Environment

Moyers on the plutocracy

Submitted: Nov 27, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Although responsible journalists have been using the term "oligarchy" to describe the American form of government, we here at Badlands have been prone to call it "plutocracy" for several years now. We do it for the same reasons Bill Moyers has come over to the "plutocracy camp:" familiarity with agriculture, agribusiness and especially, agro-politics.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

Bill Moyers: Our Politicians Are Money Launderers Not Too Different from Tony Soprano

Americans have learned the hard way that when rich organizations and wealthy individuals shower Washington with millions in campaign contributions, they get what they want.

November 2, 2011  |  

 Read More »
| »

Big Toxic

Submitted: Nov 21, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

IF you don't read another article on the environment over the holidays, we suggest you might read this terrific piece on Alternet by Tara Lohan about the five most toxic energy companies.

The basic scenario in the "free" market on energy supplies is that huge energy corporations, mining and pumping increasingly scarce raw energy materials, which command escalating market prices producing astronomical profits, have now bought a culture in which it is expected that regulatory agencies, legislators and judges in the highest courts are bought and sold. We have seen how these companies have created something so much larger than the individual acts of corruption that compose it, that we must call it the culture itself -- the plutocracy, a culture in which society, economics and government are all arranged for the primary benefit of the rich, with less and less apology as the plutocracy matures and putrifies, giving off a stench that is the reason for the occupation movement from Wall Street outward across the country. The economy created by the rich stinks so much it cannot even employ the people of the host nations it seeks to suck dry of all wealth.

We urge everyone to read this excellent survey of these energy companies at work on the ground killing their employees and destroying the environment and in the halls of Congress killing laws to protect workers and the environment. The posting here is just the first page.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 Read More »
| »

Shareholder chosen psychopaths at the wheel destroyed the economy and maybe the earth if we're not lucky

Submitted: Nov 12, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

...these numbers need to be tattooed on our minds. Between 1947 and 1979, productivity in the US rose by 119%, while the income of the bottom fifth of the population rose by 122%. But from 1979 to 2009, productivity rose by 80%, while the income of the bottom fifth fell by 4%. In roughly the same period, the income of the top 1% rose by 270%. -- George Monbiot, Nov. 8, 2011

11-8-11
Common Dreams
The 1% Are the Very Best Destroyers of Wealth the World Has Ever Seen
Our common treasury in the last 30 years has been captured by industrial psychopaths. That's why we're nearly bankrupt
by George Monbiot
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/08-7

If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire. The claims that the ultra-rich 1% make for themselves – that they are possessed of unique intelligence or creativity or drive – are examples of the self-attribution fallacy. This means crediting yourself with outcomes for which you weren't responsible. Many of those who are rich today got there because they were able to capture certain jobs. This capture owes less to talent and intelligence than to a combination of the ruthless exploitation of others and accidents of birth, as such jobs are taken disproportionately by people born in certain places and into certain classes.

 Read More »
| »

De l'eau de cochon

Submitted: Nov 08, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

11-06-11
LA Times
There's too much pork on the table
Gov. Brown and the Legislature need to trim the fat from the water bond and serve it to voters...George Skelton
http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-me-cap-water-20111107%2c0%2c7667745.column?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+GeorgeSkelton+%28L.A.+Times+-+George+Skelton%29

Gov. Jerry Brown recently said, "I've got a lot on my plate." One item is a big slab of pork — formally called a water bond proposal.

The plate is shared with the Legislature.
 
Together, they must decide whether to serve up the bond whole to voters, trim it down first or shove it back in the fridge.

Or maybe they'll just toss it in the garbage. That's the most unlikely scenario. But voters might dump it for them if the bond isn't pared and recooked.

Let's back up.

After years of fighting — south vs. north, farmers vs. enviros, water buffaloes vs. fishing interests — then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature settled on an $11.14-billion water bond two years ago. It was passed by sleep-deprived lawmakers at dawn after an all-night session.

 Read More »
| »

Sanctimonious "educator" abused students but dodged criminal prosecution through statute of limitations

Submitted: Nov 07, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

11-06-11
Modesto Bee
DA says Andersen knew of asbestos risk in Merced school
By Victor A. Patton
http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/06/1935528/merced-county-andersen-knew-of.html

MERCED -- Merced County's former education chief broke state law by knowing that high school students were exposed to cancer-causing asbestos, but waiting more than a year to notify law enforcement.

Those accusations have been lobbed against former Merced County Office of Education Superintendent Lee Andersen after an investigation by the Stanislaus County district attorney's office. Prosecutors say that Andersen would have been charged with a misdemeanor had the one-year statute of limitations not run out.

Andersen, in a letter to the Merced Sun-Star, insists he acted quickly to look into the asbestos exposure. He told a grand jury that he wasn't obliged to report it "because it was in the past." He asked the people of Merced to keep an open mind in reading the report.

 Read More »
| »

Hollywood in Crows Landing?

Submitted: Nov 04, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

11-5-11
Modesto Bee
Editorial: West Park project has possibilities

http://www.modbee.com/2011/11/03/v-print/1932615/west-park-project-haspossibilities.html

In the last several years, discussions about the potential uses for the former Crows Landing Naval Air Station have focused on manufacturing, processing and distribution facilities that would benefit from the site's proximity to Interstate 5 and the potential for short-line rail to the Port of Oakland.

Ag exports often have been cited in the conversations, along with air cargo operations or business start-ups.

So we have to admit we were surprised — in a pleasant way — at the prospective user for West Park Logistics Center that was announced earlier this week. It's not the kind of industry we have much experience with here in the valley — an independent movie and TV studio.

Mare Island Studio sent a letter to the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors stating its interest in locating on 415 acres in West Park. It's important to remember that it's nothing like a done deal. But it definitely is an interesting possibility.

The letter from a studio executive was part of a quarterly update to the board on developer Gerry Kamilos' progress on West Park.

 Read More »
| »

Divestment movement grows among occupiers

Submitted: Oct 31, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

10-25-11
Bloomberg
Bank Protesters Seeking Bans Move Into City Halls on Both Coasts
By Christopher Palmeri, Freeman Klopott and Alison Vekshin
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-25/bank-protesters-seeking-bans-move-into-city-halls-on-both-coasts.html

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Advocates for the poor are using the Occupy Wall Street protests in city halls to push municipalities to divest from banks blamed by demonstrators for the global financial crisis and persistent unemployment in its wake.

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors weighed such a move yesterday during a hearing in which activists, including supporters of the local Occupy SF encampment, urged the adoption of policies that would prompt big banks into modifying mortgages for struggling homeowners.

Communities from California to New York are considering demands to halt doing business with some of the biggest U.S. banks, or at least to focus attention on their local investment activity. The Los Angeles City Council on Oct. 12 accelerated plans to issue report cards on lenders that may lead the nation’s second-most populous city to withdraw funds from those that score poorly on criteria such as home-loan modifications. New York City may make a similar change in bank-selection rules.

 Read More »
| »

Iran debate

Submitted: Oct 28, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Below are three articles about Iran that, read together, make up a serious, informative debate -- in a time when two parties vie titles in venality and idiocy -- on the issue of whether the US should invade that country or not. While this is not the usual Badlands Journal fare, in general it is everyone's fare.

BadlandsJournal editorial board

10-17-11
Washington Post
The alarm bells behind Iran’s alleged assassination plot
By Richard Cohen
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-alarm-bells-behind-irans-alleged-assassination-plot/2011/10/17/gIQAhw5YsL_print.html

A mere moment or two after the Obama administration announced it had discovered and thwarted a plot by Iran to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States by bombing a Washington restaurant, the doubters started to air their doubts. Columnists and experts, even some columnists who were not experts, said the Iranians would never be so sloppy as to commit a virtual act of war by setting off a bomb in the nation’s capital. The alleged plot was crazy, they said. I agree. But so is Iran.

 Read More »
| »

Pimlico Kid rides into sunset

Submitted: Oct 22, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

We won't be able to produce a column-length article about the forced retirement of Rep Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid - -Merced, aka Shrimp Slayer. We admire the verbosity of the McClatchy Chain editorialists while noting that what they are saying -- as most of what Cardoza has said throughout his career -- is not true. Perhaps, the McClatchy Co. in this instance agrees with Badlands -- "Good riddance." Cardoza, the former lady mud wrestling impresario, could not beg, borrow or steal enough respectability to edify his political career in this McClatchy dominated zone.

We'll just skim a few of the whoppers that arose to the surface of the dairy pond.

"I love the people of the Central Valley, and thank them for the confidence they have placed in me," Cardoza said in a statement. "While I plan to retire from public service...I will energetically continue my efforts to improve California as a private citizen."

 Read More »
| »

Good reporting on a tough topic

Submitted: Oct 14, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

What we like about this article from the Bakersfield Californian is that, with the possible exception of mentions of truck pollution being reduced by the High-speed rail system, there is no undigested propaganda in it. This is probably because for Bakersfield, air pollution is a very serious matter, in fact an “existential threat” to the elderly and to the young. In Merced, which stands to get a rail station out of the deal that would radically increase the value of downtown real estate, the official position in the press is that high-speed rail is the best thing since UC Merced, Mom’s apple pie and sliced bread (because it promises to renovate downtown Merced, which has languished for decades in the hands of greedy, do-nothing landlords.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 Read More »
| »


To manage site Login