In addition to the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, I also accasionally read a third paper, The Macomb Daily. I'll buy 2 to 4 copies a month of this paper that serves Macomb County which abuts the north east border of Detroit City limits.
Today's 5/15/06 headlines caught my eyes;
Psychics, astrologers may soon need license
The subtitle of the article by Mitch Hotts reads: "Eastpointe councilwoman wants to avoid further complaints of customers getting ripped off."
So how are the police to tell the difference between honest psychics and dishonest ones? Is there a difference? The third and fourth paragraphs say:
**We've read stories in the news about these psychics ripping off people of a large amount of money and we hope to avoid anything like that in Eastpointe," said City Councilwoman Veronica Klinefelt.
Under the ordinance that is being considered, anyone opening an astrology or fortune telling business in Eastpointe would have to apply for a psychic's license and a regular business license that all businesses must receive before opening.**
So the crimes aren't being committed in Eastpointe but rather in nearby suburbs and Eastpointe just wants to be preemptive. It looks to me like just another attempt for the city government to get its greedy hands on more money forceably taken from its citizens. The story goes on:
**It also would require the names and residences of all employees. The applicant would have to include information on his or her height, weight, hair color, along with a criminal history, a recent photograph, and a set of fingerprints.
The business operator also would have to undergo a police inspection and provide records on all customers with their name, age, address and service requested.**
This last will go over big with the public. How many customers want it known that they visit psychics?
Evidently though it seems they are having trouble drafting an honest ordinance:
**(City Attorney Robert)Hribar said the ordinance has not been finalized and a number of items have already been removed from the draft copy, including an inspection by the health department. He also removed a clause defining fortune tellers as someone who "pretends to be able to reveal the future."
"I think we can come up with something a little less offensive, but won't change the definition," he said.**
In other words, we're going to pretend that fortune tellers don't pretend to tell the future! Oh well. More supporting arguements:
**Eastpointe officials said they were alarmed by news reports of a psychic in Utica whose customers said they received oils and candles in exchange for cash and merchandise. Another psychic in Eastpointe was accused of sexually assaulting neighborhood boys.**
Now we already have laws against sexually assaulting people. We don't need to regulate psychics to enforce those laws. This is a clear cop-out by Eastpointe city leaders. We also have laws against fraud and don't need to regulate psychics to enforce those either. On the other hand, how would you adjudicate something like a fraud claim? "My future didn't turn out the way she said it would"?
Considering all the above, you just knew this was coming:
**Kelly MacLeod, a psychic and owner of Enchanted Soul, which recently moved to Roseville from Eastpointe, said she objects to paying licensing fees, but admits the process could eliminate scam artists.
"There are fraudulent people out there," MacLeod said. "It makes it difficult for honest readers such as myself when we have to compensate for the wackos out there claiming to be in touch with evil spirits and black auras."**
I predict you will be able to read the entire article if you just click on this.