Daily Archives: June 21, 2014

(ABC Nightline) TaskRabbit Allows People to Rent Themselves Out for Odd Jobs

Justin Prim isn’t just a bike messenger. He’s part of a new wave of self-employed go-getters, some making six figures, who are capitalizing on something called “the sharing economy.”

“For two years, this has been my main source of income — just riding my bikes around, seeing the sights, picking up random stuff,” Justin said.

Online marketplaces where you rent out things you own have become booming businesses. You can rent out your home with AirBnb, Roomorama, Wimdu and BedyCasa, or your car with Buzzcar, Getawround and RelayRides, or even random stuff lying around with SnapGoods, Rentoid and Parking Panda.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Urban/City Life and Issues

Lionel Messi Scores in Stoppage Time to Break Iranian hearts

Congratulations to Argentina who win 1-0, but my oh my did Iran play with so much energy, congratulations to them for the fine defensive effort.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Globalization, Men, Sports

TEC parties file US Supreme Court appeal in Fort Worth Case

The diocesan legal team was notified yesterday that TEC parties have filed an appeal with United States Supreme Court (USSC) asking it to review the Texas Supreme Court’s judgment in our case. This form of appeal is known as a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (review of the case).

Historically, the USSC agrees to review only 1 in 100 of the certiorari petitions filed annually. Our attorneys believe there is little chance the Court will review our case because (1) there is no final judgment yet; (2) the USSC has no power to review issues of Texas law unless there is a violation of the U.S. Constitution; and (3) TEC’s petition asks the Court to abandon the Neutral Principles approach to church property disputes, which every state has adopted for the last 30 years.

To speed up this process, the Diocese plans to waive a response to TEC’s petition. The Court’s practice is not to grant certiorari without requesting a response first, so our “waiver” merely means that we will not file a response unless and until the Court asks for one. That way the petition goes to the justices’ chambers for a potential denial in the near future; if we file a response it delays distribution to the justices’ chambers by several months.

This filing does not affect the calendar that has been set in the 141st District Court.

(Via Email).

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

By almost every measure, American workers are less content with their jobs today than in 1987

“…from wages and retirement plans to vacation policies and commutes””workers are less content with their jobs than they were in 1987, when the research group started tracking the topic. Back then, 61.1% of workers said they were satisfied with their work.

The decline suggests a steady erosion of trust and loyalty between employers and employees, said Rebecca Ray, leader of the organization’s human capital research unit.

“Certainly, the employer contract is dead for the most part,” she said, noting that benefits such as pension plans, 401(k) matches and robust healthcare coverage, which once glued employers and their employees together in a long-term relationship, are disappearing.

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

(PR Facttank) 5 facts about the World Cup ”“ and the people who are watching

Here are five facts about World Cup viewership in the United States and around the world:

1About 3.2 billion people around the world (roughly 46% of the global population) watched at least a minute of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on TV in their homes, according to a report produced for FIFA by the British firm KantarSport. This is slightly lower than the number of people who reportedly saw at least a minute of the 2012 London Olympics (3.6 billion), according to a report produced for the International Olympic Committee. Nearly 1 billion people (909.6 million) tuned in for at least a minute of the 2010 World Cup final, in which Spain defeated the Netherlands, a similar viewership number to the London Olympics’ opening ceremonies.

2In the United States, 94.5 million people (about 31% of the population) watched at least 20 consecutive minutes of the last World Cup, an increase of 19% over the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Compared to the U.S., World Cup host Brazil is far more interested in soccer, with 80% of the population watching at least 20 minutes of the matches in 2010.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Globalization, History, Media, Movies & Television, Sociology, Sports

(CSM) Hugh White–How China and the US can avoid a catastrophic clash

Many find it hard to understand why China is acting so aggressively in regard to its territorial claims in the East and South China Seas. What do leaders in Beijing hope to achieve by alienating its neighbors and undermining regional stability?

Their reasoning is actually simple enough. China wants to wield much more power and influence in Asia than it has for the past few centuries. And for China to have more power, the United States must have less.

They know that America’s position in Asia is built on its network of alliances and partnerships with many of China’s neighbors, including Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. And they believe that weakening these relationships is the easiest way to weaken US regional power.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Politics in General

(CC) Jonathan Ebel reviews Philip Jenkins' new "The Great and Holy War" (on WWI)

In recent years more scholars have begun to examine the Great War for lessons about religion and war. The result has been a small but fascinating collection of works on the religious cultures of combatant nations as they were expressed by politicians, civilian clergy, chaplains, and military personnel. For the most part, these works have focused on single nations, weaving together the religious, the social, and the military in meaningful but bounded studies””monographs in the truest sense.

Philip Jenkins builds upon this specialized historiography as it treats the Great War as a global religious conflict. His vividly written synthesis be­longs at the top of reading lists on the conflict.

Not only does Jenkins provide detailed accounts of interactions between religion and militarism, religion and combat, and religion and trauma on all sides of the war, he also demonstrates that the world torn apart by the Great War was a world of many shared religious concerns and vocabularies, a world that needed the extreme fission that religion accomplishes in order to launch and sustain such a brutal conflict.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Church History

A.S. Haley–Arguing the Quincy Case in Appellate Court

You may download the entire argument and listen to it from a link at this page on the Court’s Website.

Mary Kostel began with the appellant’s argument, which urged that courts must always defer to a “hierarchical” church like ECUSA. She did not get far before Justice White interrupted her with a question: “Do we have to resolve that [ecclesiastical] question [of whether a diocese may leave the Church] before we can resolve who is entitled to this property?”

Ms. Kostel reiterated her view that courts may not resolve that question, because it is purely ecclesiastical in character. Justice White then asked her (echoing Judge Ortbal’s ruling) if it was not the case that there was no highest body in the Episcopal Church which had already ruled on whether a diocese may leave, so that there was no decision by the Church on that issue to which the civil courts would have to defer. Ms. Kostel claimed that to the contrary, there were two decisions before Quincy voted to leave in 2008 — decisions by “the highest body in ECUSA that had been assigned by the General Convention to make these decisions” — and she clarified that she meant by that the House of Bishops.

This point was typical of how Ms. Kostel’s argument picked on elements of the record with which civil judges could not be expected to be familiar. General Convention, of course, has never “assigned” to the House of Bishops the jurisdiction to decide whether or not a Diocese may leave the Church. Judge Ortbal’s minute and careful examination of the record had concluded that there was no judicatory body in ECUSA with any jurisdiction over that issue.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

(Wash. Post) Iraqi army increasingly bolstered by Shiite militias as ISIS advances

In a darkened living room in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, a gray-haired militia commander picked up his phone Friday to read a text message from one of his colleagues on the battlefield.

“Captured six ISIS members in an ambush,” it said, referring to militants from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an al-Qaeda splinter group whose advance over the past 10 days has nearly brought the Iraqi state to its knees. “At dawn I killed two, four I gave to the army.”

The message was an example of what members of Iraq’s Shiite militias describe as growing cooperation with the country’s army. As Iraq spirals into chaos, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is now relying on the militias, which once carried out hundreds of attacks on U.S. soldiers, to help him cling to power.

The lines between Shiite militias and the Iraqi armed forces have been increasingly blurred since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

(Telegraph) World Cup 2014: Wayne Rooney apologises for England's exit

England’s footall players have apologised for being eliminated from the World Cup, saying they were “gutted” not to have performed better.

Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart were among members of the squad to publicly lament their exit from the tournament on Friday night.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Let these our prayers, O Lord, find access to the throne of grace, through the Son of thy love, Jesus Christ the righteous; to whom with thee, O Father, in the unity of the Spirit, be all love and obedience, now and for ever.

–John Wesley

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.

–Psalm 87:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Presbyterians, Debating Israeli Occupation, Narrowly Vote to Divest Holdings

After passionate debate over how best to help break the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Friday at its general convention to divest from three companies that it says supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory.

The vote, by a count of 310 to 303, was watched closely in Washington and Jerusalem and by Palestinians as a sign of momentum for a movement to pressure Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and end the occupation, with a campaign known as B.D.S., for Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Israel, Middle East, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle, Theology