Daily Archives: May 7, 2008

McGovern, former Clinton backer, endorses Obama

Former Sen. George McGovern, an early supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, urged her to drop out of the Democratic presidential race and endorsed her rival, Barack Obama.

After watching the returns from the North Carolina and Indiana primaries Tuesday night, McGovern said Wednesday it’s virtually impossible for Clinton to win the nomination. The 1972 Democratic presidential nominee said he had a call in to former President Clinton to tell him of the decision, adding that he remains close friends with the Clintons.

“I will hold them in affection and admiration all of my days,” he said of the Clintons.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Anglican Church in the Caribbean is concerned about food crisis

The leadership of the Anglican Church in the Caribbean has expressed concern about the growing difficulties being experienced by people of the region because of the rising cost of food and other commodities.

Bishops and members of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Church in the Province of the West Indies, recorded their concern at a recent meeting in Barbados.

They said the worsening global situation is creating undue hardships for people everywhere.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting, the church leaders expressed concern for the poor and those on the margins of society who are finding it impossible to provide the basic needs for their families and to cope with the demands of daily living.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Energy, Natural Resources, West Indies

Addendum in light of the Presiding Bishop’s April 30, 2008 Letter to the House of Bishops

A defense now proffered by the Presiding Bishop and her supporters is that the same procedures were followed in the recent cases of Bishops Davies and Moreno. Past violations of the canon’s clear provisions are said to justify current ones. In considering this defense, it is necessary to distinguish three senses of “precedent” in legal usage. One is the well-known sense of precedent as a formal ruling on a legal issue by a competent juridical body. This is clearly not the case here as no one has suggested that the prior cases were determined to be canonical by any body reviewing the canonical issues. These cases are not offered as reasoned legal rulings, but as a fait accompli.

A second sense of precedent is that in which the actions of parties to a contract are used to interpret terms that are vague or ambiguous. In civil law this concept is referred to as “course of performance,” and this type of precedent is often used as an aid to interpretation for vague or ambiguous contractual terms such as those relating to timeliness or quality. For example, terms like “promptly” or “standard grade” are ones that can sometimes be interpreted by the parties’ performance. The applicability of this principle can be seen in the present context by noting that the meaning of the vague term “forthwith” in Canon IV.9 is given meaning by the Presiding Bishop’s own action in giving notice to Bishop Schofield within 48 hours of receiving the certification from the Review Committee. But the requirements of inhibition in IV.9 and for consent by a majority of the whole number of bishops entitled to vote are not vague or ambiguous terms. They are expressed in mandatory language using precise terms that are clearly defined and used elsewhere in the canons. Express terms control when in conflict with arguable interpretations based on prior actions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

Michiko Kakutani reviews Fareed Zakaria's New Book

In his new book, “The Post-American World,” Mr. Zakaria writes that America remains a politico-military superpower, but “in every other dimension ”” industrial, financial, educational, social, cultural ”” the distribution of power is shifting, moving away from American dominance.” With the rise of China, India and other emerging markets, with economic growth sweeping much of the planet, and the world becoming increasingly decentralized and interconnected, he contends, “we are moving into a post-American world, one defined and directed from many places and by many people.”

For that matter, Mr. Zakaria argues that we are now in the midst of the third great tectonic power shift to occur over the last 500 years: the first was the rise of the West, which produced “modernity as we know it: science and technology, commerce and capitalism, the agricultural and industrial revolutions”; the second was the rise of the United States in the 20th century; and the third is what he calls “the rise of the rest,” with China and India “becoming bigger players in their neighborhoods and beyond,” Russia becoming more aggressive, and Europe acting with “immense strength and purpose” on matters of trade and economics.

Many of this volume’s more acute arguments echo those that have been made by other analysts and writers, most notably, the New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman on globalization, and Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, on America’s growing isolation in an increasingly adversarial world. But Mr. Zakaria uses his wide-ranging fluency in economics, foreign policy and cultural politics to give the lay reader a lucid picture of a globalized world (and America’s role in it) that is changing at light speed, even as he provides a host of historical analogies to examine the possible fallout of these changes.

The irony of the “rise of the rest,” Mr. Zakaria notes, is that it is largely a result of American ideas and actions: “For 60 years, American politicians and diplomats have traveled around the world pushing countries to open their markets, free up their politics, and embrace trade and technology. We have urged peoples in distant lands to take up the challenge of competing in the global economy, freeing up their currencies, and developing new industries. We counseled them to be unafraid of change and learn the secrets of our success. And it worked: the natives have gotten good at capitalism.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Globalization

Pittsburgh Bishops to Attend Lambeth Conference

Bishops Robert Duncan and Henry Scriven confirmed today that they will be attending both the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jordan and Jerusalem in June and the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in Kent, England, this July and August.

“After consulting with the people of Pittsburgh and our friends around the globe, we have come to the conclusion that it is necessary for us to be present at both gatherings,” said Bishop Robert Duncan.

The Global Anglican Future Conference is focused on moving forward with the work and witness of the church even as the crisis in the Anglican Communion over discipline and biblical authority continues. It brings together hundreds of bishops who have, as a matter of conscience, decided not to attend the Lambeth Conference, as well as other bishops who believe that global partnerships and the current conflicts necessitate their presence at both meetings. Among those going to Jerusalem and Jordan are many of the strongest supporters of orthodox Anglicans in North America. “We will be among friends, focused squarely on the Gospel, and dealing openly with how we build the missionary relationships, covenantal boundaries and responsible structures for the future of Anglicanism,” said Bishop Duncan.

Bishops Duncan and Scriven will then join some six-hundred bishops and archbishops (about two-thirds of all Anglican bishops) who will be attending the Anglican Communion’s once-a-decade Lambeth Conference of Bishops.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Chicago Tribune: Young Mennonites join world of politics

At the east end of the giant Wal-Mart parking lot in this northern Indiana town of about 32,000, there’s a metal-roofed building accommodating as many as 20 horse-drawn buggies. People in plain dress””flat black hats, white bonnets””can be seen around town.

Goshen is a population center for Mennonites and their religious “cousins,” the Amish. Both are Protestant Christian faiths built on foundations of pacifism and keeping government, politicians and politics at arm’s length.

The Amish remain non-voters who believe in the strict separation of church and state. However, some Mennonites, especially younger members such as those on the campus of church-founded Goshen College, are seeing an opportunity now to integrate politics into their lives in a way that furthers rather than diminishes their religion.

Emily Miller, for instance, is a 20-year-old sophomore social-work major from Waco, Texas, and””like 60 percent of the nearly 1,000 Goshen students””a Mennonite. Though her dorm room features the book bag and flip-flops you’d expect with any kid away at school, there’s a sign on her door that stands out, considering where and who she is. It says: “Change We Can Believe In,” and in smaller letters: “BarackObama.com.”

When a CNN film crew recently asked if there might be a handful of Mennonite students at Goshen willing to talk about being first-time voters, 50 volunteers stepped forward to say whom they supported and why. When students manned registration tables in the student union, more than 300 new voters signed up.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

Authorities Crack Down on Campus Drug Ring in San Diego

Police have arrested 96 people ”“ 75 of them students ”“ in the largest campus drug bust in the country at San Diego State University, law enforcement sources say.

Police picked up the individuals for charges stemming from possession and sales of cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and other drugs, which Damon Mosler, chief of narcotics for the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, estimated was worth approximately $100,000.

In addition to criminal charges, SDSU students arrested were immediately suspended from the university and evicted from all campus-managed housing, said the president of the university, Stephen Weber.

Authorities say among those arrested was a student who was a criminal justice major and was found with 500 grams of cocaine and two guns. Another suspect worked as an employee of the campus police and was one month away from graduating with a masters degree in Homeland Security.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Education, Young Adults

Are kids adopted in infancy at increased risk for psychological problems?

Now, the first study of its kind has found that most are psychologically healthy, though they’re at “slightly increased risk” for behavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or oppositional defiant disorder.

More than just “a negative teenager,” a child with ODD is persistently hostile and disobedient.

“These are kids who argue with their parents, who refuse to follow through on chores, maybe argue with their teachers, blame other people for their own mistakes,” says Margaret Keyes, a University of Minnesota research psychologist who led the study. The findings were published this month in the journal Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

Keyes and her research team studied 692 adolescents who had been adopted before age 2. When Keyes tested them, they were roughly 15 years old. Researchers conducted in-depth psychological interviews to check them for depression, anxiety, ADHD and ODD. For comparison, Keyes and colleagues also interviewed a control group of teenagers raised by their biological parents.

“We found that most of the adolescents ”” adopted and non-adopted ”” were overwhelmingly psychologically healthy,” Keyes says.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Psychology

Doctors encourage 'wellness' alternatives

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

New York Times: Options Dwindling for Clinton

In this case, a split was not a draw.

In what early returns suggested would be a win for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Indiana but a loss for her in North Carolina, Tuesday’s results did not fundamentally improve her chances of securing the Democratic presidential nomination. If anything, Mrs. Clinton’s options for overtaking Senator Barack Obama may have dwindled further.

For Mr. Obama, the apparently divided outcome came after a brutal period in which he was on the defensive over the inflammatory comments of his former pastor. That he was able to hold his own under those circumstances should allow him to make a case that he has proved his resilience in the face of questions about race, values and patriotism ”” the very kinds of issues that the Clinton campaign has suggested would leave him vulnerable in the general election.

When paired with Mr. Obama’s comfortable victory in North Carolina, a bigger state, Mrs. Clinton’s performance in Indiana did not seem to be enough to cut into Mr. Obama’s lead in pledged delegates or in his overall lead in the popular vote. And because Mrs. Clinton did not appear to come particularly close in North Carolina, despite a substantial effort there, she lost an opportunity to sow new doubts among Democratic leaders about Mr. Obama’s general-election appeal.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Fox, CNN report Obama wins North Carolina Democratic Primary

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Bishop Venables: Communion “Breaking Up Because Nobody is Leading”

The work of amending the Constitution and Canons of the Southern Cone in order to regularize the admission of parishes and dioceses beyond South America is about to begin, according to Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables. The Primate of the Southern Cone made a visit to the Diocese of Fort Worth for a series of meetings with clergy and lay leaders May 2-4.

“The Anglican Communion in the United States has been hijacked,” Bishop Venables said, by an Episcopal Church leadership that doesn’t “mind what happens as long as they control it.

“I am astounded that in America, the land of the free, so many people have been robbed of their freedom,” he said.

Bishop Venables’ visit began with a private meeting of diocesan clergy at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Fort Worth on May 2. The following day, Bishop Venables met with a convocation of elected clergy and lay delegates to the diocesan convention. The convocation also included about 130 visitors who were granted seat, but not voice. There was no voting. On Sunday morning, Bishop Venables preached at St. Vincent’s Cathedral, Bedford, and again later during Evensong at St. Andrew’s, Fort Worth. At each stop on Sunday he answered questions from those present.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

In Central Florida Gay issues prompt church to split

Another Central Florida Episcopal congregation has split over the issue of the denomination’s policy on homosexuality.

Most of the members and ministerial staff of Trinity Episcopal Church in Vero Beach will leave their historic facility in July to form a new congregation separate from the Episcopal Church, USA, if an agreement is ratified later this week with the Diocese of Central Florida. The agreement would formally separate the two groups.

On Sunday, about 200 of the congregation’s 700 members who wish to remain part of the diocese elected a new vestry, the congregation’s governing board. That board is expected to sign a separation agreement already approved by the diocese and the departing members.

“I hope it shall be,” said Warren Winchester, who was elected Sunday as the vestry’s presiding officer.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Central Florida

Early Indiana and North Carolina exit poll highlights

The economy was on voters’ minds in Democratic primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. Two-thirds of Democratic primary voters in Indiana and nearly as many in North Carolina said the economy is the most important issue facing the nation. That’s more than have said so in 28 previous competitive Democratic primaries with exit polls this year.

Only about one in five in each state said Iraq was the top issue, and even fewer picked health care from a list of three issues.

Four in 10 Indiana Democratic voters said the current recession or economic slowdown has affected their family a great deal. Nearly as many said that in North Carolina.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008