Friday, April 30, 2010

Good Papers, Bad Papers

Sooo.... producing an ID when asked by police: Bad
Requiring a biometric fed ID to get any job: Good

And not just any ID but a brand spanking new Fed level ID, because we
can't trust the States anymore.

And let's not even get into the argument about producing ID in order to vote.

Oh and your bank account? The feds get into that too.

Oh and look, comlpaints about part of the Az bill being unclear get results.

Not that it matters.

Nearly everyone in the immigration debate has claimed to favor enforcing the immigration laws. But if you think it is draconian to require that anyone have to show papers proving their legal status, then you're simply against enforcement. And if you really believe that, you're not going to change your mind just because the government has set up a "temporary worker" program or a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants: You're going to be against truly enforcing any conceivable set of immigration laws. Good to know.

And here's Bob Owen's take

The pro-criminal immigrant lobby is crying that Arizona's self-defense immigration law is the equivalent of Nazi Germany and other totalitarian states requiring people to carry onerous documentation everywhere they go, drudging up the ominous imagery of MP40-toting German soldiers demanding, "show us your papers."

The Democratic response?

Something even more intrusive.


"Creating a biometric national ID will not only be astronomically expensive, it will usher government into the very center of our lives. Every worker in America will need a government permission slip in order to work. And all of this will come with a new federal bureaucracy — one that combines the worst elements of the DMV and the TSA," said Christopher Calabrese, ACLU legislative counsel.

It sounds crazy, right? Not hardly. You just need to understand their

The government-loving nanny-state left wing would want more control over the
lives of our nation's legal citizens... even as the proposed law would do absolutely nothing to stop criminal immigrants that work in the underground economy, off the books, as millions of criminal aliens already do.

The simple fact of the matter is that importing as many criminal aliens as possible and converting them into voters is the long-term survival strategy of the Democratic Party, and they will never champion laws that protect the integrity of our nation's borders or strengthen our national defense if those run counter to the needs of the Party."

Owens may be a bit of a knee-jerk on Open Carry, but on this and most everything else he's spot on.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Who are the rubes again?

From Instapundit.

He quotes some interesting numbers:

Average Fed salary 2008 $119,928 + $40,785 employee benefits = $160 713
Average private sector salary $59,909 + $9,881 employee benefits = $69, 790

Anual difference, on average, being in the public sector will net you? $90,923

Let that sink in, all told a goverment worker makes 2.3 times what a person paying them makes. Oh and they have more powerful unions and more job security.

Is this sustainable?

And for extra irony guess who said this: “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

Forrest.... Trees

Here's a post on the optics and backlash against Open Carry Protests.

Normally, I really enjoy Bob Owen's work, but this one sat with me wrong. Still it gave me a lot to think about.

It's open for debate whether or not such protests are productive or counter productive on the gun rights front. It's pretty vanilla, if insulting to the wookie-suit OC crowd.

Basically, Mr. Owens thinks that the optics of Open Carry are too provocative and kooky and will turn off sympathetic people.

Quite possible.

But this rubbed me the wrong way:

As a result of these poorly executed and often dimwitted displays, open carry is now under threat precisely because of how open carry advocates have conducted themselves. A Bakersfield, CA, news story makes that fact painfully clear: "The California Assembly is moving closer to banning gun owners from being able to carry their unloaded weapons openly in public. Over the last few months there has been an increase in the number of open carry rallies and meetings in Northern California. On Tuesday a committee moved closer to ending such practices."

I have to disagree with Mr. Owens here. But his logic, if a right becomes banned due to people peacefully, if "dimwittedly", exercising it, then it is at the fault of the people exercising it.

This is like saying if the Tea Party protests were banned because of "hateful" signage that it's the Tea Party's fault it happened.

What's worse is the comment section rapidly degenerated into an open versus concealed carry tactical argument.

Which can be summarized here:

If your open carry you have a quicker draw and the very presence of you being armed may prevent a crime.
This comes at the cost of being the first target if a crime does happen, and the lesser cost of social stigma.
If you conceal carry there is no "preventative" effect, but one has surprise and privacy. Others do not know if you are armed.

These are salient points, but they are tactical and not relevant to the topic of rights.

Having the comments degenerate into "If you carry X style you'll be dead on the floor!" is disappointing but expected. That Bob Owens the article writer joined in is even worse.

This would be like having a post about a potential high capacity ban degenerating into arguments over 9mm versus 45 acp or Glock versus 1911, and then having the author jumping in and say: ("8 shots is more than enough to get the job done as long as you don't miss.").

Or like arguing whether or not someone "needs" a semi-automatic rifle for home defense when a shotgun would do, in a thread about the Assault Weapons Ban ("Most defense situations will be under 25 yards, have concerns about over penetration, and can be accommodated with a
pump's capacity").

Yet another example: It's like being sanguine towards a semi-automatic handgun ban because you prefer revolvers ("Revolvers don't ever jam and 6 shots is more than enough in most situation.").

I thought the gun rights folk were for people having the right do decide how to defend themselves, and thus would push for more choice and liberty whenever possible.

And for full disclosure: I prefer 1911 style handguns, shotguns for home defense, and concealed carry over open carry.

But that's not the point is it?

Also there's a special irony of a man that blogs as Confederate Yankee complete with the stars and bars (and old glory) built into his header talking about provocative and offputting optics.

I don't have a problem with it, given his reasoning. But I don't have a problem with OC either.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Think of the Children (Again)!

It looks like no aspect of human life is too small, too silly, to absurd to escape control of the state. In Cali, of course, they want to ban giving away toys with "unapproved meals". Anything to rearrange the deck chairs on the sinking ship of state.

Reason's pithy take away: "Government health care: Taking toys from children."

And as for the idea that the gov will justify all sorts of bans and
controls of private buisness due to healthcare costs? Told you so.
Your body is no longer your body. The goverment gets a say in what you
can and cannot do with it.

Feeling free yet?

Well at least it'll reduce costs... Opps.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Russia brings back the Q-Ships?

Well that's the "positive" view of the Morinformsistema-Agat, a Russian company, selling a cruise missle launcher that can pass as a shipping container.

Though Russian arms frims, much like most other contries including the US, can only export to approved sellers.

A Q-ship is a warship disguised as a merchantman. In WW2 subs would be enticed into attacking them and then being fired upon. Q-ships could also be used to covertly attack targets due their concealed nature.

Not sure I agree with Ace's terms here, but he does paint a bleak picture.

It's a terrorist missile system, because it is hidden in a run-of-the-mill shipping container, the sort that burdens 80% of the ships at sea. And that's a terrorist weapon, then, because a lawful military force displays its military nature openly. This is expressly designed to hide in plain sight on an ostensibly civilian ship, one our Navy would be very reluctant to fire upon... until it itself has fired first.

A ship armed with one of these could ignore warnings from an aircraft carrier and keep inching closer until it's in range -- while our boys hold fire, not wishing to attack what appears to be a civilian transport -- and then hit us.

And, of course, it could fire on an American city before being inspected at port.

As a weapons system its use is questionable. But I'm sure some more Smart Diplomacy will keep Russia from selling these things to anyone with an axe to grind.

Monday, April 26, 2010

They have met the enemy and it is you.

So Obama has a "reach out" to... well some specific groups. Irish need not apply. And Italians, and Welsh, and Germans, and people with a Y chromosome.

But what does it mean?

And on down the list. Every speech on domestic policy that the President gives paints one group of Americas as evil and tells everyone else they need the government, headed by Obama, to protect them from their evil neighbors.
By shear process of elimination, the most dangerous Americans, the ones everyone else needs Obama’s government to protect them from, must be middle to upper-middle class white people who work in business and especially those who own businesses large and small…

… which is the demographic at the heart of the Tea Party.

The apparent sincere belief by many on the left that the wide spread Tea Party members are evil, violent people springs precisely from decades of indoctrination in which leftists are progressively trained to view their fellow Americans as evil, dangerous people from whom the benevolent state must protect them. They are especially trained to view white business people as evil. When they see a collection of white, small-to-medium-size business-owners/self-employed, they automatically see a group of evil and dangerous people. They can’t help it. This is all they’ve been taught and all they say to each other.

Then add in the "delightful" projection of such folks freaking out at people questioning them and their policies. Remember dissident is patriotic, unless the Dems are in power. Then it's all sedition especially such subversive activities as "citing the U.S. Constitution and quoting Thomas Jefferson."

But what do you expect from such people that think much of the Bill of Rights is bad: Peaceful Assembly, Bearing Arms, and Limits to the Federal Gov.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Won't somebody think of the children!

So the big dumb law that's supposed to "protect" children from evil, evil lead...

Yeah, there's some loopholes. Ed Morrissey from Hotair:

So let’s get this straight. Mattel buys millions of items from China that violate American product-safety laws and standards. Congress reacts by punishing the entire industry, especially those small businesses that can’t afford independent testing, especially on products that don’t really need it. Thrift stores can’t resell merchandise without testing, making their business model impossible and threatening the charities that rely on those sales. Meanwhile, the economy of scale means that this law gives Mattel a competitive advantage from their own malfeasance — and they get the waiver on independent testing?

Yesterday, we discussed crony capitalism. This is exactly what is meant. This is a perfect example of government picking winners and losers in the marketplace through legislation written to be sympathetic to big businesses, and an enforcement mechanism that favors the big players even beyond the legislation Congress passed. Mattel can push its smaller competitors out of business, or force them into buyouts, because they broke the law in the first place.

Under big government, big companies make out better than small companies. Following regulations costs big companies less on a percentage basis. That's assuming the same enforcement requirements, which as we see in this case, can be subverted.

And the subversion happens because bigger companies can spend more on lobbying and bribes, and with the government picking winners and losers, it's in a big company's interest to make sure its competitors (especially ones that are smaller but growing, and thus a threat) are the losers.

For their part, big government prefers big companies. It's much, much easier to regulate an industry with a handful of big players, than one with a wide open field. It's like herding a couple sheep instead of herding a pack of cats.

Also big companies are more "stable" they're not as inclined to rock the boat as a smaller company. By definition they've already got a large portion of the market, so they're less destabilizing, always a plus in the eyes of big government.

Hmm... so we have an alliance of big companies and big government to control the market and reduce individual freedom.

Where have I heard that song before?

Friday, April 23, 2010

From Last week...

Bill Whittle gives a Tea Party speech in Indy.

If you didn't see it in person, it's worth watching

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I don't think that word means what they think it means...

How they view the world.

Lord knows, there's not a whole lot of reason to take Chris Matthews seriously. But for giggles, let's look at his claim that the GOP is "Stalin-esque" because of the way Crist and McCain are having a rough time in the primaries. Now, obviously he's not talking about the GOP forcibly starving the Ukraine or anything like that. And presumably, Matthews isn't saying that the GOP has launched a series of show trials in which former party members in good standing are tortured or threatened with the murder of their families into giving false confessions (Crist: "In the Spring of 2009 I received secret payments by the running-dog Obama administration...."). So I gather he means that the GOP is purging discordant voices within the party or some such (that's the gist of the second quote from Matthews in the link above).

But even here, as Matthews dilutes the meaning of Stalin-esque to 9 parts water and 1 part 2% milk, Matthews still comes out a buffoon.


It would be Stalin-esque (again in the very watered down sense) if Michael Steele unilaterally booted Crist et al. from the party over the objections of the rank and file. Instead the rank and file are turning on the long anointed establishment candidates. This "purge" is a lot closer to what some romantics call "democracy" than what super-geniuses like Matthews calls "Stalin-esque."

Somewhat related is the EU idea that people have the "Right" to gov paid vacations.
I don't think "Right" means what they think it does.

Funny that people don't have the right to firearms or the right to have the government butt out of their buisness, or the right to say what they want.

But the healthcare is free! Minus those pesky taxes and having your medical choices... well not be free. Oh and if you see a private doctor, well you're out of the system. Sorry.

But it's a right!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Strange Bedfellows.

Strategypage has a peice on the "resurgence" of the old Euro-Left terrorists.

The Soviet Union had provided some support for these groups, but mostly they were sustained by disaffected middle class kids out to change the world. A new generation of disaffected, politically motivated murderers are now signing up. Many Western leftists still see the United States as the enemy of the people, and capitalism as something that must be destroyed at all costs. In an odd confluence, many of these leftists are marching (literally) shoulder to shoulder with Islamic radicals. This despite the fact that the two groups (one anti-religious, and the other very pro one religion) are natural enemies.

More enthusiastic adoption of socialist, and anti-capitalist policies in Western Europe over the last century has led to a high unemployment rate for people coming out of school, and this has made radical politics a more attractive proposition to some. But compared to the poverty and desperation in the Islamic world, the Western terrorists  have a far smaller recruiting pool. But like the Islamic terrorists, the Western groups share the same basic myth. That is, if the world would only unite under a benevolent despotism, everything would be better. Like the Islamic radicals, the Western terrorists find it more comfortable to blame foreigners for their trouble. In this case, the Evil Empire is the United States, and local officials who have "sold out" to those evil Americans.

Some Western governments have gotten behind the anti-American movement, because it's easy to sell to voters, and the object of their scorn is not likely to hit back. But their homegrown radicals are not so civilized. So now Europe has another group of terrorists to worry about. No doubt, they'll find a way of blaming it on the Americans.

Emphasis added.

Life is funny like that.

By pure coincidence I read this bit about Obama's snub of the Poles after the loss of their President, his wife, and much of their senoir government. And by snub I mean he played golf, instead of even making a statement or something like this: "he could have visited the recently erected Victims of Communism memorial in Washington, or at the very least have signed the condolence book at the Polish Embassy. But what did he choose to do instead? Play yet another round of golf..."

Back to Jack M. of Ace of Spades:

Obama's (at best) ambivalence toward our European allies is a national embarrassment. Yes, DVD gift pack to Gordon Brown, I am looking at you. Yes, unwanted bust of Churchill, I am looking at you too. Yes White House gift shop presents for Gordon Brown's kids, I am also giving you an unPresidential "shout-out".

At worst, his passive-aggressive disdain for our traditional allies places Americans and American interests at extreme risk. Yes, scrapped european missile shield, I am looking at you.

And, to be truthful, I think part of my anger stems from the firm belief, if not outright conviction, that had Polish President Lech Kaczynski been a left-wing, anti-American, despot instead of a pro-American, free-market, anti-communist leader, the Mother Duffer (32 rounds in 14 months? really? OK..Tiger) would have moved Heaven and Earth to be there or to have acknowledged the event in some meaningful way.

Could you really see him skipping out on, say, Chavez' state funeral? Of letting it pass without some solemn intonation about the importance of the Chavista revolution? Really? I can't. No matter how many volcanoes erupt along the ring of fire, I have no doubt that Pres. Tiger Obama would have found some way to show his solidarity with that regime.

Of course we have an administration and political class that's more concernted with its own citizens peacefully protesting than it is with Iran getting nuclear weapons.

And that's Fivetens.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

About the name


I think it's time to explain this little inside joke.

The url is

What does this mean? Well, it's from the internet of course. Specifically the insane DC dictionary.  A bit of lunacy where the ridiculous actions of superheros and supervillians were explained via even more ridiculous text.

Back at University it became synonymous with something being terrible: "That's as many as four tens. And that's terrible."

This was followed up by another entry:

Here the shorthand became fivetens equals too many. And since bees are awful, the progression to fivetensfourtens seemed natural.

So there's the roundabout meaning of the url: It's too many terrible things.

As for the name "Assorted Meanderings", I was too lazy to actually explain the url so picked a name that made some sense.


On an aside, having spelled out numerals for a url name: Awkward.

Edit: I'm also updating my blogroll to include the blogmeets.  So, if I missed you tell me. I know I have.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


"Old" Whiskey

My Grandmother, it should be said, lived through the Depression as an adult, raising children. (She also lived through Prohibition as an adult for that matter) And that, as for most people, was an experience that made a lasting impression on her.

One impression was that you could count on whiskey. It did not go bad. If you wanted, you could drink it. But more importantly you could always spend it. In some ways, it was better than money. It was inflation proof. It did not suffer from devaluation or inflation. There were always people who would trade you for whiskey. They would fix your car, paint your house, doctors would look at your kids, people would sell you food, all for that wonderful commodity-whiskey.

Emphasis in the original.

And "New" Obedience

The past two years have seen a profound change occur in the American system.  Our basic currency is no longer the dollar.  People like Jason Levin understand the nature of our new currency, which is obedience.

Obama Democrats worship central planning.  They have repeatedly expressed the belief that only powerful, maternal government can be trusted to allocate the most essential resources, or manage vital industries.  The free market is a playpen, filled with the stuff that isn’t serious enough to merit direct control by the Mother State.  When a particular toy causes the children of the electorate to scream, it is quickly snatched out of the pen.  The free market can’t even be trusted to deal with airline fees for carry-on luggage… which turned out to be a market response to previous government action.  You are expected to sit quietly and swallow your tears if Mother State chooses to beat you over the head with one of your toys.


The Tea Party is the living incarnation of disobedience.  It is driven by the words and deeds of people who refuse to submit.  Its members demand the return of money and power appropriated by an out-of-control federal government.  They won’t allow their lives to be sculpted by the knives and chisels of penalties and subsidies.  They speak out against an ugly reality that President Obama’s supporters don’t like to confront: political control of the economy consists of directives, which require submission, which can only be assured through punishment.  No matter how benevolent the stated goals of such a system might be, there is nothing benevolent about the methods it must use to attain them.

Emphasis in the original.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tea Party


Odds are very good one will be in your area.

Map here.

And when you go, remember that you are not alone, that the media is lying when they try to paint people wanting responsible, limited goverment as radicals, remember to bring a camera.

Have it ready to record anything you see. There are people that say they want to "expose" the Tea Party's true nature... by doing a false-flag op and pretending to be the very racist haters they *know* are there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Obama and Nukes.

Here's a belated roundup of The President's decision on US nuclear policy.

Frank J. Gaffney

I believe that the most alarming aspect of the Obama denuclearization
program, however, is its explicit renunciation of new U.S. nuclear weapons — an outcome that required the president to overrule his own defense secretary. Even if there were no new START treaty, no further movement on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and no new wooly-headed declaratory policies, the mere fact that the United States will fail to reverse the steady obsolescence of its deterrent — and the atrophying of the skilled workforce needed to sustain it — will ineluctably achieve what is transparently President Obama’s ultimate goal: a world without American nuclear weapons.

As you'll see later there's another nuclear nation taht Obama wants to punish. Hint, it's not Iran.

Steven Green lays it out.

For decades, and especially after the US destroyed its chemical and biological weapons stores in the early 1970s, our policy has been simple: A nuke bomb is a chemical bomb is a biological bomb. We did not discern between WMDs — and we would retaliate with our own WMDs if struck by enemy WMDs.

And since we had no chemical or biological weapons, that meant one thing: We’re coming after you with nukes. Result? No weapon of mass destruction has ever been used against the United States. Pretty cool, that.

We went even further than that to keep the peace, believe it or not. During the Cold War, the Soviets loudly proclaimed they would never be the first to use nuclear weapons. (Although their defense posture, weapons procurement, and doctrine all showed that proclamation to be disingenuous at best.) Moscow then dared us to make the same commitment. And we stayed silent instead.

Result? The Soviets tread more gently than they otherwise might have. Because one treads lightly in a minefield — especially a nuclear one. Never define exactly what enemy action would make you push the button, and you keep the strategic initiative. Important, that.

Roger L. Simon has some more thoughts.

This is indeed astonishing. The President of the United States —
whose most important duty is to protect the citizens of this country —
is publicly abjuring the use of nuclear weapons if we are attacked by
chemical or biological weapons — both of which are known to all of us
as Weapons of Mass Destruction, the dreaded WMDs.

What are we to make of this and the man who is adopting this policy? Does he hate us? Does he hate this country? What would he do if there was, for example, a massive small pox attack on the U.S.? Send in the infantry? Call in the Marines? Try to reason with whoever did it and recommend they negotiate as the fatal disease spreads to millions of people?

Now I detest nuclear weapons as much as the next person, but this approach seems — I hate to repeat myself, but I will — deranged. It also has very little to do with actually reducing nuclear weapons in the world. Again, it seems like the act of an extreme narcissist, someone who wants to parade himself as anti-nuke while ignoring the checks and balances that have, in fact, kept nuclear weapons in their silos for decades.

There's also the grim aspect of Obama freezing all US nuclear weapons development. Without new weapons and new designs the US will eventually lose its nuclear weapons.

But it's not just the US that Obama seeks to punish.

As Roger L. Simon finds out.

The Obama administration is now denying U.S. visas to Israeli scientists who work at that nation’s Dimona nuclear reactor. This startling reversal of traditional policy was reported April 7, 2010, in the Israeli website/newspaper NRG/Maariv (link to the original Hebrew here and to an exclusive Pajamas Media translation here).

This could be yet another flashpoint in the increasingly sensitive relations between the administration, the American Jewish community, and Israel. The revelation in Maariv came only a day before the arrival in New York of Tariq Ramadan — controversial grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna — whose visa was reportedly championed by Secretary of State Clinton. Yesterday as well, new rules disavowing the term “Islamic radicalism” were announced by Secretary of Defense Gates.

Not to mention that Obama is dithering on Iran's nuclear program and is more than willing to let them get the bomb.

So there you have it.

We knew the president was harsher on countries allied with the US (and domestic political rivals) than countries that are anti-US, but it was never this stark.

How's that change working out?

Correction Roger L. Simon has a correction on the Visa issue.