We hunkered down in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom last night to study current news and ponder the oddities of life when we came across an account of the recent climate talks in Indonesia. We were mortified to discover that the U.S. delegates to this assemblage of the world’s nations were booed and hissed! Nice. Now, what have we done? Basically, the U.S. has made it clear to the rest of the world that we’re not interested in global warming nor the discipline it might take to reduce carbon emissions.

Some still deny any climate change, but top scientists all over the world have concluded that man’s activities have altered climate in what seem like disturbing ways. Our reputation for not giving a darn was so bad at the Bali conference, European delegates threatened to pull out of talks unless the Bush delegation agreed to maintain some semblance of concrete targets on climate control.

The booing and hissing followed, repeatedly. We don’t know about you, but here in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom we like to feel proud of our country. That’s tough when the current administration has done everything but declare automobile emissions as good for your health. The U.S. refusal to work with other countries on climate issues has left us out in the cold.

At this national conference, everybody – and we do mean even U.S. allies – shunned our delegates or made with the booing and hissing. Here’s the worst insult of all. Delegates from other countries threw back in our face a famous American quote. The New Guinea delegate said to the U.S., “We seek your leadership, but if for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please, get out of the way.” Double Ouch! It was American writer and newsman, Thomas Paine who said in his writings before our revolution, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

What have we come to when the best character traits of America now belong to everyone else?

Here’s another irritation. Seems a recent survey by the Democracy Corps found that the most commonly used phrase to explain what’s wrong with the country was “Big businesses get whatever they want in Washington.” Maybe that’s why we don’t want to deal with climate change.

Big business has power in Washington because they pay big bucks to back candidates who then repay the favor. The facts of who does what in the country are these: There are roughly 26 million small businesses in the U.S. They have generated 60% to 80% of net new jobs every year, employ more than 50% of the country’s private sector workforce and represent 97% of all the exporters of goods. They also generate most of the innovations that come from U.S. companies. This is small, not big, business.

California government has a big deficit. Governor Schwarzenegger says he will call for a state of fiscal emergency next month with the deficit on the climb between $10 billion and $14 billion.

Reports say that the deficit comes from the state’s heavy debt, the governor’s decision to cut a fee on cars and trucks when he came into office, the mortgage crisis and what the State Treasurer calls “Tooth Fairy Budgeting.” Bill Lockyer stated last month that while there may be issues for California, legislators, he said, continue to engage on the make-believe reality that money will just appear – like coins left by the Tooth Fairy.

The Governor does want a health care program that covers all Californians. We stand up in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom and applaud Arnold on that one. For heaven’s sake, we want affordable or free health care. Canada, England and many other countries have figured this out. Health care is not optional. We all have to have it. End of Story. Go Arnold.

From Sacramento to Mammoth Lakes where a citizen activist encourages others to get involved. Leigh Gaasch writes this:

“Get Involved – Make a Difference!”

I am writing today to encourage the people of Sierra Valley Sites to get involved and to make a difference, in our area at a public meeting on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 in Suite Z, from 6:00 p.m. The evening is open to “everyone,” that would like to learn more about what a district plan is, and how it can benefit the entire community of Sierra Valley Sites. Your voice is important and needs to be heard!

Guest speakers at the meeting include: Kirk Stapp – Town Council Member, Roy Saari – Planning Commission Chairman, Mark Wardlaw – Community Development Director, Ray Jarvis – Public Works Director, and Randy Schienle – MLPD Chief.

The Town of Mammoth Lakes is going through a lot of changes right now – which is a good thing – however, we need to move forward in a positive direction. The property owners in this area have a significant stake in what Sierra Valley Sites will be in the future, but no one will know if you don’t step up to the plate. Currently, Sierra Valley Sites 1 and 2, does not have a district plan. Meaning, how dense do you want this area to be, what do you want it to look like, and how will you control growth and development in the area? This includes the number of units, sidewalks, bike trails, public safety, traffic and speed mitigation measures, etc…

A district plan for this area is a very serious issue and should not be taken lightly. You think we are packed in here now – wait and see what it will be like without a district plan in the future. This area has been walked-on way too much – we need to make a change.

I would strongly encourage residents of Sierra Valley Sites to get engaged as this is one time that the power of your voice is needed. If you don’t get involved and speak your mind, then you will have to live by someone else’s rules. We need to discuss the future of this area now!

Please mark you calendars for Wednesday, January 9, 2008 in Suite Z, (Town Council Chambers, Minaret Village Shopping Center) from 6:00 p.m.

The evening will be catered by Subway, and please RSVP or contact me at (760) 934-2443 if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you

Leigh Gaasch

And, 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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