“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



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There is plenty of stuff like this lying around. And it’s why I broke with the guy: he enthusiastically supported – for years, without qualification – the very thing he now claims to loathe and oppose.

He’s not running because he opposes the Fords. He’s running because he’s the worst kind of opportunist, and he figured he could beat a crack-smoking “buffoon.”

Beat Rob Ford? Sure. But beat Doug, about whom he said stuff like this? We shall see.

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While other folks will focus on the politics part, let me say that this can only mean that Rob Ford is really sick. I know all of you join me in wishing him better health.


What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Baghdad to be born?

Theatrical, perhaps; a mangling of Yeats, to be sure. But watching U.S. President Barack Obama on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11, did you experience a creeping sense of dread? Did Obama’s speech to the world – in which he executed a colossal about-face, pledging to wage war in Iraq, having been elected in 2008 to do the precise opposite – leave your blood cold?

ISIS, which doesn’t stand for Satan Made Flesh but should, sought war with the West. It now appears ISIS will get it. For months, it has been murdering, raping, kidnapping, amputating, torturing, enslaving, desecrating – and, as is well-established, beheading – innocents across Syria and Iraq.

An August United Nations report detailed just a fraction of ISIS’ campaign of genocide: “Women have been lashed for not abiding by ISIS’ dress code. In Raqqa, children as young as 10 are being recruited and trained at ISIS camps.”

And: “Executions in public spaces have become a common spectacle. Children have been present at the executions, which take the form of beheading or shooting in the head at close range…Bodies are placed on public display, often on crucifixes, for up to three days, serving as a warning to local residents.”

Its objective hasn’t been difficult to ascertain: it broadcasts all of its serial atrocities on social media, to ensure we can relive them in the comfort of our living rooms. This week, its Facebook and Twitter-adept monsters have switched their profile pictures to Osama bin Laden, to make certain we all get their point: we’re coming to kill you. (Oh, and al-Qaeda were wimps, in comparative terms.)

Watching Obama say what he, and we, never thought he would say was an disquieting experience. He can dress it up in whatever oratorical sophistry he likes, but the facts are the facts: we are going to war.

Canadians, too. This week, the federal government acknowledged that dozens of troops from the Special Operations Regiment are being deployed to Iraq. They won’t have a combat role, said the Prime Minister. But no one believes that.

The Special Operations Regiment, on its very own website, describes itself as “a robust and adaptable weapon in the [Canadian Special Operations Forces Command] operational arsenal.” Sound like they’re Mike Pearson-style diplomats to you? Us neither. They’re a “weapon” in the Canadian Armed Forces’ “arsenal.”

So Obama fully reverses himself, and Harper attempts to persuade us that war isn’t war. Are we doing what is right?

We are. In the span of about a year, ISIS – or ISIL, or whatever it is they call themselves this week – have transformed themselves into the most lethal terrorist threat confronting the civilized world.

In his speech, Obama called them “a cancer” and “evil,” which are the sort of words speechwriters always deploy to describe terrorists. The Jordanian U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights has said, more emotively, that their objective is to create a “house of blood.” All true.

But better, perhaps, is the matter-of-fact analysis of U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel: “(ISIS) is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group.” And they want to kill us all.

So, all our leaders are agreed: waging war against ISIS is the right thing to do. Inaction would be to be complicit in their pogroms. Of course.

But – and here is where the unease comes in – war is unmistakably what ISIS desires. ISIS has been plainly seeking it for months. It has been trying to goad the West into combat, and it has succeeded.

So, as the beast that is ISIS slouches towards Baghdad, and as we let slip the dogs of war, it is fair to ask:

Is this a war we can win?


Yes, it’s me. In The Trial Continues, the alt band Chris Benner and I had in Ottawa.

I plead that it was the Eighties.

 

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Rob Ford – who, by the by, was the only mayoralty candidate to contact me during my recent run-in with the underside of a bus – is facing a huge health challenge.  You know that.

What you don’t know, perhaps, is that I had two epiphanies last night.  Epiphany One, I was disgusted and appalled by the frankly evil things being said about Rob Ford’s predicament on Twitter.  I said so, and I wasn’t alone.  I firmly believe, this morning, that some of the things being said by self-described “progressives” will propel many, many sympathetic/empathetic voters into supporting Rob Ford again.  It was that bad.

Epiphany Two – and I said this to myself, as I lay there sleepless and as the rest of you slept like babies - was the following: “Has something like this happened before?”

Well, yes, of course.  It has.  And it had a dramatic and extraordinary effect in both cases, one named Layton (who was being dismissed as a  glib used car salesman until he got sick), and one named Bouchard (who was being reviled as a Benedict Arnold-nation-destroyer until he got sick).

Listen to my friends McLoughlin, Gauthier and Cobb, from a 2011 Citizen story:

“…the pundits all underestimated the Tao of Jack and his Walking Stick — the crutch that has become a Churchillian-like symbol brandished with increased frequency in Layton’s public battles against his political enemies.

“It looked like the beginning of the end of his political career,” said Ottawa communications specialist Barry McLoughlin. “We saw two things happen to him back to back, that showed his humanity. We saw him on our screens looking gaunt, older, frail and very vulnerable.”

Then, adds McLoughlin, Layton suddenly connected with Canadians in a deeper way.

“He struck an emotional chord just by the way he faced up to his setbacks and went about his work. He appeared in the House of Commons after his hip surgery and showed he was a fighter. People developed an emotional relationship with him that wasn’t there before.”

Something similar happened between Quebecers and Lucien Bouchard when the former Bloc Quebecois leader contracted flesh-eating disease in 1994, added McLoughlin.

“It’s not about the cane,” he said, “but about the humanity it shows.”

Bernard Gauthier, a communications and audience research specialist at Delta Media in Ottawa says the walking stick has become a defining element for Layton.

“It’s become part of the Jack Layton brand, along with his white moustache,” said Gauthier. “I said at the beginning of the campaign that the walking stick will go one of two ways for Jack Layton: it will hinder him because it could suggest to people that he is not at the peak of health or it will engage people.

“It’s made him more endearing and empathetic.”

At this point, it will be very difficult for anyone to call Rob Ford names anymore, as John Tory has been doing.  That’s one thing.

This is the other: all that Rob Ford need do is show up – and look vulnerable and human and brave, as Layton and Bouchard did – and something like this will happen:

He will win.

 


Picture posted by Banksy.

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It was really, really bad.

My reaction:

 

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Reporter Andy Radia asked me what I thought about Tom Mulcair, the (aptly named) NDP retreat, blah blah blah.  My response, for your edification:

“Mulcair’s big problem can be summed up in three words: Mulcair isn’t Layton.

For good or bad, who your leader is plays a big, big role in political decision-making. And folks just don’t like Tom as much as they liked Jack.

I’ve just spent several months working with some impressive New Democrats on a municipal campaign. (It was an interesting, but not entirely gratifying, experiment.) A lot of them are good, smart people. But they all know that the Liberal brand is experiencing a comeback across Canada – in BC, in Nova Scotia, in Ontario, in Quebec. If they had something to stop the Liberal resurgence, they would have used it by now. They haven’t.

The New Democrats aren’t going to fall back to their traditional support levels – I think there’s an excellent chance they will drop even below that.

Canadians have been on the right side of the road for about a decade. They’re now moving back to the middle, not the left. And I don’t think Mulcair or Harper have any ideas about how to stop it.”

UPDATE: And Andy’s story is here.