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Those who argue, on the other hand, that mankind has no chance of surviving the end but still has a chance to avert it, by getting rid of nuclear weapons, devising less wasteful technologies, and adopting a less wasteful way of life, rightly refuse to console themselves with the fantasy of a new life after the apocalypse, -- Christopher Lasch, The Minimal Self, Norton (1984), p. 86.
Last week we found three articles among many plus the television coverage about "Brexit," the United Kingdom's referendum to leave the European Union. Some of us are old enough to remember how deadly serious European unification was during the Cold War and beyond. For this reason alone we were glad to find Alan Posener's reflections on the most powerful country in the EU, Germany, in light of its reunification and renewed nationalist aspirations.
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Part 1 of the $420-million Question can be found on Badlands Journal on June 1. At that time, the City of Merced's new General Manager, Steve Carrigan, was likened to a Pit bull, drooling at the mouth to take a bite out of Merced County CEO, Jim Brown because the County was not rolling over for the combined wishes of UC Merced, landowners and the City to annex about 650 acres along the Bellevue Road approach to the UC campus. Carrigan was only prevented from mauling Brown, so the urban narrative went, by the Chihuahua behind him, Assistant General Manager Mike Conway.Read More »
We were curious about this item on the Merced City Council's June 6 Consent Agenda. We are referring to Item H.10, File # 16-219 on the Merced City Council Agenda for June 6, 2016. You can see it here, among its brethren consent-agenda items:
What is the "First Amendment to Scope of Services?"Read More »
PRINCETON New Jersey, February 25, 1967: Six hundred people gather to commemorate the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, "father of the Atomic Bomb." George Kennan, veteran diplomat, ambassador and "father" of the postwar containment policy against the Soviet Union, said: "On no one did there ever rest with greater cruelty the dilemmas evoked by the recent conquest by human beings of a power over nature out of all proportion to their moral strength. No one ever saw more clearly the dangers arising for humanity from this mounting disparity. This anxiety never shook his faith in the value of the search for truth in all its forms, scientific and humane. But there was no one who more passionately desired to be useful in averting the catastrophes to which the development of the weapons of mass destruction threatened to lead. It was the interests of mankind that he had in mind here; but it was as an American, and through the medium of this national community to which he belonged, that he saw his greatest possibilities for pursuing these aspirations.Read More »
Which is worse, flash annihilation by nuclear explosions, or slow mutilation from low-level radiation, the result of radioactive contamination of the air, water and earth essential to life? -- Leuren Moret, forward to Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium
The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium
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
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