"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stephen Harper and the Ministry of Truth.

Bafflegab -Language whose purpose is to obscure, confuse, or mislead.

Doublethink -The act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. It is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality. Somewhat related is cognitive dissonance, where the two beliefs cause conflict in one's mind.


We all know that Stephen Harper is an adherent of the Orwellian arts. 

For example, we know that whenever a member of the Government of Harper uses the phrase "finding efficiencies", we know he or she is talking about firing people, nailing doors shut and pulling funding. (Bafflegab). It usually involves killing programs that don't meet Harper's ideological agenda such as the Experimental Lakes Area who's research could be used to undermine the progress of the Tar Sands and points to Harper's abysmal record on the environment. 

We know that between 2008 when the Parliamentary crisis occurred through to the 2011 election, Harper and his bobble-heads repeated the phrase "coalition governments are undemocratic" so many times that it became an accepted truth (Doublethink) even though a good number of the world's  democracies are coalitions and are far more representative of the will of the people than Harper's fraudulent majority government of today. 

During that same Parliamentary crisis of 2008, Harper went on ad nauseam about Stephan Dion jumping into bed with the "Separatists and the Socialists" even though just a few scant years before, he was prepared to do the exact same thing in order to topple Paul Martin's minority government. 

While leader of the opposition, Harper lambasted the Liberal Government for implementing Omnibus Bills that may have been 50 or so pages in length, yet when he attained his much coveted majority, he rammed through not one, not two, but three giant Omnibus Bills (C-10, C-38, C-45) that could match Tolstoy's "War and Peace" for they're verbosity and complexity. 

While in the United States recently to make a sales pitch on behalf of the big oil companies who's mandate it is to scour every last bit of tar from Canada's pristine wilderness, Harper spoke of Canada's policy of  "responsible resource development" and it's exemplary record on the environment. These comments were of course, bold-faced lies, but here was the Prime Minister, saying these things with a straight face and in calm and even tones, with all the conviction of a Sunday preacher delivering the Gospel.  

These are just a very few examples of Harper's use of "Doublethink" . The list of course, goes on and on. What he said yesterday or the day before never happened. It's what he says today that counts. We know full well what he did and said yesterday, we saw it, we heard it. But through his use of language and distortion of the facts, not to mention his use of pom-pom waving back-benchers who applaud his every word and his multi-million dollar ad campaigns, the truth gets twisted, distorted and turned on it's head. Up is down, black is white and night is day. 

But this is not Nineteen Eighty Four and Harper doesn't have Winston Smith working for him in the Ministry of Truth rewriting history. Though we have to wonder, with his announcement that he is launching an all out review of Canadian history, if Mr. Harper hasn't finally found where Winston has been hiding all these years.

There is ample documentation and proof of all that Mr. Harper has said and done in the past. He has used the arts of Bafflegab and Doublethink to obscure these facts and to make us forget about them. He has lied on such a bold and grand scale as to actually sound believable. But the historical records remain. 

The recent surfacing of this video on YouTube is living proof of his thoughts and feelings while Leader of the Opposition on the scandal that rocked the Liberal Government. In it, he very succinctly states that "...if I were Prime Minister, I don't understand how I could not expect to have to resign the very next day". He goes on to state: "...he (Paul Martin) is a leader and as a leader, he is responsible for the actions of the people he leads. If he had a right or honourable bone in his body, he'd admit that and resign immediately". 

Of course, Mr. Harper is now embroiled in numerous scandals of his own. The "misplacing" of 3.1 billion dollars and no accounting for it's where abouts whatsoever. The recent Federal Court ruling that there was a systematic campaign of electoral fraud in the 2011 election that favoured the Conservatives and of course, Duffy-gate and it's ties to Harper's own office. All of these things that, taken together, make the Sponsorship scandal look like a couple of kiddies who got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. 

But suddenly, Mr. Harper's damning indictment of Paul Martin doesn't apply to himself. To Harper, these major ethical imbroglios aren't damning indictments of his leadership. They are "distractions" and he knew nothing about them. Therefore he is innocent of all wrong doing. Never mind his 2006 comment about Martin being a leader and being responsible for the people he leads.

But this is not just mere hypocrisy on the part of the Prime Minister. This behaviour is far more sinister. It points to his systemic use of "Doublethink". Even though there is ample proof of his words and deeds when he was responding to a previous government, his actions and words of today would have us believe history as we know it never occurred. And if he continues to have his way unabated, Canadians won't know their own history by the time Mr. Harper is done changing it. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Harper Not The Master Strategist He's Made Out To Be

Is Stephen Harper a true Chess Master
or is he just really good at cheating?
It's been said of Stephen Harper that he always presents as the "smartest man in the room". My question is: "so what does that say about the other people in the room with him"?

Pundits and political observers, despite how they feel about Harper and his style of politics have - to a man or woman- begrudgingly dubbed him the "master strategist", "the consummate chess player". I'm not sure where this myth originated - either from one of Harper's media people or with Harper himself - either is equally likely. Too bad it's just a myth - yet another by-product of the "Harper spin machine". 

The purpose of the myth is, of course, abundantly clear. It goes toward painting an image of the man. That even if he is a cold hearted bastard, he is deserving of respect and admiration- that he is the "Great Navigator", the genius who sees things others can't and that he quite simply, doesn't suffer fools gladly. But of course, that's all hog-wash.

There is nothing to admire in a man who tries to recreate the world in his own image through the well financed use of thuggery, fraud, intimidation and by disemboweling the democratic process. 

A Chess master becomes so by mastering the game, not by rewriting
Harper is certainly a "Man for the Ages" -
The dark ages. 
the rules and by bribing or intimidating officials  and opponents in order to compensate for his own lack ability. 

One only has to look as far as the marketing of what is arguably, Canada's most valuable commodity- Oil. Mr. Harper and his talking heads have repeatedly stated that they want Canada to become an "energy superpower". They of course, mean "Oil" superpower. Other forms of energy simply don't enter into the equation. 

The Government of Harper has done everything in it's power to make it easier for the big oil companies to scour every last molecule of black-scum from Alberta's tar-sands and to get the resulting sludge to market. They have eviscerated laws that protect our delicate environment, said "too fucking bad" about endangered species, silenced  the scientists who could speak to the irreparable damage being done, bullied First-Nations and their treaty rights, sought to discredit anyone who disagrees with their agenda - calling them radicals and un-Canadian, launched multimillion dollar ad campaigns in support of Canada's sewage, they have withdrawn from or sabotaged every international effort to set sustainable limits on green house gasses and they have lied through their teeth about all of it. 

Whenever Harper or his bobble-heads are questioned on their agenda, they don't give legitimate answers. They attack. They try to discredit their adversaries, they give hyper-partisan talking points and when all else fails, they present false facts and political spin. 

The problem for the Oil Moguls now, is that people are rebelling. Citizens, scientists, First Nations, environmental groups and even some politicians of conscience in parts of the world where Harper has no reach, are waking up and saying "hey, what you're doing is wrong". So Canada is left with a wealth of black-goo and struggling to find ways to get it to market. 

"Snake Oil... I mean...
Alberta Oil for sale...CHEAP"!
So now Harper and his brigade of "talking-point regurgitators" are blanketing the globe, posing as snake oil salesmen. The problem is, because of Harper's "strategic" ways of doing business, neither he, nor anyone in his government have any credibility. Nothing they say can be believed. Their lengthy history of  lying and denying have given them all the believability of used car salesmen. And their complete and utter lack of diplomacy and statesmanship on the world stage has earned Canada a reputation as a "rogue nation" and our government has few if any international allies. We are now the pariahs of the Western World . 

Great strategy that Mr. Harper. You behave so badly that no one wants what you're selling, no matter how many millions of dollars of tax payers money you spend trying to sugar-coat your blasphemies. So I ask you oh Greatest of the Great Navigators: "Did you see that coming"?

Can "The Great Navigator"
 really see things we
mere mortals cannot?