Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fitting Tribute To City Founders

We need one of these located at the entrance to City Hall as a fitting memorial to what got this City started* and remind everyone what they are about to encounter as they enter this Smart City Hall.


And as the region's upcoming City wannabes start their zombie-like drive to citihood the more normal citizens should ponder just what kind of people are about to control their lives.




* Notice the bird atop the back right neck and appreciate the symbolism.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Old Hickory House Collapses

Financially that is.

Juxtapose this with one certain County Commissioner's office staunching the flow of P-Card money and you have to wonder if this is a coincidence. Will others establishments soon fall?

Monday, August 25, 2014

CADtastrophe

Unless you're new to this blog you're pretty aware of the ongoing Dunwoody quagmire known as the "CAD-to-CAD Interface." If you are new this blog you really, Really, REALLY want to click here now. And if you went to the latest City Council meeting you were treated to our local elected thespians putting on another episode of As The Stomach Churns.

The theme of this episode was "Why We Will Sign A New Contract When CAD-to-CAD Remains Broken." Our original multimillion dollar contract is up and the new multiyear multimillion dollar contract is recommended by Staff for approval. Some on Council suggested using this opportunity for leverage over (at least one of) the CAD operators. Staff would have none of that and instead offered a rusty knife that others on Council used to figuratively hack off their scrotum and deliver their balls on a silver platter. Too good an offer to pass up they say. Too good indeed.

But to whom do they offer this City's finest mountain oysters? That is an interesting study in modern political organizational structure. Chattcomm is a totally opaque organization that seems to serve little purpose but to provide jobs for City Managers' friends and family as it is these folks, from shareholding Cities, who appoint the Chattcomm directors. It is worthy of note that the directors are not listed on the Chattcomm website and being a pass-thru corporation they skim whatever they want off the top as they watch our dollars go by.

But that's OK because outside of cash-flow skimming and friends and family opportunities Chattcomm is little more that a front for IXP, the company that actually provides the service. But Chattcomm does provide that one degree of separation that insulates corporate cronies from the ire of the citizenry who pay their bonuses. Of course that is a service to IXP and not to us.

While IXP is supposedly retained on a service-based contract the recent CAD-to-CAD disaster has demonstrated changing vendors is not even as simple as moving from Microsoft Word to LibreOffice. Mayor and Council have seconded that emotion by declaring that we dare not threaten to continue with the existing contract's continuance clause lest Chattcomm dump us. "Then where would we be? We can't go back to DeKalb." At this point the knife had been wielded.

Instead what was suggested was that we sign on for another five years and then we can use the "six month notice exit clause" to buy time for "contingency planning." WTF? This City's Staff and Elected Officials have had damn near two years for "contingency planning" some they are either incapable of or willfully intend not to do.

But is this really nothing more than simple cronyism? Or is there more in play? Perhaps Mayor and Council may be building a case for buying a stake in Chattcomm. If that is based on the notion that ownership will somehow address the CADtastrophe that contradicts their current excuse that Chattcomm cannot fix the problem as it lies with the other CAD vendor.  Or perhaps they are building a case for a Dunwoody Fire Department which would eliminate the need for CAD-to-CAD altogether. Only problem with that is there is at least one city in DeKalb that uses Chattcomm but has found no existing need for CAD-to-CAD and they do not have their own Fire Department either. One of them is right and one is wrong and it is hard to side with the Smart Team that has pissed away so much money on something that still doesn't work.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

War With Drugs

It was recently reported that some Amtrak employees were acting as confidential informants for the DEA funneling passenger information to our government's drug overlords on the sly. Upon learning of this executives at Amtrak were furious. Just not for the reasons you might think.

Amtrak has always been a Jekyll-Hyde organization claiming to be either an independent business operation or a government bureaucracy whenever the situation best suits their agenda. In this case they wanted to be more government and less business. That's because what incensed them about the CI's on their payroll wasn't that it compromised passenger privacy and in so doing impugned the organization's reputation and damaged its brand--oh no--what had them upset was that the DEA did not come to them with an IGA--inter governmental agreement. Why is that such a big deal? Because had the DEA entered into an IGA that would have given Amtrak a portion of the money from DEA assets confiscated from Amtrak passengers.

What we have done in this country is allowed the government, at all levels and in all areas, to declare a made-up war on a social calamity, create criminals where there were none before and create a revenue stream that would make Mexican Cartels jealous. Government confiscation of Americans' assets has become big business and as everyone in business knows business must either grow or die. This one is growing like a cancer.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Setting Expectations

While there is the theory of unmet expectations and the injustice of low expectations what we are witnessing in Missouri is people meeting expectations. Just not the expectations we would hope for.

By militarizing thieir police forces governments, large and small, are clearly setting the expectation that mere citizens are untrusted combatants. We are the[ir] enemy. It is not surprising to find that mere citizens react like combatants when treated like combatants yet these police statists use that behaviour for a post-facto justification of their inciteful tactics and policies.

There is some hope.

The ongoing tragedy in Missouri is peppered with such gross missteps by the local LEOs that is becoming clear that we should no more be giving these folks this kind of fire power than we should ISIS. And it is by no means certain which group intends to do the average American more harm. This has been so blatant that it has gotten the attention of politicians across the country and on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps now someone will investigate this ill conceived plan to militarize U.S. police forces and pull the plug on this insanity.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New City 101

What starts our as something small but intense:


Grows into something bigger and potentially more dangerous than you thought possible:


Take care. This all happened in Dunwoody.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Carts And Horses

Well over three years have passed since this city (AKA, Hutmacher and his Staff) identified the need for automated CAD-to-CAD integration and rapidly closing in on three years since it was supposed to be operational. It isn't and Hutmacher has gone on to much greener pastures (which includes appointing a ChattComm board member) and has left us holding his bag. Who's the douche now? Given his rather pathetic track record with technology it is not surprising that this project is way over on  time and budget. After all, it does require actual work rather than merely cutting a P.O. for your buddies.

And it has gotten worse. So bad in fact that Staff recommended that Staff be removed from the hot seat and instead Staff would hire a consultant. Heat and kitchen but let's not mix metaphors. This should have been done in the first place or, as former Councilman Ross pointed out, the City could have taken IXP up on their $120,000.00 offer to make this happen. For whatever reason Staff didn't like that. But then, as now, Staff leads the Mayor and Council around by their shoat rings so only now do we have technical help. Because now Staff says so.

This rather recently retained consultant has done many of the things, like requirements analyses and technology assessments, that should have been done before any development plan was penned. It gets better. Though Staff long ago identified the NEED our consultants are now assessing whether or not an automated CAD-to-CAD interface is even feasible:
"Given the recent transition to Kimball for project management, we are still diagnosing the feasibility of project completion."
Perhaps they should investigate the feasibility of project cancellation. We are three years late and the budget and schedule are out of control and Staff still doesn't know if the project is feasible.  How smart is that?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Parks And Recreation


Dunwoody's famous linear park is still going strong.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nasty Ole Constitution

It has been reported in the blogosphere and the legitimate press that the Top Cop in neighboring Brookhaven wants to ensure that law-abiding citizens with a valid Georgia Weapons Carry License cannot bring any of their weapons to City Hall. Some say this is an odious (but legal) effort to undermine the intent of the recently passed Georgia Law and circumvent a Constitutional Right of the citizenry. Perhaps, but we will leave that to greater minds.

This is happening in Brookhaven, not Dunwoody so the immediate impact is minimal. But whilst Dunwoody is a self-proclaimed Smart City it has never demonstrated or claimed to be capable of even minimal originality. Consequently the likelihood of a copy-cat crime of authority is quite high thereby making observations about Brookhaven relevant.

Most important is the meaning behind the words and deeds. Prior to July 1 the only folks bringing weapons to City Hall were criminals (due to lack of screening) and the exempt elites who some refer to as "the only ones" (as in "the only ones who should be allowed to possess a weapon").  With the law in effect citizens with a valid Georgia Weapons Carry License are allowed to carry a weapon into government facilities that are not properly screened for weapons. No part of the law requires licensees to carry. And it is important to note that these individuals have passed an FBI background check and have their fingerprints on file. We believe this to be the same FBI that does background checks on cops.

So the Brookhaven Top Cop is saying:
The threat of a Bad Guy[tm] bringing in a weapon is and continues to be insignificant posing no risk whatsoever to the Mayor, Council, Zoning Board members or any members of the public attending events at City Hall, BUT licensed law-abiding citizens are such a clear and present threat that immediate measures must be taken no matter what the cost.
Pogo lives! He has met the enemy and the enemy is us!

The pervasive banality of Dunwoody all but guarantees we will talk the same talk and walk the same walk so we at The Other Dunwoody would like to offer a few suggestions should Mayor and Council like to salvage any moral or intellectual integrity:

  • come up with a really good story as to why a law allowing licensed carry at City Hall pulls the trigger on weapons screening in spite of the fact it was never necessary to catch the oft-mentioned Bad Guys[tm] who are otherwise used to justify everything from SWAT Teams, to APCs, to anti-terrorism junkets
  • explain the costs upfront and keep detailed records of costs going forward and report these costs on a quarterly basis
  • detail your commitment to your responsibility should anything tragic happen to one of our citizens in your semi-gun-free zone (explained below)
And the real kicker is:
  • If you are going to make a "gun-free-zone" make it a 100% gun-free-zone with no exceptions. Absolutely none. That means no exception for the Mayor, Council, Judges, board members and most importantly police. That's right. In passing the checkpoint cops drop their Glocks in a box. Tasers in a basket. Clubs in a tub. If this gun-free-zone is safe enough for us then it is safe enough for you and we, the citizens you allegedly serve, don't need you, our servants, bringing weapons into an area that you seem to think attracts Bad Guys[tm] so they can take that weapon and use it on us. And we, the citizens, know that is a likelihood with precedent and if you don't believe it then Google "Brian Nichols" and tell us why we should feel safe because you're bringing in a gun that a Bad Guy[tm] can grab. If you're so worried about tempers flaring at a zoning meeting what about when you discuss police budget and raises? And while you're at it you can explain how this semi-gun-free-zone is safe enough for us but not safe enough for you. Is that because YOU have the guns?

At the end of the day this chazerai is a lot less about guns than it is about the arrogance of government, even at the local level and their increasingly fascist behaviour.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

InterWeb Alzheimer's

The European Union seems a bit scatter-brained of late. They would like you to be as well.

As we move thru the interweb age to a world where our intellect is crowd-sourced we find that the web doesn't forget as well as humans. Folks in the EU would like to fix that. Sort of. See, they don't want the interweb to forget, the just want Google to forget where things are. Alzheimer's for the interweb.

It works like this.

Suppose you are a now famous and powerful politician with an indiscretion in your distant past--something along the lines of driving your Citroen 2CV off a bridge, a nasty accident made all the more tragic because your mistress drowned in that lightweight but non-bouyant car. Should have been driving a Beetle. Anyway, this event was plastered all over Le Monde just as one might expect given that you come from a well known family who made their fortune in pastries, donuts in particular.

But that was then and this is now. Now you are a powerful member of the socialist party and have done many, many great things for your country and fellow citizens. Can't exactly remember what they are but you're pretty sure they are really important. But this interweb thing is a real problem because every time someone does an interweb search for your name the first five pages of results are about the wreck, pictures of a drenched and besotted younger you and more recently morgue photos of THAT girl, what was her name...yes, Marie Josephine (sorry, had to google it).  And you think that is just plain wrong and since you are now a powerful politician what you think counts for a lot.

What you'd like to do is not only expunge the unflattering record but rewrite it in glowing terms, but realistically you know that is not going to fly. In fact, you're all but certain you cannot have the records actually hidden away. But what you can do is make that nasty ole google-thingy forget where that stuff is located. So you trot your ass down to the EU and you push thru rules that require internet search engines to forget where things are. But only those things you don't like. While you cannot make all those things go away the interweb search engine is our window to your world and therefore you can control which things we can find to look at.

Pretty sweet, huh? Just like a donut. Warm and sticky and missing something in the middle, it is that petite je ne sais quoi that makes your life seem so much better than it ever was.