Daily Archives: April 22, 2009

My Oh My

Tacoma, WA: Officials were totally unprepared when they advertised 1 job opening for meter reader. Job requirements are a high school diploma and able to walk 5-7 miles daily.Normally they get 50-70 application but in the two weeks the job was listed they received 1400 applications.

Read all about it.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Laura Huggins: On Earth Day, think Thoreau

Earth Day is upon us, and with it, several “green” events, including the broadcasting of “Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau” on public television and in schools. This is surprising at a time when government involvement in the environment is all the rage. Henry David Thoreau, who wrote that “government is best which governs not at all,” is probably writhing in his grave.

Instead of keeping environmental management at the local level where it is most efficient, we are moving toward more centralization.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources

Massachusetts Clergy lend voices to same sex marriage debate

Several prominent religious leaders from Massachusetts are lending their support to the campaign for the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York state, arguing in various venues yesterday that gay marriage has not affected religious freedom in the Bay State.

The gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda, said it sought out clergy in Masachusetts in an effort to rebut critics of same-sex marriage.

“There is a campaign on the side of the religious right to convince people that marriage equality for same-sex couples will threaten religious freedom, but we don’t think that is the case, and we don’t want any myths to go unanswered,” said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the organization. “Nobody has more experience in dealing with the issue of marriage equality than Massachusetts, and so the best people to respond are those who live in Massachusetts and who lead religious institutions.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Anglican Archbishop says South Africa must have arms deal inquiry

The Anglican archbishop of Cape Town says a decision by prosecutors to drop charges against South African presidential candidate Jacob Zuma will become a “running sore” unless there is an independent inquiry into the arms deal that triggered a legal process that has gripped the country for more than two years.

“How can this country forgive unless we know who we are forgiving and for what?” Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said in a 20 April speech to the Cape Town Press Club, The Cape Times newspaper reported.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces

What Are Friends For? A Longer Life

In the quest for better health, many people turn to doctors, self-help books or herbal supplements. But they overlook a powerful weapon that could help them fight illness and depression, speed recovery, slow aging and prolong life: their friends.

Researchers are only now starting to pay attention to the importance of friendship and social networks in overall health. A 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends. A large 2007 study showed an increase of nearly 60 percent in the risk for obesity among people whose friends gained weight. And last year, Harvard researchers reported that strong social ties could promote brain health as we age.

“In general, the role of friendship in our lives isn’t terribly well appreciated,” said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. “There is just scads of stuff on families and marriage, but very little on friendship. It baffles me. Friendship has a bigger impact on our psychological well-being than family relationships.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Psychology

In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Inquiry Into Their Past Use

The program began with Central Intelligence Agency leaders in the grip of an alluring idea: They could get tough in terrorist interrogations without risking legal trouble by adopting a set of methods used on Americans during military training. How could that be torture?

In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.

This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved ”” not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush, not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees ”” investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, President George Bush, Terrorism

60 Minutes: Retirement Dreams Disappear With 401(k)s

The effects of the current economic crisis have touched everyone. Even if you still have a good job and a paid up mortgage, chances are your monthly 401(k) statement will remind you that you’ve lost a good chunk of your savings.

Trillions of dollars have evaporated from those accounts that have become the prime source of retirement funds for a majority of American workers, affecting their psyche and their future. If you are still young enough, there’s time to rebuild and recover, but if you are in your 50s, 60s or beyond the consequences can be dire, and its drawing attention to the shortcomings of a retirement system that has jeopardized the financial security of tens of millions of people.

I caught this on the morning run. Makes the heart sad. Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Economy, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Acting Freddie Mac CFO commits suicide

The acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac, David Kellermann, has apparently committed suicide, Fairfax County Police tell WTOP.

Fairfax County Police spokeswoman Mary Anne Jennings says Kellermann, 41, was found at his Hunter Mill Estates home Wednesday morning.

Jennings says police responded to the home after family members called police around 5 a.m.

“We were called from inside the house to come investigate an apparent suicide,” Jennings says.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Independent–Fertility expert: 'I can clone a human being'

A controversial fertility doctor claimed yesterday to have cloned 14 human embryos and transferred 11 of them into the wombs of four women who had been prepared to give birth to cloned babies.

The cloning was recorded by an independent documentary film-maker who has testified to The Independent that the cloning had taken place and that the women were genuinely hoping to become pregnant with the first cloned embryos specifically created for the purposes of human reproduction.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Life Ethics, Science & Technology

Catholics and Anglicans remember Father Killi, martyr of war

Fr Mariampillai Xavier Karunaratnam, known by everyone as Father Killi, spent a lifetime helping war victims in northern Sri Lanka. A year ago on 20 April, after celebrating mass in the Maangku’lam Church he set off for his parish church in Vannivi’laangku’lam. He was killed on the Mallaavi-Vavunikkulam Road at 12.30 by an explosion. Army and Tamil Tiger rebels have blamed each other for the death. A year to the day after his death friends, clergymen from the Catholic and Anglican Churches, parishioners, civil society activists and members of the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM) gathered in the capital to remember him in a memorial ceremony.

Reverend Sathivel, Anglican, who opened the service, said in killing him the “assassins sought to kill truth, love and understanding.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

RNS–Study: Nearly half of new priests were discouraged against seminary

Conversations around the kitchen table may be more responsible for the shortage of Roman Catholic priests in the U.S. than influences from American culture, a new study suggests.

Almost 45% of Catholic priests planning to be ordained this year said they were discouraged from considering the priesthood, according to a survey produced by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University for the U.S. bishops.

Of those, nearly 6 in 10 said a parent or family member was the source of the discouragement. Fifty-one percent said a friend or classmate had counseled them against the priesthood, and 15% said a priest or other clergy had. The percentages add up to more than 100 because respondents could select more than one category.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Seth Godin–Modern life is broken — why?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Science & Technology

Living Church: Facing $1M Deficit, Michigan Sets Funding Priorities

An estimated 300 clergy and lay delegates from the Diocese of Michigan met April 18 for a six-hour special convention to address an anticipated $1 million diocesan deficit.

Meeting at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, delegates ranked funding priorities from among 17 categories and reviewed long-term strategy options for use by diocesan council as it seeks to reconcile income and expenses.

Ministry with youth and young adults was ranked as the top priority, with congregational vitality a close second and discernment and training for ministry finishing third. Evangelism and total ministry, or ministry of all the baptized, tied for last.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(London) Times: Church of Scotland magazine backs same sex partnerships

A potential rift within the Church of Scotland over gay relationships emerged yesterday after the Church’s house magazine backed civil partnerships and openly gay ministers.

Accusing religious traditionalists of selectively quoting the Bible to support their attacks on homosexual relations, the editorial in Life And Work urged the Kirk to show strong leadership on an issue that has threatened to split the Church of England and could prove just as divisive in Scotland.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

BBC: Call to rally against cyber crime

Security professionals are being called on to band together to fight the highly organised cyber criminals of the world.

The call was made at a San Francisco conference organised by security firm RSA – the largest event of its kind.

RSA President Art Coviello said the online fraudsters “are not bound by any rules of law” and “control massive armies of zombie computers”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

LA Times: Obama remarks on torture memos leave open possibility of prosecution

Although President Obama opposes the prosecution of CIA operatives who carried out the most controversial interrogations of suspected terrorists during the Bush administration, Obama suggested today that he had not ruled out action against Justice Department officials who authorized the tactics.

The president, who banned and then publicized interrogation tactics employed by the CIA in the early years of the Bush administration, has maintained that he is more interested in looking forward than dwelling on past actions.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama