Thursday, December 5, 2019

Will It Really Make A Difference?

You know, the VRU ordinance that recently sailed through council like dysentery through a refugee camp. Don't know what that is? Well, dysentery is ... oh, VRU? OK. It stands for Vulnerable Road Users and it is a local regulation being pushed through local rule-writers across the country, much like the home alarm regulations squizzed out by FARA. Remember them?

The reason that VRU is all show and no go is because this city has amassed quite the reputation for NOT policing in our communities. In particular the city treats quality of life issues as if toxic somehow posing an existential threat. They are significantly less afraid of global warming than they are of community policing. So this regulation will, like most others, go unenforced rendering it mere words on paper.

These trendy feel-good regulations are just that: feel-good opportunities for city hall self congratulation. And they are far from "local control."

Monday, December 2, 2019

Citizens To Admire

Unfortunately they're not close by, but the good folk of Amelia, Ohio have shown the way. After becoming disgusted with an opaque city government that was increasingly deaf to vox populi the people rose up and asserted true local control. They dissolved the city. Something to aspire to.

If the Grey Lady is to be trusted "the fight in Amelia also shows what can happen when polarized voters decide that their government is so broken that it simply shouldn't exist." We shouldn't be far behind given quasi-government agencies handing out tax breaks to developers and shift costs to residents, police force that shirks responsibility to residents preferring to serve the business community and council that prefers feel-good ordinances and support for Friends and Family over serving the community.

Amelia's former mayor was less than enthused: "If you don't like what your government is doing, just vote them out." Ignoring the fact that this is exactly what the good folk of Amelia just did it is worth observing that politicians are generally influenced by and beholden to almost any interested party but the residents. Those wanting to get elected are little better and soon become just as bad. Politicos are concerned with voters only during a brief campaigning period. After that...

When the NYT bottom-lined it that is exactly what the found, citizens asking "what am I getting?" And the answer was "screwed."

Now that we know it can be done it is time to get to doin' it.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Guest Post : Product Endorsement

TOD generally doesn't do endorsements, not political nor product, but it is Black Friday Eve so perhaps this is a timely review provided by someone-other-than-TOD. It is worth noting this is a product that is designed and manufactured in the good ole U S of A.

A little background is in order. Over the last few years I've spent quite a bit of time and made quite a few trips to doctors, clinics and hospitals. It was immediately obvious that a purse was not going to cut it: too cumbersome and depending on the purpose of the meeting is just another thing to keep track of and to worry about. But you must have all manner of cards and sometimes cash and you'd think the average wallet would be just the thing. You'd be wrong. Folks burn logs in their fireplaces that are smaller than my wallet so I took to carrying just the essentials with a makeshift card/money clip:

Makeshift Moneyclip
This worked just fine. Secure. Easy to carry. Fits in any pocket. Intuitive operation. But my husband didn't like it. He had visions of me slipping and flipping cards and cash all over the room. I could see that. If he used it. He also did not like the "flashin' yer cash" aspect and the fact that to get out an insurance card you had to unclip the cash as well. So he got me one of these:

Flipside 4

It is called a "wallet" but it doesn't look like one and it doesn't operate like one either. Push the button at the end and this thing springs open exposing the top two card holders. These hold three to four cards each and provide RFID protection. Now THAT appeals as I'm pretty paranoid about identity theft. The card holder on the bottom of the divider and the money clip do not but that's OK. I still have plenty of cards that would not benefit from RFID protection. For easy access without the potential of cash-flash he also got me this option:

FLIPSideKick

It attaches to the bottom providing easy access to three or four of your most needed cards at any medical facility: ID; Credit Card; Insurance Card; and Medicare Card. These are held very securely but slide out with a thumb push. There is also a small drawer that can be used instead of the cards for a few keys and/or coins but I don't expect to use it.

This wallet is secure, easy to use with spring-loaded opening and pretty small, not that much bigger than my previous bills+cards+clip. It looks more like an old flip-phone than a wallet which makes me think it is less likely to be stolen. It comes in colors that make it easy to find and less likely for me to be misplaced which was another problem with the life hack money clip. I don't know what it costs and I'm sure my husband didn't either. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Like A Third World Country

Recurring Failure
How often does this happen? Once a year? Twice? And let's be honest: if it continually floods it never really has been fixed. Has it?

Have you noticed that the larger the government operation, county or city, the larger the screw-ups? Water and sewer have been an enormous problem in this county and don't fool yourself, Dunwoody runs the storm water operation and not much has been done with maintenance of that disaster-in-the-making. So we have water in the gutters, sewer overflows with patchwork, bandaid "fixes." 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Pure Lunacy

Despite the founding fathers' frequent invocation of a higher power, they, in their wisdom incorporated the Establishment Clause to prohibit governments from inflicting religion, even the one to which they subscribed, upon us. Some folks have a serious mental defect preventing them from understanding this simple but foundational principle.

One councilman wants to "dance a little sidestep" and let the City Manager take the bullet and make the call by suggesting the determination of what is or is not "religious" be left up to him. Now that's leadership. NOT! Here's a simple little rubric: if it is not DIRECTLY related to city services called out in the charter then it has no place on city property. Don't waste our money on any of this seasonal falderal even if it isn't related to any religion. And yes, that means not a penny of city expenditure goes to Lemonade Days. Do your job first and then let's talk about a Fun-Fund.

But seriously. there are still folks out there who actually argue that Santa Claus is NOT a Christmas, Christian symbol. Same with Christmas Trees. [We at TOD reject the underhanded, deceitful practice of labeling these wastes-of-wood "Holiday" trees.] There is a real simple, clarifying thought exercise: if there were no christianity how could there possibly be a Christmas, a Christmas Tree or a Santa? Easy-peasy.

For what it is worth you could have your reindeer since they did and would exist even in world full of atheists. Just not the one with the red nose.

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Education Industry's "N-Word"

It is as if Oprah is managing the national lexicon: "Everybody Gets An N-WORD!" And the verboten word-that-will-not-be-spoken in earshot of a teacher? That would be "Accountability." This little nugget was inadvertently dropped by the AJC's Edu-cheerleader, Maureen Downey, in a fairly recent op-ed piece bashing Kemp for not being a lap-dog for Public Schools. In her piece she ascribes to Georgia teachers dissatisfaction she claims is voiced nationwide leading off with:
"Too many mandated tests that hold too much sway over how students, teachers and schools are judged." 
Sure, they wedge "teachers" between "students" and "schools" to create an obfuscating trifecta but let's be honest, teachers' top five priorities are: (1) teachers; (2) teachers; (3) teachers; (4) schools; and (5) students. And the latter two are only a important to the extent that teachers are impacted.

Teachers are  more than a little obsessed with pay/compensation and are always positioning themselves as under-paid, often suggesting that with a similar degree they would make much more in the real world. Clearly they've kept their distance from that reality. Fact is there is no "similar" degree as the real world eschews subtractive programs resulting in "major"-education degrees as they truly are less than a real degree. It is more than a little baffling where they think they'll get a job with tenure (official or merely by tradition), with guaranteed pay bumps just for hanging around or a defined benefit retirement. Given all that we now learn that they want to never confront a reasonable performance evaluation or accountability of any sort whatsoever.

But this one little line from the AJC begs a very important question. EXACTLY how should we, parents and taxpayers, judge teachers? How do we hold teachers accountable for doing the job the profession demands and the public expects of them? Maybe the teachers have an answer for that one. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Going To A Happy Place

The Happy Hearse
Uber Take You Up To The Spirit In The Sky

Monday, November 11, 2019

Luxury Trailer Park

Future Home Of Dunwoody's Next Trailer Park

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Really? In Dunwoody?

Look very closely. Just above the Toyota emblem. No, not the photographer's reflection. Yeah. Right there. A swastika. 

Found In Publix Parking Lot

And this was not the ride of some H1-B Refugee from Chennai--they DO want their symbol back. But there was not a miniature Hindu temple on the dash, so this is just a plain old swastika.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Please Daddy! Please Don't!

Stop it Daddy. It hurts. Stop. Please!

Don't you just want to scream? You know, when someone who claims to "serve and protect" instead works diligently to "annoy and offend." So when Daddy, our paternalistic City government, gives you that 4AM wakeup call, you aren't just annoyed, you are downright offended. After all, there are still quite a few "Smart Folk" in daVille and they are quite capable of determining when their succulents are at risk. While the "Smart City" protestation has been dropped, all that city hall has done is acknowledge that they have no brain cells to rub together in hopes of generating an intelligent thought.

But it really was a wake-up call: wake up to the fact that there is something seriously rotten at Dunwoody City Hall. And stay waked. Until the rot is excised. And this rot runs deep.

Superficially it would appear that the po-po have tried to be your papa. And they aren't. They are not adult enough, responsible enough. Just watch, they are about to throw Nixle under the bus, and while there are serious problems there, this would be a juvenile diversionary tactic to keep you from looking too hard at who is really at fault. That would be the po-po, who seem to think their job is anything but community police work. But also their bosses: the City Manager and Council who let them shirk their responsibilities and who refuse to hold the Police Chief responsible.

There are many problems with Nixle. The TCPA should protect us from businesses of that ilk. Protect us from automatic dialers. From recorded messages. Except of course from politicians and governments and this is what Nixle will hide behind. "Papa made me do it!" But there are bigger problems. There are the lies. The City claims that Nixle harvested numbers from the "white book." Had one of those delivered lately, have you? So how did cell phones show up on the list, keeping in mind the TCPA takes a very dim view of calls to cell phones? They also slimed out: Nixle called numbers in Dunwoody. And yet some folks in Gwinnett county, definitely NOT Dunwoody, received calls.

But that isn't really the worst of it. The worst thing is that the City of Dunwoody took it upon themselves to start cold-calling residents. Not. Their. Job. Making matters worse, this was not an opt-in service. After the fact there have been some indications that you can opt-out by calling Nixle. Right. Yet again, the Federal Do Not Call List is ignored. This time by your local-yokel out-of-control government. Maybe when they touted "local control" they were referring to their control over you and your life.