Daily Archives: June 18, 2008

In the Housing Market a Picture is worth 1000 words

One of the many reasons the housing market here is not recovering yet.

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

Julie Salamon: Nasty doctors? Testy nurses? Some hospitals are saying enough

When I set out to observe life inside a major urban hospital for a year, I expected to find heartbreaking, inspirational and possibly alarming medical stories. I anticipated insurance entanglements, technological marvels and cultural conundrums.

I didn’t expect, however, to find classes to correct bad behavior. The classes — at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center in New York — were designed to enforce the hospital’s Code of Mutual Respect, and part of a national trend to help people in the medical field rediscover the value of that old-fashioned virtue called common courtesy.

Among the provisions that these doctors and nurses needed to be reminded of were not to use racial or ethnic slurs, or language that was profane or sexually explicit. Also, to refrain from intimidating behavior, “including but not limited to using foul language or shouting, physical throwing of objects.”

Slurs? Throwing things? Was this a hospital or a reform school, I asked one physician, a department chief. He shrugged and told me that such behavior was far more common than I might imagine.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Tiger Woods To Have Season-Ending Surgery

Tiger Woods will have season-ending surgery to repair his left knee, the Golf Channel and Associated Press reported Wednesday.

According to the network, Woods experienced a small stress fracture in his surgically repaired left leg in the weeks leading up the U.S. Open, which caused him pain en route to winning his 14th major championship.

A source told the Golf Channel that doctors feel the world’s top golfer needs ACL surgery to fully repair his knee, on which he has underwent three previous surgeries.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

John Whale RIP

John Whale’s professional life was built on the truthful and elegant use of language. His delight in words and grammar emerged when he was a boy at Winchester, to which he won a scholarship. His facility with language extended to the spoken as well as the written word: he was one of those few people who could speak extempore in perfectly balanced paragraphs.

John Hilary Whale was the eldest son of the Rev Dr John Seldon Whale, a serious-minded Congregationalist minister and theologian, who had high expectations of his son. John reflected his father’s outlook and high principles; at Corpus Christi, Oxford, where he read Greats, he was studious rather than exuberant. His sense of fun developed as he matured. He owed this in part to his wife, Judy, whom he met while they were at Oxford, where they shared an interest in acting. He left Oxford intending to be an actor, and for a couple of years played in rep (juvenile leads in Farnham; on tour in Kenya), taught, and wrote plays. It was while he and Judy were in Paris, teaching at the Berlitz School and working as translators, that Whale began his career as a broadcaster, with the Section Anglaise on French radio. In London, in 1960, he joined ITN as a reporter.

He was always gracious to me in our various interactions in the early 1990’s. Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Media, Parish Ministry

Washington Post: Why We're Gloomier Than The Economy

Ask Americans how the economy is doing, and their answer is stark: It is not just bad, it is run-for-the-hills terrible. Consumer confidence is at its lowest level in almost 30 years. Only 12 percent of Americans think the economy is in good shape. On the Internet, comparisons to the Great Depression are widespread.

But the reality is different. According to most broad measures of how the economy is doing, it’s not all that grim.

Soft? You betcha. In recession? Quite possibly. And a crisis in the financial markets has rattled nerves for months now. But so far, the economy is holding up better than it did during the last two recessions in 1990 and 2001. Employers haven’t shed as many jobs, the unemployment rate is still relatively low, and gross domestic product has kept rising. Things are nowhere near as bad as they were in the Great Depression, or even during the severe recession of 1982-83. The last time consumers were this miserable, in May 1980, the jobless rate was 7.5 percent and inflation was 14.4 percent. Now those numbers are 5.5 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.

This paradox has created a unique challenge for those guiding the economy, who worry that Americans’ pessimistic views will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Two-thirds of the economy is consumer spending. So if people’s negative outlook leads them to cut their spending, a steeper downturn could happen.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

RBS issues global stock and credit crash alert

The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to brace for a full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months as inflation paralyses the major central banks.

“A very nasty period is soon to be upon us – be prepared,” said Bob Janjuah, the bank’s credit strategist.

A report by the bank’s research team warns that the S&P 500 index of Wall Street equities is likely to fall by more than 300 points to around 1050 by September as “all the chickens come home to roost” from the excesses of the global boom, with contagion spreading across Europe and emerging markets.

Such a slide on world bourses would amount to one of the worst bear markets over the last century.

Read it all.

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

The Bishop of London writes to congregations, and the Revd Dr Martin Dudley

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

From the You Cannot Make this Stuff up Department

Would-be revellers are using satellite images on the internet to find houses with swimming pools – and then turning up uninvited for an impromptu dip. The craze involves using the Google Earth programme, which provides high-quality aerial photos of Britain and other countries.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

AP: Anglican Bible conservatives hold strategy summit

In recent decades, as membership dwindled in liberal-leaning European and North American churches, the rolls of Global South churches, as they are known, expanded dramatically. The majority of Anglicans now live in developing countries and are scandalized by Northern views of Scripture.

The leadership of the conservative summit comes mainly from these provinces.

The top organizers are Orombi, along with the archbishops ”” called primates ”” of the Anglican churches of Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and the Southern Cone based in Argentina. U.S. conservatives, a minority within the Episcopal Church, and British Anglicans also are playing important roles.

“There is an air of certainty and clarity among the bishops going to GAFCON, which stifles debate and openness to those of other views,” said Mark D. Chapman, lecturer in systematic theology at Ripon College Cuddesdon in Oxford, England. “This would change the soul of Anglicanism as an inclusive and tolerant church that is able to live with difference.”

But Bishop Martyn Minns, head of the conservative Convocation of Anglicans in North America, said orthodox Anglicans are the ones being shut out.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East

California Catholic Daily: A coup, Episcopal style

According the Anglican San Joaquin diocese’s web site, Schofield allowed individuals and parishes that wanted to remain with the Episcopal Church to do so and to keep all their real and personal property.

The Episcopal House of Bishops, meeting in Texas on March 12, voted to depose Schofield from ordained ministry. Subsequently, the parishes and individuals that opted to remain with the Episcopal Church formed the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and approved the Right Rev. Jerry Lamb as their provisional bishop. In April, the Episcopal diocese filed a lawsuit against Schofield in Fresno County Superior Court to reclaim the possessions and real property, including the diocesan chancery office, still in possession of the Anglican diocese.

According to the Anglican San Joaquin diocese, in March, St. Andrew’s Mission in Taft was one of the churches to sign new by-laws declaring itself Anglican. But, in late May, 11 of the mission’s members held a reportedly unpublicized meeting with an representative of Lamb’s, and a majority of those present (9-2) voted to join the Episcopal diocese. The mission’s junior warden said he did not know of the meeting until one hour before it occurred. After the meeting, both the junior warden and the mission’s treasurer resigned.

Read it all.

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

Anya Kamenetz: Whose American Dream Is It, Anyway?

A recent “USA Today” poll showed that, given the worsening economy, high prices for energy, and the housing crisis, Americans are more pessimistic about their lives than at any time in the past half-century. Most worrisome is that just 45 percent believe their children will be better off financially than they are, which caused reporter David Lynch to ask if the American Dream was, if not dead, then at least wounded.

I’ve been asking the same question since I started writing the original Generation Debt series for “The Village Voice” back in 2004. Back then the economy was booming, but the long-term data were already clear — young men were earning significantly less than their fathers had 30 years ago (given inflation); young women were barely making progress on the gains in the workforce that their mothers had worked so hard for; and both were saddled with record prices for housing, health care, and education, as well as rising student loan and credit card debt.

Well, now I think it’s time to take a fresh look at the issue. Maybe the American Dream is dead or wounded — or maybe it’s just outdated.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy

Background to the Gafcon Conference From the Church of Uganda

Who is organizing GAFCON?

GAFCON was conceived by the Anglican Archbishops of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, the Southern Cone (South America), and Sydney (Australia). Evangelical Anglican Bishops from the UK and the USA were also involved in its organization.

How many people will participate in GAFCON?

More than 1,000 people have registered for GAFCON, including more than 280 Bishops, their wives, clergy and non-ordained church leaders. One hundred and seven (107) people from Uganda will be going, including 34 Bishops.

Why is GAFCON being held in Jerusalem?

GAFCON is essentially a pilgrimage. We are going back to the roots of our faith, to the place where Jesus was born, lived, died, and was raised from the dead.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East

WSJ: Demographic Changes, High Gasoline Prices May Hasten Demand for Urban Living

Abandoning grueling freeway commutes and the ennui of San Fernando Valley suburbs, Mike Boseman recently found residential refuge in this Southern California city. His apartment building straddles a light-rail line, which the 25-year-old insurance broker rides to and from work in Los Angeles.

Richard Wells is more than a generation older but was similarly attracted to the Pasadena apartment building. The British-born scientist retains what he calls a European preference for public transportation despite his nearly 30 years in California. Plus, he said, the building’s location means, “I can walk to a hundred restaurants, the Pasadena symphony and movie theaters.”

Messrs. Boseman and Wells embody trends that are dovetailing to potentially reshape a half-century-long pattern of how and where Americans live: The driveable suburb — that bedrock of post-World War II society — is for many a mile too far.

In recent years, a generation of young people, called the millennials, born between the late 1970s and mid-1990s, has combined with baby boomers to rekindle demand for urban living. Today, the subprime-mortgage crisis and $4-a-gallon gasoline are delivering further gut punches by blighting remote subdivisions nationwide and rendering long commutes untenable for middle-class Americans.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Energy, Natural Resources, Young Adults

BBC: Archbishops regret gay 'wedding'

But Dr [Martin] Dudley, who insisted he was “robustly heterosexual”, wrote that he had not carried out the ceremony to provoke traditionalists.

“It is not we who have whipped up the whirlwind, replacing words of love and inclusion with those of hatred and exclusion,” he added.

He described the service as “not a gay rally or demonstration, but a truly joyful celebration”.

“Amazing flowers, fabulous music, a ceremony both solemn and oddly homely, familiar words reordered and reconfigured, carrying new meanings.

“Nothing jarred, nothing felt even vaguely inappropriate. New and untried – but not wrong.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Sexuality

Booming, China Faults U.S. Policy on the Economy

Not long ago, Chinese officials sat across conference tables from American officials and got an earful.

The Americans scolded the Chinese on mismanaging their economy, from state subsidies to foreign investment regulations to the valuation of their currency. Your economic system, the Americans strongly implied, should look a lot more like ours.

But in recent weeks, the fingers have been wagging in the other direction. Senior Chinese officials are publicly and loudly rebuking the Americans on their handling of the economy and defending their own more assertive style of regulation.

Chinese officials seem to be galled by the apparent hypocrisy of Americans telling them what to do while the American economy is at best stagnant. China, on the other hand, has maintained its feverish growth.

Read it all.

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