Daisy Group


“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



Full disclosure, as they say: this former (Conservative) cabinet minister is my (Liberal) wife’s best friend. They became friends some years ago, drawn together – with other women, from other parties – by their unapologetic opposition to the sexism and/or misogyny that is endemic in our politics. Still. 

Also disclosure: we knew about the criminal harassment and the threats on social media, and how it had affected Michelle.  How it would affect anyone. 

She didn’t want the case publicized, then, so we said nothing about it to anybody. 

Now, last week’s Twitter decision upset many people, and understandably so. It was the result of (a) imperfect complainants (b) a cloistered, tin-eared judge who thought he could understand Twitter by reading about it and (c) a piece of garbage “man” who deserves lengthy jail time to reflect on how his conduct would affect his mother and sisters and daughters. 

In the wake of that judicial farce,  the outcome in Michelle’s case needed to be known. So, she consented to an interview with one of the best young reporters around. 

Quote:

Michelle Rempel was alone in a Winnipeg hotel room in the dark depths of winter when a stream of violent threats started filling her Twitter mentions. 

 The message was so vulgar it has since been expunged from the Internet; so dangerous that the Conservative MP — then a Cabinet minister traveling for work — called the police.

 “It was really quite frightening and the appropriate route was to take it to the RCMP,” says Rempel. “It doesn’t matter if somebody is making a threat to someone or proposing violence to someone to their face or in a different medium, it’s still unacceptable.”

So, a good decision. A bit of an offset to the appalling decision that preceded it; a battle won. But the war isn’t over, not by a long shot. Obviously. 

Having run this web site for fifteen years, I am familiar with online threats and harassment. A few years ago, a guy who disliked my politics declared, online, that he intended to rape and torture one of our sons. That won him a trip to the police station, and more. 

That kind of stuff still happens. A group of Toronto neo-Nazis have been going after Lisa and I online – famously writing, a few weeks ago, that someone was going to end up “dead” – and the Toronto Police Service have done nothing about it. Zero. They’ve been beyond useless. 

I’m a guy, however. I have the ability to go after, and defend against, criminal online harassers – using the law, or other means. (If you know what I mean.)

Many women, however, lack a web site like this one, or a law degree, or an army of smart readers (like you) who know how to hunt down anonymous creeps. They don’t have the resources to fight back. 

That’s why Michelle Rempel’s case is so important. It shows that women need not take this online hate. It shows that you don’t need a law degree or unlimited resources to fight back and win. 

Mark my words: Michelle Rempel will be Prime Minister one day. Her courtroom victory shows just one reason why – she’s a fighter. 

And, with the action she took, the fight she took on alone – as a citizen, without publicity – she made Canada a little bit safer this week. 


The Irish economy! Weddings! Trudeau’s speechwriters! Donald Trump Is An Asshole! SFH!

(And if you listen carefully, you can hear me in a cab, whipping through the streets of Dublin – and then doing the chat with Charles on a packed train North to Drogheda.)



  


Being a fundamentally weird person, I am drawn to weird things. Thus, this, spotted at a dollar store down from our wee hotel in Drogheda.

Weird.


Buy it now! We need the dough for our ex-wives and bookies!


A good newspaper, playwright Arthur Miller once said, is a nation talking to itself.

So what happens when our newspapers start to die? Will the nation die, too?

Full disclosure: I love newspapers. I have been a reporter at two (Calgary Herald, Ottawa Citizen) and a columnist at three (National Post, Ottawa Citizen and the Sun). I have a degree in journalism. I have taught journalism to innocent youngsters. Before I succumbed to the siren song of politics, and went to work for some guy named Jean Chretien, all I ever wanted to be was a journalist.

Newspapers, however, are in big trouble. Everyone knows this. There are all kinds of reasons why: ad revenue has virtually disappeared. Newspaper managers have done a pretty lousy job. The culture has changed.

The big reason, of course, is that newspapers responded to the Internet in precisely the wrong way. Instead of making content easier to access – like Facebook or Twitter or blogs do – newspapers initially placed some or all of their content behind subscription walls and registration forms and whatnot.

That wouldn’t have been a problem if (a) Internet-age people were in any way patient and (b) Internet-age people believed in paying and/or registering for things on-line. Neither is true. In the new media environment, everyone is cheap and everyone is in a rush: they’re used to getting stuff for free, and all in a matter of seconds, too.

If you can get news and commentary for free, why pay for it? For too long, it was a question too many newspapers couldn’t answer. And so, for debt-drowning outfits like Postmedia, it’s too late. Last week, Canada’s biggest newspaper chain jettisoned dozens of award-winning journalists and shuttered newsrooms across the country. Thereafter, an RBC Dominion Securities analysis assigned Postmedia shares a value of zero. As in, nothing.

Depending upon your point of view, Postmedia is now either dead or dying. But some folks still shrug about that. Facebook, Twitter and blogs will fill the resulting void, they say. They don’t think it’s a big deal.

They’re wrong.

Our democracy – the nation itself, as Arthur Miller noted – will be diminished with the loss of newspapers. Would Canadians know as much as they do about the thalidomide scandal, had the Globe and Mail not investigated it? Would they have known about the secret life of Toronto mayor Rob Ford, were it not for the Toronto Star’s efforts?

Would they have learned about the “robocalls” mess, but for the efforts of the Ottawa Citizen and (yes) Postmedia? The treatment of prisoners by Canadian Forces in Afghanistan (Globe and La Presse)? The sponsorship scandal (Globe)? And on and on.

Trust me: we wouldn’t. Were it not for the exemplary work of those newspapers – those journalists and editors, now being pink-slipped by Paul Godfrey and his Postmedia guild of vampires – we simply wouldn’t. And, in some real way, our lives would be demonstrably different: less safe, less informed, less free.

Years ago, I was the Special Assistant to the aforementioned Jean Chretien, back when he was the Leader of the Opposition. Part of job was to help put organize for Question Period. Our job, then and later, was to hold the government to account. We’d put together a list of topics and MPs, and we’d go after the government in Question Period.

We measured success, mostly, with one key indicator: media coverage. If newspapers covered what we did in QP, we were doing well. If they didn’t, we weren’t.

Any Opposition MP or MPP or MLA will tell you: if the media aren’t there to shine a light on a government’s misdeeds or misspending, very few people are going to end up knowing about it. Without newspapers, in particular, an Opposition member’s question isn’t going to get noticed. TV and radio can try and fill the void, but they simply don’t have the ability to document complex stories – scandals and triumphs alike – in the way that newspapers do.

Justin Trudeau, to his great credit, has already publicly expressed his concern about what Postmedia is doing. So, too, Brian Jean, leader of Alberta’s Wildrose Party. They were smart, and right, to do so.

Other political leaders need to do likewise, fast. They need to demand that the Competition Bureau make good on its pledge to reopen the file on Postmedia’s acquisition of the Sun newspapers a few months ago. Among other things, Postmedia has not lived up to its solemn promise to “maintain distinct editorial departments.” Postmedia lied about that, and everyone now knows it.

And everyone will also know, soon enough, what our democracy will be like without fine newspapers like the Calgary Herald, or the Ottawa Citizen, or the Chronicle-Herald, or National Post, or the Vancouver Sun, or La Presse.

It will be less of a democracy, and less of a nation, too.




[It opens only in Facebook, which irritates me.  Anyone know how to get the embed code without further fattening Mr. Zuckerberg's wallet?]

Watch here.