Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stephen Harper the Big Lie and the Merchant of Venom

It's hard to tell these days whether Stephen Harper is lying because he's desperate, or because he's lost his moral compass.

Or on a day like yesterday, because he's simply delusional. 

He says he doesn't want to sound paranoid, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper is concerned his own federal bureaucracy is trying to bring back the long gun registry "through the back door."

"I don't want to feed paranoia, but as prime minister I can tell you I share the frustrations of our caucus members," said Harper, before alluding to "bureaucratic initiatives that we think are effectively trying to put the long gun registry back in through the back door." "This is not something we can tolerate." 

And he's seeing threats where none exist...

He said the government would ensure, in future, that such measures "can't be done without some degree of political oversight." However, documents obtained by the CBC through the Access to Information Act show the RCMP notified the public safety minister well in advance about — and sought input on — its decision to ban the Swiss Arms Classic Green and the CZ858 rifles last winter.

Harper himself was briefed in May 2013 on issues surrounding the reclassification of firearms, according to a heavily redacted document obtained by The Canadian Press.

At least none he didn't know about.

Or whether he's just a COMPULSIVE LIAR:

Harper opened by thanking the federation "for putting this event on," although an official with the group had already confirmed to The Canadian Press that it was a production of the Prime Minister's Office to which the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters had been invited.

Who would claim he was invited to that event, just like he claimed Obama invited him to join the Great War on ISIS, when in fact he invited HIMSELF.

And is just trying to scare his gun-loving base...

Like he's trying to scare the rest of us...

For crass political purposes.

And of course the answer is ALL of the above. But what's really stunning is how he has been able to get away with lying so much for so long.

And why after all these years the progressive parties have failed to define him as he has defined his enemies...

Even though, as Michael Harris points out in his new book, Harper learned his dirty game at the feet of Arthur Finkelstein, the Republican operative.

The one they call the Merchant of Venom. 

Finkelstein is a “brilliant and secretive political consultant who had perfected the political attack ad,” Harris writes, tracing his connection to Harper over the years.

“Finkelstein’s modus operandi was always the same: pinpoint polling aimed at exposing a weakness in an opponent; then use a trenchant, repetitive advertisement to exploit the candidate’s Achilles heel,” Harris writes.

And what's good for the goose should be good for the gander, or the monster.

But even though we know attacks ads work, and even though Harper and his foul Cons have provided us with more than enough ammunition to make them look like a zombie invasion...

Progressives have so far failed to exploit Great Liar Leader's Achilles heel.

American research shows that attack ads can help tuned-out voters engage, particularly when campaigns are forced to respond to one another’s attacks. At their best, they can create real debate, highlighting the contrasts between candidates. 

In Canada, for the past two elections, only the Conservatives have mounted effective attack ads — and a lot more of them — so observing our elections has been as dispiriting as watching a one-sided boxing match.

And the good news? That's NOT going to happen this time. If the progressive parties don't make the kind of attack ads we need, we will. Social media will be a huge force in the next election.

That's why he's trying to intimidate the only media he can't control...

By giving the police and CSIS new powers to invade our privacy and violate our Charter rights.

But it won't work either. There are too many of us, and some of us at least have learned the Merchant of Venom's lesson.

The sooner we define him.

The easier we'll DESTROY him....

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


Anonymous said...

Yah... Except of course for the unfortunate fact that a not insignificant number people have had lawful property confiscated without compensation, had their homes invaded, been harassed by those supposed to protect us, and been made to prove our innocence.

Could you explain something for me Simon? Could you explain how Harper's liberties with the truth should be enough to persuade us not to vote for him, when in reality we either have experienced all of the above, or live in constant fear of it?

Perhaps we're irrelevant, in that we don't have sufficient numbers, that could be. 'Course, this guy doesn't think so, these days. :-) But it could be that we're not enough of a political force to do anything to stop the quintessentially Canadian act of adopting hard anti-incumbency after a few years. That however, doesn't invalidate the question - I don't care if Harper lied about who organized the photo-op. I only care that my home not be invaded, I get to be presumed innocent, that my privacy be respected. The only person who even pays lip-service to these ideas is Stephen Harper. Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair have declared me and mine to be enemies of Canada.

And they're well-supported by Wendy Cukier et al. Please explain why Harper's lies should make a difference when the stakes are so astronomical? Or are you just preaching to the already converted?

rumleyfips said...

Pandering to a small, geographically scattered bunch of gun nuts by Harper seems to be a waste of time and resources. These guys will always vote con/reform and no votes can be gained here. Harper has always tried to identify and bribe small portions of the electorate but now it seems these outliers may be all he has left and no attempt will be made to appeal to regular Canadians for fear of the base staying home. How can he win with an 18% base?

At the same time Harper is hallucinating about gun grabbers, Leona has instituted her roadkill hats for Mounties a and Kenny has vetoed hats for Muslim women. Don't these clowns talk to each other ?

Scotian said...

Anonymous @11:07am:

Harper's "liberties with the truth", hmmm? Nice way of redecorating the fact that Harper lies with almost every word he utters, and not just to his opponents but also to those who supposedly are his base. The point about lying about the photo-op is that it illustrates a repeating pattern of lying by this PM from the small scale to the large (for example claiming the US wanted us to contribute combat forces, wheres the actual record has shown that Harper went and offered them looking for ways to get in on the fight, not the same thing at all).

As Simon just noted in this post Harper lied to that group acting like it was those liberal civil servants in the RCMP out to take away their guns that he and his had no awareness of when the document record shows that Minister of Public Safety was not only notified but asked for input on the reclassification BEFORE the action was taken, and the government let it go through. Yet now suddenly Harper himself claim there is a hidden conspiracy in the government itself to take away the guns even after almost a decade of the CPC government existing and reforming the civil service to suit its own needs? Really?!?

Are you seriously going to swallow that kind of bilge with a straight face and then write the comment you did? If so, then you have shown that your loyalty is not to the truth, not to principles, but totally partisan for Harper. Whether you are a paid operative (we know the PMO uses them, the paper trail proved that long ago, unlike any prior PMO), unpaid CPC worker of some type, or even just someone who is a Harper partisan does not change the reality that you are cheering on someone who lies for a living, has abused the power of his office in ways never before seen in Canadian history, has turned a society based on the rule of law, openess, and freedom of dissent from within even government into the most secretive, tyrannical, and vindictive government in our history, and not by a small margin. Remember our motto, peace, order and good government? Well with Harper we have had none of the three.

Then you have the gall to claim the only person protecting your home from invasion is Harper? The man that has brought in more invasive legislation than anyone, the man that has had such legislation stuck down by the Supreme Court because of gross violations of the Charter on basic protection of citizens grounds, and you claim it is he who protects you? Only while you aren't in his way, perhaps, because he has shown a remarkable ability to thrown anyone under the bus whenever they become any sort of issue for him, no matter how loyal they have been nor for how long, nor how much they were once soul mates politically speaking.

You support to protect yourself the PM who has by again no small margin demonstrated that he will shred anyone that is in his way even from his own side, will lie to his base for their votes yet do nothing for them once in power (just ask the socons of this country how much they feel Harper has done for them and their issues), while claiming only Trudeau and Mulcair have branded you enemies of Canada (I would love to see your citation for that, those two are far less inclined towards that kind of extremist language than those that make up the current government and their lackeys)?

To be concluded...

Scotian said...


As to your assumptions that it is Harper that is concerned with protecting your privacy, your presumption of innocence, given the expanded powers he has been giving to police and companies to freely hand over your personal data without warrant, without any risks of legal retribution to said companies, exactly what are you basing this fantasy on again? It was the Supreme Court that protected your right to privacy when it struck down telecoms immunity from the police asking for your personal data without warrant, not the Harper government, which is currently passing law to overturn that ruling and restore the ability of the police to without warrant require companies to hand over all your personal data upon request without any risk of legal repercussions to the companies from you the citizen in doing so. That certainly sounds like the actions of the PM out to protect your privacy and presumption of innocence all right...NOT!!!!! Wake up, if you are someone simply too caught up in political sportsmanship to see the real threat here, and if you are, as you may well be, just another one of the paid/unpaid dedicated CPC/Harper online operatives, it is you and those like you that are the true enemies of Canada, and traitors to the vision of those like Sir John A Macdonald and Wilfred Laurier.

Harper's lies are only a small part of the stakes being so high, it is he and those that support him that have shown themselves to be enemies of all that Canada has stood for, this is not the vision of Canada that so many of our forefathers bled and died in uniform to protect and serve throughout our history, and this government and all those who knowingly serve it in this bring disgrace, disrepute, and dishonour to all those that fought and died in our past, and that is language I use rarely and with deliberate forethought, this is not rhetoric for me, since many of my own family served and some with their lives. You however, have shown you deserve to wear said language, either you are too ignorant to bother finding out the factual reality on all of this and blindly give your loyalty and trust, which is bad enough, or you knowingly serve the dark, which is far worse. Either way though you have excremented all over the true vision of what Canada has meant to so many for most of its history from traditional progressive conservative to hard core CFFer/Dipper.

The kind of conservativism you are supporting has little to no real roots/connections to Canadian Conservativism, not even western, it is an importation of some of the worst more extreme right wing American political philosophy, and it is what so many in this country historically fought against in things like 1812. You know, that war the Harper government spent so much money being so proud about recently while ignoring the anniversary of the Charter? Much of my family roots in grounded in true Canadian Conservativism, and I know what it looks like, and this that you practice and serve is nothing like it. For myself, I am a traditional Canadian centrist, and your kind of ignorance rooted politics is anathema to all that I was raised to know about Canada, our history, and our core beliefs across our traditional political spectrum.

One last point as to why you and those like you deserve such a harsh assessment. Until 2006 and onwards Canada had never seen any evidence of systemic or even serious voter fraud happen, yet since the rise of the Harper CPC we has seen several examples, and EVERY SINGLE ONE that makes it to the courts has its origins in the CPC. I rather doubt those that fought and died in our uniforms did for that, nor that Macdonald and Laurier envisioned that as good for a democratic Canada practicing responsible government. THAT is why you got the harsh language and assessment you did.

Anonymous said...

Harper called Russia and Putin evil Communists and then sells Canada to Communist China. Harper also, still sells arms to Russia.

Harper was an abject failure in Wales. Harper's speech to the UN was in, a very empty room. Harper lied about being requested, to play a bigger role in the war with ISIS. The US said, they did no such thing. Harper is a pariah, that sold Canada to Communist China. Obama thanked the countries, that supported him in bombing ISIS. Harper wasn't even given, a honorable mention. That scared the hell out Harper. He forced himself into this war and isn't wanted. Harper is desperate to redeem himself in the eyes of the world and all Harper looks, is a fool.

Steve said...

Its always been around but Harper, Cammroon, and Nuttyyahoo have perfected the axiom.

Anonymous said...

2,000,000 owners, at lest the ones they know many more are out there? Don't ask the RCMP, those guys don't have a clue.

But if you want to know about the "weakness" of firearms owners, I suggest you look at the fate of; Alllan Rock, Anne Macellan, Mark Holland and especially Micheal Bryant.

Oh and Olivia Chow, she is the next gun grabber to fail.

Anonymous said...

no votes can be gained here.

If Justin Trudeau promises to scrap the Firearms Act, (and we believe him, but that's another issue), we will make him, and the Liberals the richest political party in Canada, and we will do so very, very quickly.

But he's not going to do that, is he?

David said...

Anonymous wrote: "Harper lied about being requested, to play a bigger role in the war with ISIS. The US said, they did no such thing."

I wonder if there is an actual letter or email from Harper/PMO to Obama, where Harper requested a bigger role, offering the 6 jets and the 600+ personnel (or was it just a phone call?) If a letter or email exists from Harper/PMO to Obama, I'd love to see it. That's a challenge to any enterprising investigative reporter reading this. Why not ask Obama/Pentagon for a copy. 8-)

Simon said...

hi anon...look I don't know why you are so fixated on the gun issue, because it really doesn't have much to do with this post. And believe me I don't begrudge you your guns. What I would say to you is if you are are worried about civil liberties, how can you trust a man who lies all the time? Or a guy who is ramming all kinds of surveillance bills through parliament to give the police the power to invade your privacy?
Your ideology is blinding you to your own self interest....

Simon said...

hi Scotian...I knew you could make my case more forcefully and completely than I could AND match our Con friend word for word. Well said, and since gun talk bores me to tears, I'm leaving this case in your capable hands... ;)

rumleyfips said...

Thanks for making my point for me Anonymous. 2,000,000 gun owners eh? What a miniscule part of the population; about 6%. Not only are there very few gun nuts, they tend to be clustered in scattered rural riding who tend to vote conservative anyway, thus minimising their influence.

rumleyfips said...

As you admit, Anonymous, gun owners are 6% of the Canadian population . You seem to think this represents significant political clout and applaud Harper's petty pandering to them.

There is a group in Canada with higher participation , higher salaries and higher education levels; birdwatchers. Instead of supporting them Harpers threatens them with the might of the law for being dangerous eco-terrorists.

Strange man with strange priorities that Harper. Kissing the asses of gun nuts is unlikely to motivate the vast bulk of the Canadian public but criminalising birdwatchers may anger a lot of voters.

Anonymous said...

There is a group in Canada with higher participation , higher salaries and higher education levels;

That was supposed to... what? Confirm the stereotype that the Liberals are run by rich-elitists and the NDP rich union bosses? Because I don't know what other interpretation is possible!

So far, I've learned that Harper has a TARDIS at 24 Sussex. That, or maybe he in resource extraction because he needs more plutonium.... hmm...

And now, I've got it straight from the horses' mouth for all intents and purposes that the Liberals are the party of, by, and for Canada's most elite.

You leftists are the gift that keeps on giving.

Oh, and I'd like to know something. If Justin and Mulcair's supporters are so rich, so educated, and so motivated to defeat the Conservatives, why are the Conservatives consistently able to out-fundraise them both? Usually put together from what I understand...

rumleyfips said...

anonymouse; the fundraising is because a fool and his money are soon parted.

Anonymous said...

Curiosity? Interesting... Not quite reaction I was expecting, but seeing as how I *think* there's a civil tone here, I'll respond in kind.

You haven't addressed the issue I'm raising. But, maybe you don't know, and I can appreciate that this is confusing when viewed from the outside. I'll try to keep it simple, and in doing so, I'll also try to answer your question.

The firearms act makes gun owners into criminals-in-waiting. No thanks to Harper, it's now a three year mandatory minimum for the slightest offense.

So, let's assume for a moment that you're correct about Harper and the birdwatchers - that this comes directy from the PMO.

What is the worst that could happen to the birdwatchers? An audit finds they've spent too much on politics, and they lose their tax-exempt status.

What is the worst that could happen to me? Prison, a criminal record, the loss of my employment for years to come. My family loses access to one parent for three years, mandatory minimum.

Does that help clarify matters? And let's be realisitc: at this point, the birdwatchers have received the equivalent of a bureaucratic nasty-gram. Is it nice, is it pleasant? Of course not. In proportion however, my situation is almost infinitely more grave than what might be, at worst, having to pay taxes. And even that might not happen.

And, thanks to Canada's culture of hoplophobia, anything involving firearms borders on reverse onus, if it doesn't turn into reverse onus, see Ian Thompson. There's another case where a 14 year old is facing all of the above for defending his mother:

My license expires in about 13 months. Sincerely, I submitted my renewal application (and paid the fee etc.) this past Monday. Why so early? Because, it has been known to take more than nine (9) or ten (10) months before a replacement arrives. That's a very narrow margin of error.

The firearms act holds that if my license lapses at all, I can be charged criminally. Even if, I have done absolutely nothing wrong. Even if, I submitted all the paperwork more than a full year in advance. Where else in Canada is it possible to have to defend yourself from a criminal charge because the paperwork was slow?

Now, in all sincerity, charity, and kindness, does this not paint a picture of why this is such a sore-sport? Does this help illuminate explain why I'm happy to overlook whatever Harper has done when the issue is bureaucratic nasty-gram vs. criminal charges? I'm afraid I have to respectfully disagree with your premise that this is about ideology. I don't like Harper's apparent fetish for online spying. And I can't stand DND's procurement process, which he has had nine years to fix. Concerning Mike Duffy, I know for a fact that the Conservatives have done nothing to reel in Senate expenses. Instead, they've given more pointless paperwork to the low-level clerks, who would if they were properly trained, have caught and prevented an issue like Duffy. Did Harper even bother to train them? Nope. They're more worried about the public service being non-partisan than they are making sure the clerks know when someone is gaming the system! 'Course, this issue isn't as sexy as birdwatchers, but it remains a steaming pile of Conservative bullshit.

However. When you live, as I do, in perpetuity below the legal-equivalent of the sword of Damocles, you tend to cling to *anyone* who's willing to do anything to keep that sword from hitting you, even if that guy is the equivalent of Hitler himself.

As a parting thought, if you don't like this reality, and I for one don't, please lay the blame where it belongs: with Allan Rock, who spearheaded the firearms act, which was, is, nothing other than ideologically driven.

Anonymous said...

So, western Canada is full of fools... The tolerant, intellectual left everybody!