Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding, fathers for those who have neglected history, said, "God helps those who help themselves." As we ponder bureaucracy day after day in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom, we see what he means.
In many cases, bureaucracy grows into an overbearing, worrisome bother when citizens do nothing. That reminds us of another saying, "Evil flourishes where good men do nothing."
In our scrutiny of the hellish Inyo Complex fires, we turned up some more words of wisdom. "The time to fight," said an official who should know, "is long before the fire starts." In fact, some communities have worked darn hard on fuel breaks around their areas. Swall Meadows has a fuel break. So does 40 Acres and Mammoth Lakes. So, how do you get this done? We are told that it helps to form a Fire Safe Council for your town, and then you can approach land-owners for help. Then, when freak lightning fires tear down from the Sierra and scare the hope out of you, the fuel break lines can stop the leaping lizard flames before they get to your house.
Benjamin Franklin also said, "To lengthen they life, lessen they meals." Good advice for the obesity-plagued generation that lives on fast food and other junk.
The learned fellow, no slim Jim himself, also said something that comes shiveringly close to home these days. He said, "Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security."
On a completely different note, those who indulge in wishful thinking wish they hadn't. Another scam afoot. Some at the Inyo County courthouse found a fantasy on their fax machines. A supposed South African engineer, Philip Mthobeni, details a story with labyrinth-like twists and turns that we've heard for years. Bottom line – they can recover lots of money, but they need your help. Call now and you'll get bunches of money, too! Wrong!
Don't do it. They just want your bank account number.
So, how about the Medicare Drug Plan? Local pharmacists called it an ill-conceived boondoggle designed to benefit pharmaceutical company. Recent reports say many senior citizens never buy their prescription drugs because they are still too expensive. Swell.
As California state officials now work on a healthcare plan, hopefully they will remember that the state should pay for our coverage, pure and simple.
We'll get into the options later. Right now, we will just say that the Senate Bill creates a single-payer health insurance system – the State pays for our health insurance, in short. We like that one.
We're still waiting in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom for serious federal campaign funding reform. As long as our elected officials spend most of their time in collection of money so they can seek re-election, we will remain a weak second or third in their priorities, right after hob-nobbing with lobbyists.
Signing off for Bureaucrat Beat, this is Benett Kessler, as we wait to hear from you on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.