Friday, September 28, 2012


One of our DeKalb County School Board members seems unusually obsessed with the System's inability to budget for utilities. This issue is being surfaced over and over to the point one must wonder.

Is this a politically correct way of suggesting incompetence, or even stupidity on the part of budget authors? After all, most folks pay their own utilities and have a pretty good handle on what it will cost month-to-month and year-over-year, so why can't they? They keep telling us how smart they are.

Perhaps it is worse than that. You see there is household budgeting and then there is government budgeting. Here's the difference. In both cases one could grossly under budget for a "must have" like power and in both cases those bills are going to get paid. In the household this may mean pain, definitely in discretionary spending and may incur cutbacks in other areas as well. In the government case, it's just an "oops" whitewashed with some lame excuse about cold weather (or hot, whichever sounds good), but no real impact to any other payouts. Like to friends and family.

In the DeKalb School system there has been a constant pattern of under-budgeting these relatively fixed, must-pay line items which is in fact a shift of budgetary funding from needs to wants. Those numbers over those years do not lie. The only real questions are around intent and whether this is systemic and if so is it limited to DeKalb. If this is a standard "educrat" budget gimmick then DeKalb must surely be the poster child for this repulsive practice.

Unfortunately, this is all conjecture because plain talk appears in short supply. Or is it possible that at least one board member doesn't want to call a spade a bloody shovel for fear that would be misinterpreted as "micromanaging"?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cheryl's Calendar

School has only recently started so you probably still remember all the "Give the Children Supplies" campaigns. With all the ads and the feel-good spots about teachers who spend their own cash on crayons you would think the DeKalb School System is a third world country run by arrogant despots.

Maybe it is.

Or maybe one thing fell off the "necessary supplies" list: a desk calendar for Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson. Her official mouthpiece is quoted in the AJC as saying "she realized `at the last minute' that the month is almost over" and “she wanted to comply with the board’s request” to resolve some pay issues by the end of September. That is her excuse for a last minute addition to the Board's agenda, and she seems to believe it is credible.

Well roll up the pants--it's too late to save the shoes.

Hell, if we can afford to buy her a "spokesman" maybe we should pony up for that calendar. Alternatively we might get a really good admin assistant and a chief of staff to complement the mouthpiece and then we would not need a Superintendent. We do have options, right?

But let's just go with the calendar so long as we make sure it comes with a new desk. At a new job at another school district. And she can take her mouthpiece with her.

Friday, September 21, 2012

DCSS BOE : No Investigation Needed

The current silliness between SACS/AdvancED/Elgart the DeKalb County School System revolves around a letter from Elgart to Atkinson regarding alleged micromanaging by the Board. This devolved into a three ring circus around the official response to the letter and now SACS intends to do an onsite investigation.

This is totally unnecessary.

The charge at hand is "does the DeKalb Board overstep its bounds and micromanage the DeKalb County Schools"? The answer, and evidence is also at hand.

The shouting table-pounding "spokesperson" for the system claimed this was a purely administrative situation no different than any other situation resulting from any other letter that Atkinson might receive so of course it was handled behind closed doors. This is unadulterated crap. Fact is, Atkinson does not bring every opportunity to respond to a comment or criticism from "any other source" to the board for approval of "process". And, the fact that the Board unanimously approved the plan suggests the plan had probably been pre-approved. How often does any Superintendent so quickly receive unanimous approval of anything? Nonetheless, in most cases the Board has no input on how a response is crafted nor any editorial approval before sending.

Not the case with Elgart's letter.

A "task force" was created--purely administrative mind you lest they run afoul of open meetings laws by having it be a Board sanctioned committee. However the task force itself included members of the Board. Not enough to make it official Board business (see aforementioned open meetings laws) but only an idiot believes this does not constitute "undue influence". And the results were cleared with each Board member, but only on a one-on-one basis to again adhere to the letter, but violate the intent of the law.

Herr Doktor "Do Nothing" took the personal initiative to craft an editorial explaining how this was all within the letter of the law but did little more than confirm that the goal of the DCSS was to legally subvert the intent of the law. And it must be noted they are quite skilled at it.

This fiasco is a surprisingly open, but all too common display of exactly how the Board micromanages and how the Superintendent is complicit. What more does SACS need?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Parkway: The Real Problem

In a recent update a City Councilman hinted at a very real problem surfacing in the Parkway kerfuffle.
"... the City ran the risk of blacklisting from future grants if we cancelled the plan completely."
This is a clear statement that we are driven by an ambition to spend other people's money--by way of grants. We at The Other Dunwoody will not entertain the claptrap about how we pay the taxes that fund these grants, or "getting our share", or how if we don't get the grant someone else will. We will simply suggest you research "The Tragedy of the Commons" and start taking some ownership of America and not just your back yard.

This selfishness also blinds us to the key point underpinning this repavement project. Somehow we got backed into a corner and are now presented only with a Hobson's choice.

Now if this situation was created by, at the request of and with the approval of Council 1.0 in an open and transparent manner, then all is well and good and the time for carping and complaining is over. It is now time to act on the plan. If Council 1.0 instituted the plan, began execution and passed the baton to Council 2.0, it is incumbent upon the current Council to take that baton and run with it, not throw it down and whine.

But the carping and complaining remains ceaseless, even on Council, making one question whether Council 1.0 was very involved in the actions that precipitated the "future grant poison pill". If not, then who did this?

The obvious place to look, if you are not the Police Department, would be at those closest to the action: the bureaucrats down at City Hall. Did someone at City Hall take the steps constituting an irrevocable commitment? If so, who did this? Did they have standing authorization to make million dollar commitments on behalf of City taxpayers? If so, this should be fixed immediately.

If this was some deal based on bureaucratic "initiative", as many suspect with Project Renaissance, then Council needs to act, first to terminate the offending bureaucrats and then to amend the process to prevent future disasters.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Double Action Only

After you've gotten past the gun grabber's twisted rhetoric used to support their desire to ignore the US constitution, you may find yourself wondering how the NYPD can have so many terrible shots. What do they do, train to miss?

And this is not the first case where it looked like the NYPD practiced how to shoot with their eyes closed.  Remember Armadou Diallo? Believing Diallo had aimed a gun at them at close range, four officers fired forty one shots, more than half of which went astray as Diallo was hit only nineteen times. As in the most recent case, the officers were not returning fire.

In the Empire shooting, the Boys in Blue blasted out sixteen shots. Whilst they did kill the alleged perp, they also wounded nine bystanders. Now you might argue some were hit by thru and thru-s, but don't you think these should have all been center body shots? Yet witnesses have complained that the officers appeared to "fire randomly". The anti-gun crowd spins this nicely, claiming if well-trained LEO's can't hit the broad side of a barn just imagine how bad an untrained licensee would be when they go "all OK-corral" on you.

This slyly lays out the proposition that all LEO's are well trained and no law abiding licensees are trained at all. Yet some states (GA is not one) require training to obtain a firearms license and many gun owners train without any government inducement or requirement. Some have even claimed that is the primary reason they own a gun--range time. And not every licensee goes "OK-corral" at every opportunity. Remember the Giffords shooting? Turns out that alleged perp was taken down by an armed, legally carrying licensee who chose to physically restrain the shooter--not gun him down.

But these left-wing-nuts do touch on an interesting topic: are all our police adequately trained? Probably not. Some officers are certainly capable marksmen who would not feel the need to empty the magazine thru the barrel when confronted just as there are folks from a variety of other walks of life who are well trained and just as, if not more, capable. Do yourself a favor and visit the Sandy Springs Gun Club and see for yourself.

It is unlikely we will ever know how well the NYPD trains its officers, but we do know one thing, the NYPD ensures it is virtually impossible for their officers to fire their weapons with any kind of accuracy.

How do they do this? Glad you asked.

First they require the service sidearm be Double Action Only. If you need a description, use Google, but the impact on accuracy is as well known as it is destructive. Since this can be overcome with thousands of rounds of training, NYPD is forced to go the extra mile requiring that all service sidearms be adjusted to a twelve pound trigger pull. Most manufacturers, shooters and gunsmiths recommend no less than four and no more than six pound pull--YMMV.

Law enforcement agencies, NYPD being the most notorious,  require a very heavy trigger on their issue service pistol for liability reasons. The silly reasoning seems to revolve around the notion that if it is hard to pull the trigger, you won't shoot so much. If you believe taking guns from law abiding citizens and leaving them only in the hands of criminals makes the world a safer place, then this logic probably resonates. For the rest of us...not so much.

When it takes six times the weight of the loaded weapon the pull the trigger it becomes virtually impossible to maintain accuracy under stress, leading to misses and the "spray and pray" tactic demonstrated recently in NYC. Ironically this increases the danger to the very citizens the police are sworn to protect. This is why over half the bullets fired missed Diallo and nine bystanders were wounded taking down Johnson.

All the NYPD has done is prove once again that a mechanical device is a poor substitute for ongoing training and safe gun handling.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Too Cute

How can we possibly remain one of the minority of states treating seventeen year old criminals as adults? Prison time for shoplifting should certainly be reserved for the eighteen and over crowd, right?

And just look at the poster child, literally, for this heinous over-reach of our criminal justice system:

Isn't she just adorable?!?

But WAIT! There's more!

What about this sweet seventeen beauty?

He is merely accused, accused mind you, not convicted, of beating a woman to a pulp. Yet he may well be saddled with a criminal record that will haunt him the rest of this life. What a tragedy!

Or how about this little darlin'?

This seventeen year old Lafayette GA high school student will be dogged the rest of his life because over zealous authorities mistook his little prank as a bomb threat.

Next thing you know our pandering "tough on crime" politicos will be sending our children straight to Gitmo.

This simply must stop. Now.