Hunched over our unceremonious card table in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom, (we really don’t believe in big, expensive desks) we relived two crime stories from Mammoth Lakes. In one, a man reportedly pulled out a pistol and shot a fellow condo-project resident who had a barking dog. The other, more recent, rage rant, at yet another condo project, found one man’s car blocking a driveway. It all rushed into fisticuffs and finally a fancy-tool screw driver stab to the arm. We’ve concluded that schools must start to offer Anger Management. You’ve probably seen the Jack Nicholson/Adam Sandler movie of the same name? Just a few simple tools to keep that darned temper under wraps. Goosefraba! You had to see the film.

Talk about out of control. Seems somehow the U.S. has allowed a spy satellite to lose power which will cause it to crash to earth they know not where!! Swell. The Associated Press ran a story on the snooping satellite run amuck, quoting an anonymous source. The story says, “The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as a secret.”

Some secret when it nose dives down into somebody’s neighborhood. Hey, it could happen right here!! What if this hazardous-material-container spy machine flopped down on one of our courthouses!! Or – splatttt! Right in the middle of the Owens Dry Lake. Now, that might actually be helpful. A unique tourist attraction!

A spokesman for the National Security Council said, “Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation.” They’re looking at potential options to “mitigate the situation.” Hey, maybe they already know how to shoot it out of the cosmos. Could they just give us a tad more assurance? We should also mention that if the spy satellite goes splat in the wrong place – it could spill many of our national secrets. Further swell.

With all the other goofy things they do, the guys in Washington have not won over our confidence. Which brings up a comment from one of our website readers. On the story about the likely failure to create a high level nuclear waste site at Yucca Mt. Near Death Valley, Barbara Grove writes, “Why not stock pile the nuc waste under Washington, D.C.?” Point well made. Our fearless leaders have failed, for decades, to find a place to put countless tons of nuclear waste that now sit around cities all over the nation. Nice job of planning.

What’s the plan with the Environmental Protection Agency? The EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson insists he will stick to his guns on his denial of California’s request for a waiver under the Clean Air Act. California and many other states want to adopt more stringent auto emission standards to curb greenhouse gases faster than current federal law. No, said Johnson. He did not offer scientific grounds for his decision when questioned in a Senate hearing.

More than a dozen states, including our own, have filed legal action to overturn the regressive EPA Chief. What’s his problem? Worried he might upset car manufacturers?

Someone needs to upset insurance and prescription drug corporations. Try as they might, legislators can not seem to come up with solvent universal health care plans because the costs are still way out of line. Why should we put up tax dollars and small business employer dollars to pay way, way, way too much for health care. If the insurance industry had not contributed obscene amounts of money to political candidates in Sacramento and Washington, the people might get real, affordable health care. If we have to pay insurance companies, they will skim at least 30% off the top for “administration” and then they won’t reimburse our doctors and hospitals fairly. In fact, an association of internists, notoriously conservative on health care, have gone public with support for a single payer system – which means the government – not insurance companies.

The final topic of talk around the Bureaucrat Beat news table – local offices open for election. We all held hands and prayed that capable, public-minded, sincere and dedicated people will get up out of their living rooms, go to the county courthouses and take out nomination papers. It’s not that we have anything against any incumbent in particular, but times are tough and we need really smart, courageous people at the helm. We know you’re out there!

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.


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