Because they can…
Because they can…
Did you know Canada has an honest-to-goodness political prisoner?
His name is Eric Brazeau. He is being held at a maximum security jail – Millhaven…for having had a politically incorrect conversation.
Recently, I have received a fundraising request fro the Conservative Party of Canada – and this is how I have replied:
Director, Fundraising and Membership Services
Conservative Party of Canada
Dear Mr. Girard,
The other day, someone asked me a most interesting question (and, I am paraphrasing heavily):
“If you could wave a magic wand and do one single thing to prevent the loss of our liberties due to Sharia laws creeping into our society, what would it be?”
Without much difficulty, I answered: “Stop Halal food!”
Well, my questioner had thought I had gone off my rocker. “You mean to say that with all that is happening, Halal food is your biggest concern? If they had their way, you’d be wearing a burqa, and all you would waste your one wish on Halal?”
My answer was a most enthusiastic ‘YES!!! But – it would NOT be a waste!” And I proceeded to explain. Unfortunately, my explanation had been cut short by the circumstances, so, please, let me complete it here.
First and foremost, I’d like to stress that under Sharia, Islamic jurisprudence, Muslims who live in a non-Muslim land – a country which is not governed by Sharia – are NOT required to eat Halal.
To the contrary: if Halal food is not available, too difficult to obtain, or (and this is an important one) if maintaining Halal diet would disadvantage Muslims with respect to the Kafirs, then they are permitted to eat non-Halal food. Allah is most forgiving and if no transgression was intended, then none is incurred.
In addition, if it were to give them an advantage in dealings with the Kafirs, then Muslims are permitted to drink alcohol, eat pork or do anything else that is generally taboo in Islam: if they are doing it to further the long term goal of spreading Islam, then all is permitted.
Please, do not take my word for it – look it up for yourselves! The rulings by Islamic authorities on this are numerous and unanimously in agreement with what I wrote. Rather than be accused of ‘cherry picking’ my evidence by supplying one or two links, I urge you to check for yourself any Sharia authority of your choice: it will confirm my statement.
Having established why consuming Halal food, especially Halal-slaughtered meat, is not obligatory for our Western Muslims, let me explain why permitting Halal food into our food supply undermines our society.
Yes, it undermines our society, in no uncertain terms. In this, it is very different from Kosher food…
In order to explain this, I must first explain the relationship between Muslims and Kafirs (Kuffurs) under Sharia.
Under Sharia, all non-Muslims are Kafirs. Usually translated as ‘unbeliever’ – an emotionally neutral word, the term ‘Kafir’, as used by Muslims, is anything but a ‘neutral term’. It is a slur with, if possible, even more hate coiled up in it that ‘nigger’, ‘cracker’ and ‘twat’ rolled into one.
Much like some Christians believe that each and every human ‘knows’ Jesus is Christ and Saviour, that atheist also know this but are willfully pretending not to because they wish to sin and/or be evil, so Islam teaches that each and every human being is born a perfect Muslim, with full knowledge and understanding that Allah is the one and only God and the Muhammad is his prophet and that those of us who are not Muslims – are Kafirs – are willfully lying to ourselves and others when we deny Allah and Mohammed and that we are doing it because we are evil.
Thus, the word ‘Kafir’ implies an evil, willfully lying and deceiving person. The Koran itself tells us that the Kafir is the vilest of all the creatures and warns Muslims not to trust them, take them as friends or even associate with them more than absolutely necessary. And those are the ‘mild’ verses of the Koran – other verses make the full extermination of all Kafirs a religious duty for all Muslims.
But, let us get back to how this perception of Kafirs relates to Halal food.
There is an Islamic doctrine of ‘najis’ – ‘unclean’.
Many things are unclean: pigs, dogs, and – yes, Kafirs. If a Kafir touches a piece of food, they pollute it, making it no longer Halal.
Yet, some Kuffurs are slightly less unclean than others. Christians and Jews are slightly less ‘unclean’ than the rest of us and therefor it is permitted for them to work on Halal food: provided that they are only doing the most menial tasks and are directly and at all times watched and supervised by a Muslim.
This has some very important implications for our society.
Only Muslims, Christians and Jews may work in food production, transportation, preparation and sales.
If a Sikh, a Hindu, an atheist or another Kafir works as a waiter who carries a dish from the kitchen to the table, that food has become contaminated and is no longer Halal.
If a school cafeteria food is served by a Buddhist or a Wiccan or an agnostic, that food would no longer be Halal.
If a nurse who injects a child with a vaccine is a Taoist or a Druid, that vaccine is no longer Halal.
If a truck driver who hauls meat from the slaughter house to the supermarkets is a Zoroastrian or Confucian, that meat is no longer Halal.
You see how this would undermine the rule of law? Specifically the laws that forbid employers to discriminate against their employees on the basis of religion?
How can you have employment equity if only Muslims may have a supervisory role in your food supply and only Muslims, Christians and Jews are eligible to work in the whole field?
And it will not be just limited to the ‘Halal’ food market: we have seen this in country after country after country! It is so difficult for companies in the food industry to obtain and maintain ‘Halal’ certification if only one part of their operation is dedicated to the Halal stream that they must make all their food production and supply chains Halal compliant, regardless whether the food is labelled ‘Halal’ or not.
For example, in England, it has been shown that the vast majority of meat sold in stores is Halal-compliant, whether it is labelled as ‘Halal’ or not!
You could be eating Halal-slaughtered meat without knowing it.
And that goes far beyond the unnecessary animal cruelty involved in Halal slaughter… (Yes, Kosher food is also slaughtered using similar method and Kosher meat is therefore shunned by aware people. The difference is that Kosher food is always labelled as such and therefore, people have a choice to avoid it if they so wish. Halal-slaughtered meat is being sold both with Halal labels and without, making it impossible for a consumer to make a choice.)
In addition, Muslim leaders who wish to introduce Halal food into places like hospitals and schools claim that it is the ‘lowest common denominator': meaning that everyone in society may eat Halal food.
Unfortunately, that is not true.
For example, Sikhs are expressly forbidden to consume Halal food. (Not just Halal-slaughtered meat, but all food that had, at some point, been Halal.)
So, if a hospital or a school serves Halal food, they are violating Sikhs religious principles.
And while Sikhism explicitly forbids the consumption of Halal food, Christianity implicitly forbids the consumption of Halal meat.
Yes, most Christians are unaware of this – but, they should be.
Both the Old and the New Testament forbid the eating of ‘sacrificial meat’ – that is, meat that has been prayed over to a God other than the Christian one.
Permit me to explain:
Long, long time ago, Pagans would sacrifice animals in Temples in order to gain favour with one God or another. This ‘sacrificial meat’ would be cooked and served to the ‘common folk’ who would come to the temple. Since many of the poor people could not afford to eat meat on their own, they would flock to the temples for a good meal.
If you think about this, it was a quite good system: the rich may have been trying to buy favour from the Gods, but they ended up feeding valuable protein to the poor…
And while the people ate the sacrificial meat, the priests and priestesses would proselytize to them, singing the praises and spreading the teachings of their particular deity.
Which was not particularly appreciated by the Jewish and Christian religious leaders…
So, in both the Old and the New Testaments, eating meat sacrificed to other deities was strictly forbidden!
Yet, food that had been sacrificed to Allah has entered our food supply: sometimes it is clearly labeled as such (and permits us the choice to avoid it), but at other times, Halal slaughtered meat is sold without any signs indicating so. What is worse, many public institutions have substituted Halal meat in their food supply without notifying their consumers, without giving their ‘captive consumers’ (hospitals, schools) the option to practice their religion without sin.
Not only does ‘Halal-certified food’ contravene our employment laws (the ones that prevent employer from practicing religious prejudice in hiring policies, as Halal food may not be ‘handled’ by members of most religions and by non-religious people in order to maintain its ‘Halal’ certification) and thus undermines the rule of law in our society, inconspicuously labeled Halal food (such as on cans of Cambell’s soup: a simple crescent moon may not alert a consumer that they are purchasing a ‘Halal’ item) or completely unlabeled Halal meat has crept into our food supply, preventing non-Muslims from freely exercising their religions.
But – and this implication is perhaps even more important to consider – only Sharia adherent Muslims in our society insist on Halal food. It is precisely these Sharia-adherent Muslims who will seek employment in the ‘Halal food supply’.
Many Muslims have come to Canada precisely to escape Sharia. These are the Muslims whom we must protect – the moderates in our midst who want nothing more than to live free and be productive members of our society. Other Muslims have come here with the goal to impose Sharia on our society: these are not peaceful immigrants but radicals who have arrived as colonists, who believe that it is their duty to impose Sharia on all the people on Earth.
Yet, it is exactly these Sharia adherent Muslims who control Halal certification and manage the Halal-certified food supplies. As Halal – with or without clear labeling – becomes greater and greater portion of our food supply chain, radical Muslims will gain control over more and more of our food supplies.
Radical Muslims believe themselves to be at war with our society.
Placing them in a position to control greater and greater portions of our food supply mechanism is, in my never-humble-opinion, not a good idea.
Many people even today live under the yoke of very direct and brutal slavery. We have recently heard the horror stories.
But this is not the only way slavery is happening.
No – this time, I will not go on a long rant about how coercive taxation is, in a very real sense, the state making an ownership claim over our bodies, but it hits close.
Different societies are built on different principles – and, depending on these foundational ‘truths’, the governance of the society evolves. All societies evolve over time. But, those societies which build their governance on things other than the principles they were founded on soon run into serious trouble;
After all, in order for a society to function in a healthy way, for the citizenry to be able to anticipate, understand and guide themselves by the rules of the society, it is important for every new law, for every rule that is enforced, to be grounded in this foundation. I’m not sure if I am explaining this clearly, so, if I am making a mess of it, please, let me know and I’ll try to clarify.
What I mean by this is that in a very practical sense, for a new rule to ‘work’ in a society, one must be able to reason to it by starting with the foundational principles.
In other words, if laws are passed which are arbitrary – cannot be arrived at by reasoning from ‘first principles’, sooner or later, the governance will not form a seamless body but the laws and regulations will become a mess, some may even contradict each other and it will be upon the whim of the police and the judiciary as to which rules are enforced when…
Our politicians – in all levels of government – are busy passing laws and regulations. If every citizen were to memorize every new law and regulation as they are passed, they would have little time to actually be productive…and the society would begin to stagnate.
If, however, each and every law and regulation passed could be reasoned out from ‘first principles’ (the ‘foundational truths’ on which the society is built), then the citizen needs not memorize every new rule and regulation: these will simply be a natural extension of the foundations upon which the society is built.
One of the core – if not THE core – ‘foundational truths’ on which our society is built is the principle of self-ownership.
So far, so good – yes?
I own my body and you own yours. You cannot sell your children into slavery or for body organs, because while a parent may be a child’s guardian, the parent does not own their child. Each and every human being owns her or him self.
So, what are our bodies made up of?
Lots of stuff.
Some of our ‘stuff’ shares common things with other humans, some with all living things – and some of our ‘stuff’ is uniquely our own and defines us as an individual.
Let’s look at some examples of ‘stuff’ that makes us up – but which we share with some others.
Blood, for example.
We can, within certain defined parameters, switch blood from one person to another: from one who has enough and chooses to share to the ones who need it.
Same with, say, kidneys and corneas and lots of other ‘stuff’.
Our brilliant scientists have, for example, found a way to take a pig’s heart, keep the ‘infrastructure’ but wash away the DNA containing tissues, graft a human being’s own personal stem cells over this pig’s hear infrastructure - and then implant it into that human!!! Most brilliant, since all the DNA-bearing ‘stuff’ is that owner’s very own DNA, so the body recognizes it as part of itself and the immune system does not try to ‘kill this invader': something which, when using another human’s heart, had to be fought with anti-rejection drugs that had considerable and unpleasant side effects.
And there’s all these new cancer treatments and chronic illness treatments based on gene therapies! It’s enough to make one feel like we’re living in the science fiction future!
Makes sense that we will expect more and more gene-based therapies for our ills.
But, there is a problem with this.
The problem is that, in their wisdom, the bureaucrats who award patents have agreed with deep-pocketed corporaions to grant them patents on genes. Both human and non-human…
Please, consider this very, very carefully.
For decades, the MD’s and medical researchers have warned that the greatest obstacle to more gene therapies being developed and used in the practice of medicine are – you guessed it – patents granted on genes.
Oh, it crept in gradually, like all the greatest villains in history.
First it was a human-modified gene in one creature or another which made it more suitable for medical studies – human-altered gene, it was argued, intellectual property rights…
Then it was ‘unraveling’ genes – doing the lab work to identify them and the role they played. The corporations argued – quite truthfully – that they invested money up front to make this possible. And they did, that is true.
But we must remember why patents were ‘brought about': it was a trade off. The ‘inventor/thinker’ would share the information with everyone else about all aspects in return for ‘exclusive rights’ on the item for a period of time that would let them make back their investment plus a modest profit. But, it was argued, one could only patent ‘products’ – not naturally occurring ‘stuff’.
So – how come patents were granted to companies on naturally-occurring ‘stuff’ like genes?
A bit of ignorance and a bit of corruption, I guess…
But, we now find ourselves in a situation where multinational corporations own the patents on certain human genes.
Aside: this issue is explored very, very well in a most excellent Canadian Netflix show, ‘Orphan Black’. Not only is the show brilliantly written and generally awesomely executed, it tackles this very question: if a corporation ‘owns’ a ‘gene and all its derivatives’, and that gene is inside of you, do they ‘own’ you? Do they have a legal claim on your children? Your child is, after all, a derivative of your genes….
Please, indulge me in the following speculation.
A corporation owns a specific gene which is, say, introduced into asthma sufferers using a specific virus (as the genetic material carrier). This engineered DNA (patented by, say, Corporation ‘C’) is successfully integrated into your cells, so that all the cells of your body have replaced the old, ‘faulty asthma-causing gene’ with the newly engineered ‘C’ gene.
Then you have kids.
Your children will have inherited the ‘C’ gene.
Do you have to seek permission to ‘create a derivative of the ‘ C’ gene through reproduction’ before you have said child?
Do you owe the Corporation ‘C’ royalties?
Do they have an ownership claim on your offspring?
As the laws stand, these questions have not been answered very well.
For example, courts have ruled that if a genetically modified pollen accidentally pollinates your non genetically modified crops, you DO owe the pollen’s patent holder royalties.
Really, do think about where this is heading….
After all, if somebody owns your gene – something which is in every cell of your body – do they not have an actual claim of ownership over you?
This is why I am so thrilled that CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) has initiated a lawsuit challenging the patenting of a specific gene-test. OK – a baby step, but a very, very important one!!!
Let’s keep our eyes on this one!
This is reporting on a real-life (unfortunately) court case, the whole narrative of which is indexed in Dr. Baglow vs Free Speech – and listed at the top bar of this blog.
As I left off, Barbara Kulaszka, the lawyer representing the defendant Mark Fournier, had finished her closing arguments. It was now Roger Smith’s (known online as Peter O’Donnel) turn to make his closing arguments.
It is difficult to describe Roger Smith in a few words because he is quite a complex person. Even my short exposure to him made that clear. So, what I write, can only be a very tiny glimpse of this unique (in a very good way) and highly intelligent man.
Roger Smith is of a similar age as the plaintiff, Dr. Baglow, and both have silver hair – but that is where the physical resemblance ends.
Where the extroverted Dr. Baglow is expansive, speaks loudly with expressive body language (his doctorate is, after all, in poetry – so some theatricity ought to be expected) while the introverted Roger Smith is shy and humble in his demeanor, speaking softly and gently.
So, one has to listen carefully when Mr. Smith speaks – not just because he is soft-spoken, but also because he makes many little jokes under his breath! And his jokes are well worth straining one’s ears for.
Even Madame Justice Polowin seems to enjoy his jokes – her eyes sparkle and she has even, a couple times, rewarded Mr. Smith’s humour with the kind of smile usually reserved only for Mr. Frankel. (At least – in this courtroom…..though Connie has, at times, earned it as well.)
I will be paraphrasing a lot, but, to the best of my understanding, Roger Smith’s defense revolved around the following points:
Firstly, he asserted that the impugned words were actually not defamatory – and urged the judge to find that way. After all, the fact that the late Jack Layton was referred to as ‘Taliban Jack’ not only did not cause him any defamation, it seemed to actually help his electoral success!
Madam Justice was nodding her head in assent.
Secondly, he (RS) did not mention the plaintiff by name – Roger Smith’s online pseudonym called Dr. Bglow’s online pseudonym a name. But, pseudonyms are not the same as real-life names and, as even the court’s own expert had testified, people often build a very different, unique persona for their online pseudonym – one which intentionally differs in tone and perhaps even opinions from their real-life identity (for various legitimate reasons). Thus the two ought not be conflated: Roger Smith did not call Dr. Baglow anything – Peter O’Donnel called Dr. Dawg a name, that’s all…
In addition, the context of the debate – ongoing, skipping around all through them interwebitudes from blog to blog to discussion boards and back again, over a number of days – had reduced the defamatory potential of the impugned words to exactly zero.
Since that debate did bounce around from one online place to another, it is not the easiest thing to follow the actual real-time sequence in which the various comments were made because some were time/date stamped in one time-zone, some in another. In order to make it easier for Madam Justice to follow the timeline, RS had taken the pains to sequentialize them in Appendix A. Madam Justice was much less interested in this at that point in time than Mr. Smith was, but, in my never-humble-opinion, she will find it a useful tool as she reviews the evidence.
Which she will – she made that abundantly clear!
For the duration of the trial – and even in the communication that was not publicly visible, like the various emails that form the voluminous body of the exhibits in this trial and tribulation, the plaintiff and his lawyer, Mr. Burnet (who had, actually, commented as a ‘guest’ on the Warman trial coverage on this very blog in the past), had referred to Roger Smith as an old crank, a wingnut.
This, I believe, was the very word that Madam Justice Polowin used extensively when questioning the court expert on online media and communications – and he assured her that once a person has acquired an online reputation as a ‘wingnut’, nothing that person says will be taken seriously by anyone else and his commentary will either be skipped right over or simply seen as humorous interlude…
But, I digress…
Throughout this whole ordeal, Peter O’Donnel had been referred to as a crank, a nut, a wingnut…and his writings were referred to as ‘incoherent rambling’ and ‘woolly essay’. In other words, ridiculed and dismissed. There was even one email read into evidence from Dr. Baglow to someone (Jay Currie, I suspect, but am not certain) where Dr. Baglow dismisses Peter O’Donnel as an inconsequential crank, saying he’s probably not even going to bother suing him because coming from him, the impugned words ‘mean nothing': it was the Fourniers he was going after for having provided a forum for this speech to be uttered.
So, RS continued, he was surprised that in his closing arguments, Mr. Burnet had promoted Roger Smith to an intelligent man, a deep thinker … and his writing was promoted to ‘well-composed prose’!
It was at this point that Roger Smith earned one of Madam Justice’s impish smiles and her cheeks even flushed a bright pink, as I suspect she was working hard to stifle a fit of giggles…apparently, this ‘promotion’ had not gone unnoticed by her!
Working on his momentum, RS continued building his defense, recalling the plaintiff’s words (which Dr. Baglow regretted and apologized to ‘our agricultural workers’ for having used) ‘yokels with pitchforks’ and re-classified Omar Khadr and his ilk of terrorists (the subjects that evoked the impugned description of Dr. Dawg from Peter O’Donnel) as ‘super-yokels with rifles’.
And, a substantial number of Canadians (59%, if I understand it correctly) do hold the belief that lending moral support to Omar Khadr is indeed ‘giving moral support to the enemy’…it would, in very real terms, enhance their geopolitical struggle on the other side of the world if their members were receiving moral support from some people over here, undermining our political will to continue in the armed struggle.
RS asserted that leftists often make common cause with terrorists in their regional struggle. (Indeed, I would have taken this further, pointing out that many leftists believe that their utopian end justifies any means and that supporting (directly or indirectly) the enemies of our Western society, based on civil liberties, will bring our civilization down faster, which will help them build their tyrannical dystopia that much faster.)
The judge interrupted RS at this point, saying he need not belabour this: she understands that he means that ‘support’ is more than just money or direct fighting…
During this bit, Dr. Baglow was leaning back from the table, his long legs elegantly crossed in front him in a classical ‘power pose’ – but he was very fastidiously studying his manicure.
Mr. Burnet was using the index finger of his left hand to tap his ear, listening carefully to every word and undoubtedly preparing for his rebuttal at the end of the day.
Indeed, RS continued: support can be passive, like supporting ‘carbon taxes’…I suppose the climatologist in him cannot be suppressed! (By the way, according to the brief discussions we had during breaks, our scientific conclusion on ‘Global Warning’ are pretty similar.)
His essay (within which the impugned words were contained) covered a number of topics – from Steven Harper to long-form census (something that was VERY HOTLY debated in my own family: one of those instances where my brilliant economist father-in-law, who had been a special economic adviser to 4 different Liberal Prime Ministers – two as PM’s, two while Ministers of the Crown who later went on to seize ‘the brass ring’, well, he and I battled long and loud over the souls of the next generation of our family over this issue! I think it was the next generation of our family that won: they were forced to consider the issue from all possible angles and reach a conclusion of their own (not that they’d tell us what that is)!!! Which, really, is the point… Though my hubby and my mother-in-law tried throwing things at us (figuratively!) to change the topic….it seems not everyone appreciates a heated, no-holds-barred political discussion at the dinner table! Which reminds me – I must get something awesome prepared for the next family holiday….) Re-focusing!
The essay covered things as diverse as the ‘beer and popcorn’ fiasco and lamented the hypocrisy of calling conservatives ‘yokels with pitchforks’. RS admitted freely that it was a poorly written essay, and that it rambled a lot and would not have won any essay contests! Indeed, it was so poorly written that the thread was virtually unread…until, that is, this whole thing erupted! Then Streisand effect took over….once Dr. Dawg and MsMew sank their teeth into it (my words, not his).
OK – I must admit to you, my dear reader, that I have mangled both the wording and the timing of the various arguments. I am working both from memory and my notes – and when I see something touched on, I keep writing – spilling the whole scoop to you, even when it ought to have just been foreshadowing…then, I read on and find the full argument I described 300 words ago only happened now. Please, forgive me my sloppy reporting – I just wish someone better at it than I would have been in the courtroom to present another accounting of the events.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that throughout the trial, different people did drop in for a bit here and there. Today, for example, Mr. Frankel’s sister-in-law, who is a law student, dropped by the courtroom to watch the closing arguments (and got to have lunch with Mr. Frankel to boot!).
He-who-must-not-be-named (on pain of legal action) also dropped in every now and then, though not today.
And Canadian Cynic, known in the blogosphere for his knowledge of Linux (good) and for hurling misogynistic slurs at conservative women (sad, so very sad) on the internet (at least, that is what a quick Google search suggested), also popped in a few times: I even saw him chatting with Dr. Baglow in the hallway, but no matter how hard I tried to establish eye contact, I failed.
On this last day of this case, there was also a youngish man with a mop of blond hair, a gray tweed jacket, light open-necked shirt with a subtle stripe and blue jeans. I approached him during the lunch break and sked if he were a reporter.
“Sort of” he smiled as he slid over a copy of Frank magazine. “I’m with them!” I saw him later chatting with Canadian Cynic. Funny thing is – Frank magazine’s name did actually pop up in the trial earlier, as an example of how different print media have differing ‘standards’ for ‘discourse’…as in, one would not expect as colourful a language in, say, CTV or CBC or ‘Globe and Mail’ as one would from ‘Frank magazine’… And demonstrating that different segments, even wihin the same ‘print media’ would have different levels of discourse and expectations of the way language is used is at the very heart of this court case: the plaintiff asserts that once published, even to one person, the ‘language’ must be ‘standardized’ and it really is of no relevance whether this is a scientific treatise or a tabloid or a shock-jock-thingie (WIC radio case)….while the defense is claiming that in different platforms, the participants are performing for different audiences and that the expectations and understandings of the particular audience of their message board is of paramount importance because it is the perceptions of that segment of the citizenry who will be exposed to the impugned words, so, how they perceive will define their defamatory potential.
OK, I have been generalizing again – but I think that this is important because conveying the ‘flavour’ of the differing sides is so core to this very case….
Thank you, my dear reader, for having indulged me thus far.
I have attempted to capture both the substance of Mr. Smith’s defense as well as the atmosphere in the courtroom. But, let me return to it, in my most imperfect manner.
Roger Smith explained to the judge that he truly and honestly held the belief that what Dr. Dawg had posted in his comments constituted giving aid and comfort to the terrorists and enemies of Canadian Armed forces in Afghanistan – and that while he held these beliefs about the words posted by Dr. Dawg, he did not harbour any personal malice against Dr. Baglow himself … but that the evidence bore out that, sadly, this was not true in reverse.
RS pointed out that while Dr. Baglow had reached out to Connie and Mark Fournier, asking them to settle out of court, he had not presented any such opportunity to Mr. Smith himself. Not once had Dr. Baglow extended Roger Smith the courtesy of even contacting him…
Any reading of the discussion, as it evolved over the 7 or so days, will reveal deeply vitriolic comments made by Dr. Baglow – much more so than by RS.
‘Begly’ (the name that the defendant, at this point, thought was Dr. Dawg’s meat-space name – not even being aware of the proper name of the pesky paintiff who thinks himself so important that ‘everyone’ knows him, yet he should not have to meet the ‘higher bar’ for defamation set for ‘public figures’ – he’s the only ‘public figure’ who should have the ‘private person’ protections against legitimate political criticism), Zyklon B, pot-calling-the-kettle-black…you get the picture.
At this point, Mr. Smith became unsure if pointing out just how much of a chill a ‘guilty’ verdict would cast over the interwebitudes and just how cluttered the courts would become with defamation cases if the bar were to be set this low… Being a principled person, he wanted it judged on the merits of this case – which he honestly thinks are insufficient for the finding of defamation. But, this is where he was, in my never-humble-opinion, torn: he wanted the court to be aware of the potential real-life implications of setting the bar this low, without appearing to ‘fear-monger’ or some such thing.
Madam Justice Polowin found this rather endearing: she assured Mr. Smith that the so called ‘floodgates argument’ is not without merit and is, at times, successfully employed by real-life lawyers at court so he, as a self-represented citizen, ought not be ashamed of raising it. And she smiled…
I know my words do not do justice to this moment at court but I’d like you, my dear reader, to know that this was a ‘Moment’ with a capital ‘M’…if you excuse the expression.
At this point, Roger Smith concluded his defense by saying that he cannot afford a fancy lawyer and that it would probably have been wise not to fight this battle, but, that he was not fighting it just on his own behalf but also on the behalf of the many Canadians who cherish their freedom of speech and exercise it, including on the internet, and that he felt that it was his moral obligation to our society to fight this battle!
In her right, Madam Justice Polowin seemed to understand this – and appreciate the kind of sacrifice it took Roger Smith to go on and fight for all of us!!!
She beamed a wonderful smile at him, and assured him that, for a self-rep, he had done an admirable job, that he was respectful of the court rules and, along with Connie, they had been some of the most professional self-reps she had ever had the pleasure to preside over.
Food for thought…I have never, ever, in my life indulged in illegal drugs – not even marijuana.
Because as illegal substances, there is no way of knowing if they are adulterated with poison….
But, I do think that ‘drug laws’ are an abomination: they are an admission that we are the slaves of the State – if the State did not own our bodies, it would not have the jurisdiction to govern what we do or do not choose to put into them.
Now – aside from the ‘recreational’ drugs, there is another, to me, more important implication of drug prohibition and the related legislation: the only people who can legally ‘prescribe’ medication are people whom the government permits to do so.
And these are people educated in government controlled facilities, largely funded by drug manufacturers.
This is a glaring conflict of interest.
I am not saying that every MD out there is in the pockets of Big Pharma. Far from it. But, the education they receive is not well-rounded…and there is no other field that competes against the ideas – or, indeed, complements them.
No, I am not saying that homeopathy and such are credible – just that the only things that get research money for proper scientific examination are in a very, very narrow field.
Let me give you an example of what I mean: the ‘placebo effect’.
Currently, it is regarded as no more than a nuisance: patients think they are getting medicine and so get better…even in cases of legitimate disease that is not just a figment of the patient’s imagination. So, studies control for it in order to evaluate the efficacy of drugs.
But, turn this around: if there is a way to ‘trick’ the body into healing itself using no harsh chemicals – why are we not studying this in the most rigorous scientific manner possible? A cure with no side effects is nothing to sneeze at…
That is just one tiny little example.
Another one is from my own experience: I have some rather rare health issues which most likely stem from having spent the first 13 years of my life 7 km downwind from a chemical plant in a socialist worker’s paradise (where the people who regulate the chemical plants – the government – are the same people who own them – the government – and there is no governing body over them to bring them into compliance with even the pitiful regulation they do have on the books….). So, some informed friends did some digging in the scientific literature and found a precedent for treatment of conditions like mine.
I cannot get that treatment, because it is ‘not common’ and, whole a whole slew of MD’s I brought it to believe it would likely make it possible for me to live again a semi-normal life (no longer bed-ridden and all that pain), they will not prescribe it because ‘it is unusual’ and ‘prescribing it might make the OHIP – the government bureaucracy that oversees the MDs – suspicious enough to audit the MD who prescribed it, which would be too much of a bother….much better not to help me return to being a productive member of our society…
So – when we talk about drug prohibition, do keep in mind that we are not just prohibiting narcotics and halucinogens – we are prohibiting people from accessing legitimate medication needed for the treatment of real-life medical problems!
Because, like it or not, if I were to go out and seek health-restoring medications for myself, I could end up in jail for life on an ‘illegal drug’ conviction.
Not all drugs are ‘recreational’….but they are all equally illegal!
And that does not even scratch the surface of incentivizing police forces to focus on drug busts and the accompanying property forfeiture instead on preventing property and violent crime…