Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It has recently been reported that some public schools are forbidding their students from displaying in any way their acceptance by a college of their choice. They  cannot high five or brag to anyone. Their teachers cannot congratulate them in class.  The reason? Why the poor little student who was not accepted might be upset. Their ego might be harmed by the fact that someone fared better than they. Some of these schools even go so far as to advise students to refer any student they see crying to the counselor’s office. There they can receive the solace they so desperately need.

It is hard to believe but there are some public schools that have eliminated the valedictorian program. Again the reason is so that other less accomplished students will not suffer damage to their poor self image. Apparently being the best is no longer considered a good thing. We wouldn’t want all the others, slackers, goof offs and under achievers to feel bad. It would seem that the “educational community” believes we all are equal and no one should stand out. It is somewhat similar to a little league game where all of the players get a trophy whether they win or lose.

Well guess what? That ain’t the real world. The world is a competitive place. Success both in getting a good job and succeeding in that job is not a matter of chance. Employers are looking for the best. They seek out the best students because they rightfully believe these people will become the best employees. Members of the “educational community” seem to think that all the world is like their school where everybody just goes through life with a guaranteed job and their future is secure just because they show up. I sometimes wonder if these kinds of thoughts are the results of aging 60’s hippies. Many of them who survived their excesses of youth are now in positions of authority. A lot of them gyrated toward education because they thought it would be an easy life with a lot of time off. The big difference is that they have to bathe on a regular basis, but I guess they could make that concession.

The problem with most of our public schools is they really do not know what it takes to succeed in the real world. The same is true, in large measure, in colleges. Most members of the academic set have never actually faced life in a competitive world with profit as the ulterior motive. Tenure is an artificial commodity that exists in educational institutions in order to insure the jobs of educators whether they are competent or not. That is not a part of the real world. In the real world you have to produce or else.

I have even heard of schools that choose not to give out any grades on anything. This, they opine, means that no one would ever fail and their little images of themselves would not suffer. Of course it also means no one could ever succeed. A side benefit from such a system to the teachers is there is no way of determining the proficiency of that teacher. Are they competent or are they not? There is no way to know.

Here is an inescapable truth. Most people coming out of school will have to earn a living. Most will have to get a job and perform and their bruised self image is their problem. There are no free rides or free lunches. So, my advice, “Suck it up Buttercup.” Study and learn your lessons whether your teacher is competent or not. In the final analysis it is going to be up to you.

Ron Scarbro April 25, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


This morning I was watching a TV program and here comes the “food police.” She was a gorgeous twenty-something hard body whose task it was to teach me the evils of sugar. According to her most of the food we eat in this country is poisonous and we are all doomed unless we change our ways. She proffered that the sugar content in virtually everything was just too high and that eating these foods would kill us. It was just a matter of time. It’s a good thing she was pretty otherwise I would have tuned her out immediately.

Last week some young man, again very young, was talking about that fatal food, fat. His thesis was that virtually all of the foods we eat are loaded with fat and it was going to kill us. Both of the young food police people were passionate about their positions. I am sure that in their heart of hearts they believe what they are saying.

In the very recent past the Mayor of New York City launched a campaign to curtail the consumption of salt. He also signed into law an edict that regulates the type of cooking oil that can be used by restaurants. It would seem there is no area of our freedom of choice that is immune from the long arm of the “do gooders” and those who believe they know best.

Well I have some thoughts for them. My father recently died at the ripe old age of 92. He was born and raised in the south. He ate the southern diet from the time he was born until his death. What is the southern diet? Have you heard of Paula Deen? The southern diet consists of a lot of pork, both the meat and the fat. Often the fat is used to make gravy. Mostly that gravy is poured over biscuits and mashed potatoes. Vegetables are cooked in bacon grease. I mean all vegetables. Butter is a common condiment. Other meats are seemingly always fried. You have to do that so you will have some grease left over to make the gravy.

I myself am a son of the south. I love the southern diet. My wife, on the other hand, is a little more picky about what she eats. Oh well, you can’t please everybody. If someone told me that I would have to stop eating the foods I love and change to boiled meat, steamed vegetables, no gravy, no biscuits and no butter or else, I think I would have to take or else. There are some things that are worse than death. For example steamed vegetables, boiled meat, etc. My father had a good life. He lived it on his terms and I assure you, he never once concerned himself with the fat or sugar content of the foods he ate.

I truly understand one’s food choices are very personal. There are mayonnaise people and there are mustard people, and you know who you are. For that reason, I promise never to criticize  your choices. I will never make fun of you for destroying perfectly good food by trying to satisfy the food police. Chicken needs to be fried. Mashed potatoes need gravy. Biscuits need butter. For me to deny these truths is a choice with which I would not be comfortable.

Oh and by the way, the young hard bellies who feel the need to lecture me on food choices will, if they are lucky, grow old and their hard bodies will sag, and their tight skin will show the years like the rest of us. And who knows, they might even become fortunate enough some day to taste real food before they die. I can only hope they will be so lucky. If they ever do, they will quickly turn in their food police badges.

Ron Scarbro April 18, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Los Angeles, California has just announced that unless they immediately change their entire financial set-up, they will have to file bankruptcy. They are facing a budget shortfall of hundreds of millions and that deficit is growing every day. The city officials have proposed tax increases as well as privatizing many of the city’s services. Unfunded liabilities such as retirement funds are facing massive shortages. Of course, as you would imagine, there are still some who are fighting this inevitability. The “kick the can down the road” crowd is alive and well. The state of California is in no better shape though. They are facing many of the same problems as their most populated city. Unlike the Federal Government, state and local governments cannot operate with deficit budgets. They have to balance. It would appear that Greece has come to California.

Now, lest you begin to feel smug, many states and municipalities are in the same boat. For the past several years governments have spent as if the money would never dry up. They have not even considered the possibility that the gravy train could come to an end. We used to say they have spent like a “drunken sailor.” I was told recently, however, that the difference was that drunken sailors spent their own money while governments spend other people’s money. Regardless of how we got to this point, we are here.

It is simple enough to look across the sea to countries such as Greece to see what is on the horizon for us. The Federal Government has already told many states that there will be no bail-out. Apparently all that money has already been spent for political favors and other phony/baloney “green” projects under the guise of stimulus.

Greece has had to initiate new austerity programs and completely change their tax and spending in order to be bailed out by the European Union. Otherwise they would now be in default. Greek citizens are having a difficult time dealing with their new normal. They are still today rioting in the streets. Is that the future for Los Angeles? When retirement checks bounce, will those recipients, teachers, policemen, and firefighters, hit the streets and march in protest?

Margaret Thatcher once said that the trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. Liberalism and socialism are intimately related and clearly the money is drying up. Governments have to understand that there are limits on how much they can tax and spend. The producers among us will not continue to support the non-producers. We cannot continue to live with massive budget deficits.

What is it going to take for us, all of us, to realize this is a dead end street? Will we have to face countrywide bankruptcy? Who would bail us out? We are the last bastion of free enterprise left on earth. If we go under, the world goes under.

Two things have to happen immediately. Number one, we have to get our economic engine back on track. That can only be done by the government getting out of the way and allowing it to occur. We must eliminate onerous regulations and restrictions. Rein in the EPA. Reduce the tax burden on business to allow for their growth. It is really simple. For government revenue to increase, we must have more contributors to the tax system. The second thing is that governments have to understand that they cannot be all things to all people. Politicians have to realize that they absolutely cannot continue to try to buy votes with spending programs. Spending has to coincide with revenue. Quit spending tomorrow’s revenue for today’s programs. If the money isn’t there, don’t vote for the program, period.

Quality California businesses are packing their bags and moving to Texas where the business climate is far more to their liking. Productive citizens are leaving that beautiful state as well.

California voters, you surely know what your problem is and yet you seem to ignore it. You keep electing liberal politicians who will never fix your situation. If you think the rest of the country is going to bail you out, you are sadly mistaken.

Ron Scarbro April 11, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Regular readers of these columns no doubt understand they are written from the right side of political thinking. I think and write from the right side because to me the opposite of right is wrong. Recently I have published some columns on the skyrocketing price of gasoline and oil. As you might expect, some from the other side have taken exception to some of my more cogent comments. Today I will try to examine some of the comments from the “wrong side.”

I have written that the high price of gasoline is laid at the feet of the President. He has failed in his duty to open up exploration and drilling. He has failed to approve the Keystone pipeline project. The “wrong side” would have you believe high prices are  not Obama’s fault. They contend that oil prices are determined by world supply and demand and our president has no control over those prices. Actually, oil prices are only partially controlled by world demand and supply. Do you know what else determines the price? Speculation. Not just by supply and demand, but also by pure unadulterated speculation. So let us speculate for a moment.

What do you suppose would happen to the worldwide price of oil if President Obama held a press conference broadcast to the entire world, which most are anyway, and made the following announcements. The United States will immediately begin drilling in Anwar and the Gulf of Mexico and open up all tapped wells which have already been drilled. The United States will immediately approve the Keystone Pipeline project and  begin building enough refineries to handle the increased supply. In addition we will immediately begin drilling and recovering natural gas which has already been discovered. We will also increase our efforts to mine the coal which lies beneath our feet and convert this product into usable fuel. End of press conference.

The “wrong side” would have you believe that it would take years for any of this to actually affect the price of gasoline. Not so. This is what would really happen. The worldwide price of oil would immediately tumble. The supply of gasoline would dramatically increase to such a degree that those prices would also tumble. OPEC and all other worldwide suppliers of oil would see the handwriting on the wall and change their attitudes instantly. They know they cannot drink it. They also know that America has a larger supply of these natural resources than anyone else in the world.

Without question supply and demand are huge in determining the price of oil, but so is speculation. The speculators would see the same handwriting and would find a different way to lose their money.

Also there is no doubt that the “wacko environmentalist lobby” is in control of this administration’s actions. I am convinced that this whole bunch we have in charge in Washington actually prefer higher prices for fuel because it makes their phony over-priced green energy projects appear more viable. As I have mentioned in earlier pieces I am not opposed to alternate energy. I just believe we need a more intelligent approach. Knee jerk responses to these issues are a tactic of the “wrong side.”

I will continue to think and write from the right side of the political spectrum. It saddens me that the “wrong side” has gotten so much influence in this country. It saddens me that we will probably have to suffer greatly before they are rejected by the country as a whole. But I promise you this, they will be rejected.

Ron Scarbro April 4, 2012