Daily Archives: February 1, 2014

(NYT) Snacks Laced With Marijuana Raise Concerns

All day long, customers at LoDo Wellness Center, one of Colorado’s new recreational marijuana stores, reach into the refrigerator and pull out tasty ways to get high. They buy sparkling peach and mandarin elixirs, watermelon Dew Drops, and sleek silver bags of chocolate truffles, each one packed with marijuana’s potent punch.

“The stuff just flies off the shelves,” said Linda Andrews, the store’s owner.

As marijuana tiptoes further toward the legal mainstream, marijuana-infused snacks have become a booming business, with varieties ranging from chocolate-peppermint Mile High Bars to peanut butter candies infused with hash oil.

Read it all from the front page of the national edition of the printed copy of the paper..

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, State Government, Theology

A.S. Haley reports on the 2014 Mere Anglicanism Conference

The Conference reached “sold out” capacity weeks before it began ”” even though it had moved to a larger venue this year in order to accommodate a crowd of up to 650 in the two-story high Charleston Music Hall. The organizers attribute the dramatic increase to the timeliness and topicality of this year’s theme: “Science, Faith and Apologetics: an Answer for the Hope That Is Within Us.” In my humble opinion, however, the draw of the event was equally due to the stellar lineup of speakers.

Oxford University Professor of Mathematics John Lennox both led off and summed up the Conference. He began Thursday evening’s session with a bravura survey of all that is faulty with the arguments and logic of the so-called “New Atheists”, that is to say, Steven Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens (now deceased), Sam Harris and the like. Essentially they want to exclude religion from the public and academic sphere, and replace it with methodological naturalism ”” which they call “science”, but which as they spell it out is really just a religion in its own right: it excludes all discussion or concepts of the supernatural on grounds which are just as dogmatic and doctrinal as is their straw-man chimera of religion based on faith. Quoting passages from his recent book, Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target, Dr. Lennox had the audience laughing over the self-induced isolationism of the intellectual atheists.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Apologetics, Science & Technology, Theology

Charleston S.C. airport sets new passenger record for traffic in 2013

Construction upheaval at Charleston International Airport did not dampen passenger’s desire to fly in and out of the gateway to the Holy City during 2013.

The state’s busiest airport set a new passenger record last year.

Nearly 2.9 million people passed through the airport in 2013, airport officials said Friday. That’s about a 10 percent increase over the 2012 passenger total and up from 2.5 million in 2011.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Travel

(ABC Aus.) Michael Jensen–The art of confession in an age of denial

The remarkable thing about this confession is, it’s true. It’s not a moment of great self-esteem, or at which the lost son remembers how inherently worthy he is. By rights, he has no rights. And yet, what does he discover? Well, it is true that he receives no joy from his elder brother. But that is because the Father is irritatingly insistent on showering his tender mercy upon the returning son.

Many Christian churches open their services by inviting the congregation to confess its sins. It might seem as if this a dour reminder of our inadequacies and failings, and a rather grim thing to be doing on a Sunday, when you could be enjoying a late breakfast. But the Christian can confess with confidence – not simply because he or she will find in God a righteous judge, but because “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” To confess your sin is to express confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the one in whom God displayed both his justice and his mercy. And it is a gloriously counter-cultural testimony to the “admit nothing” world.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Christology, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Faiths, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Soteriology, Theology

Egypt's newly introduced controls–Weekly mosque sermon themes set by government

Mosques across Egypt have witnessed the first Friday sermon on a set theme chosen by the government as part of newly introduced controls on Muslim places of worship.

The policy is controversial in a country that is deeply polarised after the army overthrew President Mohammad Morsi last year after mass protests, amid deep resentment against his single year in power.

The Ministry of Religious Endowments is the official Egyptian body which will decide what imams or preachers should tell the millions who attend the weekly prayers, known in Arabic as salat al-jummah. Attendance is obligatory within Islam for Muslims without a valid excuse such as sickness.

Starting from Friday 31 January, all Egyptian mosques are to abide by the weekly topic posted on the ministry’s website.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

(Diocesan PR) Bishop of Carlisle to lead Cumbrian commission on welfare reform

The Rt Rev’d James Newcome will chair a county Commission which will review the impact of current and proposed Welfare Reforms.

The Commission has been established at the request of the Cumbria Leaders Board which is made up of key public and third sector leaders in the county.

Evidence from charities, community organizations and individuals will be collected over the coming months.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BBC) Uganda archbishop responds to Archbp Welby on laws and Justin Welby's recent letter

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali responded that “homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture”.

He said he hoped the Church of England would “step back from the path” it had set itself on “so the Church of Uganda will be able to maintain communion with our own Mother Church”.

Archbishop Ntagali said the Church of Uganda had been encouraged that the country’s parliament had amended the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to remove the death penalty, and make other provisions of the bill less severe – all amendments which he said the Church had recommended..

“The Church is a safe place for individuals, who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing,” said Archbishop Ntagali.

Read it all and note carefully the accompanying comments of BBC religious affairs reporter John McManus.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Uganda, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Politics in General, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology, Uganda

Watch Pittsburgh's bald eagles Live via this Webcam

Check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Blogging & the Internet, Photos/Photography, Science & Technology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Brigid of Kildare

Everliving God, we rejoice today in the fellowship of thy blessed servant Brigid, and we give thee thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with life and light, and give us perseverance to serve thee all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive thee, diligence to seek thee, patience to wait for thee, eyes to behold thee, a heart to meditate upon thee, and a life to proclaim thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Saint Benedict

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But I call upon God; and the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice. He will deliver my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.

–Psalm 55:16-18

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Time Mag.) Rana Foroohar–How healthy is America's Economy? Watch the Jobs Market

A recent Accenture survey tallied the optimism among CEOs and other top executives in 20 countries and found that 64% of them were bullish on the U.S. and planning to locate more labor and operations there in 2014. Companies may finally stop sitting on so much cash and use it to invest in workers and equipment. That would spark a virtuous cycle that should ultimately lead to real, sustainable growth of 3% to 4%, which is what the U.S. needs for unemployment numbers to continue ticking down. Incoming Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen recently told me she’s hopeful that businesses will start spending this year.

If they do, pay attention to what types of jobs get created. That’s where the argument for exceptionalism gets trickier. Over half of all U.S. jobs created in 2013 were in low-wage sectors, like retail or health care, where paychecks are actually shrinking relative to inflation. Part-time workers still make up more of the workforce than is healthy. And the participation rate, meaning the number of people with jobs relative to the overall working-age population, is the lowest it’s been since 1978, before women started coming into the labor force en masse. (The unemployment rate, by contrast, takes into account only workers who are seeking jobs.) While some economists argue that this reflects the retirement of baby boomers, Westwood Capital managing director Daniel Alpert points out that it’s not nearly enough to account for the many millions of workers who’ve dropped out of the labor market. “There is much more going on here than the retirement of some lucky baby boomers,” he says.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

A World Watch Monitor Storify collection of stories–Nigerian worshippers killed during mass

World Watch Monitor is curating news coverage of the attacks on [this past] Sunday in north-eastern Nigeria. At least 22 worshippers died at a church in Yola, while 300 homes were burnt down in a village in neighbouring Borno state and at least 52 people were killed. Boko Haram is suspected of carrying out both attacks.

World Watch Monitor is using Storify to collect and organise the widespread news coverage. The Storify report appears below.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Other Churches, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Roman Catholic, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(NYT) Genetic Weapon Against Insects Raises Hope and Fear in Farming

Scientists and biotechnology companies are developing what could become the next powerful weapon in the war on pests ”” one that harnesses a Nobel Prize-winning discovery to kill insects and pathogens by disabling their genes.

By zeroing in on a genetic sequence unique to one species, the technique has the potential to kill a pest without harming beneficial insects. That would be a big advance over chemical pesticides.

“If you use a neuro-poison, it kills everything,” said Subba Reddy Palli, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky who is researching the technology, which is called RNA interference. “But this one is very target-specific.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Animals, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Science & Technology, Theology