Intelligun® is a fingerprint locking system which completely locks your gun, unlocking it immediately
only for you and for your authorized users.
No keys, watches, or codes are needed. All you do is pick up and hold your gun normally, and Intelligun® reads your fingerprint, authorizes you, and unlocks your gun right away, allowing only you to use your gun. Right when you let go of your gun, Intelligun®relocks your gun, rendering it completely inoperable.
If it’s crap then nobody will buy it and that will be that. On the other hand, if it turns out to be a good reliable weapon that can’t be used by bad guys, then the market will (aside from some giant gun comglomerate doing something shady to destroy it) probably help make such weapons proliferate over the older versions. Seems like a good idea to me. Let’s head further in this direction.
Early indications are, and we should learn more later today, that the Obama administration may be walking back the Health and Human Services Mandate requiring religious institutions to provide contraception coverage.
Religiously affiliated organizations will be able to opt out of providing their employees with insurance
coverage for contraceptives under updates to an Obama administration mandate that the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to unveil on Friday, according to two sources.
In March, after an uproar among religious institutions that didn't want to pay for contraceptives, the Obama administration offered several policy suggestions that would require the administrator of the insurance policy, not the religious institution or the insurer, to pay for contraception coverage and invited comment on those proposals.
The administration is expected to detail how it will handle two of the more controversial situations, said a source familiar with Friday's announcement.
"Religiously affiliated organizations will be given the option of exempting themselves from the requirement of providing their employees with contraceptive access or service that they are morally opposed to," said the source.
“Today, the Administration issued proposed regulations regarding the HHS mandate. We welcome the opportunity to study the proposed regulations closely. We look forward to issuing a more detailed statement later.”
I suspect that this won't be the victory that it may initially appear to be given Obama's history and his penchant for deception but I'm hoping I'm wrong.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick should not be playing in the National Football
Conference title game on Sunday. In fact, if anyone were taking book on these sorts of things back in 1987, they would have bet that a "Colin Kaepernick" would never have existed at all.
In the early part of that year, Kaepernick's birth mother made a culture-defying decision. She chose not to have an abortion. Instead, she hung in there through the pregnancy and birth and gave up her baby for adoption. This could not have been easy for a single mother of a bi-racial child, but she endured.
There were not many women who made the choice this woman did in 1987. Although the statistics are imperfect, an estimated 72,000 women that year gave up a child for adoption to someone other than a relative. Having watched two newborn sons die of heart defects, Teresa and Rick Kaepernick, then of Wisconsin, decided to adopt, and Colin was the baby who came their way.
Not many babies were as fortunate as Colin in 1987. That year 1,353,671 American women chose to abort their child. In other words, given the circumstances of his conception, there was only 1 chance in 19 that Kaepernick would make it out of the womb alive. Whatever the odds are of winning the Super Bowl, they have got to be a whole lot better than that.
I don't have a dog in this Super Bowl hunt but I'll likely lean toward rooting for the NFC Divisional Champs and Mr. Kaepernick in particular.
I am reluctant to enter into the legal ramifications of these cases. I am not a constitutional lawyer. It seems to me that the four European cases are more serious in terms of religious rights than the case of the American high school teacher. Presumably school authorities are within their rights to limit some religious expressions in the classroom (say, by prohibiting a teacher coming in with a big sign saying “Repent, the end is nigh!”). I don’t really know whether Silver’s collection of Christian messages comes close to that limit. I would point out that whatever violations of religious freedom do exist in the U.S. and in Western Europe, they pale compared to the massive persecution of Christians in many countries, be it by states or by tolerated lynch mobs. It is useful to keep a sense of proportion in this (as in most other matters).
But I do want to make a general observation: In all these cases the authorities accused of violating the plaintiffs’ rights operate with a definition of religion as a private matter to be kept out of public space. There is here a general issue of government overreach, as clearly illustrated by the (still unresolved) attempt by the Obama administration to force Catholic institutions to provide contraception coverage in their employees’ health plans. Beyond that, though, there is a very ideological view of the place of religion in society. In other words, religion is to be an activity engaged in by consenting adults in private. The attorney for the Judeo-Christian side in the aforementioned American case had it quite right when he compared the treatment of his client’s religion with measures of disease control. This is not an attitude one would expect to find in a Western democracy. It is curiously reminiscent of policies toward religion in Communist countries and toward non-Muslims under Islamic rule.
An aggressive secularism seems to be on the march in all these cases. It seems more at home in Europe, which is far more secularized than America. Even in the United Kingdom, it seems, the drums of the French Revolution still reverberate. But how is one to explain this sort of secularism in the United States? The “nones”—that is, those who say “none” when asked for their religious affiliation by pollsters—are a very mixed lot. One theme that comes through is disappointment with organized religion. There is an anti-Christian edge to this, since Christian churches continue to be the major religious institutions in this country. Disappointment then, or disillusion—but why the aggressive hostility? There is yet another theme that comes through in the survey data: An identification of churches (and that means mainly Christian ones) with intolerance and repression. I think that this is significant.
Let me venture a sociological hypothesis here: The new American secularism is in defense of the sexual revolution. Since the 1960s there has indeed been a sexual revolution in America. It has been very successful in changing the mores and the law. It should not be surprising that many people, especially younger ones, enjoy the new libidinous benefits of this revolution. Whether one approves or deplores the new sexual culture, it seems unlikely to be reversed. Yet Christian churches (notably the Catholic and Evangelical ones) are in the forefront of those who do want to reverse the libertine victory. Its beneficiaries are haunted by the nightmare of being forced into chastity belts by an all too holy alliance of clerics and conservative politicians. No wonder they are hostile!
So... if true... one looks at Obama in a brand new light.
I have not been following this young man's football career at Notre Dame and quite frankly, know nothing of him but the stories coming to light about his involvement in what is apparently an elaborate hoax with an alleged death and more is... intriguing to say the least.
Yet, he does have his defenders and they seem more than credible to me.
My focus here tonight is to talk to you about what the University knew, when we knew it, and what
decisions we made based on that information. Much of what drove that process and those decisions relates in part to a fundamental view of the importance of student privacy, and that will likely play a role tonight also because, at the end of the day, this is Manti's story to tell and we believe he should have the right to tell it, which he is going to do.
So there may be some questions this evening which I defer to him, but I will try to be as responsive as I possibly can to all of your questions.
While we still don't know all of the dimensions of this and other than the perpetrators, I can assure you that no one knows all of the dimensions of this there are certain things that I feel confident we do know. The first is that this was a very elaborate, very sophisticated hoax perpetrated for reasons we can't fully understand but had a certain cruelty at its core, based on the exchanges that we were able to see between some of the people who perpetrated it.
Manti was the victim of that hoax. Manti is the victim of that hoax, and he will carry that with him for a while.
In many ways, Manti was the perfect mark because he is a guy who is so willing to believe in others and so ready to help that, as this hoax played out in a way that called upon those tendencies of Manti and roped him more and more into the trap. He was not a person who would have a second thought about offering his assistance and help in engaging fully.
Finally and reflective of that, I want to stress, as someone who has probably been as engaged in this as anyone in the past couple of weeks, that nothing about what I have learned has shaken my faith in Manti Te'o one iota. The same great young man, great student, and great athlete that we have been so proud to have be a member of our family is the same guy tonight, unchanged in any way, except for, as he indicated in a statement in his release, the embarrassment associated with having been a victim in this case.
Manti lives his life on his sleeve, and he is out there. As I said earlier and I don't think this was an accident they understood, given the nature, the extraordinary nature of this man, the more trouble she was in car accident, diagnosis of leukemia, failing health the more engaged he would become, the more focused he would become, and the more dedicated he would become, and that's exactly what happened here. And for those who are suspicious that that can happen in sort of a virtual environment, I think there are a lot of examples out there that suggest otherwise. I mean, this documentary chronicles one of them, but as we've gotten into this, I've been surprised to learn the frequency with which it exists and the cautionary tale it affords to those same young people. The people who will be least skeptical of this are the people who live their life in the social media as an important component of it. Skepticism probably increases with age, but it's harder for those of us who aren't fully engaged in that medium to understand how it can be used to this effect.
Several hundred thousand people massed at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Sunday to protest a plan by
President François Hollande to legalize gay marriage and adoption.
Three columns of protesters, waving pink and blue flags showing a father, mother and two children, converged from different meeting points in Paris. Many came after long train and bus rides from the provinces.
Mr. Hollande has pledged to push through the law with his Socialists’ parliamentary majority but a campaign by opponents has dented public support and forced deputies to put off a plan to allow lesbian couples access to artificial insemination.
The park at the Eiffel Tower was packed, but turnout estimates varied widely. Organizers claimed 800,000 had protested, while police put the number at 340,000, high even in protest-prone France.
“Nobody expected this two or three months ago,” said Frigide Barjot, a flamboyant comedian leading the protest. At the rally, she read out a letter to Mr. Hollande asking him to withdraw the draft bill and hold an extended public debate.
Strongly backed by the Catholic Church hierarchy, Ms. Barjot and groups working with her mobilized churchgoing families and political conservatives as well as some Muslims, evangelicals and even homosexuals opposed to gay marriage to protest.
Mr. Hollande’s office said the turnout was “substantial” but would not change his determination to pass the reform.
“The French are tolerant, but they are deeply attached to the family and the defense of children,” said Daniel Liechti, vice president of the National Council of French Evangelicals, which urged its members to join the march.
Opponents of gay marriage and adoption, including most faith leaders in France, have argued that the reform would create psychological and social problems for children, which they believe should trump the desire for equal rights for gay adults.
“I went through a phase of just calling him Eric, even to people who didn’t know who that was,” said the master wordsmith Ann Kjellberg, 50, editor of the journal Little Star and the literary executor of the poet Joseph Brodsky. Eric Zerof spent 15 years as her live-in not-spouse and is the father of Ms. Kjellberg’s child. “I kept thinking, ‘This should not be this hard!’ I was very unhappy about the situation. I could never find a word I liked.”
One might imagine we would be less tongue-tied. The faux spouse is a pretty ho-hum cultural specimen for such a gaping verbal lacuna. But none of the word choices are good. Everyone agrees that partner sounds awful — too anodyne, empty, cold. Lover may be worse — too sexualized, graphic, one-dimensional. Boyfriend sounds too young. Significant other sounds too ’80s. Special friend or just friend (both favored by the 65-and-over crowd) are just too ridiculous.
Faced with such weak English-language options, Janna Cordeiro, 43, a nonprofit and public health consultant in San Francisco, settled on calling Sebastian Toomey, her mate of 23 years, “mi hombre” — my man. (Pronunciation: deep and forceful, with rolled r, as in a Western.) “My daughter goes to a Spanish-immersion school,” Ms. Cordeiro explained. “When she started kindergarten, I started asking the Spanish-speaking parents how to introduce Seb. Everybody kept saying, ‘mi esposo, mi esposo.’ I kept saying that was wrong and started saying, ‘mi hombre,’ and it stuck.”
Anne Tierney, 32, a bodyworker in West Palm Beach, Fla., went for “fusband,” which, she explains, is a catchall for “fake husband, future husband.” (Ms. Tierney’s fusband, Ozzy, calls Ms. Tierney “wifey.”) Technically the two are engaged, but Ms. Tierney said: “The word fiancé makes me cringe. What am I, in France?”
The engagement process, according to Ms. Tierney, was also a bit of a debacle: “I was sitting on the ground. Ozzy was standing up. Little Ozzy” — their baby, now a toddler — “was crying.” Big Ozzy gave Ms. Tierney a necklace. She said she thought, “Why is this guy giving me a necklace?” Then he gave her a diamond ring that, because they had not planned on marrying, she assumed was fake. (It wasn’t.) The two have not set a wedding date and probably never will. Ms. Tierney said: “If I ever get the urge, maybe I’ll drag him to a wedding shop and we’ll take a few pictures. If he could just come and stare at me lovingly, that would make me happy.”
But what surprised me most of all about Les Miz the Movie was how religious it is—though whether this fact will be acknowledged by anyone outside the religious media is a question that hangs in my brain. Is Les Miz a religious movie?
Having just read a book about Anti-Catholicism in America, I am braced for any and all Catholic images in film being targets of fun and ridicule and calumny. Here in Les Miz the Movie, instead, Catholic characters are presented from beginning to end absolutely without irony.
This is a grace.
Perhaps all of you hardened Les Miz watchers knew this, but I didn’t.
— Jean Valjean doesn’t become the hero of his own story but for the forgiveness of a Catholic priest, who lets him get away with stealing the silver.
— Fantine does not survive peacefully without the ministrations of a nursing sister in full flying-nun habit.
— Jean and Cosette find refuge in a convent where sisters in similar winged wimples are seen saying the night office.
— And the saving priest and a heavenly Fantine all reemerge and converge at the end to bless Jean’s passage, as it certainly is, into heaven.
All this is remarkable. And worthy of praise.
I've never been fond of musicals... but... I may have to make an exception. I know Mrs. Brutally Honest will enjoy it which is more reason to go.
Religious imagery abounds. I can’t recall a recent movie with more depictions of crosses and crucifixes; they’re on walls, altars, tombstones. The movie is replete with Catholic iconography, and even Jackman’s Jean Valjean early on bears a striking resemblance to the battered and haunted Jesus of Jim Caviezel in “Passion of the Christ.”
The factory where Fantine (Anne Hathaway) works is devoted to the manufacture of religious items – notably, rosaries. (In the stage musical, it’s never specified.) This makes a subtle, somewhat ironic and stinging point within the plot: Fantine is cruelly fired after refusing advances from the foreman, indicating a decidedly un-Christian streak in a Christian workplace. (I know: that’s just so implausible, isn’t it?)
These are characters who are proud to pray. They repeatedly invoke God, mentioning things like grace, forgiveness, communion, the soul. In a sense, nearly every song is a kind of prayer—a pleading to God or an expression of deep spiritual yearning. The characters wear their hearts, and their souls, on their ragged and blood-spattered sleeves.
This is a story, at bottom, about mercy. It is about second chances – from God, and from others—and the human capacity for reinvention. Jean Valjean becomes a new man, but it is only through the tender mercies of another—the bishop who (to paraphrase) “bought his soul for God.” Valjean seeks to extend that grace to others, and therein lies the rest of the story and the driving force of his life.
Director Hooper has found inventive ways of re-imagining the material. Watch how he stages “Master of the House” (complete with a fornicating Father Christmas!) and note, too, the way he begins “I Dreamed a Dream,” as if it were a dream — with the tragic Fantine lying in bed, coming to grips with a dream that has become, by any measure, a nightmare.
Finally, there is one more theme that pulses through the film: the shared struggles of the human family. In sum, we need one another. The movie reminds us of the transforming power of love – “to love another person is to see the face of God,” as the musical’s most famous lyric puts it – and how that love is shared, passed on, woven into our lives through acts of tenderness, courage, sacrifice and mercy. “Will you join in our crusade?,” the revolutionaries sing at the barricades. They aren’t just asking us to take up arms against injustice; they are crying out for a revolution of another kind, one that takes a stand against indifference and cruelty and hate. The show has a message that is not far removed from the gospel — a message of abiding love, sacrifice, redemption, even resurrection. (The show’s producer Cameron Macintosh was raised Catholic; whether he realizes it or not, I suspect the story’s message connected with him in a profound and visceral way.)
There’s a lot more to chew on. But see it for yourself.