Air pollution

Where are they now?

Submitted: Aug 31, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Once they were dynamic young leaders of Merced County agriculture. Peter Koch was president of the county Farm Bureau, and he and his wife, Rochelle, founded and funded the Valley Land Alliance to "save farmland." VLA's main purpose these days is the constant promotion in its newsletter of a small number of farmer members. All references to the Koch family, however, have been expunged from its website since they sold their palatial residence, orchards and cow pens and left for the bucolic Willamette Valley in Oregon.

As we admire their latest agricultural venture, we can only say: "Skal, Dudes!"

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Road taxes, fracking and the Adam-Condit-Gray mob

Submitted: Aug 22, 2016

Prop. 13 is a gift that keeps on taking from the California public. The real estate special interests, including the financial and insurance industries, advertise throughout the world the advantages of California famous Proposition 13, which sharply limit the annual increase of property taxes and, as George Skelton reminds us, required a two-third vote of the state Legislature to raise any taxes.

The two-thirds requirement is generally an insurmountable obstacle to the 120-member state Legislature. The state Secretary of State's office doesn't post (or in any convenient place) the number of registered lobbyists doing business in the state Capitol. However, starting at the beginning of the alphabetical list, we reached 120 at William Barnaby III, a ruggedly handsome young fellow with a law degree and fashionable stubble who is a hereditary member of the lobbying firm Barnaby and Barnaby. 

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Merced Development Rodeo: Merced taxpayers, beware of your city council

Submitted: Aug 03, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

A cabal of Merced City Council members, city staff and developers ripped off the citizens of Merced for a bundle two weeks ago. Just in case we couldn't put a face on the usual suspects, developer and almond grower Greg Hostetler showed up at Monday's council meeting to berate retiring Mayor Stan Thurston for speaking truth to the city's development staff.

The issue was whether Merced would quit paying fees it collects from developers to pay for mitigation of the traffic impacts caused by their business. The city council decided to quit paying the fees for two years. This puts the public in the position of either suffering the results in traffic congestion or being forced to pay for it themselves.

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Hillary Clinton: Ol' "Honey" Bill's candidate for president

Submitted: Jul 27, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We were impressed by this note by Michael Moore in a section in the July 18 issue of The Nation called "We still need a future to believe in." Perhaps it was because it accords with our own gloomy view. Despite a real Murderers Row of Democratic Party orators on the opening night of the party's convention -- Sen. Cory Booker, First Lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren -- and a speech for the history books by Sen. Bernie Sanders, our fears of political chaos in the Democratic Party are not allayed.

In the Democratic Party of 2016, everybody's special; ordinary Americans need not apply, and just might not, much. These successful aspirants -- Booker, the Obamas, Warren, Bill and Hill -- who found their social ladders to climb in academia and politics -- are no inspiration for ordinary people who lack these particular gifts and historical opportunity. And, of course, there is no reward for any child who lacks the ambition to out-compete his schoolmates.

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The Swimming Mule and Other Agendas 3.

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

 Harken to the harmony of desert water experts. This should be read while humming "Home, Home on the Range." --blj)

 

Remaining Upbeat

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Shrimp Slayer/Pimlico Kid located in another dark corner

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

 - Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), a member of the committee that considered the bill, now at Foley & Lardner ("Many of my clients are people who in the past I was very involved in their issues"). -- Isaac Arnsdorf, POLITICO Influence, July 5, 2016

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Brexit's nuclear fallout

Submitted: Jul 05, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Peace in our time? --blj

6-30-16

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Nuclear Brexit

Hugh Gusterson

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"... a power over nature out of all proportion to their moral strength"

Submitted: May 29, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

PRINCETON  New Jersey, February 25, 1967: Six hundred people gather to commemorate the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, "father of the Atomic Bomb." George Kennan, veteran diplomat, ambassador and "father" of the postwar containment policy against the Soviet Union, said: "On no one did there ever rest with greater cruelty the dilemmas evoked by the recent conquest by human beings of a power over nature out of all proportion to their moral strength. No one ever saw more clearly the dangers arising for humanity from this mounting disparity. This anxiety never shook his faith in the value of the search for truth in all its forms, scientific and humane. But there was no one who more passionately desired to be useful in averting the catastrophes to which the development of the weapons of mass destruction threatened to lead. It was the interests of mankind that he had in mind here; but it was as an American, and through the medium of this national community to which he belonged, that he saw his greatest possibilities for pursuing these aspirations.

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Which is worse?

Submitted: May 27, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Which is worse, flash annihilation by nuclear explosions, or slow mutilation from low-level radiation, the result of radioactive contamination of the air, water and earth essential to life? -- Leuren Moret, forward to Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium

 

 

Discounted Casualties:
The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium 

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Down to the wire in California

Submitted: May 26, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There is little to say about these two articles other than they are written by two of the best reporters on their subjects in the country: Bill Boyarsky on politics in California; and Ray McGovern on the state of national insecurity.  We have only this notice to add:

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