Groucho Marx supposedly once said about politics it’s “the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy.”

From gun control to abortion and everywhere in between, our government has become so big, so bloated and so ineffective in almost everything it does and yet we seem eager to have it do even more badly.

And it has provided ample fodder for me as I considered what I might write about from week to week. I can’t recall exactly when I first wrote, but I do recall why; it was when we were trying to address difficult issues in the jail, and needed to build a larger and more modern facility.

From there, I have written on many issues of interest to me.  

Being around cows much of my life, I was particularly interested in the problem of cow farts and what we could do about it to save the world from global warming. It’s less important today because I am not around them as much, but that topic was very timely when I milked cows.  The thing with cows is it’s hard to tell if they are just farting or pooping until they do. I milked cows for quite a while and really never guessed correctly until it was too late and had the white T-shirts to prove it.

Groucho Marx was right of course, government isn’t really very good at much it does but then it’s our own fault. Too many of us have sold out for the “free stuff” elected officials use to bribe us for votes.  And another of our institutions, public education, has failed to point out nothing is free — someone is paying for it.

Another still is  common-sense gun control measures that would do nothing to solve the problem they say we have, instead of doing what would — like prosecuting people who misuse them to the fullest extent of the law.  Instead, we release them early if we jail them at all.  

Legalizing magic mushrooms is the latest kick. It’s great right? … We don’t have enough mental issues or impaired drivers as it is.

But the time has come for me to move on and so I am. I’ve appreciated the comments over the years from those who sometimes agreed with me. I really appreciated the thoughtful debate over my thoughts by people who read the column and disagreed.  

I even enjoyed thoughts by those who strongly disagreed with me even though at times, I couldn’t tell for sure what they were talking about or if they actually read what I wrote.

So I’m off to simplifying my life and ignoring as much of the clutter and nonsense around me as I can. Thanks to The Chronicle for allowing me the opportunity to write, and thanks to you for reading my musings as well.

God bless. 


John McCroskey was Lewis County sheriff from 1995 to 2005. He lives outside Chehalis, and can be contacted at

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