Wednesday, August 19, 2015


It’s easy enough to complain about the medical industry. I do it all of the time. Let’s face it, it is just too expensive. Medical school is too expensive, pharmacy costs are too high, Doctors charge too much, and hospitals are ridiculous. This column chooses to look at something else about the medical industry, however, that I perhaps don’t talk about enough.

Today I want to talk about the miracle of modern medicine. As of this writing I am scheduled for shoulder replacement surgery. I have lived with shoulder pain for years and I hope to change all that very soon.

Let us consider medical miracle number one. The doctors can look inside my body with a little machine that takes pictures known as x-rays. They have another tool for a similar purpose known as the MRI procedure. That stands for magnetic resonance imaging. These have been around for so long that we seem to take them for granted, but it is a modern miracle. Next, they are going to be able to cause me to sleep like a baby through the entire two hour process. I will be having pleasant dreams while my surgeon will be doing his magic. I won’t bore you with the details because I don’t want to know either. It is sufficient to say it will involve some cutting and sewing up. Then they will wake me up from my dreams. I will then be in the hospital for three days being waited on hand and foot by cute little nurses. If what I have just described isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what a miracle is.

There is no doubt that I will be uncomfortable for some time, but healing will occur and I will be able to once again use my arm and shoulder as if nothing happened. I have been told that I will be able to play the piano and to play tennis. That would be good since I have never done either. They will prescribe pain killing medicine to make my recovery and my physical therapy doable. The medicine itself is yet another miracle.

I think about these things from time to time when I consider that I am living in the world in the twenty-first century. What if this was the 1800s? These modern procedures and medicines I described earlier would not be available. People with my shoulder problems just had to put up with it. If you needed pain medicine, you might have to chew on birch bark or bite down on a bullet. They may have been able to take your shoulder off, but they couldn’t put another one on for you. You would then have to live with one arm. A lot of people did. Unusable limbs were disposed of and folks lived with the situation.

Of course most didn’t live to be seventy-five like me. Just a few short years ago sixty-five was considered quite old. Today one of the fastest growing segments of our population is the eighty year olds and up. Not only are they still alive, they are hearty and healthy. They are active and doing things their predecessors would never have even dreamed of. Again, this is the gift of modern medicine.

Concerning the cost of modern medicine, I don’t have any answers for you. We all know it is too expensive. We rejoice in our healing and give thanks for our medicines. But we know it cannot go on forever. Someday soon there will be a reckoning. I hope I’m well by then.

Ron Scarbro

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Like most of you, I’m sure, I watched the Republican Presidential Debates on Fox News. This column will be a discussion of my thoughts on those debates, who won, who lost, and who just showed up. Truth be told, it is extremely difficult to get one’s points across in one or two minute sound bites, but those were the rules and the same rules applied to everyone on the stage. All in all I thought the debates were entertaining, enlightening, and fair.

There were for me some surprises. Surprise number one was Carly Fiorina. She came across much more intelligent and prepared than I thought she would. She showed herself to be a true statesman/stateswoman. Polished, smooth and sophisticated. I liked her. My next surprise was Marco Rubio. I was expecting a very young inexperienced politician. What I saw instead was a mature educated Senator with a firm grasp of the world and our place in it. I liked him too. Another surprise for me was Gov. John Kasich. He looked Presidential. He was calm, assured, and competent. I came away with a new appreciation for Kasich.

A big disappointment for me was Donald Trump. He looked out of place. He was angry, dour, and mean. I didn’t like him and I doubt many others across the country did either. The sooner he goes back to his other world, the better.

I watched the debates looking for another Ronald Reagan and sadly I didn’t find him. I was hoping to see an individual who showed heart and courage but with the strength it will take to be President and deal with this world. I wanted to see a traditional American with the heart of a conservative. I’ve been told that Reagan was a once-in-a-lifetime guy. That’s probably true but that doesn’t mean I can’t hope. There was no Ronald Reagan there but there were some very good stand-ins.

Who won the debates? I think the American people won the debates. They won because in this group of candidates on the Republican side were people of character, wisdom, and true leadership ability. Almost any one of them would do a much better job than has been done over the past few years.

I think the loser in the debates was the Democrat party. When compared with the quality of individuals on the stage in Cleveland, the entire Democrat entourage looks lame and second rate. I cannot imagine Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief of our military and God help us if Bernie Sanders gets the nomination. In fact it is clear to me that any of the announced Democrats will just be a continuation of the failed Presidency of Barack Obama or worse.

I am not prepared at this time to tell you my personal favorite. I like Bush, Walker, and Huckabee. They are all Governors or former Governors. I like that executive experience. Like you I will watch closely as this race unfolds. There will be several more debates. All of these fine people will be vetted to their fullest. Picking among them makes America the winner and we need a win. Those who don’t make it will be great candidates for the Cabinet. I like Dr. Ben Carson. An intelligent man with the heart of a surgeon. Our government needs people like Carson but in a policy making job. Not as the ceremonial Surgeon General.  

Finally, the world is watching. They are watching and hoping we make the right decision. What we need is a Republican candidate who can win. America needs that, the world needs that. I need that.

Ron Scarbro

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Did you hear about the guy sitting at the bar drinking heavily? The bartender says I thought you told your wife that you had quit drinking. The boozer replied, I did, but I didn’t tell her that I quit lying.

I thought of this when I started learning about the nuclear treaty the Obama Administration had signed with Iran.

Signing a treaty with known liars like Iran is quite similar to signing treaties with another known liar, North Korea. Liars lie. It’s what they do. The chances of Iran honoring their commitment to the free world are virtually nil. Eventually we are going to have to deal with these people and all the phony treaties in the world are not going to stop the need for our intervention. Iran is dedicated to the proposition that Israel must be destroyed. It is a religious requirement of them. There is a real probability that Israel will take out Iran before the ink even dries on this illegal, Mickey Mouse treaty. If the Republican controlled Congress allows this nonsense to go forward they all should be removed from office.

The reason Iran begged us to come to the negotiation table in the first place was that they were economically falling apart. We had them over a barrel. But, when John Kerry sat down with them you would have thought the reverse was true. He gave away the farm and Iran agreed to nothing that would allow us to inspect and confirm their keeping their word. Iran still has at least four hostages and we are about to reward them with a release of the sanctions that brought them to their knees. Totally unacceptable.

The President says a bad deal is better than no deal. He also has said that we should tell him if we have a better idea. How about this. No, Iran. We will not remove the sanctions and in fact we may well increase them. How about this? Release the American hostages and never touch another American again at risk of your very existence. We are acting like Iran has the upper hand in these negotiations. The truth is they are hurting and if we don’t remove these sanctions, they will become far more pliable. And do you really think Israel is going to just sit by and let Iran develop a nuclear bomb? Those chances are slim and none.

I have written before citing none other than the US Constitution that any treaty agreed to by this President but without consent and ratification of two thirds of the Senate is illegal and unenforceable. Obama’s veto threat is valueless. We have rules and even the President has to obey them. Where is the national media on this issue? Clearly neither this president nor any president can legally agree to any treaty with any foreign government without the consent of two thirds of the Senate. Any such “Presidential Proclamation” could be eliminated by the next President.

Iran played Jimmy Carter like a cheap fiddle and then Ronald Reagan came into office. It became clear to them almost immediately that there was a new sheriff in town. They buckled and decided that there was no future in trying the same tactics with Reagan. Iran, North Korea, and countries like them understand only force and they respond only to force. Today I suspect that the rulers in Iran are chuckling as they consider the deal they made with Kerry. That laughter will cease when they come to realize that their little treaty is illegal and unenforceable. We obviously need a new sheriff.

Ron Scarbro