Environment

Questions without answers

Submitted: Apr 09, 2017
By: 
Bill Hatch

 

Below are some questions the asker does not know the answer to -- questions that are not simply inverted assertions, questions that are not mere rhetorical openings for opinions, questions that are not part of dogmatic "answers."

Do the answers constantly produced by mass media, targeted, tailormade to placate political consumers, satisfy what is political in us?

What is the political in us?

Is citizenship a privilege without obligations?

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One of the nation's most endangered rivers runs through it

Submitted: Apr 04, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Badlands readers have corrected our previous post on Rep. Devin Nunes, Raver-Visalia in different ways. Some considered our post nothing but evidence that we've been duped by the "Russian Conspiracy" Democrats. But the more interesting criticism raises doubts that Nunes's political gyrations for the benefit of the Trump Regime will be rewarded with a new dam on the San Joaquin River at Temperance Flats (a few miles upriver the Friant Dam). They argue, persuasively that the probably soon-to- be-former-Rep. Nunes, Political Graveyard CA, stupidly sacrificed his career for promises of support from Westlands Water District and President Trump.

"Trump was just lying and Westlands is already grooming a new boy or girl for the district," say these readers.

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What's National Security next to more off-stream storage?

Submitted: Apr 01, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The incoming Trump administration has appointed a Westlands’ lobbyist, David Bernhardt, to head the Interior Department transition team that will make recommendations on policies and personnel.

One of Bernhardt’s stated priorities has been “potential legislation regarding settlement of litigation” – which means the Valadao bill – according to lobbying registration records filed by Bernhardt’s firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Westlands paid the firm $245,000 last year, records show.

 

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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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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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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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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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