Public Health and Safety

A sensible lawsuit to reform the state Legislature

Submitted: Jul 03, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 A federal lawsuit claims that our rights to representation are being violated because the size of the Legislature — 40 senators and 80 Assembly members — hasn’t changed since 1862 (and was made permanent by the 1879 Constitution ) even though the state’s population has grown from about 420,000 to nearly 40 million.

That means the number of Californians represented by each Assembly member has jumped from about 5,200 to nearly 500,000. And that dilutes the power of each vote and makes it nearly impossible for legislators to represent competing interests, according to the lawsuit.

 

 

 

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The drowned baby

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

Former state Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh used to refer to lobbyist money as "the mother's milk of politics." But he also advised new members of the Assembly: "If you can't drink their booze, enjoy their women, take their money, and vote against them in the morning, you don't belong here."

How things change! Special interests drowned the state Legislature in the 'mother's milk' not long after Unruh left office.

The cycle begins to turn when people look up from the tedious reports of ongoing corruption and ask: "Is there a cycle in this thing?" Because clearly, the progressive Democrats got everything they could have possibly wished for in terms of state and local administrations (at least the major metropolitan areas) and they use it to line their pockets and increase the "progressive" power of their positions. They are drunk with the money and the power.

-- blj

 

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How do you like government-by-developer now?

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

  

6-29-17

The Guardian

Trump loves attacking women's looks. And America rewards him for it

Trump's vitriolic tweets about anchor Mika Brzezinski were vile, but so were his 'grab them by the pussy' comments. That didn't stop people voting for him

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Millennials and Merced Law

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

 Millennials are money conscious and financially driven—one researcher found that 93 percent believed salary range was critical in choosing a law enforcement agency and almost 92 percent believed retirement benefits were important.6 Additionally, millennials desire a comfortable, relaxed work environment in which they have the opportunity for rapid upward mobility... Researchers also identified two additional cultural changes that have depleted the number of qualified applicants: increased financial indebtedness and increased levels of obesity, both changes that create challenges for a field that is not viewed as lucrative and requires physical fitness. -- Ben Langham, Police Chief Magazine, May 24, 2017

 

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The dam issue

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

 “We completed a reconnaissance-level assessment of the spillway at Lopez Dam and have noted that structure may have potential geologic, structural, or performance issues that could jeopardize its ability to safely pass a flood event,” the letter stated.

"We did a superficial inspection and determined that the dam is unsafe in the event of a flood?" Is that what the flakperson was trying not quite to say?

What is a reconnaissance-level assessment? Were helicopters involved?

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Is American medicine a major threat to physical, mental and economic public health?

Submitted: Jun 21, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Care should be understood not only as an individual right, but as a social responsibility. Other Western nations have such a blend of private and public options. See Anu Partanen, “The Fake Freedom of American Health Care,” The New York Times, March 18, 2017

 

 

 

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Thinking about crime in Merced

Submitted: Jun 18, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Below is a series of articles about crime in Merced and Stanislaus counties in recent months. It is not an exhaustive list, not a police log, nor is it long enough to represent the variety of crime reported daily in this region. However, we do learn from the articles that Merced, Modesto, and two other Valley county seats rank among the top 10 cities in the nation for car theft. We learn that the recent "Operation Scrapbook," a multi-agency task force using advanced communications surveillance nabbed some top gang members accused of heavy charges including murder, meth dealing, and gun dealing.

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Weekend pickings on imperialism, impeachment, and health care

Submitted: Jun 14, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

These are a few articles that taught us last week. The conversation on American imperialism between Tom Engelhardt and William Astore produces more insight into American imperial failure every month. Patrick Cockburn's examines. Britain's foolish path in the slipstream of US imperialism heedless of consequences like Manchester. Noah Feldman and Alexander Bolton offer shrewd observations about the instability in Washington DC. -- blj

 

6-6-17

TomDispatch.com

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Neurotic aqua-utilitarian quantification

Submitted: Jun 13, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

If there is one thing that slip-slides away from easy quantification, it's water. None of its larger units of measurement, like the acre-foot, let alone a million gallons,  are easily imagined by the ordinary human being. Nor does it do much good to say that a family of four uses about an acre-foot of water a year, at least to people who remember when in the not too distant past the authorities said it took two acre-feet to achieve the same goal for the little family. And how big is a raindrop anyway?

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Comey's statement, June 7, 2017

Submitted: Jun 07, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 If we do nothing else during this tumultuous period of national history, we should all carefully read this statement by former FBI Director James Comey because grandchildren yet unborn will be asking us what it was like to be alive when Comey's statement was written. -- blj

 

 

 

6-7-17

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