NRA Files for Chapter 11

And it’s moving the corporate entity to Texas. Any bets on how much of Wayne’s mistakes get buried in that bankruptcy? Any bets on whether there’s new bylaws that will, de jure, end NRA as a member controlled organization? (I recognize that, de facto, membership control has been tenuous for some time). Will NRA move to Texas? We know Wayne has wanted to.

Leticia James will actually have a say in the dissolution of a New York non-profit. So I’m sure she has a next move, and I doubt this is over.

Finally, I will say this: my club has a provision requiring members to belong to the NRA. I am no fan of Bill and Wayne’s NRA, but I haven’t been willing to move on that issue, because if there was a power struggle, I wanted to be able to throw our weight behind the not-Wayne faction. It’s also a massive PITA to get bylaw changes done.

But if the door closes on members having the ultimate say, if it becomes just another group run by grifters who’s sole purpose is perpetuating the graft, if there’s no hope for a different NRA beyond Wayne and whoever he chooses to be his successor, that changes the calculus. Right the ship. My patience is not infinite.

Warning signs

I saw this tweet in passing earlier in the week and thought nothing of it at the time, other than “What a bad idea.”

But a friend of mine pointed out that this didn’t “look right” for what it purports to be: a call to action from “right wing elements”

Things that I noticed, more or less off the top of my head:

  • The color palette is Red/Yellow/Black. It should be White/Blue/Red. A white or blue background, blue or white text, and red highlights/background elements
  • The stars are wrong – they should be regular, filled, and either white or silver (as on the US Flag), not freehand yellow and distorted. Plus they are point-down, not point up.
  • The Statue of Liberty is an unlikely choice. Either a “generic government building with columns” or an image of the “WE THE PEOPLE” from the Constitution would be more likely, and either photorealistic or line art, not posterized. Or as in one of the VCDL examples, a “minuteman” or other recognizeably Revolutionary War Patriot
  • The text layout is wrong – both in being slanted, in color (see palette issues) and in kerning/justification (see the VCDL examples below)
  • There’s no exhortation to follow state and local laws concerning the carriage of firearms or other weapons

This design language screams Soviet/COMINTERN to me, from color palette to layout to image elements.

But the biggest missing item?


There’s no organization logos on this. No social media calls to action, no promotion at all. None of the most likely candidates for organizing this would ever pass up the opportunity to self-promote, and neither would the unlikely candidates.

I hesitate to label anything a “false-flag” operation, but this is certainly a “no flag” operation. And that is what rings the most false to me.

For comparison, see these posters from VCDL

Needless to say, even if this event was actually being formented by people nominally on my side, I’d say it was a Bad Idea to go. But all of the above make me think it is a really Bad Idea.

And I’ve seen several gun rights groups say the same thing – that this isn’t coming from Our Side, and to not show up; or if you simply must, don’t show up in violation of local laws concerning carriage of arms.

An Astute Observation

As much as I hate linking into Facebook, this is too good to pass up:

As a part of the ongoing back and forth with Michael Saladino, I posted a comment that seemed to resonate with us both. I thought I’d problem it and see what other folks think of it.”

Let me present a hypothesis. The ‘front-row kids’ have a coherent, articulatable worldview – which is reassuring and which cements their internal cultural alliance. That worldview has policy/action outcomes which – so far (key point) – have worked relatively great for those who can get over the wall and join the front-row crowd.

They are also those _charged with_ developing the consensus worldview (what Habermas calls ‘communicative reason’). The _problem_ is that the worldview developed is one that has cast adrift everyone outside the wall, and is now busily working to make the wall as high as possible.Why? Because the model doesn’t work in the real world.

So they build a huge pool of people who checked the boxes on joining the front row team, but there aren’t enough chairs any more. This gives us three groups:

A. Folks comfortably in the front row (or who are confident that by scrambling they can stay there);

B. Folks trying to get into the front row, and realizing that there aren’t enough chairs and the wall is impossibly high;

C. Folks who aren’t front-row (note that this doesn’t mean poor) who no longer have a coherent worldview that _they can relate to_ to latch onto.

Group C is in the midst of Millenial (as in thousand-year) craziness as the social and mental structures they depended on splinter. So they are ripe for all kinds of crazy shit.

Group B is the group that has historically launched revolutions – we oughta watch what they do very carefully.

Group A is just trying to hang on long enough to cash out and buy the house in Sun Valley. They are increasingly abandoning their duty of care for their fellow citizens.Note that I see this in my European friends as well as my US friends…it’s not Trump that splintered things.”

More “Seen on the Internets”

Any time I have the urge to use Facebook, I’m just going to post it on here. Might be a lot of drive by, but I used to do that a lot:

One unintended consequence of crushing speech on the right is that sane righties lose the ability to talk lunatics out of crazy. Back in the old days, I had many conversations talking sense into conspiracists from Rothschild to contrails. They listened to me because I’m credible in a way CNN is not. Now, instead, I shut up. I fear we’re about to embark on an unfortunate experiment to rediscover why, precisely, free speech has for 300 years been considered a bedrock necessity for a civilized society.

This is absolutely true. I do not see the value in driving people deeper and deeper into the fever swamps.

Also, I see this as fundamentally true:

November’s election revealed that the class realignment of our two parties is solidifying. Democrats have increasingly emerged as the party of upscale suburbs, of Silicon Valley and Hollywood and Wall Street, of the owners of capital and the professionals who service them. The GOP, meanwhile, is trending toward a multiracial working-class party, preferred by those who generally make their living by toil. . . .

The big donors are abandoning the GOP, so they won’t have much choice. I have to level with you all, I never thought Trump was any savior. He made a lot of unforced errors. The big thing Trump saw and exploited was that the coalition had shifted. I think he’s a talented self-promoter, which is how he managed to win the White House with no prior political experience. But I don’t think he was going to build a movement that wasn’t centered around himself.

He attracted the loyalty he did because he positioned himself to be seen as fighting for the deplorables, when no one else would. If change is going to come, it will probably come from someone who understands the DC machine, and knows how to dismantle it.

On Protesting

Seen on the Internets:

I’m not usually big on giving advice on here, but these are unusual times. Please keep in mind I was schooled in Unconventional Warfare (UW) by the best the US Army had to offer, and I personally applied it on behalf of our great Nation. Part of that training and experience involved Information Operations (IO), a detailed and effective method of controlling narratives and inserting key and manipulated information to affect beliefs and situational understanding, resulting in actions supporting “our side” occurring. My advice: stay home and do not get involved in any protests, of any kind, in the coming days, especially not the “called for” armed one on the 17th. I believe many different factions are using IO to try to fuel division and cause ignition of flashpoints that will drive people to accepting an agenda “in the best interests of the country.” Emergency declarations due to “extreme” conditions have been the method of despots since time began. Stay home, spend time with family and friends, exercise your patriotic duty by watching key events on television. Don’t play into the hands of those with destructive agendas. Don’t create or participate in the next “Emergency.” Let those with destructive agendas show up and be exposed on their own.

I’ve never been a very big advocate for protests to begin with, because unless you can turn out in truly remarkable numbers, the lawmakers have been there, done that. If all you can put together is something they see routinely, you’re better off not doing it.

You’re all far better off now (re)engaging with your local communities and figuring out how to route around big tech.

Your Rocket Blew Up My Satellite

Two of the richest guys on earth feuding over the fact that Musk’s rocket blew up Zuck’s satellite has got to be the most 21st century thing ever. This is in the category of the future I was promised.

The Inauguration

Lest you all think I am talking about Joe Biden, I’m being inaugurated tonight, as my club’s president, a week ahead of Slow Joe. Though I believe our club’s transition of power will be a good bit more peaceful. I don’t think the outgoing president is planning any protests, nor do I expect anyone to storm the meeting room and steal my podium (because I don’t have one to steal.) Maybe they could steal the gavel or something. Though we have a backup.

Our inauguration is pretty low key to nonexistent. We don’t take an oath. It basically consists of switching the badge out on my lanyard from one that says “3” to one that says “1.” Whoop dee do.

One of the first things I am doing is recognizing one Board member for 20 years of service on the Board, which I’m happy to do because he’s a real nice guy, and over the years has saved the club a lot of money doing electrical work for us as a retired electrician.

Having observed people during this pandemic, I do believe it’s driving a lot of people stark raving mad. I’m sincerely hoping once the vaccine is rolled out and we tamp this down, the temperature will come down a little. I expect the next four years to be very challenging both for my club and for the nation. But I would encourage everyone to look after the health of their local community groups. Get involved. That kind of thing is going to become more important than ever.

Steve Job’s Greatest Legacy

Ding dong, Flash is dead. I’d say Ack-Mac hardest hit, because they had NRA’s web presence all flashed up long past Flash’s expiration date, but I think they probably have bigger problems right now. Of course, so does NRA!

Self Awareness

At what point, when you’re trying to prevent people from reading books, do you not begin self reflection and start asking. “Are we the baddies?”

The Great Crackdown

The most insightful observation of the past four years was that China is not importing our liberal values: instead we are importing their authoritarian values. I see this everywhere now that it’s been pointed out.

The tech monopolies aren’t even bothering to couch their censorship anymore. They’ve had their Reichstag fire, and now that they have nothing to fear.

I’ve thought the past four years Trump and the GOP weren’t doing nearly enough to curtail the tech monopolies. They’d call the oligarchs in for hearings, make them a little uncomfortable, but took no serious anti-trust action or started enforcement of the laws against anti-competitive practices, or even bothered to use campaign finance laws. The Dems have always been very effective at using government as a weapon, but the GOP frankly sucks at it, and I don’t notice that Trump was any good at it either.

My current internal debate is whether quitting social media is just giving in, and we wouldn’t do better to move communications to a lower profile and to trusted networks of people. I think I will greatly curtail my personal activities on social media. I cannot quit totally since I manage pages.

I will be focusing on traditional community building locally. I will try to get the blog back to some base level of activity, because the network of bloggers used to be a great tool for us before social media came along. We used to do just fine without the tech monopolies. It’s time to route around their censorship. We should stop trying to make another Facebook or Twitter. That is playing by their rules, and the network effects and anti-competitive practices of big tech make that an impossible prospect now. We need to focus on federated services and building networks they can’t shut down.

We need an open source movement for social media. Microsoft’s monopoly on the operating system was brought to an end by the first wave of open source technology. We need a second wave to commoditize the tech monopolists into irrelevance.

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