Bureaucrat Beat: Obscene pool, truth to power, and kissing babies

“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.


66 million gallons of water in this pool.

For heaven’s sake, don’t show anybody in Los Angeles a picture of the Crystal Lagoon.  It’s the worlds largest outdoor swimming pool. Located in San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile, the pool holds 66 million gallons of water.  Probably have to dry up Klondike and Diaz Lakes and who knows what else to keep the pool filled.

Speaking of pools, one of the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom wags flew over Los Angeles the other day and gasped at the site of all those little aqua blue rectangles down there – LADWP’s job to keep all those pools filled!! Speaking of Klondike Lake, LADWP has conceded to keep it open 7 days a week into September.  See, it does pay to speak angry truth to power.

Question: Why would any good parents allow a politician to kiss their baby??? Considering what the politician might have been previously kissing!!!

Hear about the new social media, RedFacebook???  Mark Zuckerberg might feel slightly embarrassed ( or horribly mortified) by the fact that his company has been sued after going public.  Outraged shareholders claim insider trading.

This is no inside info if you saw NCIS and Jamie Lee Curtis playing, I don’t know – some tough broad in clandestine service.  She can sort of get away with hawking Activia, but this role does not flow well!!!

Had to take a momentary break when the newsroom phone rang.  It was a (wretch, scream, gag) robocall!!  I don’t care how noble the cause, these computer calls are rude.  This time it was the No on Prop. 28 committee.  They say the measure is a scam to actually increase the terms of state legislators, although the proposition claims to decrease terms.  Is there anyone in politics who doesn’t lie and not even feel a bit of shame?

According to internet sources, Prop. 28 would indeed increase the term limits for California State Assembly from 6 to 12 years and increase terms for State Senate from 8 to 12 years.  However, the ballot language says the proposition would allow service of up to only 12 years in one house and a total of 12 years as a state representative.  The way it is now, the darlings can serve up to 14 years on a combination of both houses.  Why not get the job done and create a part-time legislature with very severe term limits and put an end to the power and money chain and failed budgets.

Kind of scary when the generally compromised legislators make decisions like they did recently.  They passed a bill in the State Senate that sets up guidelines for self-driving cars.  Sounds reckless. But,  Senator Alex Padilla who sponsored the bill said human error is the cause of almost every accident.  Yes, we are talking about vehicles in control, not people.  Might be all right.  Maybe. Kind of.

Hey, we’re not alone in our profound skepticism about state legislators.  A new poll conducted by USC Dornsife/ Los Angeles Times found that California voters continue to back Governor Jerry Brown’s higher taxes but do not trust the legislature and state government, in general, in how they might handle the new money.

Lots of yada-yada over the teenager in Mammoth Lakes who allegedly hacked the school computer and changed kids’ grades for money.  Our website comments raked the issue over the coals with every angle of crime and punishment.  Mammoth does not stand alone in such sins.  News reports say federal prosecutors claim a New Jersey mayor and his adult son hacked into websites of political foes who worked on his recall. The mayor and son face more than 10 years in prison.

Here’s a one-liner we thought we would throw in just to get your blood back up near the boiling point.  The LA Times reported that profits at big U.S. companies broke records last year as did CEO pay.  The top person in a typical public company made $9.6 million last year.  Guess who’s money is paying them.  Yep, ours.

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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44 Responses to Bureaucrat Beat: Obscene pool, truth to power, and kissing babies

  1. Ken Warner June 1, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    “The LA Times reported that profits at big U.S. companies broke records last year as did CEO pay. The top person in a typical public company made $9.6 million last year. Guess who’s money is paying them. Yep, ours.”

    Small homage to pay our Job Creating Overlords. Bow down in worship and give them your money. You are nothing and are unworthy of any wealth — the Job Creating Overlords are our only hope.

    “…the Crystal Lagoon. It’s the worlds largest outdoor swimming pool. Located in San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile,”

    Mammoth could do something similar using Mammoth Creek runoff and a clever systems of filters and solar pre-heaters and have a nice year around pool at the corner of Meridian and Old Mammoth Rd. that would be water use neutral. But that sort of imaginative thinking disqualifies potential office (place) holders.

    • Big AL June 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      LOL Ken

  2. Trouble June 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Benett- I like your report, but don’t think the kid hacking grades should be compared to a mayor and adult son hacking for political gain. Kids are brought up now days to treat their laptops as their favorite toy. Also, that pool looks really tempting right now.

    • Benett Kessler June 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      I probably didn’t explain well enough. Point being – juvenile misdeeds, if continued, can get one into big trouble.
      Benett Kessler

      • Wayne Deja June 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

        Benett..And with far fetching consequences that can effect the lives of OTHER young adults trying to do the right thing,and getting an education the correct way.One of the things wrong with this World now….IMO….is young adults get away with far too much…with no consequences for their actions.Either got a parent defending them..or some defense lawyer treating their 17 year old client like they are a 10 year old child that doesn’t know any better.

  3. reality June 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Government, public servants and town councils do not seem to work for the public anymore…. only the people/corporations that are funding them to support their agendas.

    • reality June 2, 2012 at 12:47 am #

      Great idea ken.

      You covered the:Bureaucrats, how about the technocrates?

    • upthecreek June 4, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      GGW all the way to the Bank.

  4. Tourbillon June 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    “Why not get the job done and create a part-time legislature with very severe term limits and put an end to the power and money chain and failed budgets.”

    Gee, isn’t that the point of theoretically informed voters electing worthy people to public office? Hate to break the news but the problem is not lack of term limits or ceilings on campaign contributions, of which we have plenty, but voters electing whomever panders to them the most. “We have met the enemy, and they is us.”

    • Ken Warner June 2, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Agreed! The electorate is fundamentally ignorant of the fundamental issues and the range of decisions that need to be made to address those issues.

      I know I’m ignorant because there are so few sources of unbiased information. And I don’t think “news” is useful information. All the media outlets have agendas they are promoting both on the right and the left and every media outlet of every political group in between.

      It’s probably always been this way except now with so much information easily available to everybody and all of it slanted one way or another, there seems to be no foundation of objectivity to stand on against which to judge all other information.

      What is truth? That question is the fundamental question and there’s no short supply of answers.

      So opinions slosh this way and that — pushed by the latest, most convincing argument.

      • Big AL June 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

        You’re so right Ken.

  5. Roy June 3, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    Notice the blue body of water adjacent to the pool in the photo – it’s the Pacific Ocean and it’s the source for the water in the pool. The same ocean of water is adjacent to Los Angeles – perhaps Los Angeles should get it’s water from the same source!!!

    • esfotoguy June 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

      that beach has very rough surf/rip currents and the ocean water is very cold

    • Big AL June 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

      Can you say … desalinization?

      • Rob June 5, 2012 at 8:28 am #

        Santa Barbara has a Desal plant and they don’t even use it.


        Cheaper water can be purchased elsewhere even in sever drought years.

        L.A. will always use all the Owen’s Valley water they can, and they’ll still want more.

    • Trouble June 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

      Good point Roy, I was told some Arab countries get most of their water from the ocean. Anybody know why we don’t use the same systems?

      • JeanGenie June 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm #


    • JeanGenie June 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

      Look it up, the water in that pool is not desalted, just filtered. It is saltwater. Maybe you seawater fans can genetically engineer humans to drink saltwater.

  6. Andrew Kirk June 3, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    BK, good to hear from you. You make us think. Go, girl!

  7. Big AL June 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Umm .. where did the obsenity part come into play with that pool? hehe

  8. Just the facts June 4, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Control the language – and you control the argument.

    As everything today is politics (and I mean EVERYTHING) one can’t help notice how certain words have been drastically changed and morphed into something entirely different from the original meaning. One of the most frequently used words in today’s political arena that has been completely changed from its original meaning and is now totally used for political demonization purposes, is the word “liberal.”

    Here is how Webster defines the word liberal:

    lib-er-al belonging to the people, a freeman; not restricted; tolerant of views differing from one’s own; to grow up; giving freely; generous; plentiful, ample; broad-minded; not strict; not orthodox or conventional; favoring reform or progress; a person favoring liberalism

    Here is how conservative guru, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and Ann Coulter defines the word liberal:

    lib-er-al lawless; anything goes; communistic; socialistic; an evil presence to society; a member of the Democratic Party

    • NewEra June 5, 2012 at 8:43 am #

      Good point!!
      Those that believe fools like limbaugh arnt receptive to anything else anyway.

    • Jenny B June 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      The two major parties are controlled by the same corrupt special interests!

      • Reality Check June 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

        Jenny B: You totally get it. Until we get over the Left vs Right, Democract vs Republican padadigm and realize our two party system has become a two headed snake, we are doomed. They just want you to think you have a choice.

  9. salblaster June 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    trouble. san diego is getting a water desalination plant it will turn 300 million gallons of sea water into 50 million gallons of fresh water a day. it’s cost give or take a few dozen million is 320 million for plant and pipeline to transport water to resevoir with a high enough elevation so gravity can then distribute it to its customers. that 50 million gallons of water per day will supply around 300,000 people. the project started around 1995 and took 10 years of planning and another 6 years of getting permits and lawsuits settled. one of the biggest oppositions to the project was the sierra club who claimed the taking of sea water would kill millions of fish and harm the enviroment. so lets see now, im not sure of the exact figures so i’ll ballpark it. la aquaduct supplies around 5 million people with water in the san fernando valley and L.A. area. it would require a plant roughly 17 times the size of the san diego plant at 17 times the price, thats about 5.3 billion $. then build a pipeline from the pacific thru malibu over the hills and across the valley to sylmar resevoir where the la aquaduct ends up. I bet it wouldnt be easy to get permission to pull that off, probably another couple of billion to compensate private property owners disturbed by the pipelines construction. san diego is being forced by population growth and demand out growing supply, where as L.A. has a steady supply and the infrastructure already there all they have to do is have someone keep the gates open. I think if desalination plants do come to L.A. it will be when demand outgrows supply and will be to supplement the L.A. aquaduct not replace it.

    • Rob June 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

      cheapest water is always used first, and it doesn’t get any cheaper then flowing down hill.

    • Dave June 5, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      Salblaster- Good points. For LA, instead of one or two huge desalination plants I would forsee small ones popping up closer to the ocean in the beach communities due to the transport logistics you point out. The cost of operating the desal plants is high due to the energy costs but hopefully continued R&D will bring that down as it does with most other technology.

    • Big AL June 7, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

      True Salblaster

  10. Trouble June 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Salblaster- I’m not sure I have ever received a better response than ours. I’m so blown away by your response, it almost leaves me speechless. I will say your response gives me hope for the future of the Owens Valley , which I love and for L.A.’s water problems. As for LADWP, I hope they get what they deserve.

  11. John Barton June 5, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Benett- I can understand the concern over freshwater pools in LA but Crystal Lagoon in Chile uses water from the ocean! Some filtration is all that is required so as far as “Obscene Pools” this one should be described as an “envrionmentally friendly obscene pool”.

    • Benett Kessler June 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      Bureaucrat Beat is a column in which certain realities are used to reveal a truth. The huge pool is a metaphor for LA’s ongoing, nearly unbridled use of water, including the streams and underground of the Eastern Sierra. Just having some fun, John, and pointing to a practical problem. Benett

      • John Barton June 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

        I fully understand and aplaud that. I’m wondering how LA could better encourage people to not fill pools without affecting people who already use water responsibly!?

        • Bob Loblaw June 6, 2012 at 8:03 am #

          Sadly, the ones who can afford pools, can likely afford to fill them.

          • upthecreek June 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

            pool=$ Pit

            IT’s not just the water
            it is the chemicals , electric for pumps/filters, and the maintenance .
            One big Money pit

        • Rob June 6, 2012 at 11:30 am #

          Ya’ll keep talking about pools when the same area covered in grass uses more water.

          “Lawn irrigation use equals 49 inches a year. Pool use is 20 inches a year…so that a swimming pool uses substantially less than the same area developed in lawn and/or landscape.”

          • Ken Warner June 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

            Good point. My view is that a pool makes more sense in the desert — like SoCal — than a lawn does. But an un-used pool makes no sense whatsoever.

            If you had a pool, how often would you be swimming in it? A couple of hours a week?

            I’m an old swimmer/surfer and I wouldn’t swim more than 3 or 4 hours a week. That’s a lot of swimming. Yet the pool uses water 24/7/365.

            There should be a better way.

          • Dave June 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

            Rob- True. Check out Buffalo grass. It is taking the landscape industry by storm because of its low water consumption and less need for regular mowing. I’ve planted some at my home in Bishop and it is good stuff– takes the heat, foot traffic and I only mow it once a month.

          • Big AL June 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

            Good point Rob.

          • Rob June 8, 2012 at 10:03 am #

            In Southern California School districts and Cities are the biggest water users due to the lawns at schools and city owned parks.

            Some cities have tried to use gray water but local water agencies fight them all the way. Water agencies aren’t interested in school districts and cities conserving water, THEY WANT THEIR MONEY TO CONTINUE TO BUILD THEIR EMPIRES.

          • Big AL June 9, 2012 at 9:23 am #

            Yep … it’s all about the money Rob, show me de Money!

        • Big AL June 7, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

          That is soo much easier said than done eh John? Not an easy can of worm .. given today’s lack of responsibility for one’s actions, and the ability to make one responsible for their actions . in a politically correct way.

      • Big AL June 7, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

        Ahh I get it now thanks for clarifying that Benett.
        But I kinda thought, that is where it was coming from. hehe

  12. Just the facts June 7, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Having tasted the desalinized water in many areas by the ocean gives me a deep appreciation for the water of Mammoth Lakes.

  13. NewEra June 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    For all of you that make the arguement that if LADWP didnt buy up most of the land here then it would be more urban then rural.
    Here is what I have to say to those people.
    1. If DWP didnt have the need for a lot of the land and crereksides that the Natives utilized for thousends of years then they would have not got the short end of the stick. maybe the reservations would have been more adaquate to the actual amount of land the tribes need to sustain there culture.
    2. This dust problem we have that is bad for our youth and elders and even the strong would’nt be at such a hazerdous levels.
    3. It would be a whole lot more greener and those life forms that are struggling right now would be thriving.
    4. Lone Pine Tribe would have a creek that flows through the reservation like the rest of the tribes in the valley.
    5. If there was more devolopment here in the valley that would provide jobs and oppurtunitys to those that need them like our graduating youth and those that just need a job or just that one chance to take advantage of.

    Believe me any opposition to my views is only fuel for my fire.
    I have made a promise to that what makes our lives possible to forever more speak up for the plants and animals that do not have a loud enough voice!


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