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The Great California Drought, now in year five (though Northern Cal is getting some temporary relief), is the worst drought in California history. According to NASA we are currently trillions (yes, trillions) of gallons below where we should be in groundwater. This has forced us to deplete our precious aquifers—many that took millennia to fill. Recently, NASA, using satellites to measure underground water supplies, found was that nearly one in seven US aquifers are so depleted that they must now be classified as ‘extremely” or “highly” stressed, and that California’s Central Valley Aquifer—which is being sucked dry to help drought-stricken farms in our core growing region—is now by far the most troubled in the United States. Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who lead the study, called the situation “critical,” adding that “we are running out of groundwater.” According to the federal government nine cities in California are at risk of going bone dry, and some small towns are already needing to truck in water for daily use.-- Kopald and Chouinard, Huffington Post, April 20, 2016
This pair of articles about our deteriorating air quality demonstrates a couple of disgusting sides to journalism and the "public information" racket today.
First, you cannot do a "balanced" story on a topic so obviously, totally out of balance as Valley air pollution. You simply cannot be permitted to correctly quote the Valley air board's sleazy flak telling the gasping public to take it all with a grain of salt.Read More »
Robert Perry writes about the soaring "negatives" of both the front runners in the presidential primaries, HIllary Clinton and Donald Trump (the Hill and the Donald). He presents the bleak dilemma facing the Democratic Party after the nomination. This reminds us of the 1968 Democratic Party, gutted by the assassination of Robert Kennedy that depressed his supporters so deeply that they were unable to rally in time to help defeat Richard Nixon.
Supporters of Bernie seem made of stronger stuff, having found their political legs marching and demonstrating rather than scrambling to get their noses under a tent in Camelot.
Chris Hedges points out in his column, "Revolution in the air," that the movements built around principles and moral positions are having a growing influence on elected officials.Read More »
Below is a transcript from a spirited debate regarding the Democratic Party presidential primaries campaign hosted by Democracy Now! last week.
In it the strengths and weaknesses of both candidates show up in their advocates, both veterans of decades of progressive political commitment.
We thought it was important to post DN!'s transcript because there was more to the encounter than could be captured by just watching or even rewatching the video of Friday's show.Read More »
High Country News
The desert-friendly cow
A rancher and a researcher search for a better bovine — and think they’ve found one.Read More »
It seems like at the end of these semi-automatic 8-year presidential regimes of the best administrations money can buy, there is a scandal in California involving the federal and state resource agencies with responsibility for enforcing environmental laws to protect wildlife species on land, in rivers and the ocean. The current report of misuse of public funds aimed at benefiting fish and wildlife in the Delta, instead using them to benefit irrigators and oil companies reminds us of a similar scandal in the Department of Interior eight years ago arising from a concerted attempt by politicians, business interests and federal resource-agency officials in their corrupt orbit, to destroy the federal Endangered Species Act by foul means, having failed in three attempts in Congress.
No doubt, professional historians could point to numerous examples of these cycles, which we might dub the Cycle of Corruption.Read More »
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Chapter Four: The Country of the Houyhnhnms
The Houyhnhnms Notion of Truth and Falshood.
We have met the enemy and he is us. -- Pogo
Populations of early human settlers grew like an 'invasive species,' Stanford researchers findRead More »
"While we're optimistic about the actions taken at council, it's very early in the process," Ken Riddick publisher of the Merced Sun-Star said earlier this week. "As we evolve as a multimedia provider of news and information and multiplatform marketing solutions, we continue to be committed to our readers and the businesses in the region," he said. "That relevance and credibility isn't about the building we house our staff in, it's about an amazing professional staff making Merced a better place to live and work." -- Thaddeus Miller, Merced Sun-Star, April 6, 2016, "Seeking new police station, city to negotiate for Sun-Star building."
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Westlands Water District is complaining about the Bureau of Reclamation announcement of a 5-percent water allotment for the year. Putting aside that this will most likely increase as the 2016 Water-Rhetoric Year wars on. -- blj
“We cannot permit Westlands to transform itself from heavily subsidized corporate farms into a water broker at the expense of taxpayers and the San Francisco Bay/Delta Estuary,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. -- Lloyd Carter, Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood, July 27, 2015.
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