Monday, December 5, 2016

Throw 'Em Under The Bus

Our City founders touted control of zoning and development as a cornerstone of the City in contrast to what many perceived as neglect and exploitation of North DeKalb and Dunwoody by the County and its Development Authority. Many assumed the new City would put the brakes on "out of control development" and may feel betrayed seeing the City promote faster, bigger development.  

Some are wondering how this could happen. Like all things strange in government it starts and ends with money.

The City's revenue side of the equation drives expansion in scope and scale of development and is based on a little known City tax: the occupational tax. This is paid by employers for the pleasure of cutting paychecks and includes a fixed per-employee fee and a percent of gross. That it is not paid by developers but by their tenants is a further incentive to go big or go home. This occupational tax is also why we constantly hear about "high paying white collar jobs"-not because the women are pretty or the men buff but because more jobs at higher pay funnels more money into City coffers.

In terms of throwing money to the developers the City is giving up their portion of property tax but the big lever is the DeKalb County School property tax that this scheme allows the City to offer up. As any supporter of Dunwoody's recent tax hike will explain the school tax is the vast majority of any property tax bill so this is not chump change, it just comes out of others' pockets with their knowledge but without their permission. Even if Dunwoody gets its own schools the pilfering will continue with the City de-funding these new schools just as they are doing to our schools today.

City founders put in place a complex machine operated by mayors and councils that drains money from our children's education for the sake of more money under City control. Perhaps it is easier for the City to rob Peter to pay Judas when they are angry with Peter and sleeping with Judas but while you graze in front of "Everything Will Be OK" they are selling your lambs for a few pieces of silver.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Those Who Can, Do

Those who can't, "teach."

Seems like the Trumpinator has scared the usual round of left wing nut pussy willows from their "safe places" and into [verbal] action. From an AJC article regarding activities at Emory University:
"...a petition signed by more than 700 students and 100 faculty members urging administrators to work with local police departments to shield the campus from federal immigration enforcement..."
Sounds like a call for armed resistance. Inciting insurrection with at least a gross disregard for violence. Violence on their behalf but of course neither at their own hand nor risk. To get your mind around this you must understand this is what passes in the Ivory Tower as "fighting for what is right" though the rest of the world sees this as "hiding behind the courage of others."

And these are our best and brightest--responsible for molding the minds and character of future generations. A responsibility unearned, undeserved and unfulfilled.

Outside of their echo chamber these whiners scream "we are totally out of touch with reality."  They have proven once again that credentialed is not educated and educated is not necessarily smart. And for a significant number of the self-important neither add up to honorable. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

American Freud

Abject failure has done little to stem the flow of pontifications from bubbled pundits. The latest is the bandwagon bumpersticker declaring "the election represents taking America's temperature." Perhaps. If so is this an oral or a rectal thermometer?

Trump ran over the Republican machine with all its off-the-shelf product in a blitzkrieg not seen since Germany walked thru Poland. He then turned to the Democrats who folded, giving up the Whitehouse like the Vichy government offered up Paris.

These pundits need to disappear (preferred option) or spend some time outside the bubble. They need some real world experience, with hands-on practice taking temperatures, starting with their own. Before they regain any credibility they must prove they've learned from this experience that the only way to tell an oral thermometer from a rectal thermometer is by taste. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Faux News

Google and Facebook are responding to claims that their laissez faire approach to  the dissemination of drivel from users' random keyboards may (or may not) have influenced the recent election. By "influence" the current crop of whiners really mean "our candidate lost." Some things never change.

But Google and Facebook are committing to change and if you hold their stock you may want to sell because they intend to cross a line from rather detached self/vanity publishing platforms to curating everyone's content. If this sounds intractable and untenable that is because it is. However briefly this satisfies friends of the Reconciliation Party it will ultimately expose these organizations, with very deep pockets, to all types of legal risks because sooner or later something will slip thru that pisses off some pissy little group of whiners. Like the ADL or the SPLC. In the end this will fall on the (remaining) shareholders.

But this is also a slippery slope and not one littered with just those checkout lane tabloids. Mainstream media, the one where the talking heads ARE the news is also now at risk. Just how far can you cross the line of "truth and nothing but the truth" before you fall out of favour? And does it matter which direction you cross? Apparently so.

The envelope of veracity in mainstream media all but collapsed in 2016 with prevarications, obfuscations and misdirections distinctly trending to a particular direction. Was it accurate to say that Clinton "won the popular vote?" Certainly not. Why? Because Clinton LOST the popular vote since she did not get fifty percent plus one and outside of Clinton victory parties no one held a runoff. While it is accurate to say that Trump lost the popular vote it is somewhat deceptive if not acknowledging that Clinton lost as well.  But like any good con job you only deceive those predisposed to deception.

This was also true with the email whitewashing effort. Private account? Indeed. When you have a private email server you will perforce have private email accounts. Again, true, but not all the truth and much like the server itself designed to ensure that the truth is never known. And the Clintons are not stupid and certainly not naive. They know that emails to and from that server originating or terminating on devices and servers subject to discovery by U.S. authorities would ultimately be uncovered though with great difficulty. These indirect discoveries are the actual cause of the Comey Two-Step. And since Clinton released what she wanted to release and then wiped the drives we will never have insight into those communications where the other parties (think foreign governments) are not subject to U.S. discovery. But instead of pounding this issue mainstream media fell in line with the email "account" obfuscation.

Much of what shows up on the interweb is click-bait and increasingly much of what shows up on incumbent media's "new media" outlets is more subtle click-bait but click-bait nonetheless. Many are blaming incumbent media's shameless chasing of ratings and click-thrus for excessive and free coverage that gave us what we got as if folks were incited to vote thoughtlessly which in their supercilious World-View is by definition The Wrong Way. This is condescension bordering on The Deplorables, but there are many who think it, who say it and who are saying it out loud. Arrogance has no shame.

Demanding that Google and Facebook curate and reject content disliked by these elitists is not the answer and we have painful evidence that the PC policies rampant on college campuses have not served us well[1].  Furthermore the subtle, insidiously slanted "news" from incumbent outlets, exempt from these PC police,  does far more damage that sensationalistic headlines and comic book stories found on bogus websites and supermarket tabloids[2]. The American public simply does not have a reliable news outlet that provides the facts, all the facts and nothing but the facts in a forthright and unbiased manner[3].  Until we do we can expect more of the same.



[1] And yes, the safety pin is silly.
[2] In case you were not really, really sure, Martha Stewart did NOT give birth to an alien's baby.
[3] TOD is not the place to get it either.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Paying For Vogtle

Much ink has been wasted in the traditional press on the deliberations over who will pay for cost overruns at Plant Vogtle. The commencement speaker at the 1981 Southern Tech graduation ceremony, a retired Bell South executive more notable for what he said than who he is, offered this pearl of wisdom:
Big corporations do not pay taxes, they collect them.
His point that governments' deflective use of corporate America as a funding pass-thru is equally applicable to the current dustup between the Georgia PSC and ratepayers. Some say that Georgia Power should pay the cost overruns but this ignores some key facts. First Georgia Power pays all its bills by collecting money from, you guessed it, ratepayers. Others argue that the company's profits or shareholders should suffer but the financial health of the company affects bond ratings that underpin the cost of borrowing money. A cost also paid by ratepayers.

When it comes to regulated monopolies the maxim "you can pay me now or you can pay me later" applies.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cut Loose Like a Deuce

If you frequent the area you know the intersection at Chamble-Dunwoody and Redfield has been re-configured eliminating the right turn lane using the spare pavement for a lane separator with a pedestrian island. That and additional sidewalks sounds like a significant albeit expensive safety improvement.

Far from the truth. First, the city will all but brag that a vast majority of the money was picked from others' pockets. Expensive? Sure. But not for us. Sorta.

The untold number of street crossers playing frogger at that location may well be safer but not so much for those on the sidewalk to the west of CD. Eliminating the turn lane and shifting thru traffic towards the curb means all the speeders in their two ton missiles that scare the bullets out of cops' guns are now aimed directly at the sidewalk across the intersection. Lack of enforcement in the area and a broken radar sign do nothing to discourage speeding and if distracted driving weren't bad enough it gets worse. On any given clear morning a driver headed to DaVille gets a face full of blinding AM sunshine. They won't know what they hit until someone's head crashes thru their windshield.

Sooner or later there will be an "accident" and someone will get hurt, maybe killed. It may be the olde farte walking his dog, or a jogger or maybe a couple of kids who just want to play tennis. The driver will be charged but someone down at City Hall will have blood on their hands.

All for the love of other people's money.

Blinded by the light...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Enough Said

From the AJC:
"[...]Auntie Anne's, has been told by Islamic authorities that its popular Pretzel Dog, which contains no dog meat, has to be renamed as it is confusing for Muslim consumers."

Monday, November 7, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Why NOT OSD?

There are more reasons to vote against OSD than it looking like a typo of "OCD." National teacher advocacy (note these are not "student" advocates) groups have pushed puppy food commercials aside to assault our senses with rationalizations claiming their educrats are better wasters of our tax dollars than the Governor. Unintentionally they have exposed the real reason to vote down the OSD.

Their fundamental assertion is unassailable. Incumbent educrats have earned PhDs in pissing away increasing amounts of money on decreasing success. You may be thinking "this simply cannot be sustainable." Bingo! It isn't[1]. At some point. But as long as they can trot out racially and ethnically diverse ads in support of any given eSPLOST and win "'because it's about the children" even when it is apparent to all that it is about anything but, then we, as a society, have not reached the tipping point. At some point public education as currently devised, run by those currently in charge and paid for by the current schemes will collapse. As it must.

Efforts, like the OSD, that attempt to piecewise "fix" what some see as "the problem" will only delay the ultimate outcome and the proper solution. Evolution has not worked and a revolution is required--the current system must be allowed to collapse under its own weight and by its own hand. Until then our current crop of educrats must be given absolutely everything--except an excuse.

For a phoenix to arise its predecessor must be rendered completely to ash and that is why rejecting OSD is the fastest option for fixing our public schools.


[1] There is an argument that so long as any group on the public payroll is allowed to vote, particularly on items affecting their jobs and pay, that the public payroll will grow without end. We are in the stage of metastasis with public schools where this appears to be the case but this parasite will ultimately consume the host and since it is not self-sustaining it will die.