Baglow v Free Dominion has become an Internet test case!

From Connie and Mark Fournier:

 

New news in the Baglow Trial

The court has now appointed an expert witness (that the parties have to pay for), and the “three-day” trial that turned into seven, now has seven additional daysscheduled in September!!

It is obvious that the court is serious about wanting to make case law regarding internet defamation, and that Baglow vs Free Dominion is now the test case.  We are doing our best to make sure that the decision is one that will help put an end to frivolous internet defamation lawsuits for good!

We’ve started a fundraiser to help pay for the court-appointed expert and for the additional court days.

You can help us by making a donation and/or by sharing our fundraiser link on your social networks!

The outcome of this case is important to all of us!

We can add offline donations to our fundraiser total now, so, if you prefer:

You can use PayPal by clicking this link:  Donate
 
or

If you feel more inclined, you can also help out using an Interac Email Money Transfer to connie@freedominion.ca .

Alternatively, our mailing address is:

Connie Fournier
2000 Unity Rd
Elginburg, ON  K0H 1M0

As always, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated more than anything else!  Thank you so much for your faithful support! 

Fondest Regards,
  
Connie and Mark

 

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Living under terror is no life for children

A large number of the civilian casualties in Gaza did not die as a result of the Israeli response to the unprovoked acts of war by Hamas (both rocket fire and territorial invasion via underground tunnels):   they have died of the Hamas rockets themselves.

Do not be fooled into thinking these  rockets to be ‘mere firecrackers’:  without the Israeli defensive Iron Dome and the many bomb-shelters in Israel, the Israeli civilian casualties would be much, much higher.

This is no mere conjecture but a statement of fact.

How do I know this?

From the extensive deaths caused by these rockets when they accidentally land inside Gaza itself!

Certainly, non-Israeli reports of this are scarce because even though they don’t admit this, the reporters in Gaza are reporting under duress and thus act (willingly or not) as accomplices of Hamas:  repeating in their reports only the numbers and things that Hamas wants reported, showing only the images that Hamas wants shown.  Hardly ‘journalism’…

And if that is not enough, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia (hardly a Zionist source):

“The weapons, often generically referred to as Qassams, were initially crude and short-range, mainly affecting Sderot and other communities bordering the Gaza Strip. However, in 2006 more sophisticated rockets began to be deployed, reaching the larger coastal city of Ashkelon, and by early 2009 major cities Ashdod andBeersheba had been hit by Katyusha, WS-1B[8] and Grad rockets.[9] In 2012, Jerusalem and Israel’s commercial center Tel Aviv were targeted with locally made “M-75” and Iranian Fajr-5 rockets, respectively,[10] and in July 2014, the northern city of Haifa was targeted for the first time.[11] A few projectiles have contained white phosphorus.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

Hardly ‘firecrackers’!

Estimates of PTSD among Israeli children living under constant threat of being targetted by these Qassam rockets is estimated at over 50% – yet these long-lasting scars are not included in the injuries incurred by Israeli civilians…

Of course, I pity the Gazan children no less – they suffer greatly and in more ways than the Israeli children…and will continue to suffer as long as Hamas is in power in Gaza and perhaps longer:  until religious hatred of ‘the other’ stops destroying their young lives before they have a chance to get started!!!

A week ago today, there was a pro-Israel rally in Ottawa.  I would really have liked to have attended, but, alas, I was out of town and out of internet reach, and thus did not get a word of it until after it happened.  During this rally, an Israeli mother describes the effect living under constant fear of rocket attacks has had on her young family:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9kJaqlpYvE  *

The world will not be a better place until we learn to set all dogmatic beliefs and irrational faiths aside and begin to live like moral human beings!

*sorry – WordPress just updated their ‘look’ and this seems to have broken the embedding mechanism – please, follow the link!

 

EDIT:  More evidence of Hamas rockets being the source of Gazan child casualties is here.

I wonder what grade he’ll get

This fill student’s project got itself reported as ‘news’ all over the world.

Two thoughts:

1. – Well done – I wonder what grade he’ll get

2. – And this level of reporting integrity is why most people no longer trust anything we get from the MainsStream Media…which is why there are so many conspiracy theories…

Could there be more behind the MSM’s refusal to investigate the Obama administration?

Sure, many of the talking heads and most visible journalists are blatant Obama sycophants.  But, why is the refusal to investigate Obama and his administration so pervasive?

Are there really no young and eager investigative journalists who want to make a name for themselves – and to hell with ideology?

While the brainwashing most liberal arts (journalism included) students are subjected to in Colleges and Universities may account for much of it, there may be more to it than just liberalism’s willful blindness:

‘I was on the brunt end of the Obama-generated censorship while employed at CNN as an investigative correspondent.

On at least a weekly basis, and to my constant frustration, my superiors and CNN’s lawyers were quick to remind me that we need to be extra careful because “President Obama has gone after more journalists and whistleblowers than any president in history”.  The leash around my neck began to tighten.

Whether I was allowed to embark on future stories or even interview sensitive sources for potential investigations, eventually became an ‘Obama subpoena risk assessment’ and potential court cost calculation, rather than a pure evaluation of the report’s contribution to public good or our journalistic duty to cover the story.

Some of my most crucial investigations were killed before they started because they were too high a risk of an Obama subpoena.

One boss told me quote “we know how the FBI feels about your source, if we have information the FBI will want we become a target”.’

I don’t know just how reliable this blogger is, but her read-worthy post includes many links to reputable sites with material confirming her observations.

Worth thinking about…

 

 

Recording and photographing on-duty cops is a Constitutional right in the US

Yes!!!

recording devices for recording The DoJ in the US has issued a letter to the Baltimore PD, which is not unique in facing lawsuits for arresting citizens or confiscating/breaking their police conduct:

“Because recording police officers in the public discharge of their duties is protected by the First Amendment, policies should prohibit interference with recording of police activities except in narrowly circumscribed situations,” reads the DoJ’s letter (pdf). “More particularly, policies should instruct officers that, except under limited circumstances, officers must not search or seize a camera or recording device without a warrant. In addition, policies should prohibit more subtle actions that may nonetheless infringe upon individuals’ First Amendment rights. Officers should be advised not to threaten, intimidate, or otherwise discourage an individual from recording police officer enforcement activities or intentionally block or obstruct cameras or recording devices.”

Oh, and citizen journalists – regular people – have as much of a right to record the police as official members of the press!!!
This is good news indeed!

‘Journalists’ vs ‘Bloggers’

Interesting….

The Quebec Minister for Culture is not the only one who seems to think that ‘bloggers’ ought not be granted the same treatment as ‘journalists’.   This presumption that ‘journalists’ are ‘professionals’ while ‘bloggers’ are ‘unwashed scum’, that ‘journalists’ ought to be granted privileges while ‘bloggers’ ought not has found fertile ground among our ‘elites’.

I came up against this personally, just last month.

At the Ontario Court of Justice – of all places!

Which is rather ironic, because it was the Ontario Courts who (among other courts) ruled that everything bloggers post on the internet is indeed ‘an act of publishing’ and therefore subject to all the laws, rules and standards that apply to any print publication.

Actually, if one thinks about it, this ruling places ‘bloggers’ on par with ‘publishers’ – one rung above mere ‘journalists’, who are, after all,  just employees of ‘publishers’…but let’s not be elitist here!  ;0)

{Let’s also not pretend that ‘blogging’ is actually ‘anonymous’:  the vast majority of bloggers do not take elaborate precautions to hide their identity – and their ISPs will reveal their names the moment it is clear the blogger broke the law.  It’s right in the ISP’s contract…  So, blogging ‘anonymously’ is simply a means of filtering out the frivolous bullying of bloggers too small or not connected enough so that they are pretty much defenseless.  If anyone has a legitimate case and goes through the legwork, the real-life identity of the blogger is accessible to them.  Plus, most bloggers are better known by (and their reputation is thus built on) their online persona – our ‘nom-de-plume’ – than by our mundane name.}

So, what is it that I am actually talking about?

Last month, just one week after they came to Ottawa for the Baglow case, Connie and Mark Fournier were back in Ottawa in court:  this time, they were applying for leave to appeal the ‘Blishen’ ruling in the Warman case. Their case was last on the docket and we had waited around all day only to be told that they would not get to us.  (The case itself ended up being heard last week, and the result was not a good one for the Fourniers.)

While waiting in the courtroom for the Fourniers’ turn to come, I kept writing in my notebook. It is a bit of a habit – it keeps me focused.  And while I didn’t actually take notes on the cases that were going on, I did note the demeanour of Warman’s team of lawyers (headed by the charismatic Mr. Katz) and doodled to pass time.  The judge took pity on those of us waiting and told us that they’ll not get to the Warman case until way after lunch, so we all filed out of the courtroom, intent on finding sustenance.  As in, food.

The bailiff followed us out, caught up with me and informed me that I was not permitted to take notes in the courtroom.  We all stopped, surprised at this:  I had taken copious notes at previous hearings – in several different cases, without ever any complaints against me.  And, I saw journalists take notes at some hearings, too…

We (the Fourniers,  Fred Litvin of the Free Thinking Film Society and of GayandRight, a few other supporters of the Fourniers and I) peppered the bailiff with questions.  Many questions…

He was very polite and exceedingly civil – and I do not doubt that he is a nice man and a truly good human being.  He was simply informing us of the rules, as he – as an officer of the court – understood them.  The upshot of what he said was:

  • the plaintiff/defendant, their lawyer and their lawyer’s aides may take notes in court, as they are ‘participants’
  • no spectators who are simple ‘members of the public’ may take notes in the courtroom, because they might not understand things properly or such and get a false impression of what was happening (I could not help but wonder why a person would need to be taking notes to get a false impression of what is going on – why not ban us unwashed masses from the courts altogether if we are too stupid to follow the proceedings?)
  • ‘journalists’ may also take notes, because they are ‘professionals’ – they are trained and presumably licensed (or will be, in Quebec), so it is OK…
  • ‘bloggers’ don’t count as ‘journalists’ – they are simple ‘members of the public’

When I pointed out that the courts themselves decided to hold us, bloggers, to the same standards as journalists were – so why should we have fewer rights to go with the same obligations – he shrugged, smiled, suggested that I should ‘get a life’ and said that if we really wanted to know more about the rules, we should check with ‘Court Services’….

So, after lunch, armed with a notebook and a pen and a healthy dose of righteous indignation, Fred Litvin (who graciously agreed to come with me for help and support) and I set out to seek the truth behind this double standard.

In the end, we were told that there really was no such rule, that members of the public – even lowly bloggers – were free to take all the notes we wanted to at any hearing in which a judge did not specifically forbid it … and – the bailiff had gone out of his way to find this out independently and then looked up not just me and Fred to apologize for having unintentionally misled us, but also each of the other people who had overheard him give out erroneous information.  I give him full credit for trying to rectify his mistake.

But – that is not my main point.  Well, not one of my two main points (I seldom have just one).

The fact remains that, based on instructions from a number of different judges, on a number of different occasions, the bailiff had been directed to deny anyone but ‘the participants’ in the cases and ‘certified journalists’ the right to take notes in their courtroom. So many judges had done this, in fact, that he was convinced this was the law!

WHO ARE THESE JUDGES?!?!?

And, once they had demonstrated this level of elitism (and contempt for us, regular citizens), why do WE – the citizens they would prefer to gag – permit them to remain judges over us?!?!?

Seriously – if these judges think the general public is too stupid to follow what they are  saying to us, how can they pass impartial judgment on us?  They have already formed a highly negative view of us – before we even entered their courtroom!

These are the people we are to entrust ourselves to?

REALLY?

…and the other point…

It took us a bit to find the proper wicket/window at the courthouse for ‘Court Services’ – the few inquiries we made sent us off in the wrong directions.  Our bad.  But…

Wherever we went – and wherever we identified ourselves as ‘bloogers looking for an answer’ – we elicited a very unusual response.

Well – unusual in the sense that I have not experienced this type of response from bureaucrats in the past.

Fast.

Courteous beyond belief.

And,  before we could begin to explain the particulars of our question, their supervisor or their manager, or their supervisor’s manager (or was that their manager’s supervisor?) was called in to deal with us.  Immediately!

And the boss – and bosses’ boss – came right away!!!

And they all looked – highly anxious…

….sort of like I imagine that government officials looked when facing ‘investigative reporters’ at the time of ‘Watergate’

Perhaps bloggers have filled the void left behind when most newsmen and newswomen abandoned ‘investigative reporting’ in favour of quoting press releases; when they joined the cultural elites as ‘journalists’ whose job is not to ‘report facts’ but to ‘present stories’ in a way that helps the social engineering elites control the unwashed masses….you know – us.

No wonder the Quebec Minister of Culture – and every other social engineering elitist [insert insults of your choice here] is attempting to diminish the role of ‘bloggers’!

UPDATE:  BCF has more details on the Quebec Culture Minister’s plans.

CUPE union member attacks the prominenet Canadian blogger BlazingCatFur!

This defies belief!

CUPE – Canadian Union of Public Employees, according to its website, represents 600,000 civil servants and is Canada’s largest labour union.

The important bit here is that it represents civil servants.  Only civil servants.  These are the people who put public policy into action.

As in, these are the ‘Agents of the state’!

This, of course, does not mean they are not ‘their own person’ in their ‘free time’.  Of course they are, free to express their views and all that.

Still, since their role as Agents of the State is known, their actions necessarily reflect on the state, too.  This places ‘greater-than-average’ responsibility on them to uphold the laws of the State and not breech them in their public conduct.

I guess what I am trying to say is that breaking laws is always bad.  But, if it is broken by someone who is not just ‘an average citizen’, but by someone who is either charged with enforcing the laws (like, say, a police officer), or enacting the laws (like, say, a public servant), it reflects badly  not just on the individual, but on the State as a whole.

So, when a well-know CUPE member Ali Mallah assaulted BlazingCatFur, a blogger who was acting in the role of a journalist and filming/photographing a public protest in which Mr. Mallah was taking part, it reflects badly not only on Mr. Mallah personally, but also on CUPE and on all the civil servants of Canada!

What was the provocation?

Mr. Mallah did not like that BlazingCatFur was taking images of a public protest, in a public area.

In other words, this CUPE member, this civil servant, this Agent of the Canadian State, wanted to muzzle a journalist – and when he failed, he assaulted him!

This is a very serious thing.  It is not just ‘one guy getting annoyed’ and, in the heat of the moment, loosing his temper.

This is a reflection of the attitudes of the Civil Service – and a very bad PR situation for CUPE.

The attack is documented:

Quoting from the video, the CUPE member demands:

“Who gave you permission to take a picture?”

On a public street, at a public event, this public servant wants to deny citizen journalists the very right to take pictures?  What a frightening attitude for an Agent of the State to take!

And, when he is not immediately obeyed, he assaults the picture-taker:  BlazingCatFur!

Mr. Mallah clearly recognized BlazingCatFur and the role as citizen-journalist which he plays – so his action was not simply an attack on one person: it is an attack on every Canadian journalist!

Once this has occurred, it is really irrelevant what the public protest was about, or what the various political views of whatever actors in this event or any bystanders are.  Because once violence occurs, it is no longer the ‘beliefs’ or ‘convictions’ which motivated someone to one-sided display of violence and attempt to muzzle the press, it is the behaviour – and only the behaviour – which must be the subject of investigation!  Attempting to censor and physically intimidate journalists is not a matter that can be taken lightly.

This is Canada – we do NOT tolerate violence!  And, we demand that reporters and journalists of all types must not be muzzled, intimidated, attacked, or otherwise interfered with!

An internal investigation (of CUPE by CUPE) is needed, so that violent elements within the union can be expelled and, if necessary, brought to criminal justice.  Nothing less than that can restore CUPE’s reputation as a respectable organization.  I call on CUPE to take this action, clean up their ranks, to expel and publicly denounce those of its members who would use intimidation and violence to silence journalists and reporters!

Failing that, the various levels of government who employ CUPE members will need to re-evaluate CUPE’s eligibility to represent members of the Civil Service.

And, I am not joking about this.

We cannot tolerate Civil Service Unions which permit their members to intimidate and do violence to members of the press!  And, we must demand that all levels of our governments expel from its ranks any and all unions which tolerate their members to assault this cornerstone of freedom of the press, of freedom of speech, on which our society is built!