Wednesday, December 26, 2012


This blog and the columns I write for newspapers are designed to offer commentary on the events of the day. Most of the time words flow rather freely from my brain. Today as I write, however, words are harder to put together. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. It should not be a time to consider the horror of children being murdered by a deranged psychopath. There is no making sense of this tragedy. There is no convenient explanation which gives solace. There is only the reality and the pain.

Of course the usual suspects are offering their usual explanations of this murderous scene and they are also offering their usual solutions. Number one is always to blame the gun. Legislation will be introduced to ban “assault weapons” and all manner of perceived dangerous weapons to keep them out of the hands of free American people. Does any thinking person really think denying guns to legitimate, sane citizens will have any effect on the crazies in our midst? It has been said many times before that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Let’s face it, laws only affect law abiding people. Bad guys don’t pay any attention to laws and they surely don’t obey them.  

Consider this. I heard a West Point instructor today explain that violent video games are used to desensitize individuals in their training for war. Apparently the more blood and guts one is exposed to, the easier it is for them to kill others. I found that interesting.

The second amendment is our guarantee of keeping and bearing weapons. These weapons are not only to protect us from crooks but primarily to protect us from our government. I also heard this interesting little tidbit. “Armed people are citizens, unarmed people are subjects.” A fact we should never forget.

These then are my conclusions. These rare and random events, while they are indeed tragic, are in fact rare and random. Another truth is there are individuals in our free society running loose who should be in cages. Anyone who believes registering guns or even banning certain “assault weapons” will curtail nutcases is not thinking clearly. A gun is a tool just like a knife or a baseball bat is a tool. It is not now nor has it ever been the tool, it is the perpetrator who is the problem. Had there been anyone near this latest massacre site who also had a gun and used it, there might have been far fewer deaths of innocent children. The only way to stop a gun is with a gun, period.

We have the great benefit of living in a free country. Sadly, though, not everyone who lives in this free society is equipped to be free. In a country of over 330 million people, we are bound to have some misfits. There will be the evil. There will be the disturbed. There will just be nutcases who have evaded the mental health system and the justice system. Such is life in a free society.

How many of you know someone who you think is just not playing with a full deck? They may be eccentric, or just not “normal.” Should they be reported to the police? What would be their crime? Obviously we cannot have preemptive,  preventive law enforcement. Law enforcement comes into play only after the law is broken.

Today our job is to mourn and to clean up the mess caused by a nutcase. There can be no understanding. Just mourn and clean up. There are no guarantees in life, not for you or for me, and certainly not for those little children in Connecticut. I hope and believe tomorrow will be a brighter day for all of us. Our broken hearts will mend. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Ron Scarbro December 26, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


What is Christmas? What does it mean to you? Is it a religious holiday or is it about gift giving and Santa? Is it both? What does Christmas mean to you?

To most Christmas is a major celebration of Christianity, the birth of the Christ Child. To others it is an opportunity to share gifts and feast on rich foods. Yet to others it is a time to visit old friends and relatives and a time of relationship renewal. To me it is all of these. I love the traditions, the music, the joy, in fact I love it all. In my house we will have a Christmas tree, play Christmas music, have Christmas drinks, and feast on Christmas foods. There will be Christmas stockings and Christmas wreaths hung. It will be a Christmas festival.

Christmas is of course a Federal holiday. That means our government recognizes the day as special and sets it aside as a day of celebration. For those very few who feign offense by the religious nature of Christmas, deal with it. If you are offended, you don’t have to participate. Sit alone in your home, pull your shades down and shut out the world. The rest of us are going to have a party. You are invited but you don’t have to come. That is your choice.

In my research I learned, among other things, that Christmas means “The Mass of Christ.” Hence the term Christmas. I am completely comfortable with that definition. It has served me for my entire lifetime and I plan to continue in that belief. As a Christian I accept many things on faith. I don’t have to have scientific evidence. Whether Christ was born on December 25th or September 15th is not relevant to me. I just don’t care. It’s not the date that is important, it’s the event.

Today the vast majority of the world accepts Christmas as a religious holiday. Most celebrate it as the birth of the Christ Child. It is a major holiday in Russia as well as in China. The Christmas traditions of  countries are, of course, as different as the countries themselves.

Most have a Santa Claus or some close facsimile. Many have the tradition of gift giving. But to most of the world, Christmas is a religious holiday. There will always be a small minority who will be offended. Some are just joyless individuals who crave attention. Some are  haters who want to spoil the party for the rest of us. I suspect that most are people who got coal in their stockings when they were children and have never gotten over it. How sad.

I recognize that others also celebrate holidays during this time of year. Jews have Chanukah, and some other groups celebrate Kwanzaa. I think that is marvelous, but neither has anything to do with Christmas. Christmas is a separate holiday.

This is my favorite time of the year. I refuse to allow anyone or anything to spoil it for me. I don’t care that retailers start advertising Christmas before Thanksgiving. That just means it soon will be here. I love the fact that Christmas music is played from November on. It is some of my favorite music. I appreciate the cards and the personal letters that arrive in the mail. They are like visits from family and old friends.

Even Ebenezer Scrooge decided, after his frightening night with ghosts, to keep Christmas forevermore. I hope Christmas is as special to you as it is to me and we wish you the Merriest of Christmases this year and forevermore.

Ron Scarbro Christmas 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


December 21, 2012, the end of the world. At least that is the prediction of the Mayan calendar. Maybe, just maybe, they missed it by a few days. December 31, 2012. Now that’s a date that could be, and probably will be, classified as the end of the world as we know it by the hucksters and propagandists known today as the media. You see that is the date we all are supposed to go over the “fiscal cliff.” The fiscal cliff is best described as the ending of the Bush era tax cuts and a required reduction in spending, primarily military, which would automatically go into effect without Congressional action.

So how will you deal with this event? I’m talking about the end of the world. Me, I’m going to find myself a comfortable chair, put my feet up, pour myself an adult beverage of some sort, and have a toast to the life I have enjoyed. Then I will go to bed.

What about the other end of the world, the “fiscal cliff?” Well since that should occur on New Year’s Eve, I plan to find myself a comfortable chair, put my feet up, pour myself an adult beverage of some sort and offer a toast to the life I have enjoyed and then go to bed as I do every night.

The reason is simple. Both scenarios are equally silly. The world is not going to end on December 21st or on December 31st. The hype is going to get louder but both days will pass and we will be fine. If I am wrong about the Mayan prediction, it won’t matter anyway, will it? Nobody will be around to criticize my opinion. I once saw a TV show trying to show what the world would look like if there were no people. My question is who cares? If there are no people, who would be around to appreciate an uninhabited world? What nonsense.

Now the fiscal cliff poses a different problem. You have all heard the hype. We are basically being told that if Congress doesn’t act to prevent this dilemma, the entire country will suffer irreparable harm. How to fix it becomes the issue. The mantra from the Democrats is to tax the rich, tax the rich. Their opinion seems to be that such a tax increase would solve our money problems in Washington and we wouldn’t have to reduce spending. The reality is that the proposed tax increase on wealthy people will generate very little revenue. This tax proposal is nothing more than a notch in Obama’s political gun. A notch which incidentally will be filed off by the Republican administration which replaces him. What amazes and confounds me is that both political parties are willing to cause untold financial suffering and continue this economic stagnation for years for political reasons. Neither side seems to care a bit about the country. The financial problem facing America is and has been caused solely by our elected employees in Washington. Political games will fix nothing. Every one of them must be held accountable for their actions or their inactions. If they fail in their duty, they should be summarily dismissed.

I truly believe there will be an end of this world someday. I do not believe however that humans will have anything to do with it. Until that time comes, and nobody knows when that will be, I plan to continue to enjoy my life and I hope you do the same. If I am wrong and it all comes tumbling down on December 21st or on December 31st, you all can get together and criticize me. Oh, wait a minute. That won’t work. The reason, you won’t be here either.

Ron Scarbro December 12, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


During the Thanksgiving season a TV network asked their viewers in a poll who would they most like to have as a dinner guest on the holiday. Of course the names were all over the map. As it turns out, Tim Tebow, a pro football quarterback for the New York Jets, was the number one pick. Now I like Tim. I admire his prowess as an athlete as well as his personal lifestyle. He seems to be a very spiritual man with charity in his heart, and while I would enjoy having a meal with Mr. Tebow, he would not be my first choice. My first choice would be Barack Obama.

I’ll explain. First, before I would extend such an invitation to my holiday table, there would be a few rules. Among the rules, no smoking in my house. He could go outside if he has to light up. The second rule is the most important. Without a complete agreement on this next rule, he could not sit at my table. He has to tell the complete, unvarnished truth in answering any and all of my questions. I realize the difficulty with that requirement, but it would not be up for discussion. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, or stay away from my house.

Now, with all that agreed to and out of the way, this is how I would envision the table talk. My very first question to Barack would be, “Where were you born?” It’s a simple question. I was born in Powell, Tennessee. See, it’s an easy question. My next question, “Why do you have a Social Security number issued out of Connecticut when you have never lived there?” As you can see this is a simple review of previously released information, so it shouldn’t be difficult.

Next we get to some apparently harder questions. I say harder because the answers seem to have been sealed and hidden at great expense. What were your high school grades and how did you get into Ivy League schools? Were you registered as a foreign student? What were your grades in college? Who paid for these schools? Who paid for your world travels during this same period of your life. Did you in fact graduate and what degrees did you earn? Were you ever a professor of law or a professor of anything for that matter? Have you ever published articles for any law review?

Speaking of publishing, who really wrote the books attributed to you? It’s okay. A lot of people use ghost writers, but most of them are given credit for their contribution. Did you use ghost writers?

As you can see, I have a lot of questions. I have these questions because the people who should have been asking them and proving the veracity of the answers have failed in their responsibility. The national media has seemingly given this guy a free ride. The Republican Party has also seemingly allowed these questions to go unanswered and uninvestigated. Maybe I’m the only person on earth who cares that our president be a truthful man with a verifiable history. Is that the case?

This is what I believe. The truth will come out. The whole story will emerge. If there is no there there, great. But if his entire public life has been a lie, this country will have to deal with it. The national media will be held to account for their failure to do their job, vetting candidate Obama. It is one thing to pick your favorites, but you still have to do your job.

Today I know I will never have the opportunity to ask my questions. I just wish the people who are charged with that responsibility and who have the access would.

Ron Scarbro December 5, 2012