Daily Archives: March 6, 2009

Server Move Is Complete

If you’re reading this, you’re seeing T19 on our new server.

Took about an hour longer than I had anticipated, but all in all things went pretty smoothly. Thanks to everyone for their patience.

Posted in * Admin, Blog Tips & Features

Maryland Governor O'Malley Set To Move on as Death Penalty Repeal Sinks

Gov. Martin O’Malley is preparing to move forward with regulations to allow executions to resume in Maryland now that his effort to repeal the death penalty appears to have failed, a spokesman said yesterday.

The Senate abruptly ended debate on O’Malley’s proposal yesterday morning, instead embracing a bill that would tighten evidence standards in death penalty cases. That bill is expected to pass the Senate today by a wide margin and head to the House of Delegates for consideration.

Maryland has had a de facto moratorium on capital punishment since December 2006, the month before O’Malley (D) took office, after the state’s highest court ruled that lethal injection procedures had not been properly adopted.

O’Malley, a longtime capital punishment opponent, has declined to issue regulations since then, saying the legislature deserved a chance to permanently repeal the death penalty. Such bills have been considered during each of the past three years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment

In Canada Polygamy breeds strange alliances

Polygamy came to Parliament Hill yesterday, as opponents of decriminalization opened a political front in their campaign to ensure that marriage remains a union limited to two people.

Immediately apparent at the news conference yesterday were the strange alliances that form around this issue. Charles McVety of the Institute for Family Values is an outspoken evangelical leader from the Christian right, who was vocal in his opposition to same-sex marriage. Farzana Hassan, president of the Muslim Canadian Congress, an organization that represents secular and progressive Muslims, supported gay marriage but opposes polygamy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

Bankruptcy home loan bill passes House

Supporters regard the threat of a mortgage modification in bankruptcy as a crucial tool to prod banks to negotiate with homeowners for more affordable terms. Critics argue the measure will create a flood of bankruptcy filings that ultimately will drive up mortgage rates and further destabilize the battered housing market.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Personal Finance, Politics in General, The 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration Plan, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Anglican Church of Melanesia elects new Archbishop

The Anglican Church of Melanesia has a new Archbishop. He is the Rt Rev David Vunagi who is currently the Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu in Solomon Islands.

Bishop Vunagi was elected to the highest Episcopal position within the Anglican Church by the Provincial electoral board on the afternoon of March 4th at Tetete Ni Kolivuti; headquarters of the Sisters of the Church east of Honiara.

The new archbishop will become the fifth in succession since Melanesia was inaugurated in January 1975 as an independent ecclesiastical province from New Zealand.

The archbishops since then were the late John Chisholm, the late Norman Kitchener Palmer, Amos Waiaru, and Sir Ellison Pogo.

The Province of Melanesia covers three independent nations of Solomon Islands, the Republic of Vanuatu and the French Trust Territory of New Caledonia.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Statement from the Anglican Bishops of the Church of the Province of Central Africa

Statement on the Government of National Unity by the Bishops of the Church of the Province of Central Africa at the Consecration of the Right Reverend Cleophas Lunga as Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Matabeleland on the 1st Sunday of Lent 1st March 2009 at the Parish Church of St Columbus, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

We the Bishops of the Province of Central Africa in holding and believing that all people are created equal in the image of God and that God wills his people to live their lives to its full potential abundantly, cautiously welcome the formation of the Government of National Unity in Zimbabwe.

This development comes after a long period of political polarisation which created immense suffering of the people. However we are concerned about the continued detention of some political and human rights activists which is indicative of business as usual contrary to the spirit and objectives of Global Agreement. The continued detention of the activists is not conducive to the spirit of reconciliation and to the promotion of peace and justice. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News

Church Times: Sudan is at a critical time, says Primate, as Bashir is indicted

The Archbishop of Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng Bul, has called on the British Government to step up its support for the country’s Compre­hensive Peace Agreement (CPA) as the key to peace in Darfur and across the country. Britain is a co-signatory of the agreement, which marked the end of Africa’s longest-running civil war in 2004.

“We are crying to the inter­national community not to abandon the CPA. If it succeeds, then the con­flict in Darfur, too, will be resolved. The British, the Italians, the Ameri­cans, and the Norwegians need to step up now. This is a crucial time,” Dr Deng said on Thursday of last week during a visit to Salisbury dio­cese.

He was speaking just before the indictment of the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, for war crimes. On Wednesday, the Inter­national Criminal Court issued a warrant for the President’s arrest for crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Read it all.

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

Paul Krugman: The Big Dither

Last month, in his big speech to Congress, President Obama argued for bold steps to fix America’s dysfunctional banks. “While the cost of action will be great,” he declared, “I can assure you that the cost of inaction will be far greater, for it could result in an economy that sputters along for not months or years, but perhaps a decade.”

Many analysts agree. But among people I talk to there’s a growing sense of frustration, even panic, over Mr. Obama’s failure to match his words with deeds. The reality is that when it comes to dealing with the banks, the Obama administration is dithering. Policy is stuck in a holding pattern.

Here’s how the pattern works: first, administration officials, usually speaking off the record, float a plan for rescuing the banks in the press. This trial balloon is quickly shot down by informed commentators.

Then, a few weeks later, the administration floats a new plan. This plan is, however, just a thinly disguised version of the previous plan, a fact quickly realized by all concerned. And the cycle starts again.

Why do officials keep offering plans that nobody else finds credible?

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

WSJ: Bill Seeks to Let FDIC Borrow up to $500 Billion

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is moving to allow the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to temporarily borrow as much as $500 billion from the Treasury Department.

The Connecticut Democrat’s effort — which comes in response to urging from FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner — would give the FDIC access to more money to rebuild its fund that insures consumers’ deposits, which have been hard hit by a string of bank failures.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Archbishop Deng Lobbies HM Government to help end LRA crisis

The Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, the Most Rev’d Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, has this week sent a petition, on behalf of his Church, the Church of Uganda and the Anglican Church in north eastern DR Congo, to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In the letter, the Anglican Church leaders of the region affected since Christmas by repeated attacks by the self-styled Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) ”“ Southern Sudan, northern Uganda and north eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ”“ appealed to the British Government for assistance.

The request was specifically two-fold: firstly to put diplomatic pressure on the LRA leaders, leaders in Sudan, Uganda and Congo, and leaders of the UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan and Congo to do more to bring an end to the brutal attacks on unarmed civilians by the LRA, which have seen many Congolese and Sudanese towns swamped with refugees and displaced people since December. Secondly, the prelates pleaded for more international assistance for the relief effort in supporting these displaced people ”“ most of whom are now dependent on their and other churches.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Republic of Congo, Sudan

Growing Economic Crisis Threatens the Idea of One Europe

The leaders of the European Union gathered Sunday in Brussels in an emergency summit meeting that seemed to highlight the very worries it was designed to calm: that the world economic crisis has unleashed forces threatening to split Europe into rival camps.

An urgent call from Hungary for a large bailout for newer, Eastern members was bluntly rejected by Europe’s strongest economy, Germany, and received little support from other countries. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, facing federal elections in September, said countries must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

“Saying that the situation is the same for all Central and Eastern European states, I don’t see that,” Mrs. Merkel told reporters. She spoke after Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany of Hungary warned, “We should not allow that a new Iron Curtain should be set up and divide Europe.”

With uncertain leadership and few powerful collective institutions, the European Union is struggling with the strains this crisis has inevitably produced among 27 countries with uneven levels of development.

Read it all and make sure to see this Economist article as well.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--