Bureaucrat Beat: Ocean everywhere, drones too and a for-sale scientist?

frankoceanews“From city halls to county courthouses, from the State house to the White House – bureaucrats control our lives.  Public servants who often try to become our masters.  People whose salaries we pay, but what goods and services do we get?  On Sierra Wave’s Bureaucrat Beat, we’ll report what they’re up to.”  That’s the Bureaucrat Beat declaration of dissatisfaction, but as you may know, Bureaucrat Beat talks about so much more.

What’s up with this?  Seems like everywhere I look, there is the name Frank Ocean.  Yeah, the guy stopped twice over New Year’s in the Eastern Sierra – speeding, suspended license, marijuana.  Then, there’s his name again in The New Yorker in a story about an attempt to establish a music festival on a luxury cruise liner.  Musicians included, you guessed it, Frank Ocean, along with Radiohead and the Shins.  Then I start to review a CD of the 2013 Grammy nominees.  Yep.  He has a pleasant voice but the hip-hop thing eludes me.  Maybe Frank Ocean was there all along, and I never noticed until he made our police beat.

People around the nation notice Sierra Wave.  Since we started to stream the radio station, someone in Oregon emailed to say they used to live in Bishop and they still listen to Bob Todd in the morning.  As this person said, “Good music and a real radio personality!”

Someone else noticed old Christmas Trees headed to Buckley Ponds.  Yep.  A project of Dick Noles to help create under water habitat.  People are doing this in many places.

People in the Mammoth business community recently resorted to political drama at a planning commission meeting when Steve Klassen pulled out a pair of boxing gloves and challenged Phil Hertzog of Mammoth Outdoor Sports to a fight.  Klassen was clearly miffed that Hertzog had asked the commission to extend his Rail Jam special event for several more months.  They didn’t.  Police Chief Dan Watson kept a wary eye on the whole thing.  Business is war, folks.

The Bishop City Council members have not turned into Drama Kings and Queens, but some have once more questioned the somewhat schizophrenic way the Council handles agenda items.  They talk about them and hash them over at 4pm study sessions and then reconsider them again at the regular meeting that night.  Deliberation without public participation?  That’s the risk.  City Administrator Keith Caldwell said the City would consider televising the study sessions as they do council meetings.  He also points to the fact that study sessions are public meetings and they give staff a chance to answer questions before the prime time regular meetings.  We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom feel that deliberation and decisions should take place at the same time and place.

Is it time to manufacture and use drones all over the place?  A feature article in Time magazine reveals that’s already happening.  The U.S. uses the targeted, un-manned drones to kill terrorists, mostly in Pakistan.  Innocent bystanders lose their lives as well.  But the drone technology serves other uses.  Law enforcement can track suspects, farmers can spread pesticides and look for other problems without walking all over the back forty, as they say.  We found out that the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office sometimes has access to drones, if they’re available, to help look for search and rescue victims.  China Lake Naval Weapons Center provides the drones.  That’s a good thing.

Drones come in all sizes, depending on where someone wants them to go and what they will do.

Drones come in all sizes, depending on where someone wants them to go and what they will do.

Not so good, the prospect of drones spying on Americans.  This whole alleged need to know things about Americans’ private lives has gone too far.  The government can look at our emails if we appear to hang out with the wrong people and now send robot aircraft into our private property to see what’s up.  This does not bode well.  Ethics have to keep up with technology.

Good luck with another trick invention – the creator of Twitter has come up with a new company to reinvent how we pay for stuff.  It’s called Square Wallet.  iPhone to iPad, for example.  Customer walks in with an iPhone and a payment app.  Store owner has the other component.  They talk to each other and extract money from your credit card or bank account.  OK.  I guess we all thought credit cards were new-fangled when they came out.  But what if somebody steals your app?  Try not to think about it.

Don’t think too much about this one either.  The Pakistan government will build an amusement park near the former hide-out of Osama Bin Laden.  No, they won’t call it Osamaland, but they will build a zoo, paragliding club, water sports facilities and cultural heritage park.  Cost?  $50 million.  I wonder if that comes out of the jillions in aid spent by the U.S. in Pakistan?

Back in the good old U.S., the Los Angeles Times story on LADWP’s resolution of three fights that it picked was documented in a well-written and interesting story.  The headline, however, must’ve been submitted by DWP’s PR department.  “Truce in 100 years’ war.”  Really?  LA sued Mammoth for their water rights last year.  40 acres has fought for awhile as has Mono Basin, but the real 100 years’ war is in the Owens Valley where all surface water goes into the aqueduct and a great deal of groundwater too.  There is no truce here just painful and ongoing disagreements.

Inquiring minds also want to know who put James Enstrom, Ph.D. up to an alleged organization called IRATE.  Enstrom, according to Source Watch, “has accepted funding from the Philip Morris tobacco company’ and other industry groups and then “published research that contradicted scientific consensus about the health effects of secondhand tobacco smoke.”

When the U.S. Department of Justice sued tobacco companies, a judge ruled against them and, in part, sited a study done by Enstrom as a significant part of the tobacco companies’ ploy to deceive the public about the health effects of smoking.  Enstrom has also been criticized for his conclusions that particulate matter (like the Owens Dry Lake dust) does not hurt people.  Anyway, his new group, IRATE (Irate Ratepayers Against Ted’s Empire) attacks APCD Director Ted Schade.  Enstrom’s rants sound like the DWP playbook.  Bottom line – Schade is enforcing law on the books and in agreements LADWP signed.  As one onlooker put it, “That might be why someone unleashed this for-sale scientist on Ted, with an attempt to obfuscate the facts and laws.” End of story.

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.

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Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

Yeah Jerry, did you also hear that the govt. is coming out with a medal for the drone pilots, that is similar to the medal of honor. The various veterans groups are really pissed. How dare they give these guys medals such as this … wanna be medals of honor… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
9 years ago

So nobody Knows the difference huh?? Well let me inform y’all what I understand, a Signature Strike is when the intelligence gathered isn’t enough to know exactly who is getting hit by the drone but have hints they MIGHT be doing terrorist activity. A Personality Strike is when they do… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago

Trouble, yes, If an American al Queada is found out on American soil — or anywhere they can be arrested by the FBI, they should then be arrested and due process applied. But if that American joins al Queada in a war zone — and how do you define war… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
9 years ago

Off the top of your head who here actually knows the difference of a Signature strike and a Personality Strike in the drone program that some of you support???
The due process issue is a fundamental VIOLATION to the core tenets of our Government!!

Cheese Wonton
Cheese Wonton
9 years ago

If a US citizen turns on this country and takes up arms with an enemy abroad, I not only have no problem with our forces killing him overseas, but pretty much expect our forces to hunt that person down and kill them. If the person is on US soil, they… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Cheese Wonton

I can see what you’re saying cheese .. but the danger is in the abuse of it all .. the same guy they targeted for promoting jihad against the US had a 16 or 17 year old son who someone in the govt. targeted as well, they killed him and… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

There was nothing stopping him from surrendering to face justice in the US. He chose to fight us from a foreign country and bring his family along to that country to fight with him. He made some choices now he and his family suffer. I don’t have any sympathy for… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

DT, I did not say I had any sympathy for him .. I’m merely pointing out the fact that we did not have the right to kill him over propaganda, we could have gone in and gathered him up, If he resisted at that point, then he has to pay… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

The White House releases memo saying drone strikes against Americans are “legal”

Cowboy or not .. we know stuff doesn’t always go right. Or is used righteously.

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
9 years ago
Reply to  Cheese Wonton

The issue isn’t whether the cleric – who never “took up arms” himself, by the way – deserved to have been assassinated. The issue is that once a President begins to unilaterally decide to execute Americans who are not taking up arms against our troops, we are starting down a… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

“I’m no expert at knowing who deserves death and who does not.” Agreed. Remember who declared war on the United States. And fired the first shot — al Queada. The World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_World_Trade_Center_bombing That’s who we are fighting. And if an American aids… Read more »

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Traitors can indeed be sentenced to death – by a court of law. Not unilaterally by a president. This has nothing to do with “feeling sorry” for Al Qaeda or for the dead traitor. It has to do with American liberty under the Constitution. As for “the entire defense department”… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken- I don’t like to hear it, but I have to agree with you here. If they are on our soil that is a different story.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

No Tourbillon I don’t trust that power. It can and will be used for what ever it needs to be used for.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

I feel Tourbillon we are right at the brink, if we haven’t been pushed off already. Isolated cases abound every day .. either covertly under the radar or overtly displayed to be taken for truth. This whole situation with this ex cop taking out other cops and their families, that… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

Which one is easier to get Jerry?

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Speaking of drones and robots .. have you seen the videos of the robot pack mules, they have a few more years to perfect them .. but pretty soon we will them working .. get some out on the trails .. people won’t have worry about skooosh’ing their feet in… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago

There is a very real and practical limit to they use of drones and that is the availability of satellite bandwidth for communications and data links. I believe the US military is already up against this limit now due to drone ops in west Asia. Unless your nation has a… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

Yes Desert Tortoise .. drones are just the new kid on the block .. on spy St.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago

Didn’t this Frank Ocean also make the news…AGAIN.. a couple weeks ago when he got into some type of fight with that other rapper Chris Brown,the one that beat-up his girlfriend Rihanna ? I think it happened at some type of awards show…..

tm
tm
9 years ago

The government has already been promoting a police state by the use of confidential complainants. (i.e. Mono County) They encourage neighbor to rat out neighbor under the protection of privacy laws. Next they’ll be using drones to infringe on everyone’s privacy.

The ultimate war crime
The ultimate war crime
9 years ago
Reply to  tm

There is never a moral justification for deliberately killing innocent women and children. The nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the beginning of the end of America as we once knew it. As MacArthur, Leahy, Nimitz, and Dwight D. Eisenhower and over half the country soundly declared after it happened.… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago

The best thing we can do as individuals is to make sure we have no battles going on inside of ourselves and that our
human relations in our families and with our friends and neighbors are balanced and thoughtful. It will have a ripple
effect.
Benett Kessler

Steve K
Steve K
9 years ago

War is ugly, but we had to win. Instead of just focusing on Hiroshima, do a little research on the ‘Rape of Nanking’ and see for yourself what Japanese soldiers were capable of doing to women and children. If you have the stomach for it, then check out Unit 731… Read more »

War kills innocent people
War kills innocent people
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve K

“An eye for and eye makes the whole world blind.” – Ghandi

I know, I know … why listen to that liberal peacenik? He wasn’t even an American.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

He was right Dr. … We should heed the truth, at least take it to heart.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve K

The Japanese had a nuclear program that pre-dated that of the US. This is a little known fact. Some of the research was conducted in Korea and some in the vicinity of Tokyo. By 1944 Japan was actually ahead of the US slightly in their development program and don’t kid… Read more »

Bad Americans
Bad Americans
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve K

No Steve. I’m not focusing on Hiroshima per se. I’m focusing on the fact that the Japanese were prepared to surrender, and the Truman administration wanted to frighten the entire world into submission by exterminating even women and children if they didn’t do what the U.S. wanted. The “We did… Read more »

Steve K
Steve K
9 years ago
Reply to  Bad Americans

I couldn’t care less if you’re a bad American and how many of you are out there. Concessions and negotiations are great until they stop working.

What goes around ...
What goes around ...
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve K

And just what is it that we “won” Steve K ? Japan is doing okay economically, doesn’t get hung up on any military might, and is completely disinterested in focusing on any industrial military complex. You might notice many of our visitors to Mammoth are Japanese. Can YOU afford a… Read more »

Steve K
Steve K
9 years ago

After the two bombs were dropped in 1945, Japan surrendered. The next thing they did was change their constitution to prevent their involvement in future wars. They became close allies with the United States and created a robust economy. So what’s the problem??

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago

Whatever we “won” back then,we unfortuatally lost from the year 2000 thru 2008…mainly respect from other Countries.But,thank goodness,since 2009,we’re starting to get some of it back.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve K

But what does that have to do with killing those people with the two bombs Steve, yeah you are comparing these two separate incidents to somehow justify what we did, because of what unit 731 did? Yes both were horrible! But while the horror is just as great from both,… Read more »

Steve K
Steve K
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

We must grieve the innocents? World War 2 was way before my time. Grieving over something like that isn’t really productive. Let’s move on.

Who are the "We?"
Who are the "We?"
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

War is hell. The deliberate murdering of women and children in non-military bombings is the darkest moment of America’s history and should never be justified nor repeated. Insofar as the “We” did this and “We” did that, I personally take no ownership for this mistake. But some bizarre reason, others… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  tm

Home land security is a double edged sword … good thing and can be bad, tm’s post is one example.

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
9 years ago

Drone program needs limitations before that same technology is stolen or captured and used by countries that have it out for westernized civilizations. That’s a scary thought. (Drone warfare). Not to mention the so called “signature strikes” that happens to drop bombs on kids, woman and children indiscriminately. What ever… Read more »

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
9 years ago

There is no need to gratuitously stoke fights 24/7 with those whom you disagree with. There is common ground here so let’s seek it instead of continuing the playground taunts. Like all infringements on liberty, drone use can do some good, and that’s how the camel’s nose gets under the… Read more »

Like a talk-radio host
Like a talk-radio host
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

Notice how Tourbillon chides: “let’s not fight … both left and right .. blah, blah, blah. Then goes on to tell us how Obama killed Americans. Where was Tourbillon when the Bush Administration orchestrated America’s first preemptive war on Iraq (which ended with dead American solidiers, and no WMD’s were… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

OK I am taking off my jacket Tourbillion. So If you feel it is OK to be Judge, Jury and executioner all in one, where does the Gov’t draw the line? Yeah I agree there is good in the drone technology for surveillance. But how are we OK with thinking… Read more »

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
9 years ago

You missed my point. Completely. We are in violent agreement re drones. I don’t like them, you don’t like them. But you and Like a Talk Radio are so focused on demonizing your political opponents that it completely went over your heads. Lay aside the emotion, the blind ideology, the… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

I don’t always agree with Tourbillon, but I totally got his point, what he is trying to say is truth, and he is agreeing with you Jerry. I don’t always agree with you either Jerry, but you have good points at times and what you want to see happen, I… Read more »

SierraFan
SierraFan
9 years ago

The drone thing is a slippery slope for sure! It has the good but I’m not sure if it’s worth it! I

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

@Tourbillion To me it’s a question of character, do we want to be known as the land of the free and home of the brave? Because it seems after 9/11 we have been the land of the constrained home of the cowardly…

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago

Don’t forget paranoid.

Paranoid is the right term
Paranoid is the right term
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Right on Benett! The most paranoid of us believe America must always rely on military intervention. Even to the point of our very first preemptive strike (against Iraq looking for WMDs that never existed) led the country to where it is today – bankrupt trying to pay for the mess.… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Interesting Benett … paranoid. yeah I hear ya .. paranoia exists, no doubt about that, but there is also some just concern. Unfortunately there is too much complacency that drowns out the small voice of concern, that tries to inform people, before it is too late. Sounds like a good… Read more »

erik simpson
erik simpson
9 years ago

I thought you promised we wouldn’t be hearing from you anymore.

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
9 years ago
Reply to  erik simpson

Yeah I did say “quote me on it” but there is no reason for me to stop giving my opinion when here in this setting you don’t hear many arguments from the other side. And these argument’s are something that I fight in the flesh as well, and fact of… Read more »

SierraFan
SierraFan
9 years ago
Reply to  erik simpson

She needs to be here to balance us out and keep us in line. lol

The Industrial Military Complex
The Industrial Military Complex
9 years ago

Jeremiah must have forgotten about America once trying to stop the Red Menace of communism – hence the Vietnam tragedy. After trying to stop that “red menace” resulting in thousands of U.S. soldiers killed (and making obscene profits for the industrial military complex) today, those very same communists are trading… Read more »

Bad karma
Bad karma
9 years ago

Maybe its a karma thing.

I’ve always felt America might have hit rock-bottom when the powers that be decided it was a swell idea to “drop bombs on kids, woman and children indiscriminately” (as Jeremiah puts it) at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Big Rick OBrien
Big Rick OBrien
9 years ago
Reply to  Bad karma

Bad K…pick up a history book. Do you have ANY idea how many more THOUSANDS of American lives would have been lost if we would have had to invade Japan ? GEEZ US H ______ !

Even the military condemned the nuking
Even the military condemned the nuking
9 years ago

@ Big Rick .. I HAVE picked up a history book. And after all the flag-waving from some Americans over the carnage heaped upon innocent women and children, was pleased to discover the multitude of military leaders (including Eisenhower) condemned this atrocity. The act was a pure political power-play and… Read more »

Top Brass against the nuking
Top Brass against the nuking
9 years ago

I think Big Rick might take his own advice, pick up a history book, and read how U.S. military officers who disagreed with the necessity of the bombings included: MacArthur, Leahy, Nimitz, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Some in fact believed that the travesty should be listed among war crimes.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Bad karma

My parents and uncles fought in that war. My mother worked on the Manhatten Project. Considering the barbarity of the Japanese in WWII (almost half of our POWs died in Japanese confinement while less than 10% died in German prisons) and the level of casualties experienced at Okinawa (considered a… Read more »

Cause and effect
Cause and effect
9 years ago

@ Desert Tortoise – There should always be a moral obligation to NEVER deliberately annihilate innocent women and children … for any political/economic reasons. Not a good idea to take the mistake (nuking of the innocents) as a personal attack against your family. This horrible mistake rests in the hands… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
9 years ago

I Will do my best to think in this post, kinda like your last one where you spent half of it bashing me. First off Tourbillion, I aggressively give my opinion because I feel that strong about it and Love my country as much as the next man. My political… Read more »

Cheese Wonton
Cheese Wonton
9 years ago

Look, war is an ugly inhuman thing. We engage in them far too often, in large part I believe because we have not seen the horrors of combat up close and personal in our country, really since the Civil War. It is an abstraction to much of the population. Having… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

Jerry, he wasn’t bashing you, I don’t see it that way .. just saying.

Big Rick OBrien
Big Rick OBrien
9 years ago

Thank You,DT…you took the words right out of my mouth. They started it,
WE ended it.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

I hear what you’re saying Desert Tortoise, We lost a lot, the whole world lost a lot, at the hands of the countries that started all of that crap, they even lost a lot in it as well. But I think you are wrong to not feel bad for the… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

I disagree. Japanese casualties at Okinawa were at least 100,000. Invasion planners took the lessons of Okinawa and applied them to an invasion of the Japanese mainland and calculated Japanese casualties to be 5-10 million, far more than those two atomic bombs killed. The Japanese themselves, anticipating the US invasion,… Read more »