Monthly Archives: June 2011

(Bloomberg View Edit.) Greek Vote Obscures the European Union’s Unsavory Choices

There are two ways the responsible parties can rectify their mistakes. One is to recognize that Greece should never have joined the euro. If it can’t or won’t swallow austerity measures, let it leave and default on its debts.

But the risks of allowing Greece to fail are similar to what the U.S. faced with the 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy. Uncertainty about losses would very likely undermine confidence in European banks and in the governments that would have to bail them out. If Greece’s failure led to a credit freeze, that would threaten banks with insolvency and cause losses for institutions that hold those banks’ debts, including the money-market mutual funds entrusted with $2.7 trillion in U.S. savings….

The alternative path is only slightly less ugly and unfair. It would require the euro area, led by Germany and France, to assume much of Greece’s $495 billion (345 billion euros) in debt indefinitely and be prepared to take on the debts of Portugal and Ireland as well….

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

(NPR) Ex-Israeli Spy Chief's Iran Comments Spark Row

The former Mossad spy chief’s name is on everyone’s lips in Israel ”” with good reason.

Meir Dagan was the head of Israel’s spy agency for eight years and has been credited with raising the international prestige of the agency. So it came as a shock to many that upon leaving office he would talk about one of the most sensitive issues here: Iran.

Dagan has said that a military strike on that nation targeting its suspect nuclear program would be disastrous, and he lambasted the current Israeli leadership for being reckless in pursuing that aim. This past week, Dagan was stripped of his diplomatic passport, in apparent retaliation.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Science & Technology

South Carolina Gamecocks go undefeated in NCAA tourney to repeat as Champs

The South Carolina baseball program permanently etched its name into the College World Series history book Tuesday night.

With a 5-2 victory over Florida behind the stellar pitching of junior left-hander Michael Roth, the Gamecocks won their second consecutive NCAA championship, becoming the sixth program to repeat as national title holders along with Texas, Southern Cal, Stanford, LSU and Oregon State.

“Like the (CWS) motto says, ”˜History happens here,’ and that’s what we did. We made some history,” Roth said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Education, Sports, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of St. Peter and St. Paul

Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified thee by their martyrdom: Grant that thy Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by thy Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lift up our souls, O Lord, to the pure, serene light of thy presence; that there we may breathe freely, there repose in thy love, there may be at rest from ourselves, and from thence return, arrayed in thy peace, to do and bear what shall please thee; for thy holy name’s sake.

–E. B. Pusey (1800–1882)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Then the whole company of them arose, and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king.” And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, “I find no crime in this man.”

Luke 23:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

More Anglicans offer support to strife-engulfed Sudan

Anglicans from Melbourne and all over the world are offering prayers and support to Sudan and striving to find ways to help the chaos-torn nation, which is soon to be split into two separate countries.

Bishop Phillip Huggins of Melbourne’s North West Region said the city’s large Sudanese population still bore the scars of earlier civil wars.

“We hold the people of Sudan in our prayers, and as a community we will continue to offer what support we can to them,” Bishop Huggins said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Poverty, Sudan, Violence

Central New York officials, religious leaders prepare for same-sex marriage law to go into effect

Priests who participate in a same-sex wedding would go against the teaching of the church, said Bishop Robert Cunningham, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.

“We would have to take appropriate action at that time,” he said.

By contrast, Bishop Skip Adams, who leads the Central New York Episcopal diocese, sent a letter Monday freeing priests to perform the ceremonies.

“They are free to use their own discretion in their pastoral responsibilities in their own parishes,” Adams said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, State Government

Anglican Report with George Conger and Kevin Kallsen

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

George Dibrell Young becomes fourth bishop of East Tennessee diocese

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

(USA Today) Tom Krattenmaker–Can cause of social justice tame our culture wars?

Scott Todd’s “58:” project declares that eradicating poverty is not only possible but probable, if the people of the church put their backs into it.

Such audacious optimism is one of the most infectious, exciting qualities of the new evangelicals movement of which Todd is part, and it surged like electricity through his and other presentations at this spring’s Q conference, the signature annual gathering of next-generation Christian leaders.

Sure, in some of the quieter, more reflective moments of the three-day event in Portland you could hear acknowledgment of the heavy burden carried by this movement of new-century Jesus followers. These are, after all, the people who accept responsibility to right seemingly every global wrong you can name while restoring the credibility of publicly expressed Christianity in the process. But the workload is exhausting only when they lose connection with their ultimate power source, says Gabe Lyons, the host of Q and an unofficial spokesperson for the movement.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Poverty, Religion & Culture

(WSJ) Larry Lindsey–The Deficit Is Worse Than We Think

Underestimating the long-term budget situation is an old game in Washington. But never have the numbers been this large.

There is no way to raise taxes enough to cover these problems. The tax-the-rich proposals of the Obama administration raise about $700 billion, less than a fifth of the budgetary consequences of the excess economic growth projected in their forecast. The whole $700 billion collected over 10 years would not even cover the difference in interest costs in any one year at the end of the decade between current rates and the average cost of Treasury borrowing over the last 20 years.

Only serious long-term spending reduction in the entitlement area can begin to address the nation’s deficit and debt problems. It should no longer be credible for our elected officials to hide the need for entitlement reforms behind rosy economic and budgetary assumptions. And while we should all hope for a deal that cuts spending and raises the debt ceiling to avoid a possible default, bondholders should be under no illusions.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Washington Islamic Center barbecue eases difficult week following terror arrests

Confronting stereotypes is nothing new to Muslims at the Islamic Center of Eastside. It’s the very reason they have an open house every few months ”” to invite in neighbors and “demystify” themselves.

Saturday’s scheduled open house came just two days after two Muslim men were arrested in Seattle and accused of planning a terrorist attack on a Seattle military building. Disheartened but expecting questions, presenters at the Islamic Center in Bellevue worked up an extra PowerPoint slide to address terrorism.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism

Bill Clinton in Newsweek–14 Ways to Put America Back to Work

I’m hosting this month’s CGI America meeting on the assumption that there will be no federal stimulus and no further tax incentives targeted directly toward creating new jobs. Going on these assumptions, we want to analyze America’s economy: What are our assets? What are our liabilities? What are our options? There must be opportunities to be tapped, given all the cash in banks and corporate treasuries. If we have some success, we might be able to influence the debate in Washington in a nonpartisan way because we’ll have economic evidence to show them. I don’t have any problem at all if Congress wants to give tax credits to companies that actually hire people. But I think we have to pay for them, so I’d be happy to go back to the tax rates people at my income level paid when I was president in order to pay for the tax incentives to put more people to work.

The whole purpose of CGI America is to highlight good ideas because not everyone is aware of what’s out there. I’m going to try to get enough commitments that are representative enough of the circumstances facing diverse industries and different cities and states to persuade people across America to try their own version of them in a discussion of our economic stagnation. There’s been a remarkable lack of attention to “microeconomics,” the untapped growth potential of American corporations, entrepreneurs, and workers.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, City Government, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, State Government, The U.S. Government

South Carolina Baseball wins another extra-inning thriller

South Carolina’s incredible baseball season continued Monday with a game so unlikely that it made the Disney movie “Angels in the Outfield” seem plausible.

The Gamecocks won 2-1 in 11 innings over SEC rival Florida in Game 1 of the CWS championship series at TD Ameritrade Park to put themselves one victory from a second consecutive NCAA championship.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Sports, Young Adults

Asne Seierstad–Life inside Syria: Out of the Shadow of Fear

Mouna gets annoyed at the next question. “We’ve grown up to believe there’s nothing to do about this society, and you already ask me who we want as a new leader. No candidate has materialized between March and April. What I want is to participate in society,” she says firmly.

She disconnects her cell phone from its charger when it starts chiming. It’s a dying phone and needs charging three times a day. Mouna’s slight body begins to shake. She holds her phone in one hand and clasps her hair with the other.

“When? Where?”

She stares into the air. “I have to go,” she says. “My friend has been arrested. The secret police came to his home.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, History, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Psychology, Syria

(Independent) Don't lecture China about human rights, premier warns Cameron

The Chinese Premier warned Britain against “finger-pointing” and “lecturing” the world’s most populous nation about human rights abuses yesterday as he signed trade agreements worth £1.4bn with David Cameron.

The carefully-orchestrated three-day visit by Wen Jiabao had included a visit to William Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, a tour of a Birmingham car factory and a show of pomp in London, away from demonstrators.

But the key moment came yesterday when the two leaders witnessed 24 trade agreements and memorandums of understanding between the two countries, covering banking, mining, oil and gas, alcohol and even supply of 800 pigs to China.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General

Ottawa Congregation leaves historic Anglican church after same-sex marriage battle

It was a historic moment in Ottawa as a subdued crowd of about 300 filed out of St. Alban’s Anglican Church on King Edward Avenue on Sunday, leaving behind a place where some have roots going back to Confederation.

Founded in 1865, the church where Sir John A. Macdonald worshipped has been in the spotlight ever since a showdown over same-sex marriage and other issues led the congregation of St. Alban’s to leave the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, and, after a bitter battle, the building they have called home for 146 years.

“This is kind of historic. We’re in a new era,” said Sheila Lang, 79, as her grandchildren ”” the seventh generation of her family to attend the church ”” played in the reception hall of the Ottawa Little Theatre, where the congregation, now called the Church of the Messiah, will meet until it finds a permanent home. Meanwhile, the diocese will establish a new congregation at St. Alban’s, with a relaunch planned for Friday.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Post-Gazette) David Shribman–Robert Gates delivers a sobering farewell address to the nation

Mr. Gates is, along with James A. Baker III, perhaps the greatest non-presidential public servant of the post-war age. One more thing. Perhaps better than anyone alive, he knows how the world works.

These days the world isn’t working all that well, and the same can be said about Washington. It’s the latter that preoccupies Mr. Gates, who is to leave office this week. Last Sunday Chris Wallace asked Mr. Gates what was the big lesson he had learned during all that time in the capital. Here’s his answer on Fox News Sunday:

“That when we have been successful in national security and foreign affairs, it has been because there has been bipartisan support. And agreement between the president and the Congress that the fundamental strategy — maybe not all the tactics, maybe not all the specific decisions — but that the fundamental strategy is the correct one. That’s what [happened] through nine presidencies and the Cold War that led to our success, because no major international problem can be solved on one president’s watch. And so, unless it has bipartisan support, unless it can be extended over a period of time, the risks of failure [are] high.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, History, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate

(Living Church) Bishop Salmon to Lead Nashotah House

[Bishop Edward] Salmon said he plans to strengthen relationships, both among seminary faculty and staff and between the seminary and bishops of the Episcopal Church.

“The name of leadership is relationships ”” people connecting with each other and working together,” he said. “Our broken relationships in the Church are a testimony against the Gospel.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Seminary / Theological Education, TEC Bishops, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Irenaeus

Almighty God, who didst uphold thy servant Irenaeus with strength to maintain the truth against every blast of vain doctrine: Keep us, we beseech thee, steadfast in thy true religion, that in constancy and peace we may walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life; 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

Almighty God, who hast created us for thy glory and service: Give us grace, we pray thee, to hallow every gift and improve each talent thou hast committed to us; that with a cheerful and diligent spirit we may render thee our grateful service, and whatsoever we do, may do it with all our might, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and for evermore.

–Psalm 121

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Archbishop of Canterbury returns from the Congo

The Archbishop of Canterbury today returned from a pastoral visit to the Anglican Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where he learnt about the inspirational work of the church in helping individuals and communities rebuild their lives after the trauma of the war waged by rebel armies.

Dr Williams was able to meet a group of young men in Bunia who had been taken from school to join the militia, but who had been brought back to their families by a church organisation called ”˜AGAPE’, which had transformed their lives through faith and compassion. It was evident from their personal testimonies that the real priority for them was to complete their education, with many returning to secondary school to continue their studies, despite being a decade or more older than their classmates.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Republic of Congo

In Nigeria the Anglican Church, NLC Warn Against Removal of Fuel Subsidy

The Anglican Synod of Enugu Diocese Sunday joined the growing condemnation of the forum of state governors over their call for removal of fuel subsidy, saying doing so would render useless, the new minimum wage.

Accordingly, the Synod advised the government to among other ways reduce cost of governance as a means of paying the new wage, explaining that cost of running the democracy of the country has continued to increase by the day.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Nigeria, Politics in General

Critic slams Dubuque archbishop over abuse suit

The Hudson-based spokesman for a local clergy sex abuse survivors group has taken Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus to task for his handling 24 years ago of a former Catholic monk, as recounted in a new Missouri lawsuit.

Hanus is not named as a defendant in that lawsuit.

In the suit, filed in Nodaway County, Mo., a plaintiff named as “John Doe 181” said he was sexually molested as a minor while at a choir camp in 1987 at Conception Abbey Inc., a Benedictine abbey in Missouri and the suit’s sole defendant, by a Father Bede Parry.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Roman Catholic, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes, Theology

Tim Drake–Just How Many Genders Are There?

“People can feel like girls, they can feel like boys, they can feel like both, and they can even feel like neither,” Joel Baum, director of the activist group Gender Spectrum, tells the students at Redwood Heights Elementary School in California in the accompanying video. “Gender identity is about what’s in here (Baum says pointing to his chest). It’s about what’s up here (pointing to his head) and in here (again pointing to his chest).”

It’s all part of the Oakland Unified School District’s efforts to create “gender sensitive environments for kids.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Psychology, Sexuality

(BBC) Muammar Gaddafi subject to ICC arrest warrant

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, accusing him of crimes against humanity.

The court had grounds to believe he had ordered attacks on civilians during Libya’s four-month uprising, it said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Europe, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Libya, The Netherlands

(WSJ) Debt Hamstrings Economic Recovery

The Federal Reserve is just days away from ending one of the major steps to aid the U.S. economy””but the effort has done little to solve the original problem: The government and individuals alike are still heavily in debt.

Around the globe, the inability of governments and households to reduce their debt continues to cast a shadow over Western economies and the financial health of individuals. Today, U.S. consumers have more mortgage and credit-card debt than they did five years ago, and the U.S. budget deficit is worsening. At the same time, European governments are having to throw billions more euros at Greece to keep it afloat.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, Politics in General, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

Sudan Christians facing genocide, bishop pleads for worldwide prayer

“We are facing the nightmare of genocide of our people in a final attempt to erase our culture and society from the face of the earth.”

That’s the warning of African Episcopal Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail in northern Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. His warning is echoed by Operation Broken Silence.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Violence