There is little to say about these two articles other than they are written by two of the best reporters on their subjects in the country: Bill Boyarsky on politics in California; and Ray McGovern on the state of national insecurity. We have only this notice to add:Read More »
Every reporter who has covered local government knows of issues about which, for some reason, general incoherence prevails in public utterance and the media, delivered vehemently by both elected officials and department heads. Obsequious, cynical editors require the reporters to make up something plausible, which is then edited into new incoherence by paginators. If the editors perform adequately, later on they become local government communication directors and continue their careers crafting the obsequies of democracy.
And onward rolls the Great Wheel of Absurdity.Read More »
"In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. It's not cool to not know what you're talking about." -- President Barack Obama, Commencement speech at Rutgers University.
Maxwell Tani, Business Insider, May 15, 2016.
The political season has provoked such anxiety that people are turning to political science for its perspectives. We've found two recent reviews of political science about California groundwater and the irrationality of voters.Read More »
This article is the first in a series by longtime water researcher and activist, Patrick Porgans, on the opposite and contradictory polls of the "500-year California drought," the state's growing gross dtate product (GDP) and its growing budget. Porgans asks a number of questions about water and finances in California: Did the drought really affect agricultural profits? Where did the water really go? Why don't the data support the claims of drought-driven economic ruin? Why do urban citizens have to subsidize agribusiness, which exports so much produce grown with subsidized irrigation water? The article is dense with facts and figures and requires reading several times to get their full impact. It can't be boiled down into either a TV sound-byte or a wire-service news story.
Enjoy the results of real sustained research on matters vital to the health of the state. -- blj
Read More »
In memory of William Trombley (1929-2009)
We are frankly skeptical of the UC Merced-sponsored "Climate Feedback" website, which aims at rating the scientific accuracy of media coverage of environmental issues. Apparently, the group of scientists has a special grievance against online publications. Badlands Journal, such a publication, has reported thoroughly on the environmental damage directly caused by UC Merced and stimulated by the campus site, including environemntal permit comment letters and legal actions done by San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center, Protect Our Water (POW), the Central Valley Safe Environment Network and other public organizations.
Following the widespread oceanic observations (1) that ice packs everywhere are melting much more quickly than at first predicted, and that seas are consequently rising more quickly, Chris Clarke, the author of these two articles, puts the Delta tunnels project into the context of a Delta rapidly flooding with seawater. Viewed in this context, the tunnels project looks like the height of futility, its possible only purpose being to squeeze one more building boom out of Southern California and stimulate the production of almonds in the San Joaquin Valley to the point where every grower goes broke from over-production.
This pair of articles about our deteriorating air quality demonstrates a couple of disgusting sides to journalism and the "public information" racket today.
First, you cannot do a "balanced" story on a topic so obviously, totally out of balance as Valley air pollution. You simply cannot be permitted to correctly quote the Valley air board's sleazy flak telling the gasping public to take it all with a grain of salt.Read More »
Below is a transcript from a spirited debate regarding the Democratic Party presidential primaries campaign hosted by Democracy Now! last week.
In it the strengths and weaknesses of both candidates show up in their advocates, both veterans of decades of progressive political commitment.
We thought it was important to post DN!'s transcript because there was more to the encounter than could be captured by just watching or even rewatching the video of Friday's show.Read More »
It seems like at the end of these semi-automatic 8-year presidential regimes of the best administrations money can buy, there is a scandal in California involving the federal and state resource agencies with responsibility for enforcing environmental laws to protect wildlife species on land, in rivers and the ocean. The current report of misuse of public funds aimed at benefiting fish and wildlife in the Delta, instead using them to benefit irrigators and oil companies reminds us of a similar scandal in the Department of Interior eight years ago arising from a concerted attempt by politicians, business interests and federal resource-agency officials in their corrupt orbit, to destroy the federal Endangered Species Act by foul means, having failed in three attempts in Congress.
No doubt, professional historians could point to numerous examples of these cycles, which we might dub the Cycle of Corruption.Read More »