Daily Archives: August 12, 2011

Small Investors Recalibrate After Market Gyrations

Lin Hersh, a 61-year-old small-business owner in Bearsville, N.Y., about two hours north of New York City, called up her stock broker two weeks ago and gave the order to sell everything.

She dumped nearly all of her individual equities and her stock mutual funds, moving almost completely into cash. Ms. Hersh is haunted by the market plunge of 2008, when her $432,000 in savings dwindled to $150,000.

“What I’ve got left after the last downturn is about a third of what I started out with and I’m not in the mood to play anymore,” she said. Pointing to the weak American economy and concerns about Europe, Ms. Hersh said she would most likely steer clear of stocks through the end of this year.

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, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Stock Market, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

David Campbell and Robert Putnam: Islam and American Tolerance

What’s the path to religious acceptance in America””and what can Muslims, Mormons and Buddhists learn from Jews and Catholics?

A Gallup report out last week found that, of all major religious groups in America, Muslims are the most optimistic about their future. When asked what they think their lives will be like in five years, Muslims see themselves as having a better life than do members of any other religious group. They are also most likely to say that their community is getting better as a place to live.

Why is such optimism warranted even though Muslims are also the religious group most likely to report experiencing discrimination?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, History, Islam, Judaism, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(ENI) Churches seek long-term solutions to Africa food crisis

Religious leaders say they are exploring short and long term strategies for communities to end reliance on food aid in Africa, as relief organizations continue to minister to thousands suffering from drought and famine in the Horn of Africa.

The worst drought in 60 years is affecting more than 12 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. Its epicentre is Somalia, where tens of thousands are fleeing to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

“We would not only want to work on the immediate needs, but we are thinking, because this is becoming a chronic problem, we have got to see the root causes and fight it,” Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean Province and the chairman of the Council of Anglican Province of Africa told a news conference on Aug. 10 in Nairobi after a meeting of Anglican archbishops.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Other Churches, Poverty, Religion & Culture

Jennifer Bryson–Pornography and National Security

This week a federal grand jury indicted Army soldier Naser Jason Abdo, age 21, on three charges related to a plot to attack soldiers near Fort Hood, Texas. When authorities arrested him, they found in his possession bomb-making materials, a gun, ammunition, and the article “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” from a recent issue of al-Qaeda’s English online journal Inspire. Initial questioning of Abdo indicates that his intended targets were U.S. military personnel….
Any effort to make sense of this troubled young man will need to include understanding how he chose to approach and interpret his religion, and perhaps most importantly, why he adopted the interpretation he did. Any effort to understand Abdo without considering this question would be profoundly incomplete.

Yet tucked away, often near the closing paragraph of the articles about this case, is mention of an issue that I believe warrants more attention than it has received in the past decade of terrorism studies: namely, pornography. And in Abdo’s case, child pornography.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Islam, Military / Armed Forces, Other Faiths, Pornography, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Terrorism

Langham Partnership–an Edited Video of the John Stott Funeral

Well worth the time–watch it all.

For those of you following the site with testimonies to the way in which the Lord used John Stott in their life, note that the number is now over 1,000 and rising and that a recent entry is from Elder Fu Xiangwei, the Chairman of the National Committee of the TSPM of the Protestant Churches in China, and the Rev. Gao Feng, the President of the China Christian Council. You may find that site over there–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

(CEN) The Bishop of Bristol Presses the government to intervene in Syria

The Bishop of Bristol has questioned the government’s hands off policy towards human rights abuses in Syria, and has urged the Foreign Secretary to take a tougher line on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Writing on his blog on the diocesan website on Aug 1, the Rt. Rev. Mike Hill stated “I can’t be the only person wondering why the West, having rapidly decided that intervention in Libya was a righteous and necessary cause, seem less interested in the wholesale slaughter taking place in Syria.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Violence

(Church Times) Manchester Bishop contrasts ”˜thuggery’ of vandals with soldiers’ sacrifice

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, said on Wednesday that riots in Manchester and Salford on Tuesday night were acts of “thuggery, vandalism, and theft”. Greater Manchester Police said that its officers had faced “un­precedented violence”.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Bishop McCulloch, who had been in Manchester city centre since 7 a.m., said: “Here in the Manchester area we have young people out fighting in Afghanistan, putting their lives on the line for our freedom, and here we have these kids in a society that has put self-interest above everything else.”

He said that one of the lessons that had been learnt after previous episodes of violence in Manchester ”” including the IRA bomb in 1996 ”” was that “it is crucial for local morale that by the time people come in the next morning the city is looking as normal as can be.” He said that it was “heartening” to see hundreds of young people who had come to the city centre with brushes and pans, having been alerted on Twitter, the social-networking site. “It shows the majority of young people are law abiding.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Military / Armed Forces, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Four European Nations to Curtail Short-Selling

“The short-sale ban really smacks of desperation,” said Kenneth S. Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard. “That’s their plan for solving the euro debt crisis? I mean, this isn’t going to buy them much time.”

The crisis in Europe, Mr. Rogoff said, goes far beyond falling stock prices and has more to do with the state of banks there, including banks in Italy and France. He said the sovereign debt problems were an extension of the stress on the system created by the banking crisis.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

(CSM) The higher education bubble has popped

A college degree once looked to be the path to prosperity. In an article for TechCrunch, Sarah Lacy writes, “Like the housing bubble, the education bubble is about security and insurance against the future. Both whisper a seductive promise into the ears of worried Americans: Do this and you will be safe.”

But the jobs that made higher education pay off during the inflationary boom, kicked into high gear by Nixon waving goodbye to the last shreds of a gold standard, came primarily from government and finance.

In 1990, 6.4 million people worked for federal, state, and local governments. By 2010, that number had grown almost 6 times ”” to 38.3 million ”” with many of these jobs being white-collar….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Education, History, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Florence Nightingale

Life-giving God, who alone hast power over life and death, over health and sickness: Give power, wisdom, and gentleness to those who follow the example of thy servant Florence Nightingale, that they, bearing with them thy Presence, may not only heal but bless, and shine as lanterns of hope in the darkest hours of pain and fear; through Jesus Christ, the healer of body and soul, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Health & Medicine, Spirituality/Prayer, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant us, O Lord, to pass this day in gladness and peace, without stumbling and without stain; that reaching the eventide victorious over all temptation, we may praise thee, the eternal God, who art blessed, and dost govern all things, world without end.

–Mozarabic Liturgy

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD: that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the LORD looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die; that men may declare in Zion the name of the LORD, and in Jerusalem his praise, when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the LORD.

–Psalm 102:18-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Archbishop of Canterbury's reflection on the recent Unrest

The tragedy of the events of recent days is that those who will pay the heaviest price are those who most need stability and encouragement in local communities ”“ people who run small local businesses, people who need efficient emergency services, people, old or young, with limited mobility….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture, Violence

Feeding the Poor Through Pay-As-You-Go–A church-based café in New Jersey

Kathy had been out of the job market for about 25 years””instead staying home with her three children””when everything fell apart….

Kathy isn’t alone. In some communities surrounding Edison, 27 percent of the population lives below the national poverty level.

For Kathy and many others, a church in nearby Highland Park offers a unique solution. A Better World Café, one of a handful of “pay-as-you-can” restaurants in the United States, provides clients with good meals and job training, among other things. Hosted at the Reformed Church of Highland Park, the idea for the restaurant was hatched in 2009 in a group working to meet local needs.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Poverty

Time Cover Story–The End Of Europe

…the past two weeks of dismal economic news have made the new reality impossible to ignore: the West–and most immediately Europe–is in serious trouble. This is no blip but a crisis of the old order, a phrase once used by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to describe the failures of capitalism in the 1920s. It is a crisis that is shaking not only markets, jobs and national growth prospects but an entire way of thinking about how the world works–in this case, the assumption that life gets better and opportunities richer for each successive generation in the West.

As bad as things might seem in the U.S., the smoldering center of the crisis is Europe. Volatile continental markets and angry demonstrations from Athens to Madrid are manifestations of the desperate scramble by European politicians to contain the euro-zone debt crisis that threatens to unravel the single currency and destabilize the region. The European Union and the euro zone were supposed to bring about economic stability and remove traditional barriers to growth, such as tariffs and regulations. Instead it’s become a selfish union in which flailing economies feed rising nationalism, angst over immigration and simmering distrust between rich and less affluent countries. “Europe is at the center of the global financial problems,” wrote Michael Hartnett, chief global equity strategist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a recent note to investors. “Those problems have been exacerbated by the inability, or the unwillingness, of policymakers … to address the debt issues.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe