Bureaucrat Beat: What’s a Bug-Bot? Amateur vs. Pro and Grammar Vigilantes

What’s a Bug-Bot? Well, something like a robot except it creeps, crawls or flies and you might like to whack it with a fly swatter. Actually a Bug-Bot is the latest in spy gadgets.

In our weekly perusal of newspapers and magazines, we found in Scientific American that the future of our privacy stands threatened by…well…gadgets. If you thought the federal governments’ freewheeling surveillance of our phone calls and emails without warrants was invasive, wait ’til you see the Bug-Bots.

They look like insects, but they’re really small spy devices equipped with surveillance gear. They could fly or crawl into areas of interest via remote control and you’d never know you gave away secrets.

The Bureaucrat Beat newsroom staff talked it over and decided that as a nation we should stop with the obsession to spy on everybody and pay attention to our own behavior. A nation of self-responsible citizens beats a bunch of tattletales.

As for the website reader who criticized us for knocking NBA pros for competing in the Olympics, we stand by our guns. The critic dropped a sarcastic ditty on us by informing us that the Olympics are full of pros like track and cyclists.

So what! In spite of NBA stars and all the rest of the pros who swoop into the Olympics and sometimes whip the amateurs, we, as news reporters, support the ideal of amateur achievement through brutally hard work and discipline, without the millions of dollars to make it easier.

How would you like Wolfgang Puck to compete in the salsa competition at the Tri County Fair?

When it comes to good grammar, we support the guys who call themselves the Typo Eradication Advancement League or TEAL. Now, we don’t condone vandalism, but the spirit in which these grammar vigilantes work deserves a thumbs up.

Seems that Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson, both 28 years old, spent last spring in a trip across the U.S. to correct errors on government signposts. They found plenty to correct. They went too far, though, when they removed an apostrophe and added a comma to an old sign at the Grand Canyon National park. They were arrested and pled guilty to conspiracy to vandalize government property. They were sentenced to a year’s probation during which they can not enter a national park or change any public signs.

The errant pair did note that they restrained themselves from correction of the misspelling of the word immense in the Grand Canyon sign which was spelled emense. Oi Vay!

Do schools still teach spelling and grammar? Public Signs, no less!!! The Chicago Tribune referred to the two vigilantes as “a pair of Kerouacs armed with Sharpies and erasers and righteous indignation.”

Some Mono supervisors were indignant when they confronted public works with undone projects. Seems that Supervisors Bill Reid and Hap Hazard tried to put Mono Public Works on the hot seat with complaints about delays and more delays on fixing up public facilities and grounds. Reporter Tony Dublino says that Public Work’s Kelly Garcia and Evan Nikirk maintained a steely silence in the face of the critics. Of course, they’re going to ask for lots more bucks to get things done in the new fiscal year budget.

Now, some cudos for bureaucrats – nicely done in both Mammoth and Bishop on the disaster drills. They really did go to work to show they could help us in times of big trouble.

Now, law enforcement has gone to work to protect us during the holiday and at the Tri County Fair. Thanks for that.

And, 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.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments