January 2016

2016: Why?

 The Badlands Journal editorial board wishes you a Happy New Year.
We believe that the coming year must be the year of the question.
But, where to begin?

Toward a canon of effective political insult

 An Irish journalist who has covered the Middle East for several decades makes a few observations on an important political topic: the insult. -- blj
The Independent
A short history of the political put-down
A good insult lingers in the memory, a bad one rebounds on its creator - it’s an art, not a science
·         Patrick Cockburn 
·         @indyworld 

US nodding in Afghanistan?

 When we come across first-rate journalism, we are always tempted to post it regardless of its topic because the quality is so rare.
Admittedly, this is a prejudice of people who read larger quantities of journalism than most do.
So, why choose to include an article about Afghanistan based on interviews with "a group of Afghan Pashtuns" written by a Brazilian who lives in Hong Kong? Or an article about Afghanistan written by and Englishman who is a longtime resident of Beirut?

Hanson's Obesifornia

 Our valley's reigning pundit on an ever widening range of issues is syndicated columnist Victor Hanson, a Stanford trained classicist from a south valley farming family who is also a long-standing Hoover Institution scholar and, if these were not enough credentials to be expert on almost everything, he helped found a program at Fresno State to teach Latin and Greek. He is also author of Mexifornia, which pretends to be a brave moral stand against Mexican immigration.

Miscellaneous current reports of corporate overreach

 For Immediate Release, April 29, 2015


Adam Keats, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 436-9682 x 304, akeats@biologicaldiversity.org
Kim Floyd, Sierra Club, (760) 680-9479
Drew Feldmann, San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society, (909) 881-6081

"Comandante Cherry Garcia, presente!" and other peculiarities of the season

 Coming from the left and the right, critical political thinking and action is in some cases emerging from widespread anger to dominate the debate this year, along with fabulous name-calling, character assassination and all the other elements of what the great United Mine Workers leader John L. Lewis referred to as "the paraphernalia of a political campaign."

Hillary and Bernie in perspective

 We enjoyed these two lengthy, excellent articles in the New York Review of Books on the top Democratic Party contenders for president because they made some points about both of them in relaxed, accurate language. All we know about the author, Simon Head, is that he holds academic positions at Oxford and NYU, and is a journalist whose latest book is The New Ruthless Economy: Work and Power in the Digital Age (1996). Unlike so many writers on the contemporary political situation, Head seems to be contemporary.