Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.
E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)
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Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.
( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)
The Old Comrades:
November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 August 2007 October 2007 February 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 March 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 October 2009 January 2010 March 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 April 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013
Saturday, October 27, 2012
The use of the word "rape" in the term "statutory rape" has bad effects.
Should the word "rape" in the American term "statutory rape" be replaced with some other word?
I would argue in favour of replacement that it diminishes the perceived magnitude of the crime of rape in the ordinary sense ("rape rape" to use Whoopi Goldberg's term, or "legitimate rape" to use Todd Akin's) to use the same word for those cases of statutory rape where consent was present, or arguably present. It also makes calm discussion and clear thinking about the complex issue of consent much harder.
Incidentally, I think that most of the criticism that both Goldberg and Akin got for using the terms they did was unjust. They both deserved criticism for making public pronouncements about subjects of which they knew next to nothing. Goldberg apparently did not know that Polanski's crime was indeed a particularly vile coercive rape of a minor. I suspect that she assumed that talented people from her own social milieu did not do that sort of thing. Akin had the silly belief that women's bodies have the power to prevent conception by an act of will. However I do not think for a moment that when he said "legitimate" rape he meant that there were circumstances where rape should be permitted, and I do not think that those howling for his head really believe he meant that either. He just used the wrong word. He should have said "coercive rape" - but the very fact that people need to hunt around for a term that gets that across, and get into trouble when they get it wrong, is why I think the term of law should be renamed.
I am not arguing against the existence of such laws, although no doubt many of them could do with adjustment. I am told the term does not exist in English or Scottish law but it has certainly soaked into British public discourse, muddying the waters.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
Monday, October 08, 2012
There is room for many different opinions regarding Wikileaks
...but room for only one regarding this: Julian Assange supporters ordered to forfeit £93,500 bail money.
Vaughan Smith, the former British army captain who hosted Assange at his Norfolk home while he was on bail throughout 2011, and had promised to pay £20,000 if Assange skipped bail, was ordered to pay £12,000, while Philip Knightly, a veteran Australian investigative journalist who exposed the British traitor Kim Philby as a Russian spy, was ordered to pay £15,000, £5,000 less than he originally pledged.I am kind of glad that the old softy of a magistrate let off those of the sureties who were of limited means from paying the full amount, but, sorry, if you aren't laughing at the luvvies losing their dosh, call an exorcist. You are dead.
I protest at misleading campaign material issued by the Republicans
The Repubs have made a website called Colleen's World in which they quote some of Ms Lachowicz's more vigorous statements made while playing or talking about World of Warcraft. The intro to the website says,
In Colleen’s online fantasy world, she gets away with crude, vicious and violent comments like the ones below. Maine needs a State Senator that lives in the real world, not in Colleen’s fantasy world.
While whoever thought up this line of attack could justly be praised for seizing an opportunity, he or she could also justly have his or her head staved in by a +5 mace for scaremongering. There is a reason for the first word in the phrase "Fantasy roleplaying games." That when in or in or discussing the World of Warcraft game Ms Lachowicz a.k.a. Santiaga the Orc occasionally says things like "I can kill stuff without going to jail. There are some days when this is more necessary than others" tells you nothing about her character other than she has a neat turn of phrase.
I take this personally. I would not want anyone to malign my character for similar reasons. People often do malign my character, not so much because he finds a lot of job satisfaction in ripping up malefactors with a wall of bullets from his trusty Steyr AUG, that's par for the course in the Urban Arcana D20 Modern campaign setting, more because (a) he has no sense of humour whatsoever about being called "Harold Potter", and (b) he's a tax inspector.
Mr Potter positively relishes eviscerating some poor hardworking zombie minion and then slapping what's left of him with a £9,000 bill in back-taxes for violation of IR35.
You don't think Iwould behave in such a foul manner in real life, do you?
I've nothing against zombies, either.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Friday, October 05, 2012
Wednesday, October 03, 2012