Daily Archives: June 6, 2008

Oil: $150 high by the Fourth of July?

Oil prices… [hit new record highs] Friday on an analyst prediction that prices could hit $150 by July 4 and also continued upward pressure from comments made by the president of the European Central Bank regarding an interest-rate hike.

Ole Slorer of Morgan Stanley said he expected a “short-term spike in oil prices,” on the back of rising demand in Asia, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Read it all. Ugh.

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

Remembering RFK

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Politics in General

Alan Jacobs: Too Much Faith in Faith?

It seems to me that skepticism about religion doesn’t consort well with overtrustfulness of human motives and human honesty. I would counsel our contemporary atheists to study some of their more consistently skeptical ancestors: George Orwell, for instance, who exposed the fundamental and incorrigible dishonesty of most political speech in his great essay “Politics and the English Language.” Or, better yet, Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” with its ruthless exposure of the ways that the Christian emperors of Rome manipulated religious language for the foulest of ends. Surely Gibbon would help even the most optimistic modern atheists break the habit of trustfulness.

Is religion powerful? I suppose it often is. After all, if people were not religious — or, to take a Gibbonesque view of the matter, if people did not want to be thought of as so — no one would use religious language to promote political or social or ethnic goals. That those seeking to acquire or keep power do use such language, and regularly, indicates that religion has influence. But the idea that without religion people would stop seeking power, stop manipulating, stop deceiving, is just wishful thinking of the silliest kind. Though it may seem ironic for a Christian to be saying this, it’s time to talk less about the power of religion and remember instead the dark forces in all human lives that religious language is too often used to hide.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture

$45 trillion needed to combat warming

The world needs to invest $45 trillion in energy in coming decades, build some 1,400 nuclear power plants and vastly expand wind power in order to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to an energy study released Friday.

The report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency envisions a “energy revolution” that would greatly reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining steady economic growth.

“Meeting this target of 50 percent cut in emissions represents a formidable challenge, and we would require immediate policy action and technological transition on an unprecedented scale,” IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Climate Change, Weather, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources

Many Blacks Find Joy in Unexpected Breakthrough

Kwabena Sam-Brew, a 38-year-old immigrant from Ghana, doubted that Nana, his 5-year-old American-born daughter, would remember the rally that effectively crowned Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee Tuesday night.

But Mr. Sam-Brew said he would describe it to her: “I will tell her, ”˜Tonight is the night that all Americans became one.’ ”

Mr. Sam-Brew, a bus driver living in Cottage Grove, Minn., said Mr. Obama’s achievement would change the nation’s image around the world, and change the mind-set of Americans, too.

“We as black people now have hope that we have never, ever had,” Mr. Sam-Brew said. “I have new goals for my little girl. She can’t give me any excuses because she’s black.”

In his remarks Tuesday, Mr. Obama did not mention becoming the first American of color with a real chance at being president of the United States, and, of course, most of the Democrats who had voted for him were white. But for that very reason, many African-Americans exulted Wednesday in a political triumph that they believed they would never live to see. Many expressed hope that their children would draw strength from the moment.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Race/Race Relations, US Presidential Election 2008

Church Times: Synodsman scents conspiracy against ”˜multifaith’ motion

A member of the General Synod who tabled a private member’s motion on the evangelisation of Muslims has protested against its “postponement” from the July group of sessions.

The member, Paul Eddy, a lay representative for Winchester, had received 124 signatures of support for his motion, but, owing to time constraints, a motion on church tourism with 134 signatures takes precedence, and will be the only private member’s motion debated.

Mr Eddy, a theological student who runs his own PR company and was initially UK press officer for Gafcon, had called on the House of Bishops in his motion to “report to the Synod on their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in Britain’s multifaith society, and to offer examples and commendations of good practice in sharing the gospel of salvation through Christ alone with people of other faiths and none”.

He suggested in a press release he issued on Tuesday that the church Establishment had been worried about the effect the debate would have on the “position of the C of E, headed by the Archbishop, in the run-up to Lambeth”. Electronic voting, he said, would have shown how many bishops believed in “the uniqueness of Christ as the only means of salvation”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelism and Church Growth, Inter-Faith Relations, Parish Ministry

Clinton Meets With Obama, and the Rest Is Secret

For 17 months, they tracked one another’s movements like prey.

But Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton came together here Thursday evening to pull off a secret rendezvous. They ditched their traveling entourages, eluded camera crews across town and startled many of their own advisers as they held their first private meeting since becoming archrivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.

It was a political scavenger hunt like this capital had seldom seen before ”” at least in the current frenzied climate ”” where the two rivals huddled at an undisclosed location. Only hours earlier, she sought to cool speculation that she was clamoring to be his running mate, but suddenly the city’s media was awash in rumor as word spread of their meeting.

The evening began in routine fashion, with Mr. Obama holding a large rally in northern Virginia. Then, he was scheduled to travel by motorcade to Dulles International Airport and fly to Chicago. The motorcade arrived, but Mr. Obama did not, stirring alarm among reporters who had been aboard the campaign plane for 45 minutes as it sat on the tarmac.

Shortly before takeoff, one part of the secret was divulged. Robert Gibbs, the campaign’s communications director, said Mr. Obama would not be flying to Chicago as previously scheduled. He gave no reason for this mysterious pronouncement and there was little time for questions, considering that the engines had started to whir.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Israeli minister says alternatives to attack on Iran running out

An Israeli deputy prime minister on Friday warned that Iran would face attack if it pursues what he said was its nuclear weapons programme.

“If Iran continues its nuclear weapons programme, we will attack it,” said Shaul Mofaz, who is also transportation minister.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Iran, Israel, Middle East

Russell Levenson: Reflections on the Communion Partners Plan

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

Bishop Howe's Response to Canon Lorne Coyle's Letter to those who have Left

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Canon Lorne Coyle has written an important letter to those he believes will be departing from The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Central Florida on July 1, 2008.

I am concerned that several of his statements may not be entirely accurate.

He has said:

1. “Trinity is part of a dying denomination”¦The Episcopal Church is part of a culture which God cannot honor, the culture of salvation without a cross, of grace without sin, of Easter without Good Friday.”

I believe this may well be the theology of some within The Episcopal Church, but it certainly is not the official teaching of TEC. And, more importantly, it is not the teaching of the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which we are a constituent part.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Central Florida, Theology

Piitsburgh–Resolutions to be Forwarded to the 143rd Diocesan Convention

Here is one:


New Canon I (All subsequent Canons to be Renumbered Accordingly) Provincial Membership within the Anglican Communion

The Diocese of Pittsburgh shall be a member of that Province of the Anglican Communion known as the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

Read them all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh