Public Works

The weasel word

Submitted: May 06, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Often, we witness how public officials, squirming under mandates causing discomfort for their more powerful constituents, convert "shall" to "may" in a straightforward regulation. This effectively closes the door to enforcement and opens a door to deal-making, bribery, intimidation, and the other forms of daily corruption in government that its practitioners call "balance". But the global and local environment are already so far out of balance and the destruction resulting from this unbalanced state gains velocity every day. 

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UC Merced's newest bright, shiny thing

Submitted: May 04, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In memory of William Trombley (1929-2009)

 

We are frankly skeptical of the UC Merced-sponsored "Climate Feedback" website, which aims at rating the scientific accuracy of media coverage of environmental issues. Apparently, the group of scientists has a special grievance against online publications. Badlands Journal, such a publication,  has reported thoroughly on the environmental damage directly caused by UC Merced and stimulated by the campus site, including environemntal permit comment letters and legal actions done by San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center, Protect Our Water (POW), the Central Valley Safe Environment Network and other public organizations.

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Rising sea level could flood the twin tunnels shortly after construction

Submitted: Apr 29, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Following the widespread oceanic observations (1) that ice packs everywhere are melting much more quickly than at first predicted, and that seas are consequently rising more quickly, Chris Clarke, the author of these two articles, puts the Delta tunnels project into the context of a Delta rapidly flooding with seawater. Viewed in this context, the tunnels project looks like the height of futility, its possible only purpose being to squeeze one more building boom out of Southern California and stimulate the production of almonds in the San Joaquin Valley to the point where every grower goes broke from over-production.

--blj

 

 

 

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Smog replaces foreclosures, murder and drought as top Valley distraction

Submitted: Apr 21, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  This pair of articles about our deteriorating air quality demonstrates a couple of disgusting sides to journalism and the "public information" racket today.

First, you cannot do a "balanced" story on a topic so obviously, totally out of balance as Valley air pollution. You simply cannot be permitted to correctly quote the Valley air board's sleazy flak telling the gasping public to take it all with a grain of salt.

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The horns of our poltical dilemma: between inverted totalitarianism and fugitive democracy

Submitted: Apr 18, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Robert Perry writes about the soaring "negatives" of both the front runners in the presidential primaries, HIllary Clinton and Donald Trump (the Hill and the Donald). He presents the bleak dilemma facing the Democratic Party after the nomination. This reminds us of the 1968 Democratic Party, gutted by the assassination of Robert Kennedy that depressed his supporters so deeply that they were unable to rally in time to help defeat Richard Nixon.

Supporters of Bernie seem made of stronger stuff, having found their political legs marching and demonstrating rather than scrambling to get their noses under a tent in Camelot.

Chris Hedges points out in his column, "Revolution in the air," that the movements built around principles and moral positions are having a growing influence on elected officials.

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Sheer v. Osborn on Democracy Now! -- Vital debate

Submitted: Apr 17, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Below is a transcript from a spirited debate regarding the Democratic Party presidential primaries campaign hosted by Democracy Now! last week.

In it the strengths and weaknesses of both candidates show up in their advocates, both veterans of decades of progressive political commitment.

We thought it was important to post DN!'s transcript because there was more to the encounter than could be captured by just watching or even rewatching the video of Friday's show.

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The cycle of corruption in state and federal resource agencies in California

Submitted: Apr 13, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 It seems like at the end of these semi-automatic 8-year presidential regimes of the best administrations money can buy, there is a scandal in California involving the federal and state resource agencies with responsibility for enforcing environmental laws to protect wildlife species on land, in rivers and the ocean. The current report of misuse of public funds aimed at benefiting fish and wildlife in the Delta, instead using them to benefit irrigators and oil companies reminds us of a similar scandal in the Department of Interior eight years ago arising from a concerted attempt by politicians, business interests and federal resource-agency officials in their corrupt orbit, to destroy the federal Endangered Species Act by foul means, having failed in three attempts in Congress.

No doubt, professional historians could point to numerous examples of these cycles, which we might dub the Cycle of Corruption.

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Hail, Emperor, those who are about to die salute you!

Submitted: Apr 10, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  We have met the enemy and he is us. -- Pogo

4-5-16

Stanford Report

Populations of early human settlers grew like an 'invasive species,' Stanford researchers find

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2016 Water-Rhetoric Year whines on

Submitted: Apr 07, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Westlands Water District is complaining about the Bureau of Reclamation announcement of a 5-percent water allotment for the year. Putting aside that this will most likely increase as the 2016 Water-Rhetoric Year wars on. -- blj

 

“We cannot permit Westlands to transform itself from heavily subsidized corporate farms into a water broker at the expense of taxpayers and the San Francisco Bay/Delta Estuary,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. -- Lloyd Carter, Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood, July 27, 2015.

 

 

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