February 2016

Is the Beast having indigestion?

 To us the story of Bernie Sanders' remarkable showing in Iowa and the ongoing civil war in the Middle East, the liberal crowing v. the dirge of wars past, present and to come, put their stamp on early February 2016: a double latte held high above a pool of other peoples' blood.
So far, as Ira Chernus points out, the rhyming between today and an earlier moment is almost perfect. Too perfect. Rather than historical "progress." it's looking like the same-old/same-old/same-old historical vortex.

Good time to plant more nuts

State water bureaucrats are keeping the screws tight on urban water use while a few agro-plutocrats on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley lock in a guaranteed water supply 30-percent larger than the total requirement for Los Angeles and go on planting more almond orchards as the price for the Holy Nut falls. --blj
Valley Public Radio
The Price Of Almonds May Have Met A Slippery Slope
Edward Ezra Romero

California agro-tycoons try to deep rip federal environmental law again

Throughout a lengthy, tedious and expensive (for the public as well as the special interest) legal proceeding, the battle between Modesto-based Duarte Nursery and the Army Corps of Engineers and the federal Environmental Protection Agency is going to boil down to two issues. First, is there compelling evidence that Duarte deep ripped a pasture containing vernal pools despite his absolute denial? Second, will Duarte's private property rights trump the federal Clean Water Act?

Not with a 10-foot pole

The Republican presidential candidates debated before a rich, white crowd in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday. They fought with each other, nearly to the point of blows a la the anti-bellum US Congress, to establish who was the Most Anti-Government of All. The mirror of plutocrats in the room thrilled with each of the mounting attacks against regulation and taxes. Against Government.

"Innovative?" "State of the art?"

To question the flak generated by Los Banos-based Morning Star Company, what's so innovative about lying to the state water board? Maybe it's getting caught due to neighbors' complaints. The fine is fairly hefty and that will cause Morning Star's lawyers to exert themselves greatly to gain innovative reductions in the amount of at least 30 percent, along the lines of the nearby Hilmar Cheese fine and final settlement.
The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has found that Morning Star's Williams plant is a "state of the art" groundwater polluter.

Waiting for The Boss

Americans who believe the nation is exceptional do not like to think about our political corruption. In our fabulously projective way, we believe other countries are corrupt (Mexico is frequently mentioned), but not us.  Until this year; now it is fashionable. But Americans understand that denouncing corruption is just another fad or market trend with the half-life of a new line of sneakers.