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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Apparently thereís an election coming up in California in about a week and a half. And apparently itís a pretty big deal, based on the volume of mail and pre-recorded phone messages Iíve received in the last few weeks. Most of the flyers are comically vague as far as details, calling opponents unqualified and ineffective. The phone calls go something like this: ďIím someone you might have heard of, asking you to vote for my friend, who will do a great job because Iím famous and Iím telling you they will.Ē

Thank goodness (and not for the first time) that Iím not a Republican. They are in a fierce primary battle to put their least electable candidates on the November ballot. Itís like a complicated dance move, as they keep trying to position themselves to the right of the other candidates. They have given us many reasons why their opponents arenít conservative enough (or conservative at all), but most of those reasons boil down to one thing: At some time in the past they have had the good sense to vote their conscience rather than the strict party line. Oh, the shame!

Itís come to the point where I believe almost nothing. Iím not quite at the stage where I believe in nothing, because I still think the process can be rescued from the greed and corruption that make things tick now. But if Fox News has taught me anything, itís that you canít take anyoneís word at face value, and you canít accept anything you hear as true. Fox thrives on the fact that a lot of people want to believe lies more than they want to know the truth.

If a ďnewsĒ organization can blatantly make up ďfacts,Ē it makes it even easier for politicians to run smear campaigns without relying on proof or accuracy. Any random innuendo will be taken as gospel by some and will be spread further by those who can benefit from a lie, even if they know itís a lie. What a demented hack scribbles on his blog today could be news tomorrow, and once it escapes into the atmosphere itís out there forever.




25 May 2010



Itís hard not to be cynical when our state utility monopoly, PG&E, is spending so much money trying to convince us that an attempt to allow municipalities to purchase cleaner and cheaper electricity elsewhere is actually a threat to ďyour right to vote.Ē What Proposition 16 actually does is make my vote count for less, because it would require a two-thirds vote, instead of a simple majority, to allow cities and counties a choice of sources (thus protecting PG&Eís monopoly). Itís dismaying that voters are falling for this because of the expensive campaign that PG&E is running. They canít use my utility bill money to buy my vote, though, and Iíll be voting no.




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