Blogs

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  

 

 

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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. 

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Merced Development Rodeo: Ol' Hoss calls out the Mayor

Submitted: Jan 08, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Greg Hostetler remarks to Merced Mayor Stan Thurston

Oral Communications 

Merced City Council Meeting

January 5, 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZU8RDMQd7E

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Moyers' last interview: in the Public Trust Doctrine

Submitted: Jan 08, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

 It was typical of Bill Moyers, the guy who always got it, to end his magnificent career of public broadcasting with an interview on the environment, specifically how the great American environmental law, once the envy of the world's environmentalists, has been largely corrupted -- Badlands has done some documentation on that topic -- and that the whole environmental legal edifice needs to be regrounded in  Public Trust Doctrine. Moyer's guest, Mary Christina Wood, a legal scholar from the University of Oregon, has published a book on the topic, Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age, Cambridge University Press, 2013. -- blj

1-2-15

 

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Merced County Board of Supervisors, 12-16-14: Groundwater crazy train

Submitted: Jan 04, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In its December 16, 2014 meeting, the Merced County Board of Supervisors considered a moratorium on well drilling until such time as an ordinance on groundwater may be enacted the state steps in and stops the groundwater-mining bonanza. -- blj

rtsp://mediaserver.co.merced.ca.us/board/video/2014/12-16-14_bdsupvideo.rv

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"We're the focus of the world"

Submitted: Jan 03, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 "... I don't know how much you folks realize we're the focus of the world in regards to this drought..." Member of the public, Merced County Board of Supervisors meeting, December 16, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The moral squalor of the ag labor "market"

Submitted: Jan 03, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The moral squalor of agriculture built on the backs of defenseless undocumented workers ignored, abused and exploited by their own government, sequestered by the drug cartelized coyote/labor contractor system, exploited by the growers of California's partly hand-cultivated/picked luxury crops and isolated in their own communities, grows deeper and more hopeless every year.

This year we have the pronouncements of Manuel Cunha, president of the Nisei Farmers League and worthy successor of League-founder Harry Kubo, a man whose hatred for a union of American citizen farmworkers was legendary.

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Merced Development Rodeo: Team "Ol' Hoss" ropes Merced City Council and wins a prize

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

 Although landowners would love you to believe that farming and residential development are totally different operations, farmers being salt-of-the-earth, honest, God-fearing Jeffersonian yeomen of rural America, developers being mysteriously powerful, immensely rich city slickers, farming is in fact just as much "development" as residential construction is in terms of its effects on the environment and its returns of investment.

 

In the October 15th Merced City Council meeting, an item appeared under "Reports" that asked for a resolution that the

City Council of the City of Merced finds that farming and planting tree crops will be an allowed interim use within Bellevue Ranch West at such time that environmental review has occurred and the property owner has obtained an Interface Conditional Use Permit from the City of Merced to ensure compatibility with the existing residential uses within Bellevue Ranch.

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The gift of good journalism

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

 And so, as the public mind is turned by the dance of sugar-plum fairies, there appears a thoughtful, critical piece of excellent reporting on the high speed rail project. -- blj

 

12-24-14

Sacramento Bee

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California's winter pastures are greening up

Submitted: Dec 23, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 California ranks fourth in the nation for sales of cattle and calves despite drought and the constant encroachment of almond orchards onto seasonal pastureland. -- blj

 

 

 

12-22-14

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