Sunday, June 27, 2010

Who says we don't care about World Cup?

Some locals are fully engaged.

BTW, did anyone else get in on the "world's largest paella" at the Anatole when World Cup was hosted here last?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Frisco HOA that foreclosed on soldier..."

Oh, you wacky HOAs. Why don't you hire a public relations officer after the fact instead of doing the right thing in the first place.

Plenty of fault to go around here, but is this really what your organization wants?

I certainly do not condone death threats, but they do make an interesting barometer for how one's actions are being received by the public. If you're getting death threats it's a pretty good indicator you're Doing It Wrong.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

M Cafe has closed

I liked this place, but it's closed down.  I should have realized ut when I got this spam recently:

My name is John Macatee, and I am the former owner of M Cafe', Atlanta Bread Company, and Macatee Brokers, Inc..  I want to make you aware of the fact that in late 2009 I aligned my financial services practice with New York Life.  I have had the opportunity to establish myself as a valuable resource to many individuals, families, and business owners.  I have had great success in developing plans to help guide my clients toward reaching their financial objectives. 
The email addy it was sent to was on my business card, so I assume I dropped a card in a jar or similar.  Maybe I can't call it spam if I gave them my email addy.  Or maybe I can since it's not being used by the company I gave it to?  Hmmm.

I had assumed that the owner had sold the place to another owner at some point rather than shutting it down.  Guess not. Seems to me that little strip is in sad shape.

You requested these (nonexistent) projects

Do you remember the 100% of bond projects that you requested, and how your city leadership listened?

Some of the Prop 4 projects some of them were not even defined;  there would be a request for proposal after the bond vote. But now that we've agreed to pay for them we get some input on what they might be.  Get crackin'!

So which is it?  The projects existed and we requested them, or the projects did not exist so we could not have requested them.  Perhaps I am operating under a faulty understanding of what "requested" means.  Perhaps elected officials are tempted to increase their power and influence by redistributing the treasure of the tax livestock, and will dangle the vaguest of carrots to get it.  Seems like the real request, if any, was "please tax us and go deeper into debt.  We'll work out the details later."

We are in an unenviable position of begging the city to get our own money back to our neighborhoods.  Let us be clear:  the citizen wouldn't have to be a supplicant if his funds were not co-opted in the first place.  An economist's argument might be:  if the neighborhoods really wanted these tokens of "vitality" the residents would have already bought them.  

While I'm playing the crank this morning, let's keep going.

Consider these two scenarios:
1.  Protection racket
You buy a house in a nice neighborhood.
A fellow knocks on the door and tells you he'll watch your house to make sure nothing happens to it, in exchange for a yearly fee.
He provides some neighborhood services which you may or may not want, and you can ask him for favors.

2.  Taxation
You buy a house in a nice neighborhood.
The city knocks on the door and tells you to pay a yearly fee or something may happen to it  (ie, "Property taxes attach as an enforceable lien on property").
The city provides some neighborhood services which you may or may not want, and you can ask them for favors.

In both cases it is demonstratable that the provided services are unwanted, fictive,  or at least overpriced;.  Otherwise the residents would have voluntarily sought to pay for those services beforehand.  In both cases power accrues to the provider of protection and the resident must pay or lose property.  Does this setup sound like a good idea?  If we were remaking it from the ground up would you choose this option?

I am not a tea party guy but I do believe it is in the citizens' best interest to avoid "enabling" the tax/spend/indebtedness addiction of local governments.  (Link pointed out by RCN; thanks!)