Merced County

Merced besmirched by High Speed Rail Authority

Submitted: Mar 25, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Down at the Whiners' and Beggars' Hall the other night, the boys on the Merced City Council tuned up and gave a highly harmonious howl and stamped their feet in a veritable clog dance of indignation.

 

What had happened was that after about a decade of brown nosing any and all representatives dispatched to them from the California High Speed Rail Authority so that the city would be sure to get one of the highly prized high speed rail stations smack dab in the middle of downtown Merced, the authority appears to have decided against it.

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Not even spit in the wind

Submitted: Mar 11, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 "Paper-water bonds"

(with apologies to Billy Rose and Yip Harburg)

 

They're only paper-water bonds

 No more than creative accounting funds.

And the SEC wouldn't have given  a damn

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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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"Innovative?" "State of the art?"

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

 

To question the flak generated by Los Banos-based Morning Star Company, what's so innovative about lying to the state water board? Maybe it's getting caught due to neighbors' complaints. The fine is fairly hefty and that will cause Morning Star's lawyers to exert themselves greatly to gain innovative reductions in the amount of at least 30 percent, along the lines of the nearby Hilmar Cheese fine and final settlement.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has found that Morning Star's Williams plant is a "state of the art" groundwater polluter.

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Good time to plant more nuts

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

State water bureaucrats are keeping the screws tight on urban water use while a few agro-plutocrats on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley lock in a guaranteed water supply 30-percent larger than the total requirement for Los Angeles and go on planting more almond orchards as the price for the Holy Nut falls. --blj

1-27-16

Valley Public Radio

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Heretics for Trump and Cruz?

Submitted: Jan 25, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The doctrine these sects preach is Christian heresy. The Christian faith—as in the 1930s under Germany’s pro-Nazi Christian church—is being distorted to sanctify nationalism, unregulated capitalism and militarism. The mainstream church, which refuses to denounce these heretics as heretics, a decision made in the name of tolerance, tacitly gives these sects credibility and squanders the prophetic voice of the church... The retreat from radicalism—in essence the abandonment of the vulnerable to the predatory forces of corporate capitalism—created a spiritual void filled by protofascist movements that have usurped Christian symbols and provided a species of faith that is, at its core, a belief in magic. This Christian heresy is currently on public display at Donald Trump and Ted Cruz political rallies.

 -- Chris Hedges, Truthdig, Jan. 24, 2016

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Holy Nut recently venerated in Modesto

Submitted: Dec 02, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

While the government compelled urban residents to let their lawns die and cut back on showers last summer,  California almond growers prevailed upon the same government to subsidize the planting of millions of new trees, all of which needed water. and will need more as they grow.  This led to the phenomenon, especially apparent here in Merced in the heart of the state almond deal, of dusty brown towns and lush green orchards in the country, irrigated with new, deeper wells causing more over-drafting and land subsidence while municipal wells in some towns dried up.

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Book review of Right out of California

Submitted: Nov 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
 This is an interesting review of a book, Right out of California, which argues that conflict between growers and migrant farm labor produced the peculiarly authoritarian right-wing element in "modern conservatism" (aka ideology of the wingnuts). For those who are still open enough to behold the core of California agribusiness -- exploitation of migrant labor, often foreign and with as little legal rights as possible -- without which the agro-plutocracy could not rule and its bottomlessly greedy babble about more water for themselves and all the rest of their favorite topics, paranoias, protestations of love for the Mexican people, and acts of threat and political corruption would appear to be what they are: mountains of the well known substance.

Be careful of whose stocking you consider stuffing this book into. It is recommended only for people with a greater ability to reflect than to be ditto heads because it puts into question every sacred cow that has ever ambled beneath Modesto's famous arch: Water Wealth Contentment Health -- to which there can be only reply: "Not! Not now!

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Our young turkeys of the land gobble on

Submitted: Nov 16, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “They (environmental groups) can emotionally appeal to the general-election voting base a whole lot more effectively than they can in an off-election cycle,” Koehn said.

Jeff Marchini, director of Division 1, said things are different than in 2011. If MID wants to protect its water from the environmental groups in Sacramento, switching the election years is the right thing to do, he said.

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Our friendly local Netherlands-based bank in the news

Submitted: Nov 11, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Rabobank, a Netherlands-based bank with offices throughout the San Joaquin Valley which presents itself as primarily and agricultural bank, has been involved in recent years in two major financial scandals in which for once the dairy industry doesn't figure at all. They are Mexican drug-cartel money laundering on the US/Mexico border and participation in rigging the London interbank interest-rate offer. The latter, explained below, has been a catastrophe for smaller banks.

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