Merced County

Pimlico Kid stuff

Submitted: Aug 07, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Americans have been jerked around by the rapid serial montages of the "news cycle" to the point where even Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the Pimlico Kid-Annapolis MD, believes he can foist the rhythm on us, mere constituents of His Greatness, with impunity.

 

So, the Great Pimlico Kid Himself, makes marks on the administration like the all-powerful legislative lion, which he isn't,  by introducing a bill to cut the travel budget of the secretary of HUD, like it makes a difference.

 

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More bad news from MID

Submitted: Aug 01, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This would have been a far more useful story if the reporter had bothered to ask and record the answers to these simple questions: did the California Environmental Protection Agency investigate the allegations against Merced Irrigation District? What did it find? What enforcement action was or might be taken? A quote "cannot comment because of an ongoing investigation" from CEPA would have added a nice symetry to the story.

As it is, what we have is a brief report of a legal brief filed on behalf of an aggrieved employee of MID and a whole lot of reporter dodging by an agency that finds it extremely difficult to comply with a California Public Records Act request.

MID's latest managing director is a member of the family of an MID board member who doesn't pay her bills. Director Suzy Hulgren parlayed a few public rants against Riverside Motorsports Park promoter, John Condren, lies and financial double-dealing into a seat on the board, with the help of the Merced County Farm Bureau and California Women for Agriculture. She was, however, unsuccessful as the frontwoman for the farm bureau and CWA in the attempt to bankrupt her partners in the RMP lawsuit, San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center and Protect Our Water, or to financially damage two law firms, Don E. Mooney and Associates and Sproul and Troost, who represented the petitioners against the race track project.

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Comment on "And where is American democracy?"

Submitted: Jul 17, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We received the following comment the other day about our posting on Sheldon Wolin's Democracy Inc.:

It's never been nor will it ever be a democracy.
"If voting made a difference it would be illegal." --Emma Goldman

Considering the source, we found the comment curious. The writer is listed as a supporter of the Merced County Citizen's right to vote on expansion of residential areas initiative, which, on its face and in its propaganda, appears to express the deepest faith in democracy.

The initiative was peddled in a petition drive in front of Merced County supermarkets as "The Initiative to Amend the General Plan of Merced County to Save Farmland and Open Spaces." Petition gatherers were provided a slick "summary" of the initiative that said it would save Merced County farmland and open space. In other written propaganda and public appearances, the paid and unpaid flacks for the initiative have stressed how "simple" the initiative is and how it will save farmland.

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Revolting

Submitted: Jun 18, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Porky Stables

 

On June 17, residents of the 18th congressional district of California were informed by McClatchy Chain local outlets that a new star was rising in the world of horse racing, Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid-Merced.

 

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Not a boondoggle!

Submitted: Jun 13, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Boondoggle -- a trivial, useless or wasteful expenditure, usually of public funds.

In the current economic climate, critics have suggested that high-speed rail is a boondoggle. They couldn't be more wrong. The lack of funding may slow down the project, but it will eventually become a reality.
Projects of this magnitude must not be stopped by economic cycles. Our economy will rebound and one day high-speed rail will be an important part of California's transportation mix.

At first we were reassured by these wise, confident words from the McClatchy Co.'s Fresno outlet. We also dismissed the cynical comment that Fresno won't call this project a boondoggle right up to the time some other Valley city is chosen for the site of the heavy maintenance yard. Virtually every city along the proposed routes are bidding for that yard because it would appear to be the most tangible benefit in the whole project.

Why, in fact, "high-speed rail will be an important part of California's transportation mix." Who or what power would ordain it to come into existence? Who is it that even wants it? Isn't it the same small group of leaders that believed to fervently against reality that the speculative housing boom would never bust? Isn't it the same group of brainwashed leaders who always say the same thing at the same time and hope to hoodwink the citizens into believing unison means truth?

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The Hun's electric train

Submitted: Jun 13, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Our Hun, a man of action tragically restrained by mere government throughout his political career, has decided to build a "demonstration"

high speed rail link between LA and San Diego.

"...Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't want to wait that long to give the state a taste of the European-style system..."

Baloney. Our Hun just wants to put his hand on the transformer and run a great big electric train somewhere in California before he retires.

Boosters for a high speed railroad from Los Angeles to San Francisco have been hustling federal funds for this train, claiming that it will be the longest, fastest high speed railroad in the nation and will produce hundreds of thousands of new jobs all along its route. We aren't quite clear on how permanent these jobs will be, but if this boon to employment were to arrive, it would no doubt draw even more people into the state and probably go some way to reinflating the speculative real estate bubble. In part the high speed rail would be a great benefit for commuters to the Bay Area from the Valley, which is why it has such ardent supporters among Valley cities with abundant empty homes for sale, cheap, and official unemployment rates around 20 percent.

There is contention over parts of the route and as usual with recent schemes like new University of California campuses and railroad boondoggles, Merced, which already has two major track systems running through it, is at the center of it.

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Falling in tall spring grass

Submitted: May 09, 2010
By: 
Bill Hatch

 

Yesterday I found myself standing in rich, dense grass as high as the tops of my rubber boots in the middle of a cow pasture. I got so engrossed in staring at the snow on the tops of the mountains in Yosemite and the whole visible Sierra range that my partner asked if I was OK. There was a steady breeze as soft as a horse’s sigh blowing across what’s left of the entire grasslands in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley of California, smelling of running creeks, sweet grass and cows.

It rained last week. It’s due to rain next week. The ranchers won’t need to move the cows out of the Valley up into the Sierra for some time. Yet, when summer comes, the sun will suck all the moisture and color out of this grass and the area where I am standing and the hills east of it will turn khaki.

The national herd size hasn’t been so low in 60 years; beef prices are at historic highs; and the vast majority of these native grassland pastures are not irrigated. Looking west to the Valley floor, we could see huge almond orchards in the distance and the rooftops of mega-dairies. Both commodities, the top two in this region, are in serious economic trouble and, dragged down by the collapse of the speculative real estate boom, farmland prices are beginning to fall.

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"Pombo Yosemite Park Estates Ranch"

Submitted: Apr 19, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We always read with fascination the opinions of Rep. Devin Nunes, Pathological-Visalia. Wondering again about Tulare County in light of his latest ravings below, we were reminded of a long-forgotten event in the history of California voter registration, in which in 1966, the Tulare County Clerk discarded more than 150 registration affidavits collected by volunteers going door-to-door in outlying communities simply because the people registered had Hispanic surnames.

Nunes' profound problems with reality began at home.

Moving on to the topic of his latest screed, the campaign of Richard Pombo, Crooked Cowboy-Tracy, to be reelected to Congress from a district he doesn't even live in, we were reminded of a common sight on the highway just west of Tracy during the halcion days of the speculative real estate bubble, back before Pombo's links to convicted lobbyist, Jack Abramoff (conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion) were so well documented that they persuaded voters in his old district to elect a liberal Democrat from the Bay Area and throw Pombo out. On the outskirts of Tracy, if you were coming in from the west, parked on a ranch road in the middle of the first farm field beyond the last subdivision on the western edge of town, there was a cattle trailer parked so that motorists could read the sign facing them on its side. The sign read: "Pombo Real Estate Farms."

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Republicans declare World War III in Cardoza's congressional district

Submitted: Mar 24, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

McClatchy's Big Eight

We didn't like this McClatchy article, "Health care overhaul: Tallying winners and losers." But we had to admit covering the results at the final bell of the year-long session of the free market for votes in the White House and Congress as if it were a wrap up article of a day's race card at Pimlico made some sense. But we had some bones to pick with it because for many ordinary readers, it will probably go down as pretty much the last word on the issue. We hope we get through the political campaign season without violence in the Valley.
The idea that Rep. Dennis Cardoza of Annapolis MD should get a few roses for his act on this bill is ludicrous. In a completely cowardly way, he refused to hold any town meetings on the bill last summer. He was stupid enough to crawl into the stinking bedsheets of water politics with Rep. Devin Hunes, Tulare Raver, and get politically sapped for his bad judgment. And he waffled on the bill until the last minute, like the proverbial "deer in headlights" pontificating sanctimoniously about proper House process and the suffering of members his own family all the way to the vote he had to make for the bill to avoid a future in the House broom closet if the Demcrats hang on this November. We think his vapors were authentic. People who spend their entire political careers denying the reality of history have a hard time dealing with historical situations.

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UC Merced and the Merced Sun-Star: Historical amnesia on speed

Submitted: Mar 20, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Some rightwing Anglos out at UC Merced recently posted a racially offensive video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDWAJYFi3UA). It's a cartoon featuring a semi-bald Anglo with a snotty British accent interrogating a female Chicano student, with no accent, involved in trying to start a Chicano Studies Program at the limping U. The Brit gets the best of the staged argument (sic). The Chicano students are stereotyped as entitled, racists themselves, who want their own program now just because they want it, and as incapable of arguing why. There was nothing "intelligent," "spirited" or "responsible" about the video dialogue between the two cartoon characters, despite what is said by an unnamed "university representative."

Since a Chicano Studies program is, by definition, about people of Mexican descent who are American citizens, the question why the Chicana doesn't wish to "identify as an American citizen" is purely bogus, displaying the classic rightwing combination of ignorance and racial hatred. Chicano means Mexican-American, and there is quite a history behind the origin of the word. But that history would be beyond the Little White Men on Campus and it gives UC Merced administrators and Chicano elders of influence on the campus a shuddering case of the vapors -- a disease that turns guts to mush.

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