The United States Society of Mining Engineers (SME) has once again managed to publish a tasteless, insulting, puerile article in an otherwise reasonable journal. The shear crassness of the SME is on full display at RoundUp 09. On a table at the registration desk are piles of the January 2008 issue of the SME publication Mining Engineering. Lots of innocent Canadian picked up this smut to be angered and insulted by the article on page 8.
The article that is a disgrace to the SME and a bad reflection on mining engineers everywhere is a purported open letter to President Obama written by one Douglas. B Silver of Englewood, Colorado. Mr. Silver is president of Balfour Holdings, Inc. I would urge every right thinking miner, Canadian and America, to e-mail him to express their distress at his terrible article.
Here is what he writes to President Obama:
Let’s take over Canada. This one acquisition would solve so many problems. Surely the United Nations would sign off with a little coaxing. …
We could spend less than ten percent of the cost of the Iraq War to to control far greater reserves [in the Oil Sands]. …
You will quickly see that we rely on Canada for most of our major metals and other minerals. Take over the county and we will not need to rely on them for anything….
Look at the money we would save not having to guard our northern borders. It is highly unlikely that illegal immigrants would sneak across the ice cap, especially with all of those angry polar bears.
With global warming hitting a high, think of the thousands of miles of new coast lines available to FLorida condo and resort developers to tackle.
The only downside [to taking over Canada] is that we need to teach them to quit saying “Eh.” It is so annoying.
And the drivel goes on and on in this silly tone for a full page of insults.
This is not the first time Mr. Silver has written trash that the SME has chosen to publish. At this link in 2007 I railed against his writings. He did not appear in the SME for a while after that but now he is back at his worst.
If the SME publishes such trivial trash in a magazine reputedly representative of the United States mining industry, is it any wonder mining has a bad name, a terrible image, and a lousy reputation.
If the SME publishes such insults in a supposedly leading magazine, is it any wonder Canadians dislike Americans. The Canadians to whom I showed this piece were uniformly appalled. Most noted that this only confirms the general Canadian impression of Americans….and it is not a compliment, I assure you.
I believe that Mr. Silver and the SME owe Canadians and the organizers and attendees at Roundup a written and profound “Sorry” for this nasty article.
If Mr. Silver thinks he is being funny, let me hasten to assure him that he is not being funny. This is not a case of the different humor of Canadians versus Americans. This is plain, gross, ham-handedness. Let Mr. Silver see a copy of the New Yorker or go back to Punch to see what humor consists of. He is not a worthy heir to those noble publications. And he should not try to emulate them with his blundering pen.
And certainly the SME should not give him space to peddle his vitriolic acid.
PS. One reader of this comment told me that Mr. Silver is well-know and highly respected in the USA. I am distressed to think that a well-known and respected person in the US mining industry could write thus. I am even more distressed to think that somebody who writes thus could be well respected. This kind of stuff may be OK, even funny, and even amusing & inspirational, when you are sitting in a padded leather chair in a mens’ club in downtown Denver smoking Cuban cigars and drinking fine wines and old brandy. But this kind of boys’ club “humour” does not belong in national magazines dumped on tables in Vancouver at Roundup.