Bureaucrat Beat: Club Evil, LA, You Owe Us, and Lonely Rats

Insurance companies have committed at least one of the seven deadly sins – greed. So, they need a bit of punishment, don’t you think? Instead of this glazed over acceptance of free enterprise profits, the federal government needs to do what it takes to fight evil, as the President said last week. In fact, we really wish he would look at his own colleagues in the congress who function on bribes euphemistically called campaign contributions. No wonder they don’t want to crack down on insurance companies. They belong to the same club.

The latest outrage – the Senate debate on expansion of access to low cost prescription drugs from other countries. Guess who doesn’t like that? The drug industry has fiercely opposed it. We can hear the conversations now:

Pharmaceutical Guy: We’d really like to contribute to your campaign, Mr. Democrat, but really – you want to legitimize the import of drugs from Canada?

Mr. Democrat: Well, it’s really the right thing to do, but hey, we know you’re a hard-working corporation that needs billions on the profit margin. So, okay, I guess we can put it off for awhile.

They sure wouldn’t postpone “campaign contributions”.

On a completely different note, how about a purple Christmas tree? A story in the LA Times explained how a Compton man sells trees every year and not just green ones. He dies them red, blue, yellow, orange, red and purple. Now, that’s a kick. Made us forget all about those creepy legislators who like to sell us out.

Another thing out of LA – the City Council down there approved a five-year package of pay raises for DWP employees, who are the most highly paid in the City of LA. In fact, police will get no raises and others will take cuts. Ouch. Now, we’re all in favor of pay raises for DWP workers in the Owens Valley because we’re the source of LA’s existence. Without our water, there would be no City of LA. So, in the natural and well-mannered scheme of things, they, frankly, owe us.

On that note, if they can afford humungous pay hikes, how about a tiny little amount of money to pay for a gatekeeper at Klondike Lake. No, you don’t have to pay them $30 an hour. Create a special job for $15 an hour. Someone here would really appreciate it. You owe it to us, LA.

All the Scrooges this time of year (and you know who you are!!) listen up. Researchers just found out that lonely rats are scroogemore prone to tumors. A study that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that rats separated from a social group shortly after birth had a three times higher risk of developing more tumors and more deadly ones than did rats living in a social group. So all you tightwads out there, time to join the human race.

Lots of comments on the website about the bear issue in Mammoth. Even Steve Searles says this issue should be down a ways on the list of importance. Perhaps fewer opinions and more support for what the political majority of the Town wants – its own brand of bear management. There’s nothing writ in law that says bureaucracies like Fish and Game can’t accommodate the peoples’ wishes when possible. In fact, they should try. Remember the rats.

One more thing on Scrooge. Seems California fits the skinflint category when it comes to food for the poor and for needy children. Our state uses a complex and difficult enrollment process that keeps people from the benefits of food stamps and school meals. According to news reports, California could receive up to $3.7 billion more in federal aid by revamping its approach. Good grief. If bureaucracies can’t feed hungry people, really, what good are they?!?

But, not to worry, our esteemed state legislators are now pondering legalization of internet poker in California, which estimates say would bring in as much as $250 million more to state coffers. Wonder how they’ll conspire to squander that money?

But, hey, how about the holiday movie scene? The clich from sublime to ridiculous applies neatly. Exotic deities, shocking sexual chemistry, and a potpourri musical. Start with an Avatar, fall down to a romp with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker, pick it up with Jeff Bridges as a has-been country singer, kick it up with the movie, Nine, starring, would you believe, Daniel Day-Lewis, Fergie, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench and Penelope Cruz. Wow. Top it off with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. Double Dip Wow!! Our personal favorite possibility is “Up in the Air” with George Clooney. Diversions – all the way around.

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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