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Archive for January 21st, 2013

Blood Pressure Elevators

I have just begun reading the staff reports for tomorrow’s Asheville City Council meeting. There are about a hundred pages on a proposed conditional use permit for New Belgium Brewing Company. I really don’t care. As long as they don’t pour beer down my throat, they can do what they want. Then, Harris Teeter wants a conditional zoning, and UNCA wants approval of a signage plan. I’ve grown to hate public hearings for the same reasons I don’t like democracy. Sure, the people need to be heard; but the cookie-cutter complaints about traffic, children, nonconformity, and density should be a given by now. Society could be more productive if we only heard peculiar knowledge at these meetings. But council must not appear insensitive, so I will endure the predictable rhetoric as visions of covers and jammies dance in my wee little head.

Of note thus far is a consent agenda request for approval of funding for some DHS whizmo-gizmos. The report is written in that syntax that is either PC or just bad, which is supposed to make the public think they are getting information when all that’s there is a jumble. Like thousands of police departments all over the US, Asheville’s will only be using a teeny-weeny bit of the national debt. In exchange, it shall be getting a remote firing device and shock tube initiator. In case you’re wondering why:

The purchase of a Remote Firing Device with 2 Recievers (approximately $6,256) and the 3 of the two button handheld shock tube initiator with tip (approximately $1290) for the Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU) will enhance APD’s Bomb Squad by insuring we maintain NIMS III Standard and FBI Accreditation Standards. [ED NOTE: I suppressed the sic’s because I’m not sure where-all they need to go.]

As the federal government strives to find more ways get the public excited about them spending tax dollars, feudalism comes to mind. Trickling control maneuvers down to the local level, Council will be asked to incorporate Food Policy in its Sustainability Plan, thereby “leasing city-owned parcels to area farms and gardeners.” Vassals shall then pledge fealty to their lords for the fiefdom. Maybe Bruegel’s Wedding Dance looked like such the good time. There was, after all, a lot of beer.

The supporting documents for this agenda item are also written strangely. It is not kind to dismiss a proposal because it was written by somebody whose vocabulary exceeded their grammatical abilities. My tinfoil hat tells me they are intentionally obfuscating for a diabolical purpose when they speak of being “empowered with access to resources and information needed to innovate and implement strategies for food security and resiliency,” when us vassals are more at-home using the vulgate “eat.”

According to Amazon.com, aspiring vassals who bought a mess of pottage for a soul were also interested in local farm microloans of up to $35,000 from the overlords at the USDA.

On a figuratively brighter note, while political styles come and go, the natural philosophy of LeChatelier remains the same. The city’s sustainability report plants a silly notion that a good way to be green is to paint the sky black:

Seasonal variations due to climate change resulted in cost savings and energy reductions.

[ED NOTE: To those without a sense of humor, I am engaging hyperbole and mixing metaphor here in the hopes that someone out there will laugh.]

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January 2013
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