Blogs

Solar patches

Submitted: Jan 29, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

 

We join the writer of a letter recently published in the Merced Sun-Star in welcoming a genuine "Fortune 250" energy corporation, NGR, to Merced County.  We couldn't imagine anything as exciting short of news that Occidental Petroleum was opening a local office to manage it fracking wells. We are particularly joyful  to see that this authentic renewable energy corporation calls its plantations of solar panels "gardens" instead of the clunckier "parks." used by a German-based transnational solar corporation to describe its plan to put 1,400 acres under  glass on the west side.

 Read More »
| »

They're At It Again Department: The Rent-to-Own Scam

Submitted: Jan 28, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

The rent-to-own business appears to be a small, grubby niche of finance. People I spoke with said that the big players were not doing rent-to-own. -- Eisinger, ProPublica, January 28, 2015.

We would not have noticed this fine article from ProPublica had it not been for a situation on the street where we live that is harming the tenant of a rent-to-own house and all his neighbors. "Small and grubby" perfectly describes the owner group we call "the boys from LA" who own a gaggle of properties scattered throughout the town. But, fortunately for us, it doesn't describe our street, where neighbors are on perpetual alert for grubby doers. -- blj

 Read More »
| »

Drought dementia

Submitted: Jan 27, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Agriculture is of great economic value in Merced County. With average age of 29, six years younger than the state average, there just aren't many people in the county who remember when there was a large population of small farmers, less than half the total population of today, and harvesting was a community event with help from migrants. Today, farmers are few, the only survivors were the beloved of their bankers, and farm labor was criminalized in the mid-Sixties.

 Read More »
| »

One more way to profit from misery on the US Mexican border

Submitted: Jan 26, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Some milestones in border history: 

Bracero Program ended, 1965

Maquiladora Program started, 1965

Massive loans at up to 25% interest, 1970's

Loan Defaults

Peso destabilized, steady rounds of devaluation

Plan de Ayala excised from Mexican Constitution. 1980's

Poorest rural villages redlined, 1980's

Rise of drug cartels, late 1980's

US dumping feed corn in Mexico, 1980's

 Read More »
| »

Washington DC: The American Necropolis

Submitted: Jan 22, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

1-22-15

TomDispatch.com

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Washington's Walking Dead
<!--[endif]-->

 Read More »
| »

Global warming and your lawn

Submitted: Jan 22, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 


1-21-15

Vice News

Your Well Manicured Lawn Is Contributing to Climate Change

 Read More »
| »

To cowboy

Submitted: Jan 21, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 A descendant of cowboys, provoked by the misuse of the word, reflects on the vocation beneath the myth.--blj

July 2008

Texas Monthly

 Read More »
| »

Groundwater in a nutshell

Submitted: Jan 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Merced Sun-Star

1-15-15

Letter to the editor of Merced Sun-Star:

Pat and Gerry Westfall: Water table has fallen 200 feet, stop drilling now!

 Read More »
| »

Farm Bill subsidized insurance scam and California groundwater

Submitted: Jan 14, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board


The 2013 Senate and House farm bills add costly new subsidy programs. These new programs would go well beyond providing a safety net for farmers by protecting them from virtually all risk. Some of the programs, allegedly designed to cover major losses, are so generous that they would effectively provide guaranteed payments to some farmers. Many of the cost assumptions for the new programs are based on commodity prices staying at or near record highs. If these prices come down to their longer-term averages, the costs to taxpayers could be astronomical. Congress is gambling taxpayer money on risky assumptions. -- The Heritage Foundation, June 2013  

 

 

 Read More »
| »

Debt: Enriching the Very, Very Few

Submitted: Jan 14, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  Here in the midst of Moca Almond Bubbleland with an official floor unemployment rate of 15 percent (double it for the real rate and blame it on seasonal agricultural labor, our embarassment), we don't think much about manufacturing. Nevertheless, it's useful from time to time to glance over at the thinking emanating from the rusty regions of the nation that once drove the national economy. 

Manufacturing once controlled finance; now finance controls manufacturing, government and much more. As far as finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) interests are concerned, industrial agriculture is just another kind of manufacturing, except that it's easier to manipulate and has the best labor situation in the country because it's dominated by undocumented workers who must live their lives in the US in the legal shadows. 

 Read More »
| »


To manage site Login