Bureaucrat Beat: NameGame, Robocalls and Fate

Businesses have a handful of ways to deal with the down economy. One of them – new logos and names. Union Bank now has a new logo that looks like a red tulip. Maybe that makes people feel happier about going to the bank.

RadioShack has opted to go by “The Shack”. Cool? We’re not sure. It has numerous connotations. RadioShack’s chief marketing officer said they’re “contemporizing the way we want people to think about our brand.” Okay. Fortunately, in the Eastern Sierra we know Bill and Suzie Robinson will treat us right at RadioShack by any name. beat

So, does this mean we should re-examine our brand? Let’s see. We could call ourselves “The Beat.” Sounds like a bunch of beatniks. Well, in a way, we kind of are. We like to sit in a dark office with manual typewriters, thinking up smarmy things to say.

This prompted us to look up Beatnik. It means, “One who thinks and expresses freely by rejecting conventions and mainstream standards and therefore thrives on creativity and appreciates art and beauty.” Yeah. That’s us, allright. What kind of music do beatniks like? The internet lists everything from the Beatles to Billie Holiday. Wow. Eclectic. Much like KSRW.

I guess a name-change to “The Beat” would not really change our image at all. So, what’s the point?

We heard a news story the other day. A sizeable number of citizens surveyed in an east coast state didn’t know Hawaii was a state. Of course, you can’t see Russia from Hawaii, so who cares.

The current debate over healthcare reform has proved interesting. It will tell whether hysteria or reason rules U.S. politics hysteriaand public service. We are not impressed by mob psychology. It’s juvenile or grossly manipulative.

We don’t think it’s juvenile to hang up the phone – hard – when Verizon’s computer calls to sell us something. So rude. Congress should outlaw “Robocalls.”

Has the current twentysomething generation outlawed practicality? Some think so. Author Steve Elliot claims college-age students suffer from Mechanical Deficit Disorder. Like they can do text messages but can’t use a screw driver. We’re hoping the young of the Eastern Sierra, products of rural America, have developed mechanical abilities to fix things themselves. Elliot has written a book for those who haven’t. It’s screwdrivercalled “The Portable Dad: Fix-it Advice for When Dad’s Not Around.” Okay. We just want to say that we in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom cherish our allen wrenches, electric plug adaptors and miniature tool set. You just never know.

Coincidence or fate? We thought it was funny this week when one of our business partners, Hans Laetz, turned up at a State Lands Commission meeting on an off-shore oil drilling issue and caught all the fireworks over DWP’s plan to cut rows of dirt on the bed of the Owens Dry Lake. It’s supposed to control dust.

Hans, who has managed TV news at KTLA and KABC, was sharply surprised at the nastiness of the exchange between State Lands and DWP. LA has its share of predicaments these days. The LA Times reported that the DWIP now worries about a law that requires them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That’s tough when DWP relies on coal power for a lot of its electricity. So, officials decided to hire the guy who wrote the new law, former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. His price tag? $120,000. His job? To advise DWP lobbyists. More at the DWP Commission meeting in September.

While we flipped through the real paper pages of the LA Times, we ran across this headline. “The four healthy choices that could change your life.” Okay. We’re up for long life. What are they?

Engage in regular physical activity, eat a healthy diet, don’t smoke and avoid becoming obese. These four things, the Times wrote, could slash the risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke or cancer by 80%, according to a new scientific study.

Just thought we’d throw that in. After all, only healthy iconoclasts can relentlessly rattle the cages of bureaucrats.

Leigh Gaasch of Mammoth wrote a letter about the uncaged – bears, that is. She temporarily did a name change thing. Called herself Momma Bear. We’ll cut to the chase of Leigh’s schpiel. Don’t feed bears. Put your trash in a bear proof dumpster or trash can and latch it. Don’t hang birdfeeders out right now. Bears like those, too. Lock ground level doors and windows.

Don’t leave food in your car. Bears might rip it open like a soft-centered chocolate. That’s why they call them wild animals!

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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