Thursday, January 14, 2010


© 2010 Joshua Stark

A couple of quick updates from issues I'd mentioned in the past...

First, not so past: The new language for the bright (horrible) idea by our Governor, where he hopes to exempt some special companies from the third and co-equal branch of government, has been changed.
It's worse.

Instead of 20 companies, it's now at 100, in groups of 25 for four years.

Second, a bit farther back: Last year, I referred to an effort by PG&E to raise the burden the public must meet if it is to have its own, public utility. Right now, it's a majority vote, but PG&E wants it raised to 2/3rds. The reason I'd learned about this effort is because I'd been accosted by a signature-gatherer in front of a store the previous week. Normally, I love signature-gatherers, and the whole public-participation-in-government idea. However, this man came up to me and offered me the chance to sign some kind of Voters' Rights Initiative to protect the Public, or something like that. I read the idea, and told him no thanks. He pushed again, and I again said no. He pushed again, as I was walking away, and I said that, not only would I not sign it, but it was a lie, and he should be ashamed. I asked him if he understood what he wanted me to sign. His last push? He just needed 70 signatures for the bonus, so cut him a break.

How's that for public participation?

Well, those pushy money-grubbers got what they wanted, and the initiative made it to the ballot. It's baloney.

I'm all for protecting the rights of minority views (Lord knows I hold some, myself), and in requiring near-unanimity when it comes to war. Deciding whether your community should get to own its power company is neither.

Unfortunately not the best updates. However, I'll add a positive note... my ducks gave me three eggs yesterday. Yeah, they do that every day (probably today, too, but I haven't checked yet), but it's still good news.

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