Daily Archives: December 1, 2010

A Facebook Founder Begins a Social Network Focused on Charities

Chris Hughes, one of the founders of Facebook and the chief digital organizer for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, knows a thing or two about building online communities.

Now he is applying his expertise to a new venture called Jumo, which aims to connect people with nonprofits and charitable organizations.

The site, which is being unveiled on Tuesday, aims to “do what Yelp did for restaurants,” Mr. Hughes said, indexing charities “to help people find and evaluate them.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Psychology, Science & Technology

(NY Times) Bees in Brooklyn Beehives Mysterious Turn Red

Cerise Mayo expected better of her bees. She had raised them right, given them all the best opportunities ”” acres of urban farmland strewn with fruits and vegetables, a bounty of natural nectar and pollen. Blinded by devotion, she assumed they shared her values: a fidelity to the land, to food sources free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial food coloring.

And then this. Her bees, the ones she had been raising in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and on Governors Island since May, started coming home to their hives looking suspicious. Of course, it was the foragers ”” the adventurers, the wild waggle dancers, the social networkers incessantly buzzing about their business ”” who were showing up with mysterious stripes of color. Where there should have been a touch of gentle amber showing through the membrane of their honey stomachs was instead a garish bright red. The honeycombs, too, were an alarming shade of Robitussin.

“I thought maybe it was coming from some kind of weird tree, maybe a sumac,” said Ms. Mayo, who tends seven hives for Added Value, an education nonprofit in Red Hook. “We were at a loss.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

Delta Hiring 1,000 Flight Attendants; Over 100,000 Have Applied

Delta Air Lines is having what might possibly be the most-popular job search in a long time. More than 100,000 people have applied for just 1,000 openings as flight attendants.

Part of the reason behind the huge turnout might be the nation’s persistently high unemployment rate, but the airline says that a lot of people just want to fly.

“I realized that I didn’t want to be in an office 9 to 5,” said Jordan Leonard, a flight attendant who has worked 20 years for Delta and now also helps with hiring. “I’m about to go all around the world; Europe, South America, Asia. You name it, I’ve probably been there.”

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

WSJ–The Makers of Firefox Browser Explore Do-Not-Track Tool After Scrapping Earlier Effort

The idea of a do-not-track mechanism that could be built into Web browsing software is gaining steam in Washington. This week, a House subcommittee on consumer protection is holding a hearing about do-not-track proposals and the Federal Trade Commission is expected to release an online privacy report that will promote a do-not-track mechanism.

Officials from Mozilla and Lotame are expected to appear at a separate panel this week to discuss how the industry could create its own do-not-track mechanism before “government tries to legislate how browsers function,” according to the event organizer, Jules Polonetsky, director of the Future of Privacy Forum, an Internet-industry funded think tank.
The group will discuss a technical method that would allow Web browsers to broadcast a “do not track” message at a user’s request.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Senate

Delaying Vote, Debt Panel Splits on Taxes and Spending

The chairmen of President Obama’s debt-reduction commission have been unable to win support from any of the panel’s elected officials for their proposed spending cuts and tax increases, underscoring the reluctance of both parties to risk short-term political backlash in pursuit of the nation’s long-term fiscal health.

The chairmen of the commission ”” former Senator Alan K. Simpson, a Republican, and Erskine B. Bowles, a Democrat and former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton ”” delayed for two days, until Friday, a final vote by its 18 members.

They said the delay was to provide more time to look at the final package, but it also gave them further opportunity to woo some of the 12 members of Congress on the commission, six from each party, whose support will be critical if the plan is to be taken seriously as a blueprint for eventual legislation.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

Nigerian Anglican Bishop Blames Church Proliferation On Selfishness, Greed

Proliferation of churches in the society is due to selfishness and greed, the Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama, the Bishop of the Uyo Diocese of the Anglican Communion, has said.

He told newsmen in Uyo that the situation was disturbing, recalling that in the early history of the churches, what could lead to proliferation of churches was “doctrinal differences”.

“But nowadays, churches spring up for greed and selfish reasons because people just want to be church owners.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Service of Remembrance for those Lost in the Pike River Mining Disaster this Friday

The Auckland service will be led by Anglican Church and Catholic Church leaders and will feature representatives from other faiths and the wider Auckland community.

“At times like this, it is important for the community to come together to remember those who have been lost and support those left behind,” says Anglican Bishop of Auckland, the Right Reverend Ross Bay.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care

Calgary area Anglican parish opts for Catholicism

Father Lee Kenyon said his parishioners at St. John’s are not leaving out of anger.

“We didn’t vote to leave the Anglican Church of Canada, we voted to accept the invitation of the Pope,” said Kenyon, who will be ordained as a Catholic priest despite being married with two children.

Many elements of the conversion must still be negotiated — including what will happen to the century-old church, which still belongs to the Anglican diocese.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

THE–Two-front attack on 'new atheists'

The “new atheism” promoted by academics and writers such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens came under fire at a debate in Cambridge.

Terry Eagleton, distinguished professor of English literature at Lancaster University, opened the discussion, titled Responses to the New Atheism. He said that the last time he had spoken at the University of Cambridge’s Great St Mary’s Church was in 1968, during a debate on student radicalism – something, he noted, that we are likely to see a good deal more of.

“Why is God back centre stage again?” he asked. “Just when grand narratives seemed to be over, He’s back in the spotlight.”

It was the events of 11 September 2001, Professor Eagleton suggested, that brought the issue of religion “to a new focus of intensity and politicised the debate, not entirely to its benefit”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Apologetics, Archbishop of Canterbury, Atheism, England / UK, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

Local Paper Front Page: For the South Carolina jobless, the check is not in the mail

Some 12,000 South Carolinians will wake this morning to find the safety net they depend on to pay mortgages, buy food and heat their homes has been pulled out from under them.

The lame-duck Congress on Tuesday did not extend benefits to the long-term unemployed beyond the two years’ worth of aid already provided by the state and federal government.

For those at the deadline, the clock has run out.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, State Government, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Cities sweat funding as Congress picks over 'earmarks'

Cities are bracing to lose millions of dollars in funding for transportation and community projects, from subway lines to youth centers, because of a renewed push in Congress to ban lawmaker-directed spending known as “earmarks.”

With the incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives committed to ending the practice and the Senate facing a vote to ban earmarks today, local officials are scrambling to find ways to pay for projects in case the federal funding never arrives.

Spending bills in the House for the 2011 fiscal year include more than 3,000 earmarks worth $3 billion, according to the budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense ”” from $2.5 million for a transportation center in Rochester, N.Y., to $250,000 for park upgrades in Gonzales, La.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, City Government, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

Austen Ivereigh–General Synod approves Anglican Covenant, but will it work?

Many of the reports of the vote therefore conclude that the Covenant is dead in the water — even before it is sent to the rest of the Communion.

That is a misreading. Although +Rowan Williams wants as many Anglican provinces as possible to sign up to it, he always knew that introducing a more Catholic ecclesiology — defining boundaries of doctrinal orthodoxy — would alienate both the conservative evangelicals and the liberal Anglicans. The loss of GAFCON and the Episcopal Church of North America are foreseen, if not intended, consequences of the Covenant process.

But the gain lies in a stronger, more unified, and more coherent Anglican Church, even if it will be considerably smaller than now. For Catholics that is good news, because Rome can again have a dialogue partner it can do business with.

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

Peter Wallison and Edward Pinto–How the Government Is Creating Another Housing Bubble

It is hard to believe, but it looks like the government will soon use the taxpayers’ checkbook again to create a vast market for mortgages with low or no down payments and for overstretched borrowers with blemished credit. As in the period leading to the 2008 financial crisis, these loans will again contribute to a housing bubble, which will feed on government funding and grow to enormous size. When it collapses, housing prices will drop and a financial crisis will ensue. And, once again, the taxpayers will have to bear the costs.

In doing this, Congress is repeating the same policy mistake it made in 1992. Back then, it mandated that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac compete with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for high-risk loans. Unhappily for both their shareholders and the taxpayers, Fannie and Freddie won that battle.

Now the Dodd-Frank Act, which imposed far-reaching new regulation on the financial system after the meltdown, allows the administration to substitute the FHA for Fannie and Freddie as the principal and essentially unlimited buyer of low-quality home mortgages. There is little doubt what will happen then.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration Plan, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Nicholas Ferrar

Lord God, make us so reflect thy perfect love; that, with thy deacon Nicholas Ferrar and his household, we may rule ourselves according to thy Word, and serve thee with our whole heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, we beseech thee, to prepare the way of thine only begotten Son; so that when he cometh we may be found watching, and serve thee with a pure and ready will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

–Isaiah 2:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Telegraph) Radio 4 guest editor Diana Athill to take aim at Rowan Williams

Diana Athill, literary editor and award-winning memoirist, was….[recently] announced as one of this year’s “guest editors” of Today.

The five invitees take the helm of the programme for one day each between Christmas and New Year, with Miss Athill this year’s first guest on December 27.

Unlike the voices who infuriate the ungodly in the Thought for the Day slot each morning, including Indarjit Singh and the Rt Rev Tom Butler, Miss Athill is a non-believer.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Atheism, England / UK, Media, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

The Presiding Bishop's Advent Message

Watch it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

WSJ Editorial–Europe's Single Debt Zone

European Union finance ministers agreed late Sunday on more than just an €85 billion bailout for Ireland. They also turned the currency union into a de-facto debt union by choosing to turn May’s €750 billion rescue fund into a permanent feature of the euro zone. What’s more, they promised that no sovereign creditor would face a haircut on their debt holdings until 2013, and that’s at the very earliest….

….here is what the EU has done: In the name of combating speculation against the debt of euro-zone members, the EU has now insured all those speculators against loss for three years at least. Meanwhile, in creating a permanent crisis-management mechanism, the EU has succeeded only in making permanent crisis more likely.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Notable and Quotable

Its official ”“ Spain and Portugal will need to be bailed out soon. How do I know? In one of my favorite TV shows, Yes Minister, the all-knowing civil servant Sir Humphrey explains to cabinet minister Jim Hacker that you can never be certain that something will happen until the government denies it.

–From Michael Pettis.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Movies & Television, Politics in General