Daily Archives: February 12, 2013

In the Global Cyberwar, Software Flaws Are A Hot Commodity

Richard Bejtlich was a cyber-specialist for the U.S. Air Force in the 1990s, a time when the U.S. military was going on the offense in the cyberwar. He remembers the day he realized how important a software vulnerability can be to a cyberweapons designer.

“Myself and a couple other guys, we found a zero day vulnerability in Cisco routing equipment,” Bejtlich recalls. “And we looked at it, and we said, ‘Did we really find this? Can we really get into these Cisco routers?'”

They could, and so Bejtlich and his colleagues reported it to Cisco. They thanked him and said they’d fix it. Days later, he was talking to some friends who worked on the offensive side of the unit, and they had quite a different reaction to them reporting the bug to Cisco.

“They said, ‘You did what? Why didn’t you tell us? We could have used this to get into all these various hard targets,'” he says.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government, Theology

Vicar of St George’s Church, Baghdad: no better time than Lent to reflect

The vicar of St George’s Church, Baghdad, has written a special reflection focusing on how Lent is a special time to refocus on God, to mark the launch of the Reflections for Lent 2013 app from Church House Publishing.

Canon Andrew White writes: “For all in this land Lent is combined with the fast of Nineveh and is an intense time of giving thanks to the Lord”¦ In the midst of our immense suffering we remember the suffering of our Lord, culminating in his intense suffering on the Cross. That time though was also his greatest time of glory and also our greatest time of glory. So this is a time when we all draw near to God and He draws near to us. There is no better time to do this than to find time to reflect.”

Take a look at the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Iraq, Lent, Middle East

(Telegraph) Elderly care: the Government is punishing couples again

One month after the Coalition’s ”˜mid-term review’ sidestepped a pledge to cap social care funding, it appears the Government are finally willing to show their hand.
Today’s announcement will impose a limit of £75,000 on the amount that individuals will have to pay towards their own care ”“ after which point, the state will cover further costs.
Demos analysis shows a cap set at that level is miserly, helping only 16% of older people.
However, there remains another significant problem – one that risks further alienating the kind of middle class families already reeling from having their child benefit cut and marriage tax break postponed. The scheme contains a hidden penalty for couples, and for their children.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Theology

(ACNS) Anglican-Catholic relations rest, in part, on Pope’s successor

The future of Anglican-Roman Catholic relations is, in part, down to who will succeed Pope Benedict, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See.

Responding to today’s surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Very Revd David Richardson said the implications for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations in the long term “will depend on who is elected to succeed him.”

However, Dean Richardson, who is also Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said that other relationships continue despite the change in leadership.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

Rocco Palmo puts Benedict XVI's Decision in Context by Using the Pope's Own Words in 2012

This morning, addressing all the elderly in spirit, although I am aware of the difficulties that our age entails I would like to tell you with deep conviction: it is beautiful to be old! At every phase of life it is necessary to be able to discover the presence and blessing of the Lord and the riches they bring. We must never let ourselves be imprisoned by sorrow! We have received the gift of longevity. Living is beautiful even at our age, despite some “aches and pains” and a few limitations. In our faces may there always be the joy of feeling loved by God and not sadness.

In the Bible longevity is considered a blessing of God; today this blessing is widespread and must be seen as a gift to appreciate and to make the most of. And yet frequently society dominated by the logic of efficiency and gain does not accept it as such: on the contrary it frequently rejects it, viewing the elderly as non-productive or useless. All too often we hear about the suffering of those who are marginalized, who live far from home or in loneliness. I think there should be greater commitment, starting with families and public institutions, to ensure that the elderly be able to stay in their own homes. The wisdom of life, of which we are bearers, is a great wealth. The quality of a society, I mean of a civilization, is also judged by how it treats elderly people and by the place it gives them in community life. Those who make room for the elderly make room for life! Those who welcome the elderly welcome life! … When life becomes frail, in the years of old age, it never loses its value and its dignity: each one of us, at any stage of life, is wanted and loved by God, each one is important and necessary.

Dear friends, at our age we often experience the need of the help of others; and this also happens to the Pope.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(NY Times) The Successor to Benedict Will Lead a Church at a Crossroads

Many Vatican watchers suspect the cardinals will choose someone with better management skills and a more personal touch than the bookish Benedict, someone who can extend the church’s reach to new constituencies, particularly to the young people of Europe, for whom the church is now largely irrelevant, and to Latin America and Africa, where evangelical movements are fast encroaching.

“They want somebody who can carry this idea of new evangelization, relighting the missionary fires of the church and actually make it work, not just lay it out in theory,” said John L. Allen, a Vatican expert at the National Catholic Reporter and author of many books on the papacy. Someone who will be “the church’s missionary in chief, a showman and salesman for the Catholic faith, who can take the reins of government more personally into his own hands,” he added.

The other big battle in the church is over the demographic distribution of Catholics, which has shifted decisively to the developing world. Today, 42 percent of adherents come from Latin America, and about 15 percent from Africa, versus only 25 percent from Europe.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(Wash. Post) In picking a successor, the Vatican must decide what’s needed in a 21st-century pope

In some ways, the selection of a new pope will have more potential to influence the future of Catholicism than the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then 78, in 2005.

In the eight years since Pope Benedict took office, the divisions in the Catholic world have become more solidified. The West, including Europe and the United States, has been locked in a culture war over contraception, homosexuality and the role of women in the church, among other issues. Meanwhile, more theologically traditional Catholics in Africa and parts of Asia have fueled much of the church’s growth, threatening a standoff with Islam.

In other words, the next pope will have to carefully pick his audience and decide how best to communicate with it without alienating the rest of the faith’s followers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(NPR) Why Even Radiologists Can Miss A Gorilla Hiding In Plain Sight

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

(First Things On the Square Blog) Russell Moore–An Evangelical Looks at Pope Benedict XVI

Since assuming the papacy, Benedict has called for a counter-witness to the bloody persecution of Christians by Islamic authoritarian regimes in Africa and the Middle East, to the church-outlawing police states of China and North Korea, and to the soul-decaying secularism of Western Europe and, increasingly, the United States of America.

Benedict has countered the sexual revolution with an Augustinian view of the meaning of human personhood. A human person, he has reminded the world, is not a machine. We are not merely collections of nerve endings that spark with sensation when rubbed together. Instead a human person is directed toward a one-flesh union, which is personal and spiritual. Destroying the ecology of marriage and family isn’t simply about tearing down old “moralities,” he has reminded us, but about a revolt against the web of nature in which human beings thrive.

And Benedict has stood against the nihilism that defines human worth in terms of power and usefulness. He has constantly spoken for those whose lives are seen as a burden to society: the baby with Down syndrome, the woman with advanced Alzheimer’s, the child starving in the desert, the prisoner being tortured.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Statement from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Charleston S.C. on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

“Pope Benedict XVI spent his papacy sharing his love of God and love of Church with the Catholic Faithful around the world. His resignation today is an outward sign of that love. On behalf of the Diocese of Charleston, I wish to thank Pope Benedict for his 8 years of leadership as Shepherd of the Catholic Church.

“Last May, I was fortunate to be part of a group from the Province of Atlanta which met with the Pope during the Ad Limina visit. Our discussion with the Holy Father focused on life in the Church within our growing region and the use of social media as an evangelization tool. During the meeting, Pope Benedict seemed physically tired; he wore the expression of an 85 year old man dealing with his age. However, he was emotionally animated especially when the conversation shifted to the use of technology

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(Strong) TV recommendation–The HBO Documentary Birders: The Central Park Effect

I caught this by accident recently and was hypnotized by its beauty. It is simply splendid–on central park, on the seasons, on the birders, and, oh my–on the birds.

You can read more about it here and if you are up for it there is a spectacular bird show there to whet your appetite.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Movies & Television

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God of love, who hast given us a new commandment through thine only begotten Son, that we should love one another even as thou didst love us, the unworthy and the wandering, and gavest him for our life and salvation: We pray thee to give to us thy servants, in all time of our life on earth, a mind forgetful of past ill-will, a pure conscience, and a heart to love our brethren; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Coptic Liturgy of St. Cyril

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

–Psalm 26:8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Recap: Pope Benedict XVI resignation reaction

Check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

From the Do Not Take Yourself too Seriously Department–Montana Hackers Leave "Bodies Rising" Msg

Someone apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System and announced on KRTV and the CW that “dead bodies are rising from their graves” in several Montana counties.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Media, Science & Technology

Cranmer Institute – Willimon Seminar

Posted in Top Banner

West Bromwich Albion defeat Liverpool 2-0

Liverpool was stunned as a combination of poor finishing and superb goalkeeping from Ben Foster saw West Bromwich Albion come away with a 2-0 win its second consecutive victory at Anfield, a result that surely marks the end of the hosts’ top-four challenge.

Gareth McAuley and Romelu Lukaku put West Brom on the board after Steven Gerrard missed a penalty.

Brendan Rodgers was forced into making one change from the XI that took a point away from Manchester City, with Jonjo Shelvey coming in for the injured Daniel Sturridge while for West Brom, Liam Ridgewell and Yousouff Mulumbu returned to stiffen up the visitors.

Read it all.

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

(Wash. Post) Jason Horowitz–Pope’s abdication may be simply the act of a conscientious manager

Yes, Pope Benedict XVI came into the Vatican with the reputation as God’s Rottweiler. Yes, he was an archconservative who seemed to care a lot more about liturgical orthodoxy than the plight of the church’s progressives. Yes, he never escaped the shadow of the superstar and sanctified pope who preceded him. And yes, he largely failed in his placeholder pontificate to establish an emotional connection with the billions of people he led as the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

But Benedict’s astonishing announcement Monday morning that he would be the first pope since Pope Gregory XII in 1417 to resign the papacy spoke directly to his less acknowledged, but perhaps more enduring and important legacy: transparency advocate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(NY Times) Roman Catholics React With Shock, Sympathy and Muted Criticism

The news that the pontiff would step down earned an immediate outpouring of tributes matched only by speculation about his health, about his future and that of a church in transition. Perhaps nowhere outside of the Vatican was it bigger news than Germany, where even non-Catholics took inordinate pride in their countryman’s leading the Roman Catholic Church.

The Web site of the newspaper Bild, which famously declared “We Are Pope” nearly eight years ago when Benedict was elected, ran an enormous headline that read “Our German Pope Benedict Steps Down,” followed by his entire statement in German on a slightly mottled brown background, as if it were old parchment.

Chancellor Angela Merkel recalled the pride that Germans felt to see one of their own elected by his fellow cardinals but also expressed understanding that he could not continue. “In our age of ever longer lives, many people will also be able to understand how the Pope must deal with the burdens of aging,” Ms. Merkel said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

South Carolina Episcopal diocese headed to Florence for its Convention

Despite the clear lines being drawn between the Diocese of South Carolina and the national Episcopal Church, Hunter said that the diocese is still the same entity that it has been for 228 years.

“We need to be clear that this is not a new diocese,” [Joy Hunter]…said. “We continue to be the Diocese of South Carolina, also known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. We were established in 1785 and have not become a new entity simply because we terminated our association with The Episcopal Church.”

Currently, 46 separate congregations remain in the Diocese of South Carolina, while a number of churches in the state are still in deliberation over which group they will remain with on a permanent basis.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry