Daily Archives: September 4, 2008

A Pastoral Request from the Bishop of Fort Worth

This message is specifically directed to every priest in charge of a congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. However, I am sending it to all clergy, vestry members, and convention delegates on our mailing list so that everyone will know what I am proposing.

As the date approaches for our momentous Diocesan Convention vote in November, many parish clergy have attempted to make certain that their parishioners understand the issues surrounding the proposal that we separate from the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. In several places parish forums have been held, where outside speakers have been brought in to present the opposing sides on the question of realignment. Some of you have preached sermons on this subject, written articles for your parish newsletter, and even in a couple of places brought in General Convention authorities to speak to your people. In addition, several different groups have been formed in the Diocese, including Remain Episcopal, Via Media, and Remain Faithful, which have attempted to educate, organize, and motivate the laity to take sides on the question: “Should we remain with TEC or with the Diocese?” Legal counsel has been engaged, lawsuits are being anticipated, various steering committees have been formed, and outside assistance from the “815” church headquarters in New York is being sought.

Read it all.

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

Russians Seem To Relish Defying The West

In Moscow, there has been no official comment about Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to Georgia. Russia has so far ignored or dismissed warnings from the West of economic and diplomatic consequences for its attack on Georgia. Russian officials appear to be enjoying defying the West.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Europe, Russia

Surge in Natural Gas Has Utah Driving Cheaply

The best deal on fuel in the country right now might be here in Utah, where people are waiting in lines to pay the equivalent of 87 cents a gallon. Demand is so strong at rush hour that fuel runs low, and some days people can pump only half a tank.

It is not gasoline they are buying for their cars, but natural gas.

By an odd confluence of public policy and private initiative, Utah has become the first state in the country to experience broad consumer interest in the idea of running cars on clean natural gas.

Residents of the state are hunting the Internet and traveling the country to pick up used natural gas cars at auctions. They are spending thousands of dollars to transform their trucks and sport utility vehicles to run on compressed gas. Some fueling stations that sell it to the public are so busy they frequently run low on pressure, forcing drivers to return before dawn when demand is down.

It all began when unleaded gasoline rose above $3.25 a gallon last year, and has spiraled into a frenzy in the last few months.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Science & Technology

Gloria Steinem: Wrong Woman, Wrong Message

Here’s the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing — the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party — are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women — and to many men too — who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the “white-male-only” sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won’t work. This isn’t the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.

Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton’s candidacy stood for — and that Barack Obama’s still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, “Somebody stole my shoes, so I’ll amputate my legs.”

Read it all.

I will consider posting comments on this article which are submitted first by email to: KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

'Good News' on marriage: Couples improve with age

Married couples in their later years often show a great deal of affection,says best-selling author Maggie Scarf, 77, who has spent more than 30 years studying relationships.

“There’s intimacy.There is pleasure in each other’s company. They say to each other, ‘I loveyou more than ever.’ ” Scarf’s new book is September Songs: The Good News About Marriage in the Later Years, out today. She has been married for 55 years to Herb Scarf, 78, a Yale professor.

They have three daughters. Scarf shares her insights with USA TODAY…

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

Josh Marshall on the Sarah Palin Speech: "much more partisan than I expected"

Palin’s speech ended up being much more partisan than I expected. But that was added to by the fact that she had to start her speech while the auditorium was still awash in the teeth-gnashing froth ginned up by Rudy’s speech. I’ve seen political events that I totally got and others that I thought I got but was totally wrong about. So who knows? But take this as a sign that the McCain campaign has abandoned an effort to compete for swing voters and go back to the base energizing strategy that worked for President Bush in 2004. The numbers make that look like a tough proposition. But I think a few months from now, everyone will agree this was a mistake.

Read it all.

I will consider posting comments on this article which are submitted first by email to: KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Michael Crowley– Focus Group: Palin Was (Alarmingly) Strong

Several moderate-Democrat friends of mine have been emailing–few if any would ever vote for McCain–but all agree that Palin was very strong. The more liberal among them are a little panicked.

Read it all.

I will consider posting comments on this article which are submitted first by email to: KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

An Anglican Journal Article on the Latest Developments in New Westminster

The imposition of Canon 15 “comes with regret after many years of dispute with the clergy and lay leadership of these two parishes,” said Dean Elliott. “The clergy in both parishes have relinquished their licenses as priests of the diocese and their orders within the Anglican Church of Canada. In our polity, a parish is a creation of the diocese.”

He added that parish properties “are entrusted to clergy, licensed by the diocesan bishop, to offer the ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada.” Therefore, he added, “loyalty to the bishop is a key part of the oaths that clergy make at ordinations and inductions.” Since he said clergy no longer hold the bishop’s licence, the diocese is “legally required to ensure that the authorized ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada continues in those places,” added Dean Elliott.

ANiC Chancellor Cheryl Chang, however, insisted that “whether the diocese of New Westminster has the right to unilaterally replace these duly elected trustees and move to seize control of the parishes’ assets is in dispute.”

In a press statement, she said that “the elected trustees of the parish believe the parish properties are held in trust for the benefit of the current congregation who have paid for and maintained these properties, and who are upholding traditional Anglican ministry in accordance with the founding principles of the Anglican Church of Canada (contained in the Solemn Declaration 1893), and the current doctrine of the global Anglican Communion.”

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

In Pittsburgh Episcopalians weigh options as Realignment vote draws near

As a final vote approaches on whether the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh should secede from the national church, local Episcopalians who want to remain part of the New York-based denomination are meeting to plan for their future.

“A Hopeful Future for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh: An Alternative Solution” will present reasons for opting to stay in the Episcopal Church.

It will also present what may happen with property, a new diocesan government and other issues if Bishop Robert Duncan and most local Episcopalians change their allegiance to the theologically conservative Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, which covers six nations in southernmost South America. The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

“A Hopeful Future” will take place at 1 p.m. Sept. 13 in St. Paul Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon.

On Oct. 4, the diocesan convention is expected to take the second of two votes required to attempt to secede from the Episcopal Church. In the first, taken in November, laity voted 118-58 and clergy voted 109-24 to leave the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

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

John McCain: Driven to Serve, and to Succeed

Senator John McCain’s Republican primary campaign looked all but hopeless. He had risked the wrath of his party to push for an immigration overhaul and now, just months before the Iowa caucuses, his grand compromise was falling apart on the Senate floor as well.

“Lindsey, my boy, this may bring us down,” Mr. McCain said, turning to his friend Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “But wasn’t it fun?”

By this spring, when Mr. McCain had astounded political handicappers by virtually locking up the nomination, the thrill of noble defeat had been replaced by an anxious discomfort about his own victory. “I refuse to believe that this is possible,” he said, curling up his face during an interview on his campaign plane. “I tend to be fatalistic about these things.”

As he accepts the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday night in St. Paul, John Sidney McCain III, of Arizona, stands at the pinnacle of a career defined by a singular ambivalence about his own ambition, and success. Time and again, he lunges for the prize, then lashes himself for letting his pursuit get the better of him ”” for doing favors for his patron Charles H. Keating Jr., for stooping to ugly attacks on George W. Bush during the 2000 primary, for outbursts of temper at lawmakers who get in his way.

It reflects what his brother, Joe McCain, calls a “public dialectic” between the senator’s drive to succeed and his desire to serve a higher cause. For decades his outward display of that inner conflict has proved advantageous, helping advance his career by forging his image as the un-politician, the candidate with an almost reckless disregard for his own fortunes.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

The Unusual Challenges Sarah Palin Faced in Alaska

“The frontier mentality, whether myth or not, is still alive,” said Donald Linky, director of the Program on the Governor, at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

Political organizations and the careful grooming of rising stars have long been part of the political culture in creating governors-to-be in many other states, Mr. Linky said. Not so in Alaska, and elsewhere in the West.

In places where politics is closer to the ground, an insurgent like Ms. Palin, who challenged a governor from her own party in 2006 and won, has an easier road, Mr. Linky said. Ms. Palin’s storming of the gates was helped by the taint of the Alaskan money culture gone awry, as federal authorities investigated oil-cash corruption in the State Legislature in 2006, an inquiry which has since expanded to include Mr. Stevens and others.

“It was a situation that was absolutely ripe for somebody to come in and say, ”˜Hey, the emperor has no clothes,’ ” said Mr. Haycox of the University of Alaska. “To give her her due, she had the morals and intellectual acumen to do that, but the situation was just waiting for someone to take advantage.”

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Sarah Palin's Hometown Friends Enjoy the Show

Sure, large parts of the speech were clearly not hers. And she usually didn’t lean forward like that when she made a point. But that pursed lip thing? Where her lower jaw juts out a little when she’s looking tough?

“Oh, this is so Sarah,” he said. “When she twists her mouth that way that’s her.”

“That’s just like her mother Sally,” said Ms. Morgan.

All in all, what America saw Wednesday night was just the beginning, her friends said.

“That’s why we’re so excited,” said Mrs. Peek. “She doesn’t change. I just keep picturing her at lunches and meetings. They’re going to be shocked because this is who she is.”

“All this stuff is definitely from her heart,” said Ms. Morgan, including all the smack talk about Senator Barack Obama.

“She can be very, what should we say, fierce?” she said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Study: As Oceans Warm, Cyclones Gain Strength

Tropical cyclones have been getting stronger over the past several decades, according to a new report in the journal Nature. This finding supports a theory that storms will get stronger as the surface of the ocean heats up because of global warming.

Listen to it all.

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

In address, Palin fires back at critics

After days of mounting questions about her qualifications, Governor Sarah Palin rallied the Republican National Convention tonight by touting her small-town government experience and ridiculing concerns about whether she is up to the job of vice president.

“Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown,” Palin said. “And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.”

The remark was a not-so-veiled shot at the career of Senator Barack Obama, who began his public service as a community organizer in Chicago.

In spirited remarks, Palin also took on what she portrays as an elite media establishment unwilling to accept that her government service in a small town and a sparsely populated state gives her the resume to serve at the highest levels of the federal government.

“I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone,” she said in her remarks. “But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

The Full Prepared Text of Sarah Palin's speech tonight at the Republican Convention

Read it carefully and read it all.

Please note that this is the prepared text–for those of you who watched it the quip about the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom is not in there and was off the cuff–KSH.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008