Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I was going to leave this alone. I was just going to let this die a slow, natural death, but something happened today that has forced me to get my two cents worth in. I am talking about the incident in Cambridge, Mass. where a Harvard Professor was arrested for disorderly conduct and the subsequent commentary by President Obama during a news conference.

In case you live in a cave without any news source, the brief facts are that a black Harvard professor had lost his house keys and tried to break down the door to get into his own house. A neighbor witnessed the act and called the police to report a break in. So far so good. A white police officer answered the call and tried to investigate the facts of the case. The black professor took offense that the white cop didn't know who he was and became belligerent. Rather than just showing the police an ID, the professor decided to be a victim. When the cop had had enough abuse from the professor, he placed him under arrest and hauled him off to jail. Later the professor was released and charges were dropped.

The events that followed caused this incident to get blown out of proportion. During a news conference, President Obama said that the police acted stupidly. Later when he came to his senses and when he read the headlines he had caused with his ridiculous comment he tried to back off of the situation. He finally decided that both parties had over reacted. Sorry but that isn't going to work either.

Rather than being grateful that the police came to protect the property of this professor, he decided that he would play his race card. I am sure that all of his life he has been told that he has been put down by white society. Never mind that he has a position of Professor in one of America's most prestigious universities. Never mind that he is probably in the top two or three percent of wage earners in this country. No, he is a victim because he is black. Nonsense. He was arrested because he committed a crime. That crime was disorderly conduct. He would have been arrested whether he was black, white, or Asian. Imagine if you will what would have happened if the professor had been white and the cop had been black. Do you suppose President Obama would have injected himself into that situation?

The incident that set me off today was the offer by the black professor to give the police department a free lecture on race relations. What absolute arrogance. He is lucky that he is not picking taser leads out of his butt and spending some serious time in jail. As an aside, the particular white police officer who made the arrest is also the officer in charge of teaching race relations for his department. If this professor wants to offer some atonement for his stupidity, he should apologize both to the officer involved and to the entire police department in Cambridge.

There are lessons to be learned here. The race hustlers who continue to inflict themselves on the black community are not helping. Their separatist rhetoric serves only to guarantee
that black people will have to work all the harder to compete in this society. We will never be a color blind society as long as the black community sees themselves as second class citizens. As long as they listen to the nonsense spewed by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton nothing is going to change for their people.

Here then is the rule. When a police officer says to you "stop", you stop. If he says "go", you go. That is the law in every city and state in this country. The cops often don't have the time to have a debate. They are just trying to protect the community and themselves. I am truly sorry for you if this rule is too tough.

Ron Scarbro July 27, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009


(The following was published in the Newsleader on August 14, 2009)

On Tuesday of this week Oakland, California passed by an eighty per cent majority a new tax on the retail sales of their four medical marijuana dispensaries. A bit of research on this matter has revealed some amazing facts.
According to Oakland's City Auditor sales from these four dispensaries is $17,500,000.00 per year. Oakland should realize $294,000.00 per year from the new tax. The measure ran unopposed. This column is not about taxes or the plight Californians finds themselves in concerning their budget woes however. No this is about something totally different. Read on.

Some further information regarding the legal selling of marijuana. California currently has eight hundred medical marijuana dispensaries, or pot clubs as they are called, operating today. If they all were doing the same business as the Oakland clubs, they would be generating $35,000,000,000.00 worth of business each year. That, folks is a lot of dope. More importantly, that's a lot of sick people. After all isn't this supposed to be prescribed medicine for sick people? Thirty five billion dollars represents 1,633,333,332 doses of medical marijuana. As I understand the law passed in 1996 to legalize medical use of this drug, one would have to have a prescription in order to buy it legally. That is a lot of prescriptions.

One would not have to be too skeptical to believe that the law was being slightly circumvented would they? The other amazing thing to consider is that this is just the numbers on the so-called legal sales of marijuana. Most of the users are doing so illegally. It does explain a couple of things though. The reason Californians are so strange is probably because they are all stoned. The second fact appears to be that the hippies have gotten older and are now in charge of California government and politics.

I personally am not a user of the magic weed. I tried it a couple of times when I was a kid, but frankly I find I prefer martinis. They taste better, they don't make you cough, and besides you get an olive. I don't even care if California decides to legalize the drug. That is their business. I do believe however that it is silly to call what they are doing now a medical procedure. We should call it what it is, pot heads getting stoned with the authorities looking the other way.

Legalization of this drug has been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature several times and will continue to be introduced until they win, I suppose. It would be interesting however to see what happens on the left coast before too many others step into the fray. If, like me, you have seen a person who was stoned, you would realize that they are pretty much harmless. The problem is that they are also helpless. It would be frightening to consider airline pilots, semi truck drivers, police officers, firemen, EMT personnel and doctors under the influence trying to do their jobs, let alone everyone else.

These are just some ramblings of one who is still trying to understand what it is about life in our world that is so problematic, so difficult that individuals need to medicate themselves to escape reality. I hope I never have to find out.

Ron Scarbro July 22, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009


It was pointed out to me recently that the moron of the month for the past several months has seemed to come from the Democrat party. I went back to check and sure enough that was the case. I assure you it was never my intention to pick on one particular party, it's just that, as you know, the Democrat party offers so many more opportunities for selection of morons. Democrats take heart however. This month the Republicans have foisted upon the world a first class moron who will be this month's honoree.

I refer to that poster child of hypocrisy, Mark Sanford, Republican Governor of South Carolina.

Don't these people get it? Do they not understand that everything they do or say is being watched and recorded by someone somewhere? I believe they are so arrogant that they must think they are just above the rules. This is of course a married man with children who has been touted as a big part of the future of the Republican party. He was to be the savior and the standard bearer for the next big test of the electorate. He would bring to the lawless masses the truth and the way. Well not anymore.

This reminds me of that other champion of integrity Bill Clinton. It's just sex. It's no big deal. His actions should have no impact on his job performance. Wrong again. Character and trustworthiness are utmost in the minds of most clear thinking Americans when selecting their representatives and their leaders. If an individual cannot be trusted to keep his commitment to his wife and family, not to mention to his staff or his state, how on earth could he be trusted to maintain the trust of the country as a whole?

We are not talking about some average guy who lives down the block from us. No we are talking about the chief executive officer of a state. His personal life is my business. His personal integrity is my business. How he carries himself in his daily life is my business. Whether he likes it or not, he is an example to other people. It has been said, "To whom much is given, much is expected." I expect, and you also should expect, our so-called leaders to be bastions of integrity and honor. Sanford now appears to be turning his life over to God to straighten it out. He, like Clinton before him, will have religious leaders help him maintain a proper life style. He intends to regain the trust he has lost. To quote a famous line from a past TV show, "I don't think so, Tim." You made this mess Governor, you clean it up.

I know this is not an isolated case. Republican Senator Ensign of Nevada has made the news for the same crimes. His Mommy and Daddy attempted to pay off the woman in an effort to keep her quiet. Didn't work. Sorry. He also is finished. Another Republican bites the dust. There have been many others too numerous to count. They never seem to learn.

The truth is that moronic behavior is no respecter of political affiliation. This blog is also no respecter of political preference when choosing who is honored by "Moron of the Month". I will continue to call it as I see it. And as the bumper sticker on the cattle truck proudly stated, "Let the Chips Fall Where They May".

Ron Scarbro July 19, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


(The following was published in the Newsleader on July 10, 2009)

Like most of you I am a consumer of the news. I read newspapers, watch TV, listen to the radio, and scan the Internet. I have grown concerned over the past few years however as I have watched what has happened to news reporting. In reading this column you are reading an opinion piece. It is not news. On the same page of this paper are other opinion pieces as well as an editorial offering the view of the publishers and editors of the Newsleader. News appears on other pages of this paper as well as other newspapers. Unfortunately the line is often crossed by reporters of so-called news to include opinion.

If I report to you that ice in the Arctic has melted back by two inches in the past decade, and I have facts to back that up, that is news. If I report that the ice in the Arctic is melting and will soon cause the oceans to overflow, that is opinion. If I report to you that we are running out of fossil fuels and will soon be at the mercy of an angry earth, that is not news. That is wild eyed speculation and opinion. If I further report that you should do something to stop this runaway use of fossil fuels because we are going to run out, that is not news. That is someone telling you how you should feel about a situation that isn't even a fact. It is just opinion.

For several years now we have allowed our news gathering and reporting services to get away with shoddy, unproven speculation and offer it as news. I am a strong advocate of a free press. I believe we must have a strong unbiased media that is relentless in rooting out the news that the news makers would otherwise like to keep hidden, but news is something that has already happened, Events yet to occur are not news, they are conjecture. To offer them as news is a violation of the practice of good journalism.

Here's a little test. Take any news story that is current and visit several news reporting services. I am talking about all forms of media. Then see how different the same story becomes when the various agencies put their slant on it. The New York Times will report one way, and Fox News will see it quite differently. CNN has their view and ABC or NBC will sell their point of view in another way. All of this under the guise of news reporting. The problem of course is that none of these agencies has the franchise on truth.

Reporting from war zones is something else. It continues to be almost impossible to garner the truth about what is really going on by the reports we are given. Very often truth is a casualty of agenda driven reporting and editing.

Here is one final little test to try. When news reporters offer a statement as news, and by its nature you know it is just opinion, add this comment to the end of their offering, "or not". That puts the whole thing in a different perspective. I love reading the opinion pages and I hope you do as well, but we should never confuse opinion with news. News reporters need to get back to sound journalism. As Jack Webb used to say on Dragnet, "Just the facts Ma'am, just the facts."

Ron Scarbro June 28, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009


(The following was published in the Newsleader on July 17, 2009)

This week's blog is going to be something of a departure from my normal writing. In the past this blog has been dedicated to my rants about politics and the general state of our lives today. Today however, I will be reviewing a book.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Turner Publishing Co. of Nashville, Tennessee and asked to consider reading and reviewing a new book they were soon to release and posting that review on my blog. Now you may ask the same question I did, why was I chosen for this task? I would like to tell you that they had read my previous writing and were impressed by the intellect, humor, and wit contained therein. I would like to tell you that, but that would be untrue. They probably chose me because I live in Minnesota and am registered as a Minnesota blogger. At any rate I agreed to the job and they sent me the book.

The book is entitled "HISTORIC PHOTOS OF MINNESOTA". The author is Minneapolis resident Susan Marks whose previous book was "Finding Betty Crocker; The Secret Life Of America's First Lady Of Food".

The book begins with the premise that, like in most states, many historic photos exist but they are very difficult to find and enjoy. Susan set about finding these pictures and providing the history of each photo. The book then is a so-called coffee table tome which offers the reader pictures and history of Minnesota. The photos date back to the early 1800s and carry forward to the late 1900s.

In reading this volume I was amazed by the thoroughness and accuracy of the comments. One learns a great deal about the history of this great state and is further educated by the pictures. I don't know when photography first came on the scene, but I am sure that some of the earliest attempts are included in "HISTORIC PHOTOS OF MINNESOTA
". You will see images of Native Americans who were the first settlers of Minnesota and you will see the European influx which followed. As I consider those first European settlers, I can certainly understand why Minnesota was chosen as their new home if they arrived in the spring or summer. What astounds me is that they stayed past their first winter, but I digress. Seriously they did find their new home and came in great numbers. As the book attests, Minnesota today reflects this heritage proudly.

"HISTORIC PHOTOS OF MINNESOTA" belongs in every Minnesota home and in every school in the state. The history of this state is beautifully and accurately depicted in both the pictures and words. Susan Marks has done a magnificent job of rounding up the contents of this handsome book.

I intend to donate my copy of this lovely book to the Sartell Senior Connection and have it placed in their drop-in center for senior citizens. I can imagine many hours being spent by older Minnesotans reminiscing about the early days as they read it. I know it will be a hit.

My congratulations to Susan Marks and to Turner Publishing Co. for their accomplishment. I recommend "HISTORIC PHOTOS OF MINNESOTA" to all Minnesotans and to others who have an interest in the formulative years of this great state.

Ron Scarbro July 12, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


A group of scientists in England recently went into action to try and save a species of butterfly from extinction. In their opinion global warming was causing the elimination of this certain group of insects and they needed immediate human intervention. It was reported that the scientists went about gathering up these butterflies and moving them to the northern most point of their range in an effort to allow them to survive the onslaught of global warming. Some may see this as a beautiful thing. Some may even believe that these scientists have done great service to the world by trying to save these insects. Others however may see this as interfering in Nature's plan.

Several years back a group of people decided to fix an erosion problem. It seemed that during rain storms soil would be loosened and be washed away. To repair this phenomenon, they imported a vine from China known as kudzu. This was the miracle treatment for the erosion problem. The vine quickly grew and stopped the wash away of the soil. So what's wrong with this picture? Travel anywhere in the southeast and you will see what is wrong with this picture. Kudzu has taken over. It is everywhere. It is almost impossible to control. It kills off all native plants and ground cover and creates imbalance in the topography. The erosion problem doesn't exist where kudzu has taken root but that doesn't begin to atone for the disaster caused by the introduction of this alien plant.

In the early years of this country European settlers decided they wanted to bring carp from the old country to the rivers and lakes of America. Carp was one of their favorite food fishes and they thought it a good idea to have them available in their new home. Unfortunately carp now inhabit virtually every river, stream, pond and lake in America. They take over from the native species and create havoc wherever they exist. T
his trash fish has ruined many fisheries.

These are but a few examples where well meaning intervention in Nature's plan has caused an unintended consequence. I am not privileged to know exactly what Nature's plan is but I think it is easy enough to understand that human interference in that plan can have dramatic and sometimes tragic results that are often unintended.

A part of Nature's plan also seems to be an ongoing pattern of warming and cooling of the earth. In the long history of this planet there have been many, many periods of warming and cooling. In the history of earth tens of thousands of animals and plants have evolved and just as many have died off. It is just possible that this particular species of butterfly is supposed to die off. The British scientists are interfering in something which could have unintended results. The movement of plants and animals from one part of the world to another could very easily be seen as interference.

The problem is clear. Those who practice the religion of global warming probably believe they have the right to do anything to change that phenomenon. Such arrogance. I think we all should step back and take a good hard look at what is real. Humans have no role in the ongoing warming and cooling of the earth, and humans can do nothing to alter this activity. Humans are not in charge. Humans are just another species which inhabits the earth at this time. There is no guarantee that we will be around tomorrow or any time in the future. There was a commercial that ran many years ago on TV. The tag line was, "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature." Perhaps we should heed that warning.

Ron Scarbro July 7, 2009