March 2015

Bergman, skinned, stuffed and mounted

"Let me, and only me, bring the benefits of fresh vegetables to the poor and needy in my donated, beautifully painted truck without refrigeration," said Don Bergman in the sole-bid contract, ovbiously rigged for him with the help of friends in county government.
He was seen a few years earlier leading the goon squad of Black Hats from Out of Town bullying any opposition to John "Long Con" Condren's Riverside Motorsports Park, a popular cause among county supervisors and staff, some of whom may even have invested. 

Joe Public comments on the Merced County groundwater ordinance

 This morning we received this commentary on the Merced County groundwater ordinance from Joe Public. It says what needs to be said about this latest water plan-to-make-a-plan.
We would only add that Steve Sloan was the chairman of the county Planning Commission during the entire building boom. Sloan is a man who never saw development he didn't like. He is one of two landowners whose groundwater mining triggered the production of this list of exemptions wrapped in an ordinance. -- blj

"In order to save the Delta ..."

Speaking to an audience in Chico, a Sacramento Valley town with a state college attached to a popular brewery, state Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin succinctly stated the reasoning bethind the Bay Delta Conservation Plan: In order to save the Delta, it is necessary to destroy it -- for the good of the fish, the environment, farmers and 25 million people who depend on it for drinking water -- because the state and federal government has to move forward and show the people that it can proact in a big way in the 21st century.--blj

Re: Sharks

Shark attack kills German tourist at Red Sea resort in Egypt
The shark bit the unidentified man's leg off below the knee, according to Egyptian officials.
By Fred Lambert 

"Moving forward"

 We've been stunned by the drought and responses to it locally and at a state and national level. Environmentalists have been warning about how farmers have been over-drafting the aquifer in the Central Valley for decades and have been snubbed and demonized for mentioning it, as if we were not citizens and members of the same society that landowners and urban businessmen are. They don't even have to bribe elected officials anymore; social elites spring up overnight around wealth in new industries, whose "leaders" get what they want and they always want more water.


“It is one thing for the US and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal US secrets and play them back to US legislators to undermine US diplomacy,” the Wall Street Journal quoted a senior US official as saying. -- Borger, Zonszein, The Guardian, March 24, 2015
Our current political situation is unprecedented. The vast majority of Americans keep falling behind economically because of changes in society's ground rules, while the rich get even richer -- yet this situation doesn't translate into a winning politics.

Between drones

It seems to be a week, as the drums of war go on beating, when people are looking for perspective. At least we don't think it is only us at Badlands. For awhile after the fall of the Soviet Union, there seemed to be a choice to be or not to be the world's policeman and "indispensable nation." Evidently, somewhere far beyond the counsel of ordinary people, the decision was made to continue to pour the public billions into the military-industrial complex.

The 2015 water amendment to the 2014 California Budget Act

      4)Accelerates $660 million from the Governor's January budget proposal of Proposition 1E of 2006, bond monies for flood protection in urban and rural areas to make the state's infrastructure more resilient to climate change and flood events. -- Gabrielle Meindl, California State Assembly Budget Committee consultant, March 24, 22015.