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!!!

 

 

 

 

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25 Responses to “Dr. Baglow vs Freedom of Speech: September 15, 2014”

  1. Maikeru Says:

    …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)!!!
    I’m not alone in adoring the way your eyes transmit information through your asper-ated brain to your fingers…=)

  2. Jay Currie Says:

    Thank you again for covering this travesty.

    Connie and Mark and Roger are being put through an expensive wringer by a man who knows better. Unlike Warman, Baglow is misguided rather than actively evil. As you report, he knows shame and is feeling it as this farce goes on. People who, normally, he would respect are lined up with the Fourniers. Even if, as unlikely as it is, he wins his win will simply skiffle the conversation of the internet. He will silence his critics and, eventually, his critics will use his precedent to silence him.

    How sad. I was chatting to Connie a day ago and talked about a bar I used to go to where lefty academics fought tooth and nail with right millionaires. It got hot. Insults were exchanged. People said things which, in the sober light of day, they might have phrased differently. No lawsuits. Brass rail rule.

    Several years ago I offered my good offices to settle this silly dispute. Connie and Mark were up for it. John was not. Which has meant huge legal fees for both sides over a remark which would be a commonplace in any Legion or pub in the country. Which John knows. After all, he repeated his so called defamation using his sock puppet Miss Mew. Which he also knows.

    If Baglow wins it is pretty much the end of free discussion on the net in Canada. Which he also knows.

    I know John well enough to know that that outcome is not what he wants or intends. We disagree about politics but we don’t about free speech.

    He needs to drop this case now just on the off chance that he might win.

    • xanthippa Says:

      I wish there were some way for your comment to be read into the court record….

    • John Baglow Says:

      “Several years ago I offered my good offices to settle this silly dispute. Connie and Mark were up for it. John was not.”

      As the Court record shows, this is a barefaced lie.

      • xanthippa Says:

        My apologies for not having posted this comment right away – my mistake…tired…

        Thanks for letting me know so I could correct my mistake.

        But, since you bring it up – is there any chance of settling this before final arguments?

  3. Jay Currie Says:

    John, stating that someone has told a barefaced lie is, indeed, defamatory. Not to mention dumb.

    Needless to say I have the original emails with headers and such like.

    Just so we are clear: You state that I did not offer my good – if mildly facetious – office to settle this matter. And you stated that I was lying when I said that Connie and Mark were up for it and you were not.

    Let’s take a look at the correspondence.

    ——-
    “Jay Currie Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:36 AM
    To: John Baglow
    Bcc: Connie Fournier
    Hi John,

    Before rushing off to court you might want to consider whether you should include in your suit a certain Ms. Mew who actually outs you on that thread.

    And remember, Connie and Mark have considerable experience with IPs so tracking down Ms. Mew will not be difficult. In fact they might have to in order to third party her in the event you were to file.

    Cheers,

    Jay

    ———–

    John Baglow Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:49 AM
    To: Jay Currie
    Hi, Jay,

    I see that this “MsMew” has my best interests at heart. I think his or
    her remonstrances should be sufficient to leave him or her out of the
    lawsuit, but if someone can track this nice kitty down and let me have
    the e-addy, I’ll have a good witness for the plaintiff if this thing
    ever gets that far.

    Indeed, my only concern is the continued publication of the libel. To
    that end, even Peter O’ D. might well not be named. He’s a crank, but
    the chief offenders are those who publish his libellous words.

    Would you not agree?

    Best,
    John

    ———–
    John Baglow Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:54 AM
    To: Jay Currie
    And just as an aside, Connie has “outed” me repeatedly at FD already.
    In fact, I shall be able to prove malice to the hilt.

    However, I’ll have a talk with my drinking buddy and see if he meows. 🙂

    Best,
    John

    ————
    Jay Currie Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 10:28 AM
    To: John Baglow
    Hi John,

    MsMew personalized such libel as the post contained. I can’t see how he or she would not be third partied.

    As to the post itself, while it maybe sloppy, until MsMew got involved it was a) more than a little “inside baseball”, b) has some basis in fact in so far as you are on the record supporting Khadr and, by not unreasonable extension, the organization he was fighting for. Fair comment? Almost certainly.

    However, by all means consult with assorted drinking buddies and proceed. I’ll chill the beer and replenish the popcorn stocks.

    Cheers,

    Jay

    ———
    John Baglow Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 11:54 AM
    To: Jay Currie
    Jay,

    I have never “supported Khadr,” except insofar as his rights as a
    citizen and a human being are concerned. To suggest by extension that
    I also subscribe to his Islamism…well, you know better than that. If
    we pursue that logic, you’re a Nazi. We’ve been through that before. I
    recall dudgeon, high and low, being expressed by you and other Speech
    Warriors on that very matter.

    I am so looking forward to this lawsuit.

    Best,
    John

    PS: Connie apparently thinks I am MsMew. But I’m a Dawg. I look
    forward to MsMew being served, as W. Kinsella might say in an
    unguarded moment.

    ——

    Jay Currie Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 12:04 PM
    To: John Baglow
    John,

    I entirely agree that by supporting Khadr’s assorted rights as a Canadian citizen you do not have to support his cause. (And do remind your drinking buddies of this distinction.) However, the fact I agree does not alter the ability of others to fairly comment to the contrary. Arguably, supporting Canada’s withdrawal from Afghanistan can be construed as giving support to the Taliban.

    Given the IP atch up between you and Ms. Mew I would scramble Buckets to patiently explain that this in no way goes to identity.

    I shall put some more beers on ice and await developments.

    It really is very silly.

    Cheers,

    Jay

    ——
    John Baglow Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 1:18 PM
    To: Jay Currie
    Jay,

    Not to perpetuate this–that *would* be silly–but the fact that
    Connie has frequently referred to me as “Dr.Baglow/Dawg” and linked to
    my site, and that checking my profile brings up “John Baglow,” ‘twould
    be difficult to argue that the well-meaning MsMew had stated anything
    not already common knowledge, especially to the respondents. As near
    as I can figure, MsMew was attempting to give the respondents fair
    warning.

    As to the main point, calling me a “vocal supporter of the Taliban” is
    unambiguous, and I believe that you are perfectly aware of this.
    “Taliban-enabler” is one thing–a matter of interpretation and so
    on–but “vocal supporter” is quite another. And I have reams of posts
    at my place that prove the contrary.

    Connie and Co. are going to be bankrupted by this unless they smarten
    up. The dark side of me hopes that they don’t. In any case, I have no
    choice in this matter–the accusation cannot be allowed to stand
    unchallenged, or my current security clearance is seriously
    threatened.

    Best,
    John.

    ———–

    I have additional correspondence from the Fourniers who would have been only too happy to put an end to this absurd bit of litigation.

    I gather that the mystery of Ms Mew’s identity, and aren’t you the coy one, has been cleared up in court.

  4. John Baglow Says:

    All on the record. Jay. Every bit is in the Court record. Try to catch up.

  5. John Baglow Says:

    Jay imagines he has a “gotcha” moment, which is a bit unfair to our hostess here, who is a pleasant enough person against whom I bear no ill will, and who would be caught up in any “tit for tat” nonsense.

    I am more than happy to substitute the words “grossly misleading and inaccurate comment” for “lie” in the above, because it was his claim to which I was really referring, not Mr. Currie himself, and that claim is not supported by the facts.

    But I have asked X. to delete the comment in any event. It comes rather too close to discussing the case at hand, which I am obviously not prepared to do.

    Please carry on.

  6. Jay Currie Says:

    Our hostess, John, is in no danger from me for your intemperate remarks.

    You see from where I sit the blogosphere and the world of forums is and should be a place akin to the bar I referenced above. Brass rail rule. No litigation but everyone is perfectly entitled to bring whatever evidence they have to refute silly statements.

    There is no “gotcha” here John. There is a simple and I think pretty conclusive refutation of your statement. I don’t need to go to Court to prove to an indifferent world that that big, mean, John Baglow is talking through his hat. Res ipsa loquiter and all that.

    The problem you lefties have is that you have lost control of the means of communication. The internet routes around the assorted bits of mis-information which the MSM and its leftie enablers try and foist on the public. And so you and your ilk, the Kinsellas and Warmans of this world – resort to the antiquated mechanisms of Ontario defamation law to silence dissent. And you do this because you can’t win the argument in a flat out fight.

    Rather than suing Connie and Mark and Peter you could have, rather easily, pulled out the innumerable instances in which you made your opposition to the Taliban and various other extremists very, very clear. And I would have been right there with you as I pointed out in the correspondence above.

    Your litigation is pending and I quite understand your reluctance to comment on the matter; but it is telling to see who has lined up with the defendants. Just as in the even sillier Mann v. Steyn et al matter in the US, Steyn’s position has attracted amicus briefs from a who’s who of media defenders and civil rights advocates whereas Mann has found no one to support his attempt to silence dissent. Nor have you.

    Somewhere in all of this there is a lesson.

  7. peterodonnell Says:

    Ah, this is where you cool kids were talking about Omar.

    Personally, I think any captured terrorists should be very thankful to be alive, even if it’s the half life they suffered at Guantanamo Bay.

    Those who make the conscious decision to take up arms against both military and civilian targets, and to fight without formally identifying themselves as combatants (only to gloat about it afterwards) have placed themselves basically outside all the legal frameworks that civilized people developed, and have nobody but themselves to blame for their problems once they are separated from their fellow fighters.

    It is touching that progressive Canadians want to keep them “in the loop” even though those same progressive Canadians would be the first to go into the stadium for ritual execution if these zealots ever managed to accomplish what they dream about in their distant caves. I’m sure that being pro-feminist, pro-homosexual, and pro-climate-change, would only tend to move progressives up to near the front of the lines, although to be frank, all of us would be moved to the firing lines, or the headchopping positions, at about the same pace. They don’t see us as all that different, hawks or doves are all birds of a feather to the zealots of Islam.

    Whatever it is that our progressive elites dream in their ivory towers, the zealots only mean to blow them up like the shrines of all other false religions. Where I find it mildly collaborative, as I explained in the court, is that organizations like the Taliban must surely draw a bit of inspiration from the absurdity that is presented to them, that some of us fail to notice how far out of our own traditions their fighters have strayed, and that they imagine an easy return to those traditions for terrorists shown a little TLC.

    You may want to say in return that we were commanded to love our enemies, but I think some place between Aug 7, 1998 and Sept 11, 2001, that was superseded by the instructions to recognize the last days and oppose the demons from the abyss. Wanting to hold hands with them does not seem like very sensible theology to me.

    So there’s my contribution to the discussion, as to Omar Khadr, he’s lucky to have been treated relatively humanely, in contrast to how his family wants to deal with us, and how he was conditioned to deal with brave men who were only there to try to bring light into darkness. Perhaps that is not possible. He had no rational reason to join in their struggle and if he comes out the other end intact and rejoins our society, that’s all good but he should not be moved to the front of the line and given gifts and honours, he has done nothing to earn them. Some who have are being treated basically like outcasts and I have to ask why, where’s all that generosity of spirit for those who have done nothing wrong, and mean no harm to our country and its celebrated freedoms. You know who I mean, see title of thread.

    • xanthippa Says:

      Well, Peter…

      You will find very few regular contributors here who would ever assert to, as you put it, ‘love your enemies’. Most of us regulars here are Aspies and we are simply not wired for religiosity. Or believing in things without sound scientific evidence. To us, all religions are equally irrational and, in that sense, incomprehensible: we do, however, differentiate among them in the affect their teachings will have on the functioning of human brains…so we some as only damaging to their adherents while we recognize others as damaging to all who surround their adherents in addition to said adherents…

      Thus, we spend little time protecting ourselves from, say, Jainists, but do understand the existential threat the Abrahamic religions pose to us in general and Islam does in particular.

      At some point during our past discussion (here, elsewhere or in person – but, I am here now so that’s when I’ll address it) you had mentioned something along the lines of it being merciful to try to rehabilitate terrorists like Khadr. I’ve been thinking about this – I am a slow thinker…plus had some family obligations over the last few days that kept me offline.

      I agree that mercy is a very important human quality which we ought to strive for as best as we can. However, I do not agree that it is ‘merciful’ to keep terrorists like Khadr alive on the offchance that they might be rehabilitatable…

      To the contrary.

      I think that killing them on the spot is the merciful thing to do – and it is merciful to all the individuals within the society which they are wrecking and subverting.

      Giving them a second chance is not merciful to their victims.

      Executing them on the spot with as much public humiliation and – for lack of a better term – desecration of their beliefs as possible is the most merciful thing to do for their victims and the society they are victimizing, for rather obvious reasons. And, frankly the Geneva convention was conceived in the aftermath of the WWII precisely because people then agreed with my view of what constituted ‘mercy’….and set up the international law so as to intentionally strip all human rights from combatants hiding among civilians. The anger and pain was so fresh and raw then that even torture and vivisection were things protection from which was stripped away from such war criminals. So, my view of a simple and painless execution really is a kindhearted, merciful, middle-of-the road suggestion.

      So, yes to mercy – but we may disagree what constitutes ‘mercy’…

  8. peterodonnell Says:

    You’ll see that I was only addressing a hypothetical, expecting that some of Omar’s more friendly supporters might try to jar my conscience with an appeal to mercy. My actual views are fairly close to your own on Omar, although not so much on Abrahamic theologies (two out of three ain’t bad).

    Before I mecca bigger mess, I will tack hard right and sail on.

  9. CodeSlinger Says:

    peterodonnell:

    Nothing could be more ridiculous than the idea that war can effectively be governed by some kind of civilized legal framework.

    War is what happens when civilized legal frameworks break down.

    There is no law before the sword.

  10. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Think about what you’re endorsing…

    First we create a military so powerful that no non-state combatants can stand against it, unless they use stealth.

    Then we demonize and strip all human rights from non-state combatants who use stealth.

    This is a recipe for absolute, inescapable tyranny.

    And not by accident.

    Everything the UN does is justified by high-sounding rhetoric, but the real intended result is total worldwide oppression and subjugation.

    Don’t fall for it–!

    • xanthippa Says:

      I must admit that I am deeply uncomfortable with the UN – and with UN-created laws governing us.

      For now, however, we do live in a country which is a member and thus we are bound by this, like it or not.

      Our most urgent preoccupation ought to be to pressure our government to opt out of the UN altogether: an idea that would have been unthinkable 15 years ago, but one which is gaining more and more momentum.

      You know my views on this, CodeSlinger: bad laws are bad – but we are bound by them until we change them. And as long as we have non-violent, legal avenues open to us, we are obligated to take them.

      This goes for the UN as well as our national laws.

  11. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Well, in your post above you clearly stated your opinion that combatants who hide among civilians are war criminals of the worst sort.

    But the idea that hiding among civilians is cowardly or reprehensible is a dangerously outdated holdover from a time when the dissident and the state had comparable capabilities – a time when it was actually possible to hide from the state without hiding among civilians.

    But that was then and this is now, so please explain:

    Without blending into the general public for concealment, do you think any conceivable group of freedom fighters would have any chance at all against the US military?

    If so, how?

    And if not, then criminalizing this kind of stealth is tantamount to criminalizing any and all truly effective dissent.

    You know the old quip: if voting changed anything, they would make it illegal. The reason this is funny is because it contains a core of truth.

    There is only one way to substantively change the system, and that is widespread, resolute and principled civil disobedience.

    Meaning deliberate refusal to obey unjust laws.

    It is the moral obligation of every conscientious citizen to do this.

    And if the state retaliates with military force (including militarized police), then it leaves the conscientious citizen no viable alternative but to blend into the general public.

  12. peterodonnell Says:

    Comes back around to whether or not the proposed alternative to the state (in your example, the modern-day U.S. of A.) is better or worse. Anything with “Islamic” in the title is bound to be worse, but whether they hide among the general population or not, any effort to replace elected governments in free countries with anything remotely Islamic should be resisted with all possible means. Mass conversion to Islam is simply not an option among many, although where I get myself into trouble with Canadian elites is that I consider various forms of voluntary communism to be just about as bad thus requiring just about the same response. This is not what they Teach In Schools so I am legally screwed. So is our country, but on a somewhat more gradual time scale.

  13. CodeSlinger Says:

    peterodonnell:

    Please don’t misunderstand me. As far as I’m concerned, Islam has declared itself to be our mortal enemy and should be treated as such.

    However, the global collectivist plutocracy (with its running dogs, the cultural Marxists) is also our mortal enemy – and should likewise be treated as such.

    My point is that we must not combat the former by assuming a stance that furthers the agenda of the latter.

    Specifically, condemning Islam in general – or Omar Khadr in particular – on the basis of such ill-conceived constructs as “international law” is a very bad idea, because it furthers the agenda of the global collectivist plutocracy.

    Have you ever wondered why the government of Canada has resorted to such absurd and disgraceful legalistic posturing in the Khadr case? Why Khadr is charged with all manner of contrived, nonsensical violations of “international law” – and not charged with the one thing he is clearly guilty of, namely high treason against Canada?

    It is because the Canadian government eats from the hand of the globalists, and the concept of treason against one’s country is anathema to the globalists. It flies in the face of their efforts to undermine all aspects of national sovereignty.

    • peterodonnell Says:

      You would get no substantial argument from me about your concerns that most western governments have pushed much further to the left than their citizens had truly authorized them to do, but of course with our education system progressively brainwashing many younger people to suppose otherwise, the revolution has been successfully accomplished without even the formal declaration of a counter-revolution outside of a few “crank” voices in the blogosphere (where again I suspect we share something in common, except that I have mine certified in court, you’ll have to get yourself sued to reach that level of certainty).

      And it is all done in a bit of a haze of half-hearted acceptance by many who continue to vote as though they were opposing socialism. Turning this country into a sort of larger Hong Kong and colony of the PRC is not what I would have thought of as opposing socialism, and it’s rather telling to trace back how the Harper government related to the PRC before and after becoming the government. The nominally conservative governments of three western provinces have also flocked to the big red tent for their big green bucks (and big brown cloud of atmospheric effluent which is probably the real reason, rather than carbon dioxide, for the arctic ice anomalies of recent decades).

      I think our luck is holding with the climate, as nature reverses what humanity feebly change, but as for our luck in the future as a colony of the PRC, the writing is on the wall and most of us can’t read it. This is perhaps more obvious in B.C. where I live, than in the rest of Canada. Greater Vancouver is slowly turning into one of the great overseas cities of China and the problem of the absentee landlord combined with the half-in, half-out shipper of incomes to the home folks, is slowly turning entire neighbourhoods of greater Vancouver into otherwise unaffordable colonial outliers. This can be separated out from the more familiar situation with the already present Chinese Canadian population, and is actually as much of a threat to them as to the rest of us. The word on the street is that many of the new high rises (reaching 30-50 storeys in many cases) are being built below code and will collapse in any strong earthquake. I have heard this not just as urban legend but from insiders who suspect that many planning corners are being cut to make a quick buck. Meanwhile a lot of middle-class rental housing is being demolished in favour of this upscale development. Political correctness makes it difficult to discuss this very openly, and the PRC spin doctors are busy making sure people are either lulled into a coma, or intimidated from a more public opposition (try bringing any of this up in a city planning meeting and you’ll see what happens).

      It goes back to a concern that some had several years back, that almost all of the current “green” revolution is actually to make way for a red revolution, after which nobody will care about being green. And yes, I know it’s their national holiday, or was until the sun went down. That is something worth a laugh, anyway, the notion that anyone should “celebrate” communism.

  14. Steve Ridgeway Says:

    The Fourniers lost their appeal yesterday with another $23,000 added to the tab. After reading the judge’s comments, it certainly comes across that they had poor legal council.

    http://www.ontariocourts.ca/decisions/2015/2015ONCA0873.pdf


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