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Strategy Champions Diversify Strategically with Amplified Metrics

I just finished reading the Asheville Police Department’s Strategic Operations Plan. I pity the officers promoted to desk jobs who got stuck serving as strategy champions. Now, they have to make timelines and describe how they shall democratically procure software to make flowcharts. I am compelled to give bonus points. These guys not only speak Synergese, they speak it in garbled syntax!

Worst of all is the part about diversity. It is a big part of the plan. It looks like some fulltime jobs will be created. I mean, if somebody is bludgeoning you, it should give you comfort to know help will be on its way as soon as three sworn officers finish making paper dolls with the little girls in public housing. If I were rich, I would make a YouTube video showing people getting assaulted and refusing help from the officers who arrive on the scene because they are of the wrong color and gender. “No! That’s OK. He can cut my other leg off, I will wait for a white female!”

Documents like this are thinly-veiled racism. I use the word correctly because there is an implicit double-standard. If I, being of a majority color, were to scream and shout that I did not have to pay attention to the gun of a properly sworn officer of color, I’d be racist. But, if a person of color whines that she doesn’t need to listen to some honky cat, the homey gets hooked up with unpaid leave so he has time for some sensitivity training.

We tell ourselves that Latinos and Blacks fear the cops, and that they wouldn’t if cops were of the same physical stripe. Do they fear the cops because they are guilty and making excuses? Or do they fear them because the cops are butting into business without probable cause? If the latter sitchy-ation is so, then we need to explain to Blacks and Hispanics that this is not Mexico. This is America. Cops are not supposed to bully you, and if they do, the American thing to do is get your phone out, start filming, post what you see to YouTube, sue the police department, and live comfortably off your royalties.

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So, Somebody Actually Wants to READ Facebook?

Jackson County Schools will monitor students’ social media posts. That is supposedly controversial, as if Facebook and Twitter are sealed diaries and little kids need no guidance.

North Carolina two years ago became the first state in the nation to pass a law that allows students to be criminally charged if they use computers with the “intent to intimidate or torment” school staff.

Coming from a more analog era, I, of course, have a different interpretation of that.

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Asheville Redefines Public

Remember those very controversial (See for example 1, 2, & 3.) leases between the city, Pack Place, and Pack Place’s current subtenants? Remember I said Asheville City Council’s agenda for tomorrow said the rewrites would be posted today:


Well, it’s 2:50 on July 21, and they’re still not there. Not to worry. Anybody worthy to consider himself a citizen of Asheville can do due diligence on 72 pages, conducting the necessary interviews and legal cross-referencing, in less than 8 milliseconds. Take your time.


Don’t Budget for Groceries – Buy a Ferrari

I wish to rant every time I see this. Free meals are being provided to Buncombe County’s food insecure, as well as anybody else who can snag one. The objective is not feeding the poor so much as it is getting our poverty numbers up. The article in the local daily highlights that 55.6 percent of Buncombe County school children receive free or reduced school lunches. Those children, then, are kicked under the bus for summer, not knowing whence their next meal comes.

Now, we all know that the economy is booming hand over fist, jobs are oozing out peoples’ ears, and we are just drowning in buckets of gold provided from all the induced economic multipliers from corporate welfare.

The problem is parents. They’re stupid. They might not know, for instance, that a child is allergic to peanuts, but Michelle Obama does. I worry about the 44.4% of kids left to the mercy of their parents for food. Those are the punks that try to get good grades so they can earn their way to college, the kind of riffraff that will try to get a job when they get out of college, the bane of the earth known as “taxpayers.” How can we become a nation of tax consumers as long as we have all these taxpayers cluttering the land?!

I’m so bent out of shape over this, I am having fantasies of going back to teaching in a disciplinary reign of terror. I would hold a peanut in one hand . . . Oh, I don’t know, maybe Twinkies with all those carbs would be more lethal until the next round of studies.

Now, so we speaka the same language, if you are not faint of heart, cliquez ici to see what I think of when I hear of food-insecure children. If we’re so global and all, how can we whine about how we need to give more and more free food to our fashion-plate, gadget-geared, obesity-crisis ridden communities when this is happening on the same planet?

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Honorable Mention

Another highlight from Asheville City Council’s upcoming agenda would be the new leases for Pack Place and its tenants. Former lease agreements and suggestions therefor have been rather controversial, and so the city is not going to post the final versions until the day before the meeting. The city did post that the leases will be discussed, and so the public is properly noticed. I mean, who can’t anticipate THAT loophole?

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A Department of Overhead, Gizmos, & More Tweets

According to the article, the Asheville Police Department is unveiling a new operations plan. It has six planning areas: quality of life, community communications, recruitment and retention, leadership, organizational structure, and technology. Much feedback from a public meeting, we are told, pertained to getting the agency more hip with Facebook and Twitter.

It may sound dumb unless you recall the story from our neighborhood where the guys had the BB gun stolen off their porch. They went after the perp. One confronted him, the other saw a gun in the perps pocket. Some kind of conflict ensued, and the guy who saw the gun called the police. Time passed, and the guy kept posting to social media comments to the effect of, “Where are the police?” If the police had a Twitter page, they might have seen one of the posts.

Something there is that might have preferred a strategic plan with more focus on reducing crime. But who would believe a police department that was supposedly giving all its secrets away?

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What Are They Saying?

As I continue to read Asheville City Council’s agenda, I find oddness in the proposed contract for accepting a federal grant for construction of a new runway at the airport. The extreme weirdness starts on page 8 of the pdf, where we learn that Executive Order 13513 bans texting while driving and so workplace safety initiatives must be right-sized for education, awareness, and other outreach. I can imagine my instructor teaching me, “Some body got hurt texting and driving, and you could, too!” Thank a president.

That was #18. #19 discusses prohibitions against human trafficking “that apply to any entity other than a State, local government, Indian tribe, or foreign public entity.” It goes on to forbid, “Engaging in severe forms of trafficking in persons during the period of time that the agreement is in effect.” So, if I read this correctly, the state can sell Indians, mildly, after all is said and done.



Under the news radar is an item on the consent agenda for the next meeting of Asheville City Council, which would authorize a program for pressure-washing and removing debris from downtown sidewalks. To my delight, the city has decided to pursue this objective with general funding rather than proceeding with the creation of a Business Improvement District to do the same with an extra tax.

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Explaining Destroit

I just finished reading Bob Ivry’s The Seven Sins of Wall Street. It was very credible. I’ve read a few books on the topic, mostly by libertarian-leaning authors, but this one goes a little deeper. Ivry, as an investigative reporter for Bloomberg News, had better access to people and numbers than the other authors. Also to his credit, he acknowledged that unlike in intentionally or unintentionally fictitious accounts, there are a lot of loose ends in the real world. The way the available dots were aligning, though, was scarier than I had suspected.

He related stories of people who had been suckered into high-risk loans, stuff with which most people are familiar by at least second-hand experience. But he also told how some of these people were not dumb, they were swindled. Customer service representatives directed in large numbers victims of errors on their mortgages, systematically favoring the banks, to government programs rather than fixing the booboos. People making consistent payments were treated as if they had defaulted, and many who could not afford a lawyer responded accordingly.

Chicanery, nepotism, and incompetence in America’s big banks has been thoroughly aired, but Ivry’s presentation left the reader seeing the banks as empty shells. Numbers obtained by Bloomberg on the Fed’s propping up of the cronies in addition to the TARP bailouts, show millions and billions of taxpayer subsidy for mismanagement, whether through incompetence or criminal acts.

The book is well-written except Ivry, probably intentionally trying not to appear like a free-marketeer, typoed “Ludwig van Mises.” Ivry also advocates for more regulation to “make” banks smaller, when it would be so much simpler to, as he even suggests, undo the special legislation and special exemptions therefrom that perpetuate the unholy alliance between big government and big spenders.


Can I Say This?

It was like a joke. I was getting my oil changed at a place that had a TV in the waiting room. On the screen was a dark orange skyline from somewhere in the Middle East. The news guy was talking about missiles. How did I know Israel was on the offensive?

It was in the news.

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