Blogs

Mexico's loss to the Netherlands in the World Cup

Submitted: Jun 30, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

One of the Badlands editors, in agreement with  a commentator on ESPN, wrote this about Mexico's heartbreaking loss to the Netherlands Sunday. We thought it might be worth sharing here. -- blj 


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Intro to human trafficking

Submitted: Jun 30, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

 

Human Trafficking in California

As a diverse cultural center and popular destination for immigrants with multiple international borders, California is one of the largest sites of human trafficking in the United States. In the two years between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012, California's task forces initiated 2,552 investigations, identified 1,277 victims of human trafficking, and arrested 1,798 individuals. -- State of Human Trafficking in California, 2012

 

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Systemic political lying

Submitted: Jun 26, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The greatest threat to political democracy -- from Athens to the US "war on terrorism," -- has always been elites. Since the 18th century, democracy has arisen in step with its competition and nemesis, capitalism. Today's American elite has converted political bribery and lies into "campaign finance contributions" -- the "free speech" of money -- "spin," the political descendant of advertising. However, bribery and deceit remain what they are, fatal to democracy.

Today, we offer two comments on lying, spin and propaganda, the first from politician scientist Sheldon Wolin, the second from investigative reporter Robert Parry. Both are veterans and have personal as well as scholarly perspective on the changing forms of political lying in our culture. Wolin describes the structure of the culture that is producing systemic  political lying in America today. Parry paints a portrait of a practitioner of the form, Richard Stengel, under secretary of state for public diplomacy. Perhaps viewers of "Morning Joe" will remember "Rick" when he was a top Time Magazine editor presenting the Time cover of the week. Butter doesn't melt in Stengel's mouth. -- blj

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War profiteering

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

 

From "Major Barbara," by George Bernard Shaw:

 

CUSINS: By the way, have you any religion?

UNDERSHAFT: Only that there are two things necessary to Salvation.

CUSINS [disappointed, but polite]: Ah, the Church Catechism. Charles Lomax also belongs to the Established Church.

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Still pathetic after all these years: US and Honey Bee colony collapse

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

 Here are four articles about Honey bee colon- collapse disorder, one Russian, one and a partial article American, one Canadian. Scientists actually seem to have found the main cause, a class of nicotinoid pesticides applied to seeds before planting so that they provide protection against later pesticide applications and, incidently, cause serious harm to the nervous systems of bees and other creatures, including humans.

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Adam Gray's spiteful spinTweets

Submitted: Jun 21, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

By the twisted routes that spin is transmitted in the California 21st Assembly District -- if you can believe the informal networking source --

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Blunt Pitchforks' photo op in Le Grand

Submitted: Jun 21, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The problem with Le Grand's water supply is not drought; it is the large number of huge wells that have been installed for the last decade to irrigate thousands of acres of almonds and grapes planted on seasonal pasture. Politicians at the local, state and federal levels did everything money can buy to stop any opposition to these plantings, which are totally destructive to the natural habitat of 15 endangered species and which have robbed the region of much groundwater besides. And the latter will continue as rural landowners continue to mill aimlessly about in public water gatherings like the state-sponsored and funded Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, known as "Ear-Wimp" perhaps because the participants are incapable of reading anything and only listen to each others' mythological misinformation.

 

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Forked tongues and blunt pitchforks

Submitted: Jun 21, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

 

Politicians and water managers spoke to farmers at the Stanislaus County Agricultural Hall of Paranoia with tongues so forked it's a wonder any coherent sentences broke the fences of their teeth. Flecks of dribbled white foam must have spewed forth from their lips as they cursed the state, the state, the state, before a frightened herd of farmers. The politicians and the water managers have a plan and a hope:  they are trying to deflect the attention of the frightened herd of sheep -- I mean farmers -- into a pitchfork bearing mob of farmers headed to the state Capitol -- headed anywhere but at local authority.

 

 

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Matadero fronterizo

Submitted: Jun 21, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 It's bad enough that the border between Mexico and the US has become a slaughterhouse due to the nation's appetite for labor in bonded servitude and for narcotics, but the story here includes one of the always foulest corporate enterprises in the US -- the mortuary industry -- and to make it even slimier, a flakperson for a Texas mortuary corporation. 

Don't try to read this and eat at the same time. Don't ask questions about the hatred dependency brings. Don't wonder if some day this passion for cut-rate labor will to burn the hands on both sides of the border that just keep on squeezing.-- blj


6-21-14

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Drilling, fracking and oil-transport political corruption

Submitted: Jun 19, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We in the Valley, where much of the vaunted Monterey Shale Formation fracking was to occur, fistfulls of money and many jobs and national energy independence were to be squeezed out of the earth by miracles of drilling technology leaving air and water pollution behind, are grateful to Dylan and Jo Murphy for this excellent  summary of the government and corporate corruption behind the rapid rise and fall of the California fracking boom.

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