Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unstructured Thoughts about the Rape by Deception Ruling

I am literally seething about this ruling (found via search-for-emes). And actually not the racist, Jim Crow part that bothers everyone else, because although that's horrible, the real problem here is the ruling that all sex achieved through lying is rape.

The ruling seems like a reductio ad absurdum of the Israeli judicial obsession with everyone playing nice. When it came up in contracts and Aharon Barak was saying that everyone must be full of good faith and "homo homini homo" if not "homo homini deos", well, it was sort of cute. When the court decided that good faith applies to all fields of law at all times, well, at least they were sticking to civil law. But do they honestly not understand that there is a line between moral and legal duties and that not everyone who is not nice ought to be tried in court? And fine, tried in civil court or even criminally fined, but you're going to equate this with rape?

The Israeli court has increasingly taken power compared to the legislature and executive branches, and while I theoretically oppose this, I can see how the temptation to sort things out when you're the only competent person involved would be pretty overwhelming. But this- this is simply megalomania to think that every single not particularly nice action ought to be taken to the courts for them to determine whether it's so not nice as to be criminal. I tend towards the libertarian personally, but this- this has zoomed down the libertarian spectrum way past Republicans or Democrats and is currently so distant from it that the curvature of the universe should be coming into play soon.

And like most anti-libertarian ideas, it leans towards paternalism, except that in this case, it's leaned so hard that it fell right over into out and out patronization, claiming that women wander around innocently, victims to smooth-talking con-men waiting to steal their precious virtue. Women have plenty of ways to protect themselves. One of them- and I'm not trying to judge the plaintiff here, but honestly- one of them is to wait a bit before sleeping with someone so you have more time to confirm the story they're telling you. Or, you know, google them, which in this case might have revealed that he was married. And the more that a trait matters to you, and the more devastated you would be to discover that it were false, then the more you wait and the more research you do. You don't go crying to the court to protect you from deception in dating.

Is there anyone out there except the judges who want every bad break-up or unhealthy relationship dragged before the court for inspection? And hey, did anybody else notice that we may have just created a de facto criminal law against cheating in a relationship? Or saying you love her when you don't? Heck, a judge who could keep a good straight face could probably convict a woman of rape for wearing make-up.

I don't have a summation here, but I'm still a little steamed.

Monday, July 19, 2010


for the imperfection of circles
and the asymptotic gap
for acceptable losses
and necessary evils
for satisficing
for entropy

for the way things are
and the way that they ought to be
and for the way thing have to be
because they always will.