CAT | News commentary
A Texas company Solid Concepts just announced they had made a working model M1911 automatic pistol and test fired 50 rounds through it.
What made this interesting was that the gun was made with a 3-D printer.
Just last year the open-source organization Defense Distributed printed a plastic gun and actually got a few rounds through it, but it broke down very quickly as you might expect.
The State Department then “suggested” Defense Distributed take down their download links for design components as they might possibly be in violation of International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
Solid Concepts succeeded in printing a metal gun, and then fell all over themselves saying, not to worry this tech isn’t the desktop printer you can buy for about $2,000, this is a much more expensive model.
“The industrial printer we used costs more than my college tuition (and I went to a private university),” company spokesperson Alyssa Parkinson said. “And the engineers who run our machines are top of the line; they are experts who know what they’re doing and understand 3-D printing better than anyone in this business.”
Big deal. Anyone remember what desktop computers used to cost when they first came out, and how little memory and computing power they had? About like your smart phone has now.
I myself have been gritting my teeth, because I’ve been telling anybody who’d listen for the past 30 years this was coming.
The ability to build small arms in small workshops is not new. After the British military disaster at Dunkirk in World War II when a great many of their combat arms were abandoned, they started producing the Sten gun, a stamped metal machine gun with a design so simple it could be produced in garages.
The Polish Resistance used to turn make them in apartments using metal salvaged from bed frames.
Blacksmiths in the Philippines and Afghanistan have turned out replicas of the world’s small arms on hand-cranked lathes for generations now.
For decades it’s been an open secret that any modern machine shop quipped with computer-controlled milling machines could turn out small arms with the right software programs.
The only difference was in the level of expertise needed. New 3D printing technology lowers the skill requirement and puts the ability into the hands of basically everyone.
And it’s going to get cheaper and easier, that’s just the nature of technology.
The more difficult problem actually is the production of modern smokeless powders and primers for the bullets. I’m not certain what the level of tech necessary for this is, but I’m going to guess about the sophistication of your average meth lab.
Bottom line, banning guns from society is a fantasy.
Ban the technology? How well has that ever worked?
And do you want to ban the tech that is going to revitalize manufacturing and make possible wonders such as small business custom car manufacturing?
Enact draconian penalties for possession of firearms?
That’s certainly one option. One that creates an incentive not to submit to arrest and try to shoot it out with the police instead.
And what haunts me is the feeling that once all firearms are banned, why wouldn’t a criminal, or even a very scared citizen willing to break the law, say, “Oh well, hung for a sheep, hung for a lamb. The heck with a pistol, print me a Sten”?
Law enforcement is rightly concerned about firearms with no serial numbers getting into circulation, and guns cheap enough to be used in one crime then destroyed. The existence of a legal aboveground firearms industry at least insured that almost all guns could be identified and a reasonably accurate record of the chain of ownership maintained.
As a society we should have been thinking and discussing the potential consequences of this for a long time now. Instead we’ve been absorbed in what we can now see was an utterly pointless debate about whether society should be disarmed.
We are for better or worse going to remain an armed society, at least in potentia, forever.
“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment.” – Woody Allen
For those who were wondering what they were going to get up to after Google Glass, Google announced in September a new startup Calico, dedicated to research on combating aging. And though they’re not splashing it all over the media, it’s pretty plain they don’t mean making old folks’ last years more active and comfortable, they mean giving us more years. Lots more years.
Google is reported to be funding this venture to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
This actually doesn’t come as that much of a surprise. Last December I mentioned here that Google had hired Ray Kurzweil, Prophet of the Singularity. Immortality is one of the things Kurzweil says is within our grasp.
I’ve been following the discussion/debate on the life extension project since the mid-60s. During that time I’ve seen the notion go from the obsession of a few lonely cranks to one that’s being taken seriously by reputable scientists.
What we seem to have right now is in the words of one scientist, “a big bottle of hope.”
However that hope is on a bit firmer footing than it used to be. We’ve got a better handle on how to prepare ourselves for a more vigorous and healthy old age. Partly through the classic methods of good diet and healthy exercise and partly through the still controversial use of nutritional supplements.
Moreover, we have new tools available such as genetic analysis which can alert us of future health risks encoded in our genes that we can start planning how to deal with before they show up.
So is Google’s new venture going to give us the long-sought Fountain of Youth?
Who knows? I see three possibilities coming from the next few years of intensive, well-funded research:
1) A breakthrough in life extension adding decades, perhaps centuries to our potential lifespan, with all that implies.
2) Some advances in gerontology but with steadily diminishing expectations as problems prove intractable and the goal of significant extensions in lifespan recede into the indefinite future.
3) Convincing evidence that it’s just not going to happen. Bummer.
What I don’t see is any downside to it. Whatever the result, we won’t be worse off for having asked the question.
You want to know how I think Vladimir Putin feels these days? I bet he’s feeling pretty sick right about now.
Sure he’s just humiliated the president of the mighty United States, made us a laughingstock among nations, frightened our allies, heartened our enemies and with one stroke vastly diminished our influence in the Middle East while vastly increasing Russia’s. And I bet the victory tastes like ashes in his mouth.
Putin is former head of the KGB, the dreaded secret empire of Russia and one leg of the troika that formerly ruled: Party, army and KGB. He’s a stone killer and would-be Czar of a reborn Russian Empire, the Third Rome.
A man like Putin wants a man as an opponent in the Great Game.
Right now he’s thinking, “History will say I humiliated Barack Obama, and how hard was that?”
Astonishingly there seem to be any number of people in denial of the glaringly obvious fact that the president of the United States just got owned.
Obama made a threat he didn’t have the guts to back up and panicked. It’s that simple.
He waffled and equivocated and bleated, “It wasn’t ME who drew the red line, it was the world.”
John Kerry, secretary of state and born-again hawk went off-message, “It’s going to be a pin prick, you’ll hardly notice you’re being severely punished for gassing a thousand people or so.”
Gassing people to death is somehow far more heinous that shooting them with small arms fire or blowing them up with artillery like the other 99,000 or so Syrians over the past two years it seems.
Then Kerry went further out in left field and remarked as how if Assad gave up his chemical weapons maybe something could be worked out.
Putin leaped on it and offered to help take them and dispose of them. Like it wasn’t Russia giving the Syrians weapons to begin with.
To add insult to injury Putin then published a column in the New York Times which reeks of subtle mockery. He genially cautioned Americans about how dangerous it is to think of ourselves as an exceptional nation. He told us his relationship with Obama is one of growing trust.
To anybody who’s knocked about in the lands where the looming presence of Russia is a historical constant, the message is plain, “Your time as a great power is drawing to a close. The leader of the free world is weak, vacillating and in way over his head.”
You see Putin understands something Obama doesn’t, nor do many Americans for that matter. That the world is a dangerous place.
Consider. Putin was head of the KGB, the Soviet secret police. But the KGB is actually older than the Soviet state.
A secret police organization has a head, a mid-level bureaucracy and a vast network of street-level informers. When there is a regime change the head may get chopped off, and what head of a secret police expects to die in bed of old age? But the bureaucracy and network of informers is not something lightly thrown away.
The Russian secret police has an organizational continuity going back centuries. Its purpose is to protect a tyrannical state by maintaining a constant level of terror in the population. This is the sea Putin swims and thrives in.
Obama? Exclusive prep school in Hawaii. Harvard on a scholarship. World travel essentially as a tourist. Chicago community organizer, a town where politics is for sure dirty – but the price of losing is seldom death these days.
His knowledge of history is superficial and error-ridden. He has no military experience. He has never risked death for himself and his family for picking the wrong side of a political conflict. He has never killed a man he could see die.
Right now, anyone who isn’t worried isn’t paying attention.
It’s official, I’m a square. I had to ask what “twerking” was.
I had assumed it had something to do with Twitter and “tweeting.” Wrong!
Turns out tweaking refers to movements of the hips and buttocks in suggestive ways.
There, aren’t you glad you know that now? I know I am.
I found this out of course, through all the outrage over Miley Cyrus’ offensively silly performance at the 2013 MTV Music Video Awards.
As you might expect, when the United States is again thinking of getting involved in somebody else’s civil war, with a rival great power warning us to back off and the very real possibility of some very bad stuff happening, the attention of the nation is riveted on a 20-year-old making an idiot of herself in public.
Of course the sky is falling over on the social conservative side of the aisle as the specter of Soddom and Gomorrah looms over the republic.
And of course Miley Cyrus is getting a lot more attention than her looks and talent would ordinarily command.
“I’m really effed up!” she was reported to have said. “I have lots of issues.”
Miley, lots of us are messed up and have issues.
“I don’t have a normal life,” she added.
Lots of us who don’t have the excuse of celebrity don’t have normal lives and can’t provide a “normal” life for their kids. And we don’t provide it on less money.
Amidst all the fuss, comic commentator Dennis Miller nailed it to the wall on Bill O’Reilly’s show on FOX.
“I’m bored!” he said. “I’m bored with all these kids who want to get attention by shocking us.”
Listen, we’ve had child stars around for a while now.
Some transitioned into adult roles. Ricky Schroeder and Mark Wahlberg have careers and judging by their absence from the scandal sheets, lives as well.
Some hit bumps along the way and overcame them.
Jackie Coogan’s parents spent all the money he made as a child, but he went on to have an adult career.
Some found their appeal faded as they grew older and gracefully withdrew from show business.
Shirley Temple, perhaps the first child mega-star, went into the diplomatic service eventually becoming ambassador to Ghana and the Czech Republic.
Others went into the production side.
Freddie “Little Lord Fauntleroy” Bartholemew became a television producer after his film career died.
And a lot of them destroyed themselves.
Anissa Jones, who starred as a child alongside Brian Keith in the TV sitcom “Family Affair” died of a drug overdose, aged 18. A fate eerily presaged by the MAD Magazine parody of the show, where the child actress was shown running up offstage.
Miley, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Something your daddy Billy Ray and a lot of other people should have told you. Something I believe you may have a suspicion of.
For one, talent is not rare. There are lots of people with heaps of talent out there.
They either aren’t interested in a show business career or they’re content with singing in the church choir or performing in community theater.
Professional success involves starting to train that talent and promote it starting young, growing up in the business, or just sheer luck.
You did all three, but you have to realize something. You’re pretty, but there’s lots of pretty people around. You sing well, but there’s a lot of people who sing well. There’s no evidence yet you can write songs or scripts, so you’re a performer, not a creator.
You’ve managed to get a lot of attention by shocking a lot of people by breaking out of your Disney image. But that’s a one-trick pony, how many times can you shock people once they’re grown to expect outrageous behavior from you?
The fact is, you didn’t look the least bit erotic up there on stage. You’re 20 but you looked 16 or younger, like a child doing an imitation bump-and-grind with less entertainment value than Abigail Breslin pulled off in “Little Miss Sunshine.”
Miley, get a life. Take your money, hire someone to manage it, go back to school, get out of the limelight for a while. Settle down, get a job, get married, have kids, and hope they never come across Mommy on video someday.
This past Sunday 22 American embassies and consulates across the Muslim parts of the world were closed down due to fears of terrorist attacks. At the time of writing it had not been revealed how long they are expected to be closed, but at least until Saturday.
British, French and German embassies in Yemen were also closed.
The embassies are closed because of “chatter.” In intelligence terminology this means a surge in intercepted communications, transfers of funds and movement of suspicious individuals combined with on-the-ground intelligence.
Add to this the recent well-coordinated jail breaks in nine countries of hundreds of prisoners linked to Al-Queda.
The problem with taking action based on chatter is, we may suspect very strongly that something is going to happen soon but have no idea what or where.
So we are presented with a choice of going on heightened alert, super-heightened alert, or doing nothing.
That would seem to be a no-brainer. Trouble is if we go to full-tilt-batten-down-the-hatches alert and nothing happens – well you know about the boy who cried “Wolf!”
The action is said to have been taken at the urging of National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who is still stinging from the utter failure of the administration to take the Benghazi assault seriously until Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were dead.
Coincidentally on Saturday I had a conversation with an acquaintance who is a consultant on personal security and court certified witness on violence issues.
The conversation was among other things, about anthropology. He has a degree in psychology but had taken a cultural anthropology class. I have a master’s degree in the discipline.
What we talked about was, as much as we’d learned from our studies of social science, social scientists can be unbelievably obtuse. They all too frequently become so wedded to a pet theory they become blind and deaf to anything that contradicts their conviction of how the world works.
I’ve never worked as an academic social scientist, though I don’t regret my studies. After graduation I took off for odd parts of the world for the next 13 years.
This was an eye-opener to be sure. Intellectually we know that other parts of the world are different from America, but until you spend significant time away from this fat, happy country you don’t really comprehend how different.
My friend… has seen a lot of the seamy side of life from an early age. He does applied social science outside of academia and makes a living at it. (That’s the frustrating thing for social scientists – much of the best work is done by amateurs.)
So I asked him if when trying to tell people what he’d learned from experience if it didn’t often seem like he was speaking a foreign language to people without the same kind of experience.
He answered with a hearty “Amen!”
If I had to boil down the insight gained from experience we were talking about to one principle, it might be: the world is a dangerous place.
That’s another thing we may realize intellectually without really comprehending how different.
Could you imagine growing up with the idea that you have a “hereditary enemy”? That the people over there are your enemies from birth and always will be?
Do you believe we can share a world in peace with people who commonly murder their sisters and daughters for the crime of being seen with a man not a male relative, or refusing to marry a man their father has picked for them?
Can you imagine what it would be like for a boy to grow up assuming he had at least an even chance of dying by violence? Could you imagine being his mother?
There’s a lot of scary people in the world who don’t like us much for whatever reason. That I can live with.
There’s also a lot of people in our country who believe we can fix that with our overflowing good will. Some of them hold high office.
And that really scares me.
The Anthony Weiner scandal has been called “the gift that keeps on giving” by commentators with a low taste for word play. But after we’ve wrung all the fun that can be had about a sexting politician with a hilariously appropriate name there is so much about this case that is just… weird.
Weiner, as you may remember, resigned in disgrace from the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011 after he was exposed as a serious weirdo.
He “sexts,” that is to say he sent cell phone photos of his naughty bits to various women. Worse, he pushed the wrong button and sent them out to a Twitter list. Worst he told stupid lies a child could see through.
Sooooo, after a cooling off period, during which Weiner made oodles of money as a “consultant” (i.e. influence peddler) he threw his hat into the ring for Mayor of New York, and weirdly enough polled at the top of the field.
Except he kept sexting. Then lied about it and said he’d never do it again. Then he did it again.
The weirdness just keeps piling up. Weiner is an intelligent guy, so he didn’t know these strangers he’s sexting with were going to go the press for their 15
minutes of fame?
Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin is standing loyally by her man, calling him a great husband and father.
Getting weirder here. Weiner is, how shall I put it?
Sorry, he’s got an athletic build and obviously spends a lot of time in the gym, he even exercises there, but no one could look at that face and call him anything but homely.
Abedin on the other hand, is a babe. An exotic beauty with great fashion sense. You have to wonder how tightly wrapped a guy is who gets his jollies sexting when he can go home to that.
Abedin is also a powerful person in her own right. She’s worked for the State Department and as Deputy Chief of Staff under Hillary Clinton and is currently on Hillary’s transition team.
Bill Clinton himself officiated at the Weiner’s marriage, on which occasion Hillary said, “I only have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would be Huma.”
There are rumors about Hillary and Huma, but lets not go there. It’s weird enough already.
Where we should go is that Abedin was raised in Saudi Arabia and has close family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Her late father, mother and brother were all members. And during the time she worked for Hillary she also worked at a journal founded by a top al-Qaida financier, Abdullah Omar Naseef that allegedly promotes an Islamist ideology.
The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization founded in Egypt in 1928 as a Pan-Islamic movement with the credo, “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”
In spite of running hospitals and charities, these are not nice people and the Brotherhood is banned in several Arab countries for good reason.
That alone would seem to make her, if not a security risk, then at least a legitimate subject of inquiry. Yet when Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and four other House Republicans raised the issue, they were crucified.
Why? It’s a legitimate question and need not be asked in an offensive way. Many Americans with Eastern European ties went though the same during the Cold War.
But – and this is a big but, Abedin dresses in ways that would get her beaten by the muttawas (religious police) in Saudi Arabia, and married a Jew!
Among fundamentalist Muslims in Saudi Arabia or her mother’s native Pakistan, she would be murdered by her own family for this!
All of this is of course meat and drink to conspiracy theorists. But paranoia aside, what does it all mean?
I don’t know, but it sure is weird!
As predicted, there have been riots in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. Nothing really big so far, but there’s been a fair amount of property damage and some serious but so far non-lethal assaults on whites and Hispanics.
I reacted differently. I bought a canoe.
Well I was going to anyway, but it was sort of waiting on paying off some bills, studying, getting some fairly serious dental work done etc etc.
But after something occurred to me, I went and put it on the credit card, something I try not to do for things which are strictly indulgences.
So what happened?
A few things had been preying on my mind. The first of which was, it’s been more and more evident from information that’s come to light that Trayvon Martin was not the innocent little 11-year-old cherub in the only pictures the media seems to have been able to dig up.
Trayvon Martin was a punk, well on his way to becoming a career criminal.
But he was that sweet 11-year-old in the picture – once.
What happened to him?
Obviously he fell into a toxic youth culture that glorifies drug use, violence and treating women like dirt.
But he didn’t come from that culture, his parents seem to be good and decent folks. His mother has acted with restraint and class. I think she’s wrong about some things and I don’t think she’s quite ready to face the truth about her son, and I think I’d react in exactly the same way.
His father… I don’t know. He was divorced and living with his girlfriend, but he was living in a good neighborhood and no reports have surfaced that any of his neighbors had complaints about him. And he did take his son in when he got into trouble in his home town.
I like many others, heaped well-deserved scorn on President Obama when he said, “If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon Martin” during an ongoing legal case.
I had a great deal of fun with Obama’s statement that he could have been Martin 35 years ago.
Then I realized there was a point buried in that ill-timed expression of opinion.
Obama was the product of a broken home, as was Trayvon Martin, as are my children.
Obama’s father left him at an early age and saw him precisely once in his life thereafter. He has had to live with the pain of loss and abandonment all his life.
Trayvon Martin’s father and mother divorced when he was a child. I have no idea what the particulars are, but evidently his father married again, divorced again, and was living with his newest girlfriend in another city. I’m sure he loved his son, but obviously didn’t see him as much as a father who lived with him would have.
My son is acutely aware that though his mother loves him, she has other priorities that take precedence over him at this time in her life. My children live with me in a city fairly far from their mother.
Some years back there was an argument between child-rearing experts as to who had the most influence on a child’s development. The majority opinion argued parents have. A vocal minority argued that a child’s peer group has greater influence.
What I remembered than was that at the time I thought both sides were missing the point entirely. The greatest influence on a child is going to be those who he or she spends the most time with, whoever they are.
That’s when I decided not to wait and bought the canoe.
Two in a canoe are alone together and have to communicate. They are cooperating closely to accomplish something substantial, propelling the canoe through the water without capsizing. There’s an element of risk involved that requires care and forethought to keep safe. There is a ladder of accomplishment one can ascend, from learning the basics in calm water to negotiating swift-flowing rivers.
And there’s no TV, no computers, no videogames, and you’ve got your hands too full to text constantly.
Life passes all too swiftly for all of us, but it’s passing at breakneck speed for a child. If you keep meaning to do something with your kids, you may find the time to do it has passed while your were otherwise occupied.
I am afraid of the effects of a toxic culture on my children. That’s why I mean to be the most significant influence in their lives while they are growing up.
Because the child of a broken home might grow up to be the president of the United States, but then again he might grow up to die at 17 after assaulting a man with a gun.
Note: This is my weekly syndicated column and I have also cross-posted it on my professional blog. I usually delay posting my columns, but I think this is important. I take being a journalist seriously and I am deeply and personally offended by this kind of media misconduct.
Well the the Zimmerman trial is over, and the war has begun.
People are lining up on opposite sides of the question of whether a murderer got away, or Zimmerman never should have been charged to begin with.
I have my own opinion but nobody’s going to change their minds and I’m not even going to try.
I’d just like to point out that whatever your opinion is, the conduct of the national media throughout this whole tragic affair has been disgraceful.
Whether you think there was a miscarriage of justice in the verdict or it was legal oppression to even bring the charges, there’s lots of blame to go around.
President Obama weighed in on a strictly local issue with his statement that if he had a son he’d look like Trayvon Martin.
Did the president, an attorney with a degree from Harvard Law, stop for one minute to consider he was doing what’s called “peeing in the jury pool”?
After the president of the United States has given an opinion on a trial that has not even gotten underway I’d think the defense would have grounds for a change of venue to Outer Mongolia!
Worse, it’s been revealed Eric Holder’s Justice Department sent people down to Florida to assist in organizing demonstrations and force the resignation of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee.
The Reverend Al Sharpton was of course on hand throughout. Sharpton is a prominent media figure with his own radio talk show, “Keepin’ It Real,” and a regular on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.
He has also incited two riots in his career. In one a Jewish Yeshiva student was stabbed to death by a mob shouting “Kill the Jews,” (Crown Heights, 1991). In another seven people died of smoke inhalation after a protester set fire to a shopping mall (Freddies Fashion Mart, 1995). Class act networks.
ABC rushed to judgment after examining a police surveillance video and concluded “Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman.”
In fact Zimmerman had two black eyes, a broken nose, and a cut right across the back of his head consistent with it being slammed against a curb. ABC says the video was blurry. Or maybe it was blurred.
CNN examined the audio of the 911 call and announced Zimmerman had used a racial epithet.
Wrong. Turned out no such thing and CNN had to grudgingly retract.
NBC went one better and creatively edited the transcript of the tape to make it look like Zimmerman was a racist.
They’ve just apologized, called it “a mistake” and promised cross their heart they’ll never do it again.
And of course there is that newly coined term “white Hispanic” they came up with after they found out Zimmerman wasn’t white after all.
Has anyone considered that the media coverage pretty much guaranteed grounds for appeal if Zimmerman had been convicted?
Has anyone who thinks Zimmerman is guilty of a lesser charge such as manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide, wondered if the media circus motivated the prosecution (now facing possible misconduct charges) to go for murder two rather than something they might actually have gotten a conviction on?
Has anyone begun to suspect the networks are practically salivating over the prospects of some nice juicy riots to cover?
Those of us who toil at local papers sometimes have our noses rubbed in the fact that local journalism is often done very well while national journalism is often done very poorly.
Yeah, that could be sour grapes, but the fact is we live here. Our communities are small enough for us to get to know in depth. This gives us an advantage over national media, whose experience with the issues they cover is often superficial.
And because we live here we know we and our children would suffer the consequences if we ginned up hatred and divisions among our community just to sell papers. The talking heads of big media suffer no such consequences, they go home to their gated communities and security protected high-rises and look for the next big score.
Well Gov. Dayton has signed the marriage equality act, and depending on which side you line up on either the sky if falling or Minnesota has leaped into the forefront of human progress.
I’ve advanced my notions on this issue before, and been roundly condemned by both sides. But fools rush in…
Am I the only one who thinks this is the biggest non-issue today?
In Your Humble Narrator’s opinion, marriage is two things, sacred and secular.
Marriage in the secular sense is a legal contract involving obligations of support, rights of inheritance, the power to act for another in the case of incapacity, etc.
Does anyone see anything absolutely gender-specific about this? I’m not a lawyer, but it doesn’t seem so to me. Or at least not anything that minor modifications wouldn’t adjust it to the needs of gay couples. To my non-professional eye it looks rather like a legal adoption except that the rights and obligations are equal and reciprocal.
Marriage is also a religious sacrament. In the Catholic church one of seven: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.
My understanding is that when an ordained priest or minister performs a marriage he/she also serves as a registrar for the local government and gets a small fee for filing the appropriate papers.
It’s not done this way everywhere. In many countries in Europe couples have two ceremonies, one at the local government office and one in church. In some places they do this in the morning and afternoon, but I knew couples in Poland who waited years and had a few kids before getting around to the church wedding.
My children’s Polish grandparents had a church wedding in the city of Wroclaw – at 6 o’clock in the morning with a witness they literally dragged in off the sidewalk, because grandpa was an officer in the Army of the Polish People’s Republic and he was terrified the Party would find out he’d been married in church.
But I digress. My point is, aren’t we supposed to have something called “separation of church and state” in this country?
What business is it of the state to define what marriage is? Shouldn’t the role of government be confined to registering the contract and enforcing the provisions thereof if necessary?
The question of marriage in the sacred sense is the business of the churches. If yours does it, fine.
If it doesn’t, agitate for change or join another. Or start your own, it’s the Californian Way.
DO NOT demand the state force your church to do it. Whether you agree or disagree with the stand of your or anybody else’s church, that separation thing works both ways.
The only issue remaining is whether society at large is going to recognize same-sex couples as married.
Can’t help you there, people think as they please. Some will, some won’t. In the long run…. we’ll see.
Note: Cross-posted on my professional blog at the Marshall Independent.
Darn it! Another case of Celebrities Behaving Badly, and this time with one I kind of liked.
Reese Witherspoon and her husband Jim Toth were arrested and very briefly held in Atlanta, he for alleged DUI and she for allegedly disobeying the police officer’s instruction to remain in her vehicle during the traffic stop.
Instead she allegedly got out and said, “Do you know my name?”
When he officer answered, “No, I don’t need to know your name.”
Witherspoon replied, “You’re about to find out who I am … You are going to be on national news.”
The lady has since publicly apologized, saying, “Clearly I had one to many to drink,” and that she was “deeply embarrassed.”
Well, she should be. The apology was well made, but that “Don’t you know who I am?” attitude rankles.
You’re a person Reese, a citizen of the United States just like the rest of us. Entitled to all of the same constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure, arbitrary arrest, right to remain silent (which I bet you’re wishing you’d exercised now) etc.
But no more!
This is America, we’re not suppose to have privileged classes here.
Yes I know, there are people who act like they are, and too durned often they get away with it. But that’s not the way it’s supposed to work and where do you get off copping an attitude like it should work that way for you?
That order to stay in the car was for your benefit! Routine traffic stops are one of the two situations cops most often get killed in. The other is domestic disturbance calls. If hubby was being belligerent as alleged, that cop was likely getting nervous.
And how’d you get that notion you’re entitled to special treatment from the law anyway? Your dad was a military doctor just like mine, not Hollywood royalty. You grew up in the South, not Beverly Hills.
Sure you’ve been a model since you were seven years old, and now a movie star and producer.
But didn’t somebody named Reese Witherspoon once say, “I just don’t see any of it as that remarkable. Maybe that’s the attitude I choose to have to keep me sane and keep my feet on the ground.”
You ought to listen to that gal.