Private (non) investment in monopoly infrastructure

A few news items over the last week conspired to inspire me to vent.

First of all, PG&E has been fined for it’s San Bruno pipeline explosion, and they just had another one near Fresno (however, that one may, or may not be a main­te­nance fault). An in­ter­est­ing side–note is that PG&E was granted a rate hike last year by the California Public Utilities Commission to cover their costs in improving in­fra­struc­ture safety.

The other was an article in the Wall Street Journal this last week stating that a number of nuclear power station operators in the US are looking to charge their customers, through rate hikes, for either lifetime extension continue.

Unauthorized Disclosures in the Networked Age

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on the latest round of scandals emanating from Washington D.C. For those of you who have been living under a rock on the dark side of the moon, here’s a synopsis:

  • The IRS has been targeting or­ga­ni­za­tions that have specific political ori­en­ta­tions.
  • The NSA was caught with it’s hands in multiple cookie jars, multiple times
    • In­ter­cept­ing metadata on com­mu­ni­ca­tions in the United States without legal oversight.
    • Collecting data from in­di­vid­u­als Internet activities with the assistance of major Internet in­fra­struc­ture and content providers.
    • Po­ten­tial­ly Listening in to domestic phone calls without warrants continue.