Branson Council Chooses "No Name" Architect

     After Tom Treat, a local architect, invited an"AIA Promtional Posse" to consider the "disposition options" for Branson's Old High School, and after their report waxed enthusiastic to rehab the structure (surprise, surprise), and after a town hall meet that turned ugly, and after further considering at an "invitation only" session.... well the council finally took the next step and hired an architect.  Fortunately, according to the Tri-Lakes News Report, the council used a very sophisticated "4 point matrix" analytic to insure that they hired the most qualified architect.  They chose "General Design"

     The Tri-Lakes Article reported that the council was pleased with their choice, although no information as to who "General Design" actually is was given, other than that "they were local".  A quick Google Search yielded a skeleton WebSite, with no identified principles, no indication of business type, an address on 65 Highway, and a 2012 Copyright date.  PS:  There was a picture of the "General Design" office on the Website.  Alas, it looked a lot like the side entrance to Tom Treat's House. 

     Why all the covertness.  Surley Branson's proper and upstanding "good-old-boys" know that no one in "our town" gives a shit about how they do the "cities business",  except maybe Darrin Codin, and of course everyone just thinks he's nuts.


Let's get Barack to Send Cash and Rehab the Old High School!

Rehab it for what?  Really, we don't give a damn what it winds up to be.  Everyone knows that a 60 year old multi-story school building filled with asbestos and a maze of classrooms is only good for one thing.  With three measures of "professional spin"and a big dose of "special interest", Branson can likely hijack some liberal federal dollars to enrich our "goodoldboy" design/construct club.  Not to mind that 5 million down the road when we've turned a "white elephant" into a "red nightmare", these same "mutually enabling professionals" will spin, plan, and fund the next new/old solution.  Of course, in the end the taxpayers will pay, or loose their homesteads.  The professionals will just change cities and pick new CPAP advisors.  Well, if this sounds cynical, just keep reading the "Independent" and offering ideas at patronizing neighborhood meetings.  Remember that while your being courteous and collaberative, the "goodoldboys" already lining up to ride this "cash cab" will have the "old/new building" amped, ramped and stamped.

PS  Thanks to Leap Tornado, the City has an extra $600,000 from a High School damage claim.  I have a great idea, lets spend it buying appetizers from the "goodoldboys" waiting in line for the score.  If we hurry they can share some with their favorite "conservative super pac" to help defeat the liberals.  Of course, bite the hand that feeds's the Ozark way!


I Just Couldn't Work At "Family Pharmacy"

    There are three kinds of people who step up to the counter at their family pharmacy and say, "I would like to fill a prescription, please".  Indeed my family pharmacy actually has the name, "Family Pharmacy".  Unfortunately, there is nothing family about today's pharmacy.  They are the "foot soldiers" for "Big Pharma", the worldwide collaberating cartel that dances with government, panders to Wall Street, and constructively regulates you life by the distribution of little yellow and red pills.  This rant is however, not about the medicinal value of drugs.  It is about pricing! 

     First, according to Barack, about 8 out of 10 have insurance and really don't give a damn about the price.  They may care about the deductible or co-pay, but not the price.  They are either naive enough, or sufficiently narrow minded, to not see the debilitating power of uncontracted insurance premiums.  Second, there are the few, who for whatever tragic reason, are paying, or trying to pay, for their own drugs.  More often than not, they are the disenfranchised, totally ignorant of the market cost or the price spectrum.  Third, there is an even smaller group, who likely have insurance and personal means, but who simply get pissed off when their prescription receipt is cheerfully stapled to a sack of drugs sold at a predatory price.  I am part of the third group, and am pissed, not only because the scam financially victimizes me and countless millions like me, but because it further makes all of those people who make their living from the "drug industry" immoral hypocrits, no doubt self loathing, because they know that they're being used, yet daily perpetrate the scam in exchange for paychecks. 

     How sad that when some nice nerdy pharmacist hands me 30 Plavix, while apologizing that his discount price of $8.75 per tablet is so expensive, he never mentions that the same tablets are 96% less ($.44) at Northwest Pharmacy, a Canadian Pharmacy based in Washington State. Further, they "door deliver" for free. 

I am glad he's the one going home each night, knowing that he is a co-conspirator in this unconscionable Life/Death Rip Off. I just couldn't (forgive the pun) swallow it!

    Oh, but it gets worse.  Assuming that Congress passes the current pending SOPA/PIPA legislation, the "drug industry" will have blocked the low price "internet option" for we few Americans who care enough to be responsible.

PS:  It has been more than 3 years and Obama hasn't fixed this travesty, which does not appear to be that complicated.  Why not?   I voted for him in '08 for the last time, even if his reelection organization sends me 1000 emails a day! 



On The Third Day of Christmas, AT&T Brought To Me, Twelve Distress Calls!

     Sadly,  this December 22, 2011 was a typical day. Perhaps hyped somewhat by the "season", but none the less, just an ordinary day for a "pay-forward liberal" living in Branson, Missouri, the celebrated capitol of the "traditional value/tea party conservative" Ozarks.  I missed no phone calls. My most worthy achievement was that I answered them all.   Gout pain having tethered me to the house, I was compelling  to hobble to the first hello at 7a and the last goodbye at around 9p.  Each petition was unique but the common theme was unmistakable, i.e. "Let me tell you about my problem".  My today's gaggle of problems will, by next week, either have withered or inflated, and regardless will by then have been overshadowed by a new gaggle.  Before this happens, I am posting herewith a a brief summary of each "PROBLEM"  Reading these as a collection, I believe, reveals a disturbing portrait of life in the Ozarks, circa Christmas 2012.  You decide!

     1.  Distressed call from Charlotte:  Her 88 year old mother, living with her, in that no other sibling will put up with her, because she is, simply, "mean".  "Mother is threatening, without cause, to move to a Senior Care Facility. If she inquires tell her NO.  She is a horrible person, but she has no reason to move. P.S. She has lots of money".

     2. Threat from Unum Insurance:  Sophy, a Sales Associate from a Maine Insurance Company called to obtain a Medicare number from a Home Health Agency so that her sale could be recorded in December.  When the information was not yet available she became indignant and threatened to file a complaint with Medicare.

     3.  Serea strikes out:  Serea, single mother of two children under 10, called to report that the"disability check" belonging to her roommate had not shown up.  Regrettably she would not be able to reimburse me for the October electric bill at the Mobil home rental unit where she is 3 months behind on rent, and unable to secure electric service.  The roommate had been arrested for parole violation.  Th children's father, in prison, was ineligible for family assistance payment.  She was out of food stamps, ineligible for "unemployment benefits" from last waitress job in July, could not get tags for car with missing window, and hd no job hopes until March 1, when tourist return.

     4.  Mrs Smith's Money:  Pleasant little lady residing at a Senior Care Residence, called to report that for the second time this month, she had had money missing from her well hidden purse, the location of which was known only to her son.  Her son and daughter are estranged. Son visits often.  An out of state Trust Company that manages her affairs relies on a family friend for expenditure control to avoid family issues.

     5. Kent's Overdraft Protection:  Kent, a late 70's "post open-heart surgery patient" residing at a Senior Care Residence called seeking intervention with Great Southern Bank.  He had been having staff supplement the nutritional meals served with twice daily runs to Taco Bell for Chili Cheese Burritos, not realizing that his account was being overdrawn with each $3.00 purchase resulting in a $35 protection charge.  He could not pay the facility monthly service fee, in that he had spent more than $600 on burritos. 

     6.  Helen escapes from Louie:  Much yoked 80's couple residing at Senior Care Residence, called to see if their residence status was in jeopardy.  Helen, burdened by moderate dementia, has been daily leaving there apartment to wander the Resident Common Areas, prompting strong checks from the staff.  "After 65 years of marriage, she is still always mad at me", said Louie.

     7.  Ellen has a driver:  Forty something, recently divorced cook, called to report that she was going to drive to Nashville for Christmas after all.  She had decided not to make the long drive, given her severe back pain, but had met a nice guy at the Rusty Beaver last night who said that he would be happy to drive her.  Just a little cash advance and away they went.  Hope she makes it back!

     8.  For Seth, more seemed better:  Seth, a long term acquaintance, whose life has been an uninterrupted regulatory affair, called to report a plumbing problem at the "trailer park" where he has lived since second prison release for train robbery and parole violation respectively. At 24 after a life of abandonment, foster care and prison, he started September with a clean slate.  Newly remodeled mobil home with utilities paid, an unlimited cell phone, gratis, a functioning car with insurance, a job with meals and take home extras.  What to do?  Swipe a debit card with a pryed pin number and get a $100.  Of course it makes no sense,' not even to Seth, now exempted from police complaint, but facing "total bust" at January.

     9.  Lloyd's $20:  A nice young man, reported to have prospered during the "Branson Good Times", out of work, luck, transportation, shelter and utilities, trying to rebound with part time waiter job, called to pride fully acknowledge inability to repay last weeks "gas money for borrowed car".  Advised 3 days cold at his severly disabled fathers disrepair trailer.  Did not ask for cash/asked for work.  None in sight.

    10.  No Grace for Grace:  Scott, a CNA assigned to care for Grace, an 80 year old recent widow living in a delapidated trailer on a back road 10 miles outside of Lampe, called to inquire what, if anything, we might do to assisted Grace in recovering her house from the bugs and cats now in control.  Although she has  $2500 per month income from Social Security and 30 year teachers pension, she owes twice the value on trailer and has no savings.  Dead brother and husband, plus live son, daughter,grandson and nephew support mentioned as possible explanation. Only family asset, $100,000 of land, willed to retarded nephew and being "tended to" by Branson lawyer.  Living conditions at Somalia level.  Who to call? Not an easy call!

    11.  Shelata & Todd need presents:  A nuclear family with children named Rooster, Serenity and Patience, who are not unemployed because they have ceased to look for any wage source for several years, called to borrow a car so that "the kids" might get to see the Christmas lights, and to further, without direct request, make me aware that, if "the kids" were unable to buy their parents Christmas gifts, that they would be very sad. The call was after lunch, in that the parents, free from employment, rent, utilities, taxes, insurance and school lunches, sleep peacefully until aroun noon. PS, Shelata & Todd, like virtually everyone of their peers, have a working cell phone.

    12.  My sister, Sara:  As she often does my sister, Sara called late in the day to muse rhetorically as to why she and I spends 14/7 fighting the above exampled economic/cultural black-hole with but, metaphoric, only a  slingshot. I don't speak for Sara, but to acknowledge my personal motivation, it is not because I am so blessed with compassion.  It is more that, siding with underprivileged/underachievers is the best way I know to "heep burning coals on the head" of all the self absorbed middle class "proper people" who  can't  imagine an "AMERICAN SPRING" and will be mortified when it arrives!



Branson Edge: Liberal/Conservative "Trash Talk"

     Darin, the relentless dude, who hates Mayor Presley, and forever is perplexed as to how to vilify her, today in a long and convoluted piece on his "Branson Edge" blog settled for "fiscal liberal" and "sustainability" cloaking as a frame for her most recent misdeeds.  Because Darin's blog is so feverish to support "traditional values", he accepts only comment posts with which he agrees, so I guess I will have to post/twitter his editorial with reply included!


Branson Mayor and the Anti-Tea Party Movement (Editorial)

An acid test for modern conservative and liberal politicians can most easily be found by how the term "sustainability" is defined. For an economic conservative the term sustainability refers to fiscal restraint. The battle cry of the current tea party movement requires government to respect the right of persons to maintain their acquired wealth without the impediment of government interference.

For the liberal, private property rights are nullified by the greater good of the community. The extreme is socialism whose tenants state that all land is the public domain. Branson's current mayor and by association Branosn's current Board of Alderman have taken an extremely liberal  leaning perspective on economic policy, and development.  You can read the full Editorial at his blog site.


Perhaps you see some traction in using the conservative/liberal model to illuminate a local government regime with questionable intentions, but, it just doesn't sell. Your use of terms such as "fiscal liberal" and "sustainability" just confuse.  My sense is that every time you want to expose what you believe are unworthy and cloaked agendas, you call every offender in sight the worst publishable name you know, i.e."liberal". All thinking people who live in this little racist, bigoted, hypocritical, pretentious and under-educated "our town", know that it's just a garden variety "cronyism" that you see!  In fact there are plenty of conservatives (you) and liberals (me) who would like to see a community with a robust working democracy at its core.  Unfortunately we would also like to see cheap gas, more jobs, better health care, etc.  So, how about changing your context?  Think how pointless it would be to have framed Gadaffi, or Mubarak, or Assad as "liberals", when the whole world knows that they are/were just "self-indulgent assholes"!