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.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

When Elites Confront The Reality They Created For Others

Andrea Riccio was a shaker and mover behind "marketing" ObamaCare posing as a bit of a healthcare expert, at least from a political insider's perspective. This involved copious amounts of dis/misinformation, rampant in politics and a key ingredient of successful "marketing." One element persists to this day, unquestioned by those with a vocal opinion on the matter: the conflation of "healthcare" with  "health insurance." 

They are not the same. And now, Ms. [ed: can you say that?] Riccio realizes it due to a serious health issue with her husband. Reality struck:

"While I worked to stop efforts to 'repeal and replace' the law, I never thought I’d get a masterclass in  health coverage  or receive a letter from an insurer with limited explanation of why only half of a craniotomy was covered and half deemed cosmetic.'

It is even worse, as a Senator, who could vote up on down on the ACA, said to Vox News:

"I didn’t know that a good many health insurance plans had limits, I thought if you were insured, you were insured."

Perhaps the good Senator can be forgiven as he has Federal Government benefits so this holds true for him and he has never had to confront the issues the "little people" deal with on a daily basis. Makes it seem that he is preeminently unqualified to have anything to do with any legislation but suffer under it as everyone else does. 

Take a moment to pause and reflect. Ponder the depths of ignorance from which the ACA (and almost every other federal legislation) arises. Clearly these people swim in the Fourth Order of Ignorance, only making it to the Third Order with confronted with unavoidable circumstances forcing knowledge upon them.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Above The Noise

There have been some recent threads on social media regarding the existence of an enforceable noise ordinance in Dunwoody. The response has generally been "no," with a member of council suggesting this is difficult to enforce when the source of the noise is an automobile. Furthermore, excessive noise is left to the interpretation of the officer as in fact it is with the offended resident. A brief read of the noise ordinance indicates it is, as implied, poorly crafted.

How poorly?

Steam whistles? Really? With the example signaling quitting time like that happens in a city that is so moderne that it is undergoing "urban renewal." Where did they plagiarize this one from? It does call out "exhausts" but by neglect excludes motor vehicle exhaust specifically calling out steam engines, stationary ICEs and motorboats. Are steam engines (and whistles) that thick on the ground in Dunwoody? Who wrote this crap and when, exactly, will they be fired? With cause. 

If plagiarize you must, and that is what this city does, then why not steal from a good source? It is like this city is a cheater copying answers from the class dunce when they're sitting right beside the curve buster. And who might this curve buster be? That would be Athens Clarke County whose noise ordinance is far better. Notice how subjectivity for both the offended resident and the cop is all but eliminated. Can you measure a distance? Hope so. Can you hear the prohibited noise? Then, based on time of day and day of week this would be a violation. Cuts directly to the heart of the problem: is the noise so loud to the human ear that it constitutes a disturbance?

Another thing we might purloin: ACC has a Public Safety Civilian Oversight Board. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023


Here are the requirements around permissible signage:

So in order for this to be "legal," it must have been permitted by the city:

Is it? Wanna bet?

Monday, June 5, 2023

Hit By A Truck

Wasn't Going To Be Enforced Anyway

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Tassels? Really?

Tassel loafers are so 80's.

By "80's" we mean 80 years old.