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"...[Kinsella is] a modern-day Machiavelli, the mastermind who ran war rooms for Jean Chretien and Dalton McGuinty... He's the ultimate political insider... [The War Room] has plenty of fascinating insights and is a must-read for political junkies."

- The Toronto Sun

"The top Canadian spin doctor...tells all!"

- The National Post

"Warren Kinsella’s new book is a must-read for anyone interested in political campaigning in Canada. And not just political campaigning.…I wish I’d had the chance to read The War Room before I became Stephen Harper’s campaign manager; it might have saved me from many mistakes and months of painful learning on the job."

- Tom Flanagan, The Literary Review of Canada

"The War Room is a rich, detailed, and substantive primer on how to run a winning war room - warts, pizza boxes, smelly couches and all - from a master war roomer."

- The Hill Times

"Kinsella has crafted a handy little guide for politicos and non-politicos alike. Just keep it away from the kids."

- The Winnipeg Free Press

"... a great read ... full of fascinating stories..."

- John Moore, CFRB

"...I don't want to say [he's a] genius...but there's valuable insights here..."

- John Oakley, AM640

"I just got one copy, but I plan to get more!"

- John Wright, Ipsos, CFRB

"I do recommend [The War Room] to everyone."

- Charles Adler, Adler Online

"He's Canada's James Carville...a must-read...If you really want to win, you need this book!"

- Tommy Schnurmacher, CJAD

"A fascinating book...full of great stories."

- Ken Rockburn, CPAC


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The Ottawa Citizen's Dan Gardner has written a well-intentioned but - I believe - highly misleading piece ("The value of hate speech") that essentially argues that permitting haters to spew hate alienates most reasonable people, and ultimately contributes to more tolerance and mutual respect. Gardner's test case is Kansas, where he reports that - in the aftermath of the homophobic campaigns of "Reverend" Fred Phelps, census data showed an increase in the number of reported same sex unions - and, Gardner writes, that there is some anecdotal evidence that things are better in Kansas now. The column is making the rounds of the rightist blogs, and is now being routinely cited as evidence that permitting hate propaganda ultimately contributes to a better society.

Gardner's column is worth reading, but - in my world - quantitative data will always trump a census statistic and a few anecdotes. If it wasn't out of print, then, I would recommend that you all pick up a copy of Hate on Trial: the Zundel Affair, the Media, and Public Opinion in Canada, published in 1986 by my friend Professor Conrad Winn. Conrad, who is a polling expert at Carleton University, sampled public opinion during the 1985 trial of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel. He found the trial not only alerted people to the fact of the Holocaust, it turned them against Zundel in droves.

In a poll of 1,054 respondents taken right after Zundel's trial, Canadians proved the media libertarians wrong, as they often do. Half (47 per cent) said their feelings toward Jews were unchanged by the trial, while one quarter (24 per cent) said they became more sympathetic toward Jews, and only 2 per cent reported less sympathy.

A twenty-year-old letter from Conrad to the editor of the Toronto Star is below, and summarizes the book further. In the final sentence, he takes on libertarians like Alan Borovoy, who recklessly argue we should just let the haters hate, and jettison human rights laws, the relevant sections of the Criminal Code and (undoubtedly) section 15 of the Charter.

Chit-chats in Kansas are interesting, but I'd say scientific studies conducted right here, where we live, count for a lot more.


Zundel trial didn't heighten racism
270 words
12 February 1987
The Toronto Star
Copyright (c) 1987 The Toronto Star

Much of the evidence about the impact of the trial appears in a book by Gabriel Weimann and myself, Hate on Trial: the Zundel Affair, the Media, and Public Opinion in Canada (1986). We did extensive polling and compared our own results with other researchers' polls conducted over a period of years.

The first major finding was that the number of anti-Jewish racists did not increase in the wake of the Zundel trial.

The second major finding was that exposure to the trial made the unprejudiced majority of Canadians more knowledgeable about the Holocaust and more sympathetic to Jews. More than a third of Canadians who followed the trial said that they had become more sympathetic to Jews as a result while only 3 per cent said that they became less so.

The third major finding was that exposure to the media increased people's understanding and sympathies. For example, heavy TV viewers were 2 1/2 times more likely to report an increase in sympathy for Jews as people who do not watch television.

The only unhappy research finding is that Canadians are worried that their neighbors might be becoming more prejudiced even though they themselves are in fact becoming less prejudiced. This public fear is potentially dangerous. The unprejudiced majority, feeling embattled and on the defensive, might lose confidence in its own inherent decency. Borovoy and others are contributing to this fear and are therefore doing harm by falsely portraying Zundel as having made effective use of his platform in court.


Professor of Political Science

Carleton University


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Warren, you’ve impressed many over the course of the past two weeks.

You’re harassing an ugly, thoughtless movement which has been given a free-pass by too many. At best, the right-to-offend crowd emerges from a school-yard bully mentality: “we’ll misbehave at the expense of the easy-target classmates, and we dare you to get in the way”. At worst, it is last-ditch resistance by a historically-privileged some, who aren’t quite ready to surrender their ability to critique the other with impunity.

Most infuriating of all is their abuse of the doctrine of liberalism in justification. The confusion is complete. Let us remind them of Lord Acton’s cautionary axiom: “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.”

The great myth is that their brand of nationalism and xenophobia serves some higher purpose, unlike the bad stuff from less enlightened times. The argument has been made endlessly throughout history. So this time, that purpose is ‘freedom of speech.’ Previously it has been national unity, economic well-being, etc. It’s always disingenuous, it’s always erroneous. It’s always nonsense.

It’s satisfying to watch you shine a light on the pale parents’-suburban-basement dweller of the Blogging Tories. But let’s leave them aside for a moment, if only to avoid lending credence to the utterly insignificant ramblings destined to be read (mostly) only by the equally insignificant. Without them, the National Post is certainly the worst offender. Journalism is obviously too daunting a task for the good folks from Don Mills. Instead, with John Baird-esque chortling, the editorial board and friends pander to peoples’ worst instincts. Gleefully incendiary, then wide-eyed and innocent when challenged. You’re too good a man for the NP.

Fight the good fight.


Mick [Last Name Withheld]


You seem to enjoy posting letters from people who make the anti-HRC side look really bad, so I figured I'd throw a sensible response in on the off chance that you haven't gotten any thus far. Speaking for myself, I have no inclination towards stringing you up, using you for bayonet practice, or any of that other nasty stuff that hate-mailers the world around seem to get perverse joy from talking about. On the contrary, I think your position is well-intentioned and sensible on the surface(after all, who doesn't want to find an effective way to stop racist filth like Holocaust denial from poisoning public discourse?), but it suffers rather badly from something I see as a flaw with many Liberal ideas - too much emotion, not enough reason. So far as I'm concerned, you're letting legitimate sympathy for victims of terrible hatred and bigotry get in the way of a more abstract, but far more fundamental, appreciation for the virtues of essentially unfettered free speech. It's not a rare mistake, of course, but it is a mistake.

The point I'm trying to make here, however, is not my opinion of your opinions, since I'm sure you've debated that often enough over the years to have some understanding of where I'm coming from, and I'm equally sure that I'm not going to sway you on this. My point is that I'm not disagreeing with you on human rights committees because I'm looking for an excuse to spread my assorted hate and bigotry freely. I'm hardly a racist, sexist, or whatever-else-ist, and aside from the occasional off-colour joke told when I was sure it wouldn't offend, I don't think I've ever said could be construed as such. I find people who hold positions like that to be offensive and small-minded, and I oppose them whenever I see them. I will certainly attack ideas, on the large scale or the small, but I do not attack groups simply for being groups. I oppose the Human Rights Commissions and their associated laws because I believe that they stand in the way of free expression of ideas, and that free expression and exchange of ideas is sufficient to marginalize any especially offensive and stupid ideas that may float around. I know you think differently, and that that is where this whole debate stems from. I just dislike the assumption that I'm a bigot merely because I dislike legal prohibition of certain unpopular ideas.

Alex Sloat

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Consider the source, here: Jean Lapierre - that is, the Bloc Quebecois founder who illegally fired Jean Pelletier, and called Jean Chretien's Clarity Act "useless" - is now considered a reliable source by CTV about Messr. Chretien and Pelletier's innermost thoughts. That's not just bad journalism. It's actually insane.

Lapierre notwithstanding, I think the Grits should pull the plug for an election now. If they run a solid campaign, they have as much of a shot at a minority as the Tories. That's a fact.

Now, regular reader Helen was one of a few Libs who sent me the CTV link, adding: "Perhaps, one of Chretien's friends should run the war room!" Yikes!

Well, that's very flattering, Helen. And, now that I've resigned my freelance columnist gig with the National Post, one of two obstacles to federal Grit war room fun is removed. But the other one won't be resolved anytime soon - or at least until September.

Anyway, like I say: consider the source. Jean Lapierre may know many things. But knowing what Jean Chretien and Jean Pelletier think ain't one of them.

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"Some observers said immigrant youths were protesting against perceived police harassment and suggested the reprinting of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers Wednesday, may have aggravated the situation."

So here's a suggestion: let's send a few of these tough-talking Canadian conservatives over to Denmark, shall we? It'll be an adventure! We'll send them right into action, on a busy intersection in one of the afflicted parts of Copenhagen. We can get National Post contributor Kathy Shaidle to tell them their children are "parasites" - and fellow Post contributor "Kate Hate" MacMillan can tell them how they are "Muslim shit-heads." Former Postie Mark Steyn can then scream at them to stop making babies, because they are destroying European culture - and then Post opinion editor Jon Kay can tell them their brains are full of "toxins," and they should all just accept their prophet being depicted as a terrorist, because it's a valuable contribution to the marketplace of ideas.

That's my suggestion. If anyone else has a better idea, they can ring me down at the travel agent, where I'll be picking up four one-way tickets to Denmark.

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...found here.

Notwithstanding what some cynics and pundits are claiming, the Standing Committee is finding out things we did not know before.

They need to keep doing their job.

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Hockey, karate, soccer, you name it: my gal and I run a sports chauffeur service, pretty much. Today, swimming will figure prominently. Plug in "swimming" and "funny" in YouTube, and this is what you get.

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Another day, another threat, this one from Georgia. Bad words excised.

-----Original Message-----
From: ssm_cmm@bellsouth.net
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 04:30:10
Subject: A COMMENT

Eat s**t, you stupid f****r.  I too wish ******** like you were swinging from the trees.  Make me king for a day, you'll be well advised to lay low.  F**k you.

Why do I keep posting these threats from anonymous lunatics? Why keep drawing attention to the fact that the other side mocks the Holocaust, or calls Muslim children "parasites," or just generally adopts the lexicon of National Socialism?

To make a point. To underscore the fact that this hateful minority are interested in "free speech" (or its predecessor, "eliminating political correctness") only insofar as it gives them a licence to defame and intimidate those they hate. And they hate lots of people. That is their real objective, in my view.

Some of the brighter far-right bloggers are starting to clue in to the fact that the continual expressions of hate - all of it emanating froom their online demi-monde - is not helpful in attracting broad-based support in the outside world. One of them, who names herself after a comic book character, despaired this week that it all is getting so "ugly."

Exactly. Of course it is. That's what happens when anything goes, when there are no limits whatsoever, and when words are used to incite hatred. Eventually - as with some radio broadcasts somewhere in Rwanda or Kenya, say - a small number of bad people get impatient with talking, and they start doing. And then people get really hurt.

So keep the threats and bile coming. Knock yourself out. In your words, and in your imagery, you damn yourselves better than I ever could.

And, in so doing, you make clear that you are all about hate, and not at all about debate.

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Thanks to all who sent along kind notes Friday. Some of you sent me links about various goings-on in The Great Year 2008 War on Error - a sampling:

• Words worth reading and remembering: “The reprinting of the cartoons wasn't about free speech. The originals are readily available on the Internet for any who wish to see them. The reprinting seem aimed more at forcing people who are deeply unhappy about the cartoons, and who would not seek them out, to be faced with them again. This is hurtful to many in the Muslim community, and can create ill-will between Muslims and non-Muslims.”
• Tale of the tape: according to InfoScape Lab, Catherine “Kate Hate” MacMillan’s post in which she mocked the suffering of victims of the Holocaust – to get at me – was the most-read blog post of the week. Mine, which drew attention to her sick joke, was next. After that, one of the leading far-right voices around, he-who-shall-not-be-named, sort-of distancing that crew from her decision to make light of the Holocaust (the next one, by the same guy, saying disgusting things about the Muslim leader referred to in bullet one). Then, in fifth spot, my post about the Post, and leaving same due to – inter alia – Jon Kay’s determination to mock human rights, even when his employer has worked diligently and nobly, for years, to establish a human rights museum.
There’s a crazy blogger out there who calls me a liar all the time, and apparently wants me to sue him. (I think he’s lonely.) If he really, really wants me to, I will, I suppose. Problem is, he’s what lawyers call an impecunious litigant. He needs to pay back that $800, right now, and then I and a whole lot of other people will sue him until the proverbial cows come home, and then he can feel like someone is finally paying some attention to him. But not a minute before! Now, go get a job, like you always tell Muslims to do, you bum!
• As you may have seen, there's a lunatic in Fort McMurray, Alta. who wants to string me up from a lamppost and run a bayonet through me, or something like that. (Get in line, pal.) Lots of people helped to provide information about the guy, and all of that has been passed along to the guys in the red serge jackets. Stay tuned.
Mark Steyn is what one fan called the author of the newest Learned Protocols, albeit with a new protagonist. Sounds about right. Personally, I think that's a bit mean. I think of Mark as a porcine Charleton Heston, alarmed at all these dusky-hued people making babies, and hollering at the end of every column: "Soylent Green is White, Anglo Saxon Protestant peoplllllllle!" My God, the horror, the horror.
• Judge us by our friends, perhaps, but also by our enemies, as I always like to say. Forced sterilization of undesirables? May sound like a solution to some of you, sure, but not me. When you think it through, you understand why it isn't really necessary.
• Hey, Doug: if it’s so very terrible (see the last line), we’ll all help you pack, okay? You and Kate can hitch down to Mark’s spread in New Hampshire. What say?

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I won’t be posting anything today. Happy birthday, Dad.
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Anyone know how to do a 411 on this Fort McMurray-based Kate McMillan fan? I think this is one I should pass along to someone who can have a chat with this guy.


Name: Rusty P. Bucket
IP Address: (S0106001478a2a609.fm.shawcable.net)
User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.0.04506; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Email: peebucket@shaw.ca


On Thursday, February 14, 2008, 07:02 PM, Rusty P. Bucket wrote:

Warren, guys like you gotta stop humping your keyboards and posing as our moral saviours. Most of us are sick of the self righteous politically correct bullshit and the fellas like you that inflict it on us. You're damned lucky your corpse isn't hanging from a lamp post and being used for bayonet practice, and that's a fact.

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Read this.

And this (scroll down to "perjury trap").

The noose tightens.

(Oh, and just a tip, Team Lyin' Brian: when I did what I did in respect of Gomery, no one was paying me, and nobody asked me to. I did it because I believed in Jean Chretien. When you post puerile horseshit, however, you directly link it back to the guy paying the shot. Anyway, keep it coming: someone's going to subpoena you, soon enough.)
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Four things, actually:

1. Number of editorials or columns published in the National Post* in recent weeks which attack the notion of protecting human rights (not including the one published yesterday that ridiculed Prime Minister Harper for lacking "principles" on the issue, because he is declining to summarily gut the Human Rights Act ): Twelve. Number defending human rights: Zero.

2. ...which, when you think about it, is rather odd. Perhaps Jon Kay can write a column attacking the idea of a human rights museum in Winnipeg, now. In fact, I dare him.

3. Are the Aspers - who may or may not be visiting this web site - aware that the aforementioned editor is taking submissions from a racist who mocks the Holocaust and calls for genocide in Africa? (Which the Post's comment editor permits her to call, scare quotes theirs, "that continent-wide parade of dysfunction known as 'Africa'.")

4. And, seeing as how we are getting candid and all that, here is yesterday's National Post contributor, Kathy Shaidle*, referring to children - even showing their photograph - as "parasites." Like the Nazis used to do with the Jews.

Damn, that felt good. Part of my Lenten duty to expiate my sins, you might say.

*UPDATE: This afternoon, Shaidle posted a "cartoon" of the burning Twin Towers, bodies falling out, under the headline: "I Hope You Die In An Ocean Of Flaming Jet Fuel." Words fail.

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