Public Health and Safety

Valley tourism in a megadrought: Come on down!

Submitted: Oct 28, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Various heads of assorted chambers of commerce and Ben Duran, current CEO of Carol Whiteside's Great Valley Center, local fomenter of the greatest real estate boom and financial bust in Valley history, are promoting tourism to the San Joaquin Valley.

Come on down to Megadroughtistan! Feel the land sink as giant pumps suck out deep aquifers! See the mountains rise! See the final, desperate almond blooms! See the dying Honey bee going extinct along with a host of species native to the Valley! See the wells of towns and then cities go dry as almond orchards owned by finance, insurance and real estate corporations pump on and on! Experience pesticide/fertilizer laden dust clouds first hand from inside air-conditioned buses! See the Black bears in Bakersfield and other Valley towns and county seats! See the sick and starving migrating water fowl! Read all the lyric wannabe James Agees, see the photos of all the wannabe Walker Evans, as they chronicle the misery, the misery!

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Prize winning academic women: what do they do?

Submitted: Oct 28, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

This is a story about a highly accomplished scientist at California Institute of Technology, Frances Arnold, who in 2013 received a national medal for technology and innovation from President Barack Obama. It is also a story about women in academia, particularly women in the sciences. Last and least, it is a story about DNA engineering, actually the technology to synthesize DNA and "rewrite the code of life."

There is no doubt that gender competition is always a subject worth discussing, whether it is in the restaurant kitchen or the CalTech chemical engineering department.

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Restorative justice in Merced schools?

Submitted: Oct 26, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Fewer suspensions not only benefits students, but translate directly into cost savings for schools because school funding is based on the number of students in attendance. A 40 percent reduction in suspensions would save $120,000 for county school districts. -- Scambray, Merced Sun-Star, Oct. 23, 2014

We are aware that the city is immersed in gang violence and that high schools are deeply affected. We had also heard something recently about a new thing, more a movement than a program, called "restorative justice," but it remained at least for us one of those buzzwords that the smart people throw around -- and requests for definitions are not encouraged.

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Ebola: its political economy and its faith-based treatment in Texas

Submitted: Oct 24, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

 

 

 

 

August 2014

Jacobin

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Atwater al fresco

Submitted: Oct 22, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 "Is the bigot still on the council?" asked a relocated Valley citizen the other night, when we were standing again before the Mystery of Atwater politics.

"Think he's gone by now, but let's check." (1)

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LA: it believes in its own tinsel

Submitted: Oct 20, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 LA lives or dies by its own propaganda except for its fine B movies, its superb detective-story writers, and the incomparable Mike Davis (City of Quartz, Planet of Slums, and much more).

But, is it absolutely necessary that the rest of the state swallow LA propaganda, particularly on the question of how much Northern California water it "deserves" as "fair and equitable" so it can continue to grow? For the benefit of whom (1)  at the cost of the destruction to what (2)?

See answers below. -- blj

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Kern County-approved Bakersfield oil-transfer station project sued

Submitted: Oct 20, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Down on the front lines in Kern County, a lawsuit with implications for Merced, which has two main railroads running through it, is being fought over the future transportation of oil, particularly the highly flammable fracked crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to refineries in Richmond.

 

 

 

10-9-14

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Historical perspective on California megadroughts

Submitted: Oct 13, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

How might the historical grasp of the frequency of megadroughts in California influence our decision on the water bond, with its funds for the construction of tunnels beneath the Delta to ship the fresher Sacramento River water to the great north-south canals?

For some, it make make the bond even more imperative than it already is for them. At any cost to the environmental and -- increasingly -- to the society, capitalism in California must continue following the path to the greatest return on investment -- real estate development, either residential or -- also increasingly -- in agribusiness. Another player in the merry dance of natural resource destruction in the state is hydraulic fracturing drilling for oil and gas, which uses enormous quantities of water and pollutes groundwater wherever it is established.

Others, perhaps more thoughtful people, and those who possess some connection with Nature not entirely committed to commercial exploitation and destruction, might take a different view.  Or, simply that that portion of the vast majority of Californians that don't have much of any connection to Nature, exploitive or otherwise, but who are just not subject to being bullied by the fear mongering of the usual financial, insurance and real estate special interests. 

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A doctor's view

Submitted: Oct 03, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

10-2-14

The Guardian

Alternet.net

Has Neoliberalism Turned Us All Into Psychopaths?

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Dead lawns and itchy people

Submitted: Sep 26, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 It is late September and we were talking over coffee this morning about the San Joaquin Valley water situation the way valley residents will do when fire fighters on the King Fire above Placerville are worried about flash floods and all we see is vague overcast composed of many substances as well as some water vapor. Mothers wearing winterish jackets are taking their children, also in jackets, to school.

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