Bureaucrat Beat: Robotery, Love Man, and Bummer

The way we feel about talking to computers over the phone, we in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom do not feel warm and fuzzy about the robot teachers now under research and development at the University of Southern California. Of course, if kids learn vocabulary and speech from a robot, maybe they will not feel perturbed when computers call them on the phone. Progress?

Warren Buffett, investor extraordinaire, recently brought it all home to the power of unconditional love. Yep. That’s what the moneyman said. In a recent news article, Buffett is quoted as saying that if parents can give unconditional love, a child will grow strong and happy. Buffett has also launched an initiative, along with Bill and Melinda Gates, to persuade the world’s billionaires to donate half of their fortunes to charity. Go Warren!!

To those who like to kvetch about illegals spending all of our money, we recently spoke to the Directors of Health and Human Services in our two counties. As Mono County’s Director, Linda Salcido, put it, “There is not a bleeding of services to illegals.” Salcido said that illegals do not get MediCal, Healthy Families benefits or Welfare. Inyo’s Director Jean Turner dittoed Salcido’s report on benefits but did add that there are exceptions for MediCal that involve pregnancies and emergency services. Turner also said that health departments will deal with communicable diseases without consideration of citizenship since contagious disease does not recognize citizenship. “Its for the good of the entire public,” said Turner. Salcido also said immunizations go to everyone for public health and safety.

According to an article in the Orange County Register, a report from the Public Policy Institute of California says that “foreign-born residents who are not U.S. citizens are among the least likely to use emergency rooms.” The report says that Hispanics and Asians use emergency departments less than U.S.-born whites. The report included information that most ER visits involve children under 18, infants and Medicare patients.

state_capitol_1-12-09When asked about the state budget mess recently, HHS Director Turner said we are “struggling as a society.” She pointed to the Governor’s proposals that could lead to the end of home supportive services for the elderly and disabled. These are people, Turner said, that we’re trying to keep out of nursing homes. She added that times are so tough, it’s hard for relatives to care for the aged. Turner said that it costs less for a program to keep someone in their home compared to the cost of a facility.

One of the Bureaucrat Beat listeners came up with a proposal for the California Legislature. Upon seeing a TV program on the 1950s bomb shelter bunker built for Congress under the Green Briar Resort in Virginia, the listener suggested that our legislature be forced to go down to the now abandoned bunker and stay there until they work out an acceptable budget and spending plan for California. Might as well throw Arnold in there, too.

We’ve heard disturbing stories about our legislature. We heard that one of our own assembly representatives refused to help an Eastern Sierra official with a critical issue because it didn’t fit in with the “party line”. Oh, please. Can’t you people think for yourselves? Maybe a month in forced confinement underground will lead to an attitude adjustment. The real people out here are, frankly, sick of hearing about your Republican and Democratic party lines.

Same story in Washington, D.C. What’s up there with the Mineral Management Service? We’ve waited and waited for heads to roll big time in that division of the Department of Interior. They’re the ones who were accepting gifts, sex and drugs from Big Oil and then letting them do deep water drilling projects with no environmental requirements. Instead of firings, the Department of Interior has merely re-named the MMS. Oh, that will really help!!!!

At first they decided to call it Bureau of Ocean Energy or BOE. Then the officials realized that BOE also stands for Barrel of oil equivalent. Whoops. Then they tried BOEMRE – Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement. Others noted that BOEMRE, pronounced out loud may sound like “bummer”. Also fitting. For gosh sakes, no wonder we have problems. The Secretary of Interior apparently can only focus on what he CALLS the scoundrels who let Big Oil get away with the worst environmental disaster ever!!! How about he banish them from sight and then come up with some hardcore regulations so the obvious does not happen again. Just a suggestion from the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom.

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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