Sunday, February 20, 2011


What you see happening in Wisconsin is about to be played out in many other states as well as in Washington, DC. I am talking about the budget battles. To be sure, not everyone will be happy with the proposals or the end results of these battles, but changes are going to occur. I recently wrote a piece about issues which are, in my mind, untouchable unless they are increased. Those being veteran’s benefits and Social Security. I stand by those words today as I opine about the proposals now being debated.

In Washington the Republicans have determined that ending funding for public broadcasting is one way of reducing spending. They also just passed an amendment ending funding for Planned Parenthood.

First my thoughts regarding public broadcasting. Setting aside the fact that they have become a propaganda arm of liberal politics and also the fact that, in a typical hour of programming, a full twenty minutes is dedicated to commercials on a “commercial free” aired program, I don’t care what they broadcast. My TV and radio are equipped with a station selector and an on/off knob and I use them frequently. My concern is that they operate with taxpayer money and that is wrong. If their programming is of value to their viewers and listeners, they should have to compete along with all other private businesses for customers and advertisers. No free country, least of all America, needs a state run broadcasting outlet of any political view.

Now concerning Planned Parenthood. I personally do not oppose abortion. I do not oppose assistance with family planning. What I oppose is that my tax dollars are being used for those purposes. All across this great country are millions who also oppose this illegal use of taxpayer money. Again, if these services are of such value to their clients, then it is incumbent upon Planned Parenthood to figure out another way to pay for them. In no way should it be at the expense of the American taxpayer. Abortion and family planning are very personal issues and in many camps religious issues and as such are none of the government’s business. They are in no way issues in which the government should be involved. These are but two of many proposals and decisions which will be made in the near future which are going to displease some portion of the public, but hard decisions are going to be made.

Wisconsin is, like many other states, facing huge deficits and they have no choice but to find cuts in their spending. I understand their deficit is about three billion dollars which is small when compared to others. Minnesota for example is twice that amount. Consider California and other big states that have spent like drunken sailors for the past several years. Judgement day is at hand.

The vast majority of citizens of Wisconsin know what is coming and they seem ready for it. That is why they elected the people they did. What is happening in Madison is a small number of union members from Wisconsin as well as other states raising a ruckus as they face the inevitable. The delaying tactics being tried by the State Senate Democrats will only serve to further irritate the good citizens of Wisconsin and will, in the final analysis, fail. Wisconsin citizens’ reality is that either these cuts are made or several thousand of them will lose their jobs. Not a happy choice but reality nonetheless. Wisconsin’s problem is pocket change however when compared to others like California, for example.

I’ll end this piece with these observations. In my seventy short years of life I have seen several fluctuations in our economy. Prices and values have risen and fallen. But, and again this is a big but, we have always recovered and gotten stronger. This is no different. In a few short years we will look back on this time and be amazed by our own resilience and our ingenuity. My word for the day is PATIENCE. While that is a good word for every day it is especially proper now. We all need to adopt this word and look to a bright future.

Ron Scarbro February 20, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011


We have just witnessed the overthrow of the government of Egypt. For the past several days all the news has been of the people marching in the streets of Cairo demanding the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Well, that has happened. He announced his resignation and the Military will take over until a new government can be installed. As I write this, I ask myself, “Is this a good thing, or is this a bad thing? Is this the equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down or is this another Iranian Revolution?” It is so tempting to be hopeful and believe that this is a revolution of people seeking freedom. Is that what is going on? Is this rebellion what it appears to be? The problem is we really don’t know and neither do the people of Egypt.

Should we believe that this is a revolution much like our own? That this is the same as when we threw off the mantle of oppression from Great Britain? I would like to believe that, but I remember as a very young man how we cheered a radical militant who, with his ragtag army, ousted the dictator Bautista, only to learn to our great disappointment that Fidel Castro was in fact a communist and that his beautiful country would then be cast into despair under his brutal regime. In all the years since, Cuba has never recovered from the communist domination of her people. Even today Cubans are years away from being restored to any semblance of their former self.

Is more disappointment awaiting us?

I have watched the young people in their western dress, jeans and t-shirts with cell phones on their ears and I-Pods at the ready chanting with hope on their faces. In two months will they still be in those clothes or will the girls be dressed in Burqas? Will their pretty faces be covered? Will their hopes and dreams be dashed by oppressive dictators from a religious sect? You see, we don’t know. Will the young men be given jobs with hopes for a future, or will their future be destroyed by radical religious groups bent on domination of the entire Middle East? Again, we don’t know.

For the sake of the Middle East, Israel and freedom everywhere, I hope this is not the case. For the sake of the Egyptian people, I hope this is a revolution similar to our own. I hope the Egyptian version of Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere is there with you and can show you the way to freedom. I hope you can continue to show the courage that you have demonstrated these past few days. When you have to make the difficult choices in the coming days, I hope you make the right decisions. Ronald Reagan told us that all men yearn to be free. I am sure the Egyptian people are just like everyone else.

Egyptians are educated people, with talent in music and poetry. They have existed since well before Christ. Since the early days they were masters of building with great pyramids and statues still remaining after eons of time. Today their future is in their hands. Will they choose wisely? Will they install a democracy? Or will they fall for a Theocracy? In many ways, while they abide in the Middle East, they are Westerners. They have, for years, followed and pursued western ideology.

For now however, like you, I will watch. I will watch hopeful that my worries are silly. I will watch in the hope that Egypt will join The Community of Nations seeking peace, prosperity, and brotherhood with all mankind. I will look for Patrick Henry and hope that he shows up and helps guide these newly freed people in the proper path. Will they seek liberty or will they find death? The choice is theirs.

Ron Scarbro February 13, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Most of you who read my columns will recognize me immediately as one who thinks and writes from the right side of the political spectrum. I readily criticize those on the left when they do the silly things they do. Today, however, I am forced, by fairness, to criticize a Republican.

Our Congressperson, Michele Bachmann, has proffered the idea that in order to deal with our deficit, we should reduce our funding to veterans by some four hundred million dollars. We are in the middle of two wars. We are experiencing casualties from both Iraq and Afghanistan on a regular basis. To do anything short of increasing our financial commitment to veterans is dumb. That’s all, just dumb. Fortunately she has seen the error of her ways and has since retracted that idea. That is smart, just smart.

Like most concerned Americans, I readily agree that our spending has to be controlled. That having been said, I now suggest that there are two areas where reduction is out of the question, Social Security and the VA.

I am both a veteran and a Social Security recipient. What that means to me is that I have a contract with this government that is inviolate. When I was seventeen years old, I joined the armed forces of this country and signed a contract that gave over to the country everything I had including my life. America in turn guaranteed certain coverages for me in my later years. I kept my end of the contract and I fully expect the government to keep up their end.

In addition, for about fifty years or so, I worked and earned a living for me and my family. The government confiscated a portion of my income to “set aside” for my retirement years. I was never given an option to opt out. I was never offered the option as to how or where that money would be invested. It was clearly understood that when I reached a certain age, there would be money available to me for my “golden years.” I never agreed that the fund should be raided by various congresses to pay for anything other than legitimate recipients of Social Security. Again, I was not given an option or a say in the matter. Now, with prices rising to ridiculous levels for everything most of us buy, our government has not even seen fit to offer us a cost of living increase, all the while increasing their own incomes.

So you ask me, how would you cut our spending, Mr. Smart Aleck? That’s a fair question and I have a few thoughts. I read recently that we send one and a half billion dollars to Egypt every year. It now seems that a majority of that hard earned tax money has ended up in Mubarak’s personal bank accounts. How many other tin horn dictators are we propping up and supporting with our tax dollars? How much American tax money goes throughout the world for who knows what and to whom? My suggestion, quit it. Just say no. Did you know that in the very small state of West Virginia, there exists the best road system, dam system and government buildings of anywhere in America, and that they all seem to bear the name of their benefactor, Democrat, Sen. Robert Byrd? There are bridges to nowhere and highways in the wilderness in Alaska thanks to their Republican Senator, Ted Stevens. No, it would not be very difficult to find a number of ways to reduce the waste in our spending.

We do not need to buy security by funding outlaw governments all over the world. We can enforce our security at any moment of need. It is past time when we must face the very real fact that we can no longer afford to support the world. We need to see to our own needs first.

Let us instead keep some of this money at home. Let us maintain a strong military. Let us never forget our commitment to our veterans and to our senior citizens. Let us take care of ourselves before we begin to think about taking care of other peoples and countries. And finally, let us re-establish integrity in the halls of Congress and put the people of America first.

Ron Scarbro February 6, 2011