Federal Government

"It's not uncommon ..."

Submitted: May 11, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “They keep telling everybody that it is state of the art, that leaks won’t happen, that nothing can go wrong,” said Jan Hasselman, a lawyer for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which has beenfighting theh project for years. “It’s always been false. They haven’t even turned the thing on and it’s shown to be false.” -- Sam Levin, Guardian, May 11, 2017

  

 

5-11-17

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News from the blood-stained plinth

Submitted: May 10, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The Airwars monitoring group has compiled reports of 1,280 to 1,744 civilians killed by at least 2,237 bombs and missiles that rained down from U.S. and allied warplanes in April (1,609 on Iraq and 628 on Syria). The heaviest casualties were in and around Old Mosul and West Mosul, where 784 to 1,074 civilians were reported killed, but the area around Tabqa in Syria also suffered heavy civilian casualties. -- Nicolas J.S.

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The political economy of Delta-fish extinction, Part II

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

 What is lacking and fatal to endangered species in this kind of academic scientific approach to the problem of extinction is the full articulation of the political problem that can be faced and fought. Instead of this terribly learned hand-wringing, they should be urging political action against the pumps, against the twin tunnel project, and against the Westlands Water District and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Campaign against members of Congress in the pockets of the hydraulic brotherhood. Make Jerry Brown pay dearly for his environmentally ruinous tunnels. At least make the Brown administration explain clearly what real public benefit they would be? The political messaging for the project has been so compelling that it has driven the learned men below into a dark bar for a long night. -- blj

 

 

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Plutocracy ascendent!

Submitted: May 06, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We think George Will misunderstands Trump and, probably, the Americans who elected him. Writing that Trump is ignorant of American history is a waste of ink. He's no more ignorant than his constituents. But he and his supporters deny something as adamantly as Will denies their moral right to hold power (or is it merely their bad grammar?). He and they deny the importance of George F. Will's pompous, imprecise rhetoric and his fantastic memory of American history and baseball because there is nothing in Will's vocabulary to what Trump knows -- how to win a presidential election against a highly favored opponent. 

In the lead paragraph, for example, it's clear that Will is so in love with the elegant latinate couple, "disinclination" and "disability," that he leaves unclear whether he means Trump's "not a mere disinclination but a disability" or the Americans'. Will's "This" mocks his rhetorical urgency "for a Americans to think and speak clearly ..." From there on it gets worse, with the exception of felicitous phrases like "Trump's verbal fender benders ..." and ends with dire prognostications.

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Drinking water and class on the Delta

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

 Restore the Delta, a community advocacy group that has fought the state water plan, estimated that there are around 40,000 people in the Delta that could be classified as environmental justice communities. Environmental justice laws require the equal treatment of all people with respect to environmental issues, such as access to clean water.

Specifically, the cities of Antioch and Stockton have larger environmental justice populations that would experience significant difficulty were water pollution levels or water rates to increase.

 

 

 

 

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The political economy of Delta-fish extinctions

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

 For species like delta smelt and winter-run Chinook salmon, there will be considerable pressure to declare them extinct because maintaining even small populations requires releases of water from dams...But to avoid spending scarce conservation dollars on species that have already gone extinct, we need a policy in place that provides a pathway for declaring a species officially extinct. We address this in part II of our blog.

 So, we maintain both the state and federal endangered species acts while the species go extinct in publicly managed rivers, shaped by publicly funded levees and dams, and distributed by publicly funded canals, as a matter of "public policy"?

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Slivers in the Invisible Middle Finger of the Free Market?

Submitted: Apr 28, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “Unfortunately, the US Chamber of Commerce is doing everything it can to block efforts to combat both climate change and anti-smoking laws and regulations. It opposes the Paris Agreement that you publicly support, is suing to block the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, consistently lobbies against legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and spends millions of dollars in money on elections ads urging voters to back candidates who support the fossil fuel industry and oppose efforts to combat climate change,” they write. -- Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, April 24, 2017

 

   

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Let them eat debt

Submitted: Apr 26, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

In reality, Cohn, Powell, and other Wall Streeters in the Trump White House are pushing Trump closer to the views of Wall Street and big business – views that are reflected in the views of “mainstream” Republicans and Democrats only to the extent the “mainstream” is dependent on the Street and big corporations for campaign money. -- Robert Reich, Truthdig, April 26, 2017

 

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Some serious questions from the local press

Submitted: Apr 25, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

This weekend we asked what other reporters and editors locally and around the state were curious about. This is a selection of articles that appeared locally in the last week.

-- blj


4-22-17

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Mistakes were made

Submitted: Apr 24, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 It almost seems as if in the wake of 9/11 and the creation of the Homeland Security Administration, the fear of dam sabotage has been an excuse for not doing maintenance and repair of dams and the complete failure to plan for the effects of global warming on the Sierra Nevada snowpack. And it seems that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which commissions the hydro-electric plants on the Sierra-river dams,  in the midst of its exquisitely complex scientific and bureaucratic study schedule and meetings, all directed by impeccably value-free facilitators, the sort of catastrophe that happened at Oroville and threatens worse, was not contemplated, at least sufficiently. -- blj

 

 

 

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