Daily Archives: September 3, 2012

A Gloucester County Times Editorial–Not enough jobs; too few good ones

…just the other day, came a study from the National Employment Law Project. It states that in our partial recovery from worst depths of the 2008-2009 recession, the majority of the jobs (58 percent) created since then are low-wage ones, paying less than $14 an hour.

One finding of the study, its authors say, is to point out that there is not just a jobs deficit, but a “good jobs deficit.” Such data ought to alter how the government, the private sector and our educational institutions match workers to sustainable jobs in the future.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

A Labor Day Reflection on St. Joseph the Worker

ZENIT spoke with Father Tarcisio Giuseppe Stramare of the Congregation of Oblates of Saint Joseph, director of the Josephite Movement, about Tuesday’s feast of St. Joseph the Worker….

ZENIT: What does “Gospel of work” mean?

Father Stramare: “Gospel” is the Good News that refers to Jesus, the Savior of humanity. Well, despite the fact that in general we see Jesus as someone who teaches and does miracles, he was so identified with work that in his time he was regarded as “the son of the carpenter,” namely, an artisan himself. Among many possible activities, the Wisdom of God chose for Jesus manual work, entrusted the education of his Son not to the school of the learned but to a humble artisan, namely, St. Joseph.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Prayer for Labor Day (III)

O God, who givest to every man his work and through his labours dost accomplish thy purposes upon earth: Grant thy blessing, we beseech thee, to those who are engaged in the industries and commerce of this land. Defend them from injustice and oppression; give them the due reward of their labours; and deepen within them the spirit of humble and unselfish service, according to the pattern of thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spirituality/Prayer

(Washington Post Editorial) Labor Day

“BEFORE I HAD BEEN down a mine I had vaguely imagined the miner stepping out of the cage and getting to work on a ledge of coal a few yards away,” writes George Orwell in his classic account of British coal miners at work in the 1930s. What he found instead was that after exiting the primitive and sometimes dangerous elevator that had conveyed them deep into the earth, the miners had a long walk to get to the coal seam ”” if one can call it walking, through those low, narrow tunnels.

“[I]t is a tough job for anybody except a dwarf or a child,” Orwell writes. “You have not only got to bend double, you have also got to keep your head up all the while so as to see the beams and girders and dodge them when they come. You have, therefore, a constant crick in the neck, but this is nothing to the pain in your knees and thighs.” After one to five miles of this ordeal, the miner reaches the seam and only then begins his workday ”” the part he gets paid for: 7½ hours of backbreaking labor, with perhaps a 15-minute break sneaked in to eat whatever bit of food he has brought with him.

The mines aren’t like that anymore, though they can still be deadly, as we are painfully reminded from time to time when we see the pictures of families waiting and fearful of what the rescue workers will find below.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Warren Peper–May we remember to Honor our hardworking heroes today

We celebrate our workers in this country today. Maybe we should also take a moment to remember those who work for us in uniform in other parts of the world.

Not too long ago, one of those people was Cliff Hartley. He joined the Air Force at the age of 19, and one year ago today, he spent Labor Day walking a dusty road in Afghanistan with his dog, Cir, looking for bombs. They were attached to a SEAL team and their primary duties were to sniff out trouble.

Cir retired from duty last October and now lives with Hartley, who has 10 years in the Air Force and plans to do 10 more. Right now, he’s stateside. His retired military working dog now sleeps at his feet in their North Charleston house, just like he once did in a tent in Afghanistan. There’s one big difference. They both sleep much better now.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Animals, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, War in Afghanistan

A Prayer for Labor Day (II)

On this weekend, when we rest from our usual labors, loving Father, we pray for all who shoulder the tasks of human labor””in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and in family living.

We thank you, Lord, for the gift and opportunity of work; may our efforts always be pure of heart, for the good of others and the glory of your name.

We lift up to you all who long for just employment and those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere.

May those of us who are now retired always remember that we still make a valuable contribution to our Church and our world by our prayers and deeds of charity.

May our working and our resting all give praise to you until the day we share together in eternal rest with all our departed in your Kingdom as you live and reign Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

–Archdiocese of Detroit

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for Labor Day (I)

O LORD Jesus Christ, who in thy earthly life didst share man’s toil, and thereby hallow the labour of his hands: Prosper all those who maintain the industries of this land; and give them pride in their work, a just reward for their labour, and joy both in supplying the needs of others and in serving thee their Saviour; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long. Be mindful of thy mercy, O LORD, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, or my transgressions; according to thy steadfast love remember me, for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD! Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

–Psalm 25:4-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Reuters) Catholic Church is in desperate need of renewal: Cardinal Martini in his final interview

The former archbishop of Milan and papal candidate Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said the Catholic Church was “200 years out of date” in his final interview before his death, published on Saturday.

Martini, once favoured by Vatican progressives to succeed Pope John Paul II and a prominent voice in the church until his death at the age of 85 on Friday, gave a scathing portrayal of a pompous and bureaucratic church failing to move with the times.

“Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous,” Martini said in the interview published in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Read it all.

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

(Guardian) Colm Tóibín reviews Mortality by the late Christopher Hitchens

This last sad and oddly inspiring book comes with an introduction by his editor at Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter and an afterword by his wife Carol Blue. Christopher Hitchens’s own pieces are shaped like a fugue; the theme is death, his own death, and the voice in each piece changes slightly as death comes closer. He begins simply with the theme: “I have more than once in my time woken up feeling like death. But nothing prepared me for the early morning in June when I came to consciousness feeling as if I were actually shackled to my own corpse. The whole cave of my chest and thorax seemed to have been hollowed out and then refilled with slow-drying cement. I could faintly hear myself breathe but could not manage to inflate my lungs.”

Soon, it emerges that he has cancer of the oesophagus, the disease from which his father had died at the age of 79. Hitchens is only 61. It is clear that he will give anything to live. “I had real plans for the next decade ”¦ Will I really not live to see my children married? To watch the World Trade Center rise again? To read ”“ if indeed not to write ”“ the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger?”

And so the struggle begins; he writes with a calm and searching honesty about the idea that “I don’t have a body, I am a body.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, History, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature

(NY Times Op-Ed) David Brooks offers Reflections on the Republican National Convention

If you believe, as I do, that American institutions are hitting a creaky middle age, then you have a lot of time for [the Republican’s] argument. If you believe that there has been a hardening of the national arteries caused by a labyrinthine tax code, an unsustainable Medicare program and a suicidal addiction to deficits, then you appreciate this streamlining agenda, even if you don’t buy into the whole Ayn Rand-influenced gospel of wealth….

On the one hand, you see the Republicans taking the initiative, offering rejuvenating reform. On the other hand, you see an exhausted Democratic Party, which says: We don’t have an agenda, but we really don’t like theirs. Given these options, the choice is pretty clear.

But there is a flaw in the vision the Republicans offered in Tampa. It is contained in its rampant hyperindividualism. Speaker after speaker celebrated the solitary and heroic individual. There was almost no talk of community and compassionate conservatism. There was certainly no conservatism as Edmund Burke understood it, in which individuals are embedded in webs of customs, traditions, habits and governing institutions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Theology