Daily Archives: April 21, 2015

More+More Workers Seeking Productivity in a Pill Are Abusing A.D.H.D. Drugs

Reliable data to quantify how many American workers misuse stimulants does not exist, several experts said.

But in interviews, dozens of people in a wide spectrum of professions said they and co-workers misused stimulants like Adderall, Vyvanse and Concerta to improve work performance. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing their jobs or access to the medication.

Doctors and medical ethicists expressed concern for misusers’ health, as stimulants can cause anxiety, addiction and hallucinations when taken in high doses. But they also worried about added pressure in the workplace ”” where the use by some pressures more to join the trend.

“You’d see addiction in students, but it was pretty rare to see it in an adult,” said Dr. Kimberly Dennis, the medical director of Timberline Knolls, a substance-abuse treatment facility for women outside Chicago.

“We are definitely seeing more than one year ago, more than two years ago, especially in the age range of 25 to 45,” she said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

(RCR) Mark Judge–Have White women in the West lost their souls?

Triangulated between a feminism that preaches perpetual outrage, a porn culture that turns love into a biology lesson (and which has made it into our sit-coms, movies, and music) and a hard conservatism that ignores art, many Western women have lost the capacity to appreciate and create beauty, to wonder and delight, to genuinely love. Bombarded into spiritual catatonia by rage politics, digital devices, easy sex and irony, American women don’t seem to have wisdom, but sarcasm. Instead of joy, they trade in snark. They take flirting to be sexual harassment. Claiming to be “spiritual but not religious,” they are neither.

Compared to white women, women from other parts of the world offer genuine substance. I was lucky enough to date someone from another culture for several years. She was from India, and had in abundance what most women in the West have lost: what the philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand called “receptivity to values.” Values, as von Hildebrand saw them, were not just the moral guideposts that people hold to. As author Thomas Howard phrased it, “by value, [von Hildebrand] did not mean the windy generalities invoked by presidents and mayors in Fourth of July speeches but rather (shall we capitalize it?) That Which is excellent in itself and is to be admired (a very weighty word for von Hildebrand). Interestingly enough, the word ‘value’ is so massively basic for him that it is far from easy to tweeze succinct definitions of the word from his work, so to speak.”

Howard then quotes von Hildebrand:

Values are not only like dew falling from heaven, but also like incense rising to God; each value, in itself, addresses to God a specific word of glorification. A being, in praising God, praises Him through its value, through that inner preciousness which marks it as having been drawn out of the indifferent. Nature praises God…This is true of every work of art, every perfect community, every truth, and every moral attitude. Man…must first of all respond adequately to each value as a reflection of God; he must respond with joy, enthusiasm, veneration, love-and lovingly adore God, Who is the fullness of all value.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Theology, Women

(ABC Aus.) Peter Harrison–The Virtues of the Mind: Mapping the Territories of Science and Religion

It should by now be clear that the question of the relationship between science (scientia) and religion (religio) in the Middle Ages was very different from the modern question of the relationship between science and religion. Were the question put to Thomas Aquinas, he may have said something like this: science is an intellectual habit; religion, like the other virtues, is a moral habit. There would then have been no question of conflict or agreement between science and religion because they were not the kinds of things that admitted those sorts of relations.

When the question is posed in our own era, very different answers are forthcoming, for the issue of science and religion is now generally assumed to be about specific knowledge claims or, less often, about the respective processes by which knowledge is generated in these two enterprises.

Between Thomas’s time and our own, religio has been transformed from a human virtue into a generic something typically constituted by sets of beliefs and practices. Scientia has followed a similar course, for although it had always referred both to a form of knowledge and a habit of mind, the interior dimension has now almost entirely disappeared.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, both religion and science were literally turned inside out.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(BBC) Archbp Justin Welby: Europe must work together on migrant boat deaths

Speaking on a visit to religious and political leaders in Egypt, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, told the BBC’s Lyse Doucet that the whole of Europe must share responsibility in dealing with the problem.

”It will be demanding, and that’s why the burden must be spread across the continent, and not taken by just one country or one area, ” he said.

Read it all and listen to the whole BBC video piece (just under 2 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme on the Gafcon Primates Council meeting w/ Archbp Peter Jensen

It starts at about 34:22 and Archbishop Jensen speaks for about 5 minutes Listen to it all (and please note the reference to Charles Simeon!). Afterward Ruth Gledhill comes on for commentary.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Global South Churches & Primates

(NYT On Religion) Easing the Difficult Path to the Pulpit for African-American Women

“It’s my prayer for them and what I know about their lives,” Ms. Jones said in the hushed aftermath of the ceremony. “It’s being present, being attentive, letting the spirit speak. It’s just wanting to be a blessing to my friends.”

Ms. Jones meant those words in concrete as well as ineffable ways. As the founder of a group of young black churchwomen, which she named Shepreaches, she aspires to ease the difficult path of African-American women into the pulpit. For the past two years, her signal event has been a Good Friday service with sermons by seven women.

This year’s preachers range in age from late 20s to early 40s. Some are ordained, others still in seminary, and their affiliations range across traditionally black denominations. What they share in common is that none have served as senior pastors in a field still dominated by men. A few had privately doubted their own right to the pulpit until Ms. Jones issued her call.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Preaching / Homiletics, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Women

Huge $ Raised for Widow of Marine Corporal killed taking her to the hospital for birth of 8th child

Our long-time friends from church, Mike and Niki Rogan, were driving to the hospital early this morning [4/17/2015] with their seven children, in anticipation of welcoming an eighth child into their beautiful family.

On the way, an oncoming car hit a deer which was thrown into the Rogans’ vehicle. Mike did not survive the accident. Niki and the children survived with only minor injuries. Niki gave birth to their son, Blaise, hours after the accident.

Mike served as a corporal in the US Marine Corps and was promoted to sergeant while remaining on with the Reserves. He applied the motto, “Semper Fi” to all aspects of his life, faithfully serving God, country, and family.

Niki is a stay-at-home mom and homeschools her children who range in age from newborn to 15 years, and is left with providing for her family aided by only a minimal life insurance policy.

Read it all from Gofundme.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Stewardship, Theology

(Bloomberg) Morning Quiz–How Many Cities in China are there with a Popltn of more than 10 Million?

How many megacities does China have? The United Nations puts it at six [that’s incorrect]….

China is urbanizing at a staggering rate””in 35 years, it has added more than 500 million people to its cities. As a result, it looks like the world has vastly underestimated the size and scope of growth in China’s megacities, defined as those with more than 10 million people, according to a new report by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development.

Please guess the answer before you go and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Economy, History, Politics in General, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Natl Geographic) Taking Back Detroit–Portraits of the Motor City

Kenneth Morgan, a Gulf War veteran, returned to Detroit four years ago after 30 years away. He left when he was nine years old, traveling the world with his military father, but chose to settle his family in Detroit because, he says, “it’s home. There’s no place like home.” Morgan, his wife, Robin, and their children, Gary Effler and Kenneth D. and Korey Morgan, are renovating a duplex they bought on the East Side for $1,800 plus back taxes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Photos/Photography, Urban/City Life and Issues

The Economist looks at recent books on Improving employee productivity

Books on how to get the most out of your employees almost always follow the same formula. They start by noting that the secret of business success is employee-engagement: an engaged worker is more productive as well as happier. They go on to point out that most employees are the opposite of engaged (a 2013 Gallup Survey that claims that 70% of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” gets a lot of play). They blame this dismal state of affairs on the legacy of Frederick Winslow Taylor, a Philadelphia-born Quaker who became one of America’s first management consultants and in 1911 wrote a book called “The Principles of Scientific Management”. And finally they reveal the secret of making your employees more engaged: treat them like human beings rather than parts in an industrial machine.

The first two books under review are cases in point. They both rely on over-familiar examples of high-performance companies, such as “funky, funny” Zappos and CNN. They come from the same school of poor writing””sloppy sentences, ugly management jargon and pseudo-folksy style. Stan Slap is particularly slapdash. “The Power of Thanks”, by Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine, claims that a “Positivity-Dominated Workplace creates and maintains competitive advantage”. The best way to do this is to thank people regularly. Mr Slap’s “Under the Hood” claims that the best way to maximise business performance is to look under the bonnet of your company, discover the employee culture that lies inside, and then fine-tune it. Fine-tuning involves things like praising good workers and sacking bad ones (“one of the biggest opportunities to create a legend is when the hammer falls right on the culture and someone has to go”).

Laszlo Bock’s “Work Rules!” is much better. Mr Bock has been head of “people operations” at Google since 2006 and has seen the company grow from 6,000 to almost 60,000 people….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Books, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anselm

Almighty God, who didst raise up thy servant Anselm to teach the Church of his day to understand its faith in thine eternal Being, perfect justice, and saving mercy: Provide thy Church in every age with devout and learned scholars and teachers, that we may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer from Saint Anselm to begin the Day

Grant, O Lord, that we may cleave to thee without parting, worship thee without wearying, serve thee without failing; faithfully seek thee, happily find thee, and for ever possess thee, the one only God, blessed, world without end.

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

From the Morning Bible 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

(NYT Upshot) The Methodology: 1.5 Million Missing Black Men

Our analysis of the number of missing African-American men relies on the 2010 census, the government’s most recent attempt to count all residents. The census also contains counts of people in prison and in other institutions such as homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes and domestic military barracks.

According to the Census Bureau, there were 7.046 million black men 25 to 54 who were not incarcerated in 2010 and 8.503 million black women in this category. The difference between these two figures leads to our headline of 1.5 million missing black men.

Demographers refer to the 25-to-54 age group as prime age, a term this post will use frequently.

Read it all and there is there is more to read there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Marriage & Family, Men, Race/Race Relations, Sociology

(BBC) Turning Ethiopia's desert green

A generation ago Ethiopia’s Tigray province was stricken by a famine that shocked the world. Today, as Chris Haslam reports, local people are using ancient techniques to turn part of the desert green.

In the pink-streaked twilight, a river of humanity is flowing across Tigray’s dusty Hawzien plain. This cracked and desiccated landscape, in Ethiopia’s far north, occupies a dark corner of the global collective memory. Thirty years ago, not far from here, the BBC’s Michael Buerk first alerted us to a biblical famine he described as “the closest thing to hell on earth”.

Then Bob Geldof wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas? – a curious question to ask of perhaps the world’s most devoutly Christian people – and thereafter the name Tigray became synonymous with refugees, Western aid and misery. The Tigrayan people were depicted as exemplars of passive suffering, dependent on the goodwill of the rest of the planet just to get through the day without dying.

But here, outside the village of Abr’ha Weatsbaha, I’m seeing a different version. From all directions, streams of people are trickling into that human river. You hear them before you see them – some chatting excitedly, others singing hymns – as they converge on a viciously steep valley at the edge of the plain.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethiopia