As promised, let’s start with the ‘Fern Hill’ bit: though, I am warning you, I might get a bit philosophical…
In her opening statement, Connie Fournier said her testimony would demonstrate a multi-year cyber-bullying campaign of herself by Dr. Baglow and that this lawsuit is just another means through which he is victimizing her. It was alleged that, among other things, Dr. Baglow attempted to isolate Connie by bullying and targeting people who supported her and even attempted to sabotage a fundraiser for their legal costs. In order to have Dr. Baglow’s side of the story (as Connie’s testimony is still in the future), Mr. Burnet had to ask Dr. Baglow a lot of questions about this and thus bring his side of the story forward.
So, this is what is happening here. I’ll explain this the best that I can – though, again, I cannot stress strongly enough that it is extremely difficult to follow what is happening in court because everyone has exhibits and is reading all kinds of materials which are being discussed, but the spectators have no access to these materials and only hear the references to them, what their importance is or is not according to all the different people. So, I’ve tried to piece this together as best as I could…
Fern Hill is a blogger – and a decidedly progressive one. Unlike Connie Fournier, Fern Hill is 100% pro choice and, from what I’ve gathered, she is very proudly far left of centre. She has several co-bloggers, including a female blogger named DammitJanet. And, as a fellow ideological leftist, she and Dr. Baglow were on very friendly terms.
Yet, when Dr. Baglow filed this particular lawsuit against the Fourniers, in my never-humble-opinion, Fern Hill saw the existential danger to the whole blogosphere that this lawsuit poses: should Dr. Baglow be victorious, it will not be a ruling against the Fourniers and Roger Smith: it will be a ruling against the blogosphere, as it exists today. If one can be fined tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs and penalties for a honestly believed-in comment that 5 or 6 people saw (before the Streissand effect applied), then one could not possibly post one’s own honestly believed-in opinions on any kind of an open forum.
Fern Hill was a friend of Dr. Baglow – but hoped the defendants (whom she disagreed with, but whose silencing she saw as being potentially capable of silencing herself) would prevail in this particular case. This put her in a very uncomfortable position: side with her friend and loose her rights, or side with her rights and anger her friend!
Fern Hill arrived at what she thought was a win-win solution: she would work hard to raise funds for BOTH sides!
This way, she would support her friend, Dr.Baglow, in his fight and thus show her loyalty. At the same time, she would raise the same amount of money for the defendants, as they were also fighting for her own right to speak freely.
Both sides get some help – all benefit, her conscience is clear.
And it was during this portion of the testimony that Dr. Baglow was not his polished, professional self but let some of his raw emotion show. He was truly and honestly hurt by Fern Hill’s suggestion that she support both her friend and her rights (as she saw it)! In my never-humble-opinion, Dr. Baglow truly and honestly did not get Fern Hill’s dilemma, nor her reasoning for the proposed solution. To him, this was a black-and-white issue: either you support your ideogical allies, or you are a traitor to the cause worthy of the worst possible abuse.
This brings in the philosophy bit….
In my never-humble-opinion, this is a key, fundamental, un-negotiable divide between collectivists and individualists…and why the two cannot begin to see eye to eye.
Individualists realize just how important to humankind the approval of their peers is, how necessary it is for one to have the acceptance/approval of the social group one exists in in order to thrive, physically and mentally. It is precisely because they understand this basic human need ‘to be accepted’ that individuals who stand up to the group and/or specific elements of the group (which may be influential and/or powerful) and stand up for what they believe is right and wrong.
In other words, risking social rejection in order to stand on principle is, to the individualist, the highest form of morality, worthy of the greatest praise and admiration.
Conversely, compromising one’s ideals in order to conform to the group is, among individualists, considered to be the height of hypocrisy and the most contemptible, hypocritical behaviour ever.
Now, let us consider the collectivist point of view:
To the collectivist, the group IS the embodiment of the ‘self’.
Thus, setting personal principles aside and supporting ‘the group goal’ (even if parts of it, or the means of achieving it proposed, are against one’s personal principles of ‘right and wrong’) is seen as the most admirable, praise-worthy quality of self-lessness and altruistic dedication to ‘the cause’.
Standing up against ‘the group’ (or, by default, the loudest and thus most influential elements within the group) in order to preserve one’s principles of right and wrong is seen as the cardinal sin of ‘arrogance’ and ‘self-gratification’ by the collectivists.
With such a different conception of what constitutes morality – standing on principle against the group vs. giving up principles to the will of the group – is it any surprise that a collectivist would not only fail to see how standing on one’s principles would not be praiseworthy, but how he could perceive a person trying to protect themselves from the actions of ‘a member of the group’ would be seen as ‘betrayal’.
And this is what I think Fern Hill’s problem was.
Dr. Baglow testified that he felt betayed by his friend and ideological ally, he saw her action as aiding and abetting of Nazi enablers (because, even though the Fourniers are not themselves Nazis, by fighting for freedom of speech for everyone, even the distasteful elements in society, he sees their actions as enabling Nazis to spread hate speech). I hope I have understood this accurately – if I have made errors, please, let me know.
Because Dr. Baglow felt so betrayed by Fern Hill’s support for both sides, he posted and Tweeted some nasty things, designed to express the depth of hurt and anger that he felt. And, as a true collectivist who presumes guilt by association, he smeared anyone who stood up for Fern Hill (I believe it was in this context that some misogynistic abuse was hurled at DammiJanet, Fern Hill’s co-blogger and a fellow progressive). He demanded that Fern Hill pick sides – and clearly indicated which side he thought she ought to pick.
In my never-humble-opinion, this admission proves the charge that he interfered with Connie’s fundraising efforts as well as her accusations that he tried to bully people who stood up for her cause, isolating her from supporters. But, my understanding is necessarily imperfect as I have no legal training, and it is difficult to predict what kind of impression this made on the judge.
Are you familiar with the expression: “Looking down one’s nose at something/someone”?
I am not a very good observer of facial expressions or body language, so I don’t really recall ever having quite understood what people mean by this phrase. Until Dr. Baglow’s cross examination, that is.
At times, he would remove his glasses, tilt his head back and glare contemptuously at Barbara Kulaszka (who was the first to start the cross examination) and the rest of the defendants and, in the most derisive, patronizing tone, he’d utter phrases like “extreme free speech types”… I found this very uncomfortable, because this did not seem like the very charming, courteous man whom I’ve had the pleasure to chat with.
Plus – compared to me, the Fourniers are very much ‘centrists’ when it comes to ‘free speech’ ideas. Myself, I am an anti-slavery fundamentalist, and, thus, through logical evaluation, I must take the position of a free speech absolutist. If I own my self, then I am 100% responsible for my actions, regardless of who does and says what. This also means that if you own your self, then I am not responsible for your actions or how you react to my words. Thus, falsely yelling FIRE in a crowded theatre must not be prohibited because if I were to be responsible for how other people react to my words, then such a responsibility implies at least part ownership. After all, how can I be responsible for you if I have no coercive power over you? And if I have coercive power over you, then you do not truly own your self….or so the reasoning goes. Others have said all this much more eloquently many, many times before.
Anyhow, the cross examination was very exciting.
Barbara Kulaszka, the lawyer for Mark Fournier, had gotten Dr. Baglow to agree to some of the basic facts about the Khadr case – in particular, that Omar Khadr had been picked up in a raid on the Taliban. In other words, we were again covering the whole Al Qaeda vs Taliban thing.
Then we got into the ‘Taliban Jack’ nickname for Jack Layton because of his perceived support of the Taliban and why that was not defamatory.
The next bit covered had, I suspect, something to do with ‘context’.
Throughout is testimony, Dr. Baglow had testified that he did not remove words even more insulting and offensive that he was called, on his own blog and under his control, because of the context…either they were clearly miss-use of the words or they were a simple vulgarity or if was so obvious from the context that they were just silly that it was not worth his time to bother with them. This, however, was different, because there was insufficient context around the comment to make it clear it was not literally true.
Barbara Kulaszka skillfully walked Dr. Baglow through many instances on his blog where he relies on ‘general information’ for context and does not supply it – nor does he repair broken links that provide context on older posts, thus committing the same error of publishing strong statements of views without the necessary context. I think she demonstrated this clearly, as it was at this point in the cross examination that Dr. Baglow began fidgeting in his seat.
There was a lot of back and forth, asking about the blogosphere, other fora and blogs and bloggers – and commenters. One name kept popping up quite a lot: ‘MarkyMark’. Dr. Baglow testified that they had met through the blogosphere and became friends and that MarkyMark even stayed in his house!
When asked about blogs on the political right, he named many. When asked about blogs on the political left, he hmmmd and eventually came up with a few rather unknown ones while not naming any of the ‘biggies’ (that even I know about – and I know very little about the ‘progressive’ bit of the blogosphere, for obvious reasons). I was quite surprised at this and wondered about it.
He testified, with a straight face, that when he told people that if they were looking for Nazis (people who said they had guns and were looking to kill Nazis, no less), they should go see Connie Fournier, he did not intend for them to take their guns and threaten Connie but that he honestly believed ‘she could facilitate contact’ with them. It continued much in this way for quite some time, suggesting Connie should be imitated with a staged Gestapo accent, and so on. This is obviously just teasing and not abusive in the least, as per Dr. Baglow.
About his online implying that Connie had maliciously sent him an email with an electronic virus, Dr. Baglow forced out a chuckle and said that right after he had read his email, his computer crashed, so he joked about it.
Dr. Baglow mocked the Fourniers from the stand for winning the George Orwell Free Speech Award, sneering that was not an honourable award to win.
For those who do not know, a SLAPP suit is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation and a favourite tool of the totalitarians to suppress free speech by suing people into oblivion. If you did not know what this term was, you are not alone – the judge did not know either and commented on what an interesting concept this was.
It was at this point that I got a bad toothache and I did not take as good notes afterwards. My apologies – I’ll have to be a little bit brief.
The most important thing that came out during next little bit of talking about BCF and his blog was something Dr. Baglow had written. It seems that something negative was said about BCF on another, most likely Dr. Dawg’s, and BCF copy/pasted it when rebutting it or somehow responding to it, so that the offensive term appeared again, this time as part of BCF’s comment.
Dr. Dawg had then written something to the effect that by showing the text and responding to it, BCF had, in fact, re-published it.
This is important because the words that are the subject of this lawsuit were similarly copied and re-published by the plaintiff. So, getting him on record that repeating and responding constitutes republishing may become an important part of the case.
There was also quite a bit of stuff about Dr. Baglow saying rather unpleasant things about a lot of people, some in anger, some in frustration – it is what it is – as well as about the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, who also happens to be intervening in this court case as a friend of the court.
Oh yes – and Mr. Burnet, Dr. Balow’s lawyer, had, at one point, jumped to his feet and outed himself as PeterOne or Peter1 or some name that sounds like this and admitted taking part in some of these online verbal skirmishes.
At one point, Dr. Baglow testified that ‘there is a lot of political motivation behind it’ – and by ‘it’ I understood he meant this lawsuit (I tried to insert other things, but this was the only one that made sense in this context), which would have proven what Roger smith had said in his opening statement: this is a political disagreement and does not belong in a court of law because it is inappropriate for the courts to be deciding which political opinions are legal to hold and which are not.
And this ends my account of day 4 – report on day 5 coming soon!
UPDATE: Videos are being added as they come out – just scroll down!
Today, across Ontario, people took to the streets to protest our Provincial government’s mismanagement of our energy supply, which has resulted in doubling or more of our energy costs…with more cost increases coming soon.
Living in Ottawa, I came to the protest nearest me: at Bob Chiarelli’s constituency office, on the corned of Carling and Woodrooffe.
And what a protest it was!!!
While I’ve heard radio reports of ‘more than 300 people’, and while the numbers did fluctuate over time, at the height of the protest, my count put the crowd at somewhere between 500 and 600 people and dogs. (Yes, there were cute doggies in the crowd.)
Right away, I saw some familiar faces – Ruth and Beth (frequent callers to CFRA’s Lowel Green show – a couple of fine ladies who are not afraid to speak their minds), there was Debbie J., and Gordon and Jeremy and many, many other familiar faces. A strong contingent from the Landowners’ Association – and a petition against rising hydro costs by Randy Hillier was circulated. But, there were also people I’ve never seen at any of the protests I’ve been to – a lot of younger people than usual, despite this being a Friday noon protest.
The weather was icky and the wind was sharp and bitterly cold – which is probably why the size of the crowd fluctuated as people snuck off to their cars to warm up, then came back.
The organizers of the rally – led by Beth Trudeau from the Canadians for Language Fairness – ought to be very proud of the fine job they did!
They had a makeshift platform set up, with a bullhorn – and they had a large number of excellent speakers.
Lisa MacLeod and I have had our differences, but, I give credit where credit is due: not only had Lisa done a most excellent job following this issue as the Energy Critic, she also came out and spoke at this rally. I wish I could have heard better what she was saying, but I only caught snippets of it as at that moment I was on the median of Carling Avenue, and rather far from the podium. But, Lisa did notice me and waved to me and I waved back, acknowledging the great job she’s been doing following this issue and not letting go.
There were other speakers – politicians, journalists, citizens. One guy told us how he had just started a family and his energy bills were driving him out of his home and into an apartment. Another urged people not to vote for any political party, as they do not differ that much from each other: we need real people in government, not career politicians!
I also got up and spoke a few words of encouragement to support all the people standing up and saying enough is enough, we will not suffer energy poverty!
All in all, it was very exciting, but I underestimated the wind and turned into a bit of an icicle…
Still, I think this protest was not the end – rather, just the beginning of the wave of unrest as people refuse to be reduced to energy serfdom.
Here are some videos from today:
Disclosure: It may be important to note my past experience with PSAC, that very powerful and ruthless public sector union, of which Dr. Baglow testified he had been the Executive Vice President of.
When, decades ago, I was a wee little teenager, shortly after we came to Canada, my mom got a job where she was forced to become a member of PSAC. Back then, there was a lot of tension created by this most militant union. Once, just before a strike, my mom naively said she opposed the strike – within earshot of a union thug. We started getting phone calls at all times of day and night. My mom got threats that were not even thinly veiled. Once, a caller told her where I went to school, the times I walk there and back and the exact route I walk…
My mother was so frightened that she took a leave of absence until after the strike….and this event had, for ever, opened my eyes to the way labour unions in Canada function and ‘get things done’.
Thursday, day 4 of the trial, started with a bit of excitement.
Being a ‘morning person’ (that is, I hardly ever go to sleep until after I’ve said ‘hello’ to the morning), I find it difficult to actually be places at an uncivilized hour, like, say, 9:30 am. So, I missed the original action, but it had caused such a buzz and so much comment, I was soon filled-in on the situation. Like I reported earlier, witnesses were not allowed to hear each other’s testimony, nor was anyone allowed to tell them about it. Thus, as I left the court yesterday, Dr. Baglow was pacing expectantly outside of the courtroom, not being allowed to know what Mr. Bow’s testimony and cross examination brought out.
While surfing the net in the evening, Dr. Baglow accidentally encountered a blog which reported on day 3 in court – and thus Mr. Bow’s testimony!!!
How very, very unfortunate that out of the hundreds of thousands, nay, millions of blogs in the blogosphere, Dr. Baglow accidentally landed on the one and only blog in the world where the forbidden information was published…
Of course, being a moral and upright ex-union boss, as soon as he realized what he was reading, Dr. Baglow logged off right away.
There were only 2 observers in the courtroom who were blogging about the case, and I didn’t write up day 3 until yesterday, so we can narrow down pretty easily which was the blog in question. However, the court clerk and stenographer did not know that and the court clerk was sending daggers out of her eyes in my direction all morning.
I think the court clerk must have a very difficult and frustrating job. While I have never heard any of the other court clerks in the cases I have observed so far complain about their job, this one was more articulate. She kept explaining to anyone within earshot just how much more difficult they were making her job. And everything in the courtroom seemed designed to annoy her – from the way the chairs were arranged to the fact that some people left the courtroom through the left side of the door instead of using the right side only. Poor woman – so much responsibility and so many unnecessary obstacles were being hurled into her path.
And now this!
“Now I have to worry about being on some BLOG!!!’ she lamented at one point, as she shot me a particularly venomous look.
It must be a difficult job, indeed!
But, back to the substance of the trial. I am not quoting directly, but rather expressing my imperfect understanding of the testimony and cross examination. Timelines may be jumbled and at some points, I may put specific bits of testimony and cross examination together, to maintain the narrative.
As I came in, the blogger Jay Currie was under discussion. (Note – the linkie is to his new blog, which I quite like. The discussion here is about his old blog, which Dr. Baglow says was quite good, but I myself hardly ever went there as I simply did not like the format and feel of it.)
Jay Currie’s old blog was a bit of a cross-roads where a lot of unlike-minded people went to for ‘verbal fencing’ – not because they actually expected to convince anyone of the rightness of their point, but simply to bicker. Personally, I detest bickering, so I hardly ever went there and never took part in the pointless bickering. This was not the case for Dr. Dawg (Dr. Baglow’s online persona), nor for Peter O’Donnel, the other persona of Roger Smith.
At some point in time, Dr. Dawg had a private email conversation with Jay Currie, which he had subsequently learned was shared with Mark Fournier’s lawyer, Barbara Kulaszka. Dr. Baglow was deeply hurt and very disappointed by this breech of trust and invasion of privacy. Poor Dr.Baglow…
It is my guess that the emails referred to here were the ones which definitely established the identity of Ms. Mew as a handle of Dr. Baglow. Dr. Baglow insisted that everyone knew he was Ms. Mew as the nickname was an obvious play on ‘Dr. Dawg’. However, I suspect ‘everyone knew’ would not be a good enough identification for the courts….and nor would using Ms. Mew’s IP address, as numerous courts have ruled that an IP address cannot be used to identify a person.
Anyhow, at this particular time, Dr. Baglow testified, the online sparring in the comments between himself and Jay Currie had gone on for quite some time. Dr. Baglow was upset to find out that the offensive materials (those 7 little words, and, in my never-humble-opinion, had the article used been ‘a’ instead of ‘the’, we could not be here, in court – so, listen to all us Grammar-nazis out there, it may help you avoid a lawsuit!) would not be taken down and he was very, very hurt and angry.
The discussion now moved to something that had been written, but I could not see as the exhibits are not available to the spectators, but it was understood by the Fourniers as a threat to use the courts to bankrupt them – and thus was said to have demonstrated malice on the part of Dr. Baglow. If I am not mistaken, it was something like that when this was all done, he, Dr. Baglow, would get Roger Smith’s harpsichord and play it in Mark and Connie’s house, which he will have won in the lawsuit. Or something like that. The Fourniers and Roger Smith took this to be a threat of lawfare – where the process is as much of a punishment as any potential outcome (and something which spreads ‘libel chill’ throughout the blogosphere) but Dr. Baglow testified that this was just a bit of ‘bravado’ and ‘nothing to pay serious attention to’.
As a matter of fact, there were quite a lot of instances where Dr. Baglow was ‘displaying bravado’ or just writing words in frustration at having such an injustice committed against his person, and any words uttered in such a state of mind, no matter how derogatory or sexually degrading (those would be the ones directed at Connie Fournier, the lone female participant in this farce of a trial – and the one for whom Dr. Dawg’s vilest of insults were reserved), were not any evidence of malice or bad will, but just a symptom of frustration. Had the Fourniers been good little unwashed plebs, and done everything the intellectual Dr. Baglow demanded, they would not have brought such malicious invective on themselves!!! At times, I think Dr. Baglow felt quite hurt that the Fourniers, Connie in particular, had forced him to use such uncivilized language…
Please note, I am paraphrasing and getting the ‘gist’ of the testimony as I understood it, not quoting Dr. Baglow directly….and I am using the word ‘malicious’ in the colloquial, not the legal sense of the word as I have no legal training. And I am applying the word ‘malicious’ t the words used, not to D. Baglow. Just thought I ought to clarify that here, so nobody would be misled.
Aside: the kind of language that Dr. Baglow used was truly, truly ‘past colourful’. For example, he called a male blogger (not involved in this lawsuit) a ‘flaming …..’ where ‘…..’ is a word for female genitalia. Now, I don’t care how punny anyone thinks this may or may not be, but, using bits of female anatomy as an insult to hurl at another man: if THAT is not anti-woman hate-speech, I don’t know what is!!!
Dr. Baglow testified most vehemently that he does not approve of, indulge in or permit (on his blog) ‘Hate Speech’ of any kind. Whenever someone used the phrase ‘right to freedom of speech’, he made sure to insert the word ‘alleged’ before the word ‘right’ – with great emphasis.
His lawyer, Mr. Burnet, kept ‘fumbling’ the documents and getting the exhibits ‘mixed up’. And, at times, he kept ramming the left arm of his glasses into his left ear…. How exciting to witness such skillful courtroom theater!!!!
Another ‘current’ through this testimony was about likening Connie Fournier to Nazis. Perhaps not in name, but in imagery.
Dr. Baglow testified that he did not say Ms. Fournier was a Nazi, nor does he think that she is. But there were so many statements brought up during the testimony and the cross examination where Dr. Baglow used Nazi imagery that his professions seemed weak at best.
Then there was some testimony I could not follow, but it sounded as if Dr. Baglow were defending himself from accusations of having written that Judge Annis (the one that ruled that the ‘disputed words’ were not capable of being defamatory) – among other judges – was ‘in the pocket of the conservatives’… Please, do take care that I am stating, flat out, that I did not understand heads or tails of this bit of testimony – just that this is what it sounded like was happening. Mr. Baglow, while admitting to writing the words, denied most vehemently that this was their implication.
Then Dr. Baglow referred to 2 different studies – again, I had no reference, this was all in the documents I had no access to – that ‘proved’ one or another of his statements/positions. But, the judge stared at Dr. Baglow and verbally spanked him by pointing out that she read those two things and they were nothing like ‘scholarly studies’ but just the ravings of some inconsequential journalists. (Again, I am conveying my impressions of what happened, not the actual words uttered.)
Mr. Burnet asked Dr. Baglow if it is true that he wrote about a judge that he is guilty of statutory rape for having had sex with his baby sitter. Now, again, I did not have the documents in front of me, so my understanding is highly imperfect and I would love to be corrected, so that the record will be accurate. But, it seems that event though the babysitter was over the age of 16 (not statutory rape), the judge – as an employer of the baby sitter – was ‘an authority figure’ which Dr. Dawg thinks ‘bumps up’ the statutory rape thingy to 18, not 16. And, Dr. Baglow would appear to have been highly critical of this and he appears to have blogged his criticism. But, writing that ‘a man in position of authority’ was having sex with someone under the age of 18, as he asserted the judge had indeed done, this apparently did not imply, in any way, shape or form, that he was accusing that judge of statutory rape. And while I can respect his opinion and his original blogging thereof, I must admit I was disappointed in how he tried to walk this bit back…
The post by Dr. Dawg called ‘Off with his head’ – and referring to Prime Minister Harper – was also brought up, both during the testimony and the subsequent cross examination. While Dr. Baglow insisted this reference was satire, the fact that there actually was a real-life plot to behead our Prime Minister makes this assertion sound hollow, at best…rather, it would seem to (in my never-humble-opinion) a very thinly veiled sympathy and/or support for militant Islamist terrorists. OK, it was never openly stated in the testimony, but, it hung in the air like a miasma which all parties present pretend is not really there…silent, but palpable!!!
Then the issue of Fern Hill came up….
….I just realized I’m at over 2k words and we have not yet hit lunch!!!
Let me break here and start part 2 from the ‘Fern Hill’ bit.
On the weekend, I posted my little speech from the Freedom School.
My good friend Elsa’s much longer – but most excellent - speech is here.
I was part of the panel on Political Correctness: in my never-humble-opinion, ‘Politically Correct speech is an example of the worst kind of ‘hate speech’.
Some of my co-panelists had quite excellent things to say, quite worthy of your attention. (And, not all of my co-panelists’ speeches are out yet – editing takes time – but, here are the ones that are.)
Please note that Valerie Price, in her speech, calls attention to the plight of Free Dominion:
And, here is Janice Fiamengo, a professor at Ottawa University whose Ottawa speech last Friday had experienced such heckling…
Aside: at that conference, Dr. Fiamenco and I had a most excellent discussion about the book ‘Reading Lollita in Teheran’ – we both loved it and I would recommend that book to everyone!!!
NOTICE: this post discusses and assesses the testimony given by Mr. Bows, so, if any reader who is banned by the court from reading about Mr. Bow’s testimony until his own is finished comes across this post, they ought to leave this page right away in order not to breach the court’s order.
Day 3, Wednesday, was the ‘broken-up day’: Madam justice had a previous commitment for a 3 hour meeting smack dab in the middle of the day. So, the court was scheduled from 9:30 to 10:30, then a bit of a break, then again from 1:30 to 5:00. And, as I had commitments of my own which I had been neglecting due to the trial, I took the morning to try and get caught up on some of them. So, I missed the morning hour…
I was there for 1:30, ready to go! But, the most exciting thing to happen was that the bailiff announced that the courtroom clock had finally been fixed!!! It now actually displays the correct time….
After a bit of waiting, we learned that Madam justice had finished her meeting, but needed a bite to eat, so the court would not reconvene until 2 pm. Oh well…
At 2 pm, on the dot, the court reconvened. And, I had another little surprise: Dr. Baglow was not on the stand!
Could he have finished his testimony and been cross examined by 4 people in the span of the morning hour? Not quite…
Because the trial had originally been scheduled for 3 days only, that is how long Mr. Bow had planned to be away. In order to accommodate him, all the participants agreed to permit Dr. Baglow’s testimony to be interrupted in order to let Mr. Bow testify and be cross examined first.
Mr. James Edward Bow chose to swear on the Bible, then settled in to the witness box. In his dark grey suit, white shirt, striped tie, with understated wire-rim glasses complementing his dark hair and eyes, he looked handsome and dapper.
Aside: while talking about what people were wearing…Connie wore a fuchsia cardigan that was almost identical in colour to my own top, but mine was short sleeve, so all awkwardness was avoided! Sorry – humorous interlude over!
Mr. Bow testified that he lived in Kitchener, Ontario and worked as a freelance writer with a web designed business on the side. While he never had any formal training in web designed, he had worked for a number of tech companies in the 90′s and received a lot of on the job training. In 2005, when his daughter was born, he became a stay-at-home dad while doing the writing and web stuff on the side from home. As a stay-at-home mom who also blogs, I can relate!
When Mr. Bow testified that he had received his degree in Environmentalism, I began to seriously doubt Dr. Baglow’s sanity: is he really bringing a capital ‘E’ Environmentalist to try to support the veracity of a contentious claim? Really?!?!?
I had to work hard to suppress a bout of giggles: like ANYONE on EARTH would ever again believe a word that comes out of the mouth of an ‘E’nvironmentlist!!!
Disclosure – my background is physics, field of data acquisition and analysis…and I specialized in helping scientists/technologists avoid ‘conformational bias’…so, I find the modern ‘E’nvironmentalists particularly, well, how can I put this without being defamatory…’not up to snuff’ scientifically and having a very, very deep, perhaps un-bridgeable, credibility deficit.
In my never humble opinion, Mr. Bow’s testimony bore out the expectations one would have of an ‘E’nvironmentalist: lots of claims of technical expertise followed by ‘D’uh, I don’t know how to do that…’
To his credit, Mr. Bow tried very hard to support his friend, Dr. Baglow, but to anyone with an iota if IT knowledge, he simply did not come across as credible – to my never-humble-thinking.
He blamed Dr. Baglow for not updating the comments before they attempted to migrate them to the new platform (without explaining why they could not have simply gone through the steps of updating step by step by step…), completely forgetting that if they had both migrated the site to the new spot (for the hosting of which Mr. Bow got paid by Dr. Baglow) AND left the old site up, instead of shutting it down, the defendants in this case would not have been deprived of access to information essential to their defense. No amount of difficulties with migrating the comments over would have caused this damage had they not actively shut the old site down…
In another bit of testimony, Mr. Bow testified that it was Dr. Baglow’s decision to stop trying to recover the ‘lost’ comments, or he would have continued to look for ways of migrating them over. In my never-humble-opinion, this was Mr. Bow covering his rear end, making sure his incompetence did not get perceived as malice and shifting all responsibility for the ‘lost’ comments squarely onto Dr. Baglow.
At this point, my other-world duties pulled me out of the courtroom: I may have put off fixing my own broken (front) tooth till next week in order to attend the trial, but, I could not put such limitations on ‘my little one’ (OK, he’s taller than I am, but he will ALWAYS be ‘my little one’!!!) and I had to leave the courtroom in order to take HIM to the dentist…
When I left the courtroom in a rush, I found Dr. Baglow pacing nervously in front of the courtroom: by the judge’s order (and as per ‘normal’ practice, he was excluded from the courtroom while other witnesses for his side’ were ‘on the stand’). As we had exchanged pleasantries in the past few days, and as he had always been very civil towards me, I greeted him and had a little (though very hurried – I had stayed in the courtroom well into my time-margin).
During this exchange, he pointed out to me that I had indeed misunderstood the timing when he had joined the NDP. I had reported on this in Day 2: having heard that he had torn up his NDP membership card during Buffalo Bob’s reign, and the accusations that Bob Rae’s political opponents were motivated by anti-Semitism (since Mr. Rae’s wife is Jewish), I wanted to head off any potential smear campaign against Mr. Baglow due to the confluence of this. Yes, I pointed this out in my reporting – but, with sincere and honest statement of fact that I do NOT believe Dr. Baglow to be an anti-Semite – specifically to ward off any potential smear campaign.
Which is why I was very happy that Dr.Bglow corrected my error: he had actually joined the NDP because he had been inspired by Bob Rae’s electoral victory! And, as I understood (and reported), it was Mr. Rae’s subsequent policies that got him so disgusted, he ‘tore up his membership card’.
He accepted my assurance that my calling attention to this was an effort to ‘nip in the bud’ any smears – and appreciated it. I in turn, appreciated being corrected, because I would much rather be corrected in the short run and carry accurate information than be left in error!!!
I promised to correct in in the original post (I put the edit at the top, so anyone reading it will have the correction before getting to the erroneous bit, without hiding I had made an error), and I also promised to describe our conversation on ‘day 3′ to explain how the correction came about.
That was it for me for ‘day 3′ – days 4 and 5 are coming up as soon as I can type them up!
As always: if I have made any errors, if you can correct/add to this commentary, please do so and I’ll be glad to edit this post in order to add your comment!!!