Monday, May 31, 2021

Follow The Facts

Really? Who needs facts when we have "science" to follow? Well that would be anyone who wants to remain in touch with reality. A reality comprised of facts.

For a powerful example we need look no further than the CDC hosted right here in DeKalb County. Don't wear masks. Wear masks. Wear two masks. Don't wear masks. Following the science seems to be a dodgy business.  And when it comes to dodgy the CDC is king of the hill.

We have them overstepping their bounds, their stated mission of research and scientific inquiry to become a policy engine issuing unauthorized regulations. Regulations now found to be illegal

And they've abandoned science in favor of politics. It seems the CDC now works for a union, the American Federation of Teachers and their union boss Randi Weingarten. Recently the AFT has called for the CDC to carve out special "science" for operating schools the way the AFT wants them operated, and no surprise at added cost. Before that the AFT was literally dictating to the CDC the specific language for CDC reports. 

If a rational creature were to follow the actual facts the conclusion would not be to defund the police but to defund the CDC which is clearly not doing science but is doing much public harm.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

What's Good For GM...

Remember that one? You know: what's good for GM is good for America. Of course you don't because damn few of the Greatest Generation are still with us. And we've come a long way since those days and much the worse for it. Instead of societal and corporate patriotism we have been wallowing for decades trying to ignore the squeals of delight from greedy beneficiaries of the new-age policy of privatizing profits while socializing risk.

Dunwoody has taken it a to a whole 'nuther level handing out a $160,000 gift to benefit a local, profitable real estate development. And yes, it is a gift. How do we know? First this is what was said: the recipient of the loan 'would only be responsible for paying back the loan at the end of 2023 if the complex does not produce a provable “public benefit.”' Next is the fact that much important information was (willfully?) withheld. What exactly is the definition of "public benefit?" What metrics will be used and who will apply them and when will this be done? And just where the hell did the money being used, not to pick a winner or a loser, but to fund a new business operation come from? Is this from the slush fund created by skimming PILOT?

Here is the most likely outcome. Public benefit will be defined as "business success." Remember GM? And what this will mean is the money will NEVER be paid back because a "successful outcome" is exempted and an "unsuccessful outcome" will go bankrupt. Kind of like the integrity of this city.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Like A Duck

Score The Fat

Salt 'n' Peppa

Cold Duck Cold Pan

Make It Hot

Flippin' Brown

Rest O' The Breast

Twigs And Tubers

Tater Prep

Duck Fat Rules!

Grapes, Oiled To Roast

Chow Down

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Consent Decree

If you're familiar with the story of Snow White, you probably know that it ends, happily, when Snow White is kissed by her Prince Charming. Now Disney finds itself on the wrong side of the cancel culture because they tell that story. 

Now you might think this is because with the seemingly dead Snow in her glass coffin that the problem was a manifestation of Charming's necrophiliac tendencies. After all, he was pretty sure she was dead. Turns out the cancel culture saw right through that and honed in on the real problem: Charming did not get Snow's consent. That's right, consent was not obtained from the corpse. Running with that one might presume that since a corpse, like an incapacitated drunk, cannot give consent this was in fact a sexual violation. Now before you get all huffy about how a kiss ain't sex ask yourself this: is kissing as oral sex nothing more than about where the kiss is planted? If so Charming's offense is a difference in degree, not in kind. 

And that's how the cancel culture works.

Monday, May 17, 2021

When Pigs Fly

Recent research has demonstrated that pigs are capable of intestinal respiration.

Meanwhile here in Dunwoody we have yet another episode of "just cannot mind your own business" oozing out of city hall. Rather than updating on traffic enforcement by city PD or sign ordinance enforcement our "communications" director (are there any just plain ole worker bees on our payroll?) we are treated to a notice that yard debris pickup may be delayed. Of course that has NOTHING to do with the city as that happens to be a county service. The notice from the city is perhaps their idea of something for the greater good.

On the ordinance front one of the dwarfs penned a discoverable missive to a mere resident suggesting all the residents' problems will be solved when a new set of ordinances, ones this resident can get his confused little mind around, are approved. In fact these will have the real effect of wiping out community protection while giving profiteering businesses a free hand to do whatever they want. This dwarf espouses the philosophy that what is good for business is all for the greater good. 

What does this have to do with porcine intestinal pulmonary function? Well, human testing of intestinal respiration is just beginning and we just happen to have some folks at city hall that have been practicing cranal-anal-inversion for some time so there are certainly some walking bowels sporting pulmonary activity. With all the time they have spent blowing smoke up our collective arses maybe it is time something got blown up theirs. All for the greater good of course.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Don't Do It

This is a shout out to folks who are about to get sucked up in the "New City" movements in East Cobb and Buckhead: Just Do NOT Do It. If you're in a rush to find out why just do a some quick internet browsing and you cannot help but conclude there may be a dumpster fire in your future.

These impending city fuster-clucks are more likely to impact East Cobb than Buckhead as the latter is already part of a city, but there are significant issues that will blindside most voters. After it is too late. Before then, there are things that can be done. 

Demand transparency. You won't get it but you must insist. Relentlessly.  You must see past the intentional, deceptive diversions. The biggest will be "economic viability" proven by a "study" that is commissioned by the city advocates to prove just that. For Buckhead this is a no-brainer as it has the most wealth per acre of any place in Georgia. East Cobb is another story, but just remember: the study is bought as is the conclusion. 

Resistance requires intense, unwavering focus. On the city charter. That is the document that will destroy your life. It will define city organization and operation in such a way that it benefits the big money behind the effort, developers and businesses, at the expense of those who live in the community. It will create a bureaucratic organization with minimal oversight by any elected official. If you need a model, look at a local school district. Run by educrats (for educrats) with your school board representative sidelined, reduced to a mere observer though with a better seat than you. Your city council and mayor will be much the same, and this is now such a common organizational structure it has a name: a "weak-mayor" city government.

This is your lever. Demand a form of government where elected officials, elected by you, have direct operational responsibilities. No "city manager." Instead a city administrator who reports to, and works at the pleasure of, the elected mayor. Same for the chief of police as well as other top level bureaucrats. Councils with real staff and real responsibilities for creating, advocating and passing ordinances. You must insist on leadership that can be changed, by your vote, if the city turns its back on those who voted it into existence. Without this "local control" is just a meaningless phrase they like to use.

You must also ensure that the city charter prohibits the creation of a Developer's Authority with the capability of removing property from the tax roles and also prohibited from the practice of money laundering: Payments In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT). To prevent the destruction that out-of-control developers will rain down on your community they must be de-funded. If you do not do this your community will fill with unwanted developments that bring traffic and crime all the while draining money from your schools. For East Cobb these schools are crown jewels of the community. Don't throw them away.

You also need to stay on top of how the city charter can be modified or re-written. In most new cities this is done by some appointed administrators or bureaucrats with no credential or capability requirements, subject to unknown influences and operating without transparency. Demand that any revisions to the city charter go before the voters, in a referendum, before being submitted to the state. Just like the vote to establish the city in the first place.

These are your levers and your vote is your fulcrum. But make no mistake, if you waver in any of these demands you will get one, and only one, vote. Don't waste it supporting others' ambitions to ruin your life.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Local Schools

One of our local rags recently quoted the new DHA president suggesting that local real estate values would skyrocket if Dunwoody had its own schools. Having more than just a little expertise in real estate he probably knows what he is talking about with regards to the impact of school quality and home values. The open question is how one measures quality: would Dunwoody schools perforce be better, and how would that actually happen?

Dare we suggest that these are intractable? That facts are not nearly as important as marketing? That perception is what matters, that feeling the schools are top notch carries more weight than actual results? After all, that is the lived experience of the last several decades. 

So if there is no likely improvement in academic achievement, is establishing local schools a bad idea? Actually no. While the likelihood of academic improvement is low there are significant benefits that are mostly off-campus. 

Very likely the DHA prez is correct in saying that home values would improve with local schools just as "neighborhood schools" are more attractive than "mega schools." It is worth noting the foundation for these calculations is relativism. The schools need not actually meet any absolute performance goals, they only need to be better than the alternative. Think "running from a bear." 

There is a much better reason to circle the wagons with a smaller, close to home school system and naturally that is all about money. Specifically the money that the city currently steals from DeKalb County Schools. Would local schools, with neighbors and only neighbors on the board long tolerate this blatant financial undermining of the community's children and their education? Probably not. And THAT might lead to sanity in dealing with the over-development running roughshod over this community. Maybe, just maybe, developers would be paying impact fees instead of stealing excessive profits from our children's futures.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Size Matters

This isn't about "small government is better government," because that has been proven false. Frankly it was obvious from the beginning as the intent then, and borne out by history, is that the original "small government" had no provision, no motive and no intent of remaining small. And it hasn't, has it? 

But this isn't about right-sizing government, it is about a two-faced government obsessed with size. Just start with the proposal by this city to reduce the size requirement for planned development from five acres to one acre to make life easier for developers. This city doesn't take a knee for developers, they're down on both. At the far extreme is the lack of any reasonable restriction on building heights in the Village, even noting that such restrictions apply elsewhere. If the city or even just the seven dwarfs cared about residents they would be actively working to ensure that any building with commercial activity is restricted to one floor, that stacked-flat residential is verboten and multi-floor residence conform to the same height restriction as neighboring residential.

There is something that impacts residents, specifically fence heights. The current height limit is eight feet and the city wants this lowered to six feet, with one of the dwarfs regretting a previous vote, now wanting to flip-flop because they have now been personally impacted. That kind of vision and leadership should be run out of town. If you want an eight foot fence the city now wants you to come to them and take a knee, or maybe two, to obtain their approval.

That's the story of Dunwoody...spread 'em wide for developers and clamp down on residents.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Biden's Executive Order

Awake but not yet alert Biden emerged from the basement and after pawing his way through a Girl Scout Troop on the White House tour he made it to the Oval Office eager to get some Executive Orders issued. Though seemingly impatient, Biden displayed unusual curiosity starting with the first EO: The Silhouette Ban. "Hey man! What's this silhouette issue? Is this about those black outlines of the kid's profiles our folks had hanging in the stairwell? Have those been cancelled? You know, that's not blackface." 

His Chief of Staff and the Woke Czar were dumbfounded yet somehow not rendered speechless. WC stumbled for words finally spitting out "No, no, not those. This is about the silhouette targets used in firearms training. You know, like these," at which point he pulled up this image on his phone:

Clueless Joe was visibly shaken. "C'mon man, no wonder cops are shooting Blacks, they're being trained to see black and shoot. We gotta get these things out of people's hands." WC said, "it gets worse" and swiping left revealed this:

Biden gasped, "Asians too? Don't tell me the cops are training to shoot Asians too. Banning these is just common sense." 

CoS, trying to rein in the enthusiasm pointed out that the NRA would have some push back at which point WC swiped again revealing:

"What is this, CoS? Is that red or orange? I mean if it's red I can see an issue, but is it really a problem if it's orange?" "Good point. I didn't get the orange implication, but the concern had been that the NRA would argue that color doesn't matter or something silly like that. After all cops aren't likely to shoot many smurfs even if they go after an Oompah Loompah." Biden nodded and CoS continued, "there is one other that might be worse." As WC swiped Biden's jaw dropped.

"Whites too? Man...I just don't know. It's like folks with guns will shoot anybody. But these look like fat white guys, you know? Like skinny white guys are all Democrats and I know, I know, not all fat white guys are Republicans but like, I do know that most white Republicans are a bit on the heavy side." The ensuing uncomfortable silence was broken when CoS observed "the NRA is going to say they're just as likely to train for shooting white guys as any others." 

Clearly annoyed being cautioned by his own team, Joe pondered a bit and said, "hey man, you know what these all have in common, don't you? They're all from waist up! Haven't I been saying for years now that they should just shoot  'em in the legs? Haven't I? Don't they have any of these from the waist down?" CoS and WC looked at each other and said, in unison, "No. No they don't." 

"Well, they should. How about you call the Irish Embassy and see where they get theirs? I'm pretty sure the Irish have been shooting in the legs for years. The NRA can't have a problem if we copy them." 

CoS was beginning to wonder if this was the famous Biden humor but chose a straightforward response. "I think the Irish actually practice on each other and I'm pretty sure the NRA and the IRA are not in close contact." 

Biden's patience was exhausted. "Fine. Let me sign the damn thing. Are those Girl Scouts still around? Man, I'd like to get my hands on some of those cookies."