Daily Archives: April 23, 2008

U.N. Declares Rising Food Costs a 'Silent Tsunami'

The United Nations World Food Program announced Tuesday that increases in food prices could leave more than 100 million people hungry. The head of the program calls the international crisis a “silent tsunami.” A summit Tuesday was aimed at addressing the issue, and in attendance were representatives of farmers’ unions, aid agencies and supermarkets, along with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization

Life expectancy declining in the Deep South

Watch it all and note that women are hit particularly hard. A watershed, says one speaker. Worthy of careful thought.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Anglican cleric against gay unions ignores plea to stay out of Canada

A South American Anglican archbishop who adamantly opposes homosexual relationships is coming to Vancouver on Friday despite being told to stay away by Canada’s top Anglican.

Archbishop Gregory Venables, who claims to represent 15 breakaway Anglican congregations in Canada, will speak Friday at a gathering in Delta of the conservative Anglican Network in Canada.

Venables, who has been criticized as a rogue archbishop by Anglican colleagues in South America and elsewhere, is recruiting Anglican congregations in Canada and the U.S. that have opposed the ordination of homosexuals and the church blessing of their relationships.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]

Welsh Archbishop criticizes slow pace of devolution

The Archbishop of Wales has denounced the pace of the devolution of law-making authority from Westminster to the Welsh Assembly as “tortuous and convoluted,” telling the BBC it would be “immoral” for the Assembly not to be granted further legal powers soon.

Archbishop Barry Morgan’s comments to the Good Evening Wales programme followed a ceremony at Windsor Castle where the Queen approved the transfer of new powers to the Welsh Assembly. The authority to enact laws assisting those with special learning needs was approved on April 9 and is the first of 10 orders ranging from mental health services to fire safety slated for devolution under the 2006 Government of Wales Act.

Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan said the ceremony marked “a little bit of Welsh history” as for “the first time in 500 years the people of Wales are now able to create laws to help improve their day-to-day lives.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales

Americans hoard food as industry seeks regs

Farmers and food executives appealed fruitlessly to federal officials yesterday for regulatory steps to limit speculative buying that is helping to drive food prices higher. Meanwhile, some Americans are stocking up on staples such as rice, flour and oil in anticipation of high prices and shortages spreading from overseas.

Their pleas did not find a sympathetic audience at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where regulators said high prices are mostly the result of soaring world demand for grains combined with high fuel prices and drought-induced shortages in many countries.

The regulatory clash came amid evidence that a rash of headlines in recent weeks about food riots around the world has prompted some in the United States to stock up on staples.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources

California foreclosure "surge": Up 327% from '07 levels

The number of California homes lost to foreclosure in the first quarter surged 327% from year-ago levels — reaching an average of more than 500 foreclosures per day — DataQuick said in a report, warning that the widening foreclosure problem could “spread beyond the current categories of dicey mortgages, and into mainstream home loans.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market

Welsh Vicars support couples’ right to choose church for marriage

WELSH vicars today called for couples to be able to get married in the Anglican church of their choice in Wales.

Yesterday it was announced that a Parliamentary committee is expected to give the go-ahead for engaged couples to get married anywhere in England, where they have lived for six months, or where their parents or grandparents were married.

But because the Church in Wales is disestablished, the marriage rules will not be relaxed in Wales.

As a result, couples in Wales are denied the same degree of matrimonial choice as those living a few miles over the border.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, Marriage & Family

Analysis: With Pa. win, Clinton survives for yet another day

Hillary Rodham Clinton survived yet another day.

There will be little time for celebration, though. Time and money are running out.

Her win Tuesday in the large and important swing state of Pennsylvania was hard-fought. Barack Obama’s well-funded effort to shut her down did not reach its ultimate goal of a surprise upset.

But Clinton now faces a dwindling number of contests, and she’s at a steep financial disadvantage.

Obama already is spending twice as much on ads airing in North Carolina and Indiana, the two states that come up next with primaries on May 6. He’s even advertising in Oregon, a state that he should win, where voting by mail begins in the first week of May.

He can afford to shower every contest with campaign dollars from the $42 million he had at the beginning of April, while Clinton is in debt. She’ll have to either persuade donors to give her more money to sustain her long-shot bid or float herself another multimillion- dollar loan.

In Pennsylvania, Clinton won with the support of whites, women and older voters, according to exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

A.S. Haley: Skulduggery in San Joaquin?

Something mysterious (well, not really—but read on) has happened with regard to the corporate entity recognized under California law as the religious corporation sole associated with the Diocese of San Joaquin. Under California law, a “corporation sole” is a special kind of corporation—with just one shareholder, one officer and one director, who are all one and the same person—that can be formed by “a bishop . . . of any religious denomination, society, or church, for the purpose of administering and managing the affairs, property, and temporalities thereof.” (Calif. Corp. Code section 10002.)

There has been a corporation sole for the Diocese of San Joaquin in California ever since 1911. Each time a new bishop is elected, there is an amendment to the articles filed by the new bishop, naming him as the successor to the position. When the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield was elected Bishop in 1988, the articles were amended (albeit in 1992); and preceding the first convention vote in December 2006 to change the Diocesan Constitution, the articles of the corporation sole were amended in March 2006 to change the method of electing his successor. (That amendment caused four other Episcopal Bishops in California to issue an ultimatum to Bishop Schofield that they would file a presentment against him unless he rescinded the changes—the documents may be seen here.) On January 22, 2008, Bishop Schofield filed another amendment to the articles, changing the name of the corporation from “The Protestant Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin, a Corporation Sole” to “The Anglican Bishop of San Joaquin, a Corporation Sole.”

Now, quietly and without any fanfare, the Secretary of State’s Web site lists the corporation again under a new name as of April 8, 2008: the name has changed back to “The Protestant Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin, a Corporation Sole”. Further research with this filing shows that it lists the sole member of the corporation as the Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb, in Stockton, California, and that its agent for service of process is attorney Michael Glass of San Rafael, California.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

MSNBC projects Hillary Clinton wins Pennsylvania Democratic primary

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

In Scotland Drivers face fuel rationing as panic buying hits petrol stations

Drivers were facing a £20 limit on fuel spending yesterday as panic buying intensified at Scotland’s filling stations.

Despite calls to motorists not to drain supplies, at least one station had to resort to rationing petrol and diesel.

Other filling station managers reported drivers losing their tempers in long queues.

Chris Furphy imposed at £20 maximum purchase for fuel at his Jet station in Dalmuir, Clydebank, in a bid to conserve stocks.

The move infuriated some of his customers.

Chris said: “It has been going mad in here all day, and the staff have been getting a lot of abuse.

“One woman stuck in £60, despite signs at every pump saying there was a £20 limit.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK

Dan Baltz: Beyond Pennsylvania, a Weakened Clinton

The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll charts Clinton’s decline from a high point just after her victory in New Hampshire to a new low point this spring. In that time, her favorable rating underwent a 40-point swing among independents. In mid-January, 59 percent of independents said they had a favorable impression of her, compared to 39 percent unfavorable. Last week, it was the reverse: 39 percent favorable and 58 percent unfavorable.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Maggie Gallagher–Pope Benedict on marriage: key to world peace

Over and over again…[Benedict] has made it clear that the marriage and family debate is central — not peripheral — to understanding the human person, and defending our human dignity.

For example, when receiving the credentials of the new U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his appreciation for America’s recognition of the important of a dialogue of faith and faiths in the public square and linked this to respect not only for religious freedom but for marriage as the union of husband and wife:

I cannot fail to note with gratitude the importance which the United States has attributed to interreligious and intercultural dialogue as a positive force for peacemaking. . . The American people’s historic appreciation of the role of religion in shaping public discourse and in shedding light on the inherent moral dimension of social issues-a role at times contested in the name of a straitened understanding of political life and public discourse-is reflected in the efforts of so many of your fellow-citizens and government leaders to ensure legal protection for God’s gift of life from conception to natural death, and the safeguarding of the institution of marriage, acknowledged as a stable union between a man and a woman, and that of the family.

Pope Benedict devoted about half of his message for the January 1 World Day of Peace to the significance of marriage in developing a culture of peace:

Consequently, whoever, even unknowingly, circumvents the institution of the family undermines peace in the entire community, national and international, since he weakens what is in effect the primary agency of peace. This point merits special reflection: everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of a new life, everything that obstructs its right to be primarily responsible for the education of its children, constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace.

Marriage essential to world peace? This may strike American ears as an oddity…

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

A Helpful Collection of Links for the Pope's Recent Visit

Check it out.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Anglican Clergy in New Westminster deny charges

Clergy in six Lower Mainland Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) churches… denied charges they have abandoned their ministry.

In February, Bishop Michael Ingham of the Anglican Church of Canada Diocese of New Westminster issued a “Notice of Presumption of Abandonment of the Exercise of the Ministry” to nine Anglican priests and two ordained deacons. These priests and deacons – including world renowned theologian, the Rev Dr J I Packer – all serve in churches where parishioners had voted to join the Anglican Network in Canada.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces