W@AL: The iPad quest beginneth

So this kid at the Apple store in Buffalo looks at me like I’m crazy – crazy – when I say I don’t want to line up at 2 a.m.

As my daughter says: “Dad, it’s just an oversized Touch. Get a grip.”


Good Friday bits and pieces

  • Who’s winning? Well, no one, actually.  As I told the Globe’s lovely and charming Gloria yesterday, the Harper Reformatories can’t get anywhere near majority territory – and the margin, still, is more or less the margin of error.  If folks are feeling good, it’s because of the weather.  Not what’s happening, or not happening, in Ottawa.
  • Which leader leads? I don’t put much stock in online-only polls: they sacrifice random sampling, and therefore accuracy, for lower costs for the pollster.  That said, Ignatieff clearly needs to address the fundamentals, here – and, in particular, with women voters.  Losing further ground with Canadian women would be very, very unhelpful.
  • The Google Rule: Too many politicos, of all stripes, do the kind of stupid stuff “Happy Fingers” Guergis’ staff did.  They’ve been doing it for a long time, in fact.  In the digital age, however, it’s very risky behaviour – because a one-second Google search will tend to expose you.
  • Coulter’s cabal: Gerry Caplan pens an important column about how assorted extremists who – as Jim Keegstra, Ernst Zundel and assorted others did before them – profess to be preoccupied with “free speech,” when their main preoccupation is the freedom to propagate hate against pretty much everyone else.  Worth reading.
  • The Creba verdict: The tragic death of this young woman didn’t just change Toronto, as the Star headline suggests – it changed the country. After that terrible day, my friends at Ipsos subsequently showed, Stephen Harper took the lead over Paul Martin – and he never looked back, ending 13 years of Liberal rule.  The income trust issue was not what defeated the Liberal government – it was law and order.  And if the issue is law and order, conservatives always tend to win.
  • Happy iPad weekend! My kids will be in Ottawa this weekend – so I will be road-tripping Stateside, to line up and purchase Apple’s latest gadget for me and one of my many lawyers.  Watch this here web site for regular updates and W@AL instalments about my quest.  I’m betting I won’t get one – but it’ll be entertaining to try.
  • Finally, from my friend Rachel, currently in France – the definition of redundancy:


Yes, it is April 1, isn’t it?

About 95 per cent of you weren’t fooled for a minute.  Some who who were – people I know! – were sucked in, hook, line and sinker.  Shame, Mr. Speaker, shame!

Anyway, if you still need me to show my bona fides, I can report that CBC’s elves passed along Iggy with Strombo.  Don’t have the embed code, only the link.

Ha!  Gotcha!


A confession

Time for a confession.

It’s been whispered about, here and there, for a few months.  I’ve had some friends and former co-workers ask me about it, too.  And there has even been some Internet speculation, by people I don’t even know.  It’s been…strange. And I have to say that I haven’t particularly liked being less-than-candid with certain people.

But the speculation is true.  It’s true.

How you are when you are younger is well and good, but how you are when you get older – so goes the cliché, anyway- is almost always different.  You get older, you change.  That’s just the way it is.  It’s certainly been that way for me.

Some of you may have noticed, therefore, that my enthusiasm for certain things – and for one “thing” in particular – has waned, in the past year or so.  I hardly mention it at all anymore, if at all.  There’s a reason for that.  The reason is I just don’t believe anymore.

I could dress it up in all kinds of finery, and all sorts of self-justification.  But I won’t.  I’ll just say it, instead.

Last night, I tore up one piece of paper – and went online to get a new piece of paper.

From these people.

For me, right now, it was the right thing to do.  It wasn’t easy, but it feels right.

For those of you who are upset, or don’t understand, I’m sorry.  But it was time – and it was time for me to make my little confession.

Good luck and God bless.


That was then, this is now

Globe and Mail, May 2, 1998:

“…Frank, according to Mr. Duffy, made it acceptable for other media to mention or joke about his weight. For example, the Royal Canadian Air Farce depicts him as Tiny Mike. As well as costing him the Order of Canada, he said the attacks lowered his standing at CTV.

He was advised by his lawyer, David Sherriff-Scott, not to talk to The Globe and Mail about the case. However, in the examination for discovery, Mr. Duffy makes a very convincing case for how much being “Franked” can hurt.

“I don’t know anyone who wants to be held up to ridicule,” Mr. Duffy says on the transcript. “I’ve never met a human being who wants people to make . . . personal comments about them…I’m not sure if your clients appreciate when they put down the Prime Minister for his accent and so on that hurts him personally. Now, one could argue that he asked for that because he ran for office, but the fact is we’re all human beings, and what your magazine, or your client’s magazine, consistently demonstrates is a complete absence of any shred of humanity in relation to other human beings.

“And there is no reason for you to think for one second that Mike Duffy doesn’t have a heart, that I can be hit and not be bruised and not feel it. Of course. And everybody else who is in there feels it too, when they’re attacked. So the idea that you can get some kind of free pass that Mike Duffy is the only human being on Earth who doesn’t feel pain when people make cracks about him, personal cracks, is totally wrong.”

Speech, Sen. Mike Duffy, March 30, 2010:

“I rise to join my colleague, Senator Finley, in support of an inquiry into the state of freedom of speech in Canada…I share Senator Finley’s love of freedom and his concern about the growing phenomena of censorship. I approach the subject from the perspective of someone who, as a journalist for more than forty years, has used freedom of speech every day of my life, and has seen its essential role in keeping our democracy healthySome people say that if we ban offensive or rude opinions in Canada, society will be more harmonious. But experience around the world shows that’s just not how it works; and if we stop people from expressing themselves verbally, even in ways we find distasteful, they might be tempted to express themselves violently…As a journalist, I know the value of free speech. And as a Senator, I have a duty to protect it. Thank you.”

UPDATE: A response by Mike Duffy is found in comments, below.


Brian McInnis, RIP

I was sorry to read about his death in this week’s Hill Times.

Some years ago – while I was in the midst of defending my friend, and my friend’s reputation, during the Gomery Pyle schmozzleMcInnis wrote to me, to pass along a few kind words about the importance of taking a stand, and standing up to thugs.  Even if they’re in your own party.

I understand he had a difficult time due to the role he played in the Reform Party-Heritage Front affair, but I hope he found some peace at the end.