Public Works

Just what the world needs: incurable Swine Flu virus

Submitted: Jul 02, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Mad scientists are at it again, proudly announcing creation of a swine flu virus immune to human resistance in Madison, Wisconsin, not far from some of the swine-production centers of the nation.

Readers of Badlands may have forgotten a struggle several years ago to block establishment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of a Level 4 Biowarfare lab, rated even more dangerous than the Level 3 lab that produced this monster, as always, "for better research to find a cure." LLNL established a Level 3 lab instead.

It must be pointed out that distinctions between levels of biowarfare labs, although written, are fairly blurry in practice, according to lab watchers. In short, the public has little or no idea what these labs are producing and how dangerous their products are to surrounding communities. 

Nevertheless, to ask a question left unasked or at least unanswered by the mad Wisconsin scientists: Who paid for this research that now poses a threat to the health and safety of Madison and surrounding towns? -- blj


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How do you deal with the moral authority of ignorance? James Lee Burke, Pegasus Descending (2006), p. 473

Submitted: Jun 30, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Gov. Jerry Brown must be saved from himself, says the next state Senate leader. He needs to be talked out of starting the bullet train in the Central Valley boonies. "I don't think it makes sense to lay down track in the middle of nowhere," asserts Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles). It's illogical. No one lives there in the tumbleweeds." -- George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2914, "Next Senate leader Kevin de Leon wants Brown to rethink bullet train." 

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But lawns very much remain the norm in Southern California, and officials say it's tougher to change homeowners' outdoor watering habits than it is to get them to install low-flow toilets or water-efficient washing machines.

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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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Blunt Pitchforks' photo op in Le Grand

Submitted: Jun 21, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The problem with Le Grand's water supply is not drought; it is the large number of huge wells that have been installed for the last decade to irrigate thousands of acres of almonds and grapes planted on seasonal pasture. Politicians at the local, state and federal levels did everything money can buy to stop any opposition to these plantings, which are totally destructive to the natural habitat of 15 endangered species and which have robbed the region of much groundwater besides. And the latter will continue as rural landowners continue to mill aimlessly about in public water gatherings like the state-sponsored and funded Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, known as "Ear-Wimp" perhaps because the participants are incapable of reading anything and only listen to each others' mythological misinformation.

 

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Drilling, fracking and oil-transport political corruption

Submitted: Jun 19, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We in the Valley, where much of the vaunted Monterey Shale Formation fracking was to occur, fistfulls of money and many jobs and national energy independence were to be squeezed out of the earth by miracles of drilling technology leaving air and water pollution behind, are grateful to Dylan and Jo Murphy for this excellent  summary of the government and corporate corruption behind the rapid rise and fall of the California fracking boom.

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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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Congressional genius for compromise will prevail in California drought bill

Submitted: Jun 10, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

 The Badlands Journal editorial board, like all Californians we are certain, have been watching with bated breath the progress of the two California drought bills working their way through the upper and lower houses of Congress. The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, and the House bill, sponsored by assorted Central Valley Republicans, have reached the joint Senate-House conference  committee for reconciliation. The major issues on the table are the perceived favoritism of the Feinstein bill towards one agribusiness entity in Kern County and the suspension of all water-related environmental law and regulation proposed in the House bill.

We feel certain that with its usual genius our Congress will find a just compromise.

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Three Big Lies

Submitted: Jun 08, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 These are stories, "narratives" as our elite educated government flaks and the cowards in the mainstream press call them, have become propaganda lines, whole processes of deception, some older than others, but all following a pattern of contempt for the public, which, according to the General Lie, they are supposed "to serve." 

Read at your own risk. You won't enjoy these articles but they come from reputable sources: Paul Craig Roberts, Ray McGovern, and writers published by Counterpunch and Global Research (Canada). -- blj

 

6-7-14

Global Research

Fake Employment Statistics: More Phantom Jobs Created in America, All In The Wrong Places

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The Merced County water saga goes on, Part 2

Submitted: Jun 07, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 On Tuesday, the Merced Board of Supervisors debated long and hard -- with help from legal, planning and executive staff -- about how they could stop Steve Sloan, former chairman of the county Planning Commission,  and an adjoining landowner, from selling more than 20,000 acre feet of groundwater to Del Puerto Water District, based in Stanislaus County. County leaders, except Supervisor Gerry O'Banion, in whose district the transfer would take place, with a mixture of desperation and exaspiration, reached for some means of stopping Sloan and his neighbor from making the millions the desperate Del Puerto growers are willing to pay to keep their almond orchards alive. Everything from an emergency  moratorium to doing nothing was discussed

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Water collage in shades of gray

Submitted: May 19, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We Californians are known as an artistic people. Those of us of a certain age grew up attending public schools with excellent art programs and these encouraged us toward a variety of expression, which becomes essential when one faces issues like the California Water Problem.

So, in a more experimental vein than usual here on the hopelessly linear-think Badlands, we’ve decided to put  together a small collage of articles – from different angles and different times -- that might explain better than we have been able to, how the current crop of representatives of finance, insurance and real estate in government have lost all sense of the Public Good, even most of the rhetoric of it.

These are not "bad people." On the contrary, they are highly civilized, generous, sociable, concerned citizens at least in some part of their activities, but they have been turned into jerks by their money, their power, and particularly by the combination of the two.-- blj

 

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