Blogs

As the Wolf arrives, Merced Agriculture gibbers on

Submitted: Aug 27, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There have been way too many groundwater management plans to make plans in Merced County and they have now come back to bite agriculture's habitual liars you know where. The wolf is here at last and the ag rhetoric is exhausted. 

Representatives of the Merced County Farm Bureau and California Women for Agriculture have been animated by what has come to be called "the Sloan Sale" (26,000 acre feet of groundwater sold to a Stanislaus County water district over two years at a minimum of $500/acre foot). On August 26, they were before the Board of Supervisors again demanding county action on the groundwater situation.

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Merced City Council, Aug. 4, 2014: change orders and contingencies

Submitted: Aug 25, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The city council, like most legislative bodies, includes a number of items early in its agenda that are voted on together. It is called the "consent calendar" and items may be removed from it for individual attention. Councilman Mike Murphy asked that Item 8, a staff recommendation that the council accept a bid from a Fresno construction company to build a new laboratory building at  the city wastewater treatment facility, be removed for council discussion. After noting that "it is great that we have one of the bidders coming in 10 percent lower than the other two," Councilman Murphy objected specifically to the contract allowing a 25-percent increase for change orders on the authority of the city manager alone without council deliberation. Murphy thought 10 percent was good enough, noting that a $450,000 contingency fund was also included in the contract.

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Making a graph of stupidity and UC grant whoring

Submitted: Aug 22, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “We can’t manage what we don’t measure,” he said. “We’ve been putting a lot of efforts in developing intelligent infrastructure that will develop better information and lead to better decision-making.”

 

What is wrong with this statement?

1) It is historically absurd. Human beings have managed quite well without  "intelligent infrastructure."  But, of course, UC professors believe that real management of human affairs begins with measurements precise enough to build, launch and trigger the nuclear weapons for which UC is so famous.

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What's the price of city water for the Safeway water-bottling plant in a drought?

Submitted: Aug 17, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 The Badlands Journal editorial board were thinking about water on Saturday because of the big water-bond, unanimous-minus-one vote in the Legislature last week. And other things as well, like Steve Sloan and Steve Smith's sale of 26,000 acre feet of groundwater from under their adjoining properties on the west side of the county for at least $13 million to Del Puerto Water District in Stanislaus County. Pretty slick deal for the publicly spirited Sloan, who served as the chairman of the Merced County Planning Commission during the real estate boom. We laughed at  the outrage on display in the county Board of Supervisors' chambers by most of his former political cronies, except westside Supervisor Jerry O'Banion, 67, reelected without opposition in June to his seventh term, the present chairman of the board. It was O'Banion that appointed Sloan to the planning commission.

 

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Introducing... The Fabulous Klugoza

Submitted: Aug 16, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

      

“With Dennis and Scott — a bipartisan team of former congressmen — at the helm … Foley will offer our business clients the comprehensive strategic and legal counsel needed on the myriad of complex public policy and regulatory issues that they face,” said David T. Ralston, Jr., chair of Foley's government and public policy practice, in a statement.-- Megan Wilson, thehill.com, Feb. 6, 2014

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We're not into necrophilia, but thanks for thinking of us

Submitted: Aug 14, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In the last several weeks, a member of the Badlands Journal editorial board has received 88 emails from various appendages of the Democratic Party, from Congressional candidate Amanda "Cotton Queen" Renteria (collecting on her fine work on the latest Farm Bill, which guaran-damn-tees agribusiness income if they buy the right insurance from the insurance industry) all the way past Steve Israel (aptly named chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to be renamed "Friends of Israel" in honor of the latest act of genocide in Gaza), and from both the President and the Vice President (about whom the less said the better).

Each email announces another grave emergency to the very life of the Democratic Party and suggests, cajols, orders and demands that our editor pay the minimal sum of five dollars to avoid the collapse ... of what?

The Democratic Party?

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Naomi Klein draws a bead on TNC

Submitted: Aug 05, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The Nature Conservancy “has just lost its moral compass,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a group that works extensively on endangered species. “The very idea of oil drilling inside a reserve is utterly wrong, and it’s especially disturbing in this case because the Attwater’s prairie chicken is one of the most endangered species in the entire country. It could very well be the next species to go extinct in the United States.” -- Justin Gillis, New York Times, Aug. 3, 2014

 

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How m any Israeli civilians have been killed by Hamas rockets?

Submitted: Aug 04, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We thought it might be interesting to try to find the answer to the question since our government is paying for the continuing slaughter of civilians in Gaza who cannot afford  lobby groups as rich, powerful and corrupting as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the infamous AIPAC and the American arms manufacturers. 

According to the reliable televised report this morning we could find, the number of Israeli civilians killed by Hamas rockets from Gaza hovers in the low single figures, at three.  More than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed.

In an era when economic and diplomatic forces not favorable to the US  are changing the geopolitical map -- Berlin-Beijing Railway, Russian-Chinese energy agreements, the new BRICS development bank independent of the IMF, the World bank and the US dollar, and Mercasur and other alliances in Latin America, for starters -- our government is supporting Nazis tryinng to commit genocide in the Ukraine and Zionists trying harder to commit genocide in Gaza. In fact, wherever you look, our only foreign policy seems to be force. One quarter of our total number of embassies do not have ambassadors and the two parties of belligerent brats in Congress do not seem to care. 

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Bentonville blunderbuss* fires again

Submitted: Aug 03, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Blunderbuss: an 18th-century flint-lock, flaired barrel large caliber shotgun or pistol -- the original sawed off shotgun -- eds.

We begin by saying we hold Richard McCormack and his newsletter, Manufacturing & Technology News, in high regard for its steadfast and lonely struggle on behalf of American manufacturers as opposed to foreign manufacturers and American companies who have off-shored their manufacturing operations. In this battle, McCormack stands for the American manufacturing tradition, both owners and the skilled workers who have almost been totally eliminated from the American workforce by lower, off-shore labor costs. Locally, we recall a young manufacturer in Northern California who shut down his lathe-manufacturing factory, the last such shop left in the country, he and others said at the time.

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New possibility for labor in the orchards of today and tomorrow

Submitted: Aug 02, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 One of the great advantages to farming almonds and other nut trees has always been the small amount of hand labor required relative to the former preferred monocrop: cling peaches. If anyone does any real work on almond orchards, it has been the bees. But, as we know, those busy workers are themselves in short supply these days.

This situation may open up new horizons of hand labor in the orchards of today. -- blj

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