Daily Archives: July 4, 2009
The fundamental question we must ask ourselves at the beginning of the century is this: What is the purpose of marriage? Is it ”” given the game-changing realities of birth control, female equality and the fact that motherhood outside of marriage is no longer stigmatized ”” simply an institution that has the capacity to increase the pleasure of the adults who enter into it? If so, we might as well hold the wake now: there probably aren’t many people whose idea of 24-hour-a-day good times consists of being yoked to the same romantic partner, through bouts of stomach flu and depression, financial setbacks and emotional upsets, until after many a long decade, one or the other eventually dies in harness.
Or is marriage an institution that still hews to its old intention and function ”” to raise the next generation, to protect and teach it, to instill in it the habits of conduct and character that will ensure the generation’s own safe passage into adulthood? Think of it this way: the current generation of children, the one watching commitments between adults snap like dry twigs and observing parents who simply can’t be bothered to marry each other and who hence drift in and out of their children’s lives ”” that’s the generation who will be taking care of us when we are old.
Who is left to ensure that these kids grow up into estimable people once the Mark Sanfords and other marital frauds and casual sadists have jumped ship? The good among us, the ones who are willing to sacrifice the thrill of a love letter for the betterment of their children. “His career is not a concern of mine,” says Jenny Sanford. “He’ll be worrying about that, and I’ll be worrying about my family and the character of my children.” What we teach about the true meaning of marriage will determine a great deal about our fate.
While only delegates to the annual convention can nominate officially, any church member with a suggestion is welcome to approach the clergy and lay leaders of their church, diocese leaders say.
“The most important thing is to call on folks around the diocese and around the country to pray that we listen to God’s will and not our own,” Canon Mark Stevenson said. “This is supposed to be a prayerful process.”
Stevenson serves on the 11-person Episcopate Committee charged with guiding the nomination process.
Early in the 20th century, some Orthodox leaders were willing to accept the “validity of Anglican orders,” meaning they believed that Anglican clergy were truly priests and bishops in the ancient, traditional meanings of those words.
“It fell apart. It fell apart on the Anglican side, with the affirmation more of a Protestant identity than a Catholic identity,” said Jonah, at the inaugural assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, held in Bedford, Texas.
“We need to pick up where they left off. The question has been: Does that Anglican church, which came so close to being declared by the other Orthodox churches a fellow Orthodox church, does that still exist?”
A voice in the crowd shouted, “It does!”
“Here, it does,” agreed Jonah, stressing the word “here.”
The Williams family dream, developed more than 20 years ago on the glass-littered courts of Compton, Calif., has played out on every major championship surface since then. On the Fourth of July, Serena and Venus Williams, the American superstars and the only real standard bearers of women’s tennis, slugged it out on the hallowed grass of Wimbledon’s All England Lawn Tennis Club.
After all the anguished cries and pummeled groundstrokes between the pair, their 21st meeting ”” and their fourth in the Wimbledon final ”” ended with but a muted celebration. Serena Williams, the younger sister by 15 months, steamrolled big sister Venus, 7-6 (3), 6-2 to win her third Wimbledon championship.
She smiled and dropped to the grass, but was not gloating with Venus standing on the other side of the net in resigned defeat. Venus’s final backhand sailed plaintively into the net, as Serena captured her 11th major championship title by unleashing unrelenting serves and executing razor-sharp angles.
Nor should the “brown weeds” camp rely too heavily on the payrolls numbers; unemployment is famously a lagging indicator. Nevertheless, it is a bit hard to see where the recovery is coming from. American wages are up just 2.7% a year, and it is a lot harder for workers to borrow money to maintain their spending. The boost from lower gasoline prices (seen in the winter) is disappearing and consumers seem to be saving, not spending, their tax breaks. David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff points out that same store sales are down 4.4% year-on-year, a bigger decline than that seen in May. If consumers are not spending, why would business invest? We have seen some kind of a rebound, after inventories were slashed in late 2008, but will it last?
So why might it be “different this time”? The difference lies in the high debt levels being carried by consumers entering into this crisis, the shrinking of the financial sector from its excessive size of two yeara ago. These are burdens that take years to work off. The action taken by governments and central banks may have headed off a Great Depression; they cannot prevent a long period of austerity.
So how do I accept what my husband does for a living? Quite easily. He serves his country and does so courageously, next to other respectable men and women. He represents America with the utmost dignity while overseas. The Army is lucky to have him, and so am I. While people sit back and criticize what soldiers do, my husband risks his life over and over again. Let’s be honest: It’s a job that most people don’t want. Many don’t think about it because other people do it.
Other people do it.
Instead of trying to figure out how to accept or justify or understand what my husband does because you don’t believe in war, I’d beg you to know that no one wants war; no one likes war. We’d all love a perfect world, but we do not live in one. Our country is at war; two of them, actually. Soldiers, my husband being one of them, have to deploy. We, as families, have to worry and wait and hope.
I believe that the next time somebody asks me how I accept what my husband does for a living, I will simply tell that person to appreciate my husband’s service and to enjoy his or her freedom while my husband does what his country asks of him.
I received by the Deacon two letters from you, this day, from Hartford. I feel a recruit of spirits upon the reception of them, and the comfortable news which they contain. We had not heard any thing from North Carolina before, and could not help feel ing anxious, lest we should find a defection there, arising more from their ancient feuds and animosities, than from any settled ill-will in the present con test ; but the confirmation of the choice of their delegates by their Assembly, leaves not a doubt of their firmness ; nor doth the eye say unto the hand, ” I have no need of thee.” The Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. Great events are most certainly in the womb of futurity ; and, if the present chastisements which we experience have a proper influence upon our conduct, the event will certainly be in our favor. The distresses of the inhabitants of Boston are beyond the power of language to describe ; there are but very few who are permitted to come out in a day ; they delay giving passes, make them wait from hour to hour, and their counsels are not two hours together alike. One day, they shall come out with their effects ; the next day, merchandise is not effects. One day, their house hold furniture is to come out ; the next, only wearing apparel ; the next, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, and he refuseth to hearken to them, and will not let the people go. May their deliverance be wrought out for them, as it was for the children of Israel. I do not mean by miracles, but by the interposition of Heaven in their favor. They have taken a list of all those who they suppose were concerned in watch ing the tea, and every other person whom they call obnoxious, and they and their effects are to suffer destruction. Yours,
–A letter from Abigail Adams (1744-1818) to John Adams (1735-1826) 7 May 1775 (emphasis mine)
Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn’d from joys and
But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing,
grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your children
en-masse really are,
(For who except myself has yet conceiv’d what your children en-masse
–Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
I am not afraid to say that the principle of self-interest rightly understood appears to me the best suited of all philosophical theories to the wants of the men of our time, and that I regard it as their chief remaining security against themselves. Towards it, therefore, the minds of the moralists of our age should turn; even should they judge it to be incomplete, it must nevertheless be adopted as necessary.
I do not think, on the whole, that there is more selfishness among us than in America; the only difference is that there it is enlightened, here it is not. Each American knows when to sacrifice some of his private interests to save the rest; we want to save everything, and often we lose it all. Everybody I see about me seems bent on teaching his contemporaries, by precept and example, that what is useful is never wrong Will nobody undertake to make them understand how what is right may be useful?
No power on earth can prevent the increasing equality of conditions from inclining the human mind to seek out what is useful or from leading every member of the community to be wrapped up in himself. It must therefore be expected that personal interest will become more than ever the principal if not the sole spring of men’s actions; but it remains to be seen how each man will understand his personal interest. If the members of a community, as they become more equal, become more ignorant and coarse, it is difficult to foresee to what pitch of stupid excesses their selfishness may lead them; and no one can foretell into what disgrace and wretchedness they would plunge themselves lest they should have to sacrifice something of their own well-being to the prosperity of their fellow creatures.
I do not think that the system of self-interest as it is professed in America is in all its parts self- evident, but it contains a great number of truths so evident that men, if they are only educated, cannot fail to see them. Educate, then, at any rate, for the age of implicit self-sacrifice and instinctive virtues is already flitting far away from us, and the time is fast approaching when freedom, public peace, and social order itself will not be able to exist without education.
–Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Book II, Chapter 8
Q: When was the actual vote on the resolution for independence?
Q: Who wrote the original Declaration of Independence?
Q: Why didn’t George Washington sign the Declaration of Independence?
Often even experienced doctors are unaware that 80-year-olds are not the same as 50-year-olds. Pneumonia in a 50-year-old causes fever, cough and difficulty breathing; an 80-year-old with the same illness may have none of these symptoms, but just seem “not herself” ”” confused and unsteady, unable to get out of bed.
She may end up in a hospital, where a doctor prescribes a dose of antibiotic that would be right for a woman in her 50s, but is twice as much as an 80-year-old patient should get, and so she develops kidney failure, and grows weaker and more confused. In her confusion, she pulls the tube from her arm and the catheter from her bladder.
Instead of re-evaluating whether the tubes are needed, her doctor then asks the nurses to tie her arms to the bed so she won’t hurt herself. This only increases her agitation and keeps her bed-bound, causing her to lose muscle and bone mass. Eventually, she recovers from the pneumonia and her mind is clearer, so she’s considered ready for discharge ”” but she is no longer the woman she was before her illness. She’s more frail, and needs help with walking, bathing and daily chores.
This shouldn’t happen. All medical students are required to have clinical experiences in pediatrics and obstetrics, even though after they graduate most will never treat a child or deliver a baby. Yet there is no requirement for any clinical training in geriatrics….
The country first got into debt to help pay for the Revolutionary War. Growing ever since, the debt stands today at a staggering $11.5 trillion — equivalent to over $37,000 for each and every American. And it’s expanding by over $1 trillion a year.
The mountain of debt easily could become the next full-fledged economic crisis without firm action from Washington, economists of all stripes warn.
“Unless we demonstrate a strong commitment to fiscal sustainability in the longer term, we will have neither financial stability nor healthy economic growth,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently told Congress.
Higher taxes, or reduced federal benefits and services — or a combination of both — may be the inevitable consequences.