Daily Archives: September 1, 2008

The Nominee Next Door


Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

The Caucus Blog: Sarah Palin’s 17-Year-Old Daughter Is Pregnant

In a statement, Governor Palin said: “Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows that she has our unconditional love and support….

The family’s statement [went on to say] “Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.”

At a rally at a ballpark Saturday evening in Washington, Pa., Bristol did not join the rest of her family on stage.

“Then we have our daughter Bristol, she’s on the bus with the newborn, and then we have our daughter Willow, who is here, and our youngest daughter Piper,’’ Ms. Palin said as she introduced her family. “On that bus we have our son Trig, who is a beautiful baby boy we welcomed into the world just in April. It’s his naptime, so he is with his big sister on the bus. But we thank them for being here. “

Read it all.

Update: The official press release is here.

Another update: There is more from the LA Times here as well.

Posted in Uncategorized

How Oprah's former chef is making a difference

I enjoyed this–watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition

Americans labor longer to make ends meet

Americans are changing the game plan for retirement, with millions laboring right past the traditional retirement age and working into their late 60s and beyond.
While the average retirement age remains 63, that standard may be going away as baby boomers close in on retirement without sufficient savings.

For 64-year-old John Lee, “retirement” bears a strong resemblance to his full-time working career ”” full of 40- and 50-hour weeks as an IT technical support specialist. He’s not strapped but likes the extra cash and the feeling of being needed.

But for Melissa Fodor, a retired travel agent who works part-time as a caregiver for the elderly, the extra work “keeps my head above water” and there’s no end in sight to that financial need at age 68.

Although the work is satisfying, she confides that “financially I’m kind of scared most of the time. Because what should happen if my health and my body fail?”

Read the whole article.

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

William Kristol: A Star Is Born?

On the other hand, if Palin exceeds expectations, and her selection ends up looking both bold and wise, McCain could win.

The Palin pick already, as Noemie Emery wrote, “Wipes out the image of McCain as the crotchety elder and brings back that of the fly-boy and gambler, which is much more appealing, and the genuine person.” But of course McCain needs Palin to do well to prove he’s a shrewd and prescient gambler.

I spent an afternoon with Palin a little over a year ago in Juneau, and have followed her career pretty closely ever since. I think she can pull it off. I’m not the only one. The day after the V.P. announcement, I spoke with an old friend, James Muller, chairman of the political science department at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He said that Palin “has been underestimated over and over again. She took on the party and state establishments here in Alaska, and left them reeling. She’s a very good campaigner, a quick study and a fighter.”

Muller called particular attention to her successes in passing an increase to the oil production tax and facilitating the future construction of a huge natural gas pipeline. “At first the oil companies thought she was naïve, and they’d have their way. Instead she faced them down and forced them to compromise on her terms.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Jerry Kramer: Metro New Orleans Update, Prayer Request

Dear All,

What we’re seeing now is some overtopping of the Industrial Canal toward the Gentilly side. Please pray the water level doesn’t rise any further and that all the levee walls hold. There is also some concern that barges — which shouldn’t be there in first place, some heads are going to roll — could break loose and damage a wall a la Katrina. We need to make it through this surge period. Obvious the walls were not rebuilt high enough. If this were a CAT 4, as originally projected, we’d really be in the soup (literally).

Also, folks closer to the coast are really getting thumped. Please pray for their safety and provision. We’ll be ready to help them all we can once this passes.

Bottom line: we need serious and continuous prayer coverage. Blessings,

–The Reverend Jerry and Stacy Kramer, Church of the Annunciation, New Orleans

Posted in Uncategorized

Shields and Brooks Mull Road Ahead for McCain-Palin Ticket

Read it carefully and read it all. I caught this on podcast during the morning run, and should have figured that one of my favorite analysis programs did so well. The punditocracy this week was just really poor on the Palin pick, and nearly all the responses said so much more about the analyst than about Governor Palin. Quite revealing, really–KSH

Posted in Uncategorized

Michael Paulson has a Blog

Check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Religion & Culture

Jerry Kramer: A Word from Metro New Orleans

Dear All,

We are in the worst of Gustav until about 12p – 1p. Thank you so much for prayers. And God be praised. Much, much better than we had feared. Moving from cautiously optimistic to optimistic. New Orleans will not see hurricane winds. Some 70mph gusts. But sustained 45mph only. Whipping up pretty good here on the North Shore but still have power.

About 100,000 people without power. Concern now tornadoes.

Dry air from Texas kept Gustav from exploding over the Gulf. The eye-wall is breaking up and approaching the coast as only a CAT 2. Sudden turn to the west, hugging the LA coast, good for New Orleans. Storm surge less than anticipated. The parishioner we are staying with insists that angels ripped Gustav apart overnight.

Word is that power workers will be out tonight restoring the downed lines, etc.

2,000,000 people evacuated. Less than 10,000 people left in New Orleans (50,000+ stayed behind during Katrina).NOPD found only 15 people on the streets yesterday. Handicapped/elderly/indigent all moved to safety. No arrests for looting. Pretty good for an area that is still very broken and knee deep in recovery. Biggest problem was slow traffic flow.

Please keep prayers coming. Pray especially for the folks directly on the LA and Mississippi coast where they’re getting hammered. We could possibly be home by tomorrow afternoon or thereabouts if things hold the same. Know of our prayers.

–The Reverend Jerry and Stacy Kramer, Church of the Annunciation, New Orleans

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Parish Ministry, Weather

The latest 5 Day Track for Tropical Storm Hanna


Posted in * General Interest, Weather

Jerry Kramer from Last night: Probably time to leave New Orleans for a bit

Sunday 5:30p

Dear All,

We had a $7 pork roast in the fridge which we didn’t want to go to waste (my frugal wife still has her first Communion money). So our family is finishing up a nice pre-evacuation dinner at home. It’s actually a lovely evening right now. A little sun, a little breeze with some gusts.

Awfully quiet outside! More than 1 million people have bugged out of the area in ample time. The National Guard are here and in place patrolling. Nice to have a new governor who doesn’t need adult supervision.

Besides the vastly improved government response, our church and Broadmoor neighbourhood have performed brilliantly. A lot of really amazing and talented people working together — with some hard earned experience under their belts — can make all the difference.

None of this would be possible without God’s grace and our many, many friends from all over. The emails and text messages (no calls please, need to keep the lines free) have been most encouraging. We’re especially grateful to all whose prayers and resources have helped us with the gas, supplies, etc. needed to evacuate.

Personally I’ve been near catatonic when it’s come to packing up. And now I’m having a hard time getting in the car and heading out. Neither Max the guinea pig (who still has terrible PTSD) nor I really want to leave.

Feeling a bit better, however, as the latest weather updates show a weaker Gustav staying a bit more west of us. All good news. I’m praying to be back on campus in a couple days or so. Maybe this will just be a good rehearsal and confidence builder. Last time I thought we’d be back in a few days we spent nearly two years in the parking lot! Whatever comes our way, God is good.

Sign-off blessings from New Orleans,

–The Reverend Jerry and Stacy Kramer serve at Church of the Annunciation, New Orleans

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Parish Ministry, Weather

S.M. Hitchens: Short of the Mark

Today I found myself bemused by the thought that C. S. Lewis, regarded by many Evangelicals as their patron saint, could teach at nary an Evangelical school or lead nary an Evangelical church. In the majority of their schools today, his opinions on gender matters would be an issue of first concern, and his stolid regard of egalitarianism as non-Christian would land his resume straight in the circular file without further review. In most of the schools and churches that remain more conservative, his plain Anglicanism, which would look too Catholic–not to mention his smoking and drinking–would do him in….

If unfailing kindness and forbearance is what we seek in the Good, Christ was deficient; if we have high standards for honoring father and mother, it is far from clear that he met them; if we prize strictly predictable traditionalism in religion, he disappoints, likewise if our views on such matters are more liberal. He often demonstrated a lack of what we would consider charity. He deliberately used degrading ethnic slurs, had too much or too little to do with women, wasted time on small things when larger ones needed doing, frequently criticized people with no apparent regard for their feelings, alienated those who might come around to being his allies if he had been more diplomatic, went to sleep instead of taking care of his friends, but later turned around and criticized them for sleeping when he needed them. He made and consumed alcoholic wine. He murdered an innocent tropical plant. He ate the flesh of animals. He didn’t show proper respect for duly constituted authority. He showed excessive respect for duly constituted authority: He was highly inconsistent. Examples of his imperfections could be multiplied, multiplied, in fact, to the point where he could have no more repute in our eyes (apart from the pious traditionalism that whitewashes the tombs of the prophets) than he did in the eyes of most of his countrymen. One could appreciate him for his thaumaturgic abilities, and admit that he said some good things. But God come in the flesh? Hardly.

The difference between Lewis and St. Paul on one hand and Christ on the other, is that the courageous and discerning eye could find good men in the former–but not in Christ, whom to see as the Good Master he claimed to be requires more than wisdom. While we might find a great teacher in Lewis or (exponentially more difficult), an Apostle in Paul, Christ–although no one can at last understand Lewis or Paul without knowing Christ first–is categorically different. He meets no man’s requirements for the righteousness of God, so that when he comes among us he not only is not, but cannot be, recognized–not in the first order because of our sensitivity to sin, but our standards for goodness, which he does not meet.

It is because all our righteousness is filthy rags that we are utterly hopeless sinners, hopeless because we cannot know God when he appears in flesh and blood, so cannot lay hold of him for our salvation….

Read it all. This is a much needed word–we were discussing exactly this last point in Adult Sunday School yesterday–KSH.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Theology

CNN: Poll shows no convention bounce for Obama

On the eve of the Republican convention, a new national poll suggests the race for the White House remains even.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Sunday night shows the Obama-Biden ticket leading the McCain-Palin ticket by one point, 49 percent to 48 percent, with the statistical margin of error.

The survey was conducted Friday through Sunday, after both the conclusion of the Democratic convention and Sen. John McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

A previous CNN poll, taken just one week earlier, suggested the race between McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, was tied at 47 percent each.

“The convention and particularly Obama’s speech seems to be well-received. And the selection of Sarah Palin as the GOP running mate, also seems to be well-received. So why is the race still a virtual tie? Probably because the two events created equal and opposite bounces assuming that either one created a bounce at all,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

One Picture of Hurricane Gustav

Check it out.

Posted in * General Interest, Weather

From the Morning Scripture readings

Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long.

–Psalm 24:4,5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture