September 2015

Questions about the Delta and global warming

We've assembled over the years enough articles on drought, California water and global warming to fill several books. Our aim was to inform and raise questions. As the drought grows worse -- news of larger forest fires and more dry wells -- lately the media seems to be trying to project a sense of perspective at this point. But they, and the politicians they quote and the scientists they paraphrase do not appear to be doing a very good job.

A public outreach plan to make a public outreach plan

After a few months of relative order, the Merced City Council went off the rails again Tuesday night. The rhetoric of desperate sleaze prevailed as councilmen tried to explain to us that now that a closed door, ad hoc committee not subject to the state rules of public meetings had chosen a consultant to plan the new high speed railroad station downtown, to the tune of $664,150  in public funds, now great plans will be made for public outreach and education.

Perspectives beyond 9/11

 The arrival of the date 9/11 again was the occasion for a number of reflective essays in the press and on the Net. Few of them outlasted their current news cycle.
These do.
Mantra for 9/11
Fourteen Years Later, Improbable World
By Tom Engelhardt

Sweethearts of San Luis renew their vows

It's not really a divorce... 
The Westlands Water District, which provides water to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. This region is an area of polluted quick sand which devours other peoples' water, law and political representatives from the local to the federal levels, in fact devours everything but the fortunes of a plutocracy of several hundred growers.

What is it about Bernie Sanders?

 “And now let me tell you something that no other candidate for president will tell you. And that is no matter who is elected to be president, that person will not be able to address the enormous problems facing the working families of our country. They will not be able to succeed because the power of corporate America, the power of Wall Street, the power of campaign donors, is so great that no president alone can stand up to them. That is the truth. People may be uncomfortable about hearing it, but that is the reality.”

Overdrafting credulity on the east side

Journalists shouldn't take at face value the public utterances of other peoples' consultants, for example the Provost and Pritchard Consulting Group, in the pay of the Eastside Water District, a mysterious institution that lacks any surface water to distribute.
We may be over-emphasizing a small point, but when the consultant said:

The Bobcat guzzles the KoolAid

 In vain once again, as we often have since the arrival of the University of California among us, we ask what sort of questions, if any, the faculty of UC Merced are asking as they lavish their attention on the Sierra Nevada (or not so much nevada lately).
We have watched them flirt with social issues, discovering that Hispanic youth prefer to stay at home when going to college. They solved that problem by importing Hispanic youth from Los Angeles.