Journalism

"Got who, exactly?" journalism

Submitted: Dec 27, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Having attended the Federal Energy Resources Commission's meetings for the last year about Merced Irrigation District's relicensing application for its hydro-electric plant on Exchequer Dam, we never noticed a Merced Sun-Star reporter in attendance. Therefore, we question the totally unsourced story and correction below. The title of the story is unfortunate because no "environmentalists" are mentioned in the story, only several federal and state resource agencies charged with regulating federal and state laws. In other words, as presented in the article, it is a completely inter-governmental argument. If the newspaper had bothered to cover any of the FERC meetings with MID, it would have witnessed a number of spirited discussions between MID, its consultants and lawyers, and several local and regional environmental groups, Native Americans, and several other governmental agencies and the newspaper might have learned enough to avoid the mistake of taking MID, its consultants or lawyers, at their word and reporting their word as fact. The lack of any mention of the sources for the information presented as fact below leaves us completely mystified about what happened in this highly charged political decision-making process regarding FERC relicensing of the dam. The confusion is deepened by the newspaper correcting the article at the top and then reprinting the same article it purports to correct. The public doesn't even know whose press release is being regurgitated here under the pretense of reporting.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Report from Copenhagen

Submitted: Dec 16, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

As old readers of Badlands know, we've been great fans of George Monbiot for years and always recommend people visit Monbiot.com for a broad, deep perspective on environmental issues. Monbiot was in Copenhagen for the UN climate change conference. His report begins with a call for human decency and ends with a report of the probably tragedies arising from the failure of human decency at this conference. Of course, if tragedy is uncomfortable, one can always join the climate-change deniers and the onward stampede to continue idiotically plundering nature and destroying whole continents. This international mentality is mirrored at the local level because sewage always flows downhill. Apparently, awareness of natural limits on the planet has driven the major power states in the world into nakedly anti-democratic aggression against their own people and others. It is as if present and past imperial powers, when confronted with the planet's growing ecological distress, regress to imperial patterns of 150 years ago. Their policy is to seize more control while rejecting any responsbility for the human element in global climate change.

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Reaping riches in a wretched region -- Lloyd Carter

Submitted: Nov 01, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Now, even with new legislation that will determine the future viability of Westlands’ critical import irrigation infrastructure, it seems inevitable that the political clout of the nation’s most powerful irrigation district will somehow prevail to perpetuate this culture of social, economic and natural inequity. – Carter, p. 40.

 

“Reaping riches in a wretched region:  Subsidized industrial farming and its link to perpetual poverty,” by Lloyd Carter, Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal, Symposium Edition, Fall 2009

http://www.ggu.edu/lawlibrary/environmental_law_journal/eljvol3/attachment/Carter.pdf

 

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Some judges defending homeowners in foreclosure

Submitted: Oct 21, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

10-21-09

CounterPunch.com

New Shockwaves From Courts and Accounting Board
The Next Financial Crisis Hits Wall Street, as Judges Start Nixing Foreclosures ... Pam Martens

http/www.counterpunch.com

The financial tsunami unleashed by Wall Street’s esurient alchemy of spinning toxic home mortgages into triple-A bonds, a process known as securitization, has set off its second round of financial tremors.

After leaving mortgage investors, bank shareholders, and pension fiduciaries awash in losses and a large chunk of Wall Street feeding at the public trough, the full threat of this vast securitization machine and its unseen masters who push the levers behind a tightly drawn curtain is playing out in courtrooms across America.

Three plain talking judges, in state courts in Massachusetts and Kansas, and a Federal Court in Ohio, have drilled down to the “straw man” aspect of securitization. The judges’ decisions have raised serious questions as to the legality of hundreds of thousands of foreclosures that have transpired as well as the legal standing of the subsequent purchasers of those homes, who are more and more frequently the Wall Street banks themselves.

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The World according to Modesto

Submitted: Oct 04, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We have no appreciation for the Hun, our governor. We think he is a public embarrassment. But, in terms of the time-honored political phrase – the people get the government they deserve – the Hun is a tribute to the political idiocy of the California population, composed of people who all think state history began when they got here, either is immigrants from the US and elsewhere, or as babies.

 

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Response to a Sun-Star editorial

Submitted: Sep 30, 2009
By: 
Bill Hatch

 

Merced Sun-Star Executive Editor Mike Tharp flew part of the Westside in a private plane with a realtor/Westside rancher named Gail McCullough and came back with revelations. It reminded him of Iraq, where he seems to need to go, whenever the reality of Merced and the San Joaquin Valley overwhelm him, to find refreshment in the Pentagon propaganda mill. You can sugar-coat failure with belief but it is still failure, out there on the imperial frontier or here at home.

 

He begins by announcing, “We live in a desert,” then extends the sentence to include everyone in California. But, I didn’t imagine dry-farming orchards on the coast for a decade. Tharp must be writing about Los Angeles.

 

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After all the crap, some real numbers

Submitted: Sep 22, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

In a February letter to President Obama, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, claimed, as he did in many other venues: "A simple measure that would save up to 80,000 jobs (in the lower San Joaquin Valley) would be to relax restrictions on pumping facilities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers Delta that have caused the regulatory drought that my constituents are experiencing."

In January, the state Farm Bureau reported that, "UC Davis agricultural economist Richard Howitt that the drought would cause a lost of "40,000 jobs, and these are job losses for those who can least afford them in the valley's small, rural towns."

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California truth squad counters Sean Hannity's lies

Submitted: Sep 22, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
Indybay
Californians React to Sean Hannity's Misinformation on Water Crisis...Ryan Schwartz ( hummingbirdpr [at] gmail.com )...9-17-09
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William Trombley, a great journalist – 1929-2009

Submitted: Sep 20, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We met William Trombley when the University of California, local politicians, landowners and other real estate interests, were in the process wholesale corruption of local, state and federal environmental law and regulation and the laws and regulations of public process. Trombley was always fair, his questions were informed, he followed research leads to accurate conclusions, reflected below in three articles he did on the siting and budget approvals of UC Merced.

He was the acknowledged national dean of education journalists, a reporter who had covered the University of California from the time of Mario Savio and Clark Kerr to UC Merced.

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Hedges on "objective" journalism

Submitted: Aug 16, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

8-13-09

Truthdig.com
Chris Hedges on Alex S. Jones’ ‘Losing the News’
http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/20090813_chris_hedges_on_alex_s_jones_losing_the_news/
Posted on Aug 13, 2009
By Chris Hedges

I have spent most of my life locked in the embrace of two of the most sanctimonious institutions in America—the church and the press. They each bow down before their self-created holy creeds, never tire of trumpeting their supposed virtues, which they hold up as the highest good, and are blind to their glaring inadequacies and mounting irrelevance. They are also, in a time of seismic cultural change, dying.

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