Ever since I started mocking the slapdash jurist, Natalia Combs Greene, whose incompetent order managed to confuse me and National Review with our fellow defendants Rand Simberg and CEI, I've been told by various experts in America's "justice" system that I shouldn't risk incurring the wrath of judges by talking about them.
We'll see how that pans out. But I'm heartened by the stirring example of Lou Pelletier, a Connecticut father who took his sick daughter to hospital in Boston only to have her kidnapped by the tinpot tyrants of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. That was a year ago. Since then he has been under a "gag order" imposed by Suffolk County judge Joseph Johnston. Initially, Mr Pelletier abided by the terms of the gag order, and didn't talk about what had happened to his daughter. Only when he broke the order and began discussing the case on TV and radio did the tide begin to turn. Judge Johnston's first reaction was to threaten Mr Pelletier with contempt of court. But by now the issue was not the behavior of the parents but the behavior of DCF and a crappy third-rate judge getting away with it under cover of darkness. Once Mr Pelletier threw off his gag order, neither Johnston's nor DCF's behavior could withstand the cleansing sunlight of media scrutiny. Justina Pelletier has now been returned to the care of her doctors, and her father's gag order has been lifted - but only after his own courage had rendered it meaningless. Had he maintained his deference toward a judge unworthy of it, his daughter would still be a hostage of DCF. There's a lesson for all of us there.
~On the far less life-endangering front of my own case, a couple of media links: Dr Fred Singer checks in with BlogTalk Radio to discuss "climate change" in the wake of Mann vs Steyn and other recent developments. Meanwhile, John Hayward writes on one of the biggest casualties were Dr Mann to prevail:
It wasn't so long ago that we had a general consensus on defending freedom of speech, instinctively understanding that small concessions have a way of snowballing into uglier bouts of enforced silence. Core principles do not survive compromise; once free speech becomes a rationed and redistributed commodity, it stops being an inalienable right. The quality of debate inevitably suffers, because yelling "shut up" is always easier than putting together a convincing argument.
~Also yelling "Shut up!" is Khurrum Awan, whose second day of testimony against Ezra Levant in Ontario Superior Court went a little bumpier than the day before. The National Post's Joseph Brean reports:
Mr. Awan was also asked to testify about the striking similarities between the complaint he filed against Maclean's in Ontario, and the one filed by the Canadian Islamic Congress in British Columbia, for which he acted as a key witness at a human rights tribunal. Another case was filed federally. None succeeded.
This is why I want the "human rights" commissions abolished. Awan's preposterous position at this trial is that, while he was the "complainant" (plaintiff) in Ontario, he had nothing to do with the "complainants" in British Columbia - even though both complaints were filed on the same day and are all but identical. Apparently, that's just a coincidence. The reality is that, under this evil and squalid system, legal terms such as "judge", "plaintiff", "counsel", "witness", "client" no longer have any precise definition. Which is how Khurrum Awan wound up in a BC courthouse wearing an array of de facto hats as plaintiff, witness and lawyer. Now he's suing Ezra Levant for pointing out the obvious. Awan says he was only a witness in BC. But he wrote the complaint to the BC "Human Rights" Tribunal - which makes him a co-counsel. And he filed an identical complaint to the Ontario commission - which makes him a co-plaintiff. And he sat at the plaintiff's table in court (supposedly because the public gallery was full) and assisted the legal team with their case (supposedly because they were having difficulty stapling documents). And that's before you throw in his absurd threatening letter to cabinet minister Jason Kenney in which Awan claims to be the "driving force" behind all three "human rights" complaints - to the Ontario, BC and Canadian commissions.
This case is the logical consequence of allowing the "human rights" rackets to play loosey-goosey (as Maclean's counsel Julian Porter, QC likes to say) with the norms of justice.
~I'll be in court at 10am for Day Three of the trial. Before that - at 8am Eastern - I'll be on the air with Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley. Details in our "On The Air" box at right.