NRA Settles CarryGuard Debacle With NY State

The National Rifle Association entered into a consent order with the New York State Department of Financial Services today. The Department of Financial Services had charged the NRA with violating New York insurance law with its CarryGuard program as well as with its affiliate insurance programs.

From the NY DFS new release:

Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell today announced that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has entered into a consent order with the National Rifle Association (NRA). On February 5, 2020, DFS served a statement of charges and notice of hearing to the NRA over violations of New York Insurance Law. That case is now resolved by a consent order that includes a civil monetary penalty of $2.5 million for violations of New York insurance laws.  

In addition, the NRA is banned from marketing insurance in the State or receiving compensation in connection with any newly issued New York insurance policies for five years, irrespective of whether the NRA obtains a license. This brings to a close a three-year investigation. 

In the consent order, DFS found that, despite lacking a license to conduct insurance business in New York, the NRA violated various New York insurance laws and regulations by, among other things, acting as an insurance producer without a license in participating in efforts to solicit and market the sale of insurance products, including the NRA’s Carry Guard insurance program. 

“The NRA operated as an unlicensed insurance producer and broke the New York Insurance Law by soliciting insurance products and receiving compensation,” said Superintendent Lacewell. “Even worse, the NRA violated the New York Insurance Law by soliciting dangerous and impermissible insurance products, including those within its Carry Guard program that purported to insure intentional acts and criminal defense costs. The Department will continue to protect the integrity of the insurance market for the purposes of safety and soundness and the good of all consumers.” 

The CarryGuard program was rushed into the market under the management of former Executive Director of General Operations and former Chief of Staff Josh Powell. As I understand it, his predecessor Kyle Weaver, then Director of General Operations, was building the program out step by step which wasn’t fast enough for the powers that be. The thought behind the program was that the NRA had helped get shall-issue concealed carry introduced in many states. However, they saw groups like USCCA offering legal defense programs which the NRA saw as making money off their hard work and they wanted in on it.

Then, Powell replaced Weaver and rushed the product to market with big fanfare at the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta. That rush has now cost the NRA $2.5 million it can ill afford to spend.

In a story from Reuters on this consent order, NRA outside counsel William Brewer III tries to put a positive spin on it.

The NRA has said it did not underwrite its insurance programs, and that like “countless” affinity groups it relied on industry experts to market products to members.. It did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to settle.

William Brewer, a lawyer for the NRA, said in a statement: “The DFS inquiry, which began with a roar, ends with a whimper.” He said the settlement has no effect on other litigation pending between New York state and the NRA.

That story also has this from Superintendent Lacewell regarding the other insurance offered through the NRA.

She also accused the NRA of misleading gun collectors, dealers, instructors, clubs and shows by promising coverage at the “lowest possible cost,” when the group typically kept between 13.7% and 21.9% of premiums paid.

2021 NRA Board Nominations

30 individuals have been nominated by the NRA Nominating Committee to run for the Board of Directors in 2021.

Rather than listing them by name, here is a photo of the list.

This does not include those who plan to run by Petition such as Frank Tait.

I’d like to point out sitting Directors who would normally be up for re-election this year that are not on the list.

First and foremost is LtCol Robert Brown. Evidently he was just a bit too free-spoken and too likely to rock the boat. I did hear a rumor that NRA President Carolyn Meadows had earlier demanded he resign from the Board.

Also missing are people like Il-Ling New, Kristy Titus, and Robert “Bob” Nosler.

What is that old saying, “the more things change, they more stay the same.” 2020 has seen the New York AG move to dissolve the NRA, Republican control of the Senate is on the edge, and a new anti-gun administration presumably (if possibly fraudulently) has been elected. So the Nominating Committee comes up with a list of the same old names with a few new ones tossed in.

All I can say is that Wayne is secure if not the organization.

Sigh.

Snark Of The Day

Writing something with just the right amount of snarkiness is an art form. Of course, we all know that Tam is the High Priestess of this. But she may have a competitor in Dov Fischer, a lawyer and rabbi, who writes for The American Spectator.

Writing about the opinion polls that were so wrong, Fischer noted that they gave Democrats the courage to tell Americans exactly what they intended to do if elected.

In the list of things the Democrats planned to do was this:

We will end the Electoral College because it is the only college left in the country that does not have a Critical Race Theory major requirement.

Given the crap being proposed at my alma mater, I think he may be correct.

“It’s Not Over Until We Say It’s Over”

Despite the mass media asserting that Joe Biden is the President-Elect and despite Biden himself standing in front of a backdrop sayin “Office of the President-Elect”, Joe Biden is not the President-Elect. The Electoral College has not met and most states have not certified their election results.

Until this happens, he is, at best, the presumptive President-Elect or the projected President-Elect.

My only other comment on this comes from future Sen. John Blutarsky.

Happy 245th Birthday, USMC

Today marks the 245th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps at Tun’s Tavern. While I never served in the armed forces and actually come from an Army family, I have a lot of respect for the Marine Corps ethos.

The Commandant’s Birthday video featuring Gen. David Berger and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Troy Black is below:

His birthday message is found here. He concludes his message by writing:

In a year of significant change and uncertainty, I am reminded of the words of American novelist, John Dos Passos, “In times of change and danger when there is a quicksand of fear under men’s reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifeline across the scary present…” Never forget, what you do today becomes the foundation for the generations of Marines that will follow. There is no challenge we cannot overcome, together, by holding fast to our core values. Happy 245th Birthday Marines.

He is correct – it has been a year of change and uncertainty.

Alex Trebek RIP

As if you needed another reason to hate the year 2020, it was announced within the past hour that Alex Trebek has died from cancer. He was 80 years old and had been fighting pancreatic cancer.

Trebek had hosted Jeopardy! for almost 37 years and was an institution. I am a huge fan of the show going back to the Art Fleming days. It just won’t be the same without Alex.

From the release put out by the show today:

JEOPARDY! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. He was 80 years old.


Alex was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2019, and he continued to host JEOPARDY! for the next 18 months. Throughout that time, Alex was open and public about his battle with cancer. JEOPARDY! episodes hosted by Alex will air through December 25, 2020 (his last day in the studio was October 29). The show is not announcing plans for a new host at this time.


Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Alex hosted dozens of game shows before becoming the host of JEOPARDY! in its syndicated debut in 1984. He hosted more than 8,200 JEOPARDY! episodes over the course of nearly 37 seasons, setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a single game show. Alex won the Daytime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Game Show Host seven times and was honored with Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He received the Order of Canada honor from his nativeland in 2017.


“This is an enormous loss for the JEOPARDY! staff, crew and all of Alex’s millions of fans. He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years. Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host JEOPARDY! was an
incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever,” said Mike Richards, JEOPARDY! Executive Producer


Alex is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean, and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. The family has announced no plans for a service, but gifts in Alex’s memory could go to World Vision.

“Today we lost a legend and a beloved member of the Sony Pictures family,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “For 37 amazing years, Alex was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world. He was the heart and soul of JEOPARDY! and he will be deeply missed by everyone who made him part of their lives. Our hearts go out to Jean, Matthew, Emily, and Nicky.”


“We join our colleagues at Sony Pictures in mourning the passing of Alex Trebek,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Corporation. “Alex was an extraordinary talent whose intelligence, wit and comforting presence appealed to millions of people around the world and made JEOPARDY! the outstanding show it is today.”

Guilford College – Then And Now

I graduated Guilford College in 1979 with an A.B. I had a double major in Political Science and Economics. The basic cost for attending Guilford in 1978-79 without any financial aid was $4,280. This included tuition, room, board, and fees.

Today in 2020, the cost has risen to $52,920 and it will be higher in the next school year. The inflation rate from 1979 to 2020 is an average of 6.325% annually. By contrast, the average inflation rate based upon the Consumer Price Index from 1980 to 2020 is 2.92%.

What brought this up was an email I received on Friday from Guilford College with a letter from Interim President Carol Moore. It told how the school was revamping and retrenching. Many majors would be eliminated and tenured faculty was being let go.

To be frank, after reading the email I was appalled. I was appalled by what she decided were the essential majors going forward. Mind you, Guilford College is a liberal arts college which used to provide a well-rounded education. The science departments were well known for sending on graduates to industry, to PhD programs, and to med school. The social science departments had a reputation for placing graduates in law and graduate schools.

Here is the list of majors and concentrations in 1978-79 taken straight from the college catalog:

Concentrations were offered in classics, environmental sciences, history of science, non-western studies, and social services.

There were also cooperative 3-2 programs which allowed students to do three years at Guilford and two years at other schools to receive dual degrees. These included engineering with Georgia Tech, environmental and forestry sciences with the School of Forestry at Duke, medical technology with Wake Forest’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine, and the physician assistant’s program also with the Bowman Gray School of Medicine.

Fast forward to Friday and this is what is being proposed as majors going forward:

With respect to specific programs, I have recommended that the College offer 23 majors:

African and African American Studies
Art
English and Media Studies
– Creative Writing (track)
Experience Design
International Studies
Music
Theatre Studies
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Accounting
Business Administration
Criminal Justice
Education Studies
Integrative Studies
Psychology
Sport Management
Biology
– Forensic Biology (track)
Computing Technology and Information Systems
Cyber and Network Security
Environmental Studies
Exercise and Sport Sciences
Health Sciences
Public Health
Sustainable Food Systems

Many other courses of study will be available as minors or as courses to support the general education program.

I had to look up on the current college website some of these majors. Experience design? Integrative studies?

Turns out “experience design” is a fancy term for graphics arts and “integrative studies” is a make your own major thing.

I’m not even going to get into the majors in “grievance studies”. I do find it odd that a school founded by the Society of Friends (Quakers) no longer has a major in Religious Studies or even Philosophy. Given the Quakers are pacifists, it is even odder that Peace Studies has bitten the dust.

What I am seeing is a mixture of fluff and trade school majors with the occasional true liberal arts major left as a sop to traditionalists like me. Many of the majors like public health, exercise and sports sciences, and “sustainable food systems” are better offered at public universities which have more depth at a lower cost. If I wanted to be an organic farmer, I’d be going to an ag school and not a liberal arts college.

Pardon me if I feel a little saddened by all of this. I still believe in the value of a true liberal arts education. It is and has always been a bedrock of becoming an informed citizen who can critically think, cogently express ideas, and discern fact from fiction.

Fortunately, it seems alumni and students are not taking this lying down. A Facebook group called Save Guilford College has been formed and has grown to over 2,300 members in little more than a week.

What happens next will be up to the Board of Trustees.

As for me, I’m just glad I graduated when I did. It is a sad thing to say that you wouldn’t attend the current iteration of a place you spent four really good years.

Jack Says I’ve Been A Bad Boy (Update)

I don’t know whether it was because I criticized my alma mater Guilford College for deleting virtually every worthwhile major and keeping the fluff such as gender and grievance studies or because I tried to retweet something from Twitchy about Chuck Schumer ignoring COVID now that it seems Biden is the winner but I’m lock out of Twitter.

It says I may need to “complete some additional tasks” if I want to resume using Twitter. Does that mean I have to go to Jack’s re-education camp like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge forced upon the Cambodians?

UPDATE: Below is the email I got from Twitter regarding the locking of my account and the reason.

What it says it that I shared “privately produced/distributed intimate media”. When I follow the link, I find that I am being accused of reposting something that violated the non-consensual nudity policy.

BS!

It seems that a number of people have had their Twitter accounts locked for reposting a link to an article on election results and a mathematical test called Benford’s Law. It is a test to see whether numbers are naturally occurring or manually manipulated as with “ballot box stuffing”.

What prompted me to repost the link was a report on Instapundit.com by Prof. Glenn Reynolds that Facebook had refused a link to the article every time he tried to post it. I, like many others, then posted it to Twitter. We all got our accounts fraudulently locked by the powers that be at Twitter under the pretext that we were posting non-consensual nudity. I’m surprised that they didn’t say we were posting “kiddie porn”.

Bastards!

UPDATE II: Well, not total bastards. I just got this when I appealed.

Hello,
 
Our support team has reviewed your account and it appears we made an error. We’ve determined there was no violation and have restored your account to full functionality.
 
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate you taking the time to submit your appeal request to us.
 
Thanks,
Twitter
 

Pictorial Reason For Light Blogging

I have not blogged much this week. Below is the reason why.

These were taken yesterday in Destin, Florida as we were getting ready to head home. The Complementary Spouse’s sister and her husband had rented a condo and invited us to join them. We also were joined by the Complementary Spouse’s brother and his wife.

I guess if you have to watch semi-disappointing election returns doing it in a nice place lessens the discomfort. On the plus side, Mark Robinson was elected Lt. Gov. of North Carolina and Madison Cawthorn will be my new Congressman. On the negative side, unless a miracle happens, my new president will be a corrupt lifetime politician with many signs of dementia meaning the remaking of the judiciary with originalists has come to a halt.

Comments On Polling

I came across a couple of comments on polls and polling this morning that make some sense.

First from my friend Michael Bane:

“Polls” are nothing more than psy-ops operations designed to demoralize voters ahead of an election; even an “average of polling data” is nothing more than an “average of lies,” which translates into a lie.

And then this Tweet from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who was inundated by tons of out of state money for his opponent Jaime Harrison. In the end, all that money was wasted.