Sunday, May 25, 2008


The democrats are in a trick bag. That is what we used to call situations which usually wound up with tricky endings. First they have accomplished something they have wanted for some time. They have a black candidate for President. Their second accomplishment is they have a female candidate for President. This is where it gets tricky. These two candidates are of course opposing each other, and they are doing it vehemently. One of them has to lose.

Let’s look at the problem. To date, in this primary, Hillary has been able to hang on to her accepted constituency. Those would be blue collar, lower income, older, union members, etc. Obama has been able to attract the young, upperly mobile, college educated, liberal, etc. The problem is that elections for President are based on the votes of the Electoral College, not the popular vote. That means states must be won in order that their Electoral College votes go to that state’s winning candidate. The primaries should serve to identify a candidate who can carry big Electoral College states in order to win a general election.

A close examination of this primary shows that Hillary has won the big states but Obama has won the others. To date he has a majority of the pledged delegates to the convention, which would make him the presumed candidate for the Democratic Party. So vicious has their contest been however, that many Hillary voters have said they wouldn’t vote for Obama under any circumstance. The same is true of course for Obama voters regarding Hillary. Hillary has said that Obama cannot close the deal. He cannot carry the states he must carry in order to win a general election. Obama supporters have clearly said though that if Hillary pulls a fast one in order to get the nomination, they will either stay home on Election Day or, heaven forbid, vote for McCain.

So now the talk is of Vice Presidential selection. Consider that you are Obama and you had to choose Hillary for the second spot. Can you imagine a White House with Bill Clinton sitting on the sidelines with his wife as Vice President? Me either. Can you imagine a White House where Hillary is just a quiet subservient member of another Presidents cabinet? Me either. What is much more likely is an all out battle at the convention for the top spot.

The democrats have gotten themselves into this mess for some very honorable and high minded reasons. It just wasn’t supposed to happen all at once. Based on the aforementioned facts neither can win a general election. Hence, the trick bag.

For me and other like minded people it is a great show to watch. I suspect that John McCain is smiling all the way to the election. I am smiling with him.

Because this is my blog I will now offer my opinion of this next election. This world is too dangerous to turn over the reins of this government to a very young, untested, first term liberal senator. It is also way too dangerous to hand to an inexperienced junior senator with no military background and no track record of any success at anything. To me the choice is clear. I will go for age and wisdom every time over youth, exuberance and inexperience. While John McCain would not have been my first choice, compared with the other two, he is the only choice.

Ron Scarbro May 26, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008


I am a regular reader of Dr. Walter Williams. He is the head of the economics department of George Mason University. He writes a weekly column on line. His column can be read at Two weeks ago he wrote about the speculation that has in the past passed for science. These are but a few examples of that speculation he wrote about.

In 1969 environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” C.C. Wallen said, “The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.” Paul Ehrlich had several predictions. Among them, in the 1970s hundreds of millions of people would starve to death. Between 1980 and 1989, 65 million Americans would die of starvation. By 1999 our population would plummet to 22.6 million. By the year 2000 England would not exist. I remember also he cancelled his personal life insurance because he didn’t believe the earth would be around when he got old.

In 1975 the Environmental Fund took out full page ads warning, “The world as we know it will be ruined by the year 2000.” In 1939 our own U.S. Dept. of the Interior said American oil supplies would last only another 13 years. In 1974 the U.S.Geological Survey advised us that we only had a 10 year supply of natural gas. According to the American Gas Assn. there is today a 1000 to 2500 year supply. The predictions went on and on with nothing but speculation and the ability to get some one to publish them.

Let’s look at today. More doomsday predictions from wild eyed speculators. This time of course it is global warming. As always it is man caused. Polar bears are dying off. Ice is melting. All manner of devastation awaits us if we don’t listen to these experts and change our ways.

This brings me to the news media. News media should report news that has happened not speculation on what might happen. The garbage that passed for news 30 and 40 years ago was just that, garbage. News reportage today of possible outcomes of global climate change should be on opinion pages not reported as news. People would be wise to remember how such speculation in the past from experts panned out.

It makes me question the validity of experts in general. In any criminal trial both the prosecution and the defense call experts to prove their cases and the experts always see the facts in opposition. Could it be that theirs is just an opinion and it is for sale to the highest bidder? Just a question.

If you follow our economy, you will notice there are always reports coming out with the expert’s guesses of what to expect from unemployment, trade deficit, inflation, and all manner of speculation. Of course when they miss, and that is most of the time, they are surprised. Our financial markets rise and fall on this nonsense. It occurs to me that we would have much more stability in the markets if we just waited for the reports instead of guessing what they will be. Silly me.

So what is my point here? Speculation is not news. Speculation is not fact. Speculation is guessing. These prophets of doom should be seen for what they are and not be taken so seriously. Their opinions have no more validity than yours or mine. Governments should not accept prophecy as reality, and media should not accept it as news. As Dr. Williams asked in his column, what should the government have done 30 years ago to combat global cooling? What should the British government have done to preserve their country? How much should they have spent to deal with these guesses? Just some more silly questions.

Ron Scarbro May 19, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008


If you just landed on Earth from outer space and turned on a television set, you would swear that the vast majority, if not all, men in America suffer from erectile dysfunction. It also would appear that no one can possibly sleep without the latest prescription aid. It goes on and on. There are indigestion cures, gas attack aids, constipation cures, and all manner of helpful medicines available from your nearest doctor. This then begins to describe the problem here. They are available not over the counter, but from a prescription written by your doctor.

A question has occurred to me. Just how much of the cost of prescription drugs is represented in the advertising of those products? The next question is why is it necessary to advertise a product that no one can legally buy without the written authority of the medical profession? There is currently an inquiry going on in Washington where our esteemed Congressmen are trying to figure this out.

I don’t know about you, but I pay my doctors a great deal of money to know what is the best medicine for me. I expect them to do the research. I expect them to read the literature. They have many years of formal education and continue to learn of the latest advances in medication. The last thing on earth my medical pros need is my suggestions as to the proper method and treatment of my ailments. I tell them where it hurts and I leave the rest up to them.

Those among you who know me, know that I am a capitalist in every aspect of my being. I believe producers should be able to market their product in the best way they know how. If they think advertising on TV works for them, then I don’t have a problem. But, and it is a big but, I cannot legally buy their product without someone else’s consent which is based on license, education, and other legal authority. In my thinking advertising just becomes another added cost of an already overpriced product.

I have asked my doctor about this and she says that she really doesn’t pay any attention to her patients who suggest various medications based on their advertisements. Personally I’m glad she feels this way. I cannot understand how any competent physician could give any credence to uneducated opinions from patients who only know what the ads tell them. Plus the disclaimers in the ads are often in the smallest of small print.

This then is the deal. Prescription medication is getting more and more expensive. How many millions of dollars are spent advertising these medications? I believe the drug companies should be looking for ways to reduce their costs of production rather than adding to them. If I could diagnose my medical problems, I wouldn’t need to pay a doctor to do it for me. If I could then go to the nearest pharmacy and buy any drugs I felt I needed, prescriptions wouldn’t be necessary. Of course the reality is I can’t. Even if I were a physician I wouldn’t diagnose myself.

The only other question I have is this. How does the couple in the erectile dysfunction ads always find two bathtubs out in the middle of a field just waiting for them? And why do they need them? And what does that have to do with e.d.? Oh well, I guess there are just some things better left to the imagination.

Ron Scarbro May 12, 2008