Natalie Solent

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:

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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
An odd intersection


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.


It is understood that a separate group of Assange supporters, thought to include the film-maker Ken Loach, the writer and campaigner Jemima Khan, the journalist John Pilger and the magazine publisher Felix Dennis have already forfeited bail cash worth £200,000 following a court order earlier this year.

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

Via Jim Miller on Politics I learn that the Maine Republicans have been stirring up prejudice against a Democratic candidate for the state senate, Colleen Lachowicz, because she is an orc.

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
Unclear on the concept

Friday, October 05, 2012

Wednesday, October 03, 2012