Monday, October 20, 2014

Cultivating Ebola

In a recent BBC interview a health researcher suggested models were showing Ebola cases in West Africa would peak in January unless additional efforts were applied to care for the infected. Were that to happen the peak would occur a FEW MONTHS LATER.

The backup singers in the Bleeding Hearts Club Band are already screeching "Lies, Lies, Damn Lies" but this is in fact the case. Have you asked yourself why this outbreak seems to be much worse (in number of cases and fatalities) than previous Ebola epidemics? Bear in mind, you really do have to ask yourself because the CDC either does not know or would lie to you.

The real answer turns out to be quite simple.

Ebola is extremely virulent and in previous outbreaks it quickly ran its course amongst the group that went skinny dipping in the animal reservoir where the virus hangs out when not killing humans. The very speed with which it attacked that limited population meant it did not have time to spread beyond the village that went all bat crap crazy. Left to its own devices, Ebola is inherently self-limiting. It attacks. It ravages a community. It burns out.

But then westerners, the U.S. in particular, step in and declare a WAR ON EBOLA (hashtag StopEbolaNow) and by slowing progression amongst the initially infected, they support the spread of the disease outside that limited community ensuring that even more die. So what the U.S. and its CDC are really doing is turning an epidemic into a pandemic exposing the truth that their War On Ebola is in fact a War On The World. With its PC fueled agenda the Obama administration shows more concern over offending African nations than protecting the American people. But at least he is consistent.

So not only are the CDC and the Obama Administration bringing Ebola to America and doing a damn fine job of spreading it around, they are helping kill more people in Africa--the only people they really seem to care about.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Downtown

So go downtown
Things will be great when you're downtown
No finer place for sure, downtown
Everything's waiting for you

The Ballet has taken their pas de deux to the burbs. The Braves are hot on their heels. Surely the Hawks are giving relocation its due consideration. Dante Stephenson tried (twice) to make a go of it in Underground only to go under. Way under. In an attempt to salvage something the ASO had (as in past tense) performed at Verizon amphitheater in the northern burbs. City proponents prefer to speak of perceptions. Of crime. Of inconvenience. Of filth. Of course that is a self-delusion as long as there is so much evidence on display making what they see as a perception a very real thing to most. About the only fact not in question is that most folks from the burbs only come downtown to work. Then they go back to their live-play sub- and ex-urban communities. As it turns out the hyphens in live-work-play as simply shorthand for "commute to".

And it isn't just the urban core--the ATL. The Atlanta paper made a move to Perimeter Center. Then they threw themselves a housewarming party calling it a Wine Fest. Perhaps they watched all the folks surrounding their new digs and thought this would be a sell out (pun intended). Of course they sold tickets but the prices were more along the lines of a rent party than a wine tasting. By abstaining, the folks flittering about PC effectively RSVP-ed "NO" causing the AJC to cancel due to lack of interest.

Basically Perimeter is no more a Play-Station for folks who live around these parts than downtown Atlanta. Coffee before work? Sure, at the chimney Starbucks. Work lunch at Perimeter Mall? Expensive, but every now and then. Drinks after work? Only if we leave early. Work that is. Use some of your "fun time" to schlep back down here for some extremely expensive wine? Yeah--NO.

Perimeter may be a nice place to work. Certainly a great place for business entertainment at one of the expense-account restaurants. But as a place to spend precious free time looking for fun it is just another downtown.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fly, Delta

If you ever get the chance to go to Dallas
Take it from me pass it by
'Cause you'll only sing the blues down in Dallas
Take it from me don't go and cry
"Dallas", Roger Bartlett, 1974
Being a corporate entity we all know that morals do not apply to any actions taken by Delta. This has been no more evident than with their recent pissin' and moanin' regarding events around an airport near Dallas. Not Dallas, Georgia, but Love Field near Dallas Texas. Dallas (TX) is kicking Delta out of Love Field (they will still fly in/out of DFW) and Delta has chastised Dallas, expressing disappointment "that the City of Dallas has made the decision to reduce competition and travel options...".  That warrants a big ole high flyin' WTF. How 'bout this Mister Delta: how about you apply that same logic regarding the airport over here near the other Dallas? You know, support competition and travel options by throwing your support behind commercial service at the Paulding Airport. Say what? Not going to happen? Oh, so your definition of "competition" is "we win and everyone else loses." Another mystery solved.

Later in the week the AJC reported that Delta's lawyer was whining that Dallas had decided that "available gate space should go to hometown favorite Southwest...". Would Delta like to give up some prime gate space at Hartsfield, or would they prefer to maintain their status as "hometown favorite"? Exactly.

Again, Delta is a corporate entity with no soul, no moral fiber and expecting it to behave inconsistent with that nature would be sure to disappoint. While shameless hypocrisy is consistent with that makeup the pissy attitude exposed by the juxtaposition of homonym and diametrically opposed actions breaks more than a few camels' backs.

So fly, Delta. Please. Just spool up them big ole jet engines and fly away...far...far...away.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Airborne Ebola

We've been told all the ways that Ebola does NOT spread and the agenda seems to be convincing the public that it is not an airborne contagion. Well, sorta.

You may have noticed this is not the first outbreak of Ebola and it seems to come, die off (with many of its victims) and then after taking a break comes back. With a vengeance. But where does it go? The answer is the same as with other contagions: animal reservoir. Animals are successful at harboring contagions, including Ebola, until an opportunity arises to (re)infect a human population. Then it is off to the races.

So far only one animal has been found that harbors Ebola. Bats. So technically Ebola is carried in the air. It just requires a bat to help it along. This explains how the spread of the disease does not track movement of infected humans as much as one would expect. It tracks the migratory patterns of the bats.

We know how the virus transfers to humans. Bats are part of the human food supply in that part of the world and folks pick up Ebola when making bat charcuterie.  No word yet on how bats get Ebola.

But now we've allowed folks to bring Ebola to the United States-hell, we've all but invited them in. Thank goodness we don't have any bats.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Honky Town Blues

In Birmingham they love the governor (boo, boo, boo)
Now we all did what we could do
Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Now tell me true

Now that the Civil Rights Barons have fled to the next honey pot taking their unrighteous indignation with them let's have an honest conversation about who was really insulted by Bruce Levenson's comments--Southern Whites. The inflammatory remark centered around his observation that the attendees at the games are predominantly black and that these fans show up late, don't seem to engage and don't spend money. The Barons who made themselves rich by whipping out their bully horn every time a white guy says something other than "here you go" to about anyone with melanin claimed Levenson didn't respect the Black Man's money. Dissin. But it turns out they share the same love of money as Bruce and once it became clear there was none coming their direction they tweeted on out. Hashtag gone.

But sweet Jesus Levenson did take it one toke over the line when he waxed poetic about Southern Whites and their terror at being surrounded by blacks. By implication he is asserting these Southern Whites would spend more money. Just not around Black folk.

Well, it is time to represent.

First off he doesn't want Southern Whites, he wants Yankee transplants who by and large came here to make more money than they did in the frozen north. Consequently they have more money and the fact is he just wants some of it. He would love the same fan base as the Braves: the rich Yankee transplants who have self segregated to the northern suburbs. But he's stuck down by the gulch giving free tickets to folks so the stands look full and even then they don't show up on time. Maybe they had to work late.

Second, being white and living below the Mason Dixon don't make you a Southern White. And since this guy seems to have a mail order degree in demographics he must know that Southern Whites are much more likely to be the son of a son of a share cropper than heir to the plantation. For us it's a proud day when your firstborn lives in a house that didn't arrive on wheels and the family reunion counts a full head of teeth before a dozen kinfolk show up. We ain't got much money, can't afford to self-segregate in one of those high fallutin' gated communities and we are therefore much more likely to find ourselves in the company of Black folks. Go figure.

But we also don't have enough money for Levenson which seems to be the only reason for him to be layin'  a hatin' on Southern Whites. But you know what? It don't matter and we don't care.
Well, I heard Leven-son sing about her
Well, I heard ole Bruce put her down
Well, I hope Hawks fans will remember
A Southern Man don't need him around anyhow

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Guest Post : Ebola, The Press And The CDC

This drifted into TOD's in-box about 21 days ago and of course we thought nothing of it. Then a fever set in...
I'm left to wonder what is NOT being reported by media, including AJC, about the ebola patients and their care here. I have questions, including the following:
  1. The doctor and aide worker were both following a safety protocol in Africa. Because they both contracted the disease, we must conclude either (a) the safety protocol has flaws, or (b) someone in the chain of care did not follow the protocols. Which was it? How are we to be assured this will not be repeated in Atlanta?
  2. All protocols require strict adherence to pre-ordained rules. Each person in the loop, from the lowest janitor to the most talented surgeon, must do exactly as the rules require each moment of each day. Mathematically, statistically, this cannot be maintained indefinitely—especially over a long period of time, in the stress of life-threatening actions and disease containment. An argument for chaos theory (ala Jurassic Park), there will be a breakdown somewhere. It's human to make mistakes. The CDC over the last months has proven that even their highly-trained personnel do not follow all procedures all of the time. So far, the CDC has dodged the bullets of disastrous accident results, but the laws of probability suggest that it's just a matter of time. Add the stress of 24/7 requirements, a growing number of patients, and consequently a worsening ratio between the number of trained health workers and the number of patients, and the probability of containment drops off a cliff that a lemming would envy. What are the plans in place for breaches of containment? The public has a right to know.
  3. The treatment of ebola requires blood transfusions and IV fluids. According to the media, nothing else can be done. What follows is that there is nothing being done here for these patients that was not already being done in Africa. The only reason the CDC would be involved in bringing these two patients to Atlanta is to further their knowledge of the disease. These two people are human guinea pigs. The only reason to bring them to the USA is to study the effects of the experimental medicine they both received in Liberia. Labs here are better than labs in Liberia. What is the public not being told?
  4. Emory has advertised the safety of their isolation unit. Let the public see some of those safety built-ins. The air circulation system is a closed loop, but ebola is not spread by air. Are there any walls or ductwork or pipes shared with other parts of the hospital? Are medical wastes handled differently in this unit than they are in the rest of the hospital?
  5. The media repeats that ebola is spread neither by air nor by mosquitos. That it is not airborne has been proven in labs. But from what is in print, the only reason mosquitos are not considered agents of spread is that no one has proven that they are. More importantly, has anyone done studies involving two of most big-city disease spreaders—cockroaches and rats? I have personally attended the grand opening of an infection control center in a large US cancer ward (in the South, but not in Atlanta), and witnessed cockroaches running across the floor as the ribbons were cut. Roaches are known spreaders of other non-air borne diseases. How are these vermin being handled in this situation?
  6. The screening of travelers from West Africa at US airports is a waste of time. Experts stress that an infected person may go 3 weeks before symptoms appear. How will someone at a screening center know that? Required blood tests? No one is going to be responsible for that. And what about people who had intermediate stops in other African, Asian, or European destinations? Is it not ironic that laws make it more difficult to bring a pet dog into London than an exposed Liberian into the United States?
Talking heads saying nothing new, footage of a patient in a moon-suit, interviews with ambulance cleaners, pictures of planes with pod-containments—these are all nothing but sound and sight bytes for broadcasting to an ignorant public too trusting that we are really being informed of anything substantive at all.
Like many others we in The Other Dunwoody were initially dismissive of this missive. After all we'd been told that proper procedures were in place, not only in Africa, but in the U.S. That should any visitor display symptoms these would be immediately recognized as Ebola and prompt and effective treatment would ensue. That was before we DID have the first case diagnosed in the U.S. That was before we learned that the infected individual went to the hospital, not once but twice, having been send home the first time without a correct diagnosis. That was before we learned that the infected individual had contact with school children. That was before we learned the many things we are just about to learn...making the above concerns look like the tip of the iceberg.

Monday, September 29, 2014

At The Other End Of The Barrel

Since the recent episodes of Cops Gone Commando the world, and by that we mean politicians, have focused an increased but insufficient amount of attention on the para-military "police" force they have created across the country. Naturally this forced the commanders of the Commando Cops to retaliate.

This includes some of our local Andy's and Barney's.

A neighboring city has taken up the "we're in an arms race" mantra. This harks back to the 1997 North Hollywood shootout where cops faced long gun and machine gun fire with .38 calibre handguns and the occasional shotgun. The official response seems to have been "I want a machine gun! Everybody else has one!" Of course this has a rather undesirable knock-on effect. Especially if you're of the belief that only the chosen ones should own guns and normal, free people in the U.S are certainly not "chosen." You see, there is a public reaction to firepower wielded by cops: if that's what a cop needs to protect me from the Bad Guys[TM] then that's what I need to protect myself from the same Bad Guys[TM]. Chicken-Egg. Vicious Circle. Take your pick. But when the cops start sporting AR-15's don't be all that surprised to find "ordinary people" doing the same thing.

But Dunwoody is best of all. Billy says Military Training is a great policing tool. OK... So would that be "tactics?" Like we see when our military forces are doing a sweep thru a village in Afghanistan? Coming soon to a neighborhood near you! Can't wait.

Then there is the military equipment Our arsenal includes an Armored Personnel Carrier: such a big toy for our little boys. But Billy claims it is just a "ride" and not as "militarized" as what the real army has.That it just looks menacing. But isn't that exactly the same argument coming from the cold-dead-handers? The ones who say their AR-15's are not the military, fully automatic version. That they just look like a military weapon.

And that is where it get's funny.

Many of the folks who want you to hand in your gun are the same ones doing a Michael Dukakis in their tanks whilst sporting a uniform from the Idi Amin estate sale and now they're using the gun nut's argument to keep their toys.

You can't make this stuff up.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Word Smatter

Let's start this piece on local government propaganda with the plain truth:
The City of Dunwoody is increasing your property taxes.
In it's official capacity as the City bidet, the Dunwoody fan rag headlined "Dunwoody to hold line on taxes" reporting that Mikey and Billy are proposing that property taxes should remain level. Really? And just what does THAT mean? Well, if you are a tax and spend politician it means that you are keeping the tax rate the same and reaping the windfall from rising property values. If you are a limited government conservative then you will propose a revenue-neutral budget and therefore lower the tax rate.

So which set of yahoos do we have running this city? You guessed it--the former. The local bidet does disclose, probably with great reluctance, that it is indeed the tax rate that is remaining the same. Of course this is indirectly justified by invoking the boogey man of  The Great Recession (that IS over isn't it? property values ARE rising aren't they?), comparing bad to worse (Dunwoody's tax increase compared to DeKalb's) and touting all the wonderful things they intend to buy on their spending spree.

This is the very essence of effective propaganda: a partial truth constructed to mislead and misdirect with the real truth buried in distractions and deflections. While amusingly reminiscent of Mister CEO touting HIS payment of OUR taxes (with our HOST taxes) we were sold on better. We were sold the myth of local government where our neighbors would run the City in an honest and open manner unlike anything we would ever see from Decatur. While we've certainly had quite a few disturbing revelations regarding DeKalb County, these kinds of antics at City Hall leave one wondering if the only difference is we haven't found out what is going on at Perimeter Center. Yet.

At the end of the day what they say and how they do it matters. Words matter. It is the difference between honest governance and just another bunch of unseemly, greedy politicians.

So let us now close with the plain and simple truth:
The City of Dunwoody is increasing your property taxes.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Guest Post: Educator Speaks

Today's regular programming is interrupted by a pop-up post from a guest author. While you may read this and think "that's my kid they're dissin'" we assure you that any resemblance to any child, genius or idiot, is purely coincidental. Without further ado... 

I'm in the middle of a culture shock.

My previous institution was a very large public state school. 40,000-45,000 students. It was a decent school despite a decent party reputation. You'd have the gamut of students: jocks trying to stay academically eligible (which was sometimes a challenge…for them and for their instructors), Greeks bearing zero gifts, first-generation college students, and the brainiacs trying to save money going to the in-state school for undergrad (knowing full well their grad school would leave them up to their eyeballs in debt).

My current institution is less than 5% of the size of the last place. Private. "Highly selective". It has graduated dozens (in the plural) of Rhodes scholars. At the first faculty meeting, I learned the lower quartile of incoming freshmen "only" scored around a 1300 on the SAT math+verbal. One year of tuition, board and room is 20% more than my pre-tax annual salary. The student union has two grand pianos, but only one TV.

Which university, do you think, would create a more enjoyable teaching experience for a professor?

I was surprised by the answer.

There are a few problems in teaching students who lie in the intersection of "highly intelligent" and "very wealthy". In no particular order:
  • These students would not have been offered entrance if they weren't "complete packages". They are very sharp and very hard-working; they've traveled the world, speak multiple languages, play musical instruments or "sports" (the quotation mark is to indicate the athletes are more in the golf and lacrosse leagues than baseball and football). They were--without having to do more work than they were trained to do--the best at everything they ever attempted. And--by sheer numbers alone--that can no longer be the case. Put 2000 people used to being in the top five on one campus, and the nuts are off the buggy.

  • Some kids take this really well. By some, I mean about 20%. They adjust, learn to take constructive criticism, and have a cheery attitude. And given their natural intelligence and work ethic, that makes them ideal students. Seriously, you couldn't ask for more, and they are the students you rarely see at larger schools (again, just by sheer numbers). But then there are those who internalize every point deducted. They've been perfect their whole lives and now they aren't; they become depressed, stressed, and hyperactive. They are the reasons why every stall in every women's restroom on campus has a flier about bulimia. As an instructor, you feel guilty because you know that it's your assessment of their understanding that is making them "lose it" (for lack of a better term); however, you know that your assessment is correct and so you really just feel sad for these kids. I'm guessing about 30-35% of the student body's in this category. The last category, and also the majority, are those who interpret "I didn't get an A" as "it's not me, it's them." They're the combative ones. The ones that say "Just so you know, I'm an 'A' student" like it's a threat.  The ones that speak to you in ways that--if it were reciprocated--would get you fired in a heartbeat. The ones that make you pray their first spouse takes them to the cleaner because you don't know how to make a voodoo doll.

    At the larger schools, this problem isn't as pronounced. Perhaps it's because not all the students are type-A, A-students to begin with. But they seem more understanding of the fact that "Some of these classes will be hard. And I will not always be the top dog." This doesn't mean that the students don't want to do well. But it means they are more "realistic"; if they see they're performing at the class average, they recognize that that just means they are average. They may not like it, and they frequently will work their butts off to get a "B" or "B+", but they don't take it personally. And they don't take it out on the instructor. They realize, "Hey. I'm just not as good as some of the others at this."
  • Office hours. At the big state school, there may have been a University-approved minimum number of weekly office hours; however, I can guarantee you it wasn't enforced. Many professors were "by appointment only" and they never checked their emails. Or, they'd post office hours, but only show up if you had made an appointment prior. Consequently, if you actually were there, with your door open, during the times you said you'd be there, your students were like kids at Christmas. They would come whether they had just a quick question about one particular section, or major and fundamental questions about the entire course. They WANTED to see their instructor outside class. They were appreciative of ANY time--and they all would mark office hours of the professors they had in their calendars and/or their phones so they knew when to show up.

  • At the current institution, it doesn't matter how many office hours you have. But now, the reason is different. It doesn't matter because first it's significantly harder to get students to come at all. This again probably comes from the fact they're not used to needing help or asking for help, and they're embarrassed because they're clearly a disappointment to the whole world or because they're angry this school with all its money can't hire someone who realizes just how awesome they are. The other reason why the number of office hours doesn't matter is because the students who do come have zero respect for the schedules of their instructors. They will send emails "informing" their instructors that they are "on the way"--whether it's during office hour time or not. They will ask if it's OK to meet right before class, or right after class, or right after THEIR last class (no surprise, they never want to meet BEFORE their first class). And, of course, the INSTRUCTOR'S first/last class is never mentioned or suggested. And the institution recognizes this; my teaching mentor told me the best way to ensure my students respected my time was to work from home as much as possible. 

    The reasons for this again are many. First, the students again probably aren't used to needing help, so they don't realize that help is not always available. Next, they are probably used to instructors bending over backwards to spend any time with them BECAUSE they were the top students (and who wouldn't want to spend more time with their top students?). Again, as an instructor, you feel bad and want to accommodate; ANY academian has had a moment where she realizes she's not the top dog, that she's struggling. And it's a hard pill to swallow. You want to be available to your students; but you cannot pander to them. And letting them trample over your life and dictate your schedule is pandering.
  • Parents. In seven years of teaching at the large state school, you want to guess how many parents contacted me? Zero. In seven years. Hundreds to thousands of students and I heard from zero parents. My department head would probably hear from about a dozen a semester--which at the time I thought was insane. But again…24 a year out of 40-something thousand students? That's practically nothing.

  • The new faculty orientation at the current institution scared the crap out of me. Multiple talks were given on ways to deal with parents. We were told to expect to hear from about 10 parents a year. Maybe more or less, depending on your grade distribution. You would think, thanks to FERPA, this wouldn't be a discussion (or at least it would be short). Even if biologically and emotionally and financially we are talking about their child, legally we are talking about an 18+ year-old and therefore a legal adult. It is against the law for me to discuss the grades and specific academic performances of any of my students with their parents. There are no exceptions. It is the law. There are certain schools that offer a form students can sign so parents can call the REGISTRAR and get access to grade reports; however, as an instructor, you still can't really tell the parents much of anything.

    But try telling THEM that.

    To some extent (and to as much extent as someone who is childless and makes less than a year's tuition can have), I get it. You're paying a lot of money and you want to know why you're not seeing the "results" you'd like. But that's something you need to take up with your KID. If you really believe the school is worth the above-average cost, and if you think the school itself is above-average in academic rigor, then you should believe the school is capable of making above-average decisions in hiring. You shouldn't feel the need to question the intellectual authority of the faculty. And when you challenge a professor's assessment of your child's performance, that is exactly what you're doing. The professor has the PhD, not you. The professor has the published work and the years of college teaching experience, not you. You're 100% correct that you know your kid better as a human being; however, the professor's job is to judge your child's competency in ONE subject, not their worth as a human being. Go to the bathroom and read a flyer. This is like paying $60,000 for your child's wedding, and blaming the caterer for any ensuing marital problems. The money went to the child and was effectively a "gift". The child's the one you should be speaking to harshly, not the instructor.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Know Shit

A knock-on effect of the ethical challenges facing DeKalb County politicos has been a recent War of Word. And that word is: transparency.

One contender to the throne that until recently had been kept warm by Ms. Boyer is pledging an open checkbook register. OK. A sitting Councilman with a deserved reputation for informing citizens wherever possible felt compelled to re-iterate in a personal testimony. When ARE the next elections? A former City Councilman has suggested that if Dunwoody would only throw open the kimono the world would be delighted at how transparent this City really is. Really?

Perhaps not so much.

But to be fair there really isn't a great example for Dunwoody or it's citizens to learn by as opacity is the first tool all politicians use to manipulate whatever truths they are forced to concede. As a public service (as you well know, we at The Other Dunwoody are all about public service) let's look at things that would make Dunwoody an exemplar of transparency:

  • You MUST be proactive. This is not only the cornerstone of any transparent organization it is required to establish and maintain trust with stakeholders.  This must become such a part of the City's DNA that it would never need to respond to FOI request because the information is already in the public domain. 
  • You MUST be prompt. Data and documents must be published within 24 hours of trigger event (e.g., signing a contract) or acquisition of data or documents.
  • Publish data in machine readable form. Alternative publications are fine, but when data are involved machine readable is table stakes. 
  • Publish "easy data" quickly and frequently. Easy data are readily acquired or delivered, usually electronically and require no curation or redaction. An example would be call detail records on all City land lines and cell phones. And of course this includes "the checkbook."
  • Publish curated data on a routine basis but as frequently as possible. These are data that require some level of redaction with a good example being traffic citations where it may not be appropriate to publish some of the offender information.
  • Publication of triggered event information sets must be comprehensive. A triggered event is something like a successful contract negotiation at which point all related information (memo's, meeting agenda/minutes, call records, etc.) are published as a package even if those data and documents that may have already been published.
  • Routine internal operational reports must be published at regular intervals which at the very least should be 7 calendar days before City Council meetings. These reports should include internal staff reports as well as work-related correspondence with vendors. 
This level (which TOD considers a minimum level) of transparency is not supported by existing government processes and information infrastructure and will require some upgrades in both areas. IT needs to put in place systems that automate the acquisition, process and publication of data such as Call Detail Records and email metadata (SMTP headers). They will also be required to archive emails (if they do not already--no IRS email kerfuffles allowed) and to maintain strict version control of all City documents. Activities must be managed as cohesive units with data and documents collected and published in full at the appropriate milestones. For example, when a grant proposal is submitted that proposal and all documents leading up to it (emails, meeting minutes, status reports, Call records, draft proposals, etc.) are published to the public as a single module.  Similarly, negotiations with current or future vendors would result in publication of all related data and documents the minute the deal is sealed. 

Because we can already hear the folks at City Hall gagging and sputtering something about "we wouldn't even know where to begin" as a part of this particular public service effort we'll get the ball rolling with just a few of our favorite items that should be in the public domain:
  • The ever-popular "Check Register"
  • All Call Detail Records
  • Traffic Citations
  • All radar sign speed records (mobile and fixed signs)
  • Grant proposals and all related documents associated with each individual grant effort
  • All records on unsolicited grants (the Lenco Bearcat leaps to mind)
  • All data and records between the City and subordinate groups including the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Citizen Committees
  • All data and records within the aforementioned subordinate groups
  • All internal status reports (and there should be quite a few)
  • All records of cold-call solicitations (who accepted the call, how did the effort progress)--a perfect example is the negotiations with Tree Top Quest, a poster child for opacity
Some folks (most likely at City Hall) will complain that this is just too much work--too costly. But frankly that is a lie. The fact is that most of these data and documents are created and managed electronically and the cost to implement processes supporting transparency are quite small. But it does beg the question: if transparency is such an important thing that politicians will run on it or stand by it then isn't this small cost acceptable? Or maybe they'd just prefer that we don't know shit.