Journalism

Three on the economy

Submitted: Nov 20, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Three of the most interesting articles we've read on the economy this week have come from divergent sources: Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant US Treasurer and Wall Street Journal editor, and a theorist of supply-side economics; Mike Davis, on the editorial board of New Left Review and author of City of Quartz and Planet of Slums among other books; Dean Baker, editor at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who has been warning the nation since 2002 about the danger of the speculative housing bubble. All three  appear regularly on websites offering the best political economic journalism in the country.

Through the years of the Bush administration, we have read their prophetic analyses, which have helped us understand what is going on locally as well as nationally and internationally. At this point, when the nation is about as far away from "the end of history" as it can get and the government is rummaging around in the archives for a tattered copy of The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936), by John Maynard Keynes, looking for some ideas that worked in the Great Depression, Roberts, Davis and Baker offer useful insights and policy directions that might actually reduce some present and future suffering.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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An unfortunate "community" column

Submitted: Nov 14, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Catching up on his newspaper reading, one member of the Badlands Journal editorial board noticed this advertisement for the UC/Great Valley Center couched innocuously in the "community columnists'" section of Modesto's McClatchy Chain outlet.


11-05-08
Modesto Bee

But Suppose for the sake of argument the anti-science rant about the causes of global warming is correct. Let's agree that the consumption of carbon-based fuels has nothing to do with the recent worldwide rise in temperatures.
And lest we think...Eric Caine

http://www.modbee.com/opinion/community/story/488013.html

Instant communication, jet-speed transportation and the global economy have shrunk the world in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. Nations are now connected the way counties and states used to be, and counties can no longer be thought of as fiefdoms where planning decisions have only short-range effects.

More than 20 years ago a few valley citizens, including Modesto's own Carol Whiteside, began realizing the valley is a region. They acknowledged our eminence in agriculture and also began to recognize the value of our grasslands, rivers, wetlands and riparian forests. Together, they began promoting a vision of the valley that planned for growth while preserving the world's best farmland and protecting our rivers and delta.

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What if?

Submitted: Oct 14, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board


The local McClatchy Chain outlets blared the good news this morning that the stock market rebounded yesterday. Hot damn! Today the Dow lost 110 points, the S&P 500 lost 1.2 percent and the Nasdaq composite lost 3.5 percent.

We didn't notice the list of foreclosure announcements was any shorter in the Merced Sun-Star. Yesterday, in fact, we noticed that the Sun-Star's publisher had received a notice on his $507,000 home in McSwain. Evidently, we’ve had a real estate speculator running the paper during most of the boom. Mr. Vander Veen must have believed the propaganda he has been publishing.

The only politician calling for a moratorium on foreclosures is Barak Obama, also the best funded presidential candidate. However, here in Merced, an Obama lawn sign from the campaign office is reported to cost $10, and a tee shirt, $25. Blue Dog idiocy at the wheel as usual.

Maryland's newest Blue Dog congressman, Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-formerly Merced, ought to stop down at the old U of M and have a chat with Herman Daly, a distinguished economist recently retired from the World Bank to the university department that once fostered the work of Mancur Olson. Olson is important to the Valley because without his theoretical guidance, Brooks Jackson would not have been able to write so clearly his illuminating study, Honest Graft (1990), a seminal, prophetic work on political corruption in Congress that focused on the career of former Rep. Tony Coelho, Michael Milken's Friend-Merced.

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Usual pork menu for proposed final Bush regime endangered species barbecue

Submitted: Sep 06, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The attempted change should be seen for what it is: a final Bush administration gift to those who benefit when environmental laws are weakened.-– Concord Monitor

Below, we've included the Associated Press story by Dina Cappiello on Aug. 22 about more than 100 conservation groups throughout the nation (including three from Merced) that opposed the Bush administration's latest attempt to gut the Endangered Species Act. Three groups came from the Merced: San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center, San Joaquin Valley Conservancy and San Joaquin Et Al. The story was widely distributed throughout the nation and even in the UK -- a partial list is also included. Finally, there is some information about a number of local business and political leaders, large Republican fundraisers, who stand to benefit from this last-minute attempt by the Bush administration to reward its contributors.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Associated Press
Groups: Bush rushing to rewrite species rules...(AP) DINA CAPPIELLO...8-22-08
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hkF1lWZoKQaqIgrv4XHs4RAorcQgD92NHQMG6
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration is providing insufficient time for public comment as it seeks to loosen rules protecting endangered species, representatives of more than 100 conservation groups charged Friday.

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Special Places for Special People

Submitted: Aug 13, 2008

Jim Marshall, city manager of the City of Merced, intoned theologically in the UK Financial Times on Tuesday that there “should be a special place in hell for” speculators, mainly from the Bay Area, who bought McMansions in Merced, took out subprime loans and tried to flip them before the first balloon payments hit.

In fact, Marshall knew well there was no local market for the subdivisions of McMansions the city was approving weekly during the speculative real estate boom, the collapse of which has made Merced nationally famous for its foreclosure rate, and now internationally famous, or infamous, along with Modesto and Stockton.

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Sunshine on defamation

Submitted: Aug 05, 2008

Badlands Journal continues its Sunshine period on local government with this series of correspondence regarding contributors to various lawsuits brought by the San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center through the years, particularly contributions made by the Kelsey Family.
—————————————

From: SJRRC [mailto:sjrrc@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 5:39 PM
To: SJRRC
Cc: San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center; protectourwater@sbcglobal.net; SJRRC
Subject: confidential memo from SJRRC

Lydia Miller, President
San Joaquin Raptor RescueCenter
San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center
P.O. Box 778
Merced, CA 95341
(209) 723-9283, ph. & fax
raptorctr@bigvalley.net
SJRRC@sbcglobal.net

Confidential Memo

May 23, 08

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Sunshine on Housing Authority of Merced County

Submitted: Jul 21, 2008

Continued from: node/474

From: MCCORRYM
To: pkhiek@co.merced.ca.us, rgabriele@co.merced.ca.us
CC: rlewis@co.merced.ca.us, jfincher@co.merced.ca.us, CALFMAN1, MCCORRYM
Sent: 3/31/2008 10:55:31 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subj: Request to view active files pertaining to Felix Torres

Mr. Khiek and Mr. Gabriele,

On March 28, 2008, we received an email from Mr. Gabriele. In the body of the email was a reference to our potential request to view all files associated with the Felix Torres Child Development Center. We are confirming in this email our right to view these files.

In a previously scheduled meeting, we had incorrectly anticipated the timing of a Hearing Officer hearing. Typically, they have lasted between 30 minutes to one hour — this particular hearing ran nearly 2 hours - in which we were actively participating (February 25, 2008). As a result, Mr. Khiek, seems to have interpreted our actions as disrespectful to staff as we were late for our appointment (we met him after the meeting was over). Unfortunately, despite our good faith attempts, we have been unable to accurately predict the duration of County hearings — no disrespect to staff time, it is/was beyond our control.

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Sunshine on RMP

Submitted: Jul 18, 2008

Badlands is declaring the coming days a Sunshine Week to post a number of documents submitted to Merced County government in the last few months. Some of these documents have been included in the official packets of information for Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission meetings. Others have been suppressed.
This material is best understood by reference to the audio or video archives of supervisors’ and planning commission meetings and we encourage readers seriously interested in understanding their local government to go to the Merced County webpage, http://www.co.merced.ca.us/CountyWeb/, to seek out these hearings, particularly the two board of supervisors meetings on July 1 and July 8.

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Sunshine on Housing Authority of Merced County

Submitted: Jul 16, 2008

Badlands is declaring the coming days a Sunshine Week to post a number of documents submitted to Merced County government in the last few months. Some of these documents have been included in the official packets of information for Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission meetings. Others have been suppressed.
This material is best understood by reference to the audio or video archives of supervisors’ and planning commission meetings and we encourage readers seriously interested in understanding their local government to go to the Merced County webpage, http://www.co.merced.ca.us/CountyWeb/, to seek out these hearings, particularly the two board of supervisors meetings on July 1 and July 8.
The following correspondence and public comment letters concern the approval of a Merced County Housing Authority project.

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Hey, Sunshine, Have a glorious day!

Submitted: Jul 14, 2008

Badlands is declaring the coming days a Sunshine Week to post a number of documents submitted to Merced County government in the last few months. Some of these documents have been included in the official packets of information for Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission meetings. Others have been suppressed.

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