John McCroskey: ‘We’ll figure it out’ isn’t an adequate answer to the big issues of our time


Just a few days ago, I received a text message from what appeared to be a legit government agency representative from the Washington State Department of Transportation’s “good to go” program. 

It warned me that I had passed by a toll somewhere and that if I didn’t pay the few dollar rate, the next bill was something like 10 times that amount. While I was sure this wasn’t me, I did check with relatives in the Seattle area in case it was meant for them, although I was pretty sure it wasn’t.

But because I have a commercial driver’s license, things like this can have even more impact on me. Sure enough, it was just a scam, one of the many that keep popping up as crooks around the world prey on people online.

It’s nearly impossible to escape. 

A few months ago, we received an offer from a site we subscribe to to prepay for the service for the rest of the year at a discount. 

It looked real, so we did. 

Later, we got a bill as usual. When we checked with that provider, they were aware that someone had duplicated their website and was scamming their customers.

Fortunately, we were able to get our money back, but the trouble required to get new cards and change all the automatic payments we had on it was annoying.

Some people are not as lucky as we were and lose their savings to these online predators.

Yet, what does our government do if or when they catch these people? 

Not much, if they really even try at all. 

Many are offshore so it is a challenge and they only pretend they care.

The moral of this is simple: Use caution with what you do online. Getting scammed is easy.

Facebook is ripe with this junk; ads for one thing, but really they send you something else or nothing. I swear you can’t talk about something or look at something that won’t almost immediately show up on Facebook as an ad.

Meanwhile, the effort to go to digital money, or online only for coupons or things we use, continues.

I look at the caliber of elected officials in Washington, D.C., and don’t feel like I’d trust them to do much. Most of them really never have.


I was in a waiting room the other day in Olympia with a triggering American flag shirt on, and a liberal man and I struck up a conversation.  He was a nice enough guy who explained he really wasn’t anti-America, he just thought our flag was overdone and not reflective of what we are as a country. 

Which begged the question, who are we as a country? So I asked him.

We talked for about 30 minutes and I still can’t say who he thinks we are. In his defense, he wasn’t rude, didn’t call me names and was friendly enough, but just couldn’t make much sense. 

Eventually, our conversation got to electric cars, which he and his wife were all for. Not now though, because he pulls a travel trailer, but soon. 

I pressed him about some of the questions I have about battery cars: Who mines lithium? Where do old batteries go? Where is the power to charge them coming from? And since the grid is overworked now, should mandating it be done now?

And when they catch on fire — and they do — what of the first responders’ safety?

His answer is one I’ll remember for some time — they’ll figure it out. 

I asked if it made more sense to wait til they do “figure it out” before making a change to all battery cars, and he just repeated the “we’ll figure it out” line.

He’s probably right, and someday we might. But just because a political agenda demands we do it now, doesn’t make it work.

Whether it's the all digital currency or battery cars, saying “we’ll figure out” how to protect us from hackers or a government overreach like mandating electric cars, having tantrums over an ideology is not a solution.

And when they do, I suggest they are the first to live with those mandates. But they won’t be.


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