Journalism

Homeowners beating banks in courts

Submitted: Mar 12, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The reasons we are not reading stories like this almost every day, side-by-side with the stories about constantly rising foreclosure rates despite various government actions, are that people sign gag orders with their settlements, are so intimidated they internalize non-existent gag orders, and because maybe the media is not too interested in offending the real estate industry or the banks feeding on the knuckleheads who believed the realtors' flimflam.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-12-12
MSNBC Economy Watch
Homeowners battle banks to stop foreclosures ... and win
Steven Bridges 
http://economywatch.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/12/10602545-homeowners-battle-banks-to-stop-foreclosures-and-win
Jewel and Jack Miser stand in front of their home in Sweetwater, Tenn. After trying for more than a year to modify their loan, they won a settlement in court that cut their monthly payment by about 15 percent.
By John W. Schoen, Senior Producer
Revenge can be sweet. It can be even sweeter when you use your enemy’s own weapons to extract vengeance.

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D-D-D-Duh-Dry December Drives Drums of Drought

Submitted: Jan 11, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

1-11-12

Merced Sun-Star

Dry January raises concern over drought in northern California…Matt Weiser

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/01/11/v-print/2186343/dry-january-raises-concern-over.html

The dreaded D-word – "drought" – is back on the tongues of many Californians now that a dry December has crawled into a dry January.

A dry December is not that unusual. But a dry January – well along into winter and usually the state's wettest month – is another matter.

"What is unusual is that it just hangs on and on and on," said Maury Roos, chief hydrologist at the California Department of Water Resources, noting it will be hard to recover from the missed January storms.

"It's not impossible, but it's quite unlikely we'll make it back to normal before the end of the season," Roos said.

Sacramento has had no rain since Dec. 15, and only a trace on that day: 0.07 inches.

Lake Tahoe – so dependent on snowfall for its winter economy – has fared just as badly. South Lake Tahoe has seen no measurable precipitation since Nov. 20, according to National Weather Service data.

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A Review of Frank Bardacke's Trampling out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers.

Submitted: Jan 09, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
 
I left Yuma AZ one cool, spring morning in 1993 after listening to a local newspaperwoman describe the scene surrounding the Bruce Church v. United Farm Workers trial during which Cesar Chavez died.
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Caress of the despots

Submitted: Jan 05, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

12-10-11

Fresno Bee

Bill McEwen: Resnick wants to enhance Valley…

Bill McEwen

http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/12/10/v-print/2645195/resnick-wants-to-enhance-valley.html

Lynda Resnick is a marketing whiz and one of America's richest women. She has mastered the art of moving bottled water, pomegranate juice, oranges and other products off of supermarket shelves.

Now she's tackling a bigger challenge: making a dent in the concentrated poverty that has saddled the San Joaquin Valley with a reputation as the Appalachia of the West.

Resnick might be this generation's highest-profile Valley advocate. She certainly has the connections to make politicians and foundations pay attention to our overlooked region and its daunting problems.

She and husband Stewart own Roll Global and are estimated to be worth $1.8 billion. A good chunk of their fortune has come from the Valley's fertile fields and the success of Paramount Farms.

"What I hope to give is a voice to the whole Valley," Resnick says. "Too many people have no idea about the Central Valley and the wonderful people here that deserve a chance."

The Resnicks, who live in Beverly Hills, long have been major donors to causes in Southern California.

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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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