Dr. Baglow vs Freedom of Speech: September 15, 2014

This is a continuation of a prolonged court, the earlier bits of which are here:  Day 1 part 1 and part 2 , Day 2Day 3 and Day 4 part 1 and part 2 of this trial were covered in March, 2014 (write-ups by me at links).  Day 5 is more or less covered by days 6 and 7.…  Day 6 is here.  Day 7 part 1 is here – sorry about having had to chop this up into short little bits, it seems my original write up was too long for WordPress to format correctly… part 2 is here.

Dr. Baglow’s impression of my coverage of the court hearings, as per Twitter, is here.

Which brings us to the first day of the ‘fall session’ of the trial, where the defense part of this case starts.

Aside – I understand that the court-ordered ‘blogosphere expert’ will be testifying on Thursday..

I showed up in court nice and early – long before the information desk folks (on the 2nd floor of the Elgin St. Courthouse in Ottawa – but facing the main Elgin St. entrance) got the memo about which courtroom this particular civil case will be heard in.   However, as time passed on, I learned that the case will have been heard in Courtroom #20 – the courtroom closest to the main/front entrance (and thus dubbed ‘the smoker’s courtroom’).  Here are the players:

Justice:          Polowin, J.

Plaintiff:        Baglow, John

Lawyer:          Burnet, Peter Francis

Defendant:     Smith, Roger

Self-represented

                 Fournier, Connie

Self-represented

                 Fournier, Mark

Lawyer:            Kulaszka, Barbara

As the ‘players’ arrived on the ‘playing field’, these were my observations:

Barbara Kulaszka (BK) looked her steadfast self:  short hair kissed with just a tiny bit of silver, billowing lawyer’s robes framing her slender frame, she was her true self.

Peter Burnet, (PB) slightly balding and silver, looked distinguished (edit:  a complained-of phrase has been removed here).

Roger Smith looked dashing in his tan slacks, brown shoes, blue blazer, dark (black or charcoal) shirt with a blue-inside-a-gray-striped shirt and blue thin-striped tie, his silver hair dashing, his cheekbones chiseled above his silver, manicured beard/mustache.

Dr. Baglow wore his signature outfit:  black suit, blue shirt (opened collar, as if to stress his ‘blue collar’ sympathies), the ubiquitous riding boots (with delicate and adorable little silver trimmings), silver watch, rings on the ring and pinkie fingers of his left hand, silver hair and tailored silver mustache accentuated by the gun-metal framed spectacles he twirled in his hands more than he wore.

The charismatic Mark Fournier wore a new-looking dark blue suit with a thin gray stripe, black shoes and a cream, open-necked shirt.

Connie Fournier was elegant in form-fitting dark trousers which flattered her shape and a dark violet, v-necked thin-knit pullover (with cute button-sleeve detail) which highlighted her fine, strawberry-blond hair cut into a flattering bob.

To complete the picture, let me just say that the same Court Clerk (from the spring) who did not want to be blogged about (and worried she’d be ‘Twittered’) presided over the case, fussing over the improperly entered ‘stuff’ from the spring and lamenting that it will fall to her to re-enter and correct it all.  The ‘Madam Court Reporter’ was a pretty young woman sporting longish black hair with flattering bangs.  Her trim figure was perfectly framed in a navy blue, long-sleeved knit dress accentuated by a thin brown belt with gold-coloured metal trimmigs.  Her pumps were impeccable!

Also, the CCLA, an intervenor in this case, was not represented by Mr Frankel, but by a competent-looking young woman in a black-and-white striped shirt, black slacks and blazer and bright red flat shoes (which she shed while she sat cross-legged on the spectator bench) – I understand Mr. Frankel will rejoin the case later in this week.

Courtroom #20 differed from most court rooms in that on the right side, it sported a sturdy-looking gray sofa with 4 fluffy-looking pillows.  I can only presume that Dr. Baglow’s past blood-pressure difficulties motivated the court to pick a courtroom with a sofa in it.  Otherwise, Courtroom #20 was much like most of the courtrooms in the Elgin St. Courthouse in Ottawa:  creamy-white walls with the ‘head’ wall (behind the judge) being a wood-panel in the same tan colour as the doors and the wooden-bits of the spectator benches, bearing the Canadian Coat of Arms. (The back wall – not the benches!) The seat bit of the upholstered spectator benches was a muted pink, which clashed rather badly with the crude orange-red of the floor carpeting.

It is difficult to describe the air of expectation one can only experience in the courtroom, with everyone present and waiting for the judge to arrive.  I can only liken it to a cross-section of the feeling which, as a 14-month-old (OK – I’m an Aspie and remember this), you are expecting the vaccine-baring MD to enter the room where your mother is holding you down overlapped with the dread you feel as you are sitting at a desk, awaiting your fist Calculus exam paper to arrive.  Add to this the distinct staccato of high heels in the distance – it is ever present, even if completely unrelated to the judge’s arrival – and you approach the hushed tenseness that awaiting the judge’s arrival in the courtroom accompanies!

As in – no movie could possibly do it justice!!!  No amount of suspense could possibly capture the breathlessness of these moments!!!

At 10:05, Madam Justice Polowin, J., entered.

Her hair was longer and lighter than before – and her (paler than before) face looked puffy and strained.  Yet, her eyes looked as intelligent and as sharp as ever!

The first session of the first morning of a hearing are usually taken up with tedious ‘housekeeping’ or ‘administrative’ matters.  Not so in Madam Justice Polowin’s courtroom today!  We went straight to the start of the defense’s case!!!

The first person to take the stand was Roger Smith (aka Peter O’Donnel).  He explained that even though ‘Roger Smith’ is his legal name, it is not ‘unique’ – both ‘Roger’ and ‘Smith’ being ‘common names’. ‘ Peter O’Donnel’, however was somewhat less unique – and as it was his birth name, he used it extensively  (though not exclusively – he sometimes picked ‘humorous nicnames’) in his online activities.

It is my impression that Roger Smith is a very reluctant defender:  it seems to me that he believes that his only defense lies in his truly held beliefs (and that promoting these is in the public good), but that he also thinks that having to justify his deeply held ‘political beliefs’ in front of a judge is very inappropriate of itself (regardless of the eventual ruling) and subversive of our democracy itself – akin to having to having one’s very thoughts needing to br sanctioned by a court of law….which, obviously, is a violation of the most fundamental freedom – the freedom of thought.  So, it seems to me, he is very reluctant to present his beliefs and convictions to the court – yet, his only defense (it seems to me) lies in him claiming to ‘truly believe’ what he had said/written/posted on the internet.  As in – it seems to me as though Roger Smith believes that it is not his statement of his beliefs, but his convictions themselves, which are on trial here – a form of ‘thought-crime-policing’, if you will.

And, since (in my never-humble-opinion) he thinks ‘thought-crime’ ought not be a ‘crime’ (if you excuse my clumsy expression of the principle), he is having difficulty with the whole matter.

As in, defending his views would be a bit of  a violation of the ‘thought-is-not-a crime’ bit.

At least, that is the impression I have been left with following his testimony and the bit of cross-examination I saw.

The testimony bit of the day merely repeated what had been entered into the record in the past – just the light it had been cast in was ‘slightly’ different.  And by ‘slightly’, I mean ‘a lot’.  As in, the bits that the prosecution entered in as ‘strong’ evidence now seemed rather silly and frivolous…which is not much of a comfort, since in a civil case of libel, ‘malice’ is presumed and needs to be disproved, rather that that whole ‘innocent until proven guilty’ bit of jurisprudence….

Yes, much revolved around SmallDeadAnimals (SDA) and Jay Currie’s blog posts, as well as Free Dominion and the Conservative blogosphere in general…plus Dr. Dawg’s blog –  ‘progressive’ site run by the plaintiff (civil prosecution).

Roger Smith’s background – from Math and Science to an Honours’ BA in Geography in order to become a ‘Climatologist’ (‘Climate Scientist’ in Newspeak), along with the necessary Global Warming/Anthropogenic Climate Change baggage – was discussed, as was the means by which Roger Smith makes his living as well as his online identity  – all this was explored at great length.

Then we got into the relevant bits – the 7 words which are the subject of this lawsuit (and which I therefore fear to mention – on the pain of ‘re-publishing slanderous material’) and the context in which they had been uttered.

It seemed to this court observer that Mr. Smith not only proved (beyond a reasonable doubt- a much more strenuous test that required in a civil lawsuit) that he believed the truthfullness of his statements, but also that stating them in an online forum was ‘in the public interest’.

Actually, this is where things got rather interesting – after the lunch break (1-2 pm), when Roger Smith had finished his testimony and his cross examination by PB commenced!

PB seemed obsessed with the idea that Roger Smith’s view of what constituted ‘appropriate speech’ was ‘beyond the pale’.

Which is rather funny – considering me being in the audience (and the only person there in the courtroom with the express purpose to report to you, my dear readers, on the contents of this hearing)!!!

If you read my blog regularly, you may know that I am a free speech absolutist – because I am an anti-slavery fundamentalist.

Perhaps it is my Asperger’s that informs this bit of me, but, for better or worse, I cannot help but see this issue in black-and-white – with no gray in between.

To me, this is the necessary extension of the principle of self-ownership:  if you own your self, then you and only you are responsible for your reaction and any and all resultant action you may take based on what you hear/read.
In other words, if you can be swayed to bad actions through ‘hate-speech/incitement to violence’ you hear, then you are admitting that the speaker is a de-facto part-owner of you and thus, submitting to their will is a tacit admission/permission of slavery.  And I am 100% against slavery!!!
Self-ownership implies self-responsibility!
A 100% self-ownership (i.e. anti-slavery fundamentalism) implies a 100% self-responsibility, thus making all forms of hate-speech/incitement irrelevant.
Which means that all hate-speech/incitement laws are an admission of and permission for a form of slavery – something I will never accept.
And since I cannot accept any form of slavery, I cannot acknowledge that hate speech/incitement can sway a self-determining, self-owning individual…which makes outlawing it an admission that my core principles are irrelevant…something I cannot accept.
I hope this makes some kind of sense to you – it certainly makes sense to me.
But, that is me – and (thankfully) not the subject of this particular lawsuit.
Anyhow, it seemed to me that PB spent most of his cross-examination time trying to ‘nail’ the ‘bit’ where Roger Smith drew ‘the line’ between ‘permitted speech’ and ‘illegal speech’.

SILLY BUNNY!!!

As IF there ought to be such a thing as ‘illegal speech’!!!!

 

Roger Smith said he drew the line between what ought to be permitted speech and not somewhere between what Ernst Zundel said and what is routinely said online by people whom ‘the progressives’ label as ‘Neo-Nazis’ but who are in reality no such thing.

As in – according to Roger Smith – Ernst Zundel was ‘illegal speech’ while the wrongly villified ‘neo-nazis’ who were not really ‘neo-nazis’ were OK…if you actually listened to what they truly said rather than just buying into their rhetoric.

But, PJ tried very very hard to paint this in the worst light possible – as in, he tried to twist Roger Smith’s words into saying that Ernst Zundel’s crap (and his claims ARE crap) was OK but the Neo-Nazis were not OK.

It seemed to me that Roger Smith, naturally nervous, being on the stand and all, did not really understand where PB was aiming with this ‘twisting’.  But, the judge sure did!  And, she put PB in his place on it, too.

However, this was not the only bit of testimony that PB tried to twist – and I am not entirely certain that the judge (much less Roger Smith, who was justifiably nervous, arguing for his retirement fund and all) quite got the manipulation or not.

Anyhow, that is where I had to leave off – having real-life obligations and all….I do hope to be filled in on the bits I missed and report to you tomorrow!!!

 

 

 

 

THE REPUBLIC OF BILL

C0nc0rdance: Individuality by Robert Ingersoll

Remember, I am posting this before setting off on my holidays:  it may refer to the 4th of July, but, in my never-humble-opinion, this piece is timeless!!!

 

Thunderf00t: Feminism Vs FACTS (Anita Sarkeesian DESTROYED!)

Long, yes, but it is worth it – I’m getting my sons all the video games mentioned in it!

 

Two important videos…

Adam Kokesh is a name all freedom-loving people ought to get familiar with.

Yes, he is absolutely adorable – in the same way that a pitbull puppy is:  there is an awareness of the power within, but it has not awoken to its full extent.  Unlike a pitbull puppy, Adam Kokesh has very intelligent and well-reasoned out arguments to support voluntaryism.   I truly believe he will grow to be remembered as one of the great liberty-minded philosophers of our era, on par with Payne and Jefferson.

And, while the following video ostensibly shows how one ought to behave at a ‘sobriety check point’, it contains a most excellent explanation from first principles of the philosophy of voluntaryism.  It is not too long, but very powerful:

The second video I’d like to share with you is very, very different – yet no less important for maintaining our liberty.

While Adam Kokesh addresses how to fight the oppressive forces from within our society, Stephen Coughlin addresses the most clear and present danger to our liberty from without – but one which is increasingly infiltrating the power-structures within our society.

Stephen Coughlin is one of the very few people who, based on their understanding of Islam and the political factions in the Middle East, accurately predicted the events of the so called ‘Arab Spring’ , including the rise of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the ‘unrest’ in Benghazi – and predictive ability is the most scientific metric of knowledge, understanding and analysis.

It is a long video – about an hour – but it addresses (and explains in understandable terms) the significance of the whole ‘interfaith dialogue’ movement which culminated in the Vatican inter-faith-prayer between Christians, Jews and Muslims….where the Muslim cleric went off-script and called (right inside the Vatican) for the victory of Islam over Jews and Christians.

Yes, the Vatican tried to put a positive spin on it after the fact, but the event was simulcast to the whole of the Muslim world and it is essential that we understand the implications of this ‘off-script’ prayer – something understood (whether agreed to or not, it was understandable and understood) by the worldwide Muslim audience:

 

Bill Whittle on The Narrative: The origins of Political Correctness

Political Correctness, Critical Theory, the Frankfurt School…this blog has covered Cultural Marxism many times (most notably in this awesome,  detailed guest-post by CodeSlinger).

Yet, it seems that there are many people who are still unfamiliar with the history of this cancer on our society.  Therefore, I bring you a quick refresher:

 

The kidnapping of teenage girls by Muslims

Of course, not all Muslims will kidnap anyone, much less underage girls.

But, this episode with Boko Haram (or, as their full name is,Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad’ - and they are most definitely Muslims who are following the literal example of their prophet) has stirred up a lot of emotions in me, for reasons that, perhaps, it is time for me to share.

A distant cousin of mine was, just a few short years ago, working for an aid agency in Africa when he and several of his co-workers were kidnapped by Al Shabaab – they were later released under undisclosed terms, but, that is not my story and am not at a liberty to share it.

There is a much older story, which I can share, because it happened to me – personally.

This was my first encounter with Islam – but it was an encounter that had made a very deep impression on me and, as I was already interested in studying the various religions (on the other side of the Iron Curtain, I was only able to study ancient ones) and this encounter started my decades long study of Islam and Sharia…

I know, I know – thou shall not drink and blog is THE golden rule of blogging, but, I admit, I have had to have had a glass or two of wine to get my courage up to write about this….

First, a bit of background….

I went to a language school – 72 kids in a country of 15 million got picked every year to enter, based on a barrage of aptitude tests.  I was not supposed to be permitted to be tested, but, through an administrative error (and a signature forgery on my part – which had never been discovered), I managed to get myself tested.  I tested so high on the aptitude to learn languages that even my dad’s status as an only partially rehabilitated political dissident could not get me excluded, because the linguists on the admissions board insisted.  (I learned about this much, much later when one of my former teachers came to visit me in Canada.)  Suffice it to say – I was admitted to this elite language school where I learned a number of languages.

As part of this school, I was exposed to a lot more ‘foreigners’ than most other schoolchildren behind the Iron Curtain were.

I had ‘pen pals’ in few of the ‘brother socialist countries’ and even though our letters were supervised by the school, their letters (and especially the photos from my pen pal in the Irkutsk) were quite eye-opening.

In addition, when foreign dignitaries from other countries would come, or sports competitors would visit, we would be the schoolchildren paraded out and presented to meet them – as we could communicate in their language (or, in some cases, in Russian – which was the case with, say Cuban visitors, etc.).

For example, the town I was from holds world-famous horse races.  Even Dick Francis mentions having raced there.  When I was about 11, 5 of us girls were sent to officially ‘entertain’ the Cuban delegation to this race….with no adult to ensure our safety.  It was the first time I was kissed by a man….but I got myself and the other girls away before it got out of control!  (Some of the other girls were even jealous that I got kissed and they didn’t…we were so innocent!)

But, school was not the only place where I met ‘foreigners’.

Even though he was a political dissident, my father was also a world-class scientist who specialized in artificial intelligence.  By the time I was in the language school in the late 70’s, he had published a number of ground-breaking books on the subject.  And, even though they had to be published under his bosses’ name (my father’s name was deemed too inflammatory), he was  well known in scientific circles.  As such, he got sent to Moscow a number of times (whenever they stole some Western tech and needed him to reverse-engineer it).  In Moscow, he met other scientists sent there and visiting there from other countries.  He was well liked and respected – he is, after all, a smart cookie!

So, a number of these scientists (mostly from ‘brother nations’) had visited my daddy at our home – and he and I would take them sight seeing.  Sometimes, there would be several scientists, some speaking only English as our common tongue while others speaking only Russian.  As I was perfectly fluent in Russian, I would act as the interpreter for the Russian-speaking scientists while he translated for the English speaking ones.  Again, these were fascinating experiences that greatly broadened my horizons.

Thus, when I was 13 years old and we were in the process of escaping from behind the Iron Curtain, I was much more ‘worldly’ than an average child of my age.

Yet, nothing in my exposure to people from various lands and cultures had prepared me in the least to my encounter with Islam….

So, what happened?

We were escaping from The People’s Socialist Paradise – towards freedom!

My parents exploited some red tape to get visas for all three of us to Yugoslavia:  the one ‘socialist’ country that was not 100% compliant with the Soviet Union’s policy and thus gave some hope of getting out.  Nothing was guaranteed – we could have been caught and our lives ruined, or we could win the lottery and get out.  Our chances were about 70/30 in favour of success – if we avoided Serb-controlled border points (the Serbs were loyal to the Soviets and would send us straight to jail, the Croats would let us out just to spite the Soviets – we knew this and hoped to capitalize on it – excuse the pun!).

In order to get out of Yugoslavia legally – which was our wish, as breaking the laws of the country we fled to (in our case, Austria) would be contrary to the code of lawful behaviour.  After all, if we sought protection from a country, breaking their laws in entering it would have been unthinkable for us!

So, once we entered Yugoslavia (an absolutely awesome holiday place), we went straight to Belgrade to seek visas from the Austrian and German embassies.

Aside:  we had heard that the conditions in Germany were much better for refugees than in Austria, so we sought a visa to go there – but then we heard that the rules for seeking a political asylum required us to file in the first country we entered where we could seek political asylum, and that would have been Austria, so we abandoned the attempt to get German visas (even though they were willing to grant them to us) and decided to seek asylum in Austria.

When we got to Belgrade, we were too poor to stay in a hotel – we stayed instead at a campground just North of the city.  We had two pup-tents:  one for my parents (orange) and one for me (yellow).  It must be made clear that European campsites are nowhere near as private as North American ones – indeed, there is little or no privacy at all as one tent is very close to another, with no trees or bushes in between.

We set up our tents and went to the Austrian and German embassies to seek visas.  Both embassies were only open between 8 am and noon, and there were lineups outside the doors (so we did not get into the German embassy on the first or second day).

The second day of us staying at the campsite, a rich oil sheik with an entourage of several SUVs (armed men) and two air conditioned luxury tour buses (women and children) set up camp in the same campground that we were staying at – just under a steep slope that was too steep to set tents up on, but which formed a natural amphitheater.  In the evening, they started playing very exotic eastern music – and some of the women and girls were dancing.  It did not take long for many of us ‘other campers’ to gather and sit on that slope and watch in utter fascination something so very exotic and tantalizing!  It was beautiful!

It was on our third day waiting outside the German embassy that a shot, plump, smiling, 50-ish man approached my father.  He opened his wallet and pulled out a VERY thick stack of $100US bills – and, speaking broken English/German, he asked my father to sell me to him.

My father flatly refused.

The smiling man would not be rebuffed so easily:  he kept talking to my father, explaining that I was not for him – he wanted to buy me as a birthday present for his son!

Needless to say, my father did not sell me.  Like I said, he is a smart cookie and a good guy to boot!

That evening, at the campground, the sheik’s entourage put on another performance!  And, fascinated, we went to watch…

This evening, the women and girls dancing started inviting the gathered watchers to join in the dancing, teaching both women and men the moves.  Of course, I wanted to join in – but my dad, looking more grim than I ever remembered him, would not let me.

Then an 8-or-so year old girl came around, offering sweets to everyone – again, I was eager to taste it but my dad forbade me to take one.

It was then that he pointed out that down by one of those buses was that guy who had tried to buy me ‘as a birthday present to his son’.  Indeed, that was the very sheik who was the owner of this harem and entourage…and he kept staring at me.

That night, after everyone seemed to go to sleep, my dad poked his head into my tent and said that we were leaving – right now!!!

We packed in a huge rush – not even putting the tents into their cases – and drove out of the campground.  Two dark vehicles from the sheik’s spot followed us.  We drove at relatively high speeds through Belgrade – with the two dark vehicles on our tail.   I don’t know quite how, but, eventually, my dad lost them and we drove far, far away…

Back then, I did not grasp the full significance of what had happened.  Sure, I was frightened – but, well, not enough….I simply had no concept of how serious the situation was or just how drastically my life would have been altered had my father not had the foresight he did.

There is a very, very long tradition of hunting down Slavic girls for Islamic harems…something I was totally unaware of then.

Did you know that the very word ‘slave’ comes form ‘Slav’?

Because so many of us have been hunted down and sold into slavery in Muslim lands?

Way more of us were enslaved in the Muslim lands than there ever were black slaves sold to Europe or the Americas….

Mohammed himself had a Slavic Christian girl, Miriam, as a sex slave – given to him by the fathers of Constantinopole in the hopes it would appease him…

The hijab itself is indeed a variation of the Slavic head-dress – which so enchanted Mohammed that he imposed it on all of his ‘wives’!

After Mohammad’s example (a man ALL Muslims are ordered by the Koran and the Hadith to emulate), it became a ‘fashion’, a status symbol, for pious Muslims of means to own a Slavic Christian sex slave.

As in, Slavic AND Christian girl is the highest value sex slave, but a Christian of any race is acceptable…

And THAT is who Boko Haram consider it acceptable to capture, hold and sell Christian girls into sex-slavery – they are following the example set by Mohammed, which their religion, Islam, demands that they emulate.

I truly and honestly feel for these girls – but for my father’s wisdom, I would have been one of them!!!

 

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