24 August 2010

The Egg Recall

Last week's news that a half-billion eggs are being recalled from two farms in Iowa because of salmonella contamination should not be a big surprise. I found this article on Salon to be the most helpful summary and analysis. He focuses in on Austin DeCoster, the "free market stud" whose record of code violations would rival BP's. "Without ... effective regulation," he asks, "how tenable is our food system?"

This short commentary also takes up the question of regulation, and makes the choice plain: We can either have a centralized food production system and very strong regulation, or we can decentralize our food system. Those are the only two options if we want to avoid such large-scale contaminations. Definitely worth the three minutes to read.

(Of local interest here, it turns out that the contaminated eggs were to blame for April's salmonella outbreak at Bullock's restaurant in Durham.)

06 August 2010

Your expensive breakfast

Prices have risen sharply this year for wheat, coffee, and orange juice. The Economist is concerned: "Taken together, the raw ingredients for breakfast in much of the rich world have increased in price by 25% since the beginning of June." Of course, we all know that skipping breakfast is the most costly choice of all...

27 July 2010

Does the Pope wear a funny hat?

The Pope wears a normal hat; it is funny.

26 July 2010


Telegraph: Church minister to Tweet Holy Communion to the faithful

An annotated interview with the Reverend Tim Ross, of the Methodist Church in England:

"Twitter offers unique possibilities for communication for the Church," he said.

It does.

"It's a community that's as real and tangible as any local neighbourhood and we should be looking to minister to it.

No, you are confusing 'tangible' with 'popular'.

"The perception of church is often that it is rusting away in antiquated buildings and not in touch with the world around us, but this is a statement that we're prepared to embrace the technological revolution."

This is a statement that you are prepared to embrace anything.

What about "Because there is one loaf, we, many as we are, are one body"?

10 July 2010

Trinity Sunday

I preached a few weeks ago (on Trinity Sunday) at Durham Mennonite Church, where Heather and I have been attending since last fall. They kindly made an audio file available to me, and I promptly forgot to share it with anybody. It runs about 18-19 minutes.

22 June 2010

Why Lament?

The folks at Sojourners were interested in the Christian Call to Lament and Reconciliation, and so I was able to write something up that they posted on their blog yesterday:

>>>God's Politics: The Gulf Spill Brings Christians to Lament

I got a little long-winded, I'm afraid, but I'm always glad for the opportunity to reach more than the 8-10 people who read this blog...

18 June 2010

Memory Lane

White House Press Briefing
May 7, 2001 (LINK)

Q: Does the President believe that, given the amount of energy Americans consume per capita, how much it exceeds any other citizen in any other country in the world, does the President believe we need to correct our lifestyles to address the energy problem?

MR. FLEISCHER: That's a big no. The President believes that it's an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policy makers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one. And we have a bounty of resources in this country. What we need to do is make certain that we're able to get those resources in an efficient way, in a way that also emphasizes protecting the environment and conservation, into the hands of consumers so they can make the choices that they want to make as they live their lives day to day.

Q: So Americans should go on consuming as much more energy than any other citizens in any other countries of the world, as long as they want?

MR. FLEISCHER: Terry, the President believes that the American people are very wise and that, given the right incentives, they will know how and they will make their own right determinations about how much they can conserve ...

08 June 2010

Feast your eyes

My summer project: bread-baking!

07 June 2010

A Christian Call for Lament and Reconciliation

During last week's summer institute at the Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation, I met some wonderful folks who've worked together to compose a document in response to the ongoing oil disaster in the Gulf. I hope you'll read it, and consider adding your name. Most importantly, I hope you'll think through how your own congregation might be able to make an acknowledgment of the oil spill in its own worship and life.

The BP Oil Spill: A Christian Call for Lament and Reconciliation

As followers of Christ, creator and redeemer of all creation, we mourn the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe and the BP oil spill now polluting the Gulf of Mexico. We mourn the human and animal lives lost, the economies and ecosystems destroyed, and the gifts of God, created from and for his love, squandered and poisoned. Most of all we mourn our complicity and active participation in an economy based on toxic energy that has made such death inevitable.
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