Two coffee chat items
Nope, I live in St. Louis. The invasive Asian carp are large and obnoxious - many area Mississippi River boaters have been swamped by a 40 pounder leaping out of the water at speed and smacking into the boat, sometimes injuring the boater. I don't know how far north the non-native Asian carp has made it. I do know that the Illinois River has some carp working their way up toward the Great Lakes system, an ecological ticking bomb. IL Natural Resources and US Army Corps of Engineers (controlling rivers) are trying very hard to limit the carp. The species could destroy the commercial fishing in the Great Lakes. If any Mississippi River fish could do away with a 2 to 3 kilo ball head, this one could.
The thread has listed a variety of plusses and minuses of several ball heads. Most comments on the thread have centered on design, user experiences, etc. There is no such thing as the one and only "perfect" ball head - many brands and models will perform very well for the specific needs of the owners. Occasionally, non-technical considerations will be used in purchasing decisions - service quality, country of manufacture, and yes, even political stances. As I have mentioned above, I have a friend who was one of the earliest to marry, and she suffered considerable anxiety over the possibility of her marriage being revoked, for practical reasons and because it would be a very public slap in the face. It isn't nice to wonder which of your neighbors and colleagues consider you to be worthy of public scorn for expression of fidelity considered praiseworthy for other people. Most of the time I don't pay much attention to the politics of manufacturers (if I did, I might be in the "no consumption" movement). However, a sense of personal loyalty makes me avoid RRS if a comparable quality product is available elsewhere. I am glad that the company exists and employs US skilled trades workers. In the short run, I prefer spending my money elsewhere.