December 2009

The Kid lies as usual

Anyone who does not already know that Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the Pimlico Kid - Merced, is a lying "sack of offal" (in the felicitous phrase of Fitzgerald of the Stockton Record) should not be trusted around public funds, should not be permitted to vote on any issue or be left alone with children. We all know that. But in the following little love note to Westlands and Metropolitan of Southern California, the Kid surrenders his heart and soul -- hook, line, bottle and bookie -- to the oligarchy of water, land, finance and insurance.

Loss of faith in the political process and its consequences

The question on my mind: Can we swiftly mobilize such a heavily propagandized population to take mass non-violent action?
A growing population does not believe we can do so, and is on the verge of launching a heavily armed insurgency.--David DeGraw, "Af-Pak War Racket"

George Orwell once noted: "To see what is in front of your nose needs a constant struggle."

Deja vu at the Sam Pipes Room, Merced City Hall

The California High Speed Rail Authority held a technical advisory council meeting on Monday, Dec. 7, at a public meeting hall called the Sam Pipes Room, in the Merced City Hall. Two members of the Merced public, representing the San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center and Protect Our Water (POW), wished to attend. The regional director of the San Joaquin Valley unit of the rail authority had told the members of the public that a meeting would take place on Monday at a different location.

State air board caves to truckers

Special interests can't run a government that protects its citizens
The Fresno Bee on Monday praised the California Air Resources Board’s decision to roll back the new, tougher regulations on diesel emissions. California contains the two worst air-pollution basins in the United States, Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley.

"Got who, exactly?" journalism

Having attended the Federal Energy Resources Commission's meetings for the last year about Merced Irrigation District's relicensing application for its hydro-electric plant on Exchequer Dam, we never noticed a Merced Sun-Star reporter in attendance. Therefore, we question the totally unsourced story and correction below. The title of the story is unfortunate because no "environmentalists" are mentioned in the story, only several federal and state resource agencies charged with regulating federal and state laws.

Environmental injustice in a nutshell

The essence of environmental injustice

Of 20 children known born in Kettleman City between September 2007 and November 2008, five had a cleft in their palate or lips, according to a health survey by activists. Three of those children have since died. Statewide, clefts of the lip or palate routinely occur in fewer than one in 800 births, according to California health statistics.
Besides these health problems, activists point to the high asthma and cancer rates in this largely Spanish-speaking farming community. -- Sacramento Bee, 12-22-09

Whey drinkers of Hilmar, rejoice!

Followers of the pollution caused by Hilmar Cheese, "the world's largest cheese plant" (WLCP), will recall that whenever the wastewater pollution achieves a level that state regulators can no longer comfortably ignore, the WLCP comes up with yet a new "black box" technology and requests an exemption from regulation to try it out for a few years.

The poetry is in the details

Merced Sun-Star
Merced County's economic woes hit hard in 2009...DANIELLE E. GAINES. Reporters Jonah Owen Lamb and Corinne Reilly contributed to this story.
Jobless rate jumps; property values plummet
For the whole of 2009, Merced County's jobless rate topped 15 percent, reaching a high of 20.2 percent in March.