February, 2013

UC and genetic engineering

Submitted: Feb 26, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

A brilliant article on UC's genetic engineering patents and its legal shenanigans. -- BLJ

2-26-13
Pueblo Lands

UC: A University, or a Biotech Company?
Vernon Bowman
http://darwinbondgraham.wordpress.com/

Last month the University of California intervened in a high stakes U.S. Supreme Court case on the side of the agribusiness giant Monsanto Company by filing an amicus brief stating that the university would be harmed materially if Monsanto doesn’t prevail. On the receiving end of UC’s legal argument is Vernon Bowman, a 75 year-old grain farmer from southern Indiana who has been battling Monsanto in court for several years now. It was already a David v. Goliath kind of fight, pitting an elderly guy in overalls against a global corporation with a bottomless pocket for legal expenses; the entry of UC into the court’s deliberations makes that two Goliaths.

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Three tribes fracked in North Dakota

Submitted: Feb 25, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Yet, according to a large consensus of government and private sources, by far the largest oil shale formation, the Monterey, is largely located in the south San Joaquin Valley. So, suddenly who owns subsurface rights to public as well as private lands becomes a major issue for people not eager to have their already record-breaking bad air quality get worse, have their groundwater polluted with chemicals the very names of which are proprietary to the companies that inject them thousands of feet into the ground, and there is a minor seismic issue, which we will take up later. -- BLJ

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Rubio trades senate seat for lobbying job

Submitted: Feb 24, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Maybe when real men grow up in Kern County, they become oil lobbyists.

Anyone from the San Joaquin Valley can understand why a state senator from our area might find better things to do with his time than serve in a legislative body led by state Sen. Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. But the abrupt departure of state Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield, for the lobbying division of Chevron reveals a contempt for the democratic process that is something new in its aggression.

His quitting office at least temporarily deprives the Democratic Party of its supermajority and a Republican is at least as likely as a Democrat to be the next occupant of that seat. Hardly a good way to start a career as a lobbyist, one would think, but without knowing the inside game at the moment, that's just a guess.

Rubio's claims about the need to spend more time with his family seem totally bogus when it is considered that he will be lobbying in Sacramento and corporate offices from Chevron are in San Ramon, where they moved in 1965 from Kern County.

Rubio is yet another Valley product of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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"Inert"

Submitted: Feb 23, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

If you've ever studied the label on a container of pesticide it will tell you the "active ingredient" and then, usually an overwhelmingly large percentage of the contents is listed as "inert."

These inert ingredients are jealously guarded as company secrets but they aren't always that inert. There is for example the curious story of the best poison oak medication on the market, made from an "inert" ingredient found in many pesticides, the "sticker" or very light oil that allows the pesticide to stick to the leaves and fruit after being sprayed. Tests done by a government agency losing too many man hours to poison oak discovered that the sticker was the thing that floated the oils off the skin.

But the ingredients discussed below are not beneficial. They may very well prove to be the product of criminal irresponsibility of the manufacturers of GMO pesticides, companies in collusion with the US government which have used the entire population of the United States as largely ignorant guinea pigs in a vast chemistry experiment.

We are grateful as always for the tireless work of Thomas Wittman at the GE News division of the Ecological Farming Association in Watsonville for this and many other articles on genetically engineered pesticides, especially RoundUp, used more and more in the Valley as the price of corn is driven ever higher by ethanol production and market speculation here in the land of the free and the yo-man farmer.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Forgive them

Submitted: Feb 23, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
We must forgive them. They don't know how to think. All they know how to do is sell. They think that if they connive with the Valley cities to build clumps of little condos all over town, that somehow the "empty nesters" they are targeting will miraculously get credit from banks to buy them. Or, do they know that isn't likely to happen so they are building the little condos for "empty nester investors" to buy and rent to empty nesters? Isn't it investors that are buying the few foreclosed homes the banks are letting go on the market?
But forgive the contractors. Spring is coming and its time to build because -- you know -- we got the UC now, so nothing bad can happen anymore.
As the first chancellor of UC Merced, Carole "The Cowgirl Chancellor Keasey used to say: "Proximity (to UC) is destiny." (By which she meant life was better for being near a UC campus even UC could never actually prove it.)
And as we used to reply to the Cowgirl: "Proximity is density."
So it has come to pass.
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Cardoza inducted into the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator

Submitted: Feb 20, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We were deeply gratified to learn that Portugal, as we understand it from local sources, a small colony on the west coast of Europe of the famous Azores Islands, has made lobbyist Dennis Cardoza a Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator. 

We assume that the distinguished Order includes many other promoters of lady mud wrestling and other such diversions for the gentry. -- BLJ

 

 

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On the bankers trifecta: deception, avarice, and theft

Submitted: Feb 20, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Again we are grateful for Mike Whitney on Counterpunch for his steadfast and remorseless examination of the criminal financial system that has had such ill effects on Merced. -- BLJ

 

 

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Fracking for natural gas in Merced County, March 2010

Submitted: Feb 18, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

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Last Week: Feb. 3 - 9, 2013

Submitted: Feb 13, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

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What U say and what U do

Submitted: Feb 09, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board



College students, starting in small colleges in New England but in a movement quickly growing, are pressuring high education administrators and boards of trustees to divest investment in fossil fuel corporations.

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Our Delta, displaying the national heritage of destruction of the natural environment

Submitted: Feb 07, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The state is going mad again. It is happening more frequently these days as it is necessary for the rulers to grasp at evermore absurd propaganda campaigns to mask their purposes. You can't even blame Jerry Brown. It is just the system, grinding on and on.

One of the dipbleep campaigns is to name the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta a "national heritage area," as plans move forward to excavate huge tunnels underneath it to take most of its fresh water supply from the Sacramento River above the Delta to the big north-south canals below the Delta.

Whoop de do! National heritage and all that entails. Puts us right up there with the Mississippi Delta Heritage Area, which claims:

Much of what is profoundly American -- what people love about America -- has come from the Delta, which is often called 'the cradle of American culture.'

Yes, oh yes, how fondly we recall all the the Mississippi Delta has brung us. Now touting itself as a tourist destination, once it was another kind of destination, expressed in the common American expression, "sold down the river."

Home of the blues. Yes, indeedy. And, of course, the blues is worth so much more than all the suffering that went into its creation, down there in the "cradle." Art hurts, after all.

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area -- home of the fabled Parchman Farm., where slavery went on and on so long after the visit by Grant and Sherman to Vicksburg.

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Radioactive scrap metal dumped into fabrication chain

Submitted: Feb 05, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

“The risk of radiation poisoning is the furthest thing from our minds as we shop for everyday items like handbags, furniture, buttons, chain link fences and cheese graters. Unfortunately, it turns out that our trust is misplaced thanks to sketchy
government oversight of recycled materials.

“The discovery of a radioactive cheese grater led to an investigation that found thousands of additional consumer products to be contaminated. The source is recycled metals tainted with Cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope that can cause cancer with prolonged exposure." ... “The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates there are some 500,000 unaccounted for radioactively contaminated metal objects in the U.S., and the NRC estimates that figure is around is 20 million pounds of contaminated waste….

“In 2006 in Texas, for example, a recycling facility inadvertently created 500,000 pounds of radioactive steel byproducts after melting metal contaminated with Cesium-137, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission records. In Florida in 2001, another recycler unintentionally did the same, and wound up with 1.4 million pounds of radioactive material.”

 

2-4-13

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