Five Weeks

Monday, August 12, 2013

Last week both the upper and lower houses of our United States Congress went into recess, purportedly  to return home and interface with their constituents. Constituents, by definition, being the men and women represented by elected officials, the majority of whom cast their vote in the affirmative to seat that selfsame official. 

Our East Tennessee contingent of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation is composed of two Senators and four Congressmen with offices in East Tennessee as follows:

Senator Alexander - Blountville, Chattanooga, Knoxville
Senator Corker - Chattanooga, Jonesborough, Knoxville
Congressman DesJarlais - Cleveland
Congressman Duncan - Knoxville and Maryville
Congressman Fleischmann - Athens, Chattanooga, and Oak Ridge
Congressman Roe - Kingsport and Morristown

We're told they've come home to wander around their respective districts to speak with their homies much like Tennessee favorite son Colonel David Crockett, the original who was almost 50 years old when he lost a hand-to-hand combat exercise with a bunch of Mexican soldiers, but they knew he was there and he took several with him, not that cat who drives a black Suburban around Chattanooga in the middle of summer telling the rest of us we need to drive smaller cars and become greenies, was doing during his fictionalized encounter with Horatio Bunce. 

Where are they?

As of this writing, noon-ish on Monday, Aug. 12, only one of the six has any town hall meetings scheduled... Congressman Roe from way upper East Tennessee. Congressman DesJarlais, in fact, had a Tele-Townhall sign-up on his web page Saturday. It's gone now.

They tell us a Tele-Townhall, a spiffy name for a big conference call, is more efficient. It may be, but it's also a good way of hiding, of not having to face one's constituents, of not having to look into the eyes of someone whose pocket he's just reached into and grabbed what someone else has worked hard to earn.  Isn't it. 

They want our money to campaign for office. They want our votes to be first elected, then stay in office. They demand our tax dollars to pay for their feel-good projects with the force of a government gun. With that same gun they take our money to support themselves and their families. They tell us how to live our lives, going so far as to dictate what types of toilets and light bulbs we'll use in our homes, offices, and shops.

With hubris, they lecture us about courage. 

Then don't have the nads to face their constituents to explain themselves. If they do honor us with their presence they're only asked soft, meaningless questions in venues with attendees who don't want to offend.

That's cowardice. 

In his short story A Madison Square Arabian Night, American author O. Henry writes of an artist he named Sherrard Plumer whose portraits showed the true, hidden character of the sitter. It's too bad that was fiction, isn't it. How many in Congress possess the nobility, the sense of honor of Remsen in The Badge Of Policeman O'Roon?

It's raining. I need chocolate.

Royce Burrage, Jr.
Royce@Officially Chapped.org

Double Standards And The Police

Today I received a ticket in the mail. I was not pulled over. No officer saw me speeding.  And yet, I, as a citizen, received a ticket in the mail for the sum of no less than $50.  I was doing 15 over after a long 12-hour shift of working in the emergency room at my hospital of employment.   Interestingly enough, two Chattanooga police officers were recently caught ... (click for more)

David Carroll: Saluting Navy Hero Randall Smith

On Tuesday afternoon, we will once again pause to salute an American hero, gone too soon.  The fifth serviceman killed by a deranged shooter in Chattanooga will be laid to rest.  Once again, thousands will line the highways or attend the burial at Chattanooga National Cemetery.  They will carry flags, and salute as the procession goes by.  We know his name and ... (click for more)

Assessor Of Property Bill Bennett Will Not Seek Re-Election

Bill Bennett, a longtime fixture in Hamilton County government, announced Monday that he plans to retire at the end of his current term as assessor of property. Mr. Bennett said, "After careful thought, prayer and encouragement from my family, I have made the decision to retire at the end of my current term and not place my name on the ballot for assessor of property in the 2016 ... (click for more)

Funeral Service For Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith Is Tuesday

The funeral service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Fort Oglethorpe.   Petty Officer Smith is the last of the five servicemen, and the second in Chattanooga, to be buried after the attack on July 16.   Parking at the church is reserved for family and friends of the Smith family. The public ... (click for more)

Former McCallie Swimmer Qualifies For 2016 Olympics

Sean Ryan, a 2010 graduate of McCallie, qualified for an Olympic swimming competition early Monday morning. His fourth-place finish in the 10-kilometer open-water race July 27 at the FINA World Championships earned him a spot on the United States Olympic Team for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The race took place in the Kazanka River in Kazan, Russia, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Club To Host National Semifinals Saturday

Saturday  Chattanooga Football Club won the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) South Region Championship over the Myrtle Beach Mutiny – its second title in a row. That win puts CFC in the final four teams in the league still competing for the national title. By winning the South Region, Chattanooga FC became the number two seed in the country and will host the third-seeded ... (click for more)