Dairy

MID conflicts of interest

Submitted: Apr 06, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Merced Irrigation District! This group, which can't even handle its normal irrigation business without the odor of scandal, is supposed to be able to negotiate its relicensing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission? The state Department of Water Resources trusts MID to lead, plan and administer the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP "Ear-wimp")?

MID is a very shaky organization.

Following her dishonorable role in attempting to bankrupt the environmental groups that publicly sued the Riverside Motorsports Park project near her dairy while she and other farmers hid behind them and schemed against them, Suzy Hultgren was miraculously appointed to the county farm bureau board of directors and soon after won election to the board of the Merced Irrigation District. Evidently, her extensive family, with roots here and there all over the county, has decided to make Suzy its public face. Included in that family is her cousin, John Sweigard, who left his position on the west side as general manager of the Patterson Irrigation District and board member on the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority board.

So, in a year with a 55-percent snowpack in the Sierras and cuts in delivery amounts to irrigators in the district, MID sells 15,000 acre-feet to the San Luis Water District. The two public proponents of the sale are Sweigard, former board member of the SLDMWA, and Hultgren, his cousin, with Hicham Eltal, assistant general manager, trotting on behind.

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It's a matter of ethics...

Submitted: Mar 29, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

...as in the California Milk Advisory Board don't have none.

In a deposition obtained from PETA, Domenic Carinalli, owner of Domenic Carinalli Dairy & Vineyard in Sebastopol and member of the California Milk Advisory Board, said that, to his knowledge, the milk board hasn't received any information to verify its claim that "California dairy producers care deeply about the health, comfort and safety of their cows." He said at the board meetings he attended the health of cows was never discussed.
Carinalli also said he was unaware that the board was prohibited from making false marketing claims.
--
Merced Sun-Star, March 28, 2012

Perhaps an explanation for why the dairy industry labors under such ethical disadvantage is provided by the article below signed by a prominent Merced County dairyman. One says "signed" because it involves a new dairy-price formula and, as the dairyman's father once explained to this reporter, there are very few dairymen who actually understand the price structure of their own industry. The article is a propaganda piece from some national dairy organization claiming that reforms are being made.

That new program reorients federal dairy programs from an emphasis on price to a focus on maintaining adequate margins -- the difference between what it costs to produce milk and what farmers get when they sell it. -- Veldhuis

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Human rights and animal rights

Submitted: Mar 28, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 But just as the Endangered Species Act has long outlived its usefulness, the move to equate animal rights with human rights is a complete nonstarter for us. -- Merced Sun-Star, March 28, 2012

 

The Sun-Star's position seems to be that human rights ought to be brought down to the present level of animal rights. Our response to that is just because Sonny Star, the gigolo press, wants to stand up to its knees in manure 24/7/365 doesn't mean we do.

 

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Political correction

Submitted: Mar 23, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Last year, Cardoza told The Record's editorial board that his decision not to seek re-election to the House of Representatives was based in part on the grip of partisanship. He lamented the lack of compromise in policymaking in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C. -- Stockton Record, March 19, 2012

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De l'eau de cochon

Submitted: Nov 08, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

11-06-11
LA Times
There's too much pork on the table
Gov. Brown and the Legislature need to trim the fat from the water bond and serve it to voters...George Skelton
http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-me-cap-water-20111107%2c0%2c7667745.column?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+GeorgeSkelton+%28L.A.+Times+-+George+Skelton%29

Gov. Jerry Brown recently said, "I've got a lot on my plate." One item is a big slab of pork — formally called a water bond proposal.

The plate is shared with the Legislature.
 
Together, they must decide whether to serve up the bond whole to voters, trim it down first or shove it back in the fridge.

Or maybe they'll just toss it in the garbage. That's the most unlikely scenario. But voters might dump it for them if the bond isn't pared and recooked.

Let's back up.

After years of fighting — south vs. north, farmers vs. enviros, water buffaloes vs. fishing interests — then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature settled on an $11.14-billion water bond two years ago. It was passed by sleep-deprived lawmakers at dawn after an all-night session.

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Pimlico Kid rides into sunset

Submitted: Oct 22, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We won't be able to produce a column-length article about the forced retirement of Rep Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid - -Merced, aka Shrimp Slayer. We admire the verbosity of the McClatchy Chain editorialists while noting that what they are saying -- as most of what Cardoza has said throughout his career -- is not true. Perhaps, the McClatchy Co. in this instance agrees with Badlands -- "Good riddance." Cardoza, the former lady mud wrestling impresario, could not beg, borrow or steal enough respectability to edify his political career in this McClatchy dominated zone.

We'll just skim a few of the whoppers that arose to the surface of the dairy pond.

"I love the people of the Central Valley, and thank them for the confidence they have placed in me," Cardoza said in a statement. "While I plan to retire from public service...I will energetically continue my efforts to improve California as a private citizen."

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State bank update

Submitted: Jul 16, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We post this article by Ellen Brown to respond to a comment from a reader expressing great concern for the whole Western financial system. In this piece, Brown focuses on another pernicious aspect of interest and banking -- why banks are not lending to businesses, particularly small businesses, other banks, and to individuals.

Below, we have added the text of California Assembly Bill 750 (Hueso, D-San Diego) to create "the investment trust blue ribbon task force to consider the viability of establishing the California Investment Trust, which would be a state bank receiving deposits of state funds." Authored by a freshman legislator with a lot of experience in the financial side of local government, at first glance AB 750 looks too timid to survive, but perhaps the only way it can make it onto the table is with a consensus building approach. We hope Assemblyman Hueso gets a bill creating a sensible state bank passed and signed by the governor before he is termed out of the Legislature. As we see it, the present risk to the idea is that the blue=ribbon commitee will be composed of a majority of reprresentatives of interests dead set against a state bank, who strangle the baby in its blue ribbon crib. 

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Immoral, unacceptable

Submitted: Apr 17, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

We've long known that the industrial chemists that create our pesticides test for one thing and one thing alone: how effective is the poison for the targeted pest. We know another thing: no pesticide ever annihilated any pests. Pests develop resistance which keeps the poisonmakers in business. A third thing we know is that the poisonmakers do not test for collateral damage to the environment or other species.
In the case of the new, souped up rat poison, there was no thought given -- except perhaps to conceal and deny -- the inevitable damage the poison would do to the many predators who eat rats and mice as a regular, perhaps even primary part of their diets. The existence and wide-spread use of this new super poison may explain a mysterious outbreak of eagle deaths in the Madera foothills reported last year and perhaps continuing to this day.
The existence and distribution of the poison is immoral. The government's failure to regulate and enforce is immoral. The whole greedy, politically cowardly slide into wanton killing of wildlife is despicable. We conclude that among the many owners of wildlife agencies we must include rat poisoners. The slimy deal here is that most, if not all, the predator species being poisoned are already listed as threatened or endangered so agencies like the state Department of Fish and Game do not make any money selling tags to hunters to hunt them.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Three other views on the Japanese catastrophe

Submitted: Mar 17, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Here are tfhree articles that might have escaped your attention about the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor meltdown. The first two deal with the weakness of the Japanese government and the flak issuing from the utility that owns the reactors, which is beginning to enrage the domestic and international public. They are loading down the media with information and data, presented in incomprehensible forms. But they do not answer the questions vital to the public.

Last, the view of the tragedy from Hiroshima, where several anti-nuclear activists were interviewed. One person interviewed was the incomparable reporter from The Chugoku Shimbun, Akira Toshiro, who has specialized in stories on nuclear power for 30 years. Tashiro's book, Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium, asked the question: what is the cost of sheathing bombs with depleted uranium, the cost to land, water, civilians and soldiers alike? His investigations and interviews took place in the US, the UK, Iraq and Yugoslavia.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-16-11
The New York Times 
Flaws in Japan’s leadership deepen sense of crisis
No strong political class has emerged to take the place of bureaucrats and corporations
By KEN BELSON and NORIMITSU ONISHI
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42114871/ns/world_news-asiapacific/

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No plumber for Seville

Submitted: Mar 04, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Global experts on water (for example Steven Solomon in Water: The Epic Struggle for Weatlth, Power and Civilization) consider that California has built the most advanced water-delivery systems in the world. Yet the United Nations "independent investigator for the U.N.'s safe water and sanitation campaign" has decided to study two places in California, a tiny village in Tulare County and the City of Redding. The investigator compares the water situation of the Tulare village of Seville with water problems in Bangladesh as a Congressional research report several years ago unfavorably compared the San Joaquin Valley to Appalachia.

Valley business and political leaders, always ready to spend other people's money on vast projects like a high speed railroad, new reservoirs or the perennial favorite -- cotton subsidies -- for the benefit of the wealthy few to the detriment of the many inhabitants who will experience more environmental degradation as a result, have absolutely not taste for repair and maintenance or anything from deteriorating dams to rusty municipal water pipes. And they are correct. There is apparently no point in a political economy veering ever closer to the simple, disastrous ideal of a "self-regulating free market" in  absolutely everything, of taking care of people or the infrastructure that supports society.

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