Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sokal Affair

President-elect Donald Trump [as of this writing he is still PEOTUS] has a lot of nerve making disparaging remarks about Representative John Lewis. Or any remarks for that matter. If he would stop with the tweeting long enough to read the Wikipedia entry on John Lewis he just might learn of all the legislation authored, sponsored and passed by Representative Lewis on behalf of his constituents, the State of Georgia and indeed the entire country. One would be hard pressed to find any legislator who has accomplished as much over the last thirty years as Representative John Lewis and we should all hope that President Trump aspires to accomplish a tenth as much.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Surcharge Or Tax?

The Atlanta airport, run by the City of Atlanta is making honest operations of Uber and Lyft but requires a $2.35 "Security Surcharge" for the honor. The publicly aired propaganda claims this is for those services that "use private background checks instead of a state fingerprint check."

This is kind of BS that only a government bureaucracy can toss out and one must wonder if they think the public will believe it or they just don't care. Probably the latter because the lie is so easily exposed.

During the negotiations it was revealed that medallion wielding cabbies don't have these state checks either but somehow they don't represent sufficient security risk to warrant this "surcharge." And just what additional cost is incurred by the airport when the Uber driver does a pickup? And why is that cost based on the number of passengers? And how is that risk mitigated when it is a drop-off? The answers to these questions make no sense because the fiction around justifying this "surcharge" is just that. A fiction.

And politicians wonder why there is so little public trust in government.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Red Necks, White Socks And Blue Ribbon Beer

Back in the day when bicycles were a kids' stepping stone to freedom because they actually got you somewhere we all mowed our grass at least once a week, usually with a push-behind blade mower. Pastoral. Bucolic. And in the bone-sucking heat of the dog days of summer just enough of a reminder of hell awaitin' to make you really consider going to church tomorrow. But tomorrow is another day and after sweating off about five pounds what you really want is an ice cold PBR. Just make sure you're done with all the yard work and cleanup before you pop that top because in your dehydrated state it will knock you on your ass.  Squirrels will laugh at you.

Things have changed. These days we pay for someone else, with brown skin but lacking the red neck to mow our lawns and then turn around and pay someone else, with blond hair and a bodacious bod to force us to exercise on a bike that goes nowhere, often with only one wheel. Thankfully indoors with A/C and TV's. But after spinnin' up a sweat we still want that cold brew. And right here in DaVille we have a biz hoping you'll finish up your exercise with a cool down of eight ounce curls. Normally this would require a pour license but when a member of council is a member of the club, well you know, this IS Dunwoody where rules don't apply to the well-connected. Consequently someone is floating the idea of a special dispensation, a properly priced indulgence to allow hosting a Friday night "Spin and Sin." That's right, Friday--amateur night for drinkers everywhere.

City Attorneys object, hopefully strenuously, but only on the basis that this action would undermine city licensing and enforcement. Indeed. But no one is asking how smart it might be to get folks sweatin' out electrolytes, have them hammer down a brew and should they survive the "hot tub heart attack" pour themselves into a car to slug it out in DaVille's renowned Friday traffic. Because this is THE Smart City and the smartest of the smart are sitting on Council and are convinced this is a Smart Idea. And a done deal.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Trump's Military

After the Ferguson shooting Obama took a break from funneling military equipment to local yokel police, a policy Trump is expected to reverse before his first tweet from the oval office. In anticipation of a renewed opportunity to abandon serving as a community police force in favor of joining a local army of Dukakis-like posers Dunwoody intends to ante up for a mobile SWAT command center. Not to worry, the Dunwoody taxpayer share is only $42K hardly putting a dent in the City's recent tax hike and now you know what they needed that money for.

Dunwoody was an early trendsetter in police shooting citizens so it is little surprise that their ambition extends beyond onsey-twosey open field plinking. Now that Dunwoody is a joint task force with the other li'l cities aspiring to re-create Milton County maybe they can get all their military regalia  together for our parade on the 4th. With this new command center, everybody's bearcats and maybe a few of Trump's MRAP's we can put on an inspirational display the likes of which are not seen outside of Tiananmen Square. Given the city has delegated neighborhood protection to neighbors you may find yourself inspired to get a Georgia Weapons Carry License. While you can.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

How Can They Do This?

Remember back in the day when Brewster's first came to town? The franchise owner plopped down the standard Brewster's Building all red and modern with a pre-build aspect to it. The locals were so angry they pulled out their metaphorical pitchforks and axes forcing a Williamsburg makeover with brick veneer and a faux mansard roof. Oh, and beige. Lots of beige. Now it is a burger joint with a deck out front that looks like dock on Lake Lanier washed up in the parking lot.

But it fits the mandatory Williamsburg of the Village Overlay.

Then there is this:

That's right. Painted brick. Not painted beige, painted white. And the bad actor is right beside an office that still respects All Things Dunwoody.

And in case you thought that was white siding, not unusual in DaVille here's a closer look:

Light the torches and break out the pitchforks!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Work-Shopping Ideas

In retracting the ill-conceived attempt at expanding government opacity the Fulton County Attorney who proposed to limit the public's access to the public's records dismissed it as "merely work-shopping an idea." One has to wonder how many bad laws, destructive to public welfare are slipped past a blinded public as a "work-shopped" idea. More than the public needs and less than the governments want. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Big Green Wall

"What reduces crime in the country is having relationships with people who live in communities."
---Cedric Alexander, in the AJC
And yet...

In Atlanta one mayoral candidate wants businesses to hire their own security because she doesn't think the APD should (or can?) police the area. Sounds like a bit more than an "arms length" relationship.

This is not without precedent. Folks in midtown (think Ansley Park and Sherwood Forest) have ponied up for their own police patrols, Midtown Blue, for a few decades now. So in the Eh, Tea, 'ell it isn't just the downtrodden undeserving of police protection.

Now you might dismiss Dunwoody's Citizen Patrol as a creeping expansion of the bureaucratic disease of Taxing Without Delivering but as all things Dunwoody it is more nuanced. We have a PD obsessed with Mo' Betta Toys for the Boys leading to pre-emptive replacement of "patrol" cars with shiny new SUVs. After all these are take-home cars and appearances count--just not in our neighborhoods. These are primarily for getting to and from home's Barcalounger and the office Aeron--stylin' transport between two stylin' destinations. We ended up with two stoned birds that needed to be killed so they deputized some of the locals, re-branded the patrol cars and sent them into the neighbors to, well, "patrol." Since they're unarmed, we should all feel safer.

But don't you wonder if we'd be safer if it were not all about money?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Failing More Than The Classroom

We long ago gave up on using public schools to deliver education preferring instead to use them for handout hotspots, diagnosis (by educators) and medical treatment, warm and "safe" spaces and of course, feeding. None of these are as complete a failure as the original mission but feeding the buggers is a close second.

Michelle's Mission for the past eight years has been "healthy[1]" food for the nation's children, with public schools playing a key role in logistics and distribution. We're not talking fried baloney sandwiches or snacks of saltines and potted meat. It's more of a Bush Backlash with heaping plates of overcooked broccoli, apples, pears and salt-less, well, everything. But fact of the matter is: Michelle is right. Our tax dollars should not be used to pump addictive salt, sugar, wheat[2], and artificial coloring and preservatives into children's diets. That's a parent's job.

But the lower ranks of the entitlement class, government worklings in school cafeterias don't like Michelle's Menu claiming the kids don't like it and won't eat it. The AJC quotes a school board member blaming this bland food on other government entities[3] saying "I would like to see the folks in Washington eat the lunch that our students eat." Consistent with All Things Public Ed it never occurred to her that a better all around solution might be to replace incompetence in the cafeteria with those who can cook tasty meals that are not a prescription for heart attacks, strokes and cancer. Perhaps she believes it is no easier to fire a blood-sludge-sloppin' cafeteria cook than an incompetent teacher. As it turns out no one makes lemonade in the lemon room despite a surplus of fresh ingredients.

So we're stuck with costs spiraling upwards as every aspect of what we are supposed to do for our children swirls the bowl.

[1] Nothing symbolizes our slide to Sesame Street intellects more than the use of "healthy" when the proper term is "healthful." Healthy food is that bumper crop of flavourful unblemished tomatoes in your garden while healthful food is nutritious sustenance contributing to your health. But then you already know that.

[2] Before you get all pissy about "healthy" whole grains you really owe it to yourself (and everyone who has to put up with you) to check out Wheat Belly. And no, that young lady is not sporting a "wheat belly" -- you are.

[3] HER government agency and associated pay and power are alright by her. No surprises there.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

APS Charter Plan Lawsuit

As reported in the AJC, APS teachers have sued their former employer because they lost their jobs in the transition from a guaranteed job on the public dole to competitive opportunities with a private charter school operator. If you look past the legalese what these (thankfully) former educators are saying is "children do not have a right to an education as much as we have a right to a paycheck for life." 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Quote Of The Year

"While our office appreciates your stated concern that the Act should not be abused, your submitted proposal appears to be over broad and unduly burdens the rights of the public in inspecting the records which are, at heart, their own records merely held in the custody of the public servants entrusted by the public to maintain the public's own records." 
[Georgia] Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Colangelo