Monday, June 29, 2020

Stop Calling Us That

Recently we've seen broad-based calls to de-militarize the police forces across the country. About. Damn. Time. This is also the moment in history for Virtue Signaling of unprecedented scope and fervor. So here's a little offering to the police to help them realize how over-militarized they are and perhaps begin some simple, phrase-based Virtue Signaling: stop calling us CIVILIANS. We're not. We're citizens. We're residents. Some of us are actual former military. Many are armed to the teeth, including those with the same scary black rifles your SWAT teams are packing. Maybe you could try calling us "Those We Serve." 

But there is a very real structural and cultural problem within militarized police forces including our very own globe-trotting Dunwoody PD. Yes, the APC's need to go. Immediately. The military grade equipment and hardware needs to go back to the military where it belongs. But these actions are largely symbolic. What must change are the rules of engagement, the military mindset and most importantly the leaders who created and glorified a paramilitary force quartered in OUR HOUSE. 

But there is hope. It IS humanly possible to right these wrongs, but not with the humans we have in place. These are the ones who got us here and they are incapable of leading us, or anyone else, out of this mess. We, in Dunwoody, need change, dramatic and swift. As has always been true the fish rots first in the head and we need complete debridement of this necrotic tissue. Our elected officials must step up and clean house. Immediate removal of the city manager and the chief of police is non-negotiable. These are "thought leaders" who have created our current nightmare. After this, the overall structure at the top must be subject to critical review with elimination of some departments, streamlining reporting structures, mandatory online reporting for transparency and removal of problematic bureaucrats. And we need a citizens' review board.

Inaction by our elected officials sends a message loud and clear: they are as much a part of the problem as anyone else. At that point we all know what to do.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

PSA: Ahead Of The Curve

This week's Boycott Bad Business award was going to the Mexican eatery in the village that has been most egregious in their violation of the overlay ordinances.

But the good folk of Dunwoody already have this covered having named Los Rancheros the best Mexican cuisine in Dunwoody. This is one vote that Dunwoody got right. Los Rancheros has consistently knocked it out of the park for more years that Dunwoody has even been a city. Which brings up another very interesting point: Los Rancheros is not actually in Dunwoody but is across the line in Sandy Springs. As it turns out Your Dunwoody is out front on making sure that the city loses support for the bad behavior of breaking city ordinances.

Kudos to the best Mexican eatery around!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Government Takeover

Dunwoody is preparing for budget reductions and here is an excellent place to start: eliminate the department of economic development. Lock. Stock. And Barrel.

Why?

Because it represents a takeover of city government by forces that do not operate in the best interests of the good folk who not only inhabit Dunwoody but those who voted to create a city in the first place.

Who are these invaders?

Businesses. Now before you get wrapped around your axle consider a few things. Dunwoody once had a chamber of commerce. But that changed to a "Perimeter" chamber, coinciding with the ascendancy of the more powerful agency within the city to serve the purpose of a chamber but with greater force and speed. That is why the department of economic development exists and why the previous chamber devolved.

Is it really a problem?

The short answer is yes. In more detail one must consider that capitalism operates with three top priorities: revenue; profits; and the growth of both. "Serving the community," though much touted by their department of economic development, is not even a distant fourth. The harsh truth is that the relationship between business and the community is inherently one of exploitation: of the community by business. For proof one need look no further than the department's recent, willful violation of city ordinances without even presenting the matter to Council-the people's representation. The business-to-neighborhood relationship is inherently adversarial and best managed by an outside chamber of commerce to advance business interests with a city beholding to the community, the residents, the voters, ensuring a means of checks and balances that maintains the integrity of the community as a whole.

In Dunwoody that is NOT what we have. What we have is a one-sided power structure favoring business at the expense of Your Dunwoody. What we have is a government takeover.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

PSA: Put Some South In Your Mouth

This is, as it always has been and always will be, a very touchy subject. You are safer discussing politics on FeceBook that talking barbeque anywhere. But as a recent offender in the Village Proper is a purveyor of low and slow, or so they say, let's just jump right in to the deep end.

The south has many sub-regions and you're blessed to be in the coastal south, the southeast, where barbecue means pork. Yes, you can apply the same techniques of low, slow, spicy and mopped to other large dead quadruped or even flightless birds, but that don't make it barbeque. This is one of those cases where to get to the destination the starting point is absolute. If it ends with barbeque, it begins with pork.

Since the option in daVille is a disrespector of Your Dunwoody and a serial violator of sign ordinances, supporting Your Community means getting your fix elsewhere. But that's OK. If measured by number of locations to partake, the religion of Q exceeds ordinary religions by a significant margin. So let's look at a few nearby options, none less than four out of five on the star rating system.

JR's Log House just up PIB must be doing something right because they've been doing it a very long time.

Slope's, just over the border in Sandy Springs, is a local favorite with multiple locations in the area.

Another, more regional favorite is Dreamland with a convenient location over the river and through the woods in Roswell. While originating in Alabama, you do not have to scream "Roll Tide!" to get some of the best Q in area.

For something unique scoot over to the west, in Snob County, to the Heirloom Market BBQ, sporting BBQ and burgers with a slight hint of Asia.

Since BBQ has always taken casual to the extreme, often served in to-go containers even when sitting in the restaurant, this cuisine begs to be ordered and taken out or home. There is no better digestif than a car filled with the smells of pork à la Q.

By patronizing these fine establishments you'll not only treat your mouth to some of the best the south has to offer, you'll also help clean up the Village, hopefully opening a slot for a business that respects Your Dunwoody.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Monday, June 8, 2020

PSA: Boycott Bad Business Behavior

There is not a politician out there who is not trying to turn the pandemic to their own benefit. As are businesses especially those in Dunwoody Village who appear to have pent up hatred of the requirements of the community as expressed in the Village Overlay. Pent up no more. They're mad as hell and they're ready to say "screw you" to anyone who thinks this is not their land to rule. And they'll get no disagreement from our elected officials, who for all practical purposes are asleep at the wheel, or city staff who are actually fanning the flames.

So it is now as it once was before we had a city--it is time for the Citizens OF Dunwoody to pick up the litter with which others have arrogantly and rudely polluted our landscape. Not since Memorial Highway of the late '80s has any area been as trashy looking as Dunwoody Village at this very moment.

Could it be any trashier? We may well find out.

Referencing Giggle we find a very workable definition of litter: "trash that is left lying in an open or public place" but these litterings are more than just trash, they are trash that is in violation of duly passed city ordinances and therefore the most odious form of litter. So now might be the time you can aid in the beatification of Your Dunwoody, any part of it, by picking up and disposing of litter. You may even reach for celebrity status so that you too may get a garbage truck named in your honor.

It is also time for the inaugural selection for the TOD Boycott Bad Business Behavior award. It would be really nice if it went to worst offender but that is the City Economic Development group and as you know you cannot boycott paying your taxes. So they are in the position of using your tax dollars to deface Your Dunwoody and your only leverage is indirect. By boycotting bad behavior you'll also reduce, ever so slightly, some of the resources they use to screw you over.

The choice is made difficult because so many businesses were vying for the top slot, but after much deliberation you just must pick the dope. If cannabidiol is a key part of your diet there is a very good (so say the yelpers) option that fits with the BBBB goals:
The Georgia Hemp CBD Company
290 Hilderbrand Dr B-3
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 343-2796
Stop by or give them a ring. Just give them your business.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Check Your [White] Privilege

What does that mean? Starting at the beginning, if you Giggle "definition of check" you are confronted with the first two definitions of the verb form:
  1. examine (something) in order to determine its accuracy, quality, or condition, or to detect the presence of something.
  2. stop or slow down the progress of (something undesirable).
Which to pick? Well if you're in a conversation and someone tells you to "Check your privilege" you are being told to shut up. Hard stop. You are also being told that your privilege is trumped by their entitlement.

So let's not use that definition. Instead let's go with the first and do some examination.

Back to Giggle and "definition of privilege" yields a good working definition of the noun form: "a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group."

Now in the context of the current pandemic let's examine white privilege.

Much has been made of the higher death rate among African Americans and Hispanics who contract COVID-19 with some reasonable conversations regarding co-morbidities. This quickly became politicized with the anticipation of monetization obscuring any real issue by drowning intelligent conversation in a sea of noise and passion.

As it turns out there is a very real issue and it is confirmed by no less an authority than the UK's Public Health England the National Institutes of Health.

Research conducted in the UK during the ongoing pandemic indicates that people of color have at least a 10% higher risk of death from COVID-19, many sub-groups  at least 50% higher and some as high as twice as likely to die than white Britons. These results include an accounting for the effect of sex, age, deprivation and region, leaving ethnicity as the remaining factor. More surprising is the fact that mortality in previous years was quite the opposite with white Britons suffering a higher death rate than people of color from corona virus illnesses.

Turning stateside you'll find a growing wealth of information from the NIH, with two areas of particular interest:
  1. research papers (here and here and here) indicate a negative correlation between levels of Vitamin D and COVID-19 severity and death.
  2. The NIH has long reported (here and here) a negative correlation between melanin levels and Vitamin D synthesis.   
So there you have it. When it comes to COVID-19 the notion of white privilege checks out.

What to do with this info? Some folks might want to panic-buy some Vitamin D, maybe get some sun, but please, for the health of everyone Check Your Ego.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Don't Cry For Him Argentina

Back in the latter part of the last millennium Argentina earned a world-wide reputation for disappearing people. This practice was recently adopted by the Dunwoody PD as they very quietly erased a charter member of the force from the city. Nominally the officer was allowed to resign and there is an investigation ongoing and a whistleblower lawsuit brought by yet-another-party.

And rumors are melting down the ole coconut telegraph with tales of the unspeakable, even for The Other Dunwoody and we're frequently on speaking terms with the F-word. If these rumors pan out Catholic Priests and Boy Scout Leaders will look tame by comparison. And the GBI had better take over the investigation.

Suggestions are that the kind of activities that resulted in this whitewashing disappearing are not recent raising the question of who knew what and when did they know? If they found out more than a week ago then why wait to act? And if the police chief just found out about something going on in the department for some time then one might conclude that it wasn't going on under his nose because his nose was pointed elsewhere.

You'd also think this city would have had enough already. The first city manager hired the police chief against the recommendation of the Police Task Force making it clear that this city was never going to really be about the folks living here. The current city manager, who, if this has been ongoing malfeasance, should also be in the know and should also be on the hot seat.

In a time where police have done an outstanding job undermining public trust swift action is called for. Plainly put, if there is a scintilla of truth to these rumors the mayor and council must take a stand, remove much of the top echelons at city hall, particularly the city manager, the police chief and their direct reports. They must be decisive, and for once, on the side of the residents and they must act quickly lest the department lose accreditation or the city see the charter revoked.

And the kicker? This is a city who's PD has made much noise about sex trafficking and all they have been doing to get a handle on it. It will just drive this ear worm right thru your head.