Monday, February 27, 2023

Republican? Democrat?

In Florida some politician has introduced legislation making it illegal for a dog to stick its head out of a car window. That's right. They won't let a dog ride in your lap either. An interesting game to play is to guess which party can come up with such silliness. That IS why we have two parties, right?

Don't think it is silly? Well consider this. Suppose you own a convertible. Suppose you have the top down. Do you have to roll up the windows? Can a dog's head even be "out the window" when there is no window frame, no top? And how will the average politician address these issues? Probably by outlawing convertibles (now you know which party this comes from).

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Wite-Out... building at a time.

Dunwoody: If It's White, It's Right

Monday, February 20, 2023

It Isn't Really An Argument

When talking about college loan and the much awaited handout, words really do matter. So does logic. The former are weak and the latter is on a multi-year spring break.  One dirty little secret is that, by actions in congress, where constitutional authority resides, a vast amount of current debt will never be repaid. First, payment is means adjusted with the first $20K of income exempt, more than the IRS standard deduction. Then, there is a 20 year limit. This doesn't trigger a balloon payment as it should but instead it is the end of payments. And remaining debt is forgiven making many US college graduates charity cases just as they enter their prime income generating years. The ill effects are far worse than undermining any character that might remain in the younger generation and are detailed by the American Institute for Economic Research. Maybe if more parents listened to economists (or knew how to drive a spreadsheet) we would not be in this pickle. 

The defense, if you can call it that, of the administration's unconstitutional efforts to exacerbate all these problems by wiping out even more what is due to be paid to the public coffers defies even a cursory review. Incredible numbers have applied for the handout (college was supposed to be the hand-up, right?) and are a round-up of the usual suspects. And the politicians offer no surprises, only nonsense. One of the finest examples is Georgia's very own Hank Johnson by parroting the left-wing "median household income in your ZIP code" blather. The average income of families around you has nothing to do the amount of your college loan debt no more than it sets your salary. Remember that whole "college degree means more money" chant you've heard all your life? Hank exposes the lie pointing out that half his constituents have a bachelors degree but "many others" have debt but no degree. Therein lies the problem. Some folks do not belong in college, based on these results. Colleges have no business promoting degrees carrying a loan burden that offers no chance of loan repayment. The loan, the commitment to repay and the acquisition of the ability to meet that commitment is a business contract. It is simple business logic. And that logic and that commitment is simply missing.

Friday, February 17, 2023

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

...come sit by me.

Seems the meeting to discuss ramming "paths" down residents' collective throats did not have the church revival vibe the mayor was demanding. She seemed to think she was a cross-examining lawyer demanding the witness "just answer the question" because controlling the question controls the outcome. 

Then it went pear shaped when the mayor slipped some interesting quotes.

"I think the perception is we're not listening."

See, when you, as a resident, disagree with the powers that be at city hall then it will be dismissed as a "perception." Got it?

Or how about this?

"My goal for tonight [...] was to figure out where people would like to see [trails]. Not where you don't want to see it. It doesn't help me if we're going to pick one part to pilot."

Maybe, just maybe, people want to see these "trails" in Alabama. But that doesn't fit your agenda, does it?

Then there is the discordant notes of serving all those folks in Dunwoody who don't have cars and depend on public transportation juxtaposed with the conclusion that the Village is the best place to start. Has the mayor ever been to the village? Notice a lots of folks w/o cars didja? 

After not getting the "amens" and "hallelujahs" the mayor has determined that the wrong folk were in attendance and the city needs to engage (round up?) the right folk. The ones that agree with the agenda. 

But here's another option. You're going to put a referendum out there (parks and associated tax increases) so why not add a referendum on all this "trail" happy horseshit?

Monday, February 13, 2023

Sometimes Fast, Sometimes Slow

That is the way DeKalb Schools operate. Maintaining buildings? Glacially slow. Firing a superintendent? Hair trigger. Hiring a replacement? Fixin' to get ready to start thinkin' 'bout sifting thru some resume's. Almost a year after the abrupt firing. 

And about that firing. No one ever came clean on the real cause, but the board had commissioned a former FBI agent to do an investigation, firing the supe before the investigation was complete. And yet. There was a report. A report exonerating the supe but implicating two top career officials for unauthorized actions. Oh, and keeping the supe in the dark. So, the board fires the supe, retains the dopes at their $200K/yr salary. 

Should this board be hiring anyone?

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Will The Law Win?

Law, at least as enshrined in the Constitution, is under serious attack by the current administration. The GAO reports that three Biden administration officials retain office illegally. Everything done in those administrations while headed by an illegal official will be at risk for legal challenge. Looks like the law doesn't apply to our top law enforcement officer. And the law is going to lose. 

Not happy with waiting for the Supreme Court decision on school loan bailouts (he will lose), the administration now plans to up the income level for shifting loan payments from the borrower to, well, everyone else. This is bad for everyone but colleges and universities who can continue bloat with other peoples' money. It will also encourage those who probably shouldn't go in the first place to give it a try. And it definitely encourages fuzzy degrees (think: sociology and gender studies) over more practical studies (think: engineering) as the sociology major may pay ten percent of her debt while the engineer will pay all of hers. This is clearly a case of executive over-reach. It is the legislature's job to make these changes, but who's going to stop him?

To make things worse, for many who will pick up the tab for these bailouts, Biden intends to unleash his bulked-up army of IRS agents to squeeze every last penny out of folks who work for tips. That's right, buy votes from folks who spent six years at a college party and pay for it by squeezing blood from the hardest working amongst us. Here, he may actually be on solid legal footing. It's just plain wrong. 

Monday, February 6, 2023


When police keep secrets, how long before they are secret police? When government is not transparent but what is clear is it does not serve the people, how long before that government is feared and hated? How close are we?

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Citizens United

Remember Citizens United? That decision anthropomorphized corporations and other groups endowing them with rights previously restricted to flesh and blood people enabling unlimited donations in politics. Dunwoody has decided to take that ball and run with it. They have decided that local hotels are really people. Specific people. Specifically they are confidential informants and thereby offered protection from public scrutiny. So say the city: in all public crime reports regarding prostitution busts [more on that in a bit] the scene of the crime is listed as City Hall. Wonder where they got that idea?

This is problematic on so many levels. 

Government transparency should not be available only when convenient. Especially when the "convenience" is for a police department. Where a crime occurs is an important piece of any crime report and while there certainly have been hijinks in the PD, City Hall is not the only location in Dunwoody with prostitution. 

There is also the semantic massage, a common tactic in this City. A concrete highway lane is not a "path" and a prostitution bust is not a frontal assault on the root causes of human trafficking. Or even the proximate causes for that matter. Fact is, local yokels are working the streets, attacking the retail element and not the supply, logistics and distribution. As an analogy, it is the local role to round up the street dealers because those are the bad guys they have contact with, not the drug cartels. So to claim they are battling human trafficking is more than disingenuous. Regardless, "human trafficking" sounds so much more dramatic than "prostitution" so expect the term to become well overused here in Dunwoody.

And "sting?" Really? Let's say that is the proper term and further let's say these stings occur on a routine basis. And, suspend your disbelief here, let's say that if the location is not disclosed in a police report that the yet-to-be-stung will not have a heads up (pun intended) and will slot right in behind the already stung, awaiting their turn. So, by doing this could it still be called a sting or is it entrapment? Have they set up a honey pot? After all, city officials justify this practice by its results, without clearly disclosing what those results might be (another secret?).

This ends-justifies-the-means rationalization never comes to a good end. Just look at this PD's track record of violating constitutional rights. Again, ends justified the means. They are distorting the law beyond all recognition, playing fast and loose until the courts jerk them back to reality. Maybe they should have started there. In reality. 

The notion that reporting the location might "hurt the reputation of the hotels" is absolute bollocks. How in the world can that thought survive the simple scrutiny of "well, the johns know which hotels to visit even if your police report doesn't tell them?"  Do you really think no one else will figure this out? As for the possibility that hotels may no longer "cooperate" we don't even know what that cooperation looks like, even in a general form, because, well, lack of transparency. And if transparency hurts their non-sex-trade business that just might encourage them to be proactive in eliminating prostitution at their establishment rather than turning a blind eye. After all it is highly unlikely that these hotels don't know what is actually happening or they wouldn't be much of a confidential informant. Would they?

Governments fight transparency. Dunwoody is no exception and has worked aggressively to install opacity from (even before) the beginning. This will not change until voters make changes in representation and that representation makes THE meaningful change at City Hall.