Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The following is an actual news report from the Washington Post (Associated Press).

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard of temperatures in the Arctic Zone.”

The report goes on to relate how ice is melting and fish are vanishing from their previous locales. The only important thing about this news report is not the content but rather the date. The report was dated November 2, 1922. It would seem nothing has changed except the names of the doomsayers.

I bring this to your attention for a number of reasons. The advocates and practitioners of the religion of “global warming” have so perverted normal climate change as to create an entire new world of fear and dread. Just look at what is now the new normal. We are turning food (corn) into fuel instead of feeding hungry people. We are attempting to sell some truly ugly cars to unsuspecting people because they are “green.” People are sorting their garbage. Billions are being spent chasing this fantasy and billions more are being extorted from producing countries. All across the globe a gigantic wealth redistribution is underway. People like Al Gore have become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams because of their advocacy. The estate Gore just bought takes more energy to heat and cool than many small towns in the world. Talk about a carbon footprint.

There is no doubt in my mind that normal climate change is happening. I believe climate change has occurred since this planet was first formed and will continue as long as it exists. There have been ice ages and heating periods. I personally don’t know whether we are in a heating period right now or still in a cooling period from the last ongoing change. You see, I haven’t been let in on the “master plan” for the universe. I haven’t been given a vote as to how it should go and I am therefore not responsible for any outcome, nor is any other human being or animal on the earth.

The news report I cited above reminds me of individuals like Paul Erlich, the professor who, in the 60s and 70s, decided that the earth could not support the numbers of people who were living here and advocated “zero population growth.” He even cancelled his life insurance and did other foolish things because he believed the earth was coming to an end due to over population. Well, it would appear that Dr. Erlich was wrong. In my short life time there have been many of these charlatans who would have you believe that they have some insight into the “master plan.” These types have probably been around since it was first decided that if you could convince enough people of your silly prognostications, you could extract money from them. I call that extortion and blackmail.

In the history of the world thousands and probably millions of species of plants, animals, and insects have come and gone. That will doubtlessly continue as long as the earth exists. Neither you nor I know what species are supposed to survive and what species are supposed to become extinct. Neither you nor I have been let in on the “master plan.” What exactly is the temperature supposed to be? Sorry, it is part of the “master plan” so I don’t know. Are polar bears supposed to survive? Sorry again. Had it been up to me I would have kept some of the dinosaurs.

This is what I do know. All species in history have had the choice, adapt or die. Those which remain have adapted. Those that didn’t died.

The future will be what the future will be. I will continue to be a good steward of the environment. I will neither waste nor squander natural resources. I encourage you to do the same. Future generations will probably look back on us and laugh at our silliness. I hope the world we leave them will be as good as it has been for me. Either way, I was not in on the plan.

Ron Scarbro December 29, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010


A Christmas Story

Way out west where the mountains are really tall, snow comes early in the winter and stays long into the spring. In the winter the air is clean and crisp but it is very cold. In the spring though, the sun warms the woods quickly and causes great stirring among the plants and the animals.

On one particular mountainside there lived a magnificent stand of Douglas fir trees. They grew tall and straight destined to become the finest lumber in all the land for building. The great trees were rightfully proud of their destiny. No other trees grew straighter or made finer lumber. In the fall the trees would shed seed cones which would feed the squirrels and other small animals in the woods. Inside the cones were many nutritious seeds. These morsels were the feed for most of the forest’s critters.

Occasionally some of the seeds would be buried by the squirrels for later use. Sometimes the squirrels bury so many seeds that they forget where they all are buried. This is just what happened one autumn on one of these tall mountains. The next spring when the sun warmed the earth and melted the snow, the little seeds sprouted into seedlings. In the life cycle of Douglas firs, new great trees are born. All over the forest young seedlings were sprouting and showing their new growth to the warming sun. All was right with the world as new life was born to take the place of the older trees which would be removed to become the finest lumber in all the land.

Dougie was just such a seedling. He stretched his young needles trying to reach the warming sunlight. But there was a problem. He had sprouted under a giant log which was blocking his sunlight. Dougie thought, “This is not such a big deal. I’ll just grow around the giant log and reach the sunlight.” That is just what Dougie did.

Every winter he slept under the heavy snowfalls and waited until the warming spring melted the snow and let Dougie stretch, further bending around the giant log to grow.

All went well for a few years until Dougie became a sapling. He was now about three feet tall, gangly and spindly as you would expect a teenager to be. Trees don’t grow as fast as humans but they grow much taller. Because Dougie had to grow around the giant log, his trunk was developing a curve. “Don’t worry,” his mother had said. “I am sure your trunk will straighten up when you grow a little more. I just know you will become a great tree and you will be sought out for your destiny to become the finest lumber in all the land.”

The next winter was particularly harsh. Snowfall far exceeded normal. All the young saplings were pushed down by the weight of the snow. But it is the nature of mountains and snow and trees to have these little experiences. When the warming sun returns and melts the snow, all the trees will spring back and grow to become the tallest and straightest trees on the mountain. Dougie had another problem however. The shade over him had caused the snow to stay considerably longer than normal. To deal with it, Dougie decided he would just grow around it as he had before. This time though, he had to grow in a different direction to get to the sun’s warmth. This caused his trunk to develop an “S” shape. “I’m not going to worry,” thought Dougie. “I will just continue to grow taller and taller to become the tallest, straightest tree in the forest. I will achieve my destiny to become the best lumber in all the land.”

Sadly it was not to be. As Dougie grew, his curvature only got worse. His growth became stunted. All the other trees grew taller and taller leaving Dougie in their shade.

“Now what? What is to become of me? All my life I had planned to achieve my destiny to become the tallest and greatest tree in the forest and now it looks like I will be nothing more than a scrub bush. I will never be good enough to be the finest lumber in all the land. It looks like I will have to spend my life as a nothing.”

Well life has a strange way of dealing with things. Just when you think things are the darkest, sometimes great light is shown. As it turns out, Christmas was approaching. Snow had fallen and the forest was even more beautiful than usual. Dougie heard a strange noise in the distance. It seems a family had come to the woods looking for a Christmas tree. The family was a Dad with his three children. The children were very excited looking for the perfect tree to decorate for their home. As they walked around and among the many beautiful young Douglas firs, they would shout “How about this one?” or “Dad, I think this is the best one.” They seemed not to even notice Dougie.

Dougie thought, “I cannot do anything right. I can’t even become a Christmas tree because of my curved trunk. Now I will never be a great tall tree and I won’t even be a Christmas tree. How sad is my life.”

Just then Dougie noticed a little girl looking at him. She was part of the family who was out looking for a tree to decorate. She was smaller than the other children. She stood in a strange way. She seemed to have some difficulty getting around in the snow, but she had a huge smile on her face. She was definitely having a good time. Dougie looked closer and saw that this little girl had a strange curve in her spine much like the curve in his trunk.

“Dad, come and look at what I have found. I think this could be the Christmas tree for us.” Dad came over and said “Honey, this tree has a crooked trunk. I don’t think it would be the perfect tree for us.” He then went off to be with the other kids continuing to look for the perfect tree.

The little girl just stood there and stared at the crooked tree. Dougie was as sad as the little girl. Off in the woods there was the rustling of the kids as they continued to look for the perfect tree. Dad called to the little girl to come with them. “No Dad,” she said. “This tree and I both have a curve in our spines and you always told me that I was as good as anybody else, so I think that just because this tree has a curve in his spine, he can be as good as anybody else also.”

Dad stopped in his tracks. His eyes filled with tears as he suddenly recalled his feelings when he learned of his little girl’s condition known as scoliosis. He remembered the fear both he and the little girl’s mother felt. He knew that he and his daughter had to learn to live with her condition. He had, for years, told her she could do anything she put her mind to. He and her mother had told her to reach for the stars and not allow her physical limitation to slow her down. Now here before his eyes was the essence of the lesson he had tried to teach his daughter for years and today he had to learn it from her. She had become the teacher.

Dad immediately called all the kids together and announced that we had indeed found the perfect tree. The kids were surprised at the choice of the tree with the bent and curved trunk. Dad said, “Just you wait until you see what this tree will become. We will decorate this Douglas fir as no other tree has ever been decorated.” Dad quickly cut the tree down and it was lovingly loaded in the van for the trip home.

When Mother saw what the family had done she was also surprised. “Is this the best you could do?” she asked. When Dad told Mother what had happened, the matter was immediately settled. Mother said, “Let’s decorate this tree as no other tree has ever been decorated.” And so they did.

Dougie saw what he had become and he was truly the finest Christmas tree that has ever been. The tinsel and lights were so grand that no one could ever notice that there was a curve in his trunk. His heart sang. Dougie never again thought of his destiny of being the finest lumber in the land for now he had become the finest Christmas tree in the land.

Often in our lives we make great plans. We prepare for lives with one destiny on our minds. Then on occasion, things happen to change our plans. That’s the way life is sometimes. If we can somehow become like Dougie and this little girl, perhaps we will find a different direction that we could never have prepared for. Perhaps our destiny is yet to be decided. Life truly begins when we accept those things which we cannot change and then live our life to its fullest. Whether you are to be the tallest, straightest tree in the forest or the most magnificent Christmas tree that has ever been, success in life is being the best that you can be.

Copyright © 2010 by Ron Scarbro

Saturday, December 18, 2010


At the risk of sounding chauvinistic, I believe women are better shoppers than men. I am a buyer, not a shopper. When I want something, I go and buy it. I detest shopping all around for something. My wife, on the other hand, could spend days just looking and shopping and never spend a dime. I dare not complain too much however because she might suddenly change and start spending instead of just shopping. That could be tragic.

I decided this Christmas I would turn over a new leaf and join the throngs of shoppers to try and buy some Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. Thus begins my tale of woe as a shopper.

Let’s see now. Is it Wii or what about the iphone or the imax? Should I look at an itouch, ibox or ipad or how about an ibex? No, wait a minute. I think that’s a Tibetan mountain goat. I’m so confused. Is there nothing that isn’t electronic? Are there no gifts for today’s kids that aren’t electric? And what about what everything costs? Wow, I had no idea.

Some would say that I am living in the past. That’s probably true. One of my favorite memories of a Christmas past was when I received a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun. I think Santa might have spent maybe five or ten dollars on a gift that was for me one of the greatest gifts in the world. With my new BB gun I could go out into the woods behind my house and be a hunter, or I could be a cowboy, or I could even be a soldier fighting in a war. I was allowed to use my imagination. I was allowed to make up my own games and scenarios. Today, I fear, all the imagination is gone with the electronic devices we give our kids. Everything is decided for them. As a youngster I received a set of Lincoln Logs. We were able to build houses. Our imagination was our only set of instructions, and our imagination was our only limitation. Lincoln Logs were indestructible. They lasted for years and we never grew tired of building with them. Then there was the erector set. What a great gift. Again it was used for building. Building everything from houses to automobiles and everything in between. I had a small wrench and my mind. There was no end to the marvelous things I could construct with my erector set.

Many among you will say that these new electronic devices which entertain our kids are also training them for their future. I hope so, but we will still have to build houses and create things made with our hands and our imaginations. I admit to being “computer illiterate”, but at the same time I certainly wouldn’t want the future to be a bunch of people sitting around on their very ample rear ends unable to create anything with their hands. We dare not out smart ourselves. Somebody is going to have to produce the food, build the roads, and do the uncomputer-like things that make the world go round. These things take skills also.

This column is not about electronic gifts however. It is about shopping. I hereby resign as a shopper. I admit shopping is better left to the experts, like my wife for example. I will continue to live in the past and just shake my head as the world goes on without me. I am surely not the only one who feels this way.

I do hope you shoppers out there have success in your endeavors and that you find the gifts you are looking for. I also hope the recipients of those gifts appreciate your efforts. Tomorrow will be whatever tomorrow will be.

Ron Scarbro December 1, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


As of this writing President Obama has agreed on a compromise with the Republicans to, among other things, extend the so-called Bush tax cuts. There is also an extension of unemployment benefits for another thirteen months. Now you can draw unemployment for over three years without a break. That’s enough time to get a complete college education at the taxpayer’s expense, but I digress. As Obama has said, the compromise includes items that almost everyone could find fault with as well as agree with. Everyone, that is, except the left wing of the Democrat party. They appear to be up in arms. It would seem that to them a compromise is an agreement between two parties that only one side agrees with. In other words it is either their way or the highway.

Now I don’t want to be the one to pour water on their party but, in two weeks or so the Republicans will be in charge of the House and the Senate will have the barest of a majority of Democrats. If the left wing is unhappy this month, imagine how they will be next month and for the next several years.

You will notice I said the next several years and not just the next two years. I read recently that the Democrats have reconciled themselves to the fact that the Republicans have ridden this great wave and it “crested” on Election Day. Well I have some bad news for the Democrats. The wave has not yet crested. In fact it may not crest for several years yet. In my view the Democrats who survive the next few elections are going to have to learn how to compromise with the Republicans in order to be relevant at all.

This country has lived through two years of complete Democrat control and on seeing the result has decided to change the way things are done. This is terrible news for deeply entrenched liberals from both parties who are living in some dream world all by themselves. There is a big country out there and they will be heard. They have and will continue to put their collective foot down. It is not going to be business as usual.

I know this is not going to be comforting news for some of my Democrat friends out there. I know many of you read these columns as you often comment on their content. But the news is good. The country will prosper under new ideas. We need to put people back to work, not just continuing to collect benefits to be unemployed. Jobs are produced when there are markets for products. Jobs are produced when there are needs that are unfulfilled. Jobs are produced when unbridled and unfettered ingenuity is cut lose on the society. The government doesn’t produce jobs. Their only role is to create an environment whereby entrepreneurs can feel like they have a chance for success, then get out of the way. That situation is at hand.

Successful Democrats in future elections as well as successful Republicans are facing a different world. The first order of business is to read the Constitution and understand what the role of government is in America. We don’t want to be Europeans. We reject socialism. We support individual responsibility. We endorse individual initiative and hard work. We support taxation if it is done responsibly, honestly, and fairly with responsible spending of those tax dollars.

I believe the so-called Republican wave is actually an American wave. That wave is rapidly becoming a tsunami, and that is good news for all of us. The crest is yet to occur and the best is yet to come.

Ron Scarbro December 8, 2010