Thursday, April 28, 2022

It's A Landslide!

Fast-forward to mid-term elections. Election upset. Democrat wins against incumbent Republican with the vote split 59 to 41. Wow! And the media crowd goes wild! Landslide! LANDSLIDE! They cannot say it often or loudly enough. 

Flash-back. To now. Same split: 59 to 41. Only now it is the percentage of math texts making the approved list in Florida. Somehow, rather than declaring a landslide, media seems obsessed with the 41. It is as if it were an election where the Democrat lost. Maybe it IS a proxy. Whatever it may be it is most certainly a disservice. If media retained any objectivity they would now (and always would have) examine the books ON THE LIST to see if they are anything more than the math equivalent of the comic book version of David Copperfield. You know. All pictures. Lots of distractions. Almost no math. 

After all, doesn't a landslide touch on just a little math? Shouldn't we ALL know how to compare those two numbers? Consistently?

Monday, April 25, 2022

Too Busy?

Back in the before times, the waaayyy before times, Atlanta, as it was called in those days, was known as "The City Too Busy To Hate." There was a lot of truth to that. There are still some pretty busy folks, but the impact on hate seems to have diminished. 

Case in point? Druid Hills High School. 

There a lots of problems here and the least is the raw sewerage bubbling up all over the place, because what is happening at the Palace is equally odious. That stench is bubbling out the mouth of the Board Chair Vickie Turner and the racist overtones are unmistakable. Especially if you actually are color blind.

 "Our goal is to provide equity across the district."

Does that mean you intend to trash Mount Arabia? As Diversity Inclusion and Equity sweep through academia, academic rigor is being swept aside to "close the gap" between high performers and "students who have not achieved their academic potential." Arabia shines and yet DHHS falls off the task list and we are treated to this statement:

"That school is nestled in the middle of affluence."

Now that is bold and brash. So...DHHS deserves no maintenance, no money, no consideration because the neighborhood exceeds her acceptable level of McMansions? Really? That is a level of animus that exceeds justification as identity politics. This is bad to the bone. 

There are a couple of problems this exacerbates, more significant than turning a playground into a hockey-chopper. 

If you were trying to encourage that community to break away, falling into the more comforting arms of APS then this is a job well done. If the goal is to incite and support a referendum to increase the prohibition on adding new school districts these are the sound bites that will resonate loudly throughout the entire state. You cannot buy this level of political capital. 

The most appalling issue gets back to what everything gets back to: race. But with a twist. Turns out DHHS is not a lily white school nestled in an exclusively rich, lily white community to be used as an effigy for venting pent-up anger. Just so happens that DHHS is quite diverse, just not that kind of diverse acceptable to those currently in power. Apparently not enough Blacks and it is equally apparent that Asians and Hispanics are considered "white adjacents" and undeserving of an equitable allocation of resources. It smacks little of leadership and more of what was foreshadowed in A Man In Full: "We got the power. Now we want the money."

This is bad now. It could get worse if "get even, get ours" becomes the standard practice of politics going forward. What DHHS foreshadows is a future where it isn't about just Black and White. A future where others take the reins of power. And should they follow suit and exclusively support their demographic, at the expense the others, then the policy espoused by the Board Chair will prove to have been a societal carcinogen.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

(Un)License To Chill

Sho'gun Kemp recently signed the Constitutional Carry bill into law over the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from the "we bleed blue" anti-constitutionalists. No surprises there. What is much more interesting is a gun association (NAAGA) that came out in opposition to the law.  To be clear, NAAGA appears to be a very admirable organization providing assistance and training to an under-served part of our society. Good on them. 

What is a bit odd is the implication in their statements that somehow Constitutional Carry changes anything in Georgia regarding training. It wasn't required last year and it won't be required this year. And, to NAAGA's point, training, early and often, formal or informal is a key element of responsible gun ownership and weapons carry. NAAGA gets that, but this law changes nothing in that regard. Their work is no less noble, no less needed and frankly, no less difficult now than it ever was. Let's all hope they keep up their good works.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Takin' CARES Of Bidness

In yet another classic DeKalb County School District cock-up we find they spent CARES Act money...wait for it...on themselves! Specifically bonuses handed out to bureaucratic drones in Human Resources, a department that has been all to frequently noted for botching the vetting and hiring process of everyone from classroom teachers to superintendents. But the rationalization for these bonuses was not that "a job well done" but a job that required excessive hours. Not that they are incapable of delivering 40 hours of work in a 40 hour week. Nope, it is the pandemic, because, you know, you still gotta get yer HR on even with CoVid. 

Now you really gotta wonder: are these bureaucrats exempt employees? In the real world that puts you in a gitterdun category and if circumstances dictate this requires more than 40 hours or weekend work, well then that's what you do. And if bonuses get passed out it is because you or your team made a substantial, measurable contribution. Make dollars to get dollars. Obviously, that is not the way public schools work, if for no other reason than competition is their kryptonite. Equally obvious is that this is not the way a public service should operate either.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Tail Between Two Cities

And the cities are? Lawrenceville and Dunwoody. So far away (not really) and yet so close (really).  

Sex related hijinx in the PD? Lawrenceville, check. Dunwoody, check and maybe keep on checking. Similar outcomes? Not so much. In Lawrenceville we get some firings, with cause. In Dunwoody we (don't) see primary actors being disappeared and allowed to resign. How can the lack of accountability in Dunwoody possibly be what is best for this city?

Po-Po DUI? Lawrenceville, check. Dunwoody, check check. Outcomes. Lawrenceville, again with the strict adherence to good sense and quick dismissal. Dunwoody offers (to some?) a mulligan and we'll never know about the second since public records were made public before Truth Botcher could slice and dice the presentation. Remember, you eat first with your eyes, especially handy when you want to make something look better than the bad taste it leaves in your mouth. One must wonder if everyone gets a mulligan or is it a select few? If the latter what does that do to morale?

Cone of silence? Again, each city earns a full complement of check marks. It's almost as if opacity is systemic in local governments (and we wanted more of this?). But again, Lawrenceville comes under the scrutiny of the AJC and Dunwoody gets a pass from them with the AJC reluctantly playing catch-up to the local rags who had nothing holding them from publication. Obviously the AJC doesn't allocate investigative resource where the malfeasance is greatest. Maybe that is just too obvious...too shooting fish in a barrel. 

Maybe not.

Monday, April 11, 2022

It's A Dog Eat Dog World

At least in Dunwoody and city hall seems to like it that way. Background: a resident's daughter was walking their dog, on a leash, when it was attacked and killed by a much larger dog, not on a leash. As one might imagine this was horrifically traumatizing all the way around. 

Well not ALL the way around.

Enter Dunwoody PD. What action did they take? Well they took down a report, knocked on a door and when no one answered...they left. Could well have been done online. There only comments (before Truth Butcher muzzled them) was to cover their superficial actions behind the lack of probable cause. However a local news outlet was able to determine this was not the first time this canine assailant went tooth and claw with other dogs each time not properly restrained by the owner.

Takeaways? Unrestrained dogs, outside of a bark-park, are a violation, by the owner, and should be cited and owners fined. No attack on your pet is too minor not to be reported to the police since they won't lift a finger without a wealth of discoverable reports. And, there's video of almost everything happening on this planet, so if you see something, video something.

And you have to wonder: if a child is mauled next will the police knock a few more times, maybe on a few more doors, or perhaps check with management to see which residents have [registered] pets? The visceral response is yes, but ponder what has been going on down at city hall and with the PD. Are you still sure that answer would apply in Dunwoody?

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Panning For Gold

Mayor, council and city bureaucrats bugged out to gold country to ponder how to part you with more of your gold without you having any say in the matter.  Now there was a lot of suspicious talk going on, like the myth about citizens having any demands or expectations that city bureaucrats give a rip about, but the common thread was how to extract more money from us in such a way that we could not possibly prevent them from pilfering our pockets. Some talk about raising the millage rate (we've had nothing but TAX increases, but via the backdoor) but it seemed there was one significant stumbling block: the city charter. The sales (snow?) job used to sell this dumpster fire to the voters hinged on limited government, local control and fiscal prudence, none of which sit well with the bureaucrats the voters (unknowingly?) turned their lives over to. But the charter has a baked in millage rate limit and requirements for referendum to make some of their most coveted changes. But they left themselves a backdoor: no referendum is required to change the charter. They can do that with just a little help from their friends. 

The current train wreck at city hall has folks calling for top-level resignations and firings which is sending chills down the collective bureaucratic spine. So, perhaps there is some trepidation around initiating a re-write of the city charter. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a citizen revolt with the people who live here demanding that those we elect be assigned actual responsibility for city operations. Maybe then the citizens of Dunwoody will get what they thought they voted for in the first place.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Whose Phone Is Ringing?

Perhaps the real question is "whose phone should be ringing?"

Recently there have been calls, unanswered calls, for the removal by resignation of Dunwoody's self-proclaimed Top Cop. But these callers may have the wrong number or at least not all the right ones. Does Dunwoody need a PD shakeup starting at the top and including the upper ranks? Absolutely. 

But this would miss the mark.

As required by the City Charter the police chief reports to the city manager. The same city manager who has, by inaction, endorsed the incompetence and misbehavior permeating his (and it is his) police department. Clearly the calls for the Top Cop's resignation fall short of the mark. These fish rot first at the head and it is stinking to high heaven. The calls should be for the removal of the city manager. When, if ever, will our elected officials answer that call?