Daily Archives: May 7, 2017

(NYT) Emmanuel Macron Wins Decisive Victory in France

Emmanuel Macron, a youthful former investment banker, handily won France’s presidential election on Sunday, defeating the staunch nationalist Marine Le Pen after voters firmly rejected her far-right message and backed his call for centrist change, according to partial returns.

Mr. Macron, 39, who has never held elected office, will become the youngest president in the 59-year history of France’s Fifth Republic after leading an improbable campaign that swept aside France’s establishment political parties.

The election was watched around the world for magnifying many of the broader tensions rippling through Western democracies, including the United States: populist anger at the political mainstream, economic insecurity among middle-class voters and rising resentment toward immigrants.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Europe, France, Politics in General

Irwin Stelzer-Important Ways the Economy is Changing

Perhaps the most consequential change has occurred in the labor market. For many years policymakers and employers have been operating with a substantial reserve army of the unemployed, or partially employed. Which allowed for stimulative policies designed to provide jobs for those actively seeking them, and as an incentive for others to come off the couch and resume the search in the hope that the skills they once possessed have not atrophied or become irrelevant. With the unemployment rate reported yesterday to be at its lowest level in a decade, the baby-boom generation retiring in large numbers, many the victims of opioid or heroin addictions, all the talk among businessmen I meet is of shortages of skilled labor. Auto dealers can’t find enough auto mechanics capable of handling complicated diagnostic equipment; builders tell me that a shortage of skilled workmen is constraining the number of homes being built; hospitals complain of a severe shortage of nurses and the teachers to train them. This means that an infrastructure program cannot increase the number of jobs, or the economic growth rate. Unless the output of the existing workforce increases — productivity rises, in the jargon of my trade. Which it isn’t, for reasons most analysts cannot explain.

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Posted in Economy

(LA Times) The U.S. military is targeting ISIS’s virtual caliphate by hunting & killing its online operatives one-by-one

Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, acknowledged Islamic State’s loss of territory does not mean it is on the verge of collapse.

The group will continue to coordinate and inspire attacks from its online “virtual caliphate,” he said in an email interview.

“The military defeat of ISIS is essential but not sufficient,” he said, using an acronym for Islamic State. “As we continue to degrade ISIS’ physical capability they will shift more of their attention to the virtual realm and we will need to do whatever we can to stay ahead of them.”

U.S. efforts to counter extremist messaging has largely failed so far, said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Terrorism

Archbishop Justin Welby preaches at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem

The words he uses will lead us straight back to Jesus in John 10, our gospel reading. More than that they will have brought to mind all sorts of powerful images of suffering and salvation, of God’s love experienced, and of the struggle to stay faithful, which run right through the scriptures.

What a hard saying this is! You know the fury of being treated wrongly. Even on a brief visit here, with very little understanding of probably the most complicated region of conflicts in the world, one sees the passions raised by suffering and injustice. Whether it is the utterly disrupted lives of the refugees in Zatari refugee camp last week, or the tears of the Iraqi Christians seemingly forgotten, one sees endless heart break.

In Gaza there is heroism from the doctors at the hospitals, from patients and above all groups of women, but also the very looming fears. In Nazareth, across Galilee you hear the voices of anger, or of fear and insecurity, of division and of the impact of almost a century of struggle of conflict, impacts that affect every inhabitant of the region, all of who tell their stories of fear, of struggle.

We must not take Peter’s words out of context. We see in many places in the New Testament that the church resists injustice yet abundant life can never be built adequately except on the foundation of Christ.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Israel, Preaching / Homiletics

Notable and Quotable

The cultural and political elites in our society, especially those on the left (but not only on the left), have become decidedly anti-Christian, at least insofar as Christians continue to cleave to Christianity

–R R Reno, First Things (February 2017), p.6

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

O Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning; who abidest steadfast as the stars of heaven: Give us grace to rest upon thy eternal changelessness, and in thy faithfulness find peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.

–1 Peter 5:1-4

Posted in Theology: Scripture