Most fascinating report from the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom? A large bat somehow got inside and flapped into one of our production rooms. Holy Dracula, Batman. Now what? Jesse Steele, who ironically will appear in a vampire play in Bishop, managed to get the winged rodent down the hall and out the door. No, the bat did not try to drain Jesse’s blood. Maybe the little night bird was attracted to a newsroom with no windows, kind of like a cave?
Speaking of dark and scarey, what’s with this group of mercenary soldiers called Blackwater? A book on the group was recently published, and a scandal is now afoot over whether Blackwater security guards killed innocent Iraqis. That’s under investigation and so is Blackwater’s paramilitary organization, which is a business, headquartered in North Carolina.
Petitions are now circulating to stop Blackwater’s plans to build a center east of San Diego. Other reports say Blackwater soldiers patrolled the streets of New Orleans after Katrina hit, with pay of $1,000 per day. Some citizens fear the for-hire military men. Just a heads up from the Bureaucrat Beat staff as we pour over reports on topics that could impact our lives. Some reports have said that Blackwater officials spoke with Governor Schwarzeneggar to offer military support in times of “civil unrest or disaster.” That’s enough to make you want to behave yourself!
Locally, while it may be civilized, the formation of yet another commission in Mammoth Lakes makes one cringe. Seems the Transportation Advisory Group, a bunch of folks who have suffered from internal bickering, recommended formation of a Mobility Commission to deal with the “broader issues related to mobility, such as parking, traffic calming, transit and ‘feet first’ initiatives.”
You can look at this in at least two ways – more bureaucracy or, as officials claim, a chance for more public participation in town policies. The Town Council will think about this at their October 3rd meeting.
Back to Sacramento, where alleged leaders now wrangle with health care plans for Californians. They will ultimately have to arm wrestle with insurance companies – the same guys who fund their re-election campaigns. Could get ugly. One of our faithful listeners expressed concerns about paying for health care for illegal aliens. We can only ask, how do we take care of the people who support our resort economy? Now, they wait for problems to fester and then head to the ER. That’s not good, either. A number of immigrants who work here do contribute, through payroll taxes, to state and federal governments. It’s a tough one.
Here’s a tough statistic. One in three Americans under 65 had no health insurance for all or part of the last two years. California, Texas and Florida are listed as the top three states with this problem.
Energy – big problem. Or, shall we say, the thought of oil dependence sends shivers through many of us, but one our listeners shared a column from the Post Journal. Author Daniel McLaughlin offers statistics on government subsidies for those who create alternative energy sources – windmills, solar power, etc. Billions have also gone for energy research, and, as the writer points out, 90% of the power generating windmills installed in the U.S. come from foreign countries. The government-types could work on a mandate for cheap, really cheap, solar panels.
Bottom line – our government is a spending addict gone mad. How about we look for smarter ways to do things? Like stop spending $6 billion per month on the Iraq war. There are some things we just can’t afford to do.
Back to windmills. DWP just agreed to buy wind-generated power from PPM Energy. The power will come from Wyoming as part of DWP’s goal to generate 20% of its power from alternative sources. This is something that the LADWP will pay for.
Want to know more about Dan Rather’s lawsuit against CBS and the real story about Dubya’s military record? Go huffingtonpost.com and search for Mary Mapes column. She worked for CBS and on the Bush National Guard story. She tells a story of big time undercutting of the news by political interests and cowardly corporate types.