Bureaucrat Beat: Mr. President, Seeger Returns, Tree Intelligence

On this Presidential Inauguration Day, racial prejudice, party politics, small minds – time to put all of that aside in the face of dire straits in the realm of finances, health care, unemployment and home foreclosures. In short, desperate hopes that our new President can stop the bleeding, eventually.

We have heard some people say that maybe the failure of state and federal governments’ finances might break up the entrenched bureaucracies – like maybe even make some of them go away. We can only hope.

One of our website readers noted that we are all responsible for bureaucracies – we vote for measures that impact them, we fail to do things that bureaucrats then make us do. Okay. We can buy that to some extent, but then the bureaucrats sit in back rooms and write volumes of regulations that make life virtually impossible for no good reason.

The dismal failure of state government has come home hard for some. We hear the judges of our two counties may soon receive IOUs instead of paychecks. We will all get IOUs instead of tax refunds. Nice job, guys in Sacramento.

Things have unraveled so far that the Los Angeles Times sported this headline: “Better off in 4 years? Unlikely”. Here’s one disheartening paragraph of that story:

“The sleek racing machine that was the U.S. economy is unlikely to return any time soon despite the huge repair efforts now underway. Instead, it probably will continue to sputter and threaten to stall for years to come.” Ouch.

U.S. economists say they fear that the U.S. will fail to grow in the next few years, and that’s bad. Listen up local supervisors. No growth – bad for society.

The L.A. Times story says all we have right now is the potential for more government spending. Yikes.

More hopeful was the sight of musician Pete Seeger on stage at the pre-inaugural celebrations at the Lincoln Memorial. Seeger has been persecuted through the years for his truth telling in music. Joe McCarthy black-listed him and the other members of the music group, The Weavers. He spent many years in musicians’ exile.

Very inspiring to hear Seeger, now in his 80s, along with Bruce Springsteen and a chorus belt out “This land is your land, this land is my land. This land was made for you and me.” Good thing to remember. This is not the land for corporatocracy and rich guys who break the rules.

On to miniscule details. We’ve heard complaints from Mammoth Lakes for a nagging oversight. Seems someone forgot to take down a sign that says “New signal ahead” just past Main St. and Minaret. It’s not new anymore and hasn’t been for some time. When Town officials tend to fine points it shows they really care.

And, what’s up with this? Science News magazine says studies show life expectancy gains stalled and even reversed in the United State in the 80s and 90s. This trend is unprecedented in modern societies. Hey, maybe the many other threatened and destroyed species are somehow linked with us. Wouldn’t that be a deadly shock for some people!? Oh, you mean the web of life is for real? Darn. How can we destroy animals, plants and birds for profit if it somehow kills us!?!

Speaking of random killing, Caltrans could take a closer look at the benefit of trees before arbitrarily mowing them down to put in sidewalks.

Check out the internet, Caltrans, and find that trees convert CO2, carbon dioxide, into oxygen. CO2 is the stuff greenhouse gases are made of. Plus, trees shade homes and office buildings. They reduce the amount of fossil fuels burned to produce electricity for air conditioning. A single, mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 pounds per year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings. Here’s another neat statistic: If every American family planted just one tree, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would be reduced by one billion pounds annually. Put a big dent in global warming, plant and preserve trees. Trees also reduce other air pollutants and topsoil erosion. Plus, trees are beautiful and we need beauty to feed our souls. So, how about it Caltrans?

It’s surprising what a difference facts make in decision-making!

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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