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The X Files
Xavier Hermosillo is the President of, a national Crisis Communications, Marketing, and Management firm he founded 23 years ago. He is a former political chief of staff, an award-winning reporter and photographer, and a former radio talk show host and TV commentator in Los Angeles. He has co-founded two publicly-traded companies where he served as a member of the Board of Directors and as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. He has also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission on police officer discipline cases, and holds degrees in Administration of Justice and Business and Communications. He can be reached at

The X Files

By Xavier Hermosillo

I recently came across an essay by Tom Ehrich, an Episcopal minister from Durham, N.C. The essay appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal, Oct. 3, 2004, just a month before the last presidential election.

What he wrote had to do with national politics, but it could apply to all levels of politics as well.

Despairing of politics in the 21st century, he said this:
"Incompetence has been the rule. Catering to the super-rich has been the rule. Appealing to base emotions has been the rule. Hiding true intentions has been the rule. Maneuvering behind the scenes to claim the spoils and to impose ideology as a substitute for effective governance has been the rule."
And idiocy also appears to be the rule when we examine a few very recent examples of how out of touch and out of control over government has become. Did you hear the one about the U.S. soldier who was wounded overseas and when he came home, the government sent him a bill for damaging government property? That damaged property turned out to be the bullet-poof vest that saved his life but WAS damaged by terrorist bullets. The GALL of some government idiot-crat sending a brave member of our military a bill for having a piece of issued equipment do its job.

Then we have last week's story out of the White House where President Bush revealed that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the reputed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, began planning a West Coast operation less than a month after the New York attacks in October 2001. The target was apparently Los Angeles and yet, it took four years for L.A. officials to be told? Please! Look, I'm a huge Bush supporter, but a government screw-up is a government screw-up, regardless of whether a Democrat or a Republican is at fault.

As the plot was described, the hijackers were to use shoe bombs to blow open the cockpit door of a commercial jetliner, take control of the plane and crash it into the Library Tower at Figueroa and 5th streets in Los Angeles, a 73-story building since renamed the US Bank Tower. In his remarks, Bush inadvertently referred to the site as "Liberty Tower."

Are you telling me that L.A. police an fire officials have never been told about the plot and the especially cogent parts, that rather than use Arab hijackers as he had on Sept. 11, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed sought out young men from Southeast Asia - whom he believed would not arouse as much suspicion. Yeah, in L.A., the melting pot of America, we were all looking out for Saudis and others of Middle East persuasion. It would have been nice to keep an eye on Southeast Asian-looking suspects who could be acting as al-Qaida operatives.

Next government blunder, this one involving our education system: An 11-year-old girl in West Covina, Calif., has been suspended from school for doing "dangerous" cartwheels and hand stands during lunch time. At a time when we're seeing more and more stories about the growing epidemic of obesity among kids, this story seems beyond belief to me.

Deirdre Faegre, a Student of the Month at San Jose-Edison Academy in West Covina, was dismissed from the school last week after school authorities warned her to stop doing gymnastic stunts during lunchtime. Administrators said they were concerned about the safety of their students and that gymnastics on the playground creates an unsafe situation.
And now the capper. If you buy a product and dump the paper wrapping or other parts of it on the ground, who is at fault for littering? You or the company who made the product you bought?

Well, if you're in the government in the People's Republic of Oakland, Calif., the answer is easy.

Apparently fed up with burger wrappers, French fry containers and paper cups, Oakland is the first city in the nation to force fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses to help pay for cleaning up street trash.

Under a tax approved by the City Council, businesses will be assessed between $230 and $3,815 annually, depending on their size. More than three-quarters of the affected businesses would only pay the minimum fee, which amounts to 63 cents a day. Councilwoman Jane Brunner, who proposed the measure, says she doesn't think that's too much to ask so neighbors don't have to keep picking up trash "from their doorways". Now, the operative words here are "Councilwoman Jane Brunner….. says she doesn't think………"

What lunacy! Businesses say the city should educate the public and enforce littering laws. Some say they already pay employees to pick up trash in their neighborhoods. But of course, that's not good enough for our incompetent politicians. Let's turn this issue into ANOTHER government bureaucracy. Oakland says it will use the projected $237,000 a year to hire small crews to pick up litter in commercial areas around high schools and middle schools where most of the garbage is found.
The fee was opposed by the Metropolitan Oakland Chamber of Commerce and business organizations that say the costs will be passed along to customers, including low-income residents and young people who are the biggest consumers of fast food. Oakland officials say litter from fast-food restaurants has become a major problem in communities nationwide. There is a recent survey that shows that fast-food packaging makes up about 20 percent of all litter, with packaging for chip bags, drink containers, candy wrappers and other snacks comprising another 20 percent.

But the bottom line has to be about responsibility and making sure that he or she who litters should be made to pay for their transgression. Fining drive-through restaurants for their customers litter is like fining car manufacturers for car accidents caused by drivers who run red lights or drive dunk.

Look at it this way: We pay a princely sum for king size incompetent government that caters to the rich and powerful, yet is constantly trying to convince us that government knows what is best for us, even when it's clear government has become our worst enemy.