Letter: Bureaucrats and boondoggles

To the Editor:

Transparency is the answer to many of our problems.

1: All libraries that receive public funds should be required to post a list of all the books they have banned in the last 12 months. No Library has every book that is published, but censorship is obvious and clear when a library threatens to burn or shred donated books about certain political events, etc. The American Library Association has a policy against book banning; however, the ALA takes no action against a member library that engages in that practice. Banning is usually beneath the radar. Citizens have no way of knowing how many books are banned by their local library. If the library receives public funding, censoring is a First Amendment violation.

2: Every hospital that receives public funds should be required to post infection rates and also all salaries in excess of $100,000. The posting should be easily accessible to all. It should be in the entrance lobby and also on the hospital web site.

3: All non-profits, agencies, and educational institutions that receive public funding and/or tax breaks should publish a complete list of salaries and travel expenses.

4: All court ordered involuntary guardianship proceedings should be published. This can be done while still protecting individual privacy. Often the most vulnerable and disenfranchised are hidden victims.

5: Most of the rules and regulations that affect our daily lives are written by boards, commissions and bureaucrats. Often they meet in private. They are anonymous. They are faceless. They cannot be held responsible. Most should be eliminated. Legislators should take up their functions. Every government form or document should have identifying information so that citizens know who designed and originated it. This would provide transparency.

6: The most important lack of transparency is in the Pentagon. In the good ol' days we worried about $300 toilet seats. Now every taxpayer should know that the helmet for an F-35 pilot costs $400,000 — that is the cost of just one helmet. The Black Budget is a violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. It should be de-authorized. That one single act might save the entire planet.

Rosemarie Jackowski



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