It is painful to watch the Orwellian rhetoric being spouted by politicians in 2012. Day becomes night. War is peace. Disappearing jobs magically multiply like the brooms in the Sorcerer‘s Apprentice. Saving the environment means killing it. Framed by a fawning, corporate media that knows who’s buttering their bread, the hard questions and challenges are not raised. The voices of dissent are ghettoized to remote corners of the internet or the subject of discussion at occupations everywhere, where the common denominator is the desire to feel empowered under the institutionalized onslaught that has robbed, poisoned, attacked the 99% in almost every facet of their lives. There are so many battles to be fought; the challenge is choosing which front where can one make a stand and make a difference.
I have wavered between raising kids, tackling local, regional, state, national and international issues. Horrified by the hit California took which installed Schwarzenegger and allowed crooks manipulating the energy market to rob the state of billions of dollars with impunity. I was tempted to fight that battle, but put it aside to work on “worse problems.” I still gravitate towards national and international issues, but appreciate the hard work being done by others to defend the air, water, land, people of my home state. Dan Bacher has consistently tried to blow the whistle on some of the worse legislation taking place in the state’s capitol. Small setbacks don’t deter the oil, nuclear, and other major industries from trying again and again to have their way. Citizen vigilance is always needed.
When the public smells a rat, they can collectively raise their voice and defeat some of the worst legislative proposals, but corporations and public relations firms spend a lot of money and resources to cloud issues and the public mind, to ram through initiatives and projects grossly misnamed that serve powerful interests and cost the public and the environment dearly.
Back in 1982 the public resoundingly defeated an awful project, the Peripheral Canal, which would have benefited a few landowners and real estate developers at great taxpayer expense. Governor Jerry Brown revived the monstrosity in his recent speech. What he left out, of course, was the back story of who would benefit, and who is behind the project. Dan Bacher laid out those details clearly in his recent article “State of the State: peripheral canal won't 'mend' anything.” A short three minute Youtube video entitled “Kill the Canbal” also came out a few days ago, produced by Salmon Water Now. Restore the Delta is a grassroots organization at the forefront of the next battle against the project and merits public support.
Dan Bacher will be speaking about the history of this struggle, who the players are, the corruption within Californian politics and the need for citizens to keep an eye and the pressure on their “representatives” on tomorrow’s Community Currency radio show on the Progressive Radio Network, with local activist, Carol Brouillet. A simple litmus test for any politician in California would be to ask them their position on the Peripheral Canal, and to learn if they know the gory details about the project and what its repercussions would be to the environment, who would pay for it, and who would make big money off of it.