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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Atlantic Provinces > SSP: Local Halifax > Business, Politics & the Economy

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  #1  
Old Posted May 21, 2011, 8:06 PM
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worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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And the Douchiest Article is...

Most douchy article I have ever read. The "managerial class"... give me a f'n break. Sigh...

Apocalypse not now

The world probably won’t come to an end next week, but that’s no reason to ignore the very real catastrophes heading our way.
by Tim Bousquet


click to enlarge
Harold Camping, president of the California-based Family Radio, says the Rapture will happen this Saturday, ushered in by a "worldwide earthquake" and leading to the complete destruction of the Earth on October 21.

But perhaps Sunday is instead the day of reckoning. As the Mississippi River flood peaks, it might overwhelm a flood control structure called the Old River Control Structure. If so, the river will jump out of its bed permanently, finding a new path to the Gulf of Mexico via what's now known as the Atchafalaya River; it's very likely the US, and possibly the world, would be thrown into a depression. Weather Underground's Jeff Masters explains this in detail, via thecoast.ca/MississippiRiver.

How do we assess these threats? While amusing, I think it's safe to say that Harold Camping's End Times prophecy can be ignored.

As for the Mississippi changing course, from what I read, I'm comfortable saying it probably won't happen Sunday. But the chance isn't zero percent---it's possible. More important, the chance that the Mississippi will eventually be rerouted down the Atchafalaya is 100 percent. It will happen one day; if not Sunday, then next year or in 10 years---within a few decades at best.

The best scenario is that the Old River Control Structure will be severely tested but hold, and the US government will subsequently embark on a program to help the river change course in an orderly, planned fashion--- leading to costly relocation of people and industry, and expensive new bridges and pipelines, but avoiding a crisis moment of failure.

Unfortunately, I doubt the US is up to the challenge. Probably, nothing will be done to prepare for the inevitable, the river's bed will rise ever higher, and one day catastrophe will strike.

Which brings me to other inevitabilities: climate change and expensive oil, both of which are all but ignored by the world's managerial classes, the people who actually run things---the academics, the CEOs, the bureaucrats, the war planners, even the supposed moralists in churches. This is nothing new; the managerial classes were meticulously castigated in John Ralston Saul's 1995 Voltaire's Bastards for their unbending faith in their own abilities, even in the face of repeated failure.

Here in Halifax, too, there's no sense of urgency among the managerial class. As far as City Hall or the provincial government goes, climate change and expensive oil are of no more concern than Harold Camping's Rapture prediction.

In recent years, about $150 million worth of new highway interchanges have been built in HRM alone, and about a half-billion dollars worth of new highways are proposed province-wide. Transit-unfriendly suburban sprawl continues to run wild---take a look at the new subdivisions flanking Larry Uteck Boulevard, as just one example. Like building ever-higher dikes along the Mississippi, constructing these new highways and subdivisions will only make the inevitable that much more catastrophic.

In his new book, The Death of the Liberal Class, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges shows how liberals, the same managerial classes John Ralston Saul described 16 years ago, have set aside all concern for morality and the common good in pursuit of their own narrow professional success. In doing so, they have not only refused to condemn the evils of perpetual warfare and the looting of public wealth through the recent financial collapse, but have actively facilitated the same.

It comes down to a belief among the liberal managerial class that they personally will fare best through the coming struggles if they align themselves with the truly powerful---the oil and armament companies, the financiers who just stole trillions of dollars, the politically powerful who have perverted democracy, the land-rapists and "developers" who extract wealth by devaluing everything good---and abandon common people and common decency. Sadly, even many young people have bought into the principle, putting themselves on a career track to service the powerful rather than resisting the powerful for the sake of what is right and good.

It would be comically ironic if it wasn't so terribly awful, but when the climate change and expensive oil calamities strike, these smug, brown-nosing courtesans will find themselves on the wrong side of the dike, drowning right along with the people they've abandoned.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 21, 2011, 8:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian View Post
It comes down to a belief among the liberal managerial class that they personally will fare best through the coming struggles if they align themselves with the truly powerful---the oil and armament companies, the financiers who just stole trillions of dollars, the politically powerful who have perverted democracy, the land-rapists and "developers" who extract wealth by devaluing everything good---and abandon common people and common decency. Sadly, even many young people have bought into the principle, putting themselves on a career track to service the powerful rather than resisting the powerful for the sake of what is right and good.
Oh..............my....................God!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is Bousquet for real?

Talk about an anti-development diatribe.........

Something tells me that as far as Bousquet is concerned, nothing positive has happened in the world since the 1950's.

Please tell me that Bousquet is considered a flake in Halifax and has no political power or relevance......

The alternative would be too horrible to imagine.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 21, 2011, 8:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
Oh..............my....................God!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is Bousquet for real?

Talk about an anti-development diatribe.........

Something tells me that as far as Bousquet is concerned, nothing positive has happened in the world since the 1950's.

Please tell me that Bousquet is considered a flake in Halifax and has no political power or relevance......

The alternative would be too horrible to imagine.
Well, he is representative of the obstructionist crowd.

Every morning I wake up and think, today I'm going to align myself with big oil and arms companies, you don't do that?

(I don't even own a fucking car... I bet Tim does)
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  #4  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 1:36 AM
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...is he reading his own work?
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  #5  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 2:38 AM
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I just wonder how the coast can let this clown keep his job. By my last count he has screwed up at least 6 articles that they had to print retractions for. I guess it is a case of any publicity is good publicity for the Coast.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 2:49 AM
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I don't see this as an anti-development diatribe necessarily. Bousquet can be over-the-top and contradictory in the way he views some projects in the core, but I think I agree with the gist of this article as it applies to Halifax. Developments such as those on Larry Uteck have not been built with foresight or with the best interests of the residents in mind. It's a massively inefficient, ugly, and unadaptable form of development. You couldn't pay me to live there. Granted I'm a city person, but as far as suburban development goes it's nearly as bad as it gets (Kingswood would be as bad as it gets). People buy into it because it's the status quo around here. Dartmouth Crossing, Bedford Commons, etc...it's not an "if" whether or not this sprawl will prove a liability to the city in the future -- you need only look at any number of cities struggling across North America to maintain crumbling infrastructure serving these types of areas, never mind rising gas prices and the increasing recognition of the detrimental effects on health and livability of this degree of car-orientedness.

I don't know that we're arguing over this bit too much, but it's what his argument seemed focused on...the momentum around here to keep throwing up the same old crap in the suburbs at exorbitant cost, with very little action in the way of improved transit and cycling infrastructure, or the comparatively inexpensive cost of streetscape improvement plans in the core compared to say, the Washmill Lake underpass.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 2:53 AM
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There aren't many comments posted on the story. Here is the link. I have a feeling that the few people who usually support him, such as JWC, could not support this article. On the other hand, the people who usually don't agree with him, simply didn't post because they think poor Tim has finally lost his sanity.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 2:55 AM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alps View Post
I don't see this as an anti-development diatribe necessarily. Bousquet can be over-the-top and contradictory in the way he views some projects in the core, but I think I agree with the gist of this article as it applies to Halifax. Developments such as those on Larry Uteck have not been built with foresight or with the best interests of the residents in mind. It's a massively inefficient, ugly, and unadaptable form of development. You couldn't pay me to live there. Granted I'm a city person, but as far as suburban development goes it's nearly as bad as it gets (Kingswood would be as bad as it gets). People buy into it because it's the status quo around here. Dartmouth Crossing, Bedford Commons, etc...it's not an "if" whether or not this sprawl will prove a liability to the city in the future -- you need only look at any number of cities struggling across North America to maintain crumbling infrastructure serving these types of areas.
I would agree with this point except he is against big development (and developers) in the urban core also. He seems to be against everything.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 3:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alps View Post
I don't see this as an anti-development diatribe necessarily. Bousquet can be over-the-top and contradictory in the way he views some projects in the core, but I think I agree with the gist of this article as it applies to Halifax. Developments such as those on Larry Uteck have not been built with foresight or with the best interests of the residents in mind. It's a massively inefficient, ugly, and unadaptable form of development. You couldn't pay me to live there. Granted I'm a city person, but as far as suburban development goes it's nearly as bad as it gets (Kingswood would be as bad as it gets). People buy into it because it's the status quo around here. Dartmouth Crossing, Bedford Commons, etc...it's not an "if" whether or not this sprawl will prove a liability to the city in the future -- you need only look at any number of cities struggling across North America to maintain crumbling infrastructure serving these types of areas, never mind rising gas prices and the increasing recognition of the detrimental effects on health and livability of this degree of car-orientedness.

I don't know that we're arguing over this bit too much, but it's what his argument seemed focused on...the momentum around here to keep throwing up the same old crap in the suburbs at exorbitant cost, with very little action in the way of improved transit and cycling infrastructure, or the comparatively inexpensive cost of streetscape improvement plans in the core compared to say, the Washmill Lake underpass.
But the washmill pass will serve as the first pedestrian/bike link into the retail of BL for the new density to the east of it that will be built up.

The BL model is flawed, but if we get a real public transportation network built, its on the way to other areas in HRM.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 12:29 PM
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To be honest, I don't see any anti-urban development opinions in that article. It seems way more focused on the suburbs, not the urban core. Bosquet does have a history of anti-development in him (I think he'd rather be shot in the head than see the Nova Centre be built). In my opinion, it's a good article. A little bit excessive, but the point is still valid: urban sprawl as we know it is not an economically or ecologically sustainable form of development.
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Old Posted May 22, 2011, 1:11 PM
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Originally Posted by haligonia View Post
To be honest, I don't see any anti-urban development opinions in that article. It seems way more focused on the suburbs, not the urban core. Bosquet does have a history of anti-development in him (I think he'd rather be shot in the head than see the Nova Centre be built). In my opinion, it's a good article. A little bit excessive, but the point is still valid: urban sprawl as we know it is not an economically or ecologically sustainable form of development.
A good article would state a viewpoint and a possible solution such as stating that urban sprawl is unsustainable so the urban core should be more densely populated. Or stop population growth (but in Nova Scotia that is already occurring).

Here is an example from his article:

Quote:
It comes down to a belief among the liberal managerial class that they personally will fare best through the coming struggles if they align themselves with the truly powerful---the oil and armament companies, the financiers who just stole trillions of dollars, the politically powerful who have perverted democracy, the land-rapists and "developers" who extract wealth by devaluing everything good---and abandon common people and common decency. Sadly, even many young people have bought into the principle, putting themselves on a career track to service the powerful rather than resisting the powerful for the sake of what is right and good.

It would be comically ironic if it wasn't so terribly awful, but when the climate change and expensive oil calamities strike, these smug, brown-nosing courtesans will find themselves on the wrong side of the dike, drowning right along with the people they've abandoned.
This is far more than excessive, it is pompous, self-righteous and paranoid. How can someone suggest that building homes by Larry Uteck Boulevard is aligning with the rich and powerful (and are all rich and powerful people actually evil?) People will still want homes and Larry Uteck Boulevard really isn't that far outside the city. Not everyone will want to live in apartments and condos (some people think that apartment buildings are evil). The end of cheap oil isn't a catastrophe, it will simply result in the use of greener energy sources - this is already occurring in Nova Scotia. The depletion of cheap oil will also result in a shift to more energy efficient cars. It is easy to form an alternate opinion that the existence, not the depletion, of cheap oil is the reason for excessive greenhouse gases and climate change.
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Old Posted May 22, 2011, 1:14 PM
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Originally Posted by haligonia View Post
A little bit excessive, but the point is still valid: urban sprawl as we know it is not an economically or ecologically sustainable form of development.
My problem with him is that you can not be against sprawl into the suburbs, and against density in the urban areas. It is one or the other. That is the reason why he comes across as anti-everything. His position overall in untenable, since he doesn't offer viable alternatives. That gives truth then to the argument that really what he is against is developers (read: evil capitalists) as a whole.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 2:03 PM
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Reading an article that spans:

Mississippi river flood devastation
Climate change
Totalitarian conspiracy theory

and

Larry Uteck Boulevard

in it....makes one go WTF?

Last edited by hoser111; May 22, 2011 at 2:04 PM. Reason: typo
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Old Posted May 22, 2011, 2:19 PM
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Next thing you know, he will have an article about how he found out the date for the end of the world.
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Old Posted May 22, 2011, 2:32 PM
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Does he have any political power or influence? Not really. He is constantly at war with the bureaucracy thru endless freedom of info requests so has few friends there. He is chummy with Dawn Sloane and worships Jennifer watts and Jackie Barkhouse, no surprise there really. He is not so much a NDPer as he is a Marxist relic of the past. Really incredible when you think of him being from California - an American commie in Canada.
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  #16  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 2:33 PM
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
My problem with him is that you can not be against sprawl into the suburbs, and against density in the urban areas. It is one or the other. That is the reason why he comes across as anti-everything. His position overall in untenable, since he doesn't offer viable alternatives. That gives truth then to the argument that really what he is against is developers (read: evil capitalists) as a whole.
I was talking simply of the article and it's content, not of the context in which it sits. (Bosquet's previous articles). I still don't agree with Tim's entire belief system however I think that this article has a good point. Still a bit whiney, but a point nonetheless.
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Old Posted May 22, 2011, 3:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Does he have any political power or influence? Not really. He is constantly at war with the bureaucracy thru endless freedom of info requests so has few friends there. He is chummy with Dawn Sloane and worships Jennifer watts and Jackie Barkhouse, no surprise there really. He is not so much a NDPer as he is a Marxist relic of the past. Really incredible when you think of him being from California - an American commie in Canada.
Given that this sounds like something someone from the McCarthy era would say, this is quite possible the most ironic thing I've ever read on SSP :lol:
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  #18  
Old Posted May 22, 2011, 4:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
Please tell me that Bousquet is considered a flake in Halifax and has no political power or relevance......

The alternative would be too horrible to imagine.
Don't worry, look at The Coast's top ten most read. People read The Coast for music/bar reviews and Dan Savage's "Savage Love" relationship column. Tim Bousquet's rants are skipped over by everyone I know who reads the paper.
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Old Posted May 22, 2011, 5:53 PM
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Originally Posted by haligonia View Post
I was talking simply of the article and it's content, not of the context in which it sits. (Bosquet's previous articles). I still don't agree with Tim's entire belief system however I think that this article has a good point. Still a bit whiney, but a point nonetheless.
I don't completely disagree with everything, but its moreso the presentation of the POV.

I think that the North American, oil/car dependent, military industrial complex is unfortunate.

The difference between myself and this guy is I actually try to find solutions to these problems... such as high density development in the core of cities and public transportation. To say this is some sort of elite class in Halifax is pretty funny given how much of a big government town that Halifax is. Halifax has consistently voted NDP, so what is this dude going on about? The "elite class" in Halifax isn't managerial, its old money... completely different. I'd say there are only 4-5 real senior managers of large organizations in all of Halifax period. Most of the developers are quite small when compared to anywhere else in Canada.

At least Marx was in favour of the above and many of the things that these so called socialists are so against have been the model in successful social-democratic societies.

I have no respect for people with zero credibility (non-Canadian as well) telling everybody else what to think.
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Old Posted May 23, 2011, 12:58 AM
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I get the feeling a lot of people think "Bousquet" is a bad word on this forum. Like how a lot of Republicans think "liberal" is a bad word... though they may not fully grasp the meaning.

His article was not anti-development. I don't even think ol' Timmy himself is anti-development in general. He may have ideas that don't jive with yours, but I don't think he has some ulterior motive to see Halifax fail as a city. I think he feels just the opposite. He has written articles and tweeted that he is pro-stadium (with a sound business case), pro-Oval, pro-Commons concerts and more. Tim's big thing is making sure the stuff is developed with thought, a good financial case and long term plan. Since when is that a bad thing?

Skyscrapers aren't the answer to everything.

Edit: I missed this - "I have no respect for people with zero credibility (non-Canadian as well) telling everybody else what to think."

While I have never met Mr. Bousquet, have no idea what he's like in person and am not even sure what state he is from... I will tell you that the day you start attending practically every single council meeting and tweeting me live updates (with witty commentary at that), along with staying connected with the people who run Halifax plus maintaining a regular contribution to the only remaining competition to the biggest client of the Canadian Press, then you will have more credibility. That being said, I don't know who you are so if you already do all that stuff then I apologize.

Last edited by johnny_boy; May 23, 2011 at 1:36 AM.
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