Kris and I have been in Perth Australia for two weeks, and I was glad to get all the posts up before we left for that time period. But we didn’t get home until Wednesday evening and so our links this weekend are not as fulsome as I would like. But, do enjoy what’s here. I begin with a picture (swiped from internet) of a Rainbow Lorikeet, and we saw these in abundance along the Swan River in downtown Perth. Perth and the Margaret River area give us the most spectacular birds.
I’ll be posting about our time in Perth at Vose Seminary in the future…
Dan Kimball announcement: “Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus But Not the Church and the forthcoming Adventures in Churchland, will join George Fox University in a part-time capacity this fall as professor of missional leadership and as leader of a new center focused on the future faith of young Americans. He also will teach at the university’s seminary.”
The Renovare Apprentis Institute is starting to fill up … hope to see you there.
Hugh Macleod: “Earlier today I told everybody on Twitter and Facebook, that I’m leaving Twitter and Facebook. Why? Because Facebook and Twitter are too easy. Keeping up a decent blog that people actually want to take the time to read, that’s much harder. And it’s the hard stuff that pays off in the end. Besides, even if they’re very good at hiding the fact, over on Twitter and Facebook, it’s not your content, it’s their content. The content on your blog, however, belongs to you, and you alone. People come to your online home, to hear what you have to say, not to hear what everybody else has to say. This sense of personal sovereignty is important.”
Maybe you’ve seen this, but I have two pieces in the new Missio Dei Journal — both on James.
JR Woodward does good sets of posts on big topics, and this one on the social trinity and church is a good example of his work.
The Catholics have taken a beating in the media this week for the papal decision to permit priests to absolve the sin of abortion and to release those who have had abortions from excommunication, and few have read deeply enough to know what was actually declared by the Pope. Whatever you think of the absolution graces in Catholicism, we are obligated to understand what is actually happening. And Kathryn Jean Lopez explains it.
Meanderings in the News
Church in Washington goes to court: “An Olympia church is considering its legal options after the state of Washington denied its request to hold a baptism ceremony at a park on the grounds of the Capitol. Officials at Reality Church had wanted to hold a barbecue and baptism last Sunday at Heritage Park. The park, located on the grounds of the state Capitol, includes a 260-acre man-made lake. Church members had wanted to use a portable baptistery, not the lake. The Department of General Administration, the state agency that oversees the park, turned down their request stating that the proposed baptism service was a violation of the state constitution.”
Thomas Sowell on the bunkum of the intelligentsia’s theories of systemics: “The orgies of violent attacks on strangers in the streets — in both England and the United States — are not necessarily just passing episodes. They should be wake-up calls, warning of the continuing degeneration of Western society. As British doctor and author Theodore Dalrymple said, long before these riots broke out, “The good are afraid of the bad, and the bad are afraid of nothing.” “Nevertheless, our own politically correct elites are pointing us in the same direction. A headline in the New York Times shows the identical mindset in the United States: “London Riots Put Spotlight on Troubled, Unemployed Youths in Britain.” There is not a speck of evidence that the rioters and looters are troubled — unless you engage in circular reasoning and say that they must have been troubled to do the things they did.” The NYTimes sees it differently: “Making poor people poorer will not make them less likely to steal. Making them, or their families, homeless will not promote respect for the law. Trying to shut down the Internet in neighborhoods would be an appalling violation of civil liberties and a threat to public safety, denying vital real-time information to frightened residents. Britain’s urban wastelands need constructive attention from the Cameron government, not just punishment. His government’s wrongheaded austerity policies have meant fewer public sector jobs and social services. Even police strength is scheduled to be cut. The poor are generally more dependent on government than the affluent, so they have been hit the hardest. What Britain’s sputtering economy really needs is short-term stimulus, not more budget cutting. Unfortunately, there is no sign that Mr. Cameron has figured that out. But, at a minimum, burdens need to be more fairly shared between rich and poor — not as a reward to anyone, but because it is right.”
On the University of Miami scandal: “College athletics is killing itself whole, one hypocritical scandal at a time, yet any honest reform is almost impossible to envision. We’re not talking about the too-little, too-late band-aids sprouting from last week’s vaunted NCAA retreat, one that featured no less than Shalala. The whole system needs to go. The whole concept needs to be redone. The problem is that the same rulebook that causes so many of these humbling hangovers also makes so much cash for the people that write and supposedly enforce it. Until the shame outbalances the revenue, what’s the motivation to change?” [There are two dimensions that have to change: disconnect sports from education, pay the athletes.” (Here is the first Yahoo Sports article.)
Maslow’s theory of happiness: “The theory in question is the psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs,” a staple of Psychology 101 courses that was famously articulated in 1954. It breaks down the path to happiness in an easy-to-digest list: Earthly needs, such as food and safety, are considered essential, since they act as the groundwork that makes it possible to pursue loftier desires, such as love, respect, and self-actualization (the realization of one’s full potential).”
Narcissists are not good leaders: “Although they are generally perceived as arrogant and overly dominant, narcissistic individuals are particularly skilled at radiating an image of a prototypically effective leader. As a result, they tend to emerge as leaders in group settings. Despite people’s positive perceptions of narcissists as leaders, it was thus far unknown if and how leaders’ narcissism is related to the actual performance of those they lead. In the current paper we used a hidden profile paradigm to provide evidence for a discord between the positive image of narcissists as leaders and the reality in terms of group performance. We proposed and found that although narcissistic leaders are perceived as effective due to their displays of authority, leaders’ narcissism actually inhibits information exchange between group members and thereby negatively affects group performance. Our findings thus indicate that perceptions and reality can be at odds, which has important practical and theoretical implications.”
Pennebaker on pronouns and what they tell us: “Take this little test. Who uses the following words more, women or men?
> 1st person singular (I, me, my)
> 1st person plural (we, us our)
> articles (a, an, the)
> emotion words (e.g., happy, sad, love, hate)
> cognitive words (e.g., because, reason, think, believe)
> social words (e.g., he, she, friend, cousin)
Most people assume that men use I-words and cognitive words more than women and that women use we-words, emotions, and social words more than men. Bad news. You were right if you guessed that women use social words more. However, women use I-words and cognitive words at far higher rates than men. There are no reliable differences between men and women for use of we-words or emotion words (OK, those were trick questions). And men use articles more than women, when you might guess there’d be no difference.”
Rock-bottom, yes, but still not affordable: “The rock-bottom rates have made it even more enticing for those who are looking to buy a home to act now. Housing affordability – the percentage of homes sold during a quarter that are within the reach of people earning the median family income – had already been trending near record levels before mortgage rates started to plunge, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo released Thursday. The organization said that when a family spends 28% or less of its gross income on housing expenses it qualifies as affordable. Yet, despite the extremely favorable conditions, most housing markets remain depressed.”At a time when homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for more than two decades and interest rates are at historically low levels, the sluggish economy and the extremely tight credit conditions confronting home buyers and builders remain significant obstacles to many potential home sales,” said Bob Nielsen, NAHB’s chairman and a home builder from Reno, Nev.”
On the growth of the economy in Texas, by WASHINGTON: “There are a lot of ways of looking at the Texas miracle, and I don’t think one can or should write off structural factors entirely, whether tax policy, regulatory burden, housing costs, or oil and gas. But the dynamic above is an example of a virtuous cycle of self-fulfilling expectations. People come because Texas is where the jobs are, and because people come Texas is where the jobs are. Firms anticipate that growth will continue, and they hire accordingly, which ensures that growth continues. And migration ensures steady, stabilising growth in labour-intensive government, education, and health jobs. There’s a lot of talk about whether the Texas model is generalisable. It is, and not just because America as a whole should allow in more immigrants from abroad (which it should). The Texas model is generalisable because the Federal Reserve has the ability to change the prevailing economic equilibrium from the low-growth, low-employment state to the high-growth, high-employment state. The simplest way to do that, of course, would be to set a nominal growth target. Any policy change that convinces markets it is ready to push the economy to trend growth and keep it there, at least until inflation looks uncomfortably high, would do the trick.”
Meanderings in Sports
Yes! “Earlier this month the Indians were in Boston and Hannahan’s agent Joe Speed got a call from Hannahan’s mother that his wife was having contractions and my go into labor in a matter of hours.
Jenny Hannahan had been regulated to bed rest for nearly a month at this point, despite being barely in her third trimester of pregnancy. With Jack Hannahan and the Indians in Boston, it was apparent that the night was near.
So even while Hannahan was at bat in the game, Speed booked the first flight in the morning out of Logan airport in Boston back to Cleveland, even knowing that would likely be too late. His next step was calling about private planes. They were available, but they cost $35,000. Even though Hannahan has a contract for $500,000 this year, $35,000 is still seven percent of his annual salary — that’s a lot of money on a gamble that it would be the night Jenny gave birth.
After Hannahan was notified after the game of what was going on, he considered that, because it was the only way he’d be getting back to Cleveland before the morning. However, the price tag was just too high for the fiscally conservative Hannahan.
At some point after the game, teammate Justin Masterson asked Hannahan what was happening and as soon as Hannahan told him, Masterson told him get the private jet.
“Book it,” Masterson told Hannahan, according to Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press. When Hannahan balked, Masterson insisted.
At that point, Masterson passed around a hat, getting donations from teammates. And pretty quickly, they had the $35,000 covered — call it a baby shower gift from his teammates.
Hannahan booked the plane and once it landed in Cleveland, there was a limo waiting for him at the airport to take him to the hospital. Hannahan finally got to his wife at 3 a.m. and just 15 minutes later, John Joseph Hannahan V was born.
Although the youngest Hannahan was born prematurely and weighed just two pounds, 11 ounces at birth, Speed said son, mother and father are all doing well now, even though Hannahan’s son has yet to come home.”