State Government

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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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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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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The shape of water dilemmas to come

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

 3-7-17

Los Angeles Times

Our wild, wet winter doesn't change this reality — California will be short of water forever

Jay Famiglietti and Michelle Miro

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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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Serious water critique from LA ...

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

...which has much drinking water to lose if things go wrong in Northern California. On the one hand, these are very sober, penetrating articles that reveal major issues in the state's water-development policies. On the other hand, they don't ask more fundamental questions: Is the size of California's population good? Has population growth brought more happiness to more people" Has it created better citizens? Is California a safer place to live than it was when the Oroville Dam was built in 1968 when we had half as many people, 20 million, than we do today at 40 million? -- blj

2-20-17

Los Angeles Times

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