Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

OK, I'm livid.

As most of you know, the fourth annual Gun Blogger's Rendezvous is fast approaching (43 days away as I write this), and this year I planned to make a special contribution to support Project Valour-IT - a gun giveaway that would be for even those unable to attend. But I'm not a 501(c)(3) organization, or any other kind of tax-free charity, so I couldn't actually run a charity raffle. Besides, I'm not really set up for it and wouldn't know how. So, with the aid of Rendezvous organizer Mr. Completely, arrangements were made with Soldiers' Angels to provide on-line ticket sales. Tickets went on sale Friday, July 17. We were ON!

Soldiers' Angels uses PayPal for their on-line donations. PayPal even has a "Case Study" of Soldiers' Angels' success (PDF) using PayPal, bragging:
Today Soldiers' Angels' biggest online contributions go through PayPal. "It's trustworthy to people and so they donate," says (Founder Patti) Patton-Bader. "There's a confidence that donors feel – that it's a safe way to make a donation. There are not many companies that inspire that kind of trust."

Coincident with the Gun Blogger Rendezvous Raffle, Soldiers' Angels had also started a fund drive for other projects that same weekend. PayPal put a stop to that. Here's Patti Patton-Bader's official statement:
Online donations through PayPal are a huge part of our fundraising. They shut down our entire account-not just the raffle button—for twelve hours right in the middle of an email fundraising push. Looking at the Terms of Use, we couldn’t understand where we’d gone wrong, but we had to immediately remove the raffle so we could get back online ASAP. This just breaks our hearts because we were so excited about the tremendous fundraising impact the Gun Blogger Rendezvous raffle was already having.
(My emphasis). The "tremendous fundraising impact"? In the short time (3.5 days) the PayPal button was live, they had 42 participants and 109 tickets sold.

As noted above, we're still 43 days out from the Rendezvous. I just found out about this today.

And not only did the contributions for the raffle stop coming in, ALL contributions to Soldier's Angels via PayPal were cut off for twelve hours.

Because PayPal is anti-gun.

So where does that leave us? Well, you can call Soldiers' Angels and do a transaction over the phone. During normal business hours (PST) you can call (626) 529-5114, or you can call their voicemail service any time at (615) 676-0239, leave them a callback number and they'll get back to you - probably the less expensive option, timewise. It's not as convenient as a mouse click, but it beats snail-mailing a check.

You can also contact PayPal. Their Customer Service phone number is (402) 935-2050.

I've never asked this before, but I would appreciate it if every gun- and mil-blogger on the web and every gun board picked this up and spread it far and wide. I'm tired of gun-bigots. PayPal needs to hear from US - the law-abiding gun owners of this country - that we're no longer willing to just roll over when we're abused by the companies we "trust" just because we believe in and practice the rights guaranteed to us under the Second Amendment.

UPDATE - So far here are all the links (direct and indirect) to this piece I'm aware of:

1. - Maj. Chuck Zeigenfuss at From My Position, On the Way! - Paypal is asshats
2. - Laughingwolf at Blackfive - Step Up for Valour-IT, Especially as PayPal Won't
3. - Blackfive at Blackfive - Anti-gun PayPal Shuts Down Soldiers' Angels Contributions
4. - BillT at Castle Argghhh! - How Innnnnteresting
5. - Alan at Snarkybytes - Paypal: Anti-Gun
6. - Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell - PayPal's Gun Policies
7. - Kahr40 at From the Barrel of a Gun - Paypal is anti-gun
8. - Kevin S. at Brown Valley Kingdom - Paypal shows their ass
9. - Albert A Rasch at The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles - It's About Time We Pushed Back!
10. - Major C at A Major's Perspective - Important Information You Need to Know
11. - SayUncle - PayPal: Fear of guns overrides helping soldiers
12. - Tam at View from the Porch - Figures
13. - Joe Huffman at The View from North Central Idaho - Quote of the Day--Kevin Baker
14. - Phelps at The Everlasting Phelps - PayPal Hates Soldiers
15. - Jim at The Travis McGee Reader - A current outrage
16. - Morgan at My Two Cents Worth - Outrage via PayPal
17. - Derek at The Packing Rat - Paypal = Bigots
18. - Jennifer at In Jennifer's Head - PayPal and Guns
19. - Pamibe - PayPal vs. Soldier's Angels
20. - Firehand at Irons in the Fire - So PayPal is so anti-gun that they'll screw over Soldier's Angels
21. - Musings of the Geek with a .45 - That's Quite Enough of PayPal
22. - falfenix of Insert witty title here - Sometimes you just can't win
23. - Some Soldier's Mom - PayPal is Anti-Gun
24. - Stephanie's Blog - PayPal is Anti-Gun
35. - Ride Fast and Shoot Straight - PayPal is an evil, eBay anti-gun minion
26. - Caleb at Gun Nuts Media - PayPal cuts off donations to veteran’s charity group
27. - Russell at Solarvoid - Gah, stupid Paypal
28. - Sailorcurt of Captain of a Crew of One - Paypal and the Geek
29. - US Citizen at Traction Control - PayPal is no Pal to Soldiers
30. - Top of the Chain - Paypal = Bovine Fecal Material
30. - Dirtcrashr at Anthroblogogy - Pay-Pooper is Not Your Pal
31. - Linoge of Walls of the City - paypal sucks
32. - Phil at Random Nuclear Strikes - Some People's Children
33. - Hazmat at Thunder River Home - Gotta Love That PayPal
34. - Evyl Robot Soapbox - Paypal is Anti?
35. - Jerry of Cogito Ergo Geek - The Smallest Minority Goes to PayPal - NOT!
36. - Josiah of Our Lunch Money - One more reason why I hate paypal!
37. - Instinct of Life in 3D - Paypal hates guns, and apparently the military
38. - Argent of Gay Military Life - PayPal Costs Charity
39. - Roberta of The Adventures of Roberta X - More Things that Induce Monitor-Punching Impulses
40. - Bore Patch - Paypal shutting down a Wounded Soldier Charity?

Bore Patch also mentions eBay's (the parent company) Press Relations phone number: (408) 376-7458

41. - Mr. Completely his own self weighs in: Paypal Blocks Soldiers Angels Fund Raising and it's cross-posted at the GBR site

42. - Little Steve of Sensibly Progressive - Paypal sucks
43. - Laughing_Wolf has a new post up at Blackfive - Ask PayPal How They Feel About the Wounded
44. - Gun Shy Tourist of Around the O-Town - In My Opinion Paypal Sucks
45. - CTone of Legion's Fate - Anti-gun Paypal hates the military
46. - Nicki at The Liberty Zone - Note to self:
47. - Billoblog® - Paypal bans fundraising for wounded veterans
48. - Mulligan of Do Over - who's your pal?
49. - Doubleplusundead at Right Wing News - Of Pistols, Project Valour, and PayPal
50! - Brian at Another Gun Guy - OK one real post - Paypal hates not just guns, but soldiers too. Boo.
51. - Misanthropic? Me? Inconceivable! - In Case You Didn’t Know that Paypal is Anti-gun
52. - Jeff at Alphecca - PayPal and Guns
53. - Don Gwinn, Chicago Gun Rights Examiner - PayPal suspends Soldiers' Angels charity over gun raffle
54. - What Bubba Knows - Links for August 3, 2009

Thanks, y'all!

UPDATE - 8/7/09:

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