7-19-14 Hodgepodge

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Possible Consequences of Legalized Prostitution

The state of Rhode Island accidentally legalized indoor prostitution for six years, beginning in 2003. Although none of this would sway the religious opponents of legalized prostitution, it is interesting to note some of the possible consequences of this inadvertent experiment:

In a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists Scott Cunningham and Manisha Shah look at the six years when residents knew prostitution in Rhode Island wasn't a crime. And they show evidence that Rhode Island's decriminalization caused a steep decline in both forcible rape offenses and the incidence of gonorrhea. [link in original, bold added]
The implied consequences of the illegality of prostitution show just part of what's wrong with having improper laws on the books. What's truly wrong is that (a) such laws make crimes out of behavior between consenting adults that harms no one, and (b) they set a precedent for the government to meddle with many other aspects of our lives.

As the authors are aware, the bad consequences of these barbaric laws alone will not lead to a public outcry for their appeal. I would add: Such laws must be opposed as improper on moral grounds -- as violations of individual rights.

Weekend Reading

"Find a therapist who doesn't try to tell you what to do." -- Michael Hurd, in "Bad Therapy: Worse Than No Therapy? You Bet!" at The Delaware Coast Press

"[F]or most people fear of flying raises issues of control." -- Michael Hurd, in "Afraid to Fly?" at The Delaware Wave

"By any rational standard, the aggressor in war is culpable for the death or injury of civilians on both sides." -- Elan Journo, in "How the International Laws of War Abet Hamas, Undercut Israel" at Breitbart

In Further Detail

Elan Journo makes it clear who is to blame (and why) for civilian casualties in a war. Because he does so, it is equally clear that it is time to question the international laws of war.

A Bleg

Well, dash it all! I'm allergic to something...

Last week, my physician diagnosed an itchy rash on my arms as allergic contact dermatitis. (I thought that the rash might have originated in an unnoticed mosquito bite that became infected. The persistence of the original site and the appearance of new, smaller lesions prompted me to get help.) My doctor suspected the cause to be poison ivy (which can take a couple of weeks to cause symptoms) or some other poisonous plant. A look in my journal pointed to some yard work -- brush clearance -- I did a couple of weeks before as the likely source of exposure. A look in my yard yesterday turned up three poison ivy plants, one where I removed some branches from a shrub. Needless to say, I want to get rid of these, especially since I have kids.

The plants are all commingled wih ornamental plants that straddle a fence on the property line, so nuking everything and starting over probably isn't an option. I've started researching the tricky problem of poison ivy eradication, but if anybody who stops by has advice, I'm all ears. Feel free to leave a comment or email me.



Vigilis said...

Does the GVH family have a furry pet? I do not recall any mention.

If a furry pet happens to brush a poison ivy plant and is later petted, brushed, or otherwise in contact with an unwary human's skin, the oil without effect on the pet can certainly spawn human rashes.

For eradication, Roundup (c) has worked nicely for spot eradication, but I always prefer spading individual plants.

Gus Van Horn said...


We currently don't have any pets, but thanks for mentioning that: It's something to look out for in the future. Thanks.

I went out again to look at the plants, and the one that got me is HUGE. (My yard work was closer to the ground that day, and I was in a hurry the day I looked around for plants. Only when I was showing them to my wife did I finally see the rest of the really big one...) I may just hire a gardener to get rid of it for me, to save time. It's plainly a two-person job and I'd need to hire a sitter anyway.


Steve D said...

It's a vine and can get very big. I get poison ivy all around my place as well. I don't touch it with hands, clothes, garden tools or anything else; I just spray the plants with Roundup (the application for woody plants).

Steve D said...

When I have plants I want intermingled with poison ivy, I use a mini paint brush to put the roundup on the leaves (then toss the brush) - or you can try spraying very carefully.

Gus Van Horn said...

Steve and Vigilis,

I plan to use Roundup for maintenance once I get this currently big problem under control. My research indicates two reasons to be vigilant: (1) Birds eat the berries and propagate the plants, which is how, I imagine, we ended up with these since we are not in a forested area. (2) If the plant isn't completely removed, new plants can come up from roots. (I know: Roundup is systemic. But the big plant makes this sound like a dangerous version of painting the roof of the Sistine Chapel to me, in terms of time and tedium.)

The long and short of it is I will be having the bush/shrub/tree removed by a professional and I'll check for new plants whenever I have to mow the yard and knock them out with Roundup as they appear. (Now that I know there is a problem and that it will likely take time to solve or recur.)