Economy

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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Nunes: a paper tiger up the river in a paper canoe

Submitted: Mar 22, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Cut from the same cloth as former Valley congressmen Richard Pombo and Dennis Cardoza, Rep. Devin Nunes, Cowboy-Visalia, has made his way in life by being just smart enough to figure out where the money is -- water -- and corrupt enough to go down the drain. And, as is in the nature of corrupt things, he threatens to bring everything around him down with him. But this is of no concern to Nunes, just as long has the farmers in his district get more water than they deserve regardless of the climate. But will his touching faith in Trump's promises be rewarded?--blj

 

California Congressman Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, differs from Trump on issues including free trade. Nunes is a supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal Trump pledges to kill.

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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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Mr. Pruitt of the Environmental Protection Agency

Submitted: Mar 12, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 Pruitt also stated that “I would not agree that [carbon dioxide is] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” a comment that is at odds with the scientific consensus on climate change.  -- Timothy Cama, The Hill, March 13, 2017

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In California water flows uphill to poverty and agro-plutocrats

Submitted: Mar 08, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

These days in California, water flows uphill to money1. and the people move east. Our working people--and the largest area of the hardest working poor people in California is contained in its richest agricultural counties2. -- are moving out along with the produce,  as more -- but never sufficient -- water moves in. This could lead to the conclusion that agriculture, at least agribusiness as it is practiced in the US, continues to create poverty in its fields while it squanders the resources of others for export led growth enriching fewer and fewer people as the agrarian dream has soured and curdled into a corporate nightmare where a permanent autocracy of hydro-kleptocrats owns the countryside and high-intensity, high-tech, highly armed police squads attempt to pacify the urban populations of the county seats.

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The farm economy is not the rural economy

Submitted: Mar 02, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 3-2-17

 

Environmental Working Group

Will More Farm Subsidies Help the Rural Economy?

Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs

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Free market liberalism and California water, fresh and salt

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

 We have prefaced Dan Bacher's latest, excellent article on the San Joaquin Delta water war with this piece on neoliberalism by noted environmentalist George Monbiot because Bacher uses the term to describe the political culture of the interests who will destroy the Delta if not successfully opposed. Monbiot defines this powerful, nearly anonymous creed well and he helps us see familiar faces in a different light and understand the motives and deception more clearly.

 Bacher adds a dimension by linking the Delta "plan" with the off-shore "marine protection areas" that cause even more harm to the coastal fishing economy yet seems to protect and encourage off-shore drilling and fracking.

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