Thursday, June 16, 2011

Metro Atlanta Mayhem I

Road Problems: Visitors Beware

Atlanta Metro has a number of problems with its streets and roads. If you are new to town, just passing through or visiting here, you need to read this:

1.Street numbers go up and then down; try to find the 3400 block of Buford Highway; you will find it twice, once inside the perimeter and again way out in Gwinnett County.

2.Roads change names several times, everywhere.

3.Roads turn left and right without telling you.

4.Roads stop and then continue several blocks down from where they dead-ended.

5.All verbal directions require that you drive to the Big Chicken before you can find your way to your destination.

6.All office building have three to five names for their complex thanks to the marketing people. Try finding the Palladium by Greenway at the Ponds from the Big Chicken.

7.Few addresses are visible from the street. Many addresses are not on their buildings at all. You really can’t slow down enough to catch an address; the minimum traffic speed on our roads is 45 mph.

8.Hotels change hands faster than a hot Rolex watch. Restaurants go up and down even faster.

9.Left turns are only allowed on 3 downtown streets. Everyone else continues to turn right.

10.The I-75 North exit out of downtown no longer means I-75 / I-85 North. You may want to go to Gwinnett, but you will end up in Chattanooga.

11.There are never any cars on the big 17th Street overpass. I go there just to clear my head.

12.The exhaust from line of cars idling at the GA-400 toll booth caused the EPA to ban road building in Atlanta for decades due to poor air quality. The people who don’t want you to drive were ecstatic.

13.Coming up I-75 / I-85 North through downtown Atlanta, you need to get into one of the 3 left lanes to go right to I-85 or into one of the 3 right lanes to go left to I-75. Nashville has you switch lanes like that 5 times. Nashville needs a 17th Street overpass where you can go to have your nervous breakdown.

14.Some roads can suddenly turn into highway entrance ramps. If you go south on Buford Highway, the entire road becomes an entrance ramp to I-85 South. Nobody knows what they did with the rest of Buford Highway or how to get there.

15.The Interstate highways we use, I-85, I-75 and I-285 require some warnings:

The minimum traffic speed on our highways is always the posted speed plus 20. If you try to drive the posted speed on I-85 South from the Williams Street Exit to the Hwy
20 Exit, you will cause a huge pile-up, multi-car accident. Just pick a center lane and hope for the best.

It is common to lose your lane as the highway narrows. That’s because your right lane has become an exit ramp and you must cut over to the next lane on your left. This can be difficult and harrowing, but it is a good idea. If you don’t and you take the exit ramp, you will probably not be able to get back on to the highway, ever.

The worst entry ramp was from the airport to I-85 N. You had to accelerate from zero to 80 miles per hour in 4 seconds to cut left through 5 lanes of on-coming traffic to get to your ramp way over on the left. Otherwise, you couldn’t get on to I-85, ever.

Our Exit Ahead signs are designed to stun and confuse you. They are very large and cover the entire highway. They announce the coming exits for the tangled plethora of roads and highways you may want to take. There are no through-lane signs, so it’s hard to know if you’re still on the highway you started on. Just pick a middle lane and hope it’s not an exit lane.

We have HOV Lanes for car pools and buses. No one knows what HOV means. If you have two or more people in your car or bus, you can use them. Our HOV Lanes are on the left and so are their exit ramps; you may be required to exit and then you won’t be able to get back on the highway, ever, and you may not know where you are. Our HOV Exits are designed to hide what is ahead, so you really don’t know where they will take you. It’s the GDOT’s way of making your driving experience exciting.

You may notice the placement of traffic lights on entrance ramps to our highways. These are really fun. Until they added these unnecessary traffic lights we were able to form a single lane before reaching the highway entrance lane. We all took turns shuffling our cars. We did that all by ourselves and it worked fine. But the Georgia DOT did not think we could handle this shuffling on our own, so they put stop signs on the entrance ramps. They go Red, Green, Red Green alternately and very fast. You have got to see this. It creates a huge line of cars that back up on the road that leads up to the entrance ramp. They are not always on; nobody knows why. The best time to catch them is rush hour. You can pack a picnic lunch, and sit on the grass across from the entrance ramp for the best view. You won’t believe it.

You may notice that some parts of some highways have signs with people’s names on them. These are not the names of people who died there; these are the names of well connected, retired Georgia politicians who are not currently incarcerated.

Send me an email to march with us in the Dunwoody July 4th parade. Go to website and join the Dunwoody GA Tea Party. Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party, NTL Conservative Blog 770-394-1284

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Government Gone Wild

We may be voting to let government sink further into debt this November under a load of Bond Issues serviced with tax increases. The Dunwoody City Council may have us vote on a $65 million Parks & Transportation travesty. The Atlanta Regional Planning Commission may have us vote on a $125 billion transportation boondoggle. The State of Georgia is scheduled to increase its Bond debt service from $25 million a year to over $1 billion a year.

The Federal government wants to spend another $2 trillion to buy the world a Coke. Georgia just spent $29 million on Okey Woods, 10,000 acre “wildlife preserve” and plans to spend more. Atlanta Regional wants to spend $125 billion for a train hub, MARTA bailout and schemes to make our roads worse. DeKalb County wants a 4.5 mil increase. Property tax revenue fell and they want to raise our rates, just like they did with the water rate during the drought. Sandy Springs wants to spend $50 million to buy a strip mall. Dunwoody wants to spend $65 million on parks and bike lanes. They want Bond Issues and Tax Increases. Way too much money will be spent on low use items like Afghan elementary schools, low use transit infrastructure, city halls, parks and wildlife preserves, places you go every day.

Bond Issues are a particularly expensive way to run a government. The debt a 30 year Bond creates is roughly double the face amount of the Bond. The CPI is currently 3.2% The Bonds will need to deliver a return at least as high as the CPI. Over 30 years a return of 3.2% costs 96% of the face amount (30 years x 3.2% = 96%) As the CPI goes up, the Bond values go down. Smart governments pile up surpluses to pay for big projects.

The Atlanta Regional Plan to spend $125 billion includes lots of MARTA funding. MARTA’s income from customers is $100 million a year, but it’s cost of operations, maintenance and expansion is $700 million a year. Their operations are subsidized by the Federal, State and Local government covering 86% of their costs. Why would we expand this ?

The Federal government is on a spending spree Congress can’t seem to stop. They loaded up their departments with extra cash and these departments are offering transportation “earmarks”. To get these, States, Regions and Cities must agree to go into debt and raise local taxes money and spend it on uneconomical public transit, very expensive light rail, biking, walking and green space. This is a bribe we can’t afford to take. The Federal government is waging a mythical war with their imaginary CO2 problem. They hate cars, roads, suburbs, America, the Constitution and the free enterprise system.

Apoplexy Now !

Apoplexy produces a state of unconsciousness. That could explain why government thinks it can borrow its way to prosperity without being aware of the consequences. Governments, at all levels, are in a feeding frenzy to borrow money. Interest rates are low and inflation is upon us and low rates won’t last, so government wants to lock in that mortgage rate and hope for the best.

The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates artificially low and under market for over a decade. The Fed also prints U.S. dollars out of thin air whenever the Federal Government needs them. The Federal Government has been on a spending binge for over a decade. This particular form of apoplexy is contagious, but isolated to government officials, so it probably resides in the selective unconscious. (Why hasn’t the CDC warned us ?)

Government spending and debt have caused free markets to atrophy. Our home, land values and stocks are falling, commodity prices are rising, consumer demand is stalling, small business is struggling and stagflation is ascending and government is complaining that we won’t give them enough money. So, we started this Tea Party group to ask the hard questions.

Send me an email to march with us in the Dunwoody July 4th parade. Go to website and join the Dunwoody GA Tea Party. Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party, NTL Conservative Blog 770-394-1284

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dunwoody GA Tea Party Begins

I registered with to form a Dunwoody Tea Party group to give voice to those citizens who don’t want the City Council to raise taxes or go into debt.

We want the City of Dunwoody to:
1. Recognize that the economy is not improving enough to spend big bucks.
2. Scale back spending plans and adopt a “debt free”, no tax increase plan.
3. Prioritize spending based on utilization; fix the main roads and intersections.

Our Focus
We represent the average citizen. We want the Dunwoody City Council to prioritize all expenditures based on utilization. We all drive on the roads, but not many of us need a field to play baseball. We formed to lend a conservative voice to Dunwoody City politics.

Our Plan
Our first task is to invite our Tea Partiers to march in the Dunwoody July 4th parade. We need simple, light weight continental militia clothing, a fife and drum and some Betsy Ross flags.

Our next task is to identify families who will host a “meet the candidate” party for their neighbors in their homes or at their swimming pools. We have all Summer to do these and it will be fun.

Then we vote NO on the Bond Issue, if there is one, in November and elect conservative City Council Reps. After that, we are free to do whatever we want to do.

Tea Party Autonomy
Dunwoody Tea Party members don’t have to participate in other Tea Party events. There are no dues. We can join or be members of other Tea Party groups if we want to. We can focus on wherever we think will be helpful. Most of my thoughts are on NTL Conservative Blog, where I will be adding these posts.

We are total free-enterprisers. We want the free market to rule. We encourage self-reliance. We are watch-dogs when it comes to government. We believe in the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, as it was written. We believe government is broke, because it has overreached its authority. We want government to stop spending our tax dollars for things individuals and free enterprise could do and live within its means.

Our Issues
We are in the 3rd year of the 2nd Great Depression and government wants to double down on its spending spree. We don’t think maybe this is such a good idea.

Send me an email to sign up to march with us in the Dunwoody July 4th Parade or host a candidate meeting. Go to website and join the Dunwoody GA Tea Party. Norb Leahy Dunwoody GA Tea Party, NTL Conservative Blog 770-394-1284