As you can imagine, the Bureaucrat Beat staff has huddled around our card table with serious thoughts about 9-11. As we frequently do before air time, we pondered the day and the philosophic idea that you can not create peace with war. That makes sense to us, although we do recommend that the U.S. remain robustly armed for protection with the message that we will not hesitate to do what it takes to guard our territory.
However, all of the “security” measures our country has taken remain disturbing. Does banning toothpaste from airplanes really do the job against people willing to become human bombs? How about the fact that our ports are not secure? Our own government was ready to hand over bomb-making material to an unknown entity without checking.
As we chewed this over at the card table, we turned to one of our newsroom books – Democracy in America by Alexis de Toqueville. A learned man who spent more than an afternoon in deep thought. He says that one of the problems in a Democracy – too much activity in search of power, money, freedom. He suggests that some thoughtful quiet time and honest analysis of affairs must sooner or later hit us smack in the brain. That’s when we can clearly see what’s up – public opinion, personal grabiness aside. Okay, that sounds reasonable.
So, on this September 11th, we will recommend a large step back, quiet contemplation on America’s behavior, the world conditions and what we must do to make things better for everyone.
A little of that wouldn’t hurt our local communities either.
It took a bit of contemplation for Mammoth officials to look at bear shootings, public disturbance over it and the fact that one of the country’s best bear managers lives in town to connect the dots. They should likely offer Searles some patient support to get things right in the next couple of months, too.
Difference between the Fish and Game’s work on bears and Searles? DFG approaches wild animals bureaucratically, by regulation. Searles is a bear whisperer, you might say. Allowed time and support, Searles has proven his rare ability.
Another man who needs some quiet time to consider his life – former Mono County Congressman John Doolittle – he’s in a different district now – and remains the object of FBI investigations and sharp attacks over money funneled to his wife’s company from campaign funds. Nevertheless, he staunchly declared recently that “I will not step aside. I am running again. Period.” Doolittle now trails his Democratic opponent by double-digit numbers. He blithely dismissed the numbers and the subpoenas that went out to his aides in connection with the investigation of Doolittle’s connection to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Locally, cheers to the City of Bishop officials who took steps to re-roof some of the City buildings, unlike Boards of Inyo Supervisors who have dismissed building maintenance and delayed more than $2 million worth of maintenance, including new roofs and handicapped access.
For those who dismiss health care issues as hooey, the Census Bureau just issued a report that documents a large increase in the number of Americans who do not have health insurance. The Census Bureau says that the number of uninsured Americans went up by 2.2 million – from 44.8 million if 2005 to 47 million in 2006.
Studies show that people who lack health insurance tend to skip needed care until its an emergency room crisis. We feel a letter is in order. Dear Congress, have you read the U.S. Census Bureau report? Oh, you were too busy getting your annual, insurance-paid, physical?
On to Sacramento. The Bureaucrat Beat Staff gets a kick out of the Republican-Democrat bickering in the State Capitol. These guys need some quiet time to reflect, too. Anyway, here’s the latest. According to the Senate-Assembly Republican Radio Service, the Dems approved two bills recently. One would give taxpayer-funded food stamps to convicted drug felons. The other bill would allow for the distribution of condoms to prison inmates. The Repubs said, and we quote, “prison time should be about serving time and paying one’s debt to society, not having a good time.” Hey, guys, have you read the U.S. Census Bureau report on health insurance? Oh, no, I guess not. Too busy drooling over food and condoms for inmates.
And, if all of that weren’t enough to send us into our caves of meditation, Paris Hilton – the one we vowed we would ignore – made the front page of the Los Angeles times Real Estate section Sunday. The blond publicity hound, forced to go to jail because she violated her probation on an alcohol-related reckless driving conviction, just sold her home in the Hollywood Hills for $4.25 million and promptly bought a $5.9 million Beverly Hills mansion in a gated community. Poor thing! Forced to hide behind gates! Who was she again?
Signing off for Bureaucrat Beat, this is Benett Kessler, with the hope that we will hear from you about our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond. Remember, you can go to our website and post comments on Bureaucrat Beat.