I first encountered Sandy Garossino on Twitter when I found her taking a personal attack on someone in defence of the TIDES Foundation:
The funny thing is about this posting that it was Garossino who brought the word ‘terrorist’ into the conversation- the other people involved hadn’t. I thought this was strange, and it was somewhat insulting how she decided to make a judgement call on others when she is the person who used that word.
Regardless, I wrote to Garossino explaining how TIDES funds the Ruckus Society, an organization that was behind the violence at the “Battle of Seattle”, the WTO meeting where Anarchists became violent and started smashing up the city. Then, I wrote an article suggesting that Garossino write an apology. She still hasn’t apologized, and she continues attacking anyone who criticises TIDES- since then, I’ve joked to myself she should be called Grouchy Garossino…
Today I found a rather mean-spirited article by Garossino in the Vancouver Observer, an online newspaper started by Linda Solomon- the sister of the co-chair of the board for the TIDES Foundation. One can guess that this article will be a little bit biased. Well, that’s a bit of an understatement really- it’s a poorly executed ad-hominem attack.
Garossino begins her article talking about how the Harper government, in March 2010, forbade government scientists from publicly discussing the results of their work without permission. I agree with her this issue is problematic- Harper’s a wingnut when it comes to science. Had she left the conversation to this issue, the article would have been just fine.
But, the purpose of the article wasn’t to discuss Harper’s opinion on science- it was to discredit the government’s position on TIDES Canada’s influence on Canadian policy, and their questionable funding and tax avoidance practices. There’s a title for this type of an attack, it’s called a logical fallacy, or an ad-hominem attack.
A good example of a logical fallacy would be this:
“PM Harper hates kittens- so, how could you take his opinion seriously about nature conservation!”
Considering Garossino was a prosecutor, you would think she would know better than to use a logical fallacy to make her point. That said, considering her previous behaviour, I’m guessing she is well aware of what she is doing here. Or, perhaps I’m just being hopeful. Oh, and we all know that PM Harper doesn’t hate kittens.
Next, Garossino jumps into the debate about the Keystone XL pipeine- stating that, when Obama shelved it, the Endbridge pipeline looked like the only way to get Alberta oil to foreign markets. Of course, she misses a number of key points on this matter. First, the pipeline is only shelved- most environmentalists fully expect it will be approved after the next election. The delay in the Keystone XL is a ruse.
Second, pipelines aren’t the only way to move oil. Warren Buffett, one of Obama’s steadfast supporters, owns the BNSF Railway. The railways, though marginally more expensive, are a completely viable way of moving oil. Buffett was doing backflips with excitement as soon as Keystone XL was shelved, as the prospects for his business increased. It is a well-known fact that BNSF (and CN) are ordering extra tanker cars to carry the oil.
The next part of Garossino’s story is rather comical. She dedicates her love the the Hewlett & Packard foundations. Has she forgot that, because of their ludicrous & protectionist toner cartridge scheme. HP is a company that created one of the most polluting industries on earth- rather than simply allow people to refill their cartridges, HP has worked very hard to restrict people from doing this in order to maximize their profits!
Moore’s Intel corporation is no angel either- microchip production uses, and disposes of, a lot of chemicals and heavy metals. If anything, these foundations are great examples of greenwashing. And, it seems that Garossino has fallen for their tricks hook, line & sinker.
When one clicks to go to the second page of the article we can see what Garossino is building up to- her article is a hit piece on Vivian Krause. And, wow, does Grouchy Garossino ever get catty:
“Ms. Krause, a very engaging and rather lovely woman who looks much younger than her years, lost her employment in the fish farm industry several years back, and has not had gainful employment since. She is carrying on a lone crusade against the science in favour of wild salmon fishery.”
Now, at this point, I’d be tempted to talk about how Garossino uses a picture on her Twitter account that makes her look a lot younger than her age- but, I’ll avoid that conversation, as to not sink to her level (well, I just did, but forgive me for that please). But, if you read this in the context to what we have learned about ad-hominem attacks- you will clearly see how Garossino’s attack on Krause’s ‘gainful employment’ is a perfect example of a logical fallacy.
Garossino then starts putting words in Krause’s mouth. She states that Krause believes that the foundations involved in TIDES Canada don’t care about the environment. I’ve read a lot of Krause’s work, and I just don’t see that. True, Krause expresses her worries that TIDES is working to advance American interests (many of us believe that)- but, she never totally discounts their care for the environment!
The gaps in Garossino’s logic are wide in this article- credibility undermined…
One has to wonder why Garossino has gone on such an offensive on Krause, and anyone who criticises TIDES Canada. Rather than get into a logical debate, she always seems to take the low road. Perhaps she wants an invitation to Hollyhock this year? Well, I’ve stayed there Sandy- while it is a lovely spot, it most certainly isn’t worth selling my country’s sovereignty for it.
More likely, Garossino is planning to run for another government office soon. TIDES, and their backers, bring a lot of funding to politicians who agree with them. People like Gregor Robertson and David Eby can most certainly agree- both have been beneficiaries. Personally, this is where I see the greatest threat against Canadian sovereignty. In most countries it is illegal for foreigners to donate money to their politicians. For some reason, in Canada, this is not true in municipal & provincial elections.
Canadians should take a deep look into this issue and demand change to our electoral regulations. Or, at the minimum, we should demand that our politicians refuse support from foreign benefactors. It’s just common sense that we do that…