Journalism

Speak up now or forget it

Submitted: Dec 03, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came%E2%80%A6

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

--Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

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Moyers on the plutocracy

Submitted: Nov 27, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Although responsible journalists have been using the term "oligarchy" to describe the American form of government, we here at Badlands have been prone to call it "plutocracy" for several years now. We do it for the same reasons Bill Moyers has come over to the "plutocracy camp:" familiarity with agriculture, agribusiness and especially, agro-politics.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

Bill Moyers: Our Politicians Are Money Launderers Not Too Different from Tony Soprano

Americans have learned the hard way that when rich organizations and wealthy individuals shower Washington with millions in campaign contributions, they get what they want.

November 2, 2011  |  

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Big Toxic

Submitted: Nov 21, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

IF you don't read another article on the environment over the holidays, we suggest you might read this terrific piece on Alternet by Tara Lohan about the five most toxic energy companies.

The basic scenario in the "free" market on energy supplies is that huge energy corporations, mining and pumping increasingly scarce raw energy materials, which command escalating market prices producing astronomical profits, have now bought a culture in which it is expected that regulatory agencies, legislators and judges in the highest courts are bought and sold. We have seen how these companies have created something so much larger than the individual acts of corruption that compose it, that we must call it the culture itself -- the plutocracy, a culture in which society, economics and government are all arranged for the primary benefit of the rich, with less and less apology as the plutocracy matures and putrifies, giving off a stench that is the reason for the occupation movement from Wall Street outward across the country. The economy created by the rich stinks so much it cannot even employ the people of the host nations it seeks to suck dry of all wealth.

We urge everyone to read this excellent survey of these energy companies at work on the ground killing their employees and destroying the environment and in the halls of Congress killing laws to protect workers and the environment. The posting here is just the first page.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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De l'eau de cochon

Submitted: Nov 08, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

11-06-11
LA Times
There's too much pork on the table
Gov. Brown and the Legislature need to trim the fat from the water bond and serve it to voters...George Skelton
http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-me-cap-water-20111107%2c0%2c7667745.column?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+GeorgeSkelton+%28L.A.+Times+-+George+Skelton%29

Gov. Jerry Brown recently said, "I've got a lot on my plate." One item is a big slab of pork — formally called a water bond proposal.

The plate is shared with the Legislature.
 
Together, they must decide whether to serve up the bond whole to voters, trim it down first or shove it back in the fridge.

Or maybe they'll just toss it in the garbage. That's the most unlikely scenario. But voters might dump it for them if the bond isn't pared and recooked.

Let's back up.

After years of fighting — south vs. north, farmers vs. enviros, water buffaloes vs. fishing interests — then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature settled on an $11.14-billion water bond two years ago. It was passed by sleep-deprived lawmakers at dawn after an all-night session.

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Blithering idiocy stalks north San Joaquin Valley

Submitted: Oct 17, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

10-16-11
Modesto Bee
Valley's nine cities begin reviews of growth limits…Garth Stapley
http://www.modbee.com/2011/10/15/v-print/1906473/valleys-nine-cities-begin-reviews.html

Most city leaders throughout Stanislaus County are consulting their growth policies as logical starting points for drawing the growth limits they hope to put before voters next year.

The notion that people could choose their destinies appeals to those who have argued against paving over a breadbasket for the United States and beyond.

But some controlled-growth advocates are increasingly uneasy with how the landmark initiative is shaping up, saying lines on a map won't mean much if they protect sprawl at historic rates.

"Stanislaus seems on the verge of great things," said Ed Thompson, state director for American Farmland Trust. "They're thinking about the right things. But if the lines assume you're going to sprawl as usual, the question is whether the lines mean anything at all."

Each of the county's nine cities has the job of producing urban growth boundaries beyond which they could not grow before 2050. Voter approval could be sought throughout the county in the summer.

Almost all cities began the dialogue with their respective general plans, documents designed to guide growth in the next decadeor two.

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Good reporting on a tough topic

Submitted: Oct 14, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

What we like about this article from the Bakersfield Californian is that, with the possible exception of mentions of truck pollution being reduced by the High-speed rail system, there is no undigested propaganda in it. This is probably because for Bakersfield, air pollution is a very serious matter, in fact an “existential threat” to the elderly and to the young. In Merced, which stands to get a rail station out of the deal that would radically increase the value of downtown real estate, the official position in the press is that high-speed rail is the best thing since UC Merced, Mom’s apple pie and sliced bread (because it promises to renovate downtown Merced, which has languished for decades in the hands of greedy, do-nothing landlords.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

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When governments and scientists lie

Submitted: Sep 29, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The history of radiation accidents testifies that governments routinely betray their citizens in deference to their nuclear weapons program and the nuclear industry. No, only one alternative is open to the people of Japan. They must become proactive. They must seize the initiative and wrest control from government and industry of the “perception” of the catastrophe.  -- Paul Zimmerman, Sept. 27, 2011
 

 

9-27-11
Global Ressearch
Fukushima and the Battle for Truth
Large sectors of the Japanese population are accumulating significant levels of internal contamination
by Paul Zimmerman
 

Fukushima’s nuclear disaster is a nightmare. Ghostly releases of radioactivity haunt the Japanese countryside. Lives, once safe, are now beset by an ineffable scourge promising vile illness and death.

Large sectors of the population are accumulating significant levels of internal contamination, setting the stage for a public health tragedy.

A subtle increase in the number of miscarriages and fetal deaths will be the first manifestation that something is amiss. An elevated incidence of birth defects will begin in the Fall and continue into the indefinite future. Thyroid diseases, cardiac diseases and elevated rates of infant and childhood leukemia will follow. Over the next decade and beyond, cancer rates will soar.

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A real tea party on the Columbia River

Submitted: Sep 18, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the ILWU, is battling a global grain-shipping corporate partnership in the Washington State port of Longview, near the mouth of the Columbia River.

 

The contenders are:

 

EGT is a joint venture of Bunge, STX Pan Ocean, and Itochu. EGT has contracted with General Construction Company, employer of Operating Engineers Local 701, to do the work that is the long-established jurisdiction of the men and women of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 21. -- Longshore and Shipping News

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No limit to greed

Submitted: Sep 01, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Executive Excess 2011: The Massive CEO Rewards for Tax Dodging

By Sarah Anderson, Chuck Collins, Scott Klinger, Sam Pizzigati

CEOs rale ot in while their corporations dodge taxes

Guns don't kill people, the old saw goes. People do.

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"The ultimate form of moral hazard" or the Federal Reserve's "finest hour"?

Submitted: Aug 28, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The article titled "Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 trillion in Fed's Secret Loans," was the result of Bloomberg business news agency's relentless quest involving numerous Freedom of Information Act requests and an act of Congress over a 3-year period. The article is destined to be famous in the annals of American journalism and will be a fundamental document of a history of these times.

It is not easy to read and demands study, rewards study.

We have included a 2009 article by Mark Pittman, who filed the first FOIA with the Fed and has since passed away. Below Pittman's article we have included  two opposing views on what "Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 trillion" means. At the very bottom we have included a passage from a Swedish novel about a financial investigative reporter about the importance of financial journalism to the future of that nation or any other.

In the case of the US financial crash and bailout, regardless of the divergence of views on the Federal Reserve's actions, perhaps a majority of the nation would now reply -- if polled -- that investigative reporting on the financial system was "too little and too late."  and had a nearly impossible task bucking the headwinds of hot air from the 450 high priests of the Free Market. 

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