Saturday, February 26, 2011

On 2012 (and even, 11/11)

(Someone commented "Why can't we get cool 2A laws like Wyoming?"...I responded.)

I'd mention, in passing, the difference in who holds the majority in the Wyoming State House and Senate....

Wyoming House: 50:10 (R:D)
Wyoming Senate: 26:4 (R:D)
Governor (R)

Now, when we look at Washington, we see:

WA House: 36:62 (R:D)
WA Senate: 22:27 (R:D)
Governor (D)

To get the kind of results the kids in WY are getting, we rather obviously need to flip at least one (and by preference, both houses and the statehouse) house to "Not-a-Democrat". Tea Party, Libertarian, GOP (except RINO edition) are all better bets than the average Democrat to be pro-2A.

The first step in making this happen is either running ourselves, or finding electable pro-2A candidates (with particular and special focus on districts with weaker Democrats and known RINO's) to run for offices. While we do this, we need to look at not taking out the Dem's that *are our friends* in the 2A discussion - I specifically suggest State Senator Tim Sheldon as an example of a Democrat that's long been a friend to gun-owners. I suggest consulting with Joe Waldron (who knows all things legislative) in such a pursuit.

We have 10 months (at the outside) to generate viable pro2A candidates. We then have 6 months to raise serious money to support them - from then on in, while some fund-raising remains a viable option, for the most part it's *spending* money...

Look at the numbers, and recognize that it probably takes about 30k (minimum) to run a winning campaign against a long term incumbent...and that's why, if we want to flip 8-9 Senate seats, we need to start getting serious about candidate recruitment, PAC formation, and fund-raising right about yesterday.

This isn't written to be discouraging, but is my best analysis of "how do we get what the lucky kids are getting over in WY?". Basically, it's a lot of hard tedious work for a long term win...part of which will include changing the fundamental culture of state government.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A few thoughts on Somalia

At some point, a dreadful example needs to be made. Simply deploring the murder of American citizens by pirates (the real kind, not the cutesy Disney version) on the high seas isn't going to cut it - "naughty, naughty" just doesn't make much of an impression on such folks...

A full naval flotilla in classical punitive mode, on the other hand, can communicate a certain level of displeasure unlikely to be forgotten in the near term. As JayG suggests, level the ports these scum take refuge in and sink them at sea - through direct military confrontation and the use of Q-Ships.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a Q-Ship is a ship loaded with a cargo of "Surprise". The strategy has been employed with greater and lesser success over the years. A vessel is made particularly hard to sink, and laden with troops and equipment liable to lead to an unhappy day for those as would molest her.

Regrettably, given the current adminstration, it's unlikely we'll see more than "naughty, naughty" uttered as to avoid hurting the pirates delicate feelings...

Monday, February 21, 2011

A justified response...

Refusing to do business with the TSA...what a clever notion!! Now, if we can just get *all* businesses in or near airports to support this....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What to ride, what to ride...

Initially, I'll mostly be riding an Emoto G6 Scooter,

and then (when it comes in) a Zero Street Motorcycle...

for work...

And should the Toy Account allow:

Saturday, February 19, 2011


For a variety of reasons, it's become necessary for me to get my WA Motorcycle Endorsement (the little bonus tag on your drivers license that says you're ok to ride motorcycles).

Got down to Boeing Renton at 0700 this morning for the 0800 class (be on time or fail, so I was early!), rode a Suzuki 250 for about 4-5 hours re-learning basic maneuvers after what was (for the most part) a 20 year hiatus.

I'd forgotten how much fun a bike with a gearshift is, and how much fun riding on normal pavement (i.e., not downtown Seattle) can be...

Can hardly wait to get the endorsement pushed through the bureaucracy on Monday.

August 5, 1981

On August 3, 1981 the now-defunct union PATCO led its members (the air traffic controllers of the day) in an illegal labor action - a strike, an action specifically barred to air traffic controllers by law upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1971.

Reagan branded the strike illegal. He threatened to fire any controller who failed to return to work within 48 hours. Federal judges levied fines of $1 million per day against the union.

Two days later, on August 5, President Ronald Reagan fired still-striking air traffic controllers and imposed a lifetime ban on hiring them back into any federal position - a substantially gentler approach than the law would have allowed (fines or a one year jail term).

Today we have Wisconsin. And many precedents for ordering striking government workers back to their jobs. And for fining and terminating the employment of those who do not comply.

Gov. Scott Walker? It's time to stop playing nice. Start bringing out the attorneys and the pain. Enough is enough. And should Wisconsin law allow, begin recall proceedings against the fled legislators refusing to do their job on the basis of nonfeasance.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WAC Update...

Just to catch late joiners up. If you're here from JayG or Breda (THANKS GUYS!!) , this will make more sense if you read the post immediately prior before reading this.

Both my complaint and Boyd Kneelands have been relegated to the Election Committee, with mine specifically denied by the party I named. I'm not overly optimistic that anything resembling justice or fairness will result, but take some comfort from the fact I've done what I can in this instance.

Regrettably, as a result of festivities, Washington Arms Collectors is now without a webmaster - something about being unwilling to get caught in an abusive tug-of-war between board factions.

A third complaint, from Joe Waldron of GOAL-WA, has yet to be heard. I anticipate other complaints to come steaming in from other aggrieved parties. We'll see how it all boils out.

I remain deeply concerned about the viability of an organization vital to the Gun-Rights community in the State of Washington with this level of factionalism, dysfunction, and ignorance.

While the last may be curable if one can find a teacher the proposed students are capable of listening to, the first two are usually permanent afflictions until an organization plays a quick game of flush the office holders.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Washington Arms Collectors - Will we still have a gun show?

I'm annoyed. Sufficiently so as to take the hatbox down off the shelf, and dig out the activist hat...dusty and moth-eaten as it is, and go merrily to wreak political havoc in the cause of justice and keeping a good organization kicking around.

The Washington Arms Collectors are the largest, and arguably the oldest, pro-firearms organizations in the State of Washington. With a membership in the thousands, they exercise no small political clout. While occasionally hidebound, they are normally a force for good in the universe.

However, in a terrible moment of foolishness, the membership managed to elect a majority of ninnyhammers to the organizations board. Normally, I'd shrug and wait it out - hit the shows, keep my head down, and let the folks who can still enjoy or tolerate such things deal with it.

What happened?

With all the grace and good judgment of a village idiot hurling a grenade into a manure pond, renegade WAC Directors ejected Dan Frank from his position as Editor of the WAC Newsletter and expelled him from WAC membership entirely -- barring him from all WAC events (including
shows) and club property and conveniently forgetting they simply don't have the authority to do that.

Given that I've known Frank for some years, this rather startled me - bringing me out of my cherished political torpor, out of loyalty to a friend and concern for
WAC. Crazy, after all, is seldom good for an organization.

Reading Franks "Goodbye" column in the Newsletter, I began to research. I found nothing meriting termination of employment, suspension, or expulsion.

It is my firm belief that, acting in gross violation of the
WAC bylaws, that the majority of the Board has exposed, for no reason beyond petty vindictiveness,WAC to serious and wholly preventable liability should Mr. Frank choose to exercise his legal rights - which he has.

The allegation that Mr. Frank wrongfully changed a members status in the database in what (I believe) was his honest belief he was correcting an error -- if true, is less his fault than the database administrator who allowed him inappropriate "write" access privileges, rather than "read-only" appropriate to the role of editor (or for that matter, Director -- and even that much access is questionable). Write access should be granted only on a basis of "is there no other way you can do this". In any case, the "sin" is pretty darned picayune.

The charge, frankly, to me smelled more of trumped up "I got you, you SOB!" than any actual legitimate offense. Nothing yet has turned up to convince me otherwise.

However, that is largely irrelevant -- because while the Board *might* have the authority to terminate Frank from an at will position as Editor, they do not have the authority to expel Mr. Frank for the above.

A WAC member can only be expelled for two reasons, as outlined in both the obsolete bylaws WAC Bylaws or under the currently valid bylaws (11/25/10, no online link). (Article VII(B)1, summarized, emphasis mine).

1) A conviction of a crime making one ineligible to possess firearms.

2) May result from any second violation of W.A.C. rules, bylaws or BoD resolutions as such currently exist or may hereafter be adopted or modified.

Given nobody has charged Frank with, let alone convicted him, of any qualifying crime the expulsion fails the first option. Lacking any prior violation by Frank, the expulsion also fails on the second.

Directors acting in defiance of WAC's bylaws, expelled Frank regardless --an inherently invalid action. Illegitimate actions under color of authority typically are. As a bonus, we ALL get to pay when Frank wins his lawsuit for damage to his professional and/or private reputation and his membership is restored by the astonishingly literate judge. Can you thank the nice renegades?

As a member of any organization, I have simple little expectations -- that the leadership play by the rules, refrain from engaging in chargeable offenses, and avoid actions that are likely to get the organization hauled in front of a judge. Say...illegitimate expulsions, for instance.

The renegades (for what else do you call Directors blowing off by-laws?) managed to blow two out of three. Were they mere members, it'd be easy. Bring them before the Board, point out they'd been very naughty, and then suspend them. Problem solved.

But Board members can only be tried by themselves, and when the naughty are in the majority, that leaves only regular and recall elections, and then actions of the general membership...or litigation, that last and least charming of resorts.

The second issue , that of rogue directors (in yet another exciting fashion) acting in the touchingly delusional belief that board resolutions and/or later votes can trump a vote of the membership to change the organizations bylaws (or, for that matter, much of anything
else) indicates a serious misunderstanding of how membership organizations work.

Once a group of Directors starts rejecting elections they don't like, it's time to pull the flush handle. Where does it stop? Disapproving elections that don't result in their re-election or that of their favored candidates?

The members own the organization, not the Directors. In a conflict between the members and the Board, the members win...they own the group, after all.

Directors are stewards, serving the interests and desires of the membership with additional and specific fiduciary duties to the members.

They run the group as long as the members let them.

Members can remove Directors by use of the recall process; they can remove Directors via general elections; and they can make sweeping changes in policy by calling a meeting of the general membership (think Constitutional Convention, ratchet back 10 notches, and you're fairly
well clocked in). A general membership meeting, barring surprises since I last dealt with such things at any serious level, can do fun things like removing a Directors voting rights for the remainder of his or her term -- and then call it a light warm-up before the serious
blood-letting begins.

Third and finally, failing to correct an organizational tendency towards actions based on "we've done it this way since ", and to take shortcuts (essentially, a view of "bugger the rules, we're gonna do THIS"). Simply, negligence. Nonfeasance. If you have a locked in majority, that's part of the package...a responsibility to ensure that the rules are followed, not passions indulged.

The above, combined with the bile and conspiracy theories expressed at the "special meeting" of the board I witnessed on 1/18/11 -- a meeting called to find ways to defy the will of the membership and punish the opposition, in my opinion -- did not leave me filled with pride in WAC's leaders. A board member throwing a tantrum and making motions to dissolve the board because he didn't like what he was hearing doesn't much impress me.

The as yet anonymous publication and distribution (by board members) of a scurrilous collection of misinformation, slander (in my lay opinion, consult your favorite attorney), ignorance, and misleading statements at the 1/22 Puyallup Show moved me from irritation to being downright annoyed.

This document, distributed from some odd combination of "directors tables" and the FONRA tables, rather crossed some boundaries. At a personal level, I was offended by the use of my name without permission, specifically barred under the WAC Election Code. I was not calmed by the document then attacking a friend, Boyd Kneeland (former WAC Director, current WAC webmaster).

And finally, I was utterly unamused by the assaults on the Second Amendment Foundation and the Gun Owners Action League of Washington - our two most potent forces in the state capitol keeping the hoplophobes in check, and in the case of the Second Amendment Foundation, our strongest advocate before the courts (the nice folks that brought us Heller, McDonald, and more...).

Some things simply should not be done.

Fortunately, as members we have a choice. It's not often that I call upon the power of the blogosphere and the madness of forums (in fact, I can't recall having done so).

If you're in Washington and aren't already a Washington Arms Collectors member, join now. If you're not in Washington, write an email regarding this kind of silliness to the WAC board. If you're free tonight, attend the WAC Board meeting and chat with directors before and after, sharing your opinion.

Finally, if you're a WAC member already, you've either received or will shortly recieve your ballot in GunNews for the 2011 election of the WAC board and officers.

Vote for Leland Bull for President of Washington Arms Collectors. Bull is a decent sort, and has striven, against the tide, to find ways for the factions on the Board to work together far longer than most would before coming to the conclusion that such efforts were futile, joining the Reform Slate.

Bill Burris and Rick Verzal have both served honorably with the Washington Arms Collectors, and promise to not only continue to do so, but provide valuable institutional memory going forward. Burris is a retired Pierce County Deputy and brings a valuable law enforcement perspective to the Board. Verzal is a long time FFL holder (bringing an important vendor viewpoint to the Board) and dedicated to member education and fending off the ongoing attacks on gun shows.

Similarly, vote for Dave Workman. As the editor of Gun Weekly, author of Washington Gun Rights & Responsibilities, past President of Snoqualmie Valley Rifle Club, a past NRA Director, and owner/operator of D&D GunLeather Workman brings a combination of national and local Pro-RKBA knowledge and experience combined with a fundamentally fair, if gruff, nature that clearly serves the best interests of Washington Arms Collectors to retain as a Director.

Having the Chair of the Washington GOP as a member of the Board is almost certainly a good thing - and that Kirby Wilbur is a past WAC Director and a noted regional radio celebrity is clearly of benefit as well. Voting for Wilbur is a vote for a vigorous club with its own facility in the relatively near future.

Finally, as one of the founding members and current leader of the Second Amendment Foundation, Alan Gottleib also brings expertise as the President of several radio stations and a wide variety of leadership experience that makes him a valued addition to the WAC Board. A vote for Gottleib is a vote for sanity.

If you're angry, you have a right to be - but don't just sit on your hands. Do something about it. I'll be at the Board meeting tonight and voting shortly.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


It's been an entertaining few months. First the Christmas debacle, then the wonders of cellulitis, followed by the mystery of kitty hork, and throughout it all general and assorted work madness. Things are getting better - I'm training a new sales associate that *doesn't* have "If I only had a brain" as his theme song.