Daily Archives: June 18, 2011

A Greek Portfolio ManagerExplains the REAL Reason Greece Can't Fix Itself

….we asked a trader/portfolio manager (who prefers to remain anonymous) at a Greek bank what he thought of the situation, what Greece had to do, and why reform wasn’t happening.

His answer was interesting….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, Greece, Politics in General

Europeans Doubt Greece’s Ability to Stick to Its Budget

Now, as…[Prime Minister George Papandreou] comes back to Greece’s foreign creditors asking for the next $16.8 billion installment of aid ”” predicated on persuading Greeks to accept more tax hikes, wage cuts and the privatization of more than $71 billion in state assets before 2015 ”” doubts have emerged about the government’s ability to implement and enforce the measures it has already passed.

“The main problem is that he’s only been able to deliver on the parts of the austerity package that are easily enforceable and transparent and irrevocable,” such as cuts to public sector salaries and pensions, said Spyros Economides, a political scientist who co-directs the Hellenic Observatory at the London School of Economics. “Unfortunately, the rest of it is a complete mess.”

“It’s very easy to legislate,” Mr. Economides added. “The problem is to enforce legislation. There’s no enforcement mechanism. It’s all done for the eyes of the public.”

Read it all.

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

Notable and Quotable

Well what do you know: a year ago I called it correctly on my blog in my reflections on The Limits of Management. At that point the cogniscenti in the Episcopal Church were convinced that they could push through any program they wanted by “using psychology” and beating up anyone who wouldn’t get on board. There would be “workshops” with “materials” in three-ring binders at which we poor sods could “ventilate” our feelings. The agenda would be ratified by General Convention and then there would be more workshops for “healing” and “reconciliation” with hugs and making nice. And everyone would live happily ever after except for the recalcitrant few who would soon die off.

I predicted that it wouldn’t happen, and I was right.

Now, as we await the Eames Commission’s report, I’ll venture another prediction. The report will censure the Episcopal Church for the ordination of Bishop Robinson, propose some symbolic gesture to make it good, and make noises about flying bishops and alternative jurisdictions. Within ECUSA it will not make one whit of difference””except to the extent that it provides more opportunities for bishops and their staffs to go to conferences. Conservative congregations will continue pursuing litigation to retain rights to their property, liberal clergy will keep sucking up to the secular elite and congratulate themselves for being cool, the secular elite will not notice and despise them as much as ever, and the majority of Episcopalians, preoccupied with bake sales and Sunday School construction paper projects will not give a damn.

The Episcopal Church will continue in its slide, with membership down from 5% of the population in 1960 to 1% now, and I look forward with pleasure to its eventual demise, facilitated by the arrogance of clergy who regard themselves as members of the enlightened intelligencia and imagine that they can manipulate or bully us into buying their half-baked politically correct nonsense and into doing church they way they want it done.

–Dr. Harriet Baber in a blog comment on October 11, 2004.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary

A Black Cultural Tradition and Its Unlikely Keepers

Charleston, S.C.–After the shish kebab and blueberry pie, as dusk calmed the Lowcountry heat, the dinner guests gathered around Park Dougherty’s table prepared to sing. They clapped hands in one rhythm, beat their feet against the floorboards in another, and lifted their voices into a song that had been passed down to them through generations and in defiance of a rigid racial divide.

“Een muh time ob dyin’,” Mr. Dougherty began, “Uh don wan nobody fuh moan.” These were the words, in Gullah dialect, to a spiritual about the wish to die easily and to be taken into heaven by Jesus. Mr. Dougherty’s mother had first heard the song as a teenager in the 1930s, and she requested it for her own funeral six decades later.

Now, on this evening in June 2011, the financial adviser and social worker and music professor and Navy officer, and the other half-dozen people joining in harmony from their chairs, were engaging in a profound act of cultural conservation. In a city built on the slave trade, in the state where the Civil War started, these white men and women were the curators of an African-American religious and musical treasure.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, History, Music, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

Bishop Anthony Priddis–Trial is for Justice not Revenge

General Ratko Mladic is now on trial in the Hague charged with war crimes, following the horrors nearly 20years ago in Srebrenica with the massacre of 8,000 boys and men.

This is in marked contrast to the discovery and subsequent shooting of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. There may have been very good reasons why he, too, could not have been arrested and put on trial for his crimes, but we are not told them in any clear or persuasive way.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Theology

(ENS) Conversations about changing the church occupy Executive Council

The discussions about change during this meeting have their roots in the council’s decision in October 2009 to reorganize and expand the number of its standing committees. The theme of structural change came to the fore again during the last two council meetings, beginning with remarks made by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at the October 2010 meeting as well as those by House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson in February.

“We continue to work toward adaptive change rather than technical change,” Jefferts Schori told the council in her closing remarks June 17. Calling it a “significant shift” in the council’s attitude, she said “we have, to some degree, left the culture of fear and entered into a culture of the future.”

[Bonnie] Anderson said that “ever since we arrived [at the conference center], our energy and creative tension have been signaling to me that we’re on the cusp of breaking through to authentic, creative change.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), House of Deputies President, Presiding Bishop

(ENS) A message from Executive Council to the Episcopal Church

Jim Cowan, liaison to Council from the Anglican Church in Canada, reflected that he found the conversations concerning the Dioceses of Quincy and San Joaquin intriguing. He asked, “How do the dioceses that have suffered as a result of schism compare with those dioceses that are marginal? There are real concerns about viability, but where do these concerns mesh with plans for the extended mission of the Church?

He also observed, “We have talked about ‘pruning for growth.’ What does this mean to us? Pruning, whether for maintenance or for growth, hurts.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Executive Council, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

Anglican Church of Canada Governance Working Group analyzes the proposed Anglican Covenant

The Members of the Governance Working Group are:

Canon David Jones, Q.C., Chair (Province of Rupert’s Land)
Canon Dr. Randall Fairey (Province of British Columbia and Yukon)
Cynthia Haines Turner (Province of Canada)
The Ven. Dr. Harry Huskins (House of Clergy)
(The) Rt. Rev. Sue Moxley (House of Bishops)
Monica Patten (Province of Ontario)

Read it all (33 page pdf).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces

Arkansas Episcopal Bishop: Cathedral School Closing Was A Surprise

Some church members believe the number of members who leave ultimately will be much higher. The official membership at Trinity sits at about 1,500, and Jensen said the average Sunday attendance was about 350.

“I think history will tell whether it was a good decision or a bad decision,” [Bishop Larry] Benfield said. “We’ll have to look to the future to see.”

Benfield did acknowledge his surprise upon hearing of the vestry’s vote.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes

Two Young Men Stuck in DFW Airport Make one Very Entertaining Video

STUCK from Joe Ayala on Vimeo.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Travel, Young Adults

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Holy Spirit of God, Lord and Giver of life: Come into our hearts, we beseech thee; that enlightened by thy clear shining, and warmed by thine unselfish love, our souls may be revived to the worship of God, and our lives be dedicated anew to the service of our fellows: for Jesus Christ’s sake.

–H. C. Cooksey

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need. Thus Joseph who was surnamed by the apostles Barnabas (which means, Son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field which belonged to him, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

–Acts 4:32-37

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Bernard Mizeki

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; 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, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

In New Zealand, the Number of weddings falls to an all-time low

Marriage rates have fallen so far in the past 40 years that what was once an institution is now largely a symbolic gesture.

A record low 20,900 marriages took place last year, less than one-third of the number in 1971 and one half of the 1987 rate, figures from Statistics NZ reveal.

And Victoria University anthropology senior lecturer Diane O’Rourke sees no chance of those numbers heading back up again.

“People don’t need to get married any more to make a living or raise children. You have to specifically want to be married.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Marriage & Family

A CNS Article on Cardinal Wuerl and progress toward the US ordinariate for ex-Anglicans

At a news conference following his report, Cardinal Wuerl said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Vatican were to establish the U.S. ordinariate by the end of the year. “I think it will be sooner rather than later,” he said.

Two Anglican congregations in Maryland — St. Luke’s in Bladensburg and Mount Calvary in Baltimore — have announced their intention to join the new ordinariate once it is established.

Addressing the bishops at the close of the first day of their spring general assembly near Seattle, the cardinal said St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston has developed and the Vatican has approved an intensive nine-month program of priestly formation for Anglican clergy who wish to become Catholic priests.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic