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Which is Worse?

Posted by Rick · October 8th, 2003 · 3 Comments

Lawrence Lessig writes about the obscenely cheap slap on the wrist FERC gave to the energy companies for ripping us off, enriching Enron executives and other Republicans and triggering not only the budgetary crisis in California, but ultimately resulting in a recall election and the installation of a drain-bamaged cyborg — controlled by those same interests which triggered the original (faux energy) crisis in the first place — into the Governor’s mansion.

Incidentally, those Enron execs who were responsible for the faux crisis are now receiving faux punishment behind the doors of closed-off hearings. After all, if the spirit of the Constitution were honored by holding hearings open to the public, there would be nothing but extreme outrage. But, to paraphrase George Bush, “The less you know about how I run my government, the better.” And that’s another story.

Lessig’s article notes that these energy companies caused a $9 Billion damage to the California system, with a resulting $1 Million fine.

At the same time, Lessig notes, the RIAA has been suing people for creating useful tools because criminals (yes, that’s what you are if you steal; I don’t disagree with that) could possibly use them illegally. As Lessig puts it:

[D]efraud Californians of $9 billion, pay $1 million. But develop a new technology to make it easier for people to get access to music that they have presumptively purchased: pay more than $54 million.

Such are the values of our time.

This, to me, is like outlawing guns because they can be used by criminals to rob and kill people. I’d like to see them try that.

Meanwhile, my wife wonders why I’m not more upset about our Cybernetic Governor. The answer is actually quite simple:

  1. We don’t have kids.
  2. We aren’t poor.
  3. I believe it’s only our state’s future and the lower middle class who are going to be hurt by this (or, at least, they will notice it the most).
  4. Besides all that,

  5. I believe with Republicans taking over the majority of offices, you’ll finally get a massive, unmitigated wallop (without Dem Power to soften the blow) and that within 4 to 6 years, the Republican party will finally be drummed out and we’ll get a chance at a real political party (and I don’t mean the Democrat party).

See, I never opposed Arnold — or any of the Republicans for that matter — for selfish reasons. I happen to be in a bracket where I get the benefit of their cheating tax loopholes and, as noted, I don’t have children to worry about. The environment, while crap, will probably hold out for my lifetime. (We already buy bottled water since regular water in our city probably shortens life spans. It’s going to get worse, but, as I said, we’re already paying for clean water.) The only thing I really have to worry about is the possibility that the world will finally get fed up with us and war will hit even my area of U.S. soil. But, generally speaking, since I’ve got a good shot at passing law school and becoming a practicing attorney, my own life — and my wife’s — will probably be comfortable enough for us. I just think what Republicans are doing is wrong. I think it’s immoral, short-sighted and destructive. But, again, we don’t have children.

If the rest of you really believe you’re better off with a puppet/actor for governor, I’m all for it.

Categories: Corporations


3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bob // Oct 9, 2003 at 8:26 am

    “Despite having a 1.29 million-voter edge in registration and bringing in Democratic stars like former President Clinton during the campaign, the Republicans gained 2.35 million more votes than Bustamante.”

    That quote is from CBSNews.Com

    How scary is that for Democrats? They had 1.2 MILLION more registered voters but lost the election by over a million votes.

    This election has far more reaching consequences than just California. If the people are angry (as they are nationwide) over the economy, wars, and even the perception of integrity from Washington, ANYTHING is now possible. All a candidate has to do is tap into that anger and mobilize people to get involved.

    Candidates like Dean and Clark have to now be considered legitimate in the eyes of their party based simply on use of the same grass roots strategy that Arnold used. And the Republicans had to have noticed as well. Potentially, they gained a governor but may lose the presidency.

  • 2 harry // Oct 9, 2003 at 1:04 pm

    Taken from Arnold Unplugged – It’s Hasta la Vista to $9 Billion if the Governator is Selected
    by Greg Palast

    (Available in full on http://www.commondream.org)

    “The biggest single threat to Ken Lay and the electricity lords is a private lawsuit filed last year under California’s unique Civil Code provision 17200, the “Unfair Business Practices Act.” This litigation, heading to trial now in Los Angeles, would make the power companies return the $9 billion they filched from California electricity and gas customers.

    Who’s the plaintiff taking on the bad guys? Cruz Bustamante, Lieutenant Governor and reluctant leading candidate against Schwarzenegger.

    One month after Cruz brings suit, Enron’s Lay calls an emergency secret meeting in L.A. of his political buck-buddies, including Arnold. Their plan, to undercut Davis (according to Enron memos) and “solve” the energy crisis — that is, make the Bustamante legal threat go away.

    While Bustamante’s kicking Enron butt in court, the Davis Administration is simultaneously demanding that George Bush’s energy regulators order the $9 billion refund. Don’t hold your breath: Bush’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is headed by a guy proposed by … Ken Lay.

    But Bush’s boys on the commission have a problem. The evidence against the electricity barons is rock solid: fraudulent reporting of sales transactions, megawatt “laundering,” fake power delivery scheduling and straight out conspiracy (including meetings in hotel rooms).

    So the Bush commissioners cook up a terrific scheme: charge the companies with conspiracy but offer them, behind closed doors, deals in which they have to pay only two cents on each dollar they filched.

    Problem: the slap-on-the-wrist refunds won’t sail if the Governor of California won’t play along. Solution: Re-call the Governor.

    New Problem: the guy most likely to replace Davis is not Mr. Musclehead, but Cruz Bustamante, even a bigger threat to the power companies than Davis. Solution: smear Cruz because — heaven forbid! — he took donations from Injuns (instead of Ken Lay).

    The pay-off? Once Arnold is Governor, he blesses the sweetheart settlements with the power companies. When that happens, Bustamante’s court cases are probably lost. There aren’t many judges who will let a case go to trial to protect a state if that a governor has already allowed the matter to be “settled” by a regulatory agency.”

  • 3 Bob // Oct 10, 2003 at 8:50 pm

    Just f%^&*( ridiculous.

    The right wing mouthpiece is human after all.

    How much mercy would this guy have if this had happened to a Democrat? Bill Clinton for example.


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