Roy Exum: My Last Potpourri For 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

With just one day left in 2012, I find my desk is heavily burdened with notes, quotes and other devilment I feel compelled to share. So as you venture out today to gather a new wall calendar, some black-eyed peas (for luck) and a New Year’s Eve lottery ticket, here’s my last jumble of potpourri until next year:

* * *

CHICAGO JUST RECORDED the city’s 500th homicide of the year. While there are those who blame the easy access to guns, it should be noted that Chicago has – already in place – the toughest gun laws in the nation. One expert on inner-city crime, Lance Williams, told the Christian Science Monitor, “Guns are definitely a problem; gangs, absolutely not,” he said.

“These are kids who, over the last 10 years or so, have been extremely marginalized, and this is their response to that marginalization. They feel stuck with a lot of rage. They can clearly see people in other neighborhoods making a lot of progress and being mobile, but they feel stuck in their communities and feel afraid. And because they have easy access to guns, it’s a form of desperation.”

Here’s a merciless statistic: of the 500 victims of homicide in Chicago this year, 76 percent were black and another 16 percent were Hispanic.

* * *

THE DAY AFTER President Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to head a task force to come up with concrete proposals to curb gun violence on Dec. 19, gun sales skyrocketed across America. The reason is that law-abiding citizens are fearful the government will soon make it very difficult to legally buy firearms.

Sales of semi-automatic assault rifles have depleted stocks and some stores have a waiting list of six months to a year. Consumers are buying – and hoarding – large amounts of ammunition and the FBI has thus far done 16.8 million background checks this year through November. That’s up 2 percent over last year. December will no doubt be a record-setting month.

Just for the record, in 1995 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms estimated there were 223 million firearms in the United States. That’s 89 guns per every 100 citizens and today it is estimated that 34 percent of adults in the United States personally own a gun. A further breakdown shows that 47 percent of us live in households where there are guns, that 46 percent of adult men, and 23 percent of adult women carry them.

* * *

THERE IS A FUN comparison that shows, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, there are approximately 700,000 doctors in the United States. Accidental deaths caused by doctors per year are 120,000. That makes accidental deaths per physician about 17.14 percent.

Now, let’s say there are 80 million guns in the United States, according to the FBI. The number of accidental deaths attributed to guns is 1,500. That’s a percentage of 0.001875.

The point: everybody has a doctor – not everyone has a gun. (Oh, c’mon … that’s funny!)

* * *

DID YOU SEE where Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, upon whose shoulders the national championship may ride when the Crimson Tide faces Notre Dame on Jan. 7, is dating the reigning Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb. Nothing wrong with that except Katherine attends arch-rival Auburn. Both laugh about it and Katherine has no trouble yelling, “Roll Tide!”

Incidentally, if you are an Alabama fan and want to make your heart beat fast, turn the speakers up on your computer and watch a new video. There are no words but the soundtrack is glorious. The video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/1t6pWPPspXI

Also, the T-shirt war between Notre Dame and Alabama is really heating up. The first version read, “Catholics Versus Cousins”  but now comes, “Golden Domers versus Mobile Homers.”

* * *

A FUN BOWL GAME bet you can use during the many games this coming week is this: The team with the fewest turnovers nearly always wins. Seriously, the guys at MrSEC.com studied 245 games over the past five years where two SEC teams played one another and – guess what? -- teams that finished 2-plus or better in a game’s turnovers went 86-15 for a winning percentage of 85.1%.

* * *

THE NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN is reporting that a “dairy cliff” could cause milk price to nearly double, going $6 to $8 a gallon, if Congress fails to pass a new Farm Bill, which expires on Monday. THE USDA actually controls prices and said the increases would come slowly, but surely I don’t know what I’d do without a cold glass of milk.

* * *

DOMINIQUE WILKINS, the former University of Georgia and Atlanta Hawks basketball player, was among those who just responded to an invitation from the New York Times to memorialize a person who died this year. Dan Roundfield, who also starred with the Hawks, drowned in Aruba in August as he saved the life of his wife in rough seas and here is what Dominique wrote with a picture he sent to the newspaper:

“This image captures one of the great NBA players of the last 35 years, Dan Roundfield. When one looks at this image, they instinctively think of Dan the Atlanta Hawks player, the tenacious defender and the NBA All-Star. He was certainly all of those things, but for those of us who knew him, we look at this image and think of Dan the selfless leader, the husband, the father and the fearless teammate and friend. Dan lost his life this year at the age of 59 saving his wife of 37 years from drowning on the beaches of Aruba while on a family vacation.

“In his last moments, as he himself was fighting for his life, Dan fearlessly lived and died for his family, which is all he ever really wanted. So, yes, Dan Roundfield was a tremendous athlete who elevated basketball in the city of Atlanta, but what is even more tremendous is the imprint he made on all of us, his teammates, and on the lives of his wife, his two sons and his grandchildren.”

* * *

A NEW STUDY of animal protection laws in the United States reveals Tennessee is 12th, Georgia is 36th and Alabama is 43rd. Kentucky is the absolute worst. The study was conducted by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The top five states for animal welfare are Illinois, Maine, California, Michigan and Oregon.

* * *

“IT WAS NEW YEAR’S EVE in Dublin when dear, blessed Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living. As the clock struck – the bartender was almost crushed to death.

royexum@aol.com



Mayor's Friends Should Rally Around

I have been keeping up with the latest news about Mayor Burke. I have also seen that the media is breaking their necks trying to get the latest.  I live in a glass house, the glass is very thin and a blade of grass would crack it.  My thinking of this is, if you are a true friend of the mayor, let him know...If you say you are a friend of the mayor and turn your back ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The American Dream, 2016

On this, the week of commencement, junior high graduations, and achievement at every level is displayed, we stand with hope and wonder as the next wave of promising Americans gives our nation the reason we pray for our next tomorrow. On Monday, as Vice President Joe Biden addressed 950 cadets who would become 2nd Lieutenants by the end of the day at the United States Military ... (click for more)

Attorney Says Lacie Stone, Advisor To Mayor Berke, Is Victim, Not Instigator

The attorney for advisor to Mayor Andy Berke Lacie Stone said she has been thrust into the spotlight, but said she is "the victim of an unprovoked attack" by her husband, Bobby Stone. Attorney John Cavett said it is ridiculous "to suggest that she was the perpetrator." Mr. Stone is facing charges of domestic assault and vandalism. Attorney Cavett said, "It is unfortunate ... (click for more)

Dr. Russell Dyer Chosen As Director Of Schools By Cleveland City School Board

The Cleveland City School board unanimously voted Thursday afternoon to offer the job of director of Schools to Dr. Russell Dyer. Dr. Dyer serves as the chief of staff of schools in Collierville, Tn.  If Dr. Dyer accepts the school board's contract, he will be paid $132,500 a year.  After contract negotiations, the board plans for Dr. Dyer to start at Cleveland City ... (click for more)

Peterson's Emotional Race Helps Signal Mountain Win

MURFREESBORO – It’s one thing to win one state championship in track.  It becomes a tougher challenge to repeat and at times impossible to even think about a three-peat. But that’s what the Signal Mountain Lady Eagles did here at the Dean A. Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University early Thursday evening. Signal Mountain ... (click for more)

Baylor Rocks GPS, 8-2, For Shot At 10th State Softball Championship

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The magic number Baylor’s softball team has in mind now is 10. After polishing off bitter rival Girls Preparatory School – a seemingly constant opponent at TSSAA’s Spring Fling – by 8-2 Thursday in the Division II-AA winner’s bracket final, the Lady Red Raiders are zeroed in on a game that could produce their 10 th  state championship.  “It ... (click for more)