Dairy

That half-cent transpo sales-tax increase still rising like stink off a dairy lagoon

Submitted: Mar 30, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  “Our situation here shows how important infrastructure investment is to economic development,” said Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced. He said the effort to complete the expressway must continue. -- Thaddeus Miller, March 3, 2016, Merced Sun-Star

 

A basic standard for professional newswriting and editing is that everything in the story make some kind of minimal sense. This standard used to be applied also to the obligatory quote from the appropriate bigshot. These requirements of the professional newsstory have been known to clash. When they do, they create a momentary blank spot in the minds of readers as they try to follow a narrative of public events.

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Not even spit in the wind

Submitted: Mar 11, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 "Paper-water bonds"

(with apologies to Billy Rose and Yip Harburg)

 

They're only paper-water bonds

 No more than creative accounting funds.

And the SEC wouldn't have given  a damn

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Good time to plant more nuts

Submitted: Feb 06, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

State water bureaucrats are keeping the screws tight on urban water use while a few agro-plutocrats on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley lock in a guaranteed water supply 30-percent larger than the total requirement for Los Angeles and go on planting more almond orchards as the price for the Holy Nut falls. --blj

1-27-16

Valley Public Radio

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Book review of Right out of California

Submitted: Nov 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
 This is an interesting review of a book, Right out of California, which argues that conflict between growers and migrant farm labor produced the peculiarly authoritarian right-wing element in "modern conservatism" (aka ideology of the wingnuts). For those who are still open enough to behold the core of California agribusiness -- exploitation of migrant labor, often foreign and with as little legal rights as possible -- without which the agro-plutocracy could not rule and its bottomlessly greedy babble about more water for themselves and all the rest of their favorite topics, paranoias, protestations of love for the Mexican people, and acts of threat and political corruption would appear to be what they are: mountains of the well known substance.

Be careful of whose stocking you consider stuffing this book into. It is recommended only for people with a greater ability to reflect than to be ditto heads because it puts into question every sacred cow that has ever ambled beneath Modesto's famous arch: Water Wealth Contentment Health -- to which there can be only reply: "Not! Not now!

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Humanity doesn't deserve Nature

Submitted: Oct 26, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Suppose, contrary to nearly universal public opinion, humanity doesn't deserve nature. Man is destroying ecological system after ecological system, extinguishing species after driving them into habitat corrals, constantly encroached upon by agricultural and housing development. The only way the story of the global environmental crisis makes sense is once hope is removed from reflections on it.

Every day is the New Day!

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Merced City Council converts to district elections

Submitted: Oct 12, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The proposed "Palma" map for City-Council district elections,  pushed by a number of speakers at last week's Merced City Council meeting, was rejected by the council. Council members inquired why South Merced residents would want a district map that included two South Merced districts, each of which bulged across the highway and railroad tracks into Downtown Merced.

Mayor Stan Thurston pointed out that it could defeat the alleged purpose of the district maps to distribute council seats equally among different parts of the city and that South Merced could end up being represented by two council members from downtown or central Merced.

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The cosmetology of a state resource agency

Submitted: Oct 10, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The California Department of Fish and Game changed its name to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Jan.1, 2013. The bill was sponsored by former Assemblyman Jared Huffman, who two days later became a congressman representing the north coast, home of the richest deer and bear hunting zones (1,2) in the state along with the densest concentration of forest fires.

Prior to going into politics, Mr. Huffman was an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Sweethearts of San Luis renew their vows

Submitted: Sep 16, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

It's not really a divorce... 

 

The Westlands Water District, which provides water to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. This region is an area of polluted quick sand which devours other peoples' water, law and political representatives from the local to the federal levels, in fact devours everything but the fortunes of a plutocracy of several hundred growers.

Ordinarily we would have prefaced the newspaper account of this latest secret deal-made public between Westlands and the federal government, but there appeared such an eloquent letter in opposition from retired US Fish & Wildlife biologist, Felix Smith, that it outranked the Fresno Bee piece. The latter was a boiled over wire-service story no one was willing to sign. To give an idea of who Smith is, we prefaced his letter with a moment in his biography.

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Book of Kells is not Burger King

Submitted: Aug 12, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Transnational corporate management believes its own propaganda: that it rules the world. Since the quarterly bottom line is its only moral guide, and the pay for top management positions is soooooooooooooo good, Burger King executives can be excused for forgetting that there were life forms before Burger King and claims to glory somewhat different if not superior to the American fast food hamburger. Nevertheless, leave it to an island where the economy is not flourishing as well as it does in Burger King corporate offices to remind the latter that the history of the human spirit did not begin with Insta-Burger King in Jacksonville FL in Nineteen and Fifty-Three. -- blj

 

 

 

 

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The other climate in the Valley

Submitted: Aug 07, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In the San Joaquin Valley of California, two climates intersect The first is a prolonged, serious drought. The other, less visible, is the new financial climate of RISK FREE AGRIBUSINESS, created by special interests in finance, insurance and real estate, ironically called FIRE. The most obvious manifestation of the intersection of these two climates is the manic drilling of ever deeper wells and the construction on on-site reservoirs by agribusiness firms while, simultaneously, the state provides emergency relief to rural residents whose wells have been sucked dry to irrigate orchards, vineyards and cotton.

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