Daily Archives: June 18, 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury calls for commitment to sustainable peace in Sudan

(ACNS) The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has issued a statement in support of today’s ”˜Sudan Day of Action’ which calls for a renewed commitment to sustainable peace in Sudan. The Sudan Day of Action, organised by Baroness Cox and the Sudan Action Group, aims to raise awareness for the desperate plight of the people of Sudan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Sudan

A Key Bill Cohan Interview from Bloomberg TV this morning on Financial reform

Watch it all.

(Some biographical information on Bill Cohan may be found here).

The most important section begins at 4:12 and thereafter. He places the real core blame at the culture of Wall Street currently and the compensation system where the top traders do not have their own skin in the game.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Geoffrey Rowell: Our longing for truth is implicitly a search for God

A friend of mine told me recently that he had received an invitation from a London borough, in which he was a parish priest, that had at the top a statement proclaiming that the borough was “multi-cultural, multi-faith, multi-truth”. The first two were clearly descriptive of the number of distinct cultures among the population, and the reality of the existence of churches, mosques and gudwaras and their communities in that borough. What was much more questionable was the commitment to “multi-truth”. Taken to its logical conclusion (and that phrase implies that we have some common measure of what is true) it would be impossible to have a dialogue about any issue because there would be no ground rules. There would simply be assertion. “Your truth” and “my truth” ends in subjective affirmations. In fact, when two people meet, discuss, argue and try to convince one another they are, for all the passion with which they maintain their positions, trying to convince the other of the truth of what they hold. Our convictions are shaped by our experience and upbringing, but also by the understanding of the world that we inherit. Although the scientist needs faith to test a hypothesis, to set up the experiment the very hypothesis is framed in a tradition of scientific understanding. “Your truth” and “my truth” does not work in understanding either the Universe or our human genetic make-up.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

LA Supervisors suggest putting unemployed parents to work caring for their own children

With steep state budget cuts under debate in Sacramento, Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to push for changes to CalWorks and other government aid programs they said would save nearly $270 million.

Included in their suggestions is a novel proposal: Put unemployed parents to work caring for their own children.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family

Bishop Bill Love's Address to the Diocese of Albany Convention

At its best, the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion have so much to offer to the wider Church and to the world. Unfortunately, at the moment we are far from being at our “best.” Like many of you, I am deeply grieved by the growing division within The Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion. I had hoped and still do that the proposed Anglican Covenant could help bring healing into the Communion. As many of you know, the most recent version, the Ridley Cambridge Draft, has been put on hold, due to concerns raised
by some members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) over Section 4, which deals with the possible disciplinary actions. I remain hopeful that it will be worked out and that we will have an opportunity to vote on the Covenant. In preparation for that, we as a diocese will be studying the Ridley Cambridge Draft and any changes that may be made to it over the coming year. In addressing the ACC, as reported in The Living Church, Archbishop Rowan Williams urged Anglicans not to “put off discussion of the covenant,” stating that, “The texts are
out there. Please pray through them, and talk them through, starting now.” (TLC May 31, 2009)

There has been some question as to whether dioceses will be allowed to officially vote on the covenant if and when it finally comes out. While some within The Episcopal Church believe that only provinces should be allowed to vote, I believe strongly that each diocese should be allowed to vote. That belief is based on my understanding of the true polity or organization and governance of The Episcopal Church, as outlined in its Constitution and Canons and as described in a recently published document entitled “Bishops’ Statement On The Polity Of The Episcopal Church,” signed by myself along with 14 other bishops in the Episcopal Church and three highly distinguished Episcopal theologians.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Polity & Canons

An ENS Article on Actions Taken related to Bishops Bane and MacBurney

[David] Bane resigned from Southern Virginia on February 11, 2006 after years of division in the diocese culminated with a report from three Episcopal Church bishops said that the diocese needed “deep systemic change.”

Bane said in an interview with Episcopal News Service that the invitation to work in the Diocese of Pittsburgh came to him after he tried to find a way to minister in the Episcopal Church, but was rebuffed at every turn. “I was not wanted in ministry no matter how hard I tried,” he said.

Bane added that he “never desired” to leave the Episcopal Church and is sad and disappointed both with his status and with the divisions in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

“I don’t have any big vendetta or anger,” he said. “I am just sad and disappointed.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Bill Farley: Train-travel nostalgia can't derail modern economic reality

Amtrak has never turned a profit since the federal government took it over in 1971 and began shoveling tens of billions of dollars in subsidies its way. The only routes that actually do slightly better than break even are in the Boston-New York-Washington, D.C., corridor, which is little more than a really long commuter line. Yet, the writer lobbies for even greater subsidies.

Amtrak is slow, unreliable and lacks any significant creature comforts. I know. I made the mistake of taking Amtrak from New York City to ”” well, what do you know? ”” Vermont one winter not long ago. The ride took 13 hours and much of the countryside we passed through was not at all scenic. You don’t put railroad tracks in the good part of town. The journey ended with several railroad workers taking axes to the train’s doors, which had frozen shut, to allow us to disembark.

Read it all, a superb letter to the editor in the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Travel

A Solemn Anniversary Locally: Today 9 Charleston firefighters died in a 2007 blaze

As the midday sun beat down Wednesday, a trio of somber men trudged across a soggy, open field clutching bundles of crisp, new American flags in their hands.

Speaking few words, they moved through the freshly cut grass to deposit the flags in nine holders staked in the soil. Nine flags, each marking the spot where a man died.

The community will come together today to mark the second anniversary of the Sofa Super Store blaze that killed nine Charleston firefighters on June 18, 2007. An open memorial, from 7 to 10 p.m., will be the first time the general public has been allowed onto the site at 1807 Savannah Highway since the fire.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina

Anatole Kaletsky: Healthcare, not bailouts, could break America

Europeans are usually shocked that 47 million citizens of the world’s richest country have no health insurance and so could, at least in theory, die because they cannot afford medical care. Whether America’s traditional insistence that citizens should take responsibility for their own healthcare is proud self-reliance or shameful inhumanity is a matter of political perspective. But increasing ideological polarisation has prevented a consensus forming on whether medicine should be viewed as a “public service” or be treated simply as a form of private consumption no different from food, clothes or housing.

But such theoretical and moral issues are no longer the driving force behind US healthcare reform. Whether or not voters have undergone a moral conversion, America has suddenly become aware that its present healthcare system is unaffordable. As Mr Obama pointed out to the American Medical Association, the doctors’ trade union largely responsible for thwarting President Clinton’s health reforms, carrying on with the status quo is no longer an option. The mind-boggling cost of healthcare, not bank bailouts or property foreclosures, threatens the US Government with bankruptcy and the whole economy with stagnation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Europe, Health & Medicine, Politics in General

AP: Lawmakers clash over cost of health care overhaul

Hoping to make history, the Senate set off on its major overhaul of the nation’s health care system Wednesday, but its first steps were quickly overtaken by fresh cost concerns and partisan anger. An ambitious timetable that called for completing committee action in early summer seemed in danger of slipping away.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee began work on a bill encompassing President Barack Obama’s top legislative priority. It marked the first time since President Bill Clinton’s ill-starred attempt in the early 1990s that Congress was tackling such a broad overhaul.

But the more important Senate Finance Committee announced it would delay action, as senators sought to retool their proposals to slash the cost by more than one-third, from an intial $1.6 trillion over 10 years, to less than $1 trillion. Of the five major panels working on health care, Finance has the best odds of coming up with a bipartisan proposal that could overcome gathering opposition.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Health & Medicine, Politics in General

Thanks to Generous People, in one Hard Hit Community Little League Lives on

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Watch the whole touching and encouraging story.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Parish Ministry, Sports, Stewardship, Teens / Youth

USA Today: More are searching the Web for medical advice

The number of adults who turn to the Internet for health information has nearly doubled in the past two years, from 31% to 60%, according to a study.

That puts the Internet in a tie for third place (with books and print materials) as the source adults most often turn to for health information.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Health & Medicine

The Economist on Peter Peterson's Memoirs

Mr Peterson’s memoir is worth reading for three reasons. First, he really has lived the American dream. His Greek father arrived in America in 1912 with only a primary education and no English. Mr Peterson grew up counting out change in the family diner in Nebraska. In 2007 he sold his stake in the Blackstone Group, his private-equity firm, for $1.85 billion. On the way, he notched up some colourful experiences as an advertising executive, as the boss of a camera manufacturer and as the chairman of Lehman Brothers, an investment bank that collapsed in September 2008.

Second, Mr Peterson is a crusader for a noble cause. He has committed the bulk of his immense fortune to nagging Americans to take their fiscal problems seriously. The huge budget deficit is only the tip of the iceberg, he warns, on posters, through his think-tank and in a surprisingly watchable documentary. The federal government has liabilities equivalent to $483,000 per American household, largely in the form of unfunded commitments to provide old people with health care and pensions. Politicians are too scared by looming elections to do anything about it, as he has seen at first hand. He recalls his shock when Bill Clinton sat down with him, agreed that social security (the public pension system) was bankrupt, and then stood up and told a crowd of voters that it was just fine….

Read it all

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Books, Economy, Politics in General, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

The Economist on Matthew Glass's “Ultimatum”

Dialogue and speeches drive the plot, giving Mr Glass the opportunity to create a presidential hero (along with his plain-speaking wife, intelligent daughter and troubled son) who even in his darkest hour is eloquent and unflinching. “I stand before you, I think, as a president who bears the gravest burden a president has ever borne.” Mr Glass, who has worked in America and with human-rights groups, is familiar with the corridors and committee-rooms of power. He is good at portraying diplomatic brinkmanship and political in-fighting, and knows how policy gets made, all areas that a clumsier writer might have struggled to bring to life. This is a novel for politician and non-politician alike. And the ending is brilliant.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization, Politics in General

18th-Century Connecticut Church Slated To Close

Christ Episcopal Church in Watertown has seen everything, from baptisms to weddings to funerals, but after centuries of services, it’s saying goodbye.

But worshippers at the church, which can be seen from anywhere on the Watertown Green and dates back to the 18th century, were told Sunday that the church is closing.

“It’s pretty much part of Watertown,” resident Judy Charbonneau said. “It’s been here for years.”

Watch the accompanying video too if you have time, but by all means read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes