Bureaucrat Beat: Ego Trip, Millions on Furniture, Bureaucrat Joke


Jaws dropped and eyebrows shot up during the recent Mammoth Wildlife Committee meeting when officials began to talk about working with local media on wildlife information and bruce_kinneyeducation. Bruce Kinney of Fish and Game said something to the effect that local media are all unreliable and unprofessional and you can’t work with them. So, forget it.


We had to chuckle since it’s Kinney who always hangs up on us. Yeah, we know he didn’t like the way we covered the issue over Arthur the Bear – the animal who became a celebrity as Steve Searles and others tried to save him from the Fish and Game execution gun.


Talk about unprofessional – Kinney could take a deep breath, realize everybody sees things differently and work with the media and the communities. Kinney seems to harbor an ugly aversion for folks who see things another way. Bruce, it’s not a fight to the finish. We’re in this together. We all have something to contribute. Hanging up the phone on a reporter is, well, unproductive. But I guess it’s an ego statement. Hope you and your ego have a nice day!


On a lighter note, one listener offered this: How many bureaucrats does it take to screw in a light bulb? Two. One to assure everyone that everything possible is being done while the other screws the bulb into the water faucet. Well put.


This was not handled well. Seems California health officials “accidentally” disclosed the Social Security numbers of nearly 50,000 of the state’s most vulnerable residents, according to news reports. The Social Security numbers were printed on the outside of envelopes sent to elderly patients of the Adult Day Health Care program. That means a con artist could have gotten the name, address and social security number of all those elderly Nice. As they put together the 50,000 envelopes, why didn’t someone connect the dots and say, oh, no, we’re giving away private information? Hello!!! Anybody home????


Here’s a story that validates your worst fears. Bureaucrats state_capitol_1-12-09do spend enormous amounts of unaccounted for money. Seems the California Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review investigated expenditures and found that last year bureaucrats spent nearly $45 million on new vehicles, almost $30 million on new furniture and more than $2 million on off-site meetings and conferences. Heads should roll.


The report says that DMV spent the most on furniture – $1.7 million. Caltrans spent the most on vehicles – $10.4 million. Parks and Recreation spent $5.2 million on vehicles. This adds to the evidence that Governor Schwarzenegger needs to settle into his office and stay there until he has reviewed, line by line, every budget item. He should Kick out the jillions in foolish expenditures.


Who would’ve thought 10 years ago that it would cost $8 just to use a pillow and blanket on an airline flight. That’s what we hear about American Airlines, JetBlue, US Airways and others. Airlines are losing money, big time. The recession has cut into their business and so has the hassle over security.


Now for a poetry break. We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom have said it before. Art is the antidote to bureaucratic madness. Around Valentine’s Day we looked up quotes about love and found two really good ones. Shakespeare said, “Love is smoke made from the fume of sighs.” Wow. Dreamy. An unknown author said, “If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?” Funny.


Our favorite news story of the week was Senator Evan Bayh’s retirement from politics and his declaration that the American political system is dysfunctional and “riddled with brain-dead partisanship and permanent campaigning.” Bayh said he’s through with the whole thing. He argued that the American people need to deliver a shock to Congress by voting incumbents out in mass and replacing them with people interested in reforming the process and governing for the good of the people instead of for deep-pocketed, special-interest groups.


Wow. At least someone finally said it. We don’t have a Democracy. We have a playground for the ultra-rich. They game the system for more money while we beg on our knees for decent services. Senator Bayh blamed both parties for deep failure. We do see one problem – how to find candidates who will upset the greedy, ugly, slimy system ingrained in Washington, D.C.


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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