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Warren Kinsella - PATHETIC

"...[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


The federal Liberal response to the budget – that is, (a) shit-talk it, but then (b) say you won’t vote against it, before (c) the delivery of the actual budget speech is complete – is, of course, appalling. The mainstream media folks have made that clear, this morning, and they probably wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that the last vestige of federal Liberal credibility is now gone. As in, Elvis has left the building, gone. Gone, baby, gone.

What is interesting, to me, is the response of some Grit and Grit-ish blogger types – who usually can be counted upon to uncritically defend everything the Once Great Liberal Party of Canada does. They are not happy, to say the least – here and here and here.

Me? I think people are calling the LPC’s response to the budget pathetic because, well, it is.

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Mark Steyn pays an unusual amount of attention to me these days, including last week in Maclean’s, when he seemed to suggest that I was a pedophile. On his web site, Mark apparently wrote something this week in which he bragged about how he was a top political blog, and that I was way down the list, and so on. It was in response to Christy Clark’s comments, when I was on her show the other day, I guess.

It’s something I’ve encountered before – a year or so ago, I was on Charles Adler’s show, or someone else’s show, and the Small Dead Animal herself actually called in – and, in a voice that surprised me, because she sounded tiny and afraid – to promote the fact that her web statistics were better than mine. She – like Steyn, like most of the conservatives, near and far-right – wasn’t interested so much in the subject matter. Just how her “web stats” were impressive. (I'm certain they are.)

As a result, it buttressed my conviction that conservatives are essentially lonely people. They are fixated on obtaining a bigger audience because they sense, rightly, that many of their views place them decidedly in the minority. They need friends.

Anyway. I digress, per usual. Coop, who understands computer stuff better than I ever could, wrote something about this blog statistical analysis stuff, which you can find here. Sounds fair, but I don’t really know what the truth is. I could be read by one person, or 1,000. I don’t know.

More particularly, I don’t actually care. I don’t give a damn, pun intended. Last year, for example, I was on Steve Paikin’s TVO show to talk about religion. (Kathy Shaidle was on the same show, and I found her to be entirely unlike the permanently-unemployable bigot she has devolved into on her aptly-named “Five Feet of Fury.”) I think Steve and his producers were interested in the fact that an aging punk rocker – who favours gay marriage and reproductive choice, among other things – could be a regular church-goer, as I am. Steve asked me something or the other about the propagation of the faith, and I told him the truth: I could be in church by myself, and I would be just as happy as being there with hundreds of others. With the exception of the obligation I feel I have to expose my kids to the values that Christianity espouses, I feel no obligation to convert others, at all. I possess no missionary zeal. (In fact, I attribute the majority of history’s wars to the missionary zeal of assorted expansionist religious leaders.) This is why a lot of evangelical types make me uneasy: they are so convinced they are right, they are always trying to convert everyone else, and thereby boost the size of the flock.

Here’s one of Warren’s truisms, then: legitimacy is not found in numbers. Rightness does not equate with popularity. You can be entirely, utterly alone, as Jesus Christ was in the end – as the other prophets were, like Mohamed and Moses, at key moments in their lives – and still be irrevocably right.

So how does all of this relate to web stats? Because, for me, this blog stuff is worth doing because (a) it is truly DIY punk rock journalism, and (b) it is a literal extension of diary writing. Personally, it permits me to write in a way that newspapers and magazines – having quit or been fired from not a few – never permit me to write. It allows me to write as I am writing right now – and then, three inches later, link to a hardcore punk band I currently adore. I do it, too, because I am – when you distil me down to my base elements – a diarist. I am alleged to have been writing 1,000 words a day since I was eleven years old: it is as fully part of me as is breathing, or Slurpees.

So, along with the punk rock style it favours, this web site/blog activity is really just opening up the pages of your diary for others to see. Sometimes, the diarist needs to do it; almost always, non-diarists need to see what lies inside those pages (whether permitted to do so or not).

It’s a two-way mirror. It reflects on me, naturally, but it also sometimes reflects on you. So, every so often, I am honoured – honoured – to receive an email or a call from one of you to say that something I wrote moved you, or angered you, or made you laugh, or made you think. It’s those kinds of notes that keep me going: that some of the words I throw out there, like seeds, landed on a patch of land. And might grow into something.

That’s partly why I don’t know, to this day, how many copies any of my books sold. That’s why I don’t care, at the end of the day, how many people read this, and how many don’t. It is irrelevant.

We start everything as we end it: alone. We go forward in the hope that, somewhere, somehow, we can change that. But, mostly, we are alone.

Statistics? Whatever. What matters isn’t quantity – it’s the quality of a thing. If the words I type up here make a person, just one, feel better – then, to me, it is worth it.

In other words, it’s just you and me, kiddo. And my hunch is we like it that way.


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Calling all propellerheads! Next week, The Prince of Darkness and His Infernal Brood are heading to Florida to escape David Miller's Toronto, whose streets and thoroughfares continue to be as navigable as Yellowknife circa the Ice Age. A respite is in order, not to mention a federal general election. But that is a plaint for another day.

To make a journey with four small children as easy as a journey with four small children can be, Warren has swiped one of those spiffy new iPods with the little bitty TV screens on them. To pacify the kidlets, he wishes to play videos for them on the plane.

Here's where you come in, Team Nerdling: Warren has heard there is a way, verily, to download YouTube vids and get them onto one's iPod. Warren has tried rubbing the iPod against his computer monitor, and humming the national anthem, but that did not work.

Do you know a way, O Wise Nerdling Personage?

If so, drop us a line use the handy new comments thingy, below. In the meantime, here is the sort of thing Warren wants the little ones to see. While we're on the subject, you need to see it, too, because it is possibly the greatest music video ever made.

God bless you and keep you.

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...and it's quite simple, really. Here it is:

Why does the federal Liberal braintrust believe that waiting will make their prospects any better than they are right now? Am I missing something?

Theories are welcome. I'd have a drink, if it wasn't for my solemn Lenten observance.


URGENT FedBudget Liberals, (URGENT-FedBudget-Liberal)
Source: The Canadian Press
Feb 26, 2008 16:38

OTTAWA - Stephane Dion says his Liberals will not force an election over the federal budget.

The Liberal leader's decision virtually guarantees there will be no early spring election.

Two other possible election triggers remain - a confidence vote next month on extension of the military mission in Afghanistan and an omnibus crime bill that has yet to be passed by the Liberal-dominated Senate.

However, the Liberals and Tories have reached a consensus on a motion to extend the Afghan mission to 2011, defusing its potential for toppling the minority Conservative government.

And Liberal senators are expediting the crime bill, which is expected to pass by the end of the week, beating Prime Minister Stephen Harper's March 1 deadline.

(The Canadian Press)


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Now comments that had been approved and posted have disappeared. There's only a couple left - and God only knows why those survived, and others did not.

Until we get this figured out, apologies. I'll leave comments open, but I can't make any guarantees about anything ending up where you want it to go.

Sorry, gang. Hope to have an answer soon.

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How come, when I approve a bunch of comments, and hold back one, none get posted?

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So, there I was, lamenting the fact that yet more snow was coming, listening to Gallows, and playing around with the part of this web site called "Preferences." Clicked something, obviously, somewhere. Boom! Comments option appears.

A while back, did a poll about whether you folks wanted comments. All but two respondents - out of about 50 - said no. That's a majority, in my books.

Despite that, we'll give this comments stuff a whirl - mainly because I am curious to see if civil, intelligent chat rooms are possible (I don't think they are). To help that along, the comments will be moderated.

(At this stage, the main problem I forsee is that the moderation stuff will effectively eliminate the two hours of the day in which I have to sleep. Four kids, busy firm, blah blah blah. Moderating comments is not one of things I want to do when I grow up, believe me.)

So here's some basic ground rules.

• No defamation, no swear words. Use either, the comment won’t appear.
• Want to make a comment anonymously? Send an email through ‘Comments’, here. Anonymous crap won’t be posted.
• Let’s all show we can be more thoughtful than the red-necked, mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers, shall we?

So there ya go. Comments are here. Play nice, or we'll kick you out of the club, okay?

[UPDATE: Already, problems - self-induced. I approved a pile of comments and - whoosh! - they disappeared. Does anyone know if they get saved somewhere, or something? Je ne comprends pas .]

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From Brock:

Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

1. I have two original series Star Trek scripts ('The Cloud Minders' and 'Assignment: Earth') signed by Walter Koenig and George Takei.

2. My favourite book is 'The Crying of Lot 49' by Thomas Pynchon.

3. I was threatened with arrest for causing a riot at the Calgary Stampede in July 1980.

4. I want to be buried in my 1974 VW Super Beetle, whilst Against Me plays 'Pints of Guinness Make You Strong.'

5. I gave up hooch for Lent. No DTs. I am now full-on Straight Edge.

6. I do not fear death nearly as much as I fear the possibility that this is all there is.

Now I tag:

· Maudlin
· Coop
· Dawg
· Bourrie
· Bow
· Christie
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My friend Tom Flanagan and I just did the Christy Clark show on CKNW in Vancouver. We talked mainly about the budget, and the weather, but then Christy said:


And, then, just for good measure she said it again:


Something along those lines.

I only mention this in the fervent hope that it will cause apoplexy in the Hate Blogs©, and cause a few of them - particularly the one who juices her stats with the same crypto (and not-so-crypto) Nazis coming back, over and over, to spew bile about blacks, Muslims, gays and native people in the comments section - to have a coronary.

I know that isn't particularly Christian of me, but that's how I got to HAVE A HUGELY POPULAR POLITICAL BLOG THAT IS THE MOST POPULAR BLOG IN CANADA.

And, probably, in the whole universe, too.

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A very, very impressive bit of journalistic legwork, here, by the Hill Times Simon Doyle. And all of his picks - like buddies Powers and Hartley - I wholly agree with. (And I agree about Messrs. Robinson, King and Near, too!)

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MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT - WATCH THIS! And eyeball this important column by Norman Spector about the same subject – and why it is vital to keep it going, contrary to what the NDP seemingly desire.
Ewg! In a column with Vlad the Mulroneyite! Oh well. Read Rick and me.
Murray’s killer line: “There are two things to be said about this exceedingly odd turn of events. The first is that politics is filled with grey areas that require quick responses. Mr. Tory campaigned on the slogan "leadership matters" but apparently it doesn't matter so much on questions of leadership. The second is that we can be glad he isn't a NORAD commander.“ Ouch.
A terrific appointment - kudos. And not exactly a signal that we are about to become one of the few Western democracies without a human rights body, is it?
Dan Cook poll roundup: call me crazy, and plenty do, but why have an election if you’re not going to win what you need?
Steyn and KKKate’s latest convert to their cause. [ UPDATE: I'm not the only one who feels this way, seems.]
• In a break from the years-long string of Pixar blockbusters we see, repeatedly, my gal and I saw ‘No Country For Old Men’ on the weekend. I want that Bardem guy to work in our next war room!

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...remember his track record. And think about his claims of legal expertise (which are contrary to the Alberta Law Society's Code of Professional Conduct, I hear).


National News
Tory ex-senator wins apology in libel suit
Parliamentary Bureau
374 words
11 April 2000
The Globe and Mail

Ottawa -- Former senator Ron Ghitter has won an apology and undisclosed payment from Canadian Alliance MP Rob Anders and Ezra Levant, a former senior adviser to Preston Manning, for defamation...

Mr. Anders and Mr. Levant, an ex-Reform Party aide and former editorial writer for the National Post, issued an apology to Mr. Ghitter yesterday for making false and defamatory statements about him...

The Calgary West MP said the settlement -- which included a donation to two charities and payment of Mr. Ghitter's legal costs -- cost less than what the trial costs would be.

"Lawsuits are often a balancing of pride versus economics. And so we swallowed a little bit of pride in order to be able to get a resignation and also be able to scrutinize the Senate," he said.

In September of 1998, Mr. Levant penned a fundraising letter, signed by Mr. Anders and circulated to 31,000 Albertans, which accused Mr. Ghitter of being lazy and un-Albertan.

Mr. Ghitter demanded an apology and when the two refused, launched a defamation suit. Yesterday, with the suit scheduled to go to trial, Mr. Anders and Mr. Levant recanted.


Alliance drops Silcoff crusade: 'There will be no complaint' as party has no evidence
Sheldon Alberts
National Post
863 words
4 May 2001
National Post
A01 / Front
(c) National Post 2001. All Rights Reserved.

OTTAWA - Stockwell Day has withdrawn allegations of conflict of interest against a Quebec judge who authorized a raid on the home of the former president of the Business Development Bank of Canada.

One week after Alliance officials declared they would file a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council against Quebec Superior Court Justice Joel Silcoff, Mr. Day's leadership team admits they have no evidence to support their claim.

"There will be no complaint. The judge is an honourable person. There will be no further action taken at all," said John Reynolds, Alliance House leader.

The decision comes amid the threat of a lawsuit against Mr. Day by Justice Silcoff, who still wants an apology.

"I would hope that an apology would be forthcoming," said Yves Fortier, Judge Silcoff's lawyer. "It's clear from that statement by Mr. Reynolds that the leader did not have the facts which justified his statement. I can only conclude that the statement was an irresponsible one."

Mr. Day last month challenged Judge Silcoff's impartiality after he signed a supplementary order on the means in which an April 7 seizure of documents at the home of Francois Beaudoin, a former BDC president, could proceed.

Mr. Beaudoin's home was raided so police could search for documents related to the bank's approval of a loan to a businessman in Jean Chretien's riding.

Mr. Day held a news conference in Kelowna on April 9 and said it was improper for Judge Silcoff to consider the BDC raid request as he had been, until recently, a partner in the law firm that represented 161341 Canada Inc., owner of the Grand-Mere Golf Club.

Mr. Day said the judge should have recused himself and that his action "raises very serious questions about the [judge's] impartiality.

"It is very interesting, to say the very least, and very hard to understand, that this judge did not excuse himself from the case because of this -- what appears to be -- this very clear conflict," Mr. Day said at the time.

Ezra Levant, Mr. Day's director of communications, initially echoed the leader's allegations against Judge Silcoff, saying the case involved "possibly even the corruption of the judiciary."

But after spending $5,000 to hire a lawyer to determine whether Mr. Day's complaints had enough merit to launch an official complaint, Mr. Reynolds said the Alliance now accepts Judge Silcoff's word that he had no knowledge of his former firm's involvement.

Mr. Day did not speak to Judge Silcoff before making his initial allegation.

"Now we have gone about getting the answer in a proper manner, and I am very pleased there was no conflict and even now there is no perceived conflict," Mr. Reynolds said...

See related column "When a leader becomes repugnant" by Andrew Coyne on page A15.


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Sent by a reader at 22 Minutes. Brilliant.

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