Confabulosity

A1 & B1. Those are the pages that hurl their mush-articles at me this morning.

A1: Clausen resigns from education post

Something about a fracas of a secret one day resignation that under some confabulated rule enabled her to make more money when she got her very same job back the next day. So now she resigned for real. I had no idea it was such a fracas, I guess I missed it. Or maybe it was just buried deep in the paper, you know, in case she beat the rap. Meanwhile, why on earth is there such a confabulation? So odd a thing, that the new word, confabulated, is needed to modify ‘rule.’ It’s not just a rule, rational and reasonable for any organization. No, it’s a confabulatiously concocted rule to screw the people. Really, it’s bizarre. Who would write such a rule? And why aren’t they being brought up on malfeasance with the public purse charges? Or is this one of the many “oops” so often discovered in every level of government? Right.

Meanwhile, she’s distressed now, or something, because the “core mission” of “more graduates” is compromised because of the fracas she did cause. Thanks Ms. Clausen, now we know your priorities: you, you and you.

But what is one of the ways she claims she wanted to remedy the situation? Something that she should have been dealing with rather than looking for confabulated rules to go by. Well, quite sensibly she wants to get “legislation [passed] giving colleges greater tuition authority.” And that’s very good. In fact, the legislature should simply remove itself from the equation. And let the university charge whatever it thinks is good enough to run their teaching machine, just like Ford charges what it needs to make cars and run their machines. It’s like a factory, isn’t it? They want more of their product: graduates, or cars. They want better quality, too. And they want to sell those graduates, or cars, on the open market. And yet the university is prohibited from charging a price which might reflect the value of a teacher, and a degree, so that the student, paying for it all, is very aware of just how much quality control he or she must put into their studies to sell themselves on the job market. Yes, a little less partying and a bit more studying would occur if tuition reflected true costs. But subsidies are like free beer at a frat party.

How quickly costs would come down, too, now that the woman’s studies professor can’t command $100 a student an hour, earned through seniority and tenure, when her skills are marketed to a student class that “is ready to succeed in the workforce.” As Ms. Clausen says. Indeed. Nothing like woman’s studies to help make cars, run giant hotels, or clean up oil spills. And when students see the real price of Ms. Fussbucket’s Woman’s Studies 101, An American and World Perspective Against Male Domination, well, then, they might well eschew such important matters and get dull and down with engineering or something. Though perhaps Ms. Fussbucket will command still, after the change to price-tuition instead of subsidy-tuition, say, $25 a student an hour because, well, someone would be interested in such a subject. Like basket weaving too. It’s really up to the student to decide, and the market of full-price paying knowledge consuming students will quickly set the true price for Male bashing Woman’s studies, or the engineering of load limits on offshore oil platforms, or even, say, economics which might teach such an hoary thing as free market capitalism.

But to have the legislature set the price, though it can’t set the cost, and subsidize the difference, and leave it to some arcane inane bureaucracy to create some bizarre confabulated rule that allows secret one day resignations to boost salary overall is nuts. I wonder what college course they learned that in?

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Then there’s B1. CATS considers tax

Yes, I bet they do. CATS, of course, is our “capital area transit system” which goes to no areas that serve much purpose. It’s terminal is in the midst of cemeteries, to encourage someone to do something, no doubt. The service runs strange loopydidoo routes at odd times, and all go to the terminal, where you have to change to some corresponding looydidoo to ever go from one place to another. They do decry the lack of ridership, though, with wonderment in our greening times of supposed love of public transport. The capital area is a multi-parish region of some 700,000 to 1,000,000 people, depending on how you slice it. There’s West Baton Rouge Parish, right there on the other side of the river. There’s Livingston on the other side of the creek. There’s Ascension down the bayou. All spewing people by the thousands into the capital area everyday to the point of choking the traffic on the interstate to a standstill. Heaven forfend if CATS actually goes to those areas to bring in the people from out there who might work or have business in the thriving metropolis around the capital complex downtown. No, that would be silly.

So CATS is a misnomer, rather it’s BaRTS, Baton Rouge Transit System.

Meanwhile, with such reporting as provided I’m now supposedly fully informed on this vital issue of providing public transportation and transportation to the disabled, which might get us a tax to pay. What a dual job for sure, and completely different, does CATS perform. One is the bus route system, with stops riders walk up to and wait at. The other is a door to door pick up and drop off system on an on-call basis.

Still, nowhere in the article is the amount of the tax rate requested. Nowhere is the sum total of the money sought to be raised by said tax. Nowhere is the annual shortfall of CATS that the tax seeks to remedy. Nowhere is there evidence of a question by any reporter of any CATS official as to whether some meager portion of the $300,000,000 for a high speed rail boondoggle proffered by the feds and declined by the governor for the very boondoggleosity of it all couldn’t be obtained and applied to the problem. After all, that $300,000,000 came out of the state one way or the other. Of that there can be no doubt. So technically a transportation tax has already been levied. Where’s the money?

It took a trip to DC, and is now impounded in some bar, drinking it up with billions of other transportation dollars, while the transit system back here where I am needs some amount unknown to my own local newspaper and is now floundering around for a way to further fleece the taxpayers.

Imagine if Obama, erstwhile champion of the poor and downtrodden, and wise genius spender of the public purse, actually gave Louisiana the $300,000,000 he already has for transportation for actual transportation. You know, like a SELATS – Southeast Louisiana Transit System. Or sillier, a SLATS: Southern Louisiana Transit System. One that weaves a spider web of an energy efficient, frequently run, environmentally friendly, reasonably priced comprehensive bus and jitney system across the region.

But no, Obama wants a high speed rail line. He does look good at ribbon cuttings doesn’t he? And I doubt CATS is the only forlorn suitor for federal matching funds. But Obama is busy golfing and partying and thus is unable to devote that time to doling out the $300,000,000 and other hundreds of millions in his hands to the many “something area transit systems” so that people might actually use the darned things. But soon, just a decade or two away, the Joe Biden Memorial High Speed Rail Line from one place to another will roll out into cost overruns and budget shortfalls as sure as you can say “All aboard!”

Now, there was an election of sorts yesterday, and the poppycock pushers will prognosticate good or bad one way or the other. But the mush on A1 and B1 points to the larger problem. The confounded confabulosity of it all. And it’s going to take more than one election cycle to deconfabulate it.

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