early winter, after other tomato plants are done and before it starts to turn dark and cold. It is great in the spring, summer and fall to have fresh vegetables and plants always on tap.

The cold and snow of winter is deadly for almost all plants, but with a good crop there are plenty of spices and vegetables, frozen or dehydrated to last most of the winter.

I have many observations from nature over the years of the Diary of the Worm and there are always more. World, national and local events come and go but mystery of nature goes on and on.


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Hunger Run\Walk - Thursday, July 25, 2013

This evening we were with hundreds, if not thousands, on a Run/Walk for the Hungry at Germanfest at the lake front summerfest grounds. Our team of people was called “” and started out with 14 members but expanded to many more. The money raised goes to the meal program at St. Ben’s and to the House of Peace, a place where working poor, homeless, disabled or newly unemployed can find comfort and services in Milwaukee.

The level of poverty and segregation in Milwaukee has increased dramatically since 2009. There are more and younger person’s being sent to prison only to be released to the streets and same neighbors after they serve their time. All the talk and, sadly, all the fundraiser cannot stop this climb of poverty, segregation and marginalization.

With the help of a friend who is a researcher at a local university I have put together a series of M.A.P.S., Milwaukee Area Poverty and Segregation. Although these maps show how the African-American persons are segregated, marginalized and impoverished in one area of Milwaukee, North Central Milwaukee.


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Busy but Blessed Day - Wednesday, July 24, 2013

God’s Blessed Ones

Today was busy starting with a home visit with our St. Vincent De Paul Society to someone in need. Next I took my house guest, Jerry Zawada OFM, to a couple of doctor’s visits, back to back. Then we went to pick up his prescriptions and drove him to his former residence, one of Casa Maria, houses to pick up his mail. I met some great young Catholic Workers there. When we got home my veteran friend Dan had almost finish his work in the garden. Then I drove Dan home and went grocery shopping. When I came home I worked on responses to emails and made dinner of homemade pizza for Jerry and Pat. The day went out past dinner with phone calls and visits but I am getting tired just thinking about it.

Usually with all this busyness I get over-hyped but today I managed well. Perhaps it was because when I woke up I saw the newspaper on the table open to an perspective editorial that used my name but was on the mark with message we have been trying to communicate: Marquette University, Be Faithful to the Gospel and No Longer Host the Departments of Military on campus. I realized how I was a small piece in God’s communication of the message of morality and Way of life. I felt privileged, blessed and full of gratitude that I, with my many faults and weaknesses, can be part of this bigger message. God really does pick the weak, sinful and faulty as messengers sometimes. The shadow of death still surrounds me but I know, with a moment of reflection, that I am blessed.

One of my friends who has been suffered great pain and depression for many years called me today. All I could do was listen to her and offer her some comfort. God has used her and many of my friends who maybe poor or suffering to shower blessings on me. Yes it was a busy but blessed day.


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Hope Is Doing The Right Thing - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Good Samaritan

Someone asked me the other day if I ever get discouraged trying to change things in the Catholic Church like Marquette University Teaching War and Killing or the neglect of Catholic Church to use the 1.2 million dollars gain from closing of Catholic Churches in North Central Milwaukee to answer the cry of the poor. My answer was yes but I keep struggling for peace and justice and Catholic Church because I am not looking for ‘results’ but for ‘doing the right thing.’

I got this idea from a quote a letter the Trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote to a young activist. He said:

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no worth at all, if not perhaps, results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you will start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself…”

I know from experience that if I am looking for results I can become discouraged. Although we always seek results or good outcomes we need, to keep hope alive, to work for the “value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.”

Results are good. For example, when all four basketball rims were finally restored on the courts in the nearby park I rejoiced. Ending ROTC, military training, at Marquette is desirable and worth fighting for with all our strength as is working for 1.2 million dollars being use for main mission of Jesus –to serve those in need and marginalized. I will continue to struggle for these goals and will not stop if ignored or marginalized. For my hope is in “doing the right thing”.


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Using Killing For Political Purposes - Monday, July 22, 2013

“America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy,” (Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter in a speech in Atlanta as reported in the German magazine “Der Speigel” in German edition ([ [ |article]]. These are powerful but true words by a former President of the United States that has been marginalized for speaking his conscience.

For my very small act of civil disobedience, going to Marquette University library after I had been ‘banned’ from campus I got lots of notice for our message: Marquette University Teaches War and Killing. Jimmy Carter’s remarkable remarks got coverage only from RSN, Readers Supported News, on the web. Of course I have been saying we do not have a functioning democracy in America and no one has paid attention.

On land and sea there are many reports that go unheard and many that get too much coverage? If you want to read the news du jour just turn on CNN or other popular news sites. You might not hear the important news of the days but you will hear the most sensational and sometimes superfluous news stores of the day.

I watch lots of news, local, national and sports. What makes the news, especially on TV, may not be the important news of the day. For example, tomorrow we have prayer vigils for three homicide victims in North Central Milwaukee, all shot, yet all we hear in the news, at least last week, is George Zimmerman’s trial. Even the President of USA got his opinion in about the verdict in the trial but made no mention of the 54 persons killed, including four children during the Zimmerman trial in his home town of Chicago. Even killing is used for political purposes.


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Forgotten Veterans - Sunday, July 21, 2013

Grandson on ‘big drum’ in the
Polk Days parade.

Today was Polka Days in Pulaski, WI where my grandchildren attend the local schools. Pulaski Days features a parade that includes the middle school marching band that one grandson plays the drums in and the high school marching band where the other grandson plays the drums in. We started the day with a Polka outdoor Mass which is similar to any Mass except all the music if polka music. The parade, including my grandsons, features lots of trucks, from farm equipment, fire trucks to trucks with polka bands. There was big military salute to veterans in the beginning of the parade where veterans from the Vietnam war and earlier where honored but none represented from longest war in military history, eleven years in Afghanistan and the ten plus years of the war in Iraq. This seemed strange to me since if you honored veterans as protecting our freedom why not honor the veterans of the last twelve years, part of the ‘endless wars’ we now find our country in. In my opinion the wars starting with the Vietnam war were “unjust, immoral and illegal” and, although we should honor veterans and soldiers in these wars, we need to condemn those who send them to these wars.

It is hard to condemn a war and respect and honor veterans of the war. But that is what we must do. There is much concern about the growing rate of suicide in the military and soldiers coming home with severe mental illness. However, the best way to honor these men and future soldiers is to get at the root causes of these unjust and immoral wars and stop them.

A big part of the Pulaski Day parade is for people to throw out candy along the parade route and for young kids to pick them up. With no major elections coming up there were no politicians this year but the candy was thrown, caught and eaten. Between my granddaughter on one side and a young girl on the other side of me plenty of candies were thrown our way.

The candy was a sweet treat but could not cover up the old left by forgetting soldiers and veterans from the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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In the Wind! - Saturday, July 20, 2013

Friend from Sierra Leone 60th
birthday party

In the Wind the sweet smell of food from Africa is in the air.
We find ourselves at a picnic with people connected to Sierra Leone,
As refuges from the tragic civil war over diamonds
Family members, the next generation or friends.

We come together often to celebrate birthdays, baptisms, and more.
This time it is to celebrate summer and a good old fashioned picnic.
My Sierra Leone niece and nephew and their families are present.

I was talking with one man who identified my Sierra Leone nephew as his nephew
But his relationship was through a direct family line while mine was in the spirit of the people.
Who see all people as one and use all occasions to share good food and beer to celebrate life.

The music, English Creole, was loud but did not stop conversations flowing.
People of Sierra Leone have were blessed and cursed with a country full of diamonds
And for ‘blood diamonds’ people were willing to kill and rob.
Now the war is over and the country is left in destitution
But the spirit of the people cannot be overcome
For in music, food, drink and conversation we are one,
The people of Sierra Leone.


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Parable of the Man Who Spoke Out - Friday, July 19, 2013

Edward Snowdon, a man who
spoke out.

Once upon a time there was a man in a village with lots of friends. He was so highly respected by all that the elders of the village they gave him the job of protecting the resources of the village.

One day he observed one of the elders taking some of the valuable resources from the village for his own use. It bothered him so he decided to talk with this particular elder personally about the matter. The elder said he had been authorized by the other elders to take these resources as his own. This did not make sense but the man, like others in the village, respected him and thus believed him and said no more about the matter.

One day he saw another elder take some of the resources of the village for his own personal use. This time he did not say anything but keep an eye of the resources and how they were used. When he observed other elders doing the same thing he decided there was no need to speak out and let everyone in the village know what was happening.

When he spoke out the elders dismiss his statements and ignored his message. The man continued to speak out and the elders kept ignoring him. Some people thought the man was telling the truth but most just thought he was showing disrespect for the elders or they did not want to hear about the elders stealing resources.

When he kept speaking out of what he knew, the elders decided to have him arrested for stealing from the village resources. He was tried and convicted by the elders. Now all the villagers believed the elders and not the man. He was so dishonored and disrespected by everyone the man had to move to another village, where people did not know about his speaking out and charges by the elders. He no longer had lots of friends.


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Senseless Violence Made Easy - Thursday, July 18, 2013

Prayer Vigil Today

Finally today I read a couple of articles sent to me stating how the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law played a major role in the non-guilty verdict in killing of Trevor Martin. In most states you are obliged to try to flee a dangerous situation but with this law, signed by Governor Bush in 2005, you can stand your ground and if you feel you are in danger kill the person threatening you. The media, pundits and many local leaders are presenting this as a racial case of white person shooting a young black man. This might have been true but in Florida and other states, where no matter what the race of the shooter and the race of the victim, you have a right to kill a person who you think might be in danger to you.

Today I went to a prayer vigil for a 20 year African America male in North Central Milwaukee. According to his aunt and guardian, who raised him, he was on his way to the store when he decided to visit his cousins. They were talking outside on the porch when a gun fight broke out. The story going around was that a girl and her boyfriend were walking down the street when another man smiled at the girl and said hello and the girl smiled back.

Supposedly the boyfriend got mad at the other guy for smiling and a fight broke out. With gun laws being as they are in Wisconsin the fight soon became a gun fight. One of the bullets struck down the young man who was watching the fight from the porch of his cousin’s house. The aunt spoke loving of the young man she had raised and how he was struggling in school to fight the right vocation to find a good job he enjoyed.

A white person shooting a black person or a black person shooting a black person there are still two dead victims of senseless violence made easier by our gun laws.


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If You Want Peace Work For Peace - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

“If you want to make peace
with your enemy you have to
work with your enemy. Than
he becomes your partner.”

Nelson Mandela

Today I was called from Casa Maria, the local Catholic Worker House of Hospitality that a letter had been sent to me at this address. With anticipation I went over to Casa Maria. Since the articles on the trial I have just received positive feedback about the issue we raised about military training at Marquette University. Not this letter. It was a copy of a letter sent to editors of the local newspaper by a person who identifies himself as a “Cold War” Warrior. My friend Joe says there are many negative comments about our cause and me on the online newspaper article.

His name calling and quotes from the bible out of context about killing and war I can handle. But his attacks of me as someone who dishonors veterans is hard to take. I can tell him about the many soldiers and veterans in my family and friends but that would not matter to him. Some persons cannot separate the war from the soldiers, teaching of reflexive killing, killing without conscience at Jesuit Catholic university from the university ROTC students.

One of my main motivations for undertaking this campaign against military training at Marquette University is because of soldiers I have known killed in wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, wars which I considered “immoral, unjust and illegal” or “crimes against humanity”. I believe it is wrong for a person to be put in a position to “kill or be killed” by his or her government in a war that violates our conscience, teachings of our churches and Gospel. We cannot be silent yet we need to be compassionate to soldiers who, if they return, are injured in mind, body and soul. The suicide rate among veterans keeps increasing since no military training can erase conscience and our human nature.

This man and many others often say to us that soldiers died so we can have the freedom to protest unjust wars and immoral military training. I do not feel this way and believe that war and violence only leads to more war and violence. Jesus teaches in Gospel “that we should love our enemy” not kill them.

In a P.S. the letter writer says: “Qui Desiderat Pacem Praeparet Bellum.” Although I had eight years of learning Latin I had to look up the translation. It is translated as “If you want peace prepare for war.” This is just the opposite of the Catholic church phrase: “If you want peace, work for justice.” I would like to add my version: “If you want peace work for peace.”


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Hear McCartney, Not Marquette’s Insults - Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Paul McCartney at Miller Park

Thanks to Marquette University I got another 10 minutes of fame. Last night I wrote about the trial and rally and today there was an article in the local newspaper about the trial and rally ”For longtime protester, the message is worth the fine”. There was an article in National Catholic Reporter about the same event: . Together with my posting last night, After Trespassing Trial, What is Next, I sent an email under my yahoo email address and included a copy to myself. It seemed to disappear. I sent the same email under one of my emails and I think it got out.

Tonight we went to a Paul McCartney concert at a sold out Miller Park. Pat, my wife, thought the concert was ‘incredible’ and a high energy tour back to the 60’s and 70’s. I thought it was good but all the people, sound and lights left me numb and somewhat distracted, even when my favorite song, “Let It Be” was played. Real fans of the music know the words so they can hear through the very loud playing of the instruments. Overall it was a spectacular show and I am glad I went with my wife, Pat, who found it sensational.

I recently found out that I had hearing problem, much like by dad who was exposed to a lot of noise at work. The only thing is that I have never been exposed to loud noise on a consistent basis. I can hear deeply spoken words and slow music were the words are predominant. But loud noises and overwhelming sights seem to numb my senses.

I did hear the insults the Marquette University spokesperson said about me in the media. He offered no evidence for his allegations and Marquette refuses to make them know me. Now this hurts. Betrayal is hard for me to accept. I was raised to be loyal and even in the Society of Jesus, Jesuits, who operate Marquette University there is a deep sense of loyalty.

I wish I could fully hear Paul McCartney’s music and not listen to insults from Marquette.


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After Trespassing & Trial What Is Next? - Monday, July 15, 2013

Marquette Student Protest, 1971

The trial is over and the resistance begins again. Today I was in municipal court facing trespassing charges. At a rally before the trial, in front of the Marquette library, a few speakers spoke of what we prayed and protested over the years for: Marquette To Stop Teaching War and Killing in the officer training programs (ROTC) at Marquette. A respected moral theology teacher at Marquette spoke of the immorality of teaching war and killing at Marquette, others spoke how I was singled out by Marquette for speaking “truth to power” and the mood was festive. While I was driven to court by a friend with a 93 year old Jesuit priest supporter and a reporter, the others marched to the city court with banners and signs declaring our message: Marquette Be Faithful to the Gospel and Stop Hosting Military Departments.

I had gone to court that morning to sign up to be the first on the docket. But the Judge and assistant city attorney had other plans which turned out to be best. They took all the other cases first which allowed us to have a full and lengthy trial. Marquette’s legal counsel testified to how I had been given an order of “No Trespass” the week before the arrest and a security officer testified how I was given the letter while praying in the library. Then the security officer who had called the police on the day of the arrest testified. He was the same security who had called the police about an “unapproved anti-war protester” trespassing on Marquette property. His testimony of what occurred that day in the library between me and the security officers was so inaccurate that I believe he was not even present but called for the arrest on the street sometime after I left the library and was staying around on the public sidewalk. I could have done a better job cross examining him but I was a little in shock by his perjury. For example, he described how security took away my Marquette Library card and on cross examining I could have produced my Marquette Library Car. If fact the main security officer on duty at the time had insisted that the librarian checking on why my card did not work in turnstile, give it back to me before we talked. This was one of many false statements in his presentation but in the end I do not think it mattered. I did receive an order of “no trespass” the week before and I was on Marquette ground before the police were called.

My friends Jerry Zawada and Janice Sevre-Duszynska were one of 24 persons arrested last Saturday for trespassing at the new nuclear bomb plant at Kansas City. These cases and so many other ones of trespassing, Federal, State and Local, if they go to trial the defendants usually are found guilty. Trespassing has become the new major nonviolent civil disobedience action of choice. When members of the military/industrial/educational complex want to diminish protest they draw the line at their military base, factory land or university property. Cross the line and you get arrested, even if it just a ticket or a “catch and release” action, when you are brought in and released.

If the civil disobedience is too large, as when Wisconsin citizens took over the State Capitol, the “powers that be” just wait out the protest and go right back to what they were doing. Most the forces of this complex can just ignore people protesting. Trespassing is step up but eventually can be ignored. What is the next step after being ignored and marginalized and arrested?

From the early 70’s I have pictures of hundreds of students protesting military training, ROTC, on the campus of Marquette. I doubt if we could ever get that many people, especially students at a Catholic university like Marquette, to take such a stand for the values of their faith and human nature. Trespassing is getting attention to our message. Perhaps we need more with more persons. But what comes next, after trespassing, in our nonviolent struggle for truth.


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Need To Sleep - Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sleep in Jail

It is Sunday night I need a good night of sleep to be quiet, restful and ready for the rally and trail tomorrow to end ROTC on Marquette University campus.

This afternoon I talked with my friend, Jerry Zawada OFM, who was arrested with 23 other persons yesterday in Kansas City for ‘crossing the line’ onto one of the three new nuclear bomb plant this Administration created. He said that he did not get any sleep the night in jail. He told me that a fellow priest friend who has been arrested a lot for such actions, was dressed in suit. When he asked why his friend had on a suit the friend told him that when you go to city jail no pillow is provided and he can used his suit jacket as pillow. I do not plan to wear a suit to court tomorrow but maybe I should, in case I need to spend the night in jail.

Right now I need to sleep, wake up refreshed and quiet of mind, soul and body.


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Too Much Poop? - Saturday, July 13, 2013

worm castings

Today I emptied out most of the ‘worm box’, something I should have done earlier. The box was full of worm castings, which is good, but not many worms, which is bad. Worms eat all kind of compost but will not eat their own castings (poop). This is the story of my summer, to many good things happening, like castings, but all the castings (poop) kills off source, like worms.

I talked to a reporter today who called Marquette University up to ask them their side of the story about my arrest and trial on Monday. The communication director at Marquette said it had nothing to do with ‘protesting’, contrary to police report, but I was a disruptive force blocking students and faculty from doing their work. This is a complete contradiction of what it says on the police report for the arrest but who cares about facts when you can blame someone and get off the hook. This is another example of too much poop, this time not good stuff like worm poop.

I started to get upset about Marquette’s attack on my character but then realized that true nonviolence is to take all the poop and make the best of it. Castings, worm poop, are great for growing and this stuff will be great for growing my character.


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Learning From, Not Rewriting, History - Friday, July 12, 2013

“When will we ever learn?”

Talking to a free lance writer today about my upcoming trial for “praying at Marquette University” made the events that led to my arrest seem strange or as the reporter said after she saw the information I sent her “peculiar.”

I got a letter tonight from a friend about how they were producing a film about the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at Marquette which resulted from a civil rights movement at Marquette in 1968 which I was a significant member. There was a call for a reunion of participants. I was one of the small group of white students arrested for ‘trespassing’, staying in the union beyond hours, in solidarity and support of the African American students who had resigned from the university for Marquette’s failure to ‘respond’ to ‘institutional racism’. I stayed in jail till the last group of African American students came back to the university. This event also cost me my Master Degree and a suspension, yet I was not even mentioned in the email sent to other participants for a reunion.

This is just another example how history is rewritten by those in power. In fact the movement to eliminate military training (ROTC) at Marquette began the next year, 1969, with students at Marquette. This struggle continues today and, although 70 years old, I am involved. This is probably why I was not invited to 1968 reunion and is the reason for my trial next Monday.

As someone who enjoys history and research I have noticed that history gets rewritten and individuals actions are represented in a way not true to events. An example, I have been told by reliable persons that Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Dorothy Day were not involved in many “nonviolent actions”. From my reading and study of these three persons I do not believe this statement as historical accurate. I was on my way to the Catholic Worker archives at Marquette University to continue my research on Dorothy Day, co-founder of Catholic Worker movement when I was turned away and later arrested for trespassing.
These thoughts encourage me to read more of Howard Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States” where he tells history from the people’s rather than from the side of the ‘powerful’. I am blessed to live in historical times and to be a small part of local history if I am mentioned or not. Learning from history, not rewriting it, is the way to go.


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Pictures Tell the Tale? - Thursday, July 11, 2013

In the last few days a friend had requested some pictures of the results of for a presentation she is doing this week. Another friend told me that all the fuss about drones killing innocent people like children in Afghanistan Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia is overdone. I know where I stand. What about you? Here are some of the pictures, below, that I sent my friend. There are hundreds of pictures like these. Judge for yourself, minor or major concern?


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Natural End - Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Plans need to change and being flexible is the way to change. In order to be flexible one needs to know one’s priorities and values. For example, what do you do if one is planning to work in the garden but receives a call from the friend that needs a ride to the doctor. In my priority system the friend comes first.

I believe, however, there are some things that are naturally intrinsic to human nature and cannot be changed without causing harm. For example, if a person kills another person, even in self defense, there is a physical, emotional and psychological change in the body that cannot be changed but only treated.
This why the military training of soldiers to fire reflexively, without conscience is unnatural and quite often comes back to haunt the soldier.
Tiredness comes on me, this too is only natural, and so this is the natural end.


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ROTC & Catholic Worker Movement - Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Friends are in town and it is late from all the talk. But earlier today I wrote this letter to people in Catholic Worker movement via a Catholic Worker list kept by a friend. The letter speaks for itself.

Dear Catholic Workers and Friends,

The Catholic Worker Movement has a long history of opposing military training on Catholic Universities and College campuses. Here is a quote from Dorothy Day in 1948 with a few word changes (in parenthesis) sounds like it was written today:

“Some of us at THE CATHOLIC WORKER have been going to the colleges and distributing a leaflet against UMT (DMS) [Universal Military Training] (Departments of Military Sciences). And most everyone to whom we gave the leaflet has expressed acceptance of UMT (DPS), has thought it a good thing. There are no antiwar organizations in the colleges these days, at least not in the Catholic colleges. There is a sense of the inevitable, that war is to come, that morality has nothing to do with it, that it is a question of licking Russia (Terrorist) before she gets too strong, before she gets the atomic bomb.” “We Are Un-American: We Are Catholics” By Dorothy Day. The Catholic Worker, April 1948, 2.

Dorothy would not accept any honors from a Catholic University that had military training, ROTC.* What would she think these days about Marquette, the home of Catholic Worker archives, being the only university in five county area to host Departments of Army, Navy/Marines and Air Force on campus and the teaching of reflexive killing, killing without conscience?

There is a picture attached of what some of you did, take over ROTC building during the Catholic Worker Conference at Marquette in 1997. I was at the conference but did not know anything was happening until years later when Frank sent me the pictures. I am not asking you to do anything so “radical” but simply to support our rally and trial on July 15 to End ROTC at Marquette. If you cannot be present could you please, call, email or write the President of Marquette University to stop teaching war and killing at Marquette by closing ROTC. Use your own words but there are links below his name and address that can help with the moral, ethical and academic arguments. Don Timmerman and I met with Father Pilarz, the president, last year and he seems like an open person.

Catholic Worker Archives and three Departments of Defense are not compatible, MU, Keep the archives and end ROTC at Marquette.

Bob Graf
Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.
(414) 288–7223
President; Associate Professor of English
Zilber Hall, 441
Marquette University
P.O. 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201–1881

Catholic Workers and Military Training on Catholic Campuses

Marquette University, Be Faithful to the Gospel, and No Longer Host Departments of Military Science.

44 Year History of Nonviolent Resistance to Military at Marquette.

What is the story behind Dorothy Day Accepting the Laetare Medal From Notre Dame?


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Blessings and Curses - Monday, July 08, 2013

Thorns and Roses

People, some I deeply love and respect, say I am making a fool of myself, destroying my creditability by constantly challenging institutions like the Milwaukee Catholic Church archdiocese or Marquette University on moral issues, not using money for poor and marginalized or teaching war and killing at a Catholic university. If it is someone I deeply love and respect I get more upset since they do not see or feel what I do.

In his essay, “Evangelization in the Contemporary World” by Juan Ramon Moreno, S.J. one of the Jesuit Martyrs in El Salvador, he talks about how different people can see or hear the suffering and plight of the poor and marginalized and have different responses. One can intellectualize and talk about the injustice while the other one can share in the suffering and feel solidarity with the person. I am blessed or cursed by being the second kind of person.

Sometimes when I see something like the letter from the pastor of Catholic Church neglecting the primary mission of the Church to poor and marginalized I get sick to my stomach. If someone tells me how great the letter is and how it settles everything and that I am sick for not accepting it I get angry, which certainly does not help.

Jesus, Gandhi, St. Ignatius of Loyola and many other great people tell us that we should take the insults and injury within our self, feel blessed and keep on speaking the ‘truth’ as we see it. This is tough but it is the heart of nonviolent love as I see it.

Yet being weak I often react instead of respond in a loving way. Being a brother and sister to so many persons, especially the poor, discriminated, suffering and sick is difficult. I know it is a blessing to be in solidarity with so many marginalized persons but being one of them, ignored, sick and marginalized feels more like a curse than a blessing. I need to realize that there are many persons like me living in solidarity with poor, suffering and marginalized. Peace comes with accepting our blessings and curses.


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Neglect of Those Most in Need - Sunday, July 07, 2013

Outline in white of North Central
Milwaukee; 17 Catholic churches
in 1963 3, in green,
Black=85% plus African
Americans; grey= 85% white;
red=integrated blocks
green= predominately Hispanic;
white= nonresidential blocks

When we returned from Philadelphia, celebrating the 4th of July and my grandson playing the drum with his high school band there was a letter waiting for us from the pastor of the church the people and money were transferred when our North Central Catholic Church was closed. When I had interviewed him, about a year ago, for the essays The Catholic Church in North Central Milwaukee he told me that there was about 1.2 million dollars in three accounts resulting from closing and sale of our Church and the two Catholic Churches that had merged with it. In this letter he says there is about $649, 000 left of the $733, 000 from the sale of one the Churches. He does not talk about the other two funds of $221,000 and $250, 000 inherited by his Catholic church when our church was transferred to his church.

During the year the pastor has avoided talking with me or responding to my emails of inquiry. However, once I was able to sit down with him and two other members of the Corporation Board of the Church and all three agreed in principle with the Cry of the Poor petition which states the million plus dollars realized from the closing and sale of three Catholic Churches in North Central Milwaukee be used to support “the intent of the donors” by establishing a fund for use of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy in North Central Milwaukee. In this letter he now says this part of the funds, 649, 000 “will be used both for outreach needs and capital improvements.”

He talks about a year long process that some members of a secretive ‘task force’ considered the proposals and suggestion for the money. Yet the Cry of the Poor petition and the Sustainable Fund proposal of ‘what could be’ was not even acknowledged by the ‘task force’ as existing and were were not part of any open dialog or public meeting by the task force or Parish Council.

Today in mass, at another Church, my heart was heavy about how the poor, segregated and marginalized were discarded and ignored once again by church people considering the fate of the million plus dollars that was clearly intended for the mission of these three Churches in North Central Milwaukee.

The pastor who wrote this letter is considered a good and holy person, compassionate with the poor and marginalized. However, all I could think about how the fate of the one million was probably pre-decided, by the Archdiocese, as was the closing the Catholic Church that generated the money and all that was happening was just pretending that people in the Church had something to say about it.

Living in a hierarchical Church where the cover up of the sexual abuse scandal was so great I should not be surprised by this abuse of the poor and marginalized. But it is sad and depressing and raises the question once again of why stay in the formal Catholic Church that stigmatizes the poor, ill, imprisoned and marginalized. Marquette University, a Catholic Jesuit university, teaches killing and our Archdiocese ones again practices the sin of segregation and neglect of God’s blessed ones. God, have mercy on us and forgive us, especially for our sins of racism and neglect of those most in need.


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4th of July Rampage - Saturday, July 06, 2013

People are afraid, afraid of terrorist, afraid of what someone will say about them, afraid of spouse or friends, afraid of the government, afraid of eating the wrong food, afraid of just about everything. This message came home to me the night of July 4th.

We were in Philadelphia to watch our grandson play drum in the Pulaski High School marching band in the 4th of July parade in the historic area of Philadelphia. My son, daughter-in-law and other two grandchildren were present.

There was “free music concert’ in the USA, as it was billed, outside the art museum on the night of the 4th. We went about 7pm to get a good spot to watch the fireworks at 11pm. There were so many people there and it was so hard to walk we found a shady spot just outside of the area with a large screen showing the concert at art museum. We could not really see the screen or hear the music unless we ventured into the crowd to get some food and drink at the various vendor stands.

We were at a corner just behind a police line with a street filled with vehicles. It was a good spot to watch the fireworks overhead. Near the end of the fireworks there was a lot of screaming and a rush of people heading our way. Suddenly all the grassy area behind us was cleared out and my daughter-in-law was screaming to get our stuff and get out. Like I say we were at the end of the rampage so as I grabbed our stuff and looked around the area behind us and saw no one. Nothing was happening except a ton of police on bicycles were blowing their whistles and heading on the road to the area behind us. My grandson had a graphic description of the chaos on Facebook. He says: “I tripped on the curb and nearly got trampled. I then turn around to see my little sister on the ground crying because she got ran over by someone.” I do not remember it being quite so dramatic but while my son and his family went back to their hotel Pat and I stay a few more minutes to watch the end of the fireworks.

Walking back to our hotel we walked by the spot where the stampede started but could see nothing except a lot of police officers and people milling around. The next days on local Philadelphia TV news, we heard the stampede was started by a big noise, some thought a gun but most likely a fireworks or B B gun. Fortunately only two people had slight injuries from the stampede. An outdoor stampede has a lot of room for people to run so there is less chance of being trampled.

But if a loud noise at a 4th of July fireworks display can cause so much panic and chaos there had to be a lot of fear in lots of people present to spark such a stampede. Check the picture and video on the side to get an inside look of what happened. When fear reigns a stampede begins.


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Time Out to See and Hear - Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Gandhi called his autobiography a “struggle for the truth”, a truth we will never understand full but one we must constantly seek.

For all the talk of transparency the Catholic Church and the Governments are still shrouded in secrecy. To be honest and truthful, as best we can, takes courage that seems to be lacking in Catholic Church and Governments.

There are some old sayings: “That what goes around comes around” or “Chickens come home to roost.” If we patiently break the silence and speak the truth the best we can eventually the whole truth will come out.

Discovering the truth takes silence and reflection. The more we see the big picture the deeper we can see into the present and the smallest moment.
The more we do the more we must step back and be. I am going to take the next few days for doing and being. I have some truths to expose but need some distance to see and hear them. So I am declaring a Time Out for a few days, probably till July 6th.


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Abuse of Mission of Jesus Christ - Monday, July 01, 2013

Three Catholic Churches remain
(green) where there were 17 in
North Central Milwaukee,
predominately African American
(black) neighborhood.

Weather is cool and spring like but soon the heat will descend on us. The heat finally descended on the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee, when after years and years and millions and millions of dollars to prevent it, the Archdiocese finally released all its records concerning sexual abuse and the cover up in the Archdiocese. Some of the secrecy of Archdiocese was exposed but at great personal and financial cost.

On the issue of closing Catholic Churches in North Central Milwaukee I just received today the overlay maps that show the Catholic Church’s institutional efforts to segregate African Americans, poor and those going or coming from prison. Overlay of the maps of Milwaukee Catholic Churches in 1962 with maps of segregation, poverty and criminalization presently clearly show how the Catholic Church has failed to serve the poor, segregated and marginalized. While North Central Milwaukee suffers increased segregation, poverty and marginalization, the Catholic Church has reduced the number of Catholic Churches from 17 to three since 1962.

Next week I will release the maps publicly with the story but do not expect this neglect of poor and marginalized, those who Jesus most came to serve will make the news like the sexual abuse scandal. One map of segregation is on the side and maps of poverty and criminalization are below. Is this not abuse of main mission of Jesus Christ?


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