Journalism

A particularly stupid McClatchy editorial

Submitted: Nov 26, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We defy the gentle reader to discern from this vapid "opinion" offered in the McClatchy Chain's Merced outlet what a carbon offset is, what an auction of them is, what cap-and-trade might be, and above all, what these carbon-offset auctions mean for us.

First, we have California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary D. Nichols quoted as saying the first such auction was a success.

AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, "commits the state to reducing, by 2020, California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels. The act charges the Air Resources Board (ARB) with monitoring and regulating the state’s sources of GHGs and establishes a timeline by which ARB is to complete various specified actions." (Legislative Analyst's Office, "Analysis of 2007-08 budget")

The CARB was charged specifically with coming up with the "market based solution" of carbon-offset auctions. Nichols, who served in the Gov.Gray Davis administration as Secretary of Resources, was appointed to head CARB in July 2007, so led design and implementation of the auction.

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Public Trust is missing on water

Submitted: Aug 21, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

In the lengthy compilation below you will find much fine insight, invective, wit, humor and history on water in California, as fascinating and horrifying to us Californians as the drug trade. The whole story is like a dark novel in which we are living and no one doubts that it will all end worse than we can imagine.
Jerry wants to get shit done. But, as one homeowner activist from LA put it, what would you say to a contractor who proposed building you a new house but didn't have either a blueprint or a budget?
Thus it is with the famous peripheral tunnels that would take fresh Sacramento River water, before it entered the Delta,
 around the Delta to tie into the grand canals that take so much Delta water south to the Heavy Metel Acres of the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and to Southern California for more growth. One question so far left undiscussed in the media as far as we know is how deep does the Delta peat go. This is not discussed because that Delta peat is the most fertile soil in California and "getting shit done" requires that we turn its water into salt to sent the fresh water down to Heavy Metal Acres. Don't ask. It has something to do with campaign contributions.
Nor do the new water literati mention the Public Trust Doctrine, enshrined in federal and state law, which requires that the government manage the resources for the benefit of all the public, rivers specifically for navigation, fishing and recreation, two out of three of which will be severely impacted if Jerry gets his shit done.

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Boondoggle, thy name is high speed rail

Submitted: Aug 06, 2012
By: 
badlands journal editorial board

The drooling lunacy of high speed rail "planning" goes on. Would it be possible to find anywhere along even the allegedly rural route of the San Joaquin Valley, where more disruption and possibly more heavy equipment could be employed than in changing the vast underpass of Highwy 99 through the center of one of the valley's moe substantial burgs, Fresno (population 943,000)?

One of America's favorite old expressions, culled from bitter experience with the 19th century barony of finance, insurance and real estate, is, "This is no way to build a railroad."

This project is stupid, destructive, and driven by the greed of people in the county seats of the San Joaquin Valley half the size of Sinclair Lewis's Babbitt. Once, when America had a much lower percentage of college graduates and was a much better educated country, Lewis could create a national character of ridicule, the greedy small town businessman and chamber of commerce type, always boosting, always hustling, always the dupe leading his town to destruction. George Babbitt was the Dupe of Main Street.

As our nation became illiterate and lost its memory, the Babbitts sprang up again in every city hall and county building and state legislature across the land and in Congress. In the great game of oligopoly finance capitalism going on today, the neo-Babblitt is the local leader who lies to his constituents for his little crumb under the table.

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It needs a guest geographer

Submitted: Jun 28, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

6-26-12

The San Francisco Appeal

To SF, From Modesto: Water Supply Plan Up For Vote
by Bay City Newshttp://sfappeal.com/news/2012/06/to-sf-from-modesto-water-supply-plan-up-for-vote.php


A part of San Francisco's future water supply that would be sourced from Modesto County hangs in the balance as water district officials there consider concerns raised by local farmers about selling water to San Francisco.

About The San Francisco Appeal
The San Francisco Appeal Is
Editor and Publisher Eve Batey
Movies Laura Hooper Beck
Culture Alex Bigman
Tenant Troubles Dave Crow
Creative Director Tim Ehhalt
Dance Becca Klarin
Movies Rain Jokinen
Music Hunter Mulich
City Hall Chris Roberts
Food Anna Sarpieri
Staff Writer April Siese

 


Guest Contributors
Culture MiHi Ahn
Lady News Katie Baker
Transit Matt Baume
Columnist Violet Blue
Sex Christine Borden
Graphic Journalist Susie Cagle
Theater Richard Ciccarone
Music Corey Denis
Culture Wendy Hill
Columnist Babe Scanlon
Columnist Beth Spotswood


 

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Why is scientific expertise being muzzled in America?

Submitted: Apr 25, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We are only as good as our questions. -- Lloyd Carter

4-25-12

Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood

Cowardice at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Lloyd Carter

http://www.lloydgcarter.com/

In my nearly 30 years covering pollution issues at National Wildlife Refuges, I have come across several courageous field level employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and a few cowards in management positions, managers who are afraid of politicians, polluters, and their own shadows. A good example is the debacle at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in the early 1980s, where toxic selenium-tainted agricultural waste water from the Westlands Water District polluted the food chain in evaporation ponds at the Merced County "refuge," a supposed haven for migratory ducks and birds, triggering deformities and reproductive failure. There were heroes like biologist Felix Smith - who leaked the Kesterson findings to Fresno Bee reporter Deborah Blum, and there were cowards in the Portland regional office who participated in a cover-up to delay release of the Kesterson findings.

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Queen of the game cocks muddles on

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

We were outraged to read in our humorless, self-righteous local McClatchy tabloid that our favorite local politician, the indominable Cindy Lashbrook had fallen afoul of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Actually, a little investigation reviewed that this was not her first offense. But that's just chicken feathers to us. We believe and hereby publicly submit to the commission that former-Merced County Planning Commissioner/staff for-East Merced  Resource Consevation District/EMRCD board member/former staff for Merced River Alliance/humble blueberry grower who testified before Congress she was "just looking for a niche"/simple river landowner of Riverdance Farm/promoter of annual Riverdance Fair/agricultural consultant dba Four Seasons/former representative of Merced Alliance for Responsible Growth (some of them sued WalMart)/board member of state Community Alliance with Family Farmers/board member of California Certified Organic Farmers, advisor to the county Farm Bureau, and even represents the Asthma Coalition Cindy Lashbrook should be exempt from any requirements for holding public office in the state of California because she has provided a grateful public with so much genuine amusement. Instead, the FPPC fined her on three separate occasions, ranging from $200 to $600 to $2,500 for her serially comedic approach to law and regulation -- such a charming outlook in a public official.

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Trouble at Bobcatflak Central

Submitted: Apr 09, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

There are a number people in this town and county that are not going to be unhappy to see this legal notice. It announces that Patty Waid, assistant vice chancellor for university communications (one of the better paid and better protected public jobs in the county) is a deadbeat who has defaulted on her mortgage. These people would include all who have ever tried to get a straight answer out of UC Merced about anything at all.

Presumably, her mortgage was subsidized by UC Merced, in other words, by the public.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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It's a matter of ethics...

Submitted: Mar 29, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

...as in the California Milk Advisory Board don't have none.

In a deposition obtained from PETA, Domenic Carinalli, owner of Domenic Carinalli Dairy & Vineyard in Sebastopol and member of the California Milk Advisory Board, said that, to his knowledge, the milk board hasn't received any information to verify its claim that "California dairy producers care deeply about the health, comfort and safety of their cows." He said at the board meetings he attended the health of cows was never discussed.
Carinalli also said he was unaware that the board was prohibited from making false marketing claims.
--
Merced Sun-Star, March 28, 2012

Perhaps an explanation for why the dairy industry labors under such ethical disadvantage is provided by the article below signed by a prominent Merced County dairyman. One says "signed" because it involves a new dairy-price formula and, as the dairyman's father once explained to this reporter, there are very few dairymen who actually understand the price structure of their own industry. The article is a propaganda piece from some national dairy organization claiming that reforms are being made.

That new program reorients federal dairy programs from an emphasis on price to a focus on maintaining adequate margins -- the difference between what it costs to produce milk and what farmers get when they sell it. -- Veldhuis

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Human rights and animal rights

Submitted: Mar 28, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 But just as the Endangered Species Act has long outlived its usefulness, the move to equate animal rights with human rights is a complete nonstarter for us. -- Merced Sun-Star, March 28, 2012

 

The Sun-Star's position seems to be that human rights ought to be brought down to the present level of animal rights. Our response to that is just because Sonny Star, the gigolo press, wants to stand up to its knees in manure 24/7/365 doesn't mean we do.

 

Badlands Journal editorial board

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It's the CULTURE, don't you SEE!!!!

Submitted: Mar 15, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. -- NYTs. 3-14-12

This fine young South African, finalist in the Jewish Olympics (in ping pong), and Stanford graduate and Rhodes Scholar finalist, had been pushing little bundles of derivative joy originating in the US -- and who knows? some securitized mortgages perhaps right here in Merced -- all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Then, for some reason, he quit and wrote this letter that is presently costing Goldman Sachs, his former employee, billions. He says the culture of his former investment banking firm is "toxic and destructive." We wonder, given his background and advantages in life, how he came to this remarkable conclusion. Could it be that one or a number of his clients became disgruntled with the securities he was selling them when homeowners began successfully challenging banks in court to produce proof of who owned the mortgages swaddled up in the sweet smelling derivatives.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-14-12
New York Times
Op-Ed Contributor
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
By GREG SMITH
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all

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