Merced County Supervisor Deidre "DeeDee One-Tune" Kelsey is once again leading a chorus of impotent whining, hardly a new song in this Drought-of-Droughts year. She has again mobilized her district klatches against a menace: in 2006, it was the menace of traffic that would be caused by the Riverside Motorsports Park racetrack; today, it is a the menace that would be caused to the groundwater by the Sloan/Smith deal with Del Puerto Water District, which could result in groundwater pumping from the valley floor a few miles northwest of Atwater of up to 23,000 acre feet/day, eight months a year for four years.Read More »
Why not look at the Del Puerto Water District's desperate water situation -- zero allocation from the Bureau of Reclamation from the Delta -- as a demand problem rather than a supply problem?Read More »
5-21-14Read More »
In short, the Moneterey Shale Formation frackbubble was a pile of the well-known substance perpetrated by the same agency, the Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/, that now, under a new administrator, denies it. The EIA should be renamed PetroFlak, Inc. This one was right up there with the infinite rising of real estate prices, only it ended quicker. It was a bubble on speed.
The only logic in this story, if there is any, might lie in some petrocrats that started a bogus oil boomlet to fleece some gullible investors. We are still wondering about an anti-fracking organization led by MoveOn.org, basically a Democratic Party fundraising apparatus. Were they just trolling for more donors?Read More »
The engineers have spoken. All the flaksters can do is blurble:
"From the information we've been able to gather, we've not seen evidence that oil extraction in this area is very productive using techniques like fracking," said John Staub, a petroleum exploration and production analyst who led the energy agency's research. ..."The narrative of fracking in the Monterey Shale as necessary for energy independence just had a big hole blown in it," said Seth B. Shonkoff, executive director of the nonprofit Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy. ..."We have a lot of confidence in the intelligence and skill of our engineers and geologists to find ways to adapt," said Tupper Hull, spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Assn. "As the technologies change, the production rates could also change dramatically..."
5-20-14Read More »
5-18-14Read More »
There is a rumor going around professional psychological circles that at last the staid Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), in recent refinements will include what has since the millennium become a psychological epidemic among certain elites in the United States--unipolar disorder. Not to be confused with its sound alike, biopolar disorder, sufferers of unipolar disorder appear to bask passively in the light of the
truths" they imagine they have received. It is a novel and menacing addition to the nation's psychopathologies.
Unipolar disorder seems to be a cross between extreme narcissism and bloviated cartoon-like patriotism. This is harmless when confined to the dittohead set in county-seat barbershops. However, when mixed with any sort of elite credential, a hedge fund, the American cult of leadership, and especially with political and military power, the patient's inner chaos can project out into the world, creating economic depression and what some foreign correspondents are now calling "the Empire of Chaos."
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President Barack Obama, who next to former President George W. Bush sounded like the greatest orator since Mark Antony, evidently gave away US foreign policy and his fundamental source of metaphor, basketball, to a bunch of neocon hacks who don’t know the difference between diplomacy and their own unipolar disorder or a pivot and a tip off. No wonder the rats are scurrying about in the open and there is no guilt or shame. -- blj
5-15-14Read More »
All this talk about foreign policy “pivots” in the last few weeks has completed our disillusionment with President Barack Obama, who claims to be a lifelong lover of basketball.
There seems to be a total absence of basketball players among the critics of his policies (oh for the days of Sen. Bill Bradley, D-NJ), We say this because Obama has dragged his pivot foot all the way from the Dneiper River to the South China Sea and no one in the native home of basketball seems to have noticed. This is not something he could get away with at the Barkley’s Center in Brooklyn, where Dmitri Prokhorov's Nets, including forward Andrei Kirilenko, play. Even President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping can see a dragging pivot foot leaving a streak all the way across Eurasia. -- bljRead More »
We Californians are known as an artistic people. Those of us of a certain age grew up attending public schools with excellent art programs and these encouraged us toward a variety of expression, which becomes essential when one faces issues like the California Water Problem.
So, in a more experimental vein than usual here on the hopelessly linear-think Badlands, we’ve decided to put together a small collage of articles – from different angles and different times -- that might explain better than we have been able to, how the current crop of representatives of finance, insurance and real estate in government have lost all sense of the Public Good, even most of the rhetoric of it.
These are not "bad people." On the contrary, they are highly civilized, generous, sociable, concerned citizens at least in some part of their activities, but they have been turned into jerks by their money, their power, and particularly by the combination of the two.-- blj
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Rarely does Badlands find such touching examples of real intimacy particularly in today's cold, cruel world of California water politics. But our hearts filled with joy with the news of the loving relationship now revealed in the open between the California Deparment of Water Resources and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Although it is still just an engagement, we, the adoring peasants, are looking forward with joy in our hearts for the blessed nuptuals between these two lordly institutions. Gov. Jerry Brown, who -- don't forget -- once studied to become a priest in the Jesuit Order – preside over the religious aspects of the actual ceremony while phalanxes of water lawyers will handle the civil aspects of the divine union.
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The experience of reading one more article about the California High Speed Railroad Boondoggle
You read along and read along, plowing through the so-called “news” about some new “approval,” which is one piece more in the whole piecemealed project, that is being conducted that way so that the cumulative environmental consequences are as invisible to the public eye as the national phenomenon of inverted totalitarianism.
The farce flows into lower graphs, mentioning all the things approved yet not quite started yet. The lawsuits and the funding problems are listed. Not mentioned is that one of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband’s, UC Regent Richard Blum, companies won the bid to build the first section of the railroad – which hasn’t really started yet.Read More »
There are things that degrade a community, and this promotion of cock fighting (1) by McClatchy local outlet columnist Dave Bultena and Modesto Bee’s Joe Keita, “vice president of news” and managing editor, is one of them. These luminaries ought to be sent down to the men’s prison in Corcoran where they can be slapped around, kicked and beat up by real big, stupid men, and get hopped up and all buffed out. Then the guards can send them into that special little yard where they have the gladiatorial contests. The armed guards stand above, betting big wagers, and the prize for the winner is his life (with or without possibility of parole).
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He lived a long, rich life and contributed enormously to the real human culture that will see us through environmental conflict. -- blj
Farley Mowat: the Greatest Canadian?
by PAUL WATSON
Today is a very sad day for me.
The greatest Canadian I have ever known and one of my closest and dearest friends has died.
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She’s back! No California water shortage would be complete without Felicity Barringer, the New York Times’ fearless San Francisco-based environmental reporter. She established herself with the nation’s “newspaper of record” as the Judith Miller of (Phony) Drought in 2009 with her stories of suffering agribusinessmen, illustrated with superb photos of lean-jawed plutocrats in cowboy hats, smooth hands clutching hoes in the pitiless sun’s mean glare. In the Year of the Phony Drought, Barringer stood shoulder to shoulder with Westlands Water District, Sean Hannity, Paul Rodriguez and the Latino Water Coalition, Kole Upton and Families Protecting the Valley, and representatives Dennis Cardoza, Fairy Shrimp Slayer-Merced, and Devon Nunes, Off His Medication-Visalia.
This year she is taking a more suburban approach with an article on the City of Santa Cruz. Of course, she is too much of a lady and the Times is too polite a newspaper to entertain suggestions that UC Santa Cruz is part of that city’s water woes. Having lost its last attempted land grab in court, UCSC bides its time in a termed settlement with the city.Read More »
Vermont governor signs first in US GMO-labeling law to go into effect
Vermont will become the first state to enact a law requiring labels on foods with genetically modified ingredients after the governor signed the bill into law on Thursday afternoon. The bill will go into effect in July 2016.
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As the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” What the climate justice movement is demanding is the ultimate abolition of fossil fuels. And our fates all depend on whether they succeed. – Chris Hayes, The Nation, May 12, 2014
San Francisco ChronicleRead More »
Maybe it's getting to be time to tell David Mas Masumoto that "menos es Mas." Far be it for mere anonymous journalists to dare criticize our latest version of "Father of the Valley." Far be it for us to request that the great spiritus poeticus of Del Rey give us an actual argument, grammatical and everything. But we know that great writers are above the confusions of ordinary readers like us experience in the glare of their brilliance.
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Stanislaus County didn't make much of a fuss about the thousands of new acres of almond plantings going in on the east as well as the west side. But then some hedgefund whippersnapper bought a few thousand acres east of Oakdale, started planting and sinking those huge wells farmers use these days, and Pulbic Opinion was heard opposing it. But for years, almonds have been encroaching on pasture land throughout both sides of the San Joaquin Valley, causing a huge increase of dust particularly at harvest time. This great boon to export-led growth of almond cultivation here is also reportedly responsible for the complex of factors causing the unprecedented increase in the deaths of Honey bees.
But, Gee, it's always GREAT to be Number One, even if Water and Wealth is not bringing either Contentment or Health (except maybe for the bloated healthcare system), to Stanislaus County. -- blj
Online environmental tool places Stanislaus and Merced counties among the worst areas in California...Garth Stapley...5-3-14
Sometimes it’s good to be bad.Read More »