Monday, July 31, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

School Silly Season

In preparation for the upcoming school start dates all the sayers, not doers, are out in force. We've got a billboard campaign out of DeKalb proclaiming "We don't suck as much as you think we do," perhaps a deflection from the school system's tax increase. We've had the release of what passes for state public school performance metrics followed closely by mainstream media dragging out the tired excuse of "free and reduced lunch stats as a proxy for poverty" -- an annual excuse for the abysmal state of public education implying it isn't the schools' fault but rather it is society. But their "investigative journalism" is weak as they never point out that qualification for semi-formal poverty is never verified by the schools' nor do they look into why society would continue pouring money down the rathole regardless of the root cause of the failure. The comedic value of media's juxtaposition of their neo-America impoverished state where many schools have 100% free/reduced and their stories on "healthy" bento-box recipes for your darlings' lunches is lost on no one. Given their dire depiction of poverty in the classroom how can they possibly justify that much ink for the dozen mothers in Georgia who can afford the food for a packed lunch?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Daddy Dearest

Dad's mad.

You see Dad bought each of his kids a car. Not really his idea but he was at the Friday Fish Fry and heard all the other Dads talking about the cars they bought for their kids. When, make, model, know, regular "man-measure" kind of talk. So Dad starts to thinking...if you can call herd mentality "mentality" then Dad was thinking. He was thinking he better be fixing to get ready to get his kids some cars.

And so he did.

Then something unexpected happened. Kids took to driving. Every chance they got. Seemed like if they didn't have to be at home they were gettin' in them cars and gettin' the hell out in a Dodge. Probably because Dad was paying for the car, the insurance and the gas. Why not? Road Trip!

Unintended consequences. See, Dad wanted the kids hangin' 'round town not toolin' 'round north Georgia with their buds. 'Murican Iron but not Chevys and Levees. What's a Dad, especially a Mad Dad to do?

Well, being the kind of parent that Rosemond says has destroyed America, Dad figured he'd just pay them to stay home. So that's what he's gonna do.

The real problem, in case you were wondering where this was going, is with the City and Petty Paternalism. Not the kind where they want to keep your goats outta their right of way, make you cut your grass, make sure your roofer installs drip edge or prevent you from working at home. This is turned inward. As hard as it is to believe this is directed towards the police, arguably the most responsible folks on the payroll and certainly the only folks held in high enough esteem to be packing in City Hall. When there is political hay to be made Cops Is Tops but when it comes to deciding how to live their own lives they are just like the rest of us.

Cops shouldn't take this personally as it is basically as thoughtless as the Fish Fry Decision. Other cities give their cops "take home" cars and if Dunwoody is anything it is unoriginal so our Cops get cars too. They also get pretty much the same craptastic pay because, well, that is what all the other cities pay. It has come to the Sauron-like attention of our Powers-That-Are this level of pay might keep your take home car out of a Dunwoody Driveway unless you marry well or are on a call. Persistent paternalism precludes them entertaining the possibility of a cop wanting to not live in Dunwoody. It's not like any of the Cops out there are Ryan Seacrest.

But there is a simpler way than playing the Parenting Game. Here's a thought: let's pay Cops a living wage. Yeah, yeah. That's not what everyone else does and well, we're part of the herd. But we don't have to be and it really isn't that difficult to break free.

Take the cars for instance. What does it cost to own and operate one of those beasts? Before you add all the do-dads that make a nice ride a Cop Car. Cipher on that and come up with an annualized cost, gross it up and add that to their top line pay. Let them pick their own car. If they want to get an off-lease Camry because they're saving for a college education then that is their choice. After all if we can trust them to make responsible split-second decisions where firearms are involved we can probably trust them to pick a ride.

Then there is the calamity of where City Hall wants them to live. First requirement: City Hall needs to get off its collective high horse and let our employees decide where they want to live. If you think the factors influencing a car buying decision are tricky try juggling school choice, two jobs and increasingly "what do we do with the parental units?" Not to worry. Someone down at City Hall knows just what you need. NOT! Like the cars, housing is a cost/comparative study. How expensive is DaVille? Compared to? Pick some comps, here and abroad. Make an assessment, gross it up and make the adjustment. No one is saying that a Cop's pay gets you a million dollar infill McMansion but there are some Four-Four-and-a-Door Dunwoody Classics needing a little TLC that are well within reach.

The bottom line is this: pay Cops a living wage and let them live their lives. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Because You're Too Stupid

Living in The Smart City it can be ice-bucket shocking being told you're stupid. But the Associated Press reports that Federal Bureaucrats have done just that:
The USDA had indicated that it would use "soy beverage" in official policy documents, but it wanted to use "plain language" in materials for the public.
This all came about when the powerful milk lobby objected to the [mis]use of the word "milk" to brand anything other than lacteal secretions of mammals, preferably cows. The bureaucratic pissing contest pitted the FDA against USDA with the FDA taking the "F-Word" seriously with the position that "milk" was directly from a lactating mammal objecting to the USDA's cavalier [ab]use of "milk" when it wasn't "milk" at all. The USDA acting as federally funded shills for Big Ag defended their position on the basis that while fellow bureaucrats are intellectually equipped to handle such a fine distinction, you, with your Sesame Street intellect are an idiot. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dunwoody Sign Company

Regis Corporation

Hugh E. Sawyer III, President, CEO, Director
Jim B. Lain, COO, Executive Vice President
Annette Miller, Senior VP, Chief Merchandising Officer
Rachel Endrizzi, Chief Marketing Officer

7201 Metro Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55439-2131
If you point your browser to your favorite investment site and look up Regis Corporation you'll find a company in decline. Dividends ended years ago. Profits are now losses. The five year high is well over twice the 52 week low. It fell off The Cliff Of '08 but unlike others never recovered.

Why should we care (unless you are a long-term shareholder)? Because Regis Corporation owns Supercuts. Is there a correlation between business success and being a good corporate citizen? Is Regis aware of the franchisee whose persistent visual pollution flies in the face of our Village Overlay and the wishes of our community? If you are concerned that these executives are unaware of what is being done in their name you might drop them a note. It won't be the first they receive. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

What's Wrong With College Today

The AJC drops this nugget in an article on the challenges and stress of college, particularly Smith:
With workshops on impostor syndrome, discussions on perfectionism, as well as a campaign to remind students that 64 percent of their peers will get (gasp) a B-minus or lower, the program is part of a campuswide effort to foster student "resilience," to use a buzzword of the moment. 
Setting aside the fact we're talking about Smith, and ignoring the made-up edu-babble of "impostor syndrome" and "resilience" let's just focus on the key failing of 36 percent getting NOTHING BUT A "B" OR BETTER! Really? An entire college career without even a B-minus let alone an ego-crushing C? And this is at Smith. What is your darling facing at a state school? Nothing but A's?

Back in the day, before every snowflake had a constitutional right to a college diploma, over 69 percent earned a "C," plus, minus, it didn't matter. It was a generally accepted fact that most folks were average, only a few were exceptional and equally few were not cutting the mustard. When you moved from high school where you were in the top ten percent to college where you were surrounded by all the other schools' top ten percent you were then confronted with a new average. Where you may no longer be in the top ten percent.

Absolute standards of learning and performance were set to be met, or not met. There was no curve and whenever a whiny class suggested such it was met with the observation that under absolute standards there was nothing preventing a class with nothing but A's whilst a curve guarantees as many F's as A's and as many D's as B's with the vast majority getting C's. Nonetheless, The Curve became the norm.

The Curve ran its course in the nineties dying out in the naughties but there was no return to the high expectations and academic rigor that preceded The Curve. The Curve coincided with high school grade inflation, low standards, a tuition-driven business model and the intellectually bankrupt notion that everyone, including the ignorant and ill-prepared are college material. More importantly the normal distribution (none dare call it The Bell Curve) was supplanted by a bi-nodal distribution, known as The Dumb Bell Curve, with Tiger Cubs at the top end and the flotsam and jetsam of failed public schools anchoring the other. Blowback over getting C's evaporated but the mantra of "Success for All" pushed the entire Dumb Bell Curve into the range of B or better. Academia continues to blow fluff into their tuition driven bubble by replacing academic achievement with a mere participation award. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Blizzard Hits Dunwoody

A local Gangsta Pranksta set off a storm of silly when he gathered up a bunch of Ossoff and Handel campaign signs, cut them in the shape of snowflakes then re-distributed them throughout Dunwoody. Seems silly and harmless enough. Until a local pol channels his inner Trump and just cannot stop himself from going vocal and public. The local rag reports:
Dunwoody Councilmember Terry Nall, a Handel supporter, said he believed the city cleanup "is an unfortunate use of public resources." 
Of course this directly contradicts city spokesperson Bob Mullen who reports the cleanup of these signs is NOT expected to incur additional costs because the city does this all the time anyway. Then there is common sense. Mista Pranksta collected the signs from the right of way and if he put them back right where he got them it would be net zero cost to the city. But Da Pranksta appears to have his snowflakes in drifts making city cleanup easier and cheaper. But Nall cannot let it go:
“While I do not know if this was meant to be a political message, a decoration for the upcoming Independence Day holiday, or a prank typically seen on April Fool’s Day, I do know it will be a city expenditure to remove these from the public right of way,” he added. “For a city with a small, lean budget, this is an unfortunate use of public resources. Clearly, someone must have a lot of extra time to modify these signs and then place them around the city.”
Wouldn't it be nice if the Mayor or Council cared as much about the flagrant sign violations in the DVO as at least one of them seems to care about humorous snowflake signs? 

Monday, July 3, 2017


This little nugget appeared in an AJC movie review:
"...with a number of Twitter users pointing out the movie's lack of intersectionality."
Only thirteen words and so many problems. Twitter users? Really? That's what passes for a valuable, printable component of a professional movie critique? And "a number" is exactly how many? And what percentages of the tweets directed at this particular twit mentioned this particularly cinematic failing? The cherry on top has to be intersectionality. They are just making this stuff up, even the words.