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The damage genetic engineering does

Below you'll find a linked summary of articles on recent research into the damage genetic engineering has done, does, and will do. When Bill Gates and his ilk tell you that's all bunk, remember that Gates is not a scientist anymore than Zuckerberg is or Steve Jobs was. They use science to improve their profits; they don't do science to discover truths. -- blj



Gene editing: Unexpected outcomes and risks

Damaged DNA on fire

The rentier class and the economy of extortion

I apologize for the absence of material on Badlands in recent weeks. I’ve been moving.

I recently asked a learned member of my new community in the desert what “economic rent” was. She had spent her entire career in “Finance,” she said (and you should hear the word as she pronounces it, with a Capital F and italics). She flipped off the following reply to this elementary question: “Payment for the use of something you don’t own.”

For Lawrence Ferlinghetti, founder of City Lights Bookstore, North Beach,. SF

Sidewalk Sketch of the Skipper

(for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1919-2021)

From Nothing to Nothing,

Wearing an ironic grin and

A fine hat,

Back straight, naval officer,

The wheel at hand,

The compass within,

Forever approaching

That Beach,

June Sixth,

Nineteen forty-four,

A break in bad weather,

But not in artillery.

Back straight at the wheel,

Into battle,

There went a gent whose

Calm heart will be sorely missed,

Always among us

When gummint does something right


Los Angeles Times

These word cops stand guard to keep language clear and simple




The crack team of federal specialists proceeded cautiously and deliberately, activating a vast network of experts to avoid missteps.

Skillful guidance was crucial to navigating the vexing case that had gone cold for the organized crime unit of the Mesa, Ariz., police department.

One word or two? Hyphen or no?

Valadao's vote: It's a wonder!


In 2020, Valadao won reelection against the incumbent TJ Cox by .9 percent, Cox having defeated him by .76 percent in 2018. The 21st Congressional District of California includes parts of Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties.

Perhaps the razor thin majorities of these elections explain why Valadao voted to impeach Trump. Perhaps it doesn’t. Perhaps it was, as Valadao said, a “vote of conscience.”

A Central Valley eulogy for George Whitmore, conservationist and environmentalist

Badlands Journal interviewed Lydia Miller, president of the San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center, about the impact on the environment of the Central Valley of the great Fresno environmentalist/conservationist George Whitmore, who died at 89 on January 1, 2021.

Virus update: January 20, 2021

The Covid-10 death count in Merced County is 318; the rate of infection is 14.7 percent. Although some may have had a better experience, the Badlands editor has had a frustrationg, chaotic experience with contant attempts to get vaccine for which he qualifies according to the county Public Health Department website. But, this may not be a death sentence. One health worker I talked to in a clinic office indicated that she might have been skeptical about the vaccine. Meanwhile, the doctors urge strongly that elderly with one or more underlying conditions get vaccinated immediately.

AIDS and Covid-19

As we begin to take a historical perspective on the Covid-19 pandemic, including its yearlong siege, the change of political regime and the possibility of better government choices in the near future, we begin to look for precedents in the past. AIDS may be to Covid-19 like the Korean War was to Vietnam -- sometimes history at least rhymes -- and  some of the leaders are the same and the pathos and fear in the gay community in the 1980s certainly mirrors that of the elderly and vulnerable in the 2020s pandemic. -- blj