“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



Wow.

,



P.S. Seriously? Really? Hello?


So.

No one – particularly those delighting in it – knows the full story. Innocent before proven guilty, etc. Beyond a reasonable doubt, too. All that.

That said, and more generally, it certainly appears there may be a problem in the newsroom at the Toronto Star. It’s not a new thing, either: I saw it up close with a friend, years ago. Unlike what I suspect will happen in DiManno’s case, the friend was treated like garbage, something to be disposed of.

Anyway. Whatever the facts are in the DiManno (anticipated) prosecution, one thing is for certain: their just-announced probe into the newsroom “culture” is probably a waste of money.

Here’s my recommendation, free of charge, One Yonge:

Start behaving.



Check this out:

A woman who once claimed to be Paul Bernardo’s biggest fan is back behind bars after allegedly slashing a guard’s throat at the U.S. Consulate in downtown Toronto. 

Michelle Erstikaitis, 36, who was deemed a dangerous offender five years ago, appeared in a College Park courtroom Tuesday looking dishevelled and ranting about wanting “a refugee lawyer” to handle her case. 

She is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and carrying a concealed weapon.
Completely missing from the story: Erstikaitis has been writing crap promoting white supremacy and Naziism for Your Ward News, the hate rag some of us wanted Canada Post to stop delivering (and eventually did). 

Is there a potential for violence coming from this neo-Nazi gang? Of course. And, I’m pleased to note, police are now actively investigating those involved with it.

Enjoy your notoriety while you can, Hitler fan “Doctor” Sears. The fun and games are very shortly coming to an end, you pathetic loser. 


We now know, thanks to the NME and an inventive Brit:

 

Which naturally reminded me of this gem from our big win 2011, via Nick “Genius” Nelson (and some war room guy):

[Ed.: Apologies for the ginormous sizing of the first vid, BTW – Twitter embed code apparently don’t let you adjust sizing to something remotely normal.]


So sayeth NBC:

Perhaps the most famous political ad of all time, this early television spot ran on air just once but generated enough media coverage to become a real factor in the 1964 presidential election. President Lyndon Johnson, who had been elevated to Commander in Chief after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, was seeking voters’ stamp of approval on his own presidency. In the run up to the general election, the Democratic Party had split over his embrace of civil rights legislation, among other issues. But Republicans nominated conservative Senator Barry Goldwater after a bitter primary that pitted the establishment of the party against the conservative wing. And while Goldwater’s hard line anti-Soviet rhetoric and his language of “extremism in the defense of liberty” made him a hero to a budding conservative movement, it also gave Johnson an opening to use this stark and blunt ad to help him easily win the general election in November.

Reading that, you will perhaps agree with my view that Democrats need to do in 2016 what they did in 1964 – and kick the living shit out of Donald Trump, who makes Goldwater look like a (now-finally-onside) Bernie Sanders.

Why was Daisy so effective?  Here’s a (emphasis added) snippet from my book, Fight The Right:

In his book The Responsive Chord, Schwartz suggests that “Daisy” was effective because it stirred up powerful, unarticulated emotions among those who saw the spot. It went deep, deep into the collective psyche of Americans, and spoke to values. “The best political commercials are similar to Rorschach patterns,” he writes. “They do not tell the viewer anything. They surface his feelings and provide a context for him to express those feelings.”

The point of “Daisy,” he explains, is not merely to develop a communications strategy, or to try and get one’s message across. Those are ad agency clichés that don’t begin to capture what Schwartz wanted to achieve. What the best messaging – values messaging – does is begin with messages that already have resonance in a person’s emotional makeup. Values that are already there. The objective, he says, is not simply to order one’s words in a beguiling way, or to invoke the word “values” without every fully understanding what it means. It can’t be emphasized enough: with values messaging, the objective is to stir up deeply felt feelings that are now (and likely have always been) present in a person’s deepest psyche.

Ipso facto, Trump: even his most hardcore supporters have some deep-down, deeply-held misgivings about the guy.  Find out what those are, surface them, and beat the bilious bastard to Hell with ’em.

That’s how Daisy won, and how Clinton will win, too.

 


Punk: anarchy, class warfare, contempt for political institutions, right?
 
Not quite, maaaan.
 
Punk rock, like all youth subcultures, possessed myriad internal contradictions. It decried racism (as did Joe Strummer of the Clash) whilst some of its proponents (like Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols) wore swastika T-shirts. It angrily scorned the upper classes (as did the Clash and Iggy Pop) and then later licensed their songs to serve as soundtracks to Jaguar and Audi commercials (as did the Clash and Iggy Pop, respectively). Punk rockers loudly extolled anarchy (as did the Pistols, notably) and then ran for public office (as did the Dead Kennedys Jello Biafra, DOA’s Joey Shithead, and NDP MPs Charlie Angus and Andrew Cash, among others). 
 
But the biggest punk double-standard, probably, was always this: the punk ethos was always about individualism and doing-it-yourself, to the extent that “DIY” became the predominant philosophy among punks on both sides of the Atlantic. But punks, at the centre of their gritty, grimy tattooed hearts, have always been collectivists. They fiercely promoted individualism – but, at the end of the show, always agreed that a lot more can be achieved by working together.
 
“If the kids are united, they will never be divided,” Sham 69’s Jimmy Pursey sang way back when, and all of us agreed. We didn’t know anything about politics or unified action, but in places as far-flung as London (for Pursey et al.) or Calgary (for me and my punk friends) we came together to organize gigs and rallies, for causes ranging from Rock Against Racism to Rock Against Bush.
 
And, along the way, we sort of became internationalists.
 
In its essence, punk rock was always anti-racist and pretty progressive, so our willingness to go along with something like the European Union shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Besides: if we could piss off isolationist conservative types like Margaret Thatcher – who infamously hollered “No no no!” to increased powers for the EU in 1990, in a House of Commons speech that ultimately precipitated her downfall – well, then so much the better. If Messrs. Reagan and Bush were against something, we punks were generally always for it.
 
So what, then, do punks think about the decision of a majority of British citizens to leave the EU? Not much. It indisputably represents a triumph for the angry old white folks we thought we had beaten back in then bad old days. And it is a shocking loss for us, the punks who championed gay, lesbian and minority rights around the time of the very first Pride parades.
 
“Coming out would be like going back to Little England,” said the Pistols’ drummer Paul Cook, a few days before the Brexit vote. His band mate, singer Johnny Rotten, was similarly unenthused, after the vote: “It is not a good idea to lose all the friends we have made in Europe. I am not satisfied.”
 
Nor, apparently, is Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of Florida punk giants Against Me! – and one of the most listened-to voices in punk rock today. Having just completed a memoir – and finished a record and a tour with her band – Grace sat down to talk in Toronto, and expressed despair about the Brexit result.
 
“I always felt like the world was getting more liberal,” she said. “And then something like this happens. And it’s a swing to the Right, no question….Racism, too, I think is at the heart of it.”
 
While the economic and political implications of Brexit have been mooted at length in the media, Grace agrees that the cultural significance of it all remains elusive. “As an artist, there’s nothing wrong about writing about your feelings or whatever. There’s nothing wrong with that,” says Grace, who is known for writing deeply-personal songs – about race, gender and religion – for the band she started in Gainesville in 1997. 
 
“But to me, coming from the punk scene, it’s always important to be part of resistance culture. There’s always a need for music that is protest music. It’s a way to rally people, it’s a way to educate people.”
 
In the Trump and Brexit era, she says, some people are dearly in need of education. “We need art that shakes people out of their comfort zone,” she says, adding that she still believes Trump could win the White House. Against Me, she says, will be doing that at their shows, and on their next (as-yet untitled) album.
 
“It’s a frightening time,” she says. “So artists need to subvert that. They need to revolt against that. They need to create change.”
 
The stakes, she says, are too high for any of us to be apathetic, and to just stay home.
 
“People,” she says, “need to start paying attention.”



I was out of the town for Toronto’s big Pride parade, but I heard all about it.  The local Black Lives Matter folks decided to blockade the parade, stopping it for half an hour, and then issued a ransom note to the Pride organizers.

Wow, I thought, observing the drama play out on Twitter.  One group of victims victimizes another group of victims, and justifies it by claiming a higher victim status.  Ironies abound.

Anyway, that melodrama went on – and on and on – in the pages of the Toronto Star for days. The rest of us moved on.

Then, all of a sudden, Louisiana/Minnesota/Dallas hit.  They happened almost as a triptych.  At the start of last week, the rhetoric of Black Lives Matter seemed almost understated, and police were on the defensive everywhere.  Then, Dallas exploded, and roles were vividly reversed: Black Lives Matter were being called a terrorist group by people who know better, and fresh-faced schoolchildren were delivering handmade cards to weeping police officers.

And so, by this morning, as someone observed on Twitter, black people continued to be preoccupied by the disproportionate number of blacks dying for no reason at the hands of police.  White people, meanwhile, were preoccupied by Pokemon.

Anyway. I thought this bit from a front page New York Times story captured it well:

…a Queens detective quietly seethed.

“This is insanity,” said the detective, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to do so publicly. “It’s just freaking horrendous.”

Reactions to Thursday’s deadly ambush in Dallas swept through roll-call rooms and squad cars in police departments across the country. Contempt for the shooter was universal. But behind it followed other, varying observations about what it means to be a police officer in 2016, with the attending fears and frustrations, and amid a seemingly growing gulf between the police and the policed.

“We have broken into tribes,” Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, told a class of cadets who graduated on Friday. “All of a sudden it becomes more important who your parents are, what the color of your skin is, than whether you are American.”

“This is not about black lives, or brown lives or blue lives,” he added. “This is about America.”

It’s not just about “tribes.” And it’s not just about America, actually.  This is a problem everywhere, for everyone.

The way events play out these days – super-caffeinated by social media and 24/7 news channels – the victim can quickly become the victimizer.  The hunter can become the hunted, as they say.

There’s no moral on offer here, either.  My only point is this: you could always go from hero to zero, in the bad/good old days.  Nowadays, however, that transformation happens in the blink of an eye, whipsawing back and forth again and again.  Rinse and repeat.  Your transformation from victim to villain is instantaneous, now.

Politicians, corporate and union leaders, movie starlets and media mavens always tend to forget this, however.  They always seem to think the adoration lasts forever.

It doesn’t.  Today’s selfie is tomorrow’s mug shot: victims everywhere, take note.