Friday, October 19, 2007

Credibility . . .

Credibility -- "the quality or power of inspiring belief"

How do you know if someone is telling the truth? You don't. You have to take what you hear, weigh it against what you already know, and see if it logically fits. When things fit together seamlessly, what is said is credible.

When you do not know a lot about a subject, things can seem to fit together more easily -- like the early stages of a jigsaw puzzle. When you do not know a lot about a subject, you tend to trust the other person if that person is thought to have higher knowledge -- is an "expert," or if that person has been given a position of trust. It is assumed that the person is being truthful.

Sometimes trust can be used to mislead.

That is the issue raised by Assemblyman Townsend last week in a press release on "Why we need an independent study of our water supply." He cites several reasons to question whether or not the public is getting a true picture from the Mohawk Valley Water Authority, and reason to question Mr. Becher's assertions in particular.

For some reason the major media outlets in Utica-Rome have not sought to print this press release. Perhaps they think it not polite to openly question the credibility of a public official.

But Mr. Townsend seems to think there is good reason to.

Here is some reading on the subject.

Now you decide for yourself whether you want to believe what you hear from the MVWA . . . or not.


Rebecca Mecomber said...

I read all the documents you posted. Thanks for the work.

It is very interesting that the local (and non-local) media outlets (at least, the ones that I have seen) are eerily silent about Townsend's release (although I thought I heard something on WIBX and the Rome Sentinel hints at it in their EDGE story). You'd think it would be front-page news. I don't recall hearing anything about questioning Becher's credibility. Maybe others are silent because they are covering each other's butts?

Anonymous said...

What reason does Becher and MVWA have to lie?

And maybe the local media isn't picking up the release because it reads like babbling insanity.

Strikeslip said...

Anonymous - You will have to answer that question yourself.

As far as "babbling insanity" -- I don't think so. Mr. Townsend is quite clear why he doubts what he hears from MVWA and why he wants an independent study of the situation.

The powers that be don't want a study, with Mr. Dimeo claiming that further study is unnecessary "serving only to duplicate existing engineering studies." Dimeo is right on that one, but he is not telling you that an existing study -- The Herkimer-Oneida County Comprehensive Public Water Supply Study by Malcolm Pirnie 1968 reaches conclusions that are significantly different from what we hear from the MVWA. I am not aware of any newer study of ALL the water supply resources in the region recommending a different course of action.

Seems like the difference between what we are told now and what we were told before needs a thorough airing.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Slip:

I re-read your post and Mr. Townsend's press release and still don't find any compelling string of facts. Simply by stating "we shouldn't trust Mr. Becher" and "I flew over Hinckley" Mr. Townsend still doesn't cause me to think we should to cast aspersions.

I'm not sure why you hold this mistrust of Mr. Becher and the MVWA, but in my reading of the public information disseminated, the entity to be distrustful of is the Canal Corporation. It appears as though you disagree with my opinion on that, however.

As for local leadership, I would think that if such a disservice was being done to the residents of the Mohawk Valley, the adult elected leadership (Roanne Destito and Jim Seward) would be speaking up. It appears as though the only ones shouting at the rain are Marc Butler and Dave Townsend, the two court jesters that get very excited to read their names in the paper.

And again, after reading Mr. Townsend's release for the third time, it still read as babbling nonsense.

I'm sure it would be quite exciting for some sort of conspiracy to be at hand. However, it looks to me that two windbags from the State Assembly that can't make any difference other than sucking at the public teat are blowing more hot air and tilting at windmills.

Thankfully, while those two fools are sponsoring bills with no chance and issuing press releases that only you read, the adults will be fixing the problem.

But you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

Strikeslip said...

Mr/Ms. Anonymous -- Just because I do not trust the MVWA does not mean that I trust the Canal Corp. -- I don't. Trust needs to be earned.

I do know enough about the subject that every time I hear something come from MVWA or their supporters, I know that they leave out important pieces of information.

Like when Mrs. Destito cited Camelot Village's contaminated well in Westmoreland as a reason to support the 16 mile Verona pipeline -- all the while not telling the public that Rome had a water main 1200 feet away.

Like when Mr. Becher says the 1917 agreement is "irrelevant" and was "abandonned years ago" but see it prominantly mentioned in MVWA's permit, in DEC predecessor decisions from 1930s, and in a 1968 comprehensive study.

I do not understand Mr/Ms Anonymous how you can be told of these things and not get the least bit skeptical of what you hear from MVWA.

You are entitled to your opinion also, but when when facts don't jive with what your are told and you continue to trust these people, you are drinking Kool-Aid.