March 2012

The Big Shadow

The Valley's political jurisdictions -- cities and counties -- have shown themselves to be big banks' biggest suckers. Nobody's much surprised that Stockton recently declared bankruptcy nor will they be particularly surprised if Modesto and Merced follow shortly. The three cities, aside from being the seats of adjoining counties, have been and remain at or just outside of the epicenter of the foreclosure-rate disaster in the nation.

Foreclosure rate rising

Of there are a lot of things going on in the community: SWAT teams practicing open field pot-patch busting in Snelling; layoffs of government employees in all lines of work, decimating the middle class of the City of Merced; among other causes, we are rallied to the defense of the Fish and Game Commissioner who killed and ate a mountain lion in Idaho, where militias and polygamists volunteer in the same fire departments; the high speed railroad lies keep chugging along; and there's always water to drive us mad with anxiety. But, right now, the main story is this ... 

Homeowners beating banks in courts

The reasons we are not reading stories like this almost every day, side-by-side with the stories about constantly rising foreclosure rates despite various government actions, are that people sign gag orders with their settlements, are so intimidated they internalize non-existent gag orders, and because maybe the media is not too interested in offending the real estate industry or the banks feeding on the knuckleheads who believed the realtors' flimflam.
Badlands Journal editorial board
MSNBC Economy Watch

Downstream vengeance in California

by Bill Hatch
Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from the biggest cow county in the USA, Tulare CA, booted home his San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (HR 1837) to a big win in the House two weeks ago. An old-fashioned Western water grab got the Tea Party all hot and a few Blue Dog Democrats slithered along for the ride.

Is she gonna "pull a Cranston"?

 Ordinarily, the Great Shield against such southerly missiles would be Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA. But 78-year-old DiDi is running for reelection again this year and one of the largest supporters of HR 1937, the Shah of the Land of Fruits and Nuts, Stewart Resnick and his Queen Consort, Lynda, just did a big fundraiser for the senator. Resnick’s Roll International owns the largest citrus, almond and pomegranate orchards in the nation, two San Joaquin Valley water banks, Fiji Water, Pom Wonderful and much else besides.

Professor Garone's book

Dr. Philip Garone, an assistant professor of history at CSU Stanislaus, has been producing provocative papers on the history of California wetlands for some years and recently published a book about collaboration between ranchers and water agencies to restore parts of the wetlands beneath the great Pacific Flyway of migratory waterfowl, protected by treaties between a half a dozen nations.
The book is reviewed briefly below. We plan to get a copy ourselves for review. We hope we can support Garone's work. On his biography page at CSUS, he describes his research interests: 

Political correction

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

Look familiar, anyone?

To make a handful of landowners and local speculators richer; to put this county at the epicenter of the Great Recession; to further inflate the egos of a few political "leaders;" and to feed the edifice complex of an out-of-control and unaccountable public university system running off the rails -- UC Merced was built and opened and is now blithely expanding as our streets grow rapidly more dangerous for us who have shelter and for the growing population among us who do not have shelter.