When Goliath Thinks He’s David

Ms Soapbox and her daughter were admiring the statues in the Borghese Gallery in Rome when Amnesty International published an open letter expressing its concern that Mr Kenney’s decision to fund a $30 million war room and a $2.5 million public inquiry into foreign funding of environmental groups undermines and violates Canadian and international human rights.

Mr Kenney fired back with a mendacious diatribe that failed to address the issue (violation of human rights) and spewed nonsense intended to convince everyone that environmentalists were bullies and the energy sector and Albertans dependent on it were their victims. He’d promised to protect these “victims” and by golly he’d deploy the full power of the state to punish those who got in his way.

His supporters lapped it up; the rest of us were disgusted.

Which brings me back to the statues in the Borghese Gallery, specifically Bernini’s magnificent statue of David.

Bernini’s David

So here’s Mr Kenney’s problem. He’s got it backwards. He’s not David taking on Goliath, he’s Goliath taking on David and we all know how that turned out.

Those who oppose Mr Kenney’s policies on climate change, heck his policies in general, are like David, determined and unafraid. We’re gathering strength and refining our focus and one day that stone will fly and Goliath, the champion of the Philistines will fall.*

Mr Kenney’s cavalier response to a legitimate concern expressed by Amnesty International all but guarantees it.

*Ms Soapbox is not for one moment suggesting someone slingshot Mr Kenney. Like Mr Kenney’s use of the Putin/Greenpeace off-to-Siberia example, Mr Soapbox’s reference to David and Goliath is meant to be instructive, simply instructive.

This entry was posted in Climate Change, Crime and Justice, Energy & Natural Resources, Environment, Politics and Government, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to When Goliath Thinks He’s David

  1. Derek Coke-Kerr says:

    I am in awe of those who can use “mendacious diatribe” with neither a blush nor a flinch – it is SO the right description of the arrogant, inaccurate and pompous responses this Premier is prone to.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks Derek. I used it to show Kenney that he’s not the only one who can use overblown phrases like “our gelid but placid Dominion”. I had to look up “gelid”, it means polar, bitterly cold, Siberian. Good grief!

  2. John McManus says:

    Jason, Jason; I’m right here in Nova Scotia. I send money to Suzuki. Come and get me you cowardly weasel.

  3. Denise jakal says:

    Thank you!

  4. Jim McPhail says:

    Well spoken!

  5. J.E. Molnar says:

    Alberta’s new Bloviator-in-Chief has been in office a mere five months and he’s already jumped the shark twice.

    Once with his meandering screed to Amnesty International’s Alex Neve, and then with his Orwellian Minister of Truth crusade to ferret out the activities of un-Albertans who are conspiring to tarnish the public image of the oil sands with environmental facts and logic by employing a “snitch line”. What a national embarrassment Jason Kenney has become.

    • J.E. It feels very much like McCarthyism which Wikipedia describes as “the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term refers to U.S. senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) and has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting from the late 1940s through the 1950s. It was characterized by heightened political repression and a campaign spreading fear of communist influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents. Substitute “Kenney” for “McCarthy” and “environmentalists” for “communists” and “Soviet agents” and it fits like a glove.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: Another ironic thing is that there are Albertans, (and even other Canadians) accusing Justin Trudeau of treason, (when they can’t back that claim up), and we have an Alberta separation movement. What would Alberta separating from Confederation be tantamount to?

      • Dwayne this is a VERY good point. Thanks for putting the Alberta Separatist movement (if we can call a bunch of whiners a movement) into a different perspective.

  6. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog: The environment should concern us all. What is Jason Kenney going to do about the $260 billion bill the Alberta PCs gave us, (starting in the early 1990s), to clean up abandoned oil wells in Alberta? This is forgotten. If Peter Lougheed were still around today, he would be upset about the mishandling of oilsands development. Believe it or not, even the CPC were funding environmental groups. Also, oil prices took a tumble in 2014. Triple digit oil prices are not returning. Jason Kenney can’t stop Saudi Arabia and America from flooding the market with cheap oil. David had faith in God, and stood up to a bully. Jason Kenney is a bully, and we need to stand up to him. I find ironic, that a letter in the Edmonton Sun yesterday was praising Jason Kenney, for standing up to Justin Trudeau, and Alberta, while comparing Justin Trudeau to Vladimir Putin. I don’t recall Justin Trudeau cheating to become PM. I do recall the kamikaze scandal, which does involve Jason Kenney. Also, where in the Bible does it mention giving corporate tax cuts to wealthy corporations? I know the Bible mentions about helping the poor. The UCP is not doing that. They are helping themselves and the well off. Even the well off can’t eat money, if the earth is ravaged by pollution.

    • You’re very welcome Dwayne. I love your comment about the Bible not mentioning giving tax breaks to the rich at the expense of the poor. If there’s one message that’s come through loud and clear here in Rome it’s that the Church, the popes and many many members of the clergy preached one thing and did something completely different. The stories of greed and corruption are breathtaking. The stories of popes plotting to kill their rivals and their rival’s families so they could get their hands on their rival’s fortunes would befit The Game of Thrones. And indeed that’s what it boiled down to—power and greed.

  7. Political Ranger says:

    Thank you Susan.
    As from halfway around the world you are able to ‘see’ exactly the character of Kenney so too from halfway back through human history the First Book of Samuel is able to ‘show’ us exactly how to deal with this monster.
    I had not seen this David before. It is with the force of the realism of this stone cold statue of a man, a boy really, that the heart-wrenching lesson of courage is laid bare. It must have been a deeply moving moment to have spent time with this figure.

    • Political Ranger, this David is breathtakingly for all the reasons you mention. Bernini was in his 20s when he made it. It’s a life sized sculpture modeled on himself (that’s his face). It took him 7 months. The courage and determination that unleashed the power to slay the enemy is palpable. I would have been happy to spend the full two hours we were allotted as visitors to the gallery simply taking it in, but there were other Berninis and some Caravaggios waiting in the other rooms.

  8. Jerrymacgp says:

    What most concerns me, is the wilful suppression of dissenting voices. The federal election campaign is five days old now, and neither the Liberals, NDP or Greens have a full slate of candidates in Alberta. In my riding, Grande Prairie-Mackenzie, the only declared candidates so far are Chris Warkentin, the Conservative incumbent, and a Mr Doug Burchill from Mad Max’s People’s Party https://www.dougburchill.ca/. I fear that anyone brave or silly enough to run as a Liberal, especially, is in for five weeks of abuse, invective, ostracism, threats, and perhaps worse, and I’m not sure carrying an NDP or Green banner would be any safer.

    I thought this was a democracy … ?

    • Jerrymacgp: we live in a leafy green neighbourhood in Calgary. Our MP is Kent Hehr. I’d always thought my neighbours wouldn’t stoop to intimidation, however the election is barely underway and already three liberal signs have been ripped out of the ground. One was a large triangular sign on the corner of someone’s property. A friend who is a single woman living alone is afraid to put up a sign lest her car is keyed or worse. Where did these lunatics come from? Oh wait, they were always here but have been given license to act like hoodlums by Jason Kenney, Doug Ford, Mad Max and Andrew Scheer. These so-called leaders profess not to understand the connection between their dog whistles and this behaviour, but it’s all about throwing red meat to the base. We can’t let them succeed. We need to call out the “leaders” and punish the transgressors; trespass and wilful destruction of property are criminal offences.

  9. Sam Gunsch says:

    I know this isn’t scientifically valid conjecture, but just how-in-the-hell is Kenney’s vulgarly over-sized capacity for BS possible from someone ostensibly from the same gene pool as Bernini’s extraordinary talent for sculpting the truth perfection of his David ? Kenney is like a different species.

    • Sam I think Kenney comes from the same gene pool that spawned Trump—entitled, brittle and in way over his head. How else can we explain his pathetic response to Amnesty International? I can’t wait to hear him explain why the economy didn’t boom back under his economic strategy (read: non strategy).

  10. diamondwalker says:

    .. there’s a term often used by healthcare professionals.. ‘omnipotence’
    There’s a term often used re politics.. ‘glib’
    another term often heard is ‘deceitful’
    another is ‘vapid’ – ‘whiny’ – ‘snivelling’
    and so on.. ‘parasitic’ ..

    Jason Kenney, Andrew Scheer, Doug Ford richly deserve such terms
    I comment accordingly as coherent Canadians need to examine and recognize the sort lf people gravitating into ‘career politics’ – partisan political animals I call them.. subject to ‘situational ethics’.. or a complete lack.

    Lower or delete your expectations of these kind of faux ‘public servants’ who see themselves as our masters or rulers.. and soon believe we work for them.. not vice versa. Our political systems are archaic, awkward, stale.. and political parties are highly evolved at manipulating parliaments, elections and fully conjoined with corrupted & sold out mainstream media. Politics is mutating like parasites via social media. A recent guest post in Alberta Politics points to this .. where most Albertans and indeed most Canadians are getting their news.. or perceptions via something in the pockets or purse.. the cel phone. Further, political parties are gathering, buying, even stealing our personal data.. essentially without our permission and turning it upon us

    Does anyone in their right mind not think Jason Kenney will without compunction utilize collected personal data to suit his twisted ideology.. and consolidate his power and control ? They all will.. this aint news.. its fact. Do people not recall the Election Fraud of 2011 ? He was in that up to his fat little head.. with The late Senator Finley, the guy with the red goatee, Jenni Byrne, Arthur Hamilton, Stephen Harper, Ray Nkvak et al.. that was ‘war on us’ using our personal data.. that was criminal, that was 240 riding + .. that was scumbuggery.. and its already gotten worse

    • Diamondwalker: you make a very good point; one small fix could be term limits on all politicians at every level of government. Political scientists say the two term limit is a check against any politician or political office (premier or prime minister) accumulating too much power. Many Americans are clinging to the two term limit as their last hope in getting rid of Trump (although with him you never know what he might do to stay in power). Kenney has been a federal politician from 1997 to 2015, we’d have been able to knock him out of the box before he ever dreamt of becoming Alberta’s premier. Of course that doesn’t keep first timers like Doug Ford from becoming premier, or heaven forbid, prime minister. As you said there is so much more we need to do to fix our political systems which I agree are “archaic, awkward, stale” manipulative and self serving.

  11. David says:

    Mr. Kenney may seem like a Goliath here in Alberta, but in the bigger world he is very small indeed. His aggressive actions may play well, even pander to the local crowd, but if Alberta declares war on the rest of world, I don’t think we will win.

    Mr. Kenney may be able to somewhat quiet some of the environmental groups within Alberta (who are generally the more moderate voices anyways), but it will come at a big cost. He will further damage our reputation outside of Alberta and further antagonize those outside of Alberta who are against his plans and who he can not really touch.

    The battle for pipelines in BC and elsewhere will be won in BC and Ottawa, not by trying to silence environmentalists in Edmonton or Calgary. Although it may be politically popular in some circles in Alberta or even prove to be a good distraction from cuts to government services in the short run, it will be counterproductive.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      You are absolutely right – Jason Kenney is preparing his own bed because he does not realize that he is in 2019. He thinks he is in San Francisco in the 1990s and the wake up call it is going to silence him for good. Furthermore he thinks that the oil market is like when Klein was premier and when he was blessed with not only the highest oil prices ever but congruent with the highest gas prices as well. That is not going to happen. If anything our oil will be less needed as we move forward. I personally do not believe Jason Kenney is smart enough to understand what is going on and his advisers are even worse because they are all severely sick of flat earth disease and other smaller ailments including the most famous ‘earth created in 7 days’ and the 30 million dollar McCarthyism going after the environmental communists. Where is this man living? This is what Albertans elected with 53% of the vote – What are we? Idiots is what we are. We are avoiding the inevitable future of a carbon free world. Everywhere the change is obvious except us. This is not just going to cost us to be behind overall in renewal energy but our reputation will basically be below zero.
      Do not sweat though GOD will protect us, we just have to pray hard enough. His minister of the environment just cancelled all renewal energy programs, even though they were successful. Great give him a bonus and a couple million dollars, which is probably what he is after and ship him to Indonesia where is counterpart said that he would like to clear cut all Indonesia’s rain forest and put the money in the bank. I think he meant in his bank account. I am sure he would feel at home there.

      • Carlos, I think we have to remember that the UCP got 55% of the vote and 64% of eligible Albertans voted, that means the UCP got 35% of the eligible vote. The NDP actually increased the the number of people who voted for them over the number who voted NDP in 2015. This gives me hope that most Albertans aren’t as dense as Kenney thinks they are, because I agree with your characterization of Kenny, the man who is implementing the economic strategies of the 1950s is not fit to govern in the 21st century.

    • David, I agree. Before I left for Italy I was surprised at how many letters I saw in the Globe (not exactly a left leaning newspaper) expressing scorn for Kenney’s characterization of Albertans being victimized by the rest of Canada. It’s feels like the backlash Quebec experienced in the last separatist referendum—the rest of Canada said “go all ready we’re sick of you.” Not that Kenney would ever lead the separatist charge, he has bigger plans, Alberta is just a pit stop.
      By the way, here in Italy when people ask where we’re from we say Canada, not Alberta, but I’ve noticed when I’ve asked the American tourists where they’re from they say Texas or New York. I’ve only heard one young girl say she’s from America, the rest all identify with their states first, country second.
      PS. When we tell people we’re Canadian, they tell us they have relatives in Canada, they love Canada, but don’t like the cold, and it’s a beautiful country. Amen to that.

  12. Here’s hoping that day comes sooner, rather than later. I am beyond disgusted with this man, Kenny.

    • Dwayne says:

      carol hopkins: You are not alone there. However, our crowd needs to grow.

    • Carol and Dwayne, amen to that!! We need to be heard. My friend, let’s call him Bill, told a mutual friend, let’s call her Sarah, that he thought my political views were pretty extreme and that Sarah’s political beliefs were more aligned with his than with mine. She smiled sweetly and said, oh I’m so glad to hear you voted for Rachel and the NDP like I did. He was floored. This is just an illustration of how important it is to speak up for who and what we believe in every time the occasion presents itself.

  13. crazbazdad says:

    agree we need to see an end to the dumb ass rulers. Maybe we need a separate province were goofus and gufus followers are not welcomed? Or at least we enlighten the gufus followers (if that is possible)

    • Crazbazdad, at the very least we can let them know they don’t represent what’s right and just. (Although it would be convenient if they decided to pack up like the Pilgrims and go bother someone else).

  14. Anonymous says:

    Susan: There is another bit of interesting facts that many Albertans (and even other Canadians miss). They falsely believe that Quebec imports its oil from Saudi Arabia. Oil companies are responsible for importing oil, not any governments. Most of the oil that enters into Quebec comes from the province of Alberta, or the United States of America. They also falsely think that Justin Trudeau loves Saudi oil over Alberta’s oil. Also, what many Albertans miss is that the CPC sold the Canadian Wheat Board to Saudi Arabia, even though greater than half of farmers in Canada wanted to keep it. Furthermore, in 2014, Ottawa struck a $15 billion deal to sell military vehicles to Saudi Arabia. That was the CPC. They had a majority government when they did that, and also when they sold the Canadian Wheat Board to Saudi Arabia. Jason Kenney was in the CPC when these things happened. Jason Kenney was also in the CPC when Stephen Harper said that the oilsands needed to be phased out, while he was at a global climate conference. The CPC government, which Jason Kenney was a part of, was also funding pipeline protesters (such as the ones that were in B.C). These are facts, which seem to be forgotten by many, including Jason Kenney. Feel free to share this on Facebook, Twitter, or by any other means, when people try to tell others that Jason Kenney, and the UCP, as well as the Conservatives, stand up for Albertans, including their oil. Also, if someone on Facebook, or Twitter, tries to say that the Conservatives are good money managers, and the NDP made Alberta’s massive debt, share what I posted in your blog, prior to this one.

    • Anonymous, these are excellent points, you’re right, the public is under the misapprehension that their misery is caused by Quebec or Trudeau when in reality it’s caused by those who buy and sell oil at the highest price the market will bear and governments that let them do it without ensuring some of the wealth goes back to the people.
      Oil is a commodity not a person. It has no nationality. It’s easier for oil companies to stand back and let Quebec and Trudeau take the blame, than explain why they failed to build a pipeline to eastern Canada decades ago. It’s convenient for Kenney and Scheer to jump on the band wagon because it makes them champions in the eyes of their supporters. Albertans have to wake up. The oil sands is a business, corporations will squeeze every last penny of profit out of it and move on.
      Thanks for this data…it’s very helpful. I will share it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Susan: I should clarify that Alberta does not own its oil anymore. That changed in the 1990s. We know what provincial party did that.

  16. Carlos Beca says:

    Everyday is a new screw up in Alberta.
    Jason Kenney went to visit his bosses in New York and of course they told him the obvious – no more investment until better flow of oil out of the province. They own the oil, they pay basically no taxes, royalties are a joke and they demand better oil transportation out of the province. Take it or leave it.
    Servant Jason Kenney, after cancelling a rail car contract left by the socialists, is now considering more rail cars to increase the oil flow. What a waste of time and money.
    That is all we got so far. More money for the Oil companies, less taxes for the big corps, more lawsuits, more control on activists, more pollution, more waste and soon less services to pay for all this wasteful spending.

    • Carlos, you’ve summed it up very well. I saw a comment by Kenney in relation to this trip. He said investment is slowly coming back but it will take a while. What he didn’t say was what kind of investment and how much of that is driven by the spike in oil prices caused by the attack on Saudi crude facilities. Alberta’s economy will not become stable until it reduces its exposure to global oil price fluctuations. Notley knew this, Kenney is still fumbling around in the dark.

  17. Robert Gerard says:

    Remember when J-Boy said he’d tell us who the dark money sources were that bankrolled his takeover of the right in Alberta? We’re still waiting. Still waiting to learn how much if any American/foreign anti-abortion group funds he accepted. Still waiting to learn how much American/foreign anti-climate change money he accepted. Still waiting to learn how much American/foreign Big Oil money he accepted. Still waiting to learn how much American/foreign anti-Muslim money he accepted. Still waiting top learn how much American/foreign home-schooling/anti-sex education money he accepted. Still waiting to learn how much American/foreign anti-gun control money he accepted. It’s more than a little hypocritical for this bloated gasbag to decry where anyone else gets their funding when he’s still being secretive about his American/foreign dark money financiers. Pity there’s not a single reporter willing to confront him on this.

    • Well said Robert, hypocrisy doesn’t appear to bother Mr Kenney, his aboutface on the equalization formula is a classic example. It was just fine when he was in Harper’s cabinet but it’s grounds for divorce now.

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