As we were looking at the state Department of Water Resources "Reer"leases this morning we had to think about Mark Twain and the weather. No one, however public spirited and desirous of remaining up-to-date on the World Famous California Drought -- dubious a desire as that is -- should have to start their week with a DWR Press Rerlease without at least a short antidotal quote from Twain on one of his favorite topics and the cause for a number of his greatest works long and short, including the blizzard-induced "Cannibalism in the Cars."Read More »
Uncharted territory: Delta farmers fear losing water supplyRead More »
We have come to use the term "astro-turfing," derived from plastic grass replacing real turf on playing fields and lawns, to describe various types of propaganda from political campaigns or corporate public relations campaigns (if they can be distinguished).
This posting compares one of doubtlessly many similar articles propagated by Monsanto and other pesticide manufacturers to demonstrate their love and care for bees, and the horrifying statistics of Colony Collapse that plod down the years like the footsteps of doom itself.
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Contra Costa Times
George Skelton: Delta tunnel plan -- a million hours and still not shovel-ready
By George SkeltonLos Angeles Times columnist
http://www.contracostatimes.com/opinion/ci_28095636/george-skelton:-delta-tunnel-plan--a-million-hours-and-still-not-shovelreadyRead More »
Politicians striking poses in the face of natural disaster is older than the pharaohs. It is easier to imagine a tree falling unseen and unheard in a forest than it is to imagine a disaster without politicians crawling all over it flattering their own efforts and the strength of "their people."
"Heck of a job, Brownie"...etc.
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It seems to be a week, as the drums of war go on beating, when people are looking for perspective. At least we don't think it is only us at Badlands. For awhile after the fall of the Soviet Union, there seemed to be a choice to be or not to be the world's policeman and "indispensable nation." Evidently, somewhere far beyond the counsel of ordinary people, the decision was made to continue to pour the public billions into the military-industrial complex.
Curiously, many of the so-called serious threats to our national security, for example, China, seem to investing in projects to improve their own and other nations' infrastructures to increase trade and prosperity.
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“It is one thing for the US and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal US secrets and play them back to US legislators to undermine US diplomacy,” the Wall Street Journal quoted a senior US official as saying. -- Borger, Zonszein, The Guardian, March 24, 2015
Our current political situation is unprecedented. The vast majority of Americans keep falling behind economically because of changes in society's ground rules, while the rich get even richer -- yet this situation doesn't translate into a winning politics.
If anything, the right keeps gaining and the wealthy keep pulling away. How can this possibly be? -- Robert Kuttner, Huffington Post, March 24, 2015
We've been stunned by the drought and responses to it locally and at a state and national level. Environmentalists have been warning about how farmers have been over-drafting the aquifer in the Central Valley for decades and have been snubbed and demonized for mentioning it, as if we were not citizens and members of the same society that landowners and urban businessmen are. They don't even have to bribe elected officials anymore; social elites spring up overnight around wealth in new industries, whose "leaders" get what they want and they always want more water. Elected officials and educators -- from kindergarten to UC Merced -- babble on constantly about leadership. And they all use that one phrase, growing more absurd by the day: "We've got to move forward."Read More »
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MDA attorneys, headed by administrator Tom Pfeiff, handle criminal cases for indigent defendants in Merced County whenever any conflicts of interest prevent the Public Defender’s Office from representing someone..“Whatever issue has arisen with regard to the money received by Judge Garcia pursuant to the dissolution of our joint venture has nothing to do with MDA and is entirely between Judge Garcia and the Commission on Judicial Performance. Following the appointment, Pfeiff bought out Garcia, making payments in monthly installments between 2008 and 2012 totaling $250,000, the commission said.