Monday, August 25, 2008


I had previously mentioned that I had been watching the Little League World Series. It has been very enjoyable. As of today it is over for another year and the winner is Hawaii. This essay is not about Hawaii however. It is instead my observations of the entire event.

As you watch these youngsters on the field and at bat it doesn’t take much imagination to see big league ball players. They emulate all of the mannerisms you would see in their adult counter parts. They scratch and spit just like the big guys. Their uniforms betray their young years. Some of the plays I have seen on defense would be the envy of any big league team. I have seen home runs, sacrifice bunts, lay out catches of impossible line drives, and double plays. Sometimes I had to blink and remember that I was watching twelve and thirteen year olds. The pitchers were throwing curve balls as well as fast balls. Many also had change-ups in their arsenal. What’s more, the kids could hit them.

I tried, as I watched, to recall when I was twelve or thirteen. It is hard to imagine that I had this kind of maturity or prowess. I might have still been trying to tie my own shoes.

Little League is for a certainty a marvelous way to bring kids together for a team sport. It teaches team concepts. Everybody has a job and success is dependent on everybody doing their job well. Little League teaches respect for rules, authority, and the opposition. It teaches sportsmanship.

Little League also teaches how to win but more importantly, it teaches how to lose. Remember the old Wide World of Sports slogan “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”? I saw both at these games. As a father and a grandfather I must admit I had a difficult time watching young kids crying their eyes out when their bone-headed play or pitch caused their team to lose. Such is the agony of defeat.

I am sure you are aware that there is within this country a group of people who don’t believe in competitive sports for youngsters. They don’t believe in keeping score or having winners and losers. They think that these kids would suffer irreparable harm to their psyches if they didn’t win every time.

This then is the issue of this essay. Childhood is training for life. Little League is a school for adulthood whether as a ball player or as an engineer. I have this information for the group who would deny these competitive lessons to youngsters, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Sometimes you commit a bone headed error that loses the sale or the account. Life goes on. You may recall as a youngster when you made mistakes during a game and when your screw up cost your team the game. How did you handle that then? You probably survived the event and went on. That lesson may very well have been the spark that caused you to do better the next time.

I mentioned how it affected me watching kids cry at a loss. I wanted to cry with them. Then I remembered that some day those kids will remember not the loss, but the experience. They will remember their teammates. They will remember their coaches. They will remember the pizza they had after the game and how it all washed the tears away.

Life and a baseball game are full of uncertainties. We have no guarantees of success. What we have as Americans is opportunity. Opportunity to succeed and opportunity to fail. The lessons we learn early in life serve us as we continue to grow. The marvelous thing about life in our great free country is that we can define our own success.

Contrary to the line once uttered by Tom Hanks in a movie, there is sometimes crying in baseball.

Ron Scarbro August 25, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008


I can remember when cheating was a shameful act. My earliest memories of my childhood included that admonition from home as well as from school and church. You just don’t cheat. What has happened? The reports that John Edwards had an affair have been filling the news. But, he replied, the affair occurred when his wife’s cancer was in remission, as if that made it more palatable. He joins a myriad of politicians and others whose arrogance causes them to believe that they don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else. From Bill Clinton to Elliot Spitzer and who knows who else? Edwards has been reported to have said that he still has a political future and that this one little digression will not hurt his chances for national office. Wanna bet?

Have you been watching the Olympics? Have you heard about the Chinese gymnastic team of young girls? How old do you think they are? It has been reported that the Chinese government takes these little girls from the earliest ages and puts them into a military style of barracks and indoctrinates them into their sport. They don’t see their home or their parents. One little girl, when asked by a reporter if her parents had seen her perform, replied that she didn’t know. She hadn’t seen them. Winning medals is apparently so important to the Chinese communists that cheating is perfectly okay. The end justifies the means. I am sure the Chinese are not alone in their practices. I will not even discuss the judging by the Chinese officials except to say that it is pathetic.

I have also been watching the Little League World Series of late. Call me crazy but I find twelve and thirteen year olds with beards a little disconcerting. I suppose it is plausible that some are early to mature but I remain a bit skeptical.

Some professional athletes seem bent on self destruction with the use of performance enhancing drugs in violation of all rules. They believe it gives them an edge over the competition. Do they not realize that the unfair edge they think they get comes with a very high price? Just ask Lyle Alzedo. How about the pro wrestler who killed his family while ripped on drugs? How does their use of these enhancers affect the other members of their teams who play by the rules? This particular form of cheating seems to be somewhat accepted by the ownership of pro teams because the souped up athletes draw more fans to the games. Baseball fans love to see home runs. Football fans love to see the big hits. Team owners love to see huge box offices and big TV contracts. Any way you look at it, any way you try to justify it, it is still cheating.

With all the cheating going on, is it any wonder that students would cheat on their school work? They see the results of cheating and that the cheaters seem to win. Why not get a good grade? Why not go to the internet and download the test and the answers?

Well I have some thoughts for those out there who cheat. Would you like to have your surgeon graduate from school as a cheat? Would you like it if your attorney who is defending you in a big case is only there because he cheated to get his law degree?

If you would cheat to win a Little League game when would you not cheat? If you would cheat on your wife while she is suffering from cancer, when would you not cheat? If you would cheat in the Oval Office of the White House with a young impressionable intern, when would you not cheat? If, as a country, you would cheat to win gold medals, when would you not cheat? Finally if you would cheat to win an election, when would you not cheat?

I am reminded of the old country song that goes something like this. “Your cheatin’ heart will make you weep. You’ll cry and cry and try to sleep, but sleep won’t come, the whole night through. Your cheatin heart will tell on you.” Cheaters never prosper.

Ron Scarbro August 18, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


You’ve all heard some of the lawyer jokes, like “What do you call a bus load of lawyers going over a cliff? A good start.” Of course there are many more because lawyers are easy to make fun of. If you need one however, you cannot have a better friend. The minute he has the retainer in his hands, he is your advocate. You can be the vilest of the vile and he will stand by you through thick and thin.

This essay is however, a criticism of some recent antics I have witnessed by lawyers.

Just last week the trial of the driver of Bin Laden concluded in a military court. He was found guilty of many offenses and is to be sentenced soon. His lawyer went ballistic. He couldn’t believe that his client could be found guilty of anything. His lawyer is, by the way, a military officer. A law school professor also screamed to the press that such trials were going to put our country in a very poor light with the rest of the world. As a sidebar, this particular professor will soon be defending another one of the detainees at Gitmo. He must believe that he needs to try the case in the press and have world opinion with him before he gets to court. He seems to care very little if his comments and cries are picked up by our enemies and used as propaganda against us. Another thing to consider is that if wartime combatants are expected to be tried in American courts with all the rights of American citizens, many more of them will probably die on the battlefield.

The trial of the woman who ran a stop sign and hit a school bus killing four school children in southern Minnesota has also concluded. You may remember this case. I wrote about it previously as the woman is an illegal alien and had given a phony name at the time of the accident. She was cut out of the driver’s seat by the “jaws of life” and her foot was stuck under the gas pedal. Her lawyer made it clear to the press before trial that she wasn’t even driving the vehicle. He said it was instead her boyfriend who had since disappeared. The jury found her guilty of all twenty four counts and she still has to face federal charges. Her lawyer held a press conference crying that she was innocent. He criticized the trial, the jury, and anything else he could think of. He looked for all the world like an idiot.

So, what to make of these antics. I thought that lawyers were supposed to make sure their clients got a fair trial and that their rights were protected. I wasn’t aware of the fact that they were supposed to determine their guilt or innocence. I thought that was the job of the jury. Today’s lawyers seem to think that to be successful they must get their clients off. Anytime they don’t they see that as a failure. I have a bit of news for them. Sometimes their client is guilty and is deserving of the punishment they are dealt. Just because they are found guilty doesn’t necessarily mean that they received poor representation.

I think lawyers need to back up and remember what their job is. Their canons of ethics forbid their lying to clear their clients. That should extend to press conferences as well. Issuing misleading and critical statements are not a part of their job. They represent by protecting their client’s rights.

Here’s another bit of counsel for attorneys. If you don’t like being the butt of so many jokes, quit acting like a clown. Remember your ethics. Practice law, not propaganda.

Ron Scarbro August 11, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008


Sadly the events I will be discussing today are becoming all too common. In many of our major cities gangs of roving feral children are terrorizing the residents. I am not over-stating the problem when I refer to them as feral. They are for the most part young, often minorities, vicious, uncaring, and deadly. They are totally devoid of any human compassion.

Just this past week in St Paul, MN., a lady was walking in a public park. She happened to be a terminal breast cancer patient who had just completed her chemo therapy. She usually walked in the park after her treatments to settle down. She was confronted by a gang of these feral youths who, without saying a word, proceeded to beat her with bats. No reason. No robbery. Just beating a defenseless woman for kicks. She suffered two broken hands and many broken bones. At this point we do not know her prognosis. There have been no arrests as yet.

Unfortunately when and if arrests are made, these animals will be treated as deprived, misunderstood children and will no doubt be unleashed back on the community to terrorize again and again. Make no mistake, they are terrorists.

This is not exclusively a minority problem. Very recently two young girls from an upper middle class neighborhood in Lake Worth, FL. felt the need to rob a nine year old Girl Scout of her cookie money. It was $164.00. You can read this story from this site.

You can also view the response of these girls by going to my daughter Heather’s blog and clicking on her video of the interview of the girls. dated Friday Aug 1st, “Teens from good homes steal Girl Scout’s money”.

I was saddened and shocked by their reaction to being caught. There is no doubt in my mind that these young ladies will make the news again. They will probably become wards of the state and live on prison food for most if not all of their lives.

I am sure that we could present case after case of these kinds of stories. So why is it happening? Having been accused of simple mindedness, I offer a few thoughts.

First and foremost I believe these are prime examples of rotten parenting. I suspect that these children have been seen by their parents as interruptions of their otherwise selfish lives. I also suspect that in many cases the father is absent if he is even known. These parents are usually members of the “me” generation, and “me” doesn’t include anyone else especially a child with all the responsibility that entails.

Secondly the judicial system is failing these children miserably. In their zeal to show liberal leniency they delay and defer judgment and punishment. They prove time and again that not only does crime pay it also does not cost.

Schools have lost all authority in dealing with miscreants. Truant officers are things of the past. Dress codes and decency have been thrown out of the window. Students reach graduation without even the most basic education. After all we are told you cannot give a failing grade to a child for fear that you hurt his self image.

To all the so-called elite liberals who believe this is a societal problem I say possibly, but, the solution I believe is far simpler than they advocate. Spending more millions on their ridiculous fixes will continue to offer the same results. We just need to get tough. There must be real punishment for real crimes. Parents must be held to account for their delinquent offspring. If they don’t make sure their kids are in school, they should be liable. There should be a cost to the parents for the misdeeds of their minor children. Being able to procreate doesn’t make anyone a mother or a father. Today I am told that over seventy percent of black babies are born to unwed parents and most of them are teen-agers themselves. This is a recipe for disaster.

We have tried it the ways the liberals wanted and it has obviously failed. It is now time for a different approach. Swift and sure punishment for crimes and misdeeds. Tougher educational standards. Holding parents responsible for their offspring. Maybe even re-institution of the draft. It worked when I was a kid and it would probably work now. You screw up and you either go to jail or into the military. Trust me, the military would know how to handle these young thugs.

It is past time for some of these simple solutions.

Ron Scarbro August 4, 2008