Philocrites : Scrapbook : July 2005 Archive

Monday, July 25, 2005

Psalm 139

Quoted 07.25.05:

Don't you love how Psalm 139 is this glorious, soaring hymn of praise, and it just goes on and on for millions of verses about the beautiful intricacies of how fearfully and wonderfully we are made and how we can never be forsaken by the Holy Presence, and then all of a sudden the Psalmist just goes psycho in verse 19 and takes out a knife and starts wailing to God about how He should kill all the Psalmist's enemies? And then by verse 23 he's realized he's frothing at the mouth with vengeance and hatred and calms down and says, "oh wow, um, sorry, I kind of lost it there, Lord."

Peacebang 7.24.05

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Secularism is an ideology; secularization is a social process

Quoted 07.23.05:

Religious leaders spend a great deal of energy denouncing secularism. Perhaps they should spend more trying to understand secularization.

Peter Steinfels, New York Times 7.16.05, reg req'd

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

25,000 civilians killed, 42,000 wounded in Iraq war

Quoted 07.20.05:

US-led forces, insurgents, and criminal gangs have killed nearly 25,000 Iraqi civilians, including police and army recruits, since the war began in March 2003, according to a survey by a US-British nongovernment group. . . .

Of the total, nearly 37 percent were killed by US-led forces, the group said.

Luke Baker [Reuters], Boston Globe 7.20.05, reg req'd

Jesusland's flag for Christian soldiers

Quoted 07.20.05:

The flag features an eagle carrying a blood-stained cross (“the American Christian taking the gospel around the world”); 50 stars around the border (“US Christians banding together to protect [their] right to preach the gospel”); and some apocalyptic punch courtesy of the Gospel of Matthew and King James (“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world…and then shall the end come” – chapter 24, verse 14). The gold-fringed edition goes for 50 God-trusting bucks.

Will Braun, SoMA Review 7.18.05

Friday, July 15, 2005

Incomes rise as workers take multiple jobs and the rich cash out

Quoted 07.15.05:

The wages of typical workers are treading water, growing roughly at the same rate that inflation eats into their buying power. Last week, the Labor Department reported that average wages for production and nonsupervisory workers in the private sector, about 75 percent of the labor force, reached $16.06 an hour in June, just 2.7 percent above the level a year ago. . . .

Even as the average worker's wages are stuck in neutral, corporate profits, professionals' incomes, gains from investments and executive compensation -- the kind that frequently comes in the form of stock options -- are all surging, supporting healthy gains in the economy.

Eduardo Porter, New York Times 7.14.05, reg req'd

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Abu Ghraib practices were 'approved techniques' at Guantanamo

Quoted 07.14.05:

Stop Torture - Unitarian Universalist Service CommitteeInterrogators at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, forced a stubborn detainee to wear women's underwear on his head, confronted him with snarling military working dogs and attached a leash to his chains, according to a newly released military investigation that shows the tactics were employed there months before military police used them on detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. . . .

The report's findings are the strongest indication yet that the abusive practices seen in photographs at Abu Ghraib were not the invention of a small group of thrill-seeking military police officers. The report shows that they were used on [Mohamed] Qahtani several months before the United States invaded Iraq.

The investigation also supports the idea that soldiers believed that placing hoods on detainees, forcing them to appear nude in front of women and sexually humiliating them were approved interrogation techniques for use on detainees.

Josh White, Washington Post 7.14.05, reg req'd

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Worried G.O.P.: 'The only fear here is where does this go'

Quoted 07.12.05:

Karl RoveNearly two years after stating that any administration official found to have been involved in leaking the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer would be fired, and assuring that Karl Rove and other senior aides to President Bush had nothing to do with the disclosure, the White House refused on Monday to answer any questions about new evidence of Mr. Rove's role in the matter. . . .

In two contentious news briefings, the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, would not directly address any of a barrage of questions about Mr. Rove's involvement, a day after new evidence suggested that Mr. Rove had discussed the C.I.A. officer with a Time magazine reporter in July 2003 without identifying her by name.

Richard W. Stevenson, New York Times 7.12.05, reg req'd

Monday, July 11, 2005

Karl Rove identified CIA agent Valerie Plame in leaks to reporters

Quoted 07.11.05:

For two years, a federal prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, has been investigating the leak of Plame's identity as an undercover CIA agent. The leak was first reported by columnist Robert Novak on July 14, 2003. Novak apparently made some arrangement with the prosecutor, but Fitzgerald continued to press other reporters for their sources, possibly to show a pattern (to prove intent) or to make a perjury case. (It is illegal to knowingly identify an undercover CIA officer.) Rove's words on the Plame case have always been carefully chosen. "I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name," Rove told CNN last year when asked if he had anything to do with the Plame leak. Rove has never publicly acknowledged talking to any reporter about former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. But last week, his lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed to NEWSWEEK that Rove did—and that Rove was the secret source who, at the request of both Cooper's lawyer and the prosecutor, gave Cooper permission to testify.

Michael Isikoff, Newsweek 7.18.05

Thursday, July 7, 2005

When the second wave of al Qaeda attacks hit America

Quoted 07.07.05:

The several years without an attack on U.S. soil lulled some Americans into thinking that the war on terror was taking place only overseas. Few corporations increased security spending. Americans increasingly questioned President Bush's security policies, the Patriot Act, and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge's ridiculed color codes. In the 2004 presidential election George W. Bush won a second term in part by dismissing such issues as whether the mishandling of the Iraq War had made us less secure, whether we had paid enough attention to al-Qaeda, and whether we were adequately addressing our vulnerabilities at home.

Then the second wave of al-Qaeda attacks hit America. Since then we have spiraled downward in terms of economic strength, national security, and civil liberties. No one could stand here today, in 2011, and say that America has won the war on terror.

Richard A. Clarke, The Atlantic (Jan/Feb 2005)

United Church of Christ backs same-sex marriage

Quoted 07.07.05:

The United Church of Christ became the first mainline Christian denomination to support same-sex marriage officially when its general synod passed a resolution on Monday affirming "equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender." . . .

The synod's decisions are not binding and the vote will not require pastors to provide marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. Some United Church of Christ ministers already perform such ceremonies.

Shaila Dewan, New York Times 7.5.05, reg req'd; Unitarian Universalists endorsed same-sex marriage in 1996

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Mormon dean leaves Harvard for LDS college in Idaho

Quoted 07.05.05:

[Kim] Clark, like [Bryan] Hehir before him, said he was unconcerned about the perception that he was leaving a high-visibility post for a little-known job.

"I think issues of prestige and stature are socially constructed -- they get established in various kinds of interactions that we have in society, and they show up in the culture in different ways," Clark said. "People of faith walk around, in their heads, with a very different way of framing the world and deciding on what's important and what's not."

Michael Paulson, Boston Globe 7.5.05, reg req'd

Red Sox babies: Conceived in victory

Quoted 07.05.05:

Manny Ramírez, the World Series MVP, has preached that fun is his mantra, and fans have apparently taken that to heart. From Fenway to Fort Worth, the state of the Nation is big and very pregnant, and nearly bursting with joy. Forget the negative energy of the Curse of the Bambino. Rejoice in the Blessings of the Bambinos.

Stan Grossfield, Boston Globe 7.1.05, reg req'd

Monday, July 4, 2005

Is there money to be made in RSS?

Quoted 07.04.05:

Jim Moore and John Palfrey want to help finance [RSS-based business models]. Moore is a former senior fellow at the Berkman Center on Internet at Society at Harvard Law School; Palfrey is still at Berkman, serving as the center's executive director. With help from Ritchie Capital Management of Geneva, Ill., they have raised $20 million for their new venture, RSS Investors LP, and expect to bring in $80 million more.

Moore and Palfrey are looking for companies that will not only apply RSS in innovative ways, but also clean up the technology's inevitable problems.

Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe 7.4.05, reg req'd