Posts Tagged ‘law’

Way back in the early days of the Blog I talked about Gay Marriage and Richard Cohen’s self=righteous hit piece:

Personally on a religious level I can’t support gay marriage but this is not a valid argument for a non-religious person. On a non-religious level it seems to me you can not rationally say that gay marriage is ok and should be legal without also allowing either polygamy and incest between consenting adults. Both have a longer and more accepted cultural history worldwide.

And PLEASE don’t give me the “ick” factor argument about these other things being accepted. Ick is just an argument about culture. It is the same argument that one would have heard concerning gay marriage less that 20 years ago. It is particularly galling when gay people are subject to state sponsored murder in places like Iran and ick is invoked beside Islam.

Via Glenn we have Eugene Volokh being a lawyer with some interesting items in the news has expanded on this bigtime:

(1) Should it be illegal, and, if so, exactly why? Is it just because it’s immoral? Because legalizing incest would, by making a future sexual relationship more speakable and legitimate, potentially affect the family relationship even while the child is underage (the view to which I tentatively incline)? Because it involves a heightened risk of birth defects (a view I’m skeptical about, given that we don’t criminalize sex by carriers of genes that make serious hereditary disease much more likely than incest does)?

(2) Given Lawrence v. Texas — and similar pre–Lawrence decisions in several states, applying their state constitutions — what exactly is the basis for outlawing incest? Is it that bans on gay sex are irrational but bans on adult incest are rational, and rationality is all that’s required for regulations of adult sex? Is it that bans on gay sex don’t pass strict scrutiny (or some such demanding test) but bans on adult incest do? Is it that Lawrence rested on the fact that bans on gay sex largely foreclose all personally meaningful sexual relationships for those who are purely homosexual in orientation, whereas incest bans only foreclose a few possible sexual partners?

Go and read his whole point but let me say that a Judge named Antonin Gregory Scalia saw this coming a mile away as did an awful lot of us. When I made the argument saying that you can’t logically ban polygamy while allowing gay marriage in a discussion on Center of Mass podcast this year my host insisted that it was totally different.

I’ve talked about the ick factor in the past. And let me quote myself one more time:

This is a republic. If the people who support gay marriage can move enough of the public in the individual states or on a national level to support it in an actual vote then the more power to them. That is how a republic works. With the media’s help they are well on their way to doing so, but let the people vote for it and if you win, you win. If your argument holds water it should be capable of doing so and you should be able to make that argument stick.

Take out the word gay marriage and enter anything you want instead and the argument holds. The fact that a respected lawyer is actually making the case tells me this is already coming down the pike. And let me leave you with some John Nolte in terms of changing the culture with the help of the media:

And this is how cinematic propaganda works. Whether the filmmaker’s motivations are good or evil, the idea is to get decent and thoughtful people to start second guessing themselves as they’re enveloped in the dark and held captive by the powerful sound and fury of the moving picture. First we’re led to identify and sympathize with a particular character, then that character does something designed to challenge our belief structure

None of this is a bug. It’s a feature.

Well this certainly changes the story or does it?

Posted: September 7, 2010 by datechguy in the courts
Tags: ,

it looks like that old “rape by deception” involved more than meets the eye.
A lot of people are jumping on this story saying people jumped the gun on the other one, I have some questions. In the base story of the guardian they quote of of the judges:

Tzvi Segal, one of three judges on the case, acknowledged that sex had been consensual but said that although not “a classical rape by force,” the woman would not have consented if she had not believed Kashur was Jewish.

Question, if this is a plea bargain why is the judge saying something like this if there is evidence of force? Let’s look at the newly translated story again:

Over the years B. filed 14 complaints, most of them for sexual offenses, against her father and other men. Some of the complaints were found to be justified, the defendants confessed and were sent to prison. Other complaints didn’t result in indictments, sometimes due to lack of evidence, and sometimes because B.’s testimony was doubted. When B. was first put on the stand in Kashur’s trial, the defense didn’t have all the 14 cases, but only a short list with the details of the cases, without all the evidence. Therefore, A’ladin applied to receive the cases following B.’s testimony. A’ladin’s intention was to put B. back on the stand and question her about the details of the cases where she was found to be unreliable – in order to discredit her in this case as well.

The Deputy Prosecutor Wittman did not like the idea of putting B. back on the stand. The previous time was, as mentioned, nothing less than traumatic, and B. was not interested in it herself. “We thought that the defense attorney’s request to question the plaintiff again about those past complaints, some of which didn’t lead to indictments, was legitimate”, Wittman explained to HaIr, “therefore, we faced a dilemma whether to expose the plaintiff once against to the cross-examination of the defense attorney over these complaints, which would inevitably lead to another traumatic experience for the plaintiff, or reach a plea bargain, as the defense attorney suggested.”

And this:

“Kashur was tried for forcible rape, but during the hearing of testimonies some difficulties with evidence arose and therefore negotiations were held between the Prosecution and Defense and we reached a plea bargain… according to the plea, even the Defense admitted to rape and deceit.”

I don’t claim to be either a lawyer or an expert on Israeli law, but I have several questions:

1. In the US you can indict a ham sandwich if there is a history of complaints that doesn’t result in incitements would you not be suspicious?

2. I note that about you see a list of “confessions” that led to prison, but not a single trial. How many of those confessions were plea deals? If Miss “B” has a history of accusations wouldn’t you think that at least one would go to trial?

3. How is it that a defendant after a plea bargain can appeal? Wouldn’t that be waved as part of a plea deal?

4. The “Confessions” listed above, what were they confessions of? Were they of lesser charges to avoid being tagged as a rapist?

It certainly sounds like B had a hard life, but read this closer. I have to disagree with the folks at the Volokh Conspiracy, they are basing their conclusion on “B” ‘s testimony which may or may not be reliable. I’ll give them their point on a plea bargain, but the judge’s statement suggests that this didn’t involve violence.

The fact that several anti-Israeli sites jumped on this naturally gives them suspicion, they’ve earned that suspicion for their denial of reality on other issues, but I would like to know more about those other cases. Is this guy just one of several who made a deal out of fear? Consider this story.

The idea that traumatised people, especially the victims of child sexual abuse, deliberately repress horrific memories goes all the way back to the 19th century and the theories of Sigmund Freud himself. But now some experts are saying the evidence points the other way. Professor Grant Devilly, from Griffith University’s Psychological Health research unit, says the memory usually works in the opposite way, with traumatised people reliving experiences they would rather forget.

Here is a thought, how many of those guys coped a plea during those days to avoid worse charges? How guys who didn’t plead were convinced by this stuff?

I’ll give Volokh that I may not know all the facts, but I don’t think he does either and one additional report doesn’t make the story complete, at least not yet.

The problem is that people are looking at an Arab v Jew issue. I think this case is less about that and more about a disturbed woman with issues and the men Jewish and Arab she has sent to prison over the years. Is this an abused woman who was abused one more time or Duke on the Jordan?

I don’t know, and most likely when it comes down to it, neither do you.

Memeorandum thread here

Just don’t call it Cabbage

Posted: July 22, 2010 by datechguy in oddities
Tags: ,

The fine blogger Roxeanne de Luca takes exception with me and Stacy for our defense of the Arab man in this story, to wit:

What really appalls me, though, is the idea that since every man out there lies to get sex, it’s okay and cannot possibly be criminal. Humans could not have long survived, let alone created our civilisation, if we only did things that we want to do and used any means to obtain our goals.

I have to disagree, I’m not defending the man’s actions but I don’t believe it is fair or proper to call it rape with all it entails.

Israel can have whatever laws it wants but I think it is wrong, not because the guy is good, or the lady is evil but words carry meaning and the meaning of what happened certainly isn’t rape.

Oh and the meaning of the title, Roxeanne’s blog won’t allow a comment with the word rape, so I replaced it with “Cabbage” throughout.

Does it depend on what “is” is?

Posted: May 21, 2010 by datechguy in local stuff, opinion/news
Tags: , ,

You might have noticed quite a debate in comments between me and my arch enemy friend Chris concerning an attempt to define “Medical Office” under the city ordinance.

The thing that got Chris in such an uproar was the following statement to start:

but I think the thing needed frankly are different counselors if we want to see different results

This sentiment was not appreciated by Chris:

In order to have people who will put their personal beliefs above the law and the interests of the town, then yes, you will need to replace the mostly reasonable and honorable members of the city council.

Read that statement and roll it around your head. Apparently only people who are not willing to respect the law would be people who agree with me, or with pro-life people. The sheer arrogance that this conveys is astounding. I wonder what other political positions would qualify for that under this philosophy?

We then got into a discussion about the specific issue, being can a resolution be passed to define what a “Medical Office” is? Chris’ reaction:

The town solicitor thought it was illegal, the city council president thought it was illegal, and the majority of the city council thought it was illegal.

Now I wasn’t at that meeting and he was, so I can’t speak to what they said, in the Newspaper they reported something slightly different:

But the City Council voted against amending the petition, after Council President Stephan Hay informed them that the amendment wasn’t filed until late Monday afternoon.

“I think asking this council in one day’s notice to define what a medical office is, is inappropriate,” Hay said.

Now that is a fair point, but that can be resolved by re-submitting the petition but as to the legality I asked Chris a pretty basic question:

Can you point me to something in actual law that states what a medical office is defined as? Can you point me to specific text in a law that would make that definition “illegal”.

After hemming and hawing he pointed me to this link that says the following:

It is the policy of the City of Fitchburg to see that each individual, regardless of his/her race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, children, marital status, veteran history, public assistance recipieny, handicap, disability or sexual orientation, provided that the term “sexual orientation” shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as sex objects, shall have equal opportunity in or access to employment, housing, education, recreation and public accommodations; to assure that each individual shall have equal access to and benefit from all public services; to protect each individual in the enjoyment of his/her civil rights; and to encourage and bring about mutual understanding and respect among all individuals in the City by the elimination of prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, discrimination and the disorder occasioned thereby.

Now forgetting that they are defining sexual orientation in a way I haven’t seen it defined before can someone explain to me how this policy makes the following illegal:

“Medical Office” shall mean the office of any doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed health care practitioner, medical clinic, or medical laboratory wherein ambulatory medical, dental, physical rehabilitation, mental health services or other health services are rendered. “Medical Office” shall not include a facility wherein a live human fetus is terminated or caused to be terminated by any surgical procedure performed or medication prescribed.

I put this out as an open question to anyone reading this. How does the policy above make the paragraph illegal as passed? Furthermore how does redefining a “medical office” make abortion itself illegal in the city. I don’t see that at all and I don’t know how someone reads that into that statement.

Look at any federal law. Terms within the laws are regularly defined within laws, in fact they are often re-defined in different sections of the same law. Take a look at the healthcare bill for current examples.

Now I think Mr. Hay’s argument about timing was not without merit, but the assertion that this is illegal without citing law to back it up is just cheap talk. The amendment was prepared by an experienced and trained lawyer, why is his opinion concerning Mr. Hay’s et/al any less valid? Or is a legal opinion validity based not on what the law says but if someone agrees with it?

Anyway I throw the argument open: Is Chris right or am I? Furthermore I say again, can someone point out an actual applicable city, state or federal law that would make creating such a definition illegal?

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