Daily Archives: August 19, 2010

Jobless Filings at Highest Point Since November 2009

The country got some more disappointing news about jobs on Thursday.

Initial claims for unemployment rose last week to a seasonally adjusted half a million, the first time since November that they have reached that level.

The Department of Labor said in its weekly report that the seasonally adjusted jobless claims climbed by 12,000 to 500,000 from the previous week’s revised 488,000.

Wall Street analysts had expected the seasonally adjusted claims to drop.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Zenit–Mexican Bishops Protest Same-Sex "Marriage"

After two Mexican cardinals were criticized for speaking out against the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” the rest of the bishops in that country rose to the defense of free speech.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico City, and Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, were accused of “intolerance” for having spoken out against same-sex “marriage” and adoptions by homosexual couples.

In response, the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate published a communiqué Tuesday, stating, “We lament that on expressing these concepts in public opinion, there are those who recriminate and threaten, warning of intolerance, when tolerance is the possibility that we all express our opinion and positions.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Marriage & Family, Mexico, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Anglican church in Uganda sets up seminary in the west

The Church of Uganda has established a seminary, the first in the western region. Bishop McAllister Anglican Seminary, which was founded by the West Ankole Diocese, was inaugurated on Sunday in Sheema district.

However, unlike the Catholic seminaries which admit single-sex students, this one admits both sexes.

John Kateshumbwa said the seminary has been long overdue because the society has had generations which have not been morally upright.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Saginaw Bishop Todd Ousley held a role in a controversial ruling to reinstate a fellow bishop

A controversial ruling to reinstate a Pennsylvanian bishop includes a tie to Saginaw.

Bishop Todd Ousley of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan, which includes land east of Interstate 75 from Genesse to Alpena counties, was a member of the church’s court of review that, earlier this month, reversed a 2008 decision by a lower court that removed Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison as bishop.

Bennison’s brother, John Bennison, was youth pastor of the church where Charles Bennison was a priest in the 1970s in California. John Bennison, who later became a priest, is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in the parish. John Bennison was forced to renounce his priesthood in 2006 when accusations became public. His brother was removed as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania in 2008 for his inaction in the 1970s.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pennsylvania, TEC Polity & Canons

Baha’i Community Stunned by Harsh Sentences in Iran

The Baha’i International Community said the harsh prison sentences meted out against seven Iranian Baha’i leaders are an unjust punishment against innocent people and an entire religious community.

The five men and two women imprisoned were arrested in May 2008 and later charged with “spying for foreigners,” as well as “spreading corruption on Earth” and “cooperating with Israel.”

Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, whose Defenders of Human Rights Center represented the Baha’i defendants, said she was “stunned” by the seven- to 20-year jail terms.

“I have read their case file page-by-page, and did not find anything proving the accusations, nor did I find any document that could prove the claims of the prosecutor,” Ebadi said in an interview with the BBC.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Iran, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

RNS: Philadelphia Area Episcopal bishop, back in office, vows to stay

The embattled Episcopal bishop of Philadelphia said he erred in not investigating his brother’s sexual abuse of an underage girl 35 years ago, but brushed aside calls for his resignation, saying it is more “interesting” for him to remain in office.

Bishop Charles Bennison was removed from ministry in 2007, when he was charged with “conduct unbecoming of a member of the clergy.” A church court found him guilty in 2008. But Bennison returned to his Philadelphia office on Monday (Aug. 16) after a church appeals court ruled last month the 10-year statute of limitations on the charge had expired.

Even so, prominent Philadelphia Episcopalians — including the diocese’s elected standing committee — said Bennison should resign.

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

Hedge-fund icon Stanley Druckenmiller to close Pittsburgh area Firm

Mr. Druckenmiller, 57, said he was tired of the stress of managing money for others and frustrated by his failure in the past three years to match returns that had averaged 30 percent annually since 1986. His Duquesne Capital Management LLC, which oversees $12 billion and has never had a losing year, is down 5 percent in 2010.

“Managing more than $10 billion seems to challenge my long-term standard” for investment performance, Mr. Druckenmiller said in a two-hour interview in his New York office on 57th Street overlooking Central Park.

“While the joy of winning for clients is immense, for me the disappointment of each interim drawdown over the years has taken a cumulative toll that I cannot continue to sustain,” he wrote to his 100 clients Wednesday.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Psychology, Stock Market, Stress

Der Spiegel: Tensions Rise in Greece as Austerity Measures Backfire

The austerity measures that were supposed to fix Greece’s problems are dragging down the country’s economy. Stores are closing, tax revenues are falling and unemployment has hit an unbelievable 70 percent in some places. Frustrated workers are threatening to strike back.

The feast of the Assumption of Mary on Aug. 15 is the high point of summer in the Greek Orthodox world. Here in one of the country’s many churches, believers pray to the Virgin for mercy, with many of them falling to their knees.

The newspaper Ta Nea has recommended that the Greek government adopt the very same approach — the country’s leaders have to hope that Mary comes up with a miracle to save Greece from a serious crisis, the paper writes. Without divine intervention, the newspaper suggested, it will be a difficult autumn for the Mediterranean state.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Greece, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General

The Web Is A 'Shrinking Minority' Of Internet Traffic

“The Web is dead” proclaims the September issue of Wired Magazine. Hard to believe, given how much time people spend online. But Chris Anderson, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, tells Steve Inskeep that the end of the web is likely just the next evolutionary step for the Internet.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, History, Science & Technology

AP–Battle over cross reveals culture divide in Poland

It’s a plain wooden cross almost austere in its simplicity.

But it is stirring passions in heavily Roman Catholic Poland that expose bitter divisions which make it seem like two separate nations sharing the same land and language.

The pale wood cross about four meters (13 feet) high was erected in front of the presidential palace by Boy and Girl Scouts days after the April plane crash in Russia that killed President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others.

It quickly became a spot for mourners to light candles, place flowers and pray.

Now, with a new president installed and the country returning to normal, the question of whether the cross should stay or go has set off wider disputes that underscore the deep divisions between traditional and modern Poles, conservatives and liberals, and even rich and poor.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Poland, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

–Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother’s breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

–Psalm 131

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

One-fourth of renters will never buy a home: survey

More than a quarter of Americans currently renting houses and apartments have no intention to ever buy a home, according to a survey published on Wednesday.

The survey, by real estate search site Trulia.com, found 27 percent of renters do not plan to ever buy a home. Although 72 percent still expect to buy eventually, that proportion is down from 77 percent six months ago.

Of those who do hope to become homeowners, two-thirds say they will wait two years or more.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Personal Finance

Kathleen Parker: The Ground Zero Mosque must be built

It is hard to imagine that anything has gone unsaid about the so-called Ground Zero mosque, but an important point seems to be missing.

The mosque should be built precisely because we don’t like the idea very much. We don’t need constitutional protections to be agreeable, after all.

This point surpasses even all the obvious reasons for allowing the mosque, principally that there’s no law against it.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., City Government, House of Representatives, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Senate

ENS–Pennsylvania bishop says he's listening to lay, clergy leaders

Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison said Aug. 17 that since he returned to the diocesan offices the day before he has “concentrated on listening.”

“I have learned a great deal, and my listening has been very productive,” Bennison said in a statement emailed to Episcopal News Service by Ceisler Media and Issue Advocacy, a Philadelphia media relations firm.

The bishop said that he met with diocesan Assisting Bishop Rodney Michel and asked him to remain in his position “indefinitely.”

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