Bureaucrat Beat: Catalog Crunch, Go, Meb! and Cereal Lies

We spent the morning on the phone to cancel all of the gosh-darn catalogs that clog up the newsroom mailbox. Good grief! In addition to the usual Pottery Barn, Hammacher Schlemmer, Pendleton, and Woolrich, we got Acorn, Acacia, Bits and catalogsPieces. You get the picture. It’s not like we in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom intend to buy a Westminster Chiming Mantle Clock or a stained glass teapot light let alone a ClearWave soothing skin system or a prenatal yoga video.

Over-the-top consumerism has led to a glut of debt and wrong priorities. Enough, already. Sensible purchases will help us step up to a more stable life. We are glad to see car sales have gone up.

A town in Massachusetts may have the right idea. They have made it illegal to own more than three cats without a kennel license. The recent 47-cat case in Inyo made it clear that in all but highly rare cases, a lower number makes good sense for the cats.

What’s up with the attacks on our man of marathon magic, Meb Keflezighi? Various media types and others claimed Meb meb_and_flagisn’t a real American citizen because he was born in Africa and only came here in his teens. Good grief. Meb went through the process to become a citizen and he loves the country. Get over it, small minds. A couple of our website comments wanted to know how many of the people who did not see Meb’s win as an “American” victory also claim the President wasn’t born in the U.S. Racism, you say? That’s what we say.

We hear there are doctors in the Eastern Sierra who think H1N1 is a hoax perpetrated on us by the pharmaceutical industry. Hey, we wouldn’t put anything past the drug companies and the greedy politicians who want their money, but let’s give some credit to health professionals who see the disease out there and advise caution and care.

Health officials do acknowledge that H1N1 vaccines will go to those with the money, i.e. the U.S. The rest of the world, said one official, is getting shafted. One day in Camelot people will get the health care they need and it won’t be tied to money.

This may be our favorite, Oh, Please!!! Story of the week. Seems Bernie Madoff’s long-time auditor pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges. David Riehling said he failed to verify Madoff’s financial records but claimed he did not know Madoff was running history’s biggest Ponzi scheme. That’ won’t look good on his resume.
The auditor apologized to the thousands of Madoff’s victims who lost billions of dollars. That’s not enough, either.

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, we hope legislators did the right thing when they passed a new water law package. We’re waiting to see what it means to Inyo-Mono. Part of the new law requires counties to monitor groundwater levels, creates tougher penalties for illegal water diversions, and reaffirms a 20% conservation mandate for cities. The bill also includes provisions for the Sacramento Delta. The bill includes an $11 billion bond measure to pay for water storage and Delta restoration. We hear the Sierra Club finds the bond way too pricey. Voters may too. Other environmental groups are going along with the whole package. We do know that locally there are concerns about the cost of monitoring groundwater and who will pay for it. That’s a big question these days.

cocoa_krispiesThe big breakfast cereal companies have claimed that they can change our lives. Kellogg printed a boost immunity claim on their boxes of Cocoa Krispies and other cereals. Media called their hand on this. Come on – Rice Krispies boost immunity?!? As one health official said – hey, you could add antioxidants to sawdust and claim it would boost your immune system. Kellogg did back off, alleging they did not add the big claim because of H1N1 flu. Yeah, right. Ever hear of truth in advertising?

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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