Blogs

We must not be complicit any longer

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

 We have read a number of reports and opinions on the current Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip but haven't anything that says more about it with less words than Chris Hedges' remarks in Truthdig on Monday. And unlike so many American expressions of helplessness, Hedges has a simple approach, proven effective against apartheid in South Africa: an immediate mass movement demanding boycotts, sanctions and divestment -- blj

If we fail to act we are complicit in the slaughter. -- Chris Hedges, July 14, 2014

7-14-14

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Bugs in Arizxona

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

 When it comes to the environment, those great "stewards of the land" in the Farm Bureau never fail to surprise with the stupidity of their policies..

 

“We view the tamarisk as a pest,” said Joseph Sigg, the government relations director at the Arizona Farm Bureau. “Water is an expensive input, and to the extent that we can lower it, the beetle can help.”

 

 

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Pesticides, unborn children and bees

Submitted: Jul 15, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

One rainy day, sitting in a shed in an orchard,  an old grower talked about pesticides.

"DDT?" he said. "Best pesticide in the world. Killed everything. Apply it every 28 days or after a rain and we got cleaner fruit than we'd ever seen. It started just after the war (WWII). You didn't have to set vinegar traps to see what kind of bugs you had in the orchard anymore. DDT killed EVERYTHING! So the younger generation of growers didn't have to learn anything about bugs because they didn't have to figure out what spray to use -- copper, arsenic, whatever. But DDT got Rachel Carsoned in the Sixties. That book, Silent Spring, started the environmental movement. Now they're trying to claim every frog, toad and minnow in the county is endangered, and they're winning. But she was right: DDT raised hell with the environment, thinned egg shells, caused cancer, poisoned fresh water and the ocean. But it wasn't as bad on bees and what replaced it.

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Extirpation

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


"To extirpate" means to destroy completely or to extinguish. It is a fancy word used by resource-agency biologists in the past participle, "extirpated," as professional jargon for "extinction". Agribusiness, Southern Californa water agencies and state and federal resource agencies have been working together for years to extirpate the Delta smelt because it is the principle endangered species that obstructs agricultural corporations and urban water agencies from unlimited use of Delta water. Exstirpation of the Delta smelt would render moot the entire ediface of official biological opinion and state and federal judges' rulings that tend to limit the amount of water that primarily corporate agricultural interests (which use 80 percent of California's water) can legally take from the Delta. 

The federal Bureau of Reclamation may be able to guarantee at least some water to junior water-rights holders in the Westlands Water District after the Delta smelt disappears from memory. If so, the gamble that west side growers took -- to plant permanent crops without a guarantee of receiving water in dry years -- will pay off and a new "balance" will be achieved.

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Some current aspects of information-technology spying

Submitted: Jul 10, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We once had a friend, who might be described as a member in memorium of the Badlands Journal editorial board, who spent the last 25 years of his life in Silicon Valley devising a system for collecting and organizing information based entirely on 4X6 index cards. Don Quixote had nothing on Peter Gillingham. Curiously enough, his technique for storing and retrieving vast amounts of information on index cards is probably more secure than most computer storage and retrieval systems around today.

The Badlands Journal editors are grateful to the Internet for providing a greater means of communication about our concerns, mainly local, than has ever existed. Nevertheless, witless as we are about the inner workings of the 'net, we cannot help but be alarmed at some of the recent revelations concerning spying by the US government on people here, there and apparently everywhere with the proactive connivance of various private high tech corporations. Here are three articles that address various aspects of the problem this week, -- blj

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Oklahoma doesn't have the San Andreas Fault

Submitted: Jul 09, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

California may not have the liesure Oklahoma has enjoyed for the last several years of denying the relationship between fracking and earthquakes. 

The first good winter we have will bring this problem back with a vengeance. -- blj



7-3-14

Merced Sun-Star

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Just what the world needs: incurable Swine Flu virus

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

 Mad scientists are at it again, proudly announcing creation of a swine flu virus immune to human resistance in Madison, Wisconsin, not far from some of the swine-production centers of the nation.

Readers of Badlands may have forgotten a struggle several years ago to block establishment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of a Level 4 Biowarfare lab, rated even more dangerous than the Level 3 lab that produced this monster, as always, "for better research to find a cure." LLNL established a Level 3 lab instead.

It must be pointed out that distinctions between levels of biowarfare labs, although written, are fairly blurry in practice, according to lab watchers. In short, the public has little or no idea what these labs are producing and how dangerous their products are to surrounding communities. 

Nevertheless, to ask a question left unasked or at least unanswered by the mad Wisconsin scientists: Who paid for this research that now poses a threat to the health and safety of Madison and surrounding towns? -- blj


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How do you deal with the moral authority of ignorance? James Lee Burke, Pegasus Descending (2006), p. 473

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

Gov. Jerry Brown must be saved from himself, says the next state Senate leader. He needs to be talked out of starting the bullet train in the Central Valley boonies. "I don't think it makes sense to lay down track in the middle of nowhere," asserts Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles). It's illogical. No one lives there in the tumbleweeds." -- George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2914, "Next Senate leader Kevin de Leon wants Brown to rethink bullet train." 

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But lawns very much remain the norm in Southern California, and officials say it's tougher to change homeowners' outdoor watering habits than it is to get them to install low-flow toilets or water-efficient washing machines.

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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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