Daily Archives: July 13, 2011

USA tops France 3-1 to advance to Women's World Cup title game

The United States is in the World Cup final for the first time since it last won the title in 1999, and once again, it was Abby Wambach coming up big in a 3-1 victory over France.

Wambach broke a tense tie in the 79th minute Wednesday with a monstrous header ”” what else? ”” off of a Lauren Cheney corner kick. Cheney delivered the ball perfectly to the far post, and the 5-foot-11 forward soared over the scrum and pushed the ball past French goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz. Wambach let out a scream and did a sliding sprint into the corner, where she was mobbed by her teammates.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Europe, France, Germany, Sports, Women

Afghan assassination leaves political vacuum

The assassination of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s half brother, a powerful political figure, highlights the vulnerability of the government as U.S. forces begin to withdraw and turn over more responsibility to the Afghans, analysts say.

Ahmed Wali Karzai was shot to death Tuesday by a close associate in his home in Kandahar province, where as head of the provincial council he gave full support to U.S. military operations against the Taliban while refuting allegations he was becoming rich off opium trafficking and gun running.

“Whether or not the Taliban is directly responsible for the assassination it will certainly redound to their benefit,” said Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank. “It sends a message to the people of Afghanistan that President Karzai doesn’t really have full control of the country.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

Thomas Friedman–The Technology job Market has a Great Deal to Teach us

…what is most striking when you talk to employers today is how many of them have used the pressure of the recession to become even more productive by deploying more automation technologies, software, outsourcing, robotics ”” anything they can use to make better products with reduced head count and health care and pension liabilities. That is not going to change. And while many of them are hiring, they are increasingly picky. They are all looking for the same kind of people ”” people who not only have the critical thinking skills to do the value-adding jobs that technology can’t, but also people who can invent, adapt and reinvent their jobs every day, in a market that changes faster than ever.

Today’s college grads need to be aware that the rising trend in Silicon Valley is to evaluate employees every quarter, not annually. Because the merger of globalization and the I.T. revolution means new products are being phased in and out so fast that companies cannot afford to wait until the end of the year to figure out whether a team leader is doing a good job.

Whatever you may be thinking when you apply for a job today, you can be sure the employer is asking this: Can this person add value every hour, every day ”” more than a worker in India, a robot or a computer?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Europe, Globalization, India, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Science & Technology, Young Adults

(The Atlantic) The 14 Biggest Ideas of the Year

A guide to the intellectual trends that, for better or worse, are shaping America right now. (Plus a bunch of other ideas, insights, hypotheses, and provocations.)

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Philosophy, Politics in General, Science & Technology

(Yorkshire Post) Anglican Church ”˜may cease to exist in 20 years’

The Church of England will no longer be “functionally extant” in 20 years time according to some projections, a member of the General Synod has warned.

The Rev Dr Patrick Richmond, from Norwich, told members of the Church’s national assembly that they were facing a “perfect storm” of ageing congregations and falling clergy numbers.

The average age of congregations was 61, with many above that, he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

David Leonhardt–Why Taxes Will Rise in the End

Free lunchism is ultimately the problem with the no-new-taxes pledge that so many politicians have adopted. A refusal to raise taxes, no matter how principled, cannot take us back to the good old days. It would instead lead to a very different American society. For taxes to remain where they are, Washington would need to end Medicare as we know it, end Social Security as we know it, severely shrink the military ”” or do some combination of the above.

“We cannot repeat the past when it comes to the federal budget,” Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, recently wrote. “The aging of our population and the rising cost of health care have changed the backdrop for federal budget policy in a fundamental way.”

The most important part of the recent Republican budget plan, written by Representative Paul Ryan, was that it acknowledged this reality…

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, European Central Bank, History, Medicare, Psychology, Social Security, Stock Market, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

(BBC) China: 1.3 million websites shut in 2010

More than one million websites closed down in China last year, a state-run think tank has said.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said there were were 41% fewer websites at the end of 2010 than a year earlier.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Blogging & the Internet, China, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General

After carjacking Archbishop Deng calls for protection of civilians "to be taken seriously"

(ACNS) On the evening of Thursday 23 June 2011 a vehicle of Renk Diocese was seized by four people in plain clothes. They held the passengers, some pastors and some laity, at gunpoint and forced them out of the car. With machine guns in their faces, the passengers had no choice but to hand the car over. Within the car was money for the diocese, some laptop computers and a few mobile phones. Although the car has been returned with the laptop, the diocesan money and the personal items of the passengers were not.

Is such harassment the fate southerners and Christians will now have to regularly face in northern Sudan?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan

Most Hospitals Face Drug Shortages, Survey Says

The vast majority of U.S. hospitals have restricted the use of life-saving chemotherapy drugs and other critical-care medications in the past six months to cope with unprecedented shortages, according to a survey released Tuesday.

More than 80% of hospitals surveyed by the American Hospital Association reported they had to delay treatment, and nearly 70% said patients received less effective substitute drugs.

Three out of four hospitals reported rationing or restricting the use of drugs in short supply. For some drugs, such as a leukemia drug called cytarabine, there are no effective substitutes.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Health & Medicine

(CEN) Minority ethnic Anglicans still poorly represented by C of E

The inclusion of minority ethnic Anglicans in the Church of England is ”˜painfully slow’ General Synod was told on Monday.

In a motion presented by the Bishop of Dudley, Synod voted to insist that the General Synod Appointments Committee might consider increasing the representation of minority ethnic Anglicans in key positions in the Church.

In a presentation, the Ven Daniel Kajumba, Archdeacon of Reigate, said that because the Church of England was the national Church, it was “important that it reflects the society it serves.”

Read it all (requires subscription)

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

The Archbishop of Canterbury launches appeal for Christians in the Holy Land

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, today launched an Appeal at General Synod’s July 2011 Group of Sessions, for funds to help sustain Christian communities in the Holy Land.

“I returned from a visit to the Holy Land last year with a very, very strong sense that we had to do more to express our solidarity with the Christian communities there…We know our brothers and sisters there are suffering; and we don’t always ask ourselves often enough what our response needs to be.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Middle East, Religion & Culture

An infographic which illustrates the current American educational system

Online Education has created this hand-drawn infographic below to illustrate the state of our current educational system and how it compares to the rest of the world. Brace yourself — some of these rankings may come as a shock.

Read it all (Hat tip: Minyanville).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, Education, Globalization, Teens / Youth

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God of patience and consolation, grant we beseech thee that with free hearts we may love and serve thee and our brethren; and, having thus the mind of Christ, may begin heaven on earth, and exercise ourselves therein till that day when heaven, where love abideth, shall seem no strange habitation to us; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

–Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

He went out again beside the sea; and all the crowd gathered about him, and he taught them. And as he passed on, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he sat at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were sitting with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him.

–Mark 2:13-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

In San Diego Cat Owners Hiss at Licensing Proposal

Should cats be treated like dogs, when it comes to licensing and immunization requirements?

The San Diego city auditor’s office recommends doing just that — for the sake of health, safety and “cost recovery” for taxpayers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Animals, City Government, Politics in General