October, 2013

Overflowing rice bowls

Submitted: Oct 29, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

 Isn't it just amazing how Man -- in His Form as California Rice Grower, the most highly subsidized farmers in America -- converted wetlands to rice paddies north of the City of Sacramento and now, having expropriated so much water it has threatened whole aquatic species with extermination, now Man, that protean being, also appearing in the Form of the federal Bureau of Reclamation, is extoling His scientific genius for raising some hatchery salmon in flooded rice paddies. Many the severely endangered Chinook salmon will recover. But the University of California scientists, of course have created not only one place where this masterpiece of environmental engineering has occurred once, but they are announcing they have created a "a win-win model that can be replicated around the state,"

 

 

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Wolves and their hunters

Submitted: Oct 29, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This article ought to appear in every anthology of the finest environmental writing in English. -- blj

 

10-25/27-13

COUNTERPUNCH.COM

Obama's War on Wolves and the Endangered Species Act

Sacrificial Wolves

by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/25/sacrificial-wolves/

I was prone on my stomach on a small knoll above the Lamar River, peering through my field glasses toward a stand of tall cottonwoods, their leaves a shimmering bronze in the autumn light. The morning air was crisp, hinting at an early snow in the dark, distant peaks of the Absaroka Range. The summer tourists had evaporated; I felt alone in the Big Empty.

I had ventured to this remote Northeast quadrant of Yellowstone National Park looking for wolves.  One particular wolf, in fact, a female called 832F, the grand-daughter of one of the original pairs of wolves reintroduced into the park in 1996. She was the unrivaled leader of her pack, a gregarious and inquisitive creature, graceful and athletic, capable of taking down a mature elk by herself. She was also, by all accounts, a dutiful mother, caring, doting, fiercely protective.

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The Pacific Rim is melting

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

 

The latest on Japan's horrific history with nuclear energy.

 

10-24-13

Common Dreams

Fuel Removal From Fukushima's Reactor 4 Threatens 'Apocalyptic' Scenario

In November, TEPCO set to begin to remove fuel rods whose radiation matches the fallout of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/10/24-3

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Rot

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

  

Three stories this week stuck in the editorial craw here at Badlands.

First, a sneaky little Saturday story (if you were on spiritual retreat all week,  just read Saturday’s paper  – the least read -- for the real news) about JP Morgan agreeing to pay $13 billion in fines “over mortgage securities.”  Although the “agreement” was made in Washington DC and New York City, it concerns crimes against people from Merced, Modesto and Stockton CA to Shanghai, Berlin, and elsewhere. So it’s a local/global story about how Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon took the words of that great prophet of everything new, Hazel Henderson, seriously: “Think globally, act locally.” Or, in a more contemporary American style: “Be both a local and a global economic predator!”

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Not just another Foster Farms story

Submitted: Oct 16, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Most people you talk to around Merced County--except students and faculty of UC Merced, of course--have a story or two about Foster Farms chicken plants. These stories are never good. In fact, they are a mordant local art form. But that's the production side. Here is a story from the consumer side that deserves a place among the best Foster Farms tales.-- blj

 

Bognar said she called a customer service hotline and a Foster Farms employee laughed at her -- Brandon Lowrey, NBCLA, Oct. 15, 2013

 

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Questions, questions, questions...

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

 “Nothingness” has become a big topic again.  Nihil is back, but only after 35 years of nimium (too much). Much, much too much.

Suddenly, there is news of revolution. But what revolution? What kind of revolution is it going to be? Which direction will it take us? Will it be Right or will it be a wrong revolution? In America?

A revolution. Destroying things. Turning what was into nothing. Possibly in the name of Nothing. Or perhaps Something. Nothing is clear. Yet.

In this moment of uncertainty, certain members of the Badlands editorial board thought that Brecht might enlighten us. -- blj

 

 

"The Buddha’s Parable of the Burning House" (1932-3)

By Bertold Brecht

Gautama the Buddha taught

The doctrine of greed's wheel to which we are bound, and advised

That we should shed all craving and thus

Undesiring enter the nothingness that he called Nirvana.

Then one day his pupils asked him:

What is it like, this nothingness, Master? Every one of us would

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Keep the hands of the Feudal Twenty-Six off our federal farm subsidies!

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

Let’s tell the richest farmers in the poorest states to keep their hands off federal farm subsidies and crop insurance.

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VIVE LA FRANCE! and how 'bout them Bulgarians

Submitted: Oct 11, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The United States Energy Information Agency estimates that there are 137 trillion cubic feet of “technically recoverable” gas in France, equivalent to decades worth of national consumption. Without significant exploration effort, though, those numbers are just guesswork, Mr. Schilansky said. -- David Jolly, New York Times, Oct. 11, 2013


 

This is the sound of sour grapes in the mode of official, Washington DC-grade flak, -- blj

 

10-11-13

New York Times 

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The Monterey Shale Formation Play in perspective

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

 10-9-13

San Francisco Chronicle

Study: Temperatures go off the charts around 2047

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Although concussed, we still try to read

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

 What follows is a small gathering of expressions from across the Great Water of contempt for the United States. It is interesting to note how opinion of the US appears to have deteriorated among the tiny remaining corps of  unembedded, English--writing foreign correspondents today. Perhaps it is merely an illusion in our own foggy minds, but it seemed to us that during the “run-yup” to the invasion of Iraq there was dismay and anger. Once the slaughterhouse got going full blast the tone turned to disgust and despair. There were even moments of irony as the exceptional and indespensible world power came off its rails.  But there is now a tone of such contempt for the propaganda Americans are fed daily by their government that even ordinary Americans  themselves cannot avoid it.

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Resounding No on draft Delta Plan

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

 A letter written by environmental opponents listed below of the latest draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to representatives of NOAA Fisheries Service, Department of Interior Fisheries, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish & Wildlife Service. -- blj

 

October 7, 2013

 

We are writing to you as members of the Environmental Water Caucus to express our opposition to the current Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) proposal, which is still in draft form. We oppose the current BDCP proposal because building high capacity tunnels to remove large amounts of fresh water from the Delta will destroy the ecosystem, the fisheries, and the agricultural economy of the Delta, and because there  are more environmentally appropriate and economically feasible alternatives than those contained in the  current Administrative Draft describing the BDCP proposal. There are clear alternatives that can satisfy the  objectives which the current proposal is attempting to accomplish without the need to build tunnels or other  conveyance around the Delta.

Our objections to the current BDCP proposal are based on a number of significant problems which have not been resolved. They include:

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New UC President Janet Napolitano visits UC Merced

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

"Janet N Is Comin' To Town"


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How growth paid for itself

Submitted: Oct 02, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Los Banos grew by 42 percent between 2000 and 2010, to a population of 37,000. Over the same period bankrupt Stockton grew 22.2 percent to reach a population of 298,000.

 

Throughout the epoch when Great Boom that turned into the Great Bust, creating a major Economic Depression in the nation, worst of all in the northern San Joaquin Valley, city officials, staff, developers, landowners, bankers, realtors, corporate newspaper chains and chambers of commerce argued continually at the top of their collective lungs that “RESIDENTIAL GROWTH PAYS FOR ITSELF.”

 

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...and a thug and a dilettante shall tell them

Submitted: Oct 02, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The story begins with an announcement so boring that most readers wouldn’t venture below the first graph. Yet things warm up later down when the actual meaning of the announced progam comes out: it is a plan to make a plan that will serve as a means of circumventing the California Environmental Quality Act. While we can expect nothing less from Mayor Stan “Bully Boy” Thurston, scourge of working people, who was elected by the business interests that seem in the coming election to have left him in a lurch, it is more difficult to understand Councilwoman Rawling’s comments because she built her entire, pitiful political career about to mercifully end on air-quality issues.  But out of the mouths of a political thug and a political dilettante comes the truth: the intent of this $199,500 consultant contract is to make as sure as such consultants can make it that the City of Merced will never ever have to endure the indignity and expense of another CEQA lawsuit. In short, government is for professional staff and the bought elected officials they manage. -- blj

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