Daily Archives: May 22, 2008

European Court to hear Chimp's Plea for Human Rights

His name is Matthew, he is 26 years old, and his supporters hope to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

But he won’t be able to give evidence on his own behalf – since he is a chimpanzee. Animal rights activists led by British teacher Paula Stibbe are fighting to have Matthew legally declared a ‘person’ so she can be appointed as his guardian if the bankrupt animal sanctuary where he lives in Vienna is forced to close.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Law & Legal Issues

Bradford Bishop critical of abortion decision

The Bishop of Bradford, whose granddaughter was born before 24 weeks, has said MPs made a mistake by not voting to reduce the time limit a woman can have an abortion.

MPs on Tuesday threw out the first attempts for nearly 20 years to cut the 24-week time limit for abortions after a stormy debate.

Despite fierce lobbying by church leaders, they rejected an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to cut the limit to 22 weeks by 304 votes to 233, a majority of 71.

Today Bradford’s Bishop and the Bishop of Leeds both expressed their disappointment, saying 24 weeks was too late.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says near or above normal '08 hurricane season

Some 12-16 named storms are expected, 6-9 of them hurricanes. 2-5 hurricanes are predicted to be major hurricanes.

Posted in * General Interest

BBC: The card that lets you choose death

A controversial new “right to die” card is being offered to the public that allows anyone to refuse treatment in a medical emergency. Who carries it, and why?

It’s a morbid question, but one that many of us have pondered at least once.

If I hadn’t just escaped that dreadful accident, where would I be now? Would I rather be dead than depend on others to keep me alive?

A new card seeks to address that very question. Available in pubs, banks, libraries, GP surgeries, even some churches, the Advanced Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT) card sits snugly in a wallet or purse and instructs a doctor to withhold treatment should the carrier lose the capacity to make decisions, because of an accident or illness.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry

In Ohio A Proposed New Law Threatens Jail Time for not mowing the Lawn

The city of Canton is being overwhelmed by a literally growing problem — property owners who won’t use a lawnmower.

The city now cuts grass and weeds on more than 2,000 thousand privately-owned lots at a cost of a quarter million dollars a year.

Foreclosures are a big part of the problem. But most of the lots are owned by Canton residents.

Health Department officials are worried about creating hiding places for rats and breeding grounds for ticks.

Read it all.

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

Anne Coletta interviews Archbishop Henry Orombi

Watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Uganda

Notable and Quotable

But these days, it seems the only thing worse than embarrassment, is obscurity.

From an ABC news Nightline story on US Weekly

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Media, Movies & Television

Consumers cut driving but not diets: poll

As prices at gasoline pumps and grocery stores rise U.S. consumers say they are driving less but they can’t cut down on eating, a new poll found.

Nearly half of respondents to a Reuters/Zogby poll of likely voters in the presidential election later this year said they are driving less to compensate for record U.S. gasoline prices, which hit a record average of $3.80 per gallon on Tuesday according to travel club AAA.

But only about 8 percent of the 1076 respondents in the national poll said they were eating less generally to cope with rising food prices, the poll said.

“People have more control over gasoline. they are driving less and driving smarter,” pollster John Zogby said by telephone.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Miranda Devine: Moral backlash over sexing up of our children

Opening tonight at the elegant Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in the heart of Paddington is an exhibition of photographs by Bill Henson, featuring naked 12 and 13 year-olds….

Such images presenting children in sexual contexts are so commonplace these days they seem almost to have lost the capacity to shock.

The effort over many decades by various groups – artists, perverts, academics, libertarians, the media and advertising industries, respectable corporations and the porn industry – to smash taboos of previous generations and define down community standards, has successfully eroded the special protection once afforded childhood.

Read it all.

I will consider posting comments on this article submitted first by email to Kendall’s E-mail: KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Children, Sexuality

Shmuel Rosner: Will he or won't he attack? It's doubtful Bush knows

Any moment now, the Iranian challenge will be added to the list of things too serious to be left to politicians.

“Iran, Cuba, Venezuela – these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union,” Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has said. Factually, he is correct. They are much smaller in area than the Soviet Union was. That did not stop the Republican candidate, John McCain, from accusing him of “reckless judgment.” And Obama says: The minuscule size of these rogue countries makes easier the decision to talk with their leaders directly, because if the U.S. sat down with the USSR even at the height of the Cold War, why not Iran? And McCain says: That is a bogus equation. And he is right as well.

A fateful strategic issue – certainly for the State of Israel – became a plaything this week for the American election circus. The Iranian threat is now the Iranian debate: to threaten or talk, to attack or wait. On the one hand, it’s a fascinating discussion that clarifies the difference between the viewpoints and approaches of the two presidential candidates. On the other hand, it’s a barren discussion that underscores how disconnected the election campaign is from the reality determined in Tehran and Washington.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Iran, Middle East, Military / Armed Forces

Thomas Friedman: Imbalances of power

There has been much debate in the U.S. presidential campaign about which of America’s enemies the next president should deign to talk to. The real story, the next president may discover, though, is how few countries are waiting around for America to call. It is hard to remember a time when more shifts in the global balance of power are happening at once – with so few in America’s favor.

Let’s start with the most profound one: More and more, I am convinced that the big foreign policy failure that will be pinned on this administration is not the failure to make Iraq work, as devastating as that has been. It will be one with much broader balance-of-power implications – the failure after 9/11 to put in place an effective energy policy.

It baffles me that President Bush would rather go to Saudi Arabia twice in four months and beg the Saudi king for an oil price break than ask the American people to drive 55 miles per hour, buy more fuel-efficient cars or accept a carbon tax or gasoline tax that might actually help free us from, what he called, our “addiction to oil.”

The failure of Bush to fully mobilize the most powerful innovation engine in the world – the U.S. economy – to produce a scalable alternative to oil has helped to fuel the rise of a collection of petro-authoritarian states – from Russia to Venezuela to Iran – that are reshaping global politics in their own image.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Globalization, Politics in General

Aid Groups Feel the Pinch of Rising Food, Gas Prices

Dramatic increases in food and gas prices are leaving some religious hunger-relief groups praying for relief.

Problems were already apparent in 2006, but U.S. churches now report increased difficulty getting meals to people who need them. Food distributors see a perfect storm: a huge jump in requests from new clients, decreased donations, and a thinning food supply.

Hunger activists are experiencing severe challenges in at least two areas — a new farm bill that they say is “inadequate” to meet current needs, and a drop in food supplies for local food pantries and soup kitchens.

The nearly $300 billion farm bill that cleared Congress Thursday (May 15) was deemed only “half a loaf” by the Rev. David Beckmann, president of the ecumenical anti-hunger group Bread for the World.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Religion & Culture

Manchester United wins the Champions League final

I found watching the penalty kicks in the rain excruciating.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Notable and Quotable

Kendall Harmon of Orkin Pest Control will present a program on pests.

The Mississippi Star-Herald. It is not yours truly of course, but I can never get used to the fact that in a country of more than 300 million people there will be more than one person with the same first and last name. The John Smiths out there will no doubt extend no sympathy–KSH.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Catholic Blog for Women about the Single Life

An interesting post here on: why am I single?

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Young Adults