Weekly Meanderings

Weekly Meanderings April 14, 2012

Chicago, by Kyle Flubacker.

Steve Buttry turns around the criticism by journalists: “Dear Newsroom Curmudgeon, I sometimes share your anxiety and occasionally share your concerns about some of the changes in journalism. I learned journalism in the old school, same as you. I am steeped in the same values of accuracy, fairness, dogged reporting and good writing that you cherish. But I’m having as much fun as I’ve ever had in more than 40 years in journalism, I have as high regard for my colleagues’ work as ever and I’m as optimistic as I’ve ever been about the future of journalism and the news business. If you would like work to be fun again, if you’d like to be optimistic again (or, if you never were, to finally be optimistic), I’m writing to tell you about the fun and optimism that I find in journalism. I wrote about you last fall, but you probably didn’t read that blog post. You’re probably not a regular reader of my blog or a regular user of Twitter, where a lot of journalists learned about that post. Maybe you’re reading this because a colleague emailed you a link or printed it out for you. That’s OK. I’m writing this because an editor asked me recently how to deal with curmudgeons who resist learning the skills, tools, techniques and principles of digital journalism. I gave him an answer off the cuff and sent him a link to that earlier blog post. But upon reflection, I think the best way to deal with a curmudgeon is to talk candidly and directly with him or her. So I’m doing that.”

My friend Ben Witherington’s reflections on the death of his daughter, and this is my favorite paragraph: “My hope is in nothing less than a dramatic reversal of death in the flesh. My hope is not even just in the Risen One, though that is true enough, but in his promise to raise from the dead those who are in Christ. Nothing less than this is my hope. So as I grieve for Christy, I do so in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection. I cannot wait to see her new resurrection form! If she is any more bright and beautiful than she is in the photo here, I will need strong sunglasses to view her.”

Wonderful video, after the ad, about Tony Jones’ parents… wonderful.

Evangelicals and “he descended into hell”: Last week, Daniel Burke wrote an article in the Washington Post called “What did Jesus do on Holy Saturday?” in which he examines the line from the Apostles Creed: “He descended to hell”. Though Burke admits that what Jesus did after his death and before the resurrection has been a matter of disagreement and debate throughout the history of the Church, he also affirms that “Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and most mainline Protestant churches teach that Jesus descended to the realm of the dead on Holy Saturday to save righteous souls, such as the Hebrew patriarchs, who died before his crucifixion.” However, Burke reports that some prominent evangelical spokesmen [Grudem, Piper] are calling for the removal of this article from the Creed, asserting that there is no biblical evidence for Christ’s descent or the “harrowing of hell”.

Tourists visiting historic African American churches in Harlem NYC: “NEW YORK (AP) – The stern warning issued from the pulpit was directed at the tourists – most of whom had arrived late – a sea of white faces with guidebooks in hand. They outnumbered the congregation itself: a handful of elderly black men and women wearing suits and dresses and old-fashioned pillbox hats.  “We’re hoping that you will remain in place during the preaching of the Gospel,” a church member said over the microphone at this Harlem church on a recent Sunday morning. “But if you have to go, go now. Go before the preacher stands to preach.” No one left then. But halfway through the sermon, a group of French girls made their way toward the velvet ropes that blocked the exit. An usher shook his head firmly, but they ignored him and walked out. The clash between tourists and congregants plays out every Sunday at Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the oldest black church in New York state. It’s one of many Harlem churches that have become tourist attractions for visitors from all over the world who want to listen to soulful gospel music at a black church service. With a record number of tourists descending upon New York City last year, the crowds of foreigners are becoming a source of irritation among faithful churchgoers.”

Fender guitars, and we have an interest because Lukas, our son, had a couple at one time.

King Jesus Gospel reflection by Derek.

Meanderings in the News

On loud churches: “A gospel church was fined after neighbours complained about its noisy services, it was disclosed on Friday. Deacon Everton Lewis-Gordon and pastor Sean Samuel appeared before Nottingham magistrates charged with noise nuisance after residents complained to Nottingham city council about services at New Generation Church in Basford. Charges against the deacon were withdrawn but Samuel was fined £360 and ordered to pay £300 costs to the council, which brought the action after complaints about the noise of amplified singing, music and preaching coming from the church over the past four years.” I wonder what would happen if the soccer stadium neighbors complained about noise. [By the way, we live three doors from the local high school football field.]

Getout! There are people who don’t use MS Word? Really? So what else do folks use?

The Fox Mole: “In his first blog as Fox Mole, Muto labeled his employer’s website as the “seedy underbelly of the Fox News online empire.” He singled out one post on the site, illustrated with pictures of black celebrities who visited with the president on his 50th birthday last August, under the headline “Obama’s Hip Hop BBQ Didn’t Create Jobs.” “The post neatly summed up everything that had been troubling me about my employer: Non sequitur, ad hominem attacks on the president; gleeful race baiting; a willful disregard for facts; and so on,” Muto wrote. The partygoers also included many Washington politicians and White House staffers, he said.”

Matthew Yglesias: “They say that Joe Kennedy knew it was time to sell all his stocks when he started hearing tips from the shoe-shine boy. Thus a fortune was spared from the ravages of the Great Depression and the groundwork laid for a modern political dynasty. The point is what whatever “everyone” is doing, you want to do the reverse. Today, with homeownership rates steadily declining (PDF) and magazines like Forbes and the Atlantic claiming that young people aren’t into homeownership anymore the time is right to do the reverse. If you have the means, run to the nearest for-sale property and buy, buy, buy. Of course, to many this is a song they’ve heard before, and they don’t want to listen to any bubble logic. Others are entranced by tales of “shadow inventory”—homes that are either bank-owned and held off the market or simply midway through the foreclosure process and waiting to be seized by lenders at the first sign of a rise in prices. According to this line of thought, house prices are basically immune to increases barring some much larger systematic resolution of the backlog of bad lending. Shadow homes are simply lurking out there, ready to join the supply pool as soon as buyers arrive, guaranteeing that sale prices will remain depressed. That may be right, but it’s irrelevant to the new case for homeownership, which has nothing to do with resale value and everything to do with rents.”

Even in Russia the church gets too close to power.”At the peak of street protests against Vladimir Putin, the Russian Orthodox Church pitched itself as a potential moderator. Three months later, its shift towards the president-elect has become so clear – and so divisive – that it has issued an unusually tough statement saying it is under threat from anti-Russian forces for backing him.”

What is your WalkScore?

Jim Robbins on the importance of trees: “We have underestimated the importance of trees. They are not merely pleasant sources of shade but a potentially major answer to some of our most pressing environmental problems. We take them for granted, but they are a near miracle. In a bit of natural alchemy called photosynthesis, for example, trees turn one of the seemingly most insubstantial things of all — sunlight — into food for insects, wildlife and people, and use it to create shade, beauty and wood for fuel, furniture and homes.”

Book e-publishing corruption.

Charles Krauthammer: “Three years ago, Obama promised universal health care that saves money. Today, he offers a capital gains tax hike that spurs economic growth. This is free-lunch egalitarianism. The Buffett Rule redistributes deck chairs on the Titanic, ostensibly to make more available for those in steerage. Nice idea, but the iceberg cometh. The enterprise is an exercise in misdirection — a distraction not just from Obama’s dismal record on growth and unemployment but, more important, from his dereliction of duty in failing to this day to address the utterly predictable and devastating debt crisis ahead.”

Meanderings in Sports

Bubba Golf! ““Bubba Golf” is what Bubba Watson calls it, and it’s some combination of aggressiveness and innocence. The guy boasts of never taking a lesson. He has no coach. He employs no sports psychologists. He does things he knows he shouldn’t, like hitting driver when control is of the essence, or imagining some weaving, looping wedge shot out of the woods and into history.”

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