February, 2016

Waiting for The Boss

Submitted: Feb 28, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Americans who believe the nation is exceptional do not like to think about our political corruption. In our fabulously projective way, we believe other countries are corrupt (Mexico is frequently mentioned), but not us.  Until this year; now it is fashionable. But Americans understand that denouncing corruption is just another fad or market trend with the half-life of a new line of sneakers.

But the ongoing activity of political corruption is a little more premanent and defifnitely more complex for easy comprehension of the various factions mobbing for their candidates this season in the unlikely assumption that comprehension is their aim.

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The Hun as prelude to Don Dump?

Submitted: Feb 24, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 2-23-16

Truthdig

Is Trump the Sequel to Schwarzenegger?

By Bill Blum

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"Innovative?" "State of the art?"

Submitted: Feb 23, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

To question the flak generated by Los Banos-based Morning Star Company, what's so innovative about lying to the state water board? Maybe it's getting caught due to neighbors' complaints. The fine is fairly hefty and that will cause Morning Star's lawyers to exert themselves greatly to gain innovative reductions in the amount of at least 30 percent, along the lines of the nearby Hilmar Cheese fine and final settlement.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has found that Morning Star's Williams plant is a "state of the art" groundwater polluter.

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Not with a 10-foot pole

Submitted: Feb 17, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The Republican presidential candidates debated before a rich, white crowd in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday. They fought with each other, nearly to the point of blows a la the anti-bellum US Congress, to establish who was the Most Anti-Government of All. The mirror of plutocrats in the room thrilled with each of the mounting attacks against regulation and taxes. Against Government.

The contenders for the crown the Most Anti-Government at All included the former governor of Florida, who fixed his state's 2000 presidential election for his brother; the governor of Ohio; two US senators, a New York City developer and TV celebrity; and a surgeon who took early retirement to promote the anti-regulation/tax position of the doctors in every country club in America, most of which would not permit him to become a member due to the color of his skin.

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The Syrian Civil War in pieces of the broken mirror

Submitted: Feb 13, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

“The conflict has become like a Middle East version of the Thirty Years’ War in Germany four hundred years ago. Too many players are fighting each other for different reasons for all of them to be satisfied by peace terms and to be willing to lay down their arms at the same time. Some still think they can win and others simply want to avoid a defeat. In Syria, as in Germany between 1618 and 1648, all sides exaggerate their own strength and imagine that temporary success on the battlefield will open the way to total victory. Many Syrians now see the outcome of their civil war resting largely with the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. In this, they are probably right.” 
 

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MIddle finger of free market in water no longer invisible

Submitted: Feb 12, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The animal spirits of capitalism are bathing in the arid West. -- blj

2-9-16

ProPublica

Liquid Assets

Abraham Lustgarten

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California agro-tycoons try to deep rip federal environmental law again

Submitted: Feb 09, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

Throughout a lengthy, tedious and expensive (for the public as well as the special interest) legal proceeding, the battle between Modesto-based Duarte Nursery and the Army Corps of Engineers and the federal Environmental Protection Agency is going to boil down to two issues. First, is there compelling evidence that Duarte deep ripped a pasture containing vernal pools despite his absolute denial? Second, will Duarte's private property rights trump the federal Clean Water Act?

If the case gets to the US Supreme Court, maybe this California agro-tycoon will not make the mistake Angelo Tsakopoulos made with a nearly identical suit when he made his relationship with Justice Anthony Kennedy so public that Kennedy recused himself, tying the vote, 4-4, giving the win to the Army Corps.

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Good time to plant more nuts

Submitted: Feb 06, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

State water bureaucrats are keeping the screws tight on urban water use while a few agro-plutocrats on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley lock in a guaranteed water supply 30-percent larger than the total requirement for Los Angeles and go on planting more almond orchards as the price for the Holy Nut falls. --blj

1-27-16

Valley Public Radio

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Is the Beast having indigestion?

Submitted: Feb 03, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 To us the story of Bernie Sanders' remarkable showing in Iowa and the ongoing civil war in the Middle East, the liberal crowing v. the dirge of wars past, present and to come, put their stamp on early February 2016: a double latte held high above a pool of other peoples' blood.

So far, as Ira Chernus points out, the rhyming between today and an earlier moment is almost perfect. Too perfect. Rather than historical "progress." it's looking like the same-old/same-old/same-old historical vortex.

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