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Monday, March 24, 2014

Lies from Olivia Chow's hatchetman Warren Kinsella to deflect from SubsidyGate

In the already heated Toronto mayoral race, candidate Olivia Chow's political hatchet man is the unimpressive political hack Warren Kinsella, who is known to his detractors as "The Lying Jackal."  I can see how he came by that epithet, since in a posting on his blog last night, Kinsella managed to tell two lies about me in the headline alone.

That comes as little surprise, considering Chow commenced her campaign with falsehoods about her use of housing subsidized by public funds, and then has had her toadies like Kinsella try to malign anyone who dared to challenge her version and expose the actual facts.

The headline Kinsella wrote was, "Ford/Tory enthusiast Richard Klagsbrun links Olivia’s facial paralysis to mental illness."  

I'll deal with how that sentence unveils Kinsella as a serial liar soon, but first, let's take a look at why he wrote it.

Yesterday on my blog, I quoted from and linked to an article by Lorrie Goldstein in The Toronto Sun in which he details the verifiable facts surrounding the use of a subsidized co-op unit by Olivia Chow and her late husband Jack Layton. Those facts, which are supported by transcripts in the official record of the Ontario Legislature, substantially contradict Chow's account. 

Olivia Chow's team, including her flack Kinsella, become understandably upset when those facts are exposed.  I've written before that I don't think SubsidyGate is a big issue in of itself, except for the fact that Chow commenced her mayoral bid by dissembling about it. 

Chow has been trying to posture herself as a "role model" in contrast to Toronto's incumbent mayor, Rob Ford. While Ford's personal foibles have become legendary, one thing he has never been credibly accused of is enriching himself by sticking his hand in the public purse.  As the attempt to create the "role model" meme is central to Chow's early campaign strategy, her acolytes have known to become histrionic at exposure of information showing that Chow would make both a poor role model and a deficient municipal leader.

So when it happens, out come the knives from her campaign flunkies.

Fair enough. I can handle it. And the best way of handling lies is with the truth.

So, back to what I wrote that served as the catalyst for Kinsella's online frothing-at-the-mouth and how he lied about me.

Following the excerpt from Lorrie Goldstein's column, I added a brief paragraph consisting of three small sentences, which was the only original content by me in the post and was:
"I've been saying Olivia Chow is lying when denying having lived in a subsidized co-op. But maybe not. Maybe it has to do with a loss of mental acuity since afflicted with serious health issues?"
Which led to Kinsell writing the headline, "Ford/Tory enthusiast Richard Klagsbrun links Olivia’s facial paralysis to mental illness."

OK, let's take that apart bit-by-bit.

"Tory enthusiast."  Now to be fair to Warren, he pairs that with Ford, and perhaps Kinsella just lacks the mental acuity to differentiate between a Ford supporter and a Tory one. Maybe he conflates them as part of a vast right-wing conspiracy to defeat his client, Olivia Chow. Or maybe Kinsella is just full of crap.

I delivered a speech at a conference last year immediately after one given by John Tory and met him briefly then. I've heard Tory speak on various occasions and he impresses me as an honest, decent, intelligent man. But I have never endorsed his mayoral bid, and have publicly questioned his commitment to following through on necessary fiscal reform in Toronto if he were to become mayor, as well as his ability to win an election. If Rob Ford were to drop out of the mayoral race, I would seriously consider switching my support to John Tory, but I hardly think that could reasonably be described as being a "Tory enthusiast."

But that's just the little lie in Kinsella's headline. Let's move on to his big lie.

Clearly there was sarcasm in the final sentence I wrote, but let's take at face value. Kinsella wrote that I linked Chow's "facial paralysis to mental illness."

No, I did not.

On the face of it, I suggested that serious health issues she had may have affected her mental acuity. Mental acuity, or sharpness, is rarely considered of itself to be what is categorized as mental illness, but I'll leave that aside. No point splitting hairs just to try to call out Kinsella for squeezing in an impressive three lies into one sentence.  But as anyone who can read and comprehend English can see, nowhere in what I wrote did I mention anything about Chow's facial paralysis, nor have I prior to this post you're now reading.

What I did do was use a hyperlink to a Globe and Mail article in which Chow's facial paralysis was prominently discussed, but my linking to it was for its detailing Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, the disease which caused that effect.

It may be too fine a point for someone of Kinsella's intellectual limitations to grasp, but I was actually pointing to the disease and not the symptom, which is something he, not I, explicitly referenced.  I have friends with Bell's Palsy, which causes similar symptoms to Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and I have never made fun of people for suffering from the ensuing facial paralysis.

But let's look at the issue itself. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is caused by the herpes zoster virus and can result in pain and hearing loss as well other side-effects. Those conditions can lead to mental stress which would result in a diminishing of mental acuity, which is somewhat different than what most people would describe as a "mental illness." But the paralysis is not the cause of that, and at no point did I say or imply anything of the sort.

But since Kinsella has decided to introduce the aspect of mental illness himself, there are actually a number of medical reports that do indeed link Ramsay Hunt Syndrome to diminished cognitive ability and mental illness.

And all this isn't to say I'm not prepared to make fun of Olivia Chow for other things. I'm of the view that anyone who prances around in a skimpy bikini-like outfit with butterfly wings to do political stumping invites a certain amount of mockery.

However, it's a very serious matter that Olivia Chow wants to be mayor of Toronto and has a great deal of support from media and the city's political elites, as well as from civic union bosses. A number of political observers in Toronto have also privately noted that in recent years, Chow doesn't seem to be as sharp as she once was. In a campaign where every aspect of the the incumbent's life is being crawled over with a microscope, is it somehow mean to question whether the person considered the front runner is mentally up to the enormous responsibility she is asking Toronto's voters to bestow on her?

I don't think so, but even if it is, I'm not going to apologize for asking it. Chow may very likely restore union control to city hall and undo the successful privatization of garbage collection currently servicing half the city. She has close affiliations with reprehensible and sometimes violent activist groups and has, when it suits her, made common cause with hatemongers such as Zafar Bangash, a very vocal local supporter of Iran's misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic dictatorship.

If Chow were to be elected, Torontonians have a right to be concerned that the doors of the mayor's office would be thrown open to such miscreants. Until now, Chow has only offered poorly delivered vague platitudes. Her supposedly "tough" media interview so far was conducted by her own acolyte, Warren Kinsella.

That would be the same Warren Kinsella who only a couple of weeks ago on his blog, strongly implied that Rob Ford was responsible for a murder. As a lawyer and an officer of the court, the irresponsibility of Kinsella doing so is obvious.

If Olivia Chow is up to the task of being Toronto's mayor, she should have nothing to fear from tough questions and challenges. But instead we see how her campaign panics when faced with those questions and will do its utmost to deflect from them.

Continuing his idiotic little blog post, Kinsella refers to me as a "POS" which I assume means something less flattering than "Person Of Superbness," and concludes by ranting, "Best way to scatter cockroaches is to shine a light on them. So let’s do that. "

I'm game for that.

I'll stand by what I've said in the bright light of day. But last time I checked, it was Kinsella who had to scurry, cockroach-like, away from his racist blog comments directed at the Chinese-Canadian community,  and his misogynistic suggestion that MPP Lisa MacLeod should be "baking cookies" instead of practicing politics.

As far as I'm concerned, for those who recognize the shallowness of Olivia Chow and the disaster her fiscal policies would be for Toronto, her utilization of someone like Kinsella, a self-described "Prince of Darkness," serves as a helpful reminder of her unsuitability for leadership.


Anonymous said...

POS stands for "piece of shit".

David said...

Here's a quote I found on Mr. Kinsella:

"The only advice to Mr. Kinsella is that maybe he can find better content and add more depth to his blogs. He should also note that a blog should always have more substance than a twit in Twitter and he might be a much more respected writer if he tried not to use as many personal pronouns."

From: http://babelonthebay.com/2014/02/26/it-is-not-about-you-mr-kinsella/

Anonymous said...

So Richard, in your opinion does frequent intoxication, crack smoking and long term use of marijuana affect "mental acuity?" Just saying.

Richard K said...

Well, maybe some people have such steely force of will and developed such a tolerance for them, it doesn't affect them that way at all.... ;-)

W. Davies said...

I thank you for writing this. I too support Rob Ford's actions while on the job as Mayor of Toronto. I am perplexed by the media's bias towards left leaning politicians. I think Olivia living in community housing or hubby Jack in a brothel are just as newsworthy. If the media will blast Rob for being overweight, why not then talk about Olivia's health issues?

Thank you for this fresh perspective and if the Left can finally get over the health issues and personal attacks then let's talk about the job of Mayor and some policy issues for a change.

W. Davies

Anonymous said...

I am happily impressed by the libertarian nature of the comments, as long as Rob Ford was doing a good job (lol, but not the point) using all kinds of drugs he is cool.

'Tis so refreshing, compared to Americans.