Sunday, August 10, 2008

Worshipping the Constitution

This was tucked into W's news while in China for the Olympics.  

The president worshipped at a Beijing church and declared China has nothing to fear from expressions of faith. Later, he met with Chinese leaders and again voiced concern about the jailing of dissidents and religious activists, aides reported.

"As you know, I feel very strongly about religion," he told President Hu Jintao in a meeting at the Zhongnanhai government compound while reporters were present.

Whether or not the "current occupant" feels “strongly about religion” is irrelevant to his being in China.  It is not his job to advocate for religion even where the practice of religion suffers the kind of establishment unique to China.

If there is any creed the President should be indicating it is the one he has twice pledged in his inaugurations:  

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Nothing about religion but a whole lot about freedom all bound up in the one word, "constitution."   Bush's remarks do not make any sense except that, like China, under this administration we have drifted into our own version of the establishment of religion.   

Religion doesn't require presidential endorsement to be freely exercised.  Instead, whether in China or at home W should be professing his love for the Constitution.  

Whither Goeth Lambeth 2008?

I like Mark Harris'  take on Lambeth's "trajectory."  With the reaction to retired Bishop Spong's explosive 1998 publication of 12 thesis in "Why Christianity must change or die" fundamentalists began a replacement of traditional Anglican theology continuing to the current Windsor "process" and border crossings in the name of orthodoxy. Spong always was a rabid anti-fundamentalist and sensitive to the "theology" that haunted his life inside the religion of the southern U.S.  Spong's early, vocal arguments became the whipping boy against which power hungry Wantlands, Duncans, and Schofields struck as if defending all Episcopalians from the monster of heresy.  I'll do more on what constitutes heresy later.  

Harris sees GAFCON, the current border crossings of Venebles and some African bishops and the devolution of American provincial pretenders like AMIA, AAC, CANA etc. as continuing the trajectory now with Lambeth's stumbling to help it along.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Where NOT to buy the "emperor's new clothes."

As of August 4, 2008 these closings just begin to tell how good our chances are of "consuming" our way out of recession.  BTW, where did you spend your tax rebate?  Probably not at Starbuck's!  Thanks to for the info.

  • Ann Taylor closing 117 stores nationwide.
  • Eddie Bauer to close more stores after closing 27 stores in the first quarter.
  • Cache, a women’s retailer is closing 20 to 23 stores this year.
  • Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Catherines closing 150 stores nationwide
  • Talbots, J. Jill closing stores. Talbots will close all 78 of its kids and men's stores plus another 22 underperforming stores. The 22 stores will be a mix of Talbots women's and J. Jill.
  • Gap Inc. closing 85 stores
  • Foot Locker to close 140 stores
  • Wickes Furniture is going out of business and closing all of its stores. The 37-year-old retailer that targets middle-income customers, filed for bankruptcy protection last month.
  • Levitz - the furniture retailer, announced it was going out of business and closing all 76 of its stores in December. The retailer dates back to 1910.
  • Zales, Piercing Pagoda plans to close 82 stores by July 31 followed by closing another 23 underperforming stores.
  • Disney Store owner has the right to close 98 stores.
  • Home Depot store closings 15 of them amid a slumping US economy and housing market. The move will affect 1,300 employees. It is the first time the world's largest home improvement store chain has ever closed a flagship store.
  • CompUSA (CLOSED).
  • Macy's - 9 stores closed
  • Movie Gallery – video rental company plans to close 400 of 3,500 Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video stores in addition to the 520 locations the video rental chain closed last fall as part of bankruptcy.
  • Pacific Sunwear - 153 Demo stores closing
  • Pep Boys - 33 stores of auto parts supplier closing
  • Sprint Nextel - 125 retail locations to close with 4,000 employees following 5,000 layoffs last year.
  • J. C. Penney, Lowe's and Office Depot are all scaling back
  • Ethan Allen Interiors: plans to close 12 of 300 stores to cut costs.
  • Wilsons the Leather Experts – closing 158 stores
  • Bombay Company: to close all 384 U.S.-based Bombay Company stores.
  • KB Toys closing 356 stores around the United States as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.
  • Dillard's Inc. will close another six stores this year.