Not bad. That’s Son Four on the left, on the move for True North.
“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
Dr. T. Douglas KINSELLA, CM, BA, MD, FACP, FRCPC.
Like some men, and as was the practice in some families, my brothers and I did not hug my father a lot. As we got older in places like Montreal, or Kingston, or Dallas or Calgary, we also did not tell him that we loved him as much as we did. With our artist Mom, there was always a lot of affection, to be sure; but in the case of my Dad, usually all that was exchanged with his four boys was a simple handshake, when it was time for hello or goodbye. It was just the way we did things.
There was, however, much to love about our father, and love him we did. He was, and remains, a giant in our lives – and he was a significant presence, too, for many of the patients whose lives he saved or bettered over the course a half-century of healing. We still cannot believe he is gone, with so little warning.
Thomas Douglas Kinsella was born on February, 15, 1932 in Montreal. His mother was a tiny but formidable force of nature named Mary; his father, a Northern Electric employee named Jimmy, was a stoic man whose parents came over from County Wexford, in Ireland. In their bustling homes, in and around Montreal’s Outremont, our father’s family comprised a younger sister, Juanita, and an older brother, Howard. Also there were assorted uncles – and foster siblings Bea, Ernie, Ellen and Jimmy.
When he was very young, Douglas was beset by rheumatic fever. Through his mother’s ministrations, Douglas beat back the potentially-crippling disease. But he was left with a burning desire to be a doctor.
Following a Jesuitical education at his beloved Loyola High School in Montreal, Douglas enrolled at Loyola College, and also joined the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps. It was around that time he met Lorna Emma Cleary, at a Montreal Legion dance in April 1950. She was 17 – a dark-haired, radiant beauty from the North End. He was 18 – and a handsome, aspiring medical student, destined for an officer’s rank and great things.
It was a love like you hear about, sometimes, but which you rarely see. Their love affair was to endure for 55 years – without an abatement in mutual love and respect.
On a hot, sunny day in June 1955, mid-way through his medical studies at McGill, Douglas and Lorna wed at Loyola Chapel. Then, three years after Douglas’ graduation from McGill with an MD, first son Warren was born.
In 1963, second son Kevin came along, while Douglas was a clinical fellow in rheumatism at the Royal Vic. Finally, son Lorne arrived in 1965, a few months before the young family moved to Dallas, Texas, to pursue a research fellowship. In the United States, Douglas’ belief in a liberal, publicly-funded health care system was greatly enhanced. So too his love of a tolerant, diverse Canada.
In 1968, Douglas and his family returned to Canada and an Assistant Professorship in Medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston. More than 35 years later, it was at Kingston General Hospital – in the very place where Douglas saved so many lives – that his own life would come to a painless end in the early hours of June 15, 2004, felled by a fast-moving lung cancer.
Kingston was followed in 1973 by a brief return to Montreal and a professorship at McGill. But an unstable political environment – and the promise of better research in prosperous Alberta – persuaded the family to journey West, to Calgary.
There Lorna and Douglas would happily remain for 25 years, raising three sons – and providing legal guardianship to grandson Troy, who was born in 1982. At the University of Calgary, and at Foothills Hospital, Douglas would achieve distinction for his work in rheumatology, immunology and – later – medical bioethics.
He raised his boys with one rule, which all remember, but none observed as closely as he did: “Love people, and be honest.” His commitment to ethics, and healing – and his love and honesty, perhaps – resulted in him being named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995.
On the day that the letter arrived, bearing Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc’s vice-regal seal, Douglas came home from work early – an unprecedented occurence – to tell Lorna. It was the first time I can remember seeing him cry.
As I write this, I am in a chair beside my father’s bed in a tiny hospital room in Kingston, Ont.,where he and my mother returned in 2001 to retire. It is night, and he has finally fallen asleep.
My father will die in the next day or so, here in the very place where he saved lives. He has firmly but politely declined offers of special treatment – or even a room with a nicer view of Lake Ontario.
Before he fell asleep, tonight, I asked him if he was ready. “I am ready,” he said. “I am ready.”
When I leave him, tonight, this is what I will say to him, quietly: “We all love you, Daddy. We all love you forever.”
[Warren Kinsella is Douglas Kinsella’s eldest son. His father died two nights later.]
[From Globe’s Lives Lived, June 15, 2004.]
Some of us aren’t enthusiastic about assisted dying. Although, in the case of the Senate, we will happily make an exception, and assist.
The Senate – that undemocratic, unaccountable, unwanted monstrosity that has affixed itself to the side of Parliament like a ermine-garbed parasite – is in the news again. And, yet again, it is for all the wrong reasons.
Late last week, Senators took it upon themselves to gut the Trudeau government’s Bill C-14. They had no mandate to do so, they had no authority to do so. But they did so, just the same.
The Senators’ concerns are irrelevant, just like they are. To debate the merits of their changes is to accord them a modicum of legitimacy. We shouldn’t do it.
C-14 has had a troubled history, true. For the comparatively-new Liberal government, it has been the Flying Dutchman of legislation – never yet making it to shore, and a portent of bad luck for all who come near it.
C-14 was the cause of Justin Trudeau’s terrible night, when he manhandled a Conservative and elbowed a New Democrat. C-14 was the reason the Liberals initially sought to give themselves extraordinary powers in the Commons, with the innocuous-sounding Motion Six – and then the reason they thereafter beat a hasty retreat, and frantically withdrawing the aforementioned Motion Six. (Looking autocratic and weak, all in the same session. Hard to do.)
C-14 was the cause of acrimonious splits in caucus, and deep division within the broader Grit family. C-14 was definitive proof, too, that the government could not seem to manage its legislative affairs – or meet a Supreme Court deadline.
And, now, C-14 has become the payback platform for assorted Senators: the Conservative ones, who have been waiting for an opportunity to rain all over Trudeau’s honeymoon. And the Liberal ones – the ones that Trudeau kicked out of his caucus without warning – to teach him a lesson, and to exact sweet revenge.
Like we say: C-14 has been the cause of more trouble than it probably is worth.
There is a theory, of course, that Machiavellian Grits foresaw all of this difficulty, and wanted C-14 to run ashore. It was the plan all along, say some. As with the abortion legislative void, nothing was better than something.
Don’t believe it, not for a moment. Trudeau would not do what he did – and his government would not risk all that it risked – for mere show. It was no Parliamentary pantomime. The government wanted to meet the high court’s absurdly-short deadline, and it did all that it could to hasten the Bill’s passage. It was authentic.
The Senate, lacking both authenticity and wisdom, ended any hope of that. So now what?
The C-14 rush was probably as unseemly as it was unnecessary. Doctors have been quietly practicing euthanasia in Canada for many, many years. I say that as the son of a doctor – one who was sometimes asked to do it, and one who was awarded the Order of Canada for his writings about it.
The government’s haste was also a waste – of energy. The Senators (Conservatives, former Liberals, and Liberals who refuse to acknowledge that they are Liberals) were always going to scupper C-14. Any fool could see that. They weren’t interested in sober second thought. Their objective was to cause trouble, and cause trouble they did.
The objections some of us had to this Bill remain. Who decides, exactly, who should die? What is terminal? If we’ve yet to define life, how can we say for certain when life lacks value? Isn’t euthanizing the mentally ill what that moustachioed Bavarian fellow did? Is there any better oxymoron that a “mature minor?”
And so on.
Justin Trudeau’s C-14 was a sincere, well-meaning and carefully-crafted compromise. It was also profoundly unlucky.
It’s time to try again – this time, one hopes, without the bad luck, the divisions, the Parliamentary brinkmanship and the flying elbows.
Oh, and the Senate. We could do without that, too. But, like death – assisted or otherwise – we are unlikely to be rid of its foul presence anytime soon.
In high school in Calgary, I detested Led Zep. I particularly detested ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ that staple of every high school sock hop. I was a punk, you see.
‘Stairway to Heaven’ was a great way to dance up close with Karen Lux, however, so I kept quiet. Page and Plant made zillions. The world rolled on.
Many years later, we are learning that something was perhaps amiss. Did Led Zep truly steal the riff for their most famous song? Someone feels that they did – in respect of the unlikeliest song you could imagine – and has taken them to court over it.
Listen in, and decide for yourself, here.
In the meantime, Karen Lux, where are you now – and will you let your kids slow-dance to ‘Stairway to Heaven’?