March, 2012

It's a matter of ethics...

Submitted: Mar 29, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

...as in the California Milk Advisory Board don't have none.

In a deposition obtained from PETA, Domenic Carinalli, owner of Domenic Carinalli Dairy & Vineyard in Sebastopol and member of the California Milk Advisory Board, said that, to his knowledge, the milk board hasn't received any information to verify its claim that "California dairy producers care deeply about the health, comfort and safety of their cows." He said at the board meetings he attended the health of cows was never discussed.
Carinalli also said he was unaware that the board was prohibited from making false marketing claims.
--
Merced Sun-Star, March 28, 2012

Perhaps an explanation for why the dairy industry labors under such ethical disadvantage is provided by the article below signed by a prominent Merced County dairyman. One says "signed" because it involves a new dairy-price formula and, as the dairyman's father once explained to this reporter, there are very few dairymen who actually understand the price structure of their own industry. The article is a propaganda piece from some national dairy organization claiming that reforms are being made.

That new program reorients federal dairy programs from an emphasis on price to a focus on maintaining adequate margins -- the difference between what it costs to produce milk and what farmers get when they sell it. -- Veldhuis

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Human rights and animal rights

Submitted: Mar 28, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 But just as the Endangered Species Act has long outlived its usefulness, the move to equate animal rights with human rights is a complete nonstarter for us. -- Merced Sun-Star, March 28, 2012

 

The Sun-Star's position seems to be that human rights ought to be brought down to the present level of animal rights. Our response to that is just because Sonny Star, the gigolo press, wants to stand up to its knees in manure 24/7/365 doesn't mean we do.

 

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Pity the little children

Submitted: Mar 25, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

3-20-12
US News & World Report
Condoleezza Rice on Education: American Dream on Verge of Collapse
If America doesn't reform education, security and upward mobility will suffer, she warns
By Jason Koebler
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/03/20/condoleezza-rice-on-education-american-dream-on-verge-of-collapse

Feed Print America's national security and the upward mobility the country was built upon could collapse if the education system isn't rapidly improved, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Tuesday.

"If you look at why [Americans] are here or why their parents are here or their grandparents are here, someone believed that in the United States of America, if you worked hard, you could have a better life. That's what set us apart," she told a group at the Council on Foreign Relations. "It's fragile, and we have to make sure that's [still] true. If it ever becomes not true because the education system can't deliver it, then there's no hope of rebuilding it."

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Look familiar, anyone?

Submitted: Mar 24, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

To make a handful of landowners and local speculators richer; to put this county at the epicenter of the Great Recession; to further inflate the egos of a few political "leaders;" and to feed the edifice complex of an out-of-control and unaccountable public university system running off the rails -- UC Merced was built and opened and is now blithely expanding as our streets grow rapidly more dangerous for us who have shelter and for the growing population among us who do not have shelter. Beggars accost us in what was once the center of town while homes in the north stand empty, foreclosed upon and potential shelter for the homeless.

There's no work and a thousand scams. People will get the money they need one way or another. It isn't so much the reduced police force as it is the increased demand for any money at all.

The lies that were told and the good environmental and public process laws and regulations that were broken to build this illegal campus, approved by political decisions in superior and appellate courts, will haunt this town for decades, built into the damage done.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

3-23/25
Counterpunch

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Political correction

Submitted: Mar 23, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Last year, Cardoza told The Record's editorial board that his decision not to seek re-election to the House of Representatives was based in part on the grip of partisanship. He lamented the lack of compromise in policymaking in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C. -- Stockton Record, March 19, 2012

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GMO labeling campaign in Davis

Submitted: Mar 22, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

3-22-12

Genetic Engineering News List

Proposed ballot initiative and anti-Monsanto rally puts bioengineered foods in the crosshairs

By Jean Walker
http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/gmo-wars/content?oid=5513229


Fortune 500 corporation Monsanto shut down its local operations last week as protesters, holding signs and taking turns on a handheld megaphone, demanded that genetically modified foods to be labeled as such-if not banned outright.

The Davis rally was in solidarity with a grassroots attempt to shut down Monsanto offices across the globe. Locally, it worked: After catching wind of the planned demonstration, Monsanto employees were directed to avoid work on Friday.

And if the two-day rally is any indicator of a greater phenomenon, as activist Pamm Larry suggested, it's that there's an increasing awareness in the country about food production and safety.

Larry leads hundreds of volunteers across the state in collecting 800,000 signatures before April 22 to qualify the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act initiative for this fall's ballot.

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GMO labeling campaign in Davis

Submitted: Mar 22, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

3-22-12

Genetic Engineering News List

Proposed ballot initiative and anti-Monsanto rally puts bioengineered foods in the crosshairs

By Jean Walker
http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/gmo-wars/content?oid=5513229


Fortune 500 corporation Monsanto shut down its local operations last week as protesters, holding signs and taking turns on a handheld megaphone, demanded that genetically modified foods to be labeled as such-if not banned outright.

The Davis rally was in solidarity with a grassroots attempt to shut down Monsanto offices across the globe. Locally, it worked: After catching wind of the planned demonstration, Monsanto employees were directed to avoid work on Friday.

And if the two-day rally is any indicator of a greater phenomenon, as activist Pamm Larry suggested, it's that there's an increasing awareness in the country about food production and safety.

Larry leads hundreds of volunteers across the state in collecting 800,000 signatures before April 22 to qualify the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act initiative for this fall's ballot.

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Professor Garone's book

Submitted: Mar 20, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Dr. Philip Garone, an assistant professor of history at CSU Stanislaus, has been producing provocative papers on the history of California wetlands for some years and recently published a book about collaboration between ranchers and water agencies to restore parts of the wetlands beneath the great Pacific Flyway of migratory waterfowl, protected by treaties between a half a dozen nations.

The book is reviewed briefly below. We plan to get a copy ourselves for review. We hope we can support Garone's work. On his biography page at CSUS, he describes his research interests: 

My present work explores the history and ecology of the Central Valley from its geologic origins to the present, with an emphasis on the profound changes that have taken place in its landscape since California statehood in 1850. This project focuses on the social, economic, political, and cultural reasons that account for the transformation of the Central Valley from a region defined by millions of acres of wetlands, riparian habitat, and grasslands to one defined primarily by agriculture and urban growth. It also analyzes more recent trends, over the past several generations, toward protecting and restoring natural habitat in the Valley, particularly in response to the importance of the Valley’s wetlands for migratory waterfowl of the Pacific Flyway and for threatened and endangered species.

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It's the CULTURE, don't you SEE!!!!

Submitted: Mar 15, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. -- NYTs. 3-14-12

This fine young South African, finalist in the Jewish Olympics (in ping pong), and Stanford graduate and Rhodes Scholar finalist, had been pushing little bundles of derivative joy originating in the US -- and who knows? some securitized mortgages perhaps right here in Merced -- all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Then, for some reason, he quit and wrote this letter that is presently costing Goldman Sachs, his former employee, billions. He says the culture of his former investment banking firm is "toxic and destructive." We wonder, given his background and advantages in life, how he came to this remarkable conclusion. Could it be that one or a number of his clients became disgruntled with the securities he was selling them when homeowners began successfully challenging banks in court to produce proof of who owned the mortgages swaddled up in the sweet smelling derivatives.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-14-12
New York Times
Op-Ed Contributor
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
By GREG SMITH
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all

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Is she gonna "pull a Cranston"?

Submitted: Mar 12, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Ordinarily, the Great Shield against such southerly missiles would be Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA. But 78-year-old DiDi is running for reelection again this year and one of the largest supporters of HR 1937, the Shah of the Land of Fruits and Nuts, Stewart Resnick and his Queen Consort, Lynda, just did a big fundraiser for the senator. Resnick’s Roll International owns the largest citrus, almond and pomegranate orchards in the nation, two San Joaquin Valley water banks, Fiji Water, Pom Wonderful and much else besides. Old Valley hands wonder if Feinstein will “pull a Cranston,” a reference to former Sen. Alan Cranston, who sold his vote to the largest cotton farmers in the nation with an amendment exempting them on a key provision in the federal Reclamation Reform Act of 1982. -- "Downstream Vengeance in California," Badlandsjournal.com, March 12, 2012

 

3-9-12
Fresno Bee
Denham, Feinstein seek deal on Calif. water bill
Michael Doyle
http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/03/09/v-print/2753980/house-senate-search-out-agreement.html

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers have quietly begun laying groundwork for a California water bill that could pass the Senate and become law.

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Downstream vengeance in California

Submitted: Mar 12, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
by Bill Hatch
 
Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from the biggest cow county in the USA, Tulare CA, booted home his San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (HR 1837) to a big win in the House two weeks ago. An old-fashioned Western water grab got the Tea Party all hot and a few Blue Dog Democrats slithered along for the ride.
 
The Act is worthy of all truce-breaking acts the world over through history back to the time the goddess Athena persuaded godlike but stupid Pandaros to shoot an arrow into Helen’s husband, Menelaos, prolonging Homer’s Iliad for 23 more chapters.
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Homeowners beating banks in courts

Submitted: Mar 12, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The reasons we are not reading stories like this almost every day, side-by-side with the stories about constantly rising foreclosure rates despite various government actions, are that people sign gag orders with their settlements, are so intimidated they internalize non-existent gag orders, and because maybe the media is not too interested in offending the real estate industry or the banks feeding on the knuckleheads who believed the realtors' flimflam.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-12-12
MSNBC Economy Watch
Homeowners battle banks to stop foreclosures ... and win
Steven Bridges 
http://economywatch.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/12/10602545-homeowners-battle-banks-to-stop-foreclosures-and-win
Jewel and Jack Miser stand in front of their home in Sweetwater, Tenn. After trying for more than a year to modify their loan, they won a settlement in court that cut their monthly payment by about 15 percent.
By John W. Schoen, Senior Producer
Revenge can be sweet. It can be even sweeter when you use your enemy’s own weapons to extract vengeance.

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Foreclosure rate rising

Submitted: Mar 09, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Of there are a lot of things going on in the community: SWAT teams practicing open field pot-patch busting in Snelling; layoffs of government employees in all lines of work, decimating the middle class of the City of Merced; among other causes, we are rallied to the defense of the Fish and Game Commissioner who killed and ate a mountain lion in Idaho, where militias and polygamists volunteer in the same fire departments; the high speed railroad lies keep chugging along; and there's always water to drive us mad with anxiety. But, right now, the main story is this ... 

3-8-12
CounterPunch.com
Foreclosure Surge
There’s Never Been a Worse Time to Buy a House
by MIKE WHITNEY
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/08/theres-never-been-a-worse-time-to-buy-a-house/
Foreclosure starts surged 28 percent in January, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS).

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The Big Shadow

Submitted: Mar 03, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The Valley's political jurisdictions -- cities and counties -- have shown themselves to be big banks' biggest suckers. Nobody's much surprised that Stockton recently declared bankruptcy nor will they be particularly surprised if Modesto and Merced follow shortly. The three cities, aside from being the seats of adjoining counties, have been and remain at or just outside of the epicenter of the foreclosure-rate disaster in the nation. It was an illusion that the tremendously productive agriculture in the northern San Joaquin Valley would be any buffer at all against the busted housing boom, an illusion that was believed only by naive, well-meaning peopld who just couldn't believe how unstable such an economy is. The illusion of economic security through agriculture was never shared by farmers. The proof of this is the land the boom grew on -- farmland, and more often than not, prime farmland.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

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