Daily Archives: October 10, 2008

Megan Bashan: Who Wears the Pants

In the past few years, stay-at-home moms have come under fire from some of feminism’s most hard-line mouthpieces. These mothers have been told that they’re letting down the sisterhood, endangering the economy and — most important — undermining their own position. By failing to bring in at least half the family income, it is claimed, they have rendered themselves powerless in their own homes.

“Incomes give women power in their marriages,” says Leslie Bennetts, a Vanity Fair writer and frequent “Today Show” guest. She has called the recent increase in mothers choosing to stay home a national tragedy. Linda Hirshman, the author of “Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World,” has made her own rounds of female-targeted programming, appearing on “The View” and “Good Morning America” to recommend that young women “marry down.” Why? Because money “usually accompanies power,” she says, “and it enables the bearer to wield power, including within the family.”

But as it turns out, wives don’t need income to wield power in their marriages. And mothers don’t have much reason to fear losing power if they’re not bringing home an equal share of the bacon. A Pew Research Center study released a couple of weeks ago found that when it comes to decision making in the home, wives in a majority of cases either rule the roost or share power equally with their husbands, regardless of how much money the women earn.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family, Women

David Brooks: The Class War Before Palin

This year could have changed things. The G.O.P. had three urbane presidential candidates. But the class-warfare clichés took control. Rudy Giuliani disdained cosmopolitans at the Republican convention. Mitt Romney gave a speech attacking “eastern elites.” (Mitt Romney!) John McCain picked Sarah Palin.

Palin is smart, politically skilled, courageous and likable. Her convention and debate performances were impressive. But no American politician plays the class-warfare card as constantly as Palin. Nobody so relentlessly divides the world between the “normal Joe Sixpack American” and the coastal elite.

She is another step in the Republican change of personality. Once conservatives admired Churchill and Lincoln above all ”” men from wildly different backgrounds who prepared for leadership through constant reading, historical understanding and sophisticated thinking. Now those attributes bow down before the common touch.

And so, politically, the G.O.P. is squeezed at both ends. The party is losing the working class by sins of omission ”” because it has not developed policies to address economic anxiety. It has lost the educated class by sins of commission ”” by telling members of that class to go away.

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

Lawyers and churches providing a safety net for detained poultry workers

A group of 45 people say they will assist the Alliance for Collaboration with the Hispanic Community, a non-profit that will attempt to provide a safety net for the families of the 350 workers arrested in a raid at the Columbia Poultry Farm, a processing plant….

Deacon Gabriel Cuervo, a regional coordinator for the Catholic Charities of the Piedmont Region, said a number of churches and pastors will help.

“We have a lot of pastors who are willing to help,” said Adela Mendoza, a Hispanic Outreach Program Director.

St. Francis Episcopal Church, which has a strong Hispanic ministry, will also assist, she said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

Steve Salyards on TEC Property Cases Argued Before The California Supreme Court Yesterday

One of the most interesting points was that both sets of lawyers argued that under either legal principle, those being principle of government which would favor a hierarchical denomination and neutral principles which would favor the individual church, their side should prevail. I must admit that between the legal argument and the interruptions (I could not completely shut the world out) I had trouble following why the denomination should win under neutral principles. It may also have something to do with the weakness of the argument because it was clear that at least a couple of justices had trouble buying it. What was more interesting, and has a certain degree of logic, was the individual church’s argument that they still win under principle of government. The argument was that the actual church government was not the Episcopal Church but the Worldwide Anglican Communion which they have not left but are still under its governance. This clearly is not an argument that can be used by a church trying to leave with contested property from the PC(USA).

A point where the denomination’s lawyers did better than the congregations’ lawyer was regarding the law in other states. When the justices asked what the status is in other states (I think this was a “never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to”) the congregations’ lawyer answered “mixed.” The denomination’s lawyers answered that other states have favored principle of government. (It is my understanding that there are few similar cases which have made it all the way to the state supreme courts in this current round but that the government principle has been favored so far.)

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Polity & Canons

In Ohio Presiding Bishop Assesses church's rift

She spoke to The Dispatch after receiving an honorary doctorate in divinity from Bexley Hall Seminary, which shares a campus with Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

Jefferts Schori spoke of her grief about the Pittsburgh Diocese’s decision to leave because of disagreements with the church over biblical teachings about homosexuality and salvation.

“That’s just profoundly sad,” she said. “Arguing about fine details of theology isn’t the main reason for our existence.” The focus instead should be on service and evangelism, she said.

The 2.2 million-member Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The relationship between the two has been threatened since 2003, when an openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, was elected in New Hampshire.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

ACNS: Thousands turn to online prayer and advice as financial situation worsens

Web users looking for support during the current financial situation have boosted traffic to a Church of England website section focusing on debt advice by over 70 per cent, and increased visitor numbers to the Church’s online prayer page by more than a quarter.

The Matter of Life and Debt website section – containing a new ”˜debt spiral’ feature so visitors can work out if they are one of the many families who will be seriously affected by the credit crunch, and useful advice for those worried about debt – has seen a 71 per cent increase in traffic in recent weeks.

It can be viewed by visiting www.cofe.anglican.org/debt.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Religion & Culture, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Chicago sheriff takes a stand against foreclosures

Watch it all.

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

Wall Street Journal: Economists Expect Crisis to Deepen

The U.S. economy has sunk into a recession and government action is critical to stem the damage, according to economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

“We’re in the middle of a very dark tunnel,” said Brian Fabbri of BNP Paribas, referring to the worsening credit crunch. “Each day we see another crack in the system.”

Those cracks are quickly adding up. On average, the 52 economists surveyed now expect U.S. gross domestic product to contract in the third and fourth quarters of this year, as well as the first quarter of 2009.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Globalization, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Did you Know?

For U.S. Depository Institutions non borrowed reserves have been between $30-50B for the past 65 years.

Two weeks ago the number was -154 Billion

Today? -363 Billion.

–From a friend who is an analytical whiz about the industry. For those interested in the subject, the latest information on this may be found here.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy

Notable and Quotable

“Not only have individual financial institutions become less vulnerable to shocks from underlying risk factors, but also the financial system as a whole has become more resilient.”

–Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, in 2004

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(London) Times: International crisis meeting as Dow Jones plummets below 9,000

US shares plummeted again last night as fears that further, frantic efforts by governments to halt financial turmoil will fail to stave off global recession triggered another punishing slump in stock markets.

As panic over the danger of financial and economic meltdown swept Wall Street once more, the latest 7 per cent plunge in the value of America’s blue-chip businesses piled pressure on world financial leaders gathering in Washington today to take yet more drastic measures to avert disaster.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Globalization, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Atheists File Suit Over National Day of Prayer

A Wisconsin-based group of atheists and agnostics has filed suit against President Bush over the federal law designating a National Day of Prayer.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which urges a strict separation of church and state, also names White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, and National Day of Prayer Task Force Chairwoman Shirley Dobson in the lawsuit filed Friday (Oct. 3).

“The point is to stop the National Day of Prayer,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation, in an interview Monday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

Mark Hadley: Ground breaking dig backs Jesus' divinity

The Life of Jesus film crew has gained rare access to an archaeological find that cements historical evidence early Christians worshiped Jesus as divine.

Dr John Dickson, the series’ host and co-founder of the Centre for Public Christianity, will guide viewers through the remains of an ancient prayer hall unearthed at Megiddo in central Israel.

“The inscriptions on the mosaic floor are remarkable,” Dr Dickson says.

“One of them names a benefactor called Gaianus who is described as a centurion. Another mentions a woman called Akeptous who ”˜”¦offered this table in memorial of the God Jesus Christ’.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Church History, Theology

Lisa Hamilton–Worshiping online: Is it really church?

After Compline, the cathedral is hushed. Some kneel in shafts of light tinted by stained glass. Others leave quietly, a few stopping to light a candle on the way out.

In the courtyard, the mood is lighter. “Nice outfit. How did you get it?” “How did you get it? Shouldn’t the question be where?”

This is the Anglican Church in Second Life’s virtual cathedral, so the answer involves computer keys and Internet links. And those who’ve stopped to chat do so in the form of animated characters — many elaborately costumed — they’ve created to represent themselves on the computer screen.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Taking a hard look at a Greenspan legacy

George Soros, the prominent financier, avoids using the financial contracts known as derivatives “because we don’t really understand how they work.” Felix Rohatyn, the investment banker who saved New York from financial catastrophe in the 1970s, described derivatives as potential “hydrogen bombs.”

And Warren Buffett presciently observed five years ago that derivatives were “financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.”

One prominent financial figure, however, has long thought otherwise. And his views held the greatest sway in debates about the regulation and use of derivatives ”” exotic contracts that promised to protect investors from losses, thereby stimulating riskier practices that led to the financial crisis. For more than a decade, Alan Greenspan has fiercely objected whenever derivatives have come under scrutiny in Congress or on Wall Street.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--