Monday, January 26, 2009


Silent film star Lon Chaney was known as the Man of a Thousand Faces.

In his relatively short career, Chaney created numerous memorable characters, often through macabre makeup and incredible contortions.

I'm beginning to think Stephen Harper may be a Chaney descendent.

With his latest thrown, er Throne Speech, the CON so-called leader has turned his previous standings inside out, hoping to extend his shelf life another few months.

Mr Hard-Asss is now the Candy Man, taking tomorrow and dipping it in a dream. Only his dream means taking money that should go to help people losing their jobs and providing those of us fortunate to still be working with a few sheckles for our troubles.

Is it shrewd politics or opportunism gone wild that drives this narcissist?

Let's not forget where Harper has tread before. He was against appointing senators before he was for it -- ending up 360 degrees from his first broken promise as PM. How many of those 18 are fine upstanding citizens, who will make decisions on behalf of all Canadians? Or will they bark only when their master blows his whistle? Harper once stood up for accountability and giving power and voice to all MPs, and then did this.

We've got the income trust flip-flop, the fixed-election law push-pull, and his self-serving dereliction of duty. He cares so much for the female voters that he chose to appoint someone accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour to the senate. Just in the past few months alone, Harper has out-done himself with his schizo-phrenic twists and turns. In one moment, he's against deficits, noting, despite the reports of some of Canada's top economists, that if there was going to be a recession, Canada would have already had it. Talking about an economic strategy during an election was "panicking". He then proceeded to pilfer said plan upon winning a second minority.

The fiscal turbulence of the market was a "buying opportunity," one that I hope all good CON supporters took advantage of.

He then talked about the global situation in terms that compared it to the Great Depression, but first only from the safe distance of Peru. Harper also talked of working together with his opposition and reaching out. In his first act, he swung for the neo-con fences by trying to ban public sector right to strike, pay equity and kneecapping all opposition parties and their public funding -- policies he didn't have the balls to talk about during the campaign.

When the opposition banded together to end his Mussolini-esque charade, he scurried off to the Governor General's house, hiding in the hallway and pleading for a time-out. He then sent out emissaries to rescind each of his damaging platforms, pretending to extend an olive branch while turning his own diaper pail into a unity crisis.

Now, suddenly Harper's a man who believes in the good works of government? He's embraced deficit spending, despite having only used the public purse in the past 2 years to lather up his election machine? Should we expect the next wave of pricey 10-percenters to include a two-for-one coupon for Big Fatty's Pizza?

Whether he lives to see another day or another season, Harper must be made to wear this. No, the economic downturn isn't his fault, but the mess that Canada's in has a lot to do with the trash their government is turning out on a daily basis.

When Harper's makeup is finally removed, Canadians will be shown a two-bit charlatan who cares not a whit for Canada, justice or a strong and united nation. He will come to epitomize the old slogan "Tory Times Are Tough Times."

Right now, it's tough to stomach.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


If there's a foundation that seems built on salt, that's the one of Stephen Harper and his party being leaders of christian beliefs. Sure, they may be mostly Christians, and many may talk about the tenants of Christianity, but I'm finding the proof that they live their beliefs to be embarrassingly slim.

Oh, I'm not calling Harper a heathen or a charlatan of his faith. There is no doubt a very strong group of evanglical christians who believe that their opponents are also the enemies of Christ, who embrace the covenant of an eye-for-an-eye. Perhaps the evangelical stream that Harper has chosen to swim in truly believes virtue is only for suckers, or that the best way to the Lord is through spurning the power of compassion and empathy.

How else to explain the string of stark actions that Harper has personally promoted or condoned?

This weekend a young man went missing in PEI -- hopefully he'll be found safe and sound -- but in the CON war room it rekindled an old 'joke' that Harper let slide just a handful of months ago by one of his ministers.

He's played the weakest card available -- divisiveness -- to gain the upperhand, while cravenly refusing to accept responsibility for his own actions.

Nearly a year ago, one of the lowlight CON 'stars' breached security blackout on politicians flying into a combat area. By commenting to the media of the then-Liberal leader's visit to Afghanistan, not only did she put at risk both the Opposition leader and his staff, but also added to the security risk of all Canadian members of the Afghan mission, who suddenly were in the spotlight and a possible Taliban attack. In fact, four Canadian soldiers were injured in a bomb blast while Dion and Ignatieff were in the region. But did Harper even scold his minister for the act? How close to the line is that to what Cheney did?

There's the unchristian principle behind launching out-of-the-election cycle advertising attacking an opponent, very American. Now that its been done and the media and public has absorbed it as 'almost normal', this unprovoked mode of politics is now the norm. And Canadians are the more cynical for it. Thanks for that, Harper.

There was his act early in his first year where he postponed an announcement on funding AIDS projects, primarily to punish those who would chastize his government for ignoring their issue and for also their 'late-to-the-party' interest. Petty and certainly unleader-like. Pearson set the example of what a real leader does under intense debate, and Harper refused to follow.

And the latest would make Putin proud: threatening Toronto's Zareinu Educational Centre, which includes a school for disabled children, because they dared invite Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to a menorah lighting ceremony.

What we know of Harper's character, we should be less and less surprised by these turn of events. Taken on their own, they may be just an overplayed political ploy by the man who loves his own image. But scanned as a trend, it is troubling indeed. That the CON support team, of which many claim to be religious and Christian-minded, endorse this tactic is alarming. That Canadians are now experiencing 'salt-the-earth' tactics so many Americans have lived through over the past 12 years (beginning with the radical impeachment play on Clinton) is disheartening.

But what is most disappointed (but perhaps least surprising, considering who pays their lunch) is the acquiescing through silence by the Mainstream Media -- only one outlet reported on the Zareinu Educational Centre incident. Where have their ethics gone? Are they so comfortable, or perhaps in these times too timid, to not see where Harper is leading them? Do they not realize that, today, it may be Quebec voters or a Jewish school, but tomorrow your community, your neighbours' place of worship?
If it is expedience and payola through power, then bankruptcy is too good for them...