Bureaucrat Beat: Sheep Effect, Mojave Tragedy and CalPERS Scandal

Bell, CA – the Miniseries. The Stranger Than Fiction town added a new chapter. Seems that the City of Bell gave nearly $900,000 in loans for former City Manager Robert Rizzo, city employees and at least two council members in the last several years, according to the LA times. Rizzo would already have receive $1.5 million in salary and benefits this year if he hadn’t resigned. What’s next? The City of Bell paid for plastic surgery. No, No, looking at them, that didn’t happen.

In a few years, media and communication will likely look very different. Goggle, the famous computer browser says they will soon create Google TV which would allow viewers to watch TV shows and movies through the internet on television sets. This would amount to free video over the internet. Wow! Maybe TV33 could join the internet revolution. Stay tuned.

How about this? Scientists now say that time travel would support Einstein’s general relativity equations. Okaaay. MIT researchers have published an analysis of how some of the twists and turns of real-life time travel might play out. They censor paradoxical situations. If you go back in time, you can’t kill your grandfather because, well, that would jeopardize your own existence. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this MIT study is the fact that scientists are studying it. They admit that time travel is not right around the corner.

If the Huntington Beach model spreads, public service might take a hike. That’s how one of our listeners sees it. This week, the Huntington Beach City Council approved an ordinance which would recover the cost of response to accidents and other mishaps involving non-residents. Say someone crashes a car and needs extrication. They might receive a bill later for up to $2,000. Bills would go out to non-residents for accident response, power line damage, etc. Our listener said he prefers things as they are with an umbrella of public service for all. We have to agree.

Another listener commented on Judge Brian Lamb’s public meetings this week in which he caused citizens to break up into small groups instead of one large public comment time. One man said, “I don’t like the sheep effect – herding the public.” Others called the Judge’s management of the meetings “divide and conquer” and “controlling the public.” We just report what we hear.

Those who saw the terrible video of the off-road vehicle careen into spectators in that Mojave Desert off-road race that killed eight wondered why BLM allowed no safety precautions. Why were spectators virtually on the race course? California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein have officially inquired. Usually the bureaucracy can hardly wait to restrict what people do. According to an article in the LA Times, the BLM permit granted to Mojave Desert Racing did require speeding racers to stay more than 50 feet from any social group. That didn’t happen. The senators want to know how many BLM employees monitored the race.

How many CalPERS employees took bribes from firms that wanted the fund to invest in the California retirement fund? More than few. The LA Times confirmed that CalPERS investment staff people accepted private jet trips around the world and other luxury travel from financial firms with whom they were doing business. None of this was disclosed. At least the scandal has now gone public and will, hopefully, stop.

With the news this week that many bus routes here will shut down due to a loss of state funding, one of our listeners wrote in that the top guy should step down and save the transit authority $160,000 a year. As the little people suffer from budget brutalities, many have started to focus on the top managers in government as a way to save money and continue to provide service to the public.

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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