Climate Change and Weather

Interestingly enough, today’s article got caught in my feed for who knows why, but I found it interesting. It touches on the relationship between weather and climate change. I found it interesting because it is not a part of the usual media frenzy about all things climate related, AND the person they talk about in the article is Steven Koonin, who was an energy tzar under Obama, of all people. When the Left starts saying that climate change and weather are not as fragile as the media says, we might be making headway.

I am a firm believer in the idea that we should not shit in our own nests. This means we ought to stop tossing garbage everywhere, and we should continue to find new and better ways to package stuff that doesn’t leave behind a floating garbage patch the size of Texas in our oceans. We should stop putting microbeads of plastic into facial cleansers, because we’re starting to find them in commerical fish. We should be considering what’s going on with Splenda, if only because it seems to be entering our waterways in much the same way it entered us, which means we’re peeing it out in the same formulation it went in.

There is a lot of stuff we can all agree on is Bad. The garbage patch in the ocean. Overfishing or overhunting to the point where we no longer get to enjoy our foods. Working on eliminating food deserts. We ought to be focusing on the things everyone (or the vast majority) agrees on, and that we can make progress on. The Left can argue until it’s blue in the face that oceans are warming, and there will be people who deny it, others who support it, and a group in the middle who are confused over why it matters. Whatever the facts are, that argument is going nowhere, so let’s walk away from it and actually get something done.

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New York Times wants credit card companies to manage our lives

The New York Times published and article titled How Banks Could Control Gun Sales if Washington Won’t.

In the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 students and staff members — and at a time when Washington shows little interest in limiting the sales of assault weapons — there’s a real opportunity for the business community to fill the void and prove that all that talk about moral responsibility isn’t hollow.

Here’s an idea.

What if the finance industry — credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express; credit card processors like First Data; and banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — were to effectively set new rules for the sales of guns in America?

The author didn’t know that back in 2016, Wells Fargo actually did that to Hogue.  PayPal and Square did the same thing.

PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay announced years ago that they would not allow their services to be used for the sale of firearms.

“We do not believe permitting the sale of firearms on our platform is consistent with our values or in the best interests of our customers,” a spokesman for Square told me.

Now the author wants the rest of the banking industry to do the same.

If Mastercard were to do the same, assault weapons would be eliminated from virtually every firearms store in America because otherwise the sellers would be cut off from the credit card system

There is precedent for credit card issuers to ban the purchase of completely legal products. Just this month, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America banned the use of their cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

To be clear: Those three banks won’t let you use your credit card to buy Bitcoin, but they will happily let you use it to buy an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle — the same kind of gun used in mass shootings in Parkland; Newtown, Conn.; San Bernardino, Calif.; Las Vegas; and Sutherland Springs, Tex.

Bitcoin is used in the international trade of drugs, guns, contraband, even human slaves.  This is very different than the legal purchase of a legal product in the US.  To equate a crypto-currency used to fund terrorism and in money laundering with buying a rifle at Cabela’s is morally repugnant.

But what else would you expect from the NYT?

Visa, oddly enough, is the card of choice of the N.R.A.: There is actually an N.R.A.-branded Visa card issued by First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha. And Mastercard proudly announced last year that it was the branded card for Cabela’s, an outdoor gear megastore with a seemingly limitless assault-weapon catalog.

And I have over $300 in Cabela’s points.  I prefer them to air miles.  I hate to travel, I use my kids day care bills to buy ammo for IDPA matches.

If Visa and Mastercard are unwilling to act on this issue, the credit card processors and banks that issue credit cards could try. Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, which issues credit cards and owns a payment processor, has talked about how he and his bank have “a moral obligation but also a deeply vested interest” in helping “solve pressing societal challenges.” This is your chance, Mr. Dimon. 

And here’s a variation on the same theme: What if the payment processing industry’s biggest customers — companies like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, AT&T, CVS and others that regularly talk about “social responsibility” — collectively pressured the industry to do it? There’s a chance that some of the payment processors would stop handling gun sales. Perhaps their voices would help push one of the banks to step out and lead?

It is amazing how fast the Left went from Occupy Wall Street “big banks are bad” to “lets use the big banks for social change.”

Another critique is that it is impossible to prevent every shooting, no matter how guns are restricted. And the banks’ actions would affect millions of their own law-abiding customers, effectively dictating what they can and cannot buy.

That is all true.  But to him, the inconvenience to gun owners is more of a feature than a bug.

The most troubling aspect of having the finance industry try to restrict gun sales is that it would push the most dangerous guns into an untraceable world where sales would depend on cash. That’s true. All things considered, though, it would make it considerably harder to even find such guns.

This moron has no idea how much of the gun world is already a cash business.  Cash is king.

None of this is a panacea. But it’s a start. It takes leadership and courage — exactly what these executives say they have. If they don’t want to back up their words with actions, the next time there’s a school shooting that prompts a conversation about gun companies, it should also include the financial complex that supports them.

Ultimately, what this idiot wants is the banks to be our moral betters.  He wants the banks to have control over our lives, approving what we buy and how we live.

Putting that kind of power in the hands of banks is horrifying.  Will the environmentalists convince the banks not to finance SUVs, trucks, or non-fuel efficient vehicles?  What about alcohol or tobacco or any other industry.  There are diamonds that still come from slave mines in Africa, maybe we can organize the banks to stop dealing with the jewelry industry.  The iPhone is made by Chinese slaves, with coltan dug by African slaves.  Maybe banks should end all financial ties to and not process sales with Apple.

The thing is, this would be all but useless.  There is always cash, but there is a lot more than cash available.   I’ve bought guns with gold fillings when the price of gold shot up over $1,500/oz and the local pawn and gun was buying gold at a premium.

Then there is entrepreneurship.  PayPal only dates back to 1998.  Please for the love of fuck pull the banking industry out of gun sales.

In 2015, the firearms and ammunition industry did $13.5 billion in sales, and gun stores did $3.1 billion. 

I got a buddy on Wall Street I can get backing from.  I will create online gun sales processing dotcom – and rake in my cut of that money.

But it’s that $13.5 billion that is the answer.  Are the banks really going to give that up?  Ruger did over $400 million in sales last year.  Remington did $700 million.  Vista Outdoors did $2.5 billion.

Is the whole of the banking industry going to walk away from that much money?

I doubt it.  If they do, the rush to replace it will happen overnight.

The Left is pulling out all the stops after Parkland.  There is no idea too absurd that they won’t suggest.

This one is bad, but it will get worse.


Please Stop, You’re Not Helping.


Rest safe citizens of Ferguson, the Oath Keepers are on patrol!

On second thought… this is EXACTLY the wrong kind of image to be center state in Ferguson right now.  I get it, there is civil unrest.  A year ago there was looting and vandalism and riots.  You want somebody to keep the peace.  But this isn’t helping.

The reality as to what happened in Missouri a year ago are irrelevant at this point.  The narrative is in control this particular train and has the throttle wide open going into a dead man’s curve.  As far as the media and the public conscience are concerned there are only three important facts: dead black kid, white shooter, militaristic response by police to social injustice.  Guess what, the media just can’t wait for you to take a shot at another unarmed black kid to use you as an exemplar of the “racist, paranoid, white assault rifle owner.”

Go away.  I don’t care if you really were a Ranger or if you only played one online, you are fanning the flames and making the rest of us look bad.  And before you call me a hypocrite, the Koreans on the rooftops during the LA Riots were defending their business, not patrolling the streets looking like a Blackwater contractor guarding a VIP in the Green Zone.  Go home and get out of the spot light.  I don’t want to lose my AR because you didn’t know when to leave yours locked in the safe.

Peeve: Pistol Packin’

When I took English 101 in college (frightening experience for somebody who recently finished ESOL) one of the things I got chided about was how often I used cliches on my assignments. The teacher kindly explained that overused expressions are an easy way out but that they detracted from my work. The only thing I could tell him was that they were not cliches but rather fresh expressions for a foreigner like me.  He understood my position but still kicked my butt and I had to thank him for that.

That brings me to the most hated (by me) derogatory cliche used by media against any gun owner: Pistol Packing or its even more insulting Pistol Packin’. Do notice it is not Pistol Packing but Pistol Packin‘ as if we were missing a front tooth as to enhance the notion that people who carry guns are somehow crossbred retards.

How is it that deciding to be responsible for your own safety became a topic of derision by the “enlightened” ones is beyond me.  Then again this is America and if it is your choice to be an Useless Unarmed Idiot, you do have that right. And I do hope I don’t have to read your sob story on how a gang of miscreants used you as a ATM/Punching Bag/Sex Toy and ask me to feel sorry for you.

Slanted a bit, aren’t we?

From KLFY, Lafayette, LA.

Murder May Be Self Defense

Doucet allegedly made his way into the home armed with a pipe wrench and in search of the homeowner.  He eventually found him, but the homeowner was armed as well, with a four ten shotgun.  Detectives say he then shot Doucet and killed him

Is it me or can you actually hear the disappointment oozing out of the article.

Chicken Little TV Style.

So here in South Florida we are preparing for Tropical Storm Bonnie. The windy babe should start hitting us sometime in the next couple of hours and this is the forecast for tomorrow according to the National Weather Service:

Friday: Tropical storm conditions possible. Rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. High near 88. Heat index values as high as 101. East wind 28 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

While nothing to sneeze about, South Florida is pretty much well set up for a small,  medium or large size Tropical Storm.  I don’t think most of us bothers with shutters unless we are guaranteed a Cat 1 Hurricane with winds close to 85 mph and then only because it is too complicated to deal with the damn panels. Flooding will be the issue mostly because we are flat and water has pretty much nowhere to run to once the canals are at full capacity. Since May, everybody from the Mayor to the any of the street vendors between Calle Ocho and Flagler Street, keep remind us about hurricane preparations. Some more than others are prepared for them following the trifecta of beans, bullets and band-aids and have become experts at following storm paths and analyzing radar returns, infra red water vapor satellite images and keeping an eye on the seagulls to see if the show up all of the sudden west of I-75.

The collective of our local Channel 7 is losing their ever loving minds with this storm. If you pay any more than five seconds of attention to their broadcast, you swear that Andrew and Katrina are pissed off and about to pay us a nasty visit. And of course, there is the fringe of idiots that will go nuts and actually believe we are going to have Armageddon Part 2 so they rush out to buy everything off the shelves because they heard the “news.” By Sunday afternoon they will be trying to figure out what they are going to do with 500 hot dogs with corresponding buns, 10 cases of Sams Cola, one metric ton of self starting charcoal and the three cases of Captain Morgan (You can’t have a Florida weather event without rum or at least a decent amount of related spirits and I am not exaggerating about the hot dogs, I saw that once.)

This type of news are counter productive. I am all for preparations and being forewarned, but doing a Chicken Little Live On The Scene only serves for people to ignore future and possibly dangerous events. People get tired of wasting time, money and peace of mind for some heavy rains and a gust of wind. So my dear friends in Channel 7 News, chill out and STFU.

Since losing power for a couple of days might be a possibility, I might be forced to take a little vacation from the blog. I’ll see you guys on the other side!

Update: I was afraid that our Saturday IDPA match might be canceled, but this just got posted in our club’s forum.

The storm should be well past us by Friday night. 

So—- it will be sweet and clean after the rain……

Come on out on Saturday so you can practice for the looters.