January, 2014

Do agribusiness and oil-company special interests benefit the common good of the San Joaquin Valley?

Submitted: Jan 30, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Have you ever noticed the continual distortion in favor of particular special interests that goes on in debates on “public” policy? There has been a flood of articles about the drought. Diligently following the prevailing propaganda that they call “reality,” editors instruct reporters to interview the special interests that rely on publicly subsidized water to grow publicly subsidized crops and receive publicly subsidized disaster payments and publicly subsidized conservation grants and publicly subsidized reductions in property taxes etc., to record the agonized words of flakpersons for a few agrarian plutocrats. And thus arises the earsplitting howl we have come to call The Great Valley Whine.

 

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Astrofracking

Submitted: Jan 30, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

As fine and example of open-minded, balanced journalism as ever a newspaper founded on a mining fortune could offer. The question this article raises is: how much like sand is public opinion if it is consistently treated like sand to be molded into more plutocrats' castles? -- blj

 

1-24-14

San Francisco Chronicle

Sustainable Fracking? For Real?...Sara Murphy, The Motley Fool

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The Oxfam income-inequality report

Submitted: Jan 29, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 1-20-14

The Guardian

 

Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world

As World Economic Forum starts in Davos, development charity claims growing inequality has been driven by 'power grab'

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Rachel Maddow earthquake/fracking link

Submitted: Jan 28, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Wandering beyond our immediate concern with earthquakes near the Monterey Shale Formation, promoted as a new bonanza for hydraulic fracturing well-injection technology, we'd like to refer you to a segment of the Rachel Maddow Show last week that focuses on a small Texas town near Fort Worth wracked by earthquakes that citizens believe are the result of nearby fracking. -- blj

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/shaken-town-eyes-fracking-for-spate-of-quakes-125532739561

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With hypocrisy as deep at a fracking well

Submitted: Jan 23, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

We only drag up this moldy scandal, which began in the 1920's and was finally consumated in a spectacular act of corruption and hypocrisy in the 1990's because is it one of the San Joaquin Valley's own corruptions and, aside from featuring a former vicepresident and candidate for president, includes one of our own, former Rep. Tony "The Auctioneer" Coelho. Not long before this article was published, Coelho was forced to resign as campaign manager of Vice President Al Gore Jr., when the press proved more interested in the dirt on Tony's hands than the wooden eloquence of Gore's rhetoric. 

It's hard to imagine a story that more perfectly illustrates the corporate truism that the best investment money can buy is a well placed politician.

The story is of particular interest today because of the fracking boom, particularly in the former federally owned Elk Hills Naval Reserve, the largest natural gas field in California, owned by Occidental Petroleum since Gore arranged the sale to the company. 

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Fimrite: a glimmer of light in drought-gloom journalism

Submitted: Jan 21, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Peter Fimrite is better than most, like his father, Ron, was. Good at finding odd angles like, in the present story: “Why not look at the drought from the historical perspective of the state’s environmental movement, in other words, a critical perspective, at least an intellectually respectable one?

It makes for a fine article, built on an interview of veteran California environmentalist, Jonas Minton. But, as far as his drastic either/or choice for public investment, we'd like to add a third: why not take this moment to strengthen the existing dams which, according to a study made of them during the Gray Davis administration are all -- except three -- out of compliance?

 

 

 

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2014 Drought Ballad #1

Submitted: Jan 21, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The 2014 Drought Ballad  #1

-blj


When rain and snow don’t fall out West

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Now our drought is official

Submitted: Jan 19, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Some environmental groups expressed concern that fine print in Friday’s drought declaration could lead to disruptive changes in how water is distributed. For instance, the drought declaration directs the State Water Resources Control Board to “immediately” consider petitions that would consolidate “places of use” for water diversions now held separately by the State Water Project and the federal government’s Central Valley Project.

Ronald Stork, a senior policy advocate at Friends of the River in Sacramento, said that if “place of use” is consolidated, federal water such as that held in Folsom Reservoir could be sent to Disneyland to keep the roller coasters operating. Currently, most of that water is designated for agriculture.

“That’s a titanic shift of purpose for the federal water project,” Stork said. “I think the water board needs to think this one through very carefully before they give the go-ahead to consolidating these two very different projects.” 

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The wolf comes trotting out of Congress

Submitted: Jan 13, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We often thought, in our thought-limited way, that Chomsky’s sentences ran on a clause or two long, so we were glad to see the following because it equated with our own sentiment about the cuts in food stamps and unemployment benefits: That’s bleeped! -- blj

 

1-9-14

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California plumbing in drought ... again

Submitted: Jan 09, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The two articles below discuss the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Colorado River. We will link the two by recalling a comment made about a decade ago by Bill Jennings, then the head of Deltakeepers. Former California Gov. Gray Davis had recently announced “peace on the river,” a new arrangement for sharing out all the water in the Colorado River before it gets to Mexico, but one that gave a little more to upstream states and less to Southern California. This rearrangement put immediate pressure on the Delta, which has experienced ever since record amounts of water pumped southward for urban and San Joaquin Valley agribusiness, both constantly recklessly expanding with no heed to water supplies except to set lawyers to figuring how to steal it from someone else. Jennings remarked a couple of years after the historic truce on the Colorado that “it didn’t take a rocket scientist” to understand why Delta fish stocks were crashing. It was the best use of that hackneyed term in the decade because there were legions of “rocket scientists” – water experts working ceaselessly to study the decline with the greatest objectivity modern science allows while the ruinous trade in acre feet just kept on going on wherever the dark backrooms are.

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The Midas touch

Submitted: Jan 06, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

"midas of the west"

 

the anastazi no longer plague us

the rat pack's left las vegas

but what are we to do

as midas turns our water into goo?

--blj

 

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Examining frack hack propaganda in Fresno Bee

Submitted: Jan 05, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

We were intrigued by this “letter to the editor” because it was so obviously not from an ordinary newspaper reader and because its claims for the benefits of fracking even outranked the disproved claims the high speed rail hustlers have made for their visionary predations on public funds. So we began to ask a few questions about the “authorities” quoted by this Dave Quast, (we are sure) quite well paid hack for the frackers. We include the results of our research below, noting that it took about two hours to reveal this piece of oil-company propaganda for what it is. – blj

 

 

 

12-28-13

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The great danger to California from fracking is earthquakes

Submitted: Jan 03, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 and "There Will Be Graft" (even as there already has been).

Even right here in the former Gateway to Yosemite, and new Home of UC Merced.

Our state assemblyman, Adam Gray, D-Merced, did not just vote for the fracking-regulation-that-is-not, he proudly announced he was "a principle co-sponsor" of the bill. 

That the state that contains the San Andreas Fault, which forms the eastern border of the Monterey Shale Formation, our local shale-oil-and-gas bonanza, is permitting any fracking in that area is an enduring testament to oil-company bribery and political graft in the state Legislature. And when it comes down to it, Adam Gray is not just going along, he is an enthusaistic leader of the bipartisan state Capitol Party of Graft -- blj


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