Dairy

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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Groundwater, considered all by itself

Submitted: Jul 21, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Local support is required for each type of boundary change. Mr. Springhorn explained the tiered system with an increasing level of local support depending on the severity of the requested revision. “We’ve been messaging that for boundary revision in the state, there needs to be broad local agreement for these revisions because these revisions have impacts on the implementation of groundwater management and also sustainable groundwater management in the high and medium basins so that’s been a key theme throughout all of our stakeholder engagement and outreach.”

http://mavensnotebook.com/2015/07/20/sustainable-groundwater-management-act-implementation-an-overview-of-the-basin-boundary-regulation/

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The whole enchilada on our front porch

Submitted: Jul 02, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 An editor of Badlands Journal was once studying agricultural economics at a great UC campus established firmly on the back of California agriculture. One night, shortly before leaving these studies, the future Badlands editor looked up from his equations, gazed out into a hot summer night, and formulated the one scientific thought he had ever had: The San Joaquin Valley of California is the greatest laboratory in the world to demonstrate all that is wrong with agribusiness.

As usual, his thought was puny compared to the onrushing reality. -- blj

 

 

 

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Thanks, guys, for your rendition of "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"

Submitted: Jun 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Thanks guys, for another rendition of that same-old/same-old Country favorite, "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"(the Trans-Pacific- Partnership version). Thanks for all the bribery and corruption enabling  our cowardly, venal and crooked members of Congress to vote to blind themselves from what's in the trade agreement.  Thanks for all the lies and corporatist "rules" of secrecy. Thanks for helping further close the American mind -- what's left of it -- for your profits. Thanks for shrugging your shoulders about Global Warming. Special thanks in advance for all the jobs this trade "agreement" will cost the US -- surely many entrepreneurs and dues-paying members of the Chamber of Commerce will arise from all that involuntary leisure.  Thanks for your treason, all bunted up in the red, white and blue.

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AB1242 Gray, D-Merced: All business and no good faith

Submitted: Apr 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The drought in the San Joaquin Valley -- let's call it the Great San Joaquin Valley Drought ,,, no, we should call it The Greatest Drought in World History, because we like to have the biggest things in the world here -- biggest cheese plants, biggest almond crops, biggest winery, biggest land subsidence, greatest destruction of bees, biggest air-quality problems, and our water quality was recently the subject of a genuine United Nations investigation on behalf of the farm workers, mostly citizens of another country, which must have been the reason the UN got involved because, you know, being citizens of another country, they aren't exactly our responsibility, at least you could argue that people without the proper paperwork to be here don't really have a right to safe water supplies and sewer services. They're just farm workers, after all, you have to draw the line somewhere,, and where water is concerned, that line has to be clearly drawn because our sacred San Joaquin Valley economy is based on Irrigated Agriculture. And this year farm workers are cheaper than water and a sewer in compliance with state and federal regulations.

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"Moving forward"

Submitted: Mar 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We've been stunned by the drought and responses to it locally and at a state and national level. Environmentalists have been warning about how farmers have been over-drafting the aquifer in the Central Valley for decades and have been snubbed and demonized for mentioning it, as if we were not citizens and members of the same society that landowners and urban businessmen are. They don't even have to bribe elected officials anymore; social elites spring up overnight around wealth in new industries, whose "leaders" get what they want and they always want more water. Elected officials and educators -- from kindergarten to UC Merced -- babble on constantly about leadership. And they all use that one phrase, growing more absurd by the day: "We've got to move forward."

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Drought Dementia #3: Fracking, regulatory corruption, aquifer contamination, Harvard and Hilmar Cheese

Submitted: Feb 03, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Successful polluters the world around agree: You just can't trust a government you don't own.

And that's why the smart people in the oil industry figure that whatever the regulatory laws might be, it's all in the enforcement, otherwise known as the "empty monitoring envelop syndrome."  The smart people at Harvard know they can drill all the water they want near Paso Robles. They just may not be smart enough to anticipate what might be in that water. But, they're all Harvard lawyers, so they can sue somebody. And Hilmar Cheese, after a successful run for years with a corrupt state water quality board, dug deep injection wells and accepted federal monitoring. We wonder how that's all going to work out in the drought. Do curds and whey clog drip-irrigation nozzles? -- blj

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Drought dementia 2

Submitted: Jan 30, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The drought has revealed that all the government and hydrological science available is not going to put California water policy back together again. It is like submitting Humpty Dumpty to exhaustive scientific studies of the tensile strength of egg shells and the heights of walls. As long as the king and his men keep growing, it will just get worse.

The total effect of groundwater regulation and associated increased expenses is going to be to put Valley agriculture 100-percent in the pockets of irrigation and water districts and federal and state agencies with jurisdiction over surface waters. The template has been in place for decades, but this will cause even more concentration of land ownership in the hands even fewer, richer growers. This neo-feudal system of agribusiness is so overwhelming that no new ideas or leadership can be generated from within it. Perhaps the bill by the two congressmen from north of the Bay Area at least won't add to the destruction. -- blj

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