Journalism

Valley tourism in a megadrought: Come on down!

Submitted: Oct 28, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Various heads of assorted chambers of commerce and Ben Duran, current CEO of Carol Whiteside's Great Valley Center, local fomenter of the greatest real estate boom and financial bust in Valley history, are promoting tourism to the San Joaquin Valley.

Come on down to Megadroughtistan! Feel the land sink as giant pumps suck out deep aquifers! See the mountains rise! See the final, desperate almond blooms! See the dying Honey bee going extinct along with a host of species native to the Valley! See the wells of towns and then cities go dry as almond orchards owned by finance, insurance and real estate corporations pump on and on! Experience pesticide/fertilizer laden dust clouds first hand from inside air-conditioned buses! See the Black bears in Bakersfield and other Valley towns and county seats! See the sick and starving migrating water fowl! Read all the lyric wannabe James Agees, see the photos of all the wannabe Walker Evans, as they chronicle the misery, the misery!

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Historical perspective on California megadroughts

Submitted: Oct 13, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

How might the historical grasp of the frequency of megadroughts in California influence our decision on the water bond, with its funds for the construction of tunnels beneath the Delta to ship the fresher Sacramento River water to the great north-south canals?

For some, it make make the bond even more imperative than it already is for them. At any cost to the environmental and -- increasingly -- to the society, capitalism in California must continue following the path to the greatest return on investment -- real estate development, either residential or -- also increasingly -- in agribusiness. Another player in the merry dance of natural resource destruction in the state is hydraulic fracturing drilling for oil and gas, which uses enormous quantities of water and pollutes groundwater wherever it is established.

Others, perhaps more thoughtful people, and those who possess some connection with Nature not entirely committed to commercial exploitation and destruction, might take a different view.  Or, simply that that portion of the vast majority of Californians that don't have much of any connection to Nature, exploitive or otherwise, but who are just not subject to being bullied by the fear mongering of the usual financial, insurance and real estate special interests. 

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Naomi Klein draws a bead on TNC

Submitted: Aug 05, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The Nature Conservancy “has just lost its moral compass,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a group that works extensively on endangered species. “The very idea of oil drilling inside a reserve is utterly wrong, and it’s especially disturbing in this case because the Attwater’s prairie chicken is one of the most endangered species in the entire country. It could very well be the next species to go extinct in the United States.” -- Justin Gillis, New York Times, Aug. 3, 2014

 

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Bentonville blunderbuss* fires again

Submitted: Aug 03, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Blunderbuss: an 18th-century flint-lock, flaired barrel large caliber shotgun or pistol -- the original sawed off shotgun -- eds.

We begin by saying we hold Richard McCormack and his newsletter, Manufacturing & Technology News, in high regard for its steadfast and lonely struggle on behalf of American manufacturers as opposed to foreign manufacturers and American companies who have off-shored their manufacturing operations. In this battle, McCormack stands for the American manufacturing tradition, both owners and the skilled workers who have almost been totally eliminated from the American workforce by lower, off-shore labor costs. Locally, we recall a young manufacturer in Northern California who shut down his lathe-manufacturing factory, the last such shop left in the country, he and others said at the time.

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Systemic political lying

Submitted: Jun 26, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The greatest threat to political democracy -- from Athens to the US "war on terrorism," -- has always been elites. Since the 18th century, democracy has arisen in step with its competition and nemesis, capitalism. Today's American elite has converted political bribery and lies into "campaign finance contributions" -- the "free speech" of money -- "spin," the political descendant of advertising. However, bribery and deceit remain what they are, fatal to democracy.

Today, we offer two comments on lying, spin and propaganda, the first from politician scientist Sheldon Wolin, the second from investigative reporter Robert Parry. Both are veterans and have personal as well as scholarly perspective on the changing forms of political lying in our culture. Wolin describes the structure of the culture that is producing systemic  political lying in America today. Parry paints a portrait of a practitioner of the form, Richard Stengel, under secretary of state for public diplomacy. Perhaps viewers of "Morning Joe" will remember "Rick" when he was a top Time Magazine editor presenting the Time cover of the week. Butter doesn't melt in Stengel's mouth. -- blj

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War profiteering

Submitted: Jun 25, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

From "Major Barbara," by George Bernard Shaw:

 

CUSINS: By the way, have you any religion?

UNDERSHAFT: Only that there are two things necessary to Salvation.

CUSINS [disappointed, but polite]: Ah, the Church Catechism. Charles Lomax also belongs to the Established Church.

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Still pathetic after all these years: US and Honey Bee colony collapse

Submitted: Jun 25, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Here are four articles about Honey bee colon- collapse disorder, one Russian, one and a partial article American, one Canadian. Scientists actually seem to have found the main cause, a class of nicotinoid pesticides applied to seeds before planting so that they provide protection against later pesticide applications and, incidently, cause serious harm to the nervous systems of bees and other creatures, including humans.

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CSPA and allies battle Delta exports and bad science

Submitted: Jun 12, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Press Release

11 June 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

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Bye bye frackbubble

Submitted: May 24, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In short, the Moneterey Shale Formation frackbubble was a pile of the well-known substance perpetrated by the same agency, the Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/, that now, under a new administrator, denies it. The EIA should be renamed PetroFlak, Inc. This one was right up there with the infinite rising of real estate prices, only it ended quicker. It was a bubble on speed.

The only logic in this story, if there is any, might lie in some petrocrats that started a bogus oil boomlet to fleece some gullible investors. We are still wondering about an anti-fracking organization led by MoveOn.org, basically a Democratic Party fundraising apparatus. Were they just trolling for more donors?

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McClatchy, Keita, Bultena advocate barbarism

Submitted: May 11, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

There are things that degrade a community, and this promotion of cock fighting (1) by McClatchy local outlet columnist Dave Bultena and Modesto Bee’s Joe Keita, “vice president of news” and managing editor, is one of them. These luminaries ought to be sent down to the men’s prison in Corcoran where they can be slapped around, kicked and beat up by real big, stupid men, and get hopped up and all buffed out. Then the guards can send them into that special little yard where they have the gladiatorial contests. The armed guards stand above, betting big wagers, and the prize for the winner is his life (with or without possibility of parole).  

 

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