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Gov. Jerry Brown must be saved from himself, says the next state Senate leader. He needs to be talked out of starting the bullet train in the Central Valley boonies. "I don't think it makes sense to lay down track in the middle of nowhere," asserts Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles). It's illogical. No one lives there in the tumbleweeds." -- George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2914, "Next Senate leader Kevin de Leon wants Brown to rethink bullet train."
But lawns very much remain the norm in Southern California, and officials say it's tougher to change homeowners' outdoor watering habits than it is to get them to install low-flow toilets or water-efficient washing machines.
How do you deal with the moral authority of ignorance? James Lee Burke, Pegasus Descending (2006), p. 473
One of the Badlands editors, in agreement with a commentator on ESPN, wrote this about Mexico's heartbreaking loss to the Netherlands Sunday. We thought it might be worth sharing here. -- blj
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Human Trafficking in California
As a diverse cultural center and popular destination for immigrants with multiple international borders, California is one of the largest sites of human trafficking in the United States. In the two years between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012, California's task forces initiated 2,552 investigations, identified 1,277 victims of human trafficking, and arrested 1,798 individuals. -- State of Human Trafficking in California, 2012
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The greatest threat to political democracy -- from Athens to the US "war on terrorism," -- has always been elites. Since the 18th century, democracy has arisen in step with its competition and nemesis, capitalism. Today's American elite has converted political bribery and lies into "campaign finance contributions" -- the "free speech" of money -- "spin," the political descendant of advertising. However, bribery and deceit remain what they are, fatal to democracy.
Today, we offer two comments on lying, spin and propaganda, the first from politician scientist Sheldon Wolin, the second from investigative reporter Robert Parry. Both are veterans and have personal as well as scholarly perspective on the changing forms of political lying in our culture. Wolin describes the structure of the culture that is producing systemic political lying in America today. Parry paints a portrait of a practitioner of the form, Richard Stengel, under secretary of state for public diplomacy. Perhaps viewers of "Morning Joe" will remember "Rick" when he was a top Time Magazine editor presenting the Time cover of the week. Butter doesn't melt in Stengel's mouth. -- bljRead More »
From "Major Barbara," by George Bernard Shaw:
CUSINS: By the way, have you any religion?
UNDERSHAFT: Only that there are two things necessary to Salvation.
CUSINS [disappointed, but polite]: Ah, the Church Catechism. Charles Lomax also belongs to the Established Church.Read More »
Here are four articles about Honey bee colon- collapse disorder, one Russian, one and a partial article American, one Canadian. Scientists actually seem to have found the main cause, a class of nicotinoid pesticides applied to seeds before planting so that they provide protection against later pesticide applications and, incidently, cause serious harm to the nervous systems of bees and other creatures, including humans.Read More »
By the twisted routes that spin is transmitted in the California 21st Assembly District -- if you can believe the informal networking source --Read More »
Politicians and water managers spoke to farmers at the Stanislaus County Agricultural Hall of Paranoia with tongues so forked it's a wonder any coherent sentences broke the fences of their teeth. Flecks of dribbled white foam must have spewed forth from their lips as they cursed the state, the state, the state, before a frightened herd of farmers. The politicians and the water managers have a plan and a hope: they are trying to deflect the attention of the frightened herd of sheep -- I mean farmers -- into a pitchfork bearing mob of farmers headed to the state Capitol -- headed anywhere but at local authority.
It's bad enough that the border between Mexico and the US has become a slaughterhouse due to the nation's appetite for labor in bonded servitude and for narcotics, but the story here includes one of the always foulest corporate enterprises in the US -- the mortuary industry -- and to make it even slimier, a flakperson for a Texas mortuary corporation.
Don't try to read this and eat at the same time. Don't ask questions about the hatred dependency brings. Don't wonder if some day this passion for cut-rate labor will to burn the hands on both sides of the border that just keep on squeezing.-- blj
6-21-14Read More »
We in the Valley, where much of the vaunted Monterey Shale Formation fracking was to occur, fistfulls of money and many jobs and national energy independence were to be squeezed out of the earth by miracles of drilling technology leaving air and water pollution behind, are grateful to Dylan and Jo Murphy for this excellent summary of the government and corporate corruption behind the rapid rise and fall of the California fracking boom.Read More »
Next Tuesday, the final item on the agenda of the Merced County Board of Supervisors will be a letter from the corporate office of Mi Pueblo Food Centers in San Jose, notifying the board according to directives in federal and state law, that it will close its store in Atwater on August 31, terminating the employment of 91 people.
This rude shock to Atwater is made more insulting because Mi Pueblo recently secured the financing it needed to avoid bankruptcy, having filed for Chapter 11 last year, claiming a "very difficult creditor," Wells Fargo Bank, had made the filing necessary.Read More »
The Business Journal
Study: Valley uses highest share of groundwater
http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/energy-and-environment/12445-study-valley-uses-highest-share-of-groundwaterRead More »
11 June 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact:Read More »
The Badlands Journal editorial board, like all Californians we are certain, have been watching with bated breath the progress of the two California drought bills working their way through the upper and lower houses of Congress. The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, and the House bill, sponsored by assorted Central Valley Republicans, have reached the joint Senate-House conference committee for reconciliation. The major issues on the table are the perceived favoritism of the Feinstein bill towards one agribusiness entity in Kern County and the suspension of all water-related environmental law and regulation proposed in the House bill.
We feel certain that with its usual genius our Congress will find a just compromise.Read More »
Be there or be quadratisch. --blj
These are two monologues by John Oliver. Tfhe first is about net neutrality. The second is about the unbelievably corrupt FIFA, which rules the soccer World Cup, about to start in Brazil.
These are stories, "narratives" as our elite educated government flaks and the cowards in the mainstream press call them, have become propaganda lines, whole processes of deception, some older than others, but all following a pattern of contempt for the public, which, according to the General Lie, they are supposed "to serve."
Read at your own risk. You won't enjoy these articles but they come from reputable sources: Paul Craig Roberts, Ray McGovern, and writers published by Counterpunch and Global Research (Canada). -- blj
Fake Employment Statistics: More Phantom Jobs Created in America, All In The Wrong PlacesRead More »
On Tuesday, the Merced Board of Supervisors debated long and hard -- with help from legal, planning and executive staff -- about how they could stop Steve Sloan, former chairman of the county Planning Commission, and an adjoining landowner, from selling more than 20,000 acre feet of groundwater to Del Puerto Water District, based in Stanislaus County. County leaders, except Supervisor Gerry O'Banion, in whose district the transfer would take place, with a mixture of desperation and exaspiration, reached for some means of stopping Sloan and his neighbor from making the millions the desperate Del Puerto growers are willing to pay to keep their almond orchards alive. Everything from an emergency moratorium to doing nothing was discussedRead More »
Incumbent Merced County Supervisor Linn Davis was defeated by two of his three challengers in yesterday's primary elections. This should be read not just as a rejection of Davis, but perhaps as much or more a rejection of the people who drafted him four years ago to run against incumbent Mike Nelson. Nelson was wrong about the Riverside Motor Sports Park project, but he was one of the rarer politicians in general and unique in Merced: you could see him growing in office. But the opponents of RMP in that supervisorial district were a ignorant, venal crowd and they found their champion in Linn "Anybody-but-Nelson" Davis.
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How do you deal with the moral authority of ignorance? James Lee Burke, Pegasus Descending (2006), p. 473.
Reasons for Intellectual ConformityRead More »