University of California

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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Eine kleine Caenmusik

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

 Willie Brown, former California state Assembly speaker (longest serving), former mayor of San Francisco and general bon vivant, used to have lunch on Fridays in the City at a restaurant called Le Central, with several friends, including Herb Caen, legendary Chronicle columnist.

It looks like Willie picked up a few literary pointers over the cassoulet. -- wmh

 

 

 

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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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"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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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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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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Do the crime and beg forgiveness?

Submitted: Feb 20, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

The worst thing about this journalistic foul is that everyone who subsequently acknowledged, recognized, or realized that they had violated the privacy and endangered the futures of these young students did not know what they were doing when they did it and have no idea of the harm they have caused, the anxiety and fear they have raised; they have no idea of the damage they did. For their different motives, they were all willing to violate these kids.

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The ban and high tech labor

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

Political, legal and business arguments about President Trump's travel ban saturate the airwaves this week. The saga of the neo-Goldfinger in the White House, the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government raise Constitutional issues, the vissisitudes of Trump's daughter's clothing line (as traumatic as Margaret Truman's bad reviews), the case of the President's Pick for US Supreme Court ... drama, drama, drama. Already, we miss No-Drama Obama, and his respect for institutions and viewpoints other than his own.

One reason that compelled the state of Washington to bring suit against the travel ban is Microsoft.

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