Rick Santorum says Hollywood is the devil’s playground

Former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum called the film industry “the devil’s playground” as he sought to promote his own film, The Christmas Candle.

Santorum, Republican senator for Pennsylvania between 1995 and 2007 attempted to gain the presidential nomination in 2012 but was defeated by Mitt Romney. He is now CEO of EchoLight Studios, who specifically aim to make family-oriented faith films, and The Christmas Candle, starring Clash of the Titans’ Hans Matheson, is their latest release.

Santorum, a devout Catholic, was speaking on the Christian-oriented Trinity Broadcasting Network about the film, and said: “This is a tough business, this is something that we’re stepping out … and the devil, for a long, long time, has had this, these screens, for his playground. And he isn’t going to give it up easily.”

Santorum also issued a call for the faithful to put their hands in their pockets and pay to see the film and help his business. He said: “I ask for your prayers for me, for our company, for TBN, for all of those involved in The Christmas Candle, and we just want to thank you in advance for everything that you are going to do to help in making this a successful venture.”

No one milks the obedient faithful like fundamentalist hustlers. Santorum has avoided seriously working for a living right on through his political career straight into movies for the fearful.

Poisonally, I can’t see why he’s worried. True Believers are often easy marks for just about any kind of hustle. If one of the hustlers is exposed as a crook, there are always two or three more ready to take their place.

Iceland is tops in gender equality – did the US make the Top 10? how about the Top 20?

Iceland is the most advanced country in the world in gender equality, the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report said Friday.

The report ranks 136 countries on their abilities to close the gender gap in four key areas — economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, and educational attainment.

Iceland was ranked No. 1 for the fifth year in a row, with Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Philippines coming in second through fifth, respectively, the report said…

Germany was the highest-ranked G20 country at 14th, falling by one place from 2012. Britain stayed the same at 18th, Canada moved up a spot to 20th and the United States fell a spot to 23rd. Russia ranked 61st, China 69th and India 101st. The lowest ranking countries were Chad at 134th, Pakistan at 135th and Yemen at 136th.

You can download the whole report over here.

There were a couple of surprises. You’d think with the emphasis placed on gender-equality awareness by the Obama White House, the US might have progressed a little bit. Sadly, no.

Gun retailers support expanded criteria for denying gun purchases

A scientific survey of gun dealers and pawnbrokers in 43 U.S. states has found nearly unanimous support for denying gun purchases based on prior convictions and for serious mental illness with a history of violence or alcohol or drug abuse – conditions that might have prevented Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis from legally purchasing a firearm…

The research is the third report from the UC Davis’ Firearm Licensee Survey, which assessed support among federally licensed firearms retailers for a background check requirement on all firearm transfers and selected criteria for denying handgun purchases.

The survey is believed to be the first of its kind to gather the views of federally licensed firearms dealers and pawnbrokers on important social issues and the firearms business itself…

The survey found that most respondents (55.4 percent) supported a comprehensive background check requirement, with 37.5 percent strongly favoring it. Of those who favored comprehensive background checks, the strength of their support corresponded to the degree that respondents agreed it is too easy for criminals to get guns, recommended more severe sentences for illegal firearm purchasing and provided higher estimates on the prevalence of illegal gun sales by other retailers.

By wide margins, respondents endorsed three existing policies that deny handgun purchases to individuals convicted of aggravated assault involving a lethal weapon or causing serious injury, armed robbery, or domestic violence. They also strongly supported six of nine potential denial criteria proposed in the survey.

As federal and state policies on eligibility to purchase and possess firearms and background check requirements for firearm transfers are undergoing intensive review and, in some cases, modification, the views of gun retailers on illegal gun sales and other criminal activity among buyers and retailers could help legislators devise equitable gun laws.

Not especially surprising except that the study is worth noting – representatives of dealerships and dealers’ associations will be called upon to offer comment and testimony on future legislation.

I haven’t had a discussion with anyone in the retail end of the gun business over changing times in about 10 years or so. The last time I bought a new gun. But, I imagine that an educated self-interest in law is a necessity for today’s gun retailers.