May 2018

Are the gang busters winning in Merced?

 Depending on where you live in Merced County, you hear more or less gunfire. In some areas you hear a lot of it; in others maybe very little. But everyone knows it is out there and we appreciate law enforcement's efforts to reduce violence in the county. Chances are the latest crime-busting technique of listening in on kids' social media will not "put an end to this crisis," as state Assemblyman Adam Gray claims, but it might help prevent some crime.

Multi-millionaire Rep. Calvert, wannabe CEQA-slayer, strikes

At least 58 parties, including Sacramento-area local governments, have filed more than a dozen lawsuits challenging various aspects of the project in recent years. If it becomes law, Calvert’s provision would make moot many existing legal challenges to the project. And it would prevent future lawsuits challenging environmental determinations. -- Cadei, Sabalow, Sacramento Bee, May 16, 2018

Muqtada al-Sadr now and then

 Patrick Cockburn is the author of  Muqtada: Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq (2008), an indispensible report from the front lines of the US invasion of Iraq by an experienced Irish Middle East correspondent. We include one comment this month on the ascension to electoral power of Muqtada al-Sadr and an interview Cockburn did with al-Sadr in 2013, to try to give readers some sense of the importance of this election in Iraq. As Cockburn put it,

The sadism the smart ones take for granted

The horrors of the dog experimentation industry are on vivid display at Ridglan Farms Inc., one of the three largest firms in the U.S. that provides beagles to research facilities. Located in Dane County, Wisconsin — on a hill west of Madison — the corporation, according to Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, investigators, provides dogs to research facilities that include the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, and various colleges within the University of California system. -- Greenwald et al, Intercept, May 17, 2018

Sonny Star out to get Morse

If Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse broke wind at the head table of a $10 political bean feed, the Merced Sun-Star would accuse him of:
Racial prejudice;
Destruction of the ozone layer;
Promoting juvenile delinquency;
Breaking the norms of civilized society;

Some current reports from the Middle East, May 2018

I don't think the reporters collected here would regard these articles as any more than conscientious work. But to us, unwillingly hypnotized by the tube in our anxious attempts to gain any meaningful news from the crap dished out by Trump and his band, which Badlands has labeled a cartel called Don Culo y su familia, this writing brings clear conscience to bear on the Middle East, where the latest world war has been simmering for the last three decades. -- blj
The Independent


"One word: Plastics."
The Graduate (1967)
 Great Pacific garbage patch - Wikipedia
The Great Pacific garbage patch, ... floating trash halfway between Hawaii and California ... there are no islands of trash; ...