Wednesday, September 20, 2017

KILLING YOUR GOOSE

Let’s say you had this goose. The goose seemed normal, just waddling around and eating and doing what geese do. Then one day you discover that this is no normal goose. This goose lays golden eggs. You begin to gather up these eggs and you know you are going to be very rich. You decide if you just increase the feed and push the goose a little more, she will lay more eggs. So you feed and you push until you reach a point where the goose is exhausted. Then, sadly, you go out to gather eggs and you find your goose dead. Graveyard dead. Your steady supply of wealth has come to an end.

As I look around me, I can see a number of golden egg-laying geese. One might be the medical industry. The entire conglomerate has priced themselves out of the market. If it were not for insurance, that industry would collapse. Obama tried to salvage it all with his “Mickey Mouse” scheme known as Obamacare but that is failing. Collapse is imminent.

Never fear, avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders has the solution. Single payer government-controlled “free” medical care for everybody. Estimates are that the ten-year cost of such a “free” program would be in the trillions of dollars. Guaranteed bankruptcy for America. So much for free medical care. This golden goose is being strangled and it won’t last long.

A number of other entities are working at killing their goose as well. Consider ESPN. In their wisdom they have decided to become a political action sports network. It is not enough to broadcast sporting events, no, they must also offer political commentary on events whether they are related to sports or not. I, like many others, tune in ESPN now only when I have no other choice. Very soon other networks will take up the slack and ESPN will be history. Another dead goose.

How about the National Football League? A few of the players, millionaire spoiled brats, have decided to disrespect this country, our military, and our flag be sitting or kneeling during the playing of our national anthem. The NFL says they have that right to self-expression. This is the same league that dictates how long their socks must be, but they have this other right to be disrespectful to their country. Their ratings are down, down. Their goose is teetering on the brink. They have a choice. Either get a handle on their disrespectful punks, or watch their audience, and incidentally their billions in revenue, disappear. Another one bites the dust.

Not to be outdone in the killing of geese department is the US Congress. For years they have catered to special interest groups and to big money donors passing laws to benefit them at the expense of the country as a whole. What they euphemistically call campaign donations turn out to just be bribes to get special consideration for pet legislation. Their practices and actions have turned our nation’s capital into a swamp and as it turns out, golden geese cannot live well in a swamp. Our Congress is well on their way to killing their goose as well.

There is no doubt that others are busy working on their own geese. It happens every day. Greed seems to take over and good common sense goes out the window. The election of Donald Trump should have been an alert to the  greedy everywhere that the people are fed up. The swamp is going to be drained. Time will tell who will survive the drainage.

America is going to return to her earlier greatness and Hollywood, Emmy Awards shows, the national media, and higher education are just going to have to get used to it. You are killing your golden goose.

Ron Scarbro

Friday, September 15, 2017

BEFORE THE STORM AND AFTER

It’s Friday and here I sit. I am watching weather reports. I’m trying to make the best decision I can in light of what information is available.

We have been warned of an impending hurricane named Irma. Cute name, huh? We have further been told by the weather wizards and prognosticators that Irma is the largest hurricane in recorded history. This storm is scheduled to hit southern Florida as a Category five hurricane. At that point, and this is where it gets a little iffy, the storm will travel up the center of the state of Florida and hit southern Georgia as a Category one or possibly Category two hurricane.

For those of you who don’t know, I live on St. Simons Island which is approximately ten miles east of Brunswick, Georgia. It is basically a barrier island. This is truly a beautiful place with huge oak trees which are hundreds of years old. This island has seen many, many storms over the years and so have these trees. Today, however, we are in the target area of Irma.

Now it’s Saturday and we have been ordered to evacuate the island today. In fact, our local emergency management people have ordered the evacuation of our entire county which includes Brunswick. Incidentally, there are no available rooms in the entire state or even in surrounding areas. Many Floridians have reservations with hotels in this county but these will be cancelled and those people will have to just find someplace else to hunker down. Our son-in-law’s mother has invited us all to her house on the extreme west side of the state which should give us safety. That will be a four to five hour drive which we will probably undertake tomorrow.

The latest update just came in. The storm is now due to hit Georgia about 150 miles west of my home. Winds are forecast for the island of about 50mph at their strongest. That is barely a tropical storm. Now the dilemma, what to do? This storm could move even further west and miss us entirely, or, it could go the other way and smack us right in the face. What to do?

This is the dichotomy. As I look outside, it is a beautiful day. Our temps are in the low eighties with gentle breezes. It is a postcard day here on the island. No one could know what is bearing down on them without modern weather tracking equipment. In a couple of days, southern Florida could be under water. Much of the state could experience catastrophic damage. People could be killed. But today it is beautiful.

I am going to close this column for now and re-visit it after the storm, which should be in three days. We shall see.

We decided to ride out the storm at my daughter’s house which is about twenty miles from the coast. It hit Sunday night. We were wakened at 3:00 AM by extremely high winds, probably 75 mph or greater, and torrential rains. We also had a power failure. Sadly, because my daughter’s home is served by a well, we also lost water. So here we were. No power, no water, and what turned out to be five inches of rain in twelve hours. We were by a small lake which continued to grow. The road out front flooded. By Monday afternoon, the storm moderated but our situation didn’t.

Both we and our hosts had prepared by buying water so we had plenty. Showers were accomplished by pouring bottled water over ourselves while standing in the shower. Cold sandwiches were the order of the day. On Tuesday we ventured out to see if anybody was open. We found the Waffle House who served hot sandwiches and coffee. It was a Godsend.

Finally, on Thursday we were allowed to return to our home on the island. You can only imagine the trepidation we felt as we drove past huge downed trees to get to our home. And then we were in front of our home. We looked but saw no structural damage. Trees and limbs covered the yard but they all missed the house. I pressed the garage door opener and it opened. Power! We raced inside and the water worked. Hooray! Our freezer food survived. We immediately took real showers and had a hot meal. We were safe. Our home had survived.

So today I sit here and consider how important the little things are. Power, water, hot food. I hope I never again take these things for granted. We are indeed blessed and thankful.

Ron Scarbro

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

WHAT IS A CRIME AND WHO IS A CRIMINAL

At what point is a crime a crime? We are a country of laws with a basic book of rules starting with the Constitution. The job of law enforcement is to find and arrest the lawbreakers. The job of the courts is to interpret the law and to render the proper punishments. It’s really all pretty simple.

We don’t get to pick and choose which laws we obey. We can’t break a law just because we don’t like it. If you are out on the highway and the speed limit is 65mph, that means some governing agency has decided that 65mph is the maximum speed one should travel. It is for the safety of everyone using the highway. If you violate that law, you do so at your peril. You face monetary punishment and worse, possibly even losing your driving privilege.  

If you are a law enforcement officer, you are faced with similar restrictions. You don’t get to decide what laws you are going to enforce. In court you have a somewhat different situation. Often judges can mediate a case and offer reduced punishment if they feel the community is best served. Sometimes however judges take on too much power. They can bring their political bias to a case and make a complete mess of the law.

Such is the case in the matter of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Leftover Obama appointees decided that the good sheriff was arresting too many illegal aliens so he must be targeting them. He must be profiling them. To make sure he never did that again, he was arrested and convicted of disobeying the “illegal” order of a Federal Judge who told him to leave the illegals alone. This 85-year-old sheriff who had faithfully discharged his duties as sheriff was now facing jail time for the crime of arresting criminals.

It is important here to state for the record just what is a crime and who is a criminal. Every single individual who is in this country without proper documentation, whether by overstaying a visa or sneaking in through an underground tunnel, is a criminal. They are law breakers. Some may be murderers or rapists or thieves, who knows? Some may bring strange diseases. Again, who knows? The simple fact is they are here illegally and are subject to arrest and jail time.

Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner just signed a bill forbidding his state’s police agencies from arresting illegal aliens or from working with Federal Immigration agencies. He has decided to make his entire state a sanctuary state. In other words, he has decided to only obey laws which he likes and will only allow that state’s police agencies to enforce laws with which the Governor agrees.

What we are talking about here is simple anarchy. What if the good governor decided that child molestation was okay?  How about simple assault? In other words, what if this governor and the prosecutor in Maricopa County along with the judge who levied punishment on Arpaio, just made their own laws? Oh, wait a minute. That’s exactly what they just did.

Fortunately for the sake of justice and law and order, President Trump pardoned Arpaio thereby relieving this law enforcement officer of what could have easily been a death sentence. It is interesting to note that the Mayor of Phoenix, Democrat Greg Stanton,  publicly declared that this pardon was a slap in the face of all of Phoenix.

No, Mr. Mayor. This pardon was fair and just. The prosecution of Arpaio was an insult to all law abiding citizens of the entire country. You and all who participated in this travesty should be ashamed. Crime is crime, criminals are criminals, and we are fortunate indeed to have law enforcement officers who still do the job they are paid to do.

Ron Scarbro

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG

I have no doubt that training to be in the National Football League is tough. I have no doubt that Colin Kaepernick and his ilk have experienced some tough training. But, I wonder how they might handle basic training in the military.

One of the big differences is that when I was in basic training, I was paid $75.00 per month. Kaepernick is paid 19 million dollars per year. I think I could take a lot of pain for that kind of money.

One of the reasons the military has basic training is, of course, training in the basic skills of soldiers. The other reason is to weed out undesirables. It is to make certain that the survivors of that training can and will serve their country with honor and skill. I am of the opinion that the Kaepernicks of this world would not survive this  weeding out. I and other millions like me went through basic training to become soldiers so that we could help defend this country and protect it for all of us, even individuals like Kaepernick.

Yes, this ungrateful bum has the right to sit on his butt during the playing of the National Anthem. He has that right because someone fought for his right. He has the right to be disrespectful, disgusting, and embarrassing to his team. The fans of the NFL have the right to boo him also and boo him they do.

The NFL says they do not require any player to stand and show respect for our country or our flag. Players, they say, have the right of self-expression. In other words, they have the right to be wrong. Okay, we the people have the right to refuse to pay for this punk and his dishonorable actions. People in the stands should stand up and turn their backs on him if he ever again gets the opportunity to play. He is at best a so-so player anyway. He is what we used to call, “more trouble than he’s worth.” He would be an embarrassment to any NFL team.

Kaepernick says he is unhappy because of his belief that black people are mistreated by the police in this country. Now this is a man who has armed police protection wherever he goes. Kind of silly, huh?

Remember Tim Tebow? Tim took some of his football money and built a hospital in the Philippines to serve poor people. How much has Kaepernick spent to improve the lives of the so-called mistreated black people? How much of his 19 million dollar salary goes to the improvement of schools, housing, health care, or for that matter anything in the black community? How about zip, zero. Like so many of his ilk, he is all talk and no action. He is just a punk.

So now the NAACP is trying to force some NFL team to sign Kaepernick to a contract. They say he is being discriminated against because of his ethnicity. How about some truth here. He is a distraction and he would bring grief to any team. He hasn’t been signed because he is a mediocre player at best and worse than that, he is trouble with a capital T.

I have an idea. How about we give him a rifle and a helmet and park his carcass in some Middle Eastern desert with bullets flying over his head and IEDs going off all around him. Or better yet how about we let him serve as a pallbearer carrying some brave soldier in a “flag” covered coffin back to his family. Do you think he might develop some new sense of what it means to be an American? Well, me neither, but I can hope, can’t I?

Ron Scarbro

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

REWRITING HISTORY

I will start this column by stating unequivocally that I do not now, nor have I ever owned a slave. In fact, as I have stated in the past, had I lived during the time of slavery in our country, I am much more likely to have been a slave than to have owned one. I will also state for the record that I oppose the owning of any human being, even politicians. But, and this is important, times have changed. What was commonplace three hundred years ago is not commonplace now. For example, I don’t go to my barber for a bloodletting to cure ailments. Times change, hopefully for the better but not always. I didn’t live then and neither did you. Slavery was a perk of wealth. The very rich owned workers who worked and produced the wares that made them rich. Many of our Founding Fathers were among those very rich who lived during this period and many of them owned slaves. Today’s rich seem to prefer just owning politicians. That’s one of the ways they protect their wealth.

So, we had this war. It was called the Civil War. Essentially the North decided that the South had a competitive advantage in the production of cotton and tobacco and thereby were becoming too wealthy and subsequently too influential. This was blamed on the use of slave labor. Since I didn’t live then, and neither did you, we can only trust the history books for the truth of the situation. What happened next is nothing for either side to be proud of. Tens of thousands were killed and injured in a war that pitted brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor. In the end, the North prevailed and the South was defeated. By proclamation, slavery was then ended in the entire country.

During this ugly war both sides had their heroes and their champions. They named cities and streets after them. They erected statues to them. It was and is a way people honor their heroes. Most, if not all of those honored, had other accomplishments other than their war fighting ability like being a Founding Father for example. Like you, I didn’t personally know any of them, but they are a part of our history.

And of course, some of our founders owned slaves. It was a way of life back then. Today, some groups have decided they don’t like our history so they have decided to rewrite it. They want our history erased apparently believing that the removal of statues will somehow change history. They want to rename cities and streets. They live in a fantasy land and do not want any memory of truth left behind.

It is easy enough for thinking people to ignore this nonsense but not for the “politically correct” who seem to thrive on controversy and disruption. They are lining up to support the idea of forgetting or ignoring history. You could say that the “pc” group is now owned by the agenda-driven history deniers.

A poll was just conducted and fully seventy percent of those polled want the statues and relics of our history left intact.

We are rapidly approaching a time when nonsense needs to be identified for what it is, just nonsense. ESPN is re-assigning a sports announcer because his name is Robert Lee. They are worried that his name might be offensive to some of their viewers. Just when I think I have seen the height of stupidity something like this happens.

Those who choose to forget history are doomed to repeat it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to repeat a lot of our history. I just want it to serve as a lesson to live and learn from. Those who are offended by a statue of Robert E. Lee should remember what Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can offend you without your permission.”

Ron Scarbro

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

POPPING ZITS

Rush Limbaugh said of North Korea, they are a zit on the butt of a hog. The reality is that North Korea is a tiny little country who cannot even feed themselves let alone fight a war. While it’s probably true that they have some nuclear capability, their first strike on anyone or anything of significance would be their last strike on anybody. Today, sitting in the coastal waters just off their shores is a fleet of warships and submarines armed to the teeth with weaponry the likes the world has never seen. As one prominent retired General said last week, North Korea would become a parking lot.

The media keeps warning us of the threat posed by China. Really? Does anyone truly believe China wants to fight a war with us? For the first time in their modern history, they finally have some semblance of economic security. They are not about to jeopardize that security for North Korea. They are far more likely to just pop that little zit and go about their business of making cheap knock-off toys and electronics. Our problem is not China, no it’s the mainstream media. The biggest threat we face is a media more determined to interfere with Trump’s agenda than a shooting war with anybody.

Truth be told, most of this war talk is our own fault. We could have and should have shut this down years ago. For these past several years we have failed in our duty to make countries like North Korea and others understand just where they stand on the war fighting issue. By letting them get away with their past attempts at blackmail and extortion, we have allowed them to believe they have some sort of parity with the rest of the world. We haven’t convinced them that a war with the United States would mean their immediate annihilation. I am not convinced there is anyone in North Korea with enough intelligence to know what will happen if they don’t just get back in their little huts and keep their collective mouths shut. For a certainty there’s a new sheriff in town.

Now, with President Trump finally letting the world know what is at stake, the liberals are going ballistic. They are apoplectic. Maxine Waters basically said that she would rather live with a nuclear armed North Korea than to upset them in any way by all this “reckless” talk. Sorry Maxine. The adults are in charge now. Get used to the fact that little countries like North Korea and their ilk are just not going to be allowed to continue to threaten us or our allies.

I don’t favor a first strike at this time, but, if the mouthy little dictator doesn’t get the message, we maybe should surface a couple of our nuclear submarines a few hundred yards off North Korea’s coast just for them to see.

My hope, not only for us and our allies, but also for the millions of North Koreans living miserable lives in that God forsaken country, is that wiser heads get the big picture and get rid of Lil Kim before he steps in something that he cannot clean off his shoes. Once the war fighting force that is known as the United States Military is unleashed, all hell will break loose.

Not only will that take care of the North Korean problem but it should also serve as a lesson for any other little two-bit dictators bent on suicide.

While we are not the world’s police department, we are most certainly not the rug on which these punks wipe their feet.

Rob Scarbro

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

THE MIRACLE OF MODERN MEDICINE

As many of you know I have been convalescing for about three weeks following my knee replacement surgery. I certainly appreciate all of your kind notes and “get well” wishes. Your kind words of encouragement have been both helpful and inspirational.

This column will deal with some thoughts I have had during this time. Obviously there has been much to talk about on the national and international scene, but I am pretty sure those matters will still be there in the weeks to come. So, I am going to deal with matters much closer to home.

First, I want to tell you all that the VA has come through for me once again. From the time I first visited my primary care doctor to the actual surgery took much too long, but it was handled. I am being treated under a program known as the “veteran’s choice.” This program allows me to be treated by local docs and the local hospital. Otherwise I would have to travel hundreds of miles to a VA facility both for the surgery and the rehab. That would have been unbelievably difficult. While this is not perfect by any means, it is workable. I am grateful for this benefit that is one of the results of my military service.

The second matter that I want to discuss is just the miracle of modern medicine. I have been sitting here in my recliner feeling sorry for myself. This surgery has been painful. In fact, far more painful than I was prepared for. But now, it is just a matter of dealing with the pain and getting stronger.

In my more cogent and thoughtful moments I have the opportunity to reflect on what has happened to me. My knee was destroyed by use and abuse and seventy- plus years of toting me around. In a matter of about two hours My highly skilled surgeon removed the arthritically damaged tissue and replaced it with synthetic material. My knee is now better than ever. All I have to do is be patient, do my therapy, and very soon I will be better that new. This would not have been possible just a few short years ago.

Two years ago, I had my right shoulder replaced. If you didn’t know it had happened, you couldn’t tell. These surgeries are absolutely modern medical miracles. I am grateful for these miracles.

Many of you, my readers, are dealing with medical issues of your own. We are all very fortunate to be living in this time. Medications, treatments, and all things medical are getting better all of the time. Dreaded diseases are being brought under control. We are able to live longer, healthier lives because of modern medicine.

If, like me, you have occasion to feel sorry for yourself, take a moment to reflect on the miracle that you are a part of. It’s going to get better. I promise you.

Ron Scarbro