March 2011

Green history (7)

Jeffrey St. Clair is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon. His newest book, Born Under a Bad Sky, is published by AK Press / CounterPunch books. He can be reached at:  This essay is excerpted from the forthcoming book GreenScare: the New War on Environmentalism by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

No plumber for Seville

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.

Prairie fire

on a weekend during which "Meet the Press" would manage to introduce William E. Daley, the president's new chief of staff, who replaces Rahm Emanuel, just elected mayor of Chicago, without mentioning that both Daley's father and brother were former mayors of Chicago, or mentioning that Daley was President Clinton's chief lobbyist for NAFTA, up the road in Madison WI Michael Moore was not speaking for the plutocrat media but to an audience of demonstrators at the Wisconsin state Capitol that has ignited a prairie fire ...
Badlands Journal editorial board

Knuckleheads at the wheel

Knuckleheads at the wheel
Only the geniuses at the Public Policy Institute of California could issue a "monumental report" (at somebody's expense) recommending that the state model future water policy after its deregulation of electric power, creating an independent systems operator for water.

Hit 'em where they live

"The only thing the Republicans care about is money. The only way you can touch them is through their revenue. They don't care about signs and protesters. They don't care about the opinion of the majority of the people in the state, their bottom line is money." -- Sam Hokin, Wisconsinite, small businessman
The Huffington Post
WI Firefighters Spark "Move Your Money" Moment
Mary Bottari

Three other views on the Japanese catastrophe

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.

Confirmation of harmful levels of radiation

Obama Says U.S. Safe From Japan Radiation, Orders Review of U.S. Nuclear Plants
President Obama reassured Americans Thursday that radiation from Japan's damaged nuclear plants poses no threat to this country, but added that he has ordered safety reviews of U.S. nuclear facilities.

Pivotal roles

Through the seminar, UC Merced said it's playing "a pivotal role" in helping national parks across the globe lead strategic change.-- Merced Sun-Star, March 14, 2011
Sonny Star, the local gigolo press, is strutting her stuff again. Must be spring. On the editorial page Sonny pontificates about open government laws in California, mainly the Brown Act and the state Public Records Act. In the same edition, Sonny prints the release below from UC Merced Bobcatflak Central.

Rainbird genius at work

“This is a complex problem with no clear answer that is going to require some decisive action,” said Rain Bird corporate marketing director Dave Johnson.
With insight like this on water issues, what more could be ask for?
There are new ideas, only new conferences.
Badlands Journal editorial board
Western Farm Press
California's farming future focused on water

The Dark Imp speaks on the Japanese nooclur problem

"Unfortunately, we are...being bombarded by sensational headlines and commentary that stretches the bounds of scientific reality to the point of utter fiction," Nunes saidWednesday. "Based on media reporting, one might reasonably assume that the embattled Japanese reactors were soon to engulf the island nation in a nuclear explosion -- sending radioactive debris akin to Chernobyl into the atmosphere." -- Fresno Bee, March 17, 2011

All floods are local

This is a fine report by Dennis Wyatt, managing editor of the Manteca Bulletin, on flooding in his vicinity, complete with a brief history of floods there. We can expect pronuncimientos from state, federal and agribusiness sources on the present weather impacts, but Wyatt's focus is the only one that really counts, because all floods are local. It remains to be seen if any paper in a northern California flood area produces a better report of what its readers need to know, now.

Revenge of the Ceres mayors

When former Rep. Gary Condit went to Sacramento as an assemblyman, he formed with four other state assemblymen the "Gang of 5" that tried to oust Willie Brown from the speakership of the state Assembly. When former Rep. Tony Coelho resigned due to exposure for accepting a loan from Michael Milken, who served a prison sentence for high financial derring-do, Condit went to the House of Representatives, where he served a dozen years.

Spriggsy and the out-of-town demons

Below lies an annotated version of our Mayor Spriggsy's attempt to boost Merced to the bunch of frat boys in the editorial offices at Forbes Magazine. It is pathetic because Spriggsy is caught in the very painful position of having to argue with his rightwing ideological betters, who have nominated Merced for the title of third most miserable city in America. It is an example of flak v. flak. Badlands comments are in italics.
Badlands Journal editorial board
Merced Sun-Star
William Spriggs: Opportunity, not misery