Public Works

Under the Carter microscope

Submitted: Dec 24, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Norman Brownstein, bigshot Denver attorney/lobbyist, who sells himself at "the 101st US Senator," is going to rue the day he took the $20,000/month lobbying contract to represent Westlands Water District, and came to the attention of Lloyd G. Carter, Fresno journalist/attorney.

In the piece below, Carter's latest foray into the Intermontaine Wastelands, he slices, dices, filets, boils, broils and barbecuesa a number of the rare species of twisteed plutocrati in any way associated with Brownstein and the Denver law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck. Bigshots in Denver may not have taken such a thrubbing since Gene Fowler carved on Bonfils and Tammen.  -- blj

 

Chronicles of the hydraulic brotherhood…lloydgcarter.com

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Scientific masturbation

Submitted: Nov 27, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In a more vigorous intellectual era -- it takes more historical knowledge than we have to imagine an American intellectual era more flaccid than the present -- we called the sort of exercise described below as "intellectual masturbation." In the case of this circle of scientists (grant hustlers) and special interests (known as "stakeholders"), the problem of course is our old friend, Consensus, that blunt instrument the corporate state has imposed on every "decision-making process" in the land (except the important decisions made in their own boardrooms by anything but "democratic" means). Yet on we must shuffle and jerk if we are to continue in the good graces and the funding streams of finance, insurance, and real estate (always in California including agribusiness) special interests. -- blj


11-20-13

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Overflowing rice bowls

Submitted: Oct 29, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

 Isn't it just amazing how Man -- in His Form as California Rice Grower, the most highly subsidized farmers in America -- converted wetlands to rice paddies north of the City of Sacramento and now, having expropriated so much water it has threatened whole aquatic species with extermination, now Man, that protean being, also appearing in the Form of the federal Bureau of Reclamation, is extoling His scientific genius for raising some hatchery salmon in flooded rice paddies. Many the severely endangered Chinook salmon will recover. But the University of California scientists, of course have created not only one place where this masterpiece of environmental engineering has occurred once, but they are announcing they have created a "a win-win model that can be replicated around the state,"

 

 

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Fall water anxiety 2013

Submitted: Sep 25, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The autumnal spate of water-anxiety articles appears in the desert regions of California as the first big rains hit the northern part of the state. The descriptions of “our water problem” become more neurotic and technically sophisticated each year. Our society maintains, despite all indications that it should be most wary, its sublime faith in the power of American engineering know-how and the democratic process in our state Capitol, where finance, insurance and real estate (especially agribusiness) buys the votes proffered by our elected officials for sale in our sacred “decision making process.”

 

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Hard times comin' for the Great Reflector?

Submitted: Sep 01, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Jerry Brown, our governor, has been scandalizing California adults for years now with his scathing critiques of environmental law, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act, which he calls “the blob” from which any exemption for development is good, of which any enforcement bad.

He has chosen several instruments not of his making to make his dark vision of CEQA real for his entire, gigantic parish of eligible votes. With his tool in the Legislature, Senate pro tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, he has crafted legislation to “streamline” i.e. gut CEQA. But this craft seems to have broken up on the shoals of sensible opposition, at least for the current session of the Legislature.

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Stan "Bully Boy" Thurston's war on workers

Submitted: Aug 16, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 "Breaking news alert! Wages fell at the fastest rate ever recorded during the first quarter of this year, the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics 

reported.

 

"Hourly wages fell 3.8 percent in the first quarter, the biggest drop since the BLS began tracking compensation in 1947. Productivity rose half a percentage point. The result was that what economists call “labor unit costs” fell 4.3 percent.

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Sen, Wyden ex-staffer's critique of administration secrecy on NSA

Submitted: Aug 13, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We saw the author of the Techdirt.com article below interviewed Monday on Democracy Now! and were deeply impressed by her gravity, intelligence background and the seriousness of what she had to say about the inadequacy of the administration’s response to Edward Snowden’s challenge. We also wished to introduce readers who may not know about it to Techdirt.com, a well written website addressing very serious communication and surveillance issues in the US and beyond – blj

 

8-10-13

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Kill 'em all and pave it over!

Submitted: Aug 09, 2013
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 About 15 years ago in Merced, when our leaders were on fire with lust for the UC campus, the Fish & Wildlife Service had declared a critical habitat designation for the endangered species inhabiting vernal pools. Our leaders were outraged, organized rallies, vilified anyone in the region suspected of harboring an environmental thought. Politicians, at the behest of the finance, insurance and real estate special interests, pressured Service staff. Julie MacDonald, a high level political appointee at the Service, cajoled and threatened staff down to the field biologist level, and produced a bizarre “economic study” purporting to show the billions that would be lost to our regional and national economy by this horrible critical habitat designation.

 

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