From city halls to county courthouses, from the State house to the White House – bureaucrats control our lives. Public servants who often try to become our masters. People whose salaries we pay, but what goods and services do we get? On Sierra Wave’s Bureaucrat Beat, we’ll report what they’re up to.” That’s the Bureaucrat Beat declaration of dissatisfaction, but as you may know, Bureaucrat Beat talks about so much more.
One of the commenters on our website said it best about Los Angeles: “It is incumbent on those who benefit from this damage (of the Owens Valley) to minimize the harm they do, but they must first fight past their denial and recognize their basic ethical obligations to treat this resource as the great and valuable gift it is. What ethical basis exists for destroying an ecosystem far away to create lawns and forests in a dry land where such would never naturally exist? How can a people justify row upon row of evaporative swimming pools, filled with water that is diverted from a natural desert lake? Why is the need for shiny clean BMWs, Mercedes and Priuses more important than a natural desert spring and the ecosystem it could support?”
Don’t forget who you’re dealing with, Inyo Supervisors.
Here’s a disgrace of another kind – JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and his 74% pay raise that adds up to his $20 million annual salary. He made a deal to pay the government $2 billion to avoid criminal prosecution for the foreclosure fraud and other fraudulent activity. Why isn’t he in jail?
The National Security Agency might as well go behind bars too. According to the Nation of Change, the NSA can hack and spy on ay iPhone any time. We won’t place bets on what they are really doing. Just remember – privacy is an illusion.
It’s not pretend when reporters write stories on the California drought and it’s not, as some local officials would like to claim, “negativism”. It’s reporting on what is. Maybe the Pineapple Express will keep the snow coming.
Tuxedo, the newsroom cat, was please to see that this year’s male stars mostly all donned tuxedos on the red carpet of the Golden Globe awards. Makes our Tux feel like one of the guys! Tux, Matthew McConaughey, Bradley Cooper….
Sick of that so-called “Fire Prevention Fee” that our California legislators enacted a year or two ago? It’s supposed to pay for “fire prevention” but not for firefighting. A retired State Senator and member of the Board of Equalization, George Runner, has pushed the Governor to restore full funding to Cal Fire and get rid of the phony fire fee. Runner argues that times were worse when the fee was created and now it’s just a burden, particularly on rural residents.
Here’s a really good read that documents the history of the Owens Valley in an entertaining and well written fictional story – “Rain Shadow” by Rebecca Hansen Carrer. She told us she had watched “Cadillac Desert” and the story of our Valley which inspired the novel. Well worth the read to understand the trail of unethical behavior that leads to the present.
LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge, who attended the Standing Committee meeting, sits in major denial of that trail. He bragged about the wetlands LA created in its City Center and made it clear that 100 years ago the President of the United States gave LA the water. Nice. No wonder he popped out of his chair like a Jack-in-the-box at the end of the meeting after several citizens scolded LA for their cheap behavior.
The First Amendment Coalition is trying to nail officials for bad behavior. Their lawyer, Peter Scheer, wrote that government officials’ emails are public records whether they are personal or government email addresses. He said the Third District Court of Appeal will soon decide this matter in a legal opinion for the Coalition.
It’s not a legal opinion, but a fact that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti could be the one to own up to his City’s despicable treatment of the Owens Valley. He’s intelligent enough to know about it and seemingly ethical enough to admit it, but he has aspirations for higher office (He and his wife recently played host on a country music station. A reporter speculated he’s searching for Republican votes.). Come on, Mr. Mayor. You said you wanted to reform the DWP. Please do.
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.