Daily Archives: April 21, 2010

William Murchison: The Democrats' Big Disconnect

And speaking of “responsibility.” A new poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center throws new light on the question of what’s-all-the-anger-about? In The Wall Street Journal, Pew Research Center president Andrew Kohut notes a national mood edgy and fractious, in the context of “a dismal economy, an unhappy public, and epic discount with Congress and elected officials.” Thirty percent of Americans, it seems, “view the federal government as a major threat to their personal freedoms.”

How come? What goes on here anyway, behind the oratorical battle smoke? A whole lot more goes on than one might surmise from tuning in to the Rush and Bill Show.

A cardinal principle of democracy is, don’t do things to demos — the people — against demos’ own ideas, notions and viewpoints. For instance, take over the health care system.

At the time of the final Senate and House votes on health care, polls indicated majority opposition to the bill, not the least reason being, apparently, that hardly anyone understood what the bill contained and proposed. Polls continue to show large majorities in favor of repeal.

No matter. The White House said we needed the bill.

Read it all (featured on the op-ed of the local paper today which is why I happened to see it).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Psychology, Senate

Tamara Lowe with some words of wisdom and rhythm

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music, Religion & Culture

Stranded in Transit, These Travelers Howl, Hiss and Whinny

The massive disruption caused by the volcano cloud has come at a bad time for pet shippers. Many have seen their shipment numbers drop by 50% to 60% in the past year, as companies stop paying to relocate employees’ families abroad, said Sally Smith, the owner of Johnsonburg, NJ-based Airborne Animals LLC. In 2008, 75% of pet owners polled in the U.S. said they frequently travel with their animals, according to BringYourPet.com, a directory service for pet-friendly hotels.

Pet shippers have lost precious time and money during the disruption, often having to re-file lengthy health certificates that sometimes must be completed within hours of a pet’s takeoff. Many have stranded animals in their midst, biding time until it’s safe to fly….

In Frankfurt, Mr. [Paul] Robinson was reunited with [his dog] Pen on Saturday afternoon. He found his friend “quite thin””like a hyena during a summer drought in the African Savannah kind of thin.” That night, he put Pen in the front seat of the Fiat and cruised back to Ljubljana in the slow lane of the autobahn.

Both are taking the journey in stride. “We all have adventures doing things for the people we love, the animals we love,” Mr. Robinson said. “You just take the risk and go.”

Read it all from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Travel

GSE4-Plenary 2: Mission and Evangelism in East Africa – Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi

The opportunities for mission are legion. The fields are ripe for harvest. My brothers and sisters, we are the Eleventh Hour Workers. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into the harvest.

I would hope that we could leave this meeting of Global South Provinces having resolved together to make the next ten years a Decade of Mission in the Global South. Where we resolve such things as:

* Every Province will create a mission sending agency. We know how to receive missionaries very well. But, we can’t receive from one another, if we have no way to send them to one another. This means we must also address the issue of supporting missionaries we send, whether through the traditional means of support coming from the sending church, or through non-traditional means of tent-making and Business as Mission.
* We will collaborate together to strengthen our churches, especially those living in strong multi-religious contexts.
* We will commit ourselves to doubling the size of our Provinces and increasing the number of Provinces in the Global South.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Global South Churches & Primates, Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010, Missions

GSE 4–Thematic Address 3: “Light for the Nations” – the Rev Dr Paul Swarup

Now, the Global South believing community has the same ethical challenge before it. We are the descendents of Abraham by faith in Jesus. We too are called to keep the way of the Lord. If we walk in the way of the Lord ”“ by following the instruction of the Lord ”“ in other words God’s word is to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths. Scripture has to be our guiding factor in our decision making.

If we pursue justice ”“ that is if we seek course correction ”“ if we act as a plumb line showing where the wall has gone off plumb then we would be acting as the light to the nations. We can only be a light to the nations by doing justice ”“ by this we are calling people to be accountable. Peter proclaims to the Jews in his encounter with Cornelius that he was proclaiming Jesus whom God appointed judge of the living and the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of the final putting-to-rights of all human injustice. In the light of the Resurrection, the Covenant Community must never stop reminding the world’s rulers and authorities as well as its own rulers and authorities that they themselves will be held to account, and that they must do justice and bring wise, healing order to God’s world ahead of the day of the Lord’s coming.

The Global South of the Anglican Communion is called to be a light to the nations. As the covenant community we need to illumine the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can remove the veil that blinds.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Global South Churches & Primates, Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010

To be a Covenant for All Peoples – GSE4 Day 2 Report, 20th April

Day 2 of the 4th Anglican Global South-to-South Encounter was a time for all present to listen, meditate and share on the richness of the covenantal idea. As Archbishop John Chew reminded us, to allow the covenant effected by Jesus to “challenge and engage us”¦ to reflect it in our lives.”

The day started off with the Holy Communion, led be participants from Asia, with the Archbishop of Melanesia, David Vanugi serving as the celebrant. Then the morning Bible Study followed, led by the Bishop Rennis Ponniah, the Assistant Bishop of Singapore. Sharing from Isaiah 6: 1-13, he exhorted us to be like the contrite prophet who was “undone by the stunning holiness of God, amazed by the sheer grace of God, and captivated by the salvation purpose of God.” It was a call to repentance and humility, that God cannot use us as His servants unless we are totally broken before Him.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Global South Churches & Primates, Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010

Telegraph–Atheist Nick Clegg discovers religion in time for polling day

Praised for defying political convention when he admitted in 2007 that he was an atheist, Nick Clegg appears to have undergone a rapid conversion.

The Liberal Democrat leader, who was criticised by David Cameron for his “holier-than-thou” attitude in the first of the televised leaders’ debates, has written an article for The Church of England Newspaper in which he claims that Christian values are “central” to his policies.

“My objective is to make space in society for every individual to pursue their [sic] own beliefs, and to achieve their potential,” he writes. “For me that means being willing to take a stand, even on issues that may be unpopular.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Carl Mortished–Too much caution will kill off the economy

We are becoming a risk-averse society and that is dangerous. If Britain is a significant power in the world economy, it is because in the past this nation embraced risk rather than shunned it.

Thousands are stranded abroad clutching buckets, spades and crumpled boarding passes. Gordon Brown is commanding gunboats to rescue the beached Britons. Why are so many Brits in foreign parts in the first place? It is only thanks to the high-risk business gambles of easyJet and Ryanair. It is also thanks to the aggressive deregulation of Britain’s airspace and its airports, a risky political strategy that made cheap travel possible for millions….

The solution to our economic problems is not to tie everything down but to unwind the screws, loosen the bolts. We want true risk-takers, those people who centuries ago might finance a ship destined for a spice island. Someone truly prepared to risk the shirt on their backs, who fears that his “monstruosity” might bite off his own head.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, England / UK

Anglican Church of Canada calls for corporate sponsors

The Anglican Church of Canada is inviting corporate sponsorship of its national convention this year, selling space for brand logos on delegate documents, advertising signs in its meeting spaces and a private lunch for executives with the church’s senior archbishop.

It’s the first time in its 117-year history that the Canadian church made its governing synod available for a mess of pottage – to use the language of the Bible’s Old Testament allusion to Esau selling his birthright for a lentil stew. For that matter, no other Canadian church is known to have sold advertising at its formal gatherings and access to its leaders.

The synod will be held June 3-11 at St. Mary’s University in Halifax.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy

Nonprofits Find Social Media Present New Challenges

Charities are always looking for new ways to raise funds, and for some, reaching out electronically with social media tools like Twitter and Facebook is a perfect match.

For example, the American Red Cross’ successful text-messaging campaign raised tens of millions of dollars for Haiti. It spurred charities’ interest in the use of social media, but nonprofits are finding that some of these new fundraising methods need to be handled with care.

Northern Virginia Family Service, a relatively small nonprofit in Virginia that helps needy families, participated in a new Pepsi Refresh contest, hoping to receive some of the $20 million Pepsi is giving away this year to nonprofits and individuals that win the most votes online for their charitable proposals.

The group wanted to win $50,000 so it could buy a much-needed walk-in freezer and refrigerator for its food pantry. It has used Facebook and Twitter as well as an updated Web site and a YouTube video to win support.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations

School Districts Warn of Deeper Teacher Cuts

School districts around the country, forced to resort to drastic money-saving measures, are warning hundreds of thousands of teachers that their jobs may be eliminated in June.

The districts have no choice, they say, because their usual sources of revenue ”” state money and local property taxes ”” have been hit hard by the recession. In addition, federal stimulus money earmarked for education has been mostly used up this year.

As a result, the 2010-11 school term is shaping up as one of the most austere in the last half century. In addition to teacher layoffs, districts are planning to close schools, cut programs, enlarge class sizes and shorten the school day, week or year to save money.

“We are doing things and considering options I never thought I’d have to consider,” said Peter C. Gorman, superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools in North Carolina, who expects to cut 600 of the district’s 9,400 teachers this year, after laying off 120 last year. “This may be our new economic reality.”

Read it all.

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

A prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anselm

Almighty God, who didst raise up thy servant Anselm to teach the Church of his day to understand its faith in thine eternal Being, perfect justice, and saving mercy: Provide thy Church in every age with devout and learned scholars and teachers, that we may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

–Colossians 1:15-17

Posted in Uncategorized

Bishop Stephen T. Lane of Maine– Climate change the most important issue of our time

Two summers ago I traveled from Maine to England to participate in the Lambeth Conference. Held every 10 years at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the conference gathers more than 800 Anglican bishops from countries all over the world. In conversation with fellow bishops from many developing countries and places where global warming is effecting rapid and dramatic change in the environment and in the fragile lives of citizens, I saw with new eyes the way we are contributing to the problem.

In my Bible study group was the Convener of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, the Archbishop of Canberra (Australia). He spoke of the growing and persistent drought in central Australia, drought that was drying up the rivers, killing the cattle industry and expanding the desert.

“For you in the temperate Northern Hemisphere,” he said, “global warming is an interesting scientific concept to be debated. For us, it’s life and death! And you just keep driving your SUVs.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

María de Lourdes Ruiz–We will never forget: 15 years after the Oklahoma City bombing

It is important that we remember April 19, 1995. Remember the lives of those who died, not only where they died. Remember the victims’ families. Remember those who survived and are still struggling to heal. Remember the stories of tireless rescue workers who risked their lives in the still-trembling building to find survivors, and eventually, to bring the dead home.

Remember how there was no looting in that wrecked downtown, and how crime was virtually non-existent for several days in this city of 500,000. Remember the thousands of devoted community volunteers. Remember how the money turned in after the blast from the Federal Employees Credit Union vault housed in the Murrah building exceeded the money originally held in that vault. We will always remember that the stories of human goodness, generosity, and compassion overwhelmed and conquered one despicable act of evil.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, History, Terrorism