QSLS Politics

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Austerity in NB - slogans vs. mob action

In response to Alec Bruce's latest article on the never-ending NB financial / societal drama: “In New Brunswick, less is more”

Dan Fitzgerald Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
June 16th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

If New Brunswickers could keep ‘their representatives’ accountable to the common good – we wouldn’t be in such a financial and social mess to begin with.

With billions splurged over the years on boondoggle after secret boondoggle – NB’s collective (when the bill comes due) charge account is maxed out.

Credit raters and financiers who listed junk US mortgage bonds as AAA right up until the 2008 crash have told the NB people if they want to keep enjoying the plastic fruit of globalization down at the ‘ol Walmart, they’re just going to have to buck up and accept Greece-style austerity in the face of never ending paper debts.

The alternative: throwing off the flee-ridden blanket of ‘free-trade’ tyranny and fraudulent currencies that only benefit off-shore feudal lords will cause some major pains in the short- to medium term for our province. On the other hand, continuing to boil like stupid frogs in a caustic witch’s brew is no acceptable alternative.

So, Vive la Nouveau-Brunswick libre and cast out the vassal legislative servants of the oligarchs and international criminal syndicates at each and every opportunity (by election when possible, by torch-wielding mob when necessary).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

CG on Impersonating the enemy within

Wow - top NB writer Alec Bruce usually prints my comments. Especially when he's bashing the same kleptocrats as me, albeit using a more civilized approach.

Impersonating the enemy within
Alec Bruce - The Bruce Report
September 9, 2010

So many questions; so few answers. Except one.

Like many New Brunswickers, I’m having a hard time discerning the crucial differences between the Liberal and Progressive Conservative visions in 2010. In fact, their essential sameness, on most matters, is the eerie salience of this election.

Both parties are replete with honest, dedicated men and women who are stuck with an insupportable budget deficit of more than $750 million, an $8.5 billion long-term debt, and no coherent way out of the morass in which they find themselves.

Both parties genuinely want the best for the province’s communities, businesses and industries, but neither has even the foggiest notion about how to pay for its promises. Here, too, they are virtually indistinguishable.
Full Article
Dan Fitzgerald Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
September 9th, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Great piece, but I have a serious issue with the following:

“Both parties are replete with honest, dedicated men and women”

Lord knows the NB electorate could use some evidence of virtue in their candidates, but except for the rare examples (i.e. Urquart kidney donation), the current crop certainly do not stand out as such.

When the two main parties started off the campaign wrangling about someone else’s pension, you knew it was going to turn into a back alley cat* fight of liars and miscreants.

Where is the honest PC or Liberal candidate who will stand up and admit that the underwater MLA pension vote was about as crooked as it gets? Atcon and the power selloff just to name two more scandals that were big enough to come to light are what we have to go by in judging the character of the kleptocratic hopeful.

They can smile and play nice or fight and play rough all day long, but it won’t begin to atone for sins they’ve yet to confess or apologize for to the public.
Expected comment location

Monday, August 30, 2010

Diary of an anonymous #nbvotes troll

After calling out this anonymous coward / #nbvotes troll - he started deleting his older more obnoxious posts, banned me from following him and has now locked down his account. I'd think with only 13 viewers and an hidden identity, he or she would want as much attention as possible. To capture the astounding nature of this tomfools words, I'm posting his still existing twits for posterity. The more rancid parts I've highlighted in the tweets he wasn't too embarassed to delete before I copied them.

Twitter user NBVotes
Name Fred Y. Beach
Joined Thu Feb 25 20:12:24 +0000 2010
13 Following 13 Followers 1 Listed

- Alward promises to *fill in the blank of whatever it will take to have get your vote* #nbvotes
- Alward promises to outlaw masturbation... then build jails in every community in NB #nbvotes
- Alward promises farts laid in NB will no longer stink. #nbvotes
- @monctoncrescent I guess francophones don't exist in your riding? Unilingual English website? Shameful. #nbvotes
- Dear Fredericton: Can't wait to get choppin' away at all those pesky civil service jobs. Love, Alward #nbvotes
- Dear successful corporations and "rich" NBers: We're gonna raise your effing taxes, a**holes. That'll teach ya. Love, Alward. #nbvotes
- Alward raises corporate taxes during a recession. Coming up: forcing palliative care patients to go jogging to get better. #nbvotes
- Alward wants to raise corporate taxes during a recession. Yeah, that'll help. Thanks a lot. #nbvotes
- Alward attacking corporations and "the rich". Self-defeatism rears its ugly head. Success is a bad thing, huh? #nbvotes
- Campaign fail! LOL RT @robhoadley I, for one, welcome our new Nova Scotian overlords: http://flic.kr/p/8vocMZ #nbvotes
- Tories: Don't decry "spin" on one hand and then "spin" the CRA poll results as anything but completely shitty for you. #nbvotes
- Fun reading PC tweets spinning the incredibly damaging first poll of the campaign. They've blown a huge lead. #nbvotes
- Sue Stultz (PC - Moncton North) definitely wins the award for the most depressing signs. #nbvotes
- CRA poll proves PC support bleeding badly. Alward's latest wacko promises proof of desperation. #nbvotes
- Signs of things to come when NB goes broke under Alwards "everything is free" policy http://tinyurl.com/2cm7mzj #nbvotes
- Thinks LJR is spinning in his grave. #nbvotes
- @pcnbca Hitler created buzz, too. #nbvotes
- If the NB Power debate taught us anything, it's that a power rate freeze will go directly to increasing debt. Alward is desperate. #nbvotes
- David Alward's election strategy: Free everything! That is all. #nbvotes
- Alward said self-sufficiency is a pipe dream? Well that just reeks of vision and optimism, doesn't it? #nbvotes
- @thelieisacake Orimulsion was a $1B mistake by Alward and company but you're fully confident in them. What's the diff? #nbvotes
- @thelieisacake And we all know that if Moody's lowered NB's rating that you and @pcnbca would be all over it. #nbvotes
- CRA poll later this week will show a Liberal lead. #nbvotes
- There will be only two parties represented in the NB Legislature after Sept. 27. It's just a fact. #nbvotes
- @the_problematic Still obsessed with 17-yr-olds, I see. Get some help. #karltoftgate #nbvotes
- @poitrasCBC Free ferry? NOTHING is free. Someone should ask the Tories what will be cut. #nbvotes
- @nbliberalparty You know impersonating a legal entity on Twitter is illegal, right? #nbvotes
- @MonctonCrescent John Betts' new slogan: "Not burdening my riding with a cabinet minister since 1999" #nbvotes
- @the_problematic You realize you said that to a 17-yr-old, right? #karltoftgate #nbvotes
- Still waiting for proof that David Alward is a Canadian citizen. #nbvotes
- @thelieisacake "Marketing shouldn't trump substance." Anyone remember 200 days of change? LOL #nbvotes
- @thelieisacake LOL @ spin. Really? You're serious? #hypocritegate #potcallingkettlegate #nbvotes
- @thelieisacake #suppergate and #pensiongate are working. Getting under your skin. #orimulsiongate #kimjardinegate #homophobegate #nbvotes
- Does anyone have proof that David Alward is a Canadian citizen? Can he legally get his pension? #nbvotes
- Interesting @pcnbca strategy to have francophone MLA criticize Mme Robichaud pension in order to avoid anti-French perception. #nbvotes
- David Alward's farts smell like now widows' tears must taste. #nbvotes
- @MonctonCrescent Keep trashing LJR's widow. It's doing wonders for y'all. Love, Every Liberal in NB xox #nbvotes
- Don't forget media photo opp in Saint-Antoine this a.m. Claude Williams will be taking a dump on LJR's grave. #nbvotes
- Lord's sincerity re: LJR now in question after Alward takes baseball bat to Mme Robichaud's kneecaps. #nbvotes
- NDP thinking it's going to win seats = Palliative care patient buying green bananas. It's nice to dream. #nbvotes
- David Alward's favourite board game as a child: Hungry Hungry Widows. #nbvotes
- Secret footage of latest @pcnbca election strategy meeting released: http://bit.ly/1WWiLR #nbvotes
- Dear Santa: Thanks for the election strategy team put in place by @pcnbca. Love, Every Liberal in NB xox #nbvotes
- Media photo opp in Saint-Antoine tomorrow. @pcnbca candidates will take turns pooping on LJR's grave. #nbvotes

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Corporate spin master disclaims NB crown

In response to:
Communications officers and a word on Maxime
David Campbell - It's the Economy, Stupid
April 17th, 2010

It even has a militaristic feel to it. Communications Officers - my favourite occupation in the provincial government. Many moons ago I used to get calls from the Premiers Office (circa 1995) asking for good sounding statistical tidbits the Premier could work into his speeches. I was the king of spin <...>
Full Article
Dan Fitzgerald wrote
April 22nd, 2010 at 19:21 | #2 Reply | Quote
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
“I was the king of spin”


Come now, let’s get serious - nobody else has as rightful claim to the NB spin crown still - or are the corporate spin makers not eligible for the title?

What happened to the pre-power theft propaganda - did the sky just suddenly stop falling, or is it just time to recharge for another run on public assets?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On going forward with government in NB after power sale debacle

In response to:
Breaking news: NB Power NOT for Sale
Anonymous - QSLS.org
March 24th, 2010

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham confirmed in the legislature Wednesday morning that his government will no longer sell NB Power's generation assets to Hydro-Qu├ębec.
Article Continues
Dan F wrote:
Come on - this should be left in QSLS Politics

Who wants to worry about debt and cracking dams when you're water skying or swimming near Mactaquac? I hope all talk of this deal is finished soon, I can't take the stench of corruption any longer.

As to what next - I say stop panicking first. There's an election coming up, and democracy has a time-tested way to deal with crisis. Choosing the right representation in the coming months will be crucial to each riding.

The PC party seems to be willing to man up in the face of this debacle - but it is not yet certain whether they can sweep the thing like the NB Tories of old. Reasonably speaking though, it's pretty well their race to lose at this point.

On the other hand, presuming Irving and Shawn Graham can't pull a few golden-plated rabbits out of a hat, a stable coalition of PCs with Greens or NDP would certainly be an interesting thing to watch.

Until then, look out for desperate measures from the Libs, and try as best to keep the next government in check from the beginning. Shutting them down after 3+ years of damage is almost too late, there were some pretty crazy laws passed in the early days of this administration.

Other matters have slipped under the radar while the power sellout was discussed, i.e. this new 'law' coming up:


The most recently 'cracked scandal' in the main stream media (doubling of pensions and severance for MLAs in secret, during a flood) was only one of many signs years ago that responsible governance in NB was under threat from inside collaborators.

The others include when NBers let Irving drop Lepreau's nuclear turbines in the ocean. Granted - this was smoothed by their newspapers and political puppets, who fail to point out the obvious and hide the truth with spin on a daily basis.

Speaking of offshored corporations, if you're concerned about your power rates going forward, demand the end to Bermudan subsidies today.

In the long run as citizens - stay strong, be conscious of the political dangers and don't wait to react so long the next time a similar stunt is pulled.

Responsible government means diddly when the 'governed' are asleep or don't care.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

CG on Social Media in the NB Beacon

In response to: Social media causing a social change
By Melissa Wah - New Brunswick Beacon
March 11, 2010

Like a chameleon the internet is always changing and shifting,which means the way we communicate is always changing too. Twelve years ago there was only a select group of people who controlled the content on the internet. Only those who could afford to hire a technology excerpt, trained in HTML coding, controlled the content on web. But that has drastically changed. Anybody who has access to the internet, now has access to a worldwide audience, if they know how to grab the attention of those people.
Article Continues
Dan Fitzgerald says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Status update: comment published(!)
March 11, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Don’t believe the hype – social media is still largely filled with corporate content (regurgitated mainly) that largely passes all the old media rules and fallacies, albeit in a different format. A few good sources exist, but the churnalism and PR industry still largely have the upper hand.

Just check out a serious topic, twittered by everyone from STU journalism profs to anti-power sale activists and new media operatives:


These people have their own independent blogs, more resources than they can shake a stick at, all the insider information and contacts in government.

Yet @bloggercharles, a Saint Johner who set up his tent on the legislature grounds back before people knew there was a crisis beats them 9 times out of 10 – providing illuminating and revolutionary content with a style and down-to-earth foresight one can write home about.

So yes, it is possible that social media can be used to raise awareness, but as before – one still has to sift through a lot of commercials and redundancy.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Professor of Irving journalism threatens litigation over NB Power critique

"We cannot avoid conflict, conflict with society, other individuals and with oneself. Conflicts may be the sources of defeat, lost life and a limitation of our potentiality but they may also lead to greater depth of living and the birth of more far-reaching unities, which flourish in the tensions that engender them. --Karl Jaspers"

Those following the NB Power debate have surely seen the recent series of propaganda pieces released by Irving media written by STU journalism prof. Philip Lee. Titled "Balance of Power", they were advertised as a 'remarkable series of stories' that did not seek do not seek 'overtly or covertly, to influence this discourse one way or the other'. Well, the lead-in got one thing right - these are a remarkable series of stories - one which Mr. Lee seems unwilling to defend outside an Irving-controlled venue or a court of law, as you can see below.

First, I will expand on my criticism of Mr. Lee's work - if this falls under the category of 'slander' as he seems to allege - then free speech is dead.

The first article - "Down by the old mill stream" tells us that the crooked Hydro-Quebec/NB Power deal has been in the works since 1867. Then he mimes the government line about NB Power not being sold, despite the fact that all the major resources and transmission lines are effectively being turned over to Quebec. Masking the PR debacle this deal has become, he frames these problems in theatrical language, and then quickly moves back to the aww-shucks, misty eyed history of power generation in the picture province.

This first article spends a full 11 paragraphs describing in childish terms the production of electricity from water-flow, lulling the reader to sleep, priming them for the real sales job. This includes a comparison with this single 100+ year old dam to HQ's shinny new hydro system. Laughing at the puny 8 meter drop of NB's relic infrastructure, he seems enthralled that NB will soon be connected to HQ's massive 600 meter reserve. Every draw-back in NB's power-generating potential is hyped to the limit, while Quebec is made out to be a mecca of sustainable energy.

Finally, this leading piece subtly suggests that big industry will flock to New Brunswick's shores as the electricity prices goes down, throwing in some nostalgia for good measure of the cotton-mill workers that were outsourced long ago to child slave labor in third-world nations.

Part two, "How Quebec 'cornered' hydro power" spends the first four paragraphs linking HQ with the big-city sights and attractions of Montreal. This artificial confluence is artfully done, but is of little meaning to the nuts and bolts of electricity sales and generation. The impression of this article is to take small-town maritimers on a trip to the big city, and show them what they've supposedly been missing. Judging from the links on Mr. Lee's blog (9/10 in Ontario) - it seems this is a desire he holds keenly.

This article then skips quickly over the question of fraudulent carbon derivatives (a major selling point for the NB gov) to again marvel at the size and capacity of the HQ system. Somehow again, Mr. Lee soft-shoes around the capture of Newfoundland's Churchill falls energy project, noting only the genius of HQ's engineers in transporting the energy away (at a fraction of the real value). Similarly, the displacement of native Canadians from their land for the HQ project is sold as an example of diplomacy, rather than the continuation of subjugation and cultural genocide. The piece wraps up rather poorly, considering Mr. Lee's gift for words - with an incongruous call to history and certainty that the NB power swindle is as good as done.

Part three, entitled "From James Bay to New England" brings us to the northern reaches of the Quebec wilderness, where 'engineering marvels' produce power for consumers to the south. Mr. Lee spends his time there with a HQ scientist, who apparently has time to spend away from 'mitigating' the disastrous environmental damage of these behemoth dams to lead a starry-eyed reporter around the project. Mr. Lee really pulls out the stops, 'mitigating' the impact that toxic mercury has apparently had on the natives who missed out on their chance to leave for the big city. Speculating on the carbon-trapping benefits of hydro power, very short-shrift is given to the more noxious and potentially damaging emission of methane from decomposing vegetation beneath the head ponds.

Part four "What went wrong with New Brunswick's go-it-alone policy - and why" amounts to the quintessential attempt at 'influencing the discourse' of the NB Power sellout. Interviewing a retired, second-generation executive at the notoriously crony power company, Mr. Lee regurgitates a finely-tuned sales pitch for selling out the public utility. In an interview with Bill Marshall in the upstairs attic of his home, Mr. Lee can't help but set the scene '(Marshall) sipping coke with ice as the late afternoon sun dropped in the sky'. Spooky stuff, but no spookier than the dramatic picture we are given of NB Power's declining fortunes.

Skipping over how rainy-day funds were splurged on maintaining rates, bad debt decisions and NB Power's current susceptibility to market forces are put front and center for why the utility should be sold after 60 years of similar operations. This article then goes on to provide succor to Belledune and Coleson cove employees, maintaining that despite HQ's right to close the plants on a year's notice - they will be needed for the long term. Why hydro-Quebec would chose to 'pay our fuel bill' with all their cheap power is skimmed over. This supposedly non-political article then allows this retired-power executive turned energy consultant to say concerns that the plants will close are 'fear-mongering'.

My biggest critique of this article has to do with Mr. Marshall's potential conflicts of interest. Despite swallowing every line said - Mr. Lee says nothing about Mr. Marshall's current or potential clients should the plan go through, I find it hard to believe he is doing this province-wide sales pitch our of the goodness of his heart.. In his message to me below, Lee claims 'I explained my relationship to him in the story and my post on the blog' - yet the question of for whom Mr. Marshall works and his motives for speaking remain a total mystery.

Part five in this endless sales pitch comes back to the natives, and is appropriately titled - "How the Cree came to embrace big hydro". Standing in the office of the latest generation of first nations 'leaders', Mr. Lee takes us through a series of mental calisthenics to come around and see the Cree's 'compromise' as a good thing. While it is hard to pinpoint - one gets the impression that the Cree are a stand-in for New Brunswickers, and that our legal and financial problems in rejecting the deal will be similar if attempted again. Nowhere do you get the sense of empathy for the now landless Cree, or any disdain for the big business that was determined to flood their ancestral home.

While the series has certainly gone on long enough, I get the impression that Mr. Lee has not had his final word on the power sell-out, you can watch his blog for more articles here.

Updated: head over to Irving media for his latest missive.

Subsequent to Mr. Lee's first posts, I commented once on the Irving's web site, and then posted a very brief critique on his blog. My comments about part one of the story and to his defensive post can be found here and here.

I subsequently received the following two emails from Mr. Lee, in which he first seems to ask for a civilized debate, and then threatens court action if I criticize him again. While I am still a little bit shocked about the sudden turnaround - I can imagine that emotions run high when you're busy selling out your community.

So, with my piece said - we shall see how far Mr. Lee is willing to go to stifle criticism and bar debate. His renewed alliance with the Bermudans and their tendencies to strong arm the public into silence (i.e. firing his former students for legitimate investigative journalism) is troubling. Indeed, it does not bode well for the future of journalism in the picture province when a journalism prof cannot see the forest of conflicts of interest for the trees (his own or anyone else promoting the sale).

Subject: Reply
From: Philip Lee (pleebooks@gmail.com)
To: danf@danf.net
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 16:31:48

Dan: I don't know you other than through your continued and persistent attacks on my integrity as a journalist. I will say this: It is a personal attack if it is not true, which in the case of Bill Marshall it is untrue. I explained my relationship to him in the story and my post on the blog. I will also tell you that never in my career as a journalist has anyone told me what to write. I'm not about to start now. I received an assignment to try to shed some light on the big picture with this electricity deal. I spent a number of weeks talking to a lot of people and reading a lot of material. The story I ended up with was mine. If you don't agree with my conclusions fine. But I would ask you to please stop questioning my integrity as a journalist. I understand that you oppose the deal, and I respect that. My stories are trying to shed light on the larger picture, not the political process. There's lots of commentary out there on that. I also made a point of not engaging in personal attacks and blame in my pieces. Why is it not possible to engage in calm and civilized debate? Philip Lee

Subject: Request
From: Philip Lee (pleebooks@gmail.com)
To: danf@danf.net
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 18:24:23

Please stop contacting me. My next call is going to be to my lawyer. If you continue to slander me in public I am going to take legal
action. Please do not ever contact me again. Thanks.