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My brother couldn't make it up north for Easter so he came home this weekend. Gave me a good excuse to take a vacation day and make it a long weekend. With the day mostly over I'm glad he did. It's always fun to get out golfing and spend time with family. The day started out on the golf course at our hometown (Hawley, MN). Pat and I have played that course literally thousands of times in our lives and both of us could guide you through the course blindfolded. I didn't score as well as he did, a fact the little shit reminded me throughout the day, but some good did come of it. I lost my power fade over the winter and now am hitting it straight or with a bit of a draw. So that was definitely a plus. But for me it was a consistently inconsistent day. Wrong fairway here, bad chip there, lipped out put there. The last 6 holes I shot in even par so I'm feeling good about my chances tomorrow. And I had a near miss on an eagle put today, which is nice despite it not going in. Enjoyed a D4 (2014 box code, seconds) during a frost delay, that while may not have the prettiest looking wrapper has been a consistently enjoyable cigar. Also had the Magnum 50 from a 2014 box. I didn't want the Magnum 50 to end. Such a luxurious smoke, and doesn't want to pick a fight with me like the Magnum 46 does. After the round of golf Pat went back to our mom's place and I headed back to town. Ran to the liquor store where they were having penny wine sale. Buy 1 bottle at normal price and get a second for a penny. Good way to get through some unwanted stock. Last time I went there during the sale all I got was a 12 pack of beer. An old lady behind me in line was staring daggers at me that some uncouth individual would tarnish the penny wine sale by buying some lowly beer. But I do like beer. So I was there to get a 12 pack of beer. And figured what the hell, when in rome. Wound up with a Cabernet Syrah. $15 for 2 bottles, sure why not. Then I headed home to fix a bite to eat, then grabbed a gun and some ammo and headed to the gun range for some much needed and overdue gun therapy. I love going to the range and hate that I can be such a lazy slob on the weekends to not go into the range and get some trigger time in. Got there a bit after noon and damn near every lane was packed. I was shooting effectively a pea shooter compared to the guys on either stall to the side of me. My 9mm only pokes tiny holes into the targets. Guys around me were shooting 44 magnums and a desert eagle (which I got to shoot, good lord does that kick). After that I got back to my house and then it was about time to get the Kamado Joe (it's effectively a Red BIg Green Egg) setup to smoke a tri-tip steak. About the time i got the fire going my mom and brother show up. The tri-tip is a newish cut of meat that I learned of recently and fast becoming a favorite of mine. I smoke it with red oak wood until the internal temp is 130 degrees. Then I remove the heat deflectors and cook it at high temps, 400+, until the internal temp hits 142 degrees. Pulled the steak and then it was time to wait 30m before I could cut into the meat. Also had to have a Half Corona and another beer while the meat was smoking away. I promptly fell asleep on the couch due to the food coma I put myself in. My brother thought it was funny how I'd snore myself awake. Then it was back to the deck to have a beer and a Punch Punch. Standard brotherly BS was had during the cigar. He also managed to talk me out of the box of Quintero Favoritos and the rest of the HDM Epicure #1s. Apparantly I owed him money or something so he got the Favoritos for nothing. I didn't leave him off the hook for the rest of the Epicure 1s though. I think he's pulling a fast one on me though. So glad spring is here and look forward to more days like this.
I originally wrote this for a thread on the embargo. I am not going to edit all that out, but in the event that this thread gets whacked or closed, I figured it would be better it be on its own and not bring down the thread of another member. Let the melee commence! …as I stated, the opening comments are regarding questions about the embargo! From a slightly different angle… Not all US Americans like CC's. The draw is too stiff for them and they don't have that tin can, metallic twang that they appear to love. I am not putting down, NC cigars, I just don't like them. Having shared CC's with many American smokers, many have been unimpressed with the nuance that they could apparently no longer taste. There are Coke and Pepsi followers… and for those that distinguish the two, they are not alike… You guys hear of the gray market? Well every US buyer knows it like it or not. You think that would stop? You see, like it or not, every legit CC delivered into the US is sent by a 'gray market' supplier. This is not a jab at any of the places you buy your cigars but you must understand that if you are buying cigars from 'illegitimate' sources, MEANING ILLEGITIMATE TO YOUR GOVERNMENTS TAX POLICY, YOU ARE BUYING CIGARS IN THE GRAY OR BLACK MARKETS. PLEASE, bear in mind I am not taking about legitimacy of the the provenence of the product, I am talking the legitimacy of the market supplier from the perspective of the "OFFICIAL." Legitimate therefore is not the issue, but legitimate to whom is the issue? Just to get this straight, if you are buying cigars around your government's taxation system, or 'other' laws, therefore from 'illegitimate' sources, you are buying gray market or black market. Do you think that is going to stop? No way! I think what people are not realizing here, is that the cigar business is largely going gray market because host countries for these businesses are killing their local business men (and women) by politicizing the cigar business (and others) and simply driving that trade offshore. So it is not really the evil business man that moves offshore because he is greedy. He often moves offshore because he wants to stay in business. It may be that the brick and mortar fails, that is the goal of PC driven 'lefty' legislation to control "behavior." People still want their products so they take some risk and go elsewhere. Is this not what many of us do? As each of our countries finds this popular tax stream of taxing sin, typically as justification to support medical welfare programs, we will all begin a move to bring in our cigar illegally and simply support businesses of countries other than our own. You might find that the US mail orders, if allowed, will simply be shipping cigars to Canada, or Australia…! This is government master planning at its finest! I know that we recently came off a rather exhausting 'gun' thread. Hopefully some of the gun haters have taken a few Xanax and fresh off the couch they read through the article without exploding. I have posted it so that some, not so intrenched in ideological hate, can get an understanding of how they and others are manipulated by ideological 'hate groups' as a tool to forward their larger political agendas. That these topics and positions are neither random nor separate. While many of you might believe they are, they are not. Our governmental enemies that are killing our smoking rights are killing the rights of other business that 'they' deem inappropriate. Some of these movements can pick up a little civil libertarian push by legalizing things like MJ, but they are only in it for the money… The tax revenue. Once established, these same groups will be bashing the trade, trying to tax the hell out of it and control it. It is only a matter of time. These apparent libertarian pushes only last until the long arm of the tax man gets his hooks into that trade as well. The taxation begins with a campaign of 'hate' against the group. The public hate, pushes the tax man to do his job. We come full circle. The main question should be whether there will still be tobacco stores when the two countries settle their differences? Cuba, since it officially also takes a leftist anti-smoking stance and the US may look very different by the time this happens, if it does. With most of our governments looking to put tobacco out of business, the matter of embargo begins to look less important, at least to me. My point basically, is that there exists a political ideology that primarily backs these "anti-this and anti-that," for your health and welfare positions. Some of you are sympathetic to their position on other topics. Yes topics change and with them so do opinions. Many will find out that the people that they supported on one day, due to one topic, are the same folks that are not attempting to put you out of business the next day because you have become their next target. Doug here is a political pundit, gun lover and cigar smoker. He owns a cigar company. For those of you on the left that hate guns yet love cigars, you might take note that to your leftist peers, you are as bad as gun owners…! You are not separate nor different. You are the same to them! You are targeted for extinction just like the rest of us! And when you consider how vile and hateful you are of gun owners, well, you can see how you are thought of as a cigar smoker by your own peers. Cheers. -Piggy OPERATION CHOKE POINT: Why Gun And Cigar Lovers Should Detest The Left Written by Doug Giles on August 10, 2014 In the last couple of weeks my cigar company has had hell trying to find a credit card processing company that’ll do recurring revenue charges for my customers who’d like to get an automated, monthly dose of one of the finest cigars on this planet, our Safari Cigar. As my team and I were going back and forth trying to find a company to handle our transactions, I started redlining, getting a wee bit pissed, about how ridiculous it has become to do trade. My business boys tried to calm me down by telling me it was normative now for banks to crap on our enterprise, given that cigars have been deemed a “high risk” business. Their explanation and well-meaning solace made me even more annoyed, causing me to yell, “What is this, Russia?” And then I said, “No … it can’t be Russia because Russia wouldn’t do stupid, PC junk like this.” Fast forward to this past Wednesday when my publicist called me and said Newsmax TV wanted me on to talk about “Operation Choke Point” with JD Hayworth and Miranda Khan on their show, America’s Forum. Having a new book to plug, of course I said, “Yes” even though, and I hate to admit it, I had no clue what Operation Choke Point (OCP) was. I thought it was some kind of organized rescue effort to try to save Rosie O’Donnell if she ever started gagging on nachos again during a lesbian cruise to Nassau. So, I googled OCP and, low and behold, did I find a little treasure trove of backdoor control that has come to characterize BHO and his boys’ modus operandi for the last six years. Essentially, Operation Choke Point, launched in 2013 in partnership with the DOJ, is a program that makes a financial institution’s life a living hell, with insane audits and investigations, if they provide services to clients who are a part of an “offensive industry” that is rife with “fraudulent activities.” Sounds good and noble on the surface, eh? So, I started to dig a around a bit to see what they deem “offensive” because it’s always interesting in Obamaland to see what they brand as bellicose. Offensive businesses, according to OCP, are porn sites and prostitution. Also, included were online gaming, Ponzi schemes, payday loans, bogus MLM sites, and check cashing stores. Okay, I can see how those are gross, some illegal, but I really don’t know that they demand an “Operation” to quell them. Continuing on, I started running into offensive things like fireworks, as in firecrackers. And I’m like … huh? Fireworks? Really? And then it started getting really good, as I saw in my ham-fisted online research that OCP also targets banks that work with online gun and ammo sales and tobacco. Yahtzee. There it was … buried deep in the dastardly heap of porn, pirate hookers and bottle rockets are the nefarious, oh-so-offensive, guns and cigars. It took awhile, but I found ‘em. Lets see: firearms and cigars are a “high risk” and an “offensive industry?” To whom? Mary Poppins? Not to the millions that own and use both. Also, someone help me here, since when did gun and ammo sales become fraud laden? That industry is more regulated than Bill is when Hillary’s in town and in one of her “moods”; and yet, the DOJ is going to lump them in with porn and Ponzi schemes and threaten banks with unannounced audits? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? According to Alden Abbott of Heritage.org- “The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for firearms and ammunitions manufacturers, said that several of its members have had banking relationships wrongfully terminated as a result of Operation Choke Point. The group argues the federal government is discriminating against businesses simply because they are engaged in the lawful commerce of firearms.” And cigars? Cigars? Cigar companies are “filled with such widespread deception” that they demand being squeezed out of existence with a special-op via the DOJ? I bet George Burns, JFK and Winston Churchill are spinning in their respective graves so fast they could light up all of Vegas. Pardon me, but my BS detector is pinging on that claim. Here’s what it boils down to with me and my little cigar company, my love of guns and this thing called freedom: Obama and his ilk’s freakish control fetishes have failed so miserably in the last few years that they have resorted to bullying banks to punish people they’ve deemed enemies and make it impossible for legitimate businesses to operate. That’s what you call a “fundamental transformation” of America. I don’t know how a gun owner or a cigar lover can still support such liberty-abusing louts like Obama and his clowns. For more on Operation Choke Point go to: StopTheChoke.com BTW, we don’t have the recurring rev feature up and running yet, but you may still purchase our amazing smokes online via SafariCigar.com.