by baldilocks

Title sung to the melody of John Lennon’s Imagine, appropriately enough.

They always tell you what they’re planning and the plan always involves control of two things: you and your money.

From Aaron Sorkin at the New York Times:

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?

Collectively, they have more leverage over the gun industry than any lawmaker. And it wouldn’t be hard for them to take a stand.

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.

The big financial firms don’t even have to go that far.

For example, Visa, which published a 71-page paper in 2016 espousing its “corporate responsibility,” could easily change its terms of service to say that it won’t do business with retailers that sell assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, which make semiautomatic rifles fire faster. (Even the National Rifle Association has said it would support tighter restrictions on bump stocks.)

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.

And there’s more.

There are other sectors of the finance industry that could step up. For example, Lloyd’s of London is the favored insurance company for gun shows. It could pull out.

You want a financial meltdown? This is how you get one. Most of those who would be against this and who can afford weapons can just pull their money out of these institutions. And what happens to the institutions?  And what happens next? And after that?

I’m not financially literate enough to predict the specific consequences of such thing, but I know that it’s a bad idea for this country. Real bad. And I think that Sorkin knows this, too. Feature, not a bug.

See, I’m one of those people who thinks that the leftist intelligentsia wants Leftism and they believe that creating large-scale financial chaos – or any other type of chaos — will fast-track the descent. To that end, this class keeps pushing and pushing.

Is all of this a pipe dream?

We’ll see. I’m betting it will be tried. Imagine a USA where only criminals and the government (BIRM) have guns.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Over 10 years ago, I was the electrical officer aboard a submarine. One of my Sailors was a massive slacker. Every time he was on duty, I would catch him gaffing off his maintenance responsibilities. Every collateral duty I assigned him was done poorly, and almost always required another Sailor to ensure completion. Luckily for me, he indicated he didn’t intend to re-enlist, so I was happy when he finally received his separation orders.

And then…my Engineer asked me to write him up for an award. I protested. “The guy sucks. He hasn’t done anything worthwhile.” Still, my engineer persisted. Fortunately for me, he was too busy to follow up, so I simply didn’t do it, and this Sailor separated without a Navy Achievement Medal.

The achievement medal, quickly becoming a default “I worked here” award. Image from Wikipedia.

Continue reading “The unused tools in the military”

Yesterday I highlighted my short walking interview with Senator Ted Cruz before his speech, today as I wake up just before 9 AM after a very good 1:30 AM breakfast at Bob and Edith’s Diner in Arlington VA I want to tell you a story about what, in my opinion is the most telling and important interview I have done so far in the 60 videos I’ve shot since hitting CPAC.

This CPAC my sons are here as assistants and have, unlike me, taken advantage of the time to explore DC.  Wednesday the younger suggested a meal at a local place called VUK a combination pizza place and pinball arcade in Bethesda.

Machines at VUK

I’ve covered Pinball events and will be doing a big one in MA in about 4 months so it was a good fit but I filed it in the back of my mind too busy doing what I do here to consider it.  Thursday I was with Deb Heine (PJ Media, more from here later)  when John Hawkins and Sierra Marly swung by mentioning a road trip to a Brazilian
restaurant with a group.  The boys were still on the road and I gave them a call when they reminded me of our planned dinner at VUK which I had completely forgotten.

So, with some regret I declined and when my young men pulled up I joined them in the car and as my oldest had been driving a bit, took the wheel to head for Bethesda.  After about an hour in traffic we arrived.

If you are a pinball person let me highly recommend VUK as a place to go.  It is right across from a local multi story garage so parking isn’t an issue.  The Pizza is NY style, sold by the slice from 18-20″ pies that are available.  They are not only delicious but priced very reasonably,(particularly when compared to the restaurants at National Harbor).   The machine selection was excellent including classics like Creature From the Black Lagoon and two Jersey Jack machines, the Hobbit and Dialed IN and all the games are only 50 cents.

The Hobbit and Creature from the black Lagoon at VUK

The drink selection is limited to bottled beers, honest teas and some craft sodas, but again they are offered at reasonable prices and complement the experience.  There is seating for just under 30 but they also have a function room upstairs which I think might make an interesting CPAC event (Media vs the bloggers pinball next year?).  If you want to kick back with some Pizza, Pinball and beer, VUK (which stands for Vertical Up Kicker for those who are unfamiliar with pinball)  is the place to do it.

Within a few minutes of hitting the machines I realized what a good idea this had been.  All of the tension of being on the go and constant work disappeared after a just a few minutes of playing the silver ball, but the real game changer of the night came completely by accident.

Still got the touch

When my sons picked me up I was still in my suit, wearing my press credential with one camera around my neck and a second on my monopod.  It was that along with my grey beard,  rather than my fedora and scarf,  that made me stand out like a sore thumb and peaked the interest of a party of five sitting the window two tables away who asked who I was.  I explained I was down to cover CPAC, talked about my previous pinball coverage and struck up a conversation with these rather pleasant folks.

It stuck me at the time it would be a good story to contrast their answers to the questions I’ve been asking everyone at CPAC so I asked if any of them would consent to an interview.  Of the five one agreed.  Meet Lea

She is right about the quality of both the pizza and the pinball (and I played that total nuclear annihilation machine she talked about. I’d not seen it before, it’s a unique layout and a fun game) and if you do essential oils I’d give her online business a look but the real story of the night was her answers to my CPAC questions that I’ve been asking everyone here.

Now a person like my self who has covered angry mobs last year, and is constantly bathed in the political fight, not to mention the media narrative of absolute Trump / GOP hatred and constantly in the company of activists both at home and at CPAC,  might expect a Democrat woman of color living in a blue state to give answers fitting the us vs them narrative, particularly if filmed and in the presence of her friends.

She did not.

She gave the President mixed marks, complemented him on keeping campaign promises that he made to his people, noted that as a Democrat she’d like to see some more moderate moves. Her answers had none of the rancor or the division that the media has pushed on us for the year or that I’ve seen from angry activists. They were completely reasonable answers that would not have been out of place several decades ago in a saner time when I remembered people could disagree and get along. In other words they reflected who she is, a normal American trying to get by whose primary focus is real life instead of manufactured outrage.

This told me two things that are vital to understanding election 2018 and 2020.

Despite what our media friends are trying to sell us, Regular Democrats, even democrats in a blue place like Maryland are not wedded to the Peloxi/CNN/MSNBC line and are seeing this president for what he is rather than what they are being told he is.

People like Lea are winnable and the media narrative is all about convincing us she is not.

Now you might think I’m making too much of this one interview, but remember, she is a young person, with young friends (I would place the age range of the group from low to mid 20’s to one outlier in the mid 30’s) living in an Twitter/facebook , internet social media age. Furthermore the MSM has been telling me that a young woman of color like her has nothing but disdain for conservatives in general and Donald Trump in particular.

If you believe them she shouldn’t exist but there she is and if there is one Lea in a county of 300+ million there are likely hundreds of thousands of others out there not wedded to the MSM narrative of doom and gloom.

It’s a story that isn’t being found, but it can be, all you have to do is go outside the media bubble and see what is there, if one is willing to look.

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story so far:

Saturday Feb 24th

CPAC 2018 / Don’t give a VUK Meet the Voter the Media Narrative says Does Exist

Friday Feb 23rd

Voices at CPAC 2018 Senator Ted Cruz Answers Two Question for DaTechGuy

Thurs Feb 22nd

We Interrupt CPAC 2018 for CNN and their Gun Control Galaxy Quest Moment
Voices of CPAC 2018: Ron from PA

Wed Feb. 21st

Voices at CPAC 2018 Vicki from Minnesota

Voices at (or near) #cpac2018 Lea from National Association of Developmental Educators We talk Students and Math

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The Calm Before the Storm and What I’ll be Asking

If you don’t want to wait or my blog posts to see my interviews my youtube channel is here.

Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here

A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.

Or you can just order it on Amazon

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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.