Journalism

Three on Brexit

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

 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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The $420-million Question? Part 2.

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

 

 

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.

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A curious item for consent

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

 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: 

https://cityofmerced.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=401572&GUID=C362BC74-808F-4FCA-9D60-716BF1AD2161&Options=info&Search=

What is the "First Amendment to Scope of Services?"

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"... a power over nature out of all proportion to their moral strength"

Submitted: May 29, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

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.

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Which is worse?

Submitted: May 27, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

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

 

 

Discounted Casualties:
The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium 

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Down to the wire in California

Submitted: May 26, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 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:

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Bellevue Road annexation: a report to John Q Public and Don Q Publico

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


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.

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Political scientists are summoned to the spectacles

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

 "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.

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Rainy days and state budgets, part 1

Submitted: May 14, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

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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UC Merced's newest bright, shiny thing

Submitted: May 04, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 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.

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