Bureaucrat Beat: Yelling and Screaming, Thermostats and Big Brother

Good news. Instead of yelling and screaming about matters, representatives of the Mammoth Lakes business community will sit down to talk with town and law enforcement officials about the best ways to inform the public of storm dangers.

We wish to hear yelling and screaming in Inyo County, but alas no one seems to care much about the state of affairs at the courthouse. Relations with Los Angeles remain problematic – no definite protection of groundwater and, at last word, no definite changes in the Bishop Airport lease. If the airport is to grow, it needs a longer lease for FAA funding.

Three seats on the Inyo Board are up for election. Any brave soul out there feel the call to public duty?

That’s a calling in search of the sincere from Washington to Independence. Listen to these news topics:

California Wants to Control Home Thermostats.

Homeland Security goofs up airline security for hundreds of Americans and now wants to launch a new ID program called Real ID. Are you scared of that? You probably should be. It’s not like Homeland Security has a stellar record. Remember FEMA trailers?

So, here’s the scoop. How would you like a bureaucrat to take charge of your heater thermostat? State regulators have proposed to the California Energy Commission that utilities get the power to adjust customers’ preset temperatures when the price of electricity is soaring. Customers could override utilities’ suggested temperatures, but, oh yeah, in “emergencies” the utilities could override customers’ wishes.

We don’t know about you, but we like the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom warm and cozy. More than that, we do not, we mean absolutely do not, want bureaucrats remotely controlling our atmospheric temperature. One responsive quote to this news said, “This is an outrage. We need to build new facilities to handle the growth in this state, not become Big Brother to the citizens of California.”

While citizens stewed like shriveling prunes on the stove over that one, a report was issued by the Congressional Oversight and Government Reform Committee. They said that the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA suffered form a defective website created by cronies of TSA officials. First, the TSA somehow placed innocent citizens on airline security watch lists which banned them from commercial air travel. When these people tried to clear their names through a TSA website, it was found to lack security and now they’re worried about identity theft. Yikes! This is another Homeland Security Department foul up.

These are the same people who have come up with a new identification plan – project Real ID. Now, we realize folks have a sincere desire to protect us and make our country secure. But it seems the Homeland Security Department needs some serious re-vamping or better budget or something. Look at New Orleans. It’s still a mess. Now, they’re in charge of a national identification program after they just screws up air travelers’ identities.

Our only hope, here in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom, is that Real ID is for everyone under 50 years of age. Whew! Dodged the bullet.

Homeland figures that an age limit will reduce the cost of this massive program, and besides, they say, most terrorists are younger than 50. If they live that long, they have probably come to their senses.

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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