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Too Silly to Monger Any Fear out of Me

We’ve had a handful of cases of ebola, so everybody needs to dress in their ebola costumes for the cameras, and hospitals need to get their ebola teams together. Maybe each little mountain town needs to invest millions of federal debt in supersonic x-ray helicopters for their local SWAT units. (See, for example, 1, 2, and 3.)

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What Think Ye of Sheriff Posses?

Here’s a conversation topic. Henderson County’s Sheriff Charlie McDonald is starting up what is referred to as a “sheriff posse” program. Private citizens are being trained to, among other things, ride along with deputies and search crime scenes.

The article tells of corrupt sheriffs who have served recently in the area. It subtly conjures images of goons doing their bidding, not to mention the neighbors spying on neighbors that is not uncommon to sheriff’s departments nowadays.

What do I think of it? Well, I’ll probably change my mind tomorrow, but my philosophy remains, “The best defense is self-defense.” Training others to help their neighbors is not a bad thing, but going so far as to certify those with training, thereby “unintentionally” further disadvantaging those without, would be a mistake.

On another track, people need jobs. They should get paid to work for the government; otherwise, they are, um, slaves?

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Who Wants to Be Chief?

Hark! Intrigue besets the castle! There be interests that want Asheville Police Chief William Anderson out. Complaints include not calibrating radar guns and getting officers to defend his son before he plead guilty to charges pertaining to an automobile wreck

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Continual Improvement in Diverse Synergies for 21st-Century Awareness

Hendersonville has deemed it necessary to hire a part-time public information officer. Is it because leadership needs help making bad stuff look good, or is it because they can’t keep up with the rapid updates to the lexicon of offensive hate speech? Why assume malicious intent? They probably, like so many others, merely needed to do something with all that extra money floating around.

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My Vote for Scary Virus

The Henderson County DSS wanted to put an Obamacare kiosk in the Human Services Building. The thingy would navigate the well-off into poverty, and the poor into the system. Blue Cross would staff it, asking no pecuniary compensation for its Faustian deals.

[Commissioner Tommy Thompson argued,] “As a group I remember we wrote a letter and said we need to take Obamacare and throw it out the window to begin with, so philosophically we’re against the whole process.”

Sadly, the proposal was rejected. I think it was in favor of more appropriately drop-kicking the leviathan into the Ninth Circle of Dante’s Inferno, a community that embraces fraud and treachery as a means to illusory personal aggrandizement fueled by the fear and disbelief of the humble.

Commissioner Michael Edney compared the kiosk to a hunter using a baited field to attract deer.

As often happens in politics these days, it would have been insensitive to say something like, “We care more about alleviating human suffering than impoverishing the masses to support a house-of-cards paper mill to justify the crony relationship between government and insurance providers.” So, instead, County Manager Steve Wyatt plugged the latest hole in the can of worms with a technicality. He said the county has a policy against allowing private sales on public property.

That worked, but somebody could probably sue on the grounds that un-Constitutional federally-mandated purchases may be transacted through policy-breaking commerce.

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Unintended Taxes, What a Surprise

Three members of the community spoke as fiscal conservatives at last night’s meeting of Asheville City Council. The main subject was the creation of Innovation Districts, which used to be Metropolitan Service Districts, which used to be Business Increment Districts, which used to be, Business Improvement Districts, . . .

The city was going to create them regardless of what the public thought. The argument ran something like: Legislation allows the creation of special districts to allow the floating of bonds. Although the city has the power to levy special additional taxes in these areas, members of council and staff swear up and down that is nowhere near their intent.

One member of the public, who makes sense half the time but is dismissed because of the outrageous persona he dons for the cameras, was treated as a silly child for saying bonds are debt, and funds borrowed must be repaid with interest. Two others spoke as taxpayers and said the improvements the city had suggested undertaking with one-time debt would have long-term maintenance costs that would unmysteriously add to the tax burden.

Mayor Esther Manheimer replied to one of them with, “That’s not the way it works.” One could only infer the intellectually enlightened thing to do is spend without a care and chalk the costs up to unintended consequences. It’s sort of like going to the store and wondering what all those people are doing standing in line at the cash register.

As for the tax increase, it is like so many other things over the years. Council is asked to pass something nonbinding “in concept.” Then, the next council looks at the approved resolution and says they have a mandate. Besides, the economy always grows, right?

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In other public comment last night, Jonathan Robert [pronounced: (aspirated gargle)(long o)-b(schwa e)'] launched some zingers at council. He is still complaining about the Asheville Police Department, intent on removing Chief William Anderson. First, he took a shot at something Assistant City Manager Paul J. Fetherston said, attributing high turnover rates to an improving economy. Robert said officers were accepting worse jobs for less pay in neighboring departments.

He further alleged incompetence in the chief’s past, and asked members of council if they did not know how to Google. He quoted Martin Luther King’s most famous line, but applied it to reverse discrimination.

Now, I am not savvy enough to know what is going on. The chief could be incompetent, or Robert could be a drug lord destroying the world’s most amazing bust. I distort. You decide.

A link to the video should be posted here shortly.

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Mission in the News

Saith the local daily:

The federal government wants Mission Hospital to return [$443,183] in Medicare funds because of estimated billing errors, according to an audit. . . .

. . . Medicare and Medicaid cover about 75 percent of the company’s patients.

The amount was extrapolated from a review of 192 claims from over 350,000 patients served in 2011-2012. A similar audit estimated systematic errors at Duke University’s Hospital during the same period totaled $626,000.

Mission is under fire for eliminating 130 jobs deemed redundant with the intention of hiring another 147 outpatient care workers next year.

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Something in the Water, and It’s Not from Fracking

Life was good growing up in suburban Detroit in the ’60s and ’70s. Sure, we had a hippie problem: Dirty, long-haired teens played ugly music too loud. But people were happy, and one could walk around outside without even thinking about stepping on a live grenade or having a wild hoard ambush them from the bushes. Bill Milliken was governor, and I liked him because he didn’t make any mistakes bad enough to get himself in the limelight. The only interaction we had with local government was over the hippies playing their music too loud, the chuckhole that never got fixed properly, and, of course, taxes. When I got older and moved down here, I was thankful for our nation’s Founders, who decided we would preserve law and order while protecting ourselves from wild-eyed tyranny.

Fast-forwarding to today, we have city and county governments maneuvering behind the scenes to display a gay pride flag to celebrate activist judges overturning the vote of the people and federalism. Adding to the brouhaha, somebody just called the county with a bomb threat as a reaction to the tomfoolery. And yes, I suspect a lot of this has to do with each side engaging useful idiots to make the other side look bad. I mean, people who disdain anybody who talks about what I shall hiply term “the Founders’ Way,” surely have too much going on upstairs to act so childishly,

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We’re Number One!

Lookie here at the very first page of the Cato Institute’s “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2014.” Why didn’t it make local news?

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