October 2016

Crisis R USA

The plain truth is that we are in the longest war of our history, looking more and more like a prelude to the next world war; our income is more unequally distributed than any industrial nation in the world; we are in an economic recession nearly as long as the war, and in an environmental disaster signaled by mass extinctions and global warming.

The war-machine's graft exceeds its reach

 It must jar readers of Badlandsjournal.com to find articles on the Middle East when they have come to the site for current information on environmental things in the California Central Valley. Our reply is that US foreign policy affects us here, too, and perhaps even more here than in other parts of California because of our economic dependence on export-led growth, the excellent welfare system for wealthy farmers, and the number of soldiers we contribute to the perpetual war for everlasting peace.

Merced Council silent on acts of racial hatred

On Monday evening, the Merced City Council deafened its audience with silence after mayoral candidate Necola Adams, an African-American, finished denouncing the escalating racial violence against her campaign.
Before Adams spoke, staff had reminded the councilmen that "they could not speak freely on any item not on the agenda." This is the sort of advice from staff, however, that councilmen ignore whenever it suits them.
After Adams finished, it suited them to say nothing until staff interrupted it to announce the consent agenda.

A letter to Merced City Councilman Michael Murphy and colleagues from a neighborhood

 Friends of the Badlands editorial board sent us this letter that a group of neighbors wrote to Merced City Councilman Michael Murphy, who made a campaign visit to a house party on their block this weekend.
Murphy is running for mayor.
He graciously received the letter, read most of it and told its bearer that he agreed with several of the issues the letter raises. He appeared open to hearing about the problems of that neighborhood which, we imagine, are not so different from a number of neighborhoods in town.

Concerning proposed increases in some rivers' flows

Badlands Journal editorial board has come to its position about the proposed changes in the distribution of surface and groundwater in the Delta and San Joaquin Valley.
The new appropriation of river water and regulation on pumping groundwater comes down to a battle between the California executive resource agencies and the money, influence and lawyers a half a dozen northeast valley irrigation districts can muster to defeat it. In other words, lobbyists vs. the bureaucracy, with a supporting chorus of county officials, local newspapers, farm bureaus, etc.