Daily Archives: November 8, 2008

Tough Times Strain Colleges Rich and Poor

Arizona State University, anticipating at least $25 million in budget cuts this fiscal year ”” on top of the $30 million already cut ”” is ending its contracts with as many as 200 adjunct instructors.

Boston University, Cornell and Brown have announced selective hiring freezes.

And Tufts University, which for the last two years has, proudly, been one of the few colleges in the nation that could afford to be need-blind ”” that is, to admit the best-qualified applicants and meet their full financial need ”” may not be able to maintain that generosity for next year’s incoming class. This fall, Tufts suspended new capital projects and budgeted more for financial aid. But with the market downturn, and the likelihood that more applicants will need bigger aid packages, need-blind admissions may go by the wayside.

“The target of being need-blind is our highest priority,” said Lawrence S. Bacow, president of Tufts. “But with what’s happening in the larger economy, we expect that the incoming class is going to be needier. That’s the real uncertainty.”

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

British Bishop calls for marriage to be defined as between ”˜a man and a woman’

The Anglican Bishop of Rochester has called on the British Government to agree that marriage between men and women is the basis of society.

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali raised the issue during a discussion of same-sex relationships in the House of Lords.

Liberal Democrat Lord Lester of Herne Hill, a leading light in the campaign to introduce civil partnerships in the UK, had questioned the Government’s contention, in a case before the European Court of Human Rights, that same-sex relationships “fall outside the ambit of family life”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Marriage & Family, Sexuality

Peter Ould's Lecture at St John’s Nottingham

See what you make of it.

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

Floyd Norris–For Obama, Long-Term Ills and Short-Term Pain

BARACK OBAMA’s victory in Tuesday’s presidential election was in many ways a repeat of Ronald Reagan’s win 28 years ago.

His eventual success as president may depend on a willingness to do what Mr. Reagan did: be willing to combat long-term economic problems while accepting short-term pain and the risk of a prolonged slowdown that could damage his popularity….

In passing a tax bill, the Congress and Mr. Obama will have to balance the long-term deficit problem with the need for shorter-term stimulus.

Mr. Bush’s first tax bill presaged a leadership style that focused on partisanship and a determination to avoid compromise with his opponents. Mr. Obama’s first tax bill could show whether he will follow the bipartisan approach that he, like Mr. Bush before him, promised in the campaign.

The success or failure of his administration is likely to be determined by how well he deals with the long-term problems the nation confronts, not by how soon the current recession ends.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, US Presidential Election 2008

David Leonhardt–for Obama and his Team, the Top Priority Is Stabilizing the Patient

Mr. Obama and his advisers acknowledge that their focus has to shift, but the change is still likely to be challenging, and a bit disappointing. “Unfortunately, the next president’s No. 1 priority is going to be preventing the biggest financial crisis in possibly the last century from turning into the next Great Depression,” says Austan Goolsbee, an Obama adviser. “That has to be No. 1. Nobody ever wanted that to be the priority. But that’s clearly where we are.”

Throughout the campaign, whenever Mr. Obama was asked about the financial crisis, he liked to turn the conversation back to his long-term plans, by saying that they were meant to solve the very problems that had caused the crisis in the first place. Back in January, he predicted to me that the financial troubles would probably get significantly worse in 2008. They had their roots in middle-class income stagnation, which helped cause an explosion in debt, and the mortgage meltdown was likely to be just the beginning, he said then.

His prognosis was right ”” and the pundits now demanding that he give up major parts of his economic agenda in response to the financial crisis are, for the most part, wrong. When you discover that a patient is in even worse shape than you thought, you don’t become less aggressive about treatment. But you do have to deal with the most acute problems first.

And Mr. Obama has a big incentive to do so. The hangover from a recession typically lasts more than a year, and this recession isn’t over yet. So he will be at risk of the same kind of midterm drubbing in 2010 that Ronald Reagan received in 1982 and Bill Clinton did in 1994. In the days leading up to this year’s election, as they confidently reviewed the polls, some Obama aides took to joking darkly that 2010 was already looking bad.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Politics in General, US Presidential Election 2008

South Carolina begins making "I Believe" license plates

South Carolina has announced it is ready to start making controversial “I Believe” license plates, a move that is already the subject of a lawsuit.

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles posted an announcement on its Web site that it has received enough pre-applications to begin manufacturing the plates.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Religion & Culture

Presidential pastor Billy Graham's work ends

Billy Graham’s work as a pastor to presidents is coming to an end, but he is praying for Barack Obama as the nation’s next leader begins his work, Graham’s son said Friday on the ailing evangelist’s 90th birthday.

Franklin Graham said in an interview that his father’s mind remains sharp even as his body continues to fail. But the preacher who has counseled every president beginning with Eisenhower is not in line to mentor Obama.

“My father feels like his time and day for that is over,” Franklin Graham said. “But he would certainly like to meet (Obama) and pray with him.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

AP: Diocese of Quincy votes to leave Episcopal Church

The Diocese of Quincy’s governing synod has voted resoundingly to leave the national Episcopal Church.

The announcement came Friday afternoon during the group’s meeting at Quincy Country Club. In the past five years the Peoria-based Diocese of Quincy and some of the other conservative-leaning dioceses around the nation have threatened to leave the Episcopal Church to join other Anglican bodies.

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Update: An ENS article is here.

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

The Diocese Of Pittsburgh Re-elects Bishop Robert Duncan As Diocesan Bishop

Bishop Robert Duncan is once again the diocesan bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Clergy and lay deputies to a special convention of the diocese on November 7 voted to invite Bishop Duncan back into leadership of the diocese 50 days after the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church voted to remove (“depose”) him.

“It is good to be back. God has clearly watched over the diocese and watched over me and Nara as we have walked through these challenging days together. God willing, I look forward to many years together sharing the good news of Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Duncan.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

Rick Newman: At GM, the Endgame Begins

All year, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner has been insisting his company will never declare bankruptcy. “We’re well positioned,” he said in August. Company spokespeople reiterated that in October, despite the big stock market plunge. Even the company website states that “bankruptcy protection is not an option GM is considering.”

Well, guess what. While announcing a $2.5 billion third-quarter loss, GM also said that its “estimated liquidity during the remainder of 2008 will approach the minimum amount necessary to operate its business.” That means the company is spending way more than it’s earning and, unless something changes, will run out of cash sometime early next year. The company itself hasn’t raised the possibility of a Chapter 11 filing. But at this dire juncture, Wagoner and his lieutenants ought to be fired if they’re not doing contingency planning for bankruptcy””since that’s where companies end up when they run out of money and can’t pay their bills.

There’s one alternative, of course. No, it’s not a desperate merger with Chrysler, which GM has now disavowed, since Chrysler is in even worse shape than GM. Salvation lies in””you guessed it””a government bailout.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General

New Westminster Diocese files statement of defence and counterclaim in second court case

The Diocese of New Westminster on November 5 filed its Statement of Defence and Counterclaim in a second suit brought against it in BC Supreme Court.

The second suit was brought on October 15 by a former clergy, Stephen Leung, and some others at the parish of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Vancouver. Stephen Leung left the Priesthood in the Anglican Church of Canada in April of 2008.

Good Shepherd, primarily Chinese-speaking, was one of the four parishes in the diocese that last February voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada and join a dissident group, the Anglican Network in Canada, affiliated with the Church of the Southern Cone of South America.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues

Andrew Goddard: Life After Lambeth 2008

I remain convinced that to understand the heart of our struggles we need to recognise that there are two distinct but related issues. One is the issue of sexuality and attitudes to Anglican teaching, discernment and practice on this subject as found in Resolution I.10 of Lambeth 1998. The other ”“ in some ways the more complicated one, especially for evangelicals ”“ is the issue of ecclesiology and what it means to be a global communion of Anglican churches….

In relation to North America, GAFCON is clearly seeking to be the means of constituting a new Anglican province. While I am among those who believe this is a sign of failure, it is now the inevitable consequence of developments over recent years and the key task is to ensure it is at least as good a “second best” as possible rather than something worse. The aim must be not only to build the church and spread the gospel in the US and Canada. The aim must also be to establish a structure which, even if initially only recognised by a few provinces, is able and willing, once the Anglican covenant is agreed, to make the necessary affirmations and commitments and so align itself with the newly configured covenantal Communion. The danger is that this development may become ”“ whether intentionally or not – the trigger for a fracturing of the wider Communion and the founding of a more narrowly defined purely confessional fellowship which is shaped less by the ecclesiological vision of Windsor and more by the forces of post-colonialism and hostility to the American church’s response to same-sex unions.

And what, finally, of our own Church [of England]? That is, I take it, where much of our discussion will focus today and I don’t want to pre-empt that but a few comments as I close. We would be foolish to deny that the fault-lines in North America and the wider Communion are not present here or to pretend that realignment in these other contexts can take place without effecting us. In particular, if the failings of Lambeth place more weight on the Archbishop of Canterbury, they also place more pressure on the province of which he is Primate. However, it would be both foolish and dangerous to pretend that our own situation is anywhere near as dire as that of either the American or Canadian churches or to claim that we are called to follow their path. The challenge especially for evangelical Anglicans in the CofE is therefore to find a way of maintaining their own unity and rejecting further fragmentation, standing in solidarity with others here in England and across the Communion who are committed to biblical teaching, and supporting the covenant process and all other means of reforming, healing and revitalising the Anglican Communion and serving God’s mission in the world.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Common Cause Partnership, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Theology

Jobless Rate at 14-Year High After Big October Losses

Squeezed by tight credit and plunging spending power, the American economy is losing jobs at the fastest pace since 2001, and the losses could accelerate to levels not seen since the deep recession of the early 1980s.

Employers shed 240,000 more jobs in October, the government reported Friday morning, the 10th consecutive monthly decline and a clear signal that the economic slowdown is troubling households and businesses.

Since August, the economy has lost 651,000 jobs ”” more than three times as many as were lost from May to July. So far, 1.2 million jobs have been lost this year.

“Clearly, these are very bad numbers,” said Nigel Gault, chief domestic economist at IHS Global Insight. “Businesses had been paring back for most of the year, but I suspect that it had been more caution on hiring rather than firing,” Mr. Gault said. “In September, they decided, ”˜O.K., look, this isn’t just a mini-recession, this is a full-blown recession. We better take some action.’ And they did.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy