Bureaucrat Beat: Tax Pain, Divide and Fail, and Crowe Man!

 We don’t know about you, but we in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom find payment of taxes a painful experience these days. The agony seeps in with thoughts of how our government has spent our money in the past several years.

We work our fingers to the bone on our manual typewriters while Haliburton rakes in billions in no-bid contracts in Iraq where their former division, KBR, holds responsibility for improperly grounded water pumps in military showers. At least a dozen soldiers died from electrocution.

The depth of unethical spending and behaviors practically paralyzed our hands as we wrote out tax payments this year.

Let’s go to the movies to raise our spirits! The Disney people have a new gimmick. They have promised that Disney will plant a tree for every moviegoer who views the new eco-documentary, “Earth” by Disneynature. We really like that, considering that the Owens Valley will have lost 200 more trees after all of the sidewalk projects are done.

More businesses have closed their doors at the Village at Mammoth. This has grown into a vortex of sadness. Remember the businesses who continue there and the fine products they offer. Many of them have come up with creative ideas and great deals to keep the business wheels whirring.

A warning light has been flashing for years in Inyo County, but officials have turned a blind eye. Inyo has refused to enforce the Inyo-LA Water Agreement, failed to insist on a workable groundwater enforcement plan and now water supplies have dwindled. Officials’ fear of DWP and selfish financial interests have left us all vulnerable.

On a national level, we became vulnerable as our country dove wildly into humungous debt in the past. One of our website readers, Jason, felt that the TaxDayTeaParty participants who protested in Bishop “didn’t lift a finger during the last 8 years when the budget deficit/ federal debt increased sharply.” This commenter also said, “I think it’s best that people feel free to disagree, but party allegiance has become too important. Allegiance ought to be strongest toward a common good. Derision for the sake of division isn’t a healthy deal.” Wow! We like that. And, by the way, Gallup polls released this week found that 53% of Americans approve of the expansion of the U.S. government to help fix the economy. The same poll found that 48% think they’re paying the right amount of taxes. The other side of the Tea Party.

We in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom have to agree with the reader who said ridicule of one party or another for the sake of dividing people doesn’t cut it. When we watch TV news on some channels, we have to look away, turn it off or choose to gaze out the window instead. Loud, hateful blame games do no good. We prefer careful analysis and cooperation. Blame games usually mask the real motive of greed or lust for power.

The latest weight loss program? Airlines that will charge obese passengers for two seats.

Movie reviewers call actor Russell Crowe “overweight and disheveled” in his new movie, “State of Play”. Then, the reviewers quickly explain that Crowe portrays an investigative news reporter, as if we’re all dumpy and a bit chubby!! The movie mockers also claim that U.S. audiences don’t like highbrow adult drama anymore as they flock to simplistic, no brainer films. Hey, maybe so, but come on – an hour and a half with Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck! How bad could it be?

Of course, remember Depression Era movies. The audiences in the 30s liked musicals, comedies and “The Wizard of Oz”! Weary of thinking about our troubles, maybe we need super-silly escapes. We must admit that our own Bureaucrat Beat meanderings sometimes fall into depressive analyses. That’s when we turn to Bob Todd and Catherine Hurdle who deliver the funniest repartee around. Listeners proclaim that Bob and Catherine drive them to laugh out loud. Even in the dark, windowless climes of the newsroom, we chuckle audibly during 10:20 Trivia.

But, we will probably check out the Crowe man, anyway.

Want to comment on plans to demolish the Cottonwood Plaza in Bishop? City officials say you will have your chance over a 30-day period that will start in a week or two. Stay-tuned. We’ll let you know.

And, in Mammoth Lakes, the VP of Real Estate for Mammoth Mountain, Jim Smith, speaks candidly and down to earth. He talked about the “Perfect Storm” in real estate and retail that hit the Village at Mammoth and many others. What do you do with a storm? Ride it out with as much rain gear as possible.

We’re going to go confer with one another now over the gear part. More later.

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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