Thursday, April 29, 2021

Fraidy Cat. Fraidy Cat.

Why are you so fraidy?

This is important because it seems as though teachers are never going to return to the classroom because they are afraid.  When it suited their narrative they claimed science was their leader but now science has abandoned them and they're simply scared witless. It isn't that schools drive courage out of teachers but that it attracts the most "risk averse" among us. As the author points out, teaching offers womb-like security. Fixed schedule. Consistent and predictable workload. Decent pay that never drops. Better benefits than most. Unmatched job security. Folks looking for an adrenaline rush become policemen or firemen. Except nowadays no one wants to be a policeman. 

Though there was mention of unions and the impact they may have it is unlikely that unions are any more responsible for teachers' fear than the schools where they work. They bring it with them, but it may be that fear that not only attracts them to teaching but to unionization. Teachers are quick to identify problems and equally quick to identify someone else to deal with them. Their risk aversion extends to a fear of failure so great they would rather cower in a corner than take action to solve a problem. 

And it is this all consuming fear that will keep teachers out of the classroom. Vaccine availability? Done and not enough. Mandatory vaccination? Still not enough. Science showing classrooms as low risk? Not to be believed. Gut and rebuild schools with new HVAC systems? Unknown, but an interesting thought exercise. Suppose we, as a society, are to make this enormous investment should we not ask: is this the best use of the money? Probably not. The pandemic has been eye-opening for parents and "virtualization" resulted in new ways for their children to learn. Rather than invest in restoration of a system that long ago abandoned teaching and learning perhaps money is better used to educate our children using the "modalities" that are just beginning to be explored due to the pandemic. Maybe the teachers are right and there are permanent changes. Maybe parents and taxpayers should show their courage and make certain that changes are made that benefit children's education because fear has not taken us to a good place.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Woke To The Joke

You've heard the story of "War of the Worlds," haven't you? Orson Wells used the world wide communication platform of the day, radio, to broadcast a story, an unbelievable story of our world under assault from aliens bent on destruction and conquest. Yet it was believed. Terrified people went running for their lives, running for shelter. 

It was a prank, a joke, a hoax. And so it is with woke.

The pranksters have been trying to expose themselves for some time but the world is substantially dumber than in Orson Well's day. They tried to out themselves with the OK Sign prank, a trivially obvious hoax poking fun at the larger woke-joke, which due to a Mass Delusional Media frenzy took on a life of its own. Swing and a miss.

Enter Chet Hanks. Son of the stars. Sometime actor, sometime musician. Target of criticism and controversy having been accused of "cultural appropriation" for speaking jamaican patois with his friends. But then...he published a video titled White Boy Summer. Now you'd think that a privileged white boy already guilty of a Jamaica-Mistaka would be instantly cancelled by WokeWorld for the title alone regardless of the content of the video. But that wouldn't align with the prankster's goal of exposing their joke. Then Chet stepped up to the plate when he started selling swag. Was it odious and offensive? Nope. Did it use taboo words a White Boy cannot say, even in a White Boy Summer? Nope. His sin against god and humanity: printing "White Boy Summer" in an offensive font as if there really is such a thing. If the OK joke couldn't get through to the numbskulls out there, surely they will be woke to the joke with the silliness of "it's the font, bro, it's the font holding me down and killin' my soul!"

Woke IS the joke. No matter the font.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Grand Theft: "Auto Enthusiast"

It happens all the time and has for some time. Remember "gay?" Remember when it was appropriated to refer to a homosexual male? Now that's not that big of a deal, because you cannot even sing that song at the derby these days. Then there was hack, in all its various forms: hack; hacking; hacked; hacker. First it was the bench jockey building cool bits of electronica. Then the software dweeb writing a BASIC interpreter in 6502 assembly. Enter the dark side and it is about folks compromising computer and phone systems. Upon gaining significant value it was appropriated by flailing politicians who had their metaphorical hats handed to them by outsiders who demonstrated how political propaganda really works. 

But now they've gone too far. Now it is cultural appropriation, even if that culture is currently out of favor. This is far too important to let slide. The thievery manifest in the misappropriation of "Auto Enthusiast" cannot go unchallenged. The lies being spread to cover for premeditated illegal activity must be exposed. 

What illegal activity you ask? Observers call it "street racing," yet another misappropriation, while some of the promoters are more open about their outlaw infatuations. The worst offenders are the apologists and their most egregious offense is their "hacking our world" by calling these street criminals "auto enthusiasts." That some of these SJW's are lawyers is something for the Bar to take up. 

Let's look at the offense itself. These SJW's are claiming that enforcing laws prohibiting burnouts, donuts and takeovers on and of public streets is racist, declaring, without any evidence whatsoever that:

"We know the majority of those who are in the car enthusiast community are Black and Brown."

Really? Let's check that out and since pictures are worth a thousand words...let's check out some recent "car enthusiast" pics on the interweb.

Looks Like Car Enthusiasts
C&O Crowd
Yet Another C&O Crowd

Local Corvette Club
Rule Britannia

Well what do you know? You know what you see, and what you don't see and those add up to exposing the lie that a majority of car enthusiasts are Black and Brown. However, these folk fit that description:

Illegal Street "Takeover"

Now if you want to twist the language, and the facts to declare that street hoodlums are something they are not--law abiding--then you are a co-conspirator and deserve a place right beside those who should be arrested. 

Monday, April 19, 2021

Parent Like A Teacher

An Open Letter To My Children Regarding The Commencement Of Asynchronous Parenting

Sound familiar? Sorta like the ear-worm, schoolhouse rock song that has been on an endless loop for over a year? Or maybe it is intersectionality.  You know, yet another made-up word with so many syllables it must be really smart. In this case it is less about woke and more about the mashup of "quality time" and "virtual learning." Seriously, if it is good enough for the hired help isn't it about time their employers tried it at home?

Thursday, April 15, 2021


Only. Sounds restrictive, right? As in singular. Unique. Like Costco saying "only those over 60" allowed during Olde Farte Power Hour, and enforcing it. Sounds like a clear definition, plainly stated in plain English. 

Of course, none of this applies at city hall, where a "Seniors Only" apartment complex really means 80 percent reserved for seniors. That's right, the "Seniors Only" apartments, vocally supported by a majority of the seven dwarfs, with one effusing about looking forward to this development and stating, incorrectly, that it will not affect our schools. 

Wrong on two counts.

First, council approval supports twenty percent open-market units and there will be no prohibition against school age children for any resident demographic. Do you NOT know a grandparent who is raising a grandchild? Or two? Nonetheless, one in five units may well go to a family. With kids. And this is not a slippery slope, it is a mud slide. That this development will be just another unwanted apartment complex isn't likely. It is all but certain.

Then there is the always there damage this city does to our schools on behalf of developers when they throw tax "relief" their way. The city, by way of the developer's authority, takes these properties off the tax rolls, stealing money from our schools so they can hand it to a developer. In this case the corporate welfare check is $7M, most of it coming from school taxes.

Yet someone has the unmitigated gall to suggest there is no impact on our schools. So, is the difference between mistake and prevarication what you know? Or is it what you should know? Or have we sunk to the level that ignorance is an acceptable excuse? Or maybe we just don't care. No one at city hall does.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Whatcha Gonna Do?

With that pandemic windfall?  You know, that $1400 Biden Bonus? Let TOD offer a suggestion. Something of lasting value. Something that commemorates the greatest generation this country, this planet has ever seen. 

Get yourself an M1 carbine. This is the tool your grandparents, or if you were born in the naughties, your great-grandparents used to conquer fascism and socialism. Real fascism. The kind that really killed real people. If you've ever fired an M1 or even just held one, well you know. 

Now you could go out an buy a classic, an M1 that actually saw service in WWII, and there is a legit collector community supporting M1-s. But as a collectible you'd not want to fire it, at least not often, and you may have trouble staying within budget. But it could take place of honor on the wall beneath the flag that graced your forefather's casket. 

There are also competitions centered around the M1 and consequently there are current manufacturers, including one tracing back to an original WWII supplier, offering competition and honest replica M1-s. Many of these, from Auto Ordnance and Inland, can be had for well under the BB limit leaving funds for enough ammo to get acquainted with your heritage. 

Now if you're willing to add some funds of your own, Springfield Armory offers a fine line of M1A rifles including their M1A Loaded .308 though you may find one of their competition rifles more to your taste should budget allow.

The great thing about all these options is you can get a honest-to-God battle-proven military firearm celebrating the greatest generation in a hands-on way. So if you get one, get yourself some range time and when you get home, pour a stiff one, put on Band of Brothers, toast those who served and sacrificed and shed not a tear for how far we've fallen. You're earning this.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Work Really Cuts Into His Day

You probably have a job. All in that would consume 40, 50, maybe more hours of your week. Especially if you hold a non-clock-punching, exempt position, leaving little time for fun, games and time with the family. Unless you're heading up the police department in one of the built to suit (developers and businesses) faux-cities.

Like Dunwoody.

Dunwoody's Top Cop (his words, not ours) is also an instructor at Guardian Leadership. This is in addition to his very own consultancy advising wanna-be-s on how to become just as good a cop as he. In between he's been the globe-trotting cop FROM Dunwoody. So is it any surprise that when he actually is in town and at least somewhat attentive to what is going on in his own department he is penning or just signing off on white-washing reports to deflect his and his department's culpability for extremely unsavory goings-on?

Is this really what the city wants? Apparently, as the city manager has done nothing about this, has said nothing about this, and so it must be concluded, at the very least, he approves of this.

So what to do?

Fire the city manager, with cause, for dereliction and replace him with someone committed to serving the residents of this community. His replacement's contract will ensure this is a condition for ongoing employment and given the disastrous experiences we've had with run-of-the-mill city managers this will require vigilance and frequent review. The first action of this manager would be cleaning house. In the PD and throughout city operations. Hard as it is to believe, in little over a decade we've allowed bureaucratic bloat to spread like kudzu. 

So how to do this?

This will require some significant changes in our elected representatives at city hall. Very likely some, perhaps most, are not salvageable and require replacement. With significant improvement over the current office-holders. 

Only then do we stand a chance of making the best of a very bad situation.

Monday, April 5, 2021


And unsavory.

After purloining a regional artist's work the city has received an award for having done just that. Though it was a blatant misappropriation for self-serving, but well connected interests a hospitality group determined it was worthy of an award. Not to Kofke, the artist and IPR owner, but to the purloiners of his work. 

It is a twisted world we live in when those who deserved a criminal conviction instead are given awards. Shame on the perpetrators and shame on this misguided group.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

It's Pollen Season

A recent comment on Stan da Man's idling blog characterizes the dumpster fire known as DCSD as an approaching "perfect storm." From the outset let's be clear, this is not a trashing of that individual or the specific comment because the observations and conclusion are and have been shared by generations of parents and teachers in DeKalb, but THAT is part of the real problem. So this is not a perfect storm, a rare occurrence, it is more a routine, regular event like the pine pollen coloring our world yellow. It has been here before. It will be here again. And no one has what it takes to prevent it-cut down all the pine trees. 

Like the weather, and pollen season, folks like to complain about school systems. The same recurring complaints. The super is some kind of ambitious, self-serving creature that doesn't care about the teachers and staff, complaints that could be leveled against Crawford, Green, Watson-Harris and a host of others. It isn't the super and changing the name and face won't make a meaningful difference. That someone [else, it is always someone else] must do something. They say the State, or the Governor must step in and do something even though this has already been tried and failed. This Governor would be no more effective than the last. Then there is the accrediting agency. Why don't they step up and step in and protect the teachers and staff? That's because SACS>AdvancEd>Cognia is a business beholding to the customer so they stand up for the district administration, protecting them from outside influences and they will punish micro-managing boards long before they call a super to task. 

The root cause is in the community, resting in those folks who say things like "stand up for all the stakeholders, especially the students." Just as in that phrasing, the students always come last, as if they are just an afterthought. But they are not an afterthought at all. They are tools. When an eSPLOST comes up school apologists will tout "it is for the students" even as they acknowledge that most of the money will be wasted but there is hope that some funds will make it to the classroom. Despite the blatant waste, this has proven compelling. And parents, no matter how vocal, generally limit their true concerns to their child and their focus hopscotches from school to school as their child, inevitably, moves on. And that inevitability is an intentional, foregone conclusion: students will not be held back; they will not learn; and outside sports they will never be subjected to a meritocracy. That's why colleges and universities have remediation, whether explicit or embedded. 

So this is not a perfect storm. It is not some unlikely confluence of bad circumstances creating an unusual crisis. It is structural. It is systemic. And it is by design. And the catalyst for all this is "for all the stakeholders, especially the students." So long as this remains effective our schools will remain in their current state. Or worse. 

So whenever you hear "for the students," just inhale, exhale and move on.