Columnist: Commentary on several subjects

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 3, 2015

Jeff Brown

Contributing columnist

During most days I experience things that prompt an internal response, most of which disappear as fast as they appeared. However there are some which stay with me and fewer yet that I do something about. This article contains some that at least got to the stage of sharing with you.

Recently my wife and I watched four movies in five days. With all but one of the movies we experienced problems hearing the dialogue at various times.

The biggest culprit was background music that was far too loud and, at least in our opinion, often not at all necessary. Another cause was actors who spoke too softly and/or those who are mushmouths.

I’m aware of the technical issues such as most TVs have poor sound systems, but the reasons I mentioned are correctable by Hollywood; maybe the songwriters have more pull than screenwriters or more likely not enough of us have complained.

It is VERY distressing to witness the Democrats as well as the Republicans in Congress and the administration doing nothing except the absurd sequestration (a free signed copy of this article to anyone who can tell me what sequestration is) about our HUGE yearly deficits resulting in $18.6 trillion of debt as of Sept. 30, 2015, or about $58,000 for every U.S. citizen!

The debt was $10.6 trillion when Obama became president. As a concession to objectivity let me admit that President Bush added more debt than any other president than President Obama. Do you realize we are exploiting our own children and grandchildren?

If the recent huge swings in the stock market caused some angst, try reading “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” and you may think about putting your money under a mattress.

Thanks to Facebook and people with no common sense, a recent wedding reception had at least twice the number attending as were invited. Most of the uninvited were strangers to the bride and groom, put a huge damper on what was to have been a highlight of their lives and cost the host far more than had been budgeted.

I’ll bet if you looked at the school-age children of those uninvited guests you’d see an above average percentage of problem kids in school; “nuts don’t fall far from the tree.”

I’ve noticed increasing construction of large “metal walls” on the sides of our interstates to suppress sound for nearby houses. While I understand some remedy may be needed where the volume of traffic has significantly increased, some appear to be installed where the buyer should have been aware of the noise before buying.

It’s like those who get a good deal on the purchase of a house in the landing pattern of an airport and then petition for relief. We are short of highway funds as is, so why would we spend monies on unnecessary walls versus for highway construction and maintenance?

Speaking of construction, there seems to be some consensus that the two most frequent areas of being ripped off are roofing and asphalt paving. As I travel south on I-85 in Alabama and I-65 south of Montgomery, there are frequent places where the asphalt patches of resurfacing have vanished. However, if memory serves me correctly, it wasn’t that long ago that these same sections were repaved.

This leads me to imagining the asphalt contractor taking short cuts in prepping the old asphalt before applying the new and/or using asphalt that is not to spec, such as being too thin. I then imagine a state inspector taking money under the table to turn a blind eye to this.

I hope I am wrong, but it does reinforce the phrase, “you get what you inspect, not what you expect.” I suggest this be a truism for evaluating the Iran nuclear deal.

It irks me when those that favor the Iran nuclear deal say it is a better alternative than war. What a self-serving response! What about going back to the bargaining table?

I’ll believe Atlanta Braves management that they are building for 2017 when I actually see it. Meanwhile I’m going to stop watching them; Yankees 38, Braves 11 in the three most recent games!

Thank you for allowing me this cathartic moment!

Jeff Brown is a retired Georgia state representative where he served as chairman of the House Health Appropriations Committee.