Daily Archives: April 26, 2009

In the Nether Reaches of Computer Hell

In case anyone is wondering, I have had two computers, one desktop and one laptop, descend into the abyss. It took an expert approximately 10 days to try to fix the laptop but now, upon its return, the screen doesn’t work. The desktop is still in the computer hospital. Apparently this is related to some ghastly ghoulish trojans. So, no, I am not running on all cylinders, and yes, could you please bear with me–KSH.

Posted in Uncategorized

U.S. Declares Public Health Emergency Over Swine Flu

American health officials on Sunday declared a publichealth emergency over increasing cases of swine flu, saying that they had confirmed 20 cases of the disease in the United States and expected to see more as investigators fan out to track down the path of the outbreak.

Although officials said most of the cases have been mild and urged Americans not to panic, the emergency declaration frees government resources to be used toward diagnosing or preventing additional cases, and releases money for more antiviral drugs.

“We are seeing more cases of swine flu,” said Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control, in a news conference in Washington. “We expect to see more cases of swine flu. As we continue to look for cases, I expect we’re going to find them.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, speaking at the same news conference called the emergency declaration “standard operating procedure,” and said it should be considered a “declaration of emergency preparedness.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Peter Toon RIP

Peter Toon, 1939 ”“ 2009

Peter, son of Thomas Arthur and Hilda Toon, was born in Yorkshire, England, soon after the start of World War II. After him came Paul, David and Christine. He attended Hemsworth Grammar School, Cliff College, Sheffield; King’s College, London; The University of Liverpool and Christ Church, Oxford University. He held three Masters’ degrees and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford.

He was married to Vita for forty-seven years and they have one daughter, Deborah, who lives in California, and is married to Michael, a Naval Officer. Vita is a graduate of London and Oxford Universities, while Deborah is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville and the University of Texas at Austin.

After teaching religious studies in a College, Peter was ordained in the Church of England in 1973 in the Diocese of Liverpool. Since then he has served in parishes in both England and the U.S.A. and also as a theologian in theological houses in the U.S.A. and in England. In the last decade of his working life, he served the Prayer Book Society of the U.S.A. as its President and C E O.

Peter wrote and had published over twenty-five books, together with booklets, essays, articles. He also wrote many opinion pieces for the web. He edited Home Words in England from 1985-2001 and The Mandate in the U.S.A. from 1995 to 2008. He was much committed to The Anglican Way as Reformed Catholicism, and to the importance of the historical Formularies””Articles, BCP and Ordinal. The woes of the Anglican Communion in recent days much distressed him.

As he died on Saturday, April 25th in San Diego, and as virtually all Vita’s and Peter’s relatives and friends are thousands of miles away, there was no public funeral in California, only a service for the family based on the classic BCP. It is hoped that his remains may be interred in the family grave in Yorkshire.

The address for Vita and Deborah in CA is: 2522 Boundary Street, San Diego, CA 92104

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

Jonathan Sacks: Sunday shopping has not made us better or happier

The Sabbath is dedicated family time. We sit around the table, sing a song of praise to the “woman of worth”, bless our children and extend hospitality to others. We go to the synagogue and renew the bonds of community and friendship. We study our sacred texts and reorient ourselves in the light of their timeless values. We pray, thanking God for what we have instead of envying others for what they have. It is when we rediscover the real roots of happiness.

That is what the Sabbath was at its best, whether on Saturday or Sunday. It was a collective statement of values that said there are limits to our striving. There are things you can buy, but there are others, no less valuable, that we can only make for ourselves: relationships of love and generosity, a feeling for the rhythms and adagios of time, a sense of the spectacular beauty of the created world that we fully experience only when we stop and inhale the fragrance of things.

Because of that, British culture once had an inner poise and balance. Families had time to eat a meal together, to converse and share, not sit watching a screen at one remove from reality. The Sabbath was a day on which money did not matter, when we each had equal dignity whatever we earned or could afford. It was to time what a public park is to space: something we can all enjoy on equal terms. On the good days, it made us glad to be alive, singing, with Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Glory be to God for dappled things”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, England / UK, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

As Nations Try to Contain Flu, N.Y. Cases Are Confirmed

American health officials announced Sunday they had confirmed 20 cases of swine flu across the United States, and they said the number of infections was likely to grow as investigators fan out to track down the path of the outbreak.

“We are seeing more cases of swine flu,” said Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control, in a news conference in Washington. “We expect to see more cases of swine flu. As we continue to look for cases, I expect we’re going to find them.”

Officials said they had confirmed eight cases in New York, seven in California, two in Kansas, two in Texas and one in Ohio, and that the cases looked to be similar to the deadly strain of swine flu that has killed more than 80 people in Mexico and infected 1,300 more.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Public Wary Of Government Deciding Medical Care

Deciding which medical treatments work better than others is a tough job, but health policy experts say it could help hold down health care costs. Still, Americans aren’t too sure they want the government deciding which treatments their insurance should pay for, according to a new poll conducted by NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

More than half of Americans polled said they would trust an independent scientific panel to make decisions about which medical treatments insurers could cover. Yet only 42 percent said they would trust a government health agency to do the same job.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, The U.S. Government

A prayer of Saint Bonaventure

“Lord Jesus, as God’s Spirit came down and rested upon you, may the same Spirit rest upon us, bestowing his sevenfold gifts.

First, grant us the gift of understanding by which your precepts may enlighten our minds.

Second, grant us counsel, by which we may follow in your footsteps on the path of righteousness.

Third, grant us courage, by which we may ward off the Enemy’s attacks.

Fourth, grant us knowledge, by which we can distinguish good from evil.

Fifth, grant us piety, by which we may acquire compassionate hearts.

Sixth, grant us fear, by which we may draw back from evil and submit to what is good.

Seventh, grant us wisdom, that we may taste fully the life giving sweetness of your love.”

–St Bonaventure (1217-74)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

Eliud Wabukala new Kenyan Anglican Church head

Speaking to the press after his election, an elated Wabukhala expressed gratitude to the church for the peaceful transition.

“I would like to thank the Anglican (church) and particularly the electoral college, for the peaceful election they have carried out, and for maintaining the integrity of the church,” he told reporters .

He says he is ready to take the baton from where his predecessor, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi left, noting that the challenges are indeed opportunities .

“We know there are challenges to do with building bridges among our community, reconciling people and healing. We shall continue with where he has left. Our aim is to ensure the gospel is preached and taught, and possibly med to make people live it in this country” He added.

Read it all.

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

Dan Martins: A Resolution on the Anglican Covenant

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Conflicts

The Economist on the Global Economy: A glimmer of hope?

But, welcome as it is, optimism contains two traps, one obvious, the other more subtle. The obvious trap is that confidence proves misplaced””that the glimmers of hope are misinterpreted as the beginnings of a strong recovery when all they really show is that the rate of decline is slowing. The subtler trap, particularly for politicians, is that confidence and better news create ruinous complacency. Optimism is one thing, but hubris that the world economy is returning to normal could hinder recovery and block policies to protect against a further plunge into the depths.

Read it all.

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

Mark Regnerus on the Positives of Marrying Young

Too bad real life isn’t like that. Marriage actually works best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you’re fully formed. We learn marriage, just as we learn language, and to the teachable, some lessons just come easier earlier in life. “Cursed be the social wants that sin against the strength of youth,” added Tennyson to his lines about springtime and love.

I realize that marrying early means that you engage in a shorter search. In the age of online dating personality algorithms and matches, Americans have become well acquainted with the cultural (and commercial) notion that melding marriage with science will somehow assure a good fit. But what really matters for making marriage happen and then making it good are not matches, but mentalities: such things as persistent and honest communication, conflict-resolution skills, the ability to handle the cyclical nature of so much of marriage, and a bedrock commitment to the very unity of the thing. I’ve met 18-year-olds who can handle it and 45-year-olds who can’t.

Today, there’s an even more compelling argument against delayed marriage: the economic benefits of pooling resources.

Read the whole piece.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family, Young Adults

LA Times: Beheading shines light on domestic abuse

From a distance, a woman named Samia, round-cheeked with thick eyebrows, who cooked meals at the mosque, watched the procession with horror in her heart.

Samia could not bring herself to enter the washing room or look at the victim, Aasiya Zubair Hassan, a woman she had known informally in life. She was too shaken to attend the funeral.

The two wives were connected by the close-knit Muslim community in western New York, including Buffalo, about 400 miles from New York City. But unbeknownst to each other, both shared a secret — marriages stained by abuse.

Samia got help. Aasiya died before help came.

Read it all.

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

Weekend Open Thread: Older Movies Worth Rewatching

The other day I finally rewatched Ordinary People (1980) which I had always thought so very good. I was blown away. It is such a good portrayal of the incredible damage done by trying hard to go past a terrible incident/loss without really dealing with it thoroughly.

This brought to mind an idea which is to do this thread. Tell us about a good older movie you watched recently and tell us why we should view it again. It can be from any genre.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television