October, 2011

Divestment movement grows among occupiers

Submitted: Oct 31, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

10-25-11
Bloomberg
Bank Protesters Seeking Bans Move Into City Halls on Both Coasts
By Christopher Palmeri, Freeman Klopott and Alison Vekshin
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-25/bank-protesters-seeking-bans-move-into-city-halls-on-both-coasts.html

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Advocates for the poor are using the Occupy Wall Street protests in city halls to push municipalities to divest from banks blamed by demonstrators for the global financial crisis and persistent unemployment in its wake.

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors weighed such a move yesterday during a hearing in which activists, including supporters of the local Occupy SF encampment, urged the adoption of policies that would prompt big banks into modifying mortgages for struggling homeowners.

Communities from California to New York are considering demands to halt doing business with some of the biggest U.S. banks, or at least to focus attention on their local investment activity. The Los Angeles City Council on Oct. 12 accelerated plans to issue report cards on lenders that may lead the nation’s second-most populous city to withdraw funds from those that score poorly on criteria such as home-loan modifications. New York City may make a similar change in bank-selection rules.

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Wrong doing makes you sick

Submitted: Oct 31, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

10-29-11

New York Times

Op-Ed Columnist

What the Costumes Reveal

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State bond funds available

Submitted: Oct 28, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board


George Skelton was dean of the state Capitol press corps for years until the Capitol press corps melted away, leaving Skelton and a few others to wander the lobbyist-infested halls containing the offices of termed legislators and their nubile, know-nothing staffers alone still trying to inform a population of Californians that has doubled since Skelton began covering the Capitol. It is a population the majority of which believes that California history began when Me Got Here.

It is that sort of indifference to public affairs that allows financial situations like the one Skelton describes below to come into being, grow and fester. Yet, who do these apparently wasteful, even ruinous arrangements benefit?

Perhaps it is the cabal of finance, insurance and real estate special interests that have established oligopolistic control of the market in state legislators, power that has made possible the paving over of California with the upsidedown mortgages, unfinished developments,  4.8 million unemployed people (a conservative estimate), and the carefully undocumented number of the homeless people.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Iran debate

Submitted: Oct 28, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Below are three articles about Iran that, read together, make up a serious, informative debate -- in a time when two parties vie titles in venality and idiocy -- on the issue of whether the US should invade that country or not. While this is not the usual Badlands Journal fare, in general it is everyone's fare.

BadlandsJournal editorial board

10-17-11
Washington Post
The alarm bells behind Iran’s alleged assassination plot
By Richard Cohen
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-alarm-bells-behind-irans-alleged-assassination-plot/2011/10/17/gIQAhw5YsL_print.html

A mere moment or two after the Obama administration announced it had discovered and thwarted a plot by Iran to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States by bombing a Washington restaurant, the doubters started to air their doubts. Columnists and experts, even some columnists who were not experts, said the Iranians would never be so sloppy as to commit a virtual act of war by setting off a bomb in the nation’s capital. The alleged plot was crazy, they said. I agree. But so is Iran.

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Pimlico Kid rides into sunset

Submitted: Oct 22, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We won't be able to produce a column-length article about the forced retirement of Rep Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid - -Merced, aka Shrimp Slayer. We admire the verbosity of the McClatchy Chain editorialists while noting that what they are saying -- as most of what Cardoza has said throughout his career -- is not true. Perhaps, the McClatchy Co. in this instance agrees with Badlands -- "Good riddance." Cardoza, the former lady mud wrestling impresario, could not beg, borrow or steal enough respectability to edify his political career in this McClatchy dominated zone.

We'll just skim a few of the whoppers that arose to the surface of the dairy pond.

"I love the people of the Central Valley, and thank them for the confidence they have placed in me," Cardoza said in a statement. "While I plan to retire from public service...I will energetically continue my efforts to improve California as a private citizen."

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Apparently dilution is not the solution

Submitted: Oct 22, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

19-22-11
Global Research
Fukushima: Towards the Formation of a Radioactive Graveyard in the Pacific Ocean?
Japanese Officials & Experts Late Decision to Expand Testing Around Fukushima Daiichi
by Lucas Whitefield Hixson
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27220 
 
No one wants to think about the massive aqueous deposition of radioactive materials into the Pacific Ocean, that much is now clear.
By September estimates of released contamination had risen to over  3,500 terabecquerels of cesium-137 released into the sea directly from the plant between March 11 and the end of May. Another 10,000 terabecquerels of cesium fell into the ocean after escaping from the reactors in the form of steam.
Initially reports had quieted concerns by stating that the materials would be diluted so vastly that the radioactivity would not be able to accumulate, and would not affect the environment.  The experts claimed they would track the deposition and floating radioactive debris field making its way on a trans-Pacific trip to the United States.

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After doing the math

Submitted: Oct 17, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

After "doing the math" on Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax program on his sister's kitchen table, the Dull-Witted Boy's Uncle Henry announced that he himself way now running for president.

"My program is simpler," the newest candidate for the 2012 presidential election said. "It will not require any math.

"I'm running on the platform: Ja! Ja! Ja!"

-blj

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Blithering idiocy stalks north San Joaquin Valley

Submitted: Oct 17, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

10-16-11
Modesto Bee
Valley's nine cities begin reviews of growth limits…Garth Stapley
http://www.modbee.com/2011/10/15/v-print/1906473/valleys-nine-cities-begin-reviews.html

Most city leaders throughout Stanislaus County are consulting their growth policies as logical starting points for drawing the growth limits they hope to put before voters next year.

The notion that people could choose their destinies appeals to those who have argued against paving over a breadbasket for the United States and beyond.

But some controlled-growth advocates are increasingly uneasy with how the landmark initiative is shaping up, saying lines on a map won't mean much if they protect sprawl at historic rates.

"Stanislaus seems on the verge of great things," said Ed Thompson, state director for American Farmland Trust. "They're thinking about the right things. But if the lines assume you're going to sprawl as usual, the question is whether the lines mean anything at all."

Each of the county's nine cities has the job of producing urban growth boundaries beyond which they could not grow before 2050. Voter approval could be sought throughout the county in the summer.

Almost all cities began the dialogue with their respective general plans, documents designed to guide growth in the next decadeor two.

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Government backing off solar energy subsidies

Submitted: Oct 16, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The three articles below make up a brief sketch of where we are with solar energy in California and the nation. Because of the initial expense, the government seems to be involved even though policies on subsidies constantly shift and only the wealthy seem able to take advantage of them anyway (what else is new?), so solar power is a political football. In his terribly fastidious way, the president, one of whose top campaign fundraisers has apparently walked away from a half-billion-dollar loan for a solar factory in Fremont, has walked away from a promise to re-install solar panels on the White House. Another broken promise from the administration that can't keep a promise? Or would solar panels on the White House be a symbol of corruption -- as if one were needed above the president's residence and offices?

Badlands Journal editorial board

10-15-11

Visalia Times Delta

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Good reporting on a tough topic

Submitted: Oct 14, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

What we like about this article from the Bakersfield Californian is that, with the possible exception of mentions of truck pollution being reduced by the High-speed rail system, there is no undigested propaganda in it. This is probably because for Bakersfield, air pollution is a very serious matter, in fact an “existential threat” to the elderly and to the young. In Merced, which stands to get a rail station out of the deal that would radically increase the value of downtown real estate, the official position in the press is that high-speed rail is the best thing since UC Merced, Mom’s apple pie and sliced bread (because it promises to renovate downtown Merced, which has languished for decades in the hands of greedy, do-nothing landlords.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

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Sign of the times

Submitted: Oct 10, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The great financial reporter Pam Martens reported on CounterPunch.com today sighting this sign carried by a demonstrator against Wall Street:

“I’ll believe a corporation is a person when Texas executes one.”

10-10-11

Counterpunch.com
Financial Giants Put New York City Cops On Their Payroll
by PAM MARTENS

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/10/financial-giants-put-new-york-city-cops-on-their-payroll/

“I’ll believe a corporation is a person when Texas executes one.”

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CA PC AG plays with FIRE

Submitted: Oct 07, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

What could possibly be the social, economic or political incentive for the government of the State of California to negotiate a better deal for its underwater homeowners than could the other 49 states acting in concert? The California state Legislature including executive officers may be the only political body in the country more in the thrall of finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) special interests than the US Congress.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris, leader of the go-it-alone policy, seems like a competent criminal prosecutor. However, given her connections to President Obama and his connections to Wall Street (and the imperious demand for a $1-billion campaign war chest), we suggest the California settlement might well be more favorable to FIRE than the settlement negotiated by the vast majority of states...which would put Harris in a favorable fund-raising position for her next statewide campaign.

Badlands Journal editorial board

9-30-11
Washington Post
Calif. attorney general pulls out of 50-state mortgage foreclosure settlement talks with banks
Associated Press
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/calif-attorney-general-pulls-out-of-50-state-mortgage-foreclosure-settlement-talks-with-banks/2011/09/30/gIQACJD3AL_story.html

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Environmental Water Caucus comments on fifth draft of Delta Plan

Submitted: Oct 03, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

9-30-11
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
www.calsport.org

Contact:

Bill Jennings, Chairman
Executive Director
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
3536 Rainier Avenue
Stockton, CA 95204
p: 209-464-5067
c: 209-938-9053
f: 209-464-1028
e: deltakeep@me.com
www.calsport.org

PRESS RELEASE

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 30, 2011

 

HISTORIC RECOMMENDATIONS PRESENTED TO THE DELTA STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL

The Delta Plan, recently produced by the Delta Stewardship Council, will affect virtually every citizen and every part of our state, and it will largely shape the water landscape of California for decades to come.  It will guide the path to restoring one of the world’s great estuaries or write its obituary.  It will determine the future abundance of our fisheries and the quality of our waters from the Sierra to the Sea and from the Oregon to the Mexican borders.

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