From a book I am working on:

Since then, seeing what the Republicans really have in mind when they control all three branches of government and what mean spirited people they are, I have come to agree with my grandfather Charlie Barker that if the choice is between a Democrat and a Republican, I, too, would vote for a drunk Democrat before I would vote for a Republican. Of course, I would prefer a liberal, left wing choice over either one.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Latest Book

Morgantown to San Francisco, now at

Posted in Memoir, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Morgantown to San Francisco

An excerpt from my new book Morgantown to San Francisco, available on

While running for the West Virginia House of Representatives in 1952, Robert Byrd said that he was no longer a member of the Klan. As a West Virginia University student in 1956, I heard Congressman Byrd give a speech at Morgantown’s First Baptist Church. Byrd pounded a Bible with his fist to illustrate that like an anvil, it had withstood the hammers of fascism, communism and such.

After the speech a man in the back of the chapel made a statement about the KKK. Byrd replied and admitted he had been a member of the Klan. He said that the Charleston Gazette had exposed this to try to ruin him. He went on to say that he was, “proud to have been a member of the Klan,” I heard him say that. Byrd had joined the Ku Klux Klan in 1942 and held the offices of Exalted Cyclops[1] and Kleagle.[2] Strange aside: Byrd was one of two West Virginia legislators to witness the first execution in the electric chair at Moundsville prison.

[1] Each local chapter, or Klavern, is led by an Exalted Cyclops.

[2] Recruiter

Posted in Books, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Open For Business

An excerpt from my soon to be published memoir, Morgantown to San Francisco. 

Open for Business

It is so crazy, blowing up the mountains in the mountain state. Governor Joe Manchin changed the state motto appearing on billboards welcoming visitors from Wild and Wonderful to Open for Business, as if that wasn’t obvious from the massive destruction wrought by coal, timber, natural gas, and chemical businesses. Looks like someone left the door open a long time ago and Manchin was rubbing our nose in it.

For Manchin to think that Open for Business was a good idea told me something about his intelligence. As a former coal broker, Manchin’s allegiance was obvious for a long time. Public outrage forced him to return to Wild and Wonderful, which itself had been invented by public relations hacks, under Governor Arch Moore to replace The Mountain State motto.

Arch Moore eventually spent three years in federal prison for lying and stealing. Long before Moore went to prison, Governor Wally Barron set a high bar. He got caught bribing the head juror in a trail in which Barron was being tried for bribery.

Posted in Books, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesuit Slave Trade

An excerpt from Morgantown to San Francisco, my book in progress:

As foreign student advisor [at WVU] I became involved in the Regional Council on International Education.  At one of our University of Pittsburgh meetings, we were addressed by a Jesuit priest. I asked the speaker about the Jesuit selling of four million slaves from Angola to Brazil. His reply was that it was only 2% of the slave trade to Brazil during the time frame that it occurred. WVUHe reduced 4,000,000 people to the number 2!

Posted in Books, My Books | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Morgantown to San Francisco

An excerpt from forth coming memoir Morgantown to San Francisco

The presidents and officers of West Virginia higher education institutions are often on the boards of directors of large corporations. The most recent example, reported in the March 16, 2018, edition of the Charleston Gazette-Mail, was the appointment of, Joyce McConnell, West Virginia University provost and vice-president of academic affairs, to the board of directors of Antero Resources, a natural gas company. Amazingly, McConnell also “serves as the chair of the West Virginia Nature Conservancy.” It is an eye-opener that the West Virginia Nature Conservancy website lists Antero Resources Corporation, Dominion Energy Services, Inc. and Southwestern Energy, as the three members of the Founders’ Circle, reserved for donors of $25,000. Makes me wonder what side the Nature Conservancy is on.

Charleston Gazette-Mail, March 16, 2018

[2] Charleston Gazette-Mail, March 16, 2018

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Germ Warfare

An excerpt from my book in progress, Morgantown to San Francisco:

Germ Warfare

         The ABC Evening News reported that the Army admitted to conducting germ warfare experiments in the subways of New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

         The Army said that the germs were of a non-disease carrying kind. Others have said that these Army germs cause heart valve infection and pneumonia. But, even if they are harmless germs, what right does the Army have to experiment on the people who ride those subways? And, since they only admitted to what they got caught at, what other experiments are they conducting against the health of the American people? Perhaps swine flu and French polio are army experiments.    

         These experiments shocked me so much that I called my friends and asked them to send a telegram to President Jimmy Carter asking him to stop the Army germ warfare against the American people or any people for that matter.     

I called Ned Chilton, the inspired publisher of the Charleston Gazette newspaper, and told him that the Army released germs in several locations in the United States to find what the pattern of distribution would be as time went on. He said, “It was probably just an experiment.” I replied “You got it!” Soon after that a front page article in the Gazette by reporter Lawrence L. Knutson, revealed that this experiment had gone on for twenty years ending in 1969.

 The Gazette article revealed that, “The Army secretly conducted simulated germ warfare attacks using live bacteria against 19 American civilian targets including the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the city of San Francisco and National Airport in Washington…Overall, the Army staged 239 open air tests….In 79 of the cases, disease-causing agents were used. The other 160 tests involved stimulants such as sulfur dioxide, fluorescent particles and soap bubbles. However, some critics have questioned whether some of the theoretically nontoxic bacteria may have caused pneumonia or other respiratory diseases.”

I recall reading of a family in San Francisco suing over the death of their father. They claimed his death was caused by the Army’s germ warfare experiments. In June 2009 a TV documentary confirmed once again the Army germ warfare experiments on U.S. citizens.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Literal God

The literal God–
“I don’t know why God is doing this, but I’m sure there’s a reason.” Jay Hewitt, WVU point guard, on losing to Marshall, WVU’s 8th straight loss.
“I keep thinking somebody doesn’t want me to play in these games. But my God is bigger, I guess.” Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams QB.
“We believe the Lord brought us here for a purpose. Nothing that the other side tries to do can stop that.”
A TV preacher on sending him your money— “It’s the circumcision of your financial life. It’s like cutting away the excess skin”
I drove and Kate Long wrote—-We saw a church sign that said “Is prayer you’re steering wheel or your spare tire?”

Posted in religion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments


Mayor Daly’s police attacked anti-war protestors outside the 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago. That pretty much gave the election to Richard Nixon, it was not what Mayor Daly, or the protestors had in mind.

Those watching television coverage of the convention would have witnessed Daly yelling, “You fuckin Jew”, as Senator Abraham Ribicoff addressed the convention.

Walter Cronkite, the grandfather of truth at CBS, interviewed Daley as a form of apology after condemning him and his city for the police riot and the mugging of CBS reporter Dan Rather on the convention floor.

Columbia University students occupied the law library and Mark Rudd, their Students for a Democratic Society leader, grabbed the microphone from the Columbia University president during a Martin Luther Jr. memorial ceremony and denounced the University for their plan to build a gymnasium on public park land that African-American youth used for recreation.


Ten days before the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and on Gandhi’s birthday, Mexican soldiers machine-gunned eight hundred students in Mexico City’s Tlatelolco Square.

Two weeks later Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the Olympic victory stand and raised their black-gloved fists. They were kicked off the team and sent home.

There was no code of conduct for champion behavior. Smith and Carlos told the whole world that things weren’t right in the promised land and the lords of decorum punished them. It was much as Soviet athletes would have been punished had they made gestures indicating that all was not well back home. Winners could not celebrate, move their bodies in joyful dances, jump up and down, or anything but stand like a robot.

With professional athletes now competing in the Olympics it is hard to imagine athletes like Michael Jordon being sent home for misconduct on the victory stand. Many Olympic athletes now have more money and power than the lords of decorum.


In a massive 1968 military crackdown, Russia and four other Warsaw Pact countries invaded Czechoslovakia and put an end to the “Prague Spring” movement for democracy. And in China the Cultural Revolution was doing its destruction.

In 1968: Indonesians slaughtered three hundred thousand overseas Chinese[1]; Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were murdered; student demonstrations almost overthrew the French government; Huey Newton, a founder of the Black Panther Party, was tried for the murder of an Oakland, California, police officer.


In late 1968, the Black Student Union and other student groups in the Third World Liberation Front did some research and documented what they could already see. The minority enrolment at San Francisco State College had been going down steadily for the past several years. It was becoming an all-white, middle class college. On November 6, 1968, they called a student strike that lasted five months.

The students demanded equal access to public higher education, more senior faculty of color and a new curriculum that would embrace the history and culture of all people, including ethnic minorities. As a result, the College of Ethnic Studies was instituted in 1969 and hundreds of other higher education institutions across the country followed SF State’s lead.

At one time, there were more than two thousand students and supporters in a marching picket line surrounding the small campus.

Governor Ronald Reagan appointed S. I. Hayakawa as the new president with orders to stop the demonstrations in whatever way necessary. The new president declared martial law and two hundred students were arrested. Several were seriously injured by four-foot wooden clubs, shaped like curved Samurai swords, coming down on their heads from the incensed mounted police. The police seemed to take the demonstration personally. They were defending America against an internal enemy.

Many San Francisco cops hated the dress, long hair, disdain for authority, and social mores of the demonstrators. They especially hated the ones who chanted over and over to a hand clapped cadence, “It is time!” Clap, Clap. “To off the pigs!”

The cops could only stare with fuming disgust at what they saw as impudent, repulsive, un-American brats swaying to the beat of killing cops. When the police were finally allowed to attack, they hurt some people and it wasn’t just the ones yelling the hateful slogans. To the cops and to the new college president, those picketing had no rights.

The Cossacks, with their swords held high and swinging low, chased the peasants. There were permanent head injuries that day, both physical and spiritual. These were mostly white kids being beaten by mostly white horsemen.

After the chase, one cop threw up and another

hyperventilated. Their bodies and emotions weren’t nearly as tough as they tried to appear.       Without the black boots and uniforms many were beer-gutted with skinny legs.

Some cops liked the demonstrations. They got off on hurting people, and they liked the overtime pay.

I watched the demonstrations with Randy Kehler, a friend, who organized for the War Resisters League, whom I had met at Committee of Returned Volunteer meetings and demonstrations. We went in the College of Business to take a leak—exactly the wrong building. Tactical squad riot police headquarters was in the College of Business, of course it was.

Four tactical squad members followed us into the restroom. The first two cops jammed Randy and me against the wall and demanded identification. The other two searched the stalls and wastebaskets.

I fumbled my driver’s license and it fell to the floor.

“You dropped your card.” The cop had a nasty curl to his lips.

He didn’t move back. I slid down and picked up the card with about six inches between me and the surly cop. One slight wrong move and I was going to get hurt. Randy had some granola in a bag, one cop looked inside the bag and then emptied it into the trash can.

Many SF State strike alumni rose to prominence in the fields of social justice, law, public health, education and public service. They include: actor and activist Danny Glover, who was a member of the Black Student Union; and Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay, who worked on the strike as a member of the Philippine American College Endeavor (PACE) and was a Third World Liberation Front spokesperson; Alumnus and statesman Willie Brown, who has served as speaker of the California General Assembly and Mayor of San Francisco, during the strike he was a young lawyer and legislator who worked to free striking students who were jailed; former U.S. Congressman, Oakland Mayor and alumnus Ron Dellums also worked to free striking students from jail.


The 1968 TET offensive began the end of the American war as it is called over there. No one squealed on thousands of Viet Cong and North Vietnam Army troops moving toward every regional capital. There were no informants as arms were smuggled into Saigon by the coffin-full. Tens of thousands of people had to have known what was about to happen and no one told the boss. It should have been a sign to McNamara and Johnson that everyone in Vietnam was either on the side of the Viet Cong or the Viet Cong had anyone who wasn’t an ally too scared to tattle. Either way, the Viet Cong was in charge.

McNamara was evidence that education is not always synonymous with intelligence, character and compassion. Johnson proved that genius politicians are not geniuses on every issue.

With the My Lai killings, the battle of Khe San and the TET Offensive making the 1968 headlines, Lyndon Johnson concluded that he was overthrown by the Vietnam War and announced he would not run for a second term.


A 1968 jury in West Virginia acquitted former Governor Barron of bribery. The governor, affectionately known as “Wally,” later pled guilty to bribing the head juror in that bribery trial.

And much worse for West Virginia in 1968, seventy-eight miners died in a coal dust explosion at Consolidation Coal Company’s Farmington Mine.

West Virginians watched in disbelief as Tony Boyle, president of the in United Mine Workers of America, stood at a television microphone as smoke was still coming out of the mine and said of Consolidation Coal Company, “This happens to be one of the better companies, as far as cooperation with our union and safety is concerned.” Years later, Boyle died in prison after being convicted of paying for the murder of his union rival, “Jock” Yablonski

November 3, 1968, a day before the election for Governor of West Virginia, Republican candidate Arch Moore’s helicopter crashed while landing at the Hamlin football field. The pilot was apparently attempting to avoid power lines when the helicopter hit a flag pole and spiraled tail first, 30 feet to the ground, landing atop a car.

Every TV station in West Virginia reported the crash with pictures of the crash scene and Moore being wheeled from the ambulance as did the front pages of newspapers the next day—-election day. Democratic candidate James Sprouse had led in the polls but the crash is credited with swinging the election to Arch Moore.

Moore went on to distinguish himself by being elected governor three times and going to prison for election fraud.





Posted in History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Small World

An excerpt from my work in progress memoir, Morgantown to San Francisco

After the Peace Corps, when I was just getting started at WVU as Foreign Student Advisor, I learned that John Maxwell was teaching history. We had met as freshmen at WVU in 1954. I went to see him. We talked all night and finished off a fifth of bourbon.

While I was telling John about Africa, he suddenly said, “About the time you were in Africa, I had a buddy who went to Africa. When he got discharged from our Army Intelligence unit in Germany, I took him down to Gibraltar and saw him off on a hitchhiking trip. His goal was to hitchhike around the perimeter of Africa.”

When I was in the Peace Corps in Nigeria, my wife and I went to the Cameroon. While there, we met an American hitchhiker. He had been discharged from an Army intelligence unit in Germany and a friend drove him to Gibraltar where he began hitchhiking around the perimeter of Africa.

[1] The only country named for shrimp.

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment