Monday, April 18, 2011
Liars, liars. How to disrupt and destroy Parliament. Contempt? Oh yes.
BC Mary comment: Yesterday, on Pacific Gazette, we were talking about The Harper Government's goons going right into University of Guelph and fighting with students to seize their legally-installed ballot box.
It was another ethical outrage and I was hurting (as are many, many others). Day after day, the news seems to be telling us: Nothing is sacred. Nothing is safe.
I left a heartfelt comment saying, in a nutshell, that "everything is changing" ... RossK probably won't mind if I copy the thing I said over at his place ...
BC Mary said [April 17, 2011]...
Seems to me that something's changed. It used to be that if anybody was accused of a criminal activity, they'd get truly upset and offer explanations or corrections etc.
Not any more.
Contempt of Parliament? Phhtttt.
Fraudulent letter praising themselves and "signed" (but NOT signed) by Sheila Fraser, Auditor-General. Phtttt.
Costs of F-25 fighter planes kept secret because the planes come without engines? Phhttt.
Snatching ballot boxes from a University campus? Fighting with students to make them stop voting? Phhttt.
If the scoundrels don't know about ethics, and get away with pretending there's no such thing as ethics, everything changes. Crookedness becomes normal.
I hope and pray that The Harper Government has made the kids at University of Guelph darn good and angry.
This morning, April 18, 2011, Salt Spring News has a feature which is more scientific:
Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition party.
*Dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.
*Wax indignant. This is also known as the "how dare you?" gambit.
*Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors."
*Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.
*Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nut," "ranter," "kook," "crackpot," and of course, "rumor monger." You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned.
*Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money.
*Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.
*Dismiss the charges as "old news."
Come half-clean. This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking the limited hang-out route." This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken.
*Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.
*Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. For example: We have a completely free press. If they know of evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing they would have reported it. They haven't reported it, so there was no prior knowledge by the BATF. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report it.
*Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely. [See letter from Gary Bass to Robin Mathews.]
*Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or reporting a distraction. [Olympics. Campbell resigns. Enter Christie Clark.]
"Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression: (Originally Thirteen Techniques for Truth Suppression)"
David Martin Propaganda Alert USA April 30, 2005
The original thirteen techniques reprised (edited, modified and expanded). Here is number 17:
17. *Flood the Internet with agents. This is the answer to the question, "What could possibly motivate a person to spend hour upon hour on Internet news groups defending the government and/or the press and harassing genuine critics?" Don't the authorities have defenders enough in all the newspapers, magazines, radio, and television? One would think refusing to print critical letters and screening out serious callers or dumping them from radio talk shows would be control enough, but, obviously, it is not ...
BC Mary comment: all those clues reminded me of The Harper Government's infamous 200-page How-to Manual for their Members of Parliament. How to disrupt meetings. How to how to promote the Harper government's agenda, how to disrupt committee proceedings and, if all else fails, how to shut committees down entirely.
This is relevant in today's world:
'Obstruction' handbook leaked
Canadian Press - May 18, 2007
OTTAWA – The Harper government is being accused of a Machiavellian plot to wreak parliamentary havoc after a secret Tory handbook on obstructing and manipulating Commons committees was leaked to the press.
Opposition parties pounced on news reports Friday about the 200-page handbook as proof that the Conservatives are to blame for the toxic atmosphere that has paralyzed Parliament this week.
"The government's deliberate plan is to cause a dysfunctional, chaotic Parliament," Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale told the House of Commons.
New Democrat Libby Davies said the manual explodes the Tories' contention that opposition parties are to blame for the parliamentary constipation.
"So much for blaming the opposition for the obstruction of Parliament," she said.
"Now we learn, in fact, that the monkey wrench gang have had a plan all along and not just any plan, a 200-page playbook on how to frustrate, obstruct and shut down the democratic process."
Bloc Quebecois MP Monique Guay said the manual demonstrates the government's "flagrant lack of respect" for the democratic process.
The opposition demanded that the manual, given to Tory committee chairs, be tabled in the House of Commons.
Peter Van Loan, the government's House leader, ignored the demand and continued to insist that the Tories want the minority Parliament to work.
He again blamed the opposition parties for its recent dysfunction. He cited various justice bills which have been stalled by opposition MPs in committees for up to 214 days.
"The opposition pulls out every stop they can to obstruct (the justice agenda) and then they get upset when a matter gets debated for two hours at committee," he scoffed.
But Van Loan's arguments were weakened by the leak of the manual. The government was so embarrassed and annoyed by the leak, that, according to a source, it ordered all committee chairs to return their copies of the handbook, apparently in a bid to determine who broke confidence.
The handbook, obtained by National Post columnist Don Martin, reportedly advises chairs on how to promote the government's agenda, select witnesses friendly to the Conservative party and coach them to give favourable testimony. It also reportedly instructs them on how to filibuster and otherwise disrupt committee proceedings and, if all else fails, how to shut committees down entirely.
Some of those stalling tactics have been on display this week.
Tory MPs on the information and ethics committee stalled an inquiry into alleged censorship of a report on the treatment of Afghan detainees. They debated the propriety of the witness list for more than five hours while two critics of the government's handling of the matter cooled their heels in the corridor.
The official languages committee has been shut down all week after Tory chair Guy Lauzon cancelled a hearing moments before witnesses were to testify about the impact of the government's cancellation of the court challenges program. All three opposition parties voted to remove Lauzon from the chair but the Tories are refusing to select a replacement, leaving the committee in limbo.
Tories have also launched filibusters to obstruct proceedings in the Commons agriculture and procedural affairs committees and a Senate committee study of a Liberal bill requiring the government to adhere to the Kyoto treaty on greenhouse gas emissions.
The previous Liberal regime also tried to control the conduct of committees. Former prime minister Jean Chrétien even faced a mini-rebellion during his final months in office from backbenchers who chafed at being told what to say and do at committee. They demanded the right to choose their own committee chairs.
But Davies, a 10-year parliamentary veteran, said the Tories have taken manipulation to extremes she's never seen before.
"They've codified it. They've set it down. They've given instructions."
Both Davies and Goodale agreed that the recent dysfunction may be part of a long term Tory strategy to persuade voters that minority Parliaments don't work, that they need to elect a majority next time.
The more I think about, Campbell working for Harper, the more I realize how identical their personalities are. You just can't rationalize people, who are not rational. Campbell destroyed BC. Harper is destroying Canada, by giving our country away. Neither one of them are true Canadians. They should be deported to Libya. They would have a heyday there, with Harper's, non engined jets. That's sort of like, riding a, pretend hobby horse.
I heard, while watching TV. Two M.P's from the east said, Harper is a fascist, a dictator, and far too stubborn to work with. He has criminals working for him. He and his Conservative party, are in contempt of the House.
We all know, all about Campbell's crimes. They are far to numerous to type, I can't spare the time to-day. Christy Clark, is a silly little twit, following Campbell's instructions. She has not, one original thought of her own, in her brain.
I'll concede she has a autonomous nervous system, but no more!