Monday, July 16, 2018

A Greener Shade Of Beige

The City is well on the way to gutting the Dunwoody Village Overlay as part of their indefensible but unstoppable kowtowing to business and developers. The brazenness of the developer's open threat to bring in undesirables if they don't get what they want is clear indication that City Hall has their back and that they have your number. That is if you happen to be one of those simultaneously fond of the Williamsburg requirement and appalled by its imminent demise.

But what the shiplap is this Williamsburg thing and what does it mean? Of course it is symbolism but what does it mean?

Leading the list is homogeneity, the only "homo" some will tolerate. It is not limited to the uber-HOA, all houses look the same. When you see a community of ticky-tacky all in a row you kinda know what is inside and Williamsburg, even with the beige, screams lily white. And that screams Dunwoody--Olde School.

Then there is superficiality. It is bricks and beige and slate-look roofs but little substance. It is as if someone played architectural spin-the-bottle and this is what we got. At least it isn't shiplap.

Perhaps it is a flag, or a pennant for what would have been a visiting team. One that seems to have decided to stay but insisted on the literal and figuration reminder of home. White flight may have been the Dunwoody zygote but that grew by attracting that "special demographic" from locales far from ITP. Where "Williamsburg" actually means something.

What was once bucolic farmland was overrun by urban sprawl, development guided only by greed and a population fueled by local white flight and opportunistic northern invaders. If tradition trumps all why was there such a battle over urban henhouses? Should we have farmhouse styling with barn wood, white siding and tin roofs? Or should we recognize that Williamsburg, like the farms beforehand has had its day?

What should be remembered is that which is constant. Politicians are beholden to business, turning blind eyes when expedient, writing custom laws when necessary and taking liberties with the power and prestige of their positions. They will gut this city like a sturgeon to get anything they can serve up to their business buddies as caviar. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Yankee Go Home

And take your faux Williamsburg "style" with you.

Or so say the powers that be in Dunwoody. And if case you have any doubts those powers are called "developers" and the developers at hand are Crim and Associates. And the Brothers Crim have no qualms about making an open threat suggesting that if they don't get what they want, the way they want it then they'll gather tenants that would be "not what you want." The property has been a problem child in the Village Overlay with the DHA getting really pissy when it went from a gas station to a car wash with the kind of backlash that later resurfaced around the Parkway. Now the property is leveled awaiting SLUPs, Waivers and Overlay changes so the Brothers can build what they want which is definitely NOT Williamsburg style.

And guess what is going to happen? It should come as no surprise that City Staff are preparing proposals to gut the Village Overlay and the Council is chomping at the bit to do the Brothers' bidding. Why no surprise? Because outside of one property owner who fell for the "you remodel you must widen the sidewalk" requirement in the Overlay District the City has shown no diligence in enforcing any of the Overlay requirements. Hell, they've not even shown much in the way of interest regarding their own rules but if any Friends and Family business owner, City resident or not, needs custom, just-for-me ordinances, well then "drinks are on the house!"

Monday, July 9, 2018

Signs Of The Times

Sure. Sure. It IS still a crosswalk even without the sign. 

No Sign At Dunwoody Road

But you simply have to pause and ponder: What the hell does this city do with our money?

No Sign At Stroll The Knoll

And the cops might do something but between gratuitous meals and violating Constitutional rights they are kinda busy down at Perimeter City. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

What Constitution?

Rules have never been this City's forte. Not making them. Not enforcing them. And sure as hell not following them. This didn't start well with hiring-in-haste resulting in clearly suboptimal selections one of which we still suffer. And if one believes what is leaking from former members of the pre-city police task force, the city fathers didn't follow task force recommendations. Of course we'll never really know because their report was not made publicly available and isn't subject to open records laws. Perfectly legal, but somehow unnerving, serving as a poignant warning of things to come.

And they have arrived.

Yes we have had the aggressive persecution on DWB non-laws. We've seen the bungled daycare murder investigation and the no-progress-ever Abbott family murders. Quick-draw police involved shootings. Non-enforcement of almost any quality-of-life laws. So it comes as no surprise that a judge has recently observed that the Dunwoody PD ignored the U.S. Constitution violating the Fourth Amendment rights of residents of the City apparently because it was too difficult to enforce the law using legal means.

This is a clear failure of leadership. In the department. In the City. And on Council. Changes need to be made. Forthwith. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

DeKalb Wins!

With the new taxes on the books DeKalb's tax reduction and Dunwoody's most recent in a never-ending series of tax hikes are in unflattering juxtaposition.  The unavoidable conclusion is that our taxes would be lower than they are now had a new city not been thrust upon us. And the natives are increasingly restless with more voices raised in a chorus of "this is not what we were promised when they asked for our vote."

Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Problem With Higher Ed

Actually it is a problem with how folks, who pose as reasonably intelligent, view higher ed. Christopher Quinn of the AJC hits the nail on head with this pearl of wisdom:
There are many reasons people quit [college]. Personal and family problems interfere, an immediate need for money pushed back long-term goals, the fear of debt and lack of hope that the degree will pay off in more income discourages others. 
Notice anything missing? That's right. There is no mention whatsoever that some folk may not be capable of college-level work. But how could that happen? Why would any college or university offer entry to anyone who could not be reasonably expected to perform to a level required to complete the program?

Money. And if that is not enough, then there is political correctness around race and diversity. At then end of the day that really just boils down to money.

Academia has inflated quite the bubble. There are too many colleges and universities with far too many subscribing to a "grow or die" business model, driving towards tuition-driven models with little or no concern for anything resembling academic integrity. Or any other form of integrity for that matter. And as much as some like to make political hay from the HOPE program, injecting more government money is like putting out a tire fire with kerosene.

As long as colleges and universities have no skin in the game, and currently they are paid just as much to create academic failure as success, this problem will continue to grow. We could require that all public college and universities drop all remediation programs, forcing them to use tools, readily available, to ensure that those admitted earn a mortar board without the institution becoming a tax fueled diploma mill. While this will have immediate impact on their revenue, even that is not enough. The next step is ensure that academic institutions carry some financial risk associated with the "it's an investment" myth of higher ed. Such a restorative revolution could happen, just not in today's political climate and entitlement society.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Permit THIS

The local chapter of our intrusive permission society headquartered at City Hall demands permits to replace your shingles requiring the installation of a silly drip rail. Why? Because they can. But if this City were for the public good, if it were to improve and preserve the community there is something to do.

If you want to intrude on resident's property rights, and you do, why not require owners control invasive, non-native plant species? Particularly those that are destructive. Think kudzu and english ivy. Sound like too much? Really?

We have a tree ordinance restricting what you can do with "your" trees. We banned chickens until the Girls Scouts wagged a finger at Council. Really--that's the kind of leadership this City offers. So why can we not protect those same trees from a slow death by ivy as we do from the faster death by chainsaw? Do we need to call out the Boy Scouts?

And there are real, public health and safety risks. Ivy provides a safe haven for snakes and is breeding ground for mosquitoes. If you're Mister Mister that is great for business, but if you really care the least little bit about public safety and have ever heard of Lime Disease then Dunwoody's current [non]policy is like encouraging folks to stack old tires in their yard to bolster the vermin population.

Maybe the Smart City hasn't figured out an effective way to monetize public safety. Or maybe it is too much work. Or maybe, just maybe, they really don't care. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Unapologies Unacceptable

The constant tax increases inflicted by the City of Dunwoody have apparently reached the point where public excuses are warranted. With the podium being the same Blue Bag Rag where the state-imposed notice of tax hike was published.

The mayor felt compelled to drag out the old "we didn't raise the tax rate" excuse, doubling down with the observation that the taxes are only going up because your house is worth more. As if to suggest you've got more so it is OK if he takes more.

The editor's yin to the mayor's yang is the classic shell game: look at your bill, it is the school taxes that are enormous. True enough. But does irresponsibility from one government excuse irresponsibility from another? As if to say: Dunwoody--we suck no more than the others.  Is it logical or reasonable to stack rank by dollar amount and ONLY look at the item atop the list? Is that what Smart People in a Smart City do?

You may have noticed how this city spinelessly bends over backwards to offer developers significant tax abatements while offering homeowners but self-serving excuses. No one is asking for zero-based budgeting. Yet. But with responsibility, for services, for stewardship of this community, comes accountability--more that what is currently afforded at the ballot box. The fact is that our taxes are going up and the people elected by this City are pretty happy about that.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Somebody Is In Trouble

Not sure if is will become a court suit or just a righteous hashtag bashing, but someone at the AJC is about to be in really hot water. Recently they adulterated a NY Times article offering up this salacious tidbit.

Acts Of Tender Sex?

Let's zoom in on that.

Bringing Heavenly Rewards Down To Earth

The AJC seems to be convinced that reading the paper should be a non-stop Word Jumble but maybe they are about feel the wrath of the hashtag "ScrewYouToo" movement.

Cannot happen soon enough.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Monday, June 11, 2018

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018

Slimy

Did you read last week's Blue Bag Rag? Of course not, it was a holiday week, the kids just got out of school and you were probably busy. Why would that matter? Because the Blue Bag Rag is the City of Dunwoody's Official Organ and as required by law the City published their notice of this year's tax increase:

Says 12.85% Increase Here

Though a larger increase than usual, raising our taxes is what this City does:

Says 13.45% Increase Here

Pretty slimy to publish when folks are distracted, right? But isn't that exactly how they pushed the referendum thru in the first place--by scheduling the vote during a holiday week? And it's pretty slimy to pretend this tax increase is somehow out of their control even though they've done it, deliberately, knowingly, for the last five years (at least). What about when they say "I did NOT raise tax rates" as if doing nothing to address our tax increases is a stellar accomplishment on their part? Deflective? Deceitful? Despicable? All of that, but let's just call it "slimy."  And really, isn't it just a wee bit slimy that they refuse to send any of our tax dollars back into our neighborhoods by way of code and ordinance enforcement that improves our quality of life and protects our communities? No. It isn't a wee bit slimy--it is very slimy.

But that's how "local" control works. You're not getting screwed over by slimy politicians in distant corners of the county, you're getting screwed over by slimy politicians who live down the street. Aren't you glad you voted for this train wreck?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Mizz Grady

You know Grady, right? The grizzled gentleman known for taking a rest in the shade of some of Dunwoody's finest trees. In the Village and along the approach to the Linear Park. No-one is suggesting he is living rough--no aspersions being cast. But feeling all proud of our gender diversity, Dunwoody is home to Mizz Grady.


Look. If the City of Dunwoody isn't going to take care of the Linear Park, somebody's got to do it. Right?

Monday, May 28, 2018

What Are The Odds?

Not so good for Sharon Springs as sanity reared its ugly head delaying successful adoption of another layer of government. Until next time. And next time there will not be an ill-advised deal to set the hurdle at 57.5% of the vote--a rather odd number allegedly a compromise between a mere 50% + 1 and a two thirds majority. Such a feeble grasp of arithmetic does not speak well to successful operation of a proposed city.

Further south the city of Stockbridge is poised to offer up some prime real estate to a new city of Eagles Landing should the eaglets vote in favor. Much like greater DeKalb during the Dunwoody scramble folks in Stockbridge but outside the Eagle's Nest wanted but were denied a voice at the polls. But that's how cities are made.

Why does any of this matter?

Because we desperately need yet another city. We need Perimeter City. Eagles Landing sets the precedent of creating a city by pilfering property from another city, a necessary prerequisite to founding Perimeter City. Sharon Springs, in defeat, indicates setting a high bar is an unnecessary risk.  But recent setbacks in the march to cities-for-all signals a need to improve the odds and expedite the process ensuring minimal time for organized opposition. Perimeter City, without a doubt, will be an economic and political powerhouse but it is far from a slam dunk. Success hinges on a back-to-basics hard-hitting campaign blitz and maybe a little bit of the good old sleight-of-hand that gave us Dunwoody.

Let the games begin.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

NOT Watching

By now the Dunwoody City Council has probably approved Billy's Single Source demand for surveillance cameras so they can watch you. Single Source purchases should be raising more than a few eyebrows but there are other much more serious concerns.

Will the camera feeds be publicly accessible? Why not? Do the people being filmed have a right to privacy? If so, why are they being filmed? If not, and these videos are done on the public dime then they are public property and should be publicly available. So...make it happen.

Be no less surprised that Council approves this targeted expenditure than they offer some flimsy explanation why you cannot gain ready access to public information they collect. We know they're watching, they probably do not think that we are, but what are they hiding?

Monday, May 21, 2018

It's Not YOUR House

No, no, this isn't about the fact that the bank holds the title. While you certainly feel the pain of "renting from the bank" with every mortgage payment the title doesn't identify the real owner. Government is the real owner. Taxes are a mortgage you cannot pay off; a rent you must pay and if you don't they'll come take the home and kick you out. Thinking about resisting? You'll stay in government housing, but this time it will be prison and you will be marched there at the point of a gun by an increasingly military police.

And that is just the money. Those running our over-arching permission society will tell you what you can and cannot do with their property, literally the roof over your head. From our local overlords' Permits on roofing:


What does this do to protect the public and from what devastating tragedy? What public good does this serve? What is it about a metal drip edge that protects you from your neighbor should they neglect to purchase these or worse yet simply rely on the existing wood molding serving the same purpose? Is this part of the City's war on wood?

But let's put this in context. This is a city that refuses to enforce quality of life ordinances they themselves have passed. It is a city that refuses to enforce safety laws regarding speeding in school zones and semi-tractor-trailer trucks in residential areas. Laws they crafted. Laws they passed. Just like the drip edge requirement.

And this is also the city that refused to even inspect let alone apply their Certificate of Occupancy regulations for semi-permanent trailers at local schools. Schools within the city limits and subject to city codes and ordinances. This is the city that cares more about a drip edge around your roof than it does about your children who live under it. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Silly Season Upon Us

Tuesday marks the voter's chance to pick from a bouquet of single-issue pure-bred candidates. But. There is one issue that everyone lines up behind: government education. Politically it is like oxygen, without it a candidate quickly gasps their last breath. Non-negotiable. Non-partisan. Red and blue, both end up purple.

There is one problem and it is a big one. Education isn't what these folks and their constituents say that it is and most folks, especially those who actually have one of these educations know the truth. Most folks figure this out pretty early. You learn for the test, whether from the College Board or the teacher between you and the Smart Board. With few exceptions, most notably math, you can purge all such knowledge without consequence. THAT is what makes math hard--you actually need it for more than the quiz.

Got a college diploma? Been working for a while? And... Do you use much if any of what you studied in college in your average work day? Didn't think so. But don't feel bad, only the very few actually use what they learned in college and they have a special name: college professor. After all, what do you really expect to do with a degree in Medieval European History? That's right, teach Medieval European History--to a bunch of bored students who need this course to get a diploma to get a job. There are a lot of folks out there with history [and english and psychology and ...] degrees that are, based on content studied, worthless.

Or are they?

In "The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money" economics professor Bryan Caplan makes a compelling case citing a wealth of research--you can fact-check and second guess to your heart's content. You'll have a VERY difficult time countering his argument, partly because it is a conclusion based largely on the research of others, including those who'd not likely agree with his conclusion, and presented in the context of common sense. How can you nod knowing at "All I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten" and then tout the inestimable value of the college education offering no learnings that you now use?

More unsettling is Caplan's explanation, not necessarily original to him, that the value of education, particularly to the labor market is, in a word, signaling. You get a better job with a diploma not because you'll use anything you've learned, beyond basic literacy and numeracy, but because acquiring that diploma tells hiring companies something they can use to quickly, effectively and easily improve their hiring decision. The diploma signals some measure of intelligence, of conscientiousness and most importantly that you are compliant. You sat thru innumerable mind-numbing courses with arbitrary content and requirements and yet you did what the voice of authority at the head of the class told you to do. Because they were at the head of the class. Because they were in charge and you were not. What pointy-haired boss doesn't want that?

To be clear, Caplan is adamant, constantly repeating that education is not only signaling, but that it is mostly signaling with the rest being what politicians and others wax poetic about: human capital--ephemeral, unmeasurable, unquantifiable and yes, inestimable. Except when it isn't. Like in economics. Caplan reaches and supports all the logical conclusions. Signaling is important because it is effective. Credential inflation, well under way and proudly promoted by politicians, undercuts that effectiveness and therefore the signaling value of education. We don't need more worthless diplomas, we need vo-tech. We need separation of school and state, just like church and state.

We need to quash credential inflation. Soon janitors will need a college diploma. Politicians will see to it they get them. Once everyone has a diploma, at any level, the diploma signals nothing. So you move to the next one and the next until you run out. Yet politicians seem hellbent on fueling credential inflation given the slightest opportunity to do so. If they said they were going to invest your tax dollars in Venezuelan bolívars voters would run them out on a rail but when they say they're going to print diplomas at the Caracas Mint voters drool.

We don't need politicians bragging of bravery as a Ranger or a SEAL, or their gender, or poverty, or bad haircut. We need statesmen whose real courage lies in making difficult, necessary and unpopular decisions. We need leadership.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Monday, May 7, 2018

Code Enforcement Is Haaarrrddd!




But dating can be "made" easy.



And isn't knowing there is yet-another-summer-camp for your snowflake much, much, much more important than a silly old law?

If this city cannot take care of the Dunwoody Village Overlay and enforce the city's own code do you really think they should participate on SWAT teams? Or become part of a constitution-avoiding property-seizure operation masquerading as "drug enforcement"? Really?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

AJC ePaper eFail

eFail as in "Epic Fail." Their "ePaper" is the so-called "online version" of the paper and it is undeniably crap. The main problem is that it looks more like Illya Kuryakin used his mini-spy-cam to photograph pages to put online that it does an actual 21st century online presentation of content. But pictures remain worth thousands of words.

Typical Front Page - Just Like The Print Edition
Let's look into that article the editors think warrant front page coverage. Still looks like the photocopy that it really is.

A16? Really? Not Even A Hyperlink?!!?
Yes. Continued on A16. Annoying in newsprint, especially when chopped in mid-sentence. Surely this wouldn't happen in the article view. But let's take note of where the article is hacked. Just in case.

What You Get When You Click On The Article
Scrolling down to the bottom of the article, this is what'll you'll see.

Hacked In EXACTLY The Same Location
That's right! You get to know which article you're looking at--sorta, because as it turns out the remainder of THIS article is actually listed as a separate article. From a reader's point of view it may as well be. But good luck finding it because there is not a hyper-link to the continuation. From the so-called article view you can go to the next/previous "article" or you can exit to the as-printed view and navigate to the faux-printed page containing the rest of the article and then...well, you get the idea. It sucks.

Maybe there is a work-around. What if you try printing the article. Surely that would print the entire article and not just a hacked up piece. Maybe print-preview is a way to read an article.

Printing Is Also The Hacked-To-Pieces Article
No such luck. Perhaps the iOS version sucks much less. Not really. Similar presentation, but even with the latest version of the app (29 May 18) it repeatedly crashes.

Now let's keep in mind that these articles are not written in two-part disharmony. The good folks running the AJC actually do this. Why? Because the luddites running the show only understand newsprint and that's the way it has always been done. What you see when you look at the AJC ePaper is them giving the finger to the entire Information Age.

And there are a couple of things that make this particularly annoying. Not only are you assaulted by the ads in the faux-print, you actually pay real dollars, every month for the displeasure. Then there is the hypocrisy. This is the "news" outlet that blasted the Kasim Reed machine for intentionally putting roadblocks between public information and the AJC--self-appointed representatives of "the public."  If you are actually trying to read this ePaper, how is the AJC really any different?

Monday, April 30, 2018

Word Smatter

Or do they? Matter? Well the AJC offers examples where they disagree. Pictures are worth thousands of words and the AJC seems to be on a limited quota.

Random Words
AJC Says THIS Is Sex
Justice Sotomayor Is A Distant Cousin

The AJC Has Uncovered That Our Mayor Is A Guy

Dangerous Rice

RanOutOfSpaces
This has been the first in an observational series on "How Technology Has Eluded The AJC."

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hypocrisy Unmasked


You know what makes a Socialist a bad Socialist? Put "National" in front of it. There was a party in Newnan this past weekend and both types, bad and good, showed up. As often happens when competing Birds Of a Feather get all BoF-ed up there was conflict. In this case, conflict resolved by the local gendarmes.

The gendarmes' hammer was a long standing law prohibiting the wearing of masks in public enacted as a reaction (as all too many are) to Klan activities, that even long ago it was politically correct to quash. In this case it was the Good Socialists wearing masks and getting arrested rather than the Bad National Socialists. 

And boy, were the Good Socialists pissed. 

Turns out Good Socialists don't think that laws, particularly laws they don't like, should ever apply to them. In this case since the law was expressly adopted as a reaction to Bad National Socialists the Good Socialists presumed there would be targeted application of this prohibition and that it would only apply to the Bad Guys. Turns out the constitution gets in the way of that and application was applied uniformly to all who actually violated the law. Which happened to be exclusively Good Socialists. Apparently there is something horribly wrong with a legal system that treats everyone equally without consideration for a particular group's self-righteousness. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Lead By Example


For whatever reason politicians at many levels are ramping up their "there oughta be a law" rants. This time it is about unsolicited phone calls from scammers and telemarketers. Someone wants yet another law prohibiting the practice with today's twist being that the phone companies should be intimately involved in the operation under penalty should they fail. Unlike their no-call list which is an epic failure with zero consequences.

But this is also an opportunity. For leadership. From our pols. See, they could invoke a self-imposed ban on unsolicited political phone calls. The legitimacy of their self-proclaimed advocacy on our behalf would be better supported by having politicians, as a group, get ahead of the issue and lead by example. But that won't happen because that is the real problem for the pols. The real problem is that their uninfringed access to your ears without competing messages coming from any other sources, foreign or domestic should never be limited. Basically these politicians are operating on the understanding that you're an idiot, that you need to conform to their messaging and that requires no interference from other sources. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Stop Work Order

Suburban re-renewal ain't what they thought it was. They includes the city, DHA and the developer community. Apparently the property on the Most Glorious Re-Jiggered Dunwoody Parkway has been passed between developers. No reports on money changing hands but apparently the city's diktats to the developer fell thru the cracks, specifically the social engineering goal of building an Olde Farte Gulag right here in daVille. Seems the DHA and the city consider "negotiations" to ensure the availability of elevator shafts and Masters on Main in the gulag quite the feather in their cap.  Turns out what hit their collective heads came from a bird but wasn't a feather. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

To understand this cock up you must remember this is the city that forced a road contractor to perform substandard work using unacceptable materials and the DHA glory days ended with the referendum vote and their negotiating prowess is epitomized by their hand in locating a menorah in the most prominent position they could find. What could possibly go wrong? Turns out, every demand from the local authorities running our Permission Society--damn near everything went off the rails. Apparently when the first developer passed the baton somehow the Olde Farte Gulag requirements evaporated and a customer open house did not properly emphasize the "Shafts and Masters" requirements dictated by folks who are neither prospective buyers nor at any risk should the development underperform. It is easy to say what must be done when you're not doing it and not going to pay for it.

So the city cancelled the permits until the current developer updates the blueprints showing the gulag requirements, which will be options, and perhaps has some marketing glossies and price bumps required for hip replacements to play nicely in three floor townhomes. Master on Main attempts to convert a luxury townhome into a tiny flat with a luxury attic and inaccessible basement/garage. Elevators make all floors accessible at the expense of reduced living space and significant capital and operational costs. Gulag Diktats will be options unattractive to anyone who can afford to live here and if our Permission Masters force construction of these configurations they will not sell unless subsidized. By you.

Isn't it wonderful living under multiple layers of HOA's especially when you didn't ask for either one?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Making Sausage

The political machinery that grinds power and money, squizzing it out in an unnatural casing has often been likened to making sausage. And whenever three or more are gathered in the name of politics there will be some playing hide the sausage. Upon that  politically incorrect practice becoming practically illegal a complaint was lodged against a state Senator, Republican of course, by a lobbyist accusing him of demanding she hide his sausage. She refused, then accused. But it turns out she had her own sausage operation and was afraid that same senator would no longer cook her wares and serve it to Georgia citizenry.

The AJC, having procured a copy of the state's investigative report tell us that the document states
"there was no evidence Schafer retaliated towards the lobbyist by killing her legislation"
Her legislation? HER LEGISLATION!?!! That is the real problem. HER name did not show up on any ballot. In fact, due to the AJC victimhood support policy, the paper will not name the woman even though it has now been determined the accusations she made are without merit. But we, the good folk of Georgia who suffer from her activities, are supposed to be concerned about the fate of HER legislation. "Lobbyist" has always been code-word for "something, often unsavory, for hire" but it is baffling why payment terms no longer include sexual favors yet still include screwing the public. Do voters need a lobbyist to get a law passed to fix that?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Education Imagination

You wanna know something funny? "Tar-baby" has a bad connotation. Something sticky that will get all over you and if you touch it you'll never be able to get loose. But there are "good" tar-babies. Ones that are big. Ones that come with huge amounts of public money. Money viewed by politicians as "free." If you can stick yourself or your program to one of these tar-babies you are made. And the biggest of these is public education.

Think about it. Never-ending stream of funding. Max out property tax? No problemo. You think it is hard to pass an ESPLOST? Really? So if you can hook up, in any way, shape or form, with public education it is like being besties with someone who prints money. And whatever it is you offer, product, service, program, it doesn't matter, does not really need to work. At least not any better than the education component and we all know how well that works. 

Problems arise when there are parts of the puzzle that cannot grow at metastatic rates. Social programs are easy. Free lunch not enough? Hey, let's wash their clothes---that'll learn 'em. But what happens when you run out of space? Buildings take too much time for the Silver Bullet Lifecycle and property only helps developers who for whatever reason aren't beholden to PS101. Maybe they have a real job. But the educrats have their bandaid ready: portable classrooms. These are what rednecks would call "trailers" but without all the fixin's. Like that washer/dryer combo. 

But it doesn't fix the "land is expensive" problem. Rednecks to the rescue once again.

All it needs is solar panels and a windmill
Here's where that Education Imagination comes in. You gotta git out yer crayons and construction paper and re-draw these here redneck trailers to be them thar school trailers. Now if you're clever, as some rednecks have been, you can rack and stack these bad boys AND leave all the parking spaces underneath. Here in daVille that would address the hysterical voices raised high and loud over the loss of parking spaces at the high school. Get the Boy Scouts involved and you've got a win-win. Find someone with a welding badge who lusts after Eagle status and have him weld up the frame. That'll work. 

All public education needs to thrive is a little more imagination. Oh, yeah. And more money.

Monday, April 9, 2018

New Restaurant In DaVille

According to the Smart City's very own Convention and Visitor's Bureau, surely the smartest of the smart when it come to Bureaucrats, there is an eatery on Dunwoody Village Parkway:

CVB says this is 1532 Dunwoody Village Parkway
Admittedly, when you're on your back for developers (figuratively speaking of course) or spend all your time at top end Perimeter hot spots you might have missed what goes on in the city the rest of us actually live in. Turns out this location was the main office for the restaurant--but no more. Now it is bare dirt awaiting buyers of expensive condos interested in suburban re-renewal.

But how could anyone at City Hall know this? Could it be because the construction of these condos and the required demolition of the office building identified by the CVB was permitted by the city? Or maybe if someone running this smart city actually got off their Aeron's and went somewhere other than The Mall they might have noticed these buildings were razed months ago. Or maybe they could read their own praises: the city did brag about the significant achievement, on their part, in developing this property.

If Perimeter carves out its own city can the rest of us go back to being unincorporated? Given the current indifference if we noticed any other difference, could it possibly be worse?

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Eagle Is Landing

The Gold Domers have sanctioned yet another city and like those coming before the only votes that will be counted will be those of voters who reside within the proposed boundaries. What is precedent-setting is this time property and asset removal targets not just unincorporated property but would carve some juicy bits from an existing city.

What if this sets a trend? May there be a "Perimeter City" in the offing? Carved from bits of Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, and, hush yer little puppies, even Dunwoody? The viability study could be done with crayon on a CVI business card and would simply prove what everyone already knows: Perimeter Center is the financial crown jewel of the region. Schools would be no problem since there aren't any. Any police would be poached to become mall cops. Literally. That's not a big leap since it is basically what has already happened in Dunwoody. And since only those living in Perimeter Center  could vote the issue, the ballot is a mere formality. Just like all the others.

This could be a win-win. Perimeter gets local control and the rest of Dunwoody gets the chance to prove they're good enough to stand on their own. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Hear No Evil, See No Evil

And you, dear citizen, will speak no evil...

The City of Dunwoody maintains a See-Click-Fix account and until recently this was the destination advertised by the Police Department to report issues needing their attention. That is until the local Whine Club started taking them up on it. One issue of unrest was around the unenforced truck routes, more specifically the No Truck Routes which were duly reported on SCF. The City claimed forwarding the issue to the PD was some sort of "resolution" summarily closing the issue. Folks re-opened it. The City swatted back, archiving the issue closing it to further comment. Then reports surfaced that it had been disappeared.

But the illegal activity remains unabated. Just this Monday full dump trucks were seen violating the School Crosswalk on Chamblee Dunwoody where folks, and their children, Stroll the Knoll.

We Got Ourselves A Convoy!
Moments later one of many trucks serving stores in the Village was seen headed to the same violation.

Just Another Day Of Deliveries
What do these scofflaws have in common? For one thing their activities are easily known by the City as the one is based on permitted activities and the other is regular as clockwork. For another thing the City turns a blind eye thereby condoning the activity undermining the rule of law and eroding any remaining respect that citizens have for City Hall. Obviously this is unimportant to City leadership and will not change until they are changed.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

"Don't" Woody

Dunwoody has banned wood construction in buildings above three stories tall. The claim, coming from Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, attempts to hide behind public safety by arguing these construction techniques amount to little more than building a funeral pyre. Stealing some candy from the babies:


This is not to suggest that politicians would be lying to the public. No, it would be screaming it from the mountaintops. They are lying. They want you to believe this is a disaster in the making and they are going to do something about it.


But this isn't about safety and certainly not fire safety. Remember, Dunwoody is the City that refused to inspect and issue Certificates of Occupancy for edu-trailers in the City limits. It is also the City that tried to tear down apartments saying they wanted ball fields when they really wanted the "wrong kind of people" out of their City. Nearby, Rusty Paul says he has "seen these things burn," but has he seen a trailer burn? If this were about fire safety, and you simply must have a Permission Society, then you should address the real problem. Require fire retardant materials, which includes treated wood products. Require fire suppression systems, which would arguably be of immense value when their metal and concrete semi-urban gulags become pizza ovens fueled by Ikea furniture. Or is that next? Should our lords and masters ban furniture made of particle board? After all, they are wood and adhesive, practically the same as a fire log. Have you seen THOSE burn? Will Dunwoody ban fireplaces? How about candles? Must they be LED-only? Why not?

Because it isn't about fire safety. Just like the previous apartment Blitz-Krieg it is about social and demographic engineering. It is about economic segregation. Earlier a slip of a ruler's lip let it out that the real concern was that within five years economically constructed housing would fall into disrepair, rents would drop and the "wrong kind of people" would invade our community and our schools. That is what this is really all about.

Oh. The. Humanity. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Is Shoplifting A Crime?

To hear Atlanta's Top Cop, maybe not so much. Or like cops everywhere it really isn't worth the time and effort. Emphasis on time. And this defective Blue Gene is also found right here in the daVille where our top cop doesn't feel he can make enough money enforcing some laws, so, well, those laws might just as well not even be on the books. Except when he wants to enforce them.

While Dunwoody does not have nearly the similarities to Buckhead, ground zero for ATL's crime wave, that Dunwoody Poser's would have you believe, there are some. Dunwoody has a major mall, not Lenox plus Phipps but a significant shoe shopping and dining destination nonetheless. And we have what the AJC refer to as "well-heeled" folk thereabouts. Think: Manhattan Condos. There is even a gas station, a popular pit stop for car jacking.

Should we be worried about a wave of shoplifting and car jacking descending on our slice of heaven? Probably not. See, the Dunwoody PD is not going to waste time schlepping perps down to Decatur. Unlike the ATL this isn't because they'll not make the arrest but because DPD has a "take no prisoners" shoot first policy. Make an offensive left turn? Bang. Making the fool outside a bookstore? Bang-bang. Fleeing another jurisdiction and even thinking about crossing into daVille? Boom! While this may be news to you, rest assured, the hoodlums know what they're up against in daVille.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Entitlement Logic

Some parents in Snobb County are miffed that Buffy and Biff will suffer the tragedy of in-school suspension for their 17-minute Flash Mob Comedy Routine. One mother of an entitled li'l darlin is particularly bothered that this means Biff will miss one session of AP Physics and Macroeconomics, pondering aloud: "I am just really wondering what the lesson is supposed to be if the goal is student success." Wonder away Biff-mom, the answer will continue to elude you.

Perhaps Biff-mom might ponder what student success, for OTHER students, not just her li'l darlin, was achieved by exiting the classroom and disrupting the educational mission of the school and the learning experiences of classmates--who just might have their asses in classes to learn what is being taught rather than be subjected to the ego-displays of the cool-kids. Especially when that is on offer in the cafeteria any weekday that ends in 'y'. But that is not how the entitled operate. Consideration and respect require a bit too much critical thinking, and thinking, critical or otherwise is not in their wheelhouse. Grabbing attention is.

If schools wanted to make a real statement they would have awarded Buffy and Biff OUT-OF-SCHOOL suspension. This would pull the public-funded daycare right out from under Biff-mom and she, or Biff-dad would have to consider taking a "stay at home with your kids" hit. If you've ever met Buffy or Biff you know it would be more fun to bathe the cat in ice water. It would so annoy them they might show up at school as angry as that wet cat, perhaps even armed [think 'Kennesaw', which IS in Snobb County], putting  a cherry, red with irony, atop the 17-minute ego sundae. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

No Pain No Gain

You have to give Kneelin' Colin Kaepernick his props. Whether or not you agree with his cause he believed in it so deeply that he was willing to risk losing his career. Which he has.

Not so for those who "committed" to The Seventeen Minute March out of the classroom as these staunch defenders of righteous protest first demanded assurance from the titular, if not actual, powers-that-be that there would be no consequences for their actions. It reeks of the inmates running the asylum but punishment-free violations magnified the effectiveness of peer pressure: all the cool kids are on the Seventeen Step Program so everyone should join it. Plus, you can skip Pre-Remedial Intermediate Math I that day. This was hailed as a movement of seismic proportions by the very same folks who claim these munchkins' brains aren't fully jelled until they are twenty-six and that most of them occupy some space on some spectrum. But now they are the voice of reason. Right.

The only thing these spineless, entitled whiners have done is virtualize the Cool Kid's table, moving from the cafeteria and placing it squarely in front of the pandering media's TV cameras.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Zombie City Staggers On

The wannabe City of Cliffside, in this incarnation hash tagged as "Greenhaven," has been put back on the shelf for another year. It isn't clear if "Green" refers to the money already sunk into the effort, the money the aspirants hope to syphon off their fellow, unwitting and perhaps unwilling citizens or the moldy bits taking root on this stale idea. Perhaps all three.

More of everyone's green is being syphoned off and handed to the Carl Vinson Institute for a commissioned report to beat back the forces of incorporation supporting Cliffside or any other new city or annexation. The only way to get real bang for our bucks would be for DeKalb to commission a CVI study showing that the proposed city is NOT viable all the while City Quixotes commission studies showing exactly the opposite. This would be best if both studies come from the same "objective" source, but likely one would be from the UGA region while the other would come from Ga State. Hashtag toobadsosad.

Perhaps the two teams will take it up a notch in the next go round. And there will be another round as the zombies simply will not die and the overlords of DeKalb have built a moat filling it with sewage from uncontrolled overflows and water from broken mains to keep the zombies at bay. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Left Wingnuts: Seeing Stars

Some left-wing-nut from the upper left coast whose claim to fame is a book on the NYT best seller list and a keyboard that is faster than the brain went open loop nutzi kukoo upon seeing the flag of Norway flying in HER neighborhood. HER NEIGHBORHOOD for chrissakes. Who the hell do they think they are? Or so she blasted on social media. But not to cause a stink or anything. Because she did not say it was the flag of Norway. No. She said it was the Confederate flag.

And what was her problem? Manifold. First, this was the flag that was flying (below a US flag it is worth noting):

Flag of Norway
But what this voice of politically correct "progressive" America saw was:

Confederate Staes of America BATTLE Flag
Mainstream media, you know, the ones with the real facts, reported her as claiming she saw "The Confederate Flag" when in fact it was nothing of the sort. Because that would mean she mistook the Flag of Norway for this flag:

Flag of the Confederate States of America
Hardly.

After a daily dose of this, posing as "real" news, what do most folks see?

Never Mind!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Electing Idiots

You'd think in Red State Georgia where guns are red meat politics we'd elect someone other than an idiot, or someone who plays around with idiots, to government positions. But no. We elect someone who gets pulled driving drunk enough for two riding around with foreign exchange students in the car and a Glock in his possession. Thankfully he is exiting, stage right. For now.

Unfortunately we have more like him. Seems U.S. Representative Tom Graves and a staffer, the son of another U.S. Representative (who says politics isn't incestuous?) managed to part ways with some firearms they left in a vehicle. Fine. We get it. Guns. After all you were in downtown Atlanta.

And this was a GMC Yukon. Why is that important? Well, in some ways it isn't, but it just so happens that there are pretty good console vaults available for that vehicle. In other ways it doesn't depend on the vehicle as there are some secure car gun safes that attach in a variety of ways and some provide a secure way to transport your weapon and secure it at your destination. And some are priced in the range of a few boxes of ammo.

Losing control of the guns is bad chi, but then it gets really odd. They also parted company with a driver's license, credit cards and...wait for it...birth certificates. WTF? But do you really walk around with birth certificates? Whose, pray tell? And who leaves their driver's license in their car, or worse yet, someone else's? Along with credit cards? REALLY? Does this pass the average Dem-Lib "smart enough to carry a gun" test? Perhaps not, but what is really scary is they're smart enough to get re-elected. Or we're just dumb enough to keep sending them back.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Dick's Grows A Pair

Balls or boobs, the jury is still out but based on the likelihood of getting bitch-slapped the smart money is on the latter. Responding to the hashtag hysteria following yet another public school shoot-em-up[1] Dick's has decided to cease all sales of "assault rifles"[2]. Fine. It is a business and it is their business and if they want to take a product off the shelves, for any reason, that is really no one else's business.

But then they went a bridge too far. They decided that they would not sell firearms and ammo to anyone under the age of 21. Hypocritical hashtag hurrahs all around. But imagine they didn't want to sell a weapon to someone over 60 or a 20-year-old soldier, or that someone didn't want to sell a fast car to someone under 25, or an expensive house to someone of "a certain skin tone" or, hey, how about this, what would these hashtag heretics think of a baker who doesn't want to make a cake for a gay couple's marriage? Exactly! That would trample the Constitution along with the enumerated rights of several groups.

Dick's is a business, not a sovereign country and they do not get to pick and choose which laws of this land they consider worthy of their consideration or observance. The Constitution of the United States protects the 19 year old shopping in their store every bit as much as the gay couple wanting that special cake.

Even in the United States of Hashtags you cannot just make laws on your own because you're terrified of a zombie army of Twitter Stormtroopers.



[1] You know that these are drug free zones as well as gun free zones. "Soft Target" is the term nutbags use for these sites.

[2] Unlike a similarly capable "hunting rifle" an "assault rifle" has no shiny bits and is exclusively black making it the only thing left in America where it is politically correct to declare that something so black can be so evil. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Any Excuse Will Do

When a politician is justifying a pay raise for their cronies holding patronage positions or, gasp, themselves, it seems almost any excuse will suffice. No matter how vapid. Case in point: DeKalb commissioners, failing to get the Gold Domers to do their dirty work, gave themselves a raise and erected a Ruben Golden mechanism to ensure future raises. Justification: "we put in a lot of hours." Apparently "by any means necessary" also applies to these politicians' hijinks.

Pardonne-moi, mon chéri? Was the work schedule a surprise? Aren't you the best and brightest? Do you have something better to do? Like, something where someone pays for your services? Then go do it.

It was a part-time job when you got it. It is a part-time job now. But...it comes with a staff budget supporting generous payola for friends and family. Yes...Yes...the whole P-Card kerfuffle cut into the rather indiscrete payola but the official compensation for scheduling photo-ops is difficult to match in the private sector. And the benefits...

What is interesting is the excuse this time is "hours worked" but when justifying outrageous paychecks for patronage it is almost exclusively "we have to compete with the private sector." But there isn't a job in the private sector where you give yourself a raise with other people's money.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Water Woes

DeKalb County simply cannot get its act together with regards to wet work. The CEO refuses to follow consolidation recommendations intended to improve the outrageous billing fiasco preferring instead to work on intra-bureacracy communications. Perchance the alternative would work but might cost jobs.

Then we have the effluent side of the equation. DeKalb has not exactly been good stewards of the stinky pipes routinely overflowing raw sewerage throughout the county. New developments always require storm water retention and increasingly other waste retention facilities are required, at the developers' cost. About as attractive to new development as the overflows are to current inhabitants.

But this is where it gets interesting because the potable and the unpalatable do in fact intersect. Oddly enough on your water bill. We all know this. Well all but a very few--those folks who are on a septic system. Yep, that's right, there are operational, well maintained septic systems in DeKalb County. There are even some in DaVille. And there are some folk on the County Commission who would like the county to encourage folks, by lowering tap-on fees,  to abandon their own system and tie into county sewer. Perhaps they think this is "fair" but it isn't to the homeowner, who thru their purchase price, paid the original developer the thousands required to hook up when the subdivision was built. Maybe they think the only problem with the county system is there isn't enough stuff running thru the pipes. Doesn't sound logical, but we are talking politicians here and logic beyond a bumpersticker or a hashtag won't fit in their little heads either.

Now you may know someone who actually has a home on septic. You may have heard them talk about their water bill: "Bill came yesterday...four-fifty this month...a bit higher than usual" and it may lead you to wonder what they mean by four-fifty. That would be $4.50 and not $450 which is closer to YOUR water bill. That's right, if you're on septic you're not paying the bill for a failed sewage system that overflows raw fecal matter into creeks, rivers and homes and if you do not insist on dumping drinking water on the ground to green up your grass, you will get by on less than a tenner per month.

Yes there is a downside. Only an idiot would plant shrubs and trees on the septic drain field. Thankfully, even with re-branding, Dunwoody is still a city that smarts. And if the field is in your back yard (you know who you are) there goes your dreams of a back yard pool. Well, maybe an above ground pool. And some will tell you that septic systems do not support garbage disposals. Jury is out on that one, but really, do you have to grind and flush potato peels and eggshells? And coffee grounds? Seriously? Get a Keurig, dude, and waste the whole thing. But there is a maintenance cost. You need to pump the tank every so often, maybe 5-7 years and it will cost a few hundred dollars. That might drive your overall bill up towards a Jackson. And if you don't pump it out you will be looking at a new drain field, but with newer technology (you know your system is over 30 years old) it will be more efficacious and smaller. Technology marches on. Even down there. And government, with its bureaucrats and politicians, remains the same. Even up here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Exemplary Accomplishment

Though many arms were nearly dislocated patting themselves on the back the City has issued the 2017 Edition of "How Great We Art" that includes this primo example of code enforcement in the Dunwoody Village Overlay District:


It is as if someone at City Hall commanded the sun to come out and dry off that parking lot.  Now that's what we voted for!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Go With Luck

Another flailing retail operation finds the exit unable to save itself even with open disrespect for City ordinances and supported by the blind eye of their representative on City Council.


Nearby, the most egregious violator of the Dunwoody Overlay proudly claims the title of "Enemy From Within." Shame on them. They should and probably do know better and their disregard for this community is all the more repugnant. Shame. On. Them. And the Councilor in their back pocket.


To each and every business and politician who holds this community in disdain: go with luck--but go!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

We're Not In Switzerland, Dottie

Guess when the 12:18 from Lausanne to Geneva departs the station? That's right. At 12:18. Not 12:30. Not even 12:20. It leaves at 12:18, with or without you. And here's a mystery yet to be solved in Atlanta: they run non-stop express trains and multi-stop trains on the same tracks at the same time. That's right, they've figured out how to get trains to pass other trains. Wow. Those half-blind watch-making elves have made their whole world one big clock.

Now our little international city's Olympic sized ego is going to dethrone the Swiss. MARTA is taking over the white elephant* known as The Streetcar with this cornerstone to righting the rails:
And it may align transit schedules to make it easier for passengers to hop off a MARTA train and use the streetcar for the last legs of their journeys.
Have these people even used their own service? Don't they know that MARTA never runs on time? Note that tardiness even applies to the first train of the day departing the North Springs station. How can that be given:
“Transit is our core competency,” MARTA Chief Operating Officer Richard Krisak told the MARTA Board of Directors on Thursday.
Because the most important word in the first of these AJC quotes is "may," not because it is aspiration but because of the political cover offered by the implicit "may not."




* Isn't it interesting in this world of hyper-sensitivity where so many words and phrases are virtual cyanide that one can still say white elephant? At least in Atlanta.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Doritas

Folks, it is a snack food, not a political statement. If you want to get your gender-neutral undergarments in a twisty regarding Doritos why don't you focus on health impacts? How about the environmental aspects of the packaging? Carbon footprint anyone? Instead the PC fascists are all hashtag horny over the fact that the president of PepsiCo, a woman, proposed a product variation suited to a particular demographic, women. Her mistake was she was really targeting a missing demographic, ladies. She was thinking gentility rather than genitalia.

What IS a boy to do? If chivalry is dead it did not die of natural causes--it was assassinated by a bunch of egotistical whiners leveraging social media to conflate a predilection to self-serving victimhood into persecution by claiming that a hangnail-calibre offense has seared their soul. Perhaps this is as fleeting a madness as #bringbackoutgirls or #oscarssowhite with a return to normalcy when the fever breaks.

Maybe chivalry isn't dead...



...it's just hiding.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Market Has Spoken

No, not the roller coaster we call the Stock Market, but closer to home. Bidness in daVille. Illegal signage simply could not save a local sub shop from good taste. Now if market pressure can effect a similar change with Stupid.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Not His Finest Hour

No, not The Donald--Dr. Green. He came in claiming he was going to change the culture and he did bring some highly (over?) paid folks he trusted from jobs past. But the results have us wondering if the broken culture of DeKalb's schools is nothing more than a single instance of a broken culture that is public education in America.

In one case his and his crony's failing was illegal secrecy around a calendar committee. After questioning by someone at the AJC, who has the deep pockets for a very good lawyer, the Dark Green Machine fessed up and released the public information--to the public. Herr Doktor offered this excuse:
“I thought they were protected, that they had signed a form that gave them this privacy. I did not know there could not be an agreement like that.”
And just where do you suppose he got that tidbit? So much for culture change. And a FORM? Really? So any government group that wants to implement opacity needs only to write up a form? So the guy running a major, billion-dollar government operation doesn't know the laws under which it MUST operate? Ignorance, real or feigned, is always disturbing in government but particularly so in education as we reasonably expect more from those entrusted with our children's futures.

It gets better. Dr. Green has joined the whiners with regards to the APS annexation requesting legislative action to prevent future annexation. To his credit he is not too subtle, all but acknowledging it is only about the money. He sees OPM, largely from businesses as there are about 10 students in the transfer, as taking money from the over 70,000 mouths he has to feed. And he doesn't see himself fixing that problem anytime soon:
“Losing $4 or $5 million in perpetuity is a challenge.”
That would be challenging were it true but more credible sources peg the figure somewhere near one half that amount. Now if $5 million is a lot then $2.5 million is only half a lot. Right? So what is it? Ignorance? Advocacy? Hyperbole? Prevarication? Keeping up with the Trumps--hand size, crowd size?

Going forward Dr. Green should never ask why anyone would want to leave, by any means necessary, his school system. He should be called upon to explain, truthfully, factually, why anyone would want to stay.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Pity The Poor Mudbug

The Swiss (that is Switzerland not Sweden, though both are European countries) have joined the list of countries banning the boiling of live lobsters without first humanely dispatching or mind-numbing that most noble of food-stuffs. This says a lot about Switzerland. All of it good. This is a country where the topmost problem to be addressed is the tank-to-table treatment of a seafood delicacy. When this is your biggest problem you must be in Valhalla. Oops, wrong country.

If you're thinking this is left-wingnuts gone off-leash, you are right on track. Keep in mind these are the folks that have been "boiling the frog" that is your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness since time began. For them, boiling a lobster is eezee-peezee. But like everything else, it must be done their way.

Where does it end? Sure, rich folk, dining out on foie gras and champagne can afford to have their crustaceans tipsy on a bit of the Dom before the hot tub, but what of the more pedestrian sea-roaches? The ones the unwashed masses, those NOT invited to the Davos Day-As-A-Refugee event, can afford? The prawn? The shrimp? The lowly crawdaddy? Glad you asked. Turns out PETA has been pushed aside by Crustacean Compassion founded to put an end to inhumane treatment of all crustacean species and build a body of scientific evidence justifying their cause. The next British Invasion is coming! For your low-country boil.

So the mud bug is, or soon will be, safe from a painful death. What of the mollusks? Pity the poor clam. Or what of the mussels? It is major bad chi to cook a dead mussel and eating one that did not expire in the cooking process is just not allowed. Even by gentiles. What of the insects, particularly those often [mis]characterized as pests? Crickets are entering the human food chain alongside snails (escargot), bees (chocolate covered) and grasshoppers (fried). When will these advocates for multi-cell life forms take notice? Take up the cause? And when will the umbrella of their concern shield the lowly single-cells from the inhumanity of our human race. When will they set their sights on our beer? Is wine untouchable?

But there is a limit. These are liberals run amok, but first and foremost these are liberals. Steeped in the religion and bowing only to the gods of liberalism in its increasingly singular and cohesive form. And there is one area, one holy ground upon which concern for the demise of an organism will not tread. That is the nascent life of the human species. Nary a care for the zygote. Nada for the embryo. Fetal pain? Right wing mythology. In liberal doctrine even nigh unto birth a child in the womb feels no pain. Scientific fact.

So the next time you find yourself at a soirée and over-served libs begin their "care more for the unborn than all the world's children" diatribe, ask them why they care more about the creation of Lobster Thermidor than the creation of a human being.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Why Media Cannot Be Trusted

In a recent column George Will discusses the RAND report: "Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life" on the premise that modern Americans are suffering from information overload. While it is beyond most political pundits one would expect RAND researchers to understand and discuss the difference between data and information. Information theory is not taught in journalism school but perhaps it should be. However that should come only after they restore traditional journalistic competence.

One of the most recent inflammatory instances of journalistic incompetence is the "hole" vs "house" non-debate. Open question to any remaining competent journalists: which word was actually used? Was it shit-hole or shit-house or was it both? Many reports and much journalistic opinionation occurred before this issue was raised and it has yet to be conclusively resolved having devolved into politically driven arguments about which is worse or whether it matters at all. Media journalists cannot even get the fact of a single word straight so what trust can the public have that they get anything right?

A big part of the problem is simple lack of competence in their chosen field--communication, preferably of facts. Much prevailing incompetence is often dismissed as trivial mistakes or even blamed on technology--word completion or spell checking--but this forgives "professionals" whose profession is words and facts without any justification. We are constantly assaulted with evidence of this incompetence.

Is this a legitimate quote or did the "journalist" screw it up?
“I was so depressed by what I saw, I vowed never to return. And I haven’t. That’s how badly the property had digressed.”
"Digressed?" Really? There are lots of words one might associated with dilapidated property, but "digressed" does not make the top ten.

Then there are "the computer did it to me":
Home Depot has about 10,000 employees in 62 stores spread around metro Atlanta. The company has about 10,000 others in a call center, technology hug, human resources unit and a huge headquarters staff.
And who doesn't what a warm, heartfelt "hug" from technology?

Then there is silliness. You know, like the crap they feed you on what TV calls "news" which is mostly self-promotion, giggling on-air "talent" and cat videos. Well, to be fair "World News Tonight" ran a segment about a dog leashed to his owner and separated by a closed subway train door--not to worry, it all ended well. But really? Is THAT the best ABC can come up with for WORLD News? Really? Do they have any clue what is going on in Venezuela?

Closer to home we get crap like "A burst of gunfire at a southwest Atlanta home wounded a 10-year-old girl as she watched TV." This was the first line of a "news" article and while it flirted with the holy quad (who, what, when and where) there was no serious threat of contact with significant facts. Think about it. "Watched TV?" Did that have a causal effect? Coincidence? Just what was she watching? Why the F does it matter that the TV was on?

Is this what passes for journalism or ad-revenue-ginning entertainment?

Then there are the just outright falsehoods. And let's be clear, it isn't ALWAYS political, as with this description of an automobile.
Honda Fit Base price: $43,000 Sporty looks and a most versatile interior keep this car on top of the class.
Turns out, if you're willing to pay full MSRP you can buy TWO top of the line Honda Fits for $43,000. Before you know it we won't be able to trust what the media tell us when it comes to sports stats. Then all hell WILL break loose.

But there ARE political maelstroms, agendas and manipulations. These get the most enthusiastic attention and criticism, often well earned. This nugget hits them all:
“They were dressed as Westerners,” he added. “They don’t dress the way children dress in the West Bank, for a very specific purpose: to get soldiers to react violently to them, to take pictures of this violence and to spread it around the world in order to delegitimize, discredit the state of Israel.”
Biased? Inflammatory? Sure. And it isn't just national news.  Our very own owner of the Blue Bag Rag remarked to a colleague on a local Fox opinion program (where three men conspire to keep the smart lady from talking) that she "doesn't look jewish." The following week he doubled down remarking that he found the negative reactions amusing and explicitly NOT apologizing. Folks have been fired for less.

When the public is fed a daily diet of incorrect statements, watered down entertainment promoted as news and articles speaking more from opinion than independently verifiable fact it is hardly surprising that the few thinking people remaining realize there is no longer journalistic integrity in the media.