Merced County

Two ghosts in the room

Submitted: May 27, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Two major law-enforcement stories recently rocked Merced. Public security is universally the fundamental job of political authorities, and these two stories were certainly full of politics.

In the first, Operation Scrapbook, top law enforcement officials in the county, starting with DA Larry Morse II, performed a sweep of Mexican gang members, primarily Sureños. A state program called VIPER procured by local legislators provided surveillance information vital to the effort according to all involved, especially  Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced. When the credit was passed out, state Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, seemed to have been forgotten.

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Javier Valdez Cardenas, Presente!

Submitted: May 18, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

"The Sinaloa cartel has demonstrated in many instances that it can adapt. I think it's in a process of redefinition toward marijuana," says Javier Valdez, a respected journalist and author who writes books on the narcoculture in Sinaloa.

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Are the gang busters winning in Merced?

Submitted: May 17, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Depending on where you live in Merced County, you hear more or less gunfire. In some areas you hear a lot of it; in others maybe very little. But everyone knows it is out there and we appreciate law enforcement's efforts to reduce violence in the county. Chances are the latest crime-busting technique of listening in on kids' social media will not "put an end to this crisis," as state Assemblyman Adam Gray claims, but it might help prevent some crime.

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Towards a quieter dine-and-dope experience in central Merced

Submitted: Mar 27, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Merced City Council members Jill McLeod and Michael Belluomini advocated for quieter trains at last week's council meeting. They targeted the BNSF tracks in the northern part of central Merced because Amtrak adds more trains to the already busy tracks. But when Ms. McLeod, known in some central Merced circles as "Strawberry Jujube," repeatedly said that the area has an "industrial" feeling, we wondered how long before the council would mandate the Strawberry Jujube Aesthetic for our neighborhoods. Would we all be required by ordinance to die our hair orange and wear a pigtail to escape the onus of looking "industrial," the way many working people employed by various industries do look.

We don't think McLeod and Belluomini are going after the worst aspect of the trains. The dirt, the dust, and the grime that both BNSF and Union Pacific trains kick up pose worse problems for health and housecleaning than their noise. And the hazardous materials constantly traveling through town on frieght trains pose potentially catastrophic dangers to public health.

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"Do not take your CDBGs from our Valley..."

Submitted: Mar 17, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We are grateful to Congressman Jim Costa, 16th Congressional District of California, for this excellent rundown on the consequences of the Plutocrat's First Budget on the Valley, its poor people, small businesses, and even its wealthy farmers. -- blj

 

March 17, 2017

US Congressman Jim Costa

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Safe drinking water for children in Planada and Le Grand!

Submitted: Mar 16, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 It's a sign of our fragmented times that children in these rural schools should need special clean water dispensers at the same time as the same communities plan for more growth. If you don't have enough clean water for the children of your community, how can you in good conscience plan for more growth? Planners, of course, will argue how much worse it would all be if the new growth weren't planned because planners are pawns in the real great game of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.1. 2 .3.

Conscience doesn't have a thing to do with it. It is about bureaucratic and corporate schedules fermenting away in their own separate silos. The people involved are just doing their jobs to support their families.

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Under normal circumstance, the liar is defeated...

Submitted: Mar 13, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Under normal circumstances the liar is defeated by reality, for which there is no substitute; no matter how large the issue of falsehood that an experienced liar has to offer, it will never be large enough, even if he enlists the help of computers, to cover the immensity of factuality. The liar, who may get away with any number of single falsehoods, finds it impossible to get away with lying on principle,This is one of the lessons that could be learned from the totalitarian experiments and the totalitarian rulers' frightening confidence in the power of lying -- in their ability, for instance, to rewrite history again and again to adapt the past to the "political line" of the present moment or to eliminate data that did not fit their ideology. Thus, in a socialist economy, they would deny that unemployment existed, the unemployed person simply becoming a nonperson...Hannah Arendt, "Lying in Politics," in Crises of the Republic, 1969; p. 7.

Nonpersons like the majority of voters who voted against Trump in the presidential election? Or the 14 million fewer with medical insurance by 2018, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office? Or the press? Undocumented immigrants?-- blj


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Do the crime and beg forgiveness?

Submitted: Feb 20, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

The worst thing about this journalistic foul is that everyone who subsequently acknowledged, recognized, or realized that they had violated the privacy and endangered the futures of these young students did not know what they were doing when they did it and have no idea of the harm they have caused, the anxiety and fear they have raised; they have no idea of the damage they did. For their different motives, they were all willing to violate these kids.

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Crown prince of radicchio whines to the Times

Submitted: Feb 10, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Maybe it's the drinking water. Could it be the worst air quality in the country? What kind of pesticides do they spray on radicchio? Whatever it is, it's hard to imagine why any farmers, particularly the Marchinis with their operations spread out over several prime rowcrop regions: Le Grand, Kettleman City, Watsonville, Salinas, and Yuma, would bite the hand that gorged them with the 2013 Farm Bill?1.

No. The Crown Prince of Radicchio tuned up a wondrous California Ag Whine for the reporter ladies from New York and Los Angeles because he could and because that was what they wanted to hear.

You've got to hand it to Trump. He has done what even the foul state Proposition 187, in 1994 failed to do, even though it turned kindergarten teachers into Border Patrol personnel: he has flushed out the growers of the San Joaquin Valley and made them speak up about their workforce. Perish the thought that there should come a day when no surplus of undocumented Mexicans are wandering the Valley, the Central Coast and Yuma looking for farmwork! 

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