Daily Archives: August 25, 2010

Wisconsin's Holy Apostles Episcopal Church Locked in a debate with their town over property taxes

It’s church versus state in a local taxation battle.

Episcopal church officials say the property tax assessment on land next to Holy Apostles Church on the Oneida Indian Reservation is unlawful because it’s designated a cemetery.

Village of Hobart assessor Mike Denor says 23 acres that have a 2010 property tax obligation of about $600 are mostly woods, and even calling it a cemetery “is kind of a stretch.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Church/State Matters, City Government, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Taxes, TEC Parishes

Intel CEO: U.S. faces looming tech decline

[Paul] Otellini singled out the political state of affairs in Democrat-dominated Washington, saying: “I think this group does not understand what it takes to create jobs. And I think they’re flummoxed by their experiment in Keynesian economics not working.”

Since an unusually sharp downturn accelerated in late 2008, the Obama administration and its allies in the U.S. Congress have enacted trillions in deficit spending they say will create an economic stimulus — but have not extended the Bush tax cuts and have pushed to levy extensive new health care and carbon regulations on businesses.

“They’re in a ‘Do’ loop right now trying to figure out what the answer is,” Otellini said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The U.S. Government

Guardian–Ugandan archbishop urges African clergy to re-evangelise Anglican church

The archbishop of Uganda yesterday urged hundreds of African bishops to shake off their fears, shame and superficial dependency and re-evangelise the “ailing” churches of the west.

In a rallying cry to the biggest constituency of the Anglican Communion, the Most Rev Henry Orombi said it was time for Africans to “rise up and bring fresh life in the ailing global Anglicanism”.

His call came on the same day that US Episcopalians published a guide on liturgical and ceremonial resources for clergy and same-sex couples.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda

New Vision: African bishops maintain traditional Christian stand

Anglican bishops attending the All Africa Bishops Conference in Entebbe have reiterated their firm stand against homosexuality.

In speeches, most of which received standing ovations, the prelates said the practice was alien and an “innovation of the truth”.

Present was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, whose open support of the practice has made him the centre of attraction for the media at the conference.

The seven-day conference, at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, attracted over 400 bishops, a quarter of whom are from Nigeria. Participants were excited by the attendance of bishops from the Muslim countries of Sudan and Egypt.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

BBC–Wave of deadly bombings in Iraq

More than 30 people have been killed and dozens injured in a series of bomb attacks across Iraq.

There have been several blasts in Baghdad, including one in which 15 people died. At least 15 were killed in a suicide attack in Kut in the south.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iraq War, Middle East

Notable and Quotable

Most young people are said to believe in a hell where nobody goes. Many others, perhaps adults, think there is a hell largely populated by enemies. And among the old are believers who nervously wonder if hell might be populated by the likes of themselves. They, like St. Paul at some moments, consider the question of their salvation “in fear and trembling.”

They may have good reason. When someone asked Jesus whether a small number would be saved, he was not very comforting: “Try to come in through the narrow door. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and be unable.” The lord of the household seems not to acknowledge those standing outside, knocking and pleading for entry, even though they had once been in his company. What is more, there will be that horrible “wailing and grinding of teeth” by those rejected.

–John Kavanaugh, S. J..The Word Engaged: Meditations on the Sunday Scriptures Cycle C (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 1997)

Posted in Eschatology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

ABC News–New Software Predicts Criminal Behavior

New crime prediction software being rolled out in the nation’s capital should reduce not only the murder rate, but the rate of many other crimes as well.

Developed by Richard Berk, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the software is already used in Baltimore and Philadelphia to predict which individuals on probation or parole are most likely to murder and to be murdered.

In his latest version, the one being implemented in D.C., Berk goes even further, identifying the individuals most likely to commit crimes other than murder.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology, Science & Technology

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

The Mere Anglicanism 2011 Conference to be held in Charleston, South Carolina, announces its Agenda

Read it all–and please consider attending.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, Theology

Your Brain on Computers: Overuse of Digital Devices May Lead to Brain Fatigue

It’s 1 p.m. on a Thursday and Dianne Bates, 40, juggles three screens. She listens to a few songs on her iPod, then taps out a quick e-mail on her iPhone and turns her attention to the high-definition television.

Just another day at the gym.

As Ms. Bates multitasks, she is also churning her legs in fast loops on an elliptical machine in a downtown fitness center. She is in good company. In gyms and elsewhere, people use phones and other electronic devices to get work done ”” and as a reliable antidote to boredom.

Cellphones, which in the last few years have become full-fledged computers with high-speed Internet connections, let people relieve the tedium of exercising, the grocery store line, stoplights or lulls in the dinner conversation.

The technology makes the tiniest windows of time entertaining, and potentially productive. But scientists point to an unanticipated side effect: when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

Norihiro Kato–Japan and the Ancient Art of Shrugging

Three years ago, I saw a television program about a new breed of youngster: the nonconsumer. Japanese in their late teens and early 20s, it said, did not have cars. They didn’t drink alcohol. They didn’t spend Christmas Eve with their boyfriends or girlfriends at fancy hotels downtown the way earlier generations did. I have taught many students who fit this mold. They work hard at part-time jobs, spend hours at McDonald’s sipping cheap coffee, eat fast food lunches at Yoshinoya. They save their money for the future.

These are the Japanese who came of age after the bubble, never having known Japan as a flourishing economy. They are accustomed to being frugal. Today’s youths, living in a society older than any in the world, are the first since the late 19th century to feel so uneasy about the future.

I saw young Japanese in Paris, of course, vacationing or studying, but statistics show that they don’t travel the way we used to. Perhaps it’s a reaction against their globalizing elders who are still zealously pushing English-language education and overseas employment. Young people have grown less interested in studying foreign languages. They seem not to feel the urge to grow outward. Look, they say, Japan is a small country. And we’re O.K. with small.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Economy, History, Japan, Psychology, Young Adults

David Brooks: A Case of Mental Courage

This [19th century] emphasis on mental character lasted for a time, but it has abated. There’s less talk of sin and frailty these days. Capitalism has also undermined this ethos. In the media competition for eyeballs, everyone is rewarded for producing enjoyable and affirming content. Output is measured by ratings and page views, so much of the media, and even the academy, is more geared toward pleasuring consumers, not putting them on some arduous character-building regime.

In this atmosphere, we’re all less conscious of our severe mental shortcomings and less inclined to be skeptical of our own opinions. Occasionally you surf around the Web and find someone who takes mental limitations seriously. For example, Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway once gave a speech called “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment.” He and others list our natural weaknesses: We have confirmation bias; we pick out evidence that supports our views. We are cognitive misers; we try to think as little as possible. We are herd thinkers and conform our perceptions to fit in with the group.

But, in general, the culture places less emphasis on the need to struggle against one’s own mental feebleness. Today’s culture is better in most ways, but in this way it is worse.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Philosophy, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who knowest that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but that all our sufficiency is of thee: Assist us with thy grace in all the work which we are to undertake this day. Direct us in it by thy wisdom, support us by thy power; that doing our duty diligently, we may bring it to a good end, so that it may tend to the greater glory of thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

–Psalm 121:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Steve Kerch–Why nobody wants to buy a house

…the only thing that will turn this mess around is jobs. Until this economy can put people back to work — and put them back to work gainfully, full-time, using their skills and not merely temping in some capacity way beneath their experience — it won’t be able to instill any confidence that buying a house is a good idea.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--