Miami Herald

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.


McDonald: Tired Old Arguments from the Miami Herald.

My dear local rag never fails to give me material when I need it.

OUR OPINION: High court’s latest gun ruling hurts communities

And the community organize in D.C. is doing such a great work. Just ask Louisiana, Texas and Florida.

Monday was a very good day for the National Rifle Association and a very bad day for the sensible state and local officials in this country who want to curb the level of gun violence in their communities.

The good folks who elated the NRA are the five U.S. Supreme Court justices who ruled that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of a person’s right to bear arms applies to state and local gun-control regulations….

You guys live in Florida, right? Not sending editorials via email from New York or something. Maybe you did not get the memo, but since 1987 no “local Official” is allowed to create gun control laws out of thin air. Only the Legislature is allowed to create or modify gun laws. And the same goes for many states with the terrible consequence that….nothing bad has happened.

This is the first time the high court has found that the U.S. Constitution restricts state and municipal gun-control powers, and it is a hard blow to communities struggling to eradicate gun violence.

Communities like Chicago where His Excellence Daley had absolute control and Law Abiding Citizens were unable to buy a handgun to defend themselves have not been having any luck curbing the gun violence. In fact, the criminals are happy as kids in a three-day pass to DisneyWorld because they have this vast pool of victims to choose, rob and murder. But why let the facts get stubbornly in the way?

Many local and state gun regulations will be fair game to legal challenges because the court majority was vague about how far the Second Amendment should be extended on gun ownership. Just as there are limits on citizens’ free speech there should also be limits on gun ownership — but what those limits can be is now pretty murky.

Please notice the sentence in italics: Limits on Citizens! The Miami Herald has no shame in telling you that it is OK to restrict your right to Free Speech yet there is no mention of them willing to abide by the same “principle.” This is a prime example of the elitism in the Media where you, the common folk is nothing more than an uncultivated common folks.

Can states still require background checks for weapons purchases? Can states outlaw sales of assault weapons while allowing pistols and rifles to be sold? Can cities or states put limits on transactions at gun shows? Where is the line to be drawn between the right to own a gun and the public’s right to feel safe?

At the Chicago City Limits?

… as Justice Steven Breyer pointed out in his dissent. He argued — correctly — that Chicago’s handgun ban had saved many hundreds of lives since its enactment in 1983, which pointed in favor of deferring to local elected officials in deciding how to control guns.

And how does Justice Breyer know this? Did the city of Chicago presented affidavits from potential murderers saying “I wuz gonna kill me some bitches, but since there ain’t no gun stores in Chicago, I decided that was not cool.”? Just plain unadulterated bovine post-digestive by-product.

In his opinion for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that, “individual self-defense is the central component of the Second Amendment right.” That is one view, to be sure. But by tying the hands of state and local governments in regulating firearms, who will be left defend and protect gun-toters’ potential victims?

As usual the Miami Herald mixes criminals with Law Abiding citizens. If we own guns, we are as bad as your local ganbanger. It would be too much of a stretch for the Herald bullshit slingers editors to actually check the darn numbers issued by Florida Division of Licensing Statistical Reports on Concealed Carry individuals and their crimes. The numbers are so damn low they are almost statistically irrelevant. But again, why bother with the facts. Facts make you think, facts make you challenge your standard narrative, facts are scary because they shake your little ivory tower built on the sand of Liberal politics.

It is more comforting having them uncultivated common folks die without the chance to defend themselves.

Enviromentalism stretched just a bit wee much.

I read the following, got up, made myself some coffee, ingested it and sat down again to re-read because I thought it was a trick played by my just awoken mind.

Why are The Miami Herald and other news outlets so quick to label common-sense survival activities in Haiti as “looting”? According to news reports, there are few if any grocery stores open for business in Port-au-Prince, and vast quantities of donated food have yet to be distributed. Meanwhile, there are tens of thousands of people without food, water and shelter.

There also are tons of debris to be removed from the streets. In these circumstances, removal of any useful items before arrival of the bulldozers seems like the sensible, humanitarian, environmentally friendly and cost-effective thing to do.

The missive to the “editors’ was written by Helene B. Dudley of Miami. After a quick Google search, I found out that Ms. Dudley belongs to the group Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida.God Bless them for the service they performed, but bundling looting to environmental clean-up is akin to associate a stabbing during a mugging to a life-saving open heart surgery.

I won’t comment on the legality of having to steal food and water from a store to survive a catastrophe like that, but I don’t care how flexible is anybody’s imagination, to think that looters are doing so for environmental causes is just idiocy. If anything, looting might be bad for Gaia since people do not know what kind of chemicals and poisons, crushed but contained by the debris will now be released and spread to the four winds in the legs of looters. Contaminated items will pass hand to hand making people sick and overburdening even more the tight situation in Haiti.

Oh and by the way. The traditional looting custom of burning up the ransacked stores after they are pillaged seems to be running against sound environmental principals and are serious increase in the carbon footprint that will kill our planet.

I need another coffee.

How the mighty have fallen.

I have not subscribed or picked up a copy of the Miami Herald for over a year. Right after the election I decided that while it is always good to know what the “enemy” was thinking”, it was time for me to stop subsidizing their proselytizing ways besides I could catch them online for free. During that time I caught news from other sources talking about the harsh times and cuts that the Herald was forced to implement to survive but I really didn’t give it too much of a thought till this last couple of mornings where I was given what passes for the Miami Herald nowadays.

WHOA! The paper has dwindle to almost nothing. You can actually get more paper in the almost daily sales pamphlets that come with the junk mail. But the collapse goes beyond amount of pages, even the quality of the printing and design has taken a vacation (or maybe it was downsized along with many staff) and has the quality of a high school paper that was printed in a rush and with other things in mind.

One thing it has not changed has been the quality of the news and articles printed. They still reek of left wing political machine without a care for the people in Miami Dade County. If you happen to bump into a supposedly “caring” article, be sure you would end up reading about how the plight of that person was the fault of the Republicans/Bush/Chenney/Gun Nuts/Cuban Embargo/etc. The editorial page is still plagued with the same old “vote democrat” and “give our corrupts left wing politicians a chance…again,” and the columnists have not changed their tune: Leonard Pitts, the Herald’s version of both Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, can’t wait to blame everything on the non-black people. Andre Oppenheimer still lives with the contradiction of his socialist dream and having to comment on the piss poor job of Fidel, Hugo and the rest of the new Latin American Socialism. And Carl Hiaassen is still having involuntary ejaculations every time he sees or hears Obama mentioned somehow.

The sad part is that the Herald blames everybody but themselves for their collapse. The economy (Bush’s fault of course), the internet (they should blame Gore but you don’t mess with the Pope of Global Warming), Republicans in general, bloggers, Climate Change, lack of hurricanes and even the guy that sells churros in the corner of W. 49th street and Palm Avenue. They never figured that as a paper, they must report the news without bias (or at least not so blatant) and properly reflect the community they serve. And here is the missing key and magic word: serve. The Miami Herald long ago forgot that they were a part of a community which wants information and turned into a medium that told the community what to think and how to act. Their attitude and message reeked with snobbish attitude which did not settle well with us, it never admitted wrongdoing (other than a few misprints) and strutted like a proud peacock announcing to its local world that they were better than anybody else. Now they are paying the price.

The Miami Herald has been up for sale for a while now and cannot find a buyer even for the land! And we are talking juicy real state right on the water a spit away from Miami Beach and the tourist zone which every single tourist tour and cruise ship stops to unload cash money. Even if the real state market is crappy right now, anybody with some business sense knows that the land will be worth untold millions whenever we get out of the benefits of the Obama economic plans.

I do have to make a correction. There is one issue in which the Miami Herald does provide a benefit for the community: The coupons in the Sunday Edition. The rest of the week you can pretty much use the newspaper to wrap avocados in need of ripening.

Fear & Loathing if you do not conform.

You have to love the Miami Herald’s Jim Morin.  Last November, the New Camelot Ideal was elected, took power in January to the orgasmic happiness of the Left and nine months later things are not as pinkish as they hoped. Taking a cue from the old political scheme books, the fault must be placed not where it belongs but in the perceived enemies: Those who dare to voice their opposition. Accuse them. Try to display them as off the Ultra Right/Racist/Terrorists so the negative attention shifts on them and let the blame game begin. Or if that does not work, ignore them and eventually they will go away. Do not report their achievements (unless they can be displayed in a very negative light) or simply make fun of them shinning a spot light of ridicule on them. Once you have public support against the opposition, create the legislation to hinder them or just criminalize them. If you are successful, you have a free and unencumbered way to your political success.

Only one problem: Nobody trusts the Media anymore. 70% of Americans now believe that the MSM is inaccurate, partisan and irreversible one-sided according to a study by Pew Research Center. How sad is that? Imagine that you are a journalist stepping out of your house to go to work and out of ten of your neighbors, seven firmly believe you are a lying scum. How can you live with that? Then again maybe I am giving journalist the benefit of the doubt and thinking that they are regular folks incapable of being so low, but I know many that think otherwise. Besides, how many times can you be so wrong, so one sided, not correct your stance and still face you fellow human beings without shame printed all over your face?

Maybe they don’t care or have shame after all. They are doing it because they know what’s best for us and they only have their best intentions at heart. Maybe it is time they should be so conceited, have a heart attack and leave me to my own decisions and way of life.

Fearmongering & the Art of Stupidity

Myriam Marquez is a columnist for the Miami Herald which is my local rag. She published her column today regarding those evil assault weapons that are murdering tons of people in the Miami Dade County area.  How Ms. Marquez ever got a job at the Miami Herald as a writer is amazing and indicative of the level of desperation that the editorial board must be feeling although it is more likely a case of political correctness run amok because they needed a woman in the column section.

Ms. Marquez starts her rubbish by painting a horrifying picture of a “massacre” that happened recently in Liberty City. Apparently an AK 47 all on its own sprayed a group of people playing craps outside some apartment complex and it is suspected that the same or similar AK 47 (again on its own) was involved in a shooting in Brownsville. These Zombies AK 47 have become a curse because they don’t need human intervention to do their mayhem.

She tries to make up after that Horror Movie introduction with the snappy comment :

Oh, excuse me. Weapons don’t kill people. People do. Except the weapon that criminals use can make the difference between death and survival.

OK, we are doing better now. It seems that after all, there was somebody actually behind the AK 47s. For a second I was actually worried that we were being invaded by possessed rifles. But then she makes the first of her really incendiary comments, an insult to millions os law abiding Gun Owners:

Assault weapons are meant to do the dirty on cops.

All of the sudden, we are nothing more that potential cop killers. We are beasts ready to pounce on the Thin Blue Line. We are scum. How sad for Ms. Marquez to think that the actual group of people that supports your average Law Enforcement Officer is nothing more than Mass Murderers.

She goes on to spew the standard lies and fabrications probably fed by the Brady Campaign without double checking the sources. The best is how murders by those Evil Zombie Assault Weapons now are responsible for 20% of the murders in Miami during 2007. Now that is funny because according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami Dade county had 240 murders during that period and if the stat she mention is right, 60 of those murders were committed by those Evil Zombie Assault Weapons. Funny thing is that in any Newspaper in this country, 60 murders by “Assault Weapon” would make a huge front page splash… except the Miami Herald who it seems it was not newsworthy or cooler heads thought they can only push a lie so far.  But pushing lies seems to be the norm for Ms. Marquez. her column states that machine guns have been banned for decades although I just had an enjoyable night of shooting with the owner of a suppressed machine gun in one of our public ranges. You see, machine guns are not banned, they are restricted, they are expensive but if you have the money and the patience, you can own one and legally shoot it. I guess Ms. Marquez chose to ignore such little tidbit in her “fifth column.”

And here we have another jewel:

I grew up with guns, have owned and shot them at target practice. So I get it. But there’s no valid reason for hunters to have assault weapons or for city folks to own them unless they plan to kill en masse.

Ms. Marquez clearly belongs to that group that has a serious visual impairment: In the infrequent case that when they read the Bill Of Rights, a congenital optical defects makes the Second Amendment disappear or transforms itself to read something about the right of hunters to carry arms whenever the Government says so. It seems that Ms. Marquez reading is limited to The Motorcycle Diaries and never heard of the Federalist Papers or the Anti Federalist Papers or she would never said such left wing baloney. And let’s not skip on the insult once again: You have an Evil Black Rifle, you are nothing more than a mass murderer.

She goes on to quote Mayor Manny Diaz and Police Chief John “I drive a free SUV” Timoney crying about the increase of murders and how easy is now for the gangs to obtain the Evil Black Rifles. However crime numbers from the FDLE website reveal that after Chief John Timoney took office in January of 2003, crime shot up in Miami Dade but the Assault Weapons Ban did not expire until September of 2004. So it seems more a question of ineffective Police leadership than guns after all. Maybe the true mass murderers are not those of us with Evil Black Rifles but the Mayor and the Police Chief with the tactical support of Journalistic Whores.

To Be Continued…