Bureaucrat Beat: Electronic Flirt, musical Torture, Illegal Secrecy

So, a young man in a bookstore looks over at a young woman. He wants to know if she will sign up for a book give-away. ringtoneHer cell phone rings. She takes the call and hangs up. The young man says, “I like your ring tone.” One more new way to flirt in the electronic age.

In fact, technology just gives us one more tool to do what we do and have done for centuries. In that same store, we saw a woman with a digital camera snap shots of cards on a rack. The New Age way to say you visited the Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. Whitney, etc. without the muss and fuss or genuine experience. Strange.

Not so strange – a majority of Americans want a public health plan option and our elected officials continue to fight against it. Isn’t that just the way it seems to go? After all, they’re representing the health insurance industry that pays them millions in lobbying cash. The new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 51% would prefer a health care reform plan that includes some form of government insurance for people who cannot get affordable private coverage – in short, a government plan to compete with greedy insurance companies.

schwarzeneggerOn another note, score one point for the little people! The President and his team have required that 25 executives of big companies that received billions in federal bail-out will lose 50% to 90% of their pay. High time. They will still take home millions in either cash or stock options, but at least it’s a cut. The muckety mucks declined to slash their own pay after the bail-outs. Shame is a foreign concept on Wall St.

In case Governor Schwarzeneggar thought he could weasel out from under reduction of the prison population, a federal court made it clear – he can’t. A three-judge panel gave the Gov three weeks to come up with a plan to reduce the state prison population. This could mean 40,000 inmates will go free or back to county jails.

So, get this – several musicians have filed Freedom of Information Act requests to find out if the federal government used their songs in psychological torture techniques. Say, what?!? Neil Diamond is one of the musicians. So, you’re telling us the CIA played “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” to extract secrets from would-be terrorists? neil_diamond

The Town of Mammoth has finally seen the light. The official Town position requires that the Wildlife Subcommittee be conducted in open, public meetings. That Committee has met behind closed doors since it started. The dysfunctional bear management issue was likely not helped by this illegal secrecy.

We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom are all for open communication, but the other day we thought about joining Facebook – went on the site and it was like a spider web. Once you’re in, you can’t get out!! We started to think of certain people we don’t want to talk to or know where we are. So, with a fast back motion, we tried like heck to cancel Facebook. It was painful. Be sure before you go there.

Ever notice, particularly when you go to the city, everyone has an electronic device in hand, head buried in the little screen – you know, Blackberry, Iphone, cellphone, etc. We can see in our crystal ball that one day we will all spend most of our time staring at our own, private communication device. At least we will have portability.

Some citizens have taken note of the Inyo Supervisors’ eagerness to support LADWP’s wish to use less water on the Owens Dry Lake to mitigate dust. What’s up with that? Sure, we all want to save water. There’s a shortage. But the dust is DWP’s problem. Why don’t the Inyo Supervisors eagerly support what citizens want, instead. Of course, maybe they are supporting what DWP ranch lessees want. What about other citizens?

Jack Kerouac fans – the wild one died 40 years ago this week. He was just 47-years-old, but he packed in a lot of living as a pioneer of the so-called Beat Generation. His novel, On the Road, created something of a sensation back in the 50s. Now, a new documentary on Kerouac was just released on DVD. “One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur” – that’s the name of the new film. Might be fun to check out. After all, wild creativity counteracts the toxicity of bureaucracy.

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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