Unintended consequences

I stumbled across this today:

China is currently developing a new plane that is modeled after stolen plans for the U.S.’ F-35 fifth-generation plane.

My first thought was “that’s great…trying to copy that disaster could set their defense industry back by decades.” Which is pretty much what it’s done to us.

The “Slippery Slope” argument is just paranoia

There is no such thing as the “slippery slope”. Thinking that leftists with an agenda will never be satisfied with taking “yes” for an answer is simply paranoia.

I mean, take gay “marriage” for example. It’s plainly clear that the left will be perfectly satisfied and will stop harping on us now that they’ve gotten their way on gay “marriage”. There’s no way that they’ll continue to press and insist that a “right to gay marriage” trumps religious freedom. There’s no possible way that they’d ever advocate punishing religious organizations that insist on maintaining their religious freedom and standards.

Right?

The same argument can and should be applied to gay marriage. If your organization does not support the right of gay men and women to marry, then the government should be very clear that you’re in the wrong. And it should certainly not bend over backwards to give you the privilege of tax exemption.

We have religious freedom in this country, and any religious organization is entirely free to espouse whatever crazy views it likes. But when those views are fanatical and hurtful, they come into conflict with the views of any honorable legislator who believes in freedom and equality. And at that point, it makes perfect sense for our elected representatives to register their disapproval by abolishing the tax exemption for organizations who cling to narrow-minded and anachronistic views.

Care to wager whether the left will be satisfied and stop demanding more after tax exemptions for Christian churches are removed?

Nah…there’s no slippery slope.

Some animals are more equal than others…

Stab and kill a police dog, get up to 7 years in prison.

“I lost my partner from this. He was also a family member,” said Pittsburgh police Officer Phil Lerza.

But if they decide they need to kick your door down because some drug addled gang banger told them you were growing drugs in your garage, the first thing they do is shoot your family pets.

Because, as Orwell explained so eloquently…some animals are more equal than others.

Question Response regarding Paypal’s anti-gun policies

This started out as a reply to this comment in a thread where I mentioned Paypal’s anti-gun policies.

Sailorcurt on November 19, 2014 at 11:27 pm said:
I’m glad that my humble input helped you. No donation required…if for no other reason than because I simply don’t have a graceful way for you to do it. I refuse to use Paypal because of their anti-gun policies and they’re pretty much the only game in town when it comes to that kind of thing, so I accept your thanks in lieu of a generous donation.

You’re welcome.

Geoff
on January 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm said:
I am an avid gunner and Ebayer. I use Paypal frequently. Where did you find their gun policies?

Paypal’s official gun policies are listed in their Acceptable Use Policy:

You may not use the PayPal service for activities that…relate to transactions involving…ammunition, firearms, or certain firearm parts or accessories…

On its face it sounds pretty vague and innocuous and simply a “CYA” position to limit liability. Were that the only basis for my opinion I might agree, but there is simply too much evidence that Paypal is legitimately anti-gun to ignore.

Shortly after the Virginia Tech murders, Paypal started aggressively going after and shutting down users who used Paypal to conduct any firearm related commerce. There are anecdote after anecdote about this online.

This was bad enough, but the straw that really broke the Camel’s back for me was the experience of Kevin Baker and a charity called Soldier’s Angels, dedicated to assisting military members and veterans.

In summary, Kevin was working on setting up a raffle to generate donations for the aforementioned charity. Soldier’s Angels was using their paypal account to accept payment for raffle entries. When Paypal found out that this raffle involved a firearm, they not only suspended sales of the Raffle Tickets, but suspended all of Soldier’s Angels activities, including straight charitable donations.

Ultimately, Kevin and Soldier’s Angels found an alternate method to sell the raffle tickets, but the bottom line is that Paypal, because of their clear anti-gun bias, without warning or consultation, severely harmed a valued charity for doing nothing more than selling raffle tickets involving a prize that Paypal didn’t approve of.

Here’s the whole story from the source if you want more details.

So, in summary, it is my contention that Paypal is patently anti-gun rights. As a result of this, I refuse to support them with my business.

And the Winner is (3)…

No one.

No guesses at all on the last one, which is really not that surprising to me. It’s not exactly a big tourist spot for Americans.

I was in Victoria BC

The first two pictures are of the legislature building. The third was the Empress Hotel.

If you didn’t get that one, you probably won’t get the next one either.

Hint: it was in the same province in Canada, but is less well known than Victoria.

Is it just me…

Or does anyone else see a plan behind the situation in Ferguson MO?

Fringe groups pass out fliers advocating for various kinds of instigation if a grand jury decides not to indict a police officer who 3 1/2 months ago shot an unarmed teenager.

It’s that decision, which authorities have for days signaled was imminent but now seems slow to come, that has brought St. Louis into a bizarre holding pattern, with little agreement here about what will happen in the city after the grand jury resolution.

First there are leaks that hint the decision will come sometime during the week of November 11.

Then there are leaks that hint that the decision will be last Friday.

Now the speculation is that the decision will come on Monday.

And each time the speculation identifies a day, the “protesters” are stirred to prepare…and each time the decision doesn’t come.

I think this is a strategy…and I think it is a good one.

From the reports I’ve seen, most of the “protesters” are not from Ferguson or even St. Louis…most of them are outside agitators just taking advantage of the situation.

Ever hear the story about the boy who cried wolf?

I think the Ferguson authorities are taking advantage of that premise. At least I would if I were them: I’d continue to leak dates, and then fail to make the announcement, over and over and over again, until the protests lose steam. Wait until they get tired of getting all fired up over and over again, and start to lose interest. After it is clear that the troublemakers have, for the most part, given up and gone home…then make the announcement.

It might be next year before the grand jury “finishes its investigation” and that’s perfectly fine if that’s what needs to happen to take the air out of the blowhards threatening to instigate riots.

The only down side is that this is devastating the Ferguson economy. All of those business owners who have shuttered their businesses are not going to be able to sustain this forever. They’ll eventually go bankrupt (if they haven’t already).

For that reason, they may make the announcement sooner rather than later, but I really think it would be smart of them to keep this secret grand jury deliberations going for as long as possible. Eventually the race baiters and anarchists who are itching to burn something down will run out of steam.

Where in the world was Sailorcurt (3)

This edition of Where in the World was Sailorcurt actually takes us outside the United States (that’s a hint) and will be MUCH more challenging (and I think the next one is going to be even moreso).

Since this one is going to be more of a challenge, I’m going to double the prize. The first person to guess what city I was in will be awarded 2,000 internet points.

Here’s the hint (click to make bigger).

2014-11-18 18.57.52

[update]
OK…nobody’s gotten it yet, so let’s add another hint. This is the same building from another angle, but the added element in the foreground may help.

2014-11-18 18.57.24

The Totem Pole was actually in the first picture too, but off to the side so it may not have been noticed.

Any guesses?
[/update]

[Update 2]

Sorry for the delay in updating: Holidays and all that…

OK, if no one gets it after this one, I’ll tell.

Another landmark from where I was.

2014-11-18 18.56.16

[/update2]

And the Winner is (2)…

RWH, who guessed:

Approximately 100 yds askew of directly down range.

Down Range of what, you ask? Well, let’s see if this jogs your memory:

2014-11-13 16.52.47

Ring any bells?

How about this one (I didn’t take this one):

moorman

Yep…that’s Dealey Plaza in Dallas, the site of the assassination of JFK. The picture in the first post is the “grassy knoll” that the conspiracy theorists believe the “real” assassin fired from, the second is the Texas Book Repository from which the actual shots were fired.

I’d actually done a research paper on the Kennedy assassination in college. I researched the Warren report and various conspiracy theories. My final conclusion at the time was that there were some oddities with the investigation and other aspects of the case, but that the odds of a cover up were very small. The theories about the shots coming from the front just didn’t hold up ballistically, either from the autopsy reports or the videos of the actual incident, additionally, there simply would have had to have been vastly too many people involved to pull something like that off and keep it quiet for decades.

One of the conspiracy theories opined that the shots were way too difficult for Oswald, a reportedly mediocre shot, to have made.

After visiting the repository and seeing the view from where he made the shots, I have to strongly disagree. The shots were taken at a range that any half-way competent marksman could have made.

Anyway, Dallas it was. I hereby award RWH 1000 internet points. Spend them wisely.

And the winner is…

Chuck, who didn’t actually name the city, but described amazingly close to the exact location the picture was taken from:

Parking lot on 2nd Ave just north of the intersection of Western Ave and West John St., behind the Hilton?

Here’s the other “dead giveaway” picture, that was taken from a location just a half a block from the first:

2014-11-01 17.37.44

I normally would have said: “you’re right, I was in Seattle”, but since he got so specific in his answer, I have to show you just how close to exact he really was:

I was staying at the Homewood Suites off Western Ave in Seattle. The Homewood Suites is one of the Hilton Chain and is near the corner described by Chuck, so I’d imagine that’s the hotel he was thinking about. He was VERY close.

The first picture was taken from the parking lot behind the Westmark Hotel a half a block from the Homewood Suites. It’s marked spot 1 in the below satellite picture. The Westmark is on the intersection of John Street and 1st Ave, just one block from the intersection Chuck described. The only reason I chose that spot is because the parking lot of the Westmark is on a hill and is a higher spot with a better view than the Homewood suites parking lot.

The picture is of the Puget Sound (complete with ferry) with the Seattle Post Intelligencer building in the foreground. If you follow that link, you’ll notice that the globe on their building is part of their trademark and is a designated Seattle landmark.

The second one of the Space needle was taken just up the street a little at spot 2 on the satellite picture.

satmap

So, Chuck is the winner of 1,000 internet points and I’m going to award a bonus of 250 internet points for being so specific about the location.

Congratulations.

That and $6.50 will buy you a cup of coffee at the original Starbucks, which is also in Seattle.