June, 2013

No worries, High Speed Wailers: the fix is in

Submitted: Jun 30, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

It must have been a slow news day, what with Snowden still being in the Moscow airport or somewhere. -- blj

 

6-29-13

Merced Sun-Star

 Read More »
| »

Arf, arf?

Submitted: Jun 30, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Considering the brilliance of his own family, not to mention his in-laws, of course it would be impossible for mere members of the public to comprehend the meaning of Assemblyman Adam Gray's vote against the Democratic Party and Labor-sponsored "Walmart loophole bill." The bill, primarily focused on Walmart, would require large employers to cover the medical insurance of their non-union employees instead of dumping them on MediCal.

However, eventually we did come up with a theory. We think Gray has left from the frying pan of his own family into the dog dish of his in-laws, the Condits. We think Gray is trying to reestablish the Blue Dogs as a force in state politics. Many will remember the Blue Dog Democrats in Congress when former Rep. Gary Condit and others began licking the hand of Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia.

The Blue Dogs only ever had one play and that was to betray Democratic Party leadership. Dogs like Condit and successor former Rep. Dennis Cardoza, never had very big sticks but they stuck them here, there and everywhere, trying to gum up the works on behalf of the very few who absolutely benefit from the status quo in this district.

 Read More »
| »

Republican whip: incompetence or treachery?

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

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, is the majority whip of the House of Representatives. The majority whip’s primary responsibility is to count the votes for his party’s bills and compel party members to vote for those bills when party leadership decides it is time to bring them to the floor of the House.

Jeers and criticism of the Republican, House majority leadership’s failure to pass the Farm Bill last week focused on the Speaker, John Boehner, R-Ohio. But the name of the man who is responsible for counting and rallying the votes, McCarthy, wasn’t mentioned.  

 Read More »
| »

Panic in Bubble Park?

Submitted: Jun 21, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

God forbid we end the welfare for Wall Street!
So much for the 'magic' of the free market! -- jmac55, The Guardian (UK), June 20, 2013

 

Unaccustamed as we are to apologise or even to temporize our criticism of agribusines on this site, we must admit that the $2 trillion pumped into the financial sector of the economy by the Federal Reserve in recent years dwarfs farm subsidies. It outs in perspective our poor little valley and its micro-plutocracy of small-time bigshots and the rest of us. And compared to the infantile behavior of the financiers, even Westlands Water Disgtrict General Manager Tom Birmingham looks sounds adult as west-side agribusiness stares another drought in the face 

Meanwhile, the talking heads are calling it the end of the Federal Reserve bubble. Hopefully, for the health of speculators everywhere, the economy will slide back wonderfully into another housing bubble.

Oh joy! We have so much real economic growth to look forward to with the continuing metathasis of the financial sector. But, since all attempts at fiscal policies to regulate the abuses that caused a global credit crash, our fearful leaders took the monetary policy road, pumping the trillions into the financial sector.

 Read More »
| »

Resistance to the state's bulldozing of public's access to documents and environmnetal law and regulation

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

The Fresno Bee editors voiced strong opposition to a plan by Gov. Jerry Brown and local governments to weaken the state Pulbic Records Act, which insures the public's right of access to public documents in the control of local governments. The PRA is an important tool for journalists and members of the public with an interest in a project that may impact their environment or property values. 

Now that the filing deadline has past, the lawsuits against the state's Delta water plan are out there for all to see and the Stockton Record describes tyhem and provides links to them for our study. 

-blj

 

6-18-13

 Read More »
| »

When the right bright people do the right things

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

When the right sort of smart people, the sort of people who can get their letters published in the New England Journal of Medicine, begin to protest the activities of our government on ethical grounds, some politicians move quickly to keep up their membership in the proper elite. Such is the case here: a week after the NEJM published a letter protesting the force feeding of Guantanamo inmates calling for the doctors on the scene to refuse to participate in the procedure, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whose father and second husband were surgeons, wrote a letter to the secretary of defense stating that the practice "runs counter to international standards, medical ethics and the practices at American prisons," and therefore should cease. The president has said the practice should stop, as he appoints a new commissioner to close the prison.

All the right, bright people seem to agree that Guantanamo should close and, for a start, hunger strukers should not be force fed. 

Perhaps a turn is coming. Stranger things have happened. -- blj

6-12-13

 Read More »
| »

Banks, foreclosures and investors

Submitted: Jun 19, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

As a result of a lawsuit filed against the Bank of America, we are able to catch a glimse of the system in the banks (we assume B of A is not alone in this practice) that has denied loan modifications in favor of foreclusures to the clear detriment of the "owners", but also damaging the investors in mortgage backed securities. The banks, it would seem, are defrauding everybody for their own profits. -- blj

 

 6-14-13

 Read More »
| »

A few small subsidies

Submitted: Jun 19, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 On the surface, these are small, ho-hum stories about California agriculture: one about a federal grant to benefit a handful of west side growers; county-supervisor corruption around the Williamson Act; and a politician calling for more off-stream water storage. But, each contains elements that have become unacceptable.

 

 Read More »
| »

The nattering nabobs of national security are just another bunch of greedy corporations

Submitted: Jun 15, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

As usual, an excellent diagnosis of the problem from Thom Hartmann but the solution makes the dubious assumption that there are enough hens left in the house to mount a serious counter offensive against the foxes, who have been lording it about that they own the joint for decades now. A national legislative body that cannot past gun-control legislation after a massacre of first graders does fill one with confidence that it can extricate itself from the jaws of the "national security" corporate profit centers.

 

 

But we can always hope for a change of heart in Washington. On the other hand, the president seems to be playing the game of "diverting the children" by increasing even the visitible operations of the US in Syria.

Two senators from outstanding military-pork states, McCain (R-AZ) and Graham (R-SC) are helping matters by calling the president everything short of Another Snowden if he doesn't bomb, invade, blitz and kill 50,000 Syrians regardless of their religious preferences.

 Read More »
| »

A little historical perspective on Klamath water flows

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

  

We call the press approvingly, “the first Draft of History,” but it’s a pretty lousy Draft of History that has no historical perspective whatsoever.

 Read More »
| »

"Mais ou sont les Snowdens d'antan?" -- Catch-22, Joseph Heller

Submitted: Jun 12, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The nattering nabobs of National Security have been at Ed Snowden, who leaked the material about the NSA domestic spying ("all legal, all legal the nabors say) by insult and invective. They have called his behavior traitorous and treasonous and everything else bad that they can possibly imagine.

But the worst thing they have said about Ed Snowden is that he is a high school dropout. 

A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT?

May the Millennial Diety that still rules our scrambled official psyche strike him dead, over there in Hong Kong!!

A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT!!!

It reminded one Badlands Journal editor of a topless dancer joint barker on Broadway in San Francisco who some years ago made his pitch thus: "We got six college coeds and A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT."

Perhaps Mme. Sen. Dianne Feinstein also heard that immortal barker in the local politics phase of her career, back when her hearing was a little better.

A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT!!

There is something "sinful and lewd" about a high school dropout. You just try to say the term without a sneer, every so slight, that reflects your ontempt for anyone who the lacks the formal American education and academic credentials.

Certainly no one of that class ought to have had such enormous responsibilities. A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT, fer Chrissake!!! 

 Read More »
| »

The "Morning Joe Show"

Submitted: Jun 10, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The historical descent from Country Joe and the Fish to Morning Joe, Mika and Willie has been dizzying, to put it politely.

But, this morning at least they let Glenn Greenwald talk longer than they have any guest in the history of their show without blowhard interruptions to interpret the remarks of intelligent people down to the level of a ditto head. 

But, fortunately, Greenwald has answered the question posed by one of the greatest anti-war novels of all time, Catch-22, which asked, "Mais ou sont les Snowdens d'antan?"

Snowden returned if only to leave us with a prophesy: that without the whistleblowers so loathed by the neocon national security state crowd, America is headed straight for "turnkey tyranny."

-- blj

| »

Beauty and the beast

Submitted: Jun 08, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

We were struck by the beauty and balance of William Tweed's prose about his rail trip through the San Joaquin Valley. Tweed lives  in Three Rivers, gateway to Sequoia National Park. According to Amazon.com,

 

William Tweed, utilizing the knowledge and skills he developed during thirty years with the National Park Service where he worked as an interpretive writer, historian, and naturalist, specializes in writing that brings together the natural and human  worlds.

His major published works include: Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks: The Story Behind the Scenery (KC Publications, 1980);

Challenge of the Big Trees: A Resource History of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (Sequoia Naturalist History

 Read More »
| »

The marriage of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and financier Richard Blum: A win-win, public-private partnership for graft

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

Richard Blum, UC regent and former chairman of the regents, major stockholder in Tutor Perinni Corp, which won the bid to construct the first leg of the California high-speed railroad, and chair of the board of CB Richard Ellis, in charge of selling decommissioned post offices, is -- as everyone knows -- the husband of US Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Feinstein remarked yesterday that the leak that in secret Verizon has turned over to the NSA information about the private communications of its American customers ought to be prosecuted because we have "a culture of leaks."

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

6-7-13

 Read More »
| »

Appellate Court Decides Two Cases in Favor of San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Centerand Protect Our Water

Submitted: Jun 04, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Press release: For Immediate Use !!    ******* Press release: For Immediate Use!!

 

 

Appellate Court Decides Two Cases in Favor of

 Read More »
| »

War surplus

Submitted: Jun 01, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The West TX fertilizer-plant explosion that killed 15, injured 200, destroyed two schools, a block of apartments and many nearby single homes, somehow got lost between the Boston Marathon bombing and the Oklahoma tornado. We continued to follow the story because it involved a very common agricultural fertilizer, ammonium nitrate, known until the end of WWII primarily as "the principal ingredient in making explosives," according to Michael Pollan.

 

 

 Read More »
| »


To manage site Login