Opportunities for monkeywrenching have sadly diminished in this age of omni-surveillance and can’t-take-a-joke fearmongering. But all is not lost!
John Richardson over at No Lawyers — Only Guns and Money, had an irresistible monkeywrench land right in his email box. And you, too, can take advantage of it without risk. (Until the antis figure out what’s happening, anyhow.)
UPDATE — Looks like the monkeywrench was working well enough that they caught on. Per Mark in comments: “The link leads to a page that says you must contribute at least $25 to get the book, so no more monkeywrench.” And no more “we know some people won’t contribute enough to cover the cost, but that’s okay …”
Sorry about the loooooong BHM-wide downage yesterday, guys. Oliver the webmaster tells me it was the result of a security update gone awry at the hosting company. But all should be well now.
Today is the day The Great Roof Project begins! Two stages. The first involves returning part of the roof to its original form (after a long-ago “improvement” done by a committee of chimpanzees on a no-bid government contract). After that, the actual roofing crew comes in.
Crews must coordinate with each other on timing. Weather holding so far. Might have a few nervous-making days. But winter should be dry inside — thanks to you.
Now for some links. I’m shifting away from “news” as I mentioned the other day so it takes a little longer collecting good stuff. Fortunately, I get by with a little help from my friends.
Although this item is kind of “news” (it being about how people hate Eric Holder), I’m linking it as “anti-news.” Note the percentage of those polled who simply don’t know who the guy is. I used to think such ignorance was shocking and dangerous. Now? I rather envy it.
How the power of no saved my life. (James Altucher’s off-kilter notion of no. H/T Randall in comments.)
For those who are rilly, rilly, rilly serious about their guns, old acquaintance Ian of Forgotten Weapons, is now producing episodes of InRange.tv. It’s pay-per-episode, but with Ian you always know you’ll get something you can’t find elsewhere. (Via Joel)
I was going to save this for Halloween. But what the heck; weird dog videos are always in season. (Tip o’ hat and a smile to Jim B. in comments.)
This morning I was offered the “opportunity” to sell out. I was asked to do something that (if it worked out as my correspondent hoped) would make Alan Gottlieb and his “JPFO Lite” look better than they are.
It would not change anything in any material way. It would not restore principle to JPFO or protect Aaron Zelman’s legacy.
It was merely the opportunity to create an illusion — to have people say, “Hey, maybe Gottlieb’s not going to wreck JPFO after all!”
And what would I get for doing Mr. Manchin-Toomey (and not coincidentally, the correspondent proposing the idea) such a favor?
Why, I’d get influence. No, let’s capitalize that. I’d get Influence — that much-craved prize of wheeler-dealers everywhere. If I just sold my integrity (which, after all, isn’t worth anything on the market), I might gain the privilege of suggesting to the new powers at JPFO Lite that (pardon my French) it might be better if, for now, they just chopped off one of JPFO’s b***s and not both.
But given Gottlieb’s support for gun control victim disarmament measures as long as he judges them to be popular and comfortably mild, I believe Aaron Zelman (may he rest in peace once he stops rolling in his grave) would answer Gottlieb’s milquetoasty “pitfall” remark something like this:
Oh, you bet there are “pitfalls” for the disarmed, Mr. Gottlieb.
The sellout of JPFO to SAF will be complete as of this Friday, September 12. The remnants of JPFO will be hauled away to Washington (and, I picture in my mind’s eye, be stashed away like the Lost Ark at the end of that movie).
While Gottlieb promises JPFO will continue to operate “independently,” in fact SAF is making no attempt to learn anything at all about how the organization functions. Surely they’ll keep some JPFO-ish thing going and it may even look good for a while, but it’s clear that what they’re really after is mailing lists — of members, donors, sponsors, and purchasers.
If you have or ever had any relationship with JPFO, these are your last few days to take care of yourself.
I can’t say what anybody ought to do. Some JPFO members might be perfectly happy to be handed over the SAF. So be it. Do only what’s right for you.
If you’re not happy, however, you might want to join the ever-growing movement to remove your name and contact information from JPFO’s databases before the infamous and relentless Gottlieb/Merrill direct mail operation gets hold of you.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746
firstname.lastname@example.org (webmaster — nice guy and totally not responsible for any of this mess)
email@example.com (board member and Managing Director Doug Schuett)
I also know several people who’ve asked for their money back — including one noble soul who contributed $1,000 just before the merger was forced into the light. He minced no words in saying he had donated under false pretenses.
No idea whether JPFO will return his or anybody else’s money. Frankly, I hope that problem falls to Mr. Gottlieb and his lawyers because I pity JPFO’s office staff having to deal with all this.
Nevertheless, if you recently joined or donated, asking for a return of funds may be something you want to consider.
IF you are “political,” you might want to throw some support toward Gun Owners of America, the only remaining national gun-rights group that remains hardcore.
(Yes, I’m aware of accusations of a few cracks in that core, but then, that’s politics. GOA remains the best alternative for gun owners of political bent.)
If you do that, you might also want to tell both JPFO and SAF where you’re sending your money — and why.
There is also ample evidence that (as one member of the JPFO rescue team put it) “JPFO’s papers are not in order.”
It’s too late to prevent JPFO’s disappearance into SAF. But potentially a JPFO member with an obsession and a lot of money could “go to the lawyers” to try to undo the deal.
It seems very, very unlikely that any one (or any group of ones) would be both furious enough and rich enough to pursue this. Also, as that same rescue-teamer put it, “… courts are very reluctant to interfere in these essentially private squabbles. The courts know damn well that ‘non-profit’ has nothing to do with compensation or personal gain. But absent evidence of overt criminality, courts are unlikely to interfere.”
Just plain inertia might have something to say, also. It’s harder to get a deal undone than prevent the doing.
Still, if you’re truly outraged and have the money to fight for what you believe is right, there are certainly chinks in the JPFO/SAF Fortress of Secrecy. (Which is, perhaps, one reason the doers of the deed were so obsessed with keeping members’ and donors’ eyes off their work.)
I hear from little birds that there’s also been some minor, but creative monkeywrenching directed at the JPFO sellouts.
While I can’t say I applaud it, especially since the worst evildoers on the JPFO board aren’t the ones taking the most heat, I salute the spirit!
Um … I’m really not sure why various news media keep presenting this as amusing. I know socks often go mysteriously missing. But 43 (and a half!) … you’d think the family would have wondered. (Tip o’ hat to S.C.)
I knew a couple of days ago that the JPFO board was in the process of signing and that it was just a matter of sending paperwork to SAF’s lawyers. That shoe has now dropped.
I’ll have more to say later, but for now thank you for everything you did to try to prevent this. Thank you for your petition signatures, your letters to the board, your offers of help, for jumping in and doing everything you could. Thank you for caring about JPFO — and for understanding far better than its board members ever did why JPFO mattered.
This deal was preordained. The JPFO board was never even going to look at any alternate proposals, let alone give them serious consideration. This began and ended as an act of supreme arrogance, authoritarianism, secrecy, and wholesale contempt for JPFO’s members, donors, corporate sponsors, and contractors. And of course, even deeper contempt for the legacy of Aaron Zelman and the importance of his uncompromising voice for gun rights.
I hope those responsible eventually choke on their own deeds.
I laboured all weekend — drywalling until I got worn out, then going outside and painting the house to relax. I got covered in powdery gypsum, then in latex paint, then in that gooey white joint compound that always seems to drop in fat, heavy, gelatinous glops no matter how careful you are with it. I cussed a lot and enjoyed every minute of it.
Yesterday morning we were at 400-some signatures (toward a 500 goal) on our petition to keep JPFO from falling into SAF’s clutches.
Thanks to old friend Elias Alias and the power of Oath Keepers, we are at 1,016 early this morning as I write this!
Great-soul Elias and the members of the Oath Keepers email list did this on their own. Amazing thing.
Since I’m persona non grata with the JPFO board, maybe a few of you would like to send them the petition link. Their email addresses are in the original post about the SAF deal.
Update on the planned sellout
I don’t know whether we can save JPFO. Very, very mixed signals right now.
On one hand, one of the members of the rescue group used her passion for JPFO and her powers of persuasion. She got some hints that the JPFO board might hear what we had to say and she herded us cats into submitting a revised version of last week’s outline proposal.
On the other hand, the SAF deal may (I stress may) have been signed already. Once again, as usual in this mess, we simply don’t know. It’s impossible to say because the board and SAF have continued to operate in complete secrecy.
ADDED: The cynical part of me (which never seems to be cynical enough, these days) fears that the last-minute agreement to consider our outline proposal is merely a dodge — something to keep us quiet while the SAF deal is inked. Something to give the board the ability to say, “We gave their plans a fair hearing but found them inadequate.”
I hope I’m wrong.
Given that we have two of JPFO’s corporate sponsors working with the rescue team, “inadequate” is untrue. Unwanted still remains likely.
And here all this time everybody thought Carl Bussjaeger was a principled radical. But here he is, suggesting a compromise on gun rights!
Except … well, it’s a compromise that makes a lot of sense.
And a gentle suggestion for concerned JPFO members
If you’re a JPFO member and you really, really object to the SAF merger you might start independently exploring your options. Emails have been good. Petition signatures, too. But so far there’s no sign any of that is going to prevent the travesty.
Smart people are trying. But ruthless people with lawyers on the payroll have a habit of winning. In other words, don’t think a handful of overtaxed volunteers with too little time, aided by determined letter writers, can stop this. It may take much more.