Chest Hair

Sunday, June 23, 2013
My sister and I grew up listening to the wisdom of country people. Many family members on maternal and paternal sides of the family were farmers, small shop keepers, small business people in general, with a sprinkling of cops and firemen. We grew up listening to sagacious comments such as "haste makes waste" and "there's never time enough to do it right the first time, but always time to do it over."

When I grew up, sort of, got out of the service and had a real job, the old man who owned the company grew up a farm boy from Bavaria who'd been a Sergeant in the German Army, a tank commander during the second War To End All Wars.
Dick Frosch is no longer with us but I've thought about him frequently lately, especially some of those stories he'd tell of his younger days... and that he'd learned to always be methodical and deliberate about everything, mindful of any potential consequences of his actions.

But Dick didn't always follow his own advice, like the day I was discussing a circuit design for a rather challenging customer request with our chief engineer. He walked up behind and grabbed a hand full of my chest hair, all 7 of them, saying "You thought it was funny the other day when (his daughter) did this to me out in the shop, eh?" And as he was talking I reached behind, grabbed a handful of what ever tender body parts were available, and then we were both standing there on tippy-toes screaming "turn loose, turn loose" in high pitched voices. Since I had the upper hand, so to speak, he had to let go first and then had to promise he wouldn't do anything like that ever again, to anyone. And he didn't, at least not by surprise.

Scroll forward about 20 years. Sitting with Jack Sharp, late Tennessee State Representative from East Ridge and thankfully no kin to The Commish, in his Nashville office I was whining about how difficult it was to see good legislation passed into law. He smiled. The more I whined the bigger his smile got until he commented "Roy, we have a system that's very hard to change. If you stop and think about that a minute, would we really want it to be any other way?"

I really hate when somebody puts the brakes on my whining with simple logic and reasoning.

Let's think about that for just a moment. What happens when we get an oil change, then the technician gets in a hurry and forgets to replace the drain plug, the dipstick or the oil filler cap? Oops. Or if a plumber forgets to put the clean-out plug back in the sewer line when he's done... eeeww, stinky.

When judges and law enforcement personnel ignore infractions of the law, say burglaries or assaults, what happens then?

So let's extend that again, to legislation and regulation.

What are we seeing the past few years? Every time there's something in the news, a shooting or a baby who gets pinched in a crib or a bombing, there's a call for new laws to keep that incident from ever happening again. Or so we're told. Chrysler this week received a demand to recall 2.7 million vehicles because some bureaucrat decided there are too many highway deaths from rear end collisions that resulted in fires. This, for 51 deaths over model years 1993 through 2008 and generally attributed to an aftermarket trailer hitch. What happened to owner liability for modifying factory standard products? There are more United States, the greatest nation to ever grace the face of Planet Terra, citizens killed every week (to the tune of about 13 per day) by illegal aliens on our highways.

Every time there's a shooting by some deranged person, who probably didn't obtain the weapon legally anyway, there's a call for decent, law abiding citizens to hand over more of their rights.

Now comes Tennessee's own Senator Corker, Bob to those who want to feel important. We have an illegal alien problem, that's for sure. And what does he do? He walks right into the hype created by those who would pass new law instead of just enforcing what's already in place.

Open borders were supposed to have been shut back in1986. Fences were mandated again in 1993. Employers hire illegals to save a few bucks. Employers are supposed to check all new hires for citizenship status, if they owe back child support too. Welfare bureaucracies not only don't check citizenship status, they advertise for new enrollees... using our tax dollars to do it. On and on ad infinitum the list of current infractions of the law go, law that isn't enforced.

And what does our Homie, Senator Corker, do? He steps right in presenting new law... 1,000 pages of it... and gives the rest of the Senate 75 hours to read and analyze it to ensure there are no unintended consequences our children and grandchildren will have to contend with.

Well, isn't that special. He's steppin' in something all right.

"Hurry up, gang, we have to pass this so we can go on vacation!" Is that all real, live, tax paying and sometimes voting citizens are worth... a wallet?

What's the hurry?

Why aren't we blistering the wallets of employers who use illegal alien labor? Why aren't we asking for immigration status in hospital emergency rooms? Why aren't we doing the same in the welfare office? Or anywhere else? Why aren't cops allowed to inquire about immigration status of criminals or even mere violators of our traffic laws?

What's the hurry about implementing new law when the old law isn't being enforced?

Isn't it interesting that we're told there are 27 million Americans, United States Citizens, who're unemployed but we still have to give 20 million criminals, illegal aliens who broke our law crossing our borders illegally in the first place, jobs?

We're told illegals do work Americans won't. Maybe that's because welfare's too lucrative, but a subject for another day. The fact still remains there are 27 million citizens who are employable but unemployed while our lawmakers want to legalize 20 million law breakers.

Another question is this; why are other elected officials, from the dog catcher on up, not questioning this in public? Is it because they're afraid the favor might be returned in kind? Where's Congressman Chuck, still hiding? Congressman DeJarlais? Senator Alexander? The rest? It's a municipal and County issue too, don't you know.

Life could be so simple, but we make it complex don't we. Our legislators make their own lives much too complex by adding gazillions of amendments to bills trying to buy the votes of others, submitting legislation that's only a repeat of what's already law, and forgetting their place while (figuratively) yanking on the chest hair of their constituents, don't they.

It's going to be interesting to see who's standing on tippy-toes come election time screaming "turn loose, turn loose"... current elected officials or those who follow the advice of Paul Simon:

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobble stones
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy

While we work to earn our own way instead of sucking our existence from others.

One thing's for sure. My life would be a whole lot simpler if not for laundry, mowing grass, and picking up after heathern dogs who won't put their toys away. I wonder if chocolate will make that feel better. It's worth a try.

Royce Burrage, Jr.


Candidates Should State Facts, Not Fiction

At a recent forum for candidates for the Signal Mountain Town Council, one candidate, Mr. Chris Howley, discussed a number of issues and presented “facts” using incorrect or misleading statements.   Here are several issues that should be clarified: 1.       On the road up the mountain:   “I called TDOT.   I talked to Ken Flynn.   ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)

EPB Says "Close To A Wash" On City Street Light Billing

EPB President Harold DePriest denied Wednesday that EPB owes the city over $1 million on street light billing. He stated,  “EPB has never said that we owe the city $1.2 million. When all the facts are taken into account, the financial difference is close to a wash.” Mr. DePriest said, "I regret that this complicated issue has been oversimplified in some reports. As we’ve ... (click for more)

New Red Bank Zoning Ordinance Is Ready For Review

The new Red Bank zoning ordinance is ready for review, City Manager Randall Smith said Tuesday night. It can be seen on www.redbanktn.gov and the link to zoning regulations. The new ordinance will replace one that was created 30 years ago.    The plan will encompass both residential and commercial development and is intended to direct ... (click for more)

Lookouts and Minnesota Twins Sign 4-Year Agreement

In a fast-paced, high stakes game of musical chairs with the three players from Major League Baseball - Minnesota, Arizona and Colorado - vying for one chair (Chattanooga Lookouts), the Twins from Minneapolis came up the winner Wednesday. Officials from the Minnesota ball club flew to Chattanooga Tuesday and signed contract papers for a four year player development ... (click for more)

Hixson Claims Top Spot In 6-AA With Win At Central

Hixson and Central entered their volleyball match on Tuesday tied for first place in District 6-AA as both were unbeaten in three matches. The Lady Wildcats have that top spot all to themselves after pinning a 3-1 defeat on the Lady Pounders in a match held at Brown Middle School's Carole Wilson Gymnasium. Hixson won the first set with ease by a score of 25-12 before winning ... (click for more)