Wednesday, January 30, 2013


A few years back when the SUV craze was really getting going, certain groups criticized people for driving them. They were using too much gasoline and they were polluting the world. After all, they asked, who needs a four-wheel drive vehicle that carries seven people? These people aren’t going off road or climbing mountains in the snow or trudging through the mud. They, by driving these gas hogs, are just being unfair to all the rest of us. The most difficult driving they might experience is high curbs at the Macy’s parking lot.

The similarity between this criticism and the oft offered opinion that people don’t need assault weapons is striking. Who needs a gun that will hold thirty rounds of ammunition? To go deer hunting with an assault weapon is akin to sharpening a pencil with a chainsaw. The groups who hold these views also seem to be the same people who feel their opinion should take precedence over your opinion. Never mind that owning a semi-automatic rifle is completely legal as is owning a multi round magazine for ammunition. No, that doesn’t seem to matter to them, only their opinion.

Well what if I said that in my opinion a person should never own a home with four or five bedrooms and two or three or more bathrooms. What if I said a person should never own a car that goes over seventy miles per hour? After all, that is the speed limit in most of the country. Why do you need a lot with over an acre of space? Don’t you realize that there are people who have little or no yard space? Why would you have a closet full of shoes or clothes hanging there? You cannot possibly wear but one set at a time. Some people have homes in both the north and in the south. Can you be two places at once?

It is pretty clear to me that people have what they have because that is what they want. No couple checked with me to see if I approved of the fact that they wanted a three thousand square foot home for just the two of them. My opinion wasn’t sought for people who wanted to buy a fast car. People don’t ask my opinion because it is none of my business what they have. People also don’t ask me to comment on their desire to own an AR15 assault rifle with a thirty round magazine. Why? Because it is none of my business.

I do not own an “assault weapon” as defined by the media. Personally I believe any weapon is capable of assault depending on the intentions of the possessor of that weapon. Timothy McVeigh did his mayhem without a gun of any kind let alone an assault weapon and of course one can still buy fertilizer and rent trucks. I don’t own an assault weapon because it is my choice not to own one. As a free citizen of this great country, to own one or not to own one is my choice and I don’t personally care what anybody else thinks about my decision. I am a gun owner and again that is my choice. What you do is your business.

The problem is clear. Too many people feel their opinions should trump everyone else’s. Some even want to trump the Bill of Rights. You and I are free people. We decide what is best for us. Unless of course you have a wife and when you look longingly at a glazed donut she says, “You don’t need that.” Believe it and leave the donut alone.

Ron Scarbro January 30, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Some years ago I had the opportunity of walking through a number of fields with a game warden to help in the process of counting pheasants. I thought at the time that this had to be a rather unscientific way of counting birds. Quite frankly we didn’t see or hear that many. This is what I learned however. The warden told me that for every pheasant he saw or heard, he multiplied by nine. He advised me that they had been able to prove their method over many years of trying to establish correct numbers of pheasants.

The significance of this counting method comes into play when one attempts to discover just how many guns are in the hands of US citizens. According to an article in “The Christian Science Monitor” dated January 3, 2013, the total number of guns last counted in 2009 was 310 million. That means essentially one for every man, woman, and child in the US. Now does anyone really think that everyone who owns guns actually reported to the pollsters exactly what and how many they had? If you believe that, I have some great, recently filled in, swamp land to sell you. I think a much more accurate count should be 310 million multiplied by a number like say, nine. I know of people who have rooms full of both guns and ammunition.

Here is the significance of this information. If anyone in Washington actually thinks that issuing an order, Presidential, executive, or any other, ending gun ownership in this country would result in gun owners actually turning in their guns, they need to have their collective heads examined. It ain’t gonna happen, period. First of all, nobody really has any idea of the actual number of guns in this country. Secondly, any such order would be illegal. We are guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution the right to own and bear arms. And, may I add, the primary reason for this amendment is to prevent any government, foreign or domestic from illegal acts such as this.

Can you just imagine being one of the agents assigned to go out and collect the guns? I think I would rather gather up rattlesnakes barehanded. That would be much easier.

There is a clear reason why no foreign country has ever tried to invade America. The Commander in Chief of the Japanese Imperial Navy Isoroku Yamamoto during WWII is reported to have warned against an invasion of the US because there was probably a gun behind every blade of grass. Those guns are indeed there and they are there to protect this country from invaders from foreign countries as well as from our own government. When the second amendment was written it was already clearly understood that American citizens could and should be armed. This amendment was never about granting citizens the right to own and bear arms. The purpose of the amendment was only to codify that right.

I wrote recently that the noise was only going to get louder and louder. That for a certainty is happening. I can only hope that calmer heads prevail. All Members of Congress need to take heed. There is much more at stake here than just your job in Washington. Messing around with American citizen’s basic rights would rile up an already unhappy majority. I believe that is the last thing you want or need right now.

Ron Scarbro January 23, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


There is coming soon to TV a “reality” show about an Atlanta rapper who has eleven children by ten different women, none of whom is his wife. He also now has  a live-in nineteen year old girlfriend. Probably his next “baby momma.” Some people are objecting to this show but there will be a large number who will tune into this train wreck because that is what seems to sell. Let’s face it, this crap is what many people are watching. How else would you explain Honey Boo Boo or Jersey Shores or Tots and Tiaras or so many of the other so called reality shows?

Can someone please tell me how and why the exploitation of dysfunctional families and groups is entertaining? First, to call these shows “reality” is disingenuous. Maybe just watching ignorant rednecks involved in ridiculous situations somehow  makes us feel superior. Answer this for me. How could anyone be entertained by a music producer berating and brutalizing a young singer on national television?

Let us look at the movie industry and the video gaming business. Have you seen what passes as entertainment today? The movies are blood curdling, vampire butchery and chainsaw massacres of the worst order. The video games all seem to be blood and guts. You score by killing and beheading. How is this entertainment?

Today both of these industries are under scrutiny by groups trying to figure out if this is one of the reasons nutcases are arming themselves and killing large numbers of people. The question is do these violent movies and games contribute to their craziness?

I offer this possibility. I believe there is a creeping coarseness occurring in this country and maybe all over the civilized world. Manners are disappearing. Rudeness prevails. Respect for authority has all but vanished. What we used to call sass and talking back is now the norm. Disrespect for parents seems to be a part of every TV show. Profanity can often be heard in public. Apparently the phrase “mixed company” no longer is allowable.

Here is my question. How and when did all this happen? Is it possible that political correctness might be the genesis of this phenomenon? The PC police don’t allow you to judge. They deny you the right to decide right from wrong. There no longer is black and white, only gray. Nuance is the new norm. Normal child punishment is now child abuse. First graders playing cowboys and Indians are now expelled. Identification of people somehow now has become a bias or a prejudice. And the worst of it is that we have buried our collective heads in the sand refusing to acknowledge all of this.

Well, as I tell my grandchildren almost daily, we are the product of our choices. If we choose to watch these violent movies and TV shows, buy and play these video games, allow the PC police the almost unlimited authority to determine right from wrong, then we deserve the outcome. We have stopped punishing lawbreakers. Most arrestees are multiple offenders with numerous convictions but are out on the street. What used to be shameful is no longer even noticed let alone publicly ridiculed. There are no heroes anymore. What passes as movie stars are some of the most dysfunctional people on earth and their dysfunction is celebrated instead of scorned.

Can this all be turned around? Can we return to the more genteel America of the past? If we are to, it must start in the home. Sir and Ma'am must return to our lexicon. Parental respect must be insisted upon. Respect for law and law officers must be brought back. We have to cull the lawbreakers and scum from our midst. We have to hold our politicians, our movie stars, and our sports stars to a higher standard. When they mess up, they must be publicly ridiculed.

It is our choice. When we watch these “reality” shows and support their sponsors, we contribute to the mess we are in. Remember, we are indeed the product of our choices.

Ron Scarbro January 16, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Today, as is the truth every day, I am under threat.  Let’s see just what the threats are today. Well first there’s that rascal the “fiscal cliff.” Well we kicked that can down the road for a couple of months along with the “debt ceiling.” Then there was the threatened strike by longshoremen to close all ports. Out of the kindness of their hearts, they gave us a thirty day reprieve. Of course there’s the ongoing threat by radical Islam coupled with the latest threat by liberals to take guns away from law abiding citizens. As I look back on my seventy plus years on this earth I have been under some sort of threat for my entire life. I don’t know about you but I am tired of it.

In my earliest memories it was polio and infantile paralysis. Then there was the communist menace of the USSR. After that Red China roared and lifted her ugly head. During my teen years we all worried about the draft. There was no escape.

During my working years someone was always in charge of my livelihood. Threatening my job seemed to give great delight to all the little managers who regularly attempted to make my life miserable. No matter how far I advanced in my various jobs, I always had a boss who threatened to take it all away. When I started my own business, I had the banker. Same deal.

At virtually every election whatever school district we were living in threatened me in an effort to increase my taxes for bigger and better schools. Professional sports teams threatened me if we didn’t increase our taxes to build a bigger and better arena for them to increase their profits. Why, they would just move their team to a place where they would be more appreciated.

I have lived with asbestos, mercury, leaded paint and gasoline, and all manner of poison in the atmosphere. I have lived through holes in the atmosphere caused by my deodorant. I have been threatened by the melting of the polar ice cap and the devastation of fewer polar bears and rising sea levels. There was bird flu and Asian flu. I am constantly under the threat of oil and gasoline shortages and for that reason I am constantly dodging helmeted idiots on bicycles darting in and out of automobile traffic and poor lighting from fluorescent light bulbs...

Literally I could go on and on. There has never been a time in my life when there was not some sort of threat.

Well guess what. The vast majority of the “or elses” in my life have never happened.  I guess we are easier to control when we are under some sort of threat. Even the weather man threatens me. As if knowing it was going to rain today would in any way materially change my life.

Maybe I have lived to my age because I took some of the threats seriously. Maybe the threats were just a means of controlling me. Either way I find the older I get the less I am concerned about all the forces around me. I’m not as easy to scare anymore. I am considerably less concerned by it all. As we grow older we have real things to consider, not just idle threats, like getting out of my recliner or crawling up the stairs to go to bed.  Now there’s a threat.

Today as I sit here, I never got polio. The USSR or China never bombed us. I joined the Army and it was good. I managed to work a full career and  have since retired. None of the airborne poisons got me nor did any of the other assorted bogeymen, so far. With any luck at all I won’t outlive the paltry little savings I accumulated for these later years. So it is with a great deal of satisfaction that I now say, “Or else what?”

Ron Scarbro

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Did you know that over this past weekend the French Supreme Court threw out the 75% income tax levied by France’s new Socialist Government just a few weeks ago? It was ruled to be unconstitutional. Some interesting facts about the tax increase. First it would only have affected about 1500 people. Those would be the ones earning over one million euros a year. Several of those top earners have already moved themselves and/or their assets out of France as any thinking person would do. England published a letter inviting the tax refugees to live in Great Britain. President Hollande’s new government now is saying the amount of actual money the tax increase would have generated would have been negligible anyway. What? You mean all this nonsense over an amount which would have been negligible anyway? California, Illinois, and yes Washington DC, are you paying attention?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been hospitalized for a blood clot. She so far has ducked the Congressional inquiry regarding Benghazi because of her fall and subsequent concussion. Now she has a different excuse. Some have proffered that this is all phony baloney and that all that is happening is her attempt to get out of testifying. What do you think? Of course there are those who criticize the accusers for questioning Hillary’s integrity. Personally, I think most political figures deserve our skepticism. Most of them are just not credible. Like Fox News, I report, you decide.

As of this writing no deal has been reached concerning the “fiscal cliff.” I believe something will be done but I do not believe it will be a solution. It will instead be another exercise in can kicking down the road. As far as I am concerned we deserve the type of government we have elected. If I were serving this nation in Congress, I would favor giving the Democrats anything and everything they asked for, thereby making the ensuing failure in our economy their problem. Fiscal responsibility is something that can only be learned when someone has hit the bottom. When that bottom has been reached, recovery could happen but only with sane, responsible, economic decisions. That would pronounce the end of the modern Democrat Party. Maybe then sound, intelligent, Democrats would return to that party and revive it as a viable force in the success of this country. That would not be good news for Pelosi, Reid,, however.

On another subject, there has been a lot of conversation recently about concussions in football, both professional and college. Players are launching themselves and making helmet to helmet contact. The result has been an increase in serious injury and concussions. I have two simple answers. Number one, either remove the helmets from all the players or arrest any offender for assault who does it. I guarantee the illegal contact would end, period.

I am writing this essay on the final day of 2012. Tomorrow begins a new year and in some respects a new beginning. I believe it is the beginning of the end of liberalism. It is obvious that we cannot continue to support the massive unfunded liabilities conferred on us by our past and present spend happy Congresses. We either stop it now and turn around or we go over a real cliff. Unlike Greece, there will be no one there to bail us out. Sadly the rest of the world will also suffer, and in some cases irreparable harm, by our economic failure.

I, therefore, choose to believe we will come to our senses and take hold of this runaway government and bring it back to its proper place. It is clear to me that failure is just not an option.

Ron Scarbro