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


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?