April 2016

Perseverance in a wrong cause..

 ...doesn't make it right.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation began delivering water to Westlands in 1967, and up until the mid-1970s constructed some 70 miles of a planned 207-mile drain. Instead of reaching all the way to the Delta, it ended prematurely at Kesterson Reservoir. -- Michael Doyle, McClatchy, Jan. 12, 2016

Westlands/BOR deal clips

 Below, you'll find a few articles on the Westlands/Bureau of Reclamation deal. As is often the case with California water stories in recent years, the best reporting is done by Dan Bacher, who grew out of reporting on good fishing spots in the Delta to become one of the few fact-based voices in the bug swarm of flak hovering above the surface of water issues in this state.

2016 Water-Rhetoric Year whines on

 Westlands Water District is complaining about the Bureau of Reclamation announcement of a 5-percent water allotment for the year. Putting aside that this will most likely increase as the 2016 Water-Rhetoric Year wars on. -- blj

“We cannot permit Westlands to transform itself from heavily subsidized corporate farms into a water broker at the expense of taxpayers and the San Francisco Bay/Delta Estuary,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. -- Lloyd Carter, Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood, July 27, 2015.

The cycle of corruption in state and federal resource agencies in California

 It seems like at the end of these semi-automatic 8-year presidential regimes of the best administrations money can buy, there is a scandal in California involving the federal and state resource agencies with responsibility for enforcing environmental laws to protect wildlife species on land, in rivers and the ocean.

Sheer v. Osborn on Democracy Now! -- Vital debate

 Below is a transcript from a spirited debate regarding the Democratic Party presidential primaries campaign hosted by Democracy Now! last week.
In it the strengths and weaknesses of both candidates show up in their advocates, both veterans of decades of progressive political commitment.
We thought it was important to post DN!'s transcript because there was more to the encounter than could be captured by just watching or even rewatching the video of Friday's show.

The horns of our poltical dilemma: between inverted totalitarianism and fugitive democracy

 Robert Perry writes about the soaring "negatives" of both the front runners in the presidential primaries, HIllary Clinton and Donald Trump (the Hill and the Donald). He presents the bleak dilemma facing the Democratic Party after the nomination. This reminds us of the 1968 Democratic Party, gutted by the assassination of Robert Kennedy that depressed his supporters so deeply that they were unable to rally in time to help defeat Richard Nixon.

Smog replaces foreclosures, murder and drought as top Valley distraction

  This pair of articles about our deteriorating air quality demonstrates a couple of disgusting sides to journalism and the "public information" racket today.
First, you cannot do a "balanced" story on a topic so obviously, totally out of balance as Valley air pollution. You simply cannot be permitted to correctly quote the Valley air board's sleazy flak telling the gasping public to take it all with a grain of salt.

Rising sea level could flood the twin tunnels shortly after construction

 Following the widespread oceanic observations (1) that ice packs everywhere are melting much more quickly than at first predicted, and that seas are consequently rising more quickly, Chris Clarke, the author of these two articles, puts the Delta tunnels project into the context of a Delta rapidly flooding with seawater.