Bureaucrat Beat: Whitehouse Liars, Bad California and a Vet’s Letter

Don’tcha just love it when news reports come out about lies and deception from 9 months ago. The Washington Post just reported that a former official of the Environmental Protection Agency has now reported that members of Vice President Dickj Cheney’s staff censored congressional testimony on the health threats posed by global warming.

Seems that former EPA deputy associate administrator Jason K. Burnett has revealed that an official from Cheney’s office edited out six pages from the testimony of Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Congrol and Prevention, last October.

Gerberding was going to say that the CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern. An email to this effect went to the Whitehouse where it was never opened. Good Greehouse Gas Grief!!

Aren’t you just about sick up to here with these guys who sacrifice the truth for their own personal profit and that of their buddies?!? Let’s elect someone who doesn’t have oil company ties, whadda ya say?

We have changed our minds on something. Here it is. The disabled, elderly and others who need Dial A Ride service pleaded with the Transit Board to hold a meeting on the issue in Bishop where service could be cut. We supported that, but then were reminded that folks in Walker have the same problems and Mammoth is closer for them than Bishop. Okay – a Mammoth meeting, but we do hold firm that public meetings should be held for the convenience of the public. Walker is still a long way from Mammoth.

Others pointed out to us that a segment of our Eastern Sierra society frequently loses out on day time meetings – the working poor, in particular. That’s a growing part of our lives here – people who work hard and make very little. It’s tough.

We’ve headlined hopped through various newspapers this week. The one that caused us to put on the brakes and read – “State’s Budget No Role Model”. The sub-head said, “California’s fiscal crisis is worse than most. Much of the fault lies not with the economy but with bad policies.” Oh, that makes us feel good! Yea. We’re California. We’re unique and it’s not a good thing. The LA Times story went on to say that even in bad economic times with mortgage crises other states are “humming along fine, without dramatic measures to keep them in the black. Some even have multibillion-dollar surpluses. And,” says the Times, ‘almost none of the states that do have fiscal difficulties face shortfalls on the scale of California’s.” The story calls California’s budget system “the most dysfunctional in the country.”

Our state apparently has no spending plan. We are one of four out of 46 states that has no plan. There’s more bad news. The article says this: “An outdated tax code, voter-approved initiatives that lock in billions of dollars for programs, inadequate oversight of spending and the lack of a substantial rainy-day fund all add to California’s financial ills.” Remember that when you head to the polls.

Add to all this no oversight of spending. Oh, headache, headache! This can’t bode well. We already see a cut in services here – ones that really help people.

Okay. Enough tearing of hair and grinding of teeth over state government. Now, let’s kick the federal government around a bit. Mr. Bruce Cotton of Lone Pine, a disabled veteran, points to what some may have overlooked in the Wilderness Bill. Here is what he says, in part:

There have been some questions about what does war and vets have to do with the Wilderness Bill. Well, here’s your answer. If it was not for the veterans of this great country, you more than likely wouldn’t be able to live in a nice place like Swall Meadows or be able to go anywhere like it or voice your opinion without the government telling you that you can.

So, when I speak as a veteran, I speak for a lot of people, not only for the disabled veterans but for the disabled people, and no, I do not speak for all of them. We veterans have paid our dues for the freedoms we have and everyone else that hasn’t put the uniform on because we were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to e free. Being a service connected disabled veteran, I have been taught to be as self-sufficient as possible and to have someone tell me that I can go someplace if I can walk, ride a bike, ride a horse, or if my wheel chair or electric scooter can go there is not only discrimination but takes the freedom we fought for away from us. Our ATV/UTV’s are our extensions to our wheel chairs/ electric scooters that are not made for dirt.

If I am out spinning my tires and later tearing up the country, then give me a ticket with a big fine. If I am just trying to go from one place to anothere, then leave me alone.

There is an old saying, “Don’t judge me until you have walked a mile in my shoes. I have made a challenge to all of our Congressional Representatives and their aides and to supporters of the Wilderness Bill to just be in my place for 6 to 8 weeks before you start telling me what I can and can’t do. Again, my ATV/UTV is an extension to my wheel chair/electric scooter and canes and crutches.

This Wilderness Bill is a wild fire disaster looking for a place to happen. There is a right time and place for wilderness and this bill is not it.

Bruce Cotton
Service connected disabled Vietnam Combat Veteran, Lone Pine

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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