Daily Archives: February 24, 2011

A Suicide, a Last Request, a Family’s Questions

The words came up on Alicia Duerson’s cellphone as blithely as text messages typically do, but this one was different: her former husband, the former Chicago Bears star Dave Duerson, asked her to donate his brain for research.

She texted back and heard nothing, then called their son, Tregg, who was just ending his workday as a bank analyst in Chicago. They called again and got voice mail.

The next and last message they received from Dave Duerson was meant for them, their family and perhaps all of professional football. It was written in his hurried hand, repeating his text message in case it had not been received, and found in the South Florida condominium where he placed a gun to his chest and shot himself to death last Thursday.

“Please, see that my brain is given to the N.F.L.’s brain bank.”

Read it all.

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

Dallas Target: Texas Resident Arrested on Charge of Attempted Use of Weapon of Mass Destruction

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and resident of Lubbock, Texas, was arrested late yesterday by FBI agents in Texas on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with his alleged purchase of chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and his research of potential U.S. targets.

The arrest and the criminal complaint, which was unsealed in the Northern District of Texas, were announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; James T. Jacks, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas; and Robert E. Casey Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Field Division.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Law & Legal Issues, Terrorism

Fallen Christ Church Cathedral Spire a symbol of city's heartbreak

An Anglican priest, the Reverend Wally Behan, who normally lives in Christchurch but is caretaking a Sydney church for six months, said he had been shocked by television footage from inside the cathedral.

”The whole place is like a bomb hit it but when you look up to the steeple now, you see the sky, and all that’s come down.

”[Before the quake] you’d look across the skyline of Christchurch and there’d always be the cathedral, always the steeple of the cathedral sticking up wherever you’d look. Now, that’s gone.”

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ

(AFP) Le Carre gifts archive to Oxford's Bodleian library

Spy author John le Carre is to give his literary archive to the world famous library at Oxford University, his “spiritual home”, it was announced on Thursday.

The collection contains family papers, photographs, letters and manuscripts, including drafts of one of le Carre’s best known novels, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”.

The author said he wanted to give the material to the Bodleian Library at the prestigious university where he studied, rather than sending it to an American institution.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Books, Defense, National Security, Military, Education, England / UK

(ENI) Libyan Christian clergy vow to stay on amid violence

Christian clergy in Libya said they have no intention of leaving the country, where several days of protests and retaliation by government armed forces have left hundreds of people dead.

“We feel we belong here with our sisters who are giving their services in social centres. Their work is so much appreciated by the Libyans here and often finds support and appreciation,” Rev. Daniel Farrugia, a senior Roman Catholic priest at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Tripoli told ENInews on 22 February.

He said the leaders were safe as well as the church structures, with the church’s life in the mornings being almost normal, although many foreigners were leaving the country.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Libya, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

(Vanguard) Nigeria Archbishop Okoh speaks to CANA now being part of ACNA

The Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), says the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), is no longer under the jurisdiction of Nigeria….

“We are not interested in territorial ambition; our main reason for going to America was to provide for those who were no longer finding it possible to worship in the Episcopal church.

“A new structure has been put up in the U.S. which is ACNA.

“CANA now belongs to ACNA even though they still relate to us;but essentially it now belongs to Anglican province of North America,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, CANA, Church of Nigeria

Queenstown vicar ”˜shocked’ at collapse of Christ Church Cathedral

Huge quake damage to the landmark Christ Church Cathedral was particularly shocking for one Queenstowner.

Local Anglican vicar David Coles was the cathedral dean for six years before an 18-year stint as Bishop of Christchurch.

“I spent good years of my life in there ”“ Joy and I were married there in 2001, I was ordained as a bishop there, so it’s a pretty important place for us.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ

(NPR) Spiking Oil Prices: Time To Worry Yet?

Watching the price of oil go up these days is a little like watching a river rise. At what point do we need to get the sandbags? When should we sound the warning horns? What is flood stage?

On Wednesday, the main U.S. oil contract hit $100 a barrel before retreating to $98.10. That was the highest price in more than two years.

Of course, prices could always go down. But with increasing global demand and widespread unrest in the Middle East, it’s possible that the price of fuel ”” by the barrel and by the gallon ”” will continue to rise. And when the price of oil rises, the price of just about everything else ”” driving, heating, shopping, eating and more ”” starts to move up too.

Flood level may be closer than we think.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Egypt, Energy, Natural Resources, Libya, Middle East

(First Things) Douglas Farrow–Blurring Sexual Boundaries

The proposed addition of “gender identity and expression” carries that transformation even further by suppressing the binary logic itself. Backers of these bills often make no attempt to disguise this. “One of the great myths of our culture,” insists the Canadian Labor Congress, “is that at birth each infant can be identified as distinctly ”˜male’ or ”˜female’ (biological sex), will grow up to have correspondingly ”˜masculine’ or ”˜feminine’ behavior (public gender), live as a ”˜man’ or a ”˜woman’ (social gender role), and marry a woman or a man (heterosexual affective orientation). This is not so.”

The standard notion of sex, then, must be replaced by the more malleable concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity. And I do mean must. Here in Quebec a recent government white paper promises to wipe society clean of both homophobia and heterosexism””that is, of any “affirmation of heterosexuality as a social norm or the highest form of sexual orientation [and of any] social practice that conceals the diversity of sexual orientations and identities.”

What this will mean in the long run for the legal protection of women remains to be seen, of course, but we can’t have it both ways. Sex cannot serve as an effective legal marker for discrimination if its binary nature dissolves into fluid sexual subjectivities. In that sense, these bills constitute unfriendly amendments to the civil and criminal codes they purport to refine or perfect.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Canada, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(RNS) Budget Cuts Target the Poor, Faith Groups Say

Get ready for more undernourished infants, dangerously cold homes and disease-stricken communities in developing countries if proposed federal budget cuts become law.

That’s the message coming from left-leaning religious advocacy groups, who’ve been rallying supporters and blanketing Capitol Hill since budget debates kicked into high gear last week (Feb. 14-18). Declaring budgets to be “moral documents,” they’re prodding lawmakers to honor their respective faith traditions by sparing poverty-related programs from the cost-cutting axe.

But efforts to save funding are meeting resistance””not only from number crunchers, but also from others with different views of what constitutes moral budgeting.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Senate, The U.S. Government

Long-Term Medical Care Needs Changes, Obama Administration Officials Say

One of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s legacies in the new health care law, intended to allow the chronically ill and people with disabilities to continue living in their homes, is too costly to survive without major changes, Obama administration officials now say.

Republican lawmakers, who have vowed to repeal the health care law, cite the administration’s acknowledgment as yet another reason to do so. But the health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, says the law gives her plenty of authority to make the necessary changes to the program without Congressional action.

To make the program viable, Ms. Sebelius said, she is considering changes in the eligibility criteria, including employment and earnings requirements, to ensure that only active workers may enroll. She also said she favored adjusting premiums to rise with inflation.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Budget, Economy, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The U.S. Government

(Guardian) Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Assange has been fighting extradition since he was arrested and bailed in December. He has consistently denied the allegations, made by two women in August last year.

Howard Riddle, the chief magistrate, delivered his ruling at a hearing at Belmarsh magistrates court in London. It is unlikely to be the end of the matter, however, because an appeal is expected, which would delay the final decision until the summer at the latest.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Sweden

In New York State A School Topples Hurdles to Learning

It is lunchtime in the cafeteria of the Henry Viscardi School in Nassau County, and two eighth graders are doing what boys their age do best: batting insults back and forth.

“Get off my case,” Jalen says.

“If you had a case, I’d get off it,” a classmate replies.

“You’re weird,” Jalen retorts. “No, you’re weird.”

It is a scene that could unfold on any given taco Tuesday in any school cafeteria, save for one crucial difference: Jalen has cerebral palsy and is unable to speak; his testy remarks come not from his mouth but from a machine called a DynaVox, mounted on his joystick-controlled wheelchair.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Health & Medicine

A.S. Haley–Rushing to Judgment: a Spurious Defense of Title IV (Part I)

Before taking up their memorandum in detail, however, I want to put some of the matters involved into a proper perspective. Some of what I will now say may come as a surprise to those who are unacquainted with how ECUSA came into being….

First proposition:

General Convention is not the “supreme” (highest) authority in the Church — it never has been, and (unless the current liberal takeover is perfected) never will be….

Second proposition:

As formed in 1789, and as continued in existence ever since, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America is a voluntary confederation, and not a forever indissoluble union, of dioceses….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Conflicts, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Matthais

O Almighty God, who into the place of Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the Twelve: Grant that thy Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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