PGE Tries to Subvert Democracy, Oil Armaggedons, Korean War Stories, and Other Friday Madness
Well, what a week this has been. I’m a professional writer now, I received my first check in the mail. “Welcome to the jungle” one of my freelance writer friends said. So I now have a free lance writing page, Doug Stych, Writer-at-large, where I am hawking my skills, such as they are. And I’m pleased to announce that the Doug’s Darkworld Annex is up and running. The Annex is basically a site where I will be organizing many of my old Doug’s Darkworld posts for easier perusal, including my popular quiz posts. It will also include material never published on Doug’s Darkworld. Though the quiz posts aren’t up yet, I’m a one man two cats operation, so I can’t do everything at once. And frankly, aside from rodent removal, the cats are mostly decorative. Any reader’s suggestions about old posts they think should be in the Annex are welcome. And as always suggestions about posts I should write here are appreciated. I keep an actual list on my bulletin board now, and as I am writing five posts a week now, I will eventually get around to them all. And lastly, the Favourite Sites link in the sidebar has been considerably expanded, with more expansion planned. And again, suggestions are welcome.
OK, enough self promotion for now. Like I said, what a week, for starters the oil spill in the Gulf is now officially the worst ecological disaster in USA history. I saw a question on Yahoo Answers: Who do you think is to blame for the oil spill in the Gulf? I was disheartened to see several very wishy washy answers about “assigning blame isn’t important, etc.” So this was my response verbatim:
“Boy, Americans sure are sheep. An individual does something bad and they foam at the mouth about blame and punishment. A giant corporation causes the greatest ecological disaster in American history, a disaster that is going to take money out of the pockets of every single American … and everyone is already parroting just what the corporate world wants … “oh it’s just an accident, oh blame isn’t important, etc…” No wonder the country is going down the tubes. I don’t know who is to blame, but we damn sure should be insisting that this situation be examined in great detail, and if there is any blame to be assigned, then the guilty parties get punished appropriately. Because if we don’t, this sort of crap will happen again. We insist on personal responsibility in America, it’s long past the time we insisted on corporate responsibility.”
In the unfortunate Korea situation re the sinking of the Cheonan, the sabre rattling continues. China has come out and said they will not protect whoever is responsible for the sinking. It’s really pissed off the west that China has refused to condemn North Korea, this is the same ol same ol colonial mindset at work. If the west says it is so, it must be so, what’s the Chinese’s problem? Their “problem” is that they are an independent country and don’t give a rat’s ass what the west tells them to do. It is a pragmatic diplomatic take on their part, since despite the west’s claims, the sinking is still somewhat mysterious. The sinking did occur deep inside South Korean waters, and a whole flotilla of USA and Chinese ships were indeed on manoeuvres, including many very modern ASW (anti-submarine warfare) ships. So they were practising hunting North Korean subs, yet somehow one slipped deep inside their lines so to speak, sank an ASW ship (yes, the Cheonan was primarily a sub chaser) and escaped undetected? Yes, it is possible, but it certainly does raise a lot of questions, questions the western media is avoiding for the most part as they simply parrot the “North Korea did it” line. As a last note, one source told me: North Korea may have as many as fifty nuclear warheads. That’s certainly reason to proceed with restraint in my book, but we’ll see.
In California news, we have a proposition on the ballot that nicely illustrates how corporate America is trying to eviscerate democracy right in front of our horrified gaze. It’s Proposition 16, the so called “Taxpayers Right to Vote Act.” Snort. The proposition is very simple, it says that if a local municipality wants to go into the power business, it requires a vote with a 2/3rds majority in the affected region first. Guess who wrote and bankrolled this proposition to the tune of over $50 million? PGE, the giant power company that provides power for most of California. While this proposition superficially sounds reasonable, the 2/3rds majority requirement basically means that if this passes, it will be impossible for local municipalities to go into the power business since it’s almost always impossible to get anything to pass with a 2/3rds majority. In effect PGE is using the democratic process to completely subvert democracy and give themselves a permanent monopoly on power distribution in California. I could go into detail, but suffice it to say that there are often very good reasons for local municipalities to go into the power business, local municipalities are already elected, and America was built on the principle of majority rule … not 1/3 minority veto. On a plus note, despite outspending the No on 16 people by over 1000 to 1, the proposition is still lagging in the polls. So, frankly, there is a chance that people are starting to wake up and see how big corporations are trying to steal everything.
In other local news, we’ve had storms and rain for three days now. In late May in Berkeley this is almost unprecedented, though this long wet spring has been wonderful for gardens so I’m not complaining. I apologize for not getting around to my post about how the Universe created itself, no God required, but sickness and the Korean crisis bumped it to next week. Have a great weekend everyone!
(The above image was taken by me, Doug Stych, and may be freely copied and distributed as long as it is properly attributed and links to Doug’s Darkworld. These are my two assistants, the picture is titled “I’m trying to cook my supper here guys.”)