Friday, September 7, 2007

Sembler Co., DeKalb County and the billion dollar disco ball.

Did I ever mention to you that I hate developers, more to the point Atlanta developers, with a passion? I also hate the infill folks and the “urban pioneers” who completely erase the historical legacies of the neighborhoods that they feel they are gracing with their presence, bad taste and bad manners. Cabbagetown is a shell of what it once was, the Oakhurst district is threatened and the newest threat to the way things are is the Sembler Co. looking to redevelop the North Druid Hills Road area just south of I-85.

Sembler has given us a new wrinkle to this mad money grab in the area of the traffic problems. If you have ever driven through that area at rush hour you know how it goes, for those not familiar with what happens here is the 411. If you are heading south on North Druid Hills Road, heading in the direction of North DeKalb Mall, on the worst day traffic will back up at Buford Highway. It’s a stop and go crawl all the way down to the Target Super Store across the street from the school. Traffic will thin out a little until you reach LaVista, where it’s stop and go all the way down to Clairmont. I have no idea how bad it stays past Clairmont but I am assuming it does follow a similar routine all the way down to the mall and Stone Mountain Parkway.

So, what is Sembler’s plan to relieve the already growing congestion to make room for the thousands of cars that will be added because of their billion-dollar project? They want to send the “regional” traffic (folks not stopping at their shrine to greed) underground. Yes, they want to make the rest of us mole people. There is a problem though. Have these knuckleheads ever seen the folks merge from the 85 exit onto N. Druid Hills? Have they ever seen people trying to scoot across 3 lanes of traffic to get onto Briarcliff? They expect us to believe their redesign of the roads will take that into account? Bullshit, I say.

What do they have planned for the “local traffic”, which would be those wanting to stop off at their greed shrine or at the Chik-Fil-A or the Target or Picadilly? Well let’s just throw a roundabout in the mix. These waterheads are convinced that a roundabout will solve all the traffic woes. Have those folks ever driven through a roundabout in America at a heavy traffic intersection? The fuckers don’t work in any way except to keep the auto body shops in business fixing sideswiping idiots.

A Sembler style project can work and be a benefit to the community if it is in the right place. Atlantic Station, for example, did a service to the community by cleaning up an abandoned industrial site and expanded an already expanding Midtown district. The area that Sembler wants to redevelop doesn’t need redevelopment. We need a better traffic plan but the answer isn’t building a billion dollar mixed-use development.

That area has numerous offices, thriving businesses and residential areas. I don’t see Loehman’s Plaza hurting. I don’t see the Picadilly, my favorite one in the Atlanta area, having trouble filling seats on any day or night. Guitar Center is PACKED on any given day. The Chik-Fil-A always has customers. The Target even expanded a few years back because the business is good. There is always a long line of cars at the QT waiting to fill up on their gas.

So, why does Sembler NEED to “redevelop” this area? It’s not needed, it’s unnecessary and it will make a horrible mess of an already congested area. Why does Sembler NEED to redevelop? Simple answer. They aren’t satisfied with just having a shitload of money, they want a king hell shitload of money. A billion dollar investment is one hell of a risk to take, especially in this economic downturn, and if they are willing to risk it they must have studies and reports sitting in their offices that show they can make a killing by doing a quick fuck job on the citizens of DeKalb County.

If you think this redevelopment plan is a good idea I think you need to talk with the folks who have seen how the Perimeter Center development has adversely affected the folks who live and work around that area. If you aren’t convinced you need to also ask yourself what is going to happen if this plan goes through and all the warnings you have been given come true. How would it even be possible to repair the sort of damage they want to do? How is DeKalb County going to pay for the upkeep of those tunnels they want to build?

If you think it’s a good idea, WHY do you think it’s a good idea? Is it because you want new places to shop? Go to Buckhead and shop, its only 15 minutes further away. Is it because you want the development to increase your property values? If your property values are so strongly tied to local commercial investments you should have moved your happy ass to Buckhead or Midtown and NOT the bedroom communities that surround this area. Is it simply because your easily distracted by shinny things? If that’s the case buy a disco ball and stare at it all you want.

Osama bin buying Just For Men, For Beards

“What are you going to do when your style gets old?” Those are the immortal words of the great Bootsy Collins. It appears that the sociopaths of Washington are hitting the same delimma as the American public is slowly waking up and asking what the fuck, dude?! Now, 4 days before the anniversary of the 911 attacks, our old boogy man and all around scary olive skinned guy with a big beard is popping his head in the door, saying hello. He’s back, ladies and germs…you know him, you love him, you can’t live without him…Osama Bin Laden has dropped his newest CD.

There is a catch to this new video. It appears Osama bin buying Just For Men and has apparently done the rounds at the cosmetic surgeon offices of Jalalabad. Folks, this new and improved OBL is a red herring. Look at that picture comparison and tell me those are the same two men. The photo on the right is the fancy pants new OBL, fresh from his vacation at the Tora Bora Club Med. The one on the left? Well, maybe it is the Binster and maybe it ‘aint. The boys at the CIA say it’s so and who am I to disagree?

The CIA did get one thing right when they scotch taped this video together on a drunken weekend visit to Pakistan and that’s the Obi-Wan Kenobi robes. How many times did the boys at Langley look at the updated double trilogy before they realized that old Obi-Wan wears the same threads as OBL? Go figure!

Other than the costume they must be having trouble finding OBL look alikes. I assume the Rangers have bagged dozens of men that sorta kinda maybe looked like “Ossammer” through a long range scope just before Pvt. PoBoy from Louisiana went all kill crazy on them, thus making the supply of OBL doubles more and more difficult for the CIA to get for their gigs.

What should we make of this new video? Honestly, we need to spit this one back in the face of the masters. The shoddy production values have slipped further than the 4th movie in a Hollywood franchise and now the gubbmint is doing the old, “No really, it’s him! It’s really him! Why don’t you believe me?” routine. Just how fucking stupid do they think we really are?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Conspiracy Theory Du Jour Chart

Fun with charts once again today.

The clickable image below is a chart that shows what I see is the collective pulse of various Conspiracy Theory message Boards at the moment. A few historical CT subjects like the JFK assassination and recent historical shams like the Aussie Bloke are included to give you a frame of reference. Enjoy!

The B-52 story

I’m still somewhat befuddled over the story about the B-52 loaded with strategic Tomahawks that has been vaguely described in the media over the past few days. There is a certain ominous feel to this that I can’t put my finger on. What has perked my ears up is that this was an apparent unauthorized movement of nukes. They may move nukes around at Manzano or Pantex like so much produce at the farmer’s market but when it comes to loading up a 52 with nukes and flying them down to Louisiana for “dismantling” something is not looking, sounding or feeling right about this story.

I wasn’t a weapons dweeb when I was in the Navy. I was a monkey with an attitude, turning valves and sweating my ass off in the engine room, but I was on ships where the Navy could “neither confirm nor deny the existence of nuclear weapons” and that was the line we had to repeat as squids out on the town looking for a few drinks and a lot of fun. In other words, yeah, we had them onboard the ship/boat but those of us who weren’t Weps types didn’t know which missiles and bombs were tipped with a big boom and which had a little boom.

I remember that the process for an onload or offload of weapons was a real pain in the ass procedure and there were storage lockers where the MarDet guard looked serious as a heart attack. They don’t store nukes like you and I store light bulbs. Nukes are kept in special ammo dumps and lockers that are secured by a perimeter and pissed off looking Marines. No one gets in or out without a serious once over and getting the weapons out of that place is a huge evolution that is planned and signed off on all the way up and down the chain of command. There are convoys involved, armed Marines who have nothing better to do than shine shoes and blow your head off take part in it and look at sailors in dungarees as target practice.

You don’t just roll up to a nuke storage facility in a pickup truck with some multi-colored papers on a clipboard and tell Joe Shit the Ragman of the MarDet unit, “I’m here to pick up a couple of nuclear tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles for Col. Hardass. What do you boys got in stock for us today?” Approval up and down the chain of command is given or denied and the teams of men involved are numerous. In other words, those nukes didn’t just hop on those Tomahawks and wind up bolted to the rail in the belly of a B-52.

Why would a nuke squadron at Minot send their weps to Barksdale for dismantling? Did Barksdale suddenly become the rehab or reclamation facility for the Air Farce’s nukes? I thought Pantex in Texas did the warhead work, and if the maintenance was simply meant for the missile bodies, what in the world are they doing being shipped down to Louisiana with warheads still bolted on? Too many questions and too much “national security” signal to noise ratio to figure this one out.

Considering the fact that the neo-con vampires are still rabid for laying waste to the middle-east with nuclear weapons, with initial target practice being Iran, the story makes the hair stand up on my arms when I really think about it. Is the Air Force possibly staging nukes to Barksdale for use against Iran?

Even Satan hates developers and McMansion dwellers

Greased palms keep the gears of capitalism turning and all of us know that. To think otherwise, that big political donations don’t have a positive effect for the givers of such contributions, is foolish, deceitful and naive. Does big business give money away to politicians as though they were charity, just to be nice? No, they do not. Do they do it simply because they “like” someone’s political stance? No, they do not. They do it to buy favor even if favors are not explicitly promised since such a promise would make the contribution a bribe and illegal.

We rarely get to see this process exposed to the light of day. Even with campaign laws written so that we can search for political contributions, sometimes online, we rarely look to see who is giving money to whom. I fall into that category as well, and when I have searched I mostly do not recognize the names of the contributors. Occasionally our media will expose some of this and we are left to consider the ramifications. Today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a story that lays out how a major developer is greasing the palms of DeKalb county officials to get what they want.

I cannot say these county officials have taken bribes by the developer, but I can say that this smells fishy and the appearance of improper conditions for campaign contributions are the first thing I think of. Can they really maintain integrity and an unbiased view when they vote for this thing? I can’t say that the developer has given them bribes, but I will say that it certainly smells fishy to me that a Florida based developer, who is facing a major downturn in the Florida real estate market, would donate thousands upon thousands of dollars to county officials in DeKalb County, Georgia; who just happen to hold the yes or no vote on a project that will make millions for them and contribute nothing positive to the quality of life in the area they wish to redevelop. It will in fact turn an already busy and thriving area, which suffers from horrible traffic gridlock, into an even larger traffic nightmare and it will destroy and transform yet another former suburban district into the new Mecca for the greedy and tasteless of Atlanta.

The North Druid Hills corridor that they wish to redevelop is an area I am highly familiar with, in fact I will be moving back to Decatur in a few weeks, away from the worst mistake I ever made which was moving to Sandy Springs in 2002. I will in fact be living on North Druid Hills Road, and their project will indeed effect me. I am intimately familiar with the area targeted for redevelopment and I already have a major experience dealing with a similar development to which is planned by the Sembler Co.

I live a little more than a mile from the Perimeter Place development in Dunwoody and that development has totally fucked the area in terms of traffic and quality of life. Before that development was begun, driving through the connector roads that slice across the northern side of Perimeter was the perfect means of getting around the plug of traffic associated with the mall and the many office towers that are clustered in the area. Now the area is hopelessly plugged with traffic, the task of running errands is useless, as the development has created a third bottleneck for the flow of traffic. The other bottlenecks are the location and heavy traffic of Perimeter Mall and the layout of the cross connecting roads themselves as they were designed in an “S” shape for their entire length and not as straight thoroughfares.

The Perimeter Place development will be nothing when compared to the monstrosity that is planned for the area between I-85 and Briarcliff on North Druid Hills Road. The Sembler development will destroy affordable housing in the form of apartments on Briarcliff. Affordably priced apartments within a few mile radius of the development will suddenly become “fashionable” and the average working man and woman will have to move to yet another affordable apartment complex. The neighborhoods of the area, which have been shattered by the trashy infill buyers and developers will finally be ruined as the last of the greedy with no tastes will want to scoop up the remaining ranch house properties to make them McMansion hell.

Sembler will in effect, destroy the final vestiges of a neighborhood and a district all for their profit. The average citizen is being chased away by greedy and tasteless fucks who have a shitload of money and absolutely no common sense, human decency or good taste. Sembler is not interested in the common good for the citizens of DeKalb County, it is not interested in the community itself and it is not interested in the long-term quality of life for the residents of DeKalb County. Sembler is only concerned with one fucking thing, making a bigger pile of cash and fuck anyone who stands in their way.

Sembler has no interest in the fair and honest workings of the local government, they do not give a shit who takes their money all they want is for those who accept their money to vote in their favor. Sembler is the epitome of what is fucking wrong in this country as whole, the greedy want more and the average citizen who is in their way gets trampled over and to ease their way through the system they give fucking cold hard cash to politicians as their means of exercising their first amendment rights.

If DeKalb County officials allow this travesty to happen, we can say without doubt that mere trinkets and baubles distracted them into selling the rest of us out; and the price was just a few grand. I wonder how easy it is for the Sembler execs to blow through the same amount of money that they have already donated to the Dekalb officials. Their monthly greens fees are probably cost more than what they slid into the pockets of these officials.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Conspiracy Theory "Fear" chart

Click on the chart to get a good idea of where I stand on believing in what we should be afraid of from my Conspiracy Theory centric worldview. For an explanation, I rate these items on what we should be afraid of and what we should not be afaraid of when weighed against what is a rational belief vs. what is an irrational belief.

Senator Craig pulls the Three Stooges Victim of Circumstance defense...out of thin air!

Idaho Senator Larry Craig has taken a new and bizarre defense of his misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for playing a round of party time footsie in a Minneapolis airport last June. His new strategy? The Three Stooges Victim of Circumstance defense. Unlike the Stooges, in particular, Curly; Larry Craig is a US Senator and the victim of circumstance (ignorance?) shouldn’t be a defense. Ignorance may be a partial requirement for US Senators but that only applies to cooked pre-Iraq war intelligence.

I guess ole’ Larry boy’s denial runs deeper than the Marianas Trench otherwise he would have done the Ted Haggard defense and checked himself into one of those homosexual rehab joints that claims to cure men of the gay. Is he so afraid of his true nature that he would rather drag this out in full view of the American public than to admit he’s gay? Or is he so addicted to the power and money grabbing position of upper echelon politics that he can’t let it go without one final desperate and pathetic attempt to hold onto his position, lobbyist money and beard?

I have a feeling that if he fights this the kiss and tell partners he has met will come out of the woodwork, one has already given details of an encounter they had at a train station. I can’t help but wonder if Sen. Craig is one of the politicians that pornographer Larry Flynt has gotten the goods on? If so I hope Flynt floats what he knows to the public.

In cases like this it is easy, I am afraid, to get an impression that there is a certain amount of gay-bashing and homophobia involved with my comments. I want to clarify that I have no concern what a man or woman does for sexual pleasure as long as it’s between fully consenting adults and none of the participants walk on hooves or paws. I may not get off on what someone else gets off on but hey, that’s the way the rubber gag ball bounces.

In Craig’s case my anger and frustration hit on several levels. One is that we should all understand that if a person in power exploits their sexual preferences yet hides them out of fear or shame, they open themselves up to blackmail. Sen. Craig was fully open to blackmail because of these two known sexual encounters with men in public places. In Craig’s case he also voted against the civil rights of homosexual Americans all the while he was engaging in homosexual sex. Sen. Craig claimed to be a fully heterosexual man with a family and derided the members of the homosexual community who wanted to start their own family, with the person they loved and were willing to commit for life to.

Sen. Craig isn’t a sad victim of “circumstance”, he is a lying, degenerate, hateful, ignorant old fuck who needs to go away and stay away. Hypocritical fucks like him do not deserve the honor and privledge of serving the people of this country and the state of Idaho. Sen. Craig needs to stop getting his excuses from the Three Stooges.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

September -- Where sentimentalism and reality clash

On this day next week the world will mark the 6th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. For me, September was once a lovely time of year with it's own feel, look and sensation. School would start back in session, the summer heat has broken, the leaves on the trees all have that dry and old appearance. Baseball has its pennant chases, or at least it used to. Football is in the air with the lonesome far-off comfort of a high school PA system calling the plays and players on Friday nights in Georgia, Saturdays were for Tech and the Dawgs. When I think of September I miss what it used to mean and feel like. Now there is dread and sentimentalism for the lost America

Evil stares us in the face each night when we watch the news, it has an American face and the face changes shape before our eyes. Hope is just a town in Arkansas and our gullibility to believe politicians is heartbreaking. Our money slips away like autumn leaves swirling around on almost empty back roads as we drive, aimlessly. Even half baked poets like Jim Morrison can be eerily prophetic, the future's uncertain and the end is always near. September is a month of dead and dread; a celebration for the bloodthirsty and satanic.

I have a longish posting prepared for 9/11 which I will post next week. I have a feeling the web will be loaded with cynicism and anger next week, as it has been growing, as it always has been. How can we be optimistic and hopeful with our blood, wealth, talent and compassion being wasted and squandered as it has been? To paraphrase, rearrange and steal a line from a former President, our long national nightmare is not over and I fear the darkest hour is still ahead.

Statistics Tuesday! Storms, great big beards and spam!

Some interesting statistics for you to chew on this Tuesday:

There have been 31 Category 5 hurricanes in recorded history, Hurricane Felix being the latest, which is pounding Nicaragua at this very moment. 25% of those 31 hurricanes have come within the last 5 years.

In Uganda, their rate of inflation has dropped to just 2.7%. In Indonesia, inflation stands at 6.51%. The current rate of inflation in Slovakia is 2.5%. The rate of inflation in Zimbabwe currently stands at 7,600%.

There are 130,000 millionaires in Venezuela.

Merrill Lynch projects a 65% chance of a recession in the US.

Since May 21st, 1950, Ferrari has won 197 Grands Prix and 14 world championships.

Glen Hubbard was 5’7” and weighed 180 lbs. when he played for the Atlanta Braves back in the 70’s and 80’s. After he shaved his beard his weight dropped 15 lbs. He hit .264, made 4444 fielding assists, 2795 put outs and was credited with 975 double plays. The guy was a Hoover vacuum cleaner at second base.

There have been 308 reported cases of the West Nile virus in the US so far in 2007 with 11 fatalities. The virus had never been seen in the United States until 1999. Between 1999 and 2001 there were only 149 cases reported. In 2002 there were 4,156 cases reported.

Country club lizard, friend of Irish Setters worldwide and Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s finance committee co-chairman is facing a 23 count indictment including charges of money laundering, mail fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice. If Romney can get the CFR and Bilderberg thumbs up he will be the 44th President.

One in five Americans have genital herpes. 98% of all federal cases against dog fighting charges result in a conviction. Michael Vick played in 74 NFL games and never played in a Super Bowl.

The first spam email I ever got was from the golf ball spammer back in 1996.