February 2012

Pimlico Kid does housing economics again ... wrong

The Pimlico Kid is so lame all he can think about is the sweet pasture that lies ahead at taxpayers' expense after he leaves Congress. In the following letter to his constituents he limps along in the shadow of -- of all people -- the President, whose wife the Kid insulted by preferring to attend the Preakness with lobbyists to attending a UC Merced graduation featuring the First Lady as commencement speaker.
And, of course, he lied about the whole thing, claiming he couldn't make the event due to family commitments. The Kid finished dead last by 50 lengths in that contest.

Changes of fortune

Viewing Main St. from a coffee shop, say the one next to Bob Hart Square c. 2006, the special characters that stood out on the sidewalk were chunky fellows in designer California casual attire and cellphones glued to their ears as their mouths made real estate deals. Today, looking out the window of a new coffee shop near the Art Kananger Center the special characters on the sidewalk are the homeless pushing babycarts bearing all the person's worldly goods and someone barrelling down the street on a mountain bike spouting off because she's off her medication for Tourette's Syndrome.

GMO labeling petition

Thomas Wittman of Ecofarm, whose Genetic Engineering Newslist keeps us informed about the state of the GMO mess, has sent a request for signatures for a nationwide petition to label GMO foods and and an article reporting the latest news on the costs of such labeling -- nearly zilch despite what the trogs at the Biotech Industry Association put out.

Lest we forget the disaster unfolding beyond city limits

As the days grow unseasonably warm and buds begin to swell on early blooming trees, our thoughts and dreams of gain turn to the noble almond tree, of which we grow the largest amount in -- let us not be modest -- the universe, because they produce a nut universally admired for any and all nutritional health benefits agrascience has not yet been able to engineer out it. And, our thoughts turning to the Great Nut, a small cloud passes over our revery and lines appear even on the clean, clear childlike brows of our various Almong queens, because the Great Nut must be pollinated by bees.

Was it worth it?

The reason Merced achieved the twin distinctions of, in the early days of the housing boom, producing the most unaffordable housing in America and, in the aftermath of the Boom (aka the Bust), the distinction of frequently leading all metropolitan areas in the nation in its foreclosure rate, was very simple -- ask any developer -- UC Merced.

Outline of basic California water-rights laws and policies

The finance, insurance and real estate oligopoly in California has bought itself a Congressional bill to destroy the San Joaquin River Settlement. The settlement, which took 18 years in court and three years in Congress to reach accord on how to put water back into a 80-mile  reach of the San Joaquin River diverted by the FRiant-Kern Canal. The bill, H.R. 1837, passed the House Resources Committee last week.
A great wrong, set right again, could be set wrong again.

Republican primary: a cult classic

The Independent (UK)
Mormons posthumously baptise Anne Frank
Guy Adams
Anne Frank, the famous diarist and Holocaust victim, was put to death on account of her Jewish faith. But earlier this month, she was nonetheless secretly co-opted into the Mormon Church.