Journalism

Smog replaces foreclosures, murder and drought as top Valley distraction

Submitted: Apr 21, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  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.

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The horns of our poltical dilemma: between inverted totalitarianism and fugitive democracy

Submitted: Apr 18, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Robert Perry writes about the soaring "negatives" of both the front runners in the presidential primaries, HIllary Clinton and Donald Trump (the Hill and the Donald). He presents the bleak dilemma facing the Democratic Party after the nomination. This reminds us of the 1968 Democratic Party, gutted by the assassination of Robert Kennedy that depressed his supporters so deeply that they were unable to rally in time to help defeat Richard Nixon.

Supporters of Bernie seem made of stronger stuff, having found their political legs marching and demonstrating rather than scrambling to get their noses under a tent in Camelot.

Chris Hedges points out in his column, "Revolution in the air," that the movements built around principles and moral positions are having a growing influence on elected officials.

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Sheer v. Osborn on Democracy Now! -- Vital debate

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

 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.

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The cycle of corruption in state and federal resource agencies in California

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

 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.

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Shine us on, oh multimedia sun, oh multiplatform stars!

Submitted: Apr 08, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 "While we're optimistic about the actions taken at council, it's very early in the process," Ken Riddick publisher of the Merced Sun-Star said earlier this week. "As we evolve as a multimedia provider of news and information and multiplatform marketing solutions, we continue to be committed to our readers and the businesses in the region," he said. "That relevance and credibility isn't about the building we house our staff in, it's about an amazing professional staff making Merced a better place to live and work." -- Thaddeus Miller, Merced Sun-Star, April 6, 2016, "Seeking new police station, city to negotiate for Sun-Star building."

 

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That half-cent transpo sales-tax increase still rising like stink off a dairy lagoon

Submitted: Mar 30, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  “Our situation here shows how important infrastructure investment is to economic development,” said Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced. He said the effort to complete the expressway must continue. -- Thaddeus Miller, March 3, 2016, Merced Sun-Star

 

A basic standard for professional newswriting and editing is that everything in the story make some kind of minimal sense. This standard used to be applied also to the obligatory quote from the appropriate bigshot. These requirements of the professional newsstory have been known to clash. When they do, they create a momentary blank spot in the minds of readers as they try to follow a narrative of public events.

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Concerning the recent Republicn debate on the reproductive habits of rodents

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

  

I have found that good taste, oddly enough, plays an important role in politics. Why is it like that? The most probable reason is that good taste is a visible manifestation of human sensibility toward the world, environment, people. -- Vaclav Havel http://blog.gaiam.com/quotes/authors/vaclav-havel/38812

 

10-29-91

New York Times

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Ain't we just the powerfulest!

Submitted: Mar 10, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The title to this letter to the editor in the print edition of today's paper was "Blame the greenies for higher prices."

It began:

Who causes entanglements to keep their job? Environmentalists became stronger when they realize they never produced a product to sell. They constantly charged fees or taxes on manufacturing businesses, farms and electrical companies in order to keep their job and paycheck.

 

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