Categories for Feature

Good morning Americas! It’s #IndictmentMonday!

It will be such a good day, too!  My God Almighty, how I enjoy the misery and despair that will be unleashed today!

Trumpkins being bankrupted by legal bills! Once-close Trumpsters turning on each other before grand juries! The inner circle’s mug shots living on the Internet, forever!  Make Assholes Guilty Again!

Who do you think is heading to the slammer? Vote now, vote often!


BREAKING: Just got this from someone who was at today’s “deleted email” trial

The OPP, as you may recall, criminally charged two Ontario Liberals for “deleting” some emails which weren’t deleted. The guy they used to do the deleting is Pete Faist. That’s well known. 

What wasn’t known until this afternoon is this: THE OPP HIRED PETE FAIST TO DO THE SAME THING FOR THEM. 

From someone who was at the trial today:

We learned that Peter Faist worked as a security and network architect for a number of large corporations – like BMO and CTV – and government agencies – like OLG and OPP. He never had any issue passing a security check. 
In fact, when Peter worked for the OPP Major Crimes unit, he was not assigned his own log-in and password but rather used an OPP staff member’s to conduct his work.  

So the process at OPP was identical to the process at OPO. He was signed in. Accompanied by a member of staff. Did his work using someone else’s password. 

Will media report this? Probably not. The narratives are so baked in…nothing seems to be breaking through. Even as the defense dismantles the more sensational allegations…

I don’t know about you, but I find this mind-blowing: when the OPP hired Pete to do this work, it was okay. 

But when the same guy was hired to do the same work at Queen’s Park, it’s suddenly a crime?

This trial is a fucking farce, now. That, or someone needs to swear a complaint against the OPP. 

Maybe I’ll do that. 

School Library Journal: Recipe For Hate is “a compelling and jagged read”!

From the just-out review of the School Library Journal of Recipe For Hate:

With a title ripped from a Bad Religion song, this book does not try to hide its punk flair. X and Kurt Blank are best friends in Portland, Maine at the beginning of the punk rock movement. Kurt acts as a Nick Carraway figure to X’s Gatsby, narrating his story. Fueled by anger, music, and misfit solidarity, the boys are devastated when one of their own is crucified behind the local bar that hosts punk shows. With police who seem less than fully committed to finding the murderers, X throws himself into figuring out what is going on and uncovers a twisted plot of Nazi ideals…the story compels readers forward…The novel’s unpolished aspect, which in another book might be off-putting, adds a layer of punk rock attitude. It is a story analogous to modern times and will find a home in activist hands.

VERDICT: A compelling and jagged read, buy for the anarchists and misfits in your library.

In case you don’t know (I didn’t), the SLJ is the world’s largest reviewer of books, multimedia, and technology for teens and young adults, etc.

Not bad!

Is Trudeau losing B.C.?

I don’t think so, and I said so to Mr. Nuttall at The Tyee:

Political consultant and former North Vancouver Liberal candidate Warren Kinsella rejects that idea.

Kinsella told The Tyee the Liberal strategy has always been to win as many seats across the board as possible. Although some “central Canadian” strategists may suggest trying to trade off seats in B.C. for gains elsewhere, Kinsella said he doubts Trudeau would go for it.

“That kind of calculus is pretty risky,” he said. “I just do not believe that of him, that he would discount the ever growing number of seats found in B.C. because somebody suggested to him he could make it up somewhere else.”

Kinsella said the Liberals do seem out of touch on some environmental issues in B.C.

But some of the groups Trudeau has upset in B.C., such as the anti-pipeline contingent, would have likely voted for the New Democrats anyway, he added.

The government has been “losing its sea legs” in other provinces lately and it’s not an issue specific to B.C., Kinsella said. “Sometimes you get into those phases where everything seems to be going wrong and you can’t catch a break.”

With an “untested” Jagmeet Singh leading the federal NDP and new Conservative leader Andrew Scheer a “dud,” Kinsella said Trudeau is still the contender to beat in 2019.

Others interviewed include Kai Nagata, David Moscrop and my friend Herb Dhaliwal. Check it out, comments are open.

Is Mr. Selfie in trouble? Is the dud a stud? Is Jagmeet dead meat?

Let us peer into the oracle that is Abacus (who, full disclosure, Daisy uses all the time, and proudly so).  It contains all sorts of interesting factoids and fun.  A chart, for your perusal:

It astounds and astonishes me that Blandy Scheer is this competitive – but if Abacus says he is, then he is.  It is less surprising, however, that Justin Trudeau – only now emerging from three months of myriad Morneau-messes – is slightly less popular.  And it is decidedly puzzling that Jagmeet Singh has yet to register on the public consciousness, because the new-New Democrat boss is a Trudeauesque charismatic hipster.

Anyway.  Full poll is here.  And comments are open.


#TBT: the anarchic, historic roots of Recipe For Hate, the NCNA and the Social Blemishes

Top:Herr Marchand.  Top right: Bill Corcoran and a rabble-rousing punk.

It’s Thursday, which means old folks get to circulate photos of themselves when they were younger, better-looking and less preoccupied with mortgage payments.

My contribution to today’s #TBT is the photo above, taken sometime in 1976.  It’s the St. Bonaventure Junior High Student Council in Southeast Calgary, a not-so-benevolent dictatorship presided over by Mr. Marchand, who declared aloud that Bill and me (and Dan and Lee and Pat and Neil and others) were “Marxist agitators.” Guilty as charged.

That was the Spring that the Ramones first album had come out, of course, and our lives – previously mired in the Satanic monoculture that was suburban Calgary – changed for good, and for the good.  As you can see, I was already doing my utmost to look like Dee Dee Ramone.

We had started up something called the NCNA – the Non-Conformist News Agency – to antagonize the school administration.  We burned the school’s constitution, we put up posters memorializing the shootings at Kent State, and – to royally piss off Mr. Marchand, mission accomplished – we ran a fictional candidate in the student council election.  We called him Herbie Schwartz, and Herbie won in a landslide.

Mr. Marchand was unimpressed.  “You little bastards are going to serve on student council,” he said to Bill and me, so we did.  He came to regret it.

All of this, and more, is found in Recipe For Hate, coming soon (or now out, depending on how with-it your local bookseller is) to a shelf near you.  And everything in that book, pretty much, got its start in suburban Calgary in the Spring of 1976, when the Ramones rewrote the future for a bunch of suburban Calgary shit-disturbers.

Of such things is #TBT made.  Sometimes, you can even write a YA trilogy about them.

My #MeDo column on #MeToo is over on HuffPo now

Here it is.

And here is a snippet:

I have been resisting #MeToo. I have.

For starters, I am generally pretty unenthusiastic about hashtag campaigns. Most of the time, they are just slacktivism, i.e. the false belief that posting something on social media is enough. It isn’t. Ever.

And, most of the male responses I have seen have been completely idiotic. Stuff like: I have daughters, and now I understand, etc. Or: Sure, but don’t blame me, etc. Or: here’s my own hashtag!

But mostly, I have resisted writing or saying anything about #MeToo because I felt men should just shut the fuck up and listen, for once.

My wife, however, reminded me that I have four million visitors to my website every year, and that I write columns and books, and that I shouldn’t be silent simply because I despise my gender (more on that in a minute), or because I don’t know what to say that has a fraction of the significance of #MeToo.

After some reflection, I decided she is right. As usual.


Recipe For Hate is being featured on Apple’s iBooks!

Check it out: Apple is promoting Recipe For Hate on their iBooks web site!

My ever-patient Dundurn Press publicist, Kendra, says that Apple has decided to promote pre-orders of the book on their Sneak Peaks pages.  A short download of the book is there, too, to encourage folks to check it out.

Is this a big deal? I’m told it is: “iBooks is available in 51 countries. It ranks second in the U.S. for reading devices/reading apps, after Kindle…that’s still a lot of readers you’re missing if you are not publishing on iBooks. In Canada, iBooks is also ranked second, but not to Amazon; Kobo is the number one reading app/device in Canada. In the UK Amazon’s Kindle and iBooks are neck and neck. In Australia, iBooks is the number one reading device. Canada, the UK, and Australia are three English-speaking countries where you are losing sales if you are not publishing on iBooks.”

Among other things, it reminds me (again) that the book business has certainly changed in the 25 years since Unholy Alliances was published: back then, publishers still did big book tours and there were actual book sections in newspapers.  Now, however, book tours have become pretty rare, and book sections have effectively disappeared, too.

In the coming weeks, however, we are going to have an old-fashioned book launch for Recipe For Hate in Toronto, to which you are all invited (see below), there will be book tour-type visits to Ottawa and the West and around T.O. and in the U.S., and there will be lots of events (and if you want me for a speaking event, email me at

Column: when do you cease to be a country?

She’s on the bus! The second she pulls down that veil, arrest her!

When do you cease to be a country?  When do you stop being a people, a nation?

Romeo LeBlanc, who I loved, had an answer.  “When children sleep on the streets,” he said to us once.  “When they have nothing to eat.  That is when you are no longer a country, and when you become something else.”

Romeo said that to those of us in the Liberal Party war room in 1993.  Back then, Conservative leader Kim Campbell had been asked by a reporter about an apparent Tory plan to gut social programs.  “An election is no time to discuss serious issues,” she was quoted as saying.

LeBlanc, like the rest of us in the war room, had been angry.  The statistics – the recent ones in particular – suggest that that, on any given night, 35,000 Canadians sleep on the streets.  Children are among them.  And, every year, more than a quarter million people are forced to use homeless shelters at least once.

All of us under LeBlanc’s leadership agreed with him: when one child is hungry, and sleeping on a grate on a downtown sidewalk in February, you aren’t a real country yet.  You are something else.  Something less.

In 2017, if we think about it, there are too many other examples like that.  Ways in which we fall short.

In the United States, of course, there is plenty of that. Donald Trump – who has been shown to be, again and again, a liar and a racist and a coward and a pig – has remade America.  His executive decisions and his policies have made the air and the water dirtier.  He has barred women and children seeking refuge from famine and torture and death.

He has pushed laws that will make the super-rich richer, and leave everyone else to bear the burden.  He said he will build a wall to keep out Mexicans, who he calls rapists and murderers.  He has worked to eviscerate a program that made health care affordable for 30 million Americans who previously had none.

If Romeo LeBlanc were still here, he would say that any one of those things have not just rendered the United States of America less of a country – they have ended it.  But he’d probably say that Canadians shouldn’t start feeling all that superior to our neighbours to the South, either.

So, last week, Quebec’s government nudged us towards the abyss.  Their Bill 62, you see, makes illegal the wearing of niqabs or burkas by women offering or receiving public services.  The target, notwithstanding what Quebec’s allegedly Liberal government claims, is Muslim women.  A previous version of the law would have banned the display of any religious symbols by public servants – crucifixes by Christians, yarmulkes by Jews, turbans by Sikhs.

Justin Trudeau, to his credit, has denounced such racist laws in the past – but has yet to do anything about it in the present.  So too new NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who has been clear in his opposition.  The Conservatives, meanwhile, had wanted to pass a raft of similarly Islamophobic “laws.”  But they were voted out of office before they could get away with it.

Speaking of the Conservatives, they contributed to the diminution of Canada last week, too.  They announced that someone named Hamish Marshall was going to run their next federal campaign.

Why would such a thing hurt Canada?  Because Marshall helped to found, and fund, an avowedly racist media organization called Rebel.  Rebel achieved notoriety, in recent weeks, for publishing statements that their luminaries were “sick of” Holocaust “brainwashing.”  And: “much less than six million” were slaughtered in the Holocaust.

And: “left-wing, commie, socialist Jews” killed “millions” in World War II’s aftermath.  And: columns titled “Ten Things I Hate About Jews.”  And: at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville where a woman was murdered by a white supremacist, one Rebel celebrity said there has been a “rising” in what she called “white racial consciousness.”

The aforementioned Hamish Marshall ran Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s campaign out of Rebel’s offices.  And, when a Globe and Mail reporter asked Scheer about that, he ran away.  He actually ran away.

Finally – and this we must never forget – we cease to be much of a nation when 4,232 First Nation women and girls are murdered, or go missing.  And when the federal government spends untold millions to launch an inquiry into those murders – and it becomes such a sham, such a mockery of justice, that the father of Trudeau’s Justice minister (himself a hereditary chief) calls it “a bloody farce.”

There are other examples, but we don’t have any more room to describe them.

And if he were still here, perhaps Romeo LeBlanc would say we still don’t have much of a country, either.

2017: good times.