Thursday, May 17, 2007

Those Naked Dutch, Again

When I was in Belgium, and I was talking to a Dutch lady. Remember a while back I posted something about how there was no law against public nudity in the Netherlands. Well, I asked this lady about that, just to make sure.
Me: So, I read that in Holland there's no law against going naked in public, is that right?
Her: [laughing] Oh, no, people don't go naked in public there!
Me: But they could if they wanted to, right?
Her: They don't. I've never seen anybody walking around naked.
Me: But there's no law against it, is there?
Her: Why would there be a law against that?

I would be interested to know how people would answer her question. We assume that we need to make it illegal to do something that doesn't hurt anybody, and that nobody would do anyway. There's no debate about it here in the land of the free, we just know that it has to be against the law. Why do we do that? Can you answer that question without using the word "Puritan?"


Blogger Robert said...

There's no law against going naked in Vermont. There was a controversy last year where HS kids in Brattleboro would go down to the city park and hang naked. Brattleboro considered passing an ordinance, but decided against it. They just waited for winter.

Co-ed naked skateboarding.


p.s. In many towns in Maine, women can be topless, as can men.

May 17, 2007 9:27 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Hey yeah, I actually blogged about that. So ... Vermont, they do have a sort of built-in method for getting people to put their clothes back on. And as I recall, the town council was very wise.


May 17, 2007 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, however, concerning crimes with victims:

"A national public opinion survey released this week shows that many people who know the facts about Roe v. Wade -- the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion -- think it should be overturned.

The survey, commissioned by the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the Judicial Confirmation Network and conducted by Ayres, McHenry & Associates, Inc., was completed earlier this month.

“Public opinion on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade is significantly affected by a focus on the conditions under which abortion is allowed by the ruling,” the survey report stated.

David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, said the survey confirms what he’s known for years.

“If you just ask about Roe v. Wade, there’s majority support for it. Using the slogans of modern business, Roe v. Wade is a ‘brand’ that has been sold to the American people by the media,” O’Steen said. “But if you describe what Roe v. Wade does, then a majority doesn’t support it.”

In response to the survey’s first question – “Would you like the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade, or not?” – 55 percent said Roe should not be overturned; just 35 percent indicated it should.

Support for Roe varied depending on circumstances. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they supported abortion when the life of the mother is at risk, and 77 percent said it should be legal if the pregnancy poses a health risk or if it resulted from rape or incest. If the preborn child was diagnosed with a “serious physical or mental deformity,” abortion support dropped to 55 percent.

Seventy-nine percent said abortion should not be legal if “the woman does not like the gender of the fetus”; 72 percent said it should be illegal if the woman believes the child would interfere with her life; and 65 percent said a lack of financial stability does not make it right.

Respondents were then told that Roe v. Wade allowed abortion in every circumstance presented – and were again asked if it should be overturned. This time, 48 percent said it should not be overturned; 43 percent said it should be."

May 17, 2007 11:16 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, let me say something I don't like to talk about. I had to tell a doctor not to resuscitate my mother when she lay dying. Of course I didn't want her to leave this world, but I had to decide.

Taking your approach, we could ask the question, "Should it be legal for people to let their mothers die?" And of course the answer is no, it is not nice to let mothers die.

I am glad there is no such law. It means that my mother was able to hold our hands and feel our presence as she slipped away, rather than having a gang of doctors cracking her ribs and trying to keep her going for a few more hours.

The point is, when people talk about "choice" they really mean choice. You and I don't know what decisions someone may have to face. The easy example to imagine when we hear the word abortion is some welfare mother using abortion to clean up after her promiscuous adventures. That doesn't mean that that's a common scenario, and it certainly doesn't mean it is the only one.

The fact is, sometimes people have to make incredibly hard choices, and it's crazy to pass laws that preclude what may be the only reasonable alternative, based on an easily-imagined stereotype.

I am very grateful that there was no law telling me what I had to choose.


May 17, 2007 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're mixing apples and oranges, Jim.

May 17, 2007 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's fruit salad time!

May 17, 2007 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It certainly is!

May 17, 2007 1:28 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Anonymous, we all own our bodies. No one has a right to tell another what to do with their body.

May 17, 2007 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, we all own our bodies. No one has a right to tell another what to do with their body."

Unless you use your body to destroy someone else's body.

May 17, 2007 7:25 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The fetus doesn't have a right to commandeer somone else's body without their permission. Its welcome to move out and live anywhere it wants other than inside an unwilling person.

May 18, 2007 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fetus was granted permission at conception. It didn't even ask for it.

May 18, 2007 2:20 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Fraid not. Only when the pregnancy is intentional is that the case.

May 18, 2007 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fraid so.

Do you other inconvenient life should also be destroyed too or only these humans?

May 18, 2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The law protects people after they're born and that's apropriate

May 18, 2007 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The weak and dependent deserve protection as much as the strong. It doesn't matter where they are located.

May 18, 2007 7:07 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

And when they're able to live without commandeering some one else's body they'll have that protection.

May 18, 2007 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And when they're able to live without commandeering some one else's body"

Would anyone like to support Randi on this?

May 19, 2007 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Well, anon-when you are willing to adopt and care for every child born, when you are willing to take on the pain of a woman or couple who has a pregnancy that can only end in a birth without any life outside the womb or a fetus that cannot come to term because of abnormality, then you can decide what can be done. You have no idea what these people go through-yes, even if you have a disabled child or had a miscarriage- this is an individual's pain and each person or couple is different. You assume everyone but you and your sort are careless and cold about this- but it is just another part of the smallness of your hearts and minds

May 19, 2007 10:10 PM  

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