Bureaucrat Beat: Da Vinci code, territorial imperative, and chill pills

“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

Greg Burke, from Fox to the Pope.

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.

Marriage made in Heaven?  Seems a Fox news reporter in Rome will become the official Vatican spokesman.  He’s a member of the ultra-conservative Opus Dei faction of the Catholic Church.  DaVinci Code, anyone?

No marriage here.  Locals who contacted us said they intend to rebel against Forest Service road closures that make no sense to them.  Forest officials say too much OHV use on roads has caused damage or threatened plants and animals, and they went through years of public hearings on this under a USFS order from their Chief.

People on both sides have legitmate concerns. Might be time for cooler heads to pull out a highly informative book, “Territorial Imperative” by Robert Ardrey.  It’s all about how we are biological as well as social animals with a drive to dominate what we feel is our territory.

Here’s one review: “Attachment to a certain territory, which Ardrey has defined as the “territorial imperative”, is a most deeply rooted feature of all living beings, from a worm to a human. R.Ardrey begins his book with the definition of this central notion: “A territory is an area of space, whether of water or earth or air, which an animal or group of animals defends as an exclusive preserve. The word is also used to describe the inward compulsion in animate beings to possess and defend such a space.” Of course, the most inventive of animals – the human species – have extended their “territories” far beyond their apartments or garden plots to spheres of influence in business and politics, employment, etc.”  Not to mention roads and trails.

It helps to deal with reality – people are territorial.  Can’t dismiss deep, cellular feelings with bureaucratic processes or logic.  Things would go much more smoothly if territorial needs were recognized and respected.  Of course, as humans we do have the capacity to learn to respect others’ territories.  Yeah, right, tell that to the LADWP.

Ever wonder why all those mules never back out of what must be a very stressful parade route – hundreds of shouting people, bands, and babies??  A private source told us that the stubborn  hybrids receive, well,  chill pills!!  Okay.  Believe me, critters, Mule Days is stressful to human types too.

We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom were under daily stress back in the day when  the Department of Fish and Game demanded the death of Arthur the Bear, who had apparently been wounded and was in hiding in Mammoth Lakes.  Arthur, so named by people, became a celebrity and a symbol of the need for change in how Fish And Game deals with wildlife.  During those hard days when Sierra Wave was videotaping the bear in hiding, Fish and Game tried to confiscate our tape!!!  Yikes.  Now, we hear they are taping Steve Searles whenever they talk to him ( which probably isn’t that often).

Not that anyone ever pays attention to Nobel Prize winners, but Nobel Laureate economist  Joseph Stiglitz has warned in his new book, “The Price of Inequality” that growing gaps in wealth and income in the US pose “a rising threat” to the country’s economy and democracy.  “I am very worried,” Stiglitz said.  “It is something to which we are marching very rapidly.”

Some U.S. Postal workers are worried that Congress will fail to help the struggling service.  According to the Washington Post, a small group of postal workers and supporters started a four-day hunger strike on Monday to “protest the U.S. Postal Service’s deteriorating finances and service and Congress’s failure to address the situation.

This, prior to the postal service ending overnight delivery of up to 20% of first-class mail.  The rally in front of the U.S. Capitol involved the group, Communities and Postal Workers United. Seems Congress has failed to act on several bills that would rebalance postal finances through buyouts and early retirement incentives.  We’ve all seen postal service slip in the Eastern Sierra – mostly through serious cuts in service hours.

One retired letter carrier was quoted in the Post as saying, “You reduce service, and people give up on service.”  Sure right about that.   Postal workers say that by law, the postal service has had to overfund its pensions by $13.5  billion.  What????
Again, bills are pending to let the USPS use these overfund dollars to operate.  The agency currently has a projected loss of $14 billion for this fiscal year.  Email anyone?

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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17 Responses to Bureaucrat Beat: Da Vinci code, territorial imperative, and chill pills

  1. Ken Warner June 30, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    “forced to pay more, and if you don’t have insurance and you refuse to buy it, you get fine / and or jailed?”

    1_ Do you understand how insurance works? The more people in the insurance pool — THE LESS — everybody pays.

    2) If you don’t have health insurance because you refuse to buy it even though you have the money or want to wait until you get sick to get insurance (a provision of the ACA) — then you are a free loader using the medical facilities that everybody else who has insurance pays for because you WILL get sick or injured eventually. So the requirement that you participate in that insurance pool will seem unfair only to those who want to game the system.

    3) The rest of the ACA insures that you get adequate coverage; can’t have it canceled; can afford it by the creation of exchanges and if you can’t afford it, only then will the government help you.

    All this concern and breast beating is the result of an effective propaganda campaign by those very rich people you revile who see their bottom line profits slightly diminished by giving fair value for service purchased.

    And most of the ACA has not even gone into effect yet. Most of it doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and yet we have the drones going on about how the ACA has already turned America into a Socialist state without even understanding that purchasing health insurance from private, for profit industry is about the most unlike Socialism you can get.

    Let the howling begin…..

    • Big AL June 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      Hmm ok Ken .. did you answer my question .. about our elected official’s electing not to participate in it?

      • kaat June 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

        no Ken didn’t answer your question……mostly b/c nobody (including Ken) knows exactly what obamacare is…..kind of like a ‘do not open til 2014’ present…..kind of like, ‘you have to re-elect me in order to see what’s behind door #2’….oh brother!

        • Big AL July 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

          You’re right Ken, even when you read into the plan, it is confusing .. but all of the writs that are nailed to it .. like any bill has, makes it appear confusing .. but they all are part of the plan really You can get a pretty good idea of what it is really all about, and decipher the booscat to see exactly how they will do us.

          As I said .. if it is so great why are the opting out?

  2. Big AL June 30, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    Email, and other … privates parcel delivery companies are the nail in the coffin .. kind of sad though, something of an icon will go away. Signs of the times though, but then .. there is a bunch more folks on the unemployment line.

    And the rich keep getting richer ..

    I don’t see the trend that guy say’s is a whole sale problem, like there will be more and more wealthy individuals, I’m sure that is not what he’s getting at. Because it is only a select few that are getting rich. Likened to a poker game where participants slowly anti out when the funds are swallowed up by the big winners, those fortunate enough to have made some lucky winning hands and raked in the chips/cash.

    Soon and very soon, we will be a nation of rich and poor, the middle class will cease to exist, if the complete collapse doesn’t come first. Some might think though, as well … that the ultra rich pulling the strings will throw out just enough cash to keep the collapse from happening just so they can keep us on the hook … making them more cash.

    People can’t see this behind the obama care plan, while it is a very noble sounding relief, it is still making the rich richer, and we will have to pay more … forced to pay more, and if you don’t have insurance and you refuse to buy it, you get fine / and or jailed?

    This is not the reform this country needs, as much as folks want it to be.

    If it is so good for us, then answer me this … Why is it that our illustrious elected officials are opting out of it. Why should they pay into something they are going to profit from … and more importantly, why opt in if they are so wealthy that they don’t need lowly healthcare. … Or is there something they know .. they’re not telling us .. like it really sucks!

    Just saying.

  3. Big AL June 30, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    I don’t see the territory thing Benett, but I do see freedom of choice. Which God gave us. lol. Maybe it’s easy for someone to explain others emotions by saying it is aboriginal responses. It definitely is emotional to some, which in this case, I do not believe it is emotional over subconscious feelings of territory. It’s easy to try to explain it or pin it on that.

    In one corner you have those who want to be free to go and do things in the forest, In the other corner you have people who feel things should be closed to certain activities.

    On side is driven by freedom of choice, the other side is driven by concern for the environment. but on either side, you have factions, that behave differently, some want it all and won’t compromise, while some see the way to try to come to an understanding.

    And all of this bickering, name calling, threatening, bowing up, is all over the 10%

    The 10 percenters, who jack it up for everyone else. Those who can not act responsibly in any setting. And yes we have them on both sides, and we have them in all facets of society. The trouble is .. it seems now days that number is growing, seems like people get more and more stupid and irresponsible.

    Sure gets hard to take for me .. to not ride on a road that I loved to ride on .. and I mean ride .. not tear it up or destruct it in any way. Because now it has to be closed because someone feels the need to close it for the actions of the 10%

    On the other side of the coin is the 10 percenters who feel they need to close everything in a radical way to save every single plant and ant in the forest.

    The comments that, these measures have to be done to save brush and animals is way over bearing in my opinion. That is just an example of what I was saying about no compromise earlier. A road. any given road that runs through any given area of the forest .. might only impact the brush immediately adjacent to the road way. the acres and acres of brush in the entire area is not effected or harmed by the road and the motor vehicle users. Animals are not harmed by this use either unless an isolated case that a rabbit might run out under the vehicle, or some one runs off the road for what ever reason.

    It doesn’t make the road a wrong thing, and it doesn’t make motor vehicle use wrong either. What makes it wrong, is for some who abuse it, and we know that it happens, but it does not happen in the magnitude that i see and hear some say. And what else makes it wrong is for some to abuse power and close and deny people who are doing right for the sake of trying to protect the whole area of acreage. It is not threatening the forest in that magnitude, it just isn’t.

    These roads are here to stay, even if they are closed, the imprint is there, by closing it, it doesn’t go away, and it most certainly doesn’t make it wilderness in the true sense of the meaning.
    we all see the old roads across the meadows in Coyote flats which were closed years ago, and rightfully so .. there is a road that skirts around the meadow areas, why should there be a road across the meadow, no reason, that sort of closure is necessary I believe, it is protecting a sensitive area. but as I was saying, we still see these roads there, they will be there for a thousand years. Yet roads exist in the forest and so the wilderness designation does not apply for those areas which have roads.

    Some feel they should be able to go into these areas either by foot or partially drive into them, and walk form a set location, and not have to see roads, well if that is what they want, they will not find it in these areas.
    While some feel they can drive to and end of a road and and make the road extend for their purposes, or just drive off the road to go see something … or what ever, they have no regard for anything other than their pleasure. both of these 10 percent groups.

    These 10 perceenters that cause us all grief, I feel that is why emotions get so high on both sides. It is why the open access people get so emotional .. for they have to choices anymore, and the closed access people get so emotional because they feel all of the motorized users are destroying everything.

    It has nothing to do with territorial boundaries or issues.

    • Benett Kessler June 30, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Al, I’m not saying territoriality is a bad thing just that it’s part of who we are as human animals. We all have a need
      for our own space. Bureaucracies tend to overlook this kind of human need in their intellectual quest to define space and
      life in general. I bring these kinds of things up in Bureaucrat Beat for people to consider about themselves. As Socrates
      said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

      • Big AL June 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

        Right on .. I am just saying how I see this problem, I just don’t see the territory angle in it, it may be .. just saying

    • an observation June 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      I wonder how you would handle a bureaucratic position, Benett.

      • Benett Kessler June 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

        Not well. BK

        • An observatioin July 1, 2012 at 5:51 am #

          Today, when there are no fixed horizons and things changing so fast, it is interesting to see how easy it is to lambaste those in bureautic positions while offering little to correct what they view as inequities or wrong-doings.

  4. Philip Anaya June 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Dear Ms. Kessler,
    The B. Beat once again gets me thinking,huh, and helps me find my way. Lately with seemingly everything, spinning beyond the universe and comprehension, R. Audrey’s imperative helps me understand what is really important to me.Thanks for the reference.
    The real control and it seems fleeting at times, that I have, is only within my arms reach. That friendly wave back to total strangers while driving my truck , A strong or a soft handshake with a friend old and new, the connection of a hand holding hand or a hand holding a cat or dog or mule or horse or family member ,friend or foe it’s an imperative to have that territory under control and to so appreciate when another pair of hands will kindley hold you.
    My Pop used to say that if you watch your nickels and dimes the dollars take care of themselves. Likewise, I’ll pay more attention to my arm’s length control and then let the roads I travel also take care of themselves. Hope that I’m right and that all my trails/ trials (Dslexyia, spelling and typos also work good when you’re a tad confused and processing then lost and then found) are along the right path.Maybe the idea of the right path almost makes a mule an imperative.I do not doubt that they could navigate around any barrier or road closure. Thanks Ms. B.K. for the B.Beat and all the work and folks of the Sierra Wave. We all so appreciate what you all do, making it fun and keeping it real.

  5. Ken Warner June 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    Listen to Pres. Obama’s explanation of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act. Pres. Obama is a good man who did the right thing.



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