Bureaucrat Beat: On Top of It Bureaucrats, American Ingenuity, and Closed Doors

The bureaucrats sometimes do positive things we never know about. Take a meeting that happened earlier this week. Seems on a quarterly basis, investigators from Mono and Inyo Sheriffs, Bishop and Mammoth Police and Mono and Inyo District Attorneys sit down to meet and review cases. Wow! That’s great to know. This kind of coordination and communication makes for better law enforcement. We appreciate that.

Here’s another bureaucratic move for the public good. While the Public Utilities Commission messes around with our area code to our dismay, they did do the right thing fast on the horrible Metrolink crash.

Yesterday, the PUC temporarily prohibited the personal use of commercial mobile radio services and devices by on-duty railroad engineers, brakemen, conductors or rail transit vehicle operators except for personal communications that take place when the train or transit vehicle is stopped and with the approval of the appropriate management personnel.

Prudent move by the bureaucracy as investigators look into the report that the Metrolink engineer may have been text messaging instead of looking for warning lights.

In our meanderings through news reports, we stopped and read a column by Thomas Friedman called “Making America Stupid.” He points out that the knee-jerk response to our energy problems of “Drill, Baby, Drill” lacks what America should be about – inventiveness and forward thinking. Friedman admits we’ll need oil for years to come; but instead of doing the same old thing, how about new energy goals. He quotes an old Texas saying: “If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.”

The Bureaucrat Beat newsroom staff agreed we need some old fashioned American ingenuity. Maybe if Vice President Cheney had opened the doors of his cozy little sit down with all the oil companies over the nation’s energy policy we might now have a new and better way to fuel our nation.

We came up with this quote: “Closed door policies mean government for the exclusive few.”

Quick mention right now about shopping locally. Yeah, we know you probably think this is a cliche and you’d rather look for bargains at the big guys’ stores or on the internet, but it does pay to support neighbors and keep money in our towns. We thought about it and came up with an idea you might like to try. Every week, make it a point to shop at local stores for something you need. We bet you’ll find more than you thought. But maybe you already knew that.

Here’s a related factoid. Guess how much revenue California state government loses each year because Amazon.com refuses to pay sales taxes in our state. $48,000,000 every year. Seems the California State Board of Equalization could enforce this tax, but they’re dragging their feet. Can we say, “Wow, that would balance the budget!!!”

Speaking of the internet, we received what appears to be a scam. The email came from Western Union Public Relations. The subject was Western Union Money. So, Western Union Public Relations is a British corporation based in Redmond, Washington, so the email goes. They informed us we were the proud winners of $250,000 British pounds.

The email asked for our names, addresses, sex, date of birth, etc. Then warned us we have to keep this confidential. Ha! Bureaucrat Beat only keeps news sources confidential.

If you receive this email, quickly press delete. Do not give them your information, and remember you really don’t get something for nothing. Darn it!

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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