Monday, April 29, 2019

If Any Doubt Remains...

...that this city is about anything but serving the needs of developers and businesses then read this ordinance change catering to their needs. If this is what staff and council consider "vibrant" one can only imagine what kind of overlay changes the dynamic duo of PamNLynn are cooking up behind closed doors. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Time And A Half

This is not about overtime pay. It is about a method used by students and their parents to improve the chances their little snowflakes can improve their GPA. In colleges and universities across the United States there is a branch of administrative bloat known as "Learning Resource Center" or "Disability Resource Center." Sounds benign, almost warm and fuzzy. But let's look at how this operates.

What you do, as a parent, is trot your little darlin' to a pliable, buyable shrink. She will generate some official looking paperwork claiming your child needs special consideration. You take this and the "special" one to the aforementioned Resource Center and now, magically, they are accorded special treatment most commonly extra time-time and a half-for all quizzes and exams and these will be administered and proctored by the Resource Center workers (administrative bloat, remember) and NOT anyone associated with other classroom activities. Once your unique snowflake is branded special it is as if they are enrolled in a separate school within a school. That is because they are and it is a school with lesser academic rigor. Why? Because that's what your snowflake needs. Because this is an open secret it is no longer about a few snowflakes. It has become a blizzard. No one has a snowblower and no one is interested in getting one.

It is a money-making sham and every knows it. Try as you might you'll not find peer-reviewed research in any top journals suggesting that time-and-a-half is THE amount of time leveling the intellectual playing field for any and all of the various disabilities students suffer. Why? Because it just isn't so. And it really, really isn't the point. The education industry is now focused on graduation rates and growth, particularly in the administrative, non-educational functions that are not now and never will be subject to objective measures. This is merely an extension of education's war on testing. There are no scientific studies that would undermine this effort because the basic premise is silly and metastatic administrative growth will not subject itself to scrutiny. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Fish Rot First In The Head

And so does this city.

We have a long history of issues with policing: civil rights violations in traffic stops; unsolved double murder; bungled day-care shooting; shredding the US Constitution because it is inconvenient to their sting operation; and the fatal shooting by police of a driver, who had he been black, would have burned Dunwoody into the social consciousness rather than Ferguson.

And what of the head of this fish?

Well, we've had a "Large Truck and Bus Enforcement..." but when one considers the departments institutionalized policy against enforcement of truck route violations within our community it is little but self-promotion. Then we're fed a travelogue twitter-feed that would make Trump blush:

Aside from the cost/benefit aspect one must wonder. It seems as if the city has sent the top cop further and further away things have gotten better without his hand on the tiller. It is as if rudderless is better than the only alternative the Mayor and Council are willing to offer. Until they grow a spine and connect it to a working brain this city is likely best served by increasing the PD's travel budget.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Can't Keep It Up

Despite being the City's Official Organ the Blue Bag Rag cannot be maintained, set to cease print production leaving only a rather weak online presence where competition for eyeballs and click-thrus will surely favor other, better established outlets.

Some say it is the end of an era. Perhaps. Or maybe it is a new day dawning. In any event there is no viagra for old newspapers. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Real Admissions Scandal

The real scandal was not that the rich can buy their children's way into an elite university. It is that once in that university everyone, the parents, the kids, and everyone at the university know that kid is going to get a degree from that "elite" university. Short of open displays of conservatism anyone who gets in is all but guaranteed a diploma.


Because U.S. News and World Report rankings factor in both acceptance rate (lower is better) alongside graduation rate (higher is better). And what makes an elite, elite is a) size of the endowment; and b) their ranking with U.S. News. You may be wondering how U.S. News became so important, so powerful. Join the crowd. No one knows and if anyone does, they're not talking.

But the real scandal, if there is one, isn't gaming an acceptance system but it is the diploma mill these gamers get their children into. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Merchants Of Venus

Ounce Of Prevention
Pound Of Flesh

Monday, April 8, 2019

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Vile Racist

Racism is alive and well and was recently on display in Savannah when a pastor held a political rally and banned white journalists from attending. It would be easy, too easy, so observe that were "white" substituted for "black" and vice versa that there would be hell to pay. Al Sharpton would descend and the ACLU would find some way to enhance their public presence.

But that isn't the real problem nor the worst of it.

If this pastor were a card carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan he could not have said or done anything more racist and more demeaning to African-Americans than what he did and what he said. It wasn't that he excluded white journalist but that he admitted any and all black journalists. What does that say about his views of the black community and black journalists? Basically he is saying they are incapable of any thought or belief that the Black Elite has not put in their empty heads. In his world view his fellow African-Americans are mindless drones and he bases this on little but the color of their skin. He is saying that all black journalists are all the same and will bow to his point of view and do his bidding because they are incapable of independent reasoning. And that is racism most vile.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Shout Out To East Cobb

For the impatient here is the bottom line: if a City of East Cobb is formed you will be screwed.

You are right to be concerned about the secrecy surrounding the railroading of this project and the deceptions are only beginning. As they move forward there will be, if there is not already, a commissioned assessment that in fact is little more than a ghost-written bit of fiction. When they start the city they will outsource functions and when they do this transparency will go out the door right along with your money. This is one of the first ways you'll be screwed, but it is far from the most painful.

And the lies have already begun starting with the politicians' perennial favorite: "your taxes won't go up." But they will because your home value will likely rise, as it has. These are just run of the mill politicians who will, with each annual tax increase,  trot out the old bromide of "we didn't raise the tax rate." This has happened in Dunwoody each and every year. Perhaps you could suggest that the city charter must mandate revenue neutral budgeting with TAX increases only by public referendum but public protection is not on their agenda. So you'll be screwed.

"Improving public safety?" You should laugh in their faces. You live in East Cobb not South Chicago. And if Dunwoody is your guide you'll go from marginally acceptable policing to totally inadequate. Dunwoody refuses to do any routine traffic patrols, even as speeding in school zones has gotten completely out of hand. If you don't get run over you'll at least get screwed.

And "local control?" Don't fall for that one. Dunwoody's elected officials adamantly refuse to come into the community to witness out of control speeding and other traffic violations, or illegal signage and any of a variety of quality of life issues. If it isn't happening on their street they don't really care. For them control and responsibility is hyper-local. From your perspective they are just as out of touch and inaccessible as any county or state politician. You are going to be ignored. And screwed.

And that BS about "preserving and enhancing" is particularly odious. The primary goal will be to sell out all the things that made your community desirable, that convinced you to move your family, to the highest bidder, their current and soon to be BFFs in the development community. In under five years even the most ardent supporter who finds themselves outside the power elite will be baffled by what has happened and wanting a do-over. But you don't get a do-over. You do get screwed.

But the biggest lie, the whopper, is that a city would not affect the schools. Really? Are they willing to write into the charter that there will be no Development Authority or any other means for the city to dole out property tax exemptions and abatements to developers and businesses? Because right now their intention is to do just that and in so doing they will not only forgo city property taxes but the mechanisms they use will mean the schools get no taxes either.  So yeah, the schools are going to get screwed and so are you.