Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dunwoody Joins War On Drugs

Though the official announcement has been delayed due to difficulty in arranging the proper photo-ops, it is all but certain that Dunwoody will be engaging in The War On Drugs. Dunwoody's three-star chief has proposed a Narcotics Task Force and will anoint an officer to join The War.

Now, you're probably thinking "how can just one officer make a meaningful contribution to America's already successful War On Drugs? Isn't this just wasting our money on some egotistical grab for glory?" Well you just aren't thinking about this the right way. Of course one officer won't make a dent in the production, distribution, sale or consumption of illegal drugs. But one officer is more than enough to haul in assets confiscated by those who really do make meaningful contributions to The War.

And that is what this is really all about---grabbing as much as we can of other people's money while contributing as little as possible. If we could make the Narcotics Task Force Officer a part time position we probably would.

Still, you may be worried this will lead to draconian enforcement of victimless crimes in Dunwoody, that you need to be more careful, perhaps even moving some of your smoking off the deck and back indoors. Well, that may just be normal, harmless paranoia, or...if the tit we give up for all that tat is allowing real LEOs into the city to enforce drug laws, you just might want to make sure that's real grass growing in your yard and not some weed.

Of course no one at City Hall would speak on the record, but a strange combination of French Roast and a deficiency in the potty training of others was quite revealing. As so often happens, French Roast can run through you like a Parisian fleeing the Nazis and is accompanied by a persistent demand intolerant of denial or delay. While this is annoyingly time consuming, in this case it created a serendipitous opportunity to be privy to the inner workings of our fair city...

...shortly after the restroom door opened it  was obvious two others had entered...

"Can you believe that loser expected official comment on what we're doing with the Narco force?"

"Can't these folks get it through their heads? They're only needed for taxes, fines and votes and we only need a little over half the damn votes. So, how is it coming with Narco? You got someone lined up?"

"Yeah.  She starts next week."

"SHE? Whattaya mean SHE? Don't we have enough of them already?"

"Dude, this one's a real looker. Plus, it isn't like she really has to do anything."

"Yeah, right. I bet she'll be doing plenty. Just keep it quiet and no matter what don't let her touch the thermostat. I hate it when they keep playing with the damn thermostat. And I don't care how good she is at what she's not really doing, she needs to hit the ground running on this Narco thing. We've got a river of money flowing 'round 285 and we need to tap into it. Now!"

"Damn right. And we need to start pickin' up some sweet rides like those guys at DeKalb---and I call dibs on the first Escalade."

"Done. With a ride like that you can pick up a box lunch anywhere in the ATL---that's where you need to be gettin' your doing done."

At this point they started giggling. For the record, grown men giggling in a restroom is almost too much to bear. Fortunately one headed to the sink and the other apparently went straight for the door.

"Hey, didn't your ole man teach you to wash up after doin' business?"

"Didn't yours teach you not to piss on your hands?"

Apparently no one taught them there is only one kind of business you should be doing in a public restroom.

So dear reader, there you have it. With the Toll Trolls, and now the Narcs, one thing is for certain: when you deal with this City Hall, you'll want to wash up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Water Schmater, It's an Intellectual Drought

Suppose the legends are true and throughout the ages aliens have been visiting earth in search of intelligent life. Surely they would be amazed that thousands of years ago mankind harnessed power to bend his environment to his will. Perhaps our greatest achievement are the systems devised for storing, purifying and transporting potable water. From the days of the Screw of Archimedes and the Roman aquaducts, to the hey-day of Europe's canals, to modern times where we have harnessed water for power, fortified it, refined its purity, and delivered it to every home, we have increased our control over this most important component of our environment. In no small way, the ready availability of pure, potable water has improved our health and extended our lives. Surely this would impress even the most advanced intergalactic traveler.

Indeed these are truly impressive accomplishments. But then these intergalactic IQ evaluators would see what we do with this valuable resource. All too many of us simply dump most of the water delivered to our homes on the ground. This is not accidental, nor the result of some hard-to-find leak, nor is it negligence on our parts. Au contraire, we have actually built systems to methodically and automatically dump purified, fortified drinking water on the ground. Anyone in Dunwoody has seen these obscene tributes to stupidity spewing pure drinking water on the ground regardless of drought or deluge.

By these actions alone the intergalactic measure of our Societal IQ would place us somewhere between amino acids and Boston Ferns. So the search for intelligent life in the universe continues. Just not around here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stopping Speeders In Dunwoody

Dunwoody is filled with folks who "ain't from around here" who simply cannot resist telling us how to do things they way they are done where ever it is that they come from. Then we get the folks who travel, who claim to have a world view and can't wait to show us how far from real civilization our pedestrian little lives are. It is always better somewhere else.


Every now and then someone in a far-off land really does have a unique, a new, dare we say even a better idea. In this case it comes from Denmark (not the place with the tulips---that's Holland and they're called "Dutch", and yes it makes your head hurt) and it deals with a problem near and dear to our hearts: speeding. Or rather, how to prevent, or at least reduce, speeding.

This Danish Technique shows great promise both in addressing the speeding issue as well as alleviating some of the negative aspects of traffic congestion. Of course there are problems, not the least of which is the need to import adequate talent. Then there is the Itty Bitty Titty Committee to contend with as they are sure to get their panties in a wad. But as Dunwoody has demonstrated time and again in its first year of operation, where there is a will there is a way.

This is a solution many in Dunwoody would gladly embrace.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Scholastic Aptitude Test

Now why do you suppose they call it that?

If you listen, even briefly, to any member of the Georgia Public School Apologists (GPSA, a local branch of the national Public School Apologists, headquartered in Lake Wobegon) you would conclude this test is generally worthless, but particularly deficient in its namesake purpose. They claim to have much to back up their assertions of SAT deficiency.

First, they observe that many students just don't test well. Now they are careful to avoid the fact that many of these students test well enough in the classroom to be awarded A's, and they offer no explanation as to why Georgia is blessed with such an abundance of students who don't test well.

Then they like to point out that all high school students in Georgia take the SAT which is not the case in other states. Fair enough, if they were to factor in Georgia's abysmal dropout rate recognizing that these dropouts don't take the SAT. But they're not going to mention the dropout rate because they are card-carrying members of GPSA, and the dropout rate makes the schools look even worse.

Finally, they point us towards colleges and universities that no longer use the SAT for admissions, with the implication that this endorses their view that the test is flawed to the point of being worthless. This ignores the possibility that colleges are responding to the horrible failure of public schools by admitting freshman classes that are a confederacy of dunces---because that's what the public schools give them. They don't need SAT scores to confirm these students have no place in college and if they persist in using the SAT they place their institution in danger of maintaining records suggesting they have intentionally lowered standards to fill out class rolls. Which is exactly what they are doing.

What they, the GPSA, don't realize is what this hollow propaganda reveals about them. Imagine this. Suppose Georgia ranked in the top five rather than the bottom five on SAT scores. Would these apologists be equally vocal in condemning the SAT then, or would these results somehow make it into the never ending chorus of "How Great We Art"? We all know the answer and it shows these people are moral and intellectual windsocks. What parents need to realize is that a vast majority of these people, these self serving apologists, are teaching in and running Georgia's public schools, and that it is to these people that they have entrusted their children's education.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Does Blogging Make Successful Politicians?

First, let's get the semantics out of the way. This is not about statesmanship, moral integrity or character. It is simply about political success--getting elected, then getting re-elected. Nothing more.

That said...

Much has been made (largely in the self-indulgent blogosphere) about a certain Dunwoody city councilman and his blogging activity. There have been some suggestions that his political success is caused by his successful blogging and that other bloggers might follow in his keystrokes.

As with all cases where correlation is taken as causality, there are links between the two, often strong links. Before blogging was cool, let alone the thing, this particular blogger had been active in his neighborhood, personally engaging the county on a variety of topics. At the early stages of his political career, the blog was a convenient way to keep friends and neighbors informed and publish important government documents--much like a newsletter. Often the postings carried a bit of watchdog tone, advertising events and actions that some in government might prefer kept quiet. So, much like the pamphlet publishers during the formation of our country, the activist-blogger is more a part of the Fourth Estate than the establishment. Any transition between these two requires a significant paradigm shift and in this case it was the formation of the City of Dunwoody. And that shift is over.

After election to the city council this activist-blogger's career took on the characteristics one expects of an elected official and the content of the blog turned a bit more inward towards the city and became noticeably more congratulatory with criticism reserved for the dark forces of DeKalb County and the occasional billboard vendor. This represents a difficult transition from an outside agent of change to a establishment insider that few among us can make. This particular blogger skillfully navigated this dangerous political and blogging passage.

The point is the blog did not make the politician--the politician made the blog. To suggest otherwise is akin to suggesting that someone with Tourette Syndrome would make a great public speaker simply because you can't shut them up.