There’s a new tyrant in town. The U.S. Census Bureau. As we reported last week, many Census workers hired in Lone Pine and Bishop have never gone to work. They sit and they wait. One of those people hired and put on hold for weeks with no pay went through the proper channels to get relief, finally emailed the President and then three weeks later, talked to me. That’s Russ Monroe who was then fired for talking to KSRW when we ran the story of the Census troubles on Bureaucrat Beat.
Monroe’s Census Supervisor told him he was fired for talking to the media and then she pointed to the penalty for violation of confidentiality. It’s a $250,000 fine and/ or five years in prison. Good Grief doesn’t begin to say enough. Number one, Dear Census people, Monroe never violated confidentialities of information gathered from the population. Number two, you violated Mr. Monroe’s First Amendment rights by firing him for talking to the media.
Monroe said he thinks he did what was asked of him and went through the proper protocols to get the no-work issue resolved. Maybe the Census Bureau has mistakenly assumed slavery rights of those they hire. We can’t really come to any other conclusion. They apparently believe Census workers give up Constitutional rights and the right of any hired worker to receive pay or reasons why not.
Other news reports from around the country indicate similar problems with hired Census workers living in limbo. Hey, I guess we could live with that if they worked on correcting it but we can’t live with the heavy-handed threat of silence in the face of fines and prison.
On to merely annoying issues. “You have to listen to me,” said the woman on the phone Sunday. When I answered the phone, she said she was from Bank of America. I was vacuuming the carpet. “What is this about,” I wanted to know before I hung up on her. “I’m from the Bank of America,” she said again. Finally after a lot of repetitions of I’m from the Bank of America, the woman said she was conducting a survey. Then I hung up the phone. How about our so-called representatives in Washington, D.C. outlaw telemarketing phone calls on the week-end. For that matter, all week long. Have they ever heard of invasion of privacy?
How about the state that’s responsible throw out the articles of incorporation for Halliburton to do business. Not only has that mega-company ripped off the public with its contracts in Iraq, now it may have been Halliburton that fouled up the cement casing of the oil rig that burst loose in the Gulf. We’re trying to hold an open mind, but it’s pushing to slam shut.
My socks are also still firmly gripping my feet. The folks buying the Cottonwood Plaza indicated that whatever food service they brought in would “knock our socks off.” El Pollo Loco just didn’t do it for us here in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom. Here’s what would rip our socks off and possibly other items of clothing – Trader Joe’s!!!!!!
We have received numerous emails from locals who want a TJ’s in the Cottonwood Plaza. One listener forwarded a response from Trader Joe’s. Hazel in TJ’s Customer Relations Department said that they have no plans for a store in our area. The company also told a local resident that they require a population of 50,000 to put in a store. Hey, what about the millions of tourists on Highway 395 every year?!? We’re going to put in a call just for fun.
The next place Trader Joe’s will open a store? Hollywood. Hey, TJ’s we’re like Hollywood North. Arnold was just here! Come on, already.
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.