Sasstoday's Blog

California Here We (taxpayers) Come?
February 13, 2010, 9:52 pm
Filed under: News Views

California, with the 8th largest economy IN THE WORLD, is bankrupt. Its budget is larger than Italy’s! So is California’s budget too big to fail? Are the American people going to be called on to cough up more money to bail out a state that has spent wildly and recklessly? It’s possible. California hosts three million illegal immigrants costing California taxpayers ten billion a year. Worse: its business climate. As Californian Claude Sandroff writes in American Thinker, “ California is in an exciting race to the bottom with other liberal bastions like New York and New Jersey to see who can best tax its citizens and businesses into oblivion.”  But count on Californians to come up with a way around a serious solution to the state’s financial problems. A California Assemblyman has lots of support for legalizing, then taxing marijuana for anyone over 21.  Are they stoned?


Bye-Bye Ballot Privacy?
February 13, 2010, 7:25 pm
Filed under: News Views

Aside from believing that labor unions have outlived their purpose in most companies and driven others into bankruptcy, living in a right-to-work state I never paid much attention to labor unions. But I am stunned that there is a bill in Congress, supported by the Democratic majority, to require card checks when workers vote on whether to unionize. What happened to the sacred private ballot? The evasively named “Free Choice Act” would be better characterized as the “No Choice Act”.

Heritage. org sums up just part of the extremely complicated, bureaucratic nightmare (yet another one) bill:

  • Under EFCA, workers have no say in union-organizing tactics: EFCA does not permit workers to sign cards that call for an election without also counting those signatures toward a card-check majority. Workers must decide whether to join a union publicly in front of union organizers.
  • In America, it’s just hard to get your head around the fact that any citizen would not have the right to a secret, private ballot. And the people who control whether you work or not know are watching and know how you voted. Am I having an outer body experience? Is this Cuba?

    Digging Out of Global Warming Debate
    February 10, 2010, 8:20 pm
    Filed under: News Views

    Update! Washington, DC has had 55 inches of snow so far this winter, the most since the winter of 1888-89!


    Can you hear them? It’s the caterwauling of the environmental leftists now that word is out their president isn’t going to sign global climate change legislation in Copenhagen (please note the politically correct terminology.) It’s not global warming anymore since there hasn’t been any manmade global warming in ten years (if ever), the polar bear population is way up, no land masses are being flooded by melting glaciers and it was warmer in medieval times than it is now. Where were all those nasty factories back then? Any global warming (oops!) “climate change” treaty would create untold burdens on American businesses, which are infinitely less polluting than those of most other counties, and as President Obama himself asserted would result in skyrocketing energy bills for Americans.

    I live in the South. We’ve known about global warming forever; we just call it summer.

    The State of the Union: Say What?
    January 28, 2010, 6:52 pm
    Filed under: Political Commentary | Tags: ,

    Was anyone else’s head spinning listening to the POTUS during his State of the Union address last night? He obviously did the jobs spiel (only about ten months too late) and what the heck does he want to do? Essentially another stimulus, this time for jobs.  Duh, I thought that’s what the first, or second, or was it third several hundred billion of stimulus (can we now call it stimuli?) spending programs were all about. Remember all those “shovel ready” jobs that still aren’t jobs? The U.S. unemployment rate remains at 10%. 

    People aren’t buying Obama’s oratory any more. So about ten minutes into the speech, there I was trying to take notes of a few salient points, but he was all over the place. I felt like a watching a farmer, albeit in a designer suit, feeding the chickens and scattering feed everywhere to cover everyone: “Here chick, chick, chick, chick, chick, here chicky-chicky chick.” Throw in the old Obama charm and grin and we just spent another several billion dollars, and who knows where the heck it’s going, who’s writing the bills, what they’ll say and what they’ll do to us.

     It’s the same tactic the Democrats and Obama are using with our world-renowned health care system: here’s a multi-billion dollar health care bill (literally and figuratively) no wait, here’s another one, no you can’t read it, now here’s another one, believe this one, no you cannot read it, and we have to get this done right away, right away! No wait, here’s another bill and no you can’t know what’s in it either. Why? Because we in Congress don’t know; which means we the people will just have to wait and find out when premiums skyrocket and the doctors (those who decide to stay in medicine) start turning away Medicare patients.  And forget all that stuff promised about transparency and C-span coverage of all those behind-the-scenes, no public allowed, negotiations. Progressives don’t want us to worry our little American heads over any of the complicated legislative jargon, “We’ll take care of all this for you;  you don’t need to bother yourselves with the minutia of trillion dollar debts and taxes and worries over whether you live or die.” And just in case we’ve forgotten let’s remind ourselves that 90% of Americans have health care coverage and most like it.  To go with another chicken analogy, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

    Obama just cannot get out of the “Here’s a great bunch of Joe Cool sound bites and what I think everyone wants to hear” campaign mode. There was a lot in his speech about jobs and things getting better and they’re not.  We’ve lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession began. But the President proudly points to a factory in North Carolina creating about a thousand green jobs, as is a plant in California. Let’s see: if each state produces a thousand new jobs this year, why that’s 50,000 jobs! Getting close Mr. President.

    I think he actually said we need to follow China’s lead on factories producing green jobs. Are you kidding me? Are we both talking about that huge country overseas with more than a billion people where they’re firing up an average of two coal-fired plants per week? And did he say we’d drill for oil? Nope. Double checked that. We’ll be exploring offshore oil and gas “development”. Which means? Probably not much once his environmental supporters start screaming. The same goes for his reference to nuclear power plants.

    And what’s with the President dissing the United States Supreme Court at a State of the Union address? South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson got reamed for his emotional outburst of “You lie!” last time the President spoke before Congress. But the PRESIDENT of all people puts down the United States Supreme Court, his invited guests, with them sitting there all dignified in their black robes as the entire nation and world watch and that’s okay? Ssssoooo unpresidential and evidently, unprecedented! He didn’t understand or was just reading what the teleprompter said about their recent decision on campaign spending. Justice Samuel Alito was actually wincing and mouthing “Not true” as Obama spoke.   

    But more than anything he said it was what he did not say that revealed so much. He did not even side swipe the issue of confessed, obvious terrorists going on trial and being given the same rights as an American citizen.  And foreign policy dangers that threaten maybe, oh, the future of the planet were addressed vaguely, if at all.

    Of course he did the usual, “I’m not responsible for any of this mess because it’s all W’s fault”, to a fault, again. It’s so incredibly unbecoming, so classless for the President to be the Whimperer-in-Chief instead of the Commander-in-Chief. And if he keeps using “I” (97 times in the State of the Union speech) someone in his administration just needs to shake him and say, “Barack, get over yourself! It’s not about you anymore!”

    Then he actually said, get this: he, Barack Obama, is ending the war in Iraq! I kid you not. He said, “I promised I would end this war and that’s what I’m doing”.  Barack, sweetie, we all know you have had almost nothing to do with the war in Iraq and that the American withdrawal was announced well before you were even sworn in. And the only people ending the war are the men and women who’ve been fighting it!

    Listening to Obama takes me back to my childhood when my younger brothers and I would squabble and whine: “You started it!” “Nuh- uh, you did!” “Did not!” “Did to!” “It’s not my fault!”

    Who does that when you’re grown up? Our President, that’s who.


    Who’s Really Helping Haiti?
    January 18, 2010, 10:02 pm
    Filed under: News Views

    Thousands of American troops are saving lives and keeping order in earthquake ravaged Haiti. President Obama announced 100 million American tax dollars will go to help the people in Haiti and that doesn’t include millions more Americans will donate with heartfelt generosity. Many countries are responding generously; tiny Israel immediately dispatched planeloads of aid, hundreds of search and rescue personnel and dozens of doctors. Israeli physicians are currently operating what is now the most modern medical field hospital in Haiti capable of treating 500 people a day; it even has an MRI machine. And Israeli volunteers have poured in from nearby countries.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describes the response as that of a “small country with a big heart.”

    And what’s the response from the most oil rich Arab countries? Kuwait, swimming in oil money sent a measly million. Qatar with some of the largest gas reserves in the world scraped together a 50 ton aid package.  Most responses from the Arab have been similarly meager and pathetic. But wait! Blow your mind rich Saudi Arabia was different: it sent (this will also blow your mind)  a letter of condolences.

    Mass. Defection=GOP Election
    January 18, 2010, 9:45 pm
    Filed under: News Views

    OMG! I love saying so OMG; I’m still trying to digest the fact that the Massachusetts Senate race may go to Republican Scott Brown. OMG! Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the OMG stuff. But it fits, doesn’t it? Who would have thought after Ted Kennedy died having served as a U.S. Senator since 1962! 1962! that a seat held by one of the Kennedy dynasty for decade after decade after decade after decade might go to a Republican? Why in the world do voters allow anyone to stay in office that long only to become a political parasite feeding off the taxpayers? But I digress.

    If Scott Brown wins on January 19th in the Massachusetts Senate race it will be the biggest sign of hope yet that Americans are seeing the light and hopefully the downsizing of big government.  President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid may have done more to turn the tide toward a more fiscally conservative government than Republicans have, no matter how hard the GOP tried to push back against the Democratic red tape and red ink. Newly energized, fed up Americans are getting it done.  Will wonders never cease? Not if common sense Americans have anything to say about it.

    Shallow Graves? Shallow President?
    December 17, 2009, 6:53 pm
    Filed under: Political Commentary

    When the Time magazine I was flipping through opened to the double page spread of one of its pictures of the year my heart dropped and brimming tears glazed my visibility; I was looking at a picture of newly, shallow dug graves in the barren Afghanistan soil with our Marines lying in them. Then a closer, clearer-eyed look revealed what a first glimpse had not. The bodies were those not of dead, but of dead-tired young Marines.  The 1st Battalion, 5th Marines were photographed by David Guttenfelder in Helmand province in July. Each lay in his earthen bed, in eerily death like slumber in the rectangular fox holes they’d dug for themselves.

    One Marine lay on his back, his neck bent uncomfortably sideways, his dirty, worn boots and striped wool socks atop the boots he had taken off and set close to his bed of dirt. I wondered whether those thick socks were sent by a mother or girlfriend to make the long treks through the harsh and dangerous Afghan countryside easier on his feet? It’s the seemingly little things that make life easier, appreciated, during war: something as simple as thick socks to keep your feet from blistering or freezing. The socks had been stripped off but one sat on top of one boot, one on top of the other. If they had to be put back on quickly there’d be no time wasted. Another Marine was curled on his side, his machine gun his sleeping mate, his mouth gaping slightly in the unconsciousness of sheer exhaustion. A third Marine had covered himself completely in a dark blanket or tarp, only his forehead and crew cut visible above his covering. And a fourth lay cramped in a fetal position in his hastily dug, coffin-like dirt bed. Turned up clots of earth surrounded the shallow dirt rectangle that was only about half as long as he was.

    Guttenfelder, the photographer, wrote of the scene:

    “We’d stopped in this farmer’s field for the night. It took me an hour to dig my own firing position in the dark, and it feels like you’re sleeping in a shallow grave. But you do feel safer—and sleep better—protected by those few inches of dirt. I got up at dawn and was able to get the guys enjoying the first full night’s sleep they’d had after marching for six days in temperatures up to 135 degrees, carrying 120 pound packs.”

    The picture caught just one moment in time for one small group of Marines and it caught a rare peaceful moment, despite its initial disturbing visual impression of graves, empty boots, bodies and death which is the heart wrenching end for many of our troops wherever and whenever there is war.

    Time Magazine, Dec. 21, 2009

    The truth is I worship them. I look at that picture and others I see of them in magazines and on the internet: the ones of them rushing away from an explosion cradling a bleeding child, the ones of them kneeling in front of two empty boots and a rifle, heads dropped, a hand over their eyes to hide tears while paying last respects to a buddy, the pictures of the medics tending the aches and pains of old Afghani men and the scrapes or illnesses of Afghani children, the pictures of the solider dropping to his knees then garnering the strength to somehow stand again under the staggering weight of the backpack he carries in hellish heat or unbearable cold.

    During this Christmas season here in America and around the world for that matter, we sleep in safety and comfort because they, our American soldiers do not. Whether the world wants us there or even likes us does not change the fact that, even if they don’t admit it, they’re safer because of the American soldier, sailor, Marine, Air Man or Coast Guard member.

    As Americans we have the blessed right to speak against and protest war. Sadly, in the past and still today it is our troops who have borne the cruelty of words unfairly, and as we have learned from horrendous media inaccuracies such as the reports that wrongly assumed Marines had massacred innocents in Haditha, Iraq, there are still those too quick to indict, literally, those who stand at freedom’s door to protect the very media scum who would blithely destroy a soldier’s or Marine’s career, integrity and livelihood.

    Those critics: I hope they take a good long look at that Time magazine picture. I hope they get down on their knees every night and thank God for the American soldier before they (I’m thinking here of your average liberal Congressman) slip under their designer sheets and rest their heads on fluffy pillows as visions of sugar daddy lobbyists and re-election plans and jet-setting to Copenhagen dance in their heads.

    They have a right to criticize, sure. But I can’t help but think of the quote by President Theodore Roosevelt:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

    I fear the President will not allow our military to know victory. He’ll couch it or define it in some well-turned phrases and the job will be left undone, the work and sacrifice will unravel. And the President of the United States will go down in history as one of “those cold and timid souls.”

    The President finally got around to announcing his strategy, after announcing his strategy eight months earlier, for Afghanistan when he delivered his lackluster speech at West Point. Iraq may yet unravel, we don’t know. Afghanistan may not be won. If I had to bury my friends and collect the pieces of their bodies after an IED explosion, if I had to sleep in a shallow grave-like bed of dirt, if I voluntarily left this great country because I loved it and its freedoms so much I’d die for it, I think I’d want one thing more than anything else. I’d want to know my President, my Commander-in-Chief, truly admired, respected and believed in what I was doing and sacrificing for freedom at home and around the world.

    Barack Obama made a big deal of our military the day of his Inauguration. I thought then with relief that maybe he really did get it, he did understand the American military fighting men and women, the kind of devotion to freedom for which they would and do lay down their lives.

     Now? Despite his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, I don’t think in his wildest dreams Barack Obama understands the love of country and devotion to duty of the American soldier. He can’t touch that. His midnight trip to Dover Air Base with the national media in tow for a photo op, oddly timed when he was under intense pressure because he couldn’t/wouldn’t make up his mind on Afghanistan turned my stomach. It was the most shameful publicity grab I’ve ever witnessed.  Our soldiers deserve so much better. Mr. President: how about showing our men and women in uniform how much you think of them, how much you admire them and mean it, really mean it, before they come home in a flag draped coffin. That might mean a little less time on the golf course and a little more time in the White House.