Daily Archives: April 1, 2012

(WSJ) Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman–The Rise of the Medical Expertocracy

For much of the 20th century, the model of medical care was paternalism: A doctor dictated what was to be done and the patient complied. This model has largely been abandoned, but now Democrats and Republicans are offering a new form of paternalism, based on the assumption that Americans are not receiving “quality” care. A lucrative industry has grown up to generate ever more medical metrics, to give report cards to doctors and hospitals, and to base payments on compliance with “best practices.” Yet beyond safety protocols, there is scant evidence that such measures improve our health.

Patients and doctors can differ with experts and not be ignorant or irrational. Policy makers need to abandon the idea that experts know what is best. In medical care, the “right” clinical decisions turn out to be those that are based on a patient’s goals and values.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(LA Times) Media give ample coverage, little clarity to Trayvon Martin case

While much of the frenzy has centered on Zimmerman’s past run-ins with police and on Martin’s musings and photos posted to Twitter and MySpace, the avalanche of coverage has been unable to resolve the most critical unknowns: Who instigated the final confrontation? Did Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, have good reason to feel he was in danger? Did local police handle the case evenhandedly?

Past experience – for example, in the 1991 Rodney King beating – has demonstrated that facts aren’t easily agreed to when cases take on a racial tinge. Opinions and preconceptions have even greater currency in an era of 24-hour news and social networking.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Police/Fire, Race/Race Relations, Rural/Town Life, Violence

Boko Haram Set To Attack Kaduna, Police Say They're Ready

Members of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnati Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram, may have concluded arrangements to engage the security operatives in Kaduna State in a free for all. They have warned residents to flee all security formations in the state.

In a letter distributed in Kaduna, the sect said it is ready to fight security operatives in the state and warns residents whose houses are located near military, police, SSS as well as prison formations to relocate with immediate effect to avoid being victims of the planned attack.

Confirming the report, the state police commissioner, Mohammed Abubakar, said: “Yes, we are aware of it… that unless their people are released from detention, if not they will come and stage attacks. We are aware of that one. We have strategized and are waiting for them….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

George Will–Batter Up! A baseball quiz

See how you dol.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Men, Sports

Summerville, South Carolina's 2012 Flowertown Festival has big Crowds

Primo Potpourri owner Richard Dutilly from Ocala, Florida has been ”doing “ the festival for nine years.

“It’s a beautiful festival ”“ the best,” he said early Friday.

Coming for nearly three decades are Pete and Evelyn Richards. The couple has been part of the festival for 28 years. Their seashell flower creations are truly one-of-a kind gifts and decorations. The Richards have been married for 60 years and look forward to every spring and their booth at the festival.

Read it all and enjoy the pictures over there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Rural/Town Life

(SMH) A Shortage of Burial Plots for Muslims in Sydney

Sydney’S acute shortage of burial space is set to hit the Muslim community hardest, with Islamic plots at Australia’s largest cemetery expected to run out – again – within a year.

When space dedicated to Islamic burials was last exhausted in Rookwood Necropolis two years ago, some Muslims were forced to fly their loved ones to Lebanon because they couldn’t afford to bury them here.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Death / Burial / Funerals, Islam, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(NY Times Magazine) Puberty Before Age 10: A New ”˜Normal’?

In the late 1980s, Marcia Herman-Giddens, then a physician’s associate in the pediatric department of the Duke University Medical Center, started noticing that an awful lot of 8- and 9-year-olds in her clinic had sprouted pubic hair and breasts. The medical wisdom, at that time, based on a landmark 1960 study of institutionalized British children, was that puberty began, on average, for girls at age 11. But that was not what Herman-Giddens was seeing. So she started collecting data, eventually leading a study with the American Academy of Pediatrics that sampled 17,000 girls, finding that among white girls, the average age of breast budding was 9.96. Among black girls, it was 8.87.

When Herman-Giddens published these numbers, in 1997 in Pediatrics, she set off a social and endocrinological firestorm. “I had no idea it would be so huge,” Herman-Giddens told me recently….

Now most researchers seem to agree on one thing: Breast budding in girls is starting earlier. The debate has shifted to what this means. Puberty, in girls, involves three events: the growth of breasts, the growth of pubic hair and a first period. Typically the changes unfold in that order, and the proc­ess takes about two years. But the data show a confounding pattern. While studies have shown that the average age of breast budding has fallen significantly since the 1970s, the average age of first period, or menarche, has remained fairly constant, dropping to only 12.5 from 12.8 years. Why would puberty be starting earlier yet ending more or less at the same time?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Women

(Guardian) Wanted: Archbishop of Canterbury. Must be man of faith and diplomacy

If you are looking for more responsibility and influence in your next job then an advertisement published by the Church of England this weekend may just catch your eye ”“ for the post of Archbishop of Canterbury.

The church has for the first time decided to advertise for the job, following the decision last week of Dr Rowan Williams to step down.

The job spec, published in the Church Times and the Church of England newspaper under the heading ‘Vacancy in the See of Canterbury’, states that “submissions will be gratefully received”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE)

(Sunday Telegraph) More Anglicans leave Church of England for Rome

On Wednesday, the 26-strong choir of St James the Great will sing for the congregation as they have always done during Holy Week.
But this week they will do so a mile down the road in St Anne’s Roman Catholic church, their new home.
Led by Fr Ian Grieves, the priest at St James in Darlington for 23 years, 58 parishioners will formally join the Ordinariate, the body set up by the Pope for disaffected Anglicans.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

Food for Thought from Saint Athanasius

Let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian.

–Saint Athanasius (c.296/298-373)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Theology

A Prayer for Palm Sunday (II)

O Everliving God, let this mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; that as he from his loftiness stooped to the death of the cross, so we in our lowliness may humble ourselves, believing, obeying, living, and dying to the glory of the Father; for the same Jesus Christ’s sake.

–Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

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

A Prayer for Palm Sunday (I)

O Christ, the King of glory, who didst enter the holy city in meekness to be made perfect through the suffering of death: Give us grace, we beseech thee, in all our life here to take up our cross daily and follow thee, that hereafter we may rejoice with thee in thy heavenly kingdom; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.

–Church of South India

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. [Selah] Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! [Selah]

–Psalm 24

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Never mind the groin strain: The greatest footballing injuries – ever

(All this was brought to mind this week when Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said that Sergio Aguero was out and unable to play because of a “stupid” injury–but didn’t elaborate–KSH.)

Chief among them, inevitably, is Dave Beasant, whose salad cream jar disaster in the 1993-94 season caused him more embarrassment and pain than any other injury in his career. ‘I can remember it very clearly,’ he says. ‘It was pre-season and I was going into a pantry cupboard at home to get something out, and my elbow knocked over this jar of salad cream. Both my hands were holding on to things, so my natural reaction was to stick out my foot to stop the jar hitting the floor. Unfortunately I wasn’t wearing any shoes or socks, and so when the jar hit my foot I got a nasty cut. It went right down to the bone and injured the ligaments underneath.

‘It sounds funny but it ended up the most serious injury I had in my entire career and I was out for two-and-a-half months.’

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Men, Sports

Tom Wright's new Book–"How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels"

From here:

New Testament scholar N.T. Wright reveals how we have been misreading the Gospels for centuries, powerfully restoring the lost central story of the Scripture: that the coronation of God through the acts of Jesus was the climax of human history. Wright fills the gaps that centuries of misdirection have opened up in our collective spiritual story, tracing a narrative from Eden, to Jesus, to today. Wright’s powerful re-reading of the Gospels helps us re-align the focus of our spiritual beliefs, which have for too long been focused on the afterlife. Instead, the forgotten story of the Gospels reveals why we should understand that our real charge is to sustain and cooperating with God’s kingdom here and now. Echoing the triumphs of “Simply Christian “and “The Meaning of Jesus,” Wright’s “How God Became King “is required reading for any Christian searching to understand their mission in the world today.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Christology, Theology

April Fools' Day: Five great Internet hoaxes

4.The IE IQ hoax: For one brief, glorious moment, tech reporters thought it just might be possible that people who used the Internet Explorer browser were actually dumber than those who used other browsers. A company called Aptiquant put out a study that seemed to prove it. The story spread like wildfire, until it was revealed to be a hoax. When the truth came out, the guy behind it all had this to say: “It was just a joke, and I didn’t really mean to insult anybody.” (Not technically an April Fools’ Day joke, but way too good to leave out.)

5. World of Warcraft introduces Crabby, the dungeon helper: On April 1, 2011, Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, introduced Crabby, a giant holographic crab that hangs out at the bottom right-hand region of your screen and helps provide advice and helpful tips as you make your way through Azeroth’s dungeons. He’s so awesome, and fake.

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

(Guardian) Eurozone crisis: Violence in Barcelona Amid Spanish General Strike

Spain’s first general strike for 18 months has been well-supported, as citizens protest against the government’s labour reforms and austerity plans.

Protests began early, with demonstrators clashing with police in several cities as they tried to disrupt buses and prevent lorries arriving at, or leaving, wholesale markets. Over 50 people were arrested, and a small number treated for injuries.

Unions say they were pleased with the turnout today. Transport links have been badly affected, with hundreds of flights cancelled, and trains and buses delayed.

Read it all and look at the pictures.

Update: There is more there as well.

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

Chuck Alley–Of Creed and Covenant

I can support both the Jerusalem Declaration and an Anglican Covenant. The reason for this is not that I want to be accepted by two Anglican constituencies that seem to be dividing along supporting one or the other. Rather, they are both useful and valid in their proper context. The Declaration is a creedal statement to which I can subscribe as a clear articulation of what I believe and what I think is the Scriptural stance proper for the Church. As a matter of witness to the world and the Church, it is necessary to state publically one’s belief and be willing to be held accountable to that stated belief. One could argue that the fatal disease of the contemporary (as in present day and not style) church is that as a community it is unwilling to be seen as odd or is afraid of being accused of intolerance. An objective statement of belief is essential to any credible identity as a church.

The problem that I have with the Jerusalem Declaration is not to be found in its substance, but in its use. A creed does not unify, it solidifies. In other words, creeds help those who subscribe to them to coalesce around the creed, but ends any conversation with those who do not. If Jesus Christ is our foundation, then the creeds are the anchor bolts that hold our house to the foundation. They are not doors and windows through which we can talk to our neighbors. Historically, the creeds have demonstrated this property quite amply. The great ecumenical councils of the early Church were called to deal with false teachings, or at least to establish a benchmark for orthodoxy. The creeds that resulted were therefore reactions to specific problems rather than instruments that prospered relationships. It follows that a new creed has to be composed or the old one amended every time a novel idea enters the arena.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Covenant, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Theology

Mark Driscoll Steps Down as Leader of Acts 29; Resigns From Gospel Coalition

Acts 29 Network cofounder Pastor Mark Driscoll has stepped down from the reins of the successful global church planting organization to make room for Pastor Matt Chandler as president, it was announced Wednesday.

Later in the day, in another major move by Driscoll, the Gospel Coalition announced that they had received a letter of his resignation as a council member. A change in priorities was the reason given by Driscoll who plans to devote more time to his growing church.

Acts 29 is a network of church planters that “emerged from a small band of brothers” to more than 400 churches in the United States and networks of churches in multiple countries.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture