Friday, December 29, 2023

Like Peas In A Pod

The AJC recently gave a good deal of ink to a local politician who had recently visited Finland, assumably on the taxpayer dime, returning with tales of educational equity and excellence that she believes we can apply right here in the ATL. Really? Equity in Finland, bearing in mind that the contemporary uses of "equity" are the same outcome. Regardless. 

Could there possible be two places, two communities, two societies, MORE dissimilar? We're mostly familiar with the ATL but lets take a look at Finland, demographics in particular. Finland has about 5.6 million people. The. Whole. Country. To quote Wikipedia, "Finland is a predominantly ethnically homogenous country with a dominant ethnicity of Finnish descent." We are a melting pot, though it appears the heat was turned off quite a bit back. Finland is also blessed with official languages, Finnish and Swedish, and we are not. Don't even try. The only thing more unfathomable than a politician spouting this nonsense is the AJC giving it a platform.

The only sensible explanation is that the politician left her guide dog at home.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Keine Stille Nacht

It is time for the annual "assimilation tango" with folks from other parts of the world imposing their customs on the land they've chosen to migrate to but have no intention of respecting. 

Particularly the laws.

As it so happens it is against the law in DeKalb County to shoot off fireworks after 9PM except for a very limited set of days which does not include Christmas Eve (see Division 4, Sec. 16-311). Virtue signalers contend we simply must respect these newcomers' customs and tolerate their openly breaking the law. Well, in some places guns are fired in celebration giving us the term "celebratory gunfire." Will the virtue signalers accept and support that? Where do they draw the line and who are they to draw it? By what authority do they decide who can and cannot break our laws with impunity? Will anyone support and enforce these laws in effect and respected by others? Probably not: think inflate-a-dino.

As politically correct as it may be, perhaps we should follow the lead the UK has set and limit immigration to numbers we can successfully assimilate.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Baffling Math

Math is cool. Has real world day-to-day application. What might that be you ask? Well, sussing out BS in mainstream media. Case in point: in a recent Maureen Downey opinion piece on math scores, to underscore the importance of STEM, we get this:

"Engineers earned the highest median salaries, with an average pay of $97,000..." 

You need to know almost nothing about statistics to smell this road apple. You see, when they change horses in mid stream, from median to average, they're mangling the data to support their viewpoint. You should stop reading the opinion piece at this point and disregard all you've read to this point. Instead you might want to rabbit-hole on the "flaws of the averages" because almost without fail when someone slings around average numbers they're slinging crap. Thought exercise: consider the average household income with two earners in the USA. Doesn't really tell you very much does it?

Monday, December 18, 2023

Talk To The Hand...

...the bureaucrats are busy.

A resident of Dunwoody has been trying to get the city to stop ignoring his requests for discussion. Topic? Stormwater issues. The matter at hand seems pretty straightforward and involves a drainage basin in need of an outlet and frankly the ownership of the basin itself should not result in the city ignoring a resident. And by city we mean the city manager, the mayor and a councilman. 

However, if you want to openly violate the sign ordinance with your inflate-a-dino this city will not only listen, they'll give you the key to the city and rewrite the code to suit your (currently in vogue) style of ticky-tacky. Does anyone we've elected not see what's wrong with this picture?

Thursday, December 14, 2023

How Could Anyone Believe This?

A local journalist is suing the City of Dunwoody, and a few of its bureaucrats for failure to comply with an open records request around an alleged issue with a cop.

Who could possibly believe this? After all the chief wins awards.

Fine, so the cops did falsify their own police reports, but it was all for a good cause, right? But allegations of violating open records laws?

Who could possibly believe this? After all the chief wins awards.

OK, fine, there was the dick-pic fiasco, but that was just a harmless example of boys being boys, right. But lying about missing text messages?

Who could possibly believe this? After all the chief wins awards.

Yeah, yeah, quit yer bitchin about the fact DPD never enforces traffic violations in or near the Village. But suggesting they willfully lied?

Who could possibly believe this? After all the chief wins awards.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Even The Deer

The World Is All A'Twitter

Thursday, December 7, 2023

You Might Be An Idiot If...

In a recent opinion piece Maureen Downey was pondering the impact of screens, specifically phones, and student achievement and overall wellbeing. The general consensus is these things are about as good for your kids as crack cocaine. Laced with fentanyl. And it does make you wonder if A.D.H.D really stands for "Another Damn Handheld Device." It seems most everyone agrees these things take tender young minds and turn them into complete mush. 

Well, everyone except some parents. This is where the idiots arrive on the scene. Apparently there exist parents who thought having a baby was a good idea but keeping the resulting child save from harm, well, not so much. They actually justify ensuring that their walking STDs have these devices at all times. So...

If you think your kid should have a smartphone for emergency communications, then you might be an idiot. Only an idiot would think it reasonable for a child in an active shooter situation to think "well, I better text mom right away--it turns out I won't be taking Sally to the prom because she just got shot." 

Or, if you think your little darling needs a phone so you can reach out regarding their requests for tonight's dinner menu, pasta or pizza, it doesn't matter, then you probably are an idiot. Wrong. On so many levels. About time you started adulting, maybe even parenting. She's gonna eat what you fix and if she doesn't like it, well, then don't eat anything. We have a youth obesity crisis partly because they're eating too much, most of it crap, but mostly because they're flopped on the sofa with their eyes glued to a smartphone screen. 

Or, if you think a smartphone is some kind of educational asset in a child's hands, then you really are an idiot. Do you really think keeping up on the latest Taylor Swift dating drama or breakup lyrics is not what they are really doing when they are supposed to working? They do call it "school work" for a reason. 

Finally, if you think anyone in High Tech that makes this technology lets their children anywhere near it, then you are not just an idiot, you're a clueless idiot, who probably spends way too much time making eye-love to your smartphone even when the real person you bred with is in the same room. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Skid Marks

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Who keeps taking out these signs? Are they doing it on purpose or are they just they typical incompetent driver that seems to dominate the village? What would have happened if it were a pedestrian rather than a sign? After all, folks in daVille actually do walk even without an interstate lane underneath their feet. 

And does it even matter? Dunwoody bureaucrats, including the much ballyhooed CoP have state most loudly by their [in]actions that they're not inclined to enforce any traffic laws in these areas. None. Nada. 

So the only question remaining is: will they have to float a bond to pay for the repair?

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Make It A Drinking Game

We've been suffering through a prolonged period of linguistic entropy. Some would blame it on social media, others on the pandemic, and some others on just increased general ignorance. Folks are misusing some words, abusing others, and making some up. There is an upside. You can make commonly abused words into "triggers," in a good way. You see one online in click-bait? Don't click. You hear the abuse on TV? Change the channel. Trip over one in something you're reading. Stop. Just stop. You can't make them stop, but you can stop yourself. 

Even better, if you have the time and inclination, then when confronted with an odious affront to intellect, take a sip. Preferably an adult libation. Let's look at a few shot-worthy nuggets.

Bussing or busses. This one you've got to see in print, but if they're not talking about getting some face time and making wet noises, fully clothed, then take a shot. Given spell checkers routinely flag this, seemingly not artificially intelligent enough to know the other meaning, it is an unconscionable infraction. Maybe two fingers. 

Physicality. While this does pass the spell checker it is still wrong, more than mildly unpleasant to the ear. It seems to have originated with jocks-turned-sportscasters trying to sound like they learned something during their college years. Certainly deserves taking a sip and will help soothe the pain of a losing game. 

Athleticism. Often used in the near occasion of physicality which accelerates the listener towards a solid buzz. Depending on the banter and color commentary you could be in the "just don't care" zone before the end of the first quarter. Even with the new clock rules. 

Hack. If something isn't getting chopped up or the reference isn't to a watch movement just close your eyes and take a long, deep sip. This usually is found in writing, almost always on the interweb finding its way into the clickable headline. Do. Not. Click. There is nothing on the other end of that link but unadulterated crap. Take that solid gulp and stay safe.

These are just a few examples, and surely there are many, many more. Plus, they are making them faster than you can gag on them. Thankfully you can vaccinate yourself against this brain rot with a healthy dose of brain bleach. Remember: thirst is a dangerous thing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

End RoR

If the city really wants to make the village pedestrian friendly there are a few things they can do. 

They could start enforcing traffic laws. Dunwoody apparently has such a widespread reputation for non-enforcement that speeding is more the rule than the exception and red lights are frequently run with drivers sometimes flooring it ten yards before the crosswalk. Heaven forbid a pedestrian thought red means red and began to cross. Enforcement has never been even a bottom-of-the-list priority and that is not going to change. Apparently actual public safety does not garner awards. 

Something other jurisdictions are trying is eliminating Right-on-Red (RoR) as drivers never look to their right and will flatten any pedestrian trying to cross, even though the pedestrian has the walk-man light right of way. This change could make a significant improvement in pedestrian safety, much more so than banning drive through windows which the city seems hell-bent on doing. Could the mayor still be miffed about those trash cans at Burger King?

Of course outlawing RoR won't actually work because this city manager is never going to enforce traffic laws even though it is his top priority job. And yet...he keeps that job.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Guinea Pigs

In the lip flapping leading up to the Trail Bond vote King John observed that Shining PATH did not have experience in putting their pavement in areas like Dunwoody which requires locating it in folks front and back yards. It is almost as if Dunwoody was/is a "what if trial balloon." 

But why Dunwoody? Is it just because city hall hasn't seen a project they don't like whether we do or not?

And...why not somewhere else? How about Morningside? Maybe Ansley park? Don't they need sweat walking to their fave eateries? Or here's an even better idea: put their pavement in Buckhead it is sure to impact the crime situation. And think about it, wouldn't the governor love one of these in his front yard?

Monday, November 20, 2023

Bless Their Hearts

Seems like city hall has joined the special olympics of city services having replace the broken light on the parkway. With a bright white LED creature that doesn't even look like the others. Maybe they'll say it is for safety but what about the one right next to it that works only intermittently? Isn't that unsafe at least some of the time. 

All you can say it "bless their hearts."

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Is It A People Park?

Or is it a car park? Seems the current plan for the park on Roberts, previously the site of Austin Elementary, calls for over one hundred parking spaces. When called out on social media regarding why the hell you need 100+ parking spaces the retort suggested this was just a preliminary plan and could be changed based on "community input." Guess who curates "community input." That's right, the very same folks who came up the the 100+ figure in the first place. So, yeah, it might change. Maybe when someone yells "switch" the decision maker will come up with a need for paving the entire park. 

Monday, November 13, 2023

Who Died?

This is an interesting nugget from the 2024 budget used as groundwork to justify never ending spending and associated taxation:
Today’s City needs police services but at a staffing level appropriate to the community, instead of the levels suggest by the incorporation study, along with compensation appropriate to retain officers. Repaving is being handled by SPLOST, but the transportation needs in a dense area such as Dunwoody are a never-ending battle. The current SPLOST has limits which have to be handled by tax dollars. The parks system, and now trails, are amenities that today’s residents expect. No longer is the desire modeled for this to be minimal efforts. Over half of the people living in the City today did not know the City before incorporation. They moved here from places with parks and trails and expect the same – along with programming befitting those features.
Now let's try to keep true to one thing: we (used to) have a democratic form of government. The unelected bureaucrats at city hall really, really hate that and will do anything to undermine democratic rule by the people. Especially if that means they might have tighten a few belts. But here's something all fans of democracy should rally behind: the referendum forming Dunwoody was ratified by the electorate to be the city that was put before them and changing that should come from a similar vote, not by some army of self-serving unelected bureaucrats.  After all, who died and made them god?

You might argue that the recent Trail Referendum (be honest, a vast majority of that money was going to PATH, which is why they weren't transparent) is just such an update to the original referendum. If you make that argument, or if you were involved in both votes, you may begin to wonder just where this train went off the rails. You see, the cumulative inflation since this city was founded to today is 43% yet the 2024 budget is over double the inflation adjusted budget we voted for at incorporation. Again, who died?

Maybe it is time to right-size this city. We can start by eliminating the assistant city manager position and hire a city manager that will be committed to and deliver on what the electorate, and the city charter they approved, demand. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Shaken, Not Stirred

Bond. Trails Bond. Apparently the any-debt-at-any-cost crowd are crying in their martinis. But no worry, if you can afford to live in Dunwoody you can afford a top shelf martini. Or so went the logic.

Problem is, that kind of logic did not resonate with the crowd who, almost 15 years ago, voted to create a city they thought would be characterized by fiscal responsibility, limited government and local control. As it turns out, the city charter minimizes voter input and local control except in those instances where a referendum is required for city bureaucrats to "grow the city." Such was the case with the rather deceptively named "parks bond" referendum. 

The postmortems have already begun and the do-over committees are probably forming so, well, let's pile on. 

Start with the name. It is deceptive on many levels. First it was to cover parks, which almost everyone favored and highway lanes (even more deceptively) branded as "trails." Worse yet, there was not a list of specific projects with pricing, just a bucket of items like a list a four year old child hands to Santa but no where near as specific as "I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!" More like "I'll have the whole bag and I'll take what I want when the mood strikes me." There is enough confidence in what goes on at city hall and how they operate to make some folks wonder if what would come out of the bag would be PATH's choices over the community choices. 

And city hall knew that PATH's choices were not popular amongst the populace which is why they bundled it with parks and refused to allow an up-down vote on each independently. Separation would also have required they expose exactly how much they intended to allocate to parks and how much they would direct to PATH. So they chose to piggyback something bad on something good as if they were the US congress or something. Works when voters aren't directly involved. Not so much this time. 

There was mischaracterization on both sides. The debt-averse crowd characterized the bond as a "blank check" which the mayor curtly dismissed by remarking, correctly, that it is not a blank check. Left unsaid was that it is better characterized as a slush fund (see previous observation that no concrete prioritized list was provided). The pro-debt crowd characterized the debt-averse as being "anti parks" without recognizing that the referendum included "trails" without constraint on parks vs "trail" priority or expenditures with no protection against PATH running away with all the money. 

Then it got personal with the debt-lovers characterizing the debt-haters as olde fartes who were frozen in the 1970s and against any change. This kind of attack is not noteworthy other than it invoked the Dunwoody version of Godwin's law. This degenerated to invitations to move if you don't like debt-funded changes or a Dunwoody that is nothing more than a cookie-cutter copy of neighboring cities. A bit like watching the folks with all the shiny objects trying to convince the millionaire next door to keep up with the Jones'. Entertaining to watch for the first couple of rounds but quickly turns painful. 

One can never have a contentious political debate without yard signs and one cannot have yard signs without someone removing the opponents' signs. When some debt-averse signagers pointed out that their signs went missing the retort from across the chasm was "the city did this." Not clear if that is true but everyone should certainly hope that it isn't. A city that shows disdain for their own responsibility to police signs in the Village should probably not be pulling down political signs advocating against the city's wishes. Not a good look. 

The pro-debt crowd used a common tactic to dismiss the 53% tax increase that the bond payoff represents by claiming you have to compare that increase to your total property tax bill. Actually, no you don't. You see, the only taxes that the city can directly affect is, well, the city tax. Kinda obvious if you think about it. So when they propose to add more than 50% to their bill they are just looking for a way around the charter restriction on millage rate, which turns out to have been a very good idea to prevent runaway spending. It got funny when the pro-debtors started insulting the other side because some of them weren't aware of what services were provided by the city vs the county when they argued for better priorities. See, you can compare taxes to school and county taxes but you must be oh so clear about the services. 

One thing neither side mentioned was that the bond tax is regressive. Apartment owners do not get a property assessment freeze (homeowners do) and they do not get a homestead exemption (homeowners do) so they are going to pass the increased cost directly to renters, driving up rents. And this is when the city is promoting more and more apartments as "affordable housing" while at the same time proposing a tax that will make rents less affordable. It is really amusing when blue fiscal policy runs counter to the blue agenda. 

Monday, November 6, 2023


Dunwoody debt advocates have promoted their passionate desire by suggesting they want to "invest" in "infrastructure" as odd as that may sound. And what will become of this investment, this infrastructure? Well, let's look at some of the previous infrastructure investments, namely Dunwoody Village Parkway. 

If you've been paying attention you'll have noticed that the eco-warriors at city hall were all eliminated having only just foisted those garish LED streetlights on us. For the Parkway? Well they get the warm glow of old school technology. When it works. If you happen to stroll the parkway after dark you'll notice that between one in five to one in four work only intermittently. At best. At least one has sustained obvious, visible damage and never works. 

This is how Dunwoody maintains their "infrastructure investments." Apparently there is no grant money available for upkeep.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Monday, October 30, 2023

Timing Is Everything

Maybe timing isn't everything but in most cases it is very important and sometimes sooner is not better than later. This is especially true in politics and associated "messaging." Recently the Blue Bag Bag had the weekly, rather droll, report on discussions between city bureaucrats and elected officials around the structural deficit, devalued commercial properties cutting revenue whilst avoiding mention of the shift of burden to residential properties, diminishing pandemic slush funds, expectations of SPLOST funds and the desperate need for bond money for unspecified parks projects allowing rebudgeting to support more than just playtime. The SPLOST and bond are coming up for a referendum vote and this is where it got sticky. 

The BBR article drops this nugget: 

"If costs continue to outpace revenue, the city won't be able to afford expanding local government to their liking."

You know what? You might have better supported the "unlimited growth agenda" had you waited until after the upcoming elections to lay this out there.

Still, lots to unpack, most importantly who does "their" refer to and just what is their "liking?" Are we talking about just the unelected bureaucrats who thrive on spending other peoples' money or have we elected folks who have forgotten, or never knew, that Dunwoody was founded on commitments to fiscal prudence and spending restraint. What flipped in the city's DNA that switched on this cancerous growth seemingly limited only by restriction of revenue? Is there any way to cure this cancer without killing the host or has this city run its course? If the latter it is time to call on hospice, starve the cancer and wind this thing down. Vote accordingly.


Thursday, October 26, 2023

Message Received, Loud And Clear

There are several problems with "selective enforcement" not just limited to making these enforcers judge and jury, providing opportunity for discriminatory practices and falling far short of the mandate enshrined in the city charter to enforce ALL laws and ordinances. 

Unequal enforcement is also a powerful way to send a message.

And that is what we have right here in daVille. You may be aware of the willful violation of a yard art ordinance with the city turning a blind eye due to some uncomfortable political optics based on surname and timing. The social media hoopla resulted in a dinowoody movement complete with signage, an example of which sits proudly (and illegally) in front of the Village Chevron. During the time of this dinowoody violation, posters showing some (not all) of the folks kidnapped and held by Hamas terrorists have been put up and then, mysteriously, removed. Well, all but one (have luck finding it). 

Whether it was the city or the citizens, by leaving dino while removing the kidnapped they seem to be sending the message: "we stand with Hamas."

Monday, October 23, 2023

Looks Like A Duck

Must be a duck.

Park in a driveway, drive on a parkway

Apparently when you pave a lane of interstate beside an existing road and stripe it just like a road folks begin using it like a road. And why not? Doesn't multipurpose include motor vehicles?  

Thursday, October 19, 2023

And You're Being Lied To

But you should be used to it by now. 

Remember the halcyon days, the before days, when Dunwoody Yes! and Citizens for Dunwoody put on a full court press to convince you that a city means "a better Dunwoody." You were told the city could operate on a $18M annual budget and they had the CVI study to prove it. That was a lie. You were told you'd get better services at a lower cost. Now look at the legal costs just to defend an out-of-control police department. You were lied to. You were promised that a city would clamp down on rampant apartment development and now you have a highly compensated bureaucrat telling you "The demand for apartments is significant. We need more of that here [in Dunwoody Village] and Perimeter," begging the questions of demand by whom and just who are "we"? But there is no question that you were lied to. 

And the lying is not in decline. 

Now you're being told it is a $60M bond, but you're not being told it is a $100M debt. Debt is what you're obligated to pay and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Anyone who fails to mention the true magnitude of this debt is also lying. 

Do you really like being lied to?

Monday, October 16, 2023

They Were Lied To

Who? All those "students" who took out loans for what turned out to be mostly a four to six year party and a worthless credential. 

The first lie has been a long term, systemic practice of grade inflation casually laughed off as the Lake Wobegone effect. It is particularly frightening that this is most prevalent in math. Parents should know more and demand better.

The lie affecting society as a whole is the myth that a college education is necessary and implicitly sufficient for someone to make a whole lot more money than they would otherwise. And yet what we have now are stories of folks carrying $44K (or more) who struggle to pay $138/month to nibble away at the debt. Why? Because this borrower had a job making $28/hour ($56K/yr), got laid off and found a new job making $18.50/hour ($37K/yr). Not exactly the pot of gold they were told was at the end of the college debt rainbow. 

And these two lies are not disjoint. Throughout high school students are being told they are much better educated than they are, particularly in math. This innumeracy manifests itself in students, told they are college material, who cannot fire up a spreadsheet or an online calculator and find out whether that mountain of debt can be bought off by the mirage of a pot of gold. Forget the spreadsheet, back-of-the-envelope ciphering shows that it would take almost 27 years to retire that debt at zero percent (0%) interest. At a measly 3% interest rate this payment would take almost 53 years to retire the debt at a total cost (principal and interest) of almost $88K. This debtor would be on track to pay as much in interest as they borrowed in the first place. Should they live so long. 

Yes, they were lied to. Yet, they, college material, made a choice and now they want that choice, a bad one, to have no consequences, at least for themselves. If they are to get debt amnesty a couple of things must happen first: they must explain to those who've paid their loan or never had one exactly why these debtors get off the hook; and the CFPB must realign towards preventing bad loans rather than facilitating them.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Hating On Democracy

DeKalb County has something called a "Charter Review Commission" that is looking into changes to how we, the people might be governed. For the most part the proposed changes are adjustments, mostly reasonable and non-structural. It is interesting to note that the CEO or a commissioner vacates their position if they qualify to run for any office other than the President of the United States, but it IS a draft. It does add some powers to the commissioners but retains the structural integrity of our county government. Most importantly we, the people, will elect the CEO who will be the person running the county. How democratic.

Someone doesn't like that and wants to ditch the CEO that we elect in favor of a county manager appointed by commissioners. This would remake the county government to mimic the school district and the new, faux-cities like Dunwoody because that's working so well---not. It would also add another degree of separation between the electorate and operations undermining local control and democracy itself.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Guest Post: Pound The Table

When a lawyer cannot make a case they pound the table. This seems to be in the hopes that the loudest, perhaps even the most outrageous will win. Hell, it worked once for Trump, maybe it will work for you. 

With the parks referendum we are back to the same place we were with the citihood referendum. On the one side are those insisting that we just must have this money but offering fairly weak transparency. Yes, the city has a "vision" and a "master plan" but have not given a detailed, prioritized list of exactly what they intend to spend this money on. And it is all or none, take it or leave it. To be fair, all of their masterplans include the need for consultants to help them come up with an operational plan: the one that is actually executed. So when you need outside help to plan how to plan don't expect much of the master plan beyond statements of "wouldn't this be cool" and "yes, this is gonna cost lots of money, but it's for the future, for your kids and grandkids." Honestly they may still be paying off the debt (Pew slots us all into 18 year generations, and just wait, someone will use the phrase "generational opportunity" if they haven't already). Because the case for "give us $60M today which will cost you $90M+ over time and a 53% tax increase" is not universally compelling they've fallen back on the tried and true: demean your opposition. 

DONT should really be DON'T

There are some problems with this. It suggests that any criticism of their desires must come from some crusty curmudgeons, nattering nabobs of negativity. If that's true this may backfire as it might piss them off enough to come down from the balcony and vote. Not your way. It ignores the possibility that nabobs may see the similarity between the most recent eSPLOST and this referendum. Lack of specificity, an implicit "you must trust us" vibe, and the ever popular "it's for the children." Combine this with the structural similarities between the school system and the city and it is hard not to throw up just a little bit in your mouth when you hear these proposals. Memory and juxtaposition is a bitch. And worst is the false implication that if you're against this referendum then you are against parks. This is a deception, a lie. It is also a tactic. And not one befitting the kind of intelligent discourse voters in Dunwoody deserve.  

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Do The Math

Apparently math comes in handy sometimes and our cultural predisposition to be dismissive of innumeracy is coming home to roost. We've fallen behind and we're not catching up. We're not even trying. Our K-12 system, largely public schools, are to blame. The pandemic shutdown may have exacerbated the problem, certainly drew attention but wasn't the cause. This has been going on for a long time as public schools have pushed conceptual understanding over indepth comprehension. They favor labels and are putting out a product that doesn't live up to the credential. Colleges and universities across America are finding incoming students who've passed high school calculus who simply cannot handle algebra as demonstrated by placement tests. So what happens? Instead of starting ahead of the curve, these students are taking remedial courses in high school algebra, necessary to have any chance in a college level math course.

Maybe some teachers are trying, shrugging off the mantra that learning has to be fun (and games) and going old school. Learning is knowing things and acquiring skills. One teacher literally ditched the games and stated (out loud) that:

"You have to explicitly teach the content.”

It isn't clear if she's been fired [yet] or if the union knows about this departure from doctrine. Research indicates that students actually learn math when they are explicitly told the rules of the road rather than relying on serendipity and intuition. This debunks the trendy notion that Inquiry Based Learning is a silver bullet, a belief held even though research strongly suggests that IBL works best in graduate level courses where students have sufficient base knowledge to support curiosity. They know enough to know what they don't know. Your eight grader doesn't. 

There is a chance this whole "teaching and learning" thing will catch on as the path (ed: really?) is already paved with a return to phonics. For our children's sake let's hope it does.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Going Postal

Remember back in the day, before a city, there was a postal center down on Shallowford just outside the perimeter? Of course you do. And then USPS proposed closing the Dunwoody facility (sorting and delivery). Remember that too? So the DHA got their collective knickers in a knot, pitched a tantrum and the USPS responded by keeping the Dunwoody Village facility and closed the Shallowford one. Now the village facility is past its use-by date and being idled. And guess what. No one is likely to complain. More likely folks have done a 180 by now and will advocate razing the place probably hoping for some high density housing. Gonna be fun watching them take on the USPS who owns the property.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

In The Beginning...

...there were dinosaurs and then came Tube Man.

When the city is run by clowns we're going to get a circus.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Who's Gonna Tell

Finally. A vote that matters. It's called a referendum and it is what this city's officials would like to avoid at all costs much preferring well curated "community input." To no one's surprise we're seeing the kind of full court press not seen since the days when Dunwoody Yes! and Citizens for Dunwoody touted a study saying this city could run on $18 million a year. These folks want to go all Wimpy and get their hands on $60 million today for which they will gladly pay $200 million over the next twenty years. Or more precisely, they'd like everyone to pay. 

That's where the vote comes in and with it the lobbying. If you're interested you can find the city's promo here and the other aficionados argument here and those advocating deferred gratification here. We've not had entertainment like this since we had clowns running around saying it isn't another layer of government. Turns out they were right since if you don't enforce laws and ordinances it isn't a real government. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Thank God It's Not Dunwoody

Thankfully this property is located in Sandy Springs which has a history of protecting the single family residential character of the area. Remember the gator goat farm? Really nice house there instead of a bunch of clutter homes because Sandy Springs held to their guns. 

If this were in Dunwoody there would be some city bureaucrat getting the developer hotlines hummin' with the prospect of a 5 over 2 stick on pedestal live-work-play lifestyle development. Or ghetto. Your call.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Thursday, September 14, 2023


Having gotten the new School Superintendent to cave, the self-proclaimed top-cop is advocating a set of ordinances mandating cameras at hotels, apartments, gas stations, convenience stores and in designated "high-risk" areas.  

And here's a shocker: many in the public, those being increasingly and incessantly surveilled, did not really cotton to the idea. The best anyone on council could say is "this needs more work." Understatement of the century. One remarkable and incredibly accurate comment was "all this strikes me as government overreach." Overreach to enable under-delivery. And you are not alone. In fact, one commenter in the marked up doc noted: "Need consent, a warrant, or some exception to the Fourth Amendment." Dunwoody PD has previously run afoul of the US constitution to the point you wonder if the police oath includes fealty to that document. Honestly, you have to wonder if this is an effort on the part of government to get private businesses to do blanket surveillance that the government could not do [legally] without a warrant. Doesn't a mandate make this a government operation?

Then there is the abdication of public safety and community policing responsibilities to be replaced with expensive technology paid from private budgets which is not only overreach, it is unconscionable. But one also has to wonder: when the government forces public safety responsibilities on these businesses has it also transferred liability? If so, can it provide the umbrella of sovereign immunity government enjoys, or will these companies be subject to civil litigation if a crime occurs even with all these expensive surveillance systems? Are they not mandated on the premise they reduce crime?

Another council-folk pondered the policies and procedures around "high-risk" classifications. Note that this ordinance would apply to convenience stores and gas stations regardless of risk classification. Falling into the high-risk classification requires police providing service more than six times in 30 days for a specific list of serious crimes. Note that the original ask was for 3 in 30 making you wonder: why not one? There is no provision for getting off the list either by petition or a lowered crime rate. This is supposed to result in lower crime rates, right? Sorta like police patrols did in the good ole days. There is also no requirement for the PD to report on the impact all these expensive systems have on crime. Perhaps it is also worth noting that prostitution (AKA "human trafficking") is NOT listed as a serious crime lest city hall be classified as "high-risk." 

If Dino-gate has taught us anything it is that city hall is incapable of crafting even minimally acceptable ordinances. Do you remember the before times? When everyone was getting triggered and screaming "words matter?" Well, it turns out that when it comes to crafting laws and ordinances words really do matter because it is what the law actually says that will be deliberated in a court of law. Some mistakes are silly but nonetheless symptomatic of fundamental language deficiencies. For example, writing "VSS system" is kinda dumb since the second "S" in VSS IS "systems" and that is clearly stated in the definitions. Then there are actual factual issues. A requirement for 5,017,600 pixels per image is difficult to obtain from a 4MP sensor and 1440p at 16:9 resolution is 3.69 MP. Oops. What are they asking for, upscaling? The container format, MP4, is specified but the compression format is not though perhaps they think the container implies H.264 when it really doesn't. When you are writing a technical specification into law these specs need to be complete, detailed and accurate. Laws and ordinances should not be "make it up as you go along" or so says the Dino. 

And what are the mere residents to think of this city foisting safety and protection on us? Should we all be ensuring we can protect ourselves knowing the city is not there for us? Think that is unreasonable? Over the top? Well here's a thought exercise: suppose Dunwoody had its own Fire Department and operated that as well as it does code enforcement, operates the police department and crafts ordinances? Then fire trucks would only roll in the 4th of July parade, houses would burn to the ground, but we'd have it all on video.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Writ Of Mandamus

More on the writ later, but first let's set the stage...

As many of you may know there has been a dinosaur zoo operating in Dunwoody for a few years now. Not live dinosaurs or even fossilized bones but the inflate-a-date variety. Now the city is shutting down the dino-zoo and that is making fur fly over on fece-book with most seeing dino-extinction as a sin against god and humanity. Mostly because their kids liked it. 

This would be a real teaching moment if it weren't taking so long. Some are just now learning that Dunwoody takes an "enforce on complaint" approach to anything they deign to address and with any action subject to their assessment of the complainer, the alleged offender and the alleged violation. This has led some to call for an open records request to identify the dino-hater presumably to go after them, but be honest, isn't guessing more fun? Others are seeking their very own inflate-a-dino to defy "the man." Others cannot fathom how an inflatable is a sign. Some want to "throw the bums out" suggesting write-ins for the unchallenged in the upcoming election. The zoo-keeper confesses to knowing the rules but has been doing this for three years which may not be the best thing to immortalize on the interweb. The mayor is going to "look into it" which is politician-speak for "I'm outta here" as there is much that any city politician would not want the electorate figuring out as they dig into this affair. Let's learn that anyway.

We'll start with the "sign, not-sign" confustication by looking at the actual ordinance, specifically Section 20-34 - Prohibited Signs:

Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the following signs are prohibited within the city:

(1)Dilapidated signs, including sign structures.

(2)Animated signs, including balloons, streamers, air or gas filled figures, signs that move mechanically as a result of human activity, wherever located.

There you have it, no ignorance, no excuse. Those dinos are prohibited and in violation of city ordinance. You should also know that this ordinance passed unanimously, 7-0, with much self-congratulatory backslapping and support from many if not most of the current politicians. So what exactly is the mayor looking into? An unread ordinance that was voted for? How often does that happen?

Suppose the mayor does look into it. Can the mayor actually do anything? Let's see what the city charter has to say about that, specifically Sec. 3.05. - City council interference with administration:

Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations under Section 2.08 of this Charter, the city council or its members shall deal with city officers and employees who are subject to the direction or supervision of the city manager solely through the city manager, and neither the city council nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately.

It is impossible to believe that anyone who voted yes for the Dunwoody referendum ever read this (or ever will) as this prohibition is kryptonite to all those Dunwoody zionists preaching local control. Dunwoody is modeled more after DeKalb Schools with powerless elected officials than after DeKalb county where our elected officials have real staff, real responsibilities and offer the electorate real control. In Dunwoody, voting in new bobble-heads only affects the entertainment value of council meetings. 

The third leg of this stool is the "enforce on complaint" practice. Here we look to Sec. 3.04. - City manager; powers and duties enumerated:

The city manager shall have the power, and it shall be his or her duty to:

(1)See that all laws and ordinances are enforced;
Job one: enforce all laws and ordinances. In what world is that: just sit on the sidelines until someone complains? No one should be complaining because if the city manager were getting the legally mandated job done there would be nothing to complain about. Why? Because if all laws and ordinances had been enforced then this one in particular would have been enforced three years ago. Isn't what the city is doing to us the very definition of dereliction of duty? And since the only thing mayor and council can do is upgrade the city manager, which they are not doing, they too seem to have dropped the ball. And none of this seems to bother any of them.

This brings us to the writ of mandamus, a court order forcing a government to do its job. Maybe it is time to pursue that path as we're living in the municipal equivalent of a failed state where clearly defined responsibilities are being ignored in deference to...who knows what. This city's failure has conditioned folks to believe that ordinances don't matter, which means your vote doesn't matter, because the council vote doesn't matter. Just ignore what you don't like and hope no one important complains. And had the city done its job these dinos would not have been up long enough for folks to come to believe if something is popular or you get away with it long enough then it cannot be illegal even when it is. Is that what we want to teach our children? Because that is exactly what this city is doing.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Monday, September 4, 2023


You've heard of a trail before haven't you? You know, like the Appalachian Trail. Now that's a trail. This isn't:

Two Lane Highway?

When it is a road-sized strip of non-eco-friendly concrete (does anyone care about ecology anymore?) with a stripe down the middle it is nobody's definition of a "trail." Can you imagine the shock if any of those trail aficionados ever got to the AT. What would they call that? They've already used up "path" and "trail."

Thursday, August 31, 2023

He Got His Camera Cop Revenue Stream

Looks like the new DCSD superintendent doesn't really grok money except how to spend it. And he has really hit the ground running. Millions in non-recurring funds on some never-ending positions. Now the great giveaway: caving on the camera cops handing six times the collected revenue that the schools get for school zone enforcement to a PD that never has and never will patrol those mean streets. 

That makes it a windfall for the city. It isn't like they ever patrolled school zones enforcing traffic laws. Or anywhere else, outside of maybe perimeter center, for that matter. Yet all along the top cop has protested (a bit too much) that this isn't about the money. You know, when someone says that it is always about the money. How do we know? Direct from the top cop. In justifying these cameras he burped this blooper: "automatic speed cameras in the city’s school safety zones is a measure they hope will address the 'constant' speeding problems faced in certain areas and increase student safety." WTF? Constant speeding? Yet, it has never been enough speeding to justify organic cop policing-only camera cops. This is an insult to intelligence. Of any creature above a garden slug (it isn't clear how many folks at city hall accept this excuse). 

Then there is the bigger farce regarding student safety. These camera cops are not going to ticket any speeders when students are flocking, to or from school. We all know why. Because when students are in the goes-in, goes-out mode there are no speeders. Instead there is horrible, stop and go, mostly stop, traffic. Ain't no speeding goin' on. So the tickets, and the associated revenue will only occur when students have asses in classes or when they are safely at home. 

And if this city, either the city manager or his underling police chief, really cared one little bit about our students' safety they would have officers directing traffic during the times when students are walking to school and being dropped off or picked up. THAT would be serving with distinction. THAT is never going to happen. Not in Dunwoody. Not with the bureaucrats we have in charge.

Monday, August 28, 2023


Back in the day, waaaay back in the day, when cheerleaders were athletes, they were selected on capabilities and not just looks or appeal. Those days are gone. 

Read the city charter.

You will understand why the current mayor is so popular. She's a cheerleader. And her fans like the cheers. What they do not understand is that she doesn't and cannot really do anything. Except be a cheerleader. 

Does that make you happy?

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Play Nicely Children

Schools are back in and you may have noticed a change in traffic patterns. If you haven't, everyone hopes your Tuscan vacation is going well. This traffic is more than a reminder of the approach of summer's end, sweltering, some say "unwalkable" heat notwithstanding, it is also a reminder that the safety of our children, particularly those who do walk, is of no concern to the city.  Consider also that a majority of those walking will be among the youngest as there are more elementary schools placing more within walking distance. You would think this would put our local PD on a safety alert but you would be wrong. This is not the distinction with which they serve, unsurprising given the community is not who they serve. 

Dunwoody, along with a few other DeKalb cities, is in a pissing contest with the school system regarding Camera Cops in school zones. Dunwoody wants them because they get the revenue without doing a thing to protect the community or even show a police presence. Problem is the schools have to authorize/request these cameras. Some are boiling this down to just the money and while following the money is reliable there may be more there there. Some of that there may be opportunity. For the city to act like adults.

According to rumor there have been efforts withing DCSD to scare up some money for traffic officers during high traffic hours (usually morning drop off) to keep traffic flowing and children, parents and teachers safe. They need money because they (think they) must hire off-duty officers. You may think that odd. Any taxpaying member of the Dunwoody electorate should. And they should think that at the polls and vote accordingly. What they should not be is surprised. Dunwoody PD has made it painfully clear that traffic enforcement and community service is beneath them. One [former] resident has the emails to prove it. So does the city.

So. Is this an intractable standoff? Is this the best that is humanly possible? With the humans currently available, probably so. The easiest way to break this logjam lies with the city, not the schools. First, the city should enforce traffic laws and if anything, most aggressively in school zones during school hours and events. Presence, not platitudes. Then, they should provide traffic control during drop off and pick up. Do your job and quit asking everyone else to do it. And consider this: perhaps the reason the legislature lets the cops get the money from these cameras is to offset the revenue they lose by displaced police enforcement. But if you're not there, never have been there, and have no intention of going there then you should not get any of this money.You need to earn it.

So why don't you just try playing nice? Protect our children, our community and our schools. Make our streets safe. Maybe you'll make a friend. And then maybe they will play nice with you.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Damn Those Drive-thrus

Or so say city bureaucrats though they seem to have difficulty with definitions. This is a side effect of agenda driven actions. There goal is to ban all new drive-thrus and the agenda is some intellectual squishy "pedestrian friendly" nirvana. This is really their first step towards filling the village with five-over-two firetraps to inject very high density housing. And crime. 

One bureaucrat remarks that these evil drive-thrus "lead to a lot of conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists (scope creep) at points of ingress and egress." Most shops in the village would call this business. And how do these bureaucrats propose to allow for successful businesses? They will put a couple thousand apartments in the village. That's how you get the pedestrian density they covet.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Slow Roll

How long can temporary last? Well when this city doesn't want to do something temporary can be rather indefinite. Point in case? The moratorium on drug rehab centers that started in February and was supposed to be over in July. Commitment? Not even a word they like to use. Turns out staff has been too busy not doing something and hasn't gotten around to figuring out what they were supposed to figure out. So they have asked for and gotten an extension on the moratorium. They are asking to for seven more months, doubling the time which suggests they are about half way toward done. Smart money says they haven't even started. Even odds they'll "need" another extension. 

They have no intention of lifting this moratorium and even if they do it will be to reveal a complete ban on rehabs. How can you tell? Because when these bureaucrats want to get something done they spend tens or hundreds of thousands of our dollars on outside consultants. And it gets done.

Monday, August 14, 2023

You Know Its The Sporocarp, Right?


Best Of All...It's Dunwoody!

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Is Third Time The Charm?

City hall just won't let it go. After being batted down twice they are lodging another, third, appeal in an unemployment case. Here's one of the funny parts (at this point how can you NOT see the humour in this expensive goat rodeo?): the police officer at the center of this case was fired for dishonesty! Cannot make this up. This guy was fired from a police department that has a proven record (facts not in dispute) of falsifying official police records--on purpose. And keep in mind that there have been no credible outside investigations of the smarmy goings-on withing the PD, instead the top cop has "investigated" concluding there is nothing to see here. Just move along. Credibility? Veracity? Is any objective observer going to associate either with the Dunwoody powers that be?

The lawyers hired by the city for this appeal, on your dime, probably a few million of them, may be ignorant (willfully?) of the city's fear of veracity and allergy to transparency but he has stones saying: "The GDOL needs to finally right its wrongs in this case, and the Board of Review now has a third opportunity to do so." [emphasis added] Very gracious of him to offer them yet-another-chance. Wonder if this work is pro bono. Seriously, would this money be better spent on rank and file police?

Monday, August 7, 2023

Letters To The Editor

At the request of a reader the Blue Bag Rag has restored letters to the editor to page three where they had been under previous management. As was pointed out this provides a platform for citizen discussion and adds to the value of the weekly. 

The very next edition sported letters in the new-old location including a letter from a resident pondering the lack of police directing traffic during signal outages cause by recent storms. Other jurisdictions do just that.  What this resident doesn't realize is that Dunwoody does not do much of anything to enforce quality of life ordinances or traffic laws. Nothing. Sign ordinances? Nope, with one interchange with a resident trying to get the city to "enforce on complaint" revealing that city bureaucrats think it is the resident's responsibility to document and prove the violation. Traffic laws are no better. Everyone, especially those using our neighborhoods as to-and-from speedways know there will NEVER be speed enforcement. Trucks barreling thru no-truck-zones? Well, if actions speak louder than words, then city bureaucrats are screaming at the top of their lungs that trucks blasting past our schools are A-OK. Our top cop has even sent out an email to a [now former] resident indicating the juice isn't worth the squeeze. And yet we spend money on cameras.

The best part about the re-emergence of letters to the editor in this particular issue is that the BBR also reported on Dunwoody's top cop being selected as Police Chief of the Year. That year must have REALLY sucked. Unless the number of lawsuits against the city naming the Police Chief is somehow meritorious. Or perhaps it is the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars he has cost the city in legal cock-ups. Or could it be his innovation in doctoring police reports to show city hall is a real house of ill repute? Perhaps it is the failed attempt at creating a PD porno ring.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

DeKalb Schools' Epiphany

The heavenly purse strings opened and DeKalb County Schools' new superintendent had an epiphany pledging his career and our money to COB,O.


That's right, Horton has zealously pledged his full faith to the divine teachings of the Minstrel of Margaritaville because, as the faithful know, come Monday it'll be alright. A deficit of 400 teachers? Believe! It'll be alright! A 110 headcount, $12M bloat to administration? Have faith, after all COB,O works in mysterious ways. But lordy, lordy it works. And you can help by keeping sobriety at bay.

Now, as you may imagine, this is gonna be one hell of a weekend especially for the most secular amongst us. Try to stay hydrated. And...Fins UP!

Monday, July 31, 2023

It's Working

Bidenomics. It is most certainly working. Just not the way Bidenphiles want.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

What's With All The Blind Squirrels?

First it was our favorite semantic vegan whose word salad-spinner inadvertently spat out a truth. Which had to go back in the spin machine. No five second rule for accidental truths. 

Close to home we now have a School Board member best known for open loop rantings who spoke truth to power. Well, really, to the powerless as it was fellow board members who recently hired a new supe effectively their last chance at a power play until they hire the next one. In a couple of years. But this particular, rogue member pointed out that this "new and improved" supe is really just the same ole same ole. What her pollyannish see as the great, new hope, she sees yet another rinse and repeat. And here is the shocker: she is absolutely correct. The new supe, like those before, is bloating admin, adding positions to be filled with prior colleagues--his hallelujah chorus. Next we'll be treated to multi-million-dollar trendy edu-babble junk program with materials, training to waste teachers time even while they are terribly understaffed

There is an interesting metric: student/teacher ratio. While this number is manipulated by including "teachers" without any direct classroom responsibilities, it is a metric. Maybe we need a new one: student/administrator ratio. Oh, and we should include those non-teaching "teachers" in the admin headcount.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Not A Dime's Worth Of Difference

Or just two sides of the same coin. 

From the senile side we get "just another way of saying restoring the American dream."  Sounds familiar in a bumper-sticker kind of way, now doesn't it? It's a lot like what we've been getting from the crazy side with "make America great again." Both rooted in nostalgia, looking back while claiming to move forward with one aligned with self-proclaimed "progressives." 

Do we really have two major political parties? Really? Is senile and crazy really the best they can put on offer? Outside of party extremists is there anyone who still thinks ranked voting is a bad idea?

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Counting When It Matters

The "Brookhaven Annexation" applicant has withdrawn, allegedly after "questions were raised" about the application. Now that is spin that would make Washington insiders dizzy.  Questions were not raised; observations were made. The applicant's claim regarding 60% of the population was based on an under count of the relevant population. Hence not 60%. Oops. If that were not enough some property owners smelled a rat and pulled out of the fiasco. Again, not 60%. 

While this application has been withdrawn, we'll not have long to wait for the second act. Like all good citihood advocates hell bent on throwing their fellow citizens under the bus we are treated to the same chant: "we'll be back!" Let's hope more folks at risk of getting caught up in this disaster use the intermission to read the city charter as they'll soon realize they are turning their community over to unelected bureaucrats unaccountable to anyone who lives there.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Finally Gets Something Right

The Prez and the Veep seem to be constantly auditioning for a gig at a comedy club with an act channelling the nonsensical comedy of Abbott and Costello and the comedic timing of the Smothers Brothers. Hardly a waking hour goes by without one of these two saying something so outlandishly ignorant, out of touch, or just plain random that we can only assume this is an attempt at humor. Or it could just be a delightful blend of senility and stupidity playing off one another. Regardless, it IS funny. Until it isn't.

Recently the laughs were replaced with knowing nods. The Veep, while attempting to spin some word salad, actually hit the nail on the head. And it is all about climate change. You know, the kind that is caused by human activity. The Veep gave voice to what should be an obvious truth: the way to reduce climate change caused by human activity is to reduce human activity and the most effective way to do that is reduce the number of humans. She is only the second world leader, next to Putin, to recognize this truth. Perhaps when she becomes president, which is all but guaranteed in the early days of 2025 should Biden win, she will join with Putin in achieving their shared commitment to addressing climate change. 

One has to wonder if she knows the obvious truth about how to eliminate school shootings and is simply sitting on it. Maybe one day we'll know.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

The Embarrassment Never Stops

At least not when the Dunwoody PD is involved. 

A recent decision by the Georgia Department of Labor has found that the city's case against a police officer they fired just doesn't hold water. That officer is getting the unemployment that was always due though it isn't clear if the city will launch an appeal. And with their transparent-not-transparent approach to operations it is likely we'll never know exactly how much they'll [continue to] spend on protecting what is clearly a failed department. 

When will the mayor and council pull the only lever the city charter has given them?

Monday, July 10, 2023

Have They Considered DIY?

Fine. We know they are grant-grubbers. Have been since day one. And they do need to tick some boxes to grub those grants. But you have to wonder why it is city hall is spending over $166K "develop a road safety action plan." Now we know these plans, like the PATH[etic] plans aren't worth the paper they're not printed on, but for the love of god why do we have to spend this money? With the bloated city payroll you'd think they could have hired someone who could string together the blather that would pass muster and earn that grant application tick mark. Or, how about this? Why don't they use ChatGPT to "develop" action plan? In fact we could ditch PATH as well. 

It is worth noting that this is not even what a normal person would call a plan. It is a plan for actions to be taken to come up with an actual plan assuming they follow thru once the Fed's check clears. Not likely. 

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Where The Smart People Went

Remember when Dunwoody was "smart people-smart city?" Ever wonder where all those "smart people" went? Well, some seem to have landed in happily unincorporated DeKalb County. Other smart folks have always lived there.

Now they are under attack. By Brookhaven. See Brookhaven is one of the new faux cities where elected officials are powerless and city hall wants to annex folks in the Toco Hills area. The smart residents of that area are putting up a fight. They seem to have a clue how this will impact their quality of life. Negatively. Perhaps they've been watching Brookhaven or Dunwoody's screwups. Maybe they've noticed the degradation of services awaiting them if them if this train wreck comes to their neighborhood. Or it could be they just do not want non-stop tax increases. Maybe they like having a police force that engages in quality of life enforcement. 

It must be nice to have your vote matter as it does in unincorporated DeKalb where the CEO and Commissioners have actual operational responsibilities and authority. We had that before citihood, but now we have a situation structurally identical to the DeKalb County Schools were elected officials are little more than cheerleaders for an unelected and unresponsive bureaucracy. 

Opponents rightly observe that this is being rushed. Of course it is. That's how you pull the wool over peoples' eyes: quickly, before they have a chance to see the truth. And while it is good they are looking over the plans (which we know from experience are vaporware) they should be reading the Brookhaven City charter which will reveal that should the residents vote for annexation it is the last meaningful vote they will be allowed to make. 

Monday, July 3, 2023

Makes You Miss The Pandemic

Here is a shocker: the city was forced, by law, to fess up to yet-another-tax-increase. No surprises there. 

Like A Broken Record

The only relief taxpayers have experienced was due to the CoVid-19 pandemic. Lord knows there will be no relief offered by city hall. In fact with that very minimal respite from their back door tax increased encourage them to up the millage rate to the legal max. This will change, upward, if they get their way with the "parks and paths" referendum. Just look at the trajectory. 

Damn Near 20% Increase With Millage Hike

If you still hold on to the hope of a revenue neutral millage rate each year then you are a either a pollyannish fool or an idiot. If you think there is a snowball's chance in hell of zero based budgeting you are certifiable. If you think what these scoundrels have been doing is a good thing, you are the problem.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

How Could They Possibly Have Known?

 Known what? Well, perhaps that those student loans were not such a good idea, that's what. 

They could have used their prodigious interweb skills to research the ROI on the desired degree and make it a cut and dry financial decision. Let's pause for a working definition of financial, as clearly these debtors and soon-to-be debtors likely have no clue: pertaining to monetary receipts and expenditures; pertaining or relating to money matters; pecuniary. Yep. It's all about the money. And this has become increasingly and painfully important. A recent article (originally Fortune) posits 

"The government is poised to take a bath on its student loan portfolio over the long term, even as that portfolio expands in size every year as the higher education system sucks up more federal funding." 

And this is because the ignorant were allowed, nay encouraged, to take out very ill-advised loans. 

"What we’ve considered to be economic prosperity of the last 10 years, prior to the pandemic, was in fact economically punishing to younger cohorts forced through the wringer of increasingly costly higher education and into a labor market characterized by stagnant wages and deteriorating job ladders."

Then consider that in the before times borrowers were having trouble repaying loans. What is hard to imagine is parents suffering the burden of loan debt not recognizing their mistake and instead encouraging their children to go down the same path. 

And we know this how? 

Well, that darned interweb again. There is a rather interesting site with data on Student Loan Debt by age group. Turns out folks in their 30's and 40's (the latter most like of the newest debtors) are carrying an average of $40.5K in debt. To be fair, those in their forties represent less than half of the total debt held by those in their thirties and half of that held by those in their twenties, indicating that this debt has gone from being a useful tool for some to an addiction for many, many more. Simple math: there are well over two times as many debtors in the 30-39 age bracket as in the 40-49 as the average debt is virtually identical. For the 20 year olds it is even worse as their average debt is one half of the forty-somethings so there are four times as many debtors in this age group, hence the pandering to that voting demographic. 

As a parent you might want to encourage your budding debtor to research salaries based on college major, and make sure they look not just at the widely touted highest paying but at those majors they are most interested in or most likely to acquire. They might start by searching for lowest-paying majors. Acquire a real idea of what you are getting into. Look at the monthly cost of piling on $40K of debt. Online calculators will tell you that will set you back over $225/month for 20 years. And that is if you get a 3% rate. And it took you at least 4, most likely 6 years of no income to achieve this wonderful life. 

Then investigate the options, perhaps a skilled trade. Look into starting and average pay. Check out the cost of preparing yourself to be an electrician, plumber, welder, HVAC technician, auto technician, project manager, etc. You may be surprised at the economic viability of what seems to have become an alternative career. 

Unfortunately this would require that someone considered to be smart enough for college be smart enough to determine, for themselves, whether or not college is right for them.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Man Plans. The Gods Laugh.

Or perhaps the city plans. The citizens laugh. Or so it seems from the front page article in the Blue Bag Rag (print edition only, hmmm). Seems like the city had a plan obtained at cost from the PATH Foundation, or simply foisted on us by PATH and as it so happens significant, vocal residents really do not like this plan. 

So guess what: they're probably going to change "the plan," calling into question not just this plan, or this part of it but all other parts and the process thru which these "plans" originate. Plan thrown out there? Check. Perfunctory "public info/input sessions?" Check. Rubber stamp by council? Check. Total train wreck? Double check. 

The real problem is not with the Peeler Road section of this interstate lane, it is with the process of turning over planning for things in the city to agenda-fueled special interest groups. PATH doesn't give a hairy rodent's rectum about the folks who live in Dunwoody. They only care about paving. Anywhere and everywhere. 

Maybe the only path we should pave is the one that takes the PATH Foundation the hell out of Dunwoody.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

If Your Child Cannot Add...

...thank a teacher. Outside of the death toll the largest harm done by the pandemic and the government-union complex has been to the nation's students. Recent measures by the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows significant negative progress with reading scores falling to 2004 levels and for math, even worse, now at 1978 levels. Almost a 50 year setback. 

And why is this?

Teachers and their associations and unions were a powerful force behind closing public schools and keeping them closed either by fiat, government collusion or demanding impossible-to-achieve measures. Teachers found it much more pleasant to "teach" from a Caribbean island than a local school. And "virtual teaching" involved significantly fewer hours with the same pay and perks. Who would want that to stop? It IS worth noting that these "dedicated educators" abandoned the mission of educating our children. For these folks this is certainly not an avocation and there is not much dedication to the vocation.

And yet we have a $1.9 billion budget and a millage rate higher than the constitutional limit. This is for 92,000 students or over $20,000 per student. That's private school tuition and then some. It gets worse. This is apparently a jobs program with 14,000 employees of which only 6,600 (47%) are listed as teachers keeping in mind that not all "teachers" are in the classroom. 

The next time an eSPLOST rolls around remember what they did. 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Guest Post: Teary Mizzou

This is yet-another-food post, from the same ole Calinky but this time a Calinky abroad. Italy to be specific. This is a twist on an Italian classic as interpreted by a teetotaling backslidin' Baptist. 

You cannot make this up.

Ya know the gun run to Eye-Tall-ee and did we have fun. Picked up some of the finest WWII firearms and the stories are all true. These guns have never been fired and only dropped once. And priced to sell. Ya find me an M1 Garand in that shape and it'll cost a hunderd times what these'll set ya back. 

It shoulda been a quick in-n-out but yer cousin Aaron, why my sister named that fool Aaron is beyond me, but Aaron wanted to soak up some culture like it's biscuits and gravy or somethin'. Someone married to his first cousin once removed could certainly use some or somethin' or anythin' but he's the only one of us who looked through that peephole in the door on top that hill in Rome who was disappointed. I guess after walkin' around the You Feezy looking at naked paintings and statues of men showin' off their shortcomings he musta thought he was gonna see somethin' other than a garden and the Vatican dome. That boy ain't right. 

I did tell you that them Eye-Tall-ee-ans talk funny, right? They pronounce every vowel. Every. Stinkin'. Vowel. Makes 'em hard to understand even when they're talking Amurican. Like that restaurant in Rome. Elle Effe ain't "ell eff" like it is here. Nope, it is "ell-AY eff-AY." Why they gotta say all that? Ya should hear 'em talk food. It's almost like they're makin' fun of ya. Or themselves. 

Anyway, all that week we in the Tuscan big house watchin' grapes grow we kept hearing about "teary Mizzou." I don't know why they call it Tuscany cuz there ain't no elephants anywhere though they kept talkin' about someone called "Hannibal." Some kinda elephant rancher and not the Hannibal I'd heard of. Anyhow I expected to see a lot of Cryin' Tigers cuz they got a whoopin' from the Tide. Nope. No tigers. No oliphants. Turns out this is some kinda dessert, like a coffee cream pie. And the folks at the big house showed me how to make it and that's what I'm gonna ya. Pay attention. 

This is all the shit ya gotta have. 

First ya gotta make coffee with that silly little coffee pot. Don't take long. Don't make much. But man is it strong. Add some sugar and ya wanna let that cool 'fore using. 

Now I did switch this up as them ain't chicken eggs, they's duck eggs, well three of 'em are. Why? Cuz I had some. Now normally ya'd use chicken eggs, but I had three duck eggs and used the whites outa a chicken egg. The yolks are all duck and duck eggs are damn near all yolk. As you know or are about to find out, duck whites hold on tight to that yolk and we gonna have to scrape it off with the back of a knife and ya notice it is whiter than chicken. But here ya go.

Three Yolks And Four Whites

Add in some sugar. Now I'm usin' some of that fancy Demerara stuff 'cuz I wanna make this vegetarian, well if yer one of them dairy-egg vegetarians. Fun fact, most o' that plain white sugar ain't vegan. It's processed with somethin' called "bone char" that is exactly what it sounds like. Ya gotta wonder why.

Power up that hand mixer 'til you get something like this.

Dump in both them Eye-Tall-EE-un cream cheeses and keep on beatin'. 

Switch to that whisk and attack them whites. Ya wanna stiff peak but ya know better than to over whip, don't ya. Sorta like dealing with yer kids. 

Dump the whites in the cheesy yolks.

Add a couple dollops of cream and fold together. Lots of foldin' but not too much. See?

Get everything ready to put this bad boy together.

Dip the "lady fingers" into the coffee. Not too long. Just long enough. Let 'em sit a bit to soak up the coffee. 

Layer of fillin'. Layer of fingers.

Two more layers and a final layer of fillin'. Then to chillin.

Dust, real good, with cacao. Now I'm usin' cacao, not cocoa, cuz cacao ain't processed nearly as much as cocoa and it ain't never dutched. Now some folks say cacao is bitter but with all that sugar and cream cheese, bitter might just be what this thing needs. 

Then serve it up.

It's a mess. A cool mess, but a good mess.

Now some folks do things a little different. Some folks add booze. Not sure what kind but they do. Other folks, probably those using cocoa, sprinkle each layer in the pie. Try it if ya like but I'm doin' what I've been taught. At least a few times.