Roy Exum: To Start A Conversation

Monday, October 14, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Let’s just suppose you and I were sharing an elevator today and rather than stand silently looking at the closed door, what if we struck up a conversation? Here are some of the things I would like to talk about!

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Andrew Smith, the wounded warrior from Ooltewah whose legs were blown off on a foot patrol in Afghanistan in March of 2012, wants to “pay it forward.” Andrew and his family have started a non-profit organization called “Honoring the Sacrifice” that will hopefully help other wounded warriors who are still hospitalized with gift cards and monetary donations.

Andrew has said repeatedly there is “no way”  he can ever express his gratitude for the many kindnesses that have blanketed him, his wife Tori and his family. Now he has arranged for 40 Walgreen stores in the Chattanooga area to be collection sites where people who would like to honor soldiers being treated at Walter Reed National Medical Hospital can donate gift cards (Walgreens sells them) and money.

Those wishing to mail cards can do so at Honoring The Sacrifice, Post Office Box 21806, Chattanooga, TN 37424 and online donations can be made at

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Question in my email: “We're always hearing about how Social Security is going to run out of money. 
How come we never hear about Welfare running out of money?”

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Two high school football officials in Louisiana were trying to keep spectators off the sidelines during a Friday night game when a policeman told them to concentrate on the game, not the spectators. The situation quickly escalated and the two officials were arrested during the third quarter and taken to jail. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association is looking into the matter.

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The Southeastern Conference set a record on Monday when eight of its member schools were listed on the AP “Top 25.”  There had never been that many from any conference before this week.

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Stupid me -- I was sucked in by an email proclaiming comedian Jeff Foxworthy had written a humorous list of reasons our country was founded by geniuses and is now run by idiots. Several readers set me straight but, if I were Foxworthy, I’d claim I wrote it. I thought it was delightful.

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William Swenson — the first Army officer since the Vietnam War to be awarded the Medal of Honor — will receive the nation’s highest military decoration at The White House today. Swenson fought valiantly during a seven-hour battle in Afghanistan’s  Ganjgal valley near the Pakistan border, risking his life repeatedly to save others. A Marine, Dakota Meyer, has also been awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor that same day.

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More trouble – Far be it for me to pass judgment on anyone, particularly our president of the United States, but in a story I wrote regarding church-and-state over the weekend, I certainly did label Barack Obama as the most anti-Christian president in U.S. history. I apologize; I don’t know that to be true and I deserved to be called down.

My ill-suited comment was based on a rather extensive article written by David Barton, “America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U.S. President,” that is complete with references. Google it and see for yourself – Barton’s list is amazing.

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H.L. Mencken (born 1880 - died 1956) was a journalist, satirist, critic, and Democrat. He wrote this editorial while working for the Baltimore Evening Sun, which appeared in the July 26, 1920 editions: 
"As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron."

C’mon, lighten up! I don’t know whether such a prophesy has come true or not but it sure made me laugh.

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PHOTOS: Tennessee Falls To Arkansas, 24-20