Friday, October 4, 2013

Oct.4: Well, I once had hope of Cole Hobson....

.....His columns were never brilliant. But at least they were unpretentious, and they dealt with subjects of some meaning to our daily lives. But today, he decided to deal with a heavy duty topic and, oh my, it showed his limitations.

It's on fracking - and it's ill-infromed, wildly illogical, and heavily biased. Yep. He'll fit right in with the Irving press.

To cover everything that's wrong in this column, everything that's untrue or illogical or simple-minded or biased would take a blog longer than the column.. So I won't even try that. Just a few high points.

He says he's found it surprising how anti-shale gas people speak in absolutes, and as if it was the main intent of the government and the industry to destroy the environment.

Mr. Hobson, that is smart-ass of one of the less smart varieties.Most people in an argument speak in absolutes. It's a failing us humans have. Yesterday, we read that the premier of BC said there is no danger WHATEVER (hint, Mr. Hobson; that's an absolute) in fracking. We have heard the same sort of thing form industry bosses and government. So how come you noticed only the shale gas protesters doing that?

And, incidentally, I have NEVER heard anyone say it was the MAIN INTENT of the industry and the government to destroy the environment (as you claim to have heard many times). We all know that the main intent of the industry to to make money. We all know the main intent of the government is to do what the Irvings and their buddies tell them to do.

The industry wants this to proceed safely? Cole, do you always talk nothing but bullshit? Don't you know anything about practices of the mining and oil industries all over the world? They killed a million and a half people in Iraq to get the oil. (You've heard of Iraq?) You've heard of Congo? You've heard of the massive dumps of spent uranium and other poisons along the coasts of African countries too weak to stop them?

Then there's been the devastation and poverty and murder daily inflicted on South America.  Do you know anything at all about the permanent devastation of large areas of Alberta - or about the poisoning of fresh water there, with that poisoning now showing up in health problems in downstream communities?

But, oh, the government can be trusted because they're New Brunswickers. Right. Our doctors can't be, though. That's because our medical doctors aren't, like Mr. Irving, devoted to the welfare of the people of New Brunswick. Our medical doctors are all stupid and/or crooked. That's why they lied about the health risks of fracking; that's why we had to bring in an honest expert like Professor Lapierre to straighten things out.

I mean, if you really want to know about fracking, ask the fracking companies. These are the people who know what they're talking about. So next time you need brain surgery, Cole, put yourself in the hands of a fracking executive. Please.

Native peoples at Rexton are damaging the environment themselves because they cut down some trees? Do you ever think how dumb  such a statement is? Every generation of European descent in the history of this province has cut trees by the million. One of the chief frackers is Irving. Have you never heard that name in connection with cutting down trees?

And the anti-frackers are complaining even before the frackers have a chance to get started with their work?  So true. Why don't they wait until all the damage is done, and then demonstrate? (Actually, the frackers have been at work for some years - and we still don't have even basic regulations.)

This column is propaganda. Worse, this column is untrue, illogical and arrogant propaganda. This is utter crap.
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Oh, Hobson's column is of a style related to a climate change denier who has a letter to the editor in today's paper. The letter says that there is no warming of the Arctic and that the Northwest Passage is hopelessly clogged with ice, and impassable to shipping.

Gee. That means the news report of a few days ago that a Danish ship carrying a cargo of coal made the first commercial passage ever of the Northwest passage was false. Obviously, the news report must have been lying. And perhaps Cole Hobson might write one of his well-informed notes to a monster  cruise ship company (you know, those floating hotels that are are ten stories high) that is advertising a cruise from Greenland to Alaska for August 26, 2014. Hint, draw a line from Greenland to Alaska. It goes through the Northwest Passage.

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I missed the story of the century in yesterday's TandT. Norbert broke the news that he knows the cost of corruption in New Brunswick. He sets it at 150 million..  Well, I guess that depends on how and what you count - but in any case this is huge.

If Norbert knows the amount, then he must know who is paying it; and he must know who is getting it. I presume he has already, as a responsible citizen, informed the police. But he should inform us, too, so he can get full credit for this brilliant piece of investigative reporting.

For his next big, breakthrough, he might examine how come the (false) manifesto for the sort of oil that was in an Irving shipment caused disaster and death in Lac Megantic.

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The editorial is the usual one that anti-shale gas protest  groups should pay the cost of policing them. Good point. I wait for the editorial demanding that fracking companies pay the cost of human suffering and poisonous waste that they will inflict on us.
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Superb column by Alec Bruce. Hint - it concerns Peter Mackay, perhaps the worst minister of defence in Canadian history, and now Minister of Justice, a position from which he cannot squander billions of dollars on overpriced fighters and icebreakers, but can do enormous damage to Canadian freedoms.

Nice boy, I'm sure. But not one of our great thinkers.

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On p. C3, Mr. Alward says we must restore the Energy Institute's credibility. No, Mr. Alward. The credibility that's been destroyed is yours. You and previous premiers repeatedly appointed a man of no credentials (and a close friend of the rich and powerful) to positions that affected our lives and safety.

It's bad enough that you never bothered to check his credentials. But even when he confessed to lying about his credentials, you continued to try to cover for him. We now have an Energy Institute made up entirely of people this unqualified and dishonest person chose.

It is not possible to restore credibility to the institute (or to you). At the minimum, one would have to start all over with a new committee chosen by a credible scientist, and one who is not a kiss-up to the people you kiss up to.

But at this point, I don't think it's possible for anything done by you to be credible.

Oh - and Mr. Alward said he refused to meet with anti-shale gas protesters. Tough guy. I wonder when the last time was that he refused to meet with Mr. Irving?
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Several stories of interest failed to make the high standards of the TandT, and so went unreported.
CBC reports studies showing that our oceans are in serious trouble.
1. They are absorbing carbon dioxide from the air which warms them and destroys whole species.
2. The effect of warming is made worse by severe overfishing.
3.. They are suffering run-off from fertilizers.
4. There are now huge, dead zones in our oceans - these are the prelude to mass extinctions.

One would think that waste water from fracking would add dreadfully to these problems. (But I'm sure we can expect a column from Mr. Hobson that toxic waste is good for fish.)

A Bank of Montreal Study shows that a majority of the rich (one million or more in assets) feel they are better off now than they were before the start of the recession. Only seven to ten percent felt they were worse off.

Of course. This is  a repeat of the the great recession of the 1930s. The rich, once again, are making their biggest profits in history. That's why the poor have to pay - so the rich can feel better and better.

Professors at U de Moncton are furious at the size of the pension awarded to the university's president. Shucks. "Taint nuthin". 

When I was offered such a job, the terms were so generous, I could have been fired the first day, and still had a golden handshake that would support me in style for life.

These decisions aren't made by profs. They're made by the businessmen who sit on the board of governments. And they're not hiring a president. They're buying him. That's why we have such an tame lot of university presidents. That's why we now have the meekest Governor-General ever. He's well broken from years of experience as president of McGill.

Actually, I've seen much sweeter deals made than the one at U de Moncton - and it's at least partially deserved for being the only person in authority to deal properly with Professor LaPierre.

 

3 comments:

  1. "Nice boy, I'm sure. But not one of our great thinkers."

    Well his lack of wisdom won't come into it, 'cause he's told what to think and say, and rambles on accordingly, but it is worrisome that such a lap-dog as McKay should now be holding the pen that could sign away our rights or enact laws that could transform the Canadian Justice System into something more closely resembling the disaster South of our border.

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  2. Glad I found this blog, the Irving rags really need such a 'going over'. Mr. Campbell used to do that in his blog-until he got hired as a contributor.

    However, Mr. Johnson (the Governor General) was never President of McGill, he was Principal and Vice Chancellor. He was President of University of Waterloo.

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  3. You're quite right. I knew about his correct title (I taught at Concordia just a few blocks from McGill.) But I was afraid readers would be confused by the principal and vice-chancellor title. There are also those called rectors Sometimes they all mean the same thing - and sometimes they don't quite mean the same thing.

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