May 2014

Almonds and Dust

 Stanislaus County didn't make much of a fuss about the thousands of new acres of almond plantings going in on the east as well as the west side. But then some hedgefund whippersnapper bought a few thousand acres east of Oakdale, started planting and sinking those huge wells farmers use these days, and Pulbic Opinion was heard opposing it. But for years, almonds have been encroaching on pasture land throughout both sides of the San Joaquin Valley, causing a huge increase of dust particularly at harvest time.

Variation on the Valley Whine, or Syrup on the Well Known Substance

Maybe it's getting to be time to tell David Mas Masumoto that "menos es Mas." Far be it for mere anonymous journalists to dare criticize our latest version of "Father of the Valley." Far be it for us to request that the great spiritus poeticus of Del Rey give us an actual argument, grammatical and everything. But we know that great writers are above the confusions of ordinary readers like us experience in the glare of their brilliance.



Global warming: Life v. Oil companies

 As the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” What the climate justice movement is demanding is the ultimate abolition of fossil fuels. And our fates all depend on whether they succeed. – Chris Hayes, The Nation, May 12, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle
Global-warming threat to West spelled out in report...Carolyn Lochhead

Vermont enacts GMO-labeling law

Vermont governor signs first in US GMO-labeling law to go into effect

Vermont will become the first state to enact a law requiring labels on foods with genetically modified ingredients after the governor signed the bill into law on Thursday afternoon. The bill will go into effect in July 2016.

Farley Mowat dies at 92

 He lived a long, rich life and contributed enormously to the real human culture that will see us through environmental conflict. -- blj
Farley Mowat: the Greatest Canadian?
Today is a very sad day for me.

The greatest Canadian I have ever known and one of my closest and dearest friends has died.

The experience of reading one more article about the California High Speed Railroad Boondoggle

 The experience of reading one more article about the California High Speed Railroad Boondoggle
You read along and read along, plowing through the so-called “news” about some new “approval,” which is one piece more in the whole piecemealed project, that is being conducted that way so that the cumulative environmental consequences are as invisible to the public eye as the national phenomenon of inverted totalitarianism.

Water collage in shades of gray

 We Californians are known as an artistic people. Those of us of a certain age grew up attending public schools with excellent art programs and these encouraged us toward a variety of expression, which becomes essential when one faces issues like the California Water Problem.

Goal tending

President Barack Obama, who next to former President George W. Bush sounded like the greatest orator since Mark Antony, evidently gave away US foreign policy and his fundamental source of metaphor, basketball, to a bunch of neocon hacks who don’t know the difference between diplomacy and their own unipolar disorder or a pivot and a tip off. No wonder the rats are scurrying about in the open and there is no guilt or shame. -- blj
World Socialist Web Site

Unipolar disorder

 There is a rumor going around professional psychological circles that at last the staid Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), in recent refinements will include what has since the millennium become a psychological epidemic among certain elites in the United States--unipolar disorder. Not to be confused with its sound alike, biopolar disorder, sufferers of unipolar disorder appear to bask passively in the light of the
truths" they imagine they have received. It is a novel and menacing addition to the nation's psychopathologies.

Bye bye frackbubble

 In short, the Moneterey Shale Formation frackbubble was a pile of the well-known substance perpetrated by the same agency, the Energy Information Administration,, that now, under a new administrator, denies it. The EIA should be renamed PetroFlak, Inc. This one was right up there with the infinite rising of real estate prices, only it ended quicker. It was a bubble on speed.