“Warren Kinsella's book, ‘Fight the Right: A Manual for Surviving the Coming Conservative Apocalypse,’ is of vital importance for American conservatives and other right-leaning individuals to read, learn and understand.”

- The Washington Times

“One of the best books of the year.”

- The Hill Times

“Justin Trudeau’s speech followed Mr. Kinsella’s playbook on beating conservatives chapter and verse...[He followed] the central theme of the Kinsella narrative: “Take back values. That’s what progressives need to do.”

- National Post

“[Kinsella] is a master when it comes to spinning and political planning...”

- George Stroumboulopoulos, CBC TV

“Kinsella pulls no punches in Fight The Right...Fight the Right accomplishes what it sets out to do – provide readers with a glimpse into the kinds of strategies that have made Conservatives successful and lay out a credible roadmap for progressive forces to regain power.”

- Elizabeth Thompson, iPolitics

“[Kinsella] deserves credit for writing this book, period... he is absolutely on the money...[Fight The Right] is well worth picking up.”

- Huffington Post

“Run, don't walk, to get this amazing book.”

- Mike Duncan, Classical 96 radio

“Fight the Right is very interesting and - for conservatives - very provocative.”

- Former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory

“His new book is great! All of his books are great!”

- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD

“I absolutely recommend this book.”

- Paul Wells, Maclean’s

“Kinsella puts the Left on the right track with new book!”

- Calgary Herald



…but we talked about Chretien and other things. There are some surprises in here, if you care to listen.





economist.200

 

WINNERS

  • Racists, nativists and isolationists: There is a reason why Trump, Le Pen and their ilk favoured a “leave” vote: their prospects are always improved when people are divided and not united.   Last night, they won a decisive victory by demonizing immigrants, governments and “bankers” (cf., traditional code for The Jews).  Trump, in particular, has had his economic “vision” validated.
  • Scottish secessionists: As some of us predicted as the votes were still being tallied – because Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain within the EU – a second Scottish independence vote is now inevitable.  It will likely succeed – not because Scots are “racists, nativists and isolationists,” of course, but because they know they must maintain trade and political links to greater Europe to succeed as a nation.  Scotland can’t let an isolated Britain pull them down into the economic muck. They won’t.
  • A united Irish: As I wrote when over there in January, Ireland has the strongest economy in the E.U. because it is part of the E.U.  The Kinsella-Cleary-Carr motherland will now move to build on that strength (which is good), and there will be a concurrent push to unite Northern Ireland with the Republic (which is potentially bad).  Bad, naturally, because it raises the spectre of a possible return of The Troubles.
  • Anti-traders: For those who can always be counted upon to rail against freer trade – the Sid Ryans and Maude Barlows and assorted solipsistic trade unionists – the “leave” victory provides a critical talking point.  To wit: “If a modern, successful nation like Britain can do it, why can’t we?”
  • The separatists: For the likes of the Parti Quebecois, this is a dream come true.  Their core argument – that new nations can be formed, that identity politics are okay – has been authenticated, paradoxically, by the very nation that they historically have used as a straw man to argue for secession.
  • Jason Kenney: Yes, Jason Kenney.  Me and plenty of others were shocked, last night, when the former federal cabinet minister tweeted triumphantly about the results.  I’m not joking, either: he did. Kenny, accordingly, is a disgrace.  He should now go back to Alberta to join the similarly-addled Wildrose Party, where he belongs.

THE LOSERS

  • The U.K. Conservatives and Labour: Cameron is gone, others will soon follow.  The vast majority of British MPs supported the remain side; all are now reflecting on their political viability as a result.  British politics is entering a period of chaos and inability, in which the voices of the aforementioned racists, nativists and isolationists will dominate.
  • Obama, Merkel, Trudeau, et al.  All took a chance, and weighed in on the Brexit referendum.  All expressed the view – properly, correctly – that a British withdrawal would hurt every one of us.  All are now going to enter a protracted period where trade agreements, political alliances and strategic military pacts will need to be re-assessed and possibly renegotiated.  It will be time-consuming and very difficult.
  • Hillary Clinton: Trump has been handed a stick, and he is not going to hesitate beating his opponent with it.  Brexit gives the putative Republican presidential nominee a perfect frame for his anti-trade, anti-immigrant, anti-Wall Street bumpersticker sloganeering.  I still believe Hillary will prevail in November.  But her task got a bit harder, last night.
  • You and me:  Markets around the world are plummeting.  Currencies (particularly, and unsurprisingly, the British one) are worth less than they did just 24 hours ago.  Investments – that is, your pension – will not be worth what they were.  Only God knows where it will lead – but, God knows, uncertainty is never good for national economies.  This is a disaster, for those of us who believe in unity, cooperation and tolerance.  Don’t believe me? Think I’m overstating things? Let me end with a comment I received from a triumphant “uRtheTyranny” [24.36.151.239] late last night: “Our jobs are shipped overseas with treasonous trade deals and then foreigners brought in by traitors to take the rest and then whites have to go to the end of the line with affirmative action. Then you fill our neighbourhoods with foreigners that hate us, rob us, rape us and kill us.  You keep demonizing us for trying to defend our people and culture. The people are resisting your Orwellian tyranny. The fire rises.”




And so it ends, not with a bang but a whimper.

Unlike some folks, I don’t hate Stephen Harper.  All of my five reasons are personal.

  1. When my Dad was dying, he phoned me and my Mom to talk about fathers.  He did this despite the fact that Yours Truly had ripped him, on TV and radio and in newspapers, for years.  He was kind to my Mom, and I never forgot that.
  2. On the aforementioned TV and newspaper and radio and newspaper platforms, I predicted – as did others – that, with a Parliamentary majority, he would make abortion and gay marriage illegal, he would constitutionalize property rights, and he would send us into illegal wars alongside Republican presidents.  He did none of those things.
  3. Unlike some Liberals I will not name, he was always respectful towards my political father, Jean Chretien, even when Chretien ran him down a bit.  He told me he admired Chretien’s commitment to Canada, and his discipline, and his fiscal probity.  And it showed.
  4. Even though I was a dirty rotten Liberal, he twice hired me to be a Ministerial Special Representative on aboriginal files.  (He did likewise with Chretien’s nephew Raymond, too.)  Under his watch, spending on aboriginal programs grew, dramatically.  I discovered he wasn’t what some of his detractors said he was, at least in respect of those things.
  5. I thought he might wreck the place.  He didn’t wreck the place.

In light of all those things, why did he still lose? Two reasons.  One, he didn’t heed the Ten Year Rule – he thought he could defy The Rule, and beat the new kid.  Two, he didn’t ever show, publicly, how some of us had seen him to be in private.

Anyway, fare thee well, Stephen Harper and family.  They deserve now what they never got in Ottawa – privacy, quiet and no more bullshit.

 



How weird am I? This weird: the most interesting thing I’ve read in weeks is an analysis of the fonts used in Blade RunnerStory here.

The subtitle reads WORLD WIDE COMPUTER LINKUP PLANNED, in what looks like Optima Bold. While the idea of a World Wide Computer Linkup might seem passé as we approach 2019, it was still very much unusual in 1982 when Blade Runner was released. Indeed, it wasn’t until March 1982 that the US Department of Defense, creators of pre-Internet network ARPANET, declared TCP/IP as the standard for all military computer networking, pretty much kick-starting what we know as the modern-day Internet of 2016.


Which made it more perfect. 





He doesn’t quite look like this, tonight, as he graduates from high school – honour roll, Ontario scholar, all that. Got an offer and scholarship from every single university he applied to. Is going to  some place called McGill, which you may have heard of. 

I don’t care about the awards and all that. I care that he has worked hard, and that he has learned, and that he is a highly ethical and thoughtful young man. 

He still supports Bernie Sanders, but nobody’s perfect. 

Permit his old man to say, however, that he is very proud of him, and will miss him terribly when he leaves for Montreal. 

Time goes fast, Mom and Dad. Seize it. 


From Bruce Cheadle at Canadian Press:

OTTAWA—The federal Liberal government has enlisted the independent Public Policy Forum to assess the state of Canada’s struggling news industry as it mulls over potential policy options.

A rash of newspaper closures and newsroom layoffs this past winter, combined with a looming debt bomb for Postmedia Network Canada Corp., Canada’s largest newspaper chain, has added a sense of urgency to a decade-long disruption of the journalism that Heritage Minister Melanie Joly’s office says “plays a central role in a healthy democracy.”

The Commons heritage committee has already begun hearings on how Canadians, and particularly local communities, are being served “through news, broadcasting, digital and print media,” according to a February committee motion.

But specific government policy prescriptions for the digital news age are not within the expertise of the federal public service. Nor, for that matter, are they something any government wants to be seen imposing — or offering up — to the journalists and organizations who report on it.

“It’s a sensitive area of policy making,” Ed Greenspon, the president of the Public Policy Forum and former Globe and Mail editor and reporter, told The Canadian Press in an interview.

“We’re not, if you will, hired by the government. But we’re doing this in co-operation with the government.”

Reporters will be uncomfortable with this, because it nudges them towards a government – when they are supposed to be writing about said government, without fear or favour.  Folks in government will be uncomfortable with this because they privately don’t think traditional media can be fixed – which is why so many of them spend all their time, and all their money, on stuff like Facebook and Twitter.

Joe and Jane Frontporch, meanwhile, won’t care – because they already think government and media are incapable of doing anything other than peer at their own navels.

That all aside, should a government – any government – be offering such help? Should any self-respecting news person be accepting it?

At Carleton’s journalism school, we studied Senator Davey’s inquiry into the state of newspaper industry in Canada.  I was a big fan of both newspapers and (later) Senator Davey, so I didn’t see anything wrong with Pierre Trudeau’s government being similarly concerned with the future of print media.  They were right to do so, I felt, because – as subsequent events showed – the print media largely didn’t have a future.

It wasn’t an abstract question for me, either: my perspective was shaped by events of the time.  I had arrived at Cartoon U. on the very same weekend that the Ottawa Journal and the Winnipeg Tribune folded – prompting my Dad, at the time, to gently query whether I had picked the right career path.  (I responded to the challenge by actively imitating Grattan O’Leary – pinballing between the State and the Fourth Estate, but belonging to neither.  It kept bread on the table.)

Ed Greenspon, who is apparently leading this utterly doomed exercise, has also orbited between media and government, and is a pretty smart guy.  I suspect he’ll offer up a thoughtful, well-meaning report in a few months, people will write self-involved opinion columns about it, and then we’ll all place it on a distant perch on the bookshelf, alongside the Davey and Kent Commission reports.

Let me save Ed time and money, and help answer the why-newspapers-have-failed part of his mandate.  There are lots of reasons.

  • Bad business decisions.
  • Offering up – thanks to the likes of Paul Godfrey – a shittier and shittier product.
  • Embracing the digital revolution, like the music industry did, without considering the myriad perils inherent in that.
  • Dismissing wee web sites like this one, I say immodestly, which get 3.5 million visitors a year, and which cost readers precisely nothing.
  • Thinking, wrongly, that mindless consolidation was better than thoughtful local ownership.
  • Letting Facebook and the like get their content for free, and then letting Facebook and the like steal away their advertisers.
  • Heartlessly terminating reporters and editors – when reporters and editors are really all that a newspaper is.
  • Pretending to be objective when the aforementioned Joe and Jane Frontporch saw them as just another special interest group.

And so on.

Can a government do anything about any of that stuff?  No, of course not. No way. Because every fix would require a government to go back in time.  And even Justin Trudeau isn’t a time traveller, as far as I know.

Change is upon us, whether we like it or not. I’m not sure where newspapers are going to end up.  But it ain’t gonna be where they once were.  It won’t be pretty, either.

Grattan O’Leary weeps.  I weep with him.

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