City of Merced

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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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 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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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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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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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 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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