Thursday, April 27, 2017

Charter Schools

In an article on the closing of a Cobb charter school the AJC offers this definition:
"Charter schools are public schools that operate independently and are held accountable for academic results, finances and governance."
It should be noted that DeKalb County public schools do not meet these criteria. 

Just Say No

Colleges and Universities across the United States are dropping entrance exams like a hippity-hopper droppin' da mike. And this isn't just your local community college trying to grow enrollment at any costs, there are some big names including Harvard Law. It don't get no better than that.

Some believe this allows them flexibility in favouring diversity over competence without discoverable evidence that could put them on the losing side of a civil lawsuit. Maybe, maybe not. But there is some merit to the argument that lowering application requirements encourages a greater number of applicants without increasing the number of asses-in-classes thereby decreasing their acceptance rate. Acceptance rate is one of US News & World Reports key performance indicators, the lower the better and better numbers mean greater prestige. This is close but no WEO. They do want significant increases in the application numbers but not just to appease a questionable rag. Applications are not free and no one gives a refund to any applicant accepted or not. So these Colleges and Universities are tapping their brand for new and growing revenues.

And this isn't chump change:

  1. University of California-Los Angeles:$5,369,840
  2. University of California-Berkeley:$4,681,320
  3. Stanford University:$3,632,130
  4. University of California-San Diego:$3,608,290
  5. University of Southern California:$3,419,440
  6. Harvard:~$3,000,000

Millions of dollars taken from dumb chumps many of whom don't belong in any college let alone a big name school. This is taking candy from babies. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

HOPE Not

North Fulton is looking pretty chill on the Milestone end of grade assessment:
Hell, it is over twice as good as South Fulton! And yet, in no category does North Fulton score better than fifty-fifty. Then it gets interesting. In the same AJC article we find that neither SAT nor ACT scores are blowing anyone away and yet sixty percent qualify for the HOPE scholarship.

Your education dollars at work.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Outlawing Amway

The Smart City is working to ensure that the Amway Showroom you keep in your house is verboten as you cannot keep any for-sale merchandise at home. Not sure yet about selling out of the trunk of your car or the back of the van.

Sec. 27-168. - Home occupations.


(g) Use permits and supplemental regulations for Type B home occupations.


(2) Supplemental regulations.
e. page2image23456No stock in trade may be displayed or kept for sale on the premises and no on-premises sales may be conducted.  
This also impacts Tupperware parties but that is redundant as they will also be outlawed under the "no more than one customer on-prem at one time" rule. Unless burping the bowl is a "learning experience" in which case you can have up to three. And those lingerie parties? Fuggedaboutit!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Anencephalic Journalism

Folks are wondering why respect of and trust in mainstream media is at an all-time low. This little gem showed up recently an AJC article about millennials:
"In 1980, two-thirds of 25-to 34-year-olds were already married. One in eight had already been married and divorced. in 2015, just two in five millennials were married, and only 7 percent had been divorced."
Did you get all that? For starters these "journalists" really like to mix up their numerical metaphors, like "how many olympic sized swimming pools does it take to stack up to the top of the empire state building?" Now they could have normalized using percentages replacing "two-thirds" with 66.7%, "one in eight" with 12.5%, "two in five" with 40% and just left "7 percent" alone. That would enhance the clarity but somewhat undercut the dramatic effect and isn't "journalism" just about dramatic effect?

But the waters are muddied in other ways. In the first case, the near-but-post-boomers, they examine a cohort spanning 10 years - count fence posts, not rails. In the second case, without an explicit definition from the "journalist" but relying on Wikipedia (the only real source of truth) we can place the millennials' birthdates from 1985 thru 2005. To make it apples and apples let's say it ranges from early eighties to the early naughties to cover the 25-35 year old range.

So why didn't the author just say "when comparing two 25-34 year old cohorts, the first from 1980 and the second from 2017 we see these percentages of marriages and divorce?" Could be ignorance on his part or presumed ignorance on yours. Could be he just needed words to waste ink. No matter, he did more to undermine the overall credibility of the media than he did to inform the public. And that is why media gets no respect.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bullshit Walks

TOD has already pontificated on the absurdity of local government supporting a business that will put folks in a sweaty state of dehydration, likker 'em up and dump them into rush hour traffic and the supporting ordinance has been pulled. For now. The backpedaling sponsor clearly intends to ground-hog-day the measure: "I believe [...] that there will be a right time to introduce this." So expect the hammer to come back out and drive this screw in. When you least expect it. Until then the policy is 'go back to the "don't ask don't tell like" we have always done' which is a blatant statement that our elected officials are a bit more beholding to whoever "we" might be than to the wee folk who put them in office. 

More importantly this fundamentally undermines rule of law and the very ordinances that Council is responsible for crafting. Do any ordinances really matter when those responsible for them address being on the losing end of a debate or compromise by simply ignoring the law of the burg? This kind of attitude has no place in civil society let alone in representative government. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Money Talks

In his letter to shareholders Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO, offers this observation:
Education is leaving too many behind.

Many high schools and vocational schools do not provide the education our students need – the goal should be to graduate and get a decent job. We should be ringing the national alarm bell that inner city schools are failing our children – often minorities and children from lower income households. In many inner city schools, fewer than 60% of students graduate, and many of those who do graduate are not prepared for employment. We are creating generations of citizens who will never have a chance in this land of dreams and opportunity. Unfortunately, it’s self-perpetuating, and we all pay the price. The subpar academic outcomes of America’s minority and low-income children resulted in yearly GDP losses of trillions of dollars, according to McKinsey & Company.
The inexorable decline of Government Schools is a "wrap-around service" that has stabbed society in the back. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Government Mandates

Recently a member of the left wing punditry pontificated on the potential passing of a campus carry bill. Let's dissect a few bits of what passes for logic in those circles.
"Georgia law mandates no firearms safety training to carry a gun on campus."
In fact Georgia law has no training mandate to acquire a carry license and carry anywhere, on or off campus. Training, practice and range time are not prohibited by law either. And this is important as one seeks a thread of continuity in what appear to be random synaptic firings.
"It is hard to fathom that my children or anyone else's would be safer sitting alongside an armed classmate with no training."
This author has demonstrated time and again a difficulty to fathom things involving the simplest of logic and this self-awareness should be nurtured. On the one hand it is posited that no one, particularly those seeking a concealed carry license would have or acquire any form of training unless it is mandated. This is a paternalistic world where a mandate is necessary to compel behaviour. OK. But. There is no mandate saying that "if you can get a carry permit you must get a carry permit" is there? So by the logic of the author's mandate manifesto a law merely allowing legal carry on campus will result in no guns on campus because carry is not mandated.

Then the author offers "the right answer."
"The only people who should be carrying guns across our colleges are campus police." 
A more coherent argument could be made that there should be no campus police and certainly not armed. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Double Taxation

Sam bought his car, new, two years ago for twenty grand. At the time he paid fourteen hundred dollars in Sales Tax to the state of Georgia. Yesterday he sold the car for ten grand to his nephew and now the state wants an additional seven hundred dollars because of another transaction on property that has already been taxed on this value. Keep in mind this is not tax on increased value of an appreciating asset. Instead it is a second bite at the apple on the remaining value of a depreciating asset and is commonly considered double taxation.

In the early days of the TEA party this would have caused an uproar but today it doesn't warrant a peep out of the formerly anti-tax crowd. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Solution To All Our Schools' Problems

Marlyn Tillman, president of the Gwinnett chapter of the NAACP spoke with the AJC about the benefits of school board diversity emphasizing the impact on demographics she endorses. She cites data showing graduation rates from black and Latino students below that of white students as proof that racial diversity is needed on the board. The last nail in her intellectual coffin was driven home when she was quoted as saying
"You are not turning out the majority population as graduates and for higher-level learning opportunities."
But one thing has proven true: adding blacks and Latinos to school boards ensures more students of color are given diplomas. Someday someone in this sad situation may actually learn something.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Frightened By Unicorns

Democrats are strange creatures, particularly of late. Could be they feel a bit endangered. It's not like they are unicorns but they are certainly afraid of one. Tis the season down at the gold dome and the silly just cannot be stopped. The Quasimodos are down there screaming past each other about sanctuary with our very own Fran Millar supporting legislation he posits would be "clarifying and adding to the particular current law[AJC]." This elicited a nanny-nanny-boo-boo response from the other side of the aisle: "or muddying the water and unclarifying." Take that Fran! But wait! There's more! And it is the juicy bit because it is in the politicians' wheelhouse--self contradictory. Having never heard "no harm, no foul" this Democrat followed up with "You're proposing legislation to address something that doesn't exist." When you are one of the wee folk, taxpayers and the like, the second best legislation is legislation for unicorns[*].



[*] The very best legislation is no legislation at all.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jeezy Creezy

Those public school magi over at Cross Keys High must be all but walking on water when it comes to the Tres R-s. How do we know? Because the teachers have covered all the educational sacraments so well they have time to flash-mob a passion play lest the little buggers not be entertained. But their What-Did-Jesus-Do historical play was widely misinterpreted. By teachers as proselytizing and by some students and parents as Where Did Jesus Go? as he and his family fled the ansturm of the Trump Troopers. Some are calling for a spoiler alert perhaps a trigger word warning. Safe places, right? Some faculty, apparently rejected for key roles formed a mob of their own screaming for action from the powers that be. A deaf Pontius Pilate down at the Palace stands with clean hands as he watches the mobs rule.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Now You Know

You may be immune to the hysterical rhetoric around the "Campus Guns" bill. You may be all wrapped up in it. You may be spreading it. Let's start with one steaming pile of stinking silliness: personal protection. As in "this isn't about someone over 21 years of age protecting themselves." Or even those 21+ year olds who willingly offer up their fingerprints and actually clear an FBI background check. What's that you say? You were told that every hung-over frat boy with a chip on his shoulder because a professor "gave" him a grade he didn't like was also being given guns and ammo.

It is actually about a right guaranteed in our Constitution, the one with the phrase "shall not be infringed" which seems to serve as an invitation to government at all levels to do just that. This includes our government-run public universities. It is not surprising that the natural habitat of left wing nuts would espouse a religion where "words matter" except those in the Constitution but the real problem is knowing just what is, and is not campus property. To wit:



It may look like a regular, commercial hotel offering short term lodging and convention facilities, but it is also an infringement zone. Is the nearby Classic Center part of UGA? It is not, but it is a government facility and guns are prohibited--at least they have signage. What about MSTC and The Meat Sale? Open to the public, no student/faculty/staff ID required. But it is on campus and current infringements apply. Same for the Georgia Museum of Art. Then there is the State Botanical Gardens, owned by the State, well off the main campus, but operated by UGA. The gardens include five miles of nature trails which might dredge up that self-defense bromide. Not to pick on just UGA, Tech, with it's expansion into midtown, has similar unmarked infringement zones.

What this bill is really about is uniformity of our statewide infringements (Georgia is not a constitutional carry state) extending equality of access to all without regard to their own personal arms identifications. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Do The Unions Know?

Read This VERY Carefully

Is it possible for a school, even a Charter School, to actually exclude 99.9% of all teachers from applying to their faculty? Is it legally acceptable or even politically correct to state:
...have a master's degree in mathematics (not education or math ed)...
This is akin to screening applicants based on race or religion.

Where are the unionists with their tar and feathers? How can they stand idly by while a school applies such high standards for the qualifications of their faculty. Is it possible they might also have similar standards for their students? If so, this is the end of public education as we know it.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Magic Eleven

Eleven is both odd and prime and it is not disparaging to observe that being prime means it is most likely odd as two is the only even prime. It isn't two, but its sum of digits is. It is a twin prime with thirteen. Eleven is also a sexy prime--think five and seventeen. How special is that?

Well Spinal Tap showed us knobs that go up to eleven and we all know how special that is. That it is ten percent more than ten only sounds recursive.

Eleven is the number of Obama's magic, mass-killer bullet. That just-one-too-many cartridge that transforms a gun from self-defense to a weapon of mass destruction. That it is just common sense should in no way detract from the magic.

Lately we have been getting it from all sides about eleven million people.

First it is the number of illegal aliens in the United States. What makes this magic is there have always been eleven million illegals and there always will be. This number has not changed in decades having weathered the vicissitudes of amnesty and lax enforcement without change. It is a Montezuma's Revenge that defies logic and physics. If Trump deports all illegal aliens there will still be eleven million illegals. Get used to it.

Then there is the ObamaCare eleven million who receive health insurance with premiums ponied up by their fellow taxpayers. We are all to wring our hands over the prospect of these eleven million losing their perq should ObamaCare be forced to address hardships foisted on the remaining three hundred million.

Even George Will invokes the magic of eleven million. In a recent op-ed he speaks to government bloat reporting eleven million as the number of employees in the tax-exempt or independent sector funded by the federal government.

Here in DeKalb eleven is a race. No. Really. Check out the following official document kept by DeKalb County Schools in records associated with one beachhead of the PC tsunami created by the election day earthquake of Trump.

Is This REALLY High School Level Writing?
Eleven is magic. Simply magic. So next time you're buying those lotto tickets don't get ten quick picks. Get eleven.


Monday, March 6, 2017

He Got That Right

"Our diversity is our strength."
DeKalb School Superintendent Steve Green
This epitomizes what has been rotting public education from the inside out for decades: taking credit for something over which they haven't the slightest influence in order to divert attention from the accelerating failure of their true mission. Dr. Green is a product and proponent of an ongoing culture of failure to which he speaks with great authority.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Trump Imposes National Speed Limit

Have you noticed that traffic sucks a bit more than usual of late? Would you like to know how this happened? Then read on...

Like all bad things, from soggy onion rings to identity theft, we can lay the blame at Trump's well-heeled feet. Trump has actually imposed a new, strict national speed limit that has everyone in the slow lane. How did he do this? Well, if you're a product of the left wing indoctrination being passed off as education you may think he passed a new law. But if you have a passing familiarity with our Constitution and separation of powers you were probably home-schooled but do understand that the President, even Trump, cannot pass laws but is entrusted with their enforcement. And that is exactly how he did it though it should be noted that it was unintentional.

What Trump actually did was suggest there might be real enforcement of immigration laws as passed by the U.S. Congress. Chicken-Littles snowballed this into a mass roundup of The Eleven Million (have you noticed that "11 million" number has been holding steady since the last amnesty?) and this has caused The Eleven Million to keep a low profile. Not to the point of fluency in english but to the point of hiding out in their apartments with Telemundo cranked down low. And should they have to venture out to visit an immigration lawyer (you'd think they would know the law beyond just what is needed to violate it) they are damn sure not going to get caught speeding lest this become the first step in their pathway to citizenship--in their mother country--you know where everybody speaks spanish.

So there you have it. You're stuck in traffic behind a slowpoke van with ladders on top and it is all the fault of one Donald J. Trump. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Medium As Massage

There has been a lot of real and virtual lip flapping about mainstream media being the enemy of the people with the fourth estate shouting back about the importance of an independent press. It often seems as if the two parties are talking past one another but not really disagreeing. Politicians have always objected to media criticism and charges of bias are increasingly undisputed. So let's take a look at just a few things from the front sections of one issue of the AJC and see what the poor, ignorant masses are being fed as a daily diet of "critical, independent media."

This is attention grabbing:
Forget Texas, FEAR Tennessee!
Big data is a big buzzword and makes for a big, effective headline. If by effective you mean "grab the reader's attention without exposing too much information." And if a picture is worth a thousand words that photo screams "Tennessee is going to figure out where accidents are about to happen and send out a trooper to shoot the survivors." Is this the message mainstream media wants to send? Are they incompetent or misleading?

We also get the AP's solution to the opioid crisis:
Only The Media Knew It Was This Simple!
If the media had not squelched this information the Obama administration could have nipped this epidemic in the bud by simply paying the Chinese to close the loophole. Surely this would have been cheaper than fighting a drug epidemic sweeping our rural areas (talk of an urban problem is still off limits) but we'll never know because mainstream media hasn't "informed the public."

Media are as big a set of windsocks as any politicians have ever been. Case in point: the Swedish Immigration story.
Trump NEVER mentioned riots, only after false reporting were there riots!
So maybe media are correct. When THEY inform the public then that informed public can and will take informed action. It would be nice were the information complete and correct but hey, he was vague and that opened the door wide enough for even the AP to drive a truckload of ambiguous disinformation.

Despite having fallen out of favour with a history-purging PC crowd Thomas Jefferson was correct in his conviction regarding the absolute necessity of an informed electorate:
Convinced that the people are the only safe depositories of their own liberty, and that they are not safe unless enlightened to a certain degree, I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree.
If we are to rely on mainstream media for accurate unfiltered information then our time is past.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Fifty First Star

During his world tour to soothe the nerves of Europe's leftist world leaders, Mike Pence, the U.S. Vice President, found himself in Brussels standing in front of a faux American Flag. It was blessed with an extra star. Now we know what the lower fifty represent--one for each state in the union. But what about the Brussels' uber-star? What does that represent? It could be the EU or NATO or even the UN or perhaps all three. But it does represent what these world leaders think of the United States: a source of gold star families to protect their borders and do their bidding.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Yet Another Logo

The City appears doomed to yet another attempt at copping a logo. That presentation does not exactly give hope of dramatic improvement as we learn on foils eight and nine that the United States has expanded to include Toronto, Montreal, Melbourne and Sao Paulo. Wow. Who knew? Well the Smart People down at Smart People City Hall knew, that's who. And they are the folks driving this bus.

It is foil four that offers the greatest [entertainment] value as it solicits "the one word that best describes Dunwoody." This is followed later in the prezo by a list, but it is missing a few that just leap to mind. Let's play word association. We say "Dunwoody," you say:
Exclusive
Restricted
White
Insular
Selfish
Wasteful
Arbitrary
Hypocritical
Inconsistent
Reactionary
Enervating
Taxing [all definitions apply]
And the granddaddy of them all:
Hubris

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Charter School Accountability

Fans of maintaining the status quo have been lining up against DeVos and the Trump administration's support of alternatives to this culture of failure. The AJC's Public Education Pundit decries DeVos' refusal "to affirm the need for greater accountability of the growing charter school sector." This shows a fundamental disconnected between those incapable of critical thinking and the impact of "the money follows the student." What they refuse to affirm is the fact that when a parent selects a school for their child that is the very essence of accountability. And when deflecting blame for their failures public educators have no moral issue with blaming the parents suggesting that they, the parents, are the real cause of failure in public education. Fine. Let's agree to agree: hold parents accountable and give them the means to fulfill their obligation. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Usage Billing

Remember the early days of Cellular Phone service? No, not the days of Moto Bag Phones, but that period in time when every text message you sent, every message you received cost you around seven cents. Remember that? There were even laws passed to ban unsolicited messages sent to your phone.

And you want to know something? Not a single cell phone provider had any problem counting the number of text messages or sending you a bill that matched up. Not. A. One. Then it got more complicated as competition forced plans with blocks of "free" messages before per message charges applied. This was counting AND separating charges by the number of that count. Sounds like something a fifth grader could do, doesn't it?

Well maybe DeKalb County should hire some fifth graders to work in and run their water billing department because they sure as hell cannot get it right. And this isn't some brain fart of competence due to a retirement bubble of baby boomers. This is systemic and longstanding. This is cultural. It is a culture of anti-meritocracy where factors totally unrelated to supporting the department mission push aside factors that might lead to a competent operation. Not efficient. Not optimized. Just competent.

And it has not been tolerated, it has been fostered and will continue to be fostered as rooting out incompetence must, perforce, roll back decades of preferential treatment, cronyism and set asides. It is political suicide and when the county is run by someone who openly admits his political infection can only be cured by formaldehyde we can rest assured this problem will grow. As hard as it is to believe he can and will make it worse. He will not replace the incompetents any more than Trump will put down the tweeter. He will grow government attempting to "augment" the barnacles of incompetence with enough who are capable enough to mask the heritage of failure covering up for those who installed it and excusing those who commit it.

In DeKalb County it is humanly possible to do better but not with the humans we have available.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Clayton Should Not Lose Federal Funds

Why not you ask? Because Clayton County, like all other counties in the United States should not be getting Federal Funds. But we should all be alarmed by this quote from the AJC:
'We're trying to get to the bottom of this. We need to find out where this (designation) originated from and correct it and move on from there. We can't afford to lose any money.'
- Jeff Turner
- Clayton Commission chairman
So much for local control by local government. This is a clear indication that these local political systems are reduced to petri dishes of corruption as they pass Federal Money thru like a starving child with dysentery. When they have positioned themselves, us, where we cannot afford to lose any money they have empowered politicians and bureaucrats in D.C., a vast majority neither elected by nor beholden to the local poll, to run our lives with the mere threat of withholding even the smallest amount of money. The way our local governments operate, Dunwoody included, they will grow their "revenue" to further a "grow at any cost" paradigm benefiting the pols, their friends and families and at the expense of those they insincerely claim to "serve."

The UK voted for Brexit because they realized that laundering their money thru Brussels constituted exporting all of their control to a growing number of foreign interests. They did not take back their country, they took back their control and in so doing a certain necessary measure of their freedom. It is time for the States, Counties and Cities of the U.S. to do the same.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Another Mystery Solved

Ever wonder why the world seems so messed up? Well it could be the shakers and movers, particularly those attending the Cirque de Davos:
One notable event is a simulation of a refugee's experience, where Davos attendees crawl on their hands and knees and pretend to flee from advancing armies. It is one of the most popular events every year. [AJC]
So after fifteen intense minutes of Refugee Twister these One Percent of the One Percent swill down some champagne, the real stuff, retiring to a repast starting with amuse-bouche starring foie gras and caviar to share, amongst themselves, their epiphanous insights into real hardships of refugee crises across the world. Then, sadly, they share them with us.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

If You Like Your Doctor

Regarding the Republican's stated effort to replace Obamacare BHO is quoted as saying:
What you don't want is a situation where they make a promise they can't keep.
The voice of experience.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Let's Make A Deal

How about this? We'll stop running home-businesses in residential districts if you'll stop putting homes in business districts. Deal?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Guest Post : The Mitzvah And The Mensch

The relates to a recent event in Dunwoody. It is presented in its entirety [changed only for anonymity] but without further comment or context.

Last June/July, before I got sick, one really hot day, I took bottles of water down to the trash pickup crew.

Today, I figured out if I took my time, I could get down to the street using my walker, then fold the walker up, place it on top of the empty cans and roll back up the driveway slowly.

I had done round 1 with the recycling can and the mail when the trash truck came down the street. They were at the [end of the cul de sac] when I folded up the walker to start back up the hill. The truck stopped a second time in front of our house. The same crew from the summer. They stopped the truck, and one of the guys off the back insisted on pulling the empty can up the driveway for me. I shook his hand and then the driver rolled down the window and told me "God bless."

It is a very simple thing, but it's made me cry.

There are still people out there who just want to do something good.

Sharing is caring, so I wanted you two to know.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Putting The "A" In CCRPI

To the casual observer the Guv appears to be right--many of our schools do suck. In fact, they suck even more this year than last.

But opponents will not stand idly by. The AJC reports on a report from an Assistant Professor in UGA's College of Education who looked at three other states finding them less harsh in evaluating their schools than Georgia is of hers. That the AJC mentions only three indicates that only three states even make such assessments (explaining the sad state of US education in global terms) or someone somewhere along the line may be cherry picking.

Now there are gut rumbles from the Legislature indicating once again that for education their motto is "When all else fails, lower your standards" and they appear poised to do just that in an effort to cover up a failed system.

You can probably guess where they're going to put that "A."

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.