June 2014

"Monatarium" advocate voted off Merced Board of Supes

 Incumbent Merced County Supervisor Linn Davis was defeated by two of his three challengers in yesterday's primary elections. This should be read not just as a rejection of Davis, but perhaps as much or more a rejection of the people who drafted him four years ago to run against incumbent Mike Nelson. Nelson was wrong about the Riverside Motor Sports Park project, but he was one of the rarer politicians in general and unique in Merced: you could see him growing in office.

The Merced County water saga goes on, Part 2

 On Tuesday, the Merced Board of Supervisors debated long and hard -- with help from legal, planning and executive staff -- about how they could stop Steve Sloan, former chairman of the county Planning Commission,  and an adjoining landowner, from selling more than 20,000 acre feet of groundwater to Del Puerto Water District, based in Stanislaus County.

Three Big Lies

 These are stories, "narratives" as our elite educated government flaks and the cowards in the mainstream press call them, have become propaganda lines, whole processes of deception, some older than others, but all following a pattern of contempt for the public, which, according to the General Lie, they are supposed "to serve." 
Read at your own risk. You won't enjoy these articles but they come from reputable sources: Paul Craig Roberts, Ray McGovern, and writers published by Counterpunch and Global Research (Canada). -- blj

Drilling, fracking and oil-transport political corruption

 We in the Valley, where much of the vaunted Monterey Shale Formation fracking was to occur, fistfulls of money and many jobs and national energy independence were to be squeezed out of the earth by miracles of drilling technology leaving air and water pollution behind, are grateful to Dylan and Jo Murphy for this excellent  summary of the government and corporate corruption behind the rapid rise and fall of the California fracking boom.

Matadero fronterizo

 It's bad enough that the border between Mexico and the US has become a slaughterhouse due to the nation's appetite for labor in bonded servitude and for narcotics, but the story here includes one of the always foulest corporate enterprises in the US -- the mortuary industry -- and to make it even slimier, a flakperson for a Texas mortuary corporation. 

Blunt Pitchforks' photo op in Le Grand

The problem with Le Grand's water supply is not drought; it is the large number of huge wells that have been installed for the last decade to irrigate thousands of acres of almonds and grapes planted on seasonal pasture. Politicians at the local, state and federal levels did everything money can buy to stop any opposition to these plantings, which are totally destructive to the natural habitat of 15 endangered species and which have robbed the region of much groundwater besides.

Adam Gray's spiteful spinTweets

By the twisted routes that spin is transmitted in the California 21st Assembly District -- if you can believe the informal networking source --

Mobley outpolled by No-Names in write- in votes!

Stanislaus and Merced counties have certified the election results from the June primary. 

Total Votes: Adam Gray: 26,115 (95%); Jack Mobley 1286 (5%)

Still pathetic after all these years: US and Honey Bee colony collapse

 Here are four articles about Honey bee colon- collapse disorder, one Russian, one and a partial article American, one Canadian. Scientists actually seem to have found the main cause, a class of nicotinoid pesticides applied to seeds before planting so that they provide protection against later pesticide applications and, incidently, cause serious harm to the nervous systems of bees and other creatures, including humans.

War profiteering

From "Major Barbara," by George Bernard Shaw:
CUSINS: By the way, have you any religion?
UNDERSHAFT: Only that there are two things necessary to Salvation.
CUSINS [disappointed, but polite]: Ah, the Church Catechism. Charles Lomax also belongs to the Established Church.
UNDERSHAFT: The two things are—
CUSINS: Baptism and—

Systemic political lying

 The greatest threat to political democracy -- from Athens to the US "war on terrorism," -- has always been elites. Since the 18th century, democracy has arisen in step with its competition and nemesis, capitalism. Today's American elite has converted political bribery and lies into "campaign finance contributions" -- the "free speech" of money -- "spin," the political descendant of advertising. However, bribery and deceit remain what they are, fatal to democracy.

Intellectual conformity

 How do you deal with the moral authority of ignorance? James Lee Burke, Pegasus Descending (2006), p. 473.
Reasons for Intellectual Conformity
In theory, many people hail the idea of independent thinking and praise the courage of speaking truth to power. In practice, however, the pressure of “group think” and the penalties inflicted on dissidents usually force people into line even when they know better, as Lawrence Davidson notes.
Lawrence Davidson

Intro to human trafficking



Human Trafficking in California
As a diverse cultural center and popular destination for immigrants with multiple international borders, California is one of the largest sites of human trafficking in the United States. In the two years between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012, California's task forces initiated 2,552 investigations, identified 1,277 victims of human trafficking, and arrested 1,798 individuals. -- State of Human Trafficking in California, 2012