Categories for Musings

Jordan Peterson watch: lies about being “inducted” into a First Nation


Jordan peterson is a University of Toronto psychology professor, bestselling author, culture warrior, YouTube celebrity, and a growing presence in Canadian conservative politics. The one thing he is most certainly not is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw people of British Columbia. That claim, however, has appeared several times in Peterson’s bios—which state that he has been “inducted into the coastal Pacific Kwakwaka’wakw tribe.” It appears in social-media posts, and it was referred to again this week, when Peterson tweeted at Pankaj Mishra, who wrote a critical piece about him in The New York Review of Books:

You say “Peterson claims that he has been inducted into ‘the coastal Pacific Kwakwaka’wakw tribe’ Just what do you mean by “claims” you peddler of nasty, underhanded innuendo, you dealer in lies and halftruths?

Adler-Kinsella: why the Wylie scandal matters

Fifty billion in market value, gone. One of the biggest companies in the world in chaos. Governments announcing probes. And the Trudeau government looking quite nervous.

Charles Adler and me on the Christopher Wylie affair. I think this one could be very big.  Here’s a snippet from next week’s column about it all:

Usually, when an individual has become radioactive, politicos adopt a standardized approach.  The revolving-door Trump White House uses it quite a bit.  First, claim the individual in question was “just a volunteer,” nothing more.  If that doesn’t work, insist the aforementioned individual is unimportant, a “coffee boy,” in effect.  And if none of that works – and it rarely does – join the pile-on, and say, with a straight face, that the President/Prime Minister/Potentate “never met with this person, and is cooperating with police.”

Pat Sorbara was the Grits’ 2011 deputy campaign boss – and, in 2014, a very senior campaign advisor to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.  She is one of the few who has been willing to speak about Wylie on the record.  Wylie was “way ahead of his time,” Sorbara marveled in the Globe.  The two of them spitballed various microtargeting techniques. 

“[Sorbara] was impressed by his ideas,” reported the Globe and Mail, “but said that after his initial presentation she had to reject his proposals owing to a lack of time and resources.”  So the story changes, yet again: the Ignatieff Liberals didn’t reject Wylie because what he was suggesting was unethical and possibly illegal. 

No, they didn’t use him because they couldn’t afford it.

SFH: come hang out with us and win

Look, none of us are as young as we used to be.

We don’t hang out in noisy, seedy bars like we used to. We go to bed earlier than we used to. We worry about getting stabbed in a booze-fuelled argument.

SFH gets that. We’re old too. As Maximum Rock’n’Roll and others have noted, we’re Canada’s best-loved geriatric punk combo.

None of us hang out in seedy bars as much as we used to. All of us get tired a lot sooner than we’d like. None of us are into being stabbed, to be candid.

But come to this gig. It is going to be (a) early enough for you to get to bed at a reasonable hour (b) fun. Lots of fun.

And get this: the first twenty folks can get SFH’s critically-acclaimed Kinda Sucks LP and my Recipe for Hate book for just ten bucks. Ten bucks! And the band may even buy you a drink.

Come. Us, Mr. Pharmacist. You can’t lose.

And you won’t get stabbed.

Big trouble. Big.

Political parties and data mining: a whodunit

Young Canadian Christopher Wylie has been much in the news lately – among other things, for single-handedly hammering Facebook’s market value, and causing lots of political earthquakes in the U.S.

When Wylie was kicking around the Liberal Party of Canada, I didn’t know him.  “Couldn’t pick him out of a police line-up,” I told an enterprising Canadian Press reporter calling around about Wylie.  “Which may be where he is heading.”

As a result of all the controversy, the Liberal Party is being asked if it went along with Wylie’s apparent plan to illicitly/illegally abscond with the personal information of millions of voters.  The Liberals should be be asked those questions. The people who create the privacy rules should be expected to know and apply those rules.

But – as I just told a Walrus writer – it is ridiculous to think that just the Canadian Liberals and the American Republicans were the only ones doing this seamy data mining.  They weren’t, I assured her.

Here, ipso facto, is a presentation I gave many years ago about what the Harper/Kenney Conservatives were up to – and long before Christopher Wylie showed up in Ottawa. The Tories, I think, were in this space before anyone else in Canada.

Winning the Ethnic Vote Presentation – March 23 2011 by Warren Kinsella on Scribd

Lisa and the Senate in today’s Hill Times

Senate among top lobbied institutions in February

February fillings show Senate lobbying in 2018 is keeping pace with 2017’s record-breaking year, which tripled historic averages for influencers focused on the Red Chamber.

Last month, lobbyists recorded 169 communications compared to 175 in February 2017, putting it third for the month behind the House of Commons (958 reports) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (222 reports). This is the “new normal” for the Upper Chamber, said former Liberal Senate staffer and consultant Lisa Kinsella. During sitting months last year, lobby filings for the Senate ranged between 105 to 215 communications.

Much has changed since Ms. Kinsella, now managing partner of Daisy Consulting Group, worked as Senator Grant Mitchell’s (Alberta) chief of staff from 2007 to 2009, when parties could rely on whipped votes. Sen. Mitchell was a Liberal Senator before being removed from the Liberal caucus along with his all of his colleagues to sit as independents by leader Justin Trudeau in 2014. He is now an unaffiliated Senator, as part of the three-person government representative team.

“The Senate has turned into the Wild West where they have really this newfound independence and they’re willing to exert it,”she said, though as appointees she thinks they’re still “respecting the tradition” where they don’t needlessly hold up government bills. 

Ms. Kinsella [said] the Senate is fulling its role offering sober second thought and are an important part of an advocacy strategy. “You can’t take it for granted anymore,” Ms. Kinsella said.