Daily Archives: September 16, 2011

Interactive map: Track each states unemployment rate since June 2009

Check it out.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(BBC Thought for the Day) Giles Fraser: A Christian Perspective on the use of Torture

You may find the audio there (today’s entry, about 4 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

(WSJ Houses of Worship) David Gibson: Converts vs. 'Cradle Catholics'

Do converts to the faith make better evangelists than “cradle Catholics”? Pope Benedict XVI seems to think so. Christians since childhood should “ask forgiveness,” the pope told a group of his former theological students recently, “because we bring so little of the light of [Christ’s] face to others, and emanate so feebly the certainty that he is, he is present and he is the great and complete reality that we are all awaiting.”

But are Catholics “by birth”””or any believers raised in a religious tradition””indeed less-convincing witnesses, or less motivated, than are converts? Do they have a greater responsibility to live up to the tenets of the faith since they have known Christ from their earliest years? And are they a bigger disappointment to the Mother Church””and the world””when they come up short?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(Bowdoin Magazine) A Profile of Hari Kandabalou

Hari Kondabolu was born in 1982 in the Little India neighborhood of Flushing, Queens, New York. His parents, both medical professionals, settled there when they first emigrated from Andhra Pradesh, India.

Pursuing the American Dream, the Kondabolu family moved to Floral Park, Queens, when Hari was 8 and his younger brother Ashok was 6. Ashok Kondabolu now performs as Dap, the hype man in the hip-hop group Das Racist. Hari and Ashok occasionally team up for The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project, an evening of improvised comic cultural commentary. “It was not my parents’ dream to have their sons in the entertainment field,” says Kondabolu, “but they couldn’t be prouder. Our parents provided us that freedom.”

Ravi and Uma Kondabolu raised their sons to be proud of their Indian heritage, so it is not surprising that cultural identity is a prime factor in their respective arts.

Hari (pronounced HUH-ree) complains in his set that Microsoft Word spell check always tries to correct his name to “Hair.”

LOL. Read it all (page 36 ff. of the pdf).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Humor / Trivia, India, Psychology, Young Adults

(BBC) Paris ban on Muslim street prayers comes into effect

A ban on saying prayers in the street, a practice by French Muslims unable to find space in mosques, has come into effect in the capital, Paris.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant has offered believers the use of a disused fire brigade barracks instead.

The phenomenon of street prayers, which see Muslims spreading mats on footpaths, became a political issue after far right protests.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, France, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NY Times) Austerity in Italy? Check the Traffic (Includes Friday morning Quiz)

(Before you read the full article, guess the answer to this question: What percentage of public sector employees in Italy have lifetime tenure?).

With only 960 residents and a handful of roads, this tiny hilltop village in the arid, sulfurous hills of southern Sicily does not appear to have major traffic problems. But that does not prevent it from having one full-time traffic officer ”” and eight auxiliaries.

The auxiliaries, who earn a respectable 800 euros a month, or $1,100, to work 20 hours a week, are among about 64 Comitini residents employed by the town, the product of an entrenched jobs-for-votes system pervasive in Italian politics at all levels.

“Jobs like these have kept this city alive,” said Caterina Valenti, 41, an auxiliary in a neat blue uniform as she sat recently with two colleagues, all on duty, drinking coffee in the town’s bar on a hot afternoon. “You see, here we are at the bar, we support the economy this way.”

Read it all (including the answer to the question above).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Italy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector

(CEN) First clergy same-sex union for Ireland

The Dean of Leighlin Cathedral in the Diocese of Cashel & Ossory has become the first serving Church of Ireland clergyman to enter a same-sex civil partnership in the Republic of Ireland.

The public announcement of the Dean’s same-sex civil partnership and his Bishop’s apparent support for the move is likely to pitch the Church of Ireland into the same battle that has torn apart the Episcopal Church and has the potential to divide the Irish church, sources tell CEN.

In an interview with BBC Ulster, the Very Rev Tom Gordon stated he and his partner held the ceremony in a registry office in July. Unlike the Church of England, which requires clergy who have entered same-sex civil partnerships to remain celibate, the Church of Ireland has not taken a position on the matter.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Ireland, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Central Florida Episcopal Nominees Announced

You can see all the candidates here. The names are:

The Rev. Gregory O. Brewer
Rector, Episcopal Parish of Calvary-St. George’s
New York, New York

The Very Rev. Anthony P. Clark
Dean, Cathedral Church of St. Luke
Orlando, Florida

The Rev. R. Jonathan. Davis
Vicar, Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
Director, Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center
Oviedo, Florida
The Rev. R. Jonathan. Davis
Vicar, Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
Director, Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center
Oviedo, Florida

The Very Rev. Charles L. Holt
Rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, Florida

The Rev. Timothy C. Nunez
Rector, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Belleview, Florida

The Rev. Mary A. Rosendahl
Rector, Episcopal Church of the Nativity
Port St. Lucie, Florida

The Rev. James A. Sorvillo, Sr.
Rector, Episcopal Church of the Ascension
Orlando, Florida

You can also find the search process homepage over there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

A.S. Haley Looks at TEC Finances–Leaders Pledged the Endowment to Handle Major Expenses

To read between the lines here: the Treasurer of the Church, like all of the staff at 815, works for the Presiding Bishop, not for the Executive Council. When she tells him to “find money for litigation”, his job is not to ask “Where?”, but rather: “How much do you need?” And in exchange for such due obedience, she protects him from all incursions into his territory by the likes of the Executive Council — who only imagine that they run the show when General Convention is not in session.

No, this is the Presiding Bishop’s show — lock, stock, and barrel. If the Church needs money to fund her agenda, then it will jolly well have to supply it, without any interference from the Executive Council. The Church is extraordinarily wealthy, with over $140 million in unrestricted securities and investments, the gifts of innumerable donors over the centuries. And in recent years it has not been shy about borrowing against the endowment to provide it with working capital for the Presiding Bishop’s ongoing litigation agenda.

Thus it should now come as no surprise to learn that, in a face-off between the Committee’s alternatives and those explored by the Treasurer and his investment manager, the latter prevailed. The headquarters building did not have to be mortgaged; the Treasurer simply ponied up more of the endowment as collateral for two new lines of credit.

Read it all (and please follow the links).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Presiding Bishop, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Webcam 101 for Seniors–Grandparents with new technology become online stars

An unsuspecting Oregon couple’s ascendance to YouTube stardom happened by accident….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Aging / the Elderly, Blogging & the Internet, Humor / Trivia, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology

(SMH) New weapon against cybercrime: chips

An internet security company has demonstrated a new weapon against deeply rooted malware that takes control of PCs and turns them into zombies.

McAfee said it has activated built-in security features and added software to Intel microprocessors, known as chips, to stop cyber criminals from infecting PCs via advance persistent threats, rootkits and zero-day attacks. Infected PCs can be directed to steal private identities, financial data and to send out spam.

If the new technology catches on, the pain of ensuring anti-virus software is up to date and running on a PC could become a thing of the past. It may even pave the way for similar hardware-based technology to be included in other internet-ready devices such as cars, TVs and teller machines.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology

(Economist) Unethical journalism–The depressing tale of Johann Hari

Readers of the Independent were in for a surprise this… [week on Thursday]: a lengthy apology from that newspaper’s star columnist Johann Hari, admitting to plagiarism and the online harrassment of rival journalists (via pseudonymous assaults on their Wikipedia entries), and announcing that he was off to take a course of journalism training at his own expense.

Allegations of quote-stealing and factual embellishment by Mr Hari have been swirling for months, at first in the blogosphere and then in the mainstream media. I have not posted about the whole sorry saga to date because””at the end of the day””a hack is only a hack, and the press already spends too much time talking and thinking about itself.

But something about the weasel wording of Mr Hari’s apology today sticks in the craw.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Theology

Archbishop Timothy Dolan's Homily at St. Patrick's 9/11 Mass

…what I propose at our Mass this Sunday morning, on this tenth anniversary of that day, is that as a matter of fact the side of light actually triumphed, as temptations to despair, fearful panic, revenge, and dread gave way to such things as rescue, recovery, rebuilding, outreach, and resilience. The side of the angels, not of the demons, conquered. Good Friday became Easter Sunday. And once again God has the last word.

Perhaps what gives us most consolation would be our young people, our children. Last night, Cardinal Egan, Monsignor Ritchie, and I were in this Cathedral for the commemoration of the New York Fire Department. It was standing room only. There we heard two young people, Ashley and Patrick, recall with immense gratitude and pride their fathers, firefighters who perished that day. There I quoted Commissioner Cassano, who told us that he is amazed at the number of children of those firefighters who perished that dreadful day who now want to be firefighters and rescue workers. And there I met Anthony Palumbo, whose father Frank was a firefighter who died that day, and who is now preparing for the priesthood. This morning I am honored to welcome our servers at Mass, Conor, Aidan, Kieran, and Declan, whose father, Vincent Halloran, was a firefighter who perished that day. Your Eminence, I understand that you celebrated his funeral here at Saint Patrick’s. They are here with their mother, Marie, and we honor them and their beloved father, Vincent. What consolation you give us. They are living examples that God alone has the last word.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ninian of Galloway

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant and bishop Ninian didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; 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, Church History, England / UK, Scotland, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Heavenly Father, the Father of all wisdom, understanding, and true strength: We beseech thee look mercifully upon thy servants, and send thy Holy Spirit into their hearts, that when they must join to fight in the field for the glory of thy holy name, then they, strengthened with the defence of thy right hand, may manfully stand in the confession of thy faith, and continue in the same unto their lives’ end; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Nicholas Ridley

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

–1 Corinthians 3:16-20

Posted in Uncategorized

(BBC) UBS trader Kweku Adoboli arrested over 'rogue deals'

Police in London have arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with allegations of unauthorised trading which has cost Swiss banking group UBS an estimated $2bn (£1.3bn).

Kweku Adoboli, believed to work in the European equities division, was detained in the early hours of Thursday and remains in custody.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, Science & Technology, Stock Market, Switzerland, The Banking System/Sector

In Virginia Anglicans and Episcopalians still at odds over ownership of churches

Litigation over ownership of St. Stephens Church in Heathsville and eight other churches that formerly housed Episcopal congregations entered a new phase when the parties filed their post-trial briefs in August.

The briefs followed a 22-day trial at which 67 witnesses appeared and “thousands of exhibits” were filed, according to the brief for the defendant churches all of which have disassociated themselves from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and joined the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). According to the schedule set up by the Circuit Court of Fairfax where the case over ownership of the nine churches is being tried, the parties may respond to each other’s briefs by Sept. 23 and after that the court may hear oral argument and decide the cases.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

How American Taxpayers Could End Up Paying for ECB Liquidity Flood

It sounds like a good plan, but here’s the real risk: even after this restructuring, Greece ends up defaulting on those new EFSF-backed bonds. Remember, this is a solvency problem not a liquidity issue.

So the EFSF takes a loss, and maybe even its partner, the IMF. The debt is removed from bank balance sheets and put directly on the taxpayers of Europe and, via Washington’s 17% stake in IMF loans, Americans.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, European Central Bank, Federal Reserve, Taxes, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government