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.
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
email@example.com (webmaster — nice guy and totally not responsible for any of this mess)
firstname.lastname@example.org (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!
But on the good side of that subject … Wally Conger reviews my How to Kill the Job Culture despite the fact that it’s been out of print for several years. Hm. If I can find those old files or get somebody to OCR the book for me, maybe a Kindle edition is in order?
Ken at Popehat says yes, there is more to that incident of the teacher arrested over his SF novels. Ken also opens with the best description of media-cop relations I’ve ever read. (H/T jed in comments)
Making the rounds today: Video of a polite young man shutting down cops who demand to search his home.
Same old story, same old song. Once again everybody’s a “terrorist” except of course the actual terrorists. (per Shel in comments)
Economics as explained by The Simpsons. I’m not sure whether it’s a bad thing or a good thing that somebody proposes to teach economic principles this way in college.
Not being urban, I hadn’t heard of the phenomenon of turning HOV lanes into toll lanes for those prosperous enough to pay for better “highway service.” Figures that Robert Poole (who loves all things “privatization” even when they’re really just all things crony capitalist) would be for it and agin’ the activists opposing it.
I think a few people were laughing about me feeling intimidated and being submissive to cranky county fair volunteers yesterday. Found it pretty funny, myself.
In real life, I’m mostly just a person who’d rather get along or talk things out than make a scene — until you really offend my sense of right and wrong. Once you get my righteousness up, you’d best get out of my way.
I’m dealing with an IRL situation like that this very minute.
On Sunday I mentioned a Bad Thing I’d been told (not asked) to keep confidential. It already felt wrong to keep shut about it since it potentially affected a lot of people.
Then late yesterday I learned that the few of us who thought we were in the know had been lied to. In one very, very, very important, not to say absolutely crucial, aspect, we’d been shined on. We’d been led to believe that the Bad Thing had one very good aspect.
It does not. Someone apparently decided to invent that one allegedly good point for reasons unknown. To keep the natives from getting restless, perhaps? I don’t know. But we were lied to.
Now … no more Ms Nice Guy.
Either these people back down from their nefarious plans — and put that in writing. Or it’s warpath time.
I’m trying to be constructive. I’ve been working on possible solutions with some of the others involved. People (other than those responsible) are diligently and intelligently trying to route around the damage. There are excellent colleagues ready not only to fight back but to build for the future. We’re taking practical steps, discussing alternatives. There’s hope in sight.
But now that we know we’ve been lied to, I’ve gone from “OMG, how can this be happening? What can we do about it?” to “If the people responsible for the Bad Thing don’t back off and get the hell out of the way ASAP, there’s going to be blood.”
Well, blood on the blogs, at least. Figuratively speaking.
With no firm ground to stand on, I demand that plans undone. I want resignations. I call for public disclosure.
Of course, that’s useless. I’m impotent. Powerless. I have absolutely zero ability to fix this mess by demanding, wanting, and calling. But I’m mad as bloody damned hell and certainly not going to take this Bad Thing or stand by quietly as it’s imposed on others.
Of all the things I angrily demand, public disclosure is the only one I have any control over. And I will use it.
Also, it’s just a plain fact that making this wretched business public is the right thing to do. It gives a greater chance of having new people come up with new solutions.
So far, all I’ve managed to do is make myself look like a pushy b*itch. Which I hate. But you know, there are signs it might actually work. We’ll see.
I’m holding to confidentiality — well, the threads of confidentiality — still today because a lot of innocent people are involved and because solutions still seem possible at this point without public ruckus raising. I do apologize for talking to you about the mess twice now without actually saying anything. It’s eating my guts out and it’s hard to find the right line to walk.
But if certain perfidious, secretive, lying authoritarians have not taken their plans and agreed to creep away in the next day or two …
The U.S. Department of Justice (sic) is arguing that nobody has a right to refuse to snitch. That is, should you just say no when offered the “opportunity” to become the fedgov’s patsy, TPTB are free to punish you by means fair or foul to coerce and terrify you into doing their bidding. First Amendment does not apply. Nor any other amendment, for that matter.
So they argue and so (in today’s statist legal climate) they may prevail.
Another brick in the wall.
Another brick we’ll pull down on their evil, power-mad heads one day in the not too distant future.
The Simple Justice blog has some fine indignant words on the matter.
Everything — everything! (except memberships) — is 25 percent off at the JPFO store through Thursday. And even with memberships, there’s an ongoing 25th-anniversary special.
Much good stuff. Prices low enough to enable you to share many items with friends. Books. DVDs. Targets. Bumper Stickers. Those wonderful, EZ-read Gran’pa Jack booklets. Tee shirts & hats. More Izula knives!
I wish I’d thought of this line myself, but I’ll steal it from David Codrea, who headlined his post about the big sale at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership with, “Have we got a deal for you!” :-)
And speaking of David, his latest article at JPFO is a real headshaker.
“What Would Happen if ‘Battle of Athens’ Round Two Ever Becomes Necessary?”
Darned good question on general princples. But especially pertinent for the people of McMinn County, Tennessee, whose fathers and grandfathers won the original Battle of Athens. So, folks, why are you now sitting back as your local government gears up to wage war on you?
So why would Huerta create a mixtape no one else could open? Well for one, there’s no worry that someday he’ll regret sending our nation’s protectors a whole bunch of mushy love songs that will sound really, really cheesy 10 years from now. Oh, and there’s this, which he posted on his Medium blog: “The NSA can read my stupid Facebook updates but without my consent it will never be able to listen to my kick-ass mix tape, even if it’s sitting right in front of them.”
Actually, that simplifies things a little too much. Huerta explains in the same post that he was inspired to create his art statement because he has “[bleep] feelings about mass surveillance, and they are not warm and fuzzy. To take the Internet, which I grew up with so much hope for in being so much more free than the world I physically occupied and turn it into a panopticon brings out the tortured artist in me; I can’t help but respond.”
So the mixtape, which he says “contains a soundtrack for the modern surveillance state” is his response. It’s basically a giant “na-na-na-pooh-pooh” (my words, not his) to the NSA and a musical tribute to documentary filmmaker and journalist Laura Poitras and lawyer-journalist Glenn Greenwald, both of published news stories based on NSA documents leaked to them by Edward Snowden. It’s also “a reminder that the rules of mathematics are more powerful than the rules of even the most powerful states,” says Huerta.
So what would be on your freedomista mixtape?
P.S. Hope he’s right about the security of his encryption — even if there’s nothing on the “tape” but bad renditions of “Dancing Queen” and “Lady in Red.” Wouldn’t count on it, though.
A different way of fighting addictions. Article is a little vague on whether these newish ways are more effective than the old. But it’s certainly good to see the old “you’re helpless, forever sick, and dependent only on a higher power” model of treatment getting some competition.
Obama The Great. Or why he thinks he is and is expects us peasants to acknowledge it. (Presidents do tend to be a scurvy lot, but I don’t believe we’ve ever had one more narcissistic than this guy.) UPDATE: G**gl* cached version, H/T. M. Original article has slipped behind a paywall.
It figures. There are actual scientists studying that great (and I really mean it) problem of modern life: why the heck all those electrical cords tangle into Gordian knots just by being left lying around.
Via jed: Order restored to universe as Microsoft gives back all those other-people’s domains it managed to crash.