May 2007

"A day that took too long in coming"

That's what environmentalists are saying. But, at last, Julie MacDonald, corrupt political appointee to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, is gone. She will long be remembered for her energetic assistance to the ESA-gutting Pomboza, composed of former Rep. Richard Pombo, Buffalo Slayer-Tracy, and the still seated Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Merced.

Ethanol biotech bubble

The ethanol bubble reveals the pathological side of the political economic system as well as the housing bubble did, and no doubt the same few people involved in ethanol were involved in housing speculation not long ago. The housing bubble pushed our air quality over the edge: the San Joaquin Valley now has as bad or worse air than the Los Angeles basin. Ethanol is shaping up to be nothing but a huge water grab. The ethanol bubble will end about the time a new housing bubble begins.

Which side are you on?

Come all you WalMart workers,
Good news to you we'll tell,
Of how Human Rights Watch
Has described your living Hell.

Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

Don't scab for the Waltons,
Don't listen to their lies,
The working poor have got no chance
Unless we organize.

They say in Walton's WalMart
There is no neutral tent,
You'll either be for a union
Or a thug for management.

Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

A socially responsible approach to GMOs

Today, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that there will be no more cultivation of genetically modified crops in his country. Although full details are not out, Chavez terminated a 500,000-acre Monsanto project to grow GMO soybeans.

Brazil and Argentina are still involved in GMO soybean production.

Chavez said that a policy of food sovereignty and security established by the Venezuelan constitution was the basis of his decision.

Propaganda of the higher learning

The worst cultural and economic damage UC Merced has done to the north San Joaquin Valley is reflected in this article, by Barbara Ehrenreich, about an incident at MIT. The enormous amount of UC propaganda for this land boondoggle --from UC, politicians, finance, insurance and real estate special interests -- endlessly dinned into the minds of our communities, has accelerated the destruction of one of the best Valley traditions: honest, hard-working people working their way up on a farm, in a company or local government without educational credentials.

Real nice

The cities and counties of the San Joaquin Valley have been promoting rampant growth at the expense of the common air quality and asthma for children and elders for 30 years. Part of the reason they get away with it is because their officials control the regional air pollution control district. Within a week of his virtual sponsorship of a proposed 1,200-acre auto-racing facility, including eight tracks designed to draw visitors from a 100-mile radius of central Merced County, former Chairman of the Merced County Board of Supervisors Mike Nelson was appointed to the regional air board.

Defenders of Wildlife Testimony before House Natural Resources Committee on Endangered Species Act rewrite

What should be noted by the public living in the north San Joaquin Valley is that this region has been the focal point of one of the strongest drives to destroy the Endangered Species Act in the nation. This destruction was led by:

Julia McDonald, a Bush political appointee to the Fish and Wildlife Service who, among other things, concocted an "economic" study on the vernal pool critical habitat designation that was thrown out of court;

UC at the Terror Trough with big hogs now

Under the new contract, the team, which includes Bechtel National Inc., BWX Technologies Inc. and Washington Group International Inc., would receive $297.5 million over the seven-year contract. The consortium also includes Battelle Memorial Institute, Texas A&M University and several small businesses...consortium is nearly identical to the group that took over Los Alamos, though the relative shares that each member has in the corporation is different. At Livermore, the University of California controls half of the six-member board, said Gerald L.

Dementia Bobcatflax

"The region has come alive. It's awakened," said Carol Whiteside, the Modesto-based center's founder and outgoing president. "We are no longer isolated and invisible." ...Other speakers said the valley still faces an uphill climb in many troubling areas. Laurie Primavera of CSU Fresno noted that rates of teen pregnancy, uninsured people and substance abuse continue to outpace those elsewhere. "We have a lot to do in health care," Primavera said.

Surely, this can't be right

This document, signed by George Bush, president of the United States in 1990, appears to be out of date. Nevertheless, a web search for "federal employees code of ethics" recycled it. We were intrigued to note that, prior to the end of history, Rapture Time and the little tyrant, federal employees were not apparently required or permitted to cave to pressure brought by members of Congress on behalf of special interests, particularly in this region, finance, insurance and real estate special interests anymore than they were required or permitted to cave to special interests directly.

Sonny Star, the gigolo press

To begin skip-loading the mountainous manure pile of propaganda that has grown up beside both the UC Merced and the Riverside Motorsparts Pork (RMP) project, let us start the tractor engine with a few simple words: both are bad projects according to state and federal environmental law and regulation. The legal arguments are included in numerous lawsuits. They are public information.

Bioterror pork in Bean Town

The north San Joaquin Valley public might benefit from considering a few remarks made by Boston University professors regarding the Bio Safety Level-4 laboratory under construction in Boston now. Although the National Emerging Infectius Diseases Laboratory is sited in a densely populated lower income neighborhood, while the proposed site for the UC/Bechtel, Etc./Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory BSL-4 is in the middle of a bomb-testing range east of Tracy, what the BU professors said pertains.

US dairy industry running off the rails again?

The latest milk production figures for March 2007 show that 13 out of 23 top dairy states produced less milk in 2007 than they did in March of 2006. Most of the states producing additional milk are Western states. That additional milk from Western states is not the result of efficiency or market forces. Milk production in Western states is driven by California real estate values and the IRS tax code 1031.

A McPomboza?

"Now the Cold War is over, and our excuse for this behavior is gone. We need a new and better vision. I'm exploring ways to define that vision. I would be satisfied with small but definite steps in a new direction, but what direction? Neither technology nor economics can answer questions of values. Is our path into the future to be defined by the literally mindless process of technological evolution and economic expansion or by a conscious adoption of guiding moral precepts? Progress is meaningless if we don't know where we're going.

Sonny Star, a Klass act

Sonny "Loose Lips" Star mentioned the name of a real nice lady Friday night. We miss her. But, under cover of this fine person, Sonny took another shot at the county's natural resources. Sonny's taste is all in his mouth.

Sonny Star: full of bull and applepie

About 80 percent of our smog-causing pollutants come from mobile sources over which the air district has no jurisdiction. More than ever, we will need the state and federal government to do their fair share for the Valley by providing funding and regulatory assistance to reduce emissions from cars, trucks and locomotives. -- Merced Sun-Star, May 19, 2007

Congressional acts of flakulence smog north Valley

It could be because the breezy late May has brought relatively pleasant air to breathe in the north San Joaquin Valley. But, it's probably because of some flak offensive cooked up by Baltimore's top Democratic congressmen. Whatever the reason, we are currently under a full-scale attack of flakulence by representatives Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Merced, and Jerry McNerney, the Pleasanton Wind Machine.

What is the biosafety level of the UC Merced infectious disease laboratory?

News that UC Merced is to receive its first shipment animal lab victims is sad. The lab is to be operated by UC/Bechtel et al/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) until such time as UC Merced gets accreditation to torture and kill the animals itself, as befits the "greatest research university" in the world.

Case study of hypocrisy

The level of hypocrisy around here has reached its gentle level of sufficiency for me. We know why Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Merced, of no known political affiliation, is in office. We know who pays to keep him there: a cabal of special interests, including but not limited to finance, insurance and real estate and the University of California.

Cardoza offends in ways that sound like wounded children's cries in a Baghdad hospital.

UC Merced environmental permit retrospective

Below is a list of articles reflecting the major milestones in the UC Merced Clean Water Act permitting process. Will our 800-Pound Scoflaw Blue-and Gold Goose Anchor Tenant pass the test? Will Merced achieve the greatness of Modesto, recently voted in one study the worst city to live in in the nation? Or will we become just another Fresno with UC and development from Highway 99 to the foothills?

War pork: soft and hard

The San Jose Mercury News, under its former Knight-Ridder ownership, distinguished itself above all the mainstream press by its healthy skepticism about the trumped up reasons for invading Iraq during the preliminary Bush-Blair propaganda campaign. Later, it was sold to the McClatchy Company, which peddled it to MediaNews Group. The rapid descent of the once-great paper through the media-corporation shuffle apparently extinguished healthy skepticism.